River Café

4.5
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3771 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.
What 3771 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
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Z
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great location. Excellent food and service. Looking forward to going back.

MP
Calgary
4 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall3food1service3ambience5

Of particular note was the barbajuan . Which was played such that 3/4 of the plate was empty. The deep fried pasta was incredibly dry. Though you could hardly notice because there was only 3 of them about the size of a loonie making the average price of each of them $12.

T
Orlando
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The River Café is a fun place to visit, in the middle of an island park. It used to be a fishing house and the decorations are full of Canadian traditions.
River Café also changes the menu often so you should come sometimes to try new cuisine!

ET
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and the food was/is always amazing! A great place to have brunch on a Sunday morning.

N
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

The staff approached our table and asked the tab be cleared and leave, to ensure the table was available for the next reservation arriving. The restaurant was extremely busy, however it was disappointing we were asked to leave shorty after finishing our meal.

ER
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience5

The price you pay for the food isn't worth it, presentation is poor and they need to bring the sweet levels down, not enjoyable.

OT
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent!

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HL
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always love the river cafe! Fantastic food and wonderful staff.

EO
Calgary
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Food and service were both excellent. Would perhaps have liked a few more items to select from. Some prices seemed high.

TG
Calgary
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Came in from Lethbridge to see a concert. Stayed downtown so picked the River Cafe as it was an easy stroll from our hotel.
Still a lovely space after all these years especially in the evening.
Cocktails good, food lovely and service exceptiontional. I loved our waiter, knowledable and attentive without being fawning. The RC is not trendy or hip which i found to be a relief. Expensive but perfect for a special occasion.

EK
Calgary
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was informative, genuine, friendly, efficient. We always enjoy our time here.

MR
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent choice for a special occasion, or just meeting up with friends. The food was of excellent quality and provided for taste not quantity which is always great! If your looking for a stack of food like I-Hop this is not your choice but if you want to experience awesome tasting food in the absolute correct portions and with amazing ambiance and views of the park - then this is a score! We were there for Brunch on a beautiful fall day in October, walking over the river and into the park simply enhanced the over all experience!

JB
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

All I can say is, it was an absolute delicious amazing experience!

OT
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

My partner and I went to River Café on a Friday evening for an 8pm searing. We purposely selected this time as it was likely to be quieter as I have some hearing loss that makes it difficult to hear and concentrate in loud settings. While our evening started out on the noisy side, it quickly subsided to a very tolerable noise level.

We had a fantastic time! Our server helped us with food and drink choices, even had the sommelier stop in to guide us in our selection of wine. We were the last couple out of the establishment and really enjoyed our evening.

Only one item we would like to mention as unsatisfactory. We each had a cocktail, my partner the Manhattan and I had the Walk in the Park. Both cocktails had far too much ice and the size of the ice was very awkward. I had to take very small sips to avoid a piece of ice shooting into the back of my throat.

YY
Calgary
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Family visiting from out of town

OT
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our group of four was welcomed warmly and from the time we were seated treated as if we were the only table in the restaurant in one of Calgary’s most beautiful settings downtown in Princess Island park. The menu is varied and locally sourced as much as it can be, the resulting dishes are meticulously prepared, incredibly delicious and well portioned. If you live in Calgary and have not considered this establishment it’s time to reconsider, if you are from out of town you will be offered fare that is representative of our beautiful region and what it has to offer. Enjoy

PL
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2019
Overall2food4service2ambience4

We had a very nice dinner and service was very good as well! The unfortunate part of our night was when we got our bill and noticed that they charged us for tap water!! We did not get a choice to decline when they offered us water at the beginning of our night (we were offered sparkling or still) and would have declined if we knew there would be a charge for water. At the very least the server should have advised us that there was a charge as this impacted her tip! This is very unprofessional and poor business practice and or this reason we would eat here again, nor would recommend to our friends or guests

DM
Calgary
17 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

River Cafe always feels a bit flat, almost indifferent.

OT
Calgary
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful thanksgiving turkey dinner!

J
Calgary
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Very nice ambience and friendly staff, also good with kids.

OT
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2019
Overall2food5service1ambience5

The food and the cocktail were good which worth 5 stars. However the services (or I should say the lack of) were terrible. The servers just put the plates and glasses on the table without introducing what they were presenting!? Regular water was charged but nobody cared to refill during the whole time. Also, nobody cared to ask whether everything was ok. After declining for desserts she didn’t even ask whether I want any coffee or tea! After asking for the check it was just put down without stopping and addressing the patrons and did not come back with the card machine for a prolonged time. Didn’t deserve any tip imo but I still gave 18% just because I had no smaller change.

JH
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was delicious, the surroundings were wonderful, and the service was provided in a timely, friendly, and professional manner with the result that our visit was most enjoyable.

s
Calgary
6 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing service; they accommodated my needs for special meal off the list in their menu. Thank you.

CT
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very good local ingredients and food was sooo tasty !

E
Calgary
7 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Wedding anniversary

OT
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

very good food and service. the restaurant is a bit noisy, so try to sit towards one of the walls at the big to find a quiet spot.

JL
Calgary
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

One of the best ambiences in the city for traditional yet modern cuisine.

n
Calgary
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Incredible service, incredible foods, a super yummy vegan main option. Server was wonderful.

FT
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Went during the evening with my Son. We did the tasting menu with a bottle of wine, experience was good at the start, food was good but definitely not on par with other restaurants at similar price points that i have been to. Wine was never offered to be decanted and opening of the bottle was suspicious. During our tasting there was a small error in the beef course ; it was cold. They quickly brought back the dish but to our notice it was completely different and the cut of meat was not the same, have never experienced this before. They did manage to rectify the issue by giving us additional wine and another course to replace it. But it wasn't corrected professionally and corners should not have been cut to let that dish come back to us differently.
Overall a decent experience but after going to Shokunin restaurant the next evening you can see the difference and why the restaurants are placed where they are in "Canada's best 100 Restaurants".

To conclude, i would go back again but hopefully get a better experience. Slightly poor they didn't offer some kind of incentive to come back again to give them another chance to change my opinion.

JN
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience4

The service was amazing, our server was so attentive and lovely. The wine list is impressive. The food was not worth the price. Their vegan entree was 2 pieces of fried ravioli, that were undercooked so not super appealing. The onion puree was tasty, but cold. For the price of the entree, 2 pieces was not sufficient. Thoughtfully and beautifully presented, and I really wanted to love this place, but I don't. I wouldn't come back.

DR
Calgary
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Excellent wait staff, nice ambiance, but seemed a bit pricey for what we got, small menu.

CS
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely one of the best experiences I've had in a long while.

K
Calgary
6 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was perfect from the food to the service! Love it when the servers explain the different elements of a dish and where the ingredients come from.

H
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic service and food! Highly recommend the Chef Sampler with wine pairing!

J
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall3food4service5ambience5

Overall, I left the River Cafe with a good impression. We had a reservation for 4:30, but were presented with the "afternoon" menu, which was disappointing, since we were going for dinner, not lunch. This review will be in the context of the afternoon menu.

This place is a great stop for a glass of wine and a shareable. The building is nice, the staff are friendly, and the food is excellent. They do not, however, have many things that I would consider "hearty" on the menu. There's one hamburger, and the rest seem to be fancy appetizer style selection (perfect for lunches). If you're in the mood for a nice glass of wine and maybe a cheese selection, then the River Cafe wins. What they do serve is really good, they just didn't seem to cater to big appetites during the day.

We had the cheese plate, which was excellent, more than enough to share, and a Chorizo Flatbread. The flatbread was good, but poor substance, a few pieces of Chorizo and scattered on fried bread, with a few tomato pieces. Not enough to consider more than an shareable appetizer, but with the price point of an entree. The preserve served with the artisan cheese plate was excellent, the (in house made?) crackers were also good. The carrot cheesecake desert was really good!

The River Cafe supports local farms, and presumably buys direct from them. This is an important feature, as it probably determines their menu throughout the year, and it's something that I think more and more restaurants should do. I would go back to the River Cafe again, but during whatever hours they consider to be dinner instead.

HA
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Came for Brunch on a Sunday, Great ambience. Lively environment, but quiet enough to have a conversation with your table without having to raise your voice. Service was splendid and Food was amazing. 100% recommend.

OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food and service, I’ll back back!!

JS
Calgary
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful and delicious, we have already made out next reservation

OT
Edmonton
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I took my niece out for lunch. Neither of us had been to the River Cafe. It was amazing!

FG
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

A really pleasant surprise along the river, just outside of the Calgary downtown area. great menu, good wine selection, really lay back and relaxed atmosphere. Great place to switch gears and maintain a very upscale environment.

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