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Best of Bakersfield Food Tour

A small group of foodies from L.A. are determined to invade Bakersfield for a weekend of discovery. We are looking for fresh authentic foods that highlight the best of local cuisine. We are open for anything from high-end gastronomy to family-style dining to hole in the wall finds that include deli-fare, juice bars, bakeries, ice cream stores. We are more than willing to taste cheese, wines, olives, honeys, you name it.
We are seeking food adventure and welcome any help you can give us in making our tour a memorable one.

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  1. Welcome to Bakersfield. For Italian there's Luigi's at 725 E. 19th Street in Old town. They have a deli and restaurant with the restaurant open 11:00 to 2:30 pm. Tuesday to Saturday http://www.shopluigis.com/ . Another Italian restaurant in downtown at 1400 17th Street. West of Luigi's is the Wool Growers Basque restaurant www.woolgrowers.net and the Noriega Hotel around the cornor on Summer and Tulare Streets. There's also Benji's Basque Restaurant on Rosedale Hiway just West of Hiway 99. For BBQ there's Champs BBQ at Hiway 65 and 7th Standard Road, now called Merle Hagard Way www.champsbbq.org . For ice cream it has to be Dewars, 2 locations, one at California Ave and Eye street and at Calloway and Hagman Road in the Save Mart shopping center. Sandwiches would have to Sequoia Sandwich Shop, on Rosedale Hiway in the Noirthwest Promiade shopping center, open everyday until 8 pm.
    For now.......

    1. Noriega's or Woolgrowers for Basque. You can google for both for menus.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Gail

        I completely agree with Luigi's and Dewars. For higher end dinner my suggestion is Cafe Med on Stockdale Highway. There's also a good pho place on Union.

        1. re: tavmark

          While driving to Fresno from L.A., I went in search of cheap fuel and stumbled upon the Pho Vy and Little Saigon restaurants in a new Asian shopping center at 333 Union Street, just north of Hwy 58. This is a short jog east of Hwy. 99. There is also a croissant bakery and an Asian supermarket here but I did not visit them. This is part of town that is undergoing renovation and it was nice to see the new buildings. The Asian cuisine was a nice change from the usual freeway fare and I found the cheap fuel at Union and 58.

          I also recently dined at the Chalet Basque, 200 Oak Street, family style dining, Decent food and a whole lot of it, nothing exotic.

          1. re: fresnohotspot

            The pho place mentioned by Fresnohotspot is the one I was referring to.

      2. Well, you’ve picked the right place to come to for authentic, locally owned restaurants and eateries. Bakersfield is known for its dining experiences that can only be found here. Craving Mexican food check out:

        La Costa Mariscos
        716 21st St
        Bakersfield, CA 93301
        (661) 322-2655

        631 18th St
        Bakersfield, CA 93301

        Mauricio's Grill & Cantina
        10700 Rosedale Hwy
        Bakersfield, CA 93312

        Basque has been covered by previous posters

        Italian food:

        Uricchio's Trattoria
        1400 17th St.
        Bakersfield, CA 93301

        725 E 19th St
        Bakersfield, CA 93305

        Frugatti's Italian Eatery
        600 Coffee Rd. Ste. L
        Bakersfield, CA 93309

        There are really so many more we could mention. Dessert lovers should head to Dewars or Rosemary’s.

        If you need more assistance on finding dining in Bakersfield, give the Visitors Bureau a call toll free at 1-866-425-7353 or go to VisitBakersfield.com

        1. Dewars is awesome! Great chews to take home with you, and great ice cream and ice milk to enjoy in the valley heat.

          Definitely try Basque food. Chalet Basque is sort of a hangout spot. I would eat at one of the other recommended restaurants (Wool Growers, Benji's)

          1. Here’s my list of favorite Bakersfield restaurants:

            Mama Roomba – Caribbean
            Try the jerk chicken, sweet potato fries, empanadas


            Wool Growers
            Pickled tongue and all the food is very good.

            Family style Basque


            Pretty decent red sauce italian

            Luigi’s – lunch only
            Old italian deli.

            J’s Place – Southern/Soul Food
            Try chicken & waffles, catfish on weekends, dirty rice, chocolate pie.

            Coming from LA, I don’t think it’s worth trying any of the Vietnamese, Thai, or Chinese. Although some of the chinese food is very retro, so if you’re looking for chop suey, chow mein, or egg foo yong try Bill Lee’s Bamboo Chopsticks. They have something called “coolie chows”.

            Also, most Mexican restaurants seem to be pretty americanized, mostly combination plates with crispy tacos - but still good.

            Westchester Bowl
            Try the fish & chips.

            The Orchid – Asian fusion
            Some pretty good dishes but consistency seems to be a problem. Nice wine bar.

            Dewar’s Candy & Ice Cream


            Tony’s Pizza, chile verde pizza

            John’s Pizza, this is a kids all you can eat pizza place, it’s not very good but they do have a peanut butter pizza.

            Country Food:

            Hodel’s – all you can eat

            Buck Owen’s Crystal Palace
            Steaks, chicken fried steak, live music on weekends

            Also, Kern County Fair – Sept 17 -28:

            If you like Sonic, there are a bunch in Bakersfield.

            For more events:

            There’s a great old LA Weekly article by jonathan gold:

            There's a relatively new vegan restaurant - Elaine's Cafe.
            A very limited menu but the ice cream is pretty good.

            also, Cafe Med, Jake's Tex Mex, Garden Spot, Valentin, Coconut Joe's Island Grill, Tom's Famous Burgers, Tam O 'Shanter, 24th Street, Red Pepper, Grandview Asian

            Wool Growers Restaurant
            620 E 19th St, Bakersfield, CA 93305

            Noriega Hotel
            525 Sumner St, Bakersfield, CA 93305

            Dewar's Candy Shop
            1120 Eye St, Bakersfield, CA 93304

            Dewar's Candy Shop
            9530 Hageman Rd, Bakersfield, CA 93312

            Uricchio's Trattoria
            1400 17th St, Bakersfield, CA 93301

            Tony's Pizza
            4130 California Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93309

            Westchester Bowl Coffee Shop
            1819 30th St, Bakersfield, CA 93301

            Luigi's Restaurant & Deli
            725 E 19th St, Bakersfield, CA 93305

            Bill Lee's Bamboo Chopsticks
            1203 18th St, Bakersfield, CA 93301

            5917 Knudsen Dr, Bakersfield, CA 93308

            J's Place
            5141 Ming Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93309

            Orchid Thai Fusion Cusine
            9500 Brimhall Rd, Bakersfield, CA 93312

            John's Incredible Pizza Co
            3709 Rosedale Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93308

            Buck Owen's Crystal Palace
            2800 Buck Owens Blvd, Bakersfield, CA 93308

            1 Reply
            1. re: badseed

              I believe Valentin moved to Santa Barbara, where it is now Petit Valentin in La Arcada Court on State Street and very well recommended. (2014)

            2. Try the village grill on f st. Open 6am - 2:30pm. Great food,service,very nice on the outside patio

              1. I can't comment on the food specifically, but if you're interested in doing a bit more research or discerning minds want to add input, here's my list of "Old Bakersfield" timewarps that could be fun to explore:

                • Andre's Giant Burgers

                • KC Steakhouse

                • Luigi's

                • Noriega's

                • Wool Growers

                • Woolworth's Luncheonette

                • Rice Bowl

                • Hodel's Country Dining (?)

                • Mexicali

                • Sal's Mexican Restaurant

                • Los Tacos De Huicho

                • 24th Street Cafe

                • Cope's Knotty Pine Cafe

                • J's Place (?)

                • Dewar's Candy Shop

                • Ethel's Old Corral

                • Frank Amestoy's Cocktails

                • Guthrie's Alley Cat

                • The Mint

                • Pyrenees Cocktails

                • Kern County Museum

                • Fox Theater

                Depending on where you're driving from, I've got a whole "California Mid Century SouthWestern Road Trip" itinerary from Turlock to Merced, Fresno, Clovis, Sanger, Bakersfield, and Tehachapi.

                5 Replies
                1. re: OliverB

                  Strong second for:

                  Tacos de Huicho – al pastor (on spit)
                  123 E 18th St

                  would also add:

                  La Costa Mariscos (shrimp plates are the specialty)
                  716 21st Street @ Q St.

                  and have heard good things about:

                  Sarducci's Italian Deli
                  4530 Stine Road

                  1. re: OliverB

                    OliverB: Sounds great! Where is this CA road trip itinerary posted?

                    1. re: Steve Green

                      Steve, not posted anywhere. I have hundreds of roadtrip itineraries (and three times as many for int'l trips!) in various file formats on my computer. I love to travel and it's a personal and slightly OCD hobby of mine that helps me to get excited when planning for upcoming trips.

                      I'll copy/paste the notes for you below. It's pretty basic compared to most of my itineraries which are a lot more detailed but there's not much in these parts. I use this route when driving down to the Southern Sierras around King's Canyon and Sequoia or the Southeastern CA desert. It's fun to make a couple days out of it rather than just blowing straight through. Admittedly, the focus is more on the unique and fading mid century Sotuh Western California timewarp atmosphere than the food itself, though I don't know that there's anything better in these parts. Fresno and Bakersfield have the most to offer. I can't think of any other states in the country where you can still find these old western style steakhouses like The Branding Iron; that's one of my faves! Here you go:


                      • Latif's Restaurant


                      • The Branding Iron


                      • Chicken Pie Shop

                      • The Lime Lite

                      • The Brig

                      • Shepherd's Inn

                      • Luau Bar

                      • Tokyo Garden

                      • Kaya

                      • Basque Hotel Bar

                      • Forestiere Underground Gardens

                      * Golden State Blvd's Mid Century Motel Row - (Manchester Motel, Fresno Motel, Relax Inn, Holiday Motel, Astro Motel, Big Star Motel, Motel Capri, Storyland Inn)


                      • Rodeo Coffee Shop Fountain


                      • Chuck Wagon


                      • Andre's Giant Burgers

                      • KC Steakhouse

                      • Luigi's

                      • Noriega's

                      • Wool Growers

                      • Woolworth's Luncheonette

                      • Rice Bowl

                      • Hodel's Country Dining (?)

                      • Mexicali

                      • Sal's Mexican Restaurant

                      • Los Tacos De Huicho

                      • 24th Street Cafe

                      • Cope's Knotty Pine Cafe

                      • J's Place (?)

                      • Dewar's Candy Shop

                      • Ethel's Old Corral

                      • Frank Amestoy's Cocktails

                      • Guthrie's Alley Cat

                      • The Mint

                      • Pyrenees Cocktails

                      • Kern County Museum

                      • Fox Theater


                      • Burger Spot

                      • Kelcy's Restaurant

                      • Village Grill

                      • Red House BBQ

                      • The Apple Shed (?)

                      1. re: OliverB

                        Excellent list. I've been to most of these but not all. Where is Kaya? (only one I am not familiar with in Fresno.) Also, you might add Richard's Prime Rib on Belmont. :)

                        1. re: tavmark

                          + 1 for Richard's on Belmont

                          Kaya, SW corner of Ashlan and Blackstone, south of the bank. Not sure if it's still in business, billed as Korean food. Weren't impressed our one visit but that was years ago, and it may have been a different name at that time.

                  2. I don't think you'll find high end gastronomy, but there are some interesting places to eat.
                    You may want to look into some of the Basque American restaurants which are usually pretty good. Check out either Noriega's hotel or Wool Growers. Noriega's has a set menu every night served family style while you can order different things from Wool Grower's menu.

                    I recently had some excellent Mex street food at this food truck called "Loncheria Otro Rollo', potato tacos were to die for.

                    Other options are Luigi's, 24th Street Cafe, Moo Cremery, and Dewars Candy shop.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Agrippa

                      Wool Grower's is fantastic!! I wish they opened earlier because whenever we take the 5 btwn SF and LA it's usually due to time constraints which means we end up cutting out of the city early so it's not that convenient to stop en route, but everything about the place is wonderful. Better if you're not rushed and can enjoy a leisurely lunch or dinner with a cask of house wine.