Rio City Café - Sacramento

4.1
638 reviews
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$30 and under
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Californian

Rio City Cafe is situated in beautiful historic Old Sacramento, overlooking some of the most prominent landmarks in Sacramento. The Sacramento River runs by our spacious outdoor patio, with spectacular views of the historic Tower Bridge and the Ziggurat (pyramid) building.
Rio City Cafe opened its doors in May of 1994. We display a comfortably casual setting, with indoor and outdoor seating. We can accommodate large parties and banquets, as well as private parties in our banquet room for special occasions. Or just simply enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine and the view in the outdoor cocktail area. During the colder months, enjoy the view from inside near our cozy fireplace.
What 638 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.2
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Sacramento
10 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I always enjoy Rio City Cafe. The food and service is always great. The huevos ranchero is excellent. However $60.00 for brunch for two is a little pricey.

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CL
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 1

We went here years ago on a date and the food was great, it was some what quiet noise level, nice lighting. Just a great atmosphere and worth spending $100+ on our bill. That's why we made reservations years later for our anniversary. It is NOT the same. My plates and silverware were dirty. The food was really greasy. Our entry lacked flavor while or appetizer was am over kill of vinegar that left a bad taste. We set our reservation with special request to be seated inside since it was raining and cold. Yet they seated us on the porch. I mentioned it was a special occasion also and there was no interest or mention by the host or server. It sucks because we really liked this place 2 or 3 years ago and chose them over the melting pot. We definitely regretted it as soon as we tasted the app. We could've gone next door to Joe's Crab Shack for a more tasteful, romantic, and quiet experience. Which says alot. Wont be going back spent about $100 for 2 people. Not ordering much but the bread, 2 "gourmet burgers", and 2 drinks. Wouldn't recommend.

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PD
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

We did enjoy our dinner in celebration of a birthday. Our server was outstanding.

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OT
Sacramento
6 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We enjoyed and would be back. The drinks were great. Would have liked to have it warmer in the outside section though. It was a windy and rainy day.

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AB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The staff at Rio City Cafe are amazing. I'm not quick to write a review but have to support this business.
Whitney, our server, was so in tune with our needs and went above and beyond to make a great evening. I come from a background in fine dining and all of the key points were there in a more friendly atmosphere. Ross the manager was amazing as well and I would encourage anyone to come to this fine eatery! Great food, cooked perfectly and a view like no other in Sac. They are privately owned and it shows in their personal approach with guests. Thank you, Whitney and Ross, for making a really junky day turn into one of gratitude. Your kindness and excellent work shine. And for a first-time guest none-the-less! We'll be back! Keep being awesome!

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CS
Sacramento
6 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

The food and ambience was wonderful. This is one of our favorite places to dine. I was a bit disappointed this time. Upon arriving for our reservation, we requested to be seated on the patio. The hostess was quite unfriendly and informed us that they do not accommodate any special seating requests when reserving on OpenTable however, she was happy to put me on the waiting list. Have you ever seen their waiting list during Sunday brunch? That’s the very reason we used OpenTable for our reservations. Lesson learned, do not use OpenTable if you would like to sit on the patio or do not want to be seated in the bar.

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JR
Sacramento
4 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service was outstanding! Very welcoming restaurant.

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SB
Sacramento
3 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

The food and service were great. A bit pricey for the quantity and quality of food. Likely, due to Sacramento River levy and Old Sacramento location.

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r
1 review
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Aside from the waitress eating something behind the counter, and still chewing it when she took our order. everything was good and came out fast

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F
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sat by the fireplace with view of the river. Simply wonderful. Delicious food and drinks.

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OT
Sacramento
9 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Enjoyed the Downtown Dine menu.

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PM
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 2

The food was great, but we service was sub par. We had 7:30 reservations but weren’t seated until after 8. We also had a waitress who came by very infrequently and had to ask (after 25 mins after finishing the meal) for the bill.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Went during Restaurant Week. Had a 7:00 pm reservation and arrived 15 minutes early. They said seating would be closer to reservation time. Come 7:30 we're still waiting and there were still people in front of us. They then gave us a table in the bar area and told us there was table service there. After waiting 15 minutes without anyone coming to our table we left, as did the table next to us. Absolutely horrible service and no apologies from the staff. Will never go back!

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EJ
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

The food and ambiance are pleasant, but the wait was incredibly long. It was a Saturday night, and we waited for an hour to get any food after having a reservation and having to wait to be seated 30 minutes past the reservation time. Possibly short staffed, but far too long of a wait for a meal.

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CH
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 2

The food was pretty good. However, the service was horrible. The waiter never introduced himself to us, we thought he was a bus boy bringing our water. Received our appetizers before our drinks. Had to ask him to take our order. Someone flung barbecue sauce all over my husbands jacket because they weren’t paying attention.

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ST
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Went for Dine Downtown week. Got a three course meal for $35. The portions were super tiny and not worth the price, at all.

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TR
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food. Food was amazing! We will definitely come back.

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JF
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The food was fine: The fillet was tough, the bourbon sauce was exceptional, the garlic potatoes were good, and the asparagus was grilled to perfection. The chocolate wedge for dessert was difficult to cut with a spoon, it was so dense. I love chocolate but it was way too chocolatey and rich for my taste. It was like eating fudge, not a fine dessert.

Even though the volume of the music was turned low, it was still distracting to our conversation with the speakers immediately above us on the wall. If I could only find a restaurant WITH NO PIPED-IN MISIC, I would patronize often if the food was decent! Soft instrumental music at a low volume would be tolerable.

Although the tables were set fairly close to each other, the acoustics were fine and other conversations were not heard.

It might be a better place to visit for lunch when the view of the river can be seen.

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N
Sacramento
7 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great service from Ross and Sabrina and good food.xxxxxxxxxxxxccc

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DS
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I didn't like they serviced at all you do not sit to black women out in the freezing cold basically and say it's no room when we seen room and people being able to be seated up in the front when the lady that came in after us was a Caucasian lady she was able to go every set of front but we weren't weren't as we will serve after several other people we were treated like we didn't deserve the same respect as the other person that was there and then they sent us home with some garbage for dessert and I have proof cuz I have pictures and video food was nasty sorry!

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EG
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

All three courses were bland and both of our steaks were undercooked

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JR
Tahoe
8 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Cut of meat (filet) was terrible...three at our table had filet, all were grissle

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SS
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

The coffee was lukewarm. I had asked for a window seat & we were seated close to the window but it was not a window seat. The
Menu was not the same as online. Much
Less to choose from. The food was ok but not great.

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MO
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Nice restaurant beautiful location, but did not the champagne out of pitcher it was flat. I didnt pay 13.00 a person to have flat mimosa.

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AW
Sacramento
3 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was excellent and the service was above and beyond. We had an amazing time and will dine there again.

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MC
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I first visited Rio City in the early 1990's while attending the company Christmas Lunch. After that, any time I wanted an extra special place to meet vendors, clients, or conduct meetings while President of IREM, Rio City Cafe was my go-to meeting place.

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NC
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Haven't been here in years but the food and service were as excellent as they've always been. First time sitting inside (we are usually here in the summer eating on the deck by the river) but it was still very nice.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 5

We got bottomless mimosas and the first server was fantastic but once we paid the check, it was a challenge to get any attention even though we tipped over 20% and felt a discarded at the end.

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GV
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 5

The dining experience and food was good. But overall I cannot rate this any higher than did, because of the hassle after the fact. A $220 tab, and then we were reported as being a "no-show" by the restaurant, necessitating me pull and provide supporting documentation to the fact that we actually ate there.

Seems that there is a process problem that needs investigating.

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OT
Salt Lake City
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good food with great views of the Tower Bridge.

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OT
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

A family get together when everyone was in town for the holidays.

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MM
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an amazing time for our New Year’s Eve celebration! Excellent appetizers, food, and drinks! Heated patio was beautiful! We enjoyed celebrating with our daughter and her fiancée - we will all have rio city our tradition together for New Years! Of course, we will be coming back throughout the year for the amazing view of the river and excellent food out on the patio!

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CE
Sacramento
4 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

We had a positive experience New Year's Eve 2017, so I did not hesitate to make a reservation for this year. We were picking up my daughter and her husband at the airport, and I made our dinner reservations for 10:00 pm. We were the final seating of the evening, and the food was very disappointing. My son-in-law's pork was not completely cooked, and my salmon was dry and lacked flavor. My husband had a pasta dish that tasted like it was covered in Ragu sauce. The highlight of our evening was bringing in the new year with family; it was definitely not the meal we shared. Lesson learned. I will not return next year.

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MS
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

It is great for holidays, especially New Years. We got outside seating and we were able to see all the fireworks from our table. The food was good and the service was great. Overall, I would recommend this restaurant to anyone that likes ambiance and wants to just have a nice and relaxing experience.

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JS
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

Disaster. I made a reservation for NYE hoping for a great dinner and possibly a view of the fireworks. The night before I received a confirmation call from the restaurant with an apologetic message. "I'm sorry to tell you, my manager just informed me, that we are charging a $5 cover charge (per person) for all reservations after 9pm for the band." Of course you are.

We were seated promptly for our 9pm reservation (inside) while the band finished playing their last song before going on break "so we can watch the fireworks too." My husband and I took a look at the menu then sat and waited. Water? Drink orders? No. We sat un-greeted, un-attended, un-served for 27 minutes. We were about to get up to leave when our waiter finally arrived. I did express frustration about the long delay for our meal and I received an annoyed apology followed by "I was outside watching the fireworks."

My husband and I ordered 2 bowls of chowder to get started before we ordered entrees which arrived barely warm. The table next to us had several issues with both their server and the quality of their food which we uncomfortably tried to ignore though we could hear every word. The manager seemed to be attentive with them and offered to re-fire their entrees and stand in the kitchen, watch them be prepared, and would bring them out personally.

After listening to this unfold we decided to give up and left still hungry exactly an hour after we arrived.

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EH
Sacramento
2 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

We have eaten here before and it’s always been good. Food was good, drinks were good, atmosphere was good, nothing really great. Just good. We went there on New Years Eve this last time. Really felt rushed. Food was out really fast. Ordered Crabcakes and barely finished them before our food arrived. Which is fine, the food was hot and well cooked. Just felt like they wanted us to hurry, which I guess is common on New Years Eve. Overall it was good. Probably won’t go back for New Years Eve though.

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We made a dinner reservation here for New Years Eve and could not be happier with how it all worked out. We had a great server- Christina- and Ross, the night manager was very accommodating when it came time to watch the fireworks. It was such a great evening, I’m going to come back sooner than planned for a Sunday brunch. The only minor thing was that the salmon was slightly over cooked. But the filet in maple reduction was absolutely perfect medium rare and tasty!

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l
Sacramento
3 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service at Rio City Cafe! Our server was very attentive, friendly, and efficient! Food was top notch; I had the tri-tip steak and enjoyed it very much. Drinks were tasty and fun.

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VS
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food but pricey._xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

A bit over priced for underwellming food.

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