1400 17th St.
This is the perfect downtown lunch spot. The outside patio is great for enjoying this fresh Italian food on a warm spring day (you know, in a few months). But the location is not the only thing that makes this family-owned restaurant such a great place to eat. The friendly service and the awesome food keep this place busy. I love to get the Iceberg Lettuce Wedge with Gorgonzola cheese and a tasty vinaigrette dressing for $9.50. But I also enjoy their savory Paninis (made to your liking) for only $8.95.
Gimme Some Sugar
2100 19th St.
Consider this my warning. If you walk into this magical place, you will have to put any diets aside. The cakes, the cupcakes, and the bars will have your mouth watering before you even get to the counter. Indulge in a Vanilla Bean Cupcake or the decadent Butterfinger Cupcake (all cupcakes are $3). My favorite items are the Blondie Bar and the Sweet and Salty Loaded Popcorn—it’s popcorn, pretzels, toffee, sea salt, and melted dark and white chocolate. It’s also $3.
Big Poppy’s Deli
1927 20th St.
Once you visit this little slice of culinary heaven there is no turning back. These are not just sandwiches and burgers. These are your new best friends. Everything is perfect, from the bread and fresh ingredients to the thinly-sliced meats and the tasty spreads. The Avo Chicken Sandwich is my personal favorite. Or for a reasonable $7.50 try one of the many fresh salads like the Tuna Salad. It is mixed greens topped with their classic tuna salad, red onions, tomato, cucumber, and herb vinaigrette.
Steak and Grape
4420 Coffee Rd.
Don’t let the strip mall location fool you, when you walk in to this Bakersfield gem you will be transported to a high class New York-style restaurant. The modern decorations, all with a romantic feel, are both inviting and relaxing. The impressive wine list will surprise your palate, too. Try one of their 20 great lunch specials for only $9.95. The Strawberry Chicken Salad is one of the favorites amongst patrons and so is the Beef Stroganoff , tender beef sautéed in a mushroom cream sauce and served over pasta.
6720 Schirra Ct.
This is not just a place to grab a pint. Being the only micro-brewery in town, Lengthwise has set the bar pretty high. Not only do they serve up some satisfying beers, but their jam-packed menu has made a name for itself. The Stinky Fries, covered in melted gorgonzola and garlic, are a local favorite, as is the Fish & Chips. You get tender cod strips battered in their fresh ale and fried to a golden perfection with crispy French fries. Only $8.95 for lunch.
910 20th St.
From its beautiful Victorian building, full of character and history, to its traditional menu, this Mexican gem never disappoints. Grab a quick lunch with friends or enjoy a family dinner—Sinaloa can accommodate. I love the Enchilada and Taco Plate for lunch. Your plate comes with a beef enchilada smothered in enchilada sauce and cheese, a ground beef taco topped with lettuce tomato and cheese. The entre also comes with a side of refried beans and rice for only $9.95.
Asia Market & Teriyaki Bowl
7701 White Ln.
Asia Market isn’t just your local grocery store to stock up on foods from the Far East. Asia Market also has a delicious and affordable little restaurant inside: Teriyaki Bowl. They offer flavorful traditional meals for any budget. Come in and order a combination plate. It comes with steamed rice and fried rice plus two items. One of my favorites is the Sweet and Sour Shrimp and the Mongolian Beef…all for a sweet $4.59.