Maybe you don’t know about the gastronomic treasures awaiting you in the bustling and—yes—tourist friendly historic section of our great city. Here are just a few to tickle your appetite:
Laszlo’s Gourmet Smoked Fish
Joe Laszlo’s spectacular products are a true hidden gem in Old Sacramento. Smoky, moist, alluringly sweet and intensely flavored, each variety we have tried throughout the years has knocked our socks off. Joe hickory-smokes salmon, prawns, tuna, sturgeon, shark and trout on the premises, and uses no liquid smoke or dyes. He also custom-smokes fish for his customers with advance notice. The snug shop can get crowded at times, but cheery, loquacious Joe always takes time with each customer to answer questions and proudly discuss his products. If you want a stand-out appetizer for a party, or a special picnic basket item, make the trip to Old Sacramento for some of Joe’s fish. It’s well worth the time you spend prowling for a parking space.
1100 Front St., #140, Old Sacramento, (916) 492-9089
Rio City Cafe’s Outdoor Mojito
What could be more perfect than sitting on the wooden deck behind Rio City on a warm afternoon, gripping a super-sized mojito and watching the boats drift by on the river below you? Rio City’s mojito—citrusy, cold and slap-your-face refreshing—is garnished with a slice of lime and filled with bits of crushed fresh mint leaves. It also has a healthy dose of rum, so sip slowly. And since your mommy told you never to drink on an empty stomach, you’d better order a batch of the kitchen’s curiously popular Chinese nachos or the crispy, tempura-battered calamari, served up with an orange-chipotle aioli.
1110 Front St., Old Sacramento, (916) 442-8226; www.riocitycafe.com
Evangeline’s Kitchen Accoutrements
Everyone knows Evangeline’s has the coolest costumes and funky giftware in Old Sacramento, but did you know it also offers a treasure trove of items for food lovers? This is the place to find that sexy, lacy cowgirl apron you’ve always wanted, along with naughty wine bottle toppers, leopard-skin martini glasses and out-of-the-ordinary kitchen towels. Make your friends giggle with a packet of strawberry-flavored gummy bacon, and be sure to pick up a jar of chocolate body frosting—you never know when you might have an opportunity to use it.
113 K St., Old Sacramento, (916) 443-2181
Need we say more? If you’re seeking your inner child, you’ll find it at Candy Heaven, where you’ll be elbow-to-elbow with other dazed candy fanatics as you shuffle around barrel after barrel of colorfully-wrapped treats. This wonderful store actually encourages sampling, which is reason enough to visit, but the selection is truly amazing. From salt water taffy and chewy caramels to chocolate Bandaids and cherry balls, this place has it all and more. This is a great place to fill birthday goodie bags, reward your well-behaved children or gorge like a desperate porcine. Just remember to brush your teeth when you get home.
1201 Front St., Old Sacramento, (916) 447-3404