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Oliveto Cafe & Restaurant - 33 Reviews - 5655 College Ave, Oakland, CA - Quiet Reviews - Phone (510) 547-4381

Oliveto Cafe & Restaurant

5655 College Ave
Oakland, CA 94618
(510) 547-4381
Incorrect info? Correct your listing


( 5 )
( 7 )
( 5 )
( 7 )
( 8 )


We ate at the downstairs, where the prices are reasonable. Phenomenal food. I had the pizza and our other guests had the pork/polenta and the penne. Each dish was excellent. No...


It must be unlucky to be famous. Just as Oliveto's fame started to grow around the country, the quality has started to go down. Sure, you can still count on basic fare like pizzas...

I prefer the downstairs cafe. Though they are... 9/15/2008

I prefer the downstairs cafe. Though they are remodeling it and I'm not sure if I like the new more open... more

I prefer the downstairs cafe. Though they are... 9/15/2008

foodlover797 Provided by Partner
I prefer the downstairs cafe. Though they are remodeling it and I'm not sure if I like the new more open feeling to it. The food as usual is very g... more

Why is this place always hyped up as so wonderful? 11/12/2007

We gave this restaurant another try after 7 years of a boycott because our friends wanted to go there. Boy, was this a regret!\r \r Our waiter was unfriendly and acted like he was bothered to describe the dishes on the menu. But we had to ask because we couldn't understand anything on the menu. They try too hard to try to make the menu sound fancy with pasta names,etc. but it's annoying. It's not like we are hillbillies from another planet - we go out to fancy restaurants all the time and consider ourselves foodies.\r \r When I finally got my fancy-can't say the name pasta, it was horrible. It tasted like dog food! To be sure I was not out of my mind, I had the other 3 people at my table taste it and it agreed. Yuck! I had to send it back and switch it out for the fish which was edible but not that much better. These people are the smartest people on earth! Let's serve crappy, can't say the name pasta and other food because people won't know the difference anyway. Well, only non-foodies or someone without a taste bud!\r \r We will never return to this restaurant again. They can fool other diners but we done with the charade. Pros: Location Cons: Food, service, menu wording (no descriptions - just fancy pasta names) more

Sooooo, is this what is all about? 7/28/2007

Probably the chef would be better off staying in the kitchen (probably) instead of making some bad imitation of salumi.\r Disappointing dinner and disappointing his salumi that I have tried several times.\r From a native Italian (from Piemonte) point of view, tonight's dinner was merely ok, carne cruda was not anything close to what it should be (why the hard-boiled egg, there should be a raw egg yolk in there, or are you afraid no one is going to order it?). The pasta was overcooked and the bolognese way too spiced up. Sorry but you can't still (and probably never could) call yourself authentic.\r Ciao. Pros: Nice ambiance Cons: poor cooking skills more

Oliveto - Past Thier Prime. 7/19/2007

Been there before but will not be back again. The service was lean and hurried making you feel somewhat unwelcome, not a smile or suggestion to be found. We were promptly notified that of six entree's on the menu only four were available to us. Well I didn't go there for steak or chicken so now I'm down to two items. The SMALLISH plates were very good leaving you begging for desert which could have salvaged the evening however the desert was simply an enticement for what must have been a cruel joke. Some soupy toppings were poured on a plate and served up ... I was astonished. If you can't make desert just say so at least the time and money would have been spent else where, which is where I will dine next. Pros: Near Bart Cons: They will not live up to their reputation for food or service. more

Good food and ambiance but 6/4/2007

very expensive and overpriced. The porcini mushroom and celery salad was $16.50 and weighed about one ounce!!! Just a few thin slivers of veggies with a little cheese and olive oil spread out on a plate. You'd think they were doling out caviar. The wine and entrees were also way too expensive. Fill up on bread and water or leave hungry or poor. They deserve credit for the quality of the food and the pleasant setting, but you can have a better overall dining experience down the street for less money. Pros: Quality food and ambiance Cons: Small portions and overpriced more

Great Food, Horrible Service!!!!!!! 2/16/2007

Great Food, Horrible Service! It took 15 minutes for our waitress to come by our table to say hello. We ordered wine then she disappeared again. We were served water but had to poor it ourselves. We often go to this restaurant and they are usually good about sharing and serving in courses. Our food came all at once!!!! The good news is that they DID bring share plates.......... We felt completely ignored during our entire meal. When we ran out of wine our waitress took away the bottle and never asked us if we wanted more. The check came quickly but we had to wait another 15 minutes for our change. Despite the fact that the food was fantastic the service ruined our evening. more

Service is horrible! 2/12/2007

I used to go to the cafe downstairs quite frequently. I love the homey feel of the restaurant and the food is quite good despite a limited menu. However, the last 3 times I have gone have been terrible experiences. The service has been horrible, horrible, horrible. On 2 occasions, when we sat outside, we were completely neglected and had to keep going inside the restaurant to ask for a server or anything we needed. Yesterday was the last straw - I brought a friend who has never been to the Rockridge area and we walked in at 4:30. I asked the hostess if we could just have dessert and coffee and she said that was fine. We sat outside and couldn't get a waitperson to help us, despite asking twice. When the waitress finally did come outside (after we waited for 1/2 an hour) and we told her we just wanted dessert and coffee, she said ""just so you know, we don't usually serve only dessert and coffee here."" I told her we had asked the hostess and she said it was OK, but the waitress insisted they ""don't do that, but would let us do it this once"". The restaurant was very slow at this time, so it's not as if we were taking up seats at peak dinner hours. I was so embarrassed for bringing my friend there, but we just got up and left. I'm never going back here again and it's a shame because I used to frequent it. It seems like they've gotten new staff in the past few months and it's all gone downhill. Pros: Decent cafe food, ambience, bar Cons: Service, limited cafe menu more

Not bad but not all it's cracked up to be. 2/5/2007

We went there to celebrate an honor bewtowed on my husband. We had been waiting for a special occasion. Unfortunately it did not live up to its reputation. The food, what there was of it, was very good. The service was indifferent. The atmosphere was pleasant. Basically not all it's cracked up to be. There are a lot of places we will explore before we go back there. Pros: Pleasant atmosphere. Cons: Food portions are tiny, service was indifferent. more

More good food in berkeley 11/28/2006

It's been a long while since I've been here, but from what I remember my meals here have been delicious. I... more

More good food in berkeley 11/28/2006

manda Provided by Partner
It's been a long while since I've been here, but from what I remember my meals here have been delicious. I think the owner of Oliveto is a former ... more

Phenomenal food, good prices 9/10/2006

We ate at the downstairs, where the prices are reasonable. Phenomenal food. I had the pizza and our other guests had the pork/polenta and the penne. Each dish was excellent. No complaints. Our dessert, the pear/ice cream thing, was outstanding. Wines by the glass were quite pricey, but very good. Overall, I can see why they rate this place so highly. more

User review by jimd 4/13/2006

Oliveto easily stands as one of my favorite restaurants in the bay area. The food is always reliably great and at times outstanding. The pastas are fresh and usually excellent. The grilled meats are succulent. One of my favorite things is to sit at the bar, order a few appetizers and let John, the sommelier, pick out the wine. I highly recommend their special dinners they organize around such items as Hogs or Truffles. I think what really brings me back time after time is the warmth of the atmosphere and the wonderful staff. Pros: Service, Food , Wine more

Gone way downhill 1/5/2006

It used to be terrific but my recent dinner there was a tremendous disappointment. Probably the worst food I've had in a high-priced restaurant in the Bay Area in the last 15 years. Dry, tasteless, grey meat. Service was inept. Three of us ordered the same dish - it was brought out at different times to each of us. And plunked, not placed. It was also very slow, perhaps to disguise the fact that the place was more than half-empty. Pros: Lovely decor, Quiet, Easy parking Cons: Bad food, Slow more

Favorite 1/3/2006

Everytime I go back to my hometown, I eat at Oliveto. I visited last night and had a wonderful meal. The food is always good and well worth the price. Pros: great pizza, romantic, great italian more

Will not go back 12/9/2005

We have decided to try Oliveto, after all, it has been there for all these years. Overall the food was bad and way too expensive, the portions were very small (we are not big people), and unexciting. There are better values elsewhere. We will not go back to Oliveto and we do not recommend it. For years we have been sampling many Bay Area restaurants and don't mind paying a high price, but in this case, it's not at all justified. Two thumbs down. Pros: good location Cons: Too epensive, Noisy, Bad food more

Much better food elsewhere at these prices 11/2/2005

Although the beet salad was excellent it was small and cost $14.00. The entrees were boring and very pricey. My wife had a New York steak that cost $38.00! It was big, bland and of poor quality. The waitress suggested having the meat cooked medium or well to make it tender! Should of realized at that moment they were trying to cover up the meat's poor quality. Service was excellent and the environment pleasant. Because there are so many restaurants in the Bay Area that offer much better food at these prices I don't think I'll be back. It's a shame, because I proposed to my wife there 16 years ago. Pros: salads, service, environment Cons: prices, entrees more

I was skeptical 10/20/2005

We were looking for a new restaurant on this side of the Bay and I used CitySearch to find Oliveto. After reading the reviews on the site our party of 5 almost didn't choose this restaurant. We were pleasantly surprised! The salad with blue cheese, the beef, halibut, and pasta carbonara were excellent. The lamb was so so. Sarah was our server and she was one of the best we've ever encountered. Yes, the kitchen is slow and if you are in a hurry I don't recommend it, but if you want a nice leisurely dinner with friends it's great. Our table was by the kitchen so it was rather noisy but so were we! Pros: Service, Food Cons: Kitchen Slow, Parking more

Great Food, Great Service 9/6/2005

My husband and I had a wonderful meal at Oliveto in the downstairs cafe. I had a delicious pasta al forno, and my husband had a braised pork dish with polenta. Although the bill was steep, the excellent service and quality meal was worth the price. I would recommend the cafe over the main dining room for those on a tight budget. Pros: Food!, Friendly Service! Cons: Noise, Cost more

Poor value 3/13/2005

The meal was very disappointing. The entrees were very pricey. The portions were small and extremely fatty and greasy. We left the place very hungry. Pros: seating Cons: food more
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Menu for Oliveto Cafe & Restaurant

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  • The Scene
    Oliveto is actually two restaurants in one: a casual cafe with much-coveted outdoor tables on the ground floor, and a more formal restaurant up a sweeping staircase on the...

  • 4/19/2005 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Open Monday, 7:00 am to 9:00 pm Tuesday through Thursday, 7:00 am to 10:00 pm Saturday, 8:00 am to 10:00 pm Sunday, 8:00 am to 9:00 pm Weekday , 7 to 11 am Weekend , 8 to 11 am from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm from 5:30 pm Monday
  • Payments:

    Carte Blanche, Visa, American Express, Master Card, Diner's Club
  • Neighborhoods: