Happy holidays, Bakersfield! I have officially been exploring the town to find all things fantastically foodie for 12 months now and it has been an honor to share my thoughts with ya’ll.

As we are officially in the swing of the holidays, I have been jingle bell rocking the holiday jams and have been enjoying much more than just “door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles.” So instead of highlighting one specific place for the month of December, I thought I’d share with you the “12 faves of Dre.” These are my go-to places that satisfy my cravings, from breakfast time to the after-dinner sweet tooth. Grab a pen and paper, as you probably will want to remember these places for your next craving!

Fave Date-Night Spots

As my husband and I are expecting our first bundle of joy this month, date spots have been our go-to as of late to enjoy a night alone while we still can! My favorites are Dot x Ott, Mama Tosca’s, Pyrenees Cafe and Horse in the Alley.

Not that these places aren’t kid friendly – they just ooze the ambience that you crave for an intimate night away from the hustle and bustle of the week. Dot x Ott and Pyrenees Cafe host live music weekly and all of these restaurants boast dinner specials on the reg that do not disappoint. Some of their dishes are so incredible that you’re bound to forget about that laundry mountain back home.

Fave Weekend Breakfast Spot

Hands down, Old River Grill on Brimhall Road is my favorite place to go for that weekend “brunchfest.” I usually go on an early Saturday morning, post-workout, with my pups. They have a dog-friendly patio, a vast menu that has something for everyone, an innovative rotating specials menu with brunch cocktails and, to top it all off, they have an extremely friendly and efficient staff.

Old River Grill is exceptionally well-managed, and they even have a coffee bar and a bubble machine out front for patrons waiting for their tables. Keep in mind, though, this place is popular, so it comes with a bit of a wait time. However, you will never wait that long as this place is a well-oiled machine of breakfast and lunch goodness. Plus, if you visit their Yelp page, you can jump on the waitlist from wherever you are. Genius!

Fave Working Lunch Spots

• Ike’s Love & Sandwiches

• Panini Kabob Grill

• Nature’s Food Market and Juice Bar

For lunch, I’m definitely a “Four S” girl – sandwiches, soups, salad and smoothies.

I’m a sucker for any of these items at any time of the day, but most especially for lunch. All of these establishments above have an online ordering system, perfect for a quick pickup to get back to the office on time.

Ike’s has great sandwiches that are extraordinarily unique and are perfect for a nice lunch by the fountain at The Marketplace. Panini Kabob Grill by the mall has a soup-and-salad combo that I can’t live without and I can order ahead for pickup or via DoorDash to deliver right to my day job. Nature’s Food Market and Juice Bar downtown is perfect for a quick drive-by for a ready-made salad or sandwich. Or, if you’ve got some time, they’ll whip you up a fresh juice to detox your day.

Fave Asian Cuisine Spots

• Rolls and Grill

• Sushi Time

There are many sushi spots and Far-East-inspired places to chow (mein) down here in Bakersfield. However, these two places take the cake (and most of my weekly takeout budget) for when I’m in need of the best pho or a kicking spicy tempura tuna roll. Rolls and Grill is a pretty cool spot that has the most amazing pho, spring rolls and Thai iced tea – hits the spot! They also have incredible ’80s music videos playing on the overhead TVs that’ll make your inner karaoke star want to come out and play.

Sushi Time, hands down, has the best sushi rolls and sashimi. Though Umi Sushi in the south runs a close second for me, Sushi Time always has specials going on and has affordable prices. Their rolls always taste so fresh and are not drowning in eel sauces and spicy mayos like many other places here in town. It’s always a good time at Sushi Time!

Fave Sweet-Tooth Spots

• Cloud 9 Coffee Co.

• Tutti Frutti

I am not usually a dessert person or prone to sweet things. However, my pregnancy cravings have had me exploring my sugary side as of late. Luckily, these two spots do not disappoint. Tutti Frutti on Stockdale is (to me) the best froyo spot in town. They always have amazing flavors and rotate them depending on the season. They have all the best toppings – sprinkles, carousel cookies, gummy bears, tapioca, chocolate-covered pretzels, etc. I think I feel a craving coming on. I need to go back ASAP.

Though I just wrote about Cloud 9 Coffee Co. last month, they don’t just stop at the coffee. They also have this amazing “Saturday only” situation where they serve THE BEST cinnamon rolls. If you don’t get there early, they will sell out. Saturdays are for the girls and cinnamon rolls.

That’s it for the “12 faves of Dre.” I hope you “simply remember my favorite things” and check these places out!

Thank you so much for following me on my foodie adventures these past 12 months. I can’t wait to share even more next year!

Lastly, from my little family to yours, I hope you and your loved ones have yourselves a holly jolly holiday season and a very happy new year! See you in 2020! 

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