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Rudy’s Lakeside

I checked out Rudy’s Facebook page, curious to know what might be new. Why was I surprised to see tens of thousands of fans – many of them taking the time to drop a rave review and share photos (that made me hungry)?

Maybe Central New Yorkers are summer-crazy because it’s only three months of
the year; maybe because it can be so beautiful, with blue skies, warm temperatures, and gentle breezes off our many gorgeous lakes; and maybe because it’s filled with memories of places like Rudy’s. After all, what’s better on a summer day for lunch, or an evening lingering over a sunset, than a heaping portion of your favorite fried fish, beverage, maybe some fries? Or if you’d prefer, Spicy Texas Hots, fresh scallops, clam chowder, juicy hamburgers, salt potatoes or homemade mac-n-cheese? Yes, the menu is summer, it’s extensive, and most items can be made to order with toppings of your choice.

Open from lunch to 9pm, Rudy’s is now in its 75th summer – and third generation of family owners – of being a highlight of a visit to Lake Ontario, and a staple for the people of Oswego. The first restaurant was opened by Rudy Gadziala and his wife, Marie, in 1946, the business passed to the current owner’s parents, Brad and Carol Livesey, and is now owned and operated by Jason Livesey.

The idea behind Rudy’s is simple: good, fresh food (local wherever possible), well-prepared, served with a smile and enjoyed with an unbeatable view. The emphasis,
of course, is on fish. The haddock is never frozen, the beef is locally sourced, the hot dogs are Hoffman hots, and their special Texas Hot Sauce is a recipe perfected by Marie Gadziala, and it’s one of those special items that keep people coming back. Like most happy summer memories, we’re eager to come back each year and enjoy the experience.

With the challenges of the past couple of years, Rudy’s has provided customers with options for ordering. Call ahead if you’re close or on-site, select a time slot for pick up, and you’ll get a notice on your phone that your order is ready – you can drive through or pick it up at the window.

If you want to ponder your choices – or you have a lot of tastes to cater to – you might prefer going to https://rudyslakeside.revelup.online/store/1 to make your selections. You’ll get a time estimate, and be notified by cell phone when your order is ready, and your pick-up options are the same.

Or, if you prefer to walk up for your order, you’ll be given a buzzer to notify you when your meal is ready. Meantime, you may want to take in the view of Lake Ontario, or stake out a seat on one of the many picnic tables nearby.

Another Rudy’s tradition is trivia. And the facts about Rudy’s are anything but trivial! Aside from sheer numbers, like, a literal ton of fish served in a given week, or 60-90 gallons of ketchup in that same time frame;

  • the fish logo was created in 1980 by the owner’s then 13-year-old daughter
  • the fourth generation of the family business has already started work!
  • Rudy’s, a dedicated part of the Oswego community, is always looking for ways to reduce-reuse-recycle
  • 100% of used cooking oil is sold for refinement into bio-diesel
  • the Rice Pudding, Mac Salad, Slaw, Chowder and Tzatzaki are all proprietary dishes and prepared fresh daily

If you’ve chatted with owner Jason Livesey, you’ve undoubtedly heard him repeat his father’s favorite saying – and one that is a promise of what your Rudy’s experience will be: “As my dad used to say, I cook fish. But I’m the best fish cook you know.”

Rudy’s Lakeside

78 County Route 89, Oswego, N.Y. 13126


Open daily 11am-9pm CLOSED TUESDAYS
Season: Opens Wednesday closest to St. Patrick’s Day in March, Closes Columbus Day

Nancy Roberts
Writer, voice over artist, information achitect, very curious person.