During the hot, lazy Sacramento summer and all year-round, locals love to nosh on fresh fish tacos. Many restaurants in the capital city offer them, and this list gives you the real dish on the best fish tacos in town.
Swabbies Restaurant & Bar
5871 Garden Highway
Sacramento, CA 95837
(916) 920-8088

Swabbies has earned a reputation as one of the top shops for fish tacos in the area. In addition to the fresh fish and toppings that are used, Swabbies’ large, parmesan and jack cheese-infused taco shells are well worth a visit. The classic taco includes cod that is beer batter-dipped and fried, with cabbage and homemade fish sauce and salsa. This tasty taco can also be ordered with deep-fried shrimp instead of fish. Tacos are also available using fresh, seasonal fish, salmon or mahi mahi that is grilled rather than fried and topped with mango pineapple salsa. There is seating inside, but the outdoor deck and shady yard are preferred by most. No reservations or dressy clothes are needed at Swabbies; despite the top-notch cuisine, there is live music and a relaxed, friendly vibe that feels like you are partying at Jimmy Buffet’s beach house. The restaurant is right on the Sacramento River, and offers free marina docking for boaters who want to stop in for a bite.

Taqueria Rincon Alteño
4301 Truxel Road, Suite D1
Sacramento, CA 95834
(916) 515-4815

Located in a small, unassuming strip mall in Natomas, this taqueria offers food that is big on flavor. Fish tacos are made with moist chunks of grilled sea bass on soft corn tortillas with onions and cilantro. A similar, savory version is also available using freshly-grilled shrimp. Shrimp is included in many of the restaurant’s dishes, including spicy camarones rancheros, plates of breaded shrimp and camarones al mojo de ajo, shrimp grilled with fresh bell peppers, garlic, tomato, onion and orange juice. Seafood lovers can also enjoy offerings like octopus and shrimp coctel.

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1801 Capitol Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 441-0303

Zocalo is located in a renovated building that was originally erected in the 1920s to house a Hudson car dealership. In addition to this elegant, bright and spacious midtown restaurant, Zocalo has a second location in Roseville. The Baja pescado tacos are made with batter-dipped fish, corn tortillas, pico de gallo, cabbage and a spicy chipotle aioli. Gluten-free options are available. The Zocalo menu also offers ceviche de guaymas, made with shrimp or fish, avocado, pico de gallo, radish, cucumber and Zocalo’s signature hot sauce. Stop by for dinner and opt for the salmon en mole Amarillo, a plate with grilled salmon, creamed spinach, mole and fried carrots.

Firestone Public House
1132 16th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 446-0888

Firestone is a favorite local hangout, boasting a sizable sound system, music, sports on over 20 big screen televisions and 60 beers on tap. The pub is perhaps less recognized for the menu, which offers a wide selection of flavorful appetizers, sandwiches, entrees, salads and, yes, fish tacos. The latter are made with mango salsa, jalapenos, cabbage, grilled Alaskan cod and a spicy ranch sauce. Seafood fans are happy at Firestone, with dining choices including a poke tostada made with ahi, jalapenos, mango and avocado and a traditional battered and fried fish and chips plate. Opt for the grilled salmon plate, or munch out on soft shell crab tacos.

Chando’s Tacos
863 Arden Way
Sacramento, CA 95815
(916) 641-8226

Chando’s uses locally sourced ingredients to make delicious Mexican dishes, and do not let the relative simplicity of the menu fool you into thinking the culinary gifts are limited as well. Tilapia fish is used for the tacos, either deep-fried in Chando’s signature batter or charbroiled after being marinated in a citrus sauce. Tacos are served with tangy salsa, cilantro, onions and creamy avocado. Tilapia can also be chosen in virtually any other menu item, including tortas, quesadilla, burritos, tostada and mulita.

Related: Best Pizza In Sacramento

Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers business, employment, animal rescue, volunteerism and nonprofits. Her work can also be found at Examiner.com.