C'era Una Volta

4.5
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865 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
C'era Una Volta - Italian Restaurant This sun-splashed location is a hidden treasure on a quiet tree-lined cobblestone promenade. Our Italian restaurant brings a Taste of Italy to the Island of Alameda with delicious Tuscan, regional Italian dishes and an extensive Italian wine list. From the day we opened our doors in 2004 we have received numerous awards for our food, ambiance, service, and wine selection. Chef Rudy Duran is one of only a handful of Bay Area chefs recognized by L'Associazioni Cuochi Fiorentini. C'era Una Volta: Recognized by the Academia Italiana della Cucina for authentic Italian cuisine; Voted Best Italian Restaurant in Alameda, Notable Wine List and Neighborhood Gem.
What 865 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Quiet
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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l
loyalfoodie
New Orleans
15 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience2

We have dined at C'era Uni Volta several times and enjoy the dining experience. But, this last time we were seated in the worst possible location. We made reservations through Open Table two weeks in advance. I asked for another table since there were several tables available for two people, but the hostess refused. Our backs were to the open door of the restaurant making the experience less than enjoyable. The food courses and choices of wine were good, but I would ask for a better table next time we dine at this restaurant.

N
Nancy
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

C'era Una Volta is always excellent. Food and service the best.

KN
vipKatieN
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience4

We had the beef florentine for two. It was ok. Flavorful where we could get a bite but really wish the cut had been trimmed, big pieces of meat were really just a mess of inedible (to us, at least), unappealing-looking fat. Pasta that came with it was similarly just-okay, service was friendly but a little spotty---sometimes slow (for example, waiting for someone to notice our drinks were empty). It is a very nice-looking, inviting space. Wouldn't bother going back at this price point when there are so many better restaurants in the area.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service2ambience5

Food was fab service not so much

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstandingly delightful experience. Will go back every opportunity I get. Can’t wait to share with my wife.

M
Maxey
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dinner with out of town friends! They loved it, and the owners always are most welcoming and caring! Good outstanding as always!

PM
PeggyM
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is such a lovely restaurant for New Years Eve. The food is wonderful and they have live music for fun dancing. We’ve gone for several years and will be back again.

O
Oaklandia
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

New Year’s Eve celebration for our anniversary (early seating at 6:30). The food is delicious. Lovely 4 course meal with perfect portions. Live jazz guitar duo set the tone and did not impede our conversation at a balcony table. We will definitely be back and want to sit in the balcony again!

DT
vipDerrickT
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is a "jewel". My wife and I love this restaurant.

l
loyalfoodie
New Orleans
16 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We chose C'era Una Volta for our Christmas Eve dinner. The four course meal was delicious and the Italian wine we selected was very good. We dine here frequently and participate in "Table for Eight" that's offered once a month. Each selection of wine is paired with a delicious sampling of food. Overall, our dining experience has been wonderful!

CH
CelesteH
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

TOOK MY BOYFRIEND FOR CHRISTMAS EVE SPECIAL ,HAD TO WAIT TO LONG TO BE SEATED ,HAD TO GET UP AND ASK FOR SERVICE ALTHOUGH THE ROOM WAS NOT CROWDED, BREAD CAME WITH SOME WEIRD MUSTARD SAUCE.

T
vipTommy
140 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

I was given a semi-secluded table which was appropriate for the occasion. Shared a salad with candied walnuts which was tasty then had the salmon carpaccio that was good, too. My date enjoyed the filet mignon which was served medium rare, good, too. For dessert we enjoyed the lemon sorbet. I ended with a double espresso.

The food was good but not outstanding, however the servers went out of their way to make my visit memorable. Kudos to them.

S
Skzapata
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Always receive excellent service here! Food is pretty good, too.

DP
DeniseP
1 review
Dined on December 12, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience4

Would recommend. They did not have a seafood stew that some of our party were looking forward to. And there were a couple wines on the wine list that they did not have. Seems if they were expecting a large dinner party, a bit more preparation with having all items from a full menu was worth looking at. I don't think the online menu matched the menu that we used inside the restaurant.

M
Maxey
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thanksgiving!

P
Popsky
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food and service

l
loyalfoodie
New Orleans
16 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I highly recommend C'era Uni Volta. We've gone for dinner several times and for their special "Table for 8" where each course is paired with a different wine. The personal touch of the chef and his wife made the evening quite special. Because it was Halloween, we dressed in costume and that made the evening extra festive. I love the variety of this restaurant!

F
vipFoodie
San Francisco
64 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Very challenging to park near this restaurant that is tucked in the side of a building. The service was very polite and attentive. The ambiance was very pleasant. Nice Italian wine selections including by the glass. Limited entree choices and they were pricey compared to the very small portions served. The food was tasty but I’m unlikely to return due to the expense and difficulty of parking.

p
patty
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the setting and the service.
Felt like we were in Italy

HS
HarrietS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were celebrating a birthday for one of my sons and he chose C'era Una Volta. Based on previous enjoyed meals there, this measured up. We turned out to be 30 minutes late and although we called, they were very nice about it and did not make us feel badly.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Western NC
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food and an amazing atmosphere. The outdoor patio was amazing and service was fast and friendly.

JF
vipJonF
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delightful Italian food with excellent service, C'era Una Volta provides consistent quality.

DJ
DianeJ
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Our steak was overcooked. Had to send it back.

RS
RichardS
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice decoration, food Italian (Italian chef) and authentic. Waiter was super friendly and made good conversation. Only comment was that our mains were served while we were still having our starters. Menu is fairly short, which means ingredients should be fresh...

F
Foodiesatthepinkdoor
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall4food3service3ambience4

It was good. Not great, but good. Small-ish portions, pasta and dessert especially. The bread and olive oil/Dijon was yummy.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Enjoyed dinner alfresco, protected from the evening breeze by a vine-covered arbor. There was a heater, but we didn’t need it to stay comfortable. Watching the local folks going about their Saturday evening business felt like being in Italy. Our friend said the meal was just like her Italian grandmother’s. Not fancy, but delicious. The three course fixed price dinner for $39 was a bargain. Full portions of your choice of numerous salads, three main courses, and several desserts. We started with a very fresh salumni platter, with prosciutto, chunks of good Reggiano, several salamis, all sliced to order, served with housemade focaccia. The gnocchi with Gorgonzola and walnuts passed my friend’s “Nonna” test with f,ting colors. Not gummy, and the Gorgonzola was not harsh. Three of us ordered the prix fix dinner with a variety of salads, with Porcini risotto and braised on-the-bone pork ribs for a main. Our other companion ordered the eggplant parmigiana and loved it. The ribs were succulent, served with its sauce, plus roasted vegetables and really good roasted potatoes. The risotto was perfectly cooked - a bit of a bite to the rice, and saucy, as it should be when cooked to order. We shared two desserts from the prix fix: housemade tiramisu and affogato made with hazelnut gelato with a splash of Frangelico and a cup of espresso poured over. Heavenly.

CC
vipCreativeCarol
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really enjoy this little gem of a dining experience that helps transport me back to Italy. We sat outside on the patio that is so lovely with the lights and brick and is so quiet. The food and service is exceptional. Thank goodness for C'ere Una Volta!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sweet gem with great food and service

SB
SallyB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was wonderful we had berrata as an appetizer, my guest had the egg plant Parmesan and I had the raviolis. We ended with cream Brulé and the lava cake that was excellent I would do that again. The service was over attentive but very good. We enjoyed it very much and will definitely return.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Rudy & Cheryl always make us feel like family. Rudy’s cooking was outstanding. The ambiance (outside seating) was lovely.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Anniversary

KJ
KJOFN
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Attentive waiter, but not intrusive. Good food.

B
Bill
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

We were very disappointed with C'era Una Volta. The taste of the entrees was okay, but the portions were very small for an adult and inadequate. The prices were way too high for what was received. The service was only fair and it took way too long to receive simple items like bread, tea, or coffee. Don't waste your money at this restrauant there are too many other good places to dine at far less cost.

JO
JuneO
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went to a special brunch and the restaurant was full, some even seating in the patio dining area. Good food, good atmosphere, fun & friendly patrons and staff. It was quite busy and the wait staff had to work extra hard. The owner was very welcoming. Very good overall experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cheryl and Rudy run a fantastic restaurant with a very authentic Italian feel. Go. You will not be disappointed!

CD
ChrisD
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Enjoyable local Italian restaurant. Great service. Excellent food.

MR
MarshaRy
Puerto Vallarta
4 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very gay table meeting new friends over wine and food!

b
vipbbann
San Joaquin
2 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall2food5service2ambience5

Takes a long time to get the bill

C'era Una Volta
Responded on June 8, 2019

We apologize for any inconvenience you experienced. It happened that we were short staffed that evening. Please accept our invitation to return and we will aim to improve on your past visit.

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GJ
GreggJamie
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Much better experience this time and the food was great. It is nice to have a meal and not be pushed along. The owners are still our favorites!

BJ
BellaJMH
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food is fabulous. Service is superb. Reminds me of dining with my family in Tuscany! I highly recommend this wonderful restaurant.

FAQs

C'era Una Volta does offer delivery in partnership with Caviar, Postmates and Uber Eats. C'era Una Volta also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (510) 769-4828.

C'era Una Volta is rated 4.5 stars by 865 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.