Best Bets for Food and Drink at the Sacramento Jazz Festival & Jubilee


I’ll be wandering around Old Sacramento soaking in my favorite time of the year, jubilee weekend. The Sacramento Jazz Festival & Jubilee is not just a chance to soak up some of the best music on the West Coast, but also a chance to sup full on the food and drink that the festival and Old Sacramento have to offer.

Festival eats: Don’t miss the tri-tip sandwiches at Turntable Junction, or the spicy dogs at Freeway Gardens. Equally good is the New Orleans-inspired fare at the Firehouse Courtyard, or try the hand-dipped, chocolate-covered ice cream bars at the Riverfront Refuge.

On Sunday at 11 a.m., head over to Turntable Junction for the annual Bloody Mary Contest. The knock-your-socks-off tomato-y favorites will be accompanied by the gospel sounds of the Blue Street Jazz Band from Fresno. 

Note: Festival sites come in two types, those run by the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society (tents for the most part) and those run by businesses (hotel ballrooms, etc.). Almost always, the food is better at the STJS-run sites. If you’re looking to grab a meal, don’t waste your dough on the rather lackluster fare at the hotels; go straight for the State Fair-style eats under the tents.

Old Sacramento Eats: If you’re feeling a little jazzed-out this weekend and want to take a break and grab a bite, it’s hard to go wrong with a burger from Fanny Ann’s Saloon, or a pint of Guinness from O’Malley’s. If you’re feeling a little more upscale, check out the jubilee specials at Ten 22, including what could be the best beer in the country—Pliny the Elder from Russian River Brewing.

If you’re looking for vegan or vegetarian fare, the Indo Cafe on Front Street has a wide and delicious variety of options. Or, if you’re looking for a snack that’s totally different from everything else in Old Sac, go next door to Laszlo’s Gourmet Smoked Fish and nibble on some smoked shark or smoked prawns.

For more information on the Sacramento Jazz Festival & Jubilee, check out