800 Heinz Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94710Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.rivacucina.com/
- Phone: 5108417482
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Tuesday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday & Sunday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Italian
- Executive Chef: Massimiliano Boldrini
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Beer, Farm to Table, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
- Private Party Facilities: We have a private dining space that holds up to 22 people. The entire restaurant is also available for private events of parties up to 60.
- Private Party Contact: Jennifer Boldrini 5108417482
A word from Riva Cucina
Our Emilia-Romagna inspired menu offers a selection of organic foods from nearby farms and waters, as well as a few of our favorite products from Italy. We’ve created a place for people to gather and relax with good food and good company. If you would like more information, please feel free to contact us or simply stop by and say hello. We’d love to have you!Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Riva Cucina reviews from OpenTable diners
63 reviews since May 5, 2014
- Ambiance4.2Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (44)fit for foodies (37)special occasion (29)romantic (17)good for groups (14)great for lunch (9)notable wine list (9)great for outdoor dining (9)kid-friendly (3)great for brunch (2)scenic view (2)late-night find (2)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
- World class ravioliStevarinoDined on 8/29/2014The fresh ravioli were wonder fun in a light sauce.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Lovely restaurantoutandbackDined on 8/29/2014Loved everything about this restaurant. My husband and I came here for our 5 year anniversary. The food was spectacular. We ordered the scallop appetizer and they were incredible. Next up we split gnocchi, and then our main dishes arrived. I had the braised pork shoulder (incredibly tender but could have used some more flavor) my husband had the fillet. Fillet is an understatement, this thing was substantial, tender as hell, and the flavor would knock your socks off. I still can't figure out how they served up such a lean cut that was very flavorful without being overbearing, major compliments to the chef. The staff brought us panna cotta on the house for our anniversary and it was perfectly creamy and sweet. We will definitely be back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Italian Cuisine!Neto48Dined on 8/23/2014I love the food at Riva Cucina. The night I made reservations the place was packed. Nonetheless, as busy as they were, the food was brought out pretty quickly. I had the "Ravioli al Branzino" with sea bass and my friend has the "Salmone Alla Griglia". Both dishes were very tasty, especially the ravioli. Staff was very attentive to us. The only down side for me was sitting next to a large group, which seemed to contribute to the noise level being very high. The waitress having noticed, was kind enough to give us a free dessert, which was thoughtful. But, the noise level on that particular night was just too high. However, that would not keep me away from going back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014VIPDined on 8/21/2014A favorite dining spot for our son and daughter in law.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- FoodJJJJDined on 8/6/2014Sorry to see that the food is not as good as it used to be. The fig and prosciutto dish was a gooey mess. Other dishes were thrown together carelessly. Too bad!Special Features:
- EHF123Dined on 7/30/2014very nice spot. all the food was delicious (pasta is fresh and tasty), reasonable prices, friendly and efficient service, went wednesday and got free corkage.Special Features:
- Food is OKAnneDined on 7/29/2014This is a decent place with pleasant atmosphere; not sure how it got such a high Zagat rating, though. Also, the wine is overpriced -- not sure what the corkage is but might be worth taking your own.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Lovely overalldalialunaDined on 7/24/2014The burrata and the scallops dish were absolutely delicious, but the antipasto plate (with salumni, olives, etc) was nothing special.
- Great Food/AtmosphereOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/19/2014Both myself and my girlfriend really enjoyed this place. The prices were reasonable and the food was great. For reference, I had a filet mignon with potatoes and a spinach cooked in a basalmic reduction for $26. The wines were great and reasonable in price as well ($10 a glass for a great red wine). I thought the serving size was just right, but others might have found my dish too small for their likes. I was nice and full at the end and didn't feel like I overate - the dish was completely gone.Special Features:
- A favorite since it opened!FilizBerkeleyDined on 7/18/2014This is a gem tucked away in a former industrial area of Berkeley. I've taken visitors here and they all want to come back. Portions are generous - the appetizer beet salad needs to be shared - and is, by the way, much more than a simple beet salad! Generally Italian with a California twist. Good wine list - try the Octopod Syrah. Servers knowledgable and quick to suggest modifications to dishes to accommodate dietary needs or preferences. In Michelin diction, "worth the detour."Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- best Italian I've had in a whileJomama526VIPDined on 6/28/2014Pleasantly surprised ... quiet little spot of the beaten path. Magnificent entrees ... wonderful sparkling Lambrusco ... Great service! My new favorite.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Authentic Italian Gemserve2allVIPDined on 6/28/2014One of Berkeley's best kept secrets....lovely Italian restaurant with some very creative dishes (the scallop appetizer is delicious).Outdoor seating worked with warm weather. Staff very friendly. Lovely Italian wines. Easy street parking.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Riva Cucina...A Wonderful FindGinaSDined on 6/21/2014We fortunately found this cool little establishment on Zagat and starting with the caprese salad, prosciutto with mozzarella and country bread started the meal was fantastic. Would have ordered a bottle of wine, but the ho hum waitress offered no suggestions. She in fact was the least pleasurable aspect of the evening. Entrees, desserts, cappuccinos, company though were all exceptional. Will definitely go again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Tucked away gemOpenTable Diner Since 2001Dined on 6/20/2014Personal, thoughtful food and warm mindful serviceSpecial Features:
- deliciousEmc1Dined on 6/20/2014Three of us had dinner at Riva Cucina on a Friday night. The food is very authentic and delicious. Staff friendly and professional. It got noisy around 8pm (actually too noisy for us, but we're older...) However, that's the norm with restaurants so you just have to live with it. The panna cotta was yummy.Special Features:
- Wonderful placepastaluvrDined on 6/17/2014We come here for special occasions or when we just need cheering up. The place is lovely and comfortable, the food is wonderful, the staff is attentive and skilled. We particularly love the pasta and fish dishes and the panna cotta. On warm summer evenings, the patio is a great place to be. Lunch is also a great deal and a nice change from usual lunch spots.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food, service, and ambienceluvgudfudnquietplaceDined on 6/4/2014Our dishes were cooked perfectly, respecting the integrity of the fresh ingredients. The wine selection was very good. The service was attentive and friendly. The setting was very pleasant and it was quiet enough that we could have a conversation. In the last few years restaurants have increasingly opted for a combination of music and hard-edged decor that does not absorb sound, making it impossible to carry on a conversation with our dinner companions. As a result, we have avoided such places. Riva Cucina is a very pleasant exception, making it possible to have both -- great food and good conversation with our friends.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 5/27/2014Three of us loved our risotto, and our other diner did not like his overcooked pork. The ambiance and service were superb, as was the attention to our needs and wants.Special Features:
- Hoping for betterlov2eatVIPDined on 5/23/2014Sorry, I was hoping to write a great review. We were a party of 4 and all main courses were overcooked. Flavor was there but meat dry-Osso Buco and the Veal Scallopini. We all shared an order of Tagliatelle Bolognese. The pasta was fantastic. We should have gone for the pasta dishes as a main course. Dessert was very nice. We had the Chocolate cake and Italian cake w/ lemon. Service was friendly. I would imagine the place to be very noisy if crowded. For some reason we could not get a 7pm reservation through open table and took the 6:30 reservation instead. The restaurant was not busy for a Friday night.
- joshuaDined on 5/22/2014average food for average prices deserts were good but not spectacular This restaurant is rated 26 for food in Zagat. That is a joke 22 is more like itSpecial Features:
- Enjoyed Riva CucinalovedRivaDined on 5/17/2014We had a very pleasant evening to celebrate my son's graduation. The food was fantastic. The salads were fresh and delicious. I am so glad we found Riva Cucina.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Riva Cuginamotomama1Dined on 5/10/2014This restaurant was tucked away in a warehouse-type area, not where you'd find a restaurant. It was done very nicely in dark woods and brick. Though it was a high ceiling the noise level wasn't very loud at all. We were there for an early Mother's Day dinner, to avoid the crowds on Sunday. We had two appetizers, the prosciutto with mozzarella and an antipasto plate. They were both delicious. I had the osso bucco, which was flavored very nice and very tender. The boys had squid ink pasta, ravioli, and pasta with various mushrooms. The last dish was verry good, I traded with my husband for that one.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- FinallyMazaleyratDined on 5/8/2014I always look for a restaurant where I can 'safely' take my very old friends. This is a simple, friendly place. The service is wonderful and the food makes you happy. I went there for dinner and lunch.Special Features:
- Great authentic ItalianDonzDined on 5/8/2014I had the seafood risotto and while I was eating I was in Italy! Excellent service with good food/beer suggestions. Very interesting beer list.Special Features:
- Solid pastas, fabulous Arctic charPizzaAddictDined on 5/7/2014No-corkage Wednesdays - wish I had known. Though the pastas have always been solid, Arctic char was what I opted for this time, and I was quite pleased - delicate and nicely seasoned, hearty portion, well-complemented by polenta, spinach and asparagus.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- LindaG63Dined on 5/3/2014My husband and I always enjoy Riva Cucina !! The food was very good. The Saturday night we went was very busy, so the service was not up to its usual standards -- not bad - just slow. We will definitely go back.Special Features:
- The following 449 reviews are from the Riva Cucina reviews archive.
- barbaramDined on 4/26/2014We had a uniformly excellent meal, with attentive but not intrusive service and good timing. The restaurant is rather loud (mostly hard surfaces) but takes have adequate space between them. I will definitely return.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Local gem!DCarl1Dined on 4/19/2014This place has it all: serene atmosphere, great central Italian food, and a good wine list. It's always consistently wonderful whenever I have been there.Special Features:
- Another Excellent Riva ExperiencejagmackVIPDined on 4/19/2014Riva Cucina has become one of our top two or three favorite restaurants. We're dining there about every other month because it's well worth the 'hike' from the Peninsula to Berkeley. We enjoy the interesting flavors in the salads and entrees. Several of the 'front of the house' staff have become our friends and we always look forward to seeing them. They take good care of us, greeting us by name and saving us a special table we like. The servers are very good at pacing the courses so they come when expected for a leisurely, relaxed meal, just what we want. The desserts are very good. combining traditional Italian plates with other choices.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Top of the Heap!!YingMeiVIPDined on 4/16/2014Love going to Riva Cucina. The offerings are impeccably delicious and unique and the staff are gracious and sweet. Eating here feels like being served in the private home of an established villa in the hills of Italy. The meals are a gustatory delight, every time. Being a foodie, I've not experienced the same quality of blended tastes anywhere else....well, okay, perhaps in Tuscany, but that's far to go from Berkeley during the weekday.Special Features:
- Riva Cucina was an absoluteWineMeDineMeVIPDined on 4/3/2014Riva Cucina was an absolute delight from start to finish. Highlights included the scallop appetizer-absolutely not to be missed-and the panna cotta. The mushroom pasta was rich and creamy, with delicious truffle pecorino. The seafood risotto was rich and deeply flavorful. I missed out on the wine-list due to a forced medical sobriety, but it looked well stocked with good options. The service was attentive but not intrusive, and oh so very kind. A wonderful date-night find!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food but too few serversLIzKVIPDined on 4/1/2014We love the food here, but they seem to need a few extra hands in the front of house. I had to chase down our server when to get attention and the poor guy looked like he was very stressed.
- Taste SensationsjudkaDined on 4/1/2014Riva Cucina definitely a foodies' restaurant. I began with insalata bietole and pappardelle. Excellent!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Loved the Pasta!OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 3/27/2014Heard all their pasta is homemade. We weren't disappointed. The clear favorite of our three dishes was the TORTELLONI AGLI ASPARAGI. Delicious!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Birthday Success!KimberleyDined on 3/26/2014I have been trying every year to find the right restaurant to go to for my friends Brithday who loves Italian. She is selective to say the least and goes to a narrow range of restuarants. Found Riva Cucina and decided to try. Interior (which I am a bit picky about) was simple but very comfortable and nice, good lighting set the right feeling for the restaurant. Although we didn't sit outside it has a great outdoor dining space which in the summer would be perfect. All food was great! Wait staff was fantastic - we were tryng to select a bottle of wine and our server brought us a flight of three wines to taste from. It made my friend feel very special on her Birthday and I am happy to have a new restaurant to go to!Special Features:
- excellent staff, very good fooddinewithhubsDined on 3/15/2014We've been here 3 times now, and just love the professional but friendly staff and service. The pasta is house-made and is just wonderful. I've had the fabulous garbanzo bean soup twice and came back just for that, but it was off the menu that evening. In its place was a vegetarian lentil soup, which I did order and which was good but not great. I ordered the mushroom pasta which is just excellent; as a vegetarian, I appreciate a creative and beautifully done vegetarian option on the menu. My husband had the pasta bolognese which he said was very good. We enjoy the off the beaten path location and the generally good parking availability. I would say the ambiance is fun, not terribly romantic as it can get noisy and tables are close.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent Italian food. VeryOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 3/11/2014Excellent Italian food. Very fresh vegetables, pasta cooked to perfection (al dente). Delicious past sauce. When we arrived it was quiet, but it got increasingly noisy, as there is nothing in the surroundings to absorb noise. Alas, this is becoming more & more the problems in restaurants in general. Still, I will go back but would choose early hours.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- great food, great atmospherecaligrlDined on 3/7/2014been here twice now, just went for the boyfriend's birthday. Our food was superb, he got the swordfish and said it was the best he ever had. I got the parsley pasta, which was delicious. Such good fresh food, definitely in my top 5 of bay area restaurants!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- always enjoy this placeceeeeDined on 2/28/2014not a complaint always like the staff and the creative good wine choices and ambiance. a bit noisy. we've been several times and will returnSpecial Features:
- AveragebikkaDined on 2/22/2014We found the food to pretty average. Service was too fast - not enough spacing between drinks, ordering, salads and mains. Beet salad tasted like it had been prepared hours before as it was freezing cold and flavorless. On the plus side, portions are enormous and very reasonably priced. Frankly, I can cook better at home.Special Features: