Retro Vibe in Rialto Café


In the heart of Downtown Fullerton by the name of Rialto Café is a restaurant waiting to serve hungry guests in a retro ambiance and casual atmosphere.

The employees are all nice and the atmosphere is very relaxed. Mirrors and picture frames hang against a white wall with round lights hanging from the ceiling. Arctic Monkeys played in the background while “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” played on a small flat screen TV mounted above an “L” shaped bar that seats seven.

Small bar inside Rialto Cafe
Inside decor

On my first visit, the restaurant was empty and extremely quiet. It was so quiet that glass cups could be heard. Upon entering the small café, I stood at the doorway awkwardly waiting for a server to walk me to a table but instead heard an employee say, “Take a seat wherever you’d like.”

Guests have the option to choose where they would like to sit: Indoors on a booth and chairs, the small “L” shaped bar, or outside.

I chose a table beside a big glass window viewing the street and the outdoor patio section that consisted of about four white tables with wooden chairs.

The waiter, a man wearing glasses and a black button up shirt,distributed a one-paged menu that offered all day breakfast, sandwiches, burgers, and salads that were moderately priced.

I decided on the Caprese Panini ($9.95). The Caprese Panini was stuffed with mozzarella cheese, tomato, basil, and basil aioli on a toasted baguette.

Caprese Panini sandwich with natural chips

Side options included natural chips, a dill potato salad, a cucumber tomato salad or black beans. However, guests can upgrade their side to a fruit cup, soup, or mixed greens for an additional charge of $1.50. I chose the natural chips. After all, what is a sandwich without chips?

Shortly after placing my order, I stared down my server who was walking to my table with my plate of food in his hand. He set the plate down and asked, “Is there anything else I can get for you?” Politely I declined, and said no thank you as the corners of my mouth curved into what I was about to devour.

The Panini sandwich was rich in flavor. So rich in flavor that the basil aioli spread began to create a small puddle of sauce on my plate. The baguette that held my sandwich together was toasted to perfection. One bite and I could hear the crunch as the mozzarella cheese spilled out.

It was a light dish that did not leave me feeling like I could be rolled out of the café like Violet from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” It was so good it left me satisfied.


On my second visit, more bodies filled the small café.

After taking a quick look at the one-paged menu once more, I knew I wanted to try the Strawberry and Nutella Crepes ($9.95). The crepes that came in three were served with crème anglaise and whipped cream that nicely decorated the corners of the crepes. It was almost too cute to eat.

Strawberry and Nutella Crepes

The plate was just the right portion. Very light and airy yet filled with sweet goodness. So sweet I reached for my cucumber water to wash down the Nutella. As the fork cut a piece of the crepe, the Nutella hazelnut spread and strawberry oozed out. Who doesn’t love dessert for breakfast?

My boyfriend, Sam who accompanied me, chose the Rialto Ranchero dish ($10.95): fried eggs on a sliced baguette with a sun-dried tomato spread and blue cheese. It came with either hash browns or potatoes. The potatoes are only available until they last.

Rialto Ranchero

To my surprise, this entrée was smaller than I anticipated. It was served to please the eyes because the Pico de Gallo definitely gave the plate some color.

If you have a big appetite, you may want to try another dish, as this entrée is not filling.

But Sam said, “It was so good and full of flavor!”

This café is definitely a nice place to enjoy brunch with family and friends but you’ve been warned, they do not accept parties over six.

One visit to this café and it will have you returning for more.

Rialto Café in Downtown Fullerton

Where: 108 W. Wilshre Ave. Fullerton, CA 92832

Hours: 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and 6–10 p.m. (for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays only)

Price: Ranging from $6.95- $13.95

For more information visit www.rialtocafefullerton.com or call (714) 879–7570