Culinary travel in the West

The very best destinations, trips, and dining experiences for foodies

Top 18 local institution restaurants

These are the West’s culinary roots––the classic restaurants that weave together culture, atmosphere, and the best ingredients

Noriega Hotel, Bakersfield, CA
Photo courtesy of Noriega Hotel; written by Jan Newberry

Noriega Hotel, Bakersfield, CA 

Dinner at this former Basque boardinghouse—once used by California sheepherders—is served as it always has been: family-style, promptly at 7. Diners sit at the long communal tables for the parade of dishes, starting with soup, pickled tongue, herbed cottage cheese, spaghetti, and bread. Then come the mains, like lamb stew and prime rib on Wednesdays, or oxtail stew and fried chicken on Saturdays. $20; 525 Sumner St.;



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