Favorite Places to Eat | N. California

"Food makes everything better"

~ Mothers everywhere

 Little blonde girl sitting on a bench, eating an ice cream cone

Before we say goodbye to the state where I've lived on for most of my life, I'm determined to visit all of our favorite places to eat. I have to be realistic though. So, in no particular order, below are the eateries that we MUST visit and dine at least one more time. 

1) Snooks, Old Folsom: It's a running joke in our household that the only reason I take my son on nature walks in Folsom is so we can stop by Snooks on the way home. Embarrassingly enough, this is mostly true. While my husband says that all ice cream places (and chocolatiers for that matter) are the same, I disagree. I love the cozy atmosphere in this shop. They also have benches outside where you can people-watch. Add that to their corner location and you have a winning combination in my book. I love their Colonial Mint Chocolate Chip Sundae! 

2) Krung Thai, San Jose: My husband and I left our college city back in 2000, but I still crave the curries and Pad Thai from this restaurant. I was happy to take my son here while we went on our field trip to the Winchester House and Tech Museum earlier this month. Their ratings have dipped slightly because of their service. Their food, however, still does not disappoint. I hope they heed the complaints because I want to visit them again when we visit CA in the future! 

3) Lotus Thai Cuisine, Sacramento: We went to this restaurant for Mother's Day. I found a Restaurant.com coupon for it. Unfortunately, the new owner did not honor the coupon. The food, though, was excellent. The yellow curry was creamy, which I LOVE, and the service was good. Parking is always a problem downtown, but if you can get past that, then this is a great place to eat. 

4) In N Out Burger, all over California: My husband LOVES burgers. Fortunately for him, there is an In N Out Burger restaurant right down the street from us. Our family will have to find another burger place when we move East - this is a burger chain specific to California and a few neighboring states. 

5) Awful Annie's, Auburn: On Mother's Day a few years ago, I wanted to go to a restaurant before we went hiking at Hidden Falls Regional Park. We found Awful Annie's at their original location in downtown Auburn. They relocated a few years ago to a much bigger space. Every time we go, it's still packed, so I expect they will still be around when we visit. My daughter likes their biscuits and gravy. I love a good Belgium Waffle with strawberries + whipped cream - diet, what diet??

6) Pho Bac Hoa Viet, Rancho Cordova: I first had Vietnamese food when I lived in San Jose. Pho is comfort food for me - thinly sliced meat of your choice, noodles, cilantro, garlic, and other things that I can't even name. Perfect food for cold days. My favorite is the one with a seafood cake on the top. It has everything I want in soup: savory broth, crunchy texture, delicious meat slices. Are you salivating like I am right now?

7) Coffee Republic, Folsom: I'll miss this place mostly for the memories. This is a favorite watering hole for many locals, including me and my friends. My favorite sandwich is their Bistro Breakfast BLT. I also like to indulge in their Tiramisu Latte when I need a caffeine fix.  

8) Mehfil, Roseville: I am a fan of GOOD buffets. Their daily lunch buffet includes curries, pakoras, samosas, naan, and Indian desserts. While this may be standard fare for most Indian buffets, their service puts them a notch above many. Case in point, when my son was disappointed that they didn't have Gulab Jamun the first time we visited, they made it for him at no extra cost. 

9) Sweetie Pies, Placerville: I take my kids here every time we visit Apple Hill. They are located in a quaint Victorian House that I have come to know and love at the end of Main Street. During the weekend, you can wait up to an hour if you arrive at their peak times during breakfast and lunch. It's surrounded by shops, in case you need something to do while waiting. I like their salads here; my husband likes their omelets. Afterwards, I love visiting The Bookery, a used book store on the opposite end of Main Street. 

10) India Oven, Citrus Heights: My family and I like to go here when we don't want to drive up to Roseville for a good Indian buffet. I am a fan of their creamy tikka masala. They don't get too crowded for lunch, which helps when you have 2 hungry kids. It's a beautiful restaurant near the mall and shops. We like to visit the book stores that are close by. 

11) Botan Sushi, Rancho Cordova: This is a little gem in Rancho Cordova in a strip mall on Zinfandel Drive, right by the freeway. They serve delicious, fresh, and very affordable Japanese food for the whole family. My guilty pleasure is their Salmon Skin Roll. The pickled cucumber gives an unexpected tang to every savory bite. 

Claire Toney is a professional photographer relocating to North Carolina in the summer 2018 with her husband of almost 20 years, 2 children, and 2 dogs. She is a supporter of mom & pop businesses, especially ones that fill her need for delicious and satisfying cuisine.

She may be contacted at claire@clairetoney.com or (916) 769-5482. Thanks to the advances in technology, she expects all of her contact information to stay the same. She is looking forward to the new chapter in her life in a new city. Stay posted to find out where she lands by signing up for her newsletter below!