What I love about Northern California is it’s never a far drive to find different scenery and climate. Tired of the heat in the valley? Head to the bay area or up the mountains for a day trip. Wanna see snow? It’s also just a short drive into the mountains. For me, Auburn is a nice little small town, hilly getaway from the Sacramento area for an easy and fast drive for cooler climate, hilly scenery, and a fun and historic downtown and old town for shopping and dining.
On an active corner of downtown Auburn, you’ll find Nectar Cafe, a casual, but classy restaurant with a welcoming patio that serves vegan and vegetarian dishes.
Inside is both classy and vibrant featuring art from local artists, color, and a clean dining area. My first trip to Nectar Cafe for a vegan meetup in 2013 was magical and they’ve come a long way since gaining popularity and evolving the menu.
Along with great food, they serve beer, hard ciders, and wine to enjoy often while taking in the perfect weather on the patio, maybe live music, or just watching life pass by the downtown intersection.
One dish hubby might be slightly addicted to is the Tempeh Reuben – grilled tempeh, house made sauerkraut, rye bread, with herbed cashew cheese.
The blend of flavors and textures make it a perfectly satisfying treat.
But they also do salads amazingly well like this Buffalo Cauliflower Salad which pairs cauliflower “wings” over a loaded salad with tangy dressing and avocado.
I rarely order salads when eating out because I make so many at home, but this was still a unique treat with crisp veggies, kicky cauliflower, and creamy dressing.
The menu at Nectar Cafe offers a range of healthy, gluten-free, oil free dishes to more comfort food options like the Beyond Burger, huge wraps, and decadent desserts to please a range of diners and cravings. Prices are more casual dining while the atmosphere and beverage options feels more like fine dining making it great for a meetup with friends, post-hike lunch, date night dinner, and break while driving to a camping trip.
Nectar Cafe is a must for great vegan dining in the greater Sacramento area and a popular participating restaurant in the Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge. There are so many ways to make Nectar Cafe part of a fun adventure located between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe with great shopping, entertainment, and hiking near by. Check them out: