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  • Riffs

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Riffs Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.riffsboulder.com
  • Email: info@riffsboulder.com
  • Phone: (303) 440-6699
  • Hours of Operation: Open 7 days a week: Lunch Noon-2 Cocktail Hour: 2-6 Dinner: 6-11
  • 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 2-6 offers an incredible food menu (from $1-$5 plates), $3 draft beers, $4 well cocktails, and 40% wines by the glass.

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 WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Diner Reviews
  • "Riffs is my favorite restaurant in Boulder. Really creative and delicious food without pretension or exorbitant prices. The combination of small plates and major meals means there is the right amount for both myself (a small eater) and my husband (a big eater). The brilliance of the vegan and vegetarian offerings also make for exciting options for me, while my husband can equally enjoy the ono, halibut or pork."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "The food was excellent. The wait for our drink order was longer than it should have been. But would definitely return!"
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "The food was tasty and not run-of-the-mill.. It was nicely prepared and presented. The waiter was friendly and efficient. The prices were reasonable. The beer was ice cold. Don't come real hungry."
    Dined on 4/14/2014
  • "Everything was delicious! We ordered a few drinks off their specialty list and some small plates to start, their Pea Hummus was delicious, as were the Salmon Potato Croquettes and their buttered, cheesy cauliflower. Their Arugula salad was pleasant & a good size, loved the apricots too. I had a shrimp entree with bacon, rics & beans, and greens, everything was prepared to perfection and toasty hot. My dad had a beer with dinner and a Lamb "Burger" that comes out over a bed of couscous, and was very pleased with his food as well. It was definitely slow when we went in on a Monday night, but the restaurant was nice, we almost sat on the patio to watch the Pearl St go-ers. Our server was friendly and well-informed of drinks, will be back!"
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "We didn't realize when making reservation that it was right on the pedestrian mall with heaters above a few tables outside. We were fortunate to snag one of these and had a lovely meal. Lots of veggie choices. Loved the brussel sprouts & the gnocchi & the kale salad. Usually like beets, but really didn't like these. Everything else was good. Had wines that weren't too pricey. Glad we found a lovely place to enjoy dinner in Boulder without going to a pretentious place, Can see why it's highly rated on Trip Advisor too,"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Good variety of small plates. Sample some novel vegetable oriented plates without getting stuffed before the main course. Wines are a bargain during happy hour."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Wonderful innovative menu. We just love this place for lunch and dinner. Great décor and friendly staff. Try it out."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "dinner was excellent the only reason I gave 3 rather than 4 stars on service was because they were delayed seating our party I would definitely eat there again and they have some unique dishes."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "First time to Riff's and we will be back! Such great food, we had four different small plates during Happy Hour, every one of them had such great taste and flavor. Next we shared a winter Kale salad which was perfect to share. Then our entrees were excellent, Ono on a yummy black bean cake, I had the roasted vegetables with gnocchi, both had wonderful flavor. So many choices for people that don't eat meat.....many restaurants have one choice, here you have many and all are tasty! You can't go wrong here, plenty of options for meat eaters also."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Excellent menu and wine list. Michele was superb as our waitress. Food was outstanding. Restaurant is on the boulder mall."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "This little restaurant on Pearl serves great food. Cedar plank salmon is out of this world. The gnocchi is awesome. Even the side veggies are delicious. Try the brussels sprouts! Food as good as many favorite Boulder restaurants at a much more reasonable price. Can be a bit noisy depending on where you are sitting. I've been twice & will keep coming back!"
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "1st time dining at Riffs. Read reviews on Yelp. Looked at menu on line. And thought looks like a fun place to dine for a date night. Highly recommend making a reservation. Food was very flavor able! Service great!Great happy hour! Can't wait to come back."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "We had 6:30 dinner reservations and arrived on time and were seated directly. The place was very busy, but attention to service and detail were very good. Our waiter made some suggestions which we took and we were very pleased. I would love to go back and love to have some of their recipes!"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Thanks to the owner of Riff's for hosting the fundraiser for Boulder High Jazz. We really appreciate you, and we will be back for more of your fabulous food!"
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "Excellent food and very reasonable prices. Happy hour has great values too. Fun ambiance. Best spot on pearl st"
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "So glad to be eating John Platt's creations again! Loved it!!"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "As always at Riff's, the food was imaginative and highly flavorful, and service was attentive. However, a few glitches detracted from our experience this time. Specifically, the hostess failed to give us OpenTable credit (OpenTable later rectified this for me) and the waiter ignored a drink order and then overcharged for two items (and apologized appropriately for both when queried). That said, Riff's is still my current favorite Boulder restaurant."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "warm atmosphere, a "less is more" wine list, amazing food, we had 4 courses, and each one was phenomenal. service was fabulous. no bad things to say."
    Dined on 2/24/2014
  • "Went to Riff's for restaurant week and had am absolutely amazing time, One small hiccup occurred with food delivery and our server gave us a whole new dish free of charge, this was very much appreciated. Our group of 4 drank three different bottles of wine and they were all fantastic. We were lucky enough to all order different dishes so we got to try virtually all of the menu. This was definitely one of the most delightful dining experience I've ever had!!"
    Dined on 2/24/2014
  • "I went with a group of five and everything was excellent. I participated in Denver Restaurant Week and got three delicious but not too heavy courses. Food was appropriately portioned, interesting, and relatively healthy."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "We went to Riffs for the first night of Denver Restaurant Week. It was a wonderful meal! Great variety of choices and they even let us substitute from the special menu as well! I had the potato cauliflower soup, which was delicious; the winter kale salad, which is a perfect winter salad; and the mahi mahi, which was light and refreshing. Always love to go to Riffs to see what is new on the special list and to return to old favorites. One of the best restaurants in Boulder!"
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    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."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "This is our favorite restaurant in downtown Boulder."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Food, service, ambience, and noise level were excellent."
    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."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    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."
    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."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 1/23/2014
  • "Great small plates; get the brussels sprouts for sure."
    Dined on 5/23/2013
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 1/17/2014