Named after the Elk Grove Hotel, which was built by James Hall as a stage station for travelers, the city has come a long way.
I remember when the hotel was originally called Tavern Stand, and Hall painted an elk's head on the signage to give it its unique name.
According to a 2021 census estimate, Elk Grove has more than 178,000 residents.
I witnessed it become the fastest-growing city in the U.S. between 2004 and 2005 after it was incorporated as a city in July 2000.
I've seen the historic district develop, and I've watched outstanding tourist attractions and exceptional restaurants pop up all over the city, attracting many people to work and live here.
The hot summers and cool winters only add to the charm of Elk Grove in Sacramento County, making it even more tempting to explore the quaint restaurants downtown.
Whenever I crave authentic Japanese fare, I head out to Mikuni-Elk Grove, an upscale restaurant offering an exceptional dining experience.
The contemporary vibe with majestic bamboo stands gives the restaurant an East-meets-West atmosphere I absolutely love.
I've tried a variety of dishes from their menu, and I can't get enough of their delightful sushi, garlicky edamame, chicken teriyaki, udon, sashimi, veggie rolls, tempura, and flaming shrooms.
They have a huge selection of Japanese eats, so there's always something new and delicious to try!
I learned that Mikuni was founded in 1987 by the Arai family, with the first location in Fair Oaks, California.
Today, it has almost 10 locations in the Sacramento Valley, and I'm lucky to have the Elk Grove location right on Bond Road.
One of the things I appreciate most about Mikuni-Elk Grove is the friendly and attentive service.
The staff always makes me feel welcome and ensures that I have a great dining experience.
I also love that they have a wide variety of options for both sushi lovers and those who prefer cooked dishes.
The sushi rolls are always fresh and flavorful, and the cooked dishes are perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection.
Journey to the Dumpling
Dumplings, anyone? I absolutely love going to Journey to the Dumpling for the best pork soup dumplings in town.
The relaxed atmosphere and friendly vibe make it a perfect spot for both locals and tourists.
I can't get enough of their exceptional chow fun, siu mai, dumpling noodle soup, and green beans.
And I'm not the only one - I've heard other customers raving about these dishes too.
I've also tried their famous spicy steak & potatoes, green onion pancake, and egg tarts, which are all delicious and highly recommended.
If you prefer vegetable options, they have a great selection ranging from vegetarian dumplings to fried rice to mushroom bao.
I've tried their vegetarian dumplings and fried rice, and they were both amazing.
Journey to the Dumpling was founded in October 2016 on Laguna Boulevard, and it's no surprise that it was voted the Best Chinese Restaurant in Sacramento.
One of my favorite spots in Elk Grove for exceptional Californian fare in a sophisticated and romantic atmosphere is Boulevard Bistro.
The owner, Chef Brett, ensures that everyone who walks through their doors will experience great food and fine wine.
I've been there multiple times, and they never disappoint.
I can't get enough of their filet mignon, grilled bone marrow, deviled eggs, pear salad, and duck confit.
Chef Brett creates all these fantastic dishes using Escoffier Old World French techniques, and his passion for wild game, offal, and nose-to-tail cuisine is evident in every bite.
If you're a meat lover like me, this place is a must-visit.
Boulevard Bistro has received numerous awards, including Best of Sacramento by Sac Mag's and Zagat America's Best Restaurant Award.
It's no wonder why it's so popular among locals and visitors alike.
I remember when Chef Brett first opened Boulevard Bistro on Valentine’s Day in 2006 in a 1908 bungalow on Elk Grove Boulevard.
The charming and cozy atmosphere has always been a big draw for me, and it's the perfect spot for a date night or special occasion.
Every time I visit, I'm impressed by the attentive and knowledgeable staff.
They're always happy to recommend a wine pairing or suggest a dish based on my preferences. I've tried many of their menu items, and I've never been disappointed.
One of my favorite experiences at Boulevard Bistro was when I tried their grilled bone marrow for the first time.
It was rich, flavorful, and unlike anything I've ever tasted before. I also love their pear salad, which is a refreshing and delicious combination of flavors.
Brick House Restaurant & Lounge
One of my favorite spots in the neighborhood, Brick House Restaurant & Lounge offers Italian-American eats in a cozy, brick-walled setting.
I've been coming here for years, and I can confidently say they have the tastiest ravioli in town.
I've also tried their delicious calamari, pesto seafood pasta, beef stroganoff, and lasagna, and they never disappoint.
I can't forget to mention their Brick House burger, filet mignon, and prime rib – all of which are absolutely mouthwatering.
The seasonal cocktails are always a treat, and their whiskey selection is top-notch.
I love sitting at the full-service bar, where I can watch sports and entertainment on the flat-screen TVs.
On weekends, I enjoy listening to live music while savoring their delightful dishes and tasty cocktails.
The heated patio is a great addition, especially during the colder months.
I remember when brothers Geno and Franco Cassella first opened Brick House Restaurant & Lounge back in 2007 on Elk Grove Boulevard, and I'm so glad they did.
It's become a staple in our community, and I can't wait for my next visit.
Todo Un Poco
I must admit that Todo Un Poco has captured my heart and taste buds with its delightful Mexican-Italian fusion cuisine.
From the moment I step through the doors, I'm immediately enveloped in a vibrant atmosphere adorned with mesmerizing Mexican sugar skull murals and captivating Latino-style art, setting the stage for a truly memorable dining experience.
Among the plethora of tempting dishes on their menu, one standout creation that never fails to impress me is their Mexican Lasagna.
This ingenious fusion of two beloved cuisines combines the comforting layers of lasagna with the bold flavors of Mexican spices and ingredients.
It's a harmonious marriage that leaves me craving for more.
Another dish that flawlessly encapsulates the artful blend of Mexican and Italian flavors is the Pasta Jalisco, an exquisite symphony of taste and textures.
Every visit to Todo Un Poco is a culinary journey filled with delightful surprises.
Whether it's savoring the delectable ravioli, indulging in the creamy perfection of Fettuccine Alfredo, relishing the succulent meatballs, or exploring the tantalizing depths of the Portabella Paradise, each dish bursts with an explosion of flavors carefully crafted from the freshest ingredients.
Having graced the vibrant streets of Laguna Main since 1998, Todo Un Poco has become an institution in our beloved community.
It comes as no surprise that the Elk Grove Citizen bestowed upon them the coveted titles of "Best Mexican," "Best Pizza," and "Best Italian" restaurant.
Todo Un Poco truly exemplifies the beauty of culinary innovation and is a testament to the remarkable heights that can be reached when two culinary traditions intertwine with skill and passion.
Little Brazil Steakhouse
In Old Town Elk Grove, there's this amazing place called Little Brazil Steakhouse that offers authentic Brazilian flavors and rotisserie-cooked meats in a traditional style.
I absolutely love going there!
What's unique about this restaurant is their "pay what you weigh" system, which is common in Brazil.
It's great because you only pay for the portions you want.
I've tried their delicious and famous Brazilian-style steaks, picanha, pork ribs, alcatra, garlic beef, plantains, mashed potato, ribeye, and many more.
Every dish is so flavorful and cooked to perfection.
Little Brazil Steakhouse was established in 2021, and it's already become one of my favorite spots in town. You can find it on Elk Grove Boulevard.
The atmosphere is warm and inviting, and the staff is always friendly and attentive.
Wasabi Japanese Steak House
I recently visited Wasabi Japanese Steak House and had an amazing time.
Specializing in hibachi and sushi, this place offers a wide range of Japanese teppanyaki eats.
I was in the mood for an outstanding hibachi experience, and Wasabi did not disappoint with its delicious traditional Japanese fare.
I tried their tempura, wasabi, sashimi, and sushi rolls, which were all fantastic.
The specialty drinks like hot and cold sake, house wines, and cocktails were also a great addition to the meal.
The atmosphere was fun and family-friendly, making it a perfect spot for a night out with the family or friends.
What I loved the most was the hibachi-style cooking done right on our table.
It was not only entertaining but also allowed us to see how our food was being prepared.
My kids were with me, and they were absolutely fascinated by the whole experience.
I also appreciated the attentive and friendly service.
The staff made sure we were well taken care of and that our drinks were always full.
They even accommodated my friend's dietary restrictions without any issues.
Founded in 2007 on Elk Grove Boulevard, Wasabi Japanese Steak House has become one of my go-to spots for a great hibachi experience.
Whenever I'm craving some delicious Thai food, I always head to Thai Chili.
It's the best Thai cuisine in town, and I love the warm atmosphere and traditional Thai digs.
One of my favorite dishes to order is their drunken noodles, but their pad Thai is also amazing.
The great thing about Thai Chili is that they can cater to any taste preference, whether you like it spicy, sweet, or umami.
I've also tried their yellow curry, tom kha noodle soup, curry puffs, garlic steak, and pumpkin curry, and they're all fantastic.
If you're a vegetarian, you should definitely try their crispy tofu and curry puffs.
For those who love spicy food like me, you can't go wrong with their spicy fried rice, spicy noodles, spicy green bean, and spicy seafood with eggplant.
I've been coming to Thai Chili since they first opened in 2004 on Old Town Elk Grove Boulevard.
Sarom's Southern Kitchen
As a devoted food enthusiast, I can confidently say that Sarom's Southern Kitchen is a hidden gem that holds a special place in my heart.
From the moment I stepped foot in this cozy establishment, the inviting aroma of southern comfort food embraced me, creating an immediate sense of warmth and anticipation.
Founded in 2015 by the talented Cambodian cook, Sarom Doeuk, Sarom's Southern Kitchen has risen to culinary stardom, captivating the taste buds of locals and out-of-towners alike.
It effortlessly transports diners to the heart of the South, where soulful flavors and heartwarming dishes reign supreme.
One standout dish that has left an indelible impression on me is the spicy chicken & waffles.
The perfect blend of crispy, succulent chicken paired with the fluffy waffles creates a harmonious symphony of textures and tastes that dances on the palate.
Equally enchanting are the shrimp & grits, flawlessly executed with plump, juicy shrimp nestled atop a bed of creamy, buttery grits that melt in your mouth.
While exploring the menu, I've had the pleasure of savoring other remarkable offerings, including the country fried steak, jambalaya, po'boy sandwiches, and biscuits & gravy.
Each dish embodies the spirit of the South, expertly prepared with a genuine passion for culinary excellence.
Sarom's Southern Kitchen is not just a place to indulge in delectable southern fare; it is a testament to the power of determination and cultural fusion.
Sarom Doeuk's decision to embark on this culinary journey after her daughter's visit to the South has blessed Elk Grove with an authentic taste of southern cuisine.
To top off the extraordinary dining experience, Sarom's Southern Kitchen delights with heavenly omelets and a sweet potato pie that transcends the boundaries of dessert.
The omelet, fluffy and filled with savory delights, is a breakfast dream come true, while the sweet potato pie embodies pure indulgence in every forkful.
Sarom's Southern Kitchen has become my go-to destination, a sanctuary where I can introduce loved ones to the incredible flavors of the South.
It has earned a reputation for consistently delivering exceptional meals, leaving no room for disappointment.
For those seeking an unforgettable journey through southern comfort, Sarom's Southern Kitchen is an absolute must-visit.
Old Town Pizza and Tap House
Pizza is the love language of Old Town Pizza and Tap House, which serves brick oven-cooked pizza specialties, starters, salads, and craft beer.
I've been going to this place for years, and it never disappoints.
The atmosphere is always welcoming, and the staff is friendly and attentive.
One of my favorite pizzas to order is the Chuck Norris, which is loaded with pepperoni, sausage, and jalapenos.
I also enjoy the mushroom pizza, grandma Helen, and the Mediterranean.
Their blue cheese fries, hot wings, and garlic fries are all crowdpleasers, and I can't resist ordering them every time I visit.
I've also tried their California salad, which is a refreshing option, and their cinnamon sticks are a sweet treat to end the meal.
But what I love most about Old Town Pizza and Tap House is their build-your-own pizza option.
I can choose my sauce, cheese, meat, and veggies, making it a personalized experience every time.
As someone with a gluten allergy, I appreciate that they offer gluten-free options, so I can still enjoy their delicious pizza without any worries.
And to top it off, they have a great selection of rotating craft beers to enjoy with friends and family.
I've discovered some of my favorite brews here, and it's always exciting to see what new beers they have on tap.
Old Town Pizza and Tap House was started by husband and wife Jamie and David Smith in 2012 on Elk Grove Florin Road.
Fish & Things Poke Bar
I don't have to go to Hawaii to get the best poke bowl, because I have Fish & Things Poke Bar right here in my neighborhood.
I love their customizable poke bowl specialty with fresh ingredients from fish to vegetables.
I usually go for a mix of salmon and tuna, and I can't get enough of their avocado and edamame toppings.
They also have signature bowls such as classic Hawaiian, California love, and spicy heat wave.
I've tried them all, and my favorite is the California love with its perfect blend of flavors.
Their in-house sauces are all made from scratch, including teriyaki, spicy mayo, kimchi, and garlic sesame.
I usually go for the garlic sesame sauce, which adds a nice kick to my bowl.
I've also tried their crowd favorites—delicious ahi tacos, sushi rolls, and teriyaki chicken.
The ahi tacos are a must-try, with crispy shells and perfectly seasoned fish.
The sushi rolls are always fresh and flavorful, and the teriyaki chicken is tender and juicy.
Fish & Things Poke Bar is a family-owned restaurant established in 2017 on Laguna Boulevard.
Jang Goon Sushi & Korean BBQ
I had the pleasure of exploring the vibrant culinary scene of Sacramento and stumbled upon the hidden gem known as Jang Goon Sushi & Korean BBQ.
This remarkable establishment effortlessly combines the exquisite flavors of Japanese and Korean cuisine, resulting in a truly extraordinary dining experience.
From the moment I stepped foot inside, I was captivated by the inviting atmosphere and the tantalizing aromas wafting from the open kitchen.
The menu at Jang Goon is a delightful marriage of Korean barbecue and signature sushi, showcasing the best of both worlds.
One cannot afford to miss the succulent Bulgogi, a dish that expertly balances sweet and savory flavors, or the comforting and spicy Soondubu.
For those with a penchant for fiery sensations, the array of spicy specialties at Jang Goon is simply unrivaled.
The spicy tuna roll, brimming with a perfect blend of heat and freshness, and the spicy Jang Goon roll, with its tantalizing medley of flavors, left me craving for more.
Among the spicy options, the Ichiban stood out as a true masterpiece, igniting my taste buds with its harmonious combination of textures and spices.
Catering to a diverse range of palates, Jang Goon also boasts an impressive selection of plant-based options, ensuring that vegans and vegetarians can savor the culinary journey alongside their carnivorous counterparts.
The restaurant's commitment to inclusivity and attention to dietary preferences is truly commendable.
Furthermore, Jang Goon offers an enchanting outdoor dining area, allowing patrons to revel in the warm embrace of the Golden State sunlight while relishing their delectable meals.
It is an experience that effortlessly transports you to a culinary oasis, where flavors collide and memories are made.
Located on East Stockton Boulevard, Jang Goon Sushi & Korean BBQ has been delighting patrons since its establishment in 2019.
The combination of impeccable flavors, warm hospitality, and an enticing ambiance ensures that this restaurant remains an unparalleled destination for those seeking a fusion of Japanese and Korean delights.
My visit to Jang Goon Sushi & Korean BBQ was nothing short of extraordinary.
The Barn Cafe
In a family-friendly, country-chic setting, The Barn Cafe offers a hearty breakfast and delicious smoked barbecue served with warm smiles.
I've been going there for years and it's always a treat to enjoy their famous smoked barbecue, especially the chicken fried steak, brisket, biscuits & gravy, hash browns, and breakfast burrito.
Their breakfast, which is served all day, is one of the best in town and has gained a fine reputation among us locals and tourists alike.
I remember the first time I tried their breakfast burrito, it was so flavorful and filling that I couldn't wait to come back for more.
The Barn Cafe is the brainchild of Tina and Tom McDaniel, whose dream and passion are to serve American comfort food in a restaurant with a small-town vibe.
I've had the pleasure of meeting them a few times, and their dedication to providing a great dining experience is evident in every aspect of the restaurant.
You can find the restaurant on Grant Line Road.
Maru Ramen Bar
Ramen is usually the first thing I think of when I'm craving noodles.
Thankfully, Maru Ramen Bar is here to satisfy my ramen cravings.
I've treated myself to their famous ramen bowls, including their special Maru Ramen, seafood ramen, and many more.
If you're into spicy food, their Akamaru ramen, made with spicy broth, is one for the books!
They only use premium ingredients for their broth to produce the best ramen in town.
I've also tried their chix wings, bulgogi fries, shrimp tempura, gyoza, wonton dumpling, and pork belly fries, all of which are a must-try when visiting this place!
I have a few vegetarian friends who have taken advantage of their exceptional ramen bowls made with fresh veggies and plant-based broth.
They've always been satisfied with their meals at Maru Ramen Bar.
Maru Ramen Bar is located on Elk Grove Boulevard, and it's become one of my go-to spots for a delicious and satisfying meal.
Palermo Ristorante Italiano
I recently dined at Palermo Ristorante Italiano, and I must say, their delightful and authentic Southern Italian cuisine is truly a treat.
The romantic and comfortable atmosphere makes it a perfect spot for a date night or a family dinner.
I tried their popular lasagna, which was absolutely delicious, and my friend had the ravioli, which she couldn't stop raving about.
We also shared a bowl of their minestrone soup, which was hearty and flavorful.
For dessert, we indulged in their cannoli and tiramisu, both of which were heavenly.
What I love about Palermo Ristorante Italiano is that it's a family-owned restaurant that has been serving the community for over 30 years.
The staff always greets you with a warm smile and a welcoming vibe, making you feel right at home. You can find this gem on Emerald Oak Drive.
Umai Bar & Grill
Umai Bar & Grill is a culinary gem that has left an indelible mark on my taste buds.
From the moment I stepped foot into this inviting establishment, I was greeted with an atmosphere brimming with warmth and an unmistakable sense of camaraderie.
It is clear that Feng Liang and Andy Cuong, the visionary minds behind Umai Bar & Grill, have poured their hearts into creating a dining experience that transcends mere sustenance.
The menu at Umai Bar & Grill boasts an impressive array of culinary delights, each crafted with a meticulous attention to detail.
The sushi rolls, an epitome of perfection, showcase the skilled craftsmanship of the chefs.
With every bite, I was transported to a world of sublime flavors and exquisite textures.
The freshness of the sashimi, coupled with the lightness of the tempura, made for an unforgettable dining experience.
For those seeking a delightful libation, Umai Bar & Grill offers a Happy Hour that is not to be missed.
The combination of select food items at reduced prices and the tantalizing drink specials, including the renowned Spice & Stormy, is a testament to the restaurant's commitment to satisfying its patrons.
One aspect that truly sets Umai Bar & Grill apart is their dedication to accommodating diverse dietary needs.
The availability of gluten-free options upon request demonstrates their unwavering commitment to inclusivity.
Umai Bar & Grill is not simply a restaurant; it is a haven where families and friends come together to forge lasting memories.
The passion with which the restaurant serves its community is palpable, creating an ambiance that is as inviting as it is memorable.
Living in the quaint city of Elk Grove has truly been a gem in the Sacramento Valley, with its award-winning and thriving restaurant scene.
I've had the pleasure of enjoying different cuisines from many corners of the world, all while experiencing the city's warm and inviting vibe.