River Café

4.5
3348 reviews
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CAN$31 to CAN$50
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Canadian
Top Tags:
  • Special Occasion
  • Scenic View
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
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
Hannah Petkau: (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 3348 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
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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5.0Dined a day ago

Celebrated our daughters 30th b-day for lunch. Excellent food and attentive servers. Ash roast potato meal was superior! Will come back on a sunnier day and try the patio!

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3.0Dined 2 days ago

The onky problem was the highchair. Definetly not a safe chair. Would not recommend taking a todler who needs a chair. There was no buckle on the safety strap, and it wasn't long enough to reach around my granddaughter even if there was a buckle. We couldn't get chair close enough to the table but our server did look for anothere chair but all were the same. Bottom line, the highchairs are unsafe qould not fo back just dor that reason

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

Wow - this is a gem in Calgary. Being a foodie, at times, I felt there was one too many ingredients in some of our choices. BUT, it all worked in the end! And the oysters were delectable.

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1.0Dined 4 days ago

I normally love the River Cafe, have been a loyal customer for absolutely ages, and this is the first time where I was disappointed with my evening there. I know chefs like to use wonderfully creative descriptions for menu items, but I struggled to understand what many of the food items were. Plus, to be honest, there was little on the menu that appealed to either my guest and myself, for both the starters and entrees. Of course, as luck would have it, the one entree item that was most appealing was not available that evening! We both ordered the halibut and although it was very moist and presentation was lovely, it was (I believe) poached and quite bland. The service was generally very good, although when I had made the booking, I had specified that it was a special 70th birthday celebration, and there was not one mention of this by any of the staff during our evening there. I was so looking forward to showcasing the River Cafe, one of my all time favorite restaurants, to my guest who had never been before, and I could tell that she was very disappointed with the evening, as was I. I guess everyone has an off day!

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2.0Dined 5 days ago

The food was good, but not great. The price was for great food, not good food. Unfortunately, there was some loud obnoxious music playing nearby (not the restaurant's fault). Overall, not worth it.

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5.0Dined 7 days ago

Had a a great experience with the chefs tasting menu. Loved everything and had amazing service by Leah. Will def be back!

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5.0Dined 7 days ago

A wonderful gem with fantastic ambience and service. Value as expected.

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2.0Dined 7 days ago

Very slow service at the end of the meal. Had to ask for the cheque multiple times before we got it. Don’t recommend for business lunch meetings

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5.0Dined on August 13, 2018

Tried the chefs tasting menu so we could experience a variety of what this restaurant had to offer. Blown away by the quality of service and food. We experienced some flavours we had never had before in multiple dishes. Highly recommend this place and the chefs tasting menu dinner meal!

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5.0Dined on August 12, 2018

Got the best waiting service this time! I don't remember her name, but she did a brilliant job! I have visited River Cafe numerous times, this was the best and most friendly experience so far!

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2.0Dined on August 12, 2018

Really disappointed with our experience. Noise level was outrageous. We couldn’t hear each other sitting directly across from each other. Staff visibly/verbally stressed managing tables and moving people inside. Service was delayed/disorganized. The meal was way overpriced for the value. The bergamot dessert was awful.

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4.0Dined on August 12, 2018

We were glad we had an indoor table as the rain started to fall just before our reservation for dinner. However the staff quickly moved people inside out of the rain. The service was excellent, the menu is not really innovative but the food was very good, especially the desserts. The wine list had an extensive list of Canadian wines, we had a lovely Pinot Gris from BC. The ambience is very nice, being in a park beside the river. I would love to eat here again if I'm in Calgary.

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5.0Dined on August 10, 2018

This place is always a treat. It's one of those special places that you don't always want to tell people about, because you don't want it to become too popular! In my experiences here - service has always been great, food fantastic, and you cannot beat the location. It does not feel like it is in the middle of the city at all.

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5.0Dined on August 10, 2018

Went for lunch and had the grass-fed steak. Portion size was perfect. Very cute restaurant.

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5.0Dined on August 10, 2018

It has been a few years since I was last here and is even better than I remember. The food was incredible and the atmosphere is one in many millions.

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5.0Dined on August 9, 2018

Great time. Service was superb. Food was first class

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5.0Dined on August 9, 2018

I have been to River Café twice before, one for dinner and once for brunch, and both were outstanding. It had been a couple of years since my last visit and this was my first time on their patio which I must say is one of Calgary' s best; private, shaded, and a view of the beautiful blue waters of the Bow River. It was a special occasion, a first anniversary, and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Our server was friendly, knew her stuff and provided us with great suggestions that we accepted and were impressed by. The food here is next to none, providing a constant fresh selection as the seasons change, so you're always going to experience River Café a little differently each time. This cozy, fishing cottage-esque establishment leaves me full and satisfied upon all my visits, and I yearn to return for a new menu!

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5.0Dined on August 8, 2018

I've never had a bad meal here. Great ambiance and good food.

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5.0Dined on August 8, 2018

Celebrated a birthday at the River Cafe. The park setting is beautiful and really added to the occasion. Our server was friendly and professional - she made us feel very welcome. The food was excellent and serving sizes just right. I highly recommend this restaurant.

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5.0Dined on August 7, 2018

It’s always a pleasure to have a meal at this restaurant. It has a great location in Princes Island Park, and it delivers high quality, locally sourced food, in unique ways, time and time again.

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5.0Dined on August 7, 2018

Everything and everyone was excellent

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5.0Dined on August 7, 2018

Great lunch again. Whenever we visit Calgary we try to have a meal at the River Cafe and it never fails to disappoint.

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3.0Dined on August 7, 2018

Fantastic ambience outside. $1 sparkling water is great, but fairly expensive menu.

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3.0Dined on August 6, 2018

Took forever to get 2 separate bottles of white wine, then came not chilled. Flat bread was meh.. wasnt worth the money - beautiful location.

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4.0Dined on August 5, 2018

Very good meal. A little overpriced but nice.

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2018

My fiancé and I came for dinner with friends to look at the venue for our wedding this fall. This is such a beautiful venue! Dinner was fabulous, the presentation was outstanding and the service was exceptional.
What more can you ask for, when you have great company, great food and a beautiful venue.
We can’t wait to have our wedding here!!!

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4.0Dined on August 4, 2018

I had the rainbow trout...best meal i can remember...really, really good!

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2018

A must hit whenever we are in YYC. Such a great setting, wonderful staff and 10/10 menu.

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1.0Dined on August 4, 2018

My pre dinner drink , ( A Campari with Soda, she did not bring a lemon rind), had dish washer soap in it. I guess the glass was not rinsed properly. The place was cold and your waitress had to keep handing out blankets.
So too much money for a not great experience.
My date and I made the best of it.

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2.0Dined on August 3, 2018

It was a lunch for family that had traveled from overseas to visit. My elderly mom loves soup. The only soup available was Haida Kelp... long name can't remember it all. Consisted of a few bits of green stuff (not kelp) and flower petals and 3 beans on which a minute jug of 'broth' was poured over. It was barely enough to cover the bottom of the plate. Tasted like the water left over from boiling veg. The charcuterie plate for $34, supposedly enough for 2 was hardly enough for one. A few bits of very fatty salami, very fatty cold meats, smoked trout (that was nice) and fogo island cod ( completely forgettable), 2 pieces of pickled asparagus and about 5 berries, that was it! We had a glass of 2009 napa valley cabernet for $16 which was nice until the bottom third which had so much sediment it was undrinkable. Our waitress said that was a sign of a very good/old wine and didnt offer to top it up. The hamburge was ok (hard to spoil that) but couldnt get fries with it. A tiny limp salad was offered instead. We won't be going back, ambience or no ambience. There are so many other good restaurants in town which, although not in the middle of Princes Island still have beautiful settings.

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5.0Dined on August 2, 2018

Outstanding dinner! Thanks!

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5.0Dined on August 2, 2018

Amazing Food !!!! Very friendly and professional staff.

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4.0Dined on August 1, 2018

Food was delicious. Service was excellent. Lovely location.

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5.0Dined on August 1, 2018

First time visiting River Cafe it was so beautiful! We had the halibut and turkey with oysters to start it was so so great! The service was impeccable and the atmosphere was just amazing!

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5.0Dined on August 1, 2018

River Café never disappoints. Our waiter, Ethan, was incredible. He knew the menu incredibly well, and could really sell the otherwise dismal sounding desserts. He was fun, personable and not at all overbearing. The food is always amazing and unique, and you can't beat the patio. I am impressed that the food quality and service has maintained a high level of standard, unlike other restaurants that lose their quality over time.
AMAZING! We will be back!

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3.0Dined on July 30, 2018

I have always been a fan of this restaurant (have been many many times over 20 years) and the service and food are always great, but lately I feel like they might be pricing themselves out of the market—I expect to pay $52 for a steak (just a striploin) in Paris, Rome, or NYC but not in YYC. Feels like a bit of a cash grab from the tourist crowd and less and less like a place for Calgarians.

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1.0Dined on July 30, 2018

The Folk Festival was taking place on the day we were to dine at River Cafe, but it was the service that really made for an unpleasant experience.

A few days earlier I phoned and asked how much interference to expect from the festival and was told it would be fine. When we arrived, the sound that resonated through the restaurant wasn't the pleasant music you would expect from a folk festival, rather the annoying resonance of low frequency tones and incessant bass drumming.

Though the restaurant wasn't busy, the server was slow to acknowledge us. When she finally attended our table and I mentioned I wasn't expecting the Folk Festival to be as loud as it was, her response was tantamount to calling me an idiot for thinking I could still expect a pleasant dining experience.

We asked for our bill after cocktails and appetizers and when I said we would come back on a quieter night, the server's response implied I was stupid for not predicting the outcome we experienced. It truly was adding insult to injury.

I enjoy the food at River Cafe and love the surroundings, but will never return. In the past it was my go-to restaurant for out-of-town guests, but I would be embarrassed to subject anyone to that service.

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4.0Dined on July 29, 2018

Discovered this cafe from looking at Google maps. I was in town for a music festival (not folk!) and wanted to round out the weekend with something nice. This place did not disappoint. My server, Courtney was very pleasant and the Turkish style eggs were delicious. I hope to return to Calgary in the future, and when I do, I will make a point of visiting this establishment again.

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4.0Dined on July 29, 2018

My boyfriend and I come here for brunch often. The service is always good and the food is always great. We love the setting out on the patio beside the river.

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2.0Dined on July 29, 2018

Lovely location and ambiance - but that is where the good times end. My breakfast (eggs benny) was good, likely a 4 out of 5, and Rachel's regular egg breakfast was a 1 or 2. how do you mess up two over-easy eggs with bacon and toast? greasy eggs, bacon cooked last night and "reheated" although the bacon was actually cold and grey in colour - how could a server even bring that out to the table? bread and jam and tea and coffee was good. but they charge $4 for tea and coffee, and $2 for tap water. With tip, $73 gets you a breakfast for two.

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