Caffe Riace
Caffe Riace

Caffe Riace

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.cafferiace.com/
  • Phone: (650) 328-0407
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Dave Page
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: For all your catering needs, contact our sister company JustCatering, and ask for Maurizio. He can be reached directly by calling 650.518.1043 or by emailing maurice@justcatering.net
  • Entertainment: We occasionally invite local musicians to play for our guests. Our instruments of choice are always non-amplified, and we tend to favor the classical guitar, the mandolin, and the accordion.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Park
  • Public Transit: We are a short walk from the California Avenue CalTrain station
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: A two level private parking structure is conveniently located adjacent Caffe Riace, and free to all our guests.
A word from Caffe Riace
Caffe Riace, a robust Palo Alto trattoria, offers conviviality, homemade specialties and family-style warmth. One of many fine restaurants in the California Avenue section of Palo Alto, Riace is family-run. Every dish is made with honest expertise. No tricky trendiness here, just the same good old fashioned recipies mom and dad follow at home. Caffe Riace is also a perfect venue for wedding receptions, business meetings, graduations and other special events. If you're looking for an intimate dining experience, we offer private dining rooms, at no extra cost, that accommodate up to 20 guests. Our patio can host up to 200 guests and is a wonderful venue for warm weather events of any kind!
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Caffe Riace reviews from OpenTable diners
64 reviews since July 31, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service4
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (57)neighborhood gem (38)romantic (35)special occasion (28)good for groups (24)fit for foodies (20)great for lunch (19)notable wine list (14)great for brunch (5)kid-friendly (4)scenic view (4)late-night find (2)Show More
  • traditional Italian
    Auros
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    I've been several times. The pasta, salads, and appetizers (especially the bresaola) are always good.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Better on Last Visit
    CarmelHighlandsVIP
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    Having dined at Caffe Riace a few months ago, we were anxious to return there when we returned to Palo Alto. Unfortunately we were sadly disappointed on this time. The tomato mozzarella salad which wee shared was excellent, but the rest of our meal would not have been a reason to return. The focaccio bread was stale; perhaps left over from lunch? We both ordered the pasta with shrimp & lobster that I had so enjoyed previously. Neither of us enjoyed ours this time. Our server never returned to ask if our meal was to our liking, though we did see a different server who was more attentive. There was what sounded like a large group in another room and they were quite noisy. Otherwise there were only 2 other tables in use. We will not return
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Hidden Gem
    Jesse
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Very romantic atmosphere and great food. Huge wine selection available. If you want a romantic date outdoors, this is a great spot
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Review
    lovegoingout
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Everyone in our group liked the restaurant, and enjoyed the outdoor feel and the food was good. It was quiet enough to hear each other talking, so it was nice with a group of friends that love to chat. The staff was very nice and professional. The only negative is they need to add more soft lighting as we could not see our food very well. I will be back with my husband for a nice romantic dinner!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Cafe Riace Never Disappoints!!
    CZDAVIS
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Having just returned from Italy and wanting a setting reminiscent of being there, Cafe Riace was the obvious choice. And, even though we sat inside (in fear of rain, tho none appeared) and ambiance isn't the same as outside, everything was still superb...as usual. I took 3 friends to dinner as a thank you and everthing was wonderful...from wine to food to service! We all had a pasta dish and each of us was very pleased. The gnocci, which is made in house, was as good as my grandmother used to make. Our server did everthing to make our dining experience exceptional. We got lucky because he said he only works there on Tuesday nights. So, thank you, Salvatore!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ambiance Plus
    RDCRITIC
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    This is a quaint outdoor restaurant with sculptures and water falls. Very nice. Unlike any other restaurant in the area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for outdoor dining
    DebraVIP
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    The food is very good but the best part is the outdoor enclosed patio. This keeps the noise at bay and allows for a very romantic and quiet experience. There is much to appreciate in this distinctly different Italian bistro. The portions are generous and the prices are a bit steep. The fish was very fresh and delicious. The salads were wonderful.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lovely lunch al fresco
    MissMartha
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    A hidden gem. What a very nice place for a special lunch. Like we went to southern Italy. Love the sculptures too.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Palo Alto restaurant
    Tbird
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    I love this place. The setting is wonderful....especially on a balmy night. You eat in an outdoor courtyard...fountains, plants, etc. Service is great. Food is very good. The risotto appetizer is different but very good (sort of like deep fried balls). Oso bucco was excellent as was the petrale sole.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Neighborhood gem
    PBHATVIP
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Great outdoor dining, delicious food. Inconspicuous location. Wish we had known about this place sooner. Excellent pasta dishes, caprese salad and wine selection. Good service. Highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I forgot what a great place this is
    twgpVIP
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    I haven't dined here for quite awhile and am wondering what took me so long to return. Perfect luncheon place location- and cuisine-wise. The linguine vongole is simply delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • true Italian approach to food
    pianonoirVIP
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    a very pleasant out door patio is the setting for reliably good Italian food in enormous portions. the peach and burrata salad was amazingly good as it is hard to find good burrata here. wonderful place to dine with friends on a summers evening.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Buonasera
    Sjblessed
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    Caffe Riace has become one of my favorite restaurants in the Palo Alto area. The outdoor dining is wonderful this time of year. Franco and his staff are friendly and accommodating. And the nightly specials are just that special - the fish (sea bass and sole) were done to perfection and the pork tenderloin done as a cordon bleu-style was paired with butternut squash orzo and sauté spinach - yummy!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yum!
    LocalfamilyVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Food was delicious. Service was great. We love this place for special occasions.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Avoid Being Near the Fountain!
    Likesquiet
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Way too much water flow. The noise was overwhelming.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • suzyVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Great food, beautiful romantic setting, great service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Sadly disappointed
    Wowdisappointed
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    I have been going to this restaurant for years. Sadly we had a horrible experience this visit. To start the service was slow. A waitress recommended a wine that was not drinkable. We had to send back. I've never done that before. Did I mention the service was slow!!! My entree of petrole fish came out burnt to a crisp. I didn't asked for gush jersey. Had to send mine back and that always leaves the uncomfortable feeling of sitting watching your other diner eat while you just sit. Yucky for all. We had a groupon but they knew they screwed up badly and they didn't even offer any concession. Even just a free dessert to acknowledge their mistakes. Nope. For $150 dinner for 2 it was very disappointing. I will go back one more time
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • love dining alfresco
    ciaobella
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    next best thing to eating in a piazza in Rome....fresh ingredients, variety on the menu, and wonderful ambience
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 46 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 31, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance4.2
    • Service4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 508 reviews are from the Caffe Riace reviews archive.
  • Service was lackluster
    caseysmomVIP
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    Sat in the courtyard and there were maybe a total 5 - 8 tables and more than one waiter and server. Attending to our table should not have been too difficult. Food was excellant -- having to wait for the grated cheese --- food was no longer hot! Had to ask for water refills... not great attention.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2000VIP
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Consistently good neighborhood restaurant. Casual and comfortable and not expensive.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    Service and food was not up to Caffe Riace's usual standard. Appetizers were not served in a timely fashion and one was never served. Pasta was not as hot as it should. be. Bread was not fresh. Coffee never even offered. Disappointing but ambiance is always great.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • veg8tableVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    the BEST outdoor dining ! Great food, like being in Italy.. we dine here regularly and just enjoy it so much..
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Previously good, but now not so.
    Marty
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    We have previously dined at Caffe Riace and liked it. We were very disappointed with our last visit. Service was slow, but eventually our order was taken. That's where things went wrong. The wine steward approached. His first comment was "I want to let you know that our owner is offering a special on a wine normally $200/bottle, but tonight only $150 as we would like to reduce our inventory." We declined and eventually ordered a $60 bottle of cabernet for our party of 4. The wine steward left, then returned about 5 minutes later and said that we really would do better with another cabernet that normally is $30 higher, but he had a deal for that bottle for only $75. We are there to eat dinner, not to haggle over wine prices.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, lousy waiter
    Wendie
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    The food was delicious. Our waiter was inattentive - such as delivering cappuccino's without spoons or sugar, not listening to me order vegetarian lasagna instead of the regular lasagna. The rest of the wait staff was very nice and helpful. Too bad our waiter didn't seem to care about our table.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Unique and delightful dining
    yohoyoaHobbitslifeformeVIP
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    We loved the funky patio setting with giant naked statuary, a fountain with Venus hefting a front loading washer, a line of Vespas and a few other fun touches to make you feel like you just walked into an elegant Italian garage sale. The service was friendly, just attentive enough, never stuffy. We loved the antipasto appetizer (one person's worth is enough to share) because we got to try several things at once. On one visit, there was a divine bacon-wrapped pork loin on offer as a special that evening. Perfectly cooked, the bacon crispy and the pork loin juicy. The accompanying grilled peach the perfect sweet companion. Another time we chose the cannelloni, which was rich and meaty. Glad we shared that. Desserts very generous portions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food but noisy
    TravelEater
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    For balmy evenings outdoors I'd pick this place but next time pick a table away from the large fountain. The falling water made it hard to hear conversation. We noticed the indoor rooms for 8 or 12, and a few tables indoors (much quieter, but no outdoor California living). Everyone liked the food, and the service was fine. We'll eat here again next time we're in town.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • rick
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    waiters a little pushy took appetizer away with food left
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    a bit pricey for lunch since the menu is the same for lunch and dinner.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely restaurant
    local
    Dined on 6/16/2014
    Caffe Riace is a lovely outdoor restaurant decorated with fun, interesting objects and art. The food is delicious and the service friendly and attentive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    We went there for the first time on Father's Day. It exceeded our expectations. The food and wine was reasonably priced and very good. I highly recommend the resteraunt.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Patio dining at its best
    SunstormerVIP
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    As always Caffe Riace was a delight. Interesting menu items, good service, pleasant ambience. Best eggplant salad ever.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • CarlVIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    food and service great, but my flower delivery was lost in their kitchen or somewhere, and no attempt made to find it
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Something wrong here
    LividdavidVIP
    Dined on 5/27/2014
    We have had so many fine meals and experiences here at Caffé Riace. Something seems to have been missing this evening. The menu did not point out that the hearts of Romaine salad had bacon sprinkled on it. Quite good, but not for my daughter. A steak à la française, which just wasn't very good. Good enough chianti. Not the usual. I'm not saying we are never going back; we shall return and hope to find that this was an aberration.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great outdoor dining, reliable food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    We have dined here repeatedly, and the food is consistently good. Now that the summer weather and warm evenings are here, we'll probably make this a weekly destination.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not the Best
    accordnguyVIP
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    The ambience was great. It felt that we were at a restaurant in Italy; the waiters were disorganized and not very attentive. The waiter insisted that my guest had 2 main courses in mind: the osso bucco or the fritti mare. She was leanding towards the former, but the waite pusehd the fritti mare as he seemed to be preoccupied with the other tables. She decided ont he fritti mare bute then changed her mind. They breought her the fritti mare. We were expecting more of a relaxed atmosphere, but we experienced was waiters whizzing by us going from one table to the next and at no time inquiring whether we were enjoyng the meal or if there was anything else we needed. The staff seemed nice but really disorganized.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great ambience, slow service
    Suzanne
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    When the weather gets warm, this is a go-to place. All seating is outside in a lovely patio garden space. We all ordered pasta that was very good. The only complaint is that the service is terribly slow. Also, our party of four was seated at a round table that seats 6 or 8. This made is a bit difficult to converse across such a wide space.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice place.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    I like the outdoor seating. Very charming. Food was great, particularly appetizer and pasta. Salad was so-so. Worth a repeat visit, for sure.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect Mothers Day dinner
    lbweberVIP
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Title says it all. Hidden in an unlikely spot, this place is worth making a special trip. I have been there 4 or 5 times and every time I left looking forward to coming back.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food was less than average
    NoodlesVIP
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    Caffe Riace's food and portions were less than average. We had 3 orders of the Tutto Mare pasta, and the serving size was quite small. I feel like for around $20 a plate, the portion sizes should have been bigger. We had an order of the spaghetti bolognese and the portion size was bigger. Also, I had called a few days in advance to get a table inside, and when we got there, they wanted to seat us outside. The night was a little chilly, so our party wanted to sit inside. They were able to seat us inside but I felt my request was a nuisance for them. The flavor of the food is really good, they just didn't give us enough portions. The service was pretty good. I don't think I will be going back though.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • GREAT FIND AT THE COURT HOUSE
    CarmelHighlandsVIP
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    Our table was ready & we were seated immediately, given menus, and served hot excellent focaccia bread. Our server explained that the regular menu was on the front & the specials on the back of a printed sheet. When we realized our menus listed different specials, our server said I had an old menu and replaced it. We both ordered Aragosta Pasta with Shrimp & Lobster in a light lobster cream sauce. The large portions were served hot & it was delicious! The shrimp were large, but, I do wish the chef had cut the lobster chunks bigger even though it would have resulted in a smaller number of them. The chairs were quite uncomfortable and not conducive to sitting and enjoying a bottle of wine. Seat cushions would be a definite improvement.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.