With a coffee joint on almost every downtown corner in Chico, each one has its own vibe. But when serious last minute studying needs to be done, the environment has to be right. Here is a list of some of my favorite coffee shops to study at from favorite to least favorite.
Midtown Local, 365 E. Sixth St.
For good coffee and even better food, Midtown Local is everything you could expect from a coffee shop and then some – for the vegans. This hole-in-the-wall coffee shop also has seven beers on rotating taps that change every two days. With two large tables and a sunshade, the patio can be a comfortable area to get some studying done on a nice day. Because it’s right out of the downtown area, it seldom gets crowded. For a special snack it’s recommended to try the “Little Chico Pastrami,” which is $9.75 with a cup of the cold brew coffee on nitro.
Hours: Monday – Friday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cal Java Coffee Roasters, 216 W. East Ave.
If quiet and quaint is what you’re looking for this is your spot. Located in the Town and Country shopping center off Esplanade, Cal Java has plenty of room to study and some of the freshest coffee in town. They roast the beans right in front of you – literally, they have a huge roaster in the corner surrounded by bags of coffee beans. Other than bagels and other typical coffee pastries, the menu is pretty plain. It’s located away from downtown Chico, but is worth the commute if silence and open space is needed. Cal Java opens at 5 a.m. for the early risers and last minute study-ers.
Hours: Monday – Friday 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 5 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Naked Lounge, 118 W. Second St.
With mason jar light fixtures and modern art on the walls, the Naked Lounge is a good place to study for the not easily distracted student. Lots of tables and a couple couches in the front section separate the two study rooms in the back with more chairs and tables. Craft coffee drinks keep the door swinging open with frequent comers and goers, so the noise level is a little higher than other coffee shops. Try the “Espresso Mojito,” $4.25, for a surprisingly delicious espresso drink with mint and sugar milk over ice. Although there is a lot going on, most people can be seen staring at their own computer screens, which makes it easier to do the same.
Hours: Monday – Sunday 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Bidwell Perk, 664 E. First Ave.
Bidwell Perk, one of Chico’s most popular coffee joints and cafes, can also be a good place to get work done. It’s got free Wi-Fi, great coffee and a decent amount of cafe food such as quiches, sandwiches, paninis, soups and salads. Bidwell Perk also has some beer and wine. There’s outdoor seating, and the inside has a good amount of tables to sit at. The only issue is how crowded it gets on the weekends and mornings. Luckily there is some extra lounge seating in the back, but that seems to fill up quickly. Bidwell Perk can be an excellent place to get your study on with a cup of coffee and pastry – that is if you’re lucky enough to find a table to sit at.
Hours: Monday – Friday 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday – Sunday 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Has Beans, 501 Main St.
The average coffee shop with a laid-back vibe, Has Beans offers a decent place to study. It’s located across the street from Plaza Park which makes for a pretty view, but a little bit of a transient problem. If you can handle that, Has Beans is a comfortable little cafe to get your studying done. Even though the Wi-Fi is spotty at times, the fact that you don’t have to fight for a table to sit at is nice. It’s an overall basic coffee shop.
Hours: Monday – Friday 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Open Mic on Thursdays 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Michael Arias can be reached at [email protected] or @mikey_arias on Twitter.