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Arriving in Stockton, CA at Midnight... Any Suggestions?

My GF and I are driving up to Stockton from the Pasadena area Tuesday night and we'll probably arrive around midnight. We'll be staying at the Stockton Grand Hotel, but I'm not sure what is good to eat around that area at that time of night? I've read some other threads and Cocoro and Saigon sound like good restaurants, but I'm sure they're not open late.

We'll also be around for breakfast & lunch on Wednesday, any recommendations for that "downtown" area? Asian cuisine (we're Vietnamese but we love Japanese as well) is preferred, although any local favorites would be great.

Might want to mention that this is my first post on the Chowhound forums and my first visit to Stockton :-) Nice to meet everyone!

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  1. tonicart, welcome to Chowhound! I used to spend a lot of time in Stockton.. It seems to me the place "buttons up" pretty early. There is an area where there are Vietnamese restaurants; some of those might open late. I am not familiar with the Stockton Grand. If you could post a street name or cross streets, I would be happy to check my maps and see what I can find in the area. Looking forward to seeing you on the board!

    7 Replies
    1. re: dimsumgirl

      Thanks for the warm welcome! The Stockton Grand is just of the 5, exit March. 2323 Grand Canal Blvd. if you're interested. We're actually going up there for an appointment over near the Port of Stockton and the Weber Point Events Center. It looks like a pretty exciting place with the waterway and parks.

      We may end up just sleeping and waking up in search of a grand breakfast :-)

      1. re: tonicart

        I usually stay on the opposite side of I-5 from where you are going to be. Ricepad turned me on to a great Greek restaurant at the Lincoln Center just north of March Lane at Benjamin Holt and Pershing. In that same center is Sho Mi, a quick type of sushi place. You order at the counter and pay (cash only) when ordering and they bring you your food. Others have posted positive reviews about Cocoro but I haven't been there yet.

        1. re: dimsumgirl

          That Greek place isn't in Lincoln Center, but is about four blocks north of Lincoln Center on Pacific Avenue. It's called "Papapavlos", and it's still there and still good.

          [edit] Also, Lincoln Center is not on Benjamin Holt and Pershing...it's about half a mile east of that intersection on Ben Holt, between Gettysburg (?) and Pacific.

          1. re: ricepad

            Thanks for the corrections, ricepad. I know that you know the area well and could steer tonicart in the right direction. I love that Greek place but could not remember the name or the details.

        2. re: tonicart

          Maybe some of the locals can recommend a breakfast place. The place where I stay includes breakfast so that is not something that I have looked for in Stockton.

          1. re: tonicart

            I don't know anything about Saigon that you mentioned in your originall post but toodie jane found a pho place that she mentioned recently that I have added to my list of places to try. It is also not far from where you are staying. Here's an excerpt from her reply to me in another thread about Pho Lucky:

            "noodles and the lemonade is out of this world on a hot day. Fresh limes, sugar, water and ice. Aunties in the kitchen."

            And here is the link to Sho Mi that I mentioned earlier.

            Pho Lucky
            8034 N El Dorado St, Stockton, CA 95210

            Sho Mi
            419 Lincoln Center, Stockton, CA 95207

            1. re: tonicart

              I have yet to try it, but Chuck's is billed as a great "locals' hangout" for breakfast. It's probably about three miles from your hotel. It's on Pacific Avenue in the Marengo Shopping Center, at Swain Road. Fair warning, tho...the local PBS station just featured Chuck's in a recent 'road trip'-type show, so it may be a little busy.

              The Port and Weber Point Events Center are in the downtown area (not all that close to the hotel, but not too far, either, at least by LA standards). My favorite Vietnamese restaurant, Le Kim's, is close to the event center, and is in the former lobby of a motor hotel. Talk about a hole in the wall...but really good food, too (631 N. Center Street).

              The best Chinese restaurant in town is Dynasty Seafood Restaurant, in Lincoln Center South (Benjamin Holt Drive at Pacific Avenue), and is across the street from Sho Mi. Do NOT go to Dave Wong's (really close to your hotel) or On Lock Sam (on the southern end of downtown) unless you want heavily Americanized Chinese food.

          2. I neglected to search the Hotel's website... it yields a great list including some of the restaurants we have been talking about :-)


            2 Replies
            1. re: tonicart

              (I guess I should have read the entire thread...)
              Yen Du *is* good for Northern Chinese.
              Ernie's on the Brickwalk may be the best restaurant in town.
              Never been to Guidi's, but Michael's makes the second best pizza in town (in a three-way tie with his brothers, Rick and Eric, who also run pizza joints).
              Java Aroma is close enough to your hotel you can probably wear your jammies, and it's ALWAYS packed with college-age caffiends.
              Stockton Joe's is good but not terribly exciting...steaks and chops, mostly.
              Valley Brew always has good food and good beer...but if it's busy, they are SLOW.

              1. re: tonicart

                I have eaten at the Cancun restaurant that is noted on their website and liked it but I haven't tried the places mentioned by ricepad who is the area expert.

              2. Around midnight on a Tuesday, you're not likely to find much that is still open near your hotel, other than an In-and-Out or Jack in the Box. There's an Alberto's that should be open for at least drive-thru orders if you want San Diego-style taqueria food within a couple of miles of your hotel (corner of Yokuts and El Dorado Street).

                I posted some information on Chuck's for breakfast further down the thread. As for lunch, assuming you're going to be in the downtown area, there's a bit of variety. Xochimilco (35 South San Joaquin Street) is good Mexican food, altho greasy enough that I don't get there more than three or four times a year..but oh, so tasty! On the same block but around the corner is Yasoo Yani (326 East Main Street) for Greek food. Cancun is also good for Mexican (corner of Weber and San Joaquin). King's House (El Dorado at Market Street, across from the police station) is good for Chinese.

                1. So far I'm thinking Chuck's for breakfast, maybe Le Kim's or Sho Mi for lunch...

                  Are there any restaurants or attractions that any of you would label as "Must see" or "Must try"? We might have a few hours to explore Stockton after lunch :-)

                  Thanks for all the help!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: tonicart

                    "Must see/try", eh? I dunno...Stockton's greatest appeal is that it is CLOSE to a lot of things..two hours from the ocean/SF Bay Area, two hours from the Sierras and the finest skiing on earth, hundreds of miles of waterways in the Delta...but I can't say there's a whole lot *in* Stockton I'd classify as a 'must'. The local museum is great for local history (the caterpillar tread was invented in Stockton), and there's some really nice parks...and the arena is pretty fantastic (the locals think).

                    As for restaurants, I would strongly recommend wandering around the downtown area (from, say, Miner to Market and from El Dorado to about California), and follow your nose. I know there's a lot of mom & pop 'hole in the wall' restaurants that do really great food...but as it's been years since I was downtown during the daytime, I can't recommend anything reliably.

                  2. I don't know the hours, but go to Cocoro... greatest sushi my husband and I have ever had, and we have traveled a lot. Love it!

                    1. Toot Sweets in Stockton is fun for breakfast and lunch - though not in downtown.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: glbtrtr

                        Maybe not downtown, but it's right across from their hotel!

                      2. We ended up eating at Le Kim's, because I didn't bring the directions/address for the other restaurants -- i figured I could use the hotel's advertised free internet access, but it was not free... I would not recommend the hotel, although we did get it for the price of a decent motel room... We randomly drove by Le Kim's and I recognized the name :-)

                        We didn't really have much time to explore, since we were up there for "business" reasons and it took 5 hours to get there :-(

                        I had the Hu Tieu (wide noodles with pork, shrimp, clear broth) and my GF had Bun Bo Hue (beef noodle soup with chilies & lemongrass). Not bad for a Vietnamese place in Stockton, which from what I could gather on a Wednesday morning/afternoon was pretty sterile -- except for the bums.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: tonicart

                          That particular hotel has been through several different brands over the years...it started as a Hilton, but has also been a Ramada and Holiday Inn, and the latest announcement was that it was going to be a Hilton again, but before Hilton would take it, it needs some work.

                          I guess I should have steered you away from the soup (I never think of soup when I go there)...Le Kim's soup is OK, but there are better Vietnamese soup places in town.

                          1. re: ricepad

                            Yea, I saw some renovation signs... I'm an 4th year Architecture student, so I especially did not appreciate the hotel's accomodations :-) The website makes it to look a LOT better than it was.

                            1. re: tonicart

                              Trust me...it was ugly when it was NEW.

                              1. re: tonicart

                                The web site ALWAYS makes them look better than they are... come to think of it, this usually goes for the food, too.