C'era Una Volta
C'era Una Volta

C'era Una Volta

  • 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 8889256434
  • 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: 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.

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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C'era Una Volta reviews from OpenTable diners
39 reviews since July 29, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
84% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (23)fit for foodies (19)special occasion (15)romantic (15)great for outdoor dining (13)notable wine list (11)good for groups (8)great for brunch (6)kid-friendly (4)great for lunch (4)hot spot (3)Show More
  • One of my favorites!
    356tub
    Dined on 11/23/2014
    Always excellent! Our meal, our service and the atmosphere was excellent. It is also nice to have beautiful music to accompany our meal!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Once upon a time is enough
    Stargonaut
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    Seating was prompt, music was nice but a little too loud upstairs, waiter was new and somewhat awkward, water had to be asked for, food was good but not amazing, price was lower than anticipated. I recommend going once, but I don't think I need to go again.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Worth a Visit - Cioppino Is The Best
    allezmikeVIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    The meal was excellent; the service was lacking in some respects but overall good enough to make us come back. Of particular note: The Ciopinno. We ordered this as a combo for two. The sauce is absolutely amazing. Full flavored in every respect! The combo meal comes with a salad and pasta. The pasta isn't necessary, and should be replaced, on the menu, by a desert.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best food on Park Street
    gonzo
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Food and service was excellent. Downtown Alameda now has much to offer in the way of shopping, dining and entertainment. We are lucky to have this caliber of restaurant within walking distance. The owners also sponsor and support many local charities and functions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent meal
    CarolVIP
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    The food once again was amazing. WE had the burata, caprise salad, bruschetta, lobster ravioli's, pork chop, and the sea bass. All was wonderful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fabulous fun and food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    The dining experience is at the top of the list, A truly high level ambiance with that "i'm in Italy" feel The food is some of the best and true to its heritage Cera Una Volta is a treasure as are Chef Rutilo and Cheryl who does a great job of making certain all is as it should be on the management side.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Memorable anniversary dinner!
    Snowhite621VIP
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    We chose to celebrate our anniversary at C'era Una Volta and were not disappointed! When I made our reservation, I asked to be seated at a quiet table for 2 and we were seated in a lovely alcove. The service was great and the food was exceptional! We went with specials for our antipasti and primi piatti dishes which were chicken meatballs in an arrabbiata sauce and gnocchi with truffles. Both dishes were fabulous! Our secondi piatti was the mixed seafood grill...also, delicious. They have an extensive wine list and we were very happy with our choice of chianti and finally port to go with our tiramisu. Chef Rudy is amazing! We'll be back again soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good service average food quality
    averageguy
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    The waiter, table and restaurant were all good, service was attentive and good quality, food was just average for the price.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Another good meal
    ghadiner
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    One of our favorite spots. We have had consistently good (and now and then great) food, reasonably priced, in a great setting. Brunch on a Sunday beginning at 11. Crowd was sparse when we arrived. There was a guitarist playing. Easy to listen or talk. Very attentive service, though not polished. Pretty sure that we had a beginner waiter. Everything was good and my wife thought hers was great. We were inside, but outside looked pleasant also.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • angeli
    godaciou
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Wonderful restaurant, good service and food! Only minus is that my two in-laws paid nothing and left me with a $100.00 bill with tip. Willl never go out with those two again! All in all, I will definitely return with good friends. Tks for a great lunch! Godacious
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Yum!
    Maris
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    I had gnocchi in a mushroom truffle sauce that was fabulous - very rich but perfectly done. Nice Pinot Grigio. Waiter was knowledgeable and friendly but not overly so. Would go again.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Decent
    leowhiterussian
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    This place is definitely decent, but don't excecpt anything amazing here.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • davebVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We had excellent eggplant and italian sausage entrees. The shrimp skewers were just ok. Service was a bit disorganized compared to prior visits, although there we did get a helpful nudge from our server to order before a large party...that same large party is probably the cause of the sporadic attention...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Don't be on a schedule
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We arrived on time for our 6:00 PM reservation. We gave ourselves an hour because we had theatre tickets for later in the evening. But it was 6:20 PM by the time a waiter showed up to take our order. We told him that we had theatre tickets for that evening and needed to be on the road by 7:00 PM. As we discussed the menu with him, he was helpful in selecting things that would take less time to prepare. Our food arrived in time for us to chow it down and get on the road by 7:00 PM, but it would have all be much less stressful if we had been seated right away to begin with. Were there to be a next time (and there won't...) I'd give us 90 minutes for dinner than 60.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Absolutely wonderful!!!
    BellaJMH
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Had another superb meal at C'era Una Volta on Sunday night. Can't speak highly enough for this restaurant, their fabulous menu, delicious meals and excellent staff. All add up to a wonderful dining experience every time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fine Italian Food
    JodiVIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Great Italian wines and food. I had a Mediterranean fish that was fantastic. It's not cheap but they treat you well and the food is well prepared.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • An Italian gem
    Evenray
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Both food and wine reflect Italy. It's a fun and relaxing experience. There's a feeling of relaxed elegance
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • lcsoak
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    We went on a Tuesday. It was quiet. Our table was ready for us, set with everything. Waiter was attentive and timely. Cost was very reasonable. so, I ordered soup and dessert and coffee. Ambiance was very comfortable. Will return with friends
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great meal & service
    WeRpetlovers
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    We had an excellent brunch & highly recommend it. Great, varied menu, congenial service. Only suggestion would be to add fresh juice to the menu, otherwise, it's all good!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely Spot!
    BernalGal1VIP
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    From the modern Italian paintings on the walls to the delicious food, this restaurant has a sophisticated Italian essence to it. We will continue eating here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 19 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 29, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4
    • Ambiance3.7
    • Service4.1
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 486 reviews are from the C'era Una Volta reviews archive.
  • The little Bella Fiore of Alameda
    Steventk
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Amazing food... Wonderful wine... Service to set standards by... What more could you want? Tiramisu? Oh yeah... They have the best! Just go and enjoy!!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Dinning
    CarolVIP
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    The food was spectacular . Our server was so attentive. My favorite was he made excellent suggestions. We had the bruschetta, the buratta, the lobster raviolis and the beef raviolis. Which all was perfect.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • amyfVIP
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    I love going to C'era Una Volta. The food is very good, and the staff is always engaging.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, good wine
    Jean
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing
    NiceDining
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Crunchy beans and dry sausage.
    JustSummaVIP
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Little Gem
    FlimnerVIP
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Neighborhood gem
    Gordon
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great find
    loves2eatout
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Friendly and elegant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/18/2014
    Some nights they have live music. This is a great place, and everything tastes wonderful.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great service. food just okay
    LEWGS
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent service
    Cygnus
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Incredible bargain
    Giannibebe
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not as impressed as prior visits
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Disappointing osso bucco, meat was tough and inedible at sunday brunch. Wait staff was inconsistent.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Really Authentic Italian Ristorante
    SteveMVIP
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great dining experience
    DesignandDine
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    Great service, great menu and wine list, good ambience, and best of all, attractive and delicious dishes! I'll be back !
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • An Alameda treasure
    WorldDinerVIP
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Authentic!
    JacobVIP
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    Delicious authentic Italian food! I will definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Alameda Breakfast Option
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Real Italian Food
    JodiVIP
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    From the fondue, to the bread, through each and every course - a real winner! Seriously, do not miss the fondue.
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic