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Old 06-10-2013, 11:16 PM
39 posts, read 69,390 times
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I'll be moving from San Francisco to Midtown Sacramento in about 2 months. I absolutely LOVE SF but am excited for Sacramento as well. It'll be an interesting change and since I like heat, I'm actually looking forward to the weather

Anyway, any Bay Area transplants on the forums? I LOVE neighborhoods in SF like Hayes Valley, the Mission, etc. for their fantastic food and coffee. Any recommendations for Sacramento? From the little time I've spent there, stuff certainly isn't as dense as in SF, even in very "walkable" neighborhoods. I sense that J St has the most cafes/small shops etc. What about the area around Fremont Park? Where do the young 20 somethings of Midtown hang out?

Also, is there any decent shopping in Sacramento. I'm very much an urban girl, and recognize that in general, I'll have to head in to SF for larger department stores (like Nordstroms, Bloomingdales, etc.), but are there any nice women's boutiques?
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:53 AM
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I'm not a 20-something anymore (was barely when I moved downtown) but do live near Fremont Park, with kids, so we enjoy the playground, but there are certainly many other groups represented at the park. The area (and the R Street corridor nearby) has a lot going for it, especially compared to a decade+ ago. There are numerous "quirky" restaurants (Hot Italian, Cafe Bernardo, Burgers and Brew, Magpie cafe, Shady Lady, and I'm sure others I'm missing). A few coffee shops, including Starbucks and Naked Lounge -- and the western parts of the rest of midtown aren't that far to walk either. I certainly see 20 somethings all over the place, but some of them could better advise.

And you won't have to go to SF for Nordstrom at least; there's one a few miles away at Arden Fair Mall, and another in Roseville. I can't comment on other shopping.

There are certainly reasons to visit SF on occasion, but Sacramento has an awful lot to offer on its own, especially if you (and some of the 20 somethings you hang out with) want to go exploring the outdoors on a day trip.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:12 AM
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The corner of Franklin Blvd and 3rd Ave has Gunther's Ice Cream on one corner and Pangaea Two Brews across the street. Both very worthy places to hang out depending on the craving. Not in Midtown, but not far away, and I always see 20-something Midtown type people there.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:13 AM
Location: Lincoln, CA
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There are some AMAZING restaurants in Sacramento. You can do a quick search on here, but some we love are Waterboy, The Red Rabbit, The Porch. . . just so many to name. It's faster if you just do a search.

Shoppingwise, there is the Arden Mall, but not many great labels there. You can drive a little further out to Roseville (about 20-25 min) to the Galleria Mall.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:54 AM
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For restaurant advice, you'll want to read this:

Edible Sacramento

J Street and Fremont Park are both restaurant clusters, but there are plenty of other places worth visiting. Old Sacramento has some dining worth mentioning--best known are the Firehouse, the Delta King and Ten22, but there's a little Thai restaurant on Front Street near J that is worth a visit--ask for their "secret menu" if you like authentic Thai stuff beyond the standards. Fanny Ann's is another favorite for casual dining.

The 900-1300 blocks of K Street has some places worth visiting too: Estelle's Patisserie, Magpie, Pizza Rock, Ella, Mayahuel, the Broiler, and a block over near 10th and J, the Grange restaurant. Ridiculously good coffee can be had at Temple Coffee at 9th between J and K across from Magpie.

L Street and Capitol from 15th to 21st (sometimes called the "Handle") have plenty of places worth visiting: Cafeteria 15L, Petra, Sapporo, DeVere's, Aioli, Mulvaney's B&L, Devine Gelateria, Tidbit, Waterboy, Kupros, and Rubicon Brewing Company. A bit up 21st Street is Zelda's Pizza, a Sacramento institution, right across from the Lavender Library, or if you want something more casual and by-the-slice, Pieces is almost as enduring and you'll wondering how a slice of the Haight got transplanted here.

S Street is also kind of turning into a restaurant row: Hook & Ladder on 17th is absolutely worth visiting, Ernesto's on 16th isn't bad, Ju Hachi sushi on 18th, and the best ramen in town is Ryujin at 19th. Around the corner on 19th is Bows & Arrows, a combination cafe, clothing boutique, art gallery and live music venue, great for sandwiches, salads and gourmet popsicles.

There are lots of little clusters of restaurants worth visiting in other neighborhoods like East Sacramento, Curtis Park and Land Park, but my foodie friends insist that the best eats are in ethnic neighborhoods in the suburbs--like the Korean restaurants along Folsom Boulevard in Rancho Cordova, Vietnamese in Little Saigon on Stockton Boulevard on the edge of South Sacramento, and little Mexican places hidden away like Lalo's. But a lot of us grid folk don't like driving much and miss out on a lot of those good eats unless we have some reason to leave the central city. Generally, by the time we work our way through the latest crop of restaurants, more have opened up. Sadly, some of the old-school eateries have closed in recent years, especially the ones in the remnants of Sacramento's later-period Japantown in Southside Park.

Boutique-wise, there are a lot of small indie boutiques, mostly resale/vintage but with a little bit of designer, in a lot of the same neighborhoods as the aforementioned restaurants. The Macy's downtown is one of the busiest in the entire Macy's chain, and while it isn't the SF Macy's, they have a big designer floor, and unlike the suburban Macy's stores in local malls, is aimed more deliberately at a younger clientele.
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:30 AM
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Thanks for the info everyone...I just recently visited Sacramento and while I liked Midtown, walking through that K Street Mall near Old Sacramento was a little depressing...

I won't have a car, but will be living and working in Midtown. Would you say the area around Fremont Park or the area around the Sutter District is more urban-professional-ish? Which has more character? I really didn't see all that many pedestrians on my last visit...mainly just homeless people. Was that just because it was a weekday?
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:30 AM
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The "Sutter District" isn't really a neighborhood, it's a "business improvement district" to pay for lighting and security for a bunch of restaurants along 28th Street pretty much all owned by one guy. It spans the bottom of Marshall School neighborhood and the northern edge of Winn Park neighborhood, but because 28th Street is close to the freeway and mostly office uses, it is less densely populated.

Fremont Park is the western edge of Midtown, and I'd say there is a lot more going on at that end. It's convenient for groceries, transit, Zipcar, and assorted cultural amenities--kind of in the middle of everything, and is the neighborhood with the highest population density and thus the highest amount of foot traffic at any time. Although by San Francisco standards, it's not very dense--I think it's comparable to the population density of the outer Sunset in SF.

K Street is not really where people stroll or hang out. The downtown core (roughly between H, Capitol, 15th and Interstate 5) has very few people living in it--there are actually more people living per acre in our mid-century suburbs than our downtown. But because 100,000 or so people come downtown to work, there is much more foot traffic during the weekday (typically before 3-4 PM) than in the evenings or on weekends. There is more than there used to be--most of the restaurants I mentioned in my last post have been open less than 3 years.

In terms of character, you can split up Midtown into six different areas, corresponding to a watch face, with the hands spinning around the rose garden in Capitol Park at 15th & Capitol.

At 9 o'clock is Downtown/Old Sacramento--as I said, it is mostly unpopulated except a few hundred people in SRO hotels and a few hundred people in fairly expensive apartments. Busy during the weekday until after lunchbreak, and sometimes on the weekend during the day when there are big events at the Convention Center. A few lively nightlife spots, at 10th and K and in Old Sacramento, but generally pretty quiet, especially the state offices along Capitol Mall.

From 10:00-1:00 is Alkali Flat/Mansion Flat, north of H Street and east to 16th Street. This was an old Italian neighborhood that became a Mexican barrio after the city tore down the old one. It is transitioning from being an edgy neighborhood in a "crack dealer/prostitution" sort of way to being more hipstery--sort of a tiny Mission District. Some great early Victorian architecture in between public housing projects.

From 1:00-3:00 is Boulevard Park, Marshall School and New Era Park. probably the most 'urban professional' in that it has the highest homeownership rate in the central city and the fewest rentals--almost 25% of the homes are owned by the people who live there, only three-quarters are renters. That may seem absurdly low, and it is, but overall the central city is literally 90% renter, 10% ownership housing. Homeowners in the central city are either relatively affluent (the housing isn't cheap because there isn't very much and it tends to be old historic homes or new infill) or people whose grandparents bought the house 100 years ago and they never moved out. It's relatively quiet and tree-lined, with close access to the American River bike trail, dog park, skate park etc. up by Sutter's Landing. It's also a pathway for homeless folks walking between the social services north of downtown and the central city where they can spare-change office workers and restaurant visitors. More great architecture, mostly late 19th century Victorians and early 20th century Craftsman and revival styles.

Along 3:00 is the Midtown business district, between J Street and Capitol. Around 20th Street is the heart of Lavender Heights, Sacramento's LGBT district--think a tiny Castro. Lots of nightclubs around there too, and at the far end, Sutter's Fort and that "Sutter District." Living along this corridor requires a certain amount of tolerance for noise.

4:00-6:00 is Winn Park, Newton Booth and Poverty Ridge. Another more "urban professional" neighborhood but with a lot more apartments (I think it's about 93% rentals.) Some great neighborhood dive bars and a bit of a college vibe in parts, mostly within a block or so of 21st and P. More great late Victorian and early 20th century architecture, especially in Poverty Ridge. Mostly residential, and a bit quieter but within walking distance of the fun stuff.

6:00-8:00 is Southside Park and Richmond Grove. This became the de facto Chinatown and Japantown after we knocked down those neighborhoods, still a large Chinese and Japanese population, Buddhist temples and a few small Asian shops left. Sundays at Southside Park are wonderful, the big farmer's market is at the south end under the freeway, and on the north end are great food vendors next to Our Lady of Guadalupe church--bacon wrapped hot dogs, dulces, etcetera. Southside is still kind of working-class in character, with a lot of heart and a few more dive bars. North of S Street is mostly offices except for a couple of mid-century condo/apartment complexes with very little foot traffic at any time, even though people live there.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:49 AM
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I thought the closest Zipcars were in Davis? Is Zipcar new in Midtown or am I just hopelessly out of the loop?
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:54 AM
Location: Alameda, CA
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Shopping? Head past Arden Fair Mall and go straight to Roseville. The Galleria is awesome and there is a small shopping center right across the way with a Dave & Buster's. That Downtown mall was pretty much dead the entire time that I lived in Sacramento.

Zipcars have been in Sacramento for a few years.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:14 PM
39 posts, read 48,668 times
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Originally Posted by SacramentoBound View Post
I thought the closest Zipcars were in Davis? Is Zipcar new in Midtown or am I just hopelessly out of the loop?
There's a Zipcar spot on L street adjacent to Capitol Park; I see it when I run in the park (which is very convenient from the west-of-Fremont-Park area we live in, and also conveniently is about a mile around for easy pacing). I'm sure I've seen others around too.
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