I grew up there, and obviously it has changed a lot over the years, since 1960, but right next to the Clarion Hotel on Rosedale Highway, is a Hungry Hunter Steakhouse. www.hungryhuntersteakhouse.com It may be a chain, but even so, it was great, and has gotten good reviews on other sites.
Hungry Hunter Steakhouse
3580 Rosedale Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93308
I love it here. I was a Navy Brat my whole life growing up everywhere (home base was LA because that's where the rest of our family lives), and when my father retired, we settled down in Bakersfield. People always ask "Why here?"
Some other musts are most definitely Joseph's (the veal is amazing and I've never had anything bad on the menu) on F and 30th, Fabious Corner Barbeque on Chester and 9th, Lengthwise on Schirra by the DMV, Anita's Mexican on California, Dehli Palace Indian food on Ming and New Stine (I love that they offer a scale of spiciness for the food, but they are accurate in their list so be careful!), and Frugatti's on Coffee and Truxtun Extension (a bit on the pricey side though but worth it!)
Anita's Mexican Restaurant
3015 Santa Clara Ave, Oxnard, CA 93036
When I mention that my daughter and her family live in Bakersfield, there are lots of puzzled looks and even some snooty comments about rednecks, hot weather, and nothing to do. Well, if that is your opinion of Bakersfield, you just haven't looked hard enough. There are lots of fun things to do and great restaurants that have popped up. Bakersfield is known for its famous Basque (French/Spanish) family style restaurants, but there are other small individually owned restaurants not so well known. You can find Mexican, Italian, and Cuban cuisine along with some trendy pizza places and micro-breweries. If you live in Bakersfield or just happen to be passing through, don't miss the opportunity to eat at Mama Roomba's. Cuban style food that is unique, fresh and fabulous. Located downtown, they are very busy on the weekends and reservations are a must. Check their business hours and try to get there early on a weekday. You will love the atmosphere, food and the drinks. I can't wait to go back!
1814 Eye St, Bakersfield, CA 93301
Don't live there, but I love Bakersfield. Yes, many people question my sanity sometimes, but look a little underneath the surface and you find a great place with friendly people. Here's my short list:
1. Los Tacos de Huicho - Best spit roasted al pastor anywhere plus great tripas, sopes, fish tacos, and incredibly good fries for some reason.
4. Mexicali (for the drinks only)
5. Too Fat