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Midtown Sutter, History and Today

Midtown Sutter might be Sacramento’s best kept secret. The renowned entertainment corridor has a friendly neighborhood atmosphere where you can find theatre, live music and a treasure trove of locally owned restaurants and bars. The area is crowned by the historic Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park, an adobo-stucco construction that includes a replica fort that provides exhibits and living history interpretive services. 

When you visit the thriving Midtown Sutter, we invite you to think about the many generations of people who lived on this land before us. Sutter has changed a myriad of times in our history and will continue to change. Read on to learn about the history of Sutter, and places to explore today to fully experience Midtown Sutter. 

History at Sutter

The iconic Sutter’s Fort Park sits in the heart of Midtown, and is an area that has been the homeland of the Nisenan people since time immemorial. If you grew up in Sacramento, chances are you took a school field trip here to learn about what life was like for the pioneers in the mid-1800s, but how much did you learn about the lasting devastating impacts on the area’s original Native residents? 

Recently, California State Parks has recognized the need to reexamine the past at this National Landmark and confront the unbalanced perspective of John Sutter and his legacy, along with other settlers. You can find the plans of California State Parks to change the way history is interpreted at Sutter’s Fort to share a more inclusive and historically accurate history in their Sutter’s Fort Interpretation Master Plan. 

Long before colonizers ever set foot on Californian soil, Native peoples’ had created a mature and highly managed landscape. In the early 1800s, the colonization of California had reached the Native villages of the Sacramento River valley.

From 1839 to 1849, Sutter’s Fort was the economic center of the first permanent European colonial settlement in California’s Central Valley. Its founder was John Sutter who named his vast Mexican land grant “New Helvetia.” 

During that time, the Fort catalyzed patterns of change across California. Native peoples felt these changes most significantly as their lives were transformed by the Fort’s presence. Many different Native people helped build the Fort, and their exploited labor made the Fort’s many industries possible. In 1848, the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill started the gold rush that ultimately undermined Sutter’s businesses at the Fort and led to an even greater exploitation of Native people across California.

Sutter Today 

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is often a memory for many schoolchildren who visited the park across generations in Sacramento. If you have never been to Sutter’s Fort or perhaps only went as a kid, we invite you to come back to reminisce about your school day field trips, learn a more inclusive and accurate history, and enjoy all the amenities offered.

Visitors to Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park are welcome to explore the historic structures and living history museum at their own pace with a self guided tour, and can find a map and brochure available at the kiosk. 

When you visit, plan your day to also visit the State Indian Museum (only a three-minute walk away). All the exhibits and photographs on display are presented with respect for those who went before us on this land and continue to live in California communities today.

Although Sutter’s Fort and the State Indian Museum are the best places to learn more about the history of Sutter, we encourage you to also explore the Sutter Midtown area and experience how it has evolved into a thriving district with restaurants, bars, live entertainment shops, and of course some of the best brunch in Sacramento! 

Exploring Sutter Midtown you will find understated elegance and well curated experiences that reflect a variety of the best of what Midtown has to offer. Plus visits are a breeze with easy freeway access and plentiful street parking in the area. 

Here are some of our favorite places to visit inside Midtown Sutter. 

Barwest | @mybarwest

2724 J Street

Visit Barwest to find a modern day neighborhood sports bar and restaurant that serves up delicious burgers, hot wings, beer, cocktails, wine and more. Check out this spot to gather with your friends to watch the next ballgame! 

 

Blue Cue | @therealbluecue

1004 28th Street

Featuring karaoke, darts, multiple pool tables, and a welcoming neighborhood atmosphere, the large, brick-walled space is bolstered by traditional bar cuisine combined with a wide selection of spirits and cocktails.

Café Bernardo | @cafe.bernardo

2730 Capitol Avenue

A casual dining concept based on the European tradition of cafe dining, Cafe Bernado is a longstanding local favorite featuring a farm-to-fork menu with house made bread, pasta and dessert. Come here for an inviting atmosphere for any moment. 

Centro Cocina | @centrococina

2730 J Street

Centro crafts all their dishes from scratch – from salsas, to masa and corn tortillas, slow-cooked meats, and hearty soups. The bright and colorful interior highlights items sourced from Mexico providing a festive and casual atmosphere.

Harlow’s | @harlowsnightclub

2708 J Street

Harlow’s is one of our favorite venues for nationally renowned musicians and acclaimed local acts. For more than 35 years, Harlow’s has featured some of the best live music for every type of fan from blues to soul to rock ‘n’ roll. 

Ink Eats & Drinks | @inkeats

2730 N Street

This tattoo-themed restaurant and bar is known for their Bloody Mary Bar and quality brunch fare! Ink offers an approachable yet inspired menu, great prices and down-to-earth attentive service. 

Paragary’s | @paragarysmidtown

1401 28th Street

Opened in 1983, Paragarys is considered a Sacramento dining staple, serving generations of locals over the years. Known for its delicious seasonal cuisine in a beautiful setting, this restaurant is perfect for your next dinner date.

The Red Rabbit | @sacrabbit

2718 J Street 

The Red Rabbit’s mission: raising the neighborhood bar. They believe in seasonal and local, creating their cocktails from the ground up with housemade syrups, fresh squeezed juices, and fresh herbs. Enjoy their farm-to-table food selections, the artisan cocktails, sourced beer and wine. 

Tea Bar & Fusion Café | @ilovetbar

2700 Capitol Avenue

At Tea Bar you’ll find create-your-own wraps and bowls, snacks like avocado toast and edamame, and frozen, iced, or hot teas all made with the freshest ingredients. Stop by for lunch or a snack before catching a show at B Street Theatre.

B Street Theatre | @bstreettheatre

2700 Capitol Avenue

Over the years the B Street Theatre has introduced more than 100 original plays. Located at The Sofia, this gorgeous theatre keeps audiences laughing and crying, and critics raving. 

From the Historic Sutter’s Fort, to delicious farm-to-fork dining, and even live entertainment, Midtown  Sutter has it all. We would love to hear from you about what you learn and experience while exploring the area. Do you agree with us that it may be Sacramento’s best kept secret? Tag us in all your adventures @exploremidtown on social media.

Gentle Density – The Rise of Alley Infill Development

Midtown has been and continues to be a premier destination to live due to its walkability, wide array of entertainment and arts, and incredible culinary scene. Since 2017, Midtown has experienced an influx of residential developments entitled and under construction, which supports those that want to live in the urban core. While many of the projects are large scale, mixed-use developments there is another development style that has seen a rise in Midtown that embraces a gentler, neighborhood sensitive growth.

Cities across the nation are looking at gentle ways to increase density in their communities. In places like Sacramento that includes making a concerted effort to encourage the construction of accessory dwelling units, rezoning single family zoning to allow up to fourplexes, and something more unique to the Central City – the construction of alley facing developments.

The Central City in Sacramento is commonly known and represents a grid pattern that is essentially 30 blocks by 30 blocks. Between each block moving north to south there are alleys that extend from Old Sacramento through Midtown to the Alhambra corridor. In total, alleys represent approximately 37 miles of roadway in the urban core.

In their original intent, alleys were looked as mostly utilitarian by nature, which typically house some of the most basic services of city life. Buildings were built in a way that almost always faced the street front, and activation of the alleys was nonexistent.

Today, alleys represent a world of possibilities and serve as a crucial part of the housing affordability question our city faces. In recent years, the city has developed design guidelines to help encourage alley activations with businesses. One of Midtown’s first and prime example of alley activation is in Liestal Alley between 17th and 19th streets, which includes Old Soul Coffee, porous concrete pavers for better stormwater management, and better lighting and landscaping.

Now alleys offer a new opportunity with the development of residential housing on what are often time single family lots in less dense parts of the urban core. Many of the lots in Midtown’s neighborhoods of Boulevard Park, Marshall School, New Era Park, Newton Booth, and Richmond Grove offer historic homes that stretch 160 feet from street to alley. Property owners are taking advantage of these deep lots by adding housing facing the alley that not only brings a greater density to the urban core, but also brings more attention and activity to often forgotten spaces in the alley.

Sacramento needs to develop housing product of all types from large scale multi-family apartments, to accessory dwelling units and of course alley infill housing. This gentle way of adding density utilizes small underutilized pieces a land that can feature duplexes, fouplexes and up to eight or ten units without offending the character of Midtown’s historic neighborhoods.

 

The next time you’re walking in Midtown think about cutting through an alley to find one of these hidden housing projects. You might be surprised how many you find. Snap a photo of your favorite alley infill project and tag @exploremidtown with the #alleyinfill for a chance to be featured on our social or in our newsletters.

10 Reasons Why You Should Live in Midtown

 A walk in the neighborhood has a whole new meaning when you live in Midtown. Living in Midtown means being a short walkable distance to restaurants. It means the Farmers Market is often your grocery store. It means brunch on weekends. And that coffee shops are often also your office. The perks of being a Midtown resident are endless.

Here are our top 10 reasons why you should live in Midtown!

1. Foodie haven

         

 There is a reason Sacramento is known for being the farm-to-fork capital! From mouth watering brunch (check out our blog on our Favorite Brunch Places in Midtown), to fresh and locally sourced entrees, to several  amazing dessert shops to satisfy any sweet tooth, Midtown is bursting at the seams with talented restaurants and cooks. Foodies are in absolute heaven when visiting the grid.

2.  Endless coffee chops

When you live in Midtown the neighborhood coffee shops are often an extension of your office. I mean, what is a city without some great coffee shops?! If you’re looking for a coffee place in Midtown, we got you covered, read our blog on Iconic Coffee Shops so you can become a Midtown coffee connoisseur.

3. The Midtown Farmers Market is in your backyard

Not to brag, but Midtown has one of the most impressive Farmers Markets in California, spanning more than five blocks and featuring more than 160 plus vendors. Who needs Walmart or Safeway when you can stroll down to the Farmers Market every Saturday to get fresh vegetables, home-made bread and the most gorgeous flowers to place on your kitchen table.

To make the most of your visit at the Farmers Market, you’ll want to check out our blog that has everything you need to know about the Midtown Farmers Market!

4. Beautiful parks & free workout classes

How great and safe a community is, can often be measured by their public parks. Midtown Parks features six beautiful parks (Fremont Park, Winn Park, Sutter Park, Truitt Park, Marshall Park and Muir Park) complete with beautiful art and engaging programming.

How many cities can you say offer free park programming almost every day throughout the Summer? Read about our Fresh Air: Fremont Park series to learn more about our everyday exercise programming at Fremont Park. Or plan to visit Winn Park on Wednesday to find great local artisan and food vendors, live music, yoga and yummy food trucks (pssst I heard that sometimes they even have a wine garden!) Learn more about all our parks at MidtownParks.org.

5. Walk & bike everywhere

Sacramento is one of California’s most accessible major cities, and Midtown in particular provides many different options from scootering to biking that make traveling to and around our central city effortless.

Read our transportation blog for more tips and information on how to travel the grid like a pro!

6. Fun nightlife

How many cities can you say have a bar inside a pink Victorian house? Whether you are partying in the Golden Hub or the Lavender Heights District or perhaps catching some live entertainment in the Sutter District we have unique bars and fun nightlife that make Sacramento an exciting place to go out on the town. Time to diall up your besties for a night of dancing!

7. Art around every corner

It is impossible to drive down a street in Midtown and not spot a beautiful mural on the outside of a building or even in unexpected places like an electrical box.

Initiatives like Art in Unexpected Places and Wide Open Walls have made Midtown a destination for art lovers and artists. The art not only beautifies our city, it helps represent our diversity and culture in Sacramento.

8. Dog friendly

How does the saying go? Happy dog, happy life? Living in Midtown is a dog’s dream, complete with dog friendly patios, events like the Pooch Parade that highlight our cute puppies and of course our favorite dog park: The Truitt Bark Park.

9. Midtown Love

     

 In Midtown we like to use the phrase Midtown Love, which means being in action to actively celebrate, include, and proudly protect our fellow community members. In Midtown we have no place for prejudice, sexism, racism or bigotry. We only have space for learning, love and inclusivity. You’ll often see our banners hung up on our light poles in Midtown that showcase our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Learn about other ways we are spreading love in the grid in our DEI blog!

10. A city lifestyle that you can afford

For many living in a city is a pipe dream because of how expensive big cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Jose have become in recent years. Living in Midtown is the perfect balance of city and suburban … and you’re bound to see many Victorian homes living in Midtown too!

Now that you know the perks of living in Midtown are endless; click any of the available properties in Midtown below to find your next home.

Follow us on @exploremidtown to find new happenings, businesses and events happening in Midtown! If you #exploremidtown remember to tag us, we may share your photo on our social media!

Best Stays for a Getaway in Midtown

Planning your next weekend getaway in Sacramento? Midtown Sacramento is home to food markets, fun nightlife, specialty coffee shops, popular boutiques, and casual and upscale dining. This lively city has it all, with the added benefit that it is nestled in a vibrant neighborhood famous for its Victorian homes, historic buildings and tree-lined streets. Because of its largely residential community you may be surprised that Midtown is also home to some impressive stays and unique hotels.

To make your search for the perfect stay in Midtown easy, here are our favorite hotels in Midtown Sacramento.

Fort Sutter Hotel | @fortsutterhotel

1308 28th Street, Sacramento, CA 95816

Fort Sutter Hotel reflects the unique, creative and vibrant energy of Midtown! The hotel has an urban style with modern designed rooms and is all about showcasing our impressive art scene in Sacramento. It is immersed in the thriving arts-centric Sutter District, and is a short walk to many restaurants, parks, art galleries and shopping. 

Amenities include: 55” flat screen HDTVs, oversized windows, high speed WiFi, in-room dining, coffeemaker with complimentary coffee and tea, and premium Malin + Goetz bath products.

Why we love it:  Our favorite part about the Fort Sutter Hotel is that it celebrates local artists year-round. Each floor of the Fort Sutter Hotel pays tribute to local artists with striking guest room prints. The hallways also display rotating art, carefully curated from local artists that embody the spirit and energy of Midtown. 

Places nearby to explore: The Midtown Sacramento area has beautiful parks, foodie-favorite dining, and an abundance of entertainment options.

If you’re staying at the Fort Sutter Hotel, we recommend having brunch downstairs of the hotel at Cafe Bernardo (insider tip that their toast with jelly is a must order!). Other favorite dining options include Hawks Public House, recognized as a “new discovery” on Michelin’s famous recommendations list in 2022. Lounge on their purple velvet couches while sippin’ one of their refreshing cocktails, like their martinis with hand-stuffed blue chive olives! Or treat yourself to a fine dining experience at Paragary’s in their garden-like patio that features waterfalls, lush plants and decades-old olive trees (plus some of the best cinnamon rolls we’ve tasted in Sacramento.) For a late night snack, we recommend trying Kasbah for delicious middle eastern food and a tapas snack and possible hookah. 

If you’re looking for entertainment you can take a three-minute walk from the hotel to The Sofia Center for the Arts, home of the B Street Theatre to enjoy an intimate theatre experience, laugh at a comedy show, or listen to an impressive concert or live podcast!

 

Hyatt House | @hyatt

2719 K Street

Located in the heart of Sacramento, Hyatt House in Midtown is the perfect haven for your Sacramento adventure. Their modern rooms with vintage touches like exposed brick showcase a modern and chic aesthetic. 

Amenities include: Pet friendly accommodations, a fitness center, free internet access, 32” flat-screen TVs, individual climate control, 400-thread-count bed linens, blackout curtains, and a fully equipped kitchen.

Why we love it: Hyatt House in Midtown is the perfect balance of home and hospitality. The apartment style rooms have fully equipped kitchens, a dedicated workspace, separate sitting area, and a modern bathroom! What more can you ask for? Plus, this is the hotel for all you dog lovers, as it is pet friendly.

Places nearby to explore:The hotel is ideally situated across from Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park, and is a short walk to upscale boutiques, lively bars, live entertainment and the most delicious dining spots that solidify why Sacramento is the Farm-to-Fork Capital!  

Our recommendations include a stroll down the street to Sutter’s Fort where you can take a self-guided tour and learn more about the 19th century history of Sacramento. If it’s Spring make sure to admire the tulip trees blooming or if timing lines up plan to watch the sunset near the duck ponds for a perfect instagrammable moment. 

When you’re on the hunt for a good place to eat, Midtown has no shortage of great restaurants that are in the area. Mobility options are endless in Midtown with jump bikes and scooters on every other corner and many eateries and bars within walking distance. We recommend checking out OBO’ for a great authentic experience of Italian food or Inks Eats & Drink for some of the best brunch and late night bites in Sacramento.

Looking for a fun night out during your getaway? You have to check Harlow’s, one of Sacramento’s best independent live music venues where you can jam to nationally renowned artists and acclaimed local acts alike in a casual art deco setting!

If you got this far, without booking your next vacation, extended stay, weekend escape, or even a well-deserved staycation, then take this as a sign to book your stay now! 

If you need our help on finding information on fun things to do in Midtown, places to eat, businesses to support and more then check out our other blogs here.

 

12 Black-owned Businesses to Support in Midtown Sacramento

Uplifting Black business owners while finding new favorite spots to eat and shop? We’re here for it. Supporting and shopping at Black-owned businesses in Midtown is one of the easiest (and by the looks of our list below, the hippest) ways to elevate and support entrepreneurs in our small business community.

Our list of more than ten Black-owned (and co-owned) businesses in Midtown will help you shop local and build economic vitality and diversity in Midtown. Whether you are looking for a beer to watch your favorite football game or want to connect with your community while sippin’ coffee, there is something for everyone on our list. Keep scrolling to find incredible businesses to check out on your next visit to Midtown! 

Streets Pub & Grub | @streetspubandgrub
1804 J St

A classic English sports pub on J street near the entertainment district of Midtown, Streets Pub & Grub has trivia, karaoke, and a casual all-encompassing menu. This is a fun patio to people-watch later in the evening as the entertainment in Lavender Heights heats up.

Midtown Bakery | @midtownbakery
2301 J Street

A desserterie tucked into the most adorable Victorian home on J Street, Midtown Bakery has cakes, cookies, brownies, and pies. Make this a stop before or after the Midtown Farmers Market on Saturdays for fresh morning pastries.

Pressed Record Cafe | @pressed916
1725 L Street

Pressed Record Cafe offers a sanctuary for audiophiles to enjoy yummy food (including their famous presses, their twist on a panini sandwich) and drinks paired with the greatest music that was ever pressed to vinyl. Enjoy their beautiful patio or lose track of time digging through their bins of records.

Drip Espresso | @dripespresso
1004 24th Street

A Black-, woman-, and sister-owned coffee shop on 24th Street, Drip Espresso is on a mission to center espresso, community and culture. Come connect, learn and engage with your friends and community while enjoying delicious drinks and pastries with ingredients sourced locally from BIPOC, women, or LGBTIA+ vendors. 

D20 Dental | @d2odental
1816 L Street

Sacramento’s first dental spa, D20 Dental, is a green dentist practice committed to minimizing their environmental footprint while offering their patients a spa-like tranquil setting including relaxing aromatherapy products, noise cancellation headsets and five star service. Book an appointment today to optimize your dental health in the most relaxing setting possible. 

Locs2Lashes Hair | @locs2lashes
1812 J Street,  Suite 2

A salon on J Street, Locs2Lashes specializes in natural hair care, locs and braids including butterfly locs, soft locs, knotless braids, box braids and more. Elevate your hair and experience great service from a Sacramento braider and licensed cosmetologist. 

Studio 64 Photography | @studiio64
805 16th Street

A fully equipped photography and rental studio, Studio 64 offers artists the tools and properties to help photographers and videographers achieve their dreams. The uplifting studio is a judgment-free zone that allows members to build their skills and portfolio without breaking the bank. 

Bloom Photography | @bloomphotographyca
1812 J Street, Suite 22

Live out your dream photoshoot with Danielle, founder of Bloom Photography, a California wedding and portrait photographer who is passionate about documenting and capturing love during every phase of life behind her lens. 

The Flamingo House | @flamingosac
2315 K Street

One of Sacramento’s most vibey bars, Flamingo House located on K street, renovated an old Victorian home painted pink into a fun social club/bar. Dance the night away with friends sippin’ on delicious cocktails in their lounge area or enjoy their spacious back patio and flamingo-inspired decorations. 

Brandon’s Barbershop | @brandonsbarbershop3
916 21st Street

With nothing but stellar reviews, Brandon’s Barbershop located on 21st offers professional grooming for men, women and children. The barber shop is known for its precise cuts and shaves, excellent customer service and friendly atmosphere. 

Waxing Crescent | @thewaxingcrescentsac
1009 22nd Street, Suite 100

If you’re anxious about body waxing, Waxing Crescent on 22nd Street specializes in thorough, non-rushed, minimal pain body waxing. Jazmin Davis, owner of Waxing Crescent, greets every client with open arms and loves to work individually with clients to clear up issues about their skin. 

Soul Shine Bodywork | @soulshine_bodywork
2528 I Street

If you’ve been feeling stressed out lately, relax and ease your tension at Soul Shine Bodywork, where they offer massage therapy and Reiki healing. Combining massage therapy with energy healing is sure to make your soul shine! 

 

In addition to the businesses listed here, there are more than fifteen Black-owned microbusinesses that are vendors at the Midtown Farmers Market and Wednesdays at Winn Night Market. Highlights include Black Lily Naturals with incredible candles and body butters, Sankofa Center with accessories and wraps benefiting AIDS/HIV awareness, Yummy Honey featuring local honey, Black Coffee Roastery, Ink Black Cat Apothecary and AstroloTea Herbal Blends both with tea, and Yisreal Family Farm

When you support Midtown businesses, you are part of celebrating our diverse culture, creativity and vibrancy of Midtown. Don’t forget to follow these businesses on social media and check out their websites. Share your photos on Instagram and tag us @ExploreMidtown for a chance to be featured!

The Future of Midtown Is Inclusive

Midtown Love is a verb. At the Midtown Association, we believe individuals from all walks of life should be heard, understood, and appreciated. Sacramento is consistently ranked as one of the most diverse cities in the United States, and as the heart of urban Sacramento, Midtown is committed to creating space for everyone. We are in action to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) beyond our walls and into the heart of Midtown. In 2022, we were selected as one of the Sacramento Business Journal’s inaugural Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award honorees for our commitment to promoting practices that advance DEI in the workplace and community.  

 

Through partnerships and collaborations, we team up with local businesses, nonprofits, and organizations that share our commitment to building a diverse community. A summary of our DEI projects to date include:

Removing Barriers to Entry for Underrepresented Businesses: Starting a new business can be difficult, particularly for underrepresented and under-resourced communities. Midtown has one of the lowest commercial vacancy rates in the region yet has one of the most dynamic food cultures in Northern California. To help bridge this gap between available space and demand, and to increase equity and access, Midtown Association created the Street Food Sacramento program. This program grants an annual cohort of three food purveyors the ability to do business in Midtown. Selected grantees are able to sell their products and food at the Midtown Farmers Market and Wednesdays at Winn as well as receive technical and marketing assistance. Past winners include those who identify as first generation Americans, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and persons of color. 

Hear more from a Street Food Sacramento Grantee here: Steady Smokin’ BBQ: Street Food Sacramento 2022 Grantee | Good Day Sacramento 

Midtown Association also provides free support to any and all businesses coming into Midtown to assist them through city and county regulatory processes to become established storefronts in Midtown. To request support, learn more about advocacy services here. 

Training for Impact and Change: After forming an internal staff committee to look at DEI in Midtown, the organization prioritized offering an annual training to businesses and residents to raise awareness. In partnership with WEAVE in 2021, Midtown Association offered a Pride, Pronouns, and Progress training to educate employers on gender rights in the workplace. In 2022, Midtown Association is partnering with Level Up NorCal to offer cultural competency training. Midtown Association also offers ongoing training with the American Leadership Forum, Mountain Valley Chapter for the Board and staff on implicit bias.

Representation through Allyship: To demonstrate our support of the LBGTQIA+ community, Midtown Association in partnership with Western Health Advantage, the Sacramento LGBT Center, the Rainbow Chamber and many community champions, displays 37 pride banners along J Street from May through June for PRIDE month and has hung 10 year-round banners in the Lavender Heights district with the messaging “Love, No Exceptions, No Exclusions.” The art wraps on utility boxes in the Lavender Heights District were also created using a rainbow of vegetables with the messaging “Love is in Our Roots.”

Gary on the Go: Midtown celebrates Lavender Heights with brand new banners | FOX40

 

Equitable Food Access: In partnership with Sutter Health and Alchemist CDC, Midtown Association offers EBT programs at the Midtown Farmers Market to ensure access to healthy foods for all income levels. EBT can be used for fresh fruits and vegetables as well as some prepared foods. Alchemist CDC cites this as one of the highest use program sites in Sacramento. For those with any limitations that make traveling to the market a challenge, Midtown Farmers Market offers fresh local food delivery as well.

Showcasing Diversity through Artistic Expression: As part of the continuing “Art in Unexpected Places” initiative, the Midtown Association has led, curated, and funded artistry on 21 trash receptacles, 13 utility boxes, and 6 dumpsters that have also spurred other fun artistry to pop-up and beautify the district. With the exception of some of the past artistry projects installed years ago, the majority of the art wraps are still on display throughout Midtown. All artists selected have been selected from the LGBTQIA+ community, are women artists, or are persons that identify as of color. All artists have been encouraged to use art that represents their authentic voice and experience.

Midtown Association unveils ‘Art in Unexpected Places’ in Winn Park | FOX40

Fostering Opportunity for Underrepresented Communities: In February of 2022, the Midtown Association in partnership with Sac Black Biz hosted a Black History Month event at the Wednesday at Winn Market to showcase 21 black-owned businesses. Businesses were able to sell their products at the market each Wednesday during February, but the impact went far beyond February, with many businesses becoming regular vendors at Wednesday at Winn and the Midtown Farmers Market. 

The Midtown Association is committed to creating space for underrepresented communities to thrive and grow in our Central City. We strive to develop opportunities within Midtown that can contribute to the economic prosperity of marginalized communities. Our goal is to create a space that is safe, welcoming and allows all the opportunity to succeed. 

Follow our Midtown Association newsletter to stay updated on more events happening in our community.

Solid Gold Entertainment, Art and Dining at Midtown Sacramento’s “Golden Hub”

Pop quiz—how many of these trendy Midtown destinations do you know? Historic homes turned bars, shipping container beer gardens, forgotten alleyways reclaimed by art and cuisine, and towering trees filled with disco lights, all of this and more are found in the heart of Midtown Sacramento’s “Golden Hub” at the intersections of 24th and K streets. 

Area Murals, History, and Art

The 24th and K Golden Hub features more than ten art installations within one block. Discovering art as you Explore Midtown is one of our favorite pastimes so while we won’t reveal every single mural or unexpected art installation, here are three that are not to be missed for a perfectly Instagrammable and Midtown-y moment. Tag @ExploreMidtown on your photos as you discover these incredible lighting, art and statue art installations. Extra credit if you find Amy Winehouse in the alley! 

The Disco Tree at 24th and K Streets 

Located right on the golden corner, this tree came about through a partnership between Midtown Association, SMUD and local artist and creator Michael Sestak. Featuring color changing “disco ball” lighting features, the tree has become one of Midtown’s hidden gems. The best time to view the tree is at sundown or after from urban beer garden DerBiergarten with a pretzel, stein of beer or cider, or a Schnitz n’ Waffle. Historically, this corner was a blighted and empty piece of land following a fire in the converted home/restaurant prior. The now owner Thomas Roth and operator Sean Derfield created the first shipping container garden in Sacramento.

Midtown Sacramento lettering on K Street 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Located below the speakeasy at Cantina Alley (yes there is a speakeasy and yes there is also an authentic cantina in an alley..), these iconic and colorful Midtown letters are best photographed during happy hour or early evening to catch the vibrancy and detail of each letter. Upstairs above the letters is a special Mexican speakeasy, directly to the east of the letters find a mercado in a converted church complete with imported furniture and handicrafts, and right behind the letters find the locally famous Cantina Alley restaurant and bar. Featuring traditional Mexican street foods in an art-filled and garden-esq converted alley, Cantina Alley’s elote and fruit filled cocktails are not to be missed. Interesting historical note, the converted church was originally a Mormon church erected around 1929, became the Spiritual Life Center in the mid-1990’s, evolved to be the Ancient Future Urban Sanctuary, to now become the PlacitaMX mercado.

Take Flight on K Street 

Best photographed during day-time hours and especially with a little one or pup in tow, the Take Flight wings mural was painted by JM Knudsen in the late 2010’s, and is steps away from the Golden Hub. This mural features a city streetscape with wings above and Knudsen’s signature lettering and messaging, “You are Great.” 

Cultural Street Parties

Not a day goes by without something fun going on at the Golden Hub, but a few days are especially notable. Cinco de Mayo hosted by Cantina Alleyway is a celebration with music in the alleyway between J and K streets and some years it spills out to a street closure on K street between 23th and 24th streets. Oktoberfest hosted by DerBergarten is in late September and features a large array of local and imported beers, authentic entertainment, and incredible German foods. Banana Sundaes hosted by Flamingo House is a later evening street party with music and drinks a plenty hosted in June and October each year.

Eating, Drinking and Live Entertainment

Each restaurant at the Golden Hub has a perfectly curated menu and experience ranging from fully plant based at the Burger Patch to the best pizza in town at Pizzasauras Rex. All locations offer food to go or on site, most offer live entertainment in the evenings, and all are equipped with beautiful outdoor dining. 

Burger Patch | @theburgerpatch
2301 K Street | Open everyday 11 am – 10 pm, until midnight Friday and Saturday, for breakfast at 8:30 am on Saturday and Sunday. 

The perfect mixture of flavor and sustainability, Burger Patch provides a fully plant based burger, fries and shakes experience with the best vegan milkshake on the planet. The fresh baked cookies, vegan breakfast and tots are also not to be missed. Open from early to late on the weekends, and everything in between during the week, Burger Patch is a great stop for any meal.

Cantina Alley | @cantinaalley

2320 Jazz Alley | Open Tuesday – Thursday 4 pm -10 pm, Friday and Saturday 11:30am – 1am and Sunday 11:30 am – 10 pm

Originally an 1800s era two story home with a large run down backyard, Cantina Alley is now a shaded garden-esque patio featuring traditional Mexican street foods with a soon to launch speakeasy in the still standing Victorian structure. 

DerBiergarten | @midtownbeergarden

2332 K Street | Open Monday – Thursday 3 pm – 8:30 pm, Friday 3:00 pm – 10:45 pm, Saturday 11 am  – 10:45 pm and Sunday 11:00 AM – 8:30 PM

Der Biergarten is Sacramento’s spot to socialize over some great German beer and light German fare. This Midtown Sacramento beer lover’s spot is a twist on the traditional German beer garden. It’s authentically German in its extensive beer selection and light German food menu, with 32 beers on draft and sausages brought in fresh from Sacramento’s #1 German Butcher.

The Flamingo House | @flamingosac

2315 K Street | Open Monday – Friday 6 pm – 1:30, Saturday and Sunday 2 pm – 1:30 am

The Flamingo House is an intermingling of midtown culture and coastal leisure offering a unique California approach with plates and exceptional cocktails. Two patios along with a bar and lounge offer ample opportunities to listen to the evening’s DJ, hang out on the swinging hammock, or enjoy a handroll or two.  

The Golden Bear@thegoldenbear
2326 K Street | Open Monday – Friday 12 pm – 2 am, Saturday and Sunday 10:30 am – 2 am

Since 2004, Golden Bear has been a casual bar and kitchen in Midtown with a welcoming staff and a laid back vibe. TGB has delicious food made from scratch, cold craft beer and stiff cocktails along with hosting weekly Wednesday open mic nights and popular annual events like the annual Hot Toddy Competition. 

Pizzasaurus Rex | @eatpizzasaurusrex

2322 K Street| Open Mondays 2 pm – 9 pm and Tuesday – Sunday 11 am – 9 pm

Pizzasaurus Rex specializes in one-size-only, 18-by-13-inch rectangular pies, fired for six to eight minutes at 475 degrees in the restaurant’s brick deck oven. The menu includes staples like a melty three-cheese version topped with mozzarella, provolone and ricotta, as well as a hearty vegan combo with faux pepperoni, mushrooms, olives and bell peppers. They offer 12 beers on tap to wash down your meal or to take home in a growler for later. The “dino” sauce is a cilantro jalapeno dipping sauce that is a must on the side no matter what you order.

Experience this uniquely Northern California destination on any evening for bustling nightlife, one of the above culturally diverse events, or enjoy a happy hour stroll to see artwork and enjoy a watermelon filled with margarita, a vegan burger, or even a German beer stein filled with pilsner. 

Remember to snap a photo and hashtag #ExploreMidtown for a chance to be featured on our social media @ExploreMidtown or our next blog!

A Dessert for Every Sweet Tooth at Midtown Sacramento’s “Sweet Spot”

Psst…want to know our favorite places for delicious desserts? It’s no secret that the 2400 block of J Street has emerged as a real “Sweet Spot” for sugary treats in Midtown. Dreamy and delicious ice cream and doughnuts (some plant based), rich european style chocolates and pastries, iconic cupcakes, and the best dessert shop for 34 years running are all on one block in Midtown. An easy stroll in the heart of Midtown – along with a parking protected bike lane in front to encourage cyclists – tempting treats available at these five shops are sure to satisfy every sweet tooth.

Babes Ice Cream & Donuts @babes_vegan
2417 J Street | Open every day 8 am – 9 pm  

Already a hit among dessert aficionados, the newly opened dessert shop was founded by the owners of the popular Pushkin’s bakery and offers 100 percent vegan and gluten-free ice cream and donuts in addition to plant-based milks at the espresso bar. 

Ginger Elizabeth Patisserie @gingerelizabeth
2413 J Street |Open Tuesday through Saturday 7 am – 3 pm, Sunday 8 am – 3 pm

This shop is the famous Ginger Elizabeth’s second location in Midtown and offers locally-made desserts and breakfast pastries (and a selection of her melt-in-your-mouth chocolates of course), all made from fresh, carefully sourced ingredients. Note that Ginger Elizabeth has one of the best hot chocolates in the nation according to Yelp!

Icing on the Cupcake @icingonthecpcke
2416 J Street| Open Tuesday through Saturday 10 am – 7 pm, Sunday 11 am – 6 pm

With an amazing array of cupcake choices, brownies, pies and more, this sweet shop also offers custom cupcakes, desserts for weddings, and even offers set-up services for an eye-catching dessert bar at local events.

Midtown Bakery @midtownbakery

2301 J St | Open Saturday and Sunday 8 am – 2 pm

The latest addition to this sweet block, Midtown Bakery offers cookies, brownies, cakes, scones, and muffins, all nestled into the cutest little Midtown historic home there ever was. This boutique desserterie is also a hot spot on Saturday mornings before or after the Midtown Farmers Market for their French Puffs, a light butter muffin doused in melted butter and rolled in cinnamon and sugar. 

Rick’s Dessert Diner @ricksdessert
2401 J Street |  Open Monday through Thursday 10 am – 11 pm, Friday and Saturday 10 am – 12 am and Sunday 11 am – 11 pm

Opened in 1986 and voted #1 in the “Best Desserts” category by Sacramento magazine readers for 34 consecutive years (in addition to many other accolades), Rick’s has a welcoming vibe and retro atmosphere. The dessert shop offers a dazzling variety of European and American desserts (such as cakes, fresh fruit tarts and tortes, decadent chocolate desserts, cheesecakes and more), all made fresh daily from scratch. Open late into the evenings, custom cakes are also available to make any occasion extra special.

While not on the same block on J Street, there are plenty of other dessert shops and tasty treats available to enjoy nearby including late night churros at Cantina Alley, refreshing pineapple frozen Dole Whips at The Jungle Bird, lovely natural wines and snacks at Ro Sham Beaux, and beautiful coffee and tea options at Drip Espresso, just to name a few.

Parking is plentiful near the Sweet Spot and adjacent parking protected bike lanes make it easy to park your bike and then peddle off the sugar. To learn more about other transportation options

Remember to take a photo of your sweet finds and tag #ExploreMidtown. Follow us on Instagram @ExploreMidtown for more tasty treats!

10 AAPI-Owned and/or Operated Businesses to Celebrate in Midtown Sacramento

You may find your stomach rumbling with hunger after reading our blog: From fun nightlife, to an eco-friendly winery and, of course, delicious ube pancakes, Midtown Sacramento has so many different AAPI-owned and operated businesses to support and celebrate in our community. We researched some of our favorites and created a list of 10 businesses in Midtown you need to check out. While there are so many more and an ever growing list of new spots, this list should get you started.

Keep reading to discover some of what is sure to become your go-to spot to eat, dance or shop right here in Midtown!  

Golden Bear | @goldenbear916

2326 K St

Established in 2004, owner Kimio Bazett’s iconic kitchen & bar at 24th/K Streets paved the way for the block’s tone and affinity for good food and an active nightlife scene. Join them for trivia nights or listen to some local Sacramento talent on their open mic nights on Tuesdays. 

Acheson Wine Company | @achesonwinecompany
1629 19th St.

Did you know you can drink wine and support a good mission at the same time? Acheson Wine Company no longer puts wine into traditional bottles that get thrown out – but instead puts wine into a 5 Gallon stainless keg to get reused again and again. Winery on tap?! Count us in. 

Midtown Sushi | @midtown_sushi

2801 P St

Located in the heart of Midtown, and right next to the iconic Wednesdays at Winn Night Market, Chef Teng uses high‑quality fish and plant‑based ingredients to transform sushi into culinary masterpieces! Come here for your next date night to taste the premium ingredients and incredible flavor combinations.

Magpie Cafe | @magpiecafesacramento

1601 16th St.

Seasonal menus, locally sourced ingredients and a sustainable environment have been goals consistently met by co‑owner Janel Inouye! At Magpie you will get the farm-to-table experience, celebrating what makes our city and region special. The Magpie patio offers great viewing of the summer Fresh Air Fremont Park programming.

Midtown Spirits | @midtown.spirits

1717 19th St. B

Head Chef FJ Villalobos curated a menu that complements any drink from the local distillery. We recommend trying their yummy chicken lumpia or their famous purple Ube pancakes that are just as tasty as they are Instagrammable! This spot is also known for it’s bloody mary mix and its dog watching at the dog park across the street.

Orchid Thai | @orchidthaimidtown

1609 16th St. 

With a patio view of Fremont Park, Orchid Thai is a great spot for lunch, Happy Hour, and every occasion in between. We love that their kitchen is open late on the weekends for some late‑night bar bites.

Bombay Bar & Grill | @bombaybarandgrillsac

1315 21st St.

Owner Navinder Bhandal of Bombay serves classic Indian dishes in a warm, colorful space with traditional decor! Explore signature cocktails and classic Indian drinks. If you get lucky, you can sit in the little two person hidden booth in the bar.

Tea Cup House | @teacuphouse_

1614 21st. St.

Experience Hong Kong style Dim Sum and try a bit of everything! Tea Cup Cafe is a cornerstone in the Sacramento community and has been recognized for its outstanding Chinese cuisine, excellent service and friendly staff.

Sakata Garo Gallery | @b.sakatagaro

923 20th St.

Barry’s gallery has rotating local artist exhibitions on display along the exposed brick walls inside. See curated works from emerging and state‑renowned artists.

VEG Café | @vegsacramento

2431 J St.

Don’t worry, plant lovers: we have a vegetarian option to try, too!  VEG Café offers plant‑based food with a world cuisine inspired menu. Their seasonal menu is served in a relaxing and naturally lit space.

In recent years, AAPI-owned businesses have disproportionately felt the impacts of the pandemic due to closures, lack of access to government aid, language barriers, and the devastating massive spike in the number of anti-Asian hate incidents nationwide. Our AAPI businesses in Midtown are part of our vibrant and diverse community, not to mention the delicious food and amazing service you will find each time you #ShopAAPI. 

For an even longer list of businesses to support, check out our Instagram Guide of 25 AAPI businesses located in our Midtown community

Share with us your favorite places on social media @ExploreMidtown and hashtag #ExploreMidtown for a chance to be featured on our feed. 

 

Get Outside With Fresh Air: Fremont Park

When was the last time you tried something new? With beautiful weather comes the return of Fresh Air: Fremont Park, a series of free health and wellness activities, aimed at encouraging an active and mindful lifestyle, which is critical to the health of our community.

This year’s activities include Pilates, Yoga, Bootcamp, and Open-Air Coworking to activate Fremont Park every weekday. Workouts are open to all ages and fitness levels! Review the weekly/monthly class schedule below. No registration is necessary. Check out the class description before you go to determine if you need to bring any exercise materials, like a yoga mat.

 

About Fremont Park 

Fremont Park features a kids’ play area, detailed art sculptures, and ample space to recreate under large shady trees. The park is home to everything from concerts, chalk festivals, lightsaber battles, artisan markets, movie nights, and chess matches. Surrounded by locally-owned restaurants, coffee shops, and high-density and high-end apartment buildings, with a light rail station to boot, Fremont Park is one of the 10 original parcels in the City of Sacramento, which continues to serve the public. Fremont Park has gone through multiple updates through the support of a committed ‘Friends of Fremont Park’ group and Midtown Parks.

Midtown Parks recently wrapped eight electrical pedestals in Fremont Park with art, in an effort to beautify and activate parks within the district. The pedestals were recently added as part of the city of Sacramento’s electrical upgrades to the park. Midtown Parks worked with local artist Melissa Uroff, who employed her unique combination of photography and paint to create the digital artwork for these wraps. The dynamic designs feature local female leaders from Sacramento whose children play at Fremont Park.

Area Dining and Shopping 

Fremont Park is surrounded by restaurants, entertainment, and multifamily housing. For excellent apartment options in the area, check out Legado de Ravel 16 Powerhouse and 1430Q. For excellent retail, check out the nearby Ice Blocks.  

Dining options immediately facing the park are plentiful. Favorites include Mochinut Midtown which is the happy union between Japanese rice cake (mochi) and American-style doughnuts, Magpie Café for incredible farm-to-fork fare, and Temple Coffee.

Transportation

Fremont Park provides a green space in the densely populated yet easy-to-navigate central grid. Transportation options include hourly street parking, SacRT bus & light rail, rideshare, as well as walking and biking. Fremont Park is within 1/4 mile from the 16th Street Light Rail Station. Check out our transportation tips to getting around Midtown.

Fresh Air Fremont Classes and Activities 

Mondays | Pilates with Christina | 6 PM – 7 PM

Follow her at @christina_matassa

Pilates features low-impact mat exercises aimed at strengthening your core and promoting flexibility. Class attendees should bring a mat and a water bottle.

Tuesdays & Thursdays | Yoga with Yoga Moves Us| 6 PM – 7 PM

Follow them at @yogamovesus

Yoga features gentle movements and breathing techniques to focus on alignment and balance. Class attendees should bring a mat and a water bottle. 

Wednesdays | Bootcamp with Jarita | 6 PM – 7 PM

Follow her at inspire_by_j

Bootcamp combines cardio and strength training for a dynamic, full-body workout. Class attendees should bring a mat, a water bottle, and a resistance band. The instructor will bring some resistance bands to loan. 

Fridays | Open-Air Coworking | 10 AM – 1 PM

Use the park’s free wifi to work under the shade of trees in our open-air coworking area complete with bistro tables & chairs. Some days you may even find the Mobile Library as well as the Miridae Mobile Nursery at Open-Air Coworking. Explore park adjacent dining options and enjoy our Lunch Hour Lounge with live music, lawn games, and rotating activities. 

Fridays | Zumba | 9 AM – 10 AM and 6-7 PM

Zumba is a fitness program that combines cardio and dance. Class attendees should bring a mat and a water bottle. Zumba classes are bi-monthly and occur on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month. Check out the full schedule on our Fresh Air: Fremont Park Calendar below. 

 


These outdoor activities are examples of ways Midtown Parks supports the well-being of the community by creating centrally located public spaces designed to provide opportunities for recreation and leisure and to build relationships with neighbors. 

For more information about upcoming activations and ways to sponsor or support Midtown Parks, please visit www.MidtownParks.org.

 

Thank you to our sponsors: