Outer Central Bakersfield – Bakersfield, CA

Close to the center of one of California's fastest growing cities, you find Outer Central Bakersfield, which also rests adjacent to one of the largest thoroughfares in the state: the Golden State Highway. Located halfway between Fresno and Los Angeles, Bakersfield also distinguishes itself as the ninth largest city in the state. Bakersfield as a whole serves as the county seat for Kern County and enjoys a diverse economy with plenty of nearby industries in operation, such as agriculture, natural gas, manufacturing and aerospace. Expect to find easy and plentiful access to amenities, entertainment and cultural pursuits from this central position within the city.

Schools in Outer Central Bakersfield

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

Plenty of dining and entertainment options cluster along Ming Avenue and White Lane. Many of these eateries feature impressive ranges of homegrown and international cuisines on their menus. Several international cuisines come together to form the menu at the Golden Ox Diner, serving a mixture of Italian, Greek, Mexican and all-American fare. Enjoy a skillet breakfast that combines Polish sausage and chorizo with huevos rancheros or an omelet, or try a hot or cold sandwich at lunchtime. Alternatively, order a homestyle dinner such as meatloaf or fried chicken in the evening. When feeling adventurous, pick from the ethnic menu, which lists a range of dishes, including Greek pastitsio and dolmades as well as Italian ravioli and parmigiana. At the Sakura Buffet, you can combine Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, and American dishes to your heart's content at the rotating buffet tables, where you find more than 150 items to choose from. Take your pick from sushi, dim sum, fried dumplings, baked fish, green mussels, Mongolian pork, and plenty more. For something a little more down to earth, head to Leo's Burgers. At this burger and Mexican eatery, you find a comfort food menu that ranges from T-bone and New York steak dinners to melted sandwiches, omelets and breakfast burritos that it serves up all day. You can also sample one of the locally recommended burgers with toppings that include chipotle, Swiss cheese, pepperoni and egg. Stick to Ming Avenue to find a modest range of nightlife options, such as the retro diner of the Rocket Shop Cafe. Other popular establishments include Corner Pocket, where locals go for a game of pool or to watch a match on the screens. To take in a movie, locals frequent the Valley Plaza theater.

History & Culture

Evidence of Native American settlements that date back thousands of years has been found near this neighborhood. In 1862, disastrous floods swept away the original settlement in Bakersfield, which gold rush participants eventually replaced. One of the developers included a lawyer and colonel by the name of Thomas Baker, who created a stopover for travelers that became known as Baker's Field. Migration brought new residents, culminating in a period between 1970 and 2010 during which Bakersfield as a whole grew a whopping 400 percent, from a population of 70,000 to almost 350,000. To the north, you find the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History as well as the Bakersfield Museum of Art and the Kern County Museum. Annual events near this neighborhood include the Polar Bear Plunge in January, the Bakersfield Jazz Festival and the Kern County Nut Festival.


Residents find little to no public transportation within this neighborhood, and Uber does not operate in the area. However, you can call for a taxi cab fairly easily from one of several local companies. Because of the spread-out nature of the city and a distinct lack of bicycle infrastructure, locals find it difficult to complete most of their errands without a car. unless you stick to one of the major shopping or entertainment thoroughfares, cycling and walking are not viable options. However, with plenty of parking and great infrastructure for vehicles, car travel makes getting around convenient. Along with the Golden State Highway, this neighborhood connects to the Barstow-Bakersfield Highway to the north, providing swift connections for commuters heading south to Los Angeles or north to Fresno.


People often head to Bakersfield and the South Central Bakersfield neighborhood in particular due to its relatively low living costs compared to the rest of California. Although still 5 percent higher than the national average, the cost of living in South Central Bakersfield rests 17 percent below the California state average. The average rental cost for a one-bedroom apartment sits around $660, while the cost of a pint of beer at the local pubs sets you back just over $8.50. The price of gas runs nearly 8 percent higher than the national average.


Locals find an exceptional range of national brands and chain stores at the Valley Plaza Mall on Ming Avenue, ranging from ALDO and Abercrombie & Fitch to Apple and Gymboree. Elsewhere in the neighborhood, look out for plenty of additional department stores and large stalls as well as a few smaller, boutique-style treats. Try All India Sweets and Grocery for ethnic desserts and sweet dishes, or Sit N Grin for party equipment rentals. Bolts to Binding Quilting Quarters stocks supplies for sewing hobbyists and professionals, and Herbal Alternative Therapy supplies herbs and alternative medicines. Picking up groceries doesn't prove to be a problem with grocery stores both large and small scattered across the neighborhood. Local options range from FoodMaxx and Albertsons to the Stop & Shop Supermarket and the Fastrip Food Store. For farmers markets, the closest options include the Kaiser-Permanente Sunday Farmers Market to the west and the Bakersfield Certified Farmers Market to the north.


There are over 59 parks in the Bakersfield area, which puts many in close proximity to this neighborhood. Seasons Park on Harris Road features large, open grassy areas, a picnic area and a sandlot-style play area for the kids. This park has trees that designers planted based on how they change with the seasons, giving visitors a feel of being back east without all the cold and snow. This park also features an off-leash pet area, allowing your four-legged friends to run and get some exercise of their own. On Monitor Street, Stiern Park includes a basketball court, sandlot-style play area and large green spaces surrounded by trees. Although smaller than some of the other parks in this neighborhood, locals favor this green space because it makes an excellent getaway in which to relax and eat lunch in peace. For a sports-themed day out, try Wilson Park, which has a picnic area that visitors can reserve for personal use as well as basketball, tennis, volleyball and baseball facilities. This park also includes a no-leash area for dogs to run and exercise. Haggin Oaks Park, located in the Haggin Oaks development on McInnes Boulevard and Chinon Street, also provides tennis courts and a sandlot-style play area. It features a well-developed exercise field for adults as well as extensive open sidewalks and rolling turf areas with picnic tables dotted around. It serves as an excellent location to take the family out for an afternoon or as just a beautiful place to exercise.
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