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  • Riva Cucina

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Riva Cucina
Riva Cucina

Riva Cucina Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.rivacucina.com
  • Phone: (510) 841-7482
  • 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 (510) 841-7482

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!Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "Riva Cucina has the most beautiful and inviting entrance. The restaurant is located is on a small plaza filled with flowers in an area of trees and easy parking. Actually, it's in an obscure corner of the old light industrial section of Berkeley, California. The restaurant has high brick walls and wood Italian country furniture. The lighting is not bright. The service is pleasant and friendly. The food is superb. For example, the panzanella was so fresh and tasty. The fig and prosciutto starter was really high quality. The fish risotto smelled like seafood. The pasatelli (?) with sausage bits had a perfect creamy, cheesy sauce! Rich but not heavy. I could have eaten a half-pound of it! Nice fresh Lambrusco, too."
    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!"
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "The burrata and the scallops dish were absolutely delicious, but the antipasto plate (with salumni, olives, etc) was nothing special."
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "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.""
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "Pleasantly surprised ... quiet little spot of the beaten path. Magnificent entrees ... wonderful sparkling Lambrusco ... Great service! My new favorite."
    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."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Personal, thoughtful food and warm mindful service"
    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."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/27/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "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"
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "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. "
    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."
    Dined on 5/8/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "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."
    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. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • "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!!"
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "Riva Cucina definitely a foodies' restaurant. I began with insalata bietole and pappardelle. Excellent!"
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "Heard all their pasta is homemade. We weren't disappointed. The clear favorite of our three dishes was the TORTELLONI AGLI ASPARAGI. Delicious!"
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "been 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!"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "not a complaint always like the staff and the creative good wine choices and ambiance. a bit noisy. we've been several times and will return"
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "We 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."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Excellent food and good selection at this authentic Itlaian restaurant..."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Given other diners' reviews, I expected much more. Perhaps it was an off-night, but the only outstanding things were the Acme bread and the very nice pinot grigio. The place is so loud I had to resort to trying to read the lips of my dinner companion. I had two barely mediocre dishes--a flavorless and thoughtlessly plated pear and endive salad, and a vaguely tomato-y, not creamy seafood risotto with tough calamari, some mealy, tasteless fish and two small okay shrimp. Given all the great restaurant choices in Berkeley, I can't see myself going back here."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Another visit to Riva Cucina and another great meal. The food and service here are superb."
    Dined on 2/14/2014