Best Restaurants in Bakersfield

Two hours north of the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles, lay a treasure trove of culinary delights.


Two hours north of the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles, lay a treasure trove of culinary delights. Whether you’re there for a work trip or just passing by on your drive through The Golden State, know that Bakersfield’s food scene has more to offer than meets the eye. Get a taste of an eclectic mix of treats from around the world without leaving Southern California.

Basque Cuisine

Experience Bakersfield’s Basque community at Noriega Hotel, winner of the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s American Classic Award. Drink wine and dine family-style in the former 1893 hotel-turned-restaurant on a prix fixe menu that includes such American Basque dishes as beef brisket, liver with onions, chicken cacciatore and oxtail stew. If you're up for something a little more casual, relax in the laid-back setting of Wool Growers, the city’s beloved, family-owned Basque restaurant, open since 1954. Wash down the hearty dinner spread—complete with pickled tongue, French fries and spaghetti—with Picon punch, a signature bitter Basque cocktail.

Italian Dishes

Eat a light breakfast in preparation for a complete Italian meal. Open just for lunch, Luigi's Restaurant, a Bakersfield institution since 1910, serves rich pastas and big sandwiches. Cram into the indoor space adorned with Italian flags, photos of famous patrons and red-and-white checkered tablecloths or enjoy shelter from the sun on the umbrella-covered patio. Sad about finishing your meal? Don’t worry, because you can take home traditional Italian meats and cheeses from the attached store. Nosh on homemade manicotti, thick layers of baked lasagna and sautéed scallops at Uricchio's Trattoria, an elegant Italian eatery with high, wood beam ceilings. Retreat to the outdoor patio on a warm summer evening and wind down the night with a smooth glass of Chianti or refreshing Pinot Grigio.

Tasty Treats

Indulge your sweet tooth at Dewar’s, the city’s legendary sweet shop with roots dating back to 1909. Pick up a box of their specialty taffy to go, but not before you and the family enjoy a mammoth ice cream sundae in the old-fashioned soda fountain outfitted with bright pink stools and black-and-white checkered floors. Moo Creamery also serves up food pleasing to the tastes of kids and adults s alike. Delight in sky-high burgers topped with everything from applewood-smoked bacon and jicama slaw, to Spanish chorizo. Treat yourself to a scoop of homemade ice cream or sample their array of milkshakes, malts and floats to end your meal on a sweet yet retro note.

Comfort Food

Taste a bit of down-home cooking at J’s Place, Bakersfield’s casual, family-friendly restaurant serving Southern cuisine. Dive into a plate of chicken and waffles, fried catfish, corn bread and black-eyed peas, coupled with a glass of sweet peach tea. Rise and shine with breakfast at 24th Street Cafe, feasting on such scrumptious combinations as biscuits and gravy, steak and eggs, and a bacon and avocado omelet. Breakfast is served all day but the lunch menu, filled with traditional diner like hot meatloaf and club sandwiches, tempts big appetites, as well.

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