Chico offers you so many different things such as amazing parks, trees that show every season, apartments and rentals you can make into a home, and best of all, places that make deciding what to eat difficult because everything tastes like heaven. Chico has everything from the hometown bakery to authentic Mexican to upscale restaurants and everything in-between.
When visiting a new town, do you decide to eat at the place you’ve heard of (undoubtedly a chain that shows up in every town) or do you decide to try out one of the local places? Local places not only offer up the ability to see what food the town has been enjoying, but they give you an insight into the character of a town. Each local place in Chico, California gives you an idea of who we are and what we value, which above all else is a sense of community.
If you aren’t sure which places you want to try, here’s a list of places that have our town smiling proudly.
Breakfast / Bakeries
From delicious breakfast plates to the mouthwatering baked goods, Upper Crust Bakery & Eatery is the destination of choice for those who call Chico home. When it comes to ordering cakes for a celebration they are one of the bests, especially if you don’t want to have any left overs when the party ends.
Cafe Coda is the place to go if you are looking for some good southern-style breakfast and French-press coffee that is always super fresh. For more of a diner-style breakfast that has quality food try your hand at Morning Thunder Cafe. They not only have that small diner feel, but also the amazing food that comes with any diner that has been open for more than 20 years.
Homemade bread is a time-consuming task, but when you don’t want to buy bread from the grocery store where can you grab some that is freshly made? Great Harvest Bread Company is your one stop shop when it comes to picking up a freshly made loaf of yummy bread, whether it is a multi-grain bread or something out of the box like their pesto pepper jack sourdough. While you’re in there grab a sandwich from their menu or build your own! Tin Roof Bakery is another great local stop for any bread, muffin, or pastry lover. They also have a great assortment of coffee and teas.
Lunch (or Dinner)
Tea Bar & Fusion Café has been a stand-out in Chico. With two locations, one located near downtown and one on the Southside of Chico (which just happens to be near our Forest Ave and Amanda Place apartments) you can enjoy a deliciously healthy meal. They have a chose-your-own menu for their bowls, salads, and wraps with different proteins and grains for you to choose from.
Sushi is well respected in our little town and there are several choices to choose from. Two of the best ones are Japanese Blossoms and Big Tuna Sushi Bistro. Both have an excellent selection of sushi that, depending on which way your chair is facing, is prepared right in front of you.
Burgers & Brews is the place to go if you want to enjoy an amazing burger with one of their 64 beers on tap. If the sun is shining bright you can enjoy your food on their patio and if it’s on the chilly side, you can sit yourself near the fire pit.
We take good pizza to heart in our town and Woodstock has always delivered. Their new location allows you to sit either inside or outside depending on if you want to feel the sun on your face. They even have 24 beers on tap, for those of you 21 and older.
Dinner (or Lunch)
The best part of the places listed under the lunch section is that they can also be great dinner places and vice versa. Let your stomach decide which place sounds the best and go for it.
Mexican food is near and dear to the hearts of people who call Chico home. We have so many different varieties of Mexican food, whether you want to be waited on at La Hacienda or order your food at the counter and have it brought to you at Sol Mexican Grill or you just want to go taco truck style with Gordo Burrito. You can also order at the corner and become your own waitress at La Comida a local favorite. No matter which way you choose to go we can promise you that you won’t be sorry!
Our downtown is filled with an assortment of different restaurants that have outstanding pub food. B-Street Public House is known for their trashy chicken tacos and one amazingly filling grilled cheese, each can be eaten solo, but if you feel like sharing, two people. If you are looking for award winning Mac and Cheese, then look no further than The Banshee. You have the choice of adding either: ham, bacon, or pastrami to make it even more delicious. La Salles was originally an old music dive bar, but you'd never guess that walking in. It's been completely reimagined to become a warm and welcome place to enjoy indulgent eats, creative cocktails, and local live music both inside and on their back patio!
Of course, you can’t forget the high-end restaurants for the days you just want a fancy meal that is worth the money. 5th Street Steakhouse is known for their namesake, a nice juicy steak with incredible sides. At the end of the meal, if you can find the room, we recommend ordering the dessert trio as it’s hard to pick between cheesecake, crème brûlée, and a brownie with ice cream so why not get a taste of all three? Crush is perfect for happy hour eats or sitting at a table with friends and family for a delicious Italian meal.
While there are so many other amazing places to eat dinner here in Chico, we'll end this part of our list with Sierra Nevada Taproom. The famous brewery originated in our little town and we are extremely proud to claim it as our own. When trying one of their many famous beers you can find in stores all over the country also make sure you order their amazingly delicious food that pairs beautifully.
Sweet Tooth Central
Chico has many places where you can satisfy your sweet tooth. For the best ice cream in town head to Shubert’s Ice Cream & Candy. They’ve been family owned for over 75 years and continue to make their products with local ingredients. If you’re more of frozen yogurt fan you can try Jon & Bon”s Yogurt Shoppe located both downtown on Broadway and on Mangrove with a third location on the Southside of town. Not only do they have tasty flavors, but they also have a really good selection of toppings to make your Froyo that much better.
For delicious gourmet cookies made daily check out The Cookie Shoppe - each day they have a different selection of large mouthwatering cookies. They also have gluten free and vegan cookies to choose from on a daily basis. Lastly, if you are looking for the traditional candy shop make your way to Sweet Chico Confections where they have nearly 5,000 different kinds of sweets, toys, and gifts for you to choose from.
People who call Chico, California home enjoy celebrating our local restaurants with love and recognition for the amazing food they serve us. Each year our Chico News & Review polls our town for the Best of Chico contest. 2020 Best of hasn't been released yet, but you can check out 2019’s Best of Chico Winners in all categories ranging from goods and services, food and drinks, health and wellness, and more. If you haven’t already figured out, Chico has a lot to offer the people who are lucky to call it home and those just visiting.
Want to call Chico, California home or looking to relocate in town? Check out our available rentals!