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  • C'era Una Volta

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C'era Una Volta
C'era Una Volta

C'era Una Volta Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.ceraunavolta.us
  • Phone: (510) 769-4828
  • Hours of Operation:

    Lunch/Brunch: Friday & Saturday 11:00am - 2:30pm

    Brunch: - Sunday 9:00am - 3:30pm

    Dinner: Tuesday - Wednesday: 5:00pm - 8:00pm

    Thursday & Friday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm

    Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm

    Sunday: 4:00pm - 8:00pm

  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean, Contemporary European
  • Executive Chef: Rutilio Duran
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: C’era Una Volta Italian Restaurant catering is a superb way to enjoy the time-tested culinary traditions of Italy in the comfort of your own home or office. One day advanced notice required for parties larger than 20. Delivery available throughout the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Our chef and catering department here in Alameda can also tailor a menu to fit your specific needs or help you plan ahead for special events, receptions, weddings and conferences. Schedule a consultation or place an order by calling 510.769.4828 anytime during our regular business hours!
  • Private Party Facilities: In addition to our delivery and off-site catering services, we make our private dining room and mezzanine available for meetings, conferences, and customized full-service catered parties.
  • Private Party Contact: Cheryl Principato (888) 925-6434
  • Entertainment: Live Music most Sundays for Brunch and Dinner. Our Alameda restaurant location hosts semi-annual Flamenco Dance performances , live music most Sundays for brunch and dinner.

    Check the C'era Una Volta website calendar for Events and Entertainment. http://www.ceraunavolta.us/
  • Special Events & Promotions: C'era Una Volta holds semi-aanual Flamenco Dance Performance dinners, and also has guest musicians on Sundays in our Alameda restaurant. Visit our website for upcoming entertainment. We also hold an annual festival of Italian food and culture, ZabFest, every May with barbecue and games.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Alameda Avenue
  • Public Transit: C'era Una Volta Italian Restaurant in Alameda, one block from AC Transit Bus lines O, OX, 20, 21, 51A.

    BART connections available for each bus line.

    Bus 51A from Berkeley
    to Alameda via Downtown Oakland.

    Bus 20 & 21 from Fruitvale BART Station
    to Downtown Alameda in 10 min.

  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Free weekend and weekday parking after 5 pm in private lot located directly beside our Alameda Park Street entrance on Redwood Square. Ample street parking, also metered parking also lines the adjacent to Alameda Park Street shopping district.
A word from C'era Una Volta
C'era Una Volta - Italian Restaurant

This sun-splashed location is a hidden treasure on a quiet tree-lined cobblestone promenade. Our Italian restaurant brings a Taste of Italy to the Island of Alameda with delicious Tuscan, regional Italian dishes and an extensive Italian wine list.
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From the day we opened our doors in 2004 we have received numerous awards for our food, ambiance, service, and wine selection. Chef Rudy Duran is one of only a handful of Bay Area chefs recognized by the Academia Italiana della Cucina for his authentic Italian cuisine. C'era Una Volta, voted Best Italian Restaurant in Alameda 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012

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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
Diner Reviews
  • "I love going to C'era Una Volta. The food is very good, and the staff is always engaging."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "The food is very good - I had the sausage and beans entree, which had a tomato sauce with remarkable depth of flavor. My wife also enjoyed her seafood ravioli. They have an excellent wine list, with plenty of lesser-known Italian varietals. Since my knowledge of Italian wine is fairly limited, I always let the server or owner suggest pairings, and their suggestions are always great. Service was friendly and attentive - the only problem was that our appetizer took a very long time to arrive (odd since it was a charcuterie plate, which should have been quick to prepare). It was excellent once it arrived, though."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "We love C'era Una Volta. The food is excellent and the staff is wonderful. They have a good wine selection. The atmosphere is pleasant and cozy."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "I had such high hopes based on the reviews, but they were quickly dashed. How do you dry out sausage? The very sausage you tout as "housemade." And then serve them with crunchy canellini beans. Come on. Everything from the bruschetta to the pasta was over salted. Great bottle of wine and friendly staff, so sad that the food is not better. Pare down the menu and do fewer items with excellence. That's Italian. "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "It started out okay. We were seated right on time at a nice table. Lovely classical guitar playing from the upstairs. Then the downhill slide began... Our reservations were at 7:30. By then, the restaurant had run out of the spinach salad (on the regular menu) substituted by an anemic romaine Caesar salad with a nasty vinaigrette. We had water, that's it. for about 20 minutes. The bread (which we inquired about 3 times) was "in the oven". Our waitstaff never checked once on us. It finally took flagging down the manager to request more water, a soda for my son and the wine. And still no bread. The food was salty, the fish special was mushy and definitely not worth the wait or money. We had to ask for our plates to be cleared."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "We had not eaten at this establishment before, but found it on Open table and decided to try it for an early dinner before attending a performance at the nearby Altarena Theater in Alameda. This restaurant turned out to be a great find. We shared a five course meal - antipasta, salad, pasta, main course, & dinner. Each couse had its own unique tasty flavor. Very authentic Italian. Good service from water Milo. We will definitely return."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "We came here for a birthday dinner, and although they were out of the menu selection we came for (at 7:30!), the meals we chose instead were really good. It was a little noisy there, but not bothersome. The restaurant is located in a garden plaza setting, off the street, and I think I remember seeing outdoor seating. Good cocktails, did not try any wines or desserts, but the bruschetta was great. Overall a very good experience, and we will definitely be back."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Some nights they have live music. This is a great place, and everything tastes wonderful."
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "We we're at the restaurant for a special occasion and the C'era Un a Volta really helped make the evening special. The food was just okay, pasta was good and fairly priced, the seafood was not very good and was very overpriced. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "On top of great food, the service was top notch. Had the beef ravioli and my wife had the rack of lamb. No complaints at all. "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "C'era Una Volta is a wonderful Italian gem in the heart of Alameda. The authenticity, quality, and subtlety of the menu is striking, and compares favorably with other Italian restaurants in the Bay Area charging several times as much. (The chef himself is Italian, and the menu is bilingual.) The special events are lots of fun: everything from winemaker lectures paired with prix fixe meals to flamenco. "
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "My wife and I were celebrating our anniversary and this was our first time at this restaurant. Everything was perfect, including the special table they sat us at, the waiter and the ambience of the room overall. Both the menu and the daily specials presented us with wonderful choices. We had the Burrata antipasto, which was simply fabulous. For our main courses my wife had the Spaghetti allo Scoglio and I had the Filetto al Pepe Verde, a very tender and tasty fillet mignon. We finished with two great deserts. The wine list is extensive featuring wonderful Italian varietitals by the glass as well as bottle and some half bottles. We diffinitely want to return to try other dishes and will recommend our friends do the same."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Great service, great menu and wine list, good ambience, and best of all, attractive and delicious dishes! I'll be back !"
    Dined on 5/8/2014
  • "Date night w/ the Mrs. And we're looking for some rustic, tasty, and reasonably priced Italian cuisine. Read OpenTable reviews on C'era Una Volta and were impressed, and decided to try. We were Incredibly happy w/ the choice. Anti pasti was outstanding as was the beet salad for starters. My wife ordered the Cioppino and I had the seafood risotto. Both were great! Ambiance was, quaint, warm, and relaxing, it was our first time here, but Justin made us feel as if it was our 100th visit. Service was top notch, great Italian embed wine list. Stop by here for some great Italian food when in Alameda."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "Delicious authentic Italian food! I will definitely be back!"
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "I've know about this place for dinner for a while; but only recently did I consider trying their weekend breakfast/brunch. Alameda has many options for weekend breakfasts but let's face it: they're not all great. Pappo used to offer a brunch that was outstanding but they gave that up. In the absence of Pappo, my partner and I started going to HobNob more frequently for their wonderful eggs benedict. Last Sunday, we decided to try C'era Una Volta. The place was virtually empty when we arrive, so it was quiet and wonderful. Food wise, everything we ordered was delicious. They bring out bread and jam that was wonderful, and the coffee was great too. It will become a new weekend breakfast standard for us."
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "From the fondue, to the bread, through each and every course - a real winner! Seriously, do not miss the fondue."
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "4 of us dined at this charming restaurant on Saturday evening. Our waitress was very friendly and very attentive. She suggested a great wine based on our description. The food was excellent from appetizer to entree to dessert. I had a Mediterranean fish call Branzino (?) that was served with sliced potatoes and sauteed spinach. It was fabulous. Each of us had a different entree and a different dessert and we shared two appetizers. No one was disappointed with any of the choices. The inside of the restaurant has a very homey feel and is nicely painted and decorated. Definitely would go back!!!"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Great assistance with wine select. Server provided excellent choices for food a dessert...."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "We were honored to be able to celebrate the restaurant's ten year anniversary. Great entertainment with the flamenco dancers and musical group, plus a three course meal, which was good overall. The pork loin was slightly overcooked, but good value for the price. Dessert was excellent, as was service. The raspberry and chocolate tortes were much enjoyed, as well as the hazelnut crisp. Congratulations, C'ere Una Volta, and thank you for many fantastic meals over the years!"
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "We had a wonderful meal, and the flamenco performance was outstanding. But we waited over half an hour to get our check and have it processed. We were the first in the restaurant and nearly the last out. The restaurant should have planned better for everyone to be leaving at the same time: this was, after all, its 10th anniversary, and I would expect them to be better prepared to provide smooth service."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "Really liked the roasted rosemary chicken with potatoes. Simple but very tasty. The mushroom risotto was a bit bland and needed lots of cheese to give it flavor. The shrimp and veggie skewer appetizer was tasty but lacked character. Really liked the Italian version of ciopinno on previous visit. Still one of better Italian choices in E. Bay."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "Delicious quality Italian food , prompt, friendly service. Asked for a quiet table and got it. High recommend to adults."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Everything for our Valentines dinner was amazing and the server Justin was amazig and entertaining."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Warm atmosphere, large menu with some outstanding items"
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "We enjoyed our dinner here on the 15th of February. To start, my husband had grilled shrimp and vegetables on skewers. He liked the flavors. I chose the caprese salad. We both had the Filetto de Pepe Verde, which was excellent. The steak was of good quality and was cooked exactly the way we asked with a tasty sauce and garlic mashed potatoes. We enjoyed our dinner while listening to Spanish and Brazilian guitar music. It was a nice, romantic evening. Our server, Justin, was very attentive. At the end, he brought us a red rose."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Went over the Valentine's weekend in which they had a preset menu option with an appetizer or salad/ main course/ desert. All items were very well done and prepared perfectly. They started us off with a glass of champagne as well as ended with a rose for my wife which was a nice touch. They also had a 2 gentlemen playing guitar which was entertaining and they did a great job. Would like to go back and samply the regular menu in comparison. A nice little place with basic appeal and charm."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Food is excellent, but pricey. $15 dollars for the dinner sized plate of spaghetti and meat sauce (prices go up from there). The Gorganzola canoli is an outstanding dish. This restaurant has very unique and beautful outdoor dining. The prices hinder my return to try more dishes, this is a special occasion place. Everyone loved the filet."
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "We have been to C'era Una Volta before, and will return due to the great service and delicious food. The servers really believe in the food they are serving. The lighting is golden and glowing. Totally great for "date night""
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "Food was great. Service left something to be desired. When we arrived, no host/hostess to greet you. Once we were seated, it was 15 min before we were even offered water, let alone our food order. It was Valentine's day, so they may have been overworked/understaffed, but still seemed like a long wait"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We hadn't been back to C'era Una Volta in about 2 years, but booked a reservation for Valentines! The food was excellent, the owners are committed, friendly and thoughtful. We were made to feel welcome and they remembered us after a long absence. We will definitely come back and will recommend it to our friends."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "I met my niece and her husband at Cera Una Volta for Sunday brunch. The menu items were varied and delicious, and reasonably priced -- certainly not your typical fare for breakfast or brunch (e.g., eggs benedict, Belgian waffles, etc). The coffee and hot chocolate were fabulous. I noticed several tables occupied by families with small children; then I remembered seeing the menu had a small section labeled "just for kids." We had a delightful and leisurely visit while enjoying Cera Una Volta's food and drink. I will definitely go back again!"
    Dined on 2/2/2014
  • "i would come here with a deal only. the food was ok. it wasn't the best but not the worst food. the decor could have been better; perhaps it just wasn't my style. we had great service. loved the the prosecco with various juice combinations. we had an excellent server. he gave great recommendations and was really attentive. we had brunch for 2 for $25.50 and some paninis. the description of the paninis on the menu were just that but for some reason i thought it would have more stuff and not be so plain. let's just say chicken and mushroom was just that...chicken and mushroom, no extra fixings...sigh. it just seemed over priced Italian."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Very disappointing meal; carpaccio appetizer was tasty but too much greenery/not enough meat; Ceasar salad was odd - not tossed but seemed like the dressing was poured over the lettuce, so you had large pieces of romain with pools of oil etc sitting in them - and the dressing, while it did have anchovy was sort of un-characteristic. Our main courses were eggplant parm and their special ravioli - mushroom ravioli in mushroom sauce. The eggplant dish was mushy and not very flavorful; the mushroom ravioli was heavy as expected but so heavy I could only finish half of it - too many mushrooms?!? Ambiance nice but over-lit - waiter was nice but inexperienced. Sorry to say there are much better Italian restaurants out there in that price range."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "We had a good meal here. Appreciated a salmon entree that was well cooked and under $20. The waitress was friendly and we felt welcome. Everything was good but nothing "knocked our socks off"."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "This restaurant in vision, sound and food is Northern Italy. Rudy, (owner/chef) has taken his idea to fruition. The fish dish, his favorite and similar to sea bass, is flown in from Italy. It was wonderful. The bistecca and walnut/pesto thick pasta, was like the dishes I had in Lucca and Pisa. Always a wonderful experience."
    Dined on 1/23/2014
  • "We are both vegetarian, and my husband and I have more choices here than at other restaurants because so many delicious Italian dishes are easily adaptable for us. The chef and staff are exceptional, we go here often."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "The food was great. The service was excellent. We went for an early dinner on New Years Eve and never felt that we were rushed (so that the restaurant could use the table for the next seating.) They were also helpful because we brought my elderly mother, who does not like to eat out because of large portions, and they were willing to let me share my dinner with her. It worked out fine and everyone at the table was happy!"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "We have been wanting to try this restaurant go some time. I can't say we were disappointed, but we weren't wowed either. Everything was fine in a white bread ordinary kind of way. I would not expected to spend that much money for ordinary."
    Dined on 12/26/2013
  • "All the food we ordered was tasty, although my pork chop was overdone and dry. I think the prices were high given the level of quality of the food. I rated this place only three stars because the service was not good. Coffee was cold, then we had to wait a long time to get it. Food did not come in a timely manner for the 5 people in our party. They kept the door open and it was freezing in the restaurant. I asked them to close it, which they did for about 20 minutes, then it was open again. I am willing to try the place again to give it one more chance; that is why I said I'd recommend it to a friend. But if I were to compare to the food at Pasta Pomodoro, this restaurant would lose."
    Dined on 12/26/2013