For a long time, people thought nothing could really change in the world of cocktails. Drinks stayed very basic and bartending books were filled with the classics. While the craft cocktail culture was not born in Sacramento, our city’s bars lead the pack when it comes to cocktails, craft or classic. The list below truly cannot be argued. From bars that are brand new to the neighborhood to bars that have been mixing it up for years, we have it covered.

red rabbit
The Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar
2718 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 706-2275

The Red Rabbit is a true Sacramento success story. The Rabbit has gone beyond just surviving in what has historically been a troubled location for past businesses, it is thriving. Truly a breath of fresh air for the city, The Red Rabbit offers one of the most creative craft cocktail lists in the city, not to mention an inspired culinary side. Between the food, the libations and the service, The Red Rabbit has more more than earned its place on this list. The Rabbit also has some smart and classy spots on property for you to plan your next event as well.



de Vere’s Irish Pub
1521 L St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 231-9947

With locations in both Sacramento and Davis, de Vere’s brings double the pleasure to those looking to get their drink on. We’ll focus on the Sacramento location. There is something special about an authentic Irish pub, especially because there isn’t exactly one on every corner here in Sacramento. This family-owned business offers a hefty whiskey collection to go with its extensive cocktail selection and beer options. The bar also offers $3 draughts from 9 p.m. to close every Tuesday and a pub quiz night every Monday.

Walk into the Shady Lady and youíll feel like you walked into a 1920's speakeasy. (Credit:

Walk into the Shady Lady and youíll feel like you walked into a 1920’s speakeasy. (Credit:

Shady Lady Saloon
1409 R St.
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 231-9121

A list of the best cocktails bars in Sacramento would not be complete without Shady on it. The boys that perfected the speakeasy in Sacramento are also pioneers of the craft cocktail in Sactown. Having everything fresh squeezed and hand made is what is done best at the Shady Lady Saloon. The saloon can also boast a terrific menu as it was also named one of the best bars for foodies in Sacramento. This has been a great spot for cocktails since it opened its doors. Staff at the Shady Lady Saloon continues to set trends in our city and brings an authentic bar experience to its guests.

Related:  Best Bars For Business Drinks In Sacramento

capital dime
Capital Dime
1801 L St.
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 443-1010

This will serve as an official welcome to one of the newest eateries and bars to make it onto a “Best Of” list in Sacramento. Capital Dime sits in the space which was once home to L Wine Lounge. So far Capital Dime has been able to fill the void left behind by the wine lounge. The food menu may be small but it covers a lot of ground offering affordable $10 bites and no entrees over $15. Capital Dime also offers a classic brunch menu. The list of adult beverages, including the beer and wine, does not disappoint, making it a spot that you should certainly check out.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The Back Door Lounge
1112 Firehouse Aly
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 442-5751

You’ll notice this bar is unlike the rest on the list. The Back Door Lounge has been around for a long time in historic Old Sacramento. If you are looking for a strong, basic cocktail, then this is your spot. The Back Door is as old school as bars get in our town. You won’t find fancy garnishes or pretty potions here, what you will find are drinks that will knock you directly on your rump, which is always a great reason to stop by. As an owner-operated establishment, the bar was among one of the last to allow smoking indoors. The back door has that cool, seedy, off-the-Vegas-strip feeling in a bar which makes it a town favorite.

Related: Best Bars For Foodies In Sacramento

As a hospitality professional Andy Soto has worked every facet of the industry. He currently leads the team at Spectrum Restaurant Consulting. He started writing a hospitality blog in 2009 and restaurant writing for Sacramento Press in 2010. In 2011 Andy became a Sacramento Restaurant Examiner for His work can be found on