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You may think, "why eat in Sacramento?" Granted, the better-known foodie destinations of wine country and San Francisco are within an hour driving distance. But in the last decade or two, Sacramento has slowly been developing into a dining destination all its own. With dining choices and quality to rival San Francisco, but frequently at a fraction of the price, diners who crave flavor, spice and uniqueness won't be disappointed by the array of choices here. And since the city came together as several different smaller cities merged, the city is a mishmash of radically different neighborhoods with widely varying cuisines to match.
For the newest hip restaurants featuring local cuisine, try Midtown, where Sacramento's most innovative new chefs have set up shop. There are chill wine bars and lounges, crisp sustainable deli spots, and quaint French bistros. In nearby Downtown, you'll find the capital bigshots splitting time between sushi bar delicacies and the big flavor of new American eateries. And pubs, cafes, and steakhouses line the river in quaint Old Sacramento -- or you can just fill up on saltwater taffy and kettle corn!
To find restaurants that are less crowded and more international in scope, head away from the busy one way streets of Central Sac. Neighborhoods to the north and east have authentic Mexican joints (although your best bet is one of the area's ubiquitous taco trucks if authenticity is key). Go east and south for Chinese, where Cantonese immigrants have landed and opened excellent dim sum spots. And you can find just about any other cuisine you could crave scattered around the city, from Ethiopian to Persian to Nepalese.
The one thing you cannot miss before leaving, though, is a glass of wine. This may not be wine country, but excellent wines are grown and produced within 50 miles in nearly every direction. There are wine bars everywhere, and no Sacramento restaurant worth its salt is missing a decent wine list. Drink up, and enjoy the Northern California lifestyle.
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