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Ridgecrest, being mostly a "way-station" for travelers going onwards (Mammoth Mountain or Tahoe, Death Valley, Las Vegas, etc), it is not normally a tourist destination. But if you skip the plethora of fast food joints or trough-style buffet eateries, you can enjoy some great little dining experiences:
La Fiesta , on China Lake Blvd. Low on atmosphere, but high on great tasting, authentic Mexican food that's plentiful, and inexpensive
Casa Corona , Norma Street. Skip the bland buffet and go straight for the menu for tasty entrees.
Nicolletis , China Lake Blvd. Good croissant or panini sandwiches in a neat little coffee shop atmopshere
Enchanted Tea house , Ridgecrest Blvd. This place is enchanting. You can reserve an hour for "tea." This consists of your choice of an amazing variety of wonderful teas, salad with a raspberry vinegarette, a tiered tray of lovely sandwiches, and a dessert to die for. It's a tiny place that makes you feel like Alice in Wonderland.
Junk Food Junction , Ridgecrest Blvd. Another local institution. At one time voted as having the "best burger in town." Try the junk burger, with just a touch of chili. Fun, friendly, relaxed, with great burgers, fried zucchini, chili dogs, and more, in a funky old western atmosphere. Take the kids - they'll thank you for it.
John's Pizza , Ridgecrest Blvd. This is a local institution. The only place that has peanut butter pizza (not for the faint hearted!). The pizza is, well, pizza, but they make their own ice cream, which is terrific. It's been around since the early 70s, and has a whole fun room for kids, where they can play games to their heart's content. A bouncing ball cage, and more games than you can imagine. It's great for familes, and helps the kids burn off excess energy after a long day's travel, while parents can relax with a glass of wine or mug of brew. Some of their sandwiches are quite good, and their lasagne is fairly good as well.
Mon Reve , Balsam Street, old downtown. What a find! The proprietor is a charming Frenchman and his wife is the chef. They prepare exquisite country French style cuisine. Their salad and quiche makes a wonderful lunch. All menu items are tasty and meticullously prepared. Caution - the desserts are addicting - especially the dreamy "chocolate volcano."
Tokyo House, China Lake Blvd. Good tapan-yaki style grills. The scallops are great.