Last updated on May 26, 2023 by Wandering our World
Sacramento is the capital city of California and is considered one of the most historic cities in the state. Located in the Sacramento Valley at the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers, this diverse, energetic, and vibrant city has become a much sought-after holiday and nightlife destination.
All locals brag about their hometowns but when it comes to Sacramento, there is a lot to brag about.
Renowned for its agriculture with over 1.5 million acres of farmland, it is known as America’s farm-to-fork capital and can simply be described as a food lover’s paradise! In fact it boasts over 23 boutique wineries and 15 craft breweries. And to add to that, there’s an incredibly diverse music scene here too, so you have all the trappings for an excellent night out.
The evening options are endless from relaxed wine bars and trendy breweries, through to top-rated restaurants and music venues where you can let your hair down and party the night away.
In reality, Sacramento’s nightlife really does have something for everyone.
As we know this place so well, we’re about to show you everything you need for the best Sacramento nightlife experience possible.
From where you can watch live music, to the best happy hours, party spots, and best Sacramento bars. We even show you where you can watch mermaid shows while drinking cocktails (you read that right), alongside places where the party never seems to stop.
So read on to begin your Sacramento nightlife adventure!
- Our Favorite Places For Sundowners in Sacramento
- The Best Party Spots, Bars & Nightclubs
- The Best Places To Eat
- And For Something A Little Diffferent…
Our Favorite Picks for Sundowners in Sacramento
We love sunsets, it’s a sign that party time is nearing!
And we can think of no better way to watch the sun go down than with a glass or two of champagne, or a sunset cruise down the Sacramento River.
If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a drink at sunset, here’s our two top spots:
1. Fizz Champagne and Bubbles Bar
At Fizz, every day is worth celebrating and what more could you want than a bar where corks are continuously popping.
This is the perfect place for those sunset drinks, so grab a glass of sparkling wine and a cheeseboard. With over 150 different champagnes and sparkling wines by the bottle, and another 20 by the glass, you won’t be spoiled for choice!
They take pride in their selection and personally source their sparkling wines and champagne from all over the world from the smallest to the largest producers. Besides, when a company has a Chief Champagne Officer, you know it’s going to be absolutely fabulous.
And if you fall in love with a particular bottle, you can buy a few on-site!
Fizz is open Wednesday to Sunday, closing at 10:00 pm except on Sunday nights where they close at 8:00 pm.
Address: 615 David J Stern Walk, Sacramento
2. Sacramento River Cruise
This is not your everyday type of cruise; this is a private wine and beer tasting cruise. If you’re going to do it, you may as well do it in style.
This 2-hour boat cruise will take you down the Sacramento River giving you unparalleled views of the California Delta.
After about an hour, you will be offered a choice of local wines and craft beers accompanied by a delicious cheese and charcuterie plate of locally sourced ingredients. This will be one sunset you won’t forget in a hurry.
It’s a 20 min drive from the heart of Sacramento but trust us, it’s worth every minute. And what a way to start any Sacramento nightlife adventure!
Reservations can be made online here.
Address: Clarksburg Marina, 36339 Riverview Dr.
Our Ten Top Bars, Nightclubs and Party Spots in Sacramento
Sacramento nightlife rocks!!! The options are endless and with an abundance of live entertainment, trendy bars, high energy clubs and some of the most uniquely themed bars we’ve ever come across, you are guaranteed a night of fun.
One of the best things about Sacramento is their massive range of local craft beers, boutique wines and extensive cocktail lists.
Combine that with fantastic happy hours, great conversation and Sacramento hospitality, and you will be partying all night long!
1. Back Door Lounge
The Back Door Lounge is Sacramento’s oldest bar and can be found in Old Sac’s Firehouse Alley. We love the retro, speakeasy vibe along with the chandeliers and red velvet, brass and leather décor.
But the highlight is its fabulous bar, and the barmen there are known for whipping up specialty cocktails like their Nutella-Tini – a combination of choco liqueur, Frangelico and cream! And if you’re a fan of Blue Hawaiians, you will be in heaven.
There is a piano begging to be played but perhaps give the jukebox a bash first. When it comes to entertainment, make sure you pop in over the weekend as they have some of the best lounge singers we’ve seen in a long time.
This unpretentious bar is definitely worth a visit and is a Sacramento nightlife institution. On a side note they only accept cash, but there is a handy ATM available on site.
The Back Door is open from Wednesdays to Sundays until 1:00 am.
Address: 1112 Firehouse Alley, Sacramento
2. Coin-Op Game Room
The Coin-Op Game Room is one of those places you have to visit at least once.
We love this themed pub which is home to over 40 old-school video arcade games. Lookout for those classics from the 80s and 90s, like Donkey Kong and Tron or the 4-player Pac-Man Battle Royale! This is a really fun place.
Known for its shared plates and extensive craft cocktail list, as well as a wide variety of local beers, you won’t be disappointed if visiting.
So go ahead, choose one of their 16 beers on tap or order a perfectly crafted cocktail and a bite to eat. At the Coin-Op food is made to share and they pride themselves on making everything from scratch using fresh locally sourced ingredients so you know the food is going to be good.
The Coin-Op Game Room is open 7 days a week from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm, except Fridays and Saturdays where they close at 2:00 am.
Happy hour is on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Address: 908 K St, Sacramento
3. Dive Bar
When we said uniquely themed bars, we weren’t joking!
Welcome to Dive Bar where mermaids come to play! Yes, believe it or not, this bar boasts a 40ft saltwater aquarium which is home to over 15 different tropical fish species and obviously the odd mermaid – no joke.
This incredible aquarium is suspended above the bar and the nightly mermaid shows are definitely a highlight.
We don’t think we could say it any better than they do – “With live DJs, dazzling tank shows, monthly and weekly drink specials and events, you can look no further for the best nightlife venue on land…or sea.”
In the end, where else in the world can you sip on your favorite cocktail while watching a mermaid show?
However Dive Bar is no dive bar, and they take their dress code seriously. So best dress to impress and leave your baseball caps, hoodies and flip-flops at home. It’s well worth it though as this is one of Sacramento nightlife’s most unique spots.
Dive Bar is open 7 days a week from 1:00 pm to 2:00 am. Those famous Mermaid shows kick off around 9:30 pm Sunday through Thursdays and there are two shows on Friday and Saturday nights, starting at 8:30 pm and then again at 10:00 pm.
Address: 1016 K St, Sacramento
4. Kupros Craft House
Located in an old Victorian-style house built in 1910, Kupros Craft House oozes charm with stained-glass windows, a welcoming wooden bar and great seating options inside and out.
This brewpub is the place to sit back and relax, which is handy as the array of drink options on offer means it may take you a while to decide what you are going to order! If you’re lucky your visit may coincide with the live music they often have.
Peruse the old-fashioned chalkboard featuring the latest handcrafted cocktails or contemplate which of the 16 craft beers on tap you are going to start with. Take your time to decide, and enjoy names like Moose Drool Brown Ale, Dudley Perkins Rocketman Farmhouse Ale, or our personal favorite, the Harlot Belgian Blonde.
For wine lovers, they’ve got you covered too. Order by the glass or bottle, and not to be outdone by the beers, it’s worth having a glass of the Belly Dragger Cabernet Sauvignon.
You simply can’t leave Kupros without trying their locally famous delicious pub grub. We love the fried pickles and loaded sweet potato fries, but if you need something more filling, you can’t go wrong with the Kupros Craft House Burger.
Kupros is open 7 days a week and closes at midnight, Sunday through to Thursdays and at 1:30 am, Friday and Saturday nights.
Address: 1217 21st St, Sacramento
5. Malt & Mash Irish Pub
As we always say, a city is not a real city unless it has an Irish Pub.
If you love whiskey and beer, you’re not going to want to leave Malt & Mash with its impressive collection of over 150 whiskeys and 15 craft beers on tap.
It’s the perfect place to catch the game on one of the big screens or hang out with friends while making your way through whiskeys of the world.
Just like any Irish pub, Malt & Mash is a great spot to pop in for a pint but end up staying all night, especially when the live bands or DJs get going.
Don’t miss out on their Happy Hour from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm where you can enjoy $3 beers and whiskey. And yes, we love the Irish, especially when pubs like this one have half-off Whiskey-Wednesdays.
The Malt & Mash is open Wednesdays to Saturdays from 4:00 pm to 2:00 am. We’re pretty sure any Sacramento nightlife experience has to include an Irish pub!
Address: 715 K St, Sacramento
Mango’s is Sacramento’s hottest nightclub! Why? Well this top-rated club is home to over 15,000 square feet of pure party space.
We’re not sure where to start but this club’s entertainment space is unbelievable. The club has spectacular indoor and outdoor facilities and is made up of four massive rooms, three dance floors and a total of seven bars to choose from. Trust us, it’s going to be a long night.
For those of you wanting a premier experience, you can take advantage of their VIP service giving you access to their exclusive outdoor VIP cabanas and indoor VIP booths.
When it comes down to the all-important music, Mango’s has everything from live performances, Top 40 dance, Salsa and Bachata all the way through to Hip Hop and classic R&B. So best you be prepared for an all-night dance festival.
Mango’s is open Wednesday to Saturday and closes at midnight on Wednesdays, otherwise, they stay open until around 1:30 am. This is a great Sacramento nightlife spot and place to meet people and have fun.
Address: 1930 K Street, Sacramento
7. Revival at The Sawyer
Revival is an upmarket poolside bar and lounge on the rooftop of the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel. Sit back and enjoy the panoramic views of Sacramento’s Downtown Commons over a craft cocktail or glass of wine. Be sure to order some of their gourmet bar bites and get ready for a night of live entertainment.
This is the perfect place for happy hours, celebrations, or a party with friends. There is always something happening at Revival from vinyl nights though to silent discos. Just keep an eye on their website for the latest updates.
Happy hour is daily from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm and on Sundays until 10:00 pm – because who doesn’t like to party on a Sunday?
And don’t forget Tuesdays, where all bottles of wine are half-price! And ‘Thirsty Thursday’ where you can find extra discounts on featured spirits, wine and beer.
Revival is open 7 days a week, closing at 10:00 pm, Sundays through to Thursdays, and at around midnight on Friday and Saturday nights.
Sadly, you will need to leave those baseball caps, sweatpants and flip-flops behind! But it’s well worth dressing to impress as this upmarket bar is one of the best Sacramento nightlife spots out there.
Address: 500 J St, Sacramento
8. The Shady Lady Saloon
The Shady Lady Saloon, once named one of the best bars in the USA, is reminiscent of a bygone era with its 1920s décor.
Renowned for their handcrafted cocktails, gourmet food and live music, The Shady Lady Saloon is guaranteed to be a night of fun and is another Sacramento nightlife institution.
Their extensive cocktail list is full of our old favorites like Whiskey Sours or Martinis. And there are definitely some new concoctions you will want to try, like their Netflix & Chill, Corpse Reviver or James & the Giant Peach. Away from their cocktail list, they have a wide range of spirits, beers on tap and wines.
And if you’re feeling peckish, we recommend giving their charcuterie board a bash. Or if you need something more substantial, you can’t go wrong with the Shady Lady Burger or the Street Tacos.
As for the live entertainment, the Shady Lady won’t disappoint with their line of both local and international artists, playing anything from Jazz and Blues to Country. Shows kick off at 9:00 pm Thursday through to Saturday nights.
There’s always entertainment happening here, so if you’re looking to kick back and watch a show then this is one of the best Sacramento nightlife spots out there.
And let’s not forget happy hour every Monday to Friday from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
The Shady Lady is open 7 days a week until they close, which let’s be honest is when the party stops so it could be a long night.
Address: 1409 R St, Sacramento
9. The Social Nightclub
The Social Nightclub is another favorite for those late-night parties. This upmarket, glamorous club attracts a young crowd and is a great place to relax, have a drink and dance until the early hours.
Their huge outdoor patio has incredible views across the city, whilst inside the décor is over the top with an alabaster bar that seemingly glows against the crystalline rosewood veneer walls.
Order a few stiff drinks or cocktails and get ready to move to the sounds of internationally renowned DJs and live bands.
They are open from Thursdays to Saturdays and are open from 10:00 pm to 1:30 am.
Address: 1000 K Street, Sacramento
10. Vine + Grain
Who doesn’t love a great wine bar?
When it comes to wine bars, the Vine+Grain is our favorite in the city. This upmarket wine and craft beer bar has everything you need for that relaxed evening over a few glasses of wine.
The décor is rustic with a modern twist and our preferred spot is relaxing on one of the comfy couches on the outside patio, especially during the colder months as those couches sit beside fire pits. Somehow fire pits and red wine were made for each other.
Grab a table or pick a spot at the long bar and get ready for a wine tasting sensation. What a classy way to start any Sacramento nightlife adventure.
Vine+Grain has over 60 different wines and a rotating craft beer menu. On the wine front, you have a wide choice of whites from Europe and America and the reds list is filled with some of Northern California’s best.
When it comes to that all-important tasting, we highly recommend ordering their flights where you get four decent-sized smaller pours. If you’re not sure what to choose, have a chat with their staff who are not only very knowledgeable but are super friendly as well.
You won’t regret having ordered a bite from their seasonal menu. Everything is made from scratch, but we recommend trying their charcuterie board along with the bruschetta with heirloom tomatoes.
Vine + Grain are open 7 days a week, closing at 6:00 pm on Sunday nights, 7:00 pm on Mondays and Tuesdays, and at 9:00 pm Thursday through Saturday.
Address: 414 K St, Sacramento
Our Three Favorite Places to Eat in Sacramento
Get prepared for an unparalleled culinary journey as Sacramento’s food scene is one you won’t forget in a hurry. From Michelin-rated restaurants to the obligatory burger joint and everything in between, Sacramento has it all.
Expect food bursting with flavor from locally sourced ingredients and here in Sacramento, the ‘Daily Special’ generally means the freshest item on the menu.
It was a difficult task to narrow them down, but here is a list of our top three favorite places for food before starting your Sacramento nightlife adventure.
1. Ella’s Dining Room and Bar
Ella’s may be one of the oldest restaurants in Sacramento but it also happens to be one of the chicest around.
The décor is rustic yet refined, with floor-to-ceiling curtains, thick linens and an antique wooden overhang. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a farm-to-fork experience.
This Michelin-rated restaurant prides itself on using only the highest quality seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. They also boast an award-winning wine list as well as seasonal handcrafted cocktails. Order a glass of wine while you peruse the menu and soak in the atmosphere.
The menu is full of creative and innovative dishes like their Coal Roasted Beet Salad made with strawberries, whipped goat cheese, fava beans and green garlic. When it comes to mains, our favorite is the Pan Roasted King Salmon served with Bloomsdale spinach, Meyer lemon, dill crème fraiche and a pine nut relish.
Make sure you save some space for dessert because you definitely need to try the chocolate hazelnut crunch or the Tahitian Vanilla Crème Brûlée.
Ella’s takes happy hour to the next level with their special selection of delicious bites and artisanal cocktails available Monday to Friday from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
Ella’s is open from Mondays to Saturdays, closing at 9:00 pm bar Friday and Saturday nights when they close at 10:00 pm.
Address: 131 K St, Sacramento
2. Il Fornaio
It’s Italian time and Il Fornaio ticks all the right boxes. This authentic Italian restaurant menu is full of our favorites – homemade pasta and soups, pizzas straight out of the oak wood-burning oven, fresh salads and antipasti and perfectly grilled meats from their wood-fired rotisserie.
We love their pizza, especially the Cristina made with fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, shaved grana padano, mushrooms and wild arugula; drizzled with white truffle oil.
Pair it with a few glasses of wine and you almost have the perfect evening – all that’s missing is one of the best Tiramisùs around.
Il Fornaio is open 7 days a week and closes at 8:00 pm except Friday and Saturdays when they close at 9:00 pm.
Address: Wells Fargo Center, 400 Capitol Mall, Sacramento
3. The Waterboy
At The Waterboy they believe, “A great meal lets the ingredients shine through. Beautiful ingredients, treated thoughtfully and utilized in their prime, are something to be savored.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.
From the moment you walk through the door, you will experience that warm Waterboy welcome. Their attention to detail is key and covers every aspect from the ambiance through to the food and impeccable service.
Their seasonally driven menus take inspiration from both Italian and French cuisines with an emphasis on local ingredients. If you are a fan of sweetbreads, then you will love their starter portion for which they are particularly famous.
Our favorite mains are the Alaskan Halibut and Sea Scallops in Acqua Pazza served with Watercress, Leeks, Fennel, Tomato, Spring Garlic, and Grilled Focaccia. Or if you are in a meaty mood, we highly recommend the Llano Seco Pork Loin Scallopine and Roasted Belly served with Saffron Risotto, Arugula, Lemon, Parmesan, Spring Onion & Rosemary.
Waterboys has an extensive wine list with each wine having been personally selected by the owner. It’s worth asking your waiter to recommend a pairing for your meal, as you are bound to land up with a glass of something you haven’t had before.
The Waterboy is open Tuesday to Thursday from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm and on Fridays and Saturdays until 9:30 pm.
Address: 2000 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento
And For Something a Little Different . . . .
Sacramento nightlife is full of spectacular places to eat, drink and party, but now and again there is something a little different you need to try.
We’d hate you to miss out on all the bars we couldn’t cover and so we just have to recommend the Sac Brew Bike Bar. It’s simply the only way to go!!
Sac Brew Bike Bar
Get ready for a bar crawl with a difference! No crawling, just a bit of peddling. Your 2-hour tour on this beer bike, which remarkably manages to cover around 12 bars, kicks off at the Sac Brew Bike Bar where you can have that much-needed pre-tour drink.
Then you are ready to go. If you are a group of 15, you can book the entire bike, otherwise, you can join other groups. A big advantage if you are able to book the whole bike, is they then allow drinks on board. This specially designed 15-passenger bike will have you hopping from bar to bar in no time at all.
The Sac Brew Bike Bar is open 7 days a week until 10:00 pm
Address: 1519 19th Street, Sacramento