Chico’s got a small-town vibe with big-city flavors

New in town? Considering moving to Chico? Or are you just curious about the area’s eats? Here’s the good news: you don’t have to road trip it to the Bay Area to find internationally-inspired restaurant options. As Chico locals know, we’re fortunate enough to have our own slice of foodie heaven right here. It’s easy to take a gastronomic trip around the world, without the traffic. Just like everything else in Chico, high-quality nosh is a 15-minute drive (or less) away. 

Chico is a culinary destination 

Whether you’re coming from a different county or just heading down from the Ridge,  it’s worth making a pilgrimage to this mecca of good eats. Why? For starters, it’s the kind of place where you can have an Italian breakfast, a Brazilian lunch, a Thai dinner, and then round it off with a late-night snack at a Mexican food truck.

Image courtesy of Upper Curst Bakery.

TV-famous fare abounds in this fair city

It’s not just enthusiastic residents who cherish our beloved eateries. The show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives found fodder in our city worthy enough to enthrall nationwide television audiences. Breakfast hot spot Sin of Cortez, the legendary Upper Crust Bakery, and pub-fare fave The Banshee were some of those featured. 

The food scene fosters diversity 

One of the best parts about our city is how supportive it is of diverse food establishments. It’s easy to explore other cultures’ cuisines, whether it’s at a halal smokehouse, a Vietnamese Bistro, or a Korean food truck. Dreaming of a goat curry spicy enough to make you weep burning tears of tastebud joy? You can find options at one of our local Indian joints, plus other delicacies from Thai, Jamaican, Japanese, and more. 

Dine on unusual and divine desserts

If you’ve got a sweet tooth with an ache for something different, you’re in luck. Remedies can be found for any kind of alt dessert snack attack here, too. Got a hankering for a vegan s’mores ice cream in a gluten-free waffle cone? Chico (and Savor Ice Cream) has got your back. Want to cool down with a Boba Tea? There’s a handful of Boba Tea spots in town offering everything from honeydew to jasmine versions. Finally, while Stoble Cafe is renowned for its coffee, they also serve craveable desserts like gluten-free chamomile-almond cake and oatmeal peanut butter cup cookies. 

Image courtesy of Rawbar.

Local restaurants get frisky with fusion 

Want to try some cutting-edge cuisine blurring the lines between cultures? Start your journey at Asian fusion powerhouse Rawbar downtown. For over 20 years, this gem has been turning out specials like bibimbap and staples like poké packed with a riot of flavors running from umami to sweet citrus. Close on their heels is relative newcomer Momona, bringing their own unique West Coast version of Asian-Pacific cuisine to Chico. Local suppliers of pork and fresh ramen noodles meet house-made sauces, pickled items, and broths, making for an ultra-fresh multicultural meal featuring ramen, bao buns, and more. 

Food trucks offer a moveable feast

Both locals and visitors alike appreciate the grub hubs on wheels roaming around Chico. Our food trucks not only provide some unique chow, but the option to eat al fresco. These dine-n’-dash vehicles for vittles have become so popular, some brick-and-mortar places like Smokin’ Mo’s BBQ even have their own food trucks on the go. And if you want to explore a smorgasbord of options in one place, check out one of Chico’s food truck festivals like Fork in the Road

Find new flavors during Restaurant Week 

Want a fun way to try out some of these restaurants, but aren’t sure where to start? Luckily, restaurant week is coming up. From Friday, March 24 through Sunday, April 2, 2023 you can experience “the bounty of Butte County” by going to participating local establishments and asking for their Restaurant Week special. Choose from $20 and $30 plate offerings, along with the “Wildflower Special” new to the roster for 2023. Get ready for a culinary safari and explore the globally inspired, high-quality, and diverse food types here. It’s just one of the many reasons to Choose Chico