Riffs
Riffs

Riffs

  • 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, 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 1/3 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
Riffs reviews from OpenTable diners
112 reviews since July 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (86)neighborhood gem (47)great for outdoor dining (39)hot spot (31)special occasion (27)great for lunch (23)romantic (21)good for groups (20)vibrant bar scene (14)late-night find (10)notable wine list (10)scenic view (9)great for brunch (3)kid-friendly (3)Show More
  • Great Find On Pearl St in Boulder!
    BoulderFoodie
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    Love Riffs! Their small plates are FABULOUS. I have dined here several times for both lunch and dinner and am never disappointed. Their wait staff is always friendly and knowledgeable. You MUSH try their Brussel sprouts (trust me on this one, even if you do not like Brussel sprouts you will like these!) Great place to meet with a friend or to reserve for "date night". Riffs is small'ish, so I would strongly recommend a reservation through Open Table for dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent meal and fun time...snowy/ cold outside!
    SusiqVIP
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    We had a book lecture to attend next door so we didn't have the luxury of having a leisurely meal but we didn't worry as the service was attentive and prompt. Jim our server was great! Plus he never made us feel bad for not ordering drinks which we didn't do since the weather was horrible and we had to drive in it. The food was so good (brussels sprouts starter, mussels and fries, and a brined cider salmon dish for my husband, to a shared pumpkin dessert...YUM) we felt bad for not having more time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Everyone Makes You Feel Appreciated
    boulderfoodiesVIP
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    I don't think there is a restaurant in Boulder that tries harder to make you feel welcome and appreciated. From the time you walk in until you're ready to leave, everyone is friendly and responsive. That's good management! My wife and I have eaten at Riffs four or five times and had mixed food experiences, though more positive ones than negative. Riffs wants to be a distinctive foodie restaurant, which is a challenge in a town like Boulder, the per capita foodie capital of America. Accordingly, the menu is varied and offers some interesting preparations. On balance, it has a number of "hits" and a few "misses." On this visit, my wife had seafood and I had chicken. Both were well prepared, nicely presented and quite good. We started with the onion soup, which isn't your typical onion soup, but the chèvre on toast made it quite delicious. We didn't try the desserts, but the coffee was good. The wine list is notable in that it offers a number of interesting wines at reasonable prices, unlike many Boulder restaurants. Located on Pearl Street Mall, Riffs offers outdoor seating, where the "scenery" in warm months is interesting and entertaining - if you like weird, which we do. There is a relaxed feeling at Riffs and we have never felt rushed to finish our meals. Riffs also is a good choice if you're on the mall and are in the mood for a late lunch or early dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Riff's was great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    It was our first time at Riff's, on the first night of a recent trip to Boulder. Restaurant bustles, staff is attentive and food was terrific. Menu choices worked for both plant-based eating wife and omni husband. Especially stunning for both of us was the green pea hummus.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place with a trivial problem.
    MoiMoi
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    We thoroughly enjoyed the restaurant, the food was excellent and the whole experience almost perfect. Just a warning that we were 2 tables from the back, under the ventilation system. It was a bit cold, leaving our jackets on solved the problem and it wasn't worth moving for. Its up there the class of Salt.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • LOVE Riffs!
    Eater123VIP
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    One of our favorite places to go in Boulder. Always delicious food. Great atmosphere. We went on Halloween and it was a great place to people watch for both the holiday and the CU Stampede.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great dining choice
    Forklifter
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    There are so many restaurants surrounding Riffs, but the quality of the food places it right up there with any of its neighbors. This is the third time I have gone to Riffs for dinner and have been pleased each time. Two of us had the mussels as an entree and we were quite happy. The roasted pear starter was delicious. We had no complaints about any of the dishes. I found the flavors to be subtle and nuanced rather than intense.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • One of my new favorites
    Debbie
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    Just discovered this gem! Waiter was fun and very helpful. Food was interesting and fabulous! Cozy decor! Would highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great
    Winnshannon
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    For a birthday filled with fantastic food, attentive waitstaff, and intimate conversation we couldnt have asked for more. Now having lunch and dinner there I would say they have it covered. Keep on creating chef!!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Meal at Riffs
    TJDavisVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    The food at Riffs was interesting and very tasty. They do a good job of offering new items that you don't usually find (like roasted cauliflower) as an appetizer. They take some of the old favorites and breathe new life into the meals (like avocado and crab salad, the hamburgers, and pork loin). Delicious!! Their cocktail menu is equally as interesting and delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Find on Pearl St
    BoulderFoodie
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    The food and service is always good at Riffs. I love their small plates!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • cincinn
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    Knowledgeable server who really helped us select tasty items to try. The vegetables are wonderful, seem fresh, and are a little different. We all shared entrees a bit and all meals order were great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tanya
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    This is my second or third time going to Riffs and it was enjoyable as always. I still get a little confused with the amount of different menus, but it seemed a bit more under control. The food was great, especially the desserts.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We Love Riffs
    anderson
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    Riffs is easily our favorite restaurant in Boulder. The food is creative, perfectly fresh, well-portioned, and inspired. The menu changes seasonally and it's obvious that much care and thought was involved with each offering. Great for a full blown celebration or holiday dinner, don't miss the desserts, or a spur of the moment burger. Service is excellent, the servers have been well trained and know the menu! The best combination of healthy and delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Well Managed
    Mickey
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    We sat near the kitchen so we were able to watch how they control quality. One person plates every dish and he is particular. The wait staff is well trained and efficient. The food was perfect...it's to a huge place which really allows the to have single point quality control.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Charming
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    Simple and enjoyable. The service was great and the food was fantastic. Great mixed drinks and unique appetizers. Overall a great dinner.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good but small portions
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Three of us each ordered different appetizers and full entress. Everything was delicious, but the portions for each were somewhat small, especially for the price. The flourless chocolate cake for dessert was a winner too.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Lived up to expectations
    Nkosi
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    Visiting our daughter, a student at CU, on Sunday evening for an early dinner. The food was fresh with local specials as well as the standard menu and well prepared. Between the 3 of us we ordered a miso bowl, flash cooked brusselsprouts, tomato curry soup and green pea hummus followed by a kale salad, cedar plank organic salmon and grilled duroc pork loin. We followed this with a flourless chocolate cake, which was excellent - very light, and the special, Swiss roll with ice cream (a little dry). Prices were fair for the quality and variation. Will go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Everything was perfectly with presently and seasoned.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious Food and Cocktails
    Krystal
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    The food is amazing! They have a great happy hour, delicious entrees and the dessert was so good! I would definitely recommend this place to anyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wowed Again!
    NorthwestFoodie
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The food at Riff's is awesome. Our server was a bit new, so we understood timing wasn't quite coordinated yet. We've eaten there many times now and the food is always consistently good. We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • eventhopoor
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    Great menu, great quality of leek potato soup with crab etc, lovely grilled peach salad and watermelon salad Perfect proportions. Attentive, polite, friendly waiter Too noisy.....rude people at larger, nearby table.....will return soon
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good but service could be improved
    caopolican
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We had a dinner with friends and had made a reservation for a Saturday night. We could spontaneously change the table from inside to outside which was very nice due to a late summer warm evening. The location is great, we sat basically in Boulder's very nice pedestrian area, could watch street artists and people. Food was really nice, each item with a special twist and all very tasty. Prices are moderate - given the quality. Optically, as well, the food was well prepared. The only slight disappointment was the service: the waiter didn't have the right timing, either he was too quick (e.g. entrées were served while we were still not finished with our starters) or too slow. And his recommendations were unspecific. He could have earned more...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great experience
    Lukaleeka
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    We really enjoyed our experience. We would have to say the entrees were our least favorite part of the meal. The appetizer(mussels), salads, and dessert were much more flavorful.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • always good
    lovenola0217
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We seem to always make time to dine at Riffs when we visit child at school. Once again, the food was great. Love the variety of items on the menu and the lighter options.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • MuchADO
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Small plate options are great. We love the Ahi tostada to share.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good not great
    EmptyNestDiners
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    I enjoyed the very comfortable, casual feel of this place -- get a table outside or near the big glass windows in front so you can people watch on Pearl Street. Curry mussels and grilled avocado with crab were big hits as appys, cucumber soup was only so-so. Rock shrimp risotto was kind of bland, chicken penne vodka was a little underseasoned, chipotle shrimp were good but you only got three medium sized shrimp -- portion size in general was quite small. Service was pleasant but a little slow. I'd try other places on Pearl Street before coming back here.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • good food, as always
    locavore
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Just enjoyed yet another meal at Riff's. Love their menu -- something for everyone! This time was noisier than usual (considering we arrived at 5:45pm), but not unpleasantly so.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Simply delicious!
    SusiqVIP
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    The Brussels sprouts starter was amazing (I know it's odd since I'm writing about Brussels sprouts but ....OMG!) everything else we had was great and the gnocchi was superb! Light and fluffy not heavy and dense. We'll be back for sure!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Innovative
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Fabulous find in Boulder. Our waiter Diego was attentive and knowledgable. The menu is not extensive, but interesting and innovative. I will definitely return next time I am in Boulder.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Poor quality food
    JakeVIP
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Food was over cooked. service was great and the restaurant had great atmosphere very disappointing.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • fantastic!
    24HourHappyHour
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Least pretentious, best food in Boulder. Period. Great service, too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good!
    suzyqVIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Food is always good, sometimes portions are small. Ordered wine & pour was on the small side. Server brought a little extra. When bill came, we were overcharged on wine price, didn't bother to complain.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Eat here every time we visit!
    GoTribe
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    The food and service here is great! I can't visit Boulder without stopping in at least once!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wide variety of foods
    Matt
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Good choice if you have a mixed group of vegetarians and omnivores. Lots of selections and can mix and match plates as you like, all of which were very tasty!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2003
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    A nice choice for a distinctive and well-prepared casual meal. Opt for a seat on the front porch, weather permitting or toward the front to enjoy always-entertaining street scene.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent With Wonderful Flavors
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    The preparation and flavors were great for soup (cucumber avocado), salad (grilled radicchio), entrees (Ono, and Scallops) and deserts (peach cobbler, and brownie).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service, interesting food
    ABMFM
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a great experience!
    justmeVIP
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 72 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 25, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.5
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance4.3
    • Service4.4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 455 reviews are from the Riffs reviews archive.