May 27, 2023

A local family-owned sandwich shop has been serving quality food to its customers during lunchtime hours for more than 49 years.

A hidden gem located on Nelson Street, Backstreet Restaurant is a food joint in Riverside that serves sandwiches and salads from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The restaurant was originally owned by a husband-wife duo, but now has been passed on to the couple’s daughter.

Laura Zarate, Backstreet Restaurant manager, grew up in this restaurant with her father and now has the ability to see other children grow up.

“I grew up here,” Zarate said. “I was basically raised in this place so for me it’s like a second home away from home.”

Through its 49 years of service, Backstreet has continued to focus on family. Within this restaurant it is all about interaction and socialization, not about eyes glued to a screen.

“It’s all about family,” Zarate said. “When you go to most restaurants they have TVs, they have a lot of music. We don’t have any TVs so kids don’t get distracted. ”

Caleb Wilson, sophomore civil engineering major, said he heard about the restaurant from his wrestling coach and his girlfriend’s family.

“They are excellent,” Wilson said. “It’s a little pricey, but they’re really good. They give you a lot of food. It’s my favorite place in Riverside probably.”

Tarah Mosier, senior psychology major, said she enjoys the atmosphere within the restaurant.

“(Backstreet Restaurant) is a hole in the wall and is so unique,” Mosier said.

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