River Cafe

4.8
7353 reviews
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$50 and over
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American
The River Café is one of New York and America’s most unique locations. Nestled under the Brooklyn Bridge with sweeping views of the New York skyline and the Statue of Liberty, this elegant restaurant has, since 1977, been a favorite destination for New Yorkers and visitors from around the world who demand the highest level of cuisine.

Renowned for its exquisite setting, beautiful decor and seamless service The River Café serves a wonderful classic New American menu using only the finest, freshest and often rare ingredients. With an award winning and outstanding wine list, romantic piano music nightly, breathtaking floral arrangements, the River Café is more than simply dining, it is often a magical experience. Whether you are coming for dinner or a private party, be sure to leave some time to enjoy The River Café’s spectacular garden.

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A special-occasion restaurant on the Brooklyn waterfront.

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What 7353 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.8
service
4.9
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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SH
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great for a leisurely breakfast with a fab view. Very attentive service

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LN
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 5

Ugh. Where to start? As a New Yorker, I should have known better. Tourist traps are a dime a dozen here and this is no exception. Yes, it's a beautiful view, but you can get the same thing at Celestine (great food), Cecconi's (no pretension) or even at the Osprey (and not be surrounded by suits). Start with the greeting from the Maitre D' who has an accent of dubious and unknown origin, who immediately lets you know that this is not the Danny Meyer school of hospitality. You are lucky to be here, pal. Next, the waitstaff, who are pleasant enough, but totally devoid of warmth. Used to dealing with people from all over the world, they are fine with a selfie, but for how a dish is prepared, not so much. And now the food. Well, they try, but like all restaurants focused on "occasions" the goal here is to dazzle you with a view and the fancy desert at the table next to you so you forget about the fact that you are there to eat. The menu spans over a dozen selections for apps and entrees -- too many to truly have any quality. Local? Fresh? Those trends are glossed over for your typical "white tablecloth fare". It's decent, but not close to worth the price, which is at the highest in end in NYC. Which brings us to value. You come here knowing you will pay up, but in a town where the best food in the world can be had at places like Eleven Madison Park and Del Posto - cheaper - for a $350 prix fixe per couple - before drinks and gratuity, you would expect food that just isn't adequate - it should blow you away. Overall, although I love "classic NY" (Rainbow Room where are you?) this place is best left for tourists on expense accounts and Long Island weekenders on their yearly "city trip". Avoid.

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A
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Das Restaurant mit 1 Michelin Stern ist eines der traditionellen Orte in Brooklyn.
Das Essen ist exzellent, das Service klassisch. Die Weinauswahl ist sehr ausgewogen.
Die Tischkultur ist sehr gut, der Speisesaal ist jedoch da und dort schon in die Jahre gekommen und wirkt damit etwas verstaubt. Ich denke, ein vorsichtiges Update ohne dabei die Atmosphäre zu zerstören wäre sicherlich gut, um diesen schönen Platz in Brooklyn auch in die Zukunft zu führen.

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OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

excellent food and service

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T
New York Area
39 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

In a city with hundreds of great restaurants, finding a special occasion spot is not easy. River Cafe delivers a unique and beautiful view, exemplary service, very good food and friendly ambiance. Elegance, professionalism and friendliness are a trifecta difficult to achieve. The food was very good made with excellent ingredients and prepared well but the setting and service is what sets River Cafe apart from other fine dining experiences in New York.

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k
New York Area
23 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The location and ambiance are wonderful. The fresh flowers at the entrance and the cobblestone other to the entry are special. The service was impeccable and professional.

That said, we went for breakfast and I don’t think you can have a super stellar breakfast. River Cafe was no exception. The eggs were good. Not so different than a high end diner. But it could be my fault for even trying to find a fancy breakfast place!

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OT
Dallas
3 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect dining experience, excellent service!

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A
Atlanta
14 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

The view is exquisite. The hostess and servers are kind and accommodating. The entryway flowers are gorgeous. The food was unfortunately average, perhaps especially disappointing given the cost of the meal. The East Coast oysters were excellent, the West coast selections were bland. The mushroom entrée was dry and not properly heated. The pear salad was delicious and a good choice for a starter and my partner enjoyed the Brooklyn Bridge dessert. We rarely leave a restaurant disappointed, but sadly this was the case for the River Café.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Beautiful restaurant very old world and the food was delicious. We were seated towards the back even though there were tables available at the window which we don’t understand - I should have asked to move in hindsight!

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n
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had good time with beautiful view and nice breakfast.

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DF
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best view of Manhatan in a very nice restaurante, excellent food and very good service. Price $$

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OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good!!!!!!!!!!

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WM
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is the most romantic, personal touch,, best food, best service, cleanliness, I have ever experienced and I have travelled the world.

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OT
Atlanta
15 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 5

We have been to the River Cafe several times in the past. This time it seemed “touristy.” Service seemed rushed, wine list more overpriced than ever and the menu limited. We decided we will likely not return for awhile as there are more worthy restaurants in New York City.

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Birthday party with my wife

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CP
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best dinners we've had together as a family! The service was impeccable, the food was fantastic...a wonderful evening with spectacular views.

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband asked me to pick a restaurant for our anniversary celebration and I decided to pick this one because we read an article about the restaurant in New York’s Times a couple years ago introducing the history of the restaurant and how it survived the Hurricane Sandy, as well as the owner still paid his employees during the 15 month reconstruction. We were touched by the humanity of the owner and decided that we need to pay a visit no matter what. However, when we arrived, we were blown away by the beauty and delicacy of the roses along the hallway and on the table. The whole atmosphere was romantic which was the best fit for anniversary celebration. The food is amazing too! The Chocolate Brooklyn Bridge dessert was very special since the restaurant is located under the bridge. Overall highly recommend for special occasions.

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EJ
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was incredible and the service was so personable that you felt like you were the only people at the restaurant! A memorable experience.

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F
London
20 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went here with a friend for dinner. The food was very good. I have been to other Michelin Star restaurants in Europe which overall were more impressive but the River Cafe has a beautiful atmosphere, the food was very good. The wild shrimp and lobster were delicious. The chestnut soufflé desert was outstsnding. The wine list is comprehensive with something for everyone!

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OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Everything about The River Café is impeccable, except the food. The presentation was on point but I thought the food was average for the price.

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SF
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Just had an exquisite evening at The River Cafe.
Simply perfect! The staff is warm, fun and attentive. The food was extraordinary ( I had the gnocchi and the rack of lamb) accompanied by a perfect wine selected by the sommelier. And of course the view is breathtaking. 5 stars! A magical evening was had by all.

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YI
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything is perfect!!

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B
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was a suprise trip to NYC for my boyfriends birthday and boy did he absolutely love it. From the minute you wak in you are treated like royalty. The fresh flowers smelled so yummy, the live piano music was soothing and romantic, and the staff had exceptional attention to detail. This will be a trip of a lifetime.

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p
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Was told not to take a picture by the window. Asked to go outside for photos. If a customer pays over 100 dollars for breakfast they should be allowed have one photo of the occasion. Especially on a breakfast visit, where judging by the jeans and trainer attire on some of the guests, clearly a more relaxed vibe is acceptable.

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TB
London
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 3ambience 5

Your staff rushed us after dinner which was unnecessary

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OT
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Loved this place ! Great experience

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G
New England
6 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A great experience not cheap by any means, but every one needs to be treated so well once in a while. The food was excellent and my wife's steak was better than most steak houses. All 4 of us enjoyed ourselves immensely

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JD
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was absolutely delicious. My husband and I eat Keto and the chef made some wonderful substitutions to their menu to make the experience very low carb. Our server also reviewed the menu with us in detail and warned us about any sugary or starchy items. Thank you all for an amazing anniversary dinner!

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T
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic evening, and amazing food. The view is beautiful, and makes it a wonderful restaurant. The staff were also wonderful, and very attentive. Would highly recommend.

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MS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and ambience for special occasions!!

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F
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Came back to celebrate our anniversary again after 5 years and it’s still a wonderful experience from start to finish. Highly recommend.

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KM
London
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Brilliant service, lovely food and fab location. Seemed very expensive for a lunch without drinks.

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OT
Dallas
4 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve visited River Cafe several times. It’s always superb, both in food and service!
Slightly disappointed that even for a big birthday celebration with only two people, they didn’t seat us by a window though there were several open tables. Others who knew the maitre’d waltzed right to those tables!! Hmmm!

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AP
London
65 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic views, excellent friendly service and amazing food (King salmon was superb). Given views and location they could have got away with less effort on the food. Highly recommended and great value on Saturday lunchtime.

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L
Dallas
28 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exquisite dining fir the most special occasions. Enjoy a long uninterrupted dining experience. Never rushed. Highly attentive staff and outstanding food.

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KM
New York Area
45 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Glorious spot, delicious food, impeccable service. Admittedly, I think the prices are a little high, but you're paying for that view of the river and the city on the other side. So not really an issue. Absolutely somewhere to go for a special occasion.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

I took Chef’s tasting menu for the dinner and everything was perfect at The River Cafe.
Didn’t expect that they would give birthday person a plate of small pieces of cake but they actually did and it was so amazing.
The guy introduced and explained every single plate patiently and the service was beyond wonderful.
Thank you for the very nice dinner.

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PT
San Antonio
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best anniversary dinners we have had.
Thank You

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k
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

River Cafe never fails to provide an exceptional dining experience. The staff is friendly and courteous, the ambiance is divine, and the food is exquisite. The overall experience is wonderful.

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J
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Date night with my wife

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