We all know that Redding, California is the most popular gateway to the Northern California wilderness, but did you know it also packs with it some delicious culinary delights?
Over the past decade, unique restaurants have been popping up all over Redding, competing with the mainstays that have been around for decades. The combination of old restaurants with the new culinary players in town has helped Redding become an extremely underrated town for foodies across NorCal.
Of course, everyone has their own individual palette when it comes to food, but here is the ultimate foodie tour of Redding from the words of the locals themselves:
I don’t think you’ll find a place more “uniquely Redding” than Wilda’s Grill, which serves up some of the most unique and delicious food in town. you’ve probably heard of Wilda’s “Buddha Bowl” which is the most popular lunchtime meal in town.
View this post on Instagram
HOW CUTE ARE THESE FORK-STICKS?! 🍜 Lunch in Redding, CA while on the road trip today from San Francisco to Portland at Wilda's Grill. ## Our order (x2): Buddha bowl with grilled chicken, no beans, no sauce. They had brown rice in them which we don't normally eat at home but it was fine for this meal. ## We got the Asian sauce on the side for @fullbodyfix as it is Tamari-based and works fine for him, but I react (my face bloats) to soy so I left it off mine. I added @seasnax, lemon, @kasandrinos EVOO, salt and pepper to mine to pop the flavors (it was pretty bland without the sauces). ## We were happy to have this relatively clean option on the road. The chicken probably had some seed oils on it for cooking but otherwise it was pretty clean. We added some leftover chicken breast we had with us as well for extra protein rather than ordering extra since ours was organic and we had it on hand. Thanks to @thefeistykitchen for this rec! ## #practicalpaleo #PracticalPaleoTravel #PracticalPaleoTravelRoadTrip
Wilda’s is known to locals to serve their version of “healthy comfort food.” Here you can get delicious hot dogs, falafels and the aforementioned Buddha Bowl, which you can get with tofu or chicken. It’s one of the most unique meals you”l have!
Don’t want to take our word for it? Here’s Visit California’s visit to the Redding restaurant:
In 1938, 18-year-old Bud Pennington had the idea to sell hamburgers to the thousands of construction workers building Shasta Dam. Today, you can eat the same delicious hamburger at Damburger in Downtown Redding.
Walking into Damburger is a little like walking into a time machine, with a 1950’s vibe in its decor along with its food. The unique burger and fries is a staple in Northern California and the restaurant remains a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Check out our visit to this historic burger joint:
Sublime Cupcake Design
If you’re looking for a delicious treat to hit your sweet spot, Sublime Cake Design is the perfect place, serving up some award winning delights. This local bakery won the Food Network’s Cake Wars and if you go into their storefront on Park Marina, boy do their cupcakes deliver!
We tried a variety of different cupcakes while visiting their Redding location including a Samoa (a flavor made popular by Girl Scout cookies), a Boston Cream (my childhood favorite), and a Red Velvet (that ISN’T just made with chocolate and red food coloring).
All of the cupcakes we tried were moist, soft, sweet, perfectly seasoned and absolutely delicious! If you ever have a sweet craving in the Redding, you should definitely give Sublime Cake Design a try. Watch this video to see our experience:
The Chicken Shack
If you’re looking for some comfort food in Redding, The Chicken Shack is your go-to spot! Of course, this place offers a variety of chicken dishes like fried chicken, chicken wings and normal chicken sandwiches. But what sets this place apart is its abnormally delicious dishes like its chicken and waffles, chicken and waffle sandwiches and loaded chicken fries.
View this post on Instagram
#thechickenshacknorcal Did somebody say chicken Gotta love it If you haven't been its time to try..and if it's been a while take a break from cooking and stop on by ❤️ #reddingbuzz #chicken #bestofthenorthstate #botns #supportlocalbusiness #thisisthenorthstate #trylocal #reddingca #thisisredding #supportsmallbusiness #letsdothis #reddingevents #supportlocal #goodvibes #reddingfoodies #mrreddingbuzz #gatheringplaces #trylocal #trysomethingnew #events #enjoyredding #keepitlocal #thingstodo #localplacestoeat
This is one of the new additions to the Redding food scene and is already catching fire with locals for its unique take on comfort food and happening vibes from its Churn Creek location. Check out our visit to Redding’s newest culinary favorite:
You want to feel cool, calm and collected? Go to Jack’s! It’s like walking into the 1930’s – so unassuming and yet so classic. I know I don’t need to convince you if you’re a local, but if you’re not, just take our word for it. You’ll love it. As one Yelper said, “It will knock your socks off.” Nuff said!
If you ask a Redding local where to go for a steak, the first word you’ll hear is “Jacks!” When you walk in, the dimmed lights create a unique experience of a classic steak dinner. You’ll get a shared salad, baked potato and an old school steak that for our money, is the best in Redding. There’s no wonder why locals have looked to this place for a hearty slab of meat for decades.
During Happy Hour in Redding, many locals join together for a hearty meal and craft beer at the downtown favorite Maxwell’s Eatery, which has so much great food you can’t go wrong. This happening joint is known for its massive menu of giant burgers, which is always an accomplishment to finish. But what may surprise you is they also serve some of the best pizza in town.
The unique part of Maxwell’s is how it doubles as a local watering hole and insanely good restaurant. You can come in to meet friends for a beer (and it gets lively at night) and you can also come for a hearty, mouthwatering burger. There’s a reason it’s always packed in there…
Taqueria Los Gordos
Obviously, there’s a lot of conversation of what’s the best Mexican food in Redding, and there’s a ton of legitimate contenders. But for my money, Los Gordos is the best.
Hidden off the Bonnyview exit off the I-5 corridor in south Redding sits this kingdom of taco bliss. And although not easily found to any passerby, you will usually enter to find a crowded restaurant, with the Redding locals craving some of the best authentic Mexican food in the area.
This local staple is known for its giant burritos, incredible customer service and the many options in its salsa bar. Oh yeah, it’s also super inexpensive.
*Note: There are two Los Gordos locations in Redding, this one off of Churn Creek. The locations are very similar, but this one seems to be the favorite among locals.
Best Little Sandwich Shop
There are a ton of great sandwich spots in Redding, but we have a place that sits close to our heart. The Best Little Sandwich Shop has a location in Anderson that serves up some of the most delicious sandwiches in the area.
This place is usually crowded during the day, a local favorite for hungry workers at lunch. Of course, there are so many great signature sandwiches on the menu, but this place is close to our heart for its Brien O’Brien Sandwich. Check out our visit to their old location to try said sandwich:
Located in the heart of Downtown Redding, Carnegie’s has been a local institution for over 15 years. Located inside the historic Western Hotel building on the corner of Oregon and Yuba Streets, Carnegie’s was one of the first establishments to bring microbrews to Downtown Redding and continues that tradition of fine beers and wine to this day.
Named in honor of the now-demolished Carnegie Library that once stood just two blocks away, Carnegie’s may now be best-known for its lunch menu, featuring gourmet soups, salads, and sandwiches served in generous portions. Carnegie’s also hosts one of the friendliest happy hours in town, with drink specials and handcrafted snacks. Eat good, drink good—visit Carnegie’s!
What did we miss? What’s your favorite place to eat in Redding? Let us know in the comments!
P.S. if you’re looking for a good beer, check out one of the awesome breweries in Redding:
Northern California’s Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine