Chico Food & Beverage Bars

A Cocktail and Bar in Downtown Chico for Every Occasion

I am far past my Chico State days in which I hap­pi­ly lived near 5th and Ivy, drank because the day end­ed in Y, and vis­it­ed my favorite water­ing hole for pow­er hour. That doesn’t mean I’m past need­ing a go-to bar or two, though; I just have dif­fer­ent cri­te­ria these days.

When I’m in a good mood, I wear bright col­ors; when I’m in a sad mood I wear dark col­ors. Sim­i­lar­ly, when I’m in a good mood, I want one type of bar and drink and anoth­er type of bar and drink for when I’m in a bad day. Every adult over the age of 21 that can drink respon­si­bly should have a cock­tail and bar for every occa­sion and every emotion. 

There are a ton of deli­cious drinks at many incred­i­ble local water­ing holes in Down­town Chico—you could eas­i­ly spend an entire week explor­ing them all. These are just a few of my favorite spots and cock­tails that help me get through what­ev­er mood I’m in. 

Argus Bar + Patio

For When It’s Been a Long Day

Do you need a reset? Are you in des­per­ate need for some adult­ing? Escape the col­lege scene and go to Argus Bar + Patio. Nuz­zled in Down­town Chico, Argus is a trendy spot to enjoy good drinks and con­ver­sa­tion after a long day. Argus also does a pret­ty great job of recre­at­ing the feel­ing of the jazz era when they had local musi­cians like the Kel­ly Broth­ers Duel­ing Piano’s and Pat Pull play there.

My cock­tail of choice is the Dur­ty Girl cock­tail. Not only are the inap­pro­pri­ate jokes end­less when you order this drink, but it’s also the per­fect reset after any long day. The Dur­ty Girl is made with straw­ber­ry infused vod­ka, lemon, and fresh black­ber­ry. My mouth is water­ing just think­ing about it. Beware though, they are dan­ger­ous. They’re so good, drink­ing them comes as nat­u­ral­ly as drink­ing water. 

Favorite Cock­tail: Dur­ty Girl 

Hon­or­able men­tions: Moscow Mule with Angos­tu­ra and laven­der bit­ters; Char­lie Brown

Madi­son Bear Garden

For When I’m Ready to Party

There are only a hand­ful of places in Chico you can go if you feel ready to par­ty and want to put on your danc­ing shoes. Madi­son Bear Gar­den, or The Bear” as it’s local­ly known, hap­pens to be my favorite one. Laid-back sports bar by day, ready-to-get-its-freak-on by night, The Bear has every­thing you could want to par­ty and more.

There are some peo­ple in the world that are woo-woo kind of peo­ple, and there are some that aren’t. If you’re not a wooooo-er, this prob­a­bly isn’t the bar for you. If you are, the per­fect drink to try is the Woo Woo, a spe­cial­ty shot made with vod­ka, peach Schnapps, and cran­ber­ry juice. Although it may not tech­ni­cal­ly be a cock­tail, you do have to shake it, so I think it counts. If you’re going to drink, you may as well make sure it tastes good, right? It’s the per­fect drink and atmos­phere for a night out on the town. 

Favorite Cock­tail: Woo-Woo*

Hon­or­able men­tions: Scoo­by Snacks*, Push-ups*, Wake smackers*

*These are all tech­ni­cal­ly shots. 

B Street Pub­lic House

For When I’m Happy

B Street Pub­lic House is my favorite bar to go to when I’m hap­py, and if you’re not hap­py when you enter, you’ll def­i­nite­ly be hap­py when you leave. On a beau­ti­ful Chico day, with the sun shin­ing in my face, there’s noth­ing more majes­tic than sit­ting in the back patio of B Street and sip­ping on a drink. What could make this even bet­ter? Week­end brunch on the patio with some true New Orleans-style beignets that are to die for. I can’t feel any­thing but hap­pi­ness on these days.

My go-to hap­py cock­tail at B Street is their Grape­fruit Cool­er — an effer­ves­cent mix of gin, fresh­ly squeezed grape­fruit, thyme and lime juice. It doesn’t even taste like a cock­tail, which makes this light­weight, and her taste buds, even happier. 

Favorite Cock­tail: Grape­fruit Cooler

Duffy’s Tav­ern

For When I Need to Drown My Sorrows

If I’m being hon­est, of all these bars, I’ve prob­a­bly spent the most time in Duffy’s Tav­ern, which makes it feel a bit like Cheers — a place where every­body knows your name. And also a place you can vis­it with­out the wor­ries of judg­ment by any­one, play pool and enjoy music, or grab a drink and sit in the cor­ner. Real­ly, Duffy’s is a place that has a lit­tle bit of every­thing for everyone.

Dur­ing the day, you can use the juke­box and pick what­ev­er tune your heart desires; at night, it trans­forms into a true locals bar. There’s some­thing about this bar that makes it the per­fect place to drown your sor­rows away with a cock­tail or two. My go-to for when I need to drown my sor­rows? A Duffy’s gin and ton­ic. It’s sim­ple, deli­cious and has always treat­ed me right when I need­ed it the most. 

As a bonus, if you’re look­ing to dance away your sor­rows in an epic dance night, make sure to check out Duffy’s on Wednes­day nights. 

Favorite Cock­tail: Gin and tonic

Hon­or­able men­tions: Dirty Shirly’s — a Shirly Tem­ple with vodka