Readers’ Picks

Goods and services

Best nursery/ garden store

1. Zamora’s

2. Lowe’s

3. Growing Grounds, Little Red Hen and Mendon’s (tie)

Best hardware store

1. Collier

2. Lowe’s

3. The Home Depot

Best place to buy a new/ used car

1. Wittmeier

2. Chuck Patterson

3. Chico Volkswagen

Best new/used record store

1. Tower

2. The Underground

3. Melody Records

Best place to buy flowers

1. Farmers’ Market

2. Jan’s Custom Flowers

3. Christian & Johnson

Best bike shop

1. Pullins Cyclery

2. Sports LTD

3. Campus Bicycles


Photo By Tom Angel
ARC Thrift Store

Best thrift store

1. ARC

2. Salvation Army

3. Thrifty Bargain

Best home furnishings store

1. Austin’s

2. Ashley’s

3. Black Sea Gallery

Best men’s clothing store

1. Men’s Wearhouse

2. Trucker

3. Gottschalks

Best women’s clothing store

1. Lulu’s Fashion Lounge

2. Artifax

3. Gottschalks

Best video game store

1. Best Buy

2. Hollywood Video

3. Blockbuster

Best place to buy shoes

1. Gigi

2. Heel and Sole

3. Payless Shoe Source

Best bookstore

1. Barnes & Noble

2. The Bookstore

3. Lyon Books

Best hair salon/ barbershop

1. Blondie’s

2. Wild Cuts

3. Supercuts and Club for Hair (tie)

Best place to buy outdoor gear

1. Sports LTD

2. Mountain Sports

3. North Rim Adventure Sports

Best place to buy musician supplies

1. Herreid’s

2. Sound Source

3. Music Connection

Best antiques store

1. Eighth and Main Antique Center

2. Victorianna

3. ARC

Food and drink

Best takeout

1. Windy’s

2. Hula’s Chinese BBQ

3. Egg Roll King

Best burger

1. Burger Hut

2. Nobby’s

3. Madison Bear Garden

Best place to get ice cream

1. Shubert’s

2. Jon & Bon’s

3. Coldstone Creamery

Best pizza

1. Celestino’s
2. Woodstock’s

3. Left Coast Pizza


Photo By Tom Angel
Upper Crust Bakery

Best bakery

1. Upper Crust

2. Mim’s

3. Great Harvest Bread Co.

Best hot dog

1. Zot’s and Costco (tie)

2. Scrappy Dog

3. Crazy Dog and The Dog House (tie)

Best taco truck

1. Tacos Tonaya
2. Crazy Taco

3. El Paisa (2nd and Nord)

Best Asian food

1. Happy Garden

2. Rawbar

3. Turandot

Best Italian food

1. Sicilian Cafe

2. Italian Cottage

3. Olive Garden and Franky’s (tie)

Best Mexican food

1. Casa Ramos

2. Tres Hombres

3. El Patron

Best lunch

1. Grilla Bites

2. Pluto’s

3. Quizno’s Subs

Best low-carb meal

1. None; shouldn’t have this category

2. Pluto’s

3. Subway

Best breakfast

1. Morning Thunder Café

2. Sin of Cortez

3. Italian Cottage and Golden Waffle (tie)

Best fine dining

1. Christian Michael’s

2. Red Tavern

3. Black Crow and Fifth Street Steakhouse (tie)

Best coffee house

1. Naked Lounge

2. Bidwell Perk

3. The Bean Scene

Best new restaurant (within the last year)

1. Pluto’s

2. JP’s Fish and Chop House

3. Pita Pit and Spice Creek Café (tie)

Best diner

1. Jack’s

2. Cozy Diner

3. Morning Thunder

Best cheap eats

1. La Comida

2. Taco Bell

3. Aca Taco

Best restaurant overall

1. Black Crow

2. Sierra Nevada Taproom and Restaurant

3. Fifth Street Steakhouse


Best bar

Photo By Tom Angel

1. Duffy’s Tavern

2. LaSalles

3. Black Crow

Best place to dance

1. LaSalles

2. Crazy Horse Saloon

3. Madison Bear Garden

Best place to hear live music

1. LaSalles

2. Sierra Nevada Big Room

3. Concerts in the Park

Best bartender

1. Mike Stearns/WHERE?

2. Dan Valdez at Black Crow

3. Corrie Walker at LaSalles

Best D.J.

1. D. J. Feist-E

2. Nate Johnson

3. Tim “Buc” Moore

Best jukebox

1. Duffy’s Tavern

2. JB’s

3. U-Bar and Normal St. Bar (tie)

Best local band

1. Red With Envy

2. Thirst

3. Pub Scouts

Best theater company

1. The Blue Room

2. Chico Cabaret

3. Shakespeare in the Park


Best health club

1. In Motion Fitness

2. Fit One Athletic Club

3. Chico Sports Club

Best place to get wet

1. Bear Hole

2. Bidwell Park

3. In Motion Fitness


Photo By Tom Angel
Oak Way Park

Best outdoor basketball court

1. Oak Way Park

2. Rotary Park

3. Chico Junior High

Best softball diamond

1. Hooker Oak Park

2. 20th St. Park

3. One-Mile

Best bike trail/path

1. Upper Bidwell Park

2. Lower Bidwell Park

3. No clear winner



Photo By Tom Angel
Trader Joe’s (not)

Best rumor

1. Trader Joe’s is coming

2. Macy’s is coming

3. Underground Chinese tunnels

Best local scandal

1. Marsh Junior High Principal Jeff Sloan vs. superintendent and school board

2. City Council refusing to appoint Coleen Jarvis replacement

3. Baby born, dies in sorority house

Best personality

1. Newscaster Rob Blair

2. Late City Councilwoman Coleen Jarvis

3. City Councilman Dan Nguyen-Tan

Best thing about Chico (besides the people, park and trees)

1. Downtown

2. weather and farmers’ markets (tie)

3. Chico State University

Best public art


2. “The Hands” at City Hall

3. Fish fountain and 3rd and Salem parking structure (tie)

Best charitable cause

1. Jesus Center

2. Boys & Girls Club

3. Big Brothers Big Sisters

Best local TV ad

1. Guy Rents—"Adventures of Rental Guy”

2. Feather Falls topless convertible giveaway

3. Gate’s Resale/Miller Glass (tie)


Photo By Tom Angel
Iraq war protest

Best protest

1. Against the war in Iraq

2. Anti-hate, anti-Nazi

3. Against Chico school board