Best Bars At Sacramento International Airport

November 8, 2012 12:19 PM

Airport bar choices — it might seem like you don’t have any. Corporate chains and cheesy themes you say? Not anymore. HMSHost oversees the operations of most of the restaurants at the SMF airport. “HMSHost’s development team has created customized food, beverage and retail programs at 112 airports worldwide.” In the past 12 months, HMSHost has introduced locally established restaurants in 10 airports around the globe. Sacramento International Airport is one of those 10.

burgers brew Best Bars At Sacramento International Airport


Burgers & Brew
Terminal B – Air Side Post-Security

Burgers & Brew is a local go-to for, well, burgers and great beer. While its airport location may at first seem corporate and chain-like, it is a familiar place for locals to unwind before their journey. The beer selection is a bit limited with four draught beers on tap which change seasonally. Service is top-notch and the prices for food and drinks aren’t bad either (under $15). Food delivery (not including alcohol) at your departure gate is available through the HMSHost app “B4 You Board.” It is nice to see a local neighborhood establishment at the airport to greet you or send you off while traveling.

cafeteria 15l Best Bars At Sacramento International Airport


Cafeteria 15L
Terminal B – Air Side Post-Security

This restaurant is known for its “traditional dishes created with a twist to evoke the nostalgia and comfort of a home-cooked meal.” Open for lunch and dinner, stop in to enjoy a delicious meal. Cafeteria 15L’s menu items feature farm-to-table, fresh homespun creations. The bar service is exceptional. Marvelous cocktails abound at an affordable price. This is a much smaller version of the original downtown location but the cocktails are just as good.

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cocktails 2 Best Bars At Sacramento International Airport

(credit: Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

Gateway Bar
Terminal B – 3rd Floor Land Side Pre-Security

Gateway Bar is one of the only places to get a drink on the “land” side of the airport. If you are looking for an establishment to “get ‘er done,” this is the place for you. It serves as a great place to calm your nerves before flying with a few drinks. Gateway Bar is a bit more expensive than a local neighborhood dive bar but each drink is carefully crafted for your enjoyment. While it may seem a tad pricey, airport bars are not known for inexpensive cocktails. It is also nice to have a place to sit and spend time with a loved one before getting on that flight as most bars are past the security check point.

college beer Best Bars At Sacramento International Airport

(credit: Cate Gillon/Getty Images)

Home Turf Sports Bar and Grill
Terminal A – Upper Level Post-Security

Home Turf is the most promising dining choice in terminal A at the SMF Airport, unless you want fast food. The atmosphere is that of an ESPN sports show. With an upbeat staff, this is one airport bar that cares about the experience of its patrons. You can not only grab something cold to drink, you can also catch any games that happen to be on. While the bar is very casual, the staff is extremely professional.

esquire grill Best Bars At Sacramento International Airport


Esquire Grill
Terminal B – Air Side Post-Security

Esquire Grill is a breath of fresh air in the downtown Sacramento dining scene. Chef Kurt Spataro utilizes local goods with an amazing seasonal menu. Although the Sacramento Airport location of Esquire Grill has a limited menu, it showcases what the Paragary family of restaurants has to offer. The airport Esquire Grill provides an escape from the hectic nature of travel. Food delivery (not including alcohol) at your departure gate is available through the HMSHost app “B4 You Board.” There was a time not too long ago when you couldn’t get a decent meal at an airport. Places like Esquire Grill have raised the bar and the expectation level.

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As a hospitality professional Andy Soto has worked every facet of the industry. He currently leads the team at Spectrum Restaurant Consulting. He started writing a hospitality blog in 2009 and restaurant writing for Sacramento Press in 2010. In 2011 Andy became a Sacramento Restaurant Examiner for His work can be found on

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