I must admit that I have not tried every restaurant in Bakersfield, and as a man who is not too picky about local restaurants and has a since of adventure when it comes to food, I feel that I have tried my fair share. However, I do believe that I have taken a bite out of what is the best down home eateries that Bakersfield has to offer. Here are my bites of true Bakersfield.
- Buck Owens Crystal Palace. Home of the great singer songwriter the Crystal Palace is a museum, night club, and restaurant all rolled into one. Carrying fond memories of the late superstar that bares the buildings name, it serves some of the best Southern style cuisine this side of the Rio Grande. A personal favorite of mine is Buck’s chicken fried steak. The Crystal Palace shares the same belief that my grandfather always said at the dinner table, “if you leave here hungry it’s your own damn fault.” Believe me, if you came to the Crystal Palace hungry for great food, good music, or for the history of a country music legend that put Bakersfield on the map you won’t leave there disappointed.
- Lengthwise Brewing Company. Opening their first establishment in 1998 and now opening their third restaurant here in Bakersfield. The Bakersfield brew-masters come in a solid second for being an outstanding icon of the city. As if brewing 6 different delicious beers like Lengthwiser Golden Ale, Triple Hop Red Ale, and Centennial Ale weren’t enough, the brewery also makes seasonal brews as well like Oktoberfest, Kern County Porter, and coming soon Kern County Crude Scottish Ale. For any of the brew it yourself fans out there these beverages would satisfy their local itch for iconic Bakersfield but Lengthwise also serves a wide variety of delicious food as well, like their Golden Ale chicken strips, goat cheese stinky fries, and their always popular deep fried Twinkies. I hope Lengthwise’s fame keeps growing all over California because we need more breweries like them.
- Famous Dave’s. Now I know what you’re thinking, there are so many other local restaurants out there that could have done a better job picking the number three spot. However, from my personal experience, I say that Famous Dave’s has worked its way into my heart (hopefully my insurance covers it). What made Famous Dave’s earn it’s place in the Bakersfield top three, was their dedication to the idea of setting down to a southern family dinner. I have sat down to eat at Dave’s with people from all across America, even the pickiest eater had no problem with the delectable vittles Dave’s had to offer. From pulled pork on toast, to sweet corn bread, to a variety of different sauces ranging from big and rich to devils spit. All the while you can’t shake the feeling like you are having your dinner at a family reunion. Its hard not to love the home decor and the paper towel racks stocked to the brim for the undoubtedly messy and fun experience that you will ever get served on a trashcan lid.
- Fishlips Bar and Grill. An honorable mention goes to one of our fallen heroes in the gastric and nightlife community here in Bakersfield.Fishlips Bar and Grill was a restaurant that was full of life and great food. A place where you could have a cocktail or a meal named after a famous musician (the Eric Clapton burger was a personal favorite of mine). Local bands would come in and perform cover songs from the greats like Jimmy Hendrix or The Doors and its patrons could lose themselves for an few hours in the sensational music, food, and every type of martini known to man. Sadly Fish lips could not withstand the tragedy of the last 10 years but I hope that all of you reading this have as fond of memories of that great tavern as I do.
That’s it folks, the show is over. If you feel that I am off my mark or that I have missed a deep fried treasure hidden within the valley of Bakersfield and you would like to show me the way.Feel free to reply with a suggestion and if your addition bumps off a raining champion, then it would be a pleasure to literally eat my words.