Best Of Logo

The certificates are displayed proudly on windows, walls and offices like badges of honor earned after countless hours, days, weeks and years serving the community.

To be named a “Best Of” winner or favorite is to be among elite company – a distinction granted by the people who call this place home.

For 25 years, TBC Media has conducted the Best Of Readers’ Choice Poll to showcase the people, places and things that make Kern County truly unique. Over 10 years ago, the honor of publishing the results was given to Bakersfield Life Magazine.

This was Yelp long before Yelp existed as the published results double as a referral tool to some of the best local options available and continues to be a valuable resource because the feedback comes from Kern County residents.

Each year brings anticipation and excitement, from the nomination process, voting to determine the top three, all the way to the big reveal. Will giants be dethroned? Is this the year a longtime favorite claims the title of winner? Will a newcomer catch everyone by surprise?

The answers lie in the pages that follow. As you review the results, take note of notable absences and keep them in mind during the next nomination period later this year.

After all, the Best Of Readers’ Choice Poll starts and ends with you.

Best Annual Event

HolidayLights at CALM Winner

Kern County Fair Favorite

Relay For Life Favorite

Best Community Theater

Fox Theater Winner

Bakersfield Music Theatre & Stars Theatre Restaurant Favorite

Gaslight Melodrama Theatre Favorite

Best of Delano

Dad’s BBQ Winner

Jenny’s Cafe Favorite

LR’s Pizza Favorite

Best of Downtown

The Padre Hotel Winner

Cafe Smitten Favorite

Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar Favorite

Best of East Bakersfield

Luigi’s Winner

Arizona Cafe Favorite

Wool Growers Restaurant Favorite

Best Golf Course

Seven Oaks Country Club Winner

Bakersfield Country Club Favorite

The Links at RiverLakes Ranch Favorite

Best Hotel

Padre Hotel Winner

Bakersfield Marriott Favorite

DoubleTree by Hilton Favorite

Best Kid/Family Entertainment

California Living Museum (CALM) Winner

Murray Family Farms Favorite

Rush Air Sports Favorite

Best of Lake Isabella/Kernville

Kern River Brewing Company Winner

Ewings on the Kern Favorite

McNally’s Favorite

Best Local Band

Mento Buru Winner

The Aviators Favorite

Monty Byrum Favorite

Best Mascot

Bakersfield Condors – Colonel Claw’d Winner

Bakersfield Christian High School – Eagle Favorite

California State University, Bakersfield Roadrunners – Rowdy Favorite

Best of Northeast

Rosa’s Italian Restaurant Winner

Red Pepper Restaurant Favorite

Spencer’s Cafe Favorite

Best of Northwest

Salty’s BBQ & Catering Winner

Kan Pai Favorite

Sugar Twist Bakery Favorite

Best of Oildale

Cope’s Knotty Pine Cafe Winner

Milts Favorite

La Tapatia Mexican Grill Favorite

Best Place to Take Out of Town Guests

Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace Winner

Dewar’s Candy Shop Favorite

Wool Growers Restaurant Favorite

Best of Southwest

Frugatti’s Italian Eatery Winner

Lengthwise Brewing Company Favorite

Sweet Surrender Favorite

Best of Taft

Route 33 Sandwich Company Winner

Asian Experience Favorite

Buena Vista Golf Course Favorite

Best of Wasco/Shafter

Teresa’s Mexican Restaurant Winner

Dad’s Bar-B-Que in Shafter Favorite

Red Wagon Favorite

Best Automotive Service

Bill Wright Toyota Winner

Jim Burke Ford Favorite

Motor City Buick GMC Favorite

Best New & Used Car Dealer

Bill Wright Toyota Winner

Jim Burke Ford Favorite

Motor City Buick GMC Favorite

Best Tire Store

America’s Tires Store Winner

Big Brand Tire & Service Favorite

Costco Favorite

Best Asian Restaurant

Bill Lee’s Bamboo Chopsticks Winner

Great Castle Chinese Restaurant Favorite

Rice Bowl Favorite

Best Bakery

Smith’s Bakeries Winner

Nothing Bundt Cakes Favorite

Sweet Surrender Favorite

Best Bar

Lengthwise Brewing Company Winner

1933 Restaurant and Prohibition Bar Favorite

The Padre Hotel Favorite

Best Basque Restaurant

Wool Growers Restaurant Winner

Benji’s French Basque Restaurant Favorite

Noriega’s Favorite

Best Barbecue Restaurant

Salty’s BBQ & Catering Winner

Firestone Grill Favorite

Jake’s Tex-Mex Cafe Favorite

Best Buffet

Hodel’s Country Dining Winner

Bucks Owens’ Crystal Palace Favorite

Don Pericos Mexican Restaurant Favorite

Best Chef

Preeda Piamfa, Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar Winner

Isaac Mancilla, Mama Roomba Favorite

Meir Brown, Cafe Med Favorite

Best Happy Hour

Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse Winner

La Mina Cantina Favorite

The Padre Favorite

Best Italian Restaurant

Frugatti’s Winner

Luigi’s Favorite

Uricchio’s Trattoria Favorite

Best Lunch Spot

Sequoia Sandwich Company Winner

Jake’s Tex Mex Cafe Favorite

Luigi’s Favorite

Best Mexican Restaurant

La Costa Mariscos Fine Mexican Food Winner

Don Pericos Mexican Restaurant Favorite

Mexicali Restaurants Favorite

Best Microbrew

Lengthwise Brewing Company Winner

Kern River Brewing Company Favorite

Temblor Brewing Company Favorite

Best New Restaurant

Cafe Smitten Winner

Bakersfield Pizza Co. & Bar Favorite

Sonder Favorite

Best Pizza

Tony’s Pizza Winner

Pizzaville USA Favorite

Rusty’s Pizza Parlor Favorite

Best Sandwich/Deli

Sequoia Sandwich Company Winner

Caesars Italian Delicatessen Favorite

Luigi’s Favorite

Best Seafood

La Costa Mariscos Winner

AMF Westchester Lanes Favorite

Coconut Joe’s Favorite

Best Steak House Restaurant

Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse Winner

Hungry Hunter Steakhouse Favorite

KC Steakhouse Favorite

Best Sunday Brunch

Bucks Owens’ Crystal Palace Winner

Don Pericos Mexican Restaurant Favorite

Hodel’s Country Dining Favorite

Best Sushi

Kan Pai Winner

Jin Sushi Favorite

Love Sushi Favorite

Best Chiropractor

Christopher Berry – Core Chiropractic + Wellness Winner

Kristal D. Shropshire – Shropshire Chiropractic, Inc Favorite

Matthew G Tatsuno – Tatsuno Chiropractic Favorite

Best Dentist

Donald R. Montano – Montano & Cardall Orthodontic Specialists Winner

Kurt Sturz – Sturz and Abby Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics Favorite

Dr. Michael Thurman – Thurman Orthodontics Favorite

Best Doctor/General Practitioner

William Farr – Farr Medical Group Winner

Calvin Kubo – Golden Valley Medical Group Favorite

Christina Del Toro-Diaz – Mohawk Medical Group Favorite

Best Fitness/Health Club

In-Shape Winner

Body Xchange Sports Clubs Favorite

Planet Fitness Favorite

Best Hospital

Dignity Health – Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Winner

Adventist Health Favorite

Dignity Health – Mercy Hospital Southwest Favorite

Best Medical Group

Comprehensive Blood & Cancer Center Winner

Kaiser Permanente Favorite

San Dimas Medical Group Favorite

Best Ophthalmologist/


Steve Ratty – Stephen Ratty Optometrist Winner

David B. Hair MD – Bakersfield Eye Institute Favorite

Gregory A. Stainer – Southwest Eye Care & Laser Favorite

Best Physical Therapy Group

Terrio Physical Therapy & Fitness Winner

Glinn and Giordano Physical Therapy Favorite

Pair & Marotta Physical Therapy Favorite

Best Plastic Surgeon

Darshan Shah – Beautologie Cosmetic Surgery and Medispa Winner

Gordon M. Mitts – Mitts Plastic Surgery Favorite

Vipul Dev – California Institute of Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery Favorite

Best Specialty Doctor

Ravi Patel – Comprehensive Blood & Cancer Center Winner

Christopher Hamilton – Southern California Orthopedic Institute Favorite

Mark L. Schamblin – Southern California Orthopedic Institute Favorite

Best Veterinarian

Travis Thurman – Thurman Vet Center Winner

Lauren Blair – Bakersfield Veterinary Hospital Favorite

Mark Holland – Southwest Veterinary Hospital Favorite

Best Home Improvement Building Contractor

DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen Bakersfield Winner

Mike & Bob Wattenbarger Favorite

Stockdale Kitchen & Bath Favorite

Best Mortgage Company

Agape Mortgage Winner

Castle & Cooke Mortgage (CCM) Favorite

Cornerstone Mortgage Favorite

Best New Home Builder

John Balfanz Homes Winner

Froehlich Signature Homes Favorite

Lennar Homes Favorite

Best Property

Management Company

Watson Realty Property Management Winner

MD Atkinson Favorite

Pacific Management Company Favorite

Best Real Estate Agent

Jessica Fuentes – Miramar International Winner

Erica Seymour – Miramar International Favorite

Jon Busby – Miramar International Favorite

Best Real Estate Company

Miramar International Winner

Coldwell Banker Preferred, Realtors Favorite

Watson Realty ERA Favorite

Best Bank/Financial Institute

Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Winner

Chase Bank Favorite

Wells Fargo Favorite

Best College/Higher Learning Source

California State University, Bakersfield Winner

Bakersfield College Favorite

Taft College Favorite

Best CPA/Accounting Firm

Brown Armstrong Winner

Daniells Phillips Vaughan & Bock Favorite

Hocking Denton and Palmquist Favorite

Best Day Care/Preschool Facility

Little Red School House Winner

Olive Knolls Christian School Favorite

Valley Bible Fellowship Favorite

Best Dry Cleaner

Today Cleaners Winner

New City Cleaners Favorite

Waterfall Dry Cleaning Favorite

Best Florist

Log Cabin Florist Winner

Garden District Flowers Favorite

White Oak Florist Favorite

Best Funeral Home

Greenlawn Funeral Homes & Cemeteries Winner

Basham Funeral Care Favorite

Hillcrest Memorial Park Favorite

Best Hair Salon

Essentiels Spa Et Beaute Winner

Atomic Kitten Favorite

Envy Salon Favorite

Best Heating/Air

Oasis Air Conditioning Winner

Bland Solar & Air Favorite

Stockdale Aire Favorite

Best Law Firm

Chain Cohn Stiles Winner

Klein, DeNatale, Goldner, Cooper, Rosenlieb & Kimball, LLP Favorite

Young Wooldridge, LLP Favorite

Best Lawyer

Daniel Rodriguez – Rodriguez & Associates Winner

Robert J. Noriega – Young Wooldridge, LLP Favorite

Timothy G. Scanlon – Klein, DeNatale,

Goldner, Cooper, Rosenlieb & Kimball, LLP Favorite

Best Local Insurance Agent

Kari Lee – Personal Express Winner

Allison Kitchen – Farmers Insurance Favorite

Darlene Dennison – State Farm Favorite

Best Pest Control

Clark Pest Control Winner

Banks Pest Control Inc Favorite

Killian Pest Control Favorite

Best Place to Worship

Valley Bible Fellowship Winner

St. Francis Church Favorite

Valley Baptist Church Favorite

Best Private School

Bakersfield Christian High School Winner

Garces Memorial High School Favorite

Stockdale Christian Schools Favorite

Best Retirement Home

Rosewood Retirement Community Winner

Brookdale Riverwalk Favorite

The Village at Seven Oaks Favorite

Best Spa

EuroPhoria Medical & Personal Spa Winner

Beautologie Cosmetic Surgery &

Laser Center Favorite

Essentiels Spa Et Beaute Favorite

Best “Made In Bakersfield”


Dewar’s Candy Shop – Chews Winner

Pyrenees French Bakery – Sourdough Bread Favorite

Smith’s Bakeries Favorite

Best Antique Dealer

Woolworth’s Five & Dime Antique Mall Winner

Farm Girl’s Vintage Finds Favorite

Timeless Furnishings Favorite

Best Bike Shop

Snider’s Cyclery Winner

Action Sports Favorite

Finish Line Favorite

Best Carpet/Flooring/Tile Store

Carpet Outlet Plus, Inc Winner

Bill Ray Tile Favorite

Stockdale Ceramic Tile Center Inc Favorite

Best Furniture Store

Weatherby’s Furniture Winner

Ashley Furniture Favorite

MOR Furniture Favorite

Best Home Appliance and

Electronics Store

Urner’s Winner

Best Buy Favorite

Lowe’s Favorite

Best Jewelry Store

Rogers Jewelers Winner

American Jewelry Co. Favorite

Knights Jewelry Favorite

Best Local Apparel and Shoe Store

Emporium Western Store Winner

Apricot Lane Favorite

Guarantee Shoe Center Favorite

Best Mattress Store

Urner’s Z’s Please Sleep Centers Winner

Slagle’s Mattress Showroom Favorite

Sleep n Air Mattress Favorite

Best Nursery/Garden Store

White Forest Nursery Winner

Bolles Nursery Landscape Favorite

Robby’s Nursery Favorite

Best Shopping Center

The Marketplace Winner

Outlets at Tejon Favorite

The Shops at River Walk Favorite

Best Wedding Wear

David’s Bridal Winner

Ladies and Gents Bridal Favorite

Mr. Tuxedo Favorite

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