Restaurants

It’s easy to have a great vegan meal when eating out with friends. More and more restaurants are adding vegan items to the menu, and many chefs are happy to prepare a custom dish if you ask for one.

Ethnic restaurants are a great option to explore. Indian restaurants offer savory stews and curries made with lentils, beans, potatoes, and vegetables. Italian restaurants have a variety of pasta dishes and salads. Thai restaurants serve noodle, curry, and mixed vegetable entrees, usually available with tofu. And Mediterranean restaurants carry falafel sandwiches and vegetarian platters. Several fast food and restaurant chains also serve vegan dishes – visit our Fast Food page for a detailed listing – but these local restaurants go above and beyond those common options.

Winchester Goose has vegan Wednesdays. Aonami has Tofu Tuesdays (lower prices on some things) so that is another option.

And if you know a restaurant with great vegan food in the Chico area that we’ve missed, please contact us. Bon appétit!

Aca Taco – Downtown
133 Broadway St.
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 894-0191

Vegan-friendly, but not clearly labeled. Simple menu. Seasoned rice, black beans, refried beans, and guacamole are all vegan. They also offer a special veggie filling (vegan) which includes carrots, potatoes, zucchini, and onion.

Aca Taco – Nord
1000 W Sacramento Ave, Ste D
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 343-0909

Vegan-friendly, but not clearly labeled. Simple menu. Seasoned rice, black beans, refried beans, and guacamole are all vegan. They also offer a special veggie filling (vegan) which includes carrots, potatoes, zucchini, and onion.

Ali Baba
138 Broadway St
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 345-5000

Vegan-friendly falafel joint. Their basmati and seasoned rice are vegan (remarkably, the seasoned rice is seasoned with a vegan brand of “chicken-flavored bouillon”), but not their tahini sauce, which has yogurt added to it. If only they had left the tahini in its natural state, or just added, say, lemon juice to it. Anyway, if you order a falafel wrap, ask them to omit the tahini and substitute hummus.

Amigos de Acapulco – Chico
820 Oroville Ave
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 898-8488

Vegan-friendly, but not clearly labeled. Located near Chico Natural Foods, with another location in Paradise. Their rice and beans are vegan. Their salsa is delicious without being too reliant on spicy heat. The tacos “especiales” are good–made with the veggies that are simmered in a big pot of delicious soupyness that looks and smells like something from mom’s kitchen.

Amigos de Acapulco – Paradise
6145 Skyway
Paradise, CA 95969
(530) 872-1594

Vegan-friendly, but not clearly labeled. Their rice and beans are vegan. Their salsa is delicious without being too reliant on spicy heat. The tacos “especiales” are good–made with the veggies that are simmered in a big pot of delicious soupyness that looks and smells like something from mom’s kitchen. They have another location in Chico.

Aonami Sustainable Sushi
128 W Second St
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 924-3168

Vegan menu choices are all clearly labeled; miso soup is mushroom-broth based and is always vegan; tempura batter is vegan. There are weekly specials, many of which are vegan – so be sure to ask what’s cooking. (You might want to try the off-menu “Megan roll” or the “Toube roll” (“Toube” is pronounced like “Toby”).) Portion sizes and price are excellent. Mention this page or Chico Vegan Meetup and get a smile from Jimmy, the owner. $12 Tofu Tuesday offers a great price for a big tofu-based meal – miso soup, “Tofu Q”, inari and a tofu-based roll. 

Bacio Catering and Carryout
1903 Park Ave
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 345-7787

Seasonal vegan-friendly to-go and business takeout lunch menu offering up salads and grilled tofu on many of their sides and salads, but, sadly, no vegan desserts. The “Biz Box” concept allows for quality vegan options for your next moderately uncomfortable group lunch at work, family, or school. Also sadly, they do not offer ready-made vegan sandwiches or ready-made vegan main dishes, but they do offer plenty of vegan sides. [As of 8/2017.]

Banshee
132 W 2nd St.
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 895-9670

Vegan-friendly menu offering up unremarkable portabella burgers and vegan steak-cut fries. As of mid-2017, they are carrying the Impossible Burger. They carry vegan buns, but if they run out they sometimes default to serving the burger on a lettuce “bun”. However, you can request vegan bread in place of the vegan bun (if they are out). Nice dark ambiance and selection of brews. Beware of the mushrooms as an add-on; they are inextricably and inexplicably fried in butter. [As of 1/2018.]

Beatniks Coffee House
1387 E 8th St.
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 894-2800

Assemble your breakfast from the sides menu – veggie hash, home fries, steamed greens, and a fruit bowl. There is a tasty vegan breakfast burrito on the menu with tofu, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, yellow squash, spinach, and tomatoes. They also offer breakfast cookies that are vegan and gluten free, which contain bananas, peanut butter, cranberries, coconut, almonds, semisweet chocolate chips and oats. Double check that they haven’t included white chocolate chips (which are almost always non-vegan). Be sure to tell server you are vegan.

They also offer a vegan scramble (the Costello). Roasted cauliflower, seasoned tofu, mushrooms, capers, red onions, green chilies, spinach, and roasted yams. Topped with salsa and avocado. Served with potatoes. Currently all the toast options besides the wheat (has honey) and gluten-free option are vegan friendly. Double check with server and have them check–sometimes the bread is different if they have run out and are using a replacement.

Blackbird Books, Gallery, and Cafe
1431 Park Ave.
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 433-1577

Coffee, chai, and vegan baked goods served up in a converted Victorian house. Vegan almond milk is the default for beverages, but half-and-half is also available.

The place is cozy, and has a counter-cultural, anarchist theme–including a carefully curated bookstore, anti-establishment shirts and posters, and a selection of free zines and other materials. The cafe also regularly hosts workshops, meetings, live music, and other events. [As of 1/2018.]

Burgers and Brew
301 Broadway
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 879-9100

Two vegan burger choices: smoked tofu and marinated portobello mushroom. The curly fries are good, as are the sweet potato fries, but are cooked in a shared fryer with other non-vegan menu items. They may have vegan mayo, but you will have to ask your server to fetch it for you or they may have run out, which is an unfortunate and common inconvenience. This place is open till 3 am Thursday through Saturday. [As of 1/2018.]

Cafe Coda
265 Humboldt Ave
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 566-9476

Vegan-friendly, with a clearly labeled vegan menu, a rarity in Chico. Be sure to tell the servers that you are vegan and they will know how to accommodate you. Very busy on the weekend, so be prepared to wait for a table.

Cafe Petra
163 E. 2nd St
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 717-6789

Mediterranean restaurant with vegan and vegetarian options. Vegan community members rave about the delicious food and the warm, attentive service. Favorites include the pitas, hummus, and dolmas. Be aware the the hummus includes a drizzle of tzatziki dressing (made with dairy yogurt), but can be ordered without.

Chico Natural Foods Cooperative
818 Main St
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 891-1713

Vegan-friendly, but not always clearly labeled. The hot bar usually has one or two vegan options. Some staff are disdainful of veganism, some are great about it.

Chipotle Mexican Grill – Chico
620 Mangrove Ave
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 343-8707

1960 E 20th St #100
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 879-1623

Black beans, pinto beans, tofu sofritas, and guacamole are vegan. This listing is also on the fast food page.

Cocodine Thai Cuisine
2485 Notre Dame Bl, Suite 250 (Raley’s Shopping Center)
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 891-1800

Vegan-friendly, but not clearly labeled. They offer a a really nice vegan spinach wrap appetizer that is unique and delicious — it is a big plate with spinach leaves that you fill with items from the rest of the plate, including small chunks of tofu and ginger, and dip in a sweet sauce.  Try the eggplant and tofu dish and the spicy fried rice (good). As with all non-vegan restaurants, it’s important to identify that you are vegan and that you need to have the non-vegan ingredients and condiments omitted.

The curries are not vegan, because the commercial pastes that are used here contain fish, oyster, or shrimp extracts. Be aware that well-intentioned staff will say that that the curries are vegan because they do not add fish, oyster, or shrimp-based sauce, but at that point, it’s too late, because their base ingredients contain animal products. [As of 1/2018.]

Coffee Ranch
1288 E. 1st Ave. Suite 100
Chico, California 95926

Limited vegan options but try the veggie mix salad with either the balsamic or cilantro lemon dressing. . Soy, almond, and coconut milk options.

Crazy Dog – Hot Dog Cart
W 1st St & Ivy St
Chico, CA 95928

Hot dog cart that offers vegan Tofurky Beer Brats.

C.R.E.A.M.
2471 Cohasset Road, Ste 120
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 592-3945

Fun vegan-friendly ice cream chain specializing in ice cream sandwiches. CREAM has three different kinds of vegan cookies and two vegan ice cream flavors. They also offer pre-packaged pints and pre-made ice cream-cookies and even ice cream cakes. It’s the only place in town where you can get a vegan milkshake with ice cream (no offense to smoothie shops!). [As of 1/2018.]

Farm Star Pizza
2359 The Esplanade
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 343-2056

Ask for vegan cheese (Daiya). Regular crust is vegan; it is made of organic wheat flour, whole wheat flour, rye flour, olive oil, sea salt, and filtered water and is excellent.  They also can make a vegan calzone with Daiya cheese, veggies and marinara with basil, be sure to ask them to hold the ricotta. The gluten-free crust is not vegan. [As of 3/2017.]

Fresh Twisted Cafe (formerly known as Hernandez Farms)
NEGATIVE REVIEW

Although this page is not in the business of posting negative reviews of restaurants with vegan options, Fresh Twisted has made mistakes on multiple occasions with serving animal products on vegan orders, such as putting beef patties on vegan burgers. If you notice the mistake, they refund your money, of course, but if their systems cannot reliably fulfill vegan orders, that shows a lack of respect for their vegan customers and makes them even worse than a non-vegan restaurant. [As of 11/2017.]

Gen Kai
605 Mangrove Ave, Suite 180
Chico, California
(530) 891-3570

Fairly popular Japanese restaurant. They have a small section of vegetarian rolls on their menu, including a nice selection of pickled veggie sushi. They also offer an off-menu fried tofu (ask for agedashi tofu). Their miso soup is not vegan and the tempura batter is made with eggs. Sadly, miso soup at most Japanese restaurants typically is flavored with bonito (tuna) flakes, often from a packaged mix. [As of 1/2018.]

Gogi’s Cafe
230 Salem St
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 891-3570

Simple, fast, tasty Indian food. Let the staff know that you are vegan and they will happily point you to the vegan choices for the day… which often includes about half of the items! Samosas, chana masala, dal, aloo gobi, mirch masala, and other vegetable-based dishes are usually on the menu. They sometimes have a tofu or soy “meat” dish as well and will happily whip up a vegan mango lassi for you. In September they started offering vegan naan as well, which is kind of jaw-droppingly amazing for an Indian restaurant. They host a weekly open-mic night on Tuesdays. [As of 10/2017.]

Gordo Burrito – Taco Truck
Park and 20th St / Cypress and 8th St / 1295 E. 8th St (dine-in/next to Valero Gas Station Market)
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 809-1211

Vegan-friendly menu, but not clearly labeled. These are two taco trucks and a restaurant run by the same family. Good old standard bean burrito. The beans are vegan, sadly, the rice is not. Dine-in location offers complimentary salsas, escabeche, and spicy pickled carrots. [As of 8/2017.]

Grana
198 E 2nd St
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 809-2304

Vegan-friendly, but not clearly labeled. Advise server that you are vegan. Grana serves excellent flatbread and hummus, a roasted cauliflower bowl (with olive oil, lemon, and capers), and an excellent arugula salad with roasted tomatoes on top of flatbread. Also excellent is their ‘green’ pizza (specify no feta cheese). Other options include a beet and romaine salad with candied almonds (again, specify no cheese) and an appetizer that consists of olives, roasted garlic and local almonds in seasoned olive oil.

Green Paradise Café
6695 Skyway Rd
Paradise, CA 95969
(530) 876-1964

Vegan-friendly menu, with gluten-free options. Vegan breads for veggie sandwiches and decent vegan pizzettes. Advise your server that you are vegan and you *should* get a separate vegan menu.

The Handle Bar
2070 E. 20th St
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 894-2337

Their clearly labeled vegan portabella muffaleta with savory olive tapenade and Swiss Daiya cheese sandwich is reported to be delicious. Vegan orders can sometimes take some extra time.  [As of 2/2018.]

Heirloom Food Chico
Heirloom Food Company is vegan-friendly lunch and dinner custom-meal delivery service featuring local produce and a strong interest in sustainability.  Customers place and pay for their orders based on the online menu. The order is then delivered, for free, on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

Ike’s Place
648 W 5th St (corner of Fifth and Ivy)
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 924-3171

Vegan-friendly menu, with many veganizable hot and cold vegetarian sandwiches. A good one to try is the Vegan Meatless Mike, which has marinara, Daiya mozzarella shreds, and vegan meatballs. Another good option is the James and the Giant Peach, which features a vegan fried chicken patty, cheese, and Ike’s yellow BBQ sauce. Their Dutch crunch and sourdough breads are vegan; the others may have honey or dairy in them. They also have a basic vegan burger (the King’s Hawaiian sweet roll that it is served with are not vegan (whey, eggs, butter, etc.), so swap it out for a Dutch crunch or sourdough roll) and vegan seasoned air fries. They can also make any combo listed on their  main website.

Izakaya Ichiban
2000 Notre Dame Blvd, Ste 100
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 342-8500

Japanese restaurant offering sushi and many cooked Japanese dishes, such as Japanese-style curry, tempura, noodles. They offer a “Vegetarian Plate” on the menu, featuring five pieces of simple vegetable sushi and one mixed vegetable roll. The miso soup is variously reported as vegan and also not vegan, but likely is not vegan since it is prepared from a mix. Further investigation is needed. [As of 10/2017.]

La Cocina Economica
905 Wall St
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 809-0370

Vegan-friendly menu, but not clearly labeled. The refries and black beans are vegan (yay), as is the guacamole. Sadly, the rice is not vegan — it is made with chicken broth powder. They variably advise the customers that the rice is vegan or not vegan, but unless they come out with clear labeling on their menu, it is hard to have confidence that the rice is vegan. A good alternative is to order their sopes with tofu, hold the cheese, add lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado slices, with a side of refries and black beans. Delicious!! (Sopes are English-muffin-sized pieces of cornmeal (masa) that are fried on each side.) The tofu was heated on the grill, but wasn’t well-seasoned. There was enough seasoning in the other ingredients, so that is not a big deal. Tofu can be subbed in any of the menu items, so you can try a tofu huevos scramble, a tofu enchilada (the enchilada sauce is vegan), a taco plate, and a nacho plate. You can also add fajitas to anything. As with so many restaurants in Chico, be sure to remind the server that you are vegan and to leave off the cheese.

La Flor De Michoacan Paleteria y Neveria
1008 West Sacramento Ave
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 893-9999

1354 East Ave
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 774-2219

Vegan-friendly scoops, paletas (popsicles), and fruit-based cold drinks, but feel free to ask server to confirm which frozen goodies are water-based (=non-dairy). The water-based items are clearly marked in bold on the takeaway menu. Some vegan neveria include: kiwi, mango, mango-chamoy (chamoy are those salty-sweet mango candies — they mix these in with the mango pulp), strawberry, watermelon, pico de gallo, pineapple, pineapple-chamoy, strawberry, watermelon, tuna. (Yes, it’s vegan! Tuna is Spanish for cactus fruit.) and tamarind. On the drink side, there are some unusual non-dairy choices – alfalfa, jamaica (hibiscus), lime, mango, peach, and pineapple. Combine a scoop of fruity goodness with a fruity drink and end up with a delicious smoothie. They also offer freshly squeezed juices.

There is a second location on East Avenue in the Safeway shopping center.

Leon Bistro
817 Main St
Chico CA 95928
(530)-899-1105

This is an upscale, vegan-friendly restaurant. Their menu focuses on local and seasonal foods They have supported the vegan community by offering a special vegan dinner night and a vegan cooking class (back in Spring 2014), and may offer similar events in the future.

Although much of the menu is heavy on local/organic meat dishes (which some people may find off-putting) it does include some vegan and vegetarian items. As of mid-2017, their menu includes the Impossible Burger, a meaty vegan burger. The chef has also been known to provide special off-menu items for their vegan diners.

The food is very tasty and artfully presented, and filling enough that you may need to take leftovers…but be sure to leave room for dessert!

Live Life Juice Company
220 Broadway St
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 566-3346

Serves up cold-pressed juices of many types, and all their grab-and-go refrigerated offerings are alway organic, vegan, and gluten-free. Their grab-and-go packaged offerings include cashew parfaits, raw pies, zucchini noodle bowls, and kale Caesar salads. Some smoothies contain honey, but this is clearly labeled. Many of their drinks are sweetened with agave. A bonus: they use 100% compostable products for their packaging. The store is locally owned by a trio of smart sisters.  [As of 1/2018.]

Lovely Layers Cakery
131 Meyers St, Ste 120
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 828-9931

Consistently offer gluten-free and vegan cupcakes – very cute decorations, interesting (and tasty!) flavor combinations. They also offer coffee beverages and vegan smoothies, and occasionally have vegan cookies. Custom-ordered vegan cupcakes are available.

As of mid-2017, they have stopped making vegan and (gluten-free) full-sized cakes, but they will still create custom-order vegan cupcakes… and generally offer at least one vegan (and gluten free) variety for sale over-the-counter.

Lucky Poke
119 W 2nd St
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 487-7048

Serves up delicious poke bowls. Poke is deconstructed sushi. It comes in a bowl and you “build” it to your liking with components, starting with a base (sushi rice, brown rice, quinoa, salad or a mix of those), then moving on to protein (plain diced tofu or roasted beets), then a sauce (all sauces are vegan and have different flavor profiles), then adding sides and toppings like avocado, onion, seaweed salad, cucumber, pickled onion or jalapeno, edamame, and then a variety of sprinkle toppings. Some of the sides and toppings are not vegan, such as the masago (fish eggs/roe) and the crab salad. The spicy miso sauce is vegan. Your poke bowl is made following an open line, so diners can see exactly what is going into their dish. This restaurant is owned by Jimmy Lee, the same chef who started Aonami Sustainable Sushi, so they are very vegan-aware. Diners will get the same delicious flavors at a much more wallet-friendly price point.   [As of 1/2018.]

Mamma Celeste’s Stone-Baked Pizzeria
5522 Skyway
Paradise, California 95926

Serves up delicious pizzas with both cracker-crisp thin crust and deep dish. Ask for vegan cheese (Teese) for a $5 upcharge. Can also make custom calzones! Relocated from Chico to Paradise in late 2017; may not yet be fully open in new location. [As of 1/2018.]

Marketplace Cafe at the CSU Chico BMU
400 W 1st St
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 898-4696

The Marketplace is located inside the Bell Memorial Union (BMU) on the CSU Chico campus. There are several food stations to choose from. They are closed on weekends. BREAKFAST (made to order, 7am-10am): Steel-cut oats, add-in options include dried cranberries, walnuts and/or brown sugar; seasonal fresh fruit cup; hash browns.

LUNCH (11am-3pm, get there by 2:00 pm (they sell out): Stations include (1) Chinese Food – tofu veggie entree; steamed white rice; steamed veggies (cabbage/broc/carrots), (2) Salad bar (you pick, they build), many options, including garbanzo, kidney, edamame beans and tofu, (3) Burrito/Taco Bar – spanish rice and both pinto and black bean options are vegan, (4) Sushi Bar – Ginger-teriyaki “sushirrito” with seasoned tofu cutlet, avocado, cucumber, jicama, red and green cabbage, julienned carrots, daikon sprouts, green onions, teriyaki sauce, nori sheet, sushi rice, (5)Soup bar – vegan chili always available, other vegan soup options, ingredients always listed on board above soup. Assorted grab and go snacks with many vegan options, including plant-based milks.

Momona
230 W 3rd St
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 487-7488

Momona is a noodle and bao restaurant located in downtown Chico. They offer a menu with clearly marked vegan options (look for the V+ indicator). The tofu add-in for the bowls includes a tasty hoisin sauce. In addition to tofu, they offer sauteed oyster mushrooms as a protein option for both rice and noodle bowls. As of November 2017, their bao buns are vegan, and they offer a fusion bao sandwich that is vegan. With the oyster mushroom filling, it makes a great light meal. The price of a meal here ratchets up with every topping, and some toppings are puzzling, such as charging $0.50 for a spritz of sriracha. [As of 12/2017.]

MOD Pizza
851 East Ave, Ste 150
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 636-4862

MOD is a pizza and salad place with beer and wine, conveniently located next to the movie theatre and Trader Joe’s. This is a make-to-order pizza place with vegan crusts, vegan cheese and vegan red sauce (as well as BBQ). The gluten-free crust is NOT vegan. You choose your crust, then go down the line and add whatever sauces/toppings/herbs you want, all for a single price. When the pizza is done, you can choose to finish it with a number of sauces. [As of 10/2017.]

Mountain Mike’s Pizza
1722 Mangrove Ave
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 893-1923

1105 W 5th St
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 899-9115

Basic pizza joint with a salad bar. They make their dough in-house from a special Mountain Mike’s mix, which is vegan. Their tomato-based pizza sauce is also vegan. Put the two together and you have a basic, no-frills vegan pizza. They do not have vegan cheese on-hand, but if you bring your own, they will gladly put it on your pizza for you. On the salad bar, only the low-fat/no-fat Italian dressing is vegan.

New Earth Market
864 East Avenue (map)
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 673-9355
Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-9pm, Sun 8am–8pm

Natural foods and vitamin store featuring an excellent selection of organic produce and many vegan specialty goods. The sandwich and burrito bar have vegan options and you can build your own sandwich with Tofurky slices or hummus. The hot bar and deli have vegan options which are haphazardly labeled vegan; sometimes they’re labeled, sometimes not. Ask the staff to be sure. They often have vegan biscuits and peppery gravy on the hot bar on the weekend; get there early or it will run out. On occasion it has been very badly labeled and non-vegan items have been labeled vegan. There is a co-located pizzeria in a corner of the store that will make pizzas to order; be sure to specify the “longboard flatbread” crust, as their usual pizza crusts are not vegan. They do not offer vegan cheese, but you can buy your own from elsewhere in the store and they will make your pizza with it. (Hopefully this tedious process will change in the future.) [As of 10/2017.]

Noodle House
605 Mangrove Ave
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 345-2022

Vegan-friendly menu, but not clearly labeled. Happily, the entire section labeled “Vegetarian Special” is actually vegan. The A4 vegetarian crunch roll appetizer is vegan (classic Vietnamese spring roll). The noodle soup is passable, especially given Chico’s limited soupy options.

OM Foods
142 Broadway
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 965-5263

Vegan-friendly, clearly labeled. Serves up a terrific range of vegan foods from a cute little restaurant in downtown Chico. Menu includes tempeh burgers, loaded Tofurky brats, wraps, soft tacos, vegan nachos made with homemade cashew cheese, brown rice and bean bowls, and many salads which are 100% vegan. OM Foods’ cream sauces are made from scratch with cashews or Follow Your Heart Vegenaise, and they are wonderfully generous with avocado on all their dishes. [As of 4/2018.]

Pageant Theatre
351 E 6th St
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 343-0663

ABC cookies, Blue Sky natural sodas, organic popcorn, and Earth Balance for your popcorn (no more mysterious ‘butter topping’. It’s a pretty great little movie theatre. [As of 4/2018.]

Peeking Chinese
243 W 2nd St
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 895-3888

Ask for the vegetarian menu and remind the server that you don’t want chicken broth. Broccoli with garlic sauce is excellent–beautiful, tasty broccoli. The choices on the vegetarian menu feature Asian faux meats based on seitan and soy.  Many people enjoy the vegan seaweed soup from the vegetarian menu, but other people dislike it.

Pluto’s
201 Main St
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 343-0165

Vegan-friendly build-your-own salads. Salads come in two sizes, small and large, with the large containing more lettuce, but not more toppings. Salads come with your choice of seven toppings that include various vegetables, fruits, beans, seeds, potatoes and more. Choose from two vegan dressings, the pan-Asian vinaigrette and the fat-free raspberry-walnut vinaigrette. Salads also come with your choice of bread, but the staff are are not sure which are vegan. Generally, sourdough bread is a safe bet. The sweet potato fries are a good vegan add-on. Great meal for a great price!

Priya
2574 Esplanade
Chico, CA 95929
(530) 899-1055

Many vegan Indian options, such as chana masala and dal, but also idli, dhosa, and rasam. Let the server know that you are vegan, non-dairy and he or she will direct you to the vegan options on the menu or on the very affordable lunch buffet. The naan is not vegan (made with yogurt), but they usually sub parathas at no extra charge. Double check the condiments; one or two of them have yogurt or dairy in them. Many find the food filling and good, but some report that it tastes salty or greasy. Sadly, the desserts are not vegan, but there is usually a half-hearted whole fruit option.

Ready Chef G0 / Unwined at 980
980 Mangrove Ave
Chico, CA 95926
Ready Chef Go (530) 893-2433 / Unwind (530) 809-2634

This is two concepts in one building so they will be co-reviewed. They offer similar hours, but not exactly the same, so check the links.

Unwined at 980 is a sit-down restaurant with a limited menu created from local, in-season items. Because the menu is always changing, there are no specific item recommendations. The menu is vegan-friendly, but, sadly, not clearly labeled.  The servers and/or kitchen staff are knowledgeable about the ingredients, so feel free to inquire! In general, if an item looks vegan, it is, and it if looks vegetarian, it is. Most items that were vegetarian could be modified to be vegan by asking to have the cheese left off. Half of the appetizers were vegan and all of the salads were easily veganized by asking for no cheese.  Sadly, they did not have a main dish that was vegetarian/vegan or even easily veganized. However, the kitchen is responsive to requests for vegan entrees. In one case the owner stepped in and had the kitchen prepare the “nutloaf” that is usually served on the Ready Chef go side. It turned out to be very good, so perhaps they will add this to the regular menu on the Unwined side of things. In this case, the team at Unwind did not make me feel uncomfortable for making special requests and asking lots of questions.

Ready Chef Go is co-located with Unwind. Its main draw is a great salad bar that includes crumbled vegan “nutloaf,” local beans, local wild rice, local produce, and many options to make a well-rounded, delicious vegan salad. They also have ready-made entrees in a case to take home and a deli with many pre-made or ready-to-heat items in it. As with so many places, they have basically zero vegan desserts. Sadly, most of the pre-made items are NOT vegan. The vegetarian wraps and sandwiches on the menus cannot be altered to vegan because they are pre-made. About 50% of the deli salads are vegan, with the rest being vegan.

Because the restaurants are co-located, they intermix menu items and change the menu frequently. The executive chef develops the menu for both sides and is (currently) very knowledgeable about vegan food and promises to make sure there are vegan options in the future as well as some gluten-free ones. Both Ready Chef Go and Unwind at 980 offer high-quality ingredients, nice ambiance, and friendly and knowledgeable staff. The cases are restocked on Sunday night so Monday is the best day to show up for the biggest selection.

Rice Bowl
2804 Esplanade
Chico, CA 95973
(530) 899-9098

Vegan-friendly, but not clearly labeled at all. Be sure to specify that you are a strict vegetarian, no eggs, no fish, no fish sauce, oyster sauce or chicken broth. They have a tasty chicken-like seitan that they will substitute for the meat on any entree (extra charge). The place is clean and great for large groups. They have a Japanese menu that I have never ordered from.

Roots Catering
3221 Esplanade
Chico, CA 95973
(530) 891-4500

Vegan-friendly, but not clearly labeled at all, except for a single menu item – Thai Coconut Pineapple Tofu Curry. In any case, be sure to specify that you are vegan. Your server should be able to provide you with a vegan-friendly workaround menu for many of their Mediterranean- and Indian-inspired menu items. When ordering any dish with rice, be sure to specify white rice without added butter (because, it’s normal, natural and necessary to add butter to rice??).  Their housemade “Signature Salad Dressing” is vegan and they will readily substitute tofu for chicken or beef. Their black beans are vegan, and their french fries are fried in vegetable oil. FYI – They catered a wonderful all-vegan event (naturally) at Farm Sanctuary.  [As of 10/2017.]

S&S Organic Produce and Natural Food Store – BBQ and Deli
1924 Mangrove Ave
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 343-4930

Vegan-friendly, sort of. S&S is a natural foods store paired with a rather unappetizing butcher shop at one end, but if you can get past that, the store has a good selection of vegan products and a well-stocked health and beauty section. They have a made to order deli with two vegan sandwiches, “Spiced Tofu and Avocado” (be sure to ask for Vegenaise) and good old PB&J. There are two cheese-based “veggie” sandwiches (aka salad on a roll) which can be veganized by omitting the cheese and subbing Vegenaise for regular mayo. On the BBQ side they have the standard fresh-grilled portabella sandwich, but no vegan burger or hot dog option. There’s also a decent salad bar IN the butcher shop (!), but since that’s rather beyond my ability to ignore reality, I haven’t ever made a salad there. [Please use the “contact” link to give me your salad bar report!]

Shubert’s Ice Cream and Candy Shop
178 E 7th St
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 342-7163

This old-time ice cream and candy shop finally became vegan-friendly by offering a non-dairy mango sorbet (by non-dairy, they mean vegan). Even its cones (cake, waffle, and sugar) are accidentally vegan (Joy Cone brand). They also use Hershey’s chocolate syrup, which is accidentally vegan as well. Finally, vegans get to enjoy an old Chico tradition, one that Chico dogs have been enjoying for years. 

Sierra Nevada Taproom and Restaurant
1075 E 20th St
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 345-2739

This place frustrates Chico vegans no end. But at least the beer is vegan (made with “Irish moss” instead of isinglass (which is fish bladder)).  Sierra Nevada changes its menus at the drop of a hat, but they usually have something vegan-ish. Sorry not to be more informative, but the menu here is always changing and although they get high marks for sustainability, energy efficiency and great beer, Sierra Nevada doesn’t understand or honor the concept that a vegan diet is an excellent way to be ethical and sustainable at the same time. Who knows whether there will be anything vegan on the menu next week… [Updated August 2017.]

Sipho’s Jamaican Food
1228 Dayton Rd
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 895-1866

Vegan-friendly Ital cuisine. Be sure to tell the server that you are vegan. Most of the dishes use coconut milk, not cow’s milk. The Ital stew, curried tofu, ackee and tofu, brown-stewed tofu, and rasta wrap are all good choices. Many of the sides are vegan, too, including, dumplings, fried dumplings, seasoned rice, festivals (dessert!), plantains, island fries, and callaloo. The sorrel and ginger lemonade beverages are delicious. [Updated August 2017.]

Sol Mexican Grill
3269 Esplanade
Chico, CA 95973
(530) 342-4616

Vegans dining at this place need to proceed with caution because Sol’s hot salsa has chicken broth in it. (Why does a restaurant do this?!) Additionally, the rice is made with chicken broth. (Again, why?)  They offer a great little enchilada with a side of refries and black beans, which are made with canola oil. They make fresh-cut skinny fries from scratch. The deep fryer for the fries is used to deep fry chimichangas and other items (but not fish). Tofu is available as a protein option and fajita veggies can be added to just about anything. The guacamole is vegan. As with almost all restaurants in Chico, inform your server that you are vegan; if you fail to do that here, cheese might be unhelpfully sprinkled over your beans. Do not expect your server to let you know that there is chicken broth in the salsa. They serve water in plastic reusable cups, instead of the foam or one-time use plastic cups that other places favor.

T-Bar Fusion Café
250 Vallombrosa Ave
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 895-8100

555 Flying V St #1
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 809-1545

Vegan-friendly menu, but not clearly labeled. The bowls and wraps are good. The wasabi-ginger dressing is a good vegan choice for your bowl or wrap. The ginger tofu is delicious!

Be aware that the servers are using a reference guide which classifies drinks which include casein (a milk protein) as “dairy free”. They may mistakenly identify these drinks as vegan. For instance, the Frosts are “dairy-free”, but not vegan: the base has casein. Similarly, there is casein (a dairy milk protein) in the chai powder mix that they use as a base for many drinks–including simple items like black tea and vanilla with soy milk from their “Steam Me” menu. [As of 12/2017.]

Tacos “Mary”
429 Ivy St (Fifth and Ivy)
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 892-8176

Vegan-friendly menu. Individual items are not clearly labeled, but there is signage saying their beans and rice are vegan. Really good Mexican takeout (a bit greasy with huge portions) with super late-night hours–open till 3 am. (As of 7/2016.)

Thai Express Chico
305 Nord Ave
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 898-8424

Standard Thai take-out. Just order your entrees and specify tofu, no fish or oyster sauce. The green curry with tofu and the tofu with peanut sauce appetizer is a hit.

Tong Fong Low
2072 E. 20th St
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 898-1388

Standard Chinese fare: vegetable chop suey, vegetable chow fun, orange-fried tofu, garlic eggplant, broccoli with garlic sauce,General Tso’s Tofu, garlic broccoli, and kung pao tofu are all good bets. You can get their veggie fried rice with no egg. And…their “egg” rolls are actually vegan. The wrappers they use aren’t actually made with egg. Fast service. Their soups are not vegan, despite being listed as vegetarian. Do not expect your server to let you know that there is chicken broth in the soup. The soups contain a chicken flavoring powder that is not vegan. In particular, be wary of the Shanghai Wonton Soup, which is misleadingly listed as “no meat.” Sadly, the chow mein noodles have egg in them.  As with most Chinese restaurants, it’s smart to ask whether a dish includes eggs.  [As of January 2018.]

Unwined at 980 / Ready Chef G0
See the listing above under “Ready Chef Go.”

Urban Fresh Fuel
301 Main St
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 487-7165

Vegan-friendly, but not clearly labeled. Be sure to tell the cashier that you are vegan. Simple menu. Seasoned rice, black beans, refried beans, and guacamole are all vegan. Great salsa bar. Also, they have a separate vegan menu that evidently is too secret for them to post, so you have to ask for it. If you are following a WFPB, SOS-free diet, word on the street is that the following order is fairly compliant (it’s pretty hard to avoid added salt…and some oil): brown rice and black bean bowl, extra rice, extra grilled organic veggie mix, then add the salsa of your choice from the salsa bar. Deep-fried corn chips come with every order, so ask for these to be omitted to avoid the waste.

Weiner Man (hot dog cart)
2nd St and Broadway
Chico, CA 95928

Mostly late-night hot dog cart which offers vegan (Tofurky) sausage and a wide selection of condiments. Parks in front of Chase bank on Friday and Saturday nights. Look for the rainbow umbrella!

Winchester Goose
800 Broadway St
Chico, CA 95928

Winchester Goose is a local craft beer bar and pub. They have many craft beers on tap and have a vegan special every Wednesday. They also offer vegan sliders, a vegan eggplant sandwich, and a vegan-optional roasted beet sandwich daily. Their vegan offerings range from housemade veggie sliders to mac and cheese, and they are known to run out. They are one of the few dog-friendly eateries in Chico — your well-behaved pup is welcome!  [Updated January 2018.]

Woodstock’s Pizza
166 E 2nd St
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 893-1500

Vegan-friendly menu, but not clearly labeled. Regular, thick, and gluten-free crusts are all vegan (and all tasty)! Extra charge for Daiya cheese. They have a great two-for-Tuesday deal where you can get two large or two extra large pizzas for the price of one.

 

Last update: February 2018

Advertisements