Top 5 Places to Eat/Drink on the Sacramento River

By Jamee Sims

In my book, there’s nothing better then dining on the Sacramento River. We are so very lucky to have that murky yet entrancing waterway flowing through our city. Sure, I wouldn’t swim in it – nor does it remind me of Venice – but hey, it’s still nice to look at right?!

As a Sacramento Native, here’s my top 5 restaurants. All of these are tested and true and in no particular order.

Swabbies (
  • Swabbies (5871 Garden Hwy):
    Open year round.
    Known for their Corona-battered tacos.
    Live bands.
    Great outdoor bench dining.
    Casual dining at its finest. Flip-flops required.
    Fabulous crowds in the summer.
    This is a place where you can easily relax and loose a few hours or the whole day.
  • Pearl on the River (1379 Garden Hwy):
    Oyster Bar.
    Plates of cookies for dessert.
    Gorgeous views.
    Fresh fish and seasonal vegetables.
    Top notch wine list with local favorites.
    This is hands down one of the best places to take a 1st date.
    Nice weather? A seat on the upstairs patio is a must.
  • Freeport Bar and Grille (8259 Freeport Blvd):
    Known for their steak and seafood.
    Lined under the “tunnel of trees” on Freeport Blvd.
    Beautiful yet casual outdoor dining.
    I recommend taking over the patio on a Sunday afternoon with some of your closest girlfriends and having a world class Sunday Funday….just make sure you have a DD or better yet; call “town car Steve.”
  • Rio City Café (1110 Front Street):
    Situated between the Tower and I street bridge.
    Gorgeous patio dining.
    Known for their ribs and seafood.
    Amazing Bloody Mary’s!
    Rio is more of an upscale establishment and one of the best places to catch a firework show from Raley Field on a warm summer night.
Al the Wop's (
  • Al the Wop’s (13936 Main Street, Locke):
    One of the Delta’s best keep secrets.
    Driving through the town of Locke will make you feel like you traveled back into the 1800’s!
    Weekly steak specials and cheap drinks.
    Jif peanut butter is located on every table and free underwear are available at the bar….you’ll have to go and figure that one out on your own!

That’s my list so you tell us – what’s your favorite place and why?

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