Side Street Cafe in Newbury Park: The IHOP Slayer

Don't get me wrong. I don't HATE IHOP. I just kind of dread the fact that my kids LOVE going there for the funny face pancakes and that good ole IHOP atmosphere. IHOP is OK but we go there way more often than I'd like and my kids fight me over trying new places.

So last Sunday I bribed them and told them we're gonna try someplace new that they're really gonna like. I got them at "toy" and thus was able to take them to what's now their NEW favorite breakfast place, Side Street Cafe at 996 Lawrence Drive, Newbury Park.

Side Street Cafe is tucked away inside an industrial/business section of Newbury Park, about a mile away from the Home Depot/Target shopping center. There is absolutely nothing retaily looking about Side Street's location! They are open 7 days a week until 2 p.m. and you really have to look for the sign (see the pic) to find them as they really ARE on a side street.

This is a cozy cafe with a warm, buzzing feeling to it. It had been 10 years since the last time I ate there, but it felt exactly the same. A feeling that this place is known well by certain "in the know" locals.

One of my boys ordered the Mickey Mouse shaped pancake, decorated with whipped cream and chocolate chips. He devoured it along with his sausages and said it was much better than IHOP's pancakes! Coming from him that really means something!

My other son is an egg eater and he did just that with his scrambled eggs and toast. I consumed the home fries (roasted potatoes) that came with his meal and they were delicious. My oatmeal was excellent too, which frankly I wasn't anticipating.

In the numerous times I used to stop by Side Street, I was never disappointed. Nicely prepared breakfast and lunch fare. Egg dishes, sandwiches, burgers, etc. All delicious.

Service is extremely friendly and we were able to get in and out quickly...always a good thing when you have two rambunctious boys. We were soon off to our next stop, the Kids Adventure Garden in Thousand Oaks, which is open only on Sundays.

Visit Side Street Cafe's website at or call them at 805.499.9323. They are open for breakfast and lunch only.