I can’t imagine a better place to share a bottle of wine with a friend! The outdoor tables at In Riva offer a lovely view of the lazy, tree-lined Schuylkill River. You can watch the bikers and runners pass by across the street, on the riverside trail. In fact, the best way to reach this comfy hangout is by bike. Rent one at the foot of Boathouse Row, on the edge of Kelly Drive, and peddle your way past sculptures and rowers to reach this spot.
I’ve always liked the Neapolitan style wood-fired pizzas at In Riva, and I enjoy their creative appetizers, including the savory spreads they serve in jars (“vasi”). The small plates are good to share. Most are influenced by southern Italian cuisine, as is the list of salumi and cheeses. My favorites include fried artichokes and anything they do with beets. The pasta selection is excellent. They have lots of great wines by the glass, and their beer selection includes some delicious Italian microbrews. Craft cocktails are named for famous Italian cyclists.
The atmosphere is one of laid back cool, and In Riva attracts bikers, families, and hip kids from the neighborhood. We enjoy the vibe for a date night in the dining room but are just as happy here for a light lunch or a drink and snacks with family. Cocktails at the bar are a perfect nightcap.