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Style Magazine

30+ Must-Order Eats + Drinks in the Folsom and El Dorado Hills Region

Feb 22, 2017 12:17PM ● By Style
When hunger pangs hit and a cocktail is calling your name, it can be difficult deciding where to feed your need and what to order when you arrive. Luckily, for the third year in a row, Style staffers put their taste buds together and compiled over 30 of their favorite local dishes and libations. In no particular order… 

 Head to Bacchus House Wine, Bar & Bistro for Happy Hour (served Wednesday through Friday from 4-7 p.m. and Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to close) and order their Chicken Wings. Made using an original buffalo wings recipe from Buffalo, New York, they’re flash fried—as opposed to deep-fried—so for semi-health conscious eaters they’re perfect, and taste great too! $9, 1004 East Bidwell Street, Suite 100, Folsom, 916-984-7500

 I'm not a sweets and pastry person (despite my love of the macaron), but I love the Cronuts at BJ Cinnamon; plus, I’m always impressed with how nice the owner is. On my first visit, he was working behind the counter and when I told him I’d never been in before, he didn't charge me for my cronut. Talk about customer service! $2.50 each; 402 East Bidwell Street, Folsom, 916-608-8824

 Give me Argos Caffè’s Lavender Latte any day of the week and you’ve got a happy camper. Subtly sweet, faintly aromatic and silky smooth, this concoction came straight from the heavens. Pair it with a locally made, decadent Cinnamon Roll, and you’ve got a winning combo. What’s more, it’s the only coffee shop, to my knowledge, that doesn’t charge extra for soy milk. I’ll drink to that! $4.50 (small latte), $3 (cinnamon roll); 195 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 100,
Folsom, 916-293-8256

As a lox lover and bagel buff, it shouldn’t be a shock that I’m such a big fan of the Lox and Cream Cheese sandwich at Big Apple Bagels. Made fresh onsite every morning, their bagels are the perfect vessel for the cured salmon, tomatoes, red onions and capers. Just make sure to ask for it toasted with onion chive cream cheese! $8.99, 2209 Francisco Drive, Building 10, El Dorado Hills, 916-936-4343

I've been going to Bakerie and Latte Chateau Arme for 14 years and love how everything is homemade and baked fresh every day by Owner Helen. My go-tos for breakfast include a raspberry scone or cinnamon roll, but the Chicken Salad Sandwich at lunchtime is my absolute favorite. The blend of crunchy celery and walnuts, creamy mayo and savory chicken—all stuffed into a flaky croissant—is out-of-this-world incredible. $8.50 + $2 for croissant, 2222 Francisco Drive, Suite 500, El Dorado Hills, 916-939-0834

I used to get Chicken Yakitori in Japan and Hisui Sushi’s dish takes me right back to a little café in Yokohama every time I have it! Try it now; thank me later. $6, 25004 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 107, Folsom, 916-985-7778

 Ask anyone who enjoys Italian food about the dishes they love most, and you’ll almost always hear, “it’s the sauce!” Visconti’s, a favorite Italian restaurant among locals, prepares their signature, family-recipe marinara every single day, and it’s ridiculously good! But what you probably didn’t know is that you can buy the sauce and bring it home. Whether you’re looking to please the family, or impress your friends, this sauce will win them over every time. And if you want some noodles with your sauce? Their Spaghetti and Meatballs is the best plate of pasta around. $15 (pasta) $15 (quart of marinara); 2700 East Bidwell Street, Suite 700, Folsom, 916-983-5181

 Mikuni is my number one spot for fresh and flavorful seafood. My two favorites are the Rainbow Roll and the Oysters on a Half Shell. I’ve even turned a couple of hesitant friends onto oysters after tasting Mikuni's. Served simply—with only ponzu sauce and a dot of sriracha to add tang and a kick—they take an ordinary oyster and make it extraordinary. Their rainbow roll is a classic that doesn't need any fancy sauces to delight, and balances the fish to rice ratio perfectly. $10.95 (sushi), Market Price (oysters); 185 Placerville Road, Suite 100, Folsom, 916-934-5250

 I’ve never seen a more appetizing pie than the Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza at Chicago’s Pizza With-A-Twist. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it comes loaded with tangy chicken, sharp onions, green bell peppers and fragrant cilantro, hitting the spot every single time. $7.99 (personal), $11.99 (small), $14.99 (medium), $18.99 (large), $20.99 (extra-large), $23.99 (family size); 1750 Prairie City Road, Suite 140, Folsom, 916-970-9900

Natural Food is well worth the wait! Whenever I'm looking for a tasty yet healthy meal (aka, all the time), I make a stop here for a Super Nutburger. The nutmeat patty is sure to impress even the most carnivorous, while the fresh veggies like onions, tomatoes, romaine, tomatoes and sprouts add a delightful crunch. I often add avocado for an extra oomph. Eaten alongside their fresh Carrot Juice (juiced while you wait), makes for the perfect meal, bound to satisfy all. Trust me, there's a reason the line is always so long. $7.59 (super nutburger), $2.99 (small juice), $3.29 (large juice); 10344 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Fair Oaks, 916-967-4331

Snooks Chocolate Factory is where I go after a heavy meal, before a movie and to buy last-minute gifts for friends and family who live out of town. I’m a sucker for their Truffles. The mango habañero flavor is particularly dynamite (in a good way). $2.25 each; 731 Sutter Street, Folsom, 916-985-0620

 I always make sure to save room for the Doughnut Holes at Sienna Restaurant. Served with a trio of dipping sauces—Jack Daniel’s crème anglaise, chocolate and raspberry—they’re little bits of heaven and the sweetest ending to a memorable meal. Oh, and forget a glass of milk with this dessert; the Vanilla Old-Fashioned is the only beverage you’ll need. $9 (dessert), $12 (cocktail), 3909 Park Drive, El Dorado Hills, 916-941-9694

I’ve tried more than 15 poke restaurants in recent months and Fishology Poke Bar has the freshest ingredients and most generous portions around. You can’t go wrong with any of their made-to-order Poke Bowls, but my favorite combo is with sushi rice as the base; salmon, yellowtail and tuna for protein; and, to top it off, crab salad, edamame, green onions, mango and spicy mayo. I could eat it every day! $11.95 (small), $13.95 (large); 2784 East Bidwell Street, Suite 400, Folsom, 916-587-1899

 The Thai Seafood Fat Pot at Fat’s Asia Bistro is like a treasure hunt of flavors—with its layers of seafood and veggies in a rich red curry coconut broth that’s full of spicy goodness—and always my go-to order. An area institution for over 75 years, the quality of Fat’s ingredients, friendliness and knowledge of their staff, and warm and inviting atmosphere cannot be overstated. And if you haven’t been to their Happy Hour, then you haven’t been to Happy Hour! $16.25; 2585 Iron Point Road, Folsom, 916-983-1133

Steak Fajitas are always a good call, but especially when dining at Cascada. Tender, flavorful beef is served sizzling hot alongside a plentiful helping of sautéed onions and peppers, cilantro rice, black beans, guac, sour cream, pico de gallo and fresh tortillas. To really get the fiesta going, order the ridiculously delicious Cascada Margarita. $12.25 (fajitas), $11 (cocktail), 2222 Francisco Drive, El Dorado Hills, 916-934-0800

I urge you to try Land Ocean New American Grill’s Creamy Blue Cheese Dip with their house-made potato chips. It’s been called “incredible” and “delightful” by my companions, and will make your taste buds sing. Give the pomegranate Special K Martini a go, too; made with house-infused orange vodka, it’s a pretty sight and even tastier sip. $10 (dip), $10 (martini); 2720 East Bidwell Street, Folsom, 916-983-7000

 Take a seat at the communal bar at Samuel Horne’s Tavern and cozy up with folks and a beer from near and far. I tend to go with the refreshing and light Allagash White Ale to pair with an order of Blue Cheese and Bacon Fries. The laid-back atmosphere will comfortably keep you there for the entire evening. $6 (pint), $6.75 (fries); 719 Sutter Street, Folsom, 916-293-8207, 

What a wonderful world we live in—one where you can pair cheese, nuts and chocolate together. Yum! The Baby Bleu Silk at The Chocolate Architect is like nothing I’ve ever had. The dark chocolate, blue cheese and toasted pecans make for a magical mouthful. $1.50 each; 250 Palladio Parkway, Suite 1335, Folsom, 916-966-9006

Asian Bistro is my family’s favorite for Chinese food. Their service is quick and friendly, their food hot, and servings plentiful. We typically order the General Chicken, Beef Broccoli, Chow Mein and Honey Walnut Prawns; it’ll leave your wallet happy and belly full! $9.50 (chicken), $8.95 (beef), $6.75 (chow mein), $10.50 (prawns), 2222 Francisco Drive, Suite 200, El Dorado Hills, 916-933-0260

The Spicy Sriracha Shrimp Tacos at Folsom Tap House feature sriracha-glazed prawns, grilled pineapple salsa and pickled onions in fresh corn tortillas. The spice from the sriracha pairs perfectly with the grilled shrimp and sweet pineapple. For healthier eaters, they’re a great choice. $7.95, 25005 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 140, Folsom, 916-292-5711

While the California Roll might at times be considered boring or “safe,” when you find a good one, there’s nothing like it. My go-to is at Suishin Sushi. It truly is perfection, which—in a world of California Rolls—speaks volumes! Plus, the price is right. $5.75; 194 Blue Ravine Road, Folsom, 916-985-8885

 The Oolong Milk Tea with Pearls at Gong Cha features oolong tea as the base, which is unusual (most establishments use Ceylon) but works in all kinds of wonderful ways with its delicate floral aroma and buttery notes. I love how they allow you to customize the sweetness and ice cube level, too! $3.25 (medium), $3.75 (large); 24988 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 108, Folsom, 916-790-8766

 Repeat after me, Huachinango; now say Mariscada. Good—you just pronounced the names of two of the best Mexican seafood dishes you will have anywhere on the West Coast, and they’re available at local favorite Mexquite. Huachinango is made with red snapper and shrimp, sautéed with mushrooms, jalapeños, onions and tomato sauce. Mariscada is grilled fish, shrimp, mussels, clams and calamari sautéed with onions, tomatoes and mushrooms. Both are served with cilantro rice and black beans. Never thought of ordering seafood like this at a Mexican restaurant? Do it—you’ll be so happy you did! $17.49 (huachinango), $18.49 (mariscada); 25095 Blue Ravine Road, Folsom, 916-984-8607 

 All the pastries—mainly European-style delights—at Julian’s Patisserie and Café are mind-blowing (they make everything from scratch), but the Chocolate Praline Eclair is to die for. Even my fussy husband who is against sugar, especially desserts, loves Julian’s—now that is a challenge! Be sure to call ahead, however, as pastry selections change daily. $6.25, 6610 Folsom-Auburn Road, Suite 7, Folsom, 916-936-4735

The Combination Soup at Pho ABC features an addictive, aromatic broth that’s always served piping hot. The Combination includes all the essentials of pho, as well as tender tendons (my fav!). Doctor it up with the accompanying herbs and veggies (Thai basil, bean sprouts, lime juice and jalapeños) and a squirt or three of srirachi and hoisin sauce, then dig in! $7.50 (small), $8.50 (large), $9.50 (extra-large); 602 East Bidwell Street, Folsom, 916-817-8588

Nothing Bundt Cakes offers 10 flavors as well as seasonal special flavors, but my all-time favorite is the delectable White Chocolate Raspberry Bundlet. The moist, fluffy cake with a swirl of raspberry and hint of white chocolate melts in your mouth and leaves you wanting more! $4.49; 2793 East Bidwell Street, Suite 200, Folsom, 916-984-4383, 

For a light lunch that’ll fill you up without bogging you down, the Koo Koo Roo Salad at Coffee Republic is always a good choice. Each forkful brings new textures and excitement, thanks to berries, cucumbers, candied cashews, apples, feta cheese and a tangy raspberry vinaigrette. For a punch of protein, add chicken, tuna salad or bacon (always a winner!). $10.35 (+$2.50 for protein), 6610 Folsom-Auburn Road, Folsom, 916-987-8001

I’d never had Sicilian-style pizza until a recent trip to Dominick’s NY Pizza and Deli, and now there’s no turning back. One bite of their Sicilian Cheese Pizza, and I was hooked. Cut into squares with a thick, crispy, olive oily crust that’s golden-brown on the outside and airy on the inside, with marinara sauce so good you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful and fresh-shredded melty mozzarella, it’s worth adding to your food bucket list. $3.25 (slice), $21.95 (whole pie); 187 Blue Ravine Road, Folsom, 916-351-0900

 No one does garlic-anything better than The River Thai Cuisine. Order the Garlic and Pepper, which comes with your choice of meat, tofu or veggies (I always opt for chicken), all tossed in a black pepper gravy with crisp golden pieces of whole garlic in it. Yes, it tastes as good as it sounds! $10.95, 424 East Bidwell Street, Folsom, 916-983-7388