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Restaurants in Sacramento: Review of Squeeze Inn - the Best Burger in Northern California

This article was written as a response to the question:
What are some dining options in Sacramento, California? Where to find the best burger in Sacramento? An introduction to Squeeze Inn, locals' dive.

Sacramento boasts a number of great restaurants, from great dives to fine dining options, keeping the city on the radar of many foodies.  Popular restaurateur and Food Network personality, Guy Fieri, even has two restaurants in the city.  His Food Network show, Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, featured one of Sacramento's best dives and the place to get a great burger - the Squeeze Inn.  This tiny place has been serving some big burgers to loyal fans for over 30 years now, receiving a number of awards and accolades from local television stations and magazines. 

The "Squeeze with Cheese"

The signature menu item is definitely the "squeeze with cheese" burger ($5.80) which is a 1/3 lb burger served on a sesame seed bun with mayo, mustard, tomato, lettuce, pickles, cheese, and onions.  I was not entirely sure what the squeeze with cheese was all about, but it came highly recommended so I ordered one.  Needless to say, I was instantly hooked by this bubbling skirt of cheese.  The cheese skirt is the key element on this burger, which is the result of some creative cooking methods.  After the burger is cooked, the cook then places a plentiful mound of cheese and the bun atop the grill.  A few ice chips, cover, and viola - crispy cheese skirt! 

© Erin De Santiago 2008

I have not tried any of their other menu items besides the burger and fries, but they feature other options including hot dogs, various sandwiches, and even a veggie burger.  If you tend to be like me where your eyes are bigger than your stomach, I would highly recommend splitting the burger and then sharing a large order of fries. 

Although I would not classify myself as a burger connoisseur, I have many friends who are and they think the Squeeze Inn serves one of the best burgers around.  For the size and quality, I would definitely say it's a good deal, especially if you end up splitting one with a friend. 

Visiting the Squeeze Inn

Be wary, the name of the restaurant is indicative of not only the size of the restaurant, but the parking lot as well.  The original Sacramento location features just a few parking spots and posted warnings all over about being towed if you park in front of neighboring businesses.  Do not tempt fate as the neighboring businesses are serious about having violators towed.

Squeeze Inn in Sacramento, California

© Erin De Santiago, 2008

The Squeeze Inn got its name due to the fact patrons literally have to squeeze in to enjoy their food.  The main area features just twelve barstools, with some limited seating options outside behind the building.   During peak times, the wait can be up to an hour to order and get your food, so they recommend calling in your order if you can.  I did not call in my first time and it was rather hectic, even at 3:30pm on weekday afternoon. Why the tiny location you might ask. The building is actually the old entrance to a waffle house that was located there many years ago!

Squeeze Inn Locations

I have only visited the original Sacramento location but they have two other ones you can check out, which might alleviate some of the crowd and parking issues.  Personally, I think the original location, albeit it tiny, has an atmosphere you are not likely to find at the other locations.  There is one definite advantage to the new Galt location though - they serve breakfast, so their operating hours are longer than the original Sacramento one.  Here are the three Squeeze Inns located in the Northern California area:

  • Sacramento (original location): 7916 Fruitridge Road, (916) 386-8599, Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-4pm, closed on Sunday
  • Galt (new location): 545 Industrial Drive, (209) 745-4313, Tues-Thurs 7am-7pm, Fri 7am-8pm, Sat 7am-6pm, closed Sunday and Monday
  • Napa (franchise location): 3383 Solano Avenue, (707) 257-6880, Mon-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat 11am-7pm, closed Sunday 

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Comments (2)
Billie Jean Pearson

Would like to work for Squeeze Inn,new one soon to open in Roseville!

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