The votes are in and the community has spoken! The annual Best OfReaders' Choice Poll showcases the best of the best — from food and shopping to entertainment and services — as decided by those who call Bakersfield home. Even though 2020 saw many changes locally and the pandemic impacted all types of businesses, readers still showed up to honor their favorites around town. This is the Best Of Bakersfield!

Vacation season is right around the corner. For the second straight summer, travelers may have to contend with uncertain circumstances as the world continues to confront the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On a lazy spring day of backyard chores a few years ago at our Las Palmas neighborhood home, an empty clay strawberry pot was in my way. So I decided to paint it. Then another and another, as you can see. The general idea was for a patio motif that caught one’s eye. Subsequently, I thought a…

Our nation's foundation of health needs a major overhaul. As this pandemic unfolds and the “nocebo” effect takes its toll on an already-fragile population, it pushes me to spread positive, valuable and effective information centered around the fact that YOU have more control over your biolog…

I stood outside of the hospital entrance for what felt like forever to pick up my mom from her first surgery at the beginning of her journey with newly diagnosed breast cancer. The day was long, and hospital staff locating a vacant wheelchair was all that stood in the way of me reclaiming my momma.

“Wrong Turn (2021)” (YouTube TV): There’s nothing I love more than a good horror film. The “Wrong Turn” franchise is made up of six movies, each movie becoming more predictable than the next, which is one of the reasons why I love watching them.

Similar to others, I was inspired to cook something I saw on TikTok and decided to give this apple and brie grilled cheese sandwich my own twist. Ever since Salty & Sweet made a visit to PorkChop & Bubba's for the November issue, I couldn't stop thinking about their gouda burger. It …

I think most of us fantasize about having healthy and beautiful looking hair. From our trials and errors with products, some of us can't seem to get it right. With the right stylist and the right products to look for, you can achieve that look. I asked Carie McKay-Rose, a stylist at Sola Sal…

With open arms, Bakersfield welcomed a new bakery in 2020: the delicious Crumbl Cookies located at The Shops at River Walk. As a cookie lover myself, I had to try what some residents of Bakersfield raved about. 

It is still difficult to fathom that we have just crossed the one-year mark since the novel coronavirus was declared a pandemic. Over the course of the past year, stay-at-home orders have been mandated throughout California. Most of us would have never expected that in April 2021, many would…

Many Americans have questions about COVID-19 vaccines – and rightfully so. There’s lots of information out there, and researchers are learning new details about the virus daily.

Bratcher Home & Design is owned and operated by residential interior designer, Brooke Bratcher. Located at 1219 18th St. in downtown Bakersfield, you’ll find yourself in a beautiful showroom stocked with home decor, a design studio filled with textile samples, wood finishes and home furn…

I love pasta, and I recently decided to make some on my own. It's a task I've wanted to do for quite some time, and it turned out to be much easier than I thought! To accompany my fresh pasta, I made a homemade marinara sauce. It's simple, requires few ingredients, many of which you already …

Have you heard of the term “earthing”? Or “grounding”? Earthing is a natural way to heal your body by connecting your skin to the Earth. But why? Our Earth is alive and shares electrons that our bodies need. With increased inflammation in our bodies, scientists have found links that direct s…

If your family is anything like ours, your once quiet and empty home is now full of life. With one or more parents at home working, kids still schooling at home, not to mention the family pets, keeping the house tidy, clean and organized feels like an endless, overwhelming and even impossible task.

It’s warming up. My peach tree is breaking out in salmon colored blossoms. It reminds me of enjoying a glass of rosé with friends, something I hope to do soon. Rosé has come a long way since the days that some California wineries combined leftover red and white wine and marketed it as such.

Why rent when you can buy! Now is a great time to purchase a home. Take advantage of the lower interest rates and all of the special opportunities for first-time buyers. If you’re not familiar with what it takes to purchase a home, here is a simple checklist to help you make that decision.

“Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel” (Netflix): Netflix has been releasing many docu-series in recent months and I’m here for it. This four-hour docu-series tells the story of the disappearance of Elisa Lam at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles.

Something I've seen become a popular trend since people started working from home is plant decor. There's something about houseplants that offer a nurturing and peaceful vibe to your surroundings. If you're ready to refreshen up your space, it's time to bring in some houseplants to make your…

Living a minimalist lifestyle does not have to be for everyone, but when you live in a chaotic world, many of us have a need to get away from it all — longing for less, needing less and doing less.

Avid gardeners know that compost can add vital nutrients to soil used in gardens, container plants and lawns. The fact that compost is so versatile and nutrient-dense may not even be its most admirable quality. Made from items used in and around the house, compost costs just about nothing to…

This Fresno-based tech hub is building a new building in downtown Bakersfield and expects to hire 500 people to participate in apprenticeships allowing employees to "earn while you learn": Bitwise