Where’s The Best Grub In Natomas?

As NATOMAS BUZZ readers well know, the economy has many people cutting back on eating out and a number of neighborhood eateries have closed as a result.

Often, when THE BUZZ posts news about restaurant closures, there are comments from those who will miss them…

Let’s Rebel Against The Recession and give our favorite eateries some BUZZ!

Please post a comment reviewing your favorite restaurant(s). Don’t just name them — tell us WHY they are your favorites! What entrees do you recommend? What’s the price range?

I’m getting hungry already… Thanks for the idea, K.S. and M.K.!


  1. I think Mimi’s is awesome for breakfast. Their stuffed french toast is to die for!

  2. I really like Chang’s, just down from Rite Aid in the Safeway shopping center. The garlic shrimp is to die for, and it’s a nice mom-and-pop alternative to Panda Express across the street.

    The price range is reasonable: about $7 – $10 per entree with big portions.

    Hey, has anyone tried the new Chinese place that replaced Golden Palace on Truxel? I’d like to hear more about that.


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  4. Teriyaki Time in the Raley’s plaza on Natomas Blvd has a great Thai chicken dish with plenty of flavor and heat. Lots of chicken and rice, side salad and veggies, for $6.25. I had it the first time, and haven’t tried anything else since despite repeated visits. The place is fast, clean, cheap, and good.

  5. We eat at Chang’s so often they know our order when we call and have it read for us for takeout! We recently tried Tugboat and loved the fish and chips.

    Straw Hat has the best pizza lunch buffet deal around- $5.99 includes a drink!

    Every time we have family or friends in town, we go to Jacks and then Big Spoon Yogurt. Okay, in reality, we go there all the time anyway! But we love to show off our locally owned shops!

  6. If you haven’t tried Bangkok Garden Thai Restaurant off of Arena next to Bel Air, you need to run (not walk) over there and give it a go. The Red Curry Duck is to die for. Not only is the food great, but the service is right on. It’s quaint and cozy inside too.

  7. Mongolian BBQ – Sizzling Wok next door to Regal Movies – is ssssoooo yummy!

    Love it!

  8. I second and third the comments about Chang’s. Their food is great!

  9. We enjoy CF Chengs near Mel’s Original Diner. The owner Michael is very customer oriented. The place is rather small, but that’s okay!

    LOVE Taqueria Rincon on Truxel. My friends and I eat there frequently and the carnitas is the best ever! The portions are large, so kids can split a kids burrito and if you go for lunch you can share with a friend or take 1/2 home.

    The other taqueria, La Fiesta near Jack’s is good too, but they charge for ATM/credit card useage.

    I agree about the Straw Hat buffet – price is great, although I enjoy Round Table pizza more.

    Our favorite place is Teriyaki Maki. Very resonably priced and the sushi is good, tempura is great!


  10. I am going to jump on the Chang’s band wagon. If you haven’t eaten there, you are missing out.


  11. Chaat Cafe is excellent. This is one of the best Indian food restaurants we have been to in the area. Our children do not like spicy food as much as us, but on our first visit there they practically licked their plates clean. I think it’s over by Safeway.

    We also really enjoy Mizu, though they seem to be doing a bang up business. Free buffet on your birthday – FYI. My only complaint is the place is always too crowded. Not sure they need a mention. Japanese/Chinese buffet & sushi. By Center Court.

    & Sizzler – the Sizzler on Del Paso is excellent. We kept marveling how good and fresh the food was there and I read an article a while back how it is some kind of new “new concept” sizzler. I throw that out in case people passed it up thinking it was just a same old Sizzler.

    We will certainly check out some of these recommendations…

  12. Bella Bru has the best desserts. Their mixed berry pie is fantastic and you can’t go wrong with any of their chocolate desserts either.

  13. Nothing beats Mr. Pickles on Arena for a sandwich. Seconded on Bangkok Garden as well, we love their food.

  14. We’re big fans of Taqueria Rincon. Giant burritos full of yummy chicken, pork, or beef. My brothers come from mid-town to eat at Taqueria…

    And for the best breakfast burritos… El Amigo (used to be in the Shell station) but now in the Raley’s shopping center.

    For a quiet drink with a friend, you can’t beat Bella Bru.

    And we love going to Tuk Tuk for a nicer meal. The decor is very nice and it doesn’t feel like you’re sitting in Raley’s shopping center. The Pineapple Rice is delicious.

    For something different, stop in at Dinner My Way and grab an entree to bring home. If they have the Asian Beef, you have to get it, it is fantastic.

    The kids are big fans of Yo-Go in the Chili’s shopping center. Tart yogurts like Mango and Pineapple and top it with some fresh fruit, you can’t go wrong…

    I think some businesses that are closing might have had pretty high monthly leases, back when the shopping centers were being built there wasn’t much competition so maybe the tenants got stuck paying high rents. Hopefully we can get some quality replacements for some of the places that have closed.

    Keep up the great work Buzz!

  15. I love Oshima Sushi. It has a great atmosphere and happy hour specials. Went there on my birthday!


  16. We feel fortunate to rarely have to leave Natomas to eat out!

    Best of the Best: Bella Bru (breakfats, lunch, dinner, dessert, drinks, you can’t go wrong!)

    Best Thai (We’re picky because I lived in Thailand!): Tuk Tuk’s is a special treat, but we more frequently have Bangkok City (1620 W. El Camino)

    Best Sushi: King Sushi (2550 W. El Camino) fabulously fresh and cheap (for sushi)!

    Of course, Jack’s Urban Eats is great for a fast, economical bite.

    Not a restaurant, but we couldn’t live without Dinner My Way! They allow us to eat out less, save us tons of money, and use the same high quality ingredients that we use at home. Their Asian Beef is great. Gift Cards make great gifts for new or busy families!

  17. In no particular order, here are ten of my favorites:

    Bella Bru Cafe, 4680 Natomas Blvd.
    I actually especially love their hamburgers! Awesome omelettes in the morning too. Wife loves their Grand Marnier cake. Good value for full-service restaurant.

    Jack’s Urban Eats, 4730 Natomas Blvd.
    Salads are truly meals here. Watch them carve your turkey, chicken, or tri-tip. Excellent mashed potatoes.

    Giovanni’s Pizzaria, 2701 Del Paso Road # 100
    Excellent quality New York style pizza — even by the slice at any time they’re open. I often go out of my way to pick up a pie.

    Tugboat Fish & Chips, 2721 Del Paso Road
    In my opinion, best London-style Fish & Chips in Sacramento. Really! Excellent value.

    Mr. Pickles, 3230 Arena Blvd. #235
    Excellent quality sandwiches, excellent quality people behind the counter. Your business is genuinely appreciated in this place.

    Taqueria Rincon Alteno, 4301 Truxel Road #D1
    It’s amazing how good/authentic the food is here and how little you pay for it. Fresh pico de gallo on salsa bar. Recently expanded and improved interior.

    Qdoba Mexican Grill, 3654 N. Freeway Blvd. #330
    Fresh Mexican food made before your eyes, exactly as you’d like it. Three cheese Nachos with chicken is scrumptious.

    Armadillo Willy’s Flying Pig, 3620 North Freeway Blvd.
    Outstanding Texas barbecue. Go on Tuesdays, the only day Tri tip is available. Excellent value.

    Sizzling Fresh Mongolian BBQ, 3351 Truxel Road
    Delicious — we go at least once each week. Can get rather messy on the assembly line but they work hard to keep things clean and orderly. Don’t forget to tip the grill guys!

    Classic Burgers, 3408 Northgate Blvd.
    Let’s not leave South Natomas out of this! I’ve enjoyed this place for the past 7 or 8 years. Great steak fries and lots of creative burger offerings.

    There are many more and I may post them later, but those are from the top of my list!

  18. When we go out for dinner our family loves Bangkok Garden Thai in the Bel Air/Arena Shopping Center. Drunken noodle and yellow shrimp curry are our favorites dishes and our 4 yr old loves and eats the dishes too.

    Desserts at Bella Bru are great for date night. They also graciously agreed to substitute sashimi-grade tuna for their seared ahi on their salad and it was fantastic. They are thinking of placing it as a special!

    We also like pizza at Pizza Guys. Good, fairly inexpensive when you use a coupon and, if you pick-up your order, you get a free 2-Liter of soda.

    And I love the 20 “flats” lemon-pepper wings order at Wingstop. Especially when we buy a chocolate or two at See’s Candies next door while we wait for our Wingstop order.


  19. 524 – In South Natomas but great Mexican food at cheap prices. No frills but friendly and consistently good.

    Taste Of Thai – better than Tuk Tuk and cheaper too, just not as fancy. In the mall with Mels, lots of vegetarian options.

    La Fiesta Taqueria – very good and large portions.

    Jacks – great salads. And those delicious Urban Fries.

    Chaat Cafe – good Indian food and friendly and helpful people.

    It’s A Grind – OK, it’s coffee not food.

  20. Hooters Rocks!


  21. Jack Urban Eats – for regular every day fare Jacks is tops for both good food at decent prices. Then afterwards, get dessert at Cold Stone next door.

    Kobe Sushi – Truxel Station, love the sushi and the price. Be sure to try the Kobe special roll.

    Mr. Pickles – Bel-Air Plaza on Arena, best sandwhiches, love everything on the menu.

    Dream Dinners – Truxel Station, meal assembly for restaurant type meals at home, healthier and at a very budget friendly price.

    There are so many great restaurants in the area, and these just scratch the surface.

  22. Chaat Cafe near Safeway: 2 deliciously flavored samosa’s and some bean medley for about $4. Their Butter Chicken is very tastey. No naan bread but they have a daily lunch special for $5.99 which is not a bad price to try out new Indian dishes.

    Maestro’s Cafe near Massage Envy has the best gingerbread cookie ever, $1.75. Sam even heats it up in the oven before serving. Yum! Yum!

    Mizu’s Sushi near CenterCourt: Very inexpensive fresh sushi lunch is $7.95/person for buffet. This place is always very busy because it is such a good price for great sushi. Free meal on birthday and half off coupons in the newspaper.

    Pizza guys pizza for price. Cool River pizza opened recently over by Fry’s. I have had it often in Roseville. Good Pizza.

    Expressions chocolate shop is fantastic. Try a berry bomb $3 (or free with ad, look in newspaper) or a maple walnut chocolate.

    Big Spoon Yogurt. Best ice cream place ever for families. Pay by weight. Always inexpensive. Lots of toppings, for example: chocolate syrup, M % M’s, blueberries, nuts, etc.

  23. Oh, yeah, and Pannu’s Pizza has the BEST pesto specialty pizza. So good!

  24. Anonymous says

    Teriyaki Maki: Awesome sesame chicken.

    Tugboat Fish & Chips: One of the best fish and chips, I’ve had in a long time!

    La Fiesta: Love their Carne Asada burritos.

    Bella Bru: Love their mochas and in the Fall they have their Pear Tart..to die for.

    Kobe: Has good chicken katsu and tempura!!

    Spices: The only pho in Natomas, not bad!!

  25. Anonymous says

    Love Giovanni’s Pizzeris 2401 Del Paso Rd. Best New York cheese pizza in California. Lunch special also only for $5.99 – two slices and a soda. If you’re a meat lover try the Bronx Bomber, it’s to die for.

  26. Anonymous says

    Best coffee – Maestro’s Coffee by Mountain Mike’s Pizza. Coffee is made by a barista not by a push button coffee. For a real strong coffee – and not the sugary stuff – try this place. Sam – the owner takes pride in making coffee one at a time…worth the wait.

  27. I agree with many of the restaurants named here. I recently found Chaats and LOVE it. I also like Bankok Garden (by the way it is a 5 star restaurant). Love Mimi’s and BJ’s Brewhouse. Panera has great sandwiches but WAY TOO MUCH SODIUM for me. I also love Logans Roadhouse. I’m not a fan of country music, but love it here. They have a kickin’ chicken salad and their rolls are FANTASTIC!

  28. Anonymous says

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  29. My daughter, hubby and I love the calamari appetizer at Malabar. During the week, they are kid friendly, tolerate casual attire and we have had decent service there. It’s a great place to go when dad wants a cocktail and the family is dining together.

  30. Anonymous says

    Everyone should try Swabbies at least once! They’re a little hard to find over by the airport on the river, but worth the trek. Get directions and check out their menu at swabbies.com. Their taco’s are to die for and the burgers are great. The live music is a lot of fun too. Check their calendar.

  31. Alicia S. says

    Okay the hands down best chinese food (which delivers also) is Szechuan House in South Natomas off of truxel, same shopping center as Arbys. We have people visit us from all over asking for it and we always order from there. Fresh food, fast delivery.

  32. We FINALLY made it into Bangkok Garden for the first time tonight!

    When we arrived, the restaurant was full, but the wait was minimal – maybe 5 minutes. As the host said, “It always works out!”

    We ran into friends inside who recommended a few items on the menu which we tried and loved.

    The prawn spring roll is unlike anything we’ve ever had, the eggplant had the perfect spice at “mild,” and the pad thai was delish.

    Thumbs up!

  33. IMNSHO The best Thai food in Natomas is “Taste Of Thai” at the corner of Arena and Truxel.

  34. Anonymous says

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  35. Anonymous says

    After movies at the Regal theater in the walmart shopping center, the kids love going across the street to Yo-Go Yogurt. I believe they just opened not too long ago, but the place is just bright and clean. We love their tart with fresh strawberries and mochi. The place is smaller than big spoon but they have fresh fruits and I think the price is a little cheaper too.
    My wife and I love going to BJ’s off gateway park, for the Shrimp Alfredo. For some reasons, it’s so much better than other BJ’s we have been to. And the service seems to be better also.
    We also like going to Mizu for the sushi buffet. For the price, you cant get any better than that. We love going there when we feel like stuffing ourselves.

  36. If you’re looking for something different in a sandwich, there is a fairly new place to go. The Sandwich Spot in the South Natomas area has some really good sandwiches. and the people are very nice. The address is 2606 Gateway Oaks Dr., Ste. 100, 927-0188

  37. Sheryl Luoma says

    My husband and I love Mati’s Indian Express. Their chicken tikka masala is wonderful! The samosas and mango lassi are also a great hit. Mati’s is over in the Chili’s/Johnny Carrino’s strip mall.

    For Chinese, we love Blue Sky in the Discovery Plaza on W. El Camino. If you like oysters and they have them available, order them! The pepper sauce short ribs are also delicious.

    We were really bummed to find out that Spices closed. We loved going there for Pho. It’s a restaurant that will be sorely missed.

  38. One of my favorite places is “It’s A Grind” Coffee shop in the Safeway Shopping Center in North Natomas. Great coffee drinks created by people who seem to truly care about their customers. Free WiFi and a gracious HELLO or HAVE A GREAT DAY–THANK YOU every time I pass through their door.

  39. Bella Bru is by far the best restaurant in Natomas. The food is excellent and reasonably priced, and they’ve managed to create a restaurant that is great for everything: I go there with my 2 small kids, and it’s kid friendly. I have dinner there with my husband, and don’t feel like I’m in a family restaurant. Its an awesome weekend breakfast place, and its also a great place to go after work for a cocktail. They also have live music on the patio on Thrusdays, and the atmosphere is great. I only wish there were more places like this in Natomas.

  40. Pannu’s Pizza, very nice folks: Try their Tandoori chicken Pizza, medley of Indian/Italian flavors.
    The owners are very nice too.

  41. Everyone should try Sac Town Ice Cream & Sandwiches in the Natomas Park Shopping Center!

    Proudly Serving Gunther’s Homemade Ice Cream!


  42. Good Friends on Gateway Oaks has both the best Chinese food and Japanese food. They are family friendly and very high quality. We loving going to eat there.

  43. Mati’s for Indian food (near Chili’s and Johnny Carino’s on Truxel) – excellent naan, wonderful spices in everything and delicious vegetarian offerings.

    Bella Bru (Raley’s Plaza) for sit down dinner or lunch — pizzas and salads very good (especially Cobb Salad), or try the wonderful grilled artichoke appetizer. When offered on specials, the Chipotle ribs and the beet salad are delicious and prices are reasonable for what you get.

    Bangkok Garden (Bel Air/Arena Plaza) — best Thai food in the area. Very good curries and wonderful, light, deep fried tofu with excellent dipping sauce. Good service and lovely atmosphere.
    (Bangkok City in Pink Plaza at Truxel and El Camino ranks a close second.)

    Will have to try Chang’s very soon.

  44. I think Tugboat has some solid choices if you are into cooked fish.

    Bella Bru…I agree with most everyone else is delicious most the time. I had a couple bad dinners but they took care of me.

    For pizza…its Straw Hat on E. Commerce. The food is great, prices are cheap (they will give you a coupon even if you don’t have one) and the owner is a young guy who really takes the time to make sure you get everything you need!

  45. Jaswinder S Jammu says

    I just moved to Natomas from Napa and I have a found a few places in Natomas that are great. I would start with Chaat Cafe, I have tried Chang’s which is not bad at all. I like Mati’s and the Mizu (I think that’s how it’s spelled). Also I tried the new Indian restaurant in Natomas next to Starbux in the Walmart shopping center. Bangkock something is also very good. Great Service and good food. Try Mr Pickles if you like good sandwiches. I Love teriyaki and the mongolian place are off the hook. I think I can go on but I will stop.

  46. if anybody likes ice cream try sac town ice cream its great.natomas park shopping center.

  47. Anonymous says

    LA ALTENA!! Has the best shrimp quesadilla, and taco truck style tacos. A small place with a big bite! You will be back trust me! On GateWay Park blvd down the street from Gold’s Gym

  48. Anonymous says

    Actually, I don’t find that there are too many places here that aren’t just run of the mill. I do love Bella Bru though – it’s fairly unique and quaint.

  49. Anonymous says

    Sac Town Ice Cream & Sandwiches in the CVS & Fitness 19 parking lot on Club Center Drive. Their sandwiches are amazing (especially the pastrami) and they serve Gunther’s Ice Cream.

  50. Started off the night in a hurry and grabbed dinner at Steve’s Pizza. We got a discount on our movie tickets. What a great way to feed, save and entertain the family. Good crust and cold beer.

  51. I’ll second SacTown Ice Cream! Non-corporate ice cream. $1 kiddie scoops on tuesday nights. Corner of Club Center and Natomas Blvd in the CVS shopping center.

  52. Anonymous says

    Bangkok Garden is probably one of the best Thai restaurants I have ever been to. The pad thai is very good there. I highly recommend it!!

  53. Anonymous says

    If you love Italian food, and who doesn’t, then you’ve got to try Anthony’s in the Bel Air shopping center on West El Camino in S. Natomas. Small and without a lot of frills but great food and prices. I like everything that I’ve eaten there. Most entrees are under $10 and come with choice of soup or salad and garlic bread.

  54. Anonymous says

    Everyone mentions Changs but C.F. Chengs at 2063 Arena Blvd #140 Sacramento, CA 95834 has some really awesome Chinese food. They don’t deliver but the food is great. Try their dinners for two. You will enjoy it.

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