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  • Riffs

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Riffs Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.riffsboulder.com
  • Phone: (303) 440-6699
  • 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, Tapas / Small Plates, Contemporary American
  • 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 & Promotions: 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.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "My friend and I ate here for my birthday and had 2 completely different meals (and experiences), He started with the guacamole appetizer which he was moaning over, while my brussel sprouts were just average. My beet salad was Ok but I would not get it again. He loved his cold cucumber soup. My plank seared salmon was really tasteless and a bit overdone. They switched it out for a pesto grilled chicken which was ok but not memorable. My companion got the pork loin shoulder and almost ate the plate. . Our server was efficient but really should not be in a job that requires interaction with the public as this was not his forte. Overall, would not go back."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "The preparation and flavors were great for soup (cucumber avocado), salad (grilled radicchio), entrees (Ono, and Scallops) and deserts (peach cobbler, and brownie)."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Glad we ate outside because the inside seemed too warm. The crust on the peach cobbler was doughy and uncooked underneath. Kale salad too salty. Planked salmon - perfect. Zucchini with the chicken was swimming in too much liquid (-would have preferred lightly grilled and put off to the side). Chicken was great. Burger - perfect. Carrot salad - wonderful combination. Excellent service. -Very nice dinner with friends."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "I have been to Riff's for lunch, happy hour and dinner and have always had a great experience. The service staff is friendly and accommodating and the food always tasty."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "Great selection on the drinks and food menu. I got a very nice fish dish which had tons of flavor, although the fish was a little over cooked (a bit dry). It was no problem a sip of white wine couldn't solve (I had a good Italian P.G. which they offered by the glass). Small plates are famous and I can see why - we had two and both were fantastic! I love Riffs!"
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "Fantastic food one of the best meals in Boulder do not miss! Great happy hour too 40% off all bottles of wine great small plates!"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "We met another couple for Happy Hour last Friday and really enjoyed the Happy Hour food menu. Everything was delicious, and we also ordered items of the regular menu. We LOVED the brussels sprouts dish and the fried zucchini, and the wine was delicious. We also sampled the peach cobbler desert and it was off-the-charts yummy. A fantastic Happy Hour value."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "We love Riff's - we've been here numerous times and have always had wonderful food and service. The reason I gave it a lower rating this time is that we happened to be seated next to a woman with a foul-fragranced electronic cigarette. We were inside by the window, which was open, and she was right on the other side. Our great server (whom we have had many times) was willing to help by shutting the window when I said that I love fresh air, but this air was not. However, by then I had a headache from the vapors of the customer who was exhaling within a couple feet from us. Management needs to make a policy decision here -- since "smoking" isn't allowed on Pearl Street, maybe they could extend that to vaping at their dining tables."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "We had a very enjoyable lunch in this very cute small restaurant. We sat inside near the back so we wouldn't be too hot on a warm summer day, the service was excellent and our food choices were very good,"
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Went to Riffs to meet a business associate. Food was excellent, nice wine selections, good atmosphere. We had a very leisurely meal, partly because the main course took a long time to arrive, maybe an hour. If in a hurry, I would have rated the service a little lower, but this time, since we had lots to catch up on, I appreciated the slow pace. Our waiter also apologized for the wait, and brought us an unsolicited complimentary appetizer as a concession. One note is that if you aren't familiar with the area, you need to park a little ways away at the garage or lot off spruce. The restaurant is in the walking mall part of Pearl Street just east of Broadway, on the north side of the mall, sort of opposite of Old Chicago Pizza."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "Everything on the menu looks amazing, and we loved what we ate (grilled avocado, Brussels sprouts, beet salad with salmon). Great service and totally delightful"
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "The food was delicious and high quality. The portions were small so we would get an appetizer next time. Will go back the next time we are in Boulder."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "We adventured out of our typical Boulder "fancy restaurants' for our 29th anniversary. We weren't disappointed. Riffs has a great atmosphere with friendly and responsive servers. But the food was the MAIN ATTRACTION. We had oysters with scrambled eggs/bacon, arugula salad, mussels in a fennel/caper sauce and hanger steak with fries fried in duck fat. Everything was seasoned creatively and satisfied the "foodie" in us. Desserts were also not 2nd rate - the chocolate cake and limoncello cake were both awesome. Definitely would recommend to anyone looking for a well thought out menu using farm to table philosophy."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "We have been here six times. The last two have not lived up to previous quality. Lack of attention to detail is the main problem. The food lacked its usual zest"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "The Yukon gold gnocchi with Gazel Dell shrooms were enough to keep me happy --light, fluffy, delicious-- but everything else was first rate too. We enjoyed the beet salad and salmon croquettes too, and then the desserts!!! Our friends raved about the plank salmon. We sat outside enjoying the world go by(WAY too loud inside!!). We love Riffs!"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Went to Riffs the other night for dinner. 2 couples. Lots of great appetizers. Not a huge entree selection. We all liked everything except one entree was just ok. Stick to lots of shared appetizers. Root beer float was a hit."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "The restaurant was great - food was delish (I had the lamb burger) and our waiter was knowledgeable and friendly. We selected this restaurant for our weekly date night and it did not disappoint! The food is delicately seasoned and came out straight away. Would highly recommend."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "My husband and I enjoy taking visitors to Boulder to Riff's. Everyone is attentive but the attractions of Pearl Street plus the interesting menu make it a special occasion."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "The decor and the food reminded me of fine western dining from the 1980's. I haven't seen sundried tomato and overcooked salmon in many many years. My spinach salad had literally 5 leaves of spinach on the plate. Everything glistended with oil and or butter. No seasonings. I didn't finish my appetizer or my entree. The waiter had no clue what to do with us. Everyone else in the restaurant was over 65."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "Food had NO flavor whatsoever. Sadly disappointed group of four."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Brother-in-law recommended Riffs and it delivered on his promise. Very nice, accommodating, helpful staff. Delicious food and a fun, upscale environment."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "As usual whenever we go to Riffs, everything was wonderful. Grilled romaine was delicious with perfectly roasted tomatoes and fresh grilled romaine. One thing I love is that the salads are never overdressed at Riffs. Both of our entrees were delicious: scallops (porcini dusted to make a wonderful salty crust) and seared tuna (with a tofu side that was a show-stopper). Dessert of passion fruit coconut rice pudding was light and refreshing but also perfectly sweet. Wine and beer selection is not huge, but has fun and inventive choices. Someone in our party also had the rose sangria and said it was wonderful. Will go back to Riffs time and time again and am sure I we will never be disappointed."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Sat at the bar and recieved outsstanding serivce from a young lady whib couldn't have been better. Sampled a few swines she uggested and found a reasonably priced bottle. The dates were wonderful and my mussels were just ok, but that's what I get for ordering seafood in Boulder. The main course was outstanding and we felt the whole experience was well worth it."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Sorry, but not stocking a top-shelf gin such as Saphire Gin for a martini is strange & inadequate. Locally distilled gin doesn't do it for me. Then ordered an extra dry vodka martini & came tasting of citrus with a lemon twist. Waiter thought I said extra "dry"! Finally got an extra dirty vodka martini with 2 olives. Food was beautifully presented & oh, so delicious, but bar leaves a lot to be desired. It's inadequate in my opinion. Food was fabulous though. "
    Dined on 6/2/2014
  • "Our latest experience was totally great, as always -- imaginative food offerings, wonderful service."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Very good spot. Food was terrific. I had the Cubano and my wife had the halibut. Both we would highly recommend. We also had the green pea hummus which was okay but was bland."
    Dined on 5/28/2014
  • "Only here for a quick happy hour but soft-shell crab and stuffed figs were delicious. Fun drink menu and excellent service made for a wonderful early night visit."
    Dined on 5/26/2014
  • "Although the prices may seem "reasonable," the food portions are quite small, particularly for the "Proper Plates," which one would think would be bigger than appetizers (they're not). When we arrived, the hostess said it would be a 45-minute wait, despite the fact that five tables were open. (She said there were a number of reservations.) We left and immediately made reservations via Open Table. When we returned 25-minutes later, four tables were still open."
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "We had a great graduation Dinner at Riffs... food was excellent with great selection, just perfect portions and very attentive service/"
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "I don't like brussel sprouts but their brussel sprouts salad blew my taste buds. This restaurant has menu items i have never had before but are now my very favorite!!! Can't wait to come back!"
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "The salads and miso soup were very good, & our friend liked her plank salmon. The salmon sandwich, oysters, & seared avocado were disappointing: dry, tasteless, and mushy-icky respectively. Doubt we'll return."
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "I enjoy Riff's to meet for great food and drink and conversation."
    Dined on 5/21/2014
  • "One of the best restaurants on Boulder. Highly underrated. Will bring more family members. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "My husband, son and I went to Riff's for Mother's Day Brunch, along with the fabulous regular menu, they had a special Brunch menu, there were so many great choices we couldn't decide! We ended up ordering the red trout, pork belly and grilled avocado along with fried zucchini and jalapeño hummus, everything was amazing! Service was excellent and atmosphere very relaxing. We will be back for sure!"
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Just LOVE that Salmon Sandwich --- never change it (jalapeno's on the side - yum!) Followed the chef over from "the mothership". Great fresh salad's & who can resist the grilled avocado! One of our favorite spots in Boulder."
    Dined on 5/6/2014
  • "As a lifetime professional in the restaurant business (mostly in the S.F. Bay Area), I was super happy to have lunch at Riffs. I had the ginger cured salmon over wasabi potato salad. Didn't get much ginger but loved the creaminess of the cured salmon and the perfection of the potato salad. I ordered the lemon olive oil cake which was a disappointment. $7 for something that resembled a muffin, not so good. Pudding was nice, but lemon sauce was overpoweringly sweet. I tasted the other dishes on the table and they were all very good. The waiter was nice but obviously green by the way he cleared, and was shaky with his beverage tray which made me nervous about possible getting wet! "
    Dined on 5/5/2014
  • "We decided to enjoy our wedding anniversary dinner at Riff's because it has a wonderful variety of small and large plate meals. The staff was terrific and could barely contain their excitement when presenting me with surprise flowers that my husband had arranged for. The evening was warm so the large front windows were open to the patio which sits on Pearl St Mall. Fun place for a casual meal or special occasion. Love Riff's!"
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "Riffs proved again to be a solid, consistant experience. Our waiter was wonderful and knew his stuff. The Brussels sprouts are still on the menu, and this is a very good thing! Everything was perfectly prepared and served in a timely manner. We had a wonderful time and experience."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "We visited Riffs while visiting Boulder. The restaurant was crowded, but we were promptly seated for our 6pm reservation. I had the gnocchi dish while my husband opted for the lamb burger. Both were good, but nothing to write home about. The highlight of our meal was the charred avocado appetizer. Lots of good people watching to be had if you're seated on the patio or by a window."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "had a wonderful family lunch; my hamburger was fantastic; everyone was happy; try it yourself!"
    Dined on 4/21/2014