TR Robertson … It has always been said, the most important meal of the day is a good hearty breakfast and Vista’s Sunrise Café has been offering a great way to start the morning since 1993. Located at 1250 S. Santa Fe, off Mar Vista Drive, owners, Bobby, Lori and Corey Jones, offer a large variety of choices for breakfast or lunch.
The café opens at 6:00 am everyday day and remains open through lunch, until 2:30 pm, with breakfast offered all day long.
A popular destination each morning, counter space and tables fill quickly On the weekends, there is usually a line waiting to get in, but the wait time moves quickly. An outdoor patio area is also available.
Bobby and Lori are long time Vista residents. He grew up in Vista and graduated from Vista High School. Bobby is a 3rd generation restaurant business member. He said his grandparents had a small liquor store in the LA area, when his grandmother decided to open a lunch counter featuring her delicious Italian food. They would move to the San Clemente area where they would open a successful Italian restaurant called Agrusa’s. That restaurant is still there under a new name. From San Clemente they would move to Escondido in the 1950’s, where another Agrusa’s would open and is still open today.
Bobby said he always remembers the smiles and laughter that his grandparents brought to work with them each day in dealing with workers and patrons of the restaurant.
He said he feels he has come full circle and now understands what his grandparent’s inner joy was in watching people enjoy and create memories in their restaurant.
Bobby and Lori have owned Sunrise Café since 2006. Bobby ran a successful mobile lunch truck and party catering business in San Marcos for 20 years. He said he had always known Sunrise Café had a good reputation. When it became available, the family decided to take a chance. They kept the mobile truck and catering business running for 2 years while they ran Sunrise. As the café business grew in popularity, they sold the catering business and in 2009 decided to expand Sunrise Café to include the space next door to them, doubling the size of the café.
This was a family business as well with daughter Bree and son Cory working in the café. Bree is now married with her first child and son Cory remains at Sunrise, now in charge of inventory control and managing the café when Bobby is away. Lori takes care of the books and accounting for Sunrise.
Bobby said he is most proud of the fact that Sunrise uses as much local ingredients and produce as possible. Locally grown fruits and vegetables are purchased each week, especially Vista Strawberries. The eggs they use come from Lakeside and Valley Center farms. They are especially proud of the large customer clientele they have with many customers they have fed for over 30 years with more new customers coming every day.
Bobby feels the homey atmosphere, great food selections and friendly staff all plays a part in keeping the customers coming back.
Traditional American breakfast is served “all day”. Customers rave about the many choices of omelets, as well as the authentic Belgian waffles topped with fresh fruit & whipped cream. Other breakfast items that are exclusive to Sunrise are a San Franciscan scramble & country breakfast plate that features their “scratch” biscuits & country gravy. The Baja breakfast is served with their house made Spanish sauce and crispy corn chips. The “bone-in” ham steak and eggs is North County’s BEST!
Lunch time features the fresh baked breads & homemade soups. Numerous ½ lb. burger selections are available as well as specialty sandwiches. Some of these include a sourdough melt with grilled Ortega chiles. Greek Gyro with authentic Tzatziki sauce is also offered. Italiano subs with choice cuts of Italian meats & peperoncinos.
Bobby said the café also offers several hot plates, including the 2nd best meat loaf you will ever have; only your mom’s meat loaf would be better.
Salads are popular at Sunrise using locally grown produce. Cobb salad, Greek salad, and fruit plates are available in full or ½ plate sizes. There is a Low Cal plate selection and a Kid’s menu as well.
Bobby and Lori feel they have continued to offer a place where people can meet, families gather and new and old friendships developed. They are thankful for the continued support citizens from Vista and those from outside of Vista have shown throughout the years. He feels Sunrise has become an iconic, traditional business for the City of Vista. They have remained active in the community over the years. Bobby is a 10 year member of Amigos de Vista Lions .
Bobby helped organize the Vista Youth Basketball League in 1977 and it continues today with over 850 participants.
He is also the co-chair for the pancake breakfast that supports the basketball program and funds Lions projects in Vista. Along with Lori, a baker by trade, they provide all of the pies used for the pie eating contest at Vista’s Strawberry Festival.
Bobby loves baseball and is a lifetime Padre fan. He plays softball two to three days a week. As a San Diego State Aztec basketball fan, it helps him to fill the gap from the World Series to spring training.
As you can tell, Sunrise Café and owners Bobby and Lori, love what they do, love the City of Vista and what they have built and continue to build in the community. If you are looking for a place to call “your favorite” or simply want to continue to support a great local café, stop by the Sunrise Café some morning and enjoy the warmth and hospitality that is Vista, along with the yummy food choices.