Discover El Dorado County’s Best Bites

Discover El Dorado County’s Best Bites

The Food Network’s “Best Bites in Town” highlighted several can’t-miss restaurants in Placerville. But Placerville isn’t the only spot in El Dorado County serving up incredible eats. Take a road trip with us to uncover hidden gems that meet the rigorous and delicious “best bites” requirements.

Buckle up, grab your favorite stretchy pants (trust us, you’ll need them), and let’s get exploring!

El Dorado Hills

The Foothills boasts several notable restaurants worth splurging on. Milestone Restaurant & Cocktail Bar is home to bottomless mimosas, a to-die-for 60-Day Dry-Aged Angus Cheeseburger, and top-notch service. If the Fried Green Tomatoes are in season, don’t miss out!

Nearby Sienna Restaurant boasts a varied menu that’s truly a fusion of flavors. From a Salmon BLT to Kung Pao Calamari and Ahi Tuna Nachos, dishes offer a global tour minus the long-haul flight. You’ll also find a robust gluten-free menu here.

Cameron Park

As you head east along Highway 50, Cameron Park’s Papa Gianni’s Ristorante gently beckons with mouthwatering traditional Southern Italian dishes. Its low-key location in a strip mall doesn’t belie its popularity. Come with an appetite, as portions are generous, and prices are reasonable. Reservations are recommended.

El Dorado

How can the iconic Poor Red’s Bar-B-Q NOT be on this list? Originally opened over 75 years ago when Poor Red won the roadhouse and bar in a game of dice, it was restored and reopened in 2016 by three locals who created a menu that honors its history (with killer BBQ and its famous Golden Cadillac cocktail) while embracing modern cuisine (see Chef Dean’s weekly fish specials).


Pure Gold Vine Bistro emphasizes farm-to-fork cooking, featuring produce from local farms 24 Carrot Farm, Rockney Farms, and Forest Floor Farming. It’s a great lunch spot during a day of wine tasting and offers dinner and Sunday brunch service. The Codzilla Kaiju Sandwich and the Shrimp Mango Salad are top picks.


Historic Main Street has many terrific restaurants (see: The Food Network). One we love is The Independent Restaurant & Bar, owned by the same family behind the former Heyday Café (IYKYK). With an emphasis on creative menu items and clever cocktails, it’s an ideal spot for date night or meeting up with friends for its full-value happy hour menu. Our favorites include the house-brined pork tenderloin and the spicy grilled cheese. We’ve written about the Basil Martini before and will repeat it here – it’s THAT good!

Say you’re in the mood for something a bit more casual but want to surprise your palate. Let us introduce you to Timmy’s Brown Bag. Foodies in the know recognize that this unassuming location delivers big on flavors and insouciance – in sandwich form. Think spam + kimchi, potsticker cheeseburger, and Timmy’s take on the Bánh mì. Come with an appetite and an open mind, and you won’t be disappointed.


Typically, food offerings in state parks are minimal. Not at Marshall Gold Discovery State Park. At the Argonaut Farm to Fork Café, you can enjoy carefully crafted lattes, hearty sandwiches, and a wide variety of baked treats. The café partners with neighboring Bee Love Farms, which composts its kitchen waste and produces organic heirloom greens, tomatoes, and fruit for the restaurant. 


Georgetown Distillery and Restaurant is a distillery specializing in small-batch, hand-crafted spirits. It boasts a restaurant and bar featuring unique cuisine and cocktails located in a historic town. Enjoy cocktails like a classic Manhattan or Bordeaux sour made from its craft spirits, and take a bottle home with you!


If you’re the type that believes the best meals are found in gas stations, you’ll want to put Tropics Island Grill & Ale House at the top of your list. Behind another unassuming façade, you’ll find genuine Hawaiian fare like poke, spam musubi, and Kalua pork. Favorites include the poke nachos, Paniolo burger, and Hawaiian mixed plate.

Do you prefer your pork schnitzel? Head to the Forester Grill Haus in the heart of Camino. A long-time tradition, the Forester’s new Old World Bavarian menu and remodel make it a trip to Germany without the jet lag. Enjoy authentic dishes like hendl schnitzel, jaegerschnitzel, weinerschnitzel, and schweinebraten, to name a few.

Pollock Pines

Another long-time restaurant reinvigorated with new ownership, 50 Grand Restaurant and Bar features hearty traditional fare like chicken-fried prime rib, wedge salad, hot artichoke dip, and vegan and vegetarian fare. Enjoy a full bar with creatively named cocktails, including Gin E Sais Quoi, Caveat Emptor, and Oldie Blood a Goody.

Top photo courtesy of meetsweetcalifornia on Instagram.

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Community Events Calendar

July 19, 2024
The Martian Chronicles
July 21, 2024
8:00 am El Dorado Hills Certified Farmers' Market
11:00 am Mimosa Sunday
July 23, 2024
6:00 pm Live Music at Smith Flat House
July 24, 2024
Meyers Mountain Market
REGISTER NOW: 2024 Youth Summer Camps - June 3 to Aug 2, 2024
REGISTER NOW: 2024 Youth Summer Camps - June 3 to Aug 2, 2024
4:00 pm Main Street Farmer's Market
5:30 pm Wednesday Wine and Dine at Starfield Vineyards