Best of the Burbs: Best of Elk Grove writers’ picks

SN&R’s writers dig into the coolest spots in the greater Elk Grove area

Michael and Lynette Beckner prove you can shop and cure cancer at the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop.

Michael and Lynette Beckner prove you can shop and cure cancer at the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop.


Best vintage finds for a good cause

American Cancer Society Discovery Shop

The way Macklemore & Ryan Lewis would have it, a trip to the local thrift shop is likely to net you a fly-ass leopard coat and some seriously stank sheets. Anyone who's shopped at one of the American Cancer Society Discovery Shops, however, knows that secondhand can still mean high-class. We're talking well-organized and clean—void of funky smells and cloying dust. The spacious Elk Grove location, in particular, boasts a great selection of furniture and clothes. Its vintage section is especially often stocked with reasonably priced great finds like pristine Mad Men-era coats; floaty hippie-chic dresses; and gorgeous, antique turn-of-the-century linens. 8470 Elk Grove Boulevard in Elk Grove, (916) 685-7449, R.L.

Best arcade fever

Pins N Strikes

If you're feeling nostalgic for the endless hours and quarters spent at the local arcade as a kid, then prepare to re-establish those joystick-caused hand calluses. Elk Grove's Pins N Strikes promises the ultimate in old-school gaming fun. The largest bowling and entertainment facility in the Sacramento region, this cathedral of blue-collar fun boasts 40 bowling lanes, a full restaurant with 11 high-definition flat-screen TVs for sport-watching enthusiasts, two bars for your imbibing pleasure and more than 100 boxy arcade games. And if you want to start your own dance-dance revolution, a deejay and live musical performances will aid and abet your listening and booty-shaking pleasure. So lace up those bowling shoes and grab a stack of quarters—game on! 3443 Laguna Boulevard in Elk Grove, (916) 226-2695, L.H.

Best chili-dog themed pool tourneys

Bob's Club

You see that nondescript, beige building with the American flag and tacky neon sign out front? That's Bob's Club. Who's Bob? We don't know. But this building has been standing since the 1870s. And you need to get in there this instant. Order a cocktail or one of the many beers that tattooed manager “Veto” has stocked behind the bar, commandeer the jukebox and shoot some stick for the perfect night in this charming little dive. Hell, if you're worth anything around a pool table, make sure to come down Wednesdays for the buy-in pool tournament or Sundays to try your luck at 9-ball. It's clean fun and one of our favorite reasons to make the trek to Elk Grove for the night. 9039 Elk Grove Boulevard in Elk Grove, (916) 685-2064, D.K.

Best jailhouse basketball

Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center

There's a chilling noise resonating from a hollow husk of a building just beyond sparkling double-gates hedged under cursive barbed wire: It's laughter. Laughter in a jail. A mess of Sacramento County inmates are gabbing and chortling as basketballs drill the polished hardwood floors inside the gymnasium at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center, which is where the county sends anyone doing a year or more of local jail time. This vast blockade of buildings, tucked inside an even vaster expanse of pristine Elk Grove farm country, is more like a bucolic state-prison penitentiary than a rock-and-steel jailhouse. Oh, sure, there's plenty of rock and steel. But there's also basketball. And sometimes, if you show up at the right hour, laughter. 12500 Bruceville Road in Elk Grove, (916) 874-1927, R.F.H.

Best sushi slump buster

Yoshi Japanese Restaurant

Stuck in a sushi rut? Tired of the oversauced, over-the-top rolls beaten into ubiquity by every other sushi joint? Luckily, Yoshi Japanese Restaurant has a refreshing take on the raw-fish scene. Boasting such decadent dishes as ButaBara Don (a succulent slab of pork belly atop a fluffy cloud of rice) and taiyaki ice cream (a fish-shaped cake stuffed with vanilla ice cream and red bean) makes Yoshi an innovative alternative to some of the mainstays in Japanese cuisine. With hundreds of delectable bites to select from and a menu that boasts both traditional and inventive dishes, Yoshi’s is the cure for that sushi rut. 9174 Franklin Boulevard, Suite D in Elk Grove; (916) 391-6822; L.H.

Best truck-stop joe

Mr. Perry's

We all love fancy brunch spots—souffléed this and bacon-stuffed that—but sometimes all you need to kick the day off right is a really strong cup of coffee, hearty eggs and slabs of toast so thickly buttered they'll leave permanent grease marks on your insides. Mr. Perry's, a truck driver's delight located off Highway 99, is just that kind of no-frills joint. Nothing froufrou here—just generous, tasty portions, cheap prices and mind-altering coffee. Lunch is also reportedly a good option (think classics, such as chef's salad, chicken-fried steak, et al.), but really, why mess with a sure thing? 7820 Alta Valley Drive, (916) 423-2140. R.L.