Ahhh a trip to Bakersfield. Most people just pass on through to the coast or on their way to San Francisco or LA, but should you find yourself with a few days in Bakersfield, DEFINITELY recommend the following:
Stay at The Padre Hotel, Bakersfield’s only 4 diamond hotel located in Downtown Bakersfield with easy access to local shopping, nightlife, and DELISHHHH food.
Enjoy food at any of the following places, depending on what tickles your fancy. They’re all the noms. For breakfast, our favorites are Village Grill, New Vintage Grill, or 24th Street Cafe. They’re all about the same price points and degree of deliciousness, so you really can’t go wrong. Village Grill and 24th Street Cafe are both downtown, and New Vintage Grill is in Northwest Bakersfield. For lunch, we can recommend Jake’s Tex Mex Cafe (Works Burrito is OMG good, and you have to get the sheet cake!), Salty’s BBQ (Salty’s Special fo lyfe), or La Costa Mariscos. Jake’s is centrally located and so worth the wait, Salty’s has a few different locations so could be good if you’re travelling, and La Costa also has two locations, one downtown(ish) and one in Southwest Bakersfield. Bakersfield has a couple Italian restaurants that deserve recognition. Luigi’s is open for lunch only and is a Bakersfield staple. We enjoy Frugatti’s for lunch and dinner, and their desserts and wine, mmmmm. Our personal favorite has to be Uricchio’s Trattoria for their atmosphere, wine, food, and location. Now if you’re more of a Basque food connoisseur, you’ll be happy to know that for some unknown reason, there are a TON of family-owned basque restaurants in Bakersfield as well. All are equally delicious (in our opinion), so take your pick from the top 2, Wool Growers Restaurant or Benji’s French Basque Restaurant. Now if you’ve got time and/or a special occasion (or not, who cares?!), try to get into Buck Owen’s Crystal Palace for country music and amazing food and drinks.
Things to do in Bakersfield are not limited to the Kern County Museum and CALM. Honestly, we wouldn’t find those interesting at all if you come from an even slightly larger town… we say SKIP ‘EM! We would (again) recommend getting into Buck Owen’s Crystal Palace for dinner and drinks, hitting the Outlets at Tejon for shopping, visiting Temblor Brewing Co for a drink with friends, and popping next door to The BLVD for games and entertainment all day or night! The Bakersfield nightlife is primarily downtown at The Padre Hotel, The Mark Restaurant, Tiki-Ko, or the alike. 1933 is a fun atmosphere for dancing (Bakersfield-esque clubbing per say) on the weekends and is located in Northwest Bakersfield, and Wiki’s Wine Dive & Grill has a special place in my heart for a more mellow evening with friends (located in Southwest Bakersfield).
If you’re going to drink, make sure to Uber everywhere. There are pop-up DUI checkpoints all the time, and you don’t want to get caught in one under the influence. I would also recommend dinner reservations for any of the above mentioned, as there is not a TON to do in Bakersfield, the hot spots fill up quickly. If you’re visiting in the summer, make sure to pack for a dry heat of 100 degrees or more. There is no humidity in Bakersfield and you will get sunburned, dry out, and sweat, all at the same time. Bakersfield cools off at night, but can still be toasty. In the winter, we get down to the 40-50 degree marks and we’re all absolutely freezing (I mean, it is California, come on!). Pack for a dry cold because it literally never rains here anymore. Now you may notice that we only touched on summer and winter, and that’s because Bakersfield really only has those two seasons. If you catch us in the 2 weeks of spring or fall (usually in March and October) you won’t have to worry about a thing because it will be gorgeous without a cloud in the sky and perfectly 70 degrees. Buuuut that’s a rarity here. Check your weather forecast for sure, and have fun!