Review: Rival Restaurants

The new restaurant down the block has finally opened and you are excited about Luchador Picante's unique menu. You have heard the Kimchi Pancakes are amazing and the Tiramisu is to die for especially with the special ingredient Alien Goo. You just have a weird feeling about the head chef Pork Knuckles (local Mob Boss) who has been hovering for the last 20 minutes. This isn't the plot to the new Breaking Bad show its Rival Resturants Designed by Rob Chew, Jon Kang and Gary Alkaka and published by Gap Closer Games.

The object of the game is to become the first player to get 20 thumbs up and becoming the best chef in town. You do this by collecting ingredients and cooking recipes. There is no down time in Rival Restaurants. All the players take their turn simultaneously really making it feel like your on Top Chef or Supermarket Sweep.

Each "Day" (turn) is broken down into 3 phases. The first phase is the Money and Move Phase. This phase is when each chef gains 300 dollars from the bank. Also during this turn each chef sets their movement wheel to the the location you would like to visit this turn. The board is broken down into 7 locations. Six of the locations are places to buy more ingredients. The Island (in the middle of the board) is where you can buy upgrades for your restaurant, buy action cards and get rid of trash.


The second phase of the turn all the players reveal their moves and place their chef standee on the card they want to buy first in the section of the board that matches their movement wheel. If more than one player lands on the same card then they bid to buy the item. Otherwise players have 1 minute to buy all of the face up or face down cards from the section of the board that they are at. They cannot buy from other sections.This is the mad dash that makes the game feel like supermarket sweep.

This is the mad dash that makes the game feel like supermarket sweep.

The 6 counters (areas) on the board are divided up into different food groups like fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy. But there is also the mystery counter, this is where there are some interesting ingredients like alien goo, wine, and secret sauce. These all have special powers when added to your recipes. Also in the Island there are the upgrades that increase how many recipes you can cook at once, increases to your income, and a way to see more recipes to pick your new ones. The last thing you can do is take out your garbage, its important to do this as this will reduce the amount of likes you get when you cook new recipes.


The third part of the turn is to cook a recipe. Each player has one gourmet and one basic recipe. Until you upgrade to the double cooktop you can only cook one recipe per turn. To cook a recipe you need all the ingredients. When you cook a recipe discard all of the required ingredients. Then you gain the popularity indicated on the recipe card, also collect all the garbage tokens on card. Then draw a new recipe card or if you have an upgraded you can draw 4 and pick one.

Rival Restaurants is a fun cooking themed game that would be great at a family game table or a hobby gamers table. The rules are intuitive and easy to learn letting you get into the game quickly. There is a lot of cards for set up but everything has a place on the board making it easy.


Players: 2-6

Year Published: 2019

Recommended Ages: 10+

Time to Play: 45-60m



Transparency Statement

A copy of Rival Restaurants was provided to Bert's Tabletop Games by the Gap Closer Games for review purposes.

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BERT'S TABLETOP GAMES