Since 1999, when Pete A. Cisneros Sr. opened Pappy's Coffee Shop, the rustic, homestyle eatery has attracted locals with generous portions of classic American diner food. From 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day, chefs sizzle eggs alongside chicken-fried steak, jumbo cuts of ham, or fried bologna, and pile plates with seven-grain pancakes and waffles. Their 8-ounce burgers can arrive with Freedom fries or fried okra, and charming, 1-quart mason jars of cold soft drinks. The walls boast American and oil-rig-inspired memorabilia, creating an ambiance more down-home and eclectic than the vintage furniture-juggling contest at the state fair.
Locals linger at the counters of Cope’s Knotty Pine Cafe, chatting over steaming cups of coffee. Antiques and knickknacks speckle the wheat-hued wooden walls above booths and tables. Behind the counter, servers bustle, warmed by a griddle, and balance plates of omelets, burgers, and fried seafood. The dishes are all forged from recipes that might have been passed down through generations or discovered in extremely rough drafts of the Constitution.
A locally owned business, Dagny’s has been slinging rejuvenating cups of java to Bakersfield residents since the mid ‘90s. Stop in to fill up a fuel tank with a small espresso ($1.50) or macciato ($2.50) while noshing on a fresh bagel ($1.50), scone ($2.25), or muffin ($2.25). Ponder the meaning of last night’s freakishly surrealist dreams with a crisp salad ($8.50) or hearty sandwich ($8.50). While visiting, kick back amid the laid-back ambience and enjoy the free WiFi access. Stick around to check out the regularly featured live music. Free of bawdy lumberjacks carelessly showing off their beard-growing skills, Dagny’s Coffee Company offers a friendly spot for soaking up good vibes and relaxing with friends.
Espresso Café slakes stomach suspirations with a menu stocked with sandwiches and salads, while also energizing customers with an assortment of espressos and tasty coffee drinks. Stop in to rev up before performing a root canal on yourself with a 16 oz. white mocha ($3.85), or annihilate hunger with a spicy ham panini, a flavor bomb of ham and provolone dressed with spicy southwest mayo and mouth-delivered on squaw bread ($6.97). Espresso Café sources its coffee beans from Top Dog Coffee Bar in Morro Bay, while its breads are baked into starchy existence at the Bakersfield location of Great Harvest Bread Company. Students from nearby Bakersfield College can pontificate on the fresh eats and drinks while using the café's free WiFi to research the history of presidential skateboarding.
Cafe 225’s seasonally changing menu is a tour of California. Fresh seafood evokes the state’s scenic coastline, and chicken breasts hot from the oak-charcoal grill come with drizzles of cream sauce and slices of avocado that call to mind the state’s lush avocado groves. Crowned in fire-roasted chilies and chipotle aioli, the eatery’s burgers mimic the spiciness of the Mexican food just across the border; with bacon and locally sourced cheddar, meanwhile, they become a tastier American classic than a baseball on a pie tin. An array of personal pizzas and pastas rounds out the menu, and the wooden bar’s selection of 70 wines and artisanal beers complements meals.
The restaurant’s proprietor got his start in the industry at the age of 12, when he helped make sandwiches during the lunchtime rush at his father’s San Francisco eatery. In the ensuing decades, he has cultivated the know-how and taste to construct Cafe 225’s menu, along with its exposed kitchen and rotisserie grill. Today, he even makes a point of sourcing as many ingredients as possible from environmentally sustainable companies.
Roasting fresh coffee daily, this independent shop distributes a variety of premium beans that range from smooth to bold, as well as specialty bags of organic and flavored coffees like chocolate macadamia nut, cinnamon nut cream, pumpkin spice, and Irish cream. Mavericks Roasting Company's leading roast, Midnight Ride ($12.95/pound), embodies the company's signature style, with 100% pure Arabica beans slow roasted to bold, bitterness-free, aromatic bliss. On the lighter side, try Peru Organic—certified by the Organic Crop Improvement Association—which is roasted with the same pure Arabica beans to a smooth finish, or the indulgent Mudslide, which is so satisfyingly rich, you might find Scrooge McDuck swimming in it.