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5 Best Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants in Riverside

5 Best Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants in Riverside

5 Best Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants in Riverside

These five best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside are part of a culinary journey through Riverside, these 5 hidden gems have emerged as some of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants the city has to offer. From the aromatic Italian delights of Mario’s Place to the smoky barbecue perfection of Dads BBQ and Catering, the rich Mexican flavors at Las Campanas, the authentic American barbecue experience at Gram’s BBQ, and the refined elegance of Duane’s Prime Steaks & Seafood, each restaurant paints a unique gastronomic picture.

These best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside embody the essence of Riverside’s culinary diversity, inviting locals and visitors alike to explore the lesser-known corners of the city’s food scene. Each restaurant reflects the creativity, passion, and dedication of their owners and staff, serving up dishes that resonate with the heart and soul of the culinary craft.

However, the adventure doesn’t end here. Riverside boasts a great deal of hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside waiting to be discovered—each with its own story to tell and flavors to share. These five best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside are just the beginning of a journey that promises more culinary treasures tucked away in Riverside’s nooks and crannies. This is why these are some of the popular hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside that are waiting for you to discover them. This list is in no particular order.


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5 Best Riverside BBQ Restaurants

1) Mario’s Place

Mario’s Place, located in the heart of the city, is undeniably one of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside. Nestled within the charming streets of Riverside, this family-owned and operated gem exudes a welcoming and cozy ambiance. The restaurant is a testament to the city’s rich history, offering a blend of classic and contemporary vibes that perfectly complement its delectable offerings.

One cannot visit Mario’s Place without indulging in their renowned signature dish, the “Osso Buco.” This traditional Italian delicacy features a slow-braised veal shank, cooked to perfection until the meat is tender enough to melt in your mouth. Served atop a bed of saffron-infused risotto, the dish is garnished with gremolata—a zesty mixture of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley. The “Osso Buco” encapsulates the essence of Mario’s Place, combining time-honored recipes with a touch of innovation.

Main Menu Items:

1. Lobster Ravioli: Handcrafted ravioli stuffed with succulent lobster meat and ricotta cheese, elegantly dressed in a delicate saffron cream sauce. The dish strikes a harmonious balance between the richness of the lobster filling and the subtle flavors of the saffron-infused sauce.

2. Filet Mignon: A prime cut of tender filet mignon, expertly seasoned and grilled to your desired level of perfection. Accompanied by truffle mashed potatoes and sautéed seasonal vegetables, this dish showcases the culinary expertise that Mario’s Place is renowned for.

3. Eggplant Parmesan: For a vegetarian delight, the Eggplant Parmesan is a standout choice. Slices of eggplant are breaded, fried to a crispy golden brown, and layered with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella cheese. Served with a side of spaghetti marinara, it’s a comfort-food classic with an Italian twist.

Customer Reviews:

“A hidden gem in Riverside! The Osso Buco at Mario’s Place is a true masterpiece. The flavors are unforgettable, and the ambiance feels like a warm embrace.”

“I keep coming back for the Lobster Ravioli—it’s a culinary experience beyond words. The combination of saffron cream and lobster is pure magic.”

“Mario’s Place feels like home. The Eggplant Parmesan brought me back to my grandmother’s kitchen. Such authenticity is rare to find.”

Nestled in the city, Mario’s Place truly lives up to its reputation as one of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside. Its familial charm, paired with the exquisite flavors of dishes like the renowned Osso Buco, elevates it to a dining experience that’s second to none. From the Lobster Ravioli to the Filet Mignon and Eggplant Parmesan, the menu reflects the culinary artistry that defines Mario’s Place.

They are one of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside. For those seeking a memorable meal that marries tradition and innovation, Mario’s Place is the ultimate destination. They rank high among the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside for good reasons.


2) Dads BBQ and Catering

“Dads BBQ and Catering,” stands out as one of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside. Situated in a cozy corner of Riverside, this family-owned and operated establishment exudes a warm and inviting atmosphere. The restaurant’s unassuming exterior belies the mouthwatering treasures that await within.

The undisputed star of the menu at Dads BBQ and Catering is their “Smoked Brisket Platter.” Slow-cooked to perfection, the brisket boasts a rich smoky flavor and tender texture that’s achieved through hours of meticulous smoking. Served with a choice of house-made barbecue sauces, coleslaw, and a choice of sides, this dish encapsulates the essence of true barbecue craftsmanship.

Main Menu Items:

1. Pulled Pork Sandwich: A mouthwatering classic, the Pulled Pork Sandwich features succulent pulled pork piled high on a freshly baked bun. Topped with tangy barbecue sauce and served with a side of crispy fries or coleslaw, it’s a comfort food delight that keeps patrons coming back for more.

2. St. Louis Ribs: The St. Louis Ribs are a testament to Dads BBQ and Catering’s dedication to quality. These perfectly smoked ribs are slathered in a delectable dry rub, allowing the flavors to infuse into the meat. Served with a side of baked beans and cornbread, this dish is a carnivore’s dream.

3. Vegetarian Chili: Catering to all tastes, the menu features a standout Vegetarian Chili. Loaded with a variety of beans, vegetables, and aromatic spices, this hearty chili is both flavorful and satisfying. Topped with shredded cheese and diced onions, it’s a delicious option for those seeking a meat-free alternative.

Customer Reviews:

“Dads BBQ and Catering is a hidden gem! The Smoked Brisket Platter blew me away—the tenderness and smoky flavor are unmatched.”

“I’m a barbecue enthusiast, and these St. Louis Ribs are the real deal. The dry rub is a flavor explosion, and the meat falls off the bone.”

“Even as a non-meat eater, I was blown away by the Vegetarian Chili. So much flavor and heartiness in every bite!”

In the heart of the city, Dads BBQ and Catering is indisputably one of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside. As a family-owned and operated establishment, it radiates a warmth that complements its exceptional barbecue offerings. From the legendary Smoked Brisket Platter to the mouthwatering Pulled Pork Sandwich and even a delectable Vegetarian Chili, Dads BBQ and Catering delights with every bite.

They are one of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside. For a true taste of Riverside’s culinary excellence, this hole-in-the-wall gem is an absolute must-visit. They stand out among the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside.


3) Las Campanas

Nestled within the city, Las Campanas is undeniably one of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside. Situated in a charming corner, this family-owned and operated establishment has become a culinary gem in Riverside’s dining scene. Despite its unassuming exterior, Las Campanas offers a dining experience that captures the essence of authentic Mexican cuisine in a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.

The heart and soul of Las Campanas is encapsulated in their signature dish, the “Chiles en Nogada.” This traditional Mexican delicacy features roasted poblano peppers stuffed with a mixture of ground meat, dried fruits, and aromatic spices. The dish is elegantly topped with a creamy walnut sauce and garnished with pomegranate seeds, creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that pay homage to Mexico’s rich culinary heritage.

Main Menu Items:

1. Tacos Al Pastor: Transport your taste buds to the streets of Mexico with the Tacos Al Pastor. Marinated pork is slow-cooked on a vertical rotisserie, creating tender and flavorful meat. Served in soft corn tortillas and topped with fresh cilantro, onions, and a squeeze of lime, these tacos are a true embodiment of Mexican street food culture.

2. Mole Poblano: A popular classic, the Mole Poblano enchants with its complex flavors. Tender pieces of chicken are smothered in a rich and velvety mole sauce—a harmonious fusion of chili peppers, chocolate, spices, and more. Served with rice and warm tortillas, this dish is a testament to the artistry of Mexican culinary traditions.

3. Enchiladas Suizas: Indulge in the Enchiladas Suizas, where rolled corn tortillas are filled with shredded chicken and topped with a creamy tomatillo sauce. Melted cheese and a drizzle of sour cream complete this dish, offering a balance of flavors that is both comforting and irresistible.

Customer Reviews:

“Las Campanas is a hidden treasure in Riverside. The Chiles en Nogada blew my mind—the combination of flavors was divine.”

“The Tacos Al Pastor took me back to my travels in Mexico. Authentic and delicious—these are the real deal.”

“I can’t get enough of the Mole Poblano. The complexity of flavors in the sauce is a true testament to Mexican cuisine.”

In the heart of the city, Las Campanas proudly stands as one of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside, embracing its role as a family-owned and operated haven for authentic Mexican fare. From the iconic Chiles en Nogada to the mouthwatering Tacos Al Pastor and the richly flavored Mole Poblano, the menu reflects the passion and dedication of Las Campanas to delivering an exceptional culinary experience.

They are another of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside. For those seeking a true taste of Mexico in Riverside, this hidden gem is a must-visit destination. They deserve to be ranked high among the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside.


4) Gram’s BBQ

Nestled within the city, Gram’s BBQ stands proudly as one of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside. This family-owned and operated gem has found its place in the heart of the city, offering a genuine and inviting dining experience. Despite its unpretentious appearance, Gram’s BBQ is a testament to the culinary treasures that can be discovered in Riverside’s hidden corners.

At the heart of Gram’s BBQ is their signature dish, the “Slow-Smoked Pulled Pork.” This mouthwatering creation is a result of hours of slow smoking, infusing the pork with rich, smoky flavors that make each bite a true delight. Served with a choice of house-made barbecue sauces, coleslaw, and a side of your preference, this dish embodies the essence of classic American barbecue.

Main Menu Items:

1. Brisket Sandwich: Sink your teeth into the Brisket Sandwich, featuring tender slices of slow-smoked beef brisket nestled within a fresh bun. The meat’s robust smokiness pairs perfectly with the restaurant’s signature sauce. Served with pickles and a side of macaroni and cheese, it’s a comforting and hearty choice.

2. Ribs Platter: The Ribs Platter offers a true barbecue experience. These succulent ribs are dry-rubbed with a special blend of spices before being slow-smoked to perfection. Served with a side of baked beans and cornbread, this dish celebrates the art of barbecue cooking.

3. Vegetarian BBQ Sandwich: For non-meat eaters, the Vegetarian BBQ Sandwich offers a flavorful alternative. A mixture of grilled vegetables is marinated in a tangy barbecue sauce and served on a toasted bun. Accompanied by a side of sweet potato fries, this dish proves that barbecue can be enjoyed by everyone.

Customer Reviews:

“Gram’s BBQ is a local treasure. The Slow-Smoked Pulled Pork is an explosion of flavor, and the cozy atmosphere feels like home.”

“The Brisket Sandwich is my go-to. The meat is incredibly tender, and the mac and cheese is the perfect comfort food pairing.”

“As a vegetarian, I was surprised by how much I loved the Vegetarian BBQ Sandwich. The flavors are amazing, and the sweet potato fries are a must-try.”

Gram’s BBQ proudly claims its spot as one of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside, embodying the warmth and authenticity of a family-owned and operated establishment. From the signature Slow-Smoked Pulled Pork to the hearty Brisket Sandwich and the surprising Vegetarian BBQ Sandwich, Gram’s BBQ is a culinary haven for barbecue enthusiasts of all tastes.

They are one of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside. If you’re seeking a genuine Riverside experience that brings together delicious food and a welcoming atmosphere, look no further than Gram’s BBQ. They have earned the rank of being one of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside.


5) Duane’s Prime Steaks & Seafood

Nestled within the city, Duane’s Prime Steaks & Seafood is unquestionably one of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside. This family-owned and operated gem exudes an air of sophistication while maintaining an inviting and cozy ambiance. Located in a corner of Riverside known for its culinary treasures, Duane’s Prime Steaks & Seafood offers an elevated dining experience that is truly a hidden culinary gem.

The centerpiece of Duane’s Prime Steaks & Seafood is their signature dish, the “Dry-Aged Ribeye Steak.” This culinary masterpiece is a result of the restaurant’s meticulous dry-aging process, which imparts an unmatched depth of flavor and tenderness to the ribeye. The steak is then expertly prepared to the diner’s desired level of perfection, making each bite a succulent journey into the world of premium cuts.

Main Menu Items:

1. Alaskan King Crab Legs: Indulge in the Alaskan King Crab Legs, a true delicacy of the sea. These succulent crab legs are served with drawn butter, creating a decadent and luxurious experience that showcases the restaurant’s commitment to exceptional seafood.

2. Lobster Bisque: The Lobster Bisque is a testament to Duane’s culinary prowess. Creamy and rich, this velvety bisque is infused with the essence of lobster and finished with a touch of sherry, creating a flavor profile that’s both comforting and indulgent.

3. Filet Mignon: For those seeking the pinnacle of steak excellence, the Filet Mignon is a must-try. This tender cut of beef is grilled to perfection, showcasing the restaurant’s dedication to sourcing and preparing the finest meats. Served with a choice of delectable sides, it’s a true delight for steak aficionados.

Customer Reviews:

“Duane’s Prime Steaks & Seafood is a hidden treasure in Riverside. The Dry-Aged Ribeye Steak is an absolute game-changer—unmatched in flavor and texture.”

“The Alaskan King Crab Legs were beyond exceptional. The freshness and quality are second to none.”

“I can’t stop raving about the Lobster Bisque. Creamy, indulgent, and the perfect start to a memorable meal.”

Situated in the city, Duane’s Prime Steaks & Seafood effortlessly lives up to its reputation as one of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside. As a family-owned and operated establishment, it strikes a balance between elegance and warmth. From the signature Dry-Aged Ribeye Steak to the exquisite Alaskan King Crab Legs and the indulgent Lobster Bisque, the menu is a testament to the restaurant’s dedication to culinary excellence.

They are one of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside. For a truly extraordinary dining experience in Riverside, look no further than Duane’s Prime Steaks & Seafood. They deserve to be ranked among the top hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside.


Now you know why these are some of the popular hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside just waiting for you to discover them. However, it’s important to let you know that this is not an exhaustive list of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside and that this list is in no particular order.

So, for those in search of exceptional dining experiences beyond the mainstream, remember that there are countless other hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Riverside waiting to be explored. Delight your palate with the unexpected, savor the charm of these hidden eateries, and let Riverside’s culinary secrets continue to unfold before you.


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