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Caffe Riace

4.5
97 Reviews
$31 to $50
Italian
Established in 1997, Caffe Riace, a robust Palo Alto trattoria, offers conviviality, homemade specialties and family-style warmth. Riace, one of many fine restaurants in the California Avenue area, is family owned and operated and features outdoor dining on it's spacious private piazza. Every dish is made with honest expertise. Caffe Riace is also a popular venue for wedding receptions, business meetings, graduations and other special events. If you’re looking for an intimate dining experience, we offer private dining rooms accommodating up to 40 guests. Our patio can host up to 200 guests and is a wonderful venue for warm weather events of any kind!

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 97 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on all time ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.7
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful place, wonderful food! Highly recommend.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love their Sicilian salad with oranges.

IB
vipIrisB
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Lovely outdoor space, lovely helpful staff, totally pleasant experience.

P
Pk2020
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2020
Overall1food2service1ambience4

The hostess who catered to us in a way that will leave you feel she is doing us a favor and we are eating for free. We had to ask her about wines and she was not explaining anything. When asked for bread it took forever and she came dropped it and went like she was in anger. Hated the experience. The person at the entrance welcoming ppl was super nice to us. My pasta dish was terrible with burnt taste broccoli. Waste of money with such bad service

Caffe Riace
Responded on November 10, 2020

Dear Pk2020, Our apologies you did not enjoy your dish, the charred broccolini is a part of the dish you ordered, but it certainly isn't a flavor for everyone. We absolutely want our guests to leave happy and loving their food, so please never hesitate to send a dish back if it's not to your liking, we would be happy to replace it with something that suits you better, as we have a lot of regional and seasonal dishes to choose from. Grazie, Caffe Riace

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WJ
WezJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2020
Overall2food3service1ambience4

The restaurant I will never go back to. There were numbers of inconsiderations took place.

1. Came exactly at 5, restaurant was not ready, greeter seated us on the table but suddenly one of the waiters told us table wasn’t ready so we had to get up and waited about 5 more minutes.
2. Time to order our appetizers. We ordered 3 different kinds of appetizers and waiter told us that we should get 2 of each because one order is only good for 1 person? Really? But we followed his advice. Appetizers came and it was plenty! I knew it!
3. It was dark and we only had one little, tiny candle votive on our table so I said it’s a bit dark if we could get a better lighting, same waiter told us “well, it’s night time so it’s dark” but another guy sent us one more same little tiny votive which it didn’t help at all.
4. I was excited to celebrate my bday there with my family, thinking I would be treated nicely at least just a normal customer service expectations but what I experienced was far from that.

Unfortunately, my family and I left with so much disappointment and he literally ruined my night. I called the next day, left a message on their voicemail but no one cared to call me back. Robert was the name of our server, based on the receipt.

SS
SteveS
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful setting with the sounds from the water fountain combined with great food and friendly staff.

CH
ChrisH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience5

The waiter tried to uncharge on everything. The shrimp in the fritto misto was ammoniated, the lamb pasta special was extraordinarily bland as was the eggplant appetizer. We won't be back anytime soon.

J
Jeannie
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience1

ordinary food, good service,
We sat outside and there was a lot of car noise. Not the fault of the restaurant but unpleasant.

N
Nate
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2020
Overall2food1service1ambience3

Skip it. Slow service, poor food. You can do better.

C
Corrier
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such a beautiful space in their courtyard and always enjoy their inspired Italian dishes. Wonderful!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience3

This restaurant has always had such a nice outdoor setting, and that remains the case. We had a nice large table for the 4 of us (two couples) so that we could socially distance easily. The food was good, and the service was also good. The only unfortunate part was that a table next to us had 8 adults who were clearly not socially distancing, and who were partying very loudly throughout the entire meal -- shouting over each other, shrieking with laughter all the time. And this was on a Sunday night. If anyone at that table had COVID, I'm sure they all do now. I just hope we don't. I would be happier and feel safer if restaurants would not seat parties of that size right now. It also was very difficult to hear our companions over the noisy neighbors, along with the noise of the fountain. Can't recommend this place at the moment, sorry to say.

AW
vipAnneW
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2020
Overall2food4service1ambience4

The service was poor. The wait person did not check back with us after the food was delivered to the table by other waitstaff .

LS
LisaS
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2020
Overall3food3service1ambience5

We booked a night that was very busy, which they explained to us when we arrived.
I loved our table and outdoor setting -- beautiful! They were slow taking our order and getting food out to us. Also, we had to asked repeatedly for more water. Food was tasty.

SF
SteveF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Nice place to come for dinner. They have a good wine list.

CM
CraigM
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Wonderful ambiance and service - a perfect setting for outdoor dining. The food was decent but not on par with the setting and ambiance.

S
vipSayonara2
Las Vegas
34 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience2

Such a disappointing evening .... had been to Riace in years past and this was not the Riace we all remembered . Though the outdoor dining environment was pleasing to the eye, the noise level where we sat ( at an angle from the kitchen) was unbelievably loud ( a cacophony of serving utensils , loud music, not to mention quite a noisy table behind us ).... we felt we had to yell to speak to each other ( 4 of us) to be heard .
The racing waiters who seemed to be doing a marathon kept going behind my friend’s chair knocking her hanging purse each time .... the atmosphere/ ambiance was frenetic and service seemed haphazard .
Then the food .... this is an Italian restaurant ..... the pasta carbonara was too al dente and there was hardly any creaminess to the sauce , pretty dry and my friend only ate half before he gave up. My husband’s tutta mare pasta was not fresh, Tomato sauce bland and the fish, mussels were not fresh and the shrimp was overdone ... he also did not finish the meal . My calamari piccata was pretty good , needed more lemon ( which I asked for and got) but the green vegetables were cold and I was told that polenta was the side but instead I received some somewhat cold roast potatoes which I did not eat . My friends pasta dish “ carriere”((? Spelling ) was at best lukewarm and too al dente , so she sent it back and the return dish was acceptable she said .
We brought our own wine .... we poured ourselves since no one ever came back to our table once the meals came .
Sorry to say we will will not be coming back .... our expectations were high for a fun evening with friends but we will not be recommending this place to others .
Perhaps after the Covid era ends and things start to normalize , then Riace can revive the type of staff and service it once was noted for .... till then , ciao e buona fortuna !

PM
PaulM
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Birthday dinner. Wonderful food and outdoor setting. Typical pricing for this area. Generous portions. Relaxed service.

WT
WineTaster
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Large tree covered patio. Just what we were looking for.

L
Lmom
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very nice to have such a great outdoor space during these times. Beautiful piazza like setting

KM
KarenM
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience5

The atmosphere, ambience, food and covid 19 standards were all excellent. Our waiter could have used more training....but to be fair he may have been pretty new.

SV
vipSVdinerinSB
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great food and service. The ambience is fantastic.

BG
BarbaraG
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Very enjoyable

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first outing since the pandemic began, so we were grateful to have a semi-enclosed outdoor dining area for the occasion. Our server was extremely helpful, and the food was amazing! Some places you just pay for the ambience and suffer through, but the food itself was the destination here. Very happy to recommend this place to friends and foes alike (the food might put them in a better mood!).

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed a beautiful meal and dining experience at Cafe Riace! The food was delicious, the patio was charming and the staff was friendly and provided excellent service!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2020
Overall3food4service1ambience3

Very bad vibes grumpy waiter. Didn’t let us sit where we wanted. Was rude and pushy about what we ordered. Was pressuring us to order more food. The first time i came the same guy sat us and complained that we came too late too close to closing even tho we had a res. And he again didn’t let us sit where we wanted. I really like the patio but probably won’t be back. I don’t pay $200 for bad vibes.

FA
vipFredA
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience5

Food and ambience were very good. Our server did a poor job. She had a bad attitude and was very slow it bringing our food and we had to pour our own wine. We typically have dinner monthly and have always had good service previously.

MA
vipMarilynA
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2020
Overall1food2service1ambience2

Our waiter was very unfriendly and she was extremely poor in customer service. The service was delayed throughout and we waited almost an hour for our bill after asking several times snd even had to ask a male waiter twice to get our waitress to bring us the bill. All guests who were there then and after we arrived had left while we still awaited her return for our bill.
We have dined several times with you and continue to send friends as we have always had a lovely experience with you on your patio. We were stunned at our poor and disappointing experience last evening.
Our waitress was agitated and negative from our first interface with her. We are always friendly and not demanding and her behavior was unacceptable.
We are now reluctant to return which is sad as we have been your customers for years.

Caffe Riace
Responded on September 26, 2020

Dear Marilyn, Please so so kind as to email us carrubba@gmail. we would like the opportunity to make up for the poor service you received. Your loyal and regular business means a lot to us and we want to be sure you and your guests are well taken care of. Grazie, Giuseppe Caffe Riace

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W
vipWags
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Great being outside with good social distancing of tables.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Minneapolis
36 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The setting was super nice - we ate in the courtyard - and our server was excellent. Had the antipasto appetizer and two pastas - all the food was super tasty!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Friendly staff and nice Ambience

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great atmosphere, great food, safe distance between tables. Awesome place to dine with friends and family in summer

Caffe Riace
Responded on September 15, 2020

Thank you for enjoying our spacious outdoor private patio. We are thrilled to offer our hidden gem to our guests during these times. We hope to serve you and your guests again soon. Grazie, Caffe Riace

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JE
JohnE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Enjoyable outdoor setting, very inviting menu choices that go well beyond any typical Italian restaurant in the bay area. Everything was delicious and beautifully presented. Perfect service (not too much or too little), and no sense of being rushed (could have stayed all night). Covid precautions were pleasantly evident (masks, hand sanitizer at entry, table spacing, staff sanitizing tables and chairs, etc).

C
vipChris
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place to eat during this crazy pandemic. Clean, well-spaced tables in a beautiful, large, open-air courtyard. Plenty of heat lamps for chillier evenings. The food is delicious and service is exceptionally friendly. Easy parking across the street. A delightful dinner spot.

Caffe Riace
Responded on September 15, 2020

We are thrilled you enjoyed our spacious and private outdoor piazza. We look forward to serving you soon! Grazie, Caffe Riace

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C
Collin
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Great atmosphere. Service was attentive but not hovering. Very good food: between us we had two salads, an appetizer, and a pasta dish.

PT
PatriciaT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The outdoor seating area is a wonderful option during these COVID days. We enjoyed a delicious dinner while the air was healthy enough. The staff was attentive and friendly.

RH
RobinH
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely marvelous meal - so authentic and delicious. And the quirky decor on the patio was fun. The service was attentive and the ambiance was lovely. We loved the sound of the fountain, and it gave us a real feeling of privacy as the water-sound covered conversations from (not too) nearby tables. The canoli for dessert was fabulous!

Caffe Riace
Responded on August 29, 2020

Thank you for your positive review! We are so glad you enjoyed the private spacious a outdoor dining we are able to offer in these times. We look forward to serving you again soon. Grazie, Caffe Riace

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OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Didn’t order food, loved the ambi

BN
BettyN
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this restaurant. Best outdoor ambiance anywhere in Palo Alto

RG
vipRajeevG
San Francisco
40 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Caffe Riace is tucked away on a quiet residential cul-de-sac. Plenty of street parking as well as a parking lot across the street. In Covid times, the dining is restricted to the patio. It is quite large and beautifully setup with a fountain, a few large classical statues and olive trees in large planters. The fountain water makes it a bit noisy but also hides the chatter from other tables.

On a Friday evening, there weren't too many people. Yet service was slow and spotty. Took a while for someone to take our order. They could have put a tablecloth, a candle or a flower on the table so it did not feel so casual, like a street side cafe. We ordered the Melenzane al’aceto (eggplant) appetizer and Sicilian salad -- both tasted quite good, but were served rather plainly. Our prosecco came after the appetizers!

For the mains, we ordered Pollo al Rosmarino and Carrettiera pasta. The pasta was simple yet delicious with just garlic, crushed red pepper, parmigiano and parsley. The chicken was also good, but a little dry, and the serving felt plain. We topped it off with an espresso and Tiramisu, both good but nothing extraordinary.

Overall, we enjoyed the beauty of the patio and the quality of the food. The service and style left a lot to be desired, though. We put it down to the pandemic, and will be back for more again!

RH
RobertH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

wine is too expensive - $15 minimum for a glass. wow

FAQs

Caffe Riace does offer delivery in partnership with Postmates. Caffe Riace also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (650) 328-0407.

Caffe Riace is rated 4.5 stars by 97 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.