April 24, 2014 4:27 PM   Subscribe

Where's a good place to grab lunch on the CA-99?

Tomorrow morning I’m planning on driving from Los Angeles to Yosemite. By my reckoning, I should be feeling lunchish right around Fresno, but a quick look at the dining options in that particular metropolis fills me with a deep sadness. I’m looking for a place along the CA-99 that serves up delicious and preferably somewhat interesting dining experiences (without requiring me to invest large sums of time and/or money).
posted by Parasite Unseen to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, there's the James Beard Award-winning Basque restaurant, Noriega's, in Bakersfield. And there's the Superior Dairy in Hanford for ice cream. But you should head over to the forums where this question has been asked and answered repeatedly.
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:41 PM on April 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

What do you like? Sal's in Selma has a good reputation for Mexican food. They also have a Fresno location.
posted by notned at 4:56 PM on April 24, 2014

Maybe a little early on the drive, but Moo Creamery is delicious and always interesting. It's not right off the freeway, but it's good enough that I don't mind. We also stopped in Kingsburg and had some tasty Swedish food once.

That said, BlahLaLa's suggestion of Chowhound is a good one. There are lots of threads about food along 99.
posted by wintersweet at 5:02 PM on April 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Bravo Farms in Traver! The constant roadside signage will let you know when you're near. Part kitschy country store, part cafe, part the only thing around for miles.
posted by hwyengr at 6:24 PM on April 24, 2014

Stay away from Bravo farms milkshakes they're way overpriced.
posted by notned at 6:28 PM on April 24, 2014

I have to travel to Bakersfield a few times a year for work and always eat at Kabob House in part because it is close to the hotel I stay at, but the food has yet to disappoint and is not your typical, everyday lunch fare.
posted by The Gooch at 6:28 PM on April 24, 2014

I grew up there. The one place my husband is insisting we go to is Fat Jack's, a great cheap 50's style drive- in. It might be a little out of the way, but YUM.

Otherwise, when you hit Fresno and are heading to Yosemite you'll go from 99 to 41. I suggest heading to Fig Garden Village. Nothing exciting, but you'll have options ranging from inoffensive (whole foods, chipotle) or at least local/independent (Patio Cafe, the Boulangerie - both good). There's also a Trader Joes nearby if you need snacks/camping food, and a Basque restaurant.

Piemontes in the Tower District has good Italian/deli sandwiches, and there's coffee shops and whatnot nearby. I also like the Chicken Pie Shop.... Suuuuuuper kitsch :)

Check chowhound to figure out who currently has the best Mexican. I think the area is at least 60% Hispanic now, so it'll be GOOD.
posted by jrobin276 at 6:32 PM on April 24, 2014

Pismo's Coastal Grill at 7937 North Blackstone Avenue is surprisingly good. It's also right between 99 and 41.
posted by ananci at 6:44 PM on April 24, 2014

So you want to go to Fresno? We'll, you've come to the right place for advice. I occasionally make road trips from San Francisco to Fresno just to see Fresno. It's got enough awesome for a day visit.

Anyhow, you must, must get coffee at Cafe Corazon in the Tower District. This place seriously has better coffee than any place in San Francisco (Ritual, Blue Bottle, et al got nothing on these guys).

It's run by an ex-DOT civil engineer who cares and knows about process and engineering. He roasts his own beans, and often he's also the one brewing your coffee.

Now for food, I have two recommendations. Just blocks away from Corazon is the Chicken Pie Shop. CHICKEN PIE SHOP. Totally authentic diner vinyl booth experience, with, yes, chicken pies. Also fruit pies. Delicious.

Also recommended for fooding, El Chichino Contento. This is a meat-coma tacqueria. Delicious, cheap, family place.

If you get to town early enough, and have time, also check out Yoshi Now which is a large thrift store with plenty of cool clothing, "antiques", kitch and non-kitch stuff. There are some gems to be found here.

Fresno's awesome.
posted by zippy at 10:00 PM on April 24, 2014 [4 favorites]

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