May 23, 2024

 Simple Simon’s Bakery and Bistro is a cafe that has been serving in downtown Riverside since 1983. Here, they serve breakfast, sandwiches and baked goods. Simple Simon’s has been a go-to spot for my family for years and is a gem for the Riverside community. They are open Monday-Friday from 8 to 5 p.m., Saturday from 11:30-5 p.m. and from 12:30-4 p.m. on Sundays. 

Each time you enter the brick-walled building, you are greeted with the kindest hospitality. For me, I have never experienced a place that compares to Simple Simon’s. Inside it is darker wood paneling and lighting – giving off a very homey and warm atmosphere. The workers at Simple Simon’s acknowledge your presence as soon as you walk in and are quick to answer any of your questions regarding their menu. 

After ordering your food, it doesn’t take too long to receive it, even during rush hours. Depending on the time of day it could be a bit crowded inside. Outside there are a handful of tables you could sit at to escape from the more crowded inside dining. Simple Simon’s could be considered both a restaurant and a grab-and-go, with options to eat there or get something to go and eat it is elsewhere. 

On the menu, there is a handful of different flavors of cookies and other sweets, like a lemon cheesecake square. Prices range from $3 to $15. During breakfast hours, you can order anything from French toast, crepes and omelets to homemade granola. Once it comes to lunchtime, the menu looks a little different. There, you will see a few of their classic sandwiches, which include Italian dry salami, curry chicken, ham and more. Besides the classic sandwiches, there is a section called specialty sandwiches and one of their featured items is grilled pastrami and Swiss. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, don’t fret. Simple Simons also offers sandwiches that follow these diets. They also sell wonderful salads, warm soup and chills. 

I love to order an Italian sandwich and a pastry almost every time I go. My go-to pastry is normally their bread pudding. The veggies on their Italian sandwich is one of my favorite parts about it and I am a big fan of anything with salami. Something that I find to be very special about Simple Simon’s is their consistency. Out of all the times I have stopped by Simple Simon’s, I never had a bad experience, whether with their food or the customer service. As a Corona native, I have gone to Simple Simon’s more times than I can count, so I’d say that says a lot about this cafe and the rating they deserve. 

On Yelp, with over 1,000 reviews, Simple Simon’s Bakery and Bistro has a 4.1-star rating. When reading the lower-rating reviews, it seems like many write about how finding parking could be very hard, which is typical for the area. 

The love I hold for Simple Simon’s may be a little biased as I hold many memories with my family at Simple Simon’s. Besides my family members who have helped make these memories, the location and environment of Simple Simon’s play a key part in why I love this spot so much. 

I truly believe this is a location that everyone should visit at least once, and there is no better time than during their studies at CBU. With CBU’s location so close, stopping by this cafe for a bite to eat could be a nice little break from campus while not going too far away. 

Whether Simple Simon’s becomes your new favorite spot or not, everyone should at least take a chance and try it out. 

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