Riffs
Riffs

Riffs

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.riffsboulder.com/
  • Phone: 3034406699
  • Hours of Operation:
    Open 7 days a week:
    Lunch 11:30-3
    Cocktail Hour: 3-6
    Dinner: 6-Close
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Contemporary American, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Executive Chef: John Platt
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Special Events: Cocktail Hour daily from 3-6. Discounted food menu, $3 draft beers, $4 well cocktails, and 40% off all wine.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 11th st
  • Public Transit: RTD and local bus service.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Street and public lot parking throughout downtown Boulder/Pearl St Mall vicinity. Entrance is on Pearl St. pedestrian mall.
A word from Riffs
Riffs, Urban Fare. A Boulder foodbar featuring moderately priced, satisfying appetizer portions of Chef John Platt’s artfully prepared diverse cuisine. Carefully chosen beverages. Genuine hospitality. Comfortable social setting. A thoughtful Boulder urban dining experience.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Riffs reviews from OpenTable diners
109 reviews since June 4, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.4
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (74)great for outdoor dining (49)neighborhood gem (46)special occasion (28)great for lunch (23)hot spot (21)romantic (20)good for groups (19)vibrant bar scene (11)scenic view (10)notable wine list (10)late-night find (8)great for brunch (6)kid-friendly (4)Show More
  • Very Boulder
    LkwdRnchFoodie
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    Riffs is a fun, eclectic and energetic spot on Pearl Street Mall. Lots of interesting and tasty choices. The Squash soup and Pacific sole were great and the desserts were awesome. Will go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Don't tell anybody
    SporaskyVIP
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    Riffs is as good as almost any other place in Boulder. Happy hour menu is a real deal. They keep upping the ante on new drink creations. Very busy fun place and the small plate focus is something we really enjoy. We have been going there since it opened and at this point my only suggestion would be to change up the menu a little and add to the wine list. The ambience is just the right mix but not too loud. We usually request a booth when the weather is not good for outside dining.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Highly recommend Riffs for
    LaurenVIP
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    Highly recommend Riffs for great food, service, and ambiance! Everything is fresh and cooked to perfection! Boulder has many great dinning choices and Riffs is one of them.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food, Great Service
    24HourHappyHour
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Keeping it simple. This place has great food and great service. Is the food wildly innovative? Sometimes, but more often it's just reliable and very, very good and consistent. The happy hour is one of the best around. The Brussels sprouts ARE the best around, and I enjoy the apple-squash soup. I do not think the "Best Bread" is even close to the best bread. Other than that, the menu is great!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Favorite Spot
    MrFish
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    This is our favorite restaurant in downtown Boulder.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food, good atmosphere, Not too
    Dutchgirl
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    Enjoyed our recent meal at Riffs. The food was very tasty, portion sizes normal, presentation thoughtful, wine was good enough. AS recent imports form Europe, good dining is important to us and we were not disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We had a party of four for
    Nobos4
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    We had a party of four for an early Saturday night dinner, and we ordered four small plates off the happy hour menu, two proper plates and five more small plates. Preparation, presentation and temperature were very good all-around. As many have noted before me, the sprouts are a standout. Crab cakes also stood out- they were tender, flavorful, and perfectly complemented by the sweet roasted peppers that accompanied them. Similarly, the chipotle shrimp with sweet potatoes was a satisfying dish of briny, spicy sweetness and depth. The one caution I have is that many of the dishes are aggressively acidic or salty - it's easy to order multiple plates in this category and be overwhelmed by the sour sand salt.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food!
    Rhondie
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    I've been to Riffs many times. Come back often for great dishes like the squash apple soup and flash fried brussel sprouts.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent but you but lost reservat
    John
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    Food, service, ambience, and noise level were excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous, as always!
    andyVIP
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    We enjoyed our cocktails (very interesting and yummy) and these dishes: mushroom soup; poached pear and arugula salad; duck confit; and albacore tuna. Excellent service. Very busy on a weekday night! My favorite restaurant besides Black Cat Bistro.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A Truly Enjoyable Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    My wife and I had a wonderful dinner. Great food and wine, excellent service, and a sophisticated causal ambiance all created a very memorable dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our Favorite Restsurant In Boulder
    anderson
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    Riffs is our go to restaurant when we want creative, healthy and delicious. We always bring family and friends here first from out of town when they are visiting. The standard menu is perfect, a very balanced offering of fish, fowl, meat, and veggie, something for everyone.The daily specials are creative and seasonal, have never been disappointed with anything. The chef has a magical touch particularly with fish. Clearly all ingredients in everything are the freshest available which is important to us. Desserts are simply amazing, if you like chocolate don't miss the homemade truffles! Obviously we are crazy about the food at Riffs, but we also love the staff, no pretension here! They are warm, friendly, knowledgeable and professional.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • exceptional service, excellent food
    mark
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    First time visiting Riffs. Happy hour wine prices and suggestions were exceptional. Small plates were generous and delicious. Dinners were delicious, well portioned, and a good value. Service was friendly, attentive, and comfortable. Will certainly return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love this place!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 1/24/2014
    I've been to Riffs a few times now and have never been disappointed. I feel confident bringing friends or recommending to others. There's something for everyone on the menu and the waitstaff is knowledgeable and accommodating.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • another great evening
    locavore
    Dined on 1/23/2014
    I always say I won't give a place 5 stars unless it's a formal, once-in-forever type of restaurant. However, we have had so many fine meals at Riff's, I need to give them 5 stars just for maintaining consistent high quality. We ate SO MANY different foods, and they all were delicious. The yakitori was spicier than the menu seemed to suggest, which was fine for us, but perhaps not for people who are spice-shy. The duck confit salad was wonderful -- and I don't normally eat duck... I almost didn't want to share it!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Happy Hour Date Night
    Marcie
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    We had a perfect table for two. Right by the window and wonderful for people watching. The happy hour food menu gave a great variety of options. All healthy and easy to order for anyone with dairy, vegan, or gluten concerns. The squash apple soup was fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, scenic view, late-night find, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food and a comfortable dining
    Marc
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    experience. Very good service. We shared several plates, ordered a bottle of wine at the happy hour price and had a fine time, the four of us. Sauces were exceptional.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect
    Katsym
    Dined on 1/17/2014
    Love Riffs. Menu great with interesting specials to keep it fresh. Fantastic cocktails. Impossible to go there and not have the sprouts! Can't recommend highly enough, in our opinion the best in Boulder. Staff friendly and welcoming and really look after their diners.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • dependably superb
    LinJeVIP
    Dined on 1/2/2014
    We've been to Riffs four times now. Each time was outstanding. The food is imaginative, appropriately portioned, beautifully plated, and delicious. The drink menu is creative. Service is excellent. Very highly recommended!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New Years Eve - second time around
    known2dine
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    Great place, good food, very good food with a wide selection. Haven't had anything that was disappointing. I the like the idea of multiple small plates - the idea of a "food" riff. Have enjoyed everything there - lobster risotto, ahi sashimi, salmon offerings, kale "winter" salad, spinach and pear salad with blue (or some similar) cheese.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Restaurant!
    Eater123VIP
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    We went to Riffs for New Year's Eve and were not disappointed. Fun atmosphere, great special champagne/bourbon cocktail to celebrate, and excellent and innovative food. Escargot was delicious and the short ribs were excellent! We will definitely be back - time and time again - to see sample more of the Riffs menu and see what is on special for the day!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always a treat!
    Diana
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    We enjoyed the food very much. My husband especially loved the chicken sandwich. Our waiter was fantastic. We'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New Year's Eve
    ScooterVIP
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    We had early reservations on New Year's Eve - the restaurant was busy but not full by any stretch. The food was very good, while the service left something to be desired. The staff was friendly and helpful - but either stretched too thin or not deployed well. Riff's menu is fairly limited - but we enjoyed our appetizers, dinners and drinks. Good place - been before, will go again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fabulous!
    gmdmaui
    Dined on 12/30/2013
    We came from Maui where great chefs are everywhere so we are used to very good food, this place rivaled everywhere but maybe not Mama's, BUT prices were great and every dish from a great grilled crab avocado appetizer to the desserts were to die for! We even met the chef so we could personally thank him....
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Welcoming and delicious!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 12/27/2013
    We were looking for a comfortable place to have dinner with friends, and found one here! Everything we ordered was delicious, of a reasonable portion size, and we did not wait forever to get it. Everyone was friendly, from the time we walked in to the time we left. I was thankful we had a reservation on a Friday evening, because it was packed! We will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Riffs is a great spot
    fish
    Dined on 12/24/2013
    wonderful food, reasonably priced; great drinks and desserts. But usually need a reservation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food in Boulder CO
    Wasted
    Dined on 12/24/2013
    A small restaurant that does it all right. The welcome, the seating, the attentiveness, the choices of wine, drinks appetizers, entrees, the presentation; the general sparkle of service without the stuffiness we avoid. Ask for Tony and mention the Kantors'. Have fun going.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • No reservations...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 12/24/2013
    This restaurant has great small plates, which is what we always order. Our table top is covered in lots of little plates of delicious morsels that we all taste and share and truly enjoy. The wine menu, beer menu and drink menu all have wonderful choices. With or without reservations, we will go to Riffs again and again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My second time here, and I
    NicknameVIP
    Dined on 12/23/2013
    My second time here, and I will definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Again, an ALMOST perfect meal
    24HourHappyHour
    Dined on 12/22/2013
    We have dined at Riff's for dinner twice. It's our favorite place in Boulder. The service is excellent! We have also gone for lunch, and we have PERFECT lunches. But each time we go there for dinner, we have a spectacular meal, with one notable let-down. Last time, the steak was exceedingly tough (and this time we sat next to a couple who complained that the steak was tough). This time, we ordered the potato and shrimp cakes. We could not find any shrimp in them at all. It was just an expensive potato cake. I think the food at Riff's is, in general, excellent. I'd just be sure to ask for recos for what NOT to order. To end on a positive note: a week earlier, Riff's created the hands-down best dolmadas I've ever eaten. Absolutely great!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice Variety
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 12/21/2013
    Interesting and fun menu. Creative drink menu. Enjoyed several small dishes.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Special Dinner
    mimi
    Dined on 12/21/2013
    We went to Riffs because we received a gift certificate for our Anniversary. The food was wonderful. the portions just right. Service was top notch . You must try the brussels sprouts side!!! We will definitely be going back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food and service. Need
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 12/20/2013
    Good food and service. Need more recognizable bottled beer choices.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, romantic, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The starters were very good
    lawreview
    Dined on 12/19/2013
    The starters were very good as was the wine. We enjoyed the meals, but sauces were heavy and some unusual flavor mixes which seemed unbalanced. I would still try it again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Could not have chosen better
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 12/17/2013
    Farm-fresh ingredients, rich and complex flavors, very imaginative dishes with reasonable portions that allow you to pick & choose for greater variety and sharing, great drinks, wonderfully attentive staff, warm interior with glass-enclosed section on the Pearl St mall...could not have chosen a better place to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. Loved it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent service and delicious
    FrequentFlyerVIP
    Dined on 12/16/2013
    Excellent service and delicious salads for lunch. Interesting menu and good value at lunch. Cool space!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • GREAT place.
    Abby
    Dined on 12/13/2013
    Had a birthday celebration there. It was great. Really appreciate the 2-6pm happy hour prices, too.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very disappointing
    SushiLoverVIP
    Dined on 12/10/2013
    The duck confit should have been a winner, but it was as tough as shoe leather. Truly, it seemed to be more a duck jerky than a confit. This was our 2nd attempt to enjoy better than average food here, but it failed again. And this time the wait staff was over-zealous with removing plates from our table while we were still eating! With all of the great restaurants in Boulder, we won't give this another try. Two disappointments was enough.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Throughly Enjoyable Evening!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 12/8/2013
    Lovely ambiance, excellent food and service, innovative menu, nice wine list. No criticisms here!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A bit spendy for what you
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 12/7/2013
    A bit spendy for what you get. Wine list is pretty good, but again, pretty spendy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.