Kernville’s dining options are refreshing change of pace from LA and other tourist destinations. Indulge in a meal at one of the many mom-and-pop type joints in town; or even better, prepare your own meals in your cozy abode.
For breakfast and lunch, Riverkern General Store and Blue Bear Cafe are both solid options. Steps from Kern River House Willow Cabin, Riverkern General Store is a local spot with breakfast sandwiches and BBQ, and its store is convenient for things like ice or camping gear. In town, Big Blue Bear Cafe offers classic cafe fare like salads, soups, and sandwiches. Both have outdoor areas. For quick lunch in town, grab a burrito at El Rio and walk it down to Riverside Park. Outside town, McNally’s Outpost’s burger stand has great burgers (including Beyond burgers), fries, milkshakes and the like. If you’re planning on hiking the Whiskey Flat Trail, this is one of its trailheads, so it’s a great spot to plan for a pre- or post-hike meal.
For dinner, diners will enjoy a few more options, none of them trendy and all of them satisfying. Eddy Out Tap House has the most elevated menu in town, offering lots of fish-forward menu items alongside more standard steakhouse menu items like ribs, steaks and burgers. Next up, Ewings on the Kern has outstanding views of the Kern River Valley, a lodge-y atmosphere, a standard steakhouse menu, and a lovely patio. Make sure to get a seat with a view! Back in town, Kern River Brewing Co. is the highest rated dinner in town, offering pub fare and an ever-rotating cast of local brews.
For those looking to carb load for adventure, or just indulge, check out Pizza Barn and That’s Italian. We love the atmosphere at the latter – where dinner is served over red-and-white checkered tablecloths with complimentary garlic bread, and you can almost hear the sound of the river – if it weren’t for the tunes of Dean Martin and Pavarotti playing overhead.
Last, for nightcaps or day drinking, the Kernville Saloon and Sportman’s Inn are laid back, local watering holes. Rumor has it that Sportsman’s Inn was just bought and will be under new ownership soon; we’re excited to see what happens there. Any excuse to go back to Kernville is a good one.