Culinary Schools in Sacramento, CA: Culinary Arts & Cooking Colleges

Culinary Schools in Sacramento

While Sacramento's culinary scene is overshadowed by nearby San Francisco, the city has plenty of interesting historical influences that give it a unique vibe. Sacramento was nicknamed "The Big Tomato" because of its canning industry dating back to the Gold Rush, with tomatoes being the best-known canned good. California's capital is ethnically diverse and its landscape is dominated by rivers and farmland. It's also more affordable than the Bay Area and other places along the California coast.

With tons of museums, interesting history and a quirky downtown area, Sacramento has a lot to offer culinary students. During the Gold Rush, Sacramento was founded as a trade hub on the way to the goldfields, and it's since developed into a strong farming town. In fact, more almonds are grown in Sacramento than anywhere else in the country. Since it's a state capital, it's no surprise that many businesses are located here -- more than 27,000 in total, including more than 1,500 restaurants. If you are thinking about studying culinary arts, you might enjoy attending one of the culinary schools in Sacramento.

Famous Sacramento restaurants and food festivals

Sacramento may not be known for Michelin-starred restaurants, but that's not to say that culinary treasures don't abound here: you might just have to dig a little bit deeper. One of the important trends in Sacramento dining is the locavore movement, which makes sense given that the city is located in an important agricultural area. The city's annual Farm-to-Fork festival happens in September and features food and wine vendors from the region -- and admission is free. Food trucks are also a big part of the foodie scene in Sacramento. If you're new to the area, be sure to check out the Sacto MoFo (Sacramento Mobile Food) events, which produce street food events all year long.

In terms of specific restaurants, allow us to introduce you to three long-time Sacramento favorites:

  • The Club Pheasant: This casual Italian family-owned eatery offers a legendary garlic steak sandwich that locals rave about. The fried ravioli are also not to be missed. It's also historic: the original building dates back to 1912 and was originally used by the University at Davis.
  • Ella Dining Room and Bar: This stylish and trendy restaurant with high-end fine cuisine focuses on the locavore movement and features farm-to-fork cooking. It's located just one block from the State Capitol and has a lovely outdoor area.
  • The Press Bistro: This charming bistro with outdoor sidewalk seating is only open for dinner, drinks, and tasty Spanish-style tapas. Part Italian trattoria, part French bistro, The Press also features an 18-foot community table where diners can share both their Mediterranean food and stories.

Sacramento culinary arts career outlook

Careers in the food industry are typically more in-demand in large metro areas, and California is no exception. Many of the entry-level jobs in the culinary industry show growth that's at or above the average growth of all jobs nationwide (around 11 percent). Let's start off with data for the entire state of California as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:


Total Employment in California (2014)

Average Salary in California (2014)

% Job Growth in California (2012-2022)





Butchers and Meat Cutters




Chefs and Head Cooks




Food Service Managers




Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014, and Projections Central

The BLS tracks data for Sacramento and the adjoining areas of Arden-Arcade and Roseville, but it does not track data specifically for Sacramento. Please see below for the data from that area:



Total Employed (2014)

Average Salary (2014)





Butchers and Meat Cutters



Chefs and Head Cooks



Food Service Managers



Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Now the only question remaining is: Which one of the culinary schools in Sacramento will you attend? Have a look at the list below, which we have compiled to make this decision a bit easier for you.


  • Ella Dining Room and Bar:
  • California farms lead the way in almond production, Los Angeles Times, David Pierson, January 12, 2014
  • Farm-to-Fork Festival,
  • May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics,
  • May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA,
  • Quick Facts About Sacramento:
  • Sacramento Mobile Food Events,
  • The Big Tomato, Midtown Sacramento and Beyond, William Burg, March 11, 2011,
  • The Club Pheasant,
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This list also contains online schools that accept students from Sacramento

Other Sacramento, California Culinary Schools

School Name Programs Offered
American River College Culinary Arts/Hospitality Management