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Brunch Club: Rio Vista, CA

I love me a great breakfast spot! The kind that’s been lived in, and serves the perfect hash browns – extra crispy. We had to meet my sister last week to pick up some wedding props that landed in her car at the end of the night. She lives in Stockton and I was visiting a friend in Dixon so we decided to meet in the middle.

We took the farm roads from Dixon (CA 113) with our PT Cruiser convertible and enjoyed some new found thrift store CD’s: Bryan Adams, and John Mellencamp. What’s good in Rio Vista? Well, let me show you three delightful establishments we poked our heads into.

Raul’s Striper Cafe – Rio Vista, CA

Rio Vista is one of the oldest communities in Solano County with it’s roots in the fishing industry. It’s first salmon canneries shipped daily to San Francisco and then internationally. Rio Vista was perfectly placed in between San Francisco and Sacramento and was a popular stop off for travelers who would stay the night in the town’s hotels, enjoy the local saloons and shops. (

Taking a look at Main Street as we drove in, I could definitely feel it’s history in the business signs that hung proudly over quiet sidewalks.

We ate at Raul’s Striper Cafe where they serve all the breakfast classics set with a 1950’s diner flair. Cardboard cutouts of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley stood nearby as we ate.

We ordered a short stack, huevos rancheros, eggs with hashbrowns, toast, coffee and orange juice. The pancakes had a special hint of cinnamon and all the other classics were made to perfection (well according to me, you be the judge 😉 ). The people working there were also very friendly. We were definitely pleased with our blind breakfast selection.

Foster’s Big Horn Tavern

After our heavy breakfast I wanted to take a stroll up and down the block to capture some of the fun signs. This spot caught my eye while we had to flip a U-ie while parking…Let’s just say the kind of eye catch that makes you second guess the decision you already made like, “What’s that? Should we eat there instead…?”

We didn’t, obviously; and we were very happy with the choice we made. But our “Unique-Breakfast-Spot-Spidey-Senses” were definitely not off because the inside was pretty freakin’ cool.

We stepped in and the walls were covered in animals hunted by the owner, the biggest catch featured on the back wall. The lady bartender was super sweet and excited to answer our questions. Because, holy cow there was an African Elephant looking at us from the back wall, how could we not have questions?

The story goes: Owner Bill Foster started his love for hunting exotic animals in 1918 when he started an apprenticeship for a man who worked in the film industry bringing wildlife to the movies. Soon after he started to build his own collection (illegally) of animals which is displayed in this restaurant. This restaurant “holds one of the world’s most remarkable collections of wild game trophies with over 300 wild animals, birds and fish.”

You can read more about Bill Foster and the restaurant here.

Rio Vista Bakery and Cafe

The Rio Vista Bakery and Cafe is your average one stop shop for breakfast and lunch. They have donuts, macaroons, croissant sandwiches and more. Word on the street is that they make amazing macaroons and bear claws.

We stopped by for a cupcake. My niece, who is three years old did a great job entertaining herself while the three of us talked about boring adult stuff. So as any great auntie would do, I bought her some sugar to reward her for her patience. Then I handed her off to her mommy.. Love yah! Enjoy the cupcake… 😉

Rio Vista was the perfect place to be that Sunday morning. It was a beautiful sunny day, we had throwback music blasting in our convertable and got to see some new places.

Once you get outside of the city, it’s beautiful to see the contrast. Golden hills and blue skies for days; every once in a while you hit a patch of sunflowers. We forget, us Californians in the cities… that between every city are the farmlands… and they are beautiful too.

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