River Café
River Café

River Café

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.river-cafe.com/
  • Phone: (403) 261-7670
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch & Dinner Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 11:00pm; Brunch & Dinner Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Wild Game, Canadian
  • Executive Chef: Andrew Winfield
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Enjoy an exclusive cocktail party or dinner in your home presented and prepared by River Café. Our accomplished culinary team will prepare an exquisite menu tailored specifically to your event, executed by our professional service team. Experience a culinary journey presented with the elegance, beauty, and professional service of River Café. You and your guests relax and enjoy while we look after all of the details.
  • Private Party Facilities: River Café is available for private bookings.
  • Private Party Contact: Kelly Beames 4032617670x

Getting there

  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Paid parking is available on the street during the day and no charge at night. Heated underground parking at Eau Claire Market for a $3 flat rate evenings and weekends.
A word from River Café
We are located in the middle of Prince's Island Park and we are accessed on foot via one of four bridges or causeways. Parking is available on street in the Eau Claire area, underground at Eau Claire Market for a flat fee of $3 on weekends and evenings, or across from Memorial Drive. We look forward to welcoming you soon. Should your plans change, please let us know.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Brunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
River Café reviews from OpenTable diners
297 reviews since July 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.4
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.6
    Noise LevelModerate
94% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (204)scenic view (195)fit for foodies (193)great for outdoor dining (168)romantic (163)neighborhood gem (101)great for lunch (98)great for brunch (92)notable wine list (88)good for groups (67)hot spot (35)kid-friendly (13)late-night find (8)Show More
  • A sure fire bet for pleasing out-of-town guests.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    Genuinely great quality of service. Consistently terrific food made with fabulous quality local products. Lovely setting with very pretty outdoor space
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Justin889
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    A bit too pricey but justified by local and organic food
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Doesn't live up to the reputation
    Edmontonian
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    My girlfiriend and I went there for her birthday dinner. We were looking to have a very nice multi course meal. The service was excellent. The location and decor of the restaturant are excellent. My issue however, was with the food. My bill ended up being a little over $200 and the just wasn't good enough to justify that. I had the Bison and it was tough and chewy. My girlfriend had the lobster and scallop pasta and it was just ok. The appetizer and dessert were excellent and I can't complain about that. Overall the mains and total meal just wasn't good value compared to similar level restaurants.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Never disappointed
    HalpyVIP
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    The river cafe never ceases to disappoint me, the ambiance, the food, the service was above par as always. I am happy that I chose the River Cafe for celebrating a birthday.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A gem
    JJKivi
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Went for their weekend brunch - Great atmosphere and a very nice location, surpassed only by their delicious food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, kid-friendly, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • One of my Favourites
    AnneVIP
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    We never go to Calgary without stopping into the River Café. If we can't get dinner reservations then we go for brunch. We've even sat at the bar for dinner vs. missing an opportunity to eat there. Wonderful creative food in an amazing environment. Don't miss the opportunity.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food and service
    Willrand
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Good choices to choose from makes it an encouraging place to come back to. The service is also very good.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • consistantly excellent
    moy81
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    I have lunched here many times and have never been disappointed in the food, the place or the service. my only problem is deciding what to eat each time. so many things appeal to me. That doesn't happen elsewhere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • fantastic food, too long a wait
    KyenNE
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    Lovely place, and the food was fantastic. The server was good and knowledgable. The selection for gluten free was very limited (I expected at $200 I should have been able to get most meals on the menu adapted from the kitchen but that was not the case). I'm celiac so that's not great. The wrong meal came out for my dining friend, though it was corrected. After appetizers, the first attempt at our meals took an hour, and then when they made a mistake, it was another 25 before we got our food. An hour and a half to wait to eat was ridiculous. We mistakenly asked for dessert which took another 30 minutes. Not worth it and won't be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent food in a unique setting.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    Always a winner! The River Cafe is one of my favorite Calgary restaurants.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Impress visitors to Calgary
    laurieb
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    Four of us in the party included two European visitors. They were very impressed with the location, the food and wine, and the unique Canadian ambiance. The service was friendly, gracious and prompt which added to our overall memorable evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food-
    Dianaelena1972
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    Great ambiance, food, great service. Staff a bit mechanical
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food and service was excellent
    gypsy649
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    This is a popular spot. I had a hard time getting a reservation, so I had to settle on a Sunday night reservation. Which turns out is not a bad thing at all. We brought our own wine for dinner, and because they wave their corking fee on Sunday nights we were thrilled. Our waitress was very friendly and helpful. And the food, the food was fantastic. And lets face it, the view of Prince's Island Park can't be beat. We will be back!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • very disapointing
    chillytripadvisor
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    The food was cold and vegetables undercooked and the wait between courses was 45 mins. Overpriced and pretentious, I wouldn't recommend going here.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    The combination of flavours in the dishes we ordered were exquisite. Perfectly prepared and presented, every mouthful was a burst of flavours. The atmosphere in the restaurant was relaxing and a memorable experience overall.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    We were happy to return to the River Café with the wonderful setting which did feel different with new snow falling compared to a June visit in the summer sunshine! The food again was tasty and attractively served at the rustic wood tables and chairs. The cream of cauliflower soup with delicate Indian seasonings was enjoyed by all three of us dining as was the shared hummus with pita bread before we each had a different main item. The only disappointment was to have no room for dessert this visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic Place!
    Cyrus
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    My girlfriend and I came here for lunch on our anniversary and we were very pleased with the food and the service. Our dishes were both incredibly flavourful and we most enjoyed the board with different mixtures of meats and cheeses. This place provides an excellent view of the city and overall was an great experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • great time
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    we had a great lunch and entertainment as a wild boar was being bbq'ed for an event later that day. Very nice time and informative!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Can be great, can be good
    smartamarta
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    River cafe can be magical. How wonderful this place is depends on your server: one time I had a magical server, a lovely Asian man, who made the whole experience charming and wonderful; another time I had a ho-hum waitress who just did what she needed, nothing more. You won't get bad service though. The food is always tasty, though not voluminous. So if you're looking to leave really full this isn't your place -- the food is high quality and attractively served, but to really fill yourself up you'd need an appetizer and a meal. The beef we got was probably less than 4 oz, for example. You're looking to spend about $80 a person before tax and tip for the appetizer + meal + a drink.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Better and better
    ARMADILLO13
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    The food here seems to get better and better every time we come.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Always a Treat!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    My best friend and I came here for her birthday brunch...first time for brunch for both of us and as usual, River Cafe did not disappoint! I had the fior di latte flatbread and it was absolutely delicious! Roasted tomates, pesto and with a soft egg on top. I would definitely order this again, although I would say this could even be shared - it was a rather large portion and I only ate half of it. The service was attentive and professional. We can get a bit loud when we get together, but we never felt like we had to edit ourselves. I love River Cafe and can't wait to come back for any meal!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Terrible Service.
    HavocNumber9
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    It is great to have time to visit with friends in a great atmosphere while dining. It is NOT great to have a simple dinner (no appetizers, no dessert) take 3 hours. It is NOT great to wait 30 minutes after seating to be offered a drink, and another 30 minutes for a bottle of wine to arrive. It is NOT great to have a loud group of 20+ standing at the entrance a few feet from your table for an hour. Obviously the restaurant was struggling with some overlapping reservations, but that does not excuse an unprofessional server who should not be allowed near a fine dining establishment. The food was decent, but I won't be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • So Pretty
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Love the River Cafe! It is perfect any time of year, dessert is a must have!
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I'm so sad!
    CalgaryFoodieVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    I have been a fan of River Cafe for years - the location is unbeatable, especially on our lovely fall day. This used to be a restaurant that was worth every penny, but the last 3 times I've eaten there it's been just okay, and certainly not the top-flight restaurant it should be for the prices. My bison main was a confused mess on the plate. All the food was presented on one side of a large plate, leaving the other side empty, as if something was missing. The individual elements on the plate tasted good but there was no cohesiveness - they mostly just didn't go together. And on hearing that a recommended wine pairing was awful - not neutral, but affirmatively awful - the response was basically a shrug. Sad to see this change.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing!
    onlythebest
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Jamal and the team at River Cafe made this a night to remember! Celebrating our first date 5 years to the day they set us up at our original table and created an ambiance that could not be beat. Food was great. Wine was amazing. And the staff were so good as they were all aware of my pending proposal but kept it very cool until the moment she said yes! Thank you soo much for a truly amazing night!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • River Cafe is beautiful
    jenzan
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    The River Cafe truly lives up to it's reputation for being the romantic dinner spot for many Calgarians. It's location in Prince's Island Park provides a nice stroll to and from parking at Eau Claire. We were a little late due to traffic, but the hostess was more than understanding and showed us our seats next to the large windows overlooking the lagoon. The atmosphere was warm, cheerful and the right amount of lighting. Our server didn't mention the specials for the day until dessert, but he did check on us frequently. The food was a little on the smaller portion, but delicious. I recommend ordering an appetizer for those that are famished. The best part is that River Cafe came through with a birthday sparkler for my girlfriend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Excellent spot to take visitors to Calgary - Food was excellent, staff friendly and helpful and the venue is fantastic.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • andre
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    We went to River Cafe to celebrate our 36th Wedding Anniversay. We have done this every year for about 10 years. The cervice was excellent the food very good and the location is beautiful. We love this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice Thanksgiving
    DamayVIP
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    We dined here on Canada's Thanksgiving day and had a wonderful meal. The wild game dishes were perfectly prepared, very tender and flavorful. The service was excellent. The ambiance rustic and comfortable.....cozy fireplace, log cabin atmosphere. Altogether a very good meal, would certainly dine here again
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • REB2014
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    I went twice to the River Cafe in one day - a coincidence - but it is one of my favourite places to go. Sat on the patio both times. The afternoon was for a coffee and a snack after a walk around the park (which is a must when you go to this restaurant). The service was incredibly slow - had to keep asking for service - which I thought was odd for this place. We ordered the hummus with bread wedges and a cheese plate, both which were excellent. Back later for dinner and the service was much better. We ordered the Steelhead and cod, and again, they were both excellent. Presentation very well done. The ambiance is so calming, such a beautiful setting in the park. Highly recommend it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Thanksgiving treat
    Thanksgiving
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    We enjoyed spending the afternoon at the River Café for our family Thanksgiving. Although I did want the "turkey" special, I ended up choosing something else on the menu that I would NEVER make for myself. It was a great day - the weather perfect - the day with my family - superb !! Our first time there and will definitely go back for other occasions.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very good as usual
    diner
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    We were in the middle of a move with no time or place to cook Thanksgiving turkey, and so reserved a spot at River Café. Apart from the load kids (because we were forced into an early slot due to last minute booking) the meal was wonderful and the ambience excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great as ussual
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    We go here about 3 times a year, to keep the budget down. But it is worth the trip, especially during the fall months, the walk afterwards is great. This place is must if you are visiting, and if you live here, this should be a regular yearly event at least.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • JJDov
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    we had a great experience at your restaurant, however I was disappointed that the main menu did not have any vegetarian or vegan options
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • See below
    Zubi
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    When I got to the restaurant there was no reservation. However, we were able to acquire a table. Not sure what went wrong, but would have been disappointed if we did not get in as I drove a distance to get there.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious
    Yummy
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    The food was delicious and really wowed us. Such attention to detail, so many flavours, just perfect. I love the ambiance here especially on a warm and sunny autumn day.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • local treasure
    crazy4calgaryVIP
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    wonderful preparation of salmon but what really made the meal was the accompanying barley & mushrooms and roasted carrots. my husband had sturgeon with equally autumn side dishes. we started with the baked oysters! yummy. we liked that the wine list had a good selection of half bottles. lovely walk to the island both before and after dinner make river cafe a memorable evening. we came back to celebrate my 60th birthday after being there a year ago. a reason to come back to calgary!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • excellent dining experience
    CalgaryFoodie
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    I had relatives in from Texas who wanted something other than Alberta beef. River Cafe has a great menu and can always be counted on to provide an excellent dining experience in a casual, relaxed atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Opionated
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    The prices keep going up and the entre choices seemed on the 'wild' side. How about some nice planked salmon?
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A hidden oasis
    Jackatehere
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We have eaten at the River Cafe on just a couple of occasions and been delighted each time - a place to return to - . Attention to quality ingredients an ever changing and imaginative menu, friendly knowledgeable staff and a great wine list all hidden away in a park setting.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.