Riva Cucina
Riva Cucina

Riva Cucina

  • 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

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 7th Street
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: We have ample parking available at night both on the street and in the lot behind our building.
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!
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Riva Cucina reviews from OpenTable diners
58 reviews since May 20, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.3
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (38)fit for foodies (35)special occasion (26)romantic (16)good for groups (12)great for outdoor dining (9)notable wine list (8)great for lunch (7)late-night find (2)kid-friendly (2)scenic view (1)great for brunch (1)hot spot (1)Show More
  • Fourth time here -- still great
    skyfxVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Ambiance and food were great, just like the previous times I had been here. The waitress was nice, but a little too soft-spoken for how lively it was on this Saturday evening. Other than that, no complaints!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistently Excellent
    ArmandPaulVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We eat here a few times a year. It is always excellent. This time started with grilled veggies for appetizer followed by a delicious seafood soup.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Shhh...don't tell! ;-)
    CeCe
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    At the top of my 'favorites' list...I kinda don't want to tell anyone about this place because it can already be a challenge getting a reservation. I can't say enough good things about Riva Cucina! Wonderful food, pleasant & low key surroundings where one can actually hold a conversation with your dining companions. Wait staff is very pleasant and just the right amount of attentive - I think there's a rule that only nice people are allowed to work there! I grew up eating very similar food...this is the real deal. Enjoy!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • World class ravioli
    Stevarino
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    The fresh ravioli were wonder fun in a light sauce.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely restaurant
    outandback
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Loved 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Italian Cuisine!
    Neto48
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    I 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:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014VIP
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    A favorite dining spot for our son and daughter in law.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food
    JJJJ
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    Sorry 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:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • EHF123
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    very 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:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food is OK
    Anne
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    This 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely overall
    dalialuna
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    The burrata and the scallops dish were absolutely delicious, but the antipasto plate (with salumni, olives, etc) was nothing special.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Food/Atmosphere
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Both 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:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A favorite since it opened!
    FilizBerkeley
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    This 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • best Italian I've had in a while
    Jomama526VIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Pleasantly surprised ... quiet little spot of the beaten path. Magnificent entrees ... wonderful sparkling Lambrusco ... Great service! My new favorite.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Authentic Italian Gem
    serve2allVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    One 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:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Riva Cucina...A Wonderful Find
    GinaS
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tucked away gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2001
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Personal, thoughtful food and warm mindful service
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • delicious
    Emc1
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Three 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:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful place
    pastaluvr
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, service, and ambience
    luvgudfudnquietplace
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    Our 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:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 5/27/2014
    Three 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Hoping for better
    lov2eatVIP
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    Sorry, 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • joshua
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    average 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 it
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 35 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 20, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 455 reviews are from the Riva Cucina reviews archive.
  • Enjoyed Riva Cucina
    lovedRiva
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    We 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:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Riva Cugina
    motomama1
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    This 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:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Finally
    Mazaleyrat
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    I 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:
    good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great authentic Italian
    Donz
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    I 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Solid pastas, fabulous Arctic char
    PizzaAddict
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    No-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:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • LindaG63
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    My 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:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • barbaram
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    We 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:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Local gem!
    DCarl1
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    This 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:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Another Excellent Riva Experience
    jagmackVIP
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    Riva 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:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Top of the Heap!!
    YingMeiVIP
    Dined on 4/16/2014
    Love 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:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Riva Cucina was an absolute
    WineMeDineMeVIP
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    Riva 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food but too few servers
    LIzKVIP
    Dined on 4/1/2014
    We 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Taste Sensations
    judka
    Dined on 4/1/2014
    Riva Cucina definitely a foodies' restaurant. I began with insalata bietole and pappardelle. Excellent!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loved the Pasta!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/27/2014
    Heard all their pasta is homemade. We weren't disappointed. The clear favorite of our three dishes was the TORTELLONI AGLI ASPARAGI. Delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday Success!
    Kimberley
    Dined on 3/26/2014
    I 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:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • excellent staff, very good food
    dinewithhubs
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    We'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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Italian food. Very
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 3/11/2014
    Excellent 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:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.