After five years in the making, the week-long Bacon Fest returns Jan. 25 and brings with it a lot of happy Sacramentans eager to pig out.
What started as a three-day weekend event has transformed into an all-out, multi-restaurant celebration of all things bacon with events that include chef competitions, dinners, happy hours, lunches, brunches, bus tours, cocktail battles, and even a Kevin Bacon tribute night.
With just a few days to spare before day one of the fest, some events are already sold out, including new-this-year events Bacon & Beer Bus Tour and a Bacon & Butter first-ever dinner (which sold out in less than 90 minutes). The Cocktail Battle at Bottle & Barlow is also a newbie event this year with eight local bartenders putting their craft to the test at the bacon-esque cocktail competition.
Hook & Ladder will be offering a Saturday brunch like no other with nearly 20 menu items that include fried bacon and banana french toast, bacon wrapped chimichanga with scrambled eggs, pork belly hash, and Pommes Anna with spicy bacon tomato marmalade. Need a drink on the side? Try the pepper-bacon bloody mary or bacon-proof coffee.
That’s just a sampling of the bacon-themed creativity put on display by local restaurants that, in addition to those already mentioned, include Grange, Selland’s, Old Ironsides, Tank House, Shady Lady, Samuel Horne’s Tavern, LowBrau, The Golden Bear, Formoli’s and more.
The big kick-off event takes place on Monday, Jan. 25 at Empress Tavern with a pork-infused menu and a competition between former Bacon Fest champions Ian MacBride (Lucca), Kelly Hogge (Magpie), and Brad Cecchi (formerly of Grange). The bacon festivities continue through Sunday, Jan. 31.
Proceeds from the festival benefits the Center for Land-Based Learning, a nonprofit that teaches California’s youth about the importance of agriculture and natural resource conservation.
Here’s a list of all the events taking place during Bacon Fest week:
Bacon Fest Opening Night at Empress Tavern
Jan. 25, 6pm-10pm; Empress Tavern, 1013 K Street
Formoli’s Bacon Fest Dinner
Jan. 25, 6pm-9pm; Formoli’s Bistro, 3839 J St.
Bacon Fest Happy Hour at the new Magpie
Jan. 26, 4pm-7pm; Magpie, 1409 R Street; $25
Bacon & Butter Bacon Fest Dinner (Sold Out)
Jan. 27, 6pm-9pm, Bacon & Butter, 5913 Broadway
Bacon Fest Cocktail Battle at Bottle & Barlow
Jan. 28, 5pm-10p; Bottle & Barlow, 1120 R St., $3
The Baddest Bacon Happy Hour at The Golden Bear
Jan. 29, 4pm8pm; The Golden Bear, 2326 K St.
Kevin Bacon Tribute Night at Old Ironsides
Jan. 29, 8pm – Jan. 30, 2am; Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St.; $5
Hook & Ladder’s Bacon Fest Brunch
Jan. 30, 9am-2pm, Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co., 1630 S St.
Bacon and Beer Bus Tour (Sold Out)
Jan. 30, 11am-6pm, Downtown Sacramento
Bacon Paella at Selland’s in East Sacramento
Jan. 30, 11am-2pm; Selland’s, 5340 H St.
Pangaea’s 5th Annual Bacon & Beer Night
Jan. 30, 5pm-9pm, Pangaea Bier Cafe, 2743 Franklin Blvd.
Raley’s presents the Fifth Annual Bacon Fest Chefs Competition (Sold Out)
Jan. 31, 2pm-6pm; Mulvaney’s, 1215 19th St; $50
Tweet and post your own bacon-licious photos with hashtag #BaconFest916.
Photo by Walter Hammerwold