Nearby points of interest

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  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.23mi
  3. Distance: 0.30mi
  4. Distance: 0.33mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.23mi
  3. Distance: 0.30mi
  4. Distance: 0.33mi
  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.23mi
  3. Distance: 0.30mi
  4. Distance: 0.33mi

About Riffs

A Boulder foodbar featuring moderately priced, satisfying appetizer portions of Chef John Platt’s artfully prepared diverse cuisine. Carefully chosen beverages. Genuine hospitality. Comfortable social setting. A thoughtful Boulder urban dining experience.

1115 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
American, Tapas / Small Plates, Contemporary American

Hours of Operation:
Open 7 days a week:
Lunch 11:30-4
Cocktail Hour: Monday-Friday 3-5 pm
Dinner: 4-Close

Cross Street:
11th st

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(303) 440-6699

Website:
http://www.riffsboulder.com/

Parking Details:
Street and public lot parking throughout downtown Boulder/Pearl St Mall vicinity. Entrance is on Pearl St. pedestrian mall.

Public Transit:
RTD and local bus service.

Executive Chef:
John Platt

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Cocktail Hour Monday-Friday from 3-6. Discounted food menu, $3 draft beers, $4 well cocktails, and 1/3 off all wine.

Riffs Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.6

ambience

4.5

value

4.3

Noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Fit for Foodies (24)
Creative Cuisine (23)
Good for a Date (22)
See All
Special Occasion (19)
Casual (15)
Fun (14)
Good for Birthdays (12)
Healthy (12)
Comfort Food (10)
Cozy (10)
Quiet Conversation (10)
Good for Anniversaries (10)
Handcrafted Cocktails (9)
Great for Lunch (8)
Notable Wine List (8)
Pre/post Theatre (8)
Romantic (8)
Worth the Drive (8)
Bar Seating (7)
Local Ingredients (7)
Neighborhood Gem (7)
Business Meals (6)
Great for Outdoor Dining (6)
Quick Bite (6)
Authentic (5)
Organic (5)
Tapas (5)
Good Vegetarian Options (5)
Good for Groups (5)
Gluten Free Options (4)
Afternoon Coffee (3)
Afternoon Tea (3)
Disabled Access (3)
Paleo Friendly (3)
People Watching (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Great for Brunch (2)
Kid-friendly (2)
Great Beer (2)
Happy Hour (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Vegan (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Late-night Find (1)
Seasonal (1)
Spicy (1)
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990 reviews
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 (Denver)·Dined on January 12, 2018

Chef Platt and his staff do a wonderful job of preparing quality food, locally sourced when possible. This is a favorite "go-to" restaurant for us.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Comfort Food, Business Meals, Worth the Drive, Casual, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 12, 2018

We eat out a lot, weeknights, weekends, with friends, business associations, and just the two of us, and sometimes one. Riffs is our go-to. Interesting dishes, nice portions, service moves along, but not too fast. Love the vibe too!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Denver)·Dined on January 8, 2018

Great local restaurant with an often changing menu of outstanding food make Riffs worth visiting often.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on January 7, 2018

Second time here. Great meal top to bottom. Love this place.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on January 7, 2018

We like Riffs, and have been happy with the food and service in the past. This time we were a little disappointed. We were a table for two, so a small table. We explained to the waiter that we were going to share three appetizers, get one salad each.

For some reason, they brought out everything at once, which meant we had five large plates on our very small table. There was no room at all, and it was a very uncomfortable place setting. For our part, we could have asked for them to pace the settings, but we assumed they knew that.

The food was mediocre: the salmon croquettes tasted old, the romaine was rubbery and so were the grilled carrots. The drinks were quite nice though, and the meatballs were delicious, albeit cold by the time we got to them.

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food2
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (Denver)·Dined on January 6, 2018

Very nice overall but much much too loud we came after a movie to talk about the movie in the evening at 7 PM and We were quested a quiet area. Even so,we couldn’t hear each other. It was so loud that people at nearby tables were shouting at each other so that they could hear their own conversation. As you can imagine that made it even harder for us to hear each other. Our friends tried to put it in a good light. They said sometimes you go to a restaurant for the conversation and sometimes a go for the food. They said I guess at riffs on a busy night you can’t talk so you’re there for the food. I know there’s a fashionable idea that loud restaurants are the way to go but I really hate that. I wish that a sound engineer would work with riffs so that there is some noise dampening so that it’s not so loud. Because of the terrible din I will not come back in the evening to riffs But when it’s less crowded it’s veryCharming Has wonderful views and good food and easier to hear people

Tags: Afternoon Coffee, Great for Outdoor Dining, Afternoon Tea
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Denver)·Dined on January 1, 2018

The food and service were great!

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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Denver)·Dined on January 1, 2018

There were 4 of us, everyone's food was great except I got the octopus instead of ono. Ewe, Happy New Year!! Great overall, thanks.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food3
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 30, 2017

My husband and I dine here fairly regularly. The chef is excellent as is his staff. The food and beverage menus are creative and executed very well. Food has always been excellent and service has improved each time we return but has always been good. So many Boulder restaurants are just a flash in the pan but this is truly a quality experience. Thanks!!

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on December 22, 2017

Riffs is one of my favorite restaurants on Pearl Street! The food is always delicious and beautifully presented. It's perfect for a business lunch, as well as a quiet meal when you need to decompress from a stressful day. The gnocchi is absolutely amazing!

Tags: Business Meals, Organic, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on December 16, 2017

Very good meal, but the whole description of the food by our server was a bit over the top. The ambiance could use a slight toning down- too bright with not very comfortable seats- doesn't match food and prices. Good meal, but it was incongruent with the atmosphere.

Tags: Quiet Conversation
1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience2
service4
value3

 
 (Denver)·Dined on December 16, 2017

The noise level in the front of the restaurant was so deafening we asked to be moved to a booth toward the back which was much better. The food offerings were unique, well prepared and enjoyed.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good Vegetarian Options
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 14, 2017

Service was good, but the food was not. One diners burger was nearly raw, aside from the outside sear, and some of the mussels were uneatable

1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Denver)·Dined on December 12, 2017

We love Riffs! The food is creative and delicious. We all had trouble choosing what we wanted from many wonderful choices and no one was disappointed. Not busy--quiet--a lovely place to have lunch or dinner, relax with friends with no hassle, no hurry. If you don't know Riffs, you're missing out.

Tags: Healthy, Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Casual, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on December 9, 2017

Great server, Korinne, spaced out our food and wine perfectly. We were never rushed or asked if we were "still working." This service adds so much to the great food and ambiance of Riffs.

Tags: Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 7, 2017

Everything great except the noise level

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 22, 2017

We’ve enjoyed Riff’s in the past but it seems to be sliding. The root vegetables were either barely cooked or old. The steak was mediocre. This is the second time we’ve gone back thinking that the poor food was a fluke. We won’t be going again. Sad.

Tags: Cozy
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (Denver)·Dined on November 21, 2017

I usually love this restaurant's food but this time I was a little disappointed. Butternut squash soup, roasted carrots salad, and cheesecake-type dessert were all mediocre. But the barramundi fish was excellent, and the clam linguine was good. I like it for lunch, they have many small bites and specials that make it worthwhile to go, and the prices are reasonable. Their brussel sprouts dish is very tasty, one of the best around.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Fun, Creative Cuisine, People Watching, Pre/post Theatre
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food3
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Denver)·Dined on November 19, 2017

We went for First Bite Boulder and selected from the predefined menu. We all felt the food was, well, meh. The table ordered pork loin, gnocchi, and the flatiron steak. The pork and gnocchi were bland. The steak with chimichurri was good. Overall, not worth the money.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food3
ambience4
service3
value2

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on November 15, 2017

I'm a local, and I am shocked that it has taken me so long to have a meal here. THEIR FOOD IS EXCELLENT. We were a table of 4: 2 foodies and 2 less foodie. Everyone was happy.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Business Meals, Quick Bite, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience3
service3
value4

 
·Dined on November 11, 2017

I was served raw pork loin. I returned it to the kitchen. They returned it to me still raw. I returned it a second time and it was slightly more cooked when then returned it to me the second time. They over charged me $3 for my glass of wine. Our server was good and helpful. The prices are ridiculous for the portion size. I will never go there again and I will be sure to tell everyone I know about my bad experience.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service4
value1

 
 (Denver)·Dined on November 10, 2017

The food was stellar and so was the service. Will be back.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 8, 2017

I met with friends from Lincoln NE who now live in the Boulder area. Dinner was truly great. The braised lamb was as good a meal as I have ever had in a restaurant. It wasn't too busy but service was attentive but non-intrusive.
I was introduce to Riffs by my Canadian boss and I have been back several times. He eats there every time he can.
Keep up the good work.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Great Beer, Fun, Bar Seating, Business Meals
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 6, 2017

The food was delicious, the cocktails generous, and the service was great.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on October 30, 2017

Fantastically unexpected. What a joy! The menu was terrific. We will be back. So many items to choose from!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on October 29, 2017

Riffs is a good spot on Pearl Street. Menu is diverse and attention to detail is good. Our service was very good yet we were told my another guest that their service was way too slow. My caution would be of the prices. Our bill was $184 for a party of 4. Only 2 glasses of wine and one draft beer. No desserts. Note that we asked the server for a glass of white wine. She brought us one yet not knowing until we got the bill that the wine was $16 per glass.

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food3
ambience3
service4
value1

 
 (Denver)·Dined on October 29, 2017

THE WORST SERVICE EVER. At the hour mark we got drinks. After an hour and a half, we received our appetizers only because we approached the manager. The waiter stopped looking at us or responding when we tried to get his attention. We left at the 2 hour mark without having been served our main meal. They were "just coming out with it". They did not charge us for the meal because they were embarrassed. Better to treat patrons kindly and timely instead. WILL NEVER GO BACK.

Tags: Afternoon Tea
1 person found this review helpful.
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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (Denver)·Dined on October 28, 2017

Smallish place with tables right on the Pearl Street Mall. The servers I've had are well-informed of the preparation of the dishes. Portions on the small side, but they make up for it with excellent food, expertly prepared and artfully plated. My favorite dish is the salmon on cedar plank over steamed greens. Based on my last 2 experiences, they have trouble getting things to the table at the same time. The first time I asked for Fried Bread to be served with my entree. It was made 15 minutes before the salmon was ready, so arrived cold (and a bit burnt). When the entree arrived I asked for salt and the server forgot, even after being reminded. I finally flagged down another server halfway through my meal. The second time I asked for my beer to be served with the dinner and a different server forgot. She was at the next table and surely saw 2 people in my party trying to get her attention, but we had to flag down another server and I was 3/4 done by the time it arrived. She comped me for it, but I would have preferred a sincere apology.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience3
service3
value4

 
·Dined on October 27, 2017

Good food and very good service. Nice, relaxing environment.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Comfort Food
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on October 27, 2017

Love this place! Great service, responsive wait staff, yummy food, and the smaller portions mean that I can sample more than one thing. Don't miss the brussels sprouts, and the salmon is perfectly prepared.

Tags: Gluten Free Options, Tasting Menu, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on October 24, 2017

My wife and I have eaten at Riffs on several occasions. Except for Oak, Riffs probably is the best restaurant on the mall in terms of quality, service and ambiance. On this visit, my wife started with the squash soup, which she said was excellent, and I had the honey-roasted pear which I would happily order again. For our mains, my wife had the lemon-thyme chicken, that she said was good. I had the ribs, which were very good. Riffs does everything right as a restaurant: friendly greeting at the front door, excellent service (every time we've visited there) and good food that is nicely presented. We both recommend Riffs anytime you are on the mall and want a nice, relaxing meal.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Comfort Food
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Always delicious. We split our favorite goto brussels sprouts, a smoked trout app, a halibut entree and a bison flank steak. Among the best food in Boulder for a bit less price than most other restaurants of the same quality. Great service and great atmosphere. Can hear each other talk.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food, Fit for Foodies
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on October 20, 2017

Riffs has very good vegetarian food even though it is not a vegetarian restaurant. Many of the "Starters" are excellent and a meal in themselves. The service is always great and the desserts are worth saving some room for.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Tapas, Healthy, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on October 16, 2017

The salmon dish is a classic. We come back specifically for that dish. The salmon is always perfectly grilled, the greens wilted by the heat of the salmon, the wild local mushrooms perfectly cooked and delicious, and the salmon and greens are bathed in a flavorful citrusy sauce. I would have preferred more greens, as the quantity was barely enough to peek out from beneath the salmon. I can't recommend the fried bread that I ordered as an accompaniment. It was cold when it arrived and each of the three pieces was charred. When I asked the server for salt when the main course was served, he said "of course" but never returned with it. Halfway through the meal we were able to flag down another server.

Tags: Good for a Date, Casual
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food4
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 15, 2017

Excellent menu choices, Favorites were the brussell sprouts and the barratta with tomato and polenta. Great drink menu too. Seated promptly for our reservation. Ahi tuna special was also very good. Loved the atmosphere.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Fun, Worth the Drive, Comfort Food, Great for Lunch, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 14, 2017

Love the salmon dinner and bruessel sprouts appetizer!

Tags: Organic, Paleo Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Healthy
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on October 14, 2017

Delicious mahi mahi and the sides were amazing, too! Yum!

Tags: Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 8, 2017

The food, service and everything was exceptional. The waitstaff was very nice, friendly and accommodating. It is so rare when you receive excellent fare that is priced correctly where each small plate was better than the next. We ate outside which added to the experience. Thank you!

Tags: Bar Seating, Tasting Menu, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on October 8, 2017

Absolutely one of the best restaurants ever. The food and service were great. Everything we ordered was phenomenal. We will recommend it to everyone we know.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Healthy, Comfort Food, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Gluten Free Options, Fun, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on October 5, 2017

This was our first visit to Riff's and we had a wonderful time. House special drinks were a tad pricy but outstanding - definitely worth it. Service was prompt and friendly and the menu full of pleasant surprises. We'll go back there soon!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Disabled Access, Neighborhood Gem, Spicy, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

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