River Café

4.5
3466 reviews
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CAN$31 to CAN$50
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Canadian

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About

An extraordinary dining experience is to embark on a journey. We have created a beautiful place in an extraordinary setting and have tended to the details that make you feel at home: staff who care, chefs who are passionate about quality and the regional seasonal ingredients that bring to your palate a taste of place.

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 the street in the Eau Claire area, underground at Eau Claire Market for a flat fee of $5 on weekends and evenings, or across from Memorial Drive. We look forward to welcoming you soon.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Canadian, Farm-to-table, Wild Game
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Hours of operation
Open 7 Days A Week.
Lunch, Monday to Friday from 11am.
Dinner, Monday to Sunday from 4:30pm.
Brunch, Saturday and Sunday from 10am.
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Phone number
(403) 261-7670
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Pay with OpenTable, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Matthias Fong
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Private party facilities
For an intimate gathering of 8 guests or a stylish cocktail party reception of 250, we are pleased to cater to your every need. Private and semi-private events are available. Please contact our Event Manager for more information, events@river-cafe.com
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Private party contact
June Doan: (403) 261-7670
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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. You and your guests can relax while we look after all of the details.
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Neighborhood
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Parking details
Paid parking is available on the street during the day and no charge after 6pm. Free street parking on Sundays. Heated underground parking at Eau Claire Market for a $5 flat rate evenings and weekends.
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 3466 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.7
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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s
Calgary
5 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

Food was very rich and not much of it for $110 a person. Wine pairing was $60 per person. Service was ok. Bad choice this year for a new years celebration.

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

Amazing food discoveries of paring. We have always had outstanding meals, with attentive servers. Five stars to the exciting tastebud sensations from the chef! When we are feeling the want for a relaxing setting that delights, and meals that do not disappoint... The River Cafe is top of our list.

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

The most amazing place to eat in Calgary!

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NB
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely evening, favourite local restaurant. New Years menu was very well done and service is always top notch.

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LB
Edmonton
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the food. Service was perfect. Would always recommend for an amazing night out.

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

Very nice. Decor has not changed in 25 years. Needs a little tlc. Had tasting menu with wine pairings. Chaine Des Rotisseurs and Mondiel members.

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SK
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We had a very enjoyable time at the Rivercafe. The food was delicious. Our waiter was friendly, engaged,
and attentive! It was a lovely walk over with the festive lights for the Christmas season.

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B
Calgary
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Unfortunately,
I would not recommend River Cafe at this point. We have had very good experiences over the years, however, our last visit (with family from NYC) was disappointing. The food was ok but not matching the high price point. For example, my egg plant dish was undercooked and even though my daughter had asked for a replacement for brussel sprouts, she got brussel sprouts. The service seemed rushed and hectic even though the restaurant wasn't even full.
So, hopefully after the renovation the overall experience can be raised to the previous level. Our last visit before this was in the summer of 2017 to rave reviews!

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JU
Calgary
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

the service was friendly , the atmosphere was pleasant , the winter squash soup was delicious , the smoked
goose was not the best , was expecting something more delicious .

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JG
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Price are a little high for what you get, but was good. Too much fancy names don’t understand some of name on menu so didn’t want to try.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was very good, the service initially excellent. But as the restaurant became more busy the service became slower. It seemed that with such a busy place there should be more staff to accommodate all of the tables.
The waiter was skilled and knowledgeable and presented the food in a professional manner. Through no fault of his own the delay occurred .

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GB
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious, creative inspired! Service was excellent and knowledgeable. Ocotopus was full of flavors and textures that made music in my mouth. DH has the squash soup and it was rich and so full of flavor. Way beyond his expectations. Both tried the goose - yum! Again a brilliant combination of flavors and textures and beautiful in its presentation. Dessert was no different - as delicious as it was beautiful. There is reason River Cafe has been a go to place all these years. Thanks for doing Calgary proud RiverCafe!

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EK
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 2ambience 2

Overall food was good. Nice Alberta steak, unfortunately they drowned it in too much sauce :(
It was cold sitting by door (during winter season) and noisy. Seemed to wait long time for ordering.

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PL
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and great atmosphere! Pleasantly surprised by the brunch pricing. A dining experience.

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LE
Houston
7 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 4

Horrible meal. Spoiled oysters in a baked dish made us sick. The rest of the meal was below average. They have list their way it were just focusing on the large groups. We will not be back.

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OT
Calgary
1 review
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

River Cafe delivered yet again an awesome Christmas lunch experience.

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BA
Calgary
1 review
Dined on December 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

River Cafe's ambiance and decor were perfect for a Christmas get-together - a beautiful peaceful location in the heart of the city. From the first hello until we left, the service from everyone was stellar. Food was tasty and very creatively presented, especially dessert.

Will we return? Yes!

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TH
Calgary
1 review
Dined on December 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went here for a business/holiday lunch. Excellent service allowed us to have appetizers for the first hour while we talked business, then eat when business was concluded. As someone who tries to eat healthfully, I appreciate the menu choices. The cheese was a wonderful indulgence, and loved the Alberta and BC products!!

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AG
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 5

All was good but servers a little slow or forgetful
Good food

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GL
Edmonton
6 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Me and my boyfriend came here for brunch, the environment was very nice and clean, and the staffs were friendly. Food was delicious, we shared the mushroom tart and Turkey pot pie. The reason I gave 4 stars because I found the Turkey pot pie was a bit salty but it was still very good. If I was only having the mushroom tart, I would give it 5 stars for sure. After having the first bite of the mushroom tart, I know this place is gonna be one of my favorite spot for brunch and definitely will come back. And now I am interested in trying their dinner.

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H
London
3 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

Chef’s Tasting Menu was wonderful. Very good service. A little noisy due to a large group sitting nearby, and a little chilly being seated near the windows in the winter.

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OT
Calgary
4 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The room is beautiful. Mixture of rustic and mountain/river feel. Fantastic staff and superb food quality.

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JG
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The River Cafe was a great spot for a date night. We ordered the Chef's Tasting Menu and everything was delicious. The food and atmosphere was worth it. I would definitely recommend the River Cafe to friends and family.

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SL
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 5

As always the unique venue is really the draw: place the restaurant anywhere in Calgary except Prince Island, and I'm not sure it would remain in business more than a month.

We had a late guest showing up 20 minutes after our 6 pm reservation. It took another 10 minutes for staff to offer drinks? Why not just offer before his arrival? Then drink refills seemed slow.

Eventually, orders were taken. I was assured Octopus would be tender. It was rubbery, as expected in Alberta: I wondered why it was on the menu???

Pork was OK, but came with an unbalanced accompaniment of Red Fife Wheat, almost making it a breakfast cereal! I guess chef was trying to rid the kitchen of the dry, chewy stuff, but more Okanagan Pear and parsnips would have been appreciated!

In a final note: I specifically asked for a QUIET table when making the reservation, and was assured that two tables were set off for just such occasions. We were seated in the middle of the restaurant, in the LOUDEST location!!??

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MB
Caribbean
2 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Love, love the setting & decor..the snow outside made the ambiance even better! The food was delicious as always. Our server was very friendly, seemed a bit service 'stretched' as he was also trying to manage a large group seating as well as individual tables.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best eggs Benedict we've ever had.

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OT
Calgary
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was fabulous!

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MK
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

The restaurant was great and the food was presented very well. I personally hated the coffee, but the waitress was very polite and offered to bring me something different. I would probably not go there again because the food was not suitable for my taste, but it might be just my opinion. I honestly wish I liked the food better, because everything else was so wonderful.

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t
Edmonton
13 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were so impressed. Was our first time here and we will be back again to try dinner menu.

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BG
Calgary
7 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, excellent

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OT
Calgary
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Was a great date lunch with my girlfriend. Service was really good, such as the food and ambience.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic on all accounts

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XW
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Pumpkins pudding is kind of too sweet for me. But the scenic view outside the window is really beautiful.

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OT
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect cozy breakfast spot. Not too loud and not too busy!

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OT
Calgary
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best dining experience in Calgary.

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BR
Calgary
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed our dinner but the night was made by our server Mike. Amazing drive for service and open to questions. Thanks Mike

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waiter Mike was exceptional. Very attentive and did not try up selling us booze after we were done our meal.

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SK
Calgary
5 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Came here to celebrate a birthday. The waiter and rest of staff were great as well as the ambiance.
We ordered the bison tar tar, squash soup, goose main, and steak main dishes.
I highly recommend the bison tar tar, squash soup, and goose main dish as these were delicious.
I forget what type of beef steak they were serving tonight but it was a disappointment. The meat was extremely chewy and the quality wasn't there despite being cooked to a nice medium rare.

Overall a pleasant experience

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C
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

We have dined at the river cafe many times. This last visit was very disappointing. Our server was never around. Servers from other tables helped us more than she did we ordered 3 bone in spare ribs. We were told they were out of bone in but could serve us spare ribs without bones. I personally had the tenderloin and it was good. My friend Wayne ate his spare rib even though it was quite fatty. My wife and Judy could not eat their spare ribs as they were just to fatty. The river cafe did comp us 2 of the rib meals. Thank you for that. This was Judy's first time at your restaurant and she was polite about what she thought but you could tell the way she ate that she was very disappointed after all the bragging we had done about the River Cafe. At this point I am not sure if I will dine at your facility again. It bothers me to say these things but I was very disappointed compared to all the other great meals and evenings that we have spent in the River Cafe.

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OT
Calgary
9 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The food was fantastic, service and ambiance were exceptional. Although they offered homemade rice crisps as an alternative it would be great if some sort of GF bread option was offered with brunch.

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