. . . Rated “Best of the Best” by the readership of the Auburn Journal Newspaper.
San Francisco Examiner
“Top 10 stops on Interstate 80 between the Bay Area and Reno/Tahoe!”
San Francisco Chronicle
Here are a few comments from Yelp! fans:
“So good we stopped again on the way home. There’s so much to love:
1) The Atmosphere: Moose heads on the wall, a roaring fireplace, even a live pianist on Friday night. Heaven.
2) The food: The soups are out of this world (loved both the butternut squash and clam chowder). The salads are huge (best Cobb I’ve ever had). And you can’t go wrong with any of the entrees.
3) The beer: Really good selection of Belgium, Microbrews and lambics.
4) Prices: Very reasonable, especially the beer.
I will never drive down I-80 without stopping here. Enjoy!”
~ Aaron F., San Francisco, CA
“Bootleggers is a great restaurant. I’ve lived in Auburn all my life and i had never eaten here.My friend Bob suggested we stop by because of their steak specials,and I’m a huge fan of the steak.We walk in and it was quite busy,but we only waited five minutes for a table. I ordered a pear cider at the bar before we were seated.Looked over the menu,listing a wide range of entrees and a full page of appetizers.
I decided on the New York strip steak,and Bob decided on the seared ahi tuna.We also ordered the escargot as an appetizer. My steak was delicious,it was juicy and cooked perfectly. The green beans were tasty but the mashed potatoes were a bit dry, not creamy.It almost tasted like it was instant mashed potatoes. Bob’s lightly seared ahi tuna was really good. Cooked perfectly and the green tomato compote added a nice touch.
We both decided on the New York cheesecake. Oh my gosh it was sooo good.The cream cheese wasn’t too rich or over-powering and it came with a raspberry sauce drizzled on the plate and a dusting of powdered sugar. We ate every last graham cracker crumble. Delicious. I’ll definitely come back for dinner in the near future.”
~ Patricia S., Auburn, CA
“We have a rule when traveling, no fast food and no chain restaurants, no exceptions. We were lucky enough to stumble into this great place and were immediately impressed with the fresh purple flowers on every table, the roaring fireplace and the soothing piano player.
The food was excellent. Fresh bread was served with soft butter. OH ordered Sea Bass with pineapple salsa. It had a “kick” to it but he loved it as well as the rice and veggies. I ordered the fillet and couldn’t believe how incredibly tender and lean the meat was, I could actually cut it with a fork. We saved room for dessert and enjoyed the warm brownie topped with vanilla ice cream. It was good, a little dry so I would probably order something different the next time.
The atmosphere was excellent which made this a much more special meal than we had anticipated. I would go here again and again if I lived in the area so we’ll have to settle for whenever we come back to visit our relatives.
One last note, our experience was made even better because our server, Debbie made sure we knew about how long our food would take. We relaxed and had such a great time.
And we will definitely be back!”
~ Debra G., Laguna Niguel, CA
“Bootlegger’s is the best restaurant between San Francisco and Tahoe.
Great food, charming atmosphere in old town Auburn (with a fireplace), great deck (you can even bring your dogs), first-rate service and fantastic wines. I can’t say enough good things about Bootlegger’s. Among my favorites: the Cobb salad, the sweet potato chips, the fish tacos, the Thai chicken salad and more. Plus the servers are among the friendliest and the most on top of their game in the business. Bootlegger’s is a must if you’re travelling to Auburn.”
~ David L., San Francisco, CA
“How great is it to find a gem of a restaurant right in your own backyard?!
I’d driven by Bootleggers dozens of times, but for whatever reason, I had never dined there. A friend was recently raving about the place, so when I had some relatives come in from out of town yesterday, I immediately thought of Bootleggers. SO glad I did. My family was VERY impressed as was I – I had to hide my own surprise.
Bootleggers may not look like much from the outside, but you are transformed to an old European tavern once you walk through the doors. From the ambience (VERY warm and cozy) brought about by the dual facing Old English fireplace to the dark woods and attention-to-detail decorations to the incredible staff to the even more incredible food selection, this place is tops on my list now for Sac area/gold country restaurants.
Once you look around and see the decor and the white table clothes and think, “THIS is in Auburn??”, you are struck by how friendly and attentive the staff is. If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you’ll know that I can’t stand to be ignored at a restaurant (like most of us, I’m sure) and I really appreciate staff that is attentive, but not bugging the crap out of you.
The staff was extremely knowledgable (knew the details of the specials and menu without reading it), very attentive, friendly and were overall just a pleasure.
We had the most delicious clam chowder – secret ingredient is smoked applewood bacon…holy crap – and one of the specials was a pork quesadilla that was the tastiest thing I’ve had in a LONG time. My niece and nephew are picky eaters, but they both practically cleaned their plates…no small accomplishment, believe me.
Do yourself a big favor and order the fish tacos. You take a bite and your brain says, “What the heck is in there that makes it so freaking delicious??” Answer: Jalapeno sauce and a layer of melted pepperjack cheese between the two tortillas!!
Can’t wait to come back here as I had to stop the waiter from reading off the specials and menu highlights because each item sounded incredible. I already have my sights set on their fish dishes, oysters, roasted garlic, skirt steak and bacon wrapped filet…wow.
Bottom line is that I had lunch and didn’t have dinner because we were so freaking stuffed from our meal. This is a place where you starve yourself for two days before, knowing you’re going to stuff yourself silly.”
~ Eddie M., Grass Valley, CA
“Nice stop on the way to Tahoe. Just had a very nice lunch there. Ate on their outdoor patio. Server was very prompt and friendly.
Food was really tasty. We had the calamari appetizer which was cooked just right. Tasty for sure.
They have a full menu with regular size meals, and then smaller meals. Almost like a tapas place.
Anyway, we had the tri-tip sandwich, shrimp salad, and the fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Downright great meals. Nice wine selection.
Overall, very lovely, and I would definitely return.”
~ John G., Los Gatos, CA