HIGHWAY 5 NORTH ●CHICO
Shubert’s Ice Cream & Candy 178 E. 7th St./Main St. On a hot summer day in Chico, nothing beats an ice cream cone. Family-owned since 1938 and now a town landmark, this shop dispenses to-die-for housemade ice cream and candies. There’s no place to sit inside, but get a cone--consider a simple Chico mint, a Mount Shasta (chocolate ice cream with coconut and marshmallow swirls), or a fabulous Turtle (caramel ice cream with pecans and chocolate swirl)--and then sit on a bench out front, just licking lazily and watching the world go by.
Sierra Nevada Taproom & Restaurant 1075 E. 20th St., just W of Hwy. 99 at 20th St. exit. This renowned brewery is the country’s seventh largest. Its stylish taproom and restaurant are situated inside a large room accented with polished copper and gleaming wood. The brewpub’s modestly priced menu includes its famous Pale Ale and other housemade beers (a sampler is available) as well as deliciously executed items such as beer-battered fish & chips and a hamburger. More exotic fare includes an Asian noodle salad and an assortment of wood-fired oven pizzas with chi-chi toppings. In nice weather, the outside patio is primo and the perfect place to try a milkshake made with the brewery’s own malt. Mustards and malt vinegar made with house beers make good souvenirs.
●Free guided brewery tours are available for age 12 and older.
image courtesy of venue
Thursday Night Market Broadway/3rd St., downtown. For this weekly event, the streets are lined with vendors displaying handmade goods and farm-fresh produce, and shops and restaurants stay open later than usual. Children’s activities and entertainers provide diversion for everyone.
Tres Hombres Restaurant 100 Broadway/1st St., downtown. Popular with students, this restaurant serves a selection of Mexican items in John Bidwell’s former storehouse and office. In a large, open, brick-walled room with comfy booths and roomy tables, this happening place’s menu offers the expected as well as more imaginative items such as tequila-lime paella and pasta. The excellent fajitas dish is large enough for two people with average appetites to share. A cheeseburger is an option, and margaritas come in many styles, including non-alcoholic fresh-fruit versions.
image courtesy of venue
Upper Crust 130 Main St. Delicious sandwiches, salads, and soups are made from scratch at this friendly spot. When available, the club sandwich special made with garlicky aioli sauce and honey oat bread is a must. A case loaded with pastries, cupcakes, and sometimes even a salad plate-sized, vanilla-frosted snickerdoodle cookie--not to mention a selection of coffees--are also options. All this and attractive local art hangs on the walls, too.