Sacramento offers more than great food as the “Farm-to-fork” capital.
In my opinion, Sacramento has a great atmosphere and some of the best beer and cocktails in the entire state, if not the country.
Whether you’re a football fanatic looking to nurse a pint of Carlsberg or an expert seeking a well-balanced old-fashioned on your night out, this city has a place for you.
So if you find yourself in the area, make sure to check out some of the best bars in Sacramento listed below.
1001 R St, Sacramento, CA 95811
The Fox and Goose is an authentic English pub in Sacramento, a trait that has made it an institution in this city for over 40 years.
Located right Downtown, a few blocks from the river, the Fox and Goose is in the heart of Sacramento’s district for nightlife and entertainment.
It’s not just the legitimate pub fare that sets this spot apart.
Its atmosphere exudes that of a true rustic English pub, down to its tables and music.
It also serves a vast array of beers from all over the world on tap.
I recommend their house lager, or if you want to try something more European, you can order a Belhaven or one of Germany’s best beers, Franziskaner.
If you’re more inclined to drink beer out of a bottle, you can try one of several local beers and enjoy your cold one as if you just stepped off a plane to London.
In addition, one of its biggest draws is greatly discounted drinks from 4-6 pm every day.
1016 K St, Sacramento, CA 95814
While the bar’s name may evoke specific images for you, Dive Bar is anything but falling apart and is one of Sacramento’s best bars and one of its most unique bars for a reason.
This sleek lounge is located just a few blocks from Capitol mall and has a 7,500 sq foot aquarium that hosts live performers each night who dress as mermaids.
Beyond their show’s aesthetic appeal, their mixologists spruce up the experience with artfully crafted classic cocktails and innovations on classic cocktails.
So, if you want to drink your daiquiri in a sleek environment while watching some feats of athletic swimming, look no further than Dive Bar.
1004 28th St, Sacramento, CA 95816
Less than a block from Sutter’s fort historic park is one of Sacramento’s most legendary Pool halls.
Blue Cue knows that billiards is a fixture of bar culture and offers plenty of space to play this classic game.
Moreover, Blue Cue offers great food and drinks, which sets it apart from other pool halls.
I love that I can order just about anything here, from traditional American pub fare – wings, burgers, pizza – to great Mexican food, of which the nachos are particularly popular.
The Nachos or the Hot Wings washed down with one of Sacramento’s local craft beers are the best to enjoy while you hustle other players at the tables.
In addition, there are few other places with like it to play pool while you eat and catch a football, baseball, hockey, or basketball game.
3651 J St, Sacramento, CA 95816
The Bonn Lair is one of Sacramento’s most famous bars for its celebration of several European cultures, its great beer selection, and its activities.
Pair your Bavarian Hefeweizen beer with a pretzel and cheese, pair your Guinness with bangers and mash, or pair your scotch with a pasty, all while watching a football or rugby match.
There are several things about the Bonn Lair – its central location, its friendly staff, and its cuisine and drinks – that make this a great watering hole and a great place to scratch your European-pub-shaped itch.
1525 L St, Sacramento, CA 95814
While English or European pubs may settle certain cravings from time to time, sometimes we all crave a night out where we can dress up and dance.
Mix Downtown is just the bar for a classy night in Sacramento.
Housed in an old art-deco building just above a pub near the State Capitol Museum, this clean, fashionable space offers smaller plates and artful cocktails.
So, you can share food with friends as you nurse a cocktail, such as their bright and balanced Blackberry gimlet or one of their signature mules.
You can enjoy their music, drinks, and food inside or outside.
Though they have a spacious area, they also take table reservations, which are particularly useful if you’re planning on having a birthday party or celebrating some other special occasion.
1804 J St, Sacramento, CA 95811
Strees Pub and Grub is one of my favorite Midtown pubs due to its cozy ambiance and laid-back, Californian vibe.
Its owners keep it well-lit, clean, and nicely decorated, which offers a relaxing, quieter vibe in which to catch a game or a hospitable environment to watch someone try their best at karaoke.
Their fish and chips and their scotch eggs taste perfectly paired with a pint of New Helvetia, a delicious Sacramento red ale.
You can get a discount on trying their fantastic beer selection from 5-7 pm every night.
And another reason to check out streets – their fair prices and, as they say, “generous” pours make them a local favorite.
722 K St, Sacramento, CA 95814
Tiger + Restaurant is a stone’s throw north of the old Capitol mall and just east of the Old Waterfront.
While on the pricier side, Tiger ensures the utmost quality of everything found on the menu.
Their bartenders select only the best ingredients, and they make sure the plates they serve, among which the tacos are popular, pair perfectly with the food.
In my opinion, what makes Tiger one of Sacramento’s best bars is its space and ambiance: it has two stories for its customers and allows you to see its nightly live performers from both stories.
So, you can keep your distance if you’re still worried about the pandemic or enjoy your meal and your margarita in peace while you enjoy witnessing the passion of local musicians.
1610 R St #150, Sacramento, CA 95811
Frank tailors to Sacramento’s spirit experts and history buffs.
Few other places in Midtown let you feel like you’re in a real 1920s speakeasy.
Order your Bee’s Knees or Old Fashioned and sit back in their comfortable booths while jazz plays over the speakers and the sound of cocktail shakers fills your ears.
I was particularly impressed by the bartenders, who are very knowledgeable and know how to make a cocktail that meets each person’s preferences.
Just tell them what taste you’re going for, and they’ll whip something up for you right away.
1207 21st Street, Sacramento, CA 95811
While Frank captures the spirit of the early 20th century, the Cabin captures the more romantic, rustic side of Californian culture while serving up excellent beverages for your night out.
In their cozy wooden space, you can sit yourself down by the fireplace and enjoy a hot, cozy cocktail invented courtesy of the bartender or a classic colder beverage.
The Cabin’s featured cocktails include the Gimme S’more – a delicious sweet drink – or the Cabin Mule, their riff on the classic Moscow Mule.
You don’t have to go to the mountains or woods to find it either – it’s just off Capitol St in Downtown.
2001 J St, Sacramento, CA 95811
Sacramento’s best bars are all about transporting you to a world where you can forget your daily worries, and Tropics is no exception.
Between Midtown and Boulevard Park, you can find this bar with its island-inspired vibes and relish in its rotating selection of local craft beer.
If you’d like to try a few different beers, swing by anytime from 3-6 for happy hour.
I particularly enjoy pairing my beer with the bright, clean flavors of their Hawaiian cuisines.
Such as with the Mauka tacos or a poke platter, all in a place with the sounds and character of Hawaii.
1217 21st Street, Sacramento, CA 95816
Even the homebodies among us long to enjoy their whiskey or beer publicly, but it can be hard to leave a comfortable home unless they’re leaving for Kupros.
Kupros Craft House is an excellent pub housed in an old Midtown Craftsman home and makes its patrons feel at home.
Kupros’s fries, in particular, draw Sacramento’s pub enthusiasts, as do their expertly chosen choices for draft beer.
See what makes this one of the best bars in Sacramento yourself when you order a local or imported beer and seat yourself on a couch while you wait for your plate of wings or wait for the start of a pub crawl organized by the bar.
1209 L St, Sacramento, CA 95814
Coziness can give a bar a great atmosphere, but sometimes space and light in a chic locale are just as necessary and for both, look no further than Amourath Patio.
Located next to the Capitol State Park as part of the Hyatt, Amourath Patio offers great service and an excellent selection of craft cocktails.
Their espresso martini is outstanding.
However, all of their drinks are excellent, so you’ll be spoilt for choice regardless of your preferences.
In addition, you can grab a bite here, from fries to fried chicken, various salads, and more.
1430 S St, Sacramento, CA 95811
B-Side is not for people looking for artisan cocktails, but it is still one of the city’s best bars, particularly for those looking for good or suffering from aching nostalgia.
B-Side always has a movie from the 80s or 70s going behind their bar.
The atmosphere this touch lends matches their nostalgic decor and general nostalgic vibe.
While they have no food, B-Side offers classic cocktails and draft beer at fair prices.
So, if you’re looking for an affordable night out in Downtown with great music and friendly regulars, this may be the best bar in Sacramento for you.