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“fun diner with good food” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe, Oakland, California

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Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe, Oakland, California
1805 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94612
510-251-9400
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Ranked #27 of 1,070 Restaurants in Oakland
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Late Night
Description: This is right next to the Fox Theater in Oakland! I guess it opened recently? The food was quite good - got pics if you want 'em!
WashingtonDC
Top Contributor
371 reviews 371 reviews
242 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 105 cities Reviews in 105 cities
246 helpful votes 246 helpful votes
“fun diner with good food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

My friends and I went to Rudy's Can't Fail for Sunday brunch based on a recommendation from a friend who lives in San Francisco, and we were pleased with the food.  This is just a typical diner place and doesn't pretend to be anything else. Although we were there for brunch, half of us opted for the burgers, since they had some unique creations. I'd recommend the Santa Fe burger, but not the chupacabra burger (goat cheese and bacon). The breakfast items that we ordered were actually pretty tasty, though. The chicken and gravy biscuits were the best, and the chorizo & egg hash was spicy. 

The atmosphere is very low-key, and it's a fine place to lounge around with a cup of coffee on a lazy Sunday morning. Obviously it's not really fine dining, but you know what you're getting yourself into. We got out of there for less than $20 a person, so it's not very expensive. 

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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36 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    17
    14
    5
    0
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“You "Can't Fail" to like to place!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

An absolute find! We're in our 50s, but we didn't feel uncool in such a hip place - all staff seemed to be tattooed! It has an edgy, rocker kind of vibe. Having said that, the background music is nice and low in volume allowing conversation as you eat. There are interesting things to look at, like a case containing dressed up dolls of every kind, and the tables have art tops on them. Very cool!

Most of Oakland is closed on Sundays, so we were really glad to find such a nice cafe open for breakfast, lunch or dinner (specials of the day from 4.30 pm onwards). The area is what we'd describe as 'mixed', but we felt safe enough. We sat at the bar and were very well cared for - the barman gave us tasters of the beers we were not familiar with, and was knowledgable; we enjoyed our drinks! Our helpful waitress was willing to find out ingredients for my food allergies, there are lots of vegetarian, gluten free and even vegan options on the menu. She also told us about the Farmers Market that was on and where 'life' happens on a Sunday in Oakland.

Don't miss this one - the bill was lower than we expected it to be as well.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“You can't help but like this place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2012

Casual relaxed unpretentious. Good service good food and decent prices. The cafe is located in a revitalizing part of Oakland uptown close to the new bars and restaurants but it is one of the few places in that area that serves breakfast, lunch dinner and beyond ( it is open until 2 am). Check it out and you won't be disappointed.

  • Visited January 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hyattsville, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great food and very affordable!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2012

We ate here 3 days in a row. Needless to say, we enjoyed the food, it was very reasonably priced and it was convenient to our hotels. It was about a 10 minute walk and in what looks to be a somewhat rough part of town but we never had any issues. I hope to visit again in the future!

  • Visited May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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San Leandro, California
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Rudy's Hasn't Failed Me Yet”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2012

I have a ritual with one of my adult sons: we meet periodically for breakfast at Rudy's, since it's near his place of work. That will tell you a lot: we like it enough to keep going back. Food is delicious, service has always been very good, there is parking (incredible in Emeryville), and they serve tea in a real pot with a handle that will not scald you. Eggs are always cooked the way I asked. Lots of vegan choices, and they are flexible about substitutions. Tell them what you need or want, and they will find a way to deliver.

I've also been to Rudy's very late at night (11pm), and been happy with it then, too. It did not acquire the creepy ambiance that some late night places get after 10pm.

The only negatives are small but worth mentioning:
(1) The booth seats are miserably uncomfortable. Fortunately the chairs are very comfy. So if need be, hold out for a table rather than a booth.
(2) At times when a popular joint is likely to be busy, Rudy's is busy. I personally would not go anywhere near that place for brunch on Saturday or Sunday. They are good about the sign-up sheet, but be aware that half of Oakland, Berkeley, and Emeryville will be trying to get brunch there at brunchy weekend times.

The crowd is heavy on hipsters, but speaking as a middle-aged mama, I've always felt like a cherished customer. It's a mixed crowd with a friendly vibe.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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