Live Oak and why you SHOULD stop there on your way to somewhere else


I grew up in Live Oak, CA; a small rural community in Northern California about an hour north of Sacramento.

People always asked “where is Live Oak??” and the answer is usually “it’s one of the stop lights between Yuba City and Chico”.

The people who KNOW where Live Oak is (like people in the surrounding rural communities) are unimpressed and usually follow up with a well-timed “You’re from LIVE OAK??” and a snarky eye roll.

There isn’t much to do there, but it is pretty conveniently close (about 15 minutes) to Yuba City which has pretty much everything you need.

As far as food options, it’s pretty limited. But what IS there will pleasantly surprise you!

Pizza Factory is just some OK (in my opinion) pizza, but the bread sticks are to die for. Go there and get the bread sticks if you like garlic and getting your arteries clogged!


There have been a couple of new additions to Live Oak since I moved away years ago that I have not yet tried, so I can’t speak on their behalf. I WILL say, if you want some good Mexican food you need to go to La Mexicana on Broadway.


If you are traveling north on HWY 99, turn left onto Pennington Rd (second and last stoplight in Live Oak). Then take an immediate left after the train tracks onto Broadway. La Mexicana is a little hole in the wall restaurant and market that has been family owned for years.

My sister and I have agreed that it’s the best Mexican food for the price. EVER. That’s right I SAID IT. If you call your food in it will be ready in under 10 minutes on most days, and VERY reasonably priced. We fed six people full meals for under $30 and it was delicious. This is the only restaurant that can make me drool over a basic bean and cheese burrito combo plate. That is actually what I order every time I go!

It’s also where I went on my very first date, which is silly but always makes me smile when I think about it!


If you do go, make sure you sample some of their salsas at the little bar next to the cash register, and of course fill up a cup with some radishes to be eaten later with a disgustingly wonderful amount of salt.

On your way out of town, stop at the Penny Candy store and fill up a basket with an enormous assortment of candies! Then, get a Tigers Blood snow cone, and head on your way!



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