Givanni's
Givanni's

Givanni's

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.givannis.com/
  • Phone: 3193385967x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Sunday - Wednesday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm,
    Thursday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00 pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary Italian, American, Italian
  • Executive Chef:
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Clinton
  • Public Transit: Givanni's is located on Iowa City Transit, University of Iowa's Cambus and Coralville's public transit systems stops.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Givanni's is located in Iowa City's downtown pedestrian mall, there are several parking ramps within a very short distance.
A word from Givanni's
Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Iowa City's pedestrian mall lives on of Iowa City's most popular locally owned restaurants, Givanni's. The urban eatery specializes in Italian-inspired cuisine featuring locally sourced ingredients and hand crafted dishes with masterful preparation. Whether you're ordering a multi-course meal, grabbing a drink and appetizers at the bar or enjoying a concert on the patio, Givanni's lively, casual yet upscale atmosphere makes it perfect for dining with friends, family, clients and business associates. Givanni's mezzanine level is perfect for your business events, private parties or special occasions. Givanni's is Iowa City's favorite spot for Italian-inspired dishes. Whether you choose appetizers, full course dinners, flatbreads or desserts, Givanni's offers great food for any event and every budget. The bar at Givanni's features an extensive Italian inspired wine list, accompanied by craft beers and unique hand-crafted cocktails.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Givanni's reviews from OpenTable diners
22 reviews since May 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.1
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (9)neighborhood gem (9)fit for foodies (8)good for groups (8)great for outdoor dining (7)romantic (4)late-night find (2)hot spot (2)vibrant bar scene (2)kid-friendly (1)scenic view (1)notable wine list (1)great for lunch (1)Show More
  • Nice surprise downtown
    Whitecat
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We come to 2-3 Iowa sporting events a year and are always looking for a nice dining experience. I'm not sure how we missed Givanni's before -- other than Italian isn't always our first choice. We had a great dinner-something for everyone in our three-generation group. Service was outstanding, too. We will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good, not great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    my sole negative vibe concerns the chicken marsala, which I found to be rather dry, owing to the scantiness of the sauce. The preparations of this dish at the local Bob's Your Uncle and Vino's (Cedar Rapids) was far tastier. Our server was excellent.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food with contemporary dining
    Just1mobite
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Starting off with drinks, I was hoping to see a little more variety for a beer and wine selection, not that what was offered was bad, but definitely looking for local Iowa versions. I got a Cesar starter salad and she got a cranberry??? salad. I was a little disappointed in the mediocre portion, but flavor was good and romaine was crisp. Meal took slight longer than what I thought should with tables being 1/3 full but food was good in temperature and presentation. I had the filet cooked to order and the mashed potatoes were wonderful. She had a pasta dish to now I cannot recall entirely (not reflection of quality), but it had great flavor. We both enjoyed it! In all, a place we will likely visit again.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • anniversary dinner
    dradrian
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    We had an enjoyable and tasty meal, grant it more Americano than italiano. A little overpriced, they would do better in a college town if they toned their prices down. They even made our favorite cocktail, Negroni, after we explained it is equal parts of Vermouth, Gin and Campari, though the serving was 1/3 what you normally get in Italy.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 25458876VIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    We went for our two favorite dishes. Chopino and Pasta La Jolla Very disappointing....my chopino tasted almost like the sauce was from a jar. Sauce for La Jolla was not like expected either. We did tell our waitress at the end because she was insistent about the food. We did not want to offend her as she took very good care of us as a waitress. We will not be returning.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Italian food
    iowadiner
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Givanni's never fails to impress me. The crostini appetizer was unique and yummy. The Gnocchi entree has the best sauce ever. And the creme brulee was perfect. We will be back, again, many times.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fun Night Out
    JennyB
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Great place for a group to enjoy good food couple with an ample bar.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a favorite
    Psiberknetic
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    My wife and I love Givanni's for special occasions. The food and service are always fantastic.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious!
    dricey
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    Everything we tried was delightful. The complimentary in-house-baked bread was flavorful with a moist crumb and a good crust; the roasted beet salad extraordinary, even for a person like me who doesn't normally care for beets; the mussels done to perfection and memorably flavorful; the pasta caprese marvelous, with just the right touch of heat from the red pepper. This is the sort of restaurant you beat a path to.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food - great atmosphere
    lovetocook
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    My first time there. The food was great, our server was excellent and most of all - it was quiet! We were a party of 6 and we could actually have a conversation and hear each other. My pet peeve is restaurants that have the music so loud that it is hard to hear what people at your table are saying. I will definitely go there again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of my favorites in Iowa City
    ICtall
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    Givanni's is one of my favorites in Iowa City. Change of ownership only made the menu even better. Celebrated my 33rd anniversary over there and the owner was kind enough to treat us for dessert on the house. Will definitely go there again.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Get a clue
    PurpleDaffodilVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    To the bartender: Here's how you make a Manhattan. Three shots whiskey, one shot sweet vermouth, pour over ice and shake. Add a cherry, strain and serve. The drink is not heavily diluted with water nor is it served over ice. How can a person tend bar who can't make a Manhattan? It's just one step more complicated than a vodka tonic! Food--okay. Service--very friendly but often AWOL. Water refill? Check? I guess they can get away with this in a college town.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 10 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 23, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance4.5
    • Service4.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 246 reviews are from the Givanni's reviews archive.
  • No more gnocchi
    swede1
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    I have ordered the gnocchi for years - my favorite dish. I haven't been at the restaurant for a few years and ordered it at my last visit. Sadly it didn't taste anything like it used to. I guess they changed the sauce. Very disappointing. I will have to find a new favorite dish. Everything else was delicious, however.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • we had a good waiter
    love2mac
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    We was sworthy and reserved but a great waiter. He was not abnoxious and checked on us fairly ofen. The food came out surprizingly quick. If I had more money I would go there more ofen.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unimpressive
    Javabean
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    The food was okay - not great, the taste was unimpressive. Some meals were overcooked others were cooked okay but pretty plain. We had higher expectations for our first experience at this restaurant. The final bad experience was lukewarm coffee for dessert! The wait staff tried to provide us a good experience, but the food was not something we would come back for any time in the future.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Memorable evening
    tg25
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    We eat at Givanni's each time we travel to Iowa City. The service and food are always outstanding. It is one of our favorites, and never fails to impress.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Overpriced
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    I went to Givanni's with my wife and daughter on a Friday evening at 6:00pm. The outdoor seating was packed and so was the bar. It was a bit noisy. We ordered the calamari appetizer first, and it came out quickly. It was served on a large plate, which mostly contained the sauces - there was very little calamari on the plate. We ordered Filet Mignon, Cioppino, and Chicken Parmesan for our main course. The Filet Mignon tasted good, but it was drenched in sauce. The pasta in the Cioppino and Chicken Parmesan were both overcooked, and drenched in way too much sauce. My wife and daughter were unsatisfied. Overall, we thought the quality of the food was sub-par.
    Special Features:
    Great for Outdoor Dining, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Birthday celebration for 7
    localyocal
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    I have always loved the ambience of Givanni's, although I will admit I haven't been there for a long time. There are many great places to dine in Iowa City. My family member wanted to go to Givanni's to celebrate his birthday. I was disappointed with the service mostly. We were given bread to eat and dip, and no bread plates. It took a long time to get a server to greet us and ask about drinks. In general, the service was anything but special. The food...same. Not really special, like I remembered from before. In particular, the presentation was not what I remembered. It is a bit dark. Just a little more light would be nice. I don't will think of Givanni's as a place to celebrate special occasions in the future.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • So enjoyable.
    ICNative
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    We hadn't been there in years and when we left, it left us wondering why! It was so enjoyable... from the cocktails to the food, and to top it all off, the service was great! We are already looking forward to our next visit!
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good as usual, but not for child
    disappointed
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    We've been going to Givanni's for 13+ years and have always loved it. Our dinner meals were excellent this time as well, but we were extremely disappointed by the meal for our child. He ordered chicken fingers for $6.00. There were three chicken fingers, each of which were about the length and width of putting your first two fingers together. Not only that, they seemed to have a fishy flavor to them. Plenty of fries, which were good. Our server was very friendly and attentive. We only mentioned our complaint to the hostess as we left.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • By far the best Italian food
    cmyers
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    By far the best Italian food restaurant in Iowa City as well as one of the top three restaurants in Iowa City.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    LovesGoodFood
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    Unfortunately, Givanni's has taken a turn for the worse. I've loved Givanni's for almost as long as it has been open and look forward to eating there for special occasions. Not anymore. It has been overrun by loud, rude college students, poor service, and is no longer a fine dining experience. Regretfully, I will not try Givanni's again. There are other upscale Italian restaurants here that do a far better job at providing a pleasant dining experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It seems as though portion
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    It seems as though portion sizes have decreased. Definitely less sausage in the pasta dish, fewer garnishes/extras on other dishes. The bread for the table is not the quality that it used to be. We found the service to be very slow. We ordered a second glass of wine midway through our meal and did not receive it until our meal was complete. We were told they were short on wine glasses because of a wedding upstairs. We have been there before and heard slow service attributed to a rehearsal dinner upstairs. It would seem if the reservations are made, then management should plan accordingly to accommodate all of their guests. Still good; however, seems to be declining.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dinner as always
    ra021414
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We had steaks that were first rate, prepared to perfection, presented so they looked and tasted delicious. I've never had a bad meal or experience here.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quality of food has deteriorated
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    Quality of food has deteriorated significantly since the change in ownership. At our last meal the appetizer, fried mozzarella, was served lukewarm and was cool before we finished. The entre, walleye special, was over cooked so much so that it was burnt around the edges and then served with a mound of potatoes that were severely over salted. There was no other flavor apparent other than the salt. The dread, once a treat at this restaurant , is thinly sliced, dry and tasteless. All in all very disappointing compared to years past and definitely not worth the price.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • wonderful atmosphere and food
    hppyeatg
    Dined on 2/6/2014
    This restaurant is one of my favorites in the Iowa City area. We love to come here in the summertime and dine outside. In cold weather, the inside is charming. The food is always good. We have always had a great expereience here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    windyone
    Dined on 1/28/2014
    I ordered the Vegetable tower before but was disappointed with it this time. As I remember before there was a large portabello mushroom and several vegetables in the tower. This was mainly large slices of winter texture tomato, crisp red onions. (There were other veggies too but not the usual quality.) The wine however, was excellent!
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Italian restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    I love Givanni's. The food is always amazing and the quiet, romantic atmosphere makes it the perfect date spot. Our waiter wasn't as good on my last visit, which is odd because their service is usually perfect. As long as this was a one night thing and not a trend, I will be coming back every chance I get!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • overpriced
    tryingit
    Dined on 12/21/2013
    It is a nice atmosphere even though we were the only ones there for a while. You leave hungry because portions are small. They look elegant but small for our taste.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good food. Nice people. Attentive
    Charley5
    Dined on 12/8/2013
    Good food. Nice people. Attentive service; but not overbearing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just the right combination ...
    Wilguy
    Dined on 11/22/2013
    We were excited to take out family and friends while visiting Iowa City. Givanni's provided just the right combination of high-quality food and service for a great evening. A variety of dishes were ordered and all were excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delightful evening...
    CyranoVIP
    Dined on 11/22/2013
    We were in Iowa City for a football game and wanted to step up the dining experience beyond the sports bar & student favorite scene. The food was excellent, the service was even better. And we really liked the unusual Pappageorge Hymes interior design and the original art work on the walls. If you find yourself in Iowa City, this restaurant is worth a try.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice Evening Out
    TomandLinda
    Dined on 11/16/2013
    I thought the food was well prepared and arrived at our table in a timely manner. The ambience was dark and the food was hard to see, at least at our table. Part of the enjoyment should be the visual presentation of the food, which is lost in the dark here. The noise level was high, as the music was a constant drowning of the club genre. I am sure it is meant to be "hip" but I do not recall seeing a dance floor anywhere in the space. I would not hesitate to go back if asked by someone, but I would recommend trying out different place first.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Italian food
    Chris
    Dined on 11/14/2013
    The food was fabulous and the atmosphere cozy and friendly. Prices were reasonable. Wine list better than expected for a small restaurant. We will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Italian Food at Its Best
    Mike
    Dined on 11/1/2013
    We have lived here for nearly 25 years and have always enjoyed the excellent food--Italian or not. Adding to the excellent food, the service is consistently top notch. Being given the opportunity to taste a wine selection (from a good list of offerings) is a nice service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Poor service
    Weeatout
    Dined on 10/25/2013
    The food was good, however the service was extremely poor. There was insufficient wait staff working and it really impacted our dining experience. The previous reviews commented on this but we went anyways. I would suggest going else where if you value quality service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overly fat Bone in rib eye
    HungryVIP
    Dined on 10/24/2013
    To expensive for what it is. Iowa City needs a better selection of resturants.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Good food in Iowa City
    aworldVIP
    Dined on 10/24/2013
    Five of us went out to dinner at Givanni's and all of us liked our meals. The service was very good and we enjoyed the ambience.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food & great service.
    Bruncher
    Dined on 10/19/2013
    We went to Givanni's for a special occasion and the food and service were excellent. It is one of our favorite restaurants in Iowa City. We have been part of large groups or just the two of us and each time was a great experience.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good, tasty and comfortable
    Drjc
    Dined on 10/13/2013
    There were plenty of choices in this extensive menu, and the presentation of the food was creative and colourful. I found the beet salad to be fresh and delicious. My steak was also tasty, but not as rare as I had ordered. My husband's chicken Marsala was also over cooked, but, again, tasty. Our dining partners very much enjoyed the fish they ordered. The creme caramel was especially creamy, with just the right amount of crunch. The staff was friendly and helpful.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.