Sweetwaters on the River

3.8
315 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 315 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
3.8
service
4.2
ambience
3.3
value
Noise · Quiet
68% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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CK
Portland
25 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were there for breakfast and it was outstanding. We have been there before and had a great experience then and we will be returning with family in a few weeks and expect the same service, food, and ambiance, always wonderful.

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JH
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 4food 1service 1ambience 4

Our family has eaten at Sweetwaters for more than 30 years making wonderful memories and enjoying stellar meals. Unfortunately on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 our experience was the exception to the rule. Our reservation was for 5:30. Our waitress forgot us and we sat for an hour before finally getting in our order. Five of us ordered the grilled salmon. Big mistake! It was extremely dry and the vegetables surrounding it were simply cooked down to a mushy texture. I ordered a glass of wine which never came and since we rarely saw our waitress, I gave up on it. We had met another couple from out of town who had never been there. We didn't want to make a fuss by sending our dinners back while we were enjoying our visits together. We will not be going back to Sweetwaters until they get another cook - especially on a Saturday night!

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LB
Portland
8 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Excellent, personal service, and a place quiet enough to talk in group (six at the table). WHAT a relief THAT is! The bar also looked to be inviting and not noisy.

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D
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Was very pleasant. Visiting area looking for a Sunday brunch buffet. Little pricey ,$21 for a salmon salad? Overall experience, ok.

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JC
Orange County
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

Came here for the Thanksgiving buffet. There was no wait staff addressing our table for over 10 minutes. We ended up flagging someone else down just to get drinks order. Food was pretty average with some choices either lacking seasoning and/or texture. Based on the food served at the buffet I will not recommend this on top of the service being lackluster or non-existence.

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J
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 5

We've eaten Thanksgiving dinner here for several years. It seemed like they had cut back on the variety of food items available. We always look forward to prime rib, but this year they cut it from the menu. What was provided was good but the variety limited. Dinner was $48 per person. Coffe and soft drinks were extra. Too expensive for what you get. Will try somewhere else next year.

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AD
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

We come here every year before the Festival of Trees and each year we move our reservations up this year 5:45 to be done by 7:00 pm.
Service was slow, even though we had let them know. Took forever to get drinks then we ordered an appetizer which was a mistake because our dinner arrived about 6:50. We asked to have the halogen spot lights turned down from full to give more of a night time dinner ambiance which they did, thank goodness!
PLEASE UPDATE AND GET BETTER STAFF AND PEOPLE WILL COME BACK. YOU ARE THE ONLY POSSIBLE UPSCALE RESTAURANT ON THE RIVER!!! Take advantage of it!! Lived here 57 years and I’m 57 remember when VRI was built, had our wedding reception there. Create the best and the best of Eugene will come!!!

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RC
Portland
113 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great meal, simple with great presentation.

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CK
Portland
26 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant was recommended by a friend and we took family visiting from Las Vegas here and they loved it. We will return and enjoy.

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AD
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

We made reservations for Sunday breakfast on our 25th anniversary! We had done breakfast with all our families the day after our reception at Valley River Inn 25 years ago. This time we wanted a quite breakfast just the two of us. The hostess sat us at a two top next to 3 large parties in the right side of restaurant where everyone seemed to be going to the brunch bar and the noise level was cafeteria style. We went back to hostess and said again it was our anniversary and we were hoping for a river view quite table so after a few minutes we were reseated. The waitress came for beverage order which was 2 mimosas and 2 coffee, the mimosas arrived first I think pre poured because she wasn’t gone two minutes. Then she asked if we were ready to order, we had just put napkins on our laps and hadn’t even picked up menu so asked for a minute....10 minutes later she returned with coffees and took our order. Coffee refill was us getting up to ask for a second cup. The restaurant was busy but the area we were in was half full. The breakfast was good but it seemed to take forever to get to us.
We are returning for Festival of Trees preview night for dinner with two other couples so hopefully things will run smoothly with wait staff.

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g
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Well, it was extremely quiet due to us being there during a Ducks football game, but the food seemed to be phoned in--maybe for the same reason.

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FD
Phoenix
84 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Stopped in for dinner while I was in Eugene for work. The calamari appetizer was good but too much breading in my opinion. And the Korian style sandwich was on a roll the was too much bread again for my taste. The view of the river was fabulous.

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A
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Pedestrian food in a tired hotel. Appeared to be more interested in what worked for the business rather than the customer. I was in town for the Oregon football game and was told everything they couldn’t do rather than what they could do.

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CG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 4

It’s great location with nice ambience. Unfortunately the food is terrible.

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DC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant was wonderful! They accomodated our large group, two tables of eight, during family weekend. Staff was so nice - and food, cocktails, and view were great. Thank you so much!

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I
Las Vegas
8 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I went there on Saturday night. The place was not really busy... but then the Ducks were playing. I ordered the Prime rib with 2 glasses of wine and had the Cream Brule desert. The steak was perfectly cooked Medium Rare. The mashed potato was ok. A little dry. But acceptable. The green beans were cooked to perfection with a wonderful spice. The wine list is good. You'll find something you'll like. Glass or bottle. The Cream Brule was really really good. All said and done it ran me around $80. But then I ordered the most expensive things. Not because they were the most expensive… it's just because I was hungry for those items. The staff did really well. There is lots and lots of room to stretch out. There is a bar with TV's showing sports if you're into that. There is a beautiful patio right on the Willamette River. But I had to pass on that thanks to the rain. Thanks to everyone for a great meal.

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p
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

Ceasar salad was strong fishy tasting. Ribeye steak was thin and not good quality.

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PA
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

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

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BG
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
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 on October 13, 2018
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
10 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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BW
Portland
7 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
33 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
28 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
3 reviews
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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