River Café

4.5
3416 reviews
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CAN$31 to CAN$50
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Canadian
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

Specials

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Take a walk through Princes Island Park & ring in the new year with family & friends while enjoying a 6 course chef's tasting menu with optional wine pairing.

Monday, December 31, 2018

What 3416 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
4.4
service
4.7
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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JB
Vancouver
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

Food took forever to come out. Over an hour, and the place was not even that busy. Service was ok, but it could be better.

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DP
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved what we ordered. But maybe some sandwiches and soup would be a good addition for lunch.

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o
Calgary
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We eat at River Cafe often for the ambience, location, and tasty food.

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C
Calgary
17 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Spectacular dinner. Great ambience, superb service & wonderful food.

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SL
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was amazing and the service was impeccable. The staff was very accommodating and very knowledgeable with regard to food and wine.

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j
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I'd love to check all the boxes that could apply, but I've only been to The Cafe twice - I can only imagine it would be very good, as was our experience.

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GT
Calgary
7 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

Food was ok. The charcuterie platter was great. Service was average but expect a long wait for food on a slow night. It took us 2 hours for a 3 course meal.

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OT
Calgary
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We go there every year for thanksgiving and it’s always such a special treat . The turkey dish is always cooked perfectly and tasty. The service is always outstanding.

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ML
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

We haven't dined at the River Cafe in some time so I was really looking forward to eating there. It was just my 9 year old daughter and I. I was so disappointed, and I'm sorry I didn't tell the staff immediately that day. The children's brunch menu has three items on it scrambled eggs French toast and cheese flatbread. Where are the pancakes and waffles? A very slim selection indeed. We ordered off the regular brunch menu for my daughter. We chose the $21 burger, modified to just cheese and ketchup on it. The burger turned out to be quite pink in the center. I told our server and she said that the very aged beef and it was supposed to cook like that. I accepted that reason but my daughter never ate the rest of the burger. I should have insisted and I wished that the server could have been more in tune with children and readily taken the burger to be cooked some more. The side of veggies for my daughter included raw green beans. I don't know any adults who eat raw green beans, let alone children. My turkey pot pie and side salad( greens) was even worse. Again, I readily said it was fine when the server asked. Not sure what the wafer top was all about and the thin sauce with chewy turkey and underdone potatoes left much to be desired. The salad was wilty and very small. Not worth the $22. Overall, I think this restaurant needs needs a dusting( not sure what's hanging from the ceiling) a new chef and menu. We won't be coming back or recommending the River Cafe.

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a
Calgary
4 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Continues to be a great place. My favourite restaurant.

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RH
3 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful weekend brunch in a cozy environment.

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BB
Calgary
3 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love River Cafe! Job well done team. Thank you for making my birthday brunch a lovely memory. I was full for hours and content with both the service and the experience - as usual.

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YC
Naples
5 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Très bon resto, pour une deuxième fois, pour une deuxième visite à Calgary en quelques mois.

Cadre merveilleux, vielle bâtisse, décoré style chalet, sur une petite ile en face du centre ville.

Possibilité de prendre de très bonnes photos, la rivière, les arbres et la ville, wow!

On s’y rend très facilement à pied

Cette fois on y a bruché le dimanche de l’Action de grâce
Faut réserver! Et surtout, faut essayer!

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IL
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Parking was tricky because there was a downtown event going on. We had no way of knowing that ahead of time. We parked and walked 5 blocks to get there. Thankful that I hadn't worn dress shoes, but had gone for comfort footwear.
Great service.
We ordered from the Brunch menu.
Great food!
Good portions.
Timed to let your food settle before the next dish arrived.
Full and buzzing with conversation, so, not for those looking for a quiet venue.
Having said that , we were there for our first anniversary, and were able to chat and celebrate, without straining to hear each other.
The staff joined in the fun of our celebration. Took pictures for us and wished us well.

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CM
Calgary
6 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Lovely Sunday brunch - service a little slow, but general ambiance very relaxed. Food delicious and a nicely varied menu with some unusual and interesting items.
Felt a bit like we were in the way of a major event about to happen - a wedding I think - as there were floral deliveries, wine glasses lined up by the dozen on the bar etc.., which was a bit offputting - like we were being shipped through quick-smart ahead of the main event.
Would have perhaps been more discreet and more gracious to those already dining, to arrange deliveries to the back of the restaurant rather than people walking through in front of diners with stuff for the event. Likewise having all the glassware lined up in advance - a bit offputting, given it was also a special occasion for us with overseas guests. A simple adjustment, but would have left these four diners feeling rather more valued than simply processed...

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JK
Calgary
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I had an amazing time at The River Cafe. We don't get a chance to go out to nice restaurants very often and tend to feel a little out of place when we do. This was not our experience at the River Cafe. The hosts, the waiter, and the restaurant general manager were all very hospitable and friendly.
We decided to try the new menu items: Sturgeon with Carrot Gnocchi, and Goose with Pear and Polenta. Both meals were flavorful and warm. We enjoyed our time and had a great date night.

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HW
Calgary
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We had the fish and game board which had a good variety of cured meats, and the wild rice and trout fish cakes, which was a very well composed dish - though the broccoli was probably the highlight of the dish. I appreciated the lap blankets!

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our wedding anniversary

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CC
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Who doesn’t serve orange juice with breakfast food? Other than that, service was slow, but food was great!

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MM
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Besides great food the most pleasurable experience was to talk to Bruce the sommelier who has compiled a fantastic wine list from which everybody can choose according to the budget and taste preferences. We had a great evening there.

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

My girlfriend and I came in for a special dinner for her birthday and had a perfect evening. I highly recommend the tasting menu as it was executed very well. Our favourites were the Duck, the Eggplant dish and dessert was phenomenal. Excellent use of local ingredients. Our server was very knowledgeable, friendly and fun. Atmosphere was great and perfect for a cozy romantic date night. Many thanks to the team!

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FF
Calgary
15 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Wonderful!! Both great food and great ambience.
Beautifully presented, interesting flavour combinations. Consistent.
The bison tartare was excellent, garnished with edible flowers made it even more appealing.

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JM
Calgary
7 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Beautiful. Food is always good, service was not as good as usual, but still good. Had a great time food has been amazing.

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KR
Edmonton
4 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Although I had overdone it the night before, so did my fabulously perfect server so it all worked out great.

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L
Key West
15 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Had not visited the River Cafe for a half dozen or so years and most pleased that we did on this trip to Calgary. Food, service and especially the wine list much improved. We shared the fish and game appetizer platter, my wife had the trout and I the tenderloin which was the day’s beef. All wellprepared and presented. A Calgary institution that does not rest on its laurels. Well done!

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

We really enjoyed our special anniversary brunch at the River Café. The table was nice by the fire and all the food was delicious. The fingerling potatoes with honey were amazing! The cheese board was also really enjoyable, focusing on all local options (BC and Alberta) which River Café is known for. The trio of pastries with jam was great, too. Thanks for a nice time, River Café.

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DM
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Our waiter Jared was AWESOME! So attentive to us and all the other tables in his area. He was quick with everything; drinks, appies, food, and dessert. Love the personal touch!

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LR
Calgary
71 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Feels like being in the country when you are in the middle of town. We went on a cool day, you could smell the wood burning fireplace as you came up the path to River Cafe. Service was amazing, beautiful fall ingredients, just perfect. I was there for lunch and can’t wait to try it in the evening.

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AW
Calgary
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The very best of service; knowledgable, attentive but not intrusive.
Great food and when I expressed concern over one item there was an immediate offer to replace it.
Wine list, including extensive list of half bottles, is outstanding.
Lively without being noisy.

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CN
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very tasty meal, lovely location, great service!

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S
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have a great waiter, I don't remember his name but he was from Czechoslovakia if I remember. He spoke a bit german as well :)

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BF
Calgary
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Service is excellent, the dishes what we ordered overall a bit salty.

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IL
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 3

Everything was very good! The only thing was kind of weird, we had have to leave at 2Pm in the afternoon because was some event there. I did not like it, they suppose to told us before! And all the waitress kind of pushing us to leave!

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JC
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

River Cafe has always been my mother’s favourite restaurant to go to, especially when the leaves in the park are changing colour. However, the menu can be hit and miss (primarily miss the past few seasons) and quite expensive for what you get. My mother and I both ordered their beef entree - filet mignon on this particular night - and her dish came out under cooked. The server quickly had a new dish prepared for her however with only 6oz of meat for $45 each, it felt pretty petit. My father ordered the halibut and was underwhelmed, letting us know that the dish was tasteless and even the sides that came with it were just as bland. We skipped dessert due to finding nothing appealing (and we usually never have an issue finding something to try) however ordered a latte and cappuccino; both luke warm when given. Overall the place is beautiful and sometimes the food can be great, however the price tag is quite staggering, especially compared to the various other exceptional choices in the city.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went here for brunch, and it was fantastic. The menu was creative and had a wide variety of options, the portion sizes were just right (not too much, not too little), the presentation was beautiful (see the attached pictures of the desserts), and everything was delicious. Though it's a bit out of our usual price-range, we'll come back again for a special occasion, I'm sure.

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AK
Calgary
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

The food is good. However it’s a bit slow. We got an appetizer and a main course. The main course did not come until 20 mins after we finished the appetizer. Tables around us came later then us got their meals way earlier then us. And the coffee and water refill were quite slow as well. Hope they could improve that. But overall, food and environment are good.

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s
Miami
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Anniversary

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p
Calgary
14 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really top notch. Unparalleled setting on a sunny day. Lunch menu is an excellent value.

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BT
Calgary
8 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great service from Mike, very knowledgeable and seemed to arrive just at the right time in our conversations. We had the Chef's Tasting Menu and it didn't disappoint. Right-sized portions that gave us the flavours described.

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m
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

The restaurant is set in a beautiful area in Calgary, however it does not live up to the beauty.

We were greeted promptly at the door and shown to our table. That was the highlight of the services.

Our waitress came by unenthusiastically explained some dishes and took our drink and starter orders.

The beverages we ordered (Moscow mule, whisky flip, and river currant) were tasty but severed in flimsy glass wear that did not seem appropriate.

Next came our fish and game board ... the board was well presented but left us grabbing our water glasses as the only seasoning we could taste was salt.

Next came our mains. Halibut, trout, and tenderloin. All which were semi-uninspired. The beef was rough and the veggies didn’t not shine through. The piece of trout was tasty and moist, however once again the veggies were sub-par, and lastly was the halibut. The first piece of fish unfortunately fell off the plate as it was being served leaving us to wait for a new piece to be fired (which came out cold and unseasoned). The staff did apologize and took the halibut off the bill due to the mistake.

This was our second and perhaps last time visiting the river cafe as it’s setting does not make up for poor service and underwhelming food inside.

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