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Hitchhiker’s guide to Chico coffee shops

We traveled around Chico to help you figure out what the most popular coffee shops have to offer
Bidwell Perk is just a 15 minute walk away from One Mile at Bidwell Park. Taken by Jenna McMahon on March 13.

For all you coffee lovers out there, we did the work and traveled around Chico to figure out what the most popular coffee shops have to offer. 

An all seed bagel and an orange drop cappuccino at Bidwell Perk on Dec. 12, 2023. The orange drop cappuccino is on their signatures menu.
An all seed bagel and an orange drop cappuccino at Bidwell Perk Taken by Jenna McMahon on Dec. 12, 2023.

Best overall: Bidwell Perk 

Bidwell Perk has it all, from their great coffee with new seasonal drink menus coming out every couple months to the wonderful customer service. 

My favorite drink on their signature menu is the cherry blossom white mocha, it always hits the spot. One of the best special drinks they came out with during their orange-themed menu was the orange drop chai, it was the perfect mix: not too coffee-tasting, but also not too tangy orange. 

They also have a variety of delicious food for both breakfast and lunch. The other upside of Bidwell Perk is that it is not always as packed as places like Stoble or Daycamp Coffee. Even though they always have a constant flow of people, there is always a place to sit whether inside or out. 

The environment inside the shop is always upbeat from both the customers and baristas. 

Daycamp coffee in Chico, Calif. on March 7. They have a very spacious shop for people to study and socialize.
Daycamp coffee has a very spacious shop for people to study and socialize. Taken by Jenna McMahon on March 7.

Best coffee: Daycamp Coffee

Certain kinds of coffee taste more acidic than smooth, but with Daycamp that is not the case. Daycamp coffee tastes silky, whether it be a white mocha, cold brew or a pure drip coffee. 

You know their coffee is high quality when you see them roast their own beans in shop.

Coffee snobs flock to Daycamp both to drink lattes and buy bags of Daycamp roasted beans. The coffee snobs have spoken, and Daycamp hits the mark for best quality coffee. 


Similar to Sweet Bean, Coffee Ranch also has a drive-thru. Taken by Jenna McMahon on March 13.

Best unique menu: Coffee Ranch

The drink options are endless at Coffee Ranch: from cappuccinos to protein shakes to seasonal flavors. Ask for Nutella in a drink and they will give it to you, no questions asked. 

The most unique drink I have ever had at Coffee Ranch was their chai steamed with apple cider — I don’t recommend trying this ever, but it was very unique to be sure. 

Coffee Ranch does have all the classics, but if you want to go crazy, swing through the drive-thru and let your imagination run wild. 

Unique menu honorable mention: Bidwell Perk 

Coming in a close second is Bidwell Perk with their endless amount of creative seasonal menus, from Christmas drinks to their coconut-oil-soaked coffee beans for cold brew during the summer. 

They also have mimosas and a little wine bar for those who wish to indulge either in the afternoon or evening. 

Bellachino's Cafe on March 7 in Chico, Calif. They have 16 different bagel sandwiches to choose from.
Bellachino’s Cafe has 16 different bagel sandwiches to choose from. Taken by Jenna McMahon on on March 7.

Best bagel sandwich: Coffee Ranch 

Bless the worker at Coffee Ranch who introduced me to the quiche bagel sandwich. The garlic cheddar bagel with the bacon quiche and plain cream cheese is by far my favorite. 

The seasoning of the bagel paired with the quiche and cream cheese provides the best flavor combination. This combination can be done with any bagel, a bacon, bell pepper or mushroom quiche along with plain or chive cream cheese, as well as the option for avocado. 

Honorable mention: Bellachino’s Cafe

In a close second we have the bagel sandwiches at the wonderful Bellachino’s. They have such a wide variety of options for their breakfast bagels making it hard to choose, but whichever one you choose is guaranteed to be delicious. 

Students socializing and study at Stoble on Sept. 15, 2023 in Chico, Calif. This coffee shop has four floors including the rooftop patio.
Students socializing and study at Stoble. Taken by Jenna McMahon on on Sept. 15, 2023.

Best study spot: Stoble Coffee

It’s a no-brainer that Stoble has the best study spots. Stoble is close to campus, has four floors and has aesthetics that make me feel like I want to be productive.

The best part of Stoble by far is the rooftop seating. As spring comes around, I plan to enjoy the beautiful weather as I labor away on homework. 






A hot chocolate at Sweet Bean on March 3 in Chico, Calif. One can enjoy this coffee shop either inside or a quick trip through the drive-thru.
A hot chocolate at Sweet Bean. Taken by Amy Blair on March 3.

Best non-coffee: Sweet Bean Coffee House

Sweet Bean is the newest coffee shop in town, but it destroys the competition in the category of non-coffee drinks with the most delicious hot chocolate I have ever tasted. 

Swiss Miss packets? Absolutely not. Dutch Bros hot chocolate? Can’t even compare.

The richest, most mellow-flavored hot chocolate was topped with sweet whipped cream and chocolate syrup, and it tasted like how a hug feels.  




The outside of TLC on Oct. 8, 2023 in Chico, Calif. They have a wide variety of vegan options for both food and drink.
The outside of Tender Loving Coffee. Taken by Jenna McMahon on Oct. 8, 2023.

Best vegan options: Tender Loving Coffee

Tucked away in a corner of downtown, Tender Loving is vegan heaven. Every drink and meal is completely vegan, and the best part is they don’t even upcharge for oat milk.

Imagine my surprise when I went there, not knowing it was a vegan shop, and the cream cheese on my gluten-free bagel was somehow completely vegan. 

Baristas there have a magical superpower that can make vegan foods taste good. 

Overall, each coffee shop adds their own unique touch to the Chico community and puts smiles on peoples faces on a daily basis. 

Amy Blair and Jenna McMahon can be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributors
Jenna McMahon
Jenna McMahon, Multimedia Editor
Jenna McMahon transferred to Chico State in fall 2023 from Santa Barbara City College and is in her third-year as a journalism major as well as having added a global studies minor this year. This will be her first year on The Orion as the opinion editor having had past experience on The Channels at SBCC. After graduating she hopes to become a traveling journalist and hopefully work for National Geographic. In her free time she plays soccer for the club team at Chico State and loves to read, travel and anything to do with nature.
Amy Blair
Amy Blair, Reporter
Amy Blair is in her third year and is studying journalism, news, as well as criminal justice. This is her first semester working at The Orion. In her free time she enjoys reading, playing music, painting and spending time at coffee shops around town.

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