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Chico--Food options near campus?

I'll be attending a conference next week at the state university in Chico. Could anyone recommend some good dining options within walking distance of the campus? I'd *really* be interested in any good bakeries, BBQ or pizza places. Thanks a lot!

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  1. Pretty much the entire downtown of Chico is within walking distance from the campus. That said, since it will probably be about 120 degrees out, Upper Crust, which is a bakery/cafe close to campus is good. Jasco's on 3rd and Broadway has good gourmet-style pizzas (assuming its still there). Its been a few months since I have been up to Chico, but there has always been alot of choice for dining in the downtown core area where the campus is. Just make sure you find a place with air conditioning...

    1. When our daughter spent her five years at Chico State (including the teaching credential she never used), Woodstock's was her "pizza-of-choice" and she also worked there for a couple of years. She was always impressed by the freshness of the ingedients. They are on East 2nd, right near the campus.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Midlife

        Woodstock's is pretty good (it was a staple of mine while I was going to Chico State) but I would classify it as college-student fare (where quantity is more important than quality). Jasco's has more of a grown-up, "I don't have to save my quarters for laundry anymore" vibe...

        Another downtown cafe that uses very fresh foods is the Redwood Forest, on 3rd street between Main and Broadway. They are mostly open for lunch and used to do a few dinners on weekends.

        1. re: jennyo

          I'd vote for Redwood Forest. I'm a Chico grad and visited again a few months ago and found RF to be as good now as it was when I lived there nearly 30 years ago.

      2. My favorite lunch spot is Teaz Me located at 250 Vallombrosa - a short walk from campus. They have yummy wraps and deliciously refreshing tea. For dinner, there are lots of options downtown. My favorite "nice" dinner spot is still Red Tavern on the Esplanade - about a six or seven block walk from campus.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Tam

          Teaz Me while having a very short menu,
          is in a very nice setting.

          Close enough to walk from downtown
          and away from the college influence that dominates
          almost everything.

        2. I'd say just to go the Bear (Madison Bear Garden), practically on campus. The A/C is blasting. Get a Bear Burger an ice cold beer. That is the true Chico experience. The menu is not fancy, but the food is always good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Hoss

            This is another favorite. Also hasn't changed at all but is still fun.

          2. Upper Crust is a great rec. Its on Main St between 1st & 2nd.

            Jascos is now called Broadway Heights. I believe its the same owner, different name. I haven't been there for a couple years but their sandwiches were good.
            There is also a Greek place downstairs in the same building that has decent gyros. Jon & Bon's Frozen yogurt is also in the same building(the Phoenix building).

            Smokin Mos BBQ is also downtown on Brodway between 1st & 2nd. My DH like this place but I find it pretty hit or miss. Sandwiches are good though. I believe there is also a Kinder's BBQ on 2nd & ? across from campus. I think its where Woodstocks used to be if someone wants to chime in on the st name. I know nothing about that place.

            Also right across from campus on the corner where 1st dead ends is Celestino's Pizza. Thin New York style pizza, good for a quick slice. Totally different from Woodstocks but I like them both.

            Please report back and enjoy your trip.

            1. I've also heard about, (but have not been to)the thai place down town across from tres hombres (don't eat at tres... it is not good). I think it is call "a thai place" or "a thai house" that I heard is owned by the original owner of chada thai, which used to be fabulous. no one has tried it or posted, that I know of. but if the rumors are true, you might want to give it a try. under the original ownership, chada thai used to be fantastic.

              also, downtown is aca taco, good for a huge, taqueria style burrito. (caveat: tasty, but still college student fare but with the bonus of having cheap sierra nevada on tap).

              also, though a few blocks from the campus, but still doable as a nice later evening walk... go down to schuberts. they have great ice cream... plus its totally a neighborhood place, lots of folks, walk over for a evening treat. I still think about their "brown cows" (blended rootbeer float). they also have "chico mint" ice cream (ask for a sample) and really great, house made buttermints. mmmm.

              oh yeah, and as a previous poster mentioned.. "the bear" (madison bear gardens) is fun.. as I recall, they have pretty good hot wings you order by the bucket (or maybe that was just the beer talking).

              and if you're there on a saturday, you can walk to the farmer's market. the peaches should be awesome by now.

              1. Ahhh...Downtown Chico! What an experience! People watching at its finest!

                1) Pizza ~ Woodstocks...fresh, tasty, we like the Mt. Lassen.
                2) Madison Bear Garden is an interesting experience...burgers are always good...and with these temps outside...cold beer is a MUST!
                3) Kinder's is found via a parking lot at 2nd and something right across from the campus, I want to say Normal perhaps. Fabulous BBQ; beats Smokin' Mo's.
                4) Thai ~ Choices! Thai House, Chada Thai and House of Bamboo are all easy access from CSUC. I can vouch for Chada, and have heard good things about Bamboo House, but my favorite Thai is in Oroville.
                5) Paradise Grill ~ Inside Panama's Bar and Grill...don't get distracted by the various "teas" they offer...the food is reasonable and good.
                6) Ditto on the farmer's market...Thursday evening as well as Saturday. Lots of street vendors with nummy noshes.
                7) Japanese-Thai fusion...or Sushi...The Rawbar. Just plain YUM. Their BBQ pork ribs are heavenly. Nibble or gorge...good either way.

                If it's just too darned hot, there's Shuberts as already recommended, and Coldstone Creamery. Starbucks is the best vantage point for watching the world go by!

                1. Hi,
                  Thanks for all the recommendations--they vastly improved my time in Chico! While in town, I managed to hit up Upper Crust, Broadway Heights, Woodstock's, Madison Bear Garden and Smokin Mo's. Upper Crust has great pastries, and the open air seating was nice (at least in the morning). Broadway Heights was weird--the gourmet pizza was great, but the service left a little to be desired. One of my companions ordered soup, and was given the soup, but no spoon. He then had to wait twenty minutes for a spoon because they were all "in the dishwasher." I've never had that happen before... Woodstock's was a relaxing place; the pizza was great and the atmosphere was conducive to having fun. There weren't many undergrads around when I was there, mostly conference attendees. Madison Bear Garden definitely has some, uh, eclectic interior design going on. The burgers were worth the trip though. Smokin Mo's was surprisingly good for a BBQ joint in California. I live in NC, and wouldn't say it compared well to southeastern 'cue, but it was the best BBQ I've had in the Western US. I'd give it a solid C if it was in NC. Thanks again for the recommendations--I really enjoyed exploring the culinary scene in Chico!