Located in Downtown Berkeley on Durant Avenue, Riceful is a great place to check out if you are looking for authentic Okinawa-inspired onigiris. If you are unfamiliar with onigiri, it is a Japanese dish that is made up of rice and there is usually a filling inside wrapped with seaweed into a little ball. With the onigiris at Riceful, they are more of a sandwich with the seaweed on the outside and are filled with rice, a layer of egg and spam, and whichever protein you choose. You can choose from items ranging from katsu to unagi to tempura and more. Since it is right around the corner from UC Berkeley, you’ll frequently find students here placing an order since it makes for a good snack or meal. With so many options to choose from at Riceful, you’ll have something for everyone to check out and they can customize your order to your liking. During the pandemic, they have blocked off the entrance to the store so there is only a table at the door and you place your order there. The order comes out pretty quick and is folded in a rectangle to show off their signature logo which is an adorable girl holding her cheeks.
I got the double tempura onigiri and it came out within minutes. The onigiri had a good amount of weight to it and was delicious. Make sure to eat it fresh and within 30 minutes since it can get soggy from the rice and seaweed. I love how everything tastes delicious and compliments each ingredient and the texture. Each item ranges from $8 and up which can be considered expensive but considering the size and weight of the item, it filled me up and I was able to save it for another meal. Trust me, this is well worth the money and one of the few places in the Bay Area that has authentic onigiris. Riceful also has family bundles where you can order 5 onigiris in a set that is convenient and packaged beautifully.
If you are in the area, I would highly recommend grabbing and picking up a few then head over to the campus and have a little picnic. Not only is the food delicious but the staff is very friendly and welcoming. Overall, I had a great experience checking out Riceful.