With so many great choices for delectable cuisine, we understand that it can be hard to stick to a budget when you’re hungry (and especially if you’re hangry). To help you out, we decided to take out the middleman and did all the legwork for you in searching out affordable, and more importantly delicious, eats from fantastic local restaurants. Just like we do every year, we’ve got you covered with dozens of meals that come in well below the $10 mark (and a few that weigh in at $12 and under*), so you don’t have to break that piggy bank. We may have put the kibosh on our diet, but it was a sacrifice we were willing to make for you, Bakersfield.
Photography by Reema Hammad
9530 Hageman Rd. Ste. K
Even though they’re a new player in town, they’ve already been in the spotlight for fun sides and creative entrées. While their burgers are piled high with wild toppings, they can be a big bite, which is why we recommend ordering the sliders. If you happen to be feeling generous, there’s more than enough to share, but we all know that won’t happen. These mini burgers are are only $9 and what some would call full sized and come with tomato, arugula, basil aioli, and blue cheese.
35315 Merle Haggard Dr. Ste. 130
There’s something special about this place, whether it’s the fresh ingredients, the fast service, or their yummy offerings. To put it short, we love it. They have piles of great choices for lunch like their a la carte burritos for just $5.99. They’re so monstrous, one Yelp-er even wondered how they manage to wrap them up with everything they put inside. These ‘ritos come with your pick of fillings like carne asada and carnitas, but the chile verde is the real star, in our opinion. If you have some extra pocket change, the burrito combo is just a dollar more and you get a drink too.
2000 Chester Ave.
Sometimes you just need to stop by a down home diner for some comfort food. Nestled in the heart of Bakersfield is Tina Marie’s, a small diner with a big heart and an overflowing menu. While they have a large selection of your typical burger and sandwich fare, if you’re looking for something lighter, the Taco Salad is for you. With the crunch of the tortilla chips, the creaminess of the jack and cheddar, avocado, and sour cream, and let’s not forget the tomato, olives, and onions, then this dish is everything you need to keep you going without weighing you down. The half is just $9.29 but if you think you need a little extra oomph, for $2 more you can get the full.
8200 Stockdale Hwy. Ste. M-1
Blue Elephant is serious about offering some craveable and budget-friendly plates. Served with a salad, spring rolls, and rice (jasmine or brown—it’s up to you), any of their lunch menu items are a steal. Personally, we favor the Cashew Nut Chicken ($9) which comes with vegetables, a fiery chili sauce, and the satisfying crunch of our favorite culinary “nut.” Lunch hours are from 11 to 3 p.m. and if you happen to be working from the office, they can even deliver locally.