Wally’s Cafe, serving delicious food that takes you to Greece without leaving Rocklin


Photo by Gianna Ruccione

In a town full of chain restaurants and big corporate owned businesses, it’s rare that you find a family-owned, hole in the wall restaurant like Wally’s Cafe. As of March 2017, this Mediterranean based restaurant could be found in the back corner of the Sunset and West Blue Oaks parking lot located at 2110 Sunset Blvd.

First walking into the restaurant, you notice that unfilled tables and European decor hanging amongst the walls while listening to the Greek music playing from the overhead speakers. These small aspects let you know that you are in a place that prides themselves on the authenticity of their environment and their food.

As I studied at the menu trying to decide what to eat for myself, I saw many classic Greek foods along with American food items. They featured the traditional gyros, arrays of shawarma, falafel and tabbouleh as well as a double sirloin burger, onion rings and burritos. The variety the menu had to offer surprised me. The thought the owner had put into the menu to make sure that there would be food for everyone in your family to enjoy was a refreshing sight to see. There is food for everyone —from the daring new food tasters, to the vegetarians, to the more simple of tastes.

Before ordering, I was served a complimentary bowl of lentil soup. Instead of the predictable bread appetizer you may receive at a restaurant, this cafe starts everyone off with a delicious, warm, hearty bowl of lentil soup while waiting for your main meal. After offering my falafel wrap, I was able to witness the preparation of my meal through the open kitchen just beyond the countertop.  I viewed the chef make the falafel mix and placing it in the fryer. A key aspect of any restaurant is the freshness of their products and I was impressed with how everything is made upon request.

I first bit through the homemade pita bread, into the warm falafel which had a crispy crunch on the outside and a softer inside. There was the perfect amount of tahini and veggies inside the wrap to compliment the falafel and pita bread. The large wrap along with the soup was very filling and satisfying.

What stood out above all was the effort the owner puts in to make you feel special. The first time I ate at Wally’s Cafe, it was my birthday. The owner briefly left the restaurant and came back with a birthday cake for my family and me to share. It was the sweetest thing a stranger has ever done. He didn’t just offer me an extra piece of baklava on the house — which they give you for free at the end of each meal — rather, he went out of his way to spend his own money on a cake.

I have only been to Wally’s Cafe twice, but the flavor and friendly atmosphere never fails to amaze me. If you decide to go, and I highly recommend that you do, do not be taken back by the empty tables; the quality and conservative pricing of the food is something yet to be discovered by many people. Besides, it is a bonus that you seat yourself instantly when you walk in!

I will definitely be going back to this place when I am wanting some Mediterranean food and good customer service.  

If you enjoy Mediterranean food or want to try something new, I recommend stopping by Wally’s Cafe.