There’s something that gives locals a warm, fuzzy, kid-on-Christmas-morning feeling when a new bar/restaurant opens up in Sacramento. As a drinking and dining city, Sacramento has made leaps when it comes to its food innovation and menu designs as well as the support of the craft beer and cocktail culture. This is a community which supports its neighborhood bars and restaurants like no other and when a new one opens up, locals show up. 2013 has seen not only an abundance of new restaurants pop up on the scene, but also several existing places that are making great changes. For the functionality of this article, we will only talk about our new gems.



Lowbrau Bierhall
1050 20th St.
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 706-2636

When the Lounge On 20 concept closed last year, it left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. We could not have asked for a better gift than Lowbrau opening in its place. In the past two years, Sacramento has has begun earning its place as a craft beer town. Lowbrau not only offers some of the best flavors available, but the menu consists of tasty German-style treats that have earned it a spot in our “Best Eastern European Food In Sacramento.” While many places in town do wine dinners, Lowbrau has some upcoming beer and food pairing dinners which the city has been lacking. To make things even more delicious, Chef Michael Tuohy (formerly of Grange in the Citizen Hotel) will be joining the team and taking the reigns in the kitchen. Lowbrau is certainly making the right decisions and is well on its way to earning a permanent spot in the hearts and bellies of local residents and visitors alike.

mighty tavern
Mighty Tavern
9634 Fair Oaks Blvd.
Fair Oaks, CA 95628
(916) 241-9444

Mighty Tavern seemed to come out of nowhere this year with Chef Jason Azevedo in the back of the house. Azevedo is known locally for his successful pop-up restaurants with his own company Testa Duro Salumi. Jason has also made a name for himself as King of the Whole Hog, utilizing every part of a whole pig. As a bar, Mighty Tavern joins the ranks of those Sacramento bars priding themselves on creating craft artisan cocktails. Along with classic cocktails, Mighty Tavern has a few creations of its own all made with the freshest ingredients and from-scratch recipes. If, however, your plan is to grab a bite and a drink on a Monday, don’t bother leaving the house as Mighty Tavern is closed on Mondays.

capital dime

Capital Dime

1801 L St., Suite 50
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 443-1010

Speaking of places filling the void left behind by failed concepts, let’s talk Capital Dime. As everyone in town knows, Capital Dime opened up in what used to occupy L Wine Lounge. None will argue that Capital Dime has added a welcome piece to Sacramento’s up-and-coming food and drink skyline. While Capital Dime offers a full bar and menu for lunch and dinner, the buzz has been created around its “Dime Plates,” an arrangement of selections available for $10. With a libations list representing both items found locally and abroad, guests won’t have a hard time finding a beer, wine or cocktail to fit their tastes. Try the Moscow Mule made with Capital’s own house-made ginger beer.

Related: Best Bars With History In Sacramento

stirling bridges
Stirling Bridges Restaurant And Pub
5220 Manzanita Ave.
Carmichael, CA 95608
(916) 331-2337

Stirling Bridges is a welcome addition to Carmichael. The pub is owned by one of the original proprietors of Streets Of London and absolutely has the feel of an authentic English pub. Bar manager Gretchen Pratt provided the scoop on some of the things that set this pub apart. First is the fish and chips which is somewhat of a signature dish at Stirling Bridges. At an English pub, a guest would hope to find good fish and chips and Stirling’s does not disappoint in the least. Happy hour goes 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, followed by what Gretchen calls “Happier Hour” which offers drinks specials from 9 p.m. until close Monday through Thursday. Stirling Bridges also boasts an impressive 50-foot bar with 12 taps and a selection of roughly 40 bottled beer selections. If you have a group event, you can also book the Churchill Room, an intimate private room accommodating up to 25 people. Stirling Bridges just opened its doors in July of 2013 and we are hoping to keep them around for a long time to come.

shushi bar rocks
Sushi Bar Rocks
1841 Howe Ave., Suite B
Sacramento. CA 95825
(916) 564-5864

This place is brought to you by the owners of Ninja Sushi. Sushi Bar Rocks has gone the extra step that Ninja could not. A hipper, tastier menu in a much nicer, newer space is helping this bar become really popular, really fast. Sushi Bar Rocks has only been open a few months and while the menu is solid, please note that the bar currently only serves beer and wine. The bar does have a full liquor license and plans on offering a full selection of adult beverages very soon.

Related: A Night Out In Sacramento’s MidtownAs 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