As Christmas nears, we wait for the gift exchange with loved ones. The local dining scene is no different as news of new eateries land under our tree as if delivered by Santa himself. What's coming you might ask? 

With the closure of De Coeur Bake Shop, Bakersfield lost a beloved high-end bakery. Aiming to fill the sweets space downtown is GhilaDolci Bakery, which will open its own storefront at 19th and E streets. Regulars of Cafe Smitten will be familiar with the creative treats made by baker Courtney Ghilarducci-Dendy, including a variety of vegan baked goods.

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Speaking of vegans, those healthier diners will have a new lunch option downtown as well. Better Bowls will take over part of the storefront vacated by De Coeur on G Street near the post office. Run by local couple Jina and Blake McMillan, the small business currently operates an online delivery service and is a regular vendor at the Haggin Oaks farmers market on Sundays. 

It specializes in gluten-free vegan Buddha bowls, which consist of a portion of grain or starch, plant-based protein (tofu, chickpeas, or beans) and an assortment of vegetables. Options include American, Thai, Mediterranean, Southwest and barbecue jackfruit as well as a vegan sweet potato chili special. Learn more at

Taking up the other half of the G Street space is Rig City Roasting Co., a longtime collaborator with De Coeur and vendor at the Haggin Oaks and Brimhall markets (on Saturday). The coffee roasted by husband and wife Isaac and Shannon Dennis is served at a number of spots around town, including Moo Creamery, Bakersfield Pizza Co. and Bar and The Hen's Roost.

Both businesses should be in the 1818/1820 G St. locations early next year.

Another dining addition comes at the loss of another. Johnny Rockets at The Marketplace closed last month and the shopping center has posted that Five Guys will fill the spot next to Edwards Theater. 

This will be the third location for the Virginia-based hamburger chain known for its hamburgers, hot dogs, shakes and fries cooked in peanut oil. The first is at 2701 Calloway Drive and the second recently opened at Valley Plaza Mall (2701 Ming Ave.) in the food court.

Nearby Marketplace eatery Yogurt Zone also closed this fall but there's no word yet what will be going in its place.

Holiday dining

Just a reminder for those who might have missed it, here are some dining options for leaving the cooking to someone else:

Padre Hotel (1702 18th St.): Open 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday and Monday.

Cafe Med (4809 Stockdale Highway): Open Sunday from noon-8 p.m. Closed Monday.

Crest Bar and Grill (5025 Wible Road): Open Sunday from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed Monday.

Buck Owens' Crystal Palace (2800 Buck Owens Blvd.): Open for brunch Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with photos with Santa and bottomless mimosas (for those 21 and over).

Black Angus Steakhouse (3601 Rosedale Highway): Open Sunday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Closed Monday.

Famous Dave's Bar-B-Que (7777 Rosedale Highway): Open Sunday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed Monday.

Romano's Macaroni Grill (8850 Rosedale Highway): Open Sunday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Open Monday from noon-8 p.m.

Marie Callender's (two locations): Open Sunday from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Open Monday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

IHOP (multiple locations): Open Sunday from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Open Monday from 6 a.m.-2 p.m.

Denny's (multiple locations): Open 24 hours Sunday and Monday.

Golden Corral (5001 Ming Ave.): Open Sunday from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Open Monday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

HomeTown Buffet (4221 S H St.): Open Sunday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Open Monday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Sizzler (two locations): Open Sunday and Monday from 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Lumberjacks (2673 Mt. Vernon Ave.): Open Sunday and Monday from 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

Black Bear Diner (4102 California Ave.): Open Sunday from 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Open Monday from 6 a.m.-10 p.m.

Coco's Bakery Restaurant (7985 Rosedale Highway): Open Sunday from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Open Monday from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.