Bakersfield is a common stop between Los Angeles and almost any destination. Located two hours from LA and four from Las Vegas, it’s the metropolitan area for surrounding cities like East Bakersfield, Oildale and Rosedale. And, guess what? The 142-square-mile city has vegan eats.
Check out the map to vegan dining in Bakersfield, California.
Better Bowls Bakersfield
Photo by @karleemcguirecain
Better Bowls is Bakersfield’s only vegan restaurant. Opened in 2018, the daytime spot offers Buddha Bowls. Choose a grain or lettuce base, plant protein (beans, tofu or chickpeas), and add in fresh cooked veggies and your choice of sauce. Better Bowls also serves their Signature Bowls like BBQ Jackfruit filled with brown rice, broccoli slaw, sliced radishes and jalapeños topped with creamy cashew BBQ ranch. They’ve also got sweets like gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, chia seed pudding and a rotating dessert special. Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., 1818 G St.
Photo by @bakersfieldvegans
Cafe Smitten is one of Bakersfield’s few local coffee shops. It goes the extra mile with wonderful coffee, clearly labeled vegan food items and a knowledgeable staff. Cafe Smitten serves up vegan options like a breakfast burrito, mushroom sandwich and the popular avocado toast (hold the egg and ask for vegan dressing). Caffeineate and add in soy, almond or coconut milk. Monday – Friday: 6:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., 909 18th St.
Shake N Buns
Photo by @karleemcguirecain
Shake N Buns was the first restaurant in Bakersfield to carry the Impossible Burger and the first local drive through with vegan options. Their vegan menu includes a buffalo chicken sandwich, hot dog (thank you, Field Roast), grilled cheese and more, plus they’ve got dairy-free shakes and ice cream. 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., 2517 White Ln.
The Hen’s Roost is a vegan restaurant in Bakersfield serving up both the Impossible and Beyond burgers as well as mushroom, veggie and tofu burgers (Kentucky Fried Tofu burger or KFT if you will). They also have a chimichanga, hot dog, grilled cheese, a Tofurkey melt and even a grilled PBJ. Craving fries? You’re in luck. Hen’s Roost’s menu also features a variety of specialty fries including the super popular Thai Fries, fries topped with cauliflower rice, carrots, red onion, chili, garlic and house peanut sauce. Hen’s Roost also whips up milkshakes made with frozen bananas and almond milk. Tapped into the local community, the second Saturday of every month, they host Second Saturday complete with local products available for purchase. Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., 1916 G St.
Photo by @bakersfieldvegan
Chuy’s is a chain restaurant with two locations in Bakersfield – Rosedale and New Stine. Both locations offer a vegan burger – a Beyond Burger topped with lettuce, tomato, onions and Veganaise along with a side of fries. They also have a veggie burrito (hold all the dairy) Monday – Wednesday – 9 a.m. – 10 p.m., Thursday – Friday – 9 a.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday – 8 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sunday – 8 a.m. – 10 p.m., 8660 Rosedale Hwy; Monday – Saturday – 9 a.m. – midnight, Sunday – 8 a.m. – midnight, 2500 New Stine Rd.
Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar
Most Thai places have great vegan options and Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar is no exception. It’s an especially great choice if you’re craving vegan food in Downtown Bakersfield. Though they have plenty of options, make sure you ask for no fish sauce with most noodle dishes!
Some favorites are tofu triangles with sweet and sour sauce, the fresh tofu roll filled with lettuce, basil, vermicelli, cucumbers, red cabbage and carrots stuffed into rice paper and vegetable gyoza for appetizers. While nothing is technically marked vegan, dishes are noted as vegetarian and include a veggie salad (hold the egg) and veggie noodle soup, as well as stir fries, fried rice, pan-fried noodles and curry — simply swap meat for tofu, vegetarian duck or vegetarian chicken (and remember to hold the fish sauce). Definitely try the Garlic Lover, a combo of fresh and roasted garlic on lettuce; the Pra Ram, a peanut sauce stir fry over veggies; or the Pad See Ew, flat rice noodles with broccoli (hold the egg). They can also make vegan Thai iced tea if you ask. Staff here are knowledgeable and understand vegan requirements. Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday – Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. 1534 19th St
Blue Elephant Thai
Blue Elephant Thai is another great vegan-friendly Thai restaurant in Bakersfield. They have veggie spring rolls, veggie potstickers, tofu soup, garden salad, pad see ew (hold the egg no fish sauce), and drunken noodles (hold the egg). They also have a vegetarian specific menu with items like spicy eggplant, green bean prig king, garlic green beans and more. Headed to Bakersfield in the morning? They’ve got Thai porridge with tofu. Breakfast – 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., lunch – 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., dinner – 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m., 8200 Stockdale Highway
Thai House is the most traditional feeling Thai restaurant with vegan options in Bakersfield. The inside is small, but everyone is nice and their menu is great, too. They have fried tofu, cucumber salad, lemongrass salad, tom yung goong soup, tom kha gai soup and basil mushroom and tofu. Other dishes can be made vegan by choosing tofu, vegetarian chicken or vegetarian duck. Just be sure to ask them to hold the fish sauce. Monday- Saturday – 11 a.m – 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday – noon – 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. 5143 Ming Ave
Zaika Indian Cuisine
Zaika Indian Cuisineis one of the only local Indian restaurants in Bakersfield. If you’re craving vegan Indian food in Bakersfield, Zaika Indian serves up tasty samosas, vegetable pakora, aloo jeera, bindi masala and vegetable biryani. Sunday – Thursday – 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday – Saturday – 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., 5123 Ming Ave.
Guapo’s Taco Shop
Photo by @bakersfieldvegans
Guapo’s Taco Shop is under the same ownership as Shake N Buns and, like their sister restaurant, offer plant-based eats in Bakersfield. Order up veganized versions of their traditional menu items like quesadillas, tacos, burritos, nachos, and Guapo fries (think nachos, but with fries instead of chips). Guapos Tacos also has a vegan asada tacos made with mushroom, chick’n, al pastor or soyrizo. 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., 2517 White Ln.
Camino Real Kitchen and Tequila
Camino Real offers vegan specials every Wednesday as part of their Not On Menu Wednesday and has an entire veggie section on their menu every day. Our top pick for vegan food at Camino Real are the Not Fish Tacos — two corn tacos filled with crispy battered zucchini, lime onions, cabbage, salsa and more (hold the cheese), their veggie burger, and soyrizo tacos (ask for no cheese). If you mention you’re vegan, the servers will help you navigate and offer special things, too! Their dessert menu also has a vegan brownie and ice cream and vegan fried plantains. Monday – Friday – 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday – Sunday – 8 a.m. – 11 p.m., 4501 Stine Rd.
If you’re craving vegan pizza in Bakersfield, head to Boss Pizza’s two locations. This local make-your-own-pizza joint uses Daiya cheese and offers normal and gluten-free crusts. Make your own creation with heaps of veggie choices or try the Greenhouse version which comes with artichokes, zucchini, olives, mushrooms, red onions and bell peppers … just let them know to use vegan cheese instead. You can also create a custom salad with vegan dressing. Sunday – Thursday: 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday – Saturday – 10:30 a.m. – midnight,1525 18th St and 5440 California Ave.
Bakersfield Pizza Co. & Bar
Photo by @veganallison
Bakersfield Pizza Company is another option for vegan pizza in Bakersfield. This spot is a bar (hello, happy hour!) and restaurant with plenty of veggies to load onto your pies. They also feature Daiya cheese, plus soyrizo and vegan sausage to add to your pizzas, vegan wings and even vegan ice cream. 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., 4105 Ming Ave.
Hummus Express serves up Mediterranean food in Bakersfield. Order the falafel plate (served with rice, hummus or salad) or sandwich and add sides like fries, hummus, tabbouleh or one of their salads. Monday – Saturday – 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sunday – 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. 8110 Rosedale Hwy.
Brazilian Acai Bowls
Photo by @brazilian_acai_bowls
Brazilian Acai Bowls started out with only acai bowls, but their menu grew to include vegan sandwiches like a vegan chik’n sandwich, vegan toona sandwich and their vegan deli sandwiches. They also carry vegan donuts and pastries most days! All the acai bowls are customizable and most are already vegan such as the Gorilla, which has acai, granola, bananas, strawberries and your choice of peanut butter or almond butter. Create your own with a base of acai, pittaya, oatmeal or matcha and then add in fruits, seeds and protein to make it your perfect bowl. Brazilian Acai Bowls also serves fresh juices, wellness shots and shakes. Sunday – Thursday – 7 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday – 6 a.m. – midnight, Saturday – 7 a.m. – 11 p.m., 1400 Calloway Dr. Suite 103
Rio Acai Bowls
Rio Acai Bowlsis another locally owned acai bowl location that is vegan-friendly in Bakersfield. The Brazilian (banana, strawberry and granola) and Paleo (flaxseed, banana, coconut, almond butter) bowls are vegan and the others can be made vegan by holding the whey and honey. They also offer smoothies. Downtown Bakersfield, 1914 Chester Ave., Monday – Friday – 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., Saturday – 9 a.m. – 7 pm.; Northwest Bakersfield, 2720 Calloway Dr., Monday – Thursday – 7 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday – 7 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sunday – 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Southwest Bakersfield, 3650 Gosford Rd., Monday – Saturday – 7 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sunday – 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
— Miranda Defoor, blogger for Bakersfield Vegan
Diana Edelman is the founder of Vegans, Baby. She previously lived and worked in Thailand where she spent years working for an elephant sanctuary and has traveled around the world speaking about the realities of elephant tourism. She is a public speaker who has appeared at SEED Food + Wine, VegFest Puerto Rico, VegFest Toronto and more, a journalist and entrepreneur. Diana is also behind the Vegas Vegan Dinners at James Beard Foundation’s James Beard House.