Sacramento Travel Guide

Bar Beer Wine

Nightlife in Sacramento is vibrant if you know where to look. Stay in Downtown or Midtown. This is where most tourists are anyway. The upscale clubs and lounges tend to be on or near J Street. Directly across from the Capitol grounds is the Park which is the premiere Sacramento nightclub. The dress code and cover charges tend to be stiff.

Just around the corner is the Capitol Garage which typically has guest DJ's on Saturday and a $5 cover in a laid back atmosphere. On K Street, you'll find Marilyn's, a really cool underground bar in the heart of downtown which showcases local live music talent.

Nearby is the Crest Theater, an independent historic movie theater that boasts art deco design. In the summer you can catch the French Film Festival here as well as the Trash Film Orgy, an all-night spectacle of old B movie flicks where locals gather in their cheesiest costumes.

On most days of the year, however, the Crest is the place to catch foreign and independent films as well as traveling stand-up comedy and music acts. On 16th and R Street. you'll find the popular bar R15. This is a trendy bar/restaurant (Cafe Bernardo is attached) that has an urban industrial feel. Despite being trendy the prices are very affordable with $2 Pabst on tap and $1 pool tables. They also boast couches and big screens where you can play x-box for free with a couple of friends.

R Street corridor offers Shady Lady Saloon, R15 Bar, and restaurants.

Another popular club is Mix Downtown with stiff cover charges and dress code as well, but Mix attracts an older crowd than District 30 and less pretentious crowd than the Park. On 10th and S Street, you'll find the popular indie-rock venue Old Ironsides. Local and traveling indie-rock talent showcase their music here. Every Tuesday you can catch Lipstick, a popular indie-rock dance party where you'll find mostly hip Midtown locals. Every first Saturday of the month you can catch After Dark which is like Lipstick only on a Saturday so it attracts a more varied metropolitan crowd.

The Press Club on 21st and P Street is popular with the college crowd with its $5 cover charges and cheap $3 24oz. of Pabst. It's known for playing 80's dance music and the best nights to go are Wednesdays or Thursdays as it is a small club and, on weekends, gets unbearably overcrowded.

The Depotcorner of K and 20th downtown.Gay-friendly video bar, two coin-op pool tables, covered smoking area.
FacesCorner of K and 20thFaces is a popular gay-friendly club. Pricey cover, but the good strong drinks can quickly make up the difference. Recently renovated, Faces has now doubled in size with an upstairs and a pool in the back! Plays R&B on video floor and House on other dance floor.
The Merc20th & L streetThis is a gay-friendly bar to go to get your night startedcheap, big, strong drinks!
Club 21On 21st, between K and L streetsA gay-friendly establishment. It is 18+ Wednesday nights, which happens to be the only gay male night. Same owner as Faces, however generally plays upbeat, dance tunes. Other nights are predominantly lesbian nights.
Sac Badlandscorner of K and 20th downtown.This a gay-friendly club and is an offshoot of Badlands in San Francisco. It has three stories and an outdoor patio.
Benny's21st and QCasual and often-crowded dive not far from midtown. Large back area provides extra room. On busy nights, a bartender will operate in back as well. Great place for drinks, and the Mexican food next door is a popular after-the-bar stopoff.
Streets of London18th and JTrendy "upscale dive" right in the heart of Sac's midtown nightlife. Not really big enough to compensate for its popularity anymore. Drinks are average range. Quieter with a more laid-back vibe on weeknights. Worth a stop, but not exactly an institution.
Pine Cove29th and EClassic dive, possibly the best in Sacramento. Has gotten massively popular on weekends, but manages not to become unpleasant or lose its "divey" feel. Decently priced. Darts and pitchers make for a laid-back time. Avoid the popcorn machine; rumors abound about its level of sanitation. Karaoke two nights a week draws quite a crowd.
Blue Cue27th and JTerrific bar with an upscale sports-bar feel mismatched with its unbeatable prices on food and drinks; nightly specials keep savvy locals coming back. Billiard tables rented hourly. Most major sporting events will be played (or, the staff is laid-back enough that they will change the channel upon request). The food, made in the kitchen of the delicious downstairs restaurant, is leagues away from typical "bar food". Drink prices are average, but the specials can and will yield incredible deals.

source: Wikivoyage

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