Tucked away along a string of restaurants, wineries, and boutiques, Simple Simon’s Bakery & Bistro is a hidden treasure among the working class of Downtown Riverside.
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Simple Simon’s only serves breakfast and lunch, and the locals who know that make sure to get their order in as soon as they can, because due to its popularity, it is always busy.
Located at 3639 Main St. Riverside, CA 92501, Simple Simon’s shares a pathway with the historic Mission Inn, and is a stone’s throw away from the Riverside Convention Center.
Before walking through the front door, you must first pass their perfectly worn brick facade and cozy, front patio tables and umbrellas, which sit nestled between two large planters full of flowers.
It only gets better from there.
With the rustic atmosphere and calming warm colors, the inside of Simple Simon’s makes you feel instantly at home.
As you walk through the restaurant, you can’t help but notice the antique, mirrored vanity dressers they use as condiment tables, the smell of their fresh baked pastries, and the bread pulls you straight to the heart of the restaurant—the kitchen.
“I instantly fell in love with the ambiance of this little place. All the tables were filled with people, and they had fresh bread and snacks in a display,” stated Karina C. on Yelp.com.
Due to their small window of operating hours, the kitchen is constantly cooking (pun intended).
Serving breakfast for the first two and a half hours, their breakfast menu consists of eggs cooked to order, omelets, breakfast sandwiches, all served with roasted red potatoes, fresh fruit, and toast.
Their lunch menu, served after 10:30 a.m., has a wide variety of specialty cold and hot sandwiches, salad plates, soups, chili’s, various vegetarian and vegan options, and sides including their extremely popular potato salads, pasta salad, fresh fruit, and vegetables.
They also have a wide range of drinks, from café mocha to soda, all the way to beer and wine.
All of their food is prepared from scratch; they make their own croutons, granola, and use locally grown produce.
Once you place your order with any one of their many friendly, down-to-earth, hipster employees, they take the food right out to your table.
Along with generous proportions, they make sure the food looks as good as it tastes, garnishing the potato salad with a skillfully cut carrot and fresh fruit arranged perfectly next to the main course.
While Simple Simon’s is a cute and quaint little bistro, that is also what leads to virtually the only problem with the restaurant—the hustle and bustle leads to a great deal of noise.
The high ceilings and open space allow for noise to travel with ease. The noise is sometimes subsided by the soothing indie music played overhead (presumably a soundtrack picked by the hipster employees).
With that being said, if you avoid the lunch rush from about 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., you can fully enjoy a delicious meal while looking upon a beautiful view.