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READERS’ PICKS c O n t i n u e d

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Local restaurant Oroville

2nd PLACE: Crush 201 broadway, 342-7000 3rd PLACE: Sicilian Cafe 1020 main St. 345-2233

Local brewery Regional (Butte/ Glenn/Tehama) 1st PLACE: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. 1075 e 20th St., 893-3520 2nd PLACE: British Bulldog Brewery 14540 camaren park drive, 892-8759 3rd PLACE: Feather Falls Casino Brewing Co. 3 alverda drive, Oroville, 533-3885

1st PLACE: The Steak House gold country casino, 4020 Olive Highway, 538-4560 When you call yourself The Steak House, one can only assume you do at least one thing right—steak. That is an understatement at this swanky restaurant on the fifth floor of Gold Country Casino. Everything is good here, whether you order the double venison chops or the crab-stuffed prawns. Hungry yet?

2nd PLACE: Tong Fong Low 2051 robinson St., 533-1488 3rd PLACE: Feather Falls Casino Brewing Co. 4020 Olive Highway, Oroville, 538-4560

Local coffee/tea house Local winery - Regional (Butte/Glenn/Tehama) 1st PLACE: Naked Lounge Coffee House 118 W. Second St. 487-2634 At the Naked Lounge, the baristas take coffee and tea seriously. Want a matcha tea latte with almond milk and honey? Sure thing. How about a Mexican mocha or kombucha? Coming right up! Fancy drinks aside, the espresso and ground coffee are always topnotch, and with friendly staff and an inviting environment, who could ask for more?

2nd PLACE: Bidwell Perk 664 e. first ave., 899-1500 3rd PLACE: T. Tea Bar & Fusion Cafe 250 Vallombrosa ave., 895-8100; and 555 flying V St., Ste. 1, 809-1545

Local restaurant Chico 1st PLACE: 5th Street Steakhouse 345 W. fifth St., 891-6328 At 5th Street, you’re special. Just by virtue of being there, you’re treating yourself—or being treated. And that’s fantastic. Whether you’re grabbing a few drinks and appetizers during the restaurant’s bustling happy hour, sitting down for a romantic dinner for two or enjoying a group event in the banquet room, 5th Street has you covered. And then some.

2nd PLACE: The Pour House 855 east ave., Ste. 270, 893-3000 3rd PLACE: Japanese Blossoms 2995 esplanade, Ste. 104, 891-9022

Local restaurant On the Ridge 1st PLACE: Black Bear Diner 5791 clark road, 877-0877 Black Bear Diner keeps hungry Ridge residents well-fed and ready to go back for more. They rave about the all-day breakfast, the ginormous burgers and fast, reliable service. And at a reasonable price, who wouldn’t keep going back?

2nd PLACE: Ikkyu Japanese Restaurant 5225 Skyway, 876-1488 3rd PLACE: Casa de Paradiso 5667 clark road, 877-4107

1st PLACE: New Clairvaux Vineyard 26240 Seventh St., Vina, 839-2200

The Abbey of New Clairvaux is worth a visit on its own. The impressive architecture and the ambiance of the abbey, where Trappist-Cistercian monks reside and lovingly tend the grapes, offers an experience unlike any other in the region. Add to that the delicious wines crafted by fifth-generation winemaker Aimée Sunseri and you’ve got more than a few things to cheers.

2nd PLACE: La Rocca Vineyards 12360 doe mill road, forest ranch, 899-9463 3rd PLACE: Almendra Winery and Distillery 9275 midway, durham, 343-6893

Locally produced food Regional (Butte/ Glenn/Tehama) 1st PLACE: Live Life Juice Co. 220 broadway, 566-3346

2nd PLACE: Broadway Heights California  Cuisine 300 broadway, 899-8075 3rd PLACE: Spiteri’s Deli 971 east ave., 891-4797

Mac and cheese 1st PLACE: The Banshee 134 W. Second St., 895-9670 The mac and cheese at the Banshee is, quite frankly, off the hook. Order it with bacon (because, well, why not?), and jalapeños if you like it hot. Then wait for the magic to happen. Before you’re done with your Moscow Mule, you’ll be presented with a piping-hot bowl of goodness, with the cheese lovingly baked on top. The Banshee also took home honors for Best Munchies, so, if you can bear it, go ahead and try something else on the menu (the fish tacos are killer!).

2nd PLACE: Hudson’s Gastropub 2760 esplanade, 636-4562 3rd PLACE: Truck-a-roni Various locations, 514-3531

Munchies 1st PLACE: The Banshee 134 W. Second St., 895-9670 2nd PLACE: B Street Public House 117 broadway, 899-8203 3rd PLACE: Aca Taco 133 broadway, 894-0191; and 1000 W. Sacramento ave., Ste. d, 343-0909

New restaurant

(opened in the last year) 1st PLACE: Parkside Tap House 115 W. third St., 636-4239 Parkside Tap House opened over the summer and became an immediate hangout for the fun-loving downtown crowd. The reasons are plenty. For one, the ambiance is undeniably cool. The huge bar in the middle of the dining room that extends onto the spacious patio is enough to bring people in. Then add an eclectic menu focused on small plates and upscale pub grub, and you’ve got a recipe for a winner.

Mexican cuisine

2nd PLACE: Crepeville 240 main St., 809-0042

1st PLACE: La Hacienda 2635 esplanade, 893-8270

3rd PLACE: Urban Fresh Fuel 301 main St., 487-7165

If you can believe it, La Hacienda has been serving up delicious, lovingly prepared Mexican food to Chicoans for nearly 70 years. The food is reliably good and portions are big. Diners keep going back for the tasty margaritas, the hearty quesadillas and, well, don’t get us started on the house secret sauce. Yum.

2nd PLACE: Casa Ramos 216 W. east ave., 894-0119; and 2490 fair St., 893-5050 3rd PLACE: Sol Mexican Grill 3269 esplanade, 342-4616

Patio 1st PLACE: The Pour House 855 east ave., Ste. 270, 893-3000 The patio at the Pour House is something to behold. And it’s not hard to miss, either, as it takes up the entire corner where Cohasset Road meets East Avenue. When there’s a big game, this is definitely the place to be, as the Pour House’s gigantic projection screen ensures everyone has the best seat in the house. Throw in a fire pit and killer food and drinks from inside and you’re set!

2nd PLACE: Tres Hombres Long Bar & Grill 100 broadway, 342-0425 3rd PLACE (tie): B Street Public House 117 broadway, 899-8203 3rd PLACE (tie): Burgers and Brew 301 broadway, 879-9100

Pizza 1st PLACE: Farm Star Pizza 2359 esplanade, 343-2056 Farm Star Pizza, “where the farmer is the star.” That’s the eatery’s motto, and it’s won the hearts and stomachs of Chicoans, that’s for sure. With gourmet pies topped with locally sourced veggies and meats, handtossed and baked to perfection—yeah, we get the draw here.

2nd PLACE: Celestino’s 101 Salem St., Ste. V, 896-1234; and 1354 east ave., 345-7700 3rd PLACE: Woodstock’s Pizza 166 e. Second St., 893-1500

Sandwich 1st PLACE: Spiteri’s Deli 971 east ave., 891-4797 There are sandwiches and then there are sandwiches. Spiteri’s does ’em all right. With a deli counter where patrons can order meat and cheese by the pound right next to the sandwich counter, where they create magic on a bun, it’s no wonder it’s a Chico favorite. With a wide selection of salads and other sides to choose from, it’s a great place to pop in for lunch.

2nd PLACE: Fast Eddie’s Sandwich Shop 1175 east ave., 342-8555 3rd PLACE: Kona’s 965 nord ave., 894-1635; and 138 main St., 893-4344

Live Live Juice has flourished since launching about three years ago. Initially, sisters Abigail, Angelina and Autumn Rasmussen sold their cold-pressed juices and wellness shots only at the farmers’ markets, but customers came to count on the cleansing and immunity-boosting benefits of their products (Angelina calls it “juice therapy”) and they were successful enough to quit their day jobs and open a brick-and-mortar shop. Now we can get a juice infusion any day of the week!

2nd PLACE (tie): Lundburg Family Farms 5311 midway, richvale, 538-3500 2nd PLACE (tie): Maisie Jane’s 1324 dayton road, 809-2374

Lunch 1st PLACE: T. Tea Bar & Fusion Cafe 250 Vallombrosa ave., 895-8100; and 555 flying V St., Ste. 1, 809-1545 Chicoans often gravitate toward healthy food choices, so it should come as no surprise that year in and year out, T. Tea Bar & Fusion Cafe takes home the honor of Best Lunch in town. The choose-your-fusion menu makes it easy—pick a bowl or a wrap, a protein and a grain or salad and, voilà! Add a delicious tea from the extensive menu, pick a comfy spot to settle in with your date and you have a perfect midday meal. Gordo Burrito



OctOber 12, 2017