Sweetwaters on the River

3.8
298 reviews
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$30 and under
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Northwest
SweetWaters on the River is a time-honored classic, located on the banks of the Willamette River at Valley River Inn in Eugene, Oregon. With our panoramic views and three-season outdoor patio, SweetWaters on the River provides the quintessential Oregon dining experience for the culinary tourist, fine food epicurean, and corporate diner alike. Predicated upon local producers of meat, produce and unique ingredients such as Oregon truffles, huckleberries and artisan cheeses, our restaurant maintains a focus on locally sourced, fresh ingredients. Our central location in the Southern Willamette Valley wine region is highlighted by our premium wine list, designed for the wine enthusiast and showcasing the best of Oregon's growing wine industry.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Northwest, Contemporary American
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Hours of operation
Breakfast Menu & Buffet:
Daily 7:00am-11:00am

Sunday Brunch:
Sunday 10:00am-2:00pm

Lunch Menu:
Daily 11:00am-5:00pm

Dinner Menu:
Daily 5:00pm-11:00pm

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Phone number
(541) 341-3462
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Kevin Miller
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Private party facilities
SweetWaters on the River offers several options for private party reservations. Our lounge, dining room, private “Duck Club” and outdoor deck each offer an exceptional experience for gatherings large and small. Depending on the size of your party, a single location or the entire restaurant may be reserved. Each location offers stunning views the Willamette River and a wide selection of hand crafted cocktails and menus. Private events are subject to room charges and seasonally adjusted minimum Food & Beverage requirements. Please connect with us today for more information.
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Private party contact
Maria Takara | Mtakara@valleyriverinn.com: (541) 341-3462
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Valley River Drive
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Parking details
We have an ample amount of free parking on both the hotel grounds as well as the Valley River Center lot.
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Public transit
On LTD Bus Route, On Bike Path
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 298 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.8based on recent ratings
3.6
food
3.9
service
4.2
ambience
3.3
value
Noise · Quiet
73% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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PA
Portland
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Friendly staff, good service, good food, great ambiance.

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BG
Portland
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great server and confirmation of reservation. The table was excellent and menu choices were goood. It’s a bit over-priced however.

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H
Portland
12 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Met up with a friend and her daughter who is an incoming freshman at University of Oregon. The Sweetwater's patio is wonderful as it sits along the river. It was a beautiful day. We arrived during happy hour and enjoyed a shared an appetized of calamari. I had the risotto with shrimp-- which was good. My girlfriend had a salad with a generous piece of salmon and her daughter had the pasta with shrimp. We all enjoyed our dinner. Service was good as well.

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WB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

I'm not sure what happened. remember Sweetwaters being a great restaurant for special occasions. We came here to celebrate my Dad's birthday. The service is good, but all the food was really bland. Even the supposedly "spicy" dishes that claimed to have habanero sauce and sriracha were dull and bland. The prices do not match the quality of the food any more. The riverside ambience is still nice.

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TP
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Pre game for Oregon Ducks football. Great view on the river. Dated restaurant in a dated hotel. Food was not great. Good place for a quiet place to eat before the football game. Easy to get to and very pleasant patio on the river.

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n
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I didn’t realize the restaurant was inside the hotel. It was hard to find, but a lovely place.

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CB
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

I would not recommend, the food was not flavorful. They wrote fresh razberrys on our desert and it was not fresh.

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W
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

It didn’t start off special. Had to wait awhile before being seated. Then was ignored for about 25 minutes. Wasn’t even served water for 15 min. Others that were seated after us were waited on 1st. Finally snagged a waitress who said wait a minute and I told her my plight. From then on service was great. My steak was best I’ve ever had. Think they should have server training as to customer needs. They had plenty staff, just not attentive.

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HK
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sweetwaters staff made my pre wedding dress shopping brunch a memorable one! Thank you for the wonderful service and delicious food!

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LD
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 4

4 of us came out for a Sunday breakfast and none had been here before. The view was beautiful, as was the decor, and it wasn't super busy so we could easily have conversation. I had the build-your-own omelette. I asked for Provolone cheese, but pretty sure I got Swiss. The bacon that everyone ordered (including in my omelette) was overdone - not burnt, but so crispy it was nearly inedible. The potatoes both my sister and myself had were dry, and seemed like they'd either been sitting for a while (even though our food didn't take all that long), or were just overdone. Also too much salt. My boyfriend got the Bananas Foster, which he said "the caramel sauce tasted... funny"... he couldn't quite describe it, but it wasn't his favorite. Aside from the food, we are pretty sure we were forgotten in the middle. We were checked on once to see if the food was ok (had barely begun eating), and we only got 1 refill of coffee and water. We didn't see our gal again (and as previously stated, it wasn't very busy, plus we could see at least 3 other waitresses) for about 40 minutes. Usually breakfast checks are dropped fairly quickly, and while we weren't in a super rush, we also didn't have all day... All in all, I'll give this place another shot because of the view and the ease of getting there, plus it could have been an off day for the cooks and staff, etc. I'm hoping for better food and service next time.

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T
Nashville
18 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Beautiful setting plus nice area wine with fine tasting salmon. Excellent server.

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K
Portland
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

Absolutely awful. I've had better food at the free breakfast bar at most major chain hotels.

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EG
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

While the service was good, the best that can be said about the food that is that it was "OK". Not bad. Just OK.
I am not sure why, but this seems to be the case with many, if not most, hotel restaurants. There is nothing special nor particularly imaginative here. Bland and safe seem to be the rule.
It DOES have a great view of the river, and that may well be a reason to take out-of-town guests there.
Still, there are much better restaurants in Eugene (without the view, of course).
In one word: Meh.

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JG
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

The environment was great and the staff was amazing. What put me off was the food. Me and my wife ordered the brisket nachos, the steak, and the shrimp pasta. The nachos were spot on. The steak, however, was not. It was extremely fatty, to the point where she had to throw away most of it and the steak was 32 dollars. The shrimp pasta was swimming in so much oil it overpowered the taste of everything else including the shrimp. I would not eat here again.

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PC
Portland
30 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

3 of us ordered the Risotto and it was undercooked and pretty bland. It took a very long time to receive our meals.

I was pretty disappointed overall. They could have done a much better job.

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A
Portland
31 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Wonderful dining overlooking the McKenzie River and bike path. Perfect place for a lovely lunch and nice, imaginative cocktails. Fun for people-watching. We would definitely return.

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BS
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice restaurant. A beautiful view of Williamette river. Very good food.

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C
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

My daughter in law ordered beet salad for $16 and it was a tiny plate of beets and fruit. Certainly not a dinner entree. The patio was very nice.

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MM
Miami
7 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 4ambience 4

Very nice dinner at the end of a strenuous hiking Oregon Adventure! We stayed at the hotel and dined at Sweetwaters. Food can definitely use more seasoning. Crab cakes were nice, Cioppino was chock full of seafood goodness. Shrimp pasta was a nice size portion ( i actually substituted chicken) but needed some freshness and a bit more flavor. Service was good. Dining outside is lovely.

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DM
Portland
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Sitting by the river on a summer evening is always a good thing. Our server was a bit scatterbrained, but was obviously trying her best. We were not in any hurry so it was no big deal.

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j
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The good: the dining room's interior has a nice "northwest" look with warm brown wood finishes; the large windows give every table an expansive look at the Willamette water and woods (on the sunny day of our brunch it was beautiful); our waitperson was wonderful-- she was helpful, cheerful, and fun, not to mention efficient and on the ball.

The bad: we were disappointed in the food. Admittedly, we were there just for brunch, but the selections were pretty ordinary and not very exciting for such an upscale place. Worse, the kitchen was very slow. You could have counted the number of tables occupied on your fingers, but our food was very long in coming (how long does it take to do eggs?) Moreover, our food must have been sitting around in the kitchen for a while before being served-- the Hollandaise sauce was congealed hard, and the sweet potato fries had cooled and become soggy.

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G
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 2

The Caesar Salad had a very heavy, thick dressing and dry "store-bought" croutons. The calamari appetizer was good and generous. My risotto was fair...it only had a few slivers of mushrooms and tiny pieces of asparagus and was greasy. My husband ordered the scallops. They were undercooked so he sent them back. When they were re-served , they were just as undercooked as they were to begin with . The plate was hot indicating that the dish was microwaved instead of recooking the scallops in a pan as they should have been. To the restaurant's credit, they did not charge us for the scallops. Our waitress, Irene, did a very good job.

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SR
1 review
Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Had not been there for years..was like remembered
Perfect for night out with friends.
Will be back and tell others good food..service excellent

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TO
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Comfortable outdoor dining over looking the beautiful Willamette River. You really can't beat the ambiance, food and service in Eugene. The service was excellent, attentive but not assertive. The food was served as described and it was hot and delicious. Our desserts were the perfecting ending to a wonderful meal.

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OT
Los Angeles
22 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Everything was great, great, great, great and still great

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OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great food! Great view !

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TD
Portland
1 review
Dined on June 24, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

Took my 84 year old mother for a birthday dinner. Made reservations noting senior in wheelchair and preferred water view. Arrived 30 minutes early expecting to wait a few minutes. We were brought to our table in the BAR, away from the water and very noisy. TV's going, people laughing and talking very loud, people with their shoes off and their barefeet on the small cocktail tables.
This place was once a great dining place but our dinner was not as advertised on the menu. I was to have asparagus with my lamb and I didn't get it and my polenta was burnt on the bottom. Paid $38 for something I could have made and set my own fire alarms off at my house. My husband received brocolli instead of green beans and his roasted chicken was not suppose to have bbq sauce and it did and was so spicy he had a hard time finishing it. In short, Sweetwaters was not the best place to take my mom for a birthday dinner. And, the topper ... not handicapped accessible for water view (the reason we decided to go here in the first place.) We can't recommend Sweetwaters at this time. Terrible experience. This was to be the topping on what was a great day of doing things with my mom but it was a total let down.

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K
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Delicious food and wonderful atmosphere!! The riverfront view is spectacular. We really enjoyed spending our anniversary at Sweetwaters.

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r
Los Angeles
15 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Graduation from University of Oregon!.

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s
Portland
10 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Excellent service from our friendly server Irene; lofted area above the main dining area was great for conversation but still open to the river view; overall food was good, not great. Sweet potato fries and beet salad were highlights.

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LC
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on June 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Celebrated a graduation from UO with a sunny lunch on the deck. Got there early to avoid the crowds, and were glad we did. Food and service were very good. A great spot to enjoy the day!

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JH
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on June 18, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 4

The food was really good, but the service was not. The wait staff was unattentive. The one occasion the staff came by they only asked one person at the table if they would like a refill and ignored the other 3 individuals at the table. The wait was exceptionally long, but the staff was quick to pick up the bill. The dining took place over graduation weekend which may be a reason for the poor service due to short staffing, but then that is a management problem as much as a staff problem. I thought it was a great setting along the river, and food was good (I had the prime rib).

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OT
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Terrible! The service was awful and the food was awful. Our table had the nachos and hummus. The nachos were cold and the hummus was just okay. The prime rib was awful. The risotto was even worse and tasteless. To make it even worse, it took more than two hours to be served horrible food.

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m
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Very nice choice for a large group

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OT
Los Angeles
14 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

Came for Father’s Day. Normally we don’t go out on Father’s day or Mother’s Day due to crowds, but we were out of town visiting our daughter.

Despite making reservations 2 months in advance through Open Table and reconfirming online a day ahead, there was some confusion at check in and we were treated as though we had no reservation. A table was pulled over from the bar and set up in an aisle for our party of 4. There were booths and window tables open, however, we were told they were reserved for others who made their reservations before us. Really? More than 2 months ahead? How did the hostess know this without checking?

Waitress was noticeably busy covering many tables...again, not surprising for Father’s day. Normally we’d be understanding, however, we felt rushed and we were an inconvenience with our table in an aisle blocked by a wall from enjoying the river view....the main reason we chose Sweetwaters.

I chose the scallops and grits recommended by the waitress. When the dish came, the grits were sitting on a full bowl of sweet, cheesy grits. No vegetables or color...basically tan on tan. The scallops were good, but but the presentation and sweetness were such that I only ate the 4 scallops and 2-3 mouthfuls of grits.

I’m a chef, and will tell you this was certainly a “less is more” dish. Rather than being served in a bowl, this should have been served on a rectangular platter, like my daughter’s salmon. Spread out the scallops, a scoop of grits, with SOME GREEN VEGETABLES! Asparagus, brocolli/carrots would have balanced the sweet richness.

Disappointing that no manager ever stopped by the table. How about wishing dads “Happy Father’s Day” and assuring your customers are happy? I’m guessing they knew we weren’t based on the bad table location.

When finished, we sat for 10-15 minutes before a busboy asked if we were waiting to pay.

I usually tip well, but I left a $10 tip for a $120 bill. Poor experience from start to finish.

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M
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We will be back -- great food and service ... win --win

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SF
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 5

Pricy for food quality. Graduation celebration and told $28 corkage fee for each champagne we took. Higher than most fine dining restaurants.

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LK
Portland
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Music was too loud for an empty restaurant on Father’s Day. Food was good though

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a delightful place for a Father's day lunch! The views of the river were charming and relaxing. Our server, Melissa, was a delight. She knew the menu and was able to help us make good selections. My husband's salmon was good, and the chef very kindly put all the additions on the side. My lamb chops were the best I have ever eaten. Fork tender and so flavorful! The mousse dessert was a dreamy end to a lovely experience. We'll definitely come again and will happily recommend this restaurant to others.

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DK
Portland
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

The service was horrendous from the moment we walked in. There was a huge line to get seated, even though it was reservation-only; we waited 25 minutes for a reserved table. The brunch buffet looked mediocre at best, so we ordered off the menu. After taking our order, the waitress pretty much disappeared. And during all this, I was amazed that the restaurant was only about half full. Go figure. The food was okay, but the $24 pasta dish was worth about half the price.

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