Some time ago, my friend Kristen (who is quite knowledgable about everything awesome in New England herself) recommended we visit The Riverview in Ipswich, MA. After someone smashed the front end off my car on my last attempt to get dinner and drinks with Kristen, almost a year later we were finally able to make good on our attempt to reunite and visit The Riverview!
As Kristen told me, her father has been coming to The Riverview since he was a teenager and as far as he can tell, nothing about it has changed. And that is the beauty and the draw of this restaurant. From its online reviews, other people feel the same about it. The Riverview is clearly a much beloved Ipswich institution. I could certainly see why, as our tab with two full pizzas and four beers ran us altogether about $30 with tip. HOLY COW. (Something to note: The Riverview is cash only.)
The Riverview knows what it’s good at and doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. This means pizza, pizza, and more pizza. Pizza is the only thing on the menu, but there is a variety of choices. Let’s be realistic – who really needs more than that anyway? As Kristen told me and I soon learned, a full pizza there is like a personal size. It has smaller slices, so if you’re a pizza fanatic, you can definitely put away a whole pie.
The best part is that the pizzas generally run from $6.00 to $7.00, with a couple fully loaded options outside of this range. Kristen and I both ordered cheese pizza for $6.00 each. You literally cannot beat that price. The pizza itself is delicious as well. It’s definitely classically made, nothing too fancy, just right and hits the spot every time. It’s even served simply, on metal trays with plastic utensils. With a thin crust and just the right ratio of cheese to sauce, The Riverview’s pizza fills you up but doesn’t make you feel like you just ate your weight.
In my opinion, nothing goes better with pizza than a cold beer, and there are a number of options to choose from at $3.00 to $3.50 each. I dare you to beat those prices on a regular night anywhere. You can’t! I ordered a couple Yuenglings and Kristen ordered Bud Light. If you’re not so much of a beer drinker, there are a variety of wines and wine coolers available as well. For regular beverages, sodas, juices, and milk are on the list.
Our waitress at the Riverview was also very friendly and attentive, and even came up with a makeshift plan to block the light that was in my eyes based on my proximity to a window. I hadn’t even thought about that until she fixed it so I could be more comfortable in my spot!
As far as the environment of The Riverview, I’m sure it’s been pretty much the same since the days of Kristen’s dad’s youth. With red booths, nautical or beer-related decor, and classic wood paneled walls, this place keeps its classic touch in tact. Adding to the retro ambiance, it even has an old school jukebox. After Kristen put in some quarters, we were able to listen to classic rock while eating our pizza and drinking our beers, giving it a real back-in-the-day vibe. I love it!
If you’re on the North Shore and looking for great pizza and beer that makes your wallet and your stomach happy, you must visit The Riverview in Ipswich. It’s open Tuesday through Sunday 4:00pm-11:30pm, and you can take out or dine in. Parking is available in a rear lot or on the street. As always, if you check it out, let me know what you think!
Featured: The Riverview Restaurant, 20 Estes Street, Ipswich, MA, 978.356.0500