This restaurant added safety precaution details

This includes info about cleaning, sanitizing, social distancing, and usage of personal protective equipment. Learn more.

River Café

4.6
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4040 Reviews
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CAN$31 to CAN$50
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Canadian
*The Jaipur Bridge at 3rd street SW will be closed for the 2020 season*

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.

Getting to River Cafe is just a walk in the park.

Access us from:
1. The 6th Street SW causeway at the West end of the island.
2. The North side of the island, crossing the Bow River and Memorial Drive at the Calgary Curling Club.
3. The bridge at 2nd street SW from the Eau Claire area.
4. The Jaipur Bridge at 3rd street SW will be closed for the 2020 season.

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.

Thank you for choosing to dine with us!

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Social Distancing
  • Extra space between tables
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
Personal Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
What 4040 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.8
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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EM
vipEdMalcolm
Calgary
41 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

River Cafe always has a great ambiance, spectacular cuisine and stellar service. You can't beat this inner city oasis.

AM
AriM
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Good place, delicious food, small portions but full of flavor. It is not the typical high end finishes restaurant, but it definitely have a homely feeling in the décor. Good and chill music. Would prefer the server did not re-confirm my order with my husband every time.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Calgary
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Delicious food and enjoyed the beautiful Fall setting.

P
Pdisapointed
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food1service2ambience4

Lovely location. However your run of the mill breakfast dinner will have better tasting food that the greasy flavourless food they served for brunch. Not worth the high price

T
Trevelle
Calgary
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful location, perfect ambiance, incredible food. Can’t wait to go back!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Calgary
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food3service1ambience4

The food was ok but the service was terrible. It was our anniversary and they knew it but did nothing special. We waited forever for drinks and each course. Our reservation was for 8 and the place was empty but it still took forever. When we wanted to pay and leave we waited 15 minutes for our waitress who was nowhere in sight, and we counted 9 staff who ignored us while they cleaned up. We understand these are difficult times, but we went out of our way (literally!!) to support a local business and we felt we were badly treated. It ruined our anniversary night, and we are not likely to return any time soon.

DA
DougA
Calgary
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Very enjoyable evening on the patio. Highly recommend the chef selection

JV
JoseV
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

We really enjoyed our brunch. It was the first time there for my girlfriend and she was delighted with food, the service and the fresh table we got outside.
Thanks!

AH
AaronH
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food3service5ambience5

Impeccable service, attention to the fine details of “fine” dining. Our server did an amazing job ensuring everything was just right without ever intruding. Bison was a little tough but without even mentioning it was removed from our bill.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food5service4ambience5

The appetizers were amazing. Hummus and the liver parfait.

Our cocktails had a light pour, but the bartender was very kind to give a little top-up.

Wine was excellent.

Our entrees were good; I had the bison which has great flavour but my piece was very chewy, but my friends wasn’t. Probably luck of the draw issue.

The s’more panna gotta was delicious.

Service was mediocre. Very friendly staff, but had to wait a while to put in our orders, which seemed odd as they were not very busy.

LM
LisaM
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

A perfect fall afternoon out on the patio. Food was delicious!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Calgary
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic service, delicious food, beautifully spaced seating, airy-feeling and wide open windows, with respectful and vigilant Covid precautions.

AL
vipALIW
Calgary
53 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great meal! Sat outside and was beautiful fall evening.
Food was good. Oysters, hummus and wild boar!

MB
MaryB
Calgary
3 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful setting. Lunch from local produce was delicious.

DK
vipDonnaK
Calgary
14 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2020
Overall4food2service4ambience4

My husband and I tried the Brunch menu, which is appealing in concept but poor in realization. I tried the eggs Benedict accompanied by the goose sausage. The sausage had good texture, but was not well spiced. The goose flavor is strong though. Indifferent Rösti potatoes. The Hollandaise was excellent, subtly flavored with a smooth consistency. I tried the plum-anise muffin which was over mixed and smelled of baking soda. There was no anise flavour - neither anise (licorice, aniseed) nor star anise. The coffee is excellent.
Rather lackluster meal to say the least.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Toronto
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A return visit after almost 15 years of being away from Calgary and it was every bit as good as we remembered it was. Great food from start to finish. We took on the tasting menu and I wouldn't change anything in any of the seven courses! Wine pairings were surprisingly good also with a nice mix of Canadian and French wines. Pairings were presque parfait! The location, the ambience and the great service made it a wonderful experience and one to repeat soon.

C
Carlo
Calgary
6 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

River Café sets the standard for a fine dining experience with delicious menu options and outstanding service.

Upon arriving for our reservation, the hostess told us it would be a few minutes wait for a table inside although they had seating outside. You get this often at restaurants but the hostesses was so genuine and friendly here that it made it pleasing to wait!
They were apologetic and expressed their gratitude for our patience as a table was cleared.

Our server, Lori, was as friendly as could be. She gave us her undivided attention as we gave her our orders and she was attentive to our needs throughout the evening. Her warm personality and lovely presence put a sparkle on the evening. One gentleman from the bar witnessed us drop a set of cutlery on the ground and he promptly came over with another plate and replacement set. We had the hummus to start, and the bison as a main, which was cooked to perfection.

Our dining experience was memorably wonderful in all aspects - up there with Indian Accent in New York City, a restaurant on the Michelin Guide, whose service, in my dining experience, is second to none.

A restaurant can impress its patrons with décor and even win them over with their menu, but it's the little golden touches in their service that make people remember their experience the most. Well done to Bruce and the entire team at River Café. We'll definitely be returning.

EM
vipEdMalcolm
Calgary
42 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such a beautiful spot on a hot summer day where you don't feel like you are in the middle of the city. I love their food selection.

D
Diehard
Calgary
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We really enjoyed the atmosphere at the River Cafe. The meal was excellant and waitress and waiters and the chef deserve a lot of credit for the job they did. Even with the COVID crisis that we are all have to live with, felt we were very safe.
Thank you to everyone and we will definitely recommend the Cafe to all our friends and family.
My wife and I were celebrating our 65th birthdays and 45th Wedding Anniversary. Couldn’t ask for a better place to Go to celebrate.

S
vipSancho
Calgary
8 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfection every time.

DC
vipDoCaF
Calgary
4 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding service, great food which arrived in good time! Would go again!

LL
LisaL
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

River Cafe is our favourite Restaurant . We are never disappointed .

MP
vipMartyP
Calgary
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The river cafe just knows that the details are what makes for an outstanding culinary experience and they do the details right every time!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We had our anniversary dinner there this past Saturday. We had the Chef’s Menu. It was delicious. I highly recommend River Cafe and will be going back for sure.

River Café
Responded on September 13, 2020

Thank you for the kind words. We are so glad that you enjoyed your anniversary dinner. We look forward to having you back!

Report
L
Lamsy
Calgary
5 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience5

We sat inside near the window at 6pm on a hot late summer evening. Beautiful ambience. Hostess was Ok. Servers were excellent. We had Oyster from NS, fish croshu ,hummus and bread. All excellent appetizers. Very well chosen fresh garden greens.
Our main courses were halibut and a vegetarian dish porridge. Both were a bit too salty and the sauce for the fish was too creamy. Both white wine , one Chardonnay from BC and another from France, were very good. The alcohol hand sanitizer smelled wonderful with aromatherapy like scent.

KL
KarenL
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Had added a note the rezzy was for our anniversary. (20th) However, a sub-par table table was available by the bathroom where we were sat. Was disappointed that the restaurant staff was not proactive in setting aside a more pleasant table location.

j
joshr
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best restaurant in Calgary hands down, I love coming to river cafe for any occasion.

IT
vipIlcaT
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience2

It was anniversary dinner; so very special.
It did not feel like a special atmosphere; more like a pub.
The tenderloin was tough; the veggies were smokey..
The nice thing was the wine and the location of the restaurant.
We will not be back.

JJ
JandJ
Calgary
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2020
Overall4food2service4ambience5

The food is usually reliably good. Not sure what happened this visit, the charcuterie selection was confounding and the liver parfait was buried in fruit and a brioche bun!?!

DF
DanF
Calgary
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience5

We enjoyed our time at the restaurant. We didn’t know that we would be placed outside with reservations (luckily, the weather turned out well). We ordered the beef tenderloin, which ended up being a mediocre tiny unseasoned steak (not worth 52 dollars), however the halibut dish was excellent. Our server did a great job and was very attentive.

KD
KenD
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great venue and during COVID they are able to provide distancing without feeling odd or lacking their normal awesome service.

R
Radana
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food, service and ambiance!!!
Happened to dine there 3 times in a month!! Lucky me!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The best patio in the city!

AH
AidanH
Calgary
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Excellent service, good food in a beautiful location.

SD
SandyD
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Wonderful lunch spot! An oasis in the heart of downtown.

RL
RichardL
Montreal
6 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The River Cafe was the perfect restaurant to close the summer out. We sat on the patio looking at the flowers melt into the trees and the river with the Calgary skyline in the background. We ate the tasting menu (6 courses) and as always, were blown away by how great the food was. This is my favourite restaurant in Calgary.

MS
MariaS
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2020
Overall3food3service5ambience5

The ambiance is lovely at River Cafe, especially if you get a patio seat in summer. The food was ok, but not anything I raved about afterwards.

f
fatcat
Calgary
8 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We had a lovely dining experience on a beautiful Sunday evening recently. The cafe has a rustic ambience and they take full advantage of one of Calgary's best locations.
Our server was friendly, informative, efficient and unobtrusive while the rest of the staff we interacted with were very friendly.
While the menu is fairly limited compared to many restaurants it is well made, delicious and beautifully presented. We had the trout and wild boar's cheek and both dishes were top notch.
We had a very enjoyable evening.

R
Restaurant
Calgary
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Just waiting for the full brunch menu to come back. Miss the salmon cakes and crab cakes.

R
Reasonable
Calgary
8 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Food was very good but very slow to arrive.

FAQs

River Café is rated 4.6 stars by 4040 OpenTable diners.

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