Sweetwaters on the River

3.7
284 reviews
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$30 and under
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Northwest
Top Tags:
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Scenic View
  • Waterfront
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 Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 284 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.7based on recent ratings
3.5
food
3.7
service
4.1
ambience
3.4
value
Noise · Quiet
73% of people would recommend it to a friend
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3.0Dined 5 days ago

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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5.0Dined on August 7, 2018

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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5.0Dined on July 29, 2018

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

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3.0Dined on July 24, 2018

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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5.0Dined on July 18, 2018

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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3.0Dined on July 18, 2018

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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3.0Dined on July 8, 2018

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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2.0Dined on July 8, 2018

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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5.0Dined on July 8, 2018

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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5.0Dined on July 7, 2018

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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5.0Dined on July 2, 2018

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

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4.0Dined on June 30, 2018

Great food! Great view !

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2.0Dined on June 24, 2018

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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4.0Dined on June 20, 2018

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

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5.0Dined on June 19, 2018

Graduation from University of Oregon!.

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4.0Dined on June 18, 2018

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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4.0Dined on June 18, 2018

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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3.0Dined on June 18, 2018

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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1.0Dined on June 18, 2018

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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4.0Dined on June 18, 2018

Very nice choice for a large group

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2.0Dined on June 18, 2018

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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5.0Dined on June 17, 2018

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

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2.0Dined on June 17, 2018

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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3.0Dined on June 17, 2018

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

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5.0Dined on June 17, 2018

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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1.0Dined on June 17, 2018

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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2.0Dined on June 10, 2018

Service was really not good, appetizer and then salad plates were never cleared before our meal was served. Food was really so so, especially for the price. Beautiful room and view though

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3.0Dined on June 1, 2018

Food was fair, but my expectations were higher. Service was a bit off. Waitress brought entree's
before we finished our salads. The decor is dated and smells old. Great location though. I probably won't be back.

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1.0Dined on May 27, 2018

We booked a table for Sunday brunch. When we arrived we were told they aren't doing brunch. due to kitchen renovation. Instead they offered a limited lunch menu. We ordered and then the waitress came back and said they ran out of the items we wanted. We left disappointed, hungry and will not be returning again. To top it off the restaurant blamed Open Table for the mistake.

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1.0Dined on May 27, 2018

The Sunday brunch was terrible. Food on the buffet was cold and of limited selection. Empty serving trays were never replenished the entire 2 hours we were there. A friend ordered a salad from the menu and was equally unhappy. The server explained the bad food as due to “the kitchen floors are torn up.” We are locals who previously enjoyed eating here, but will not be returning now.

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4.0Dined on May 21, 2018

I wish I had known that a breakfast menu was not available and only a buffet was.

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3.0Dined on May 14, 2018

This was NOT a good experience! We requested an outdoor table. We were told the deck was being painted. We saw nothing happening there.

We requested a window table. We were told that a large party was scheduled for the table we asked about. The table sat empty the whole evening

My daughters salmon was so rare it was sent back. It was returned very over cooked. Extremely disappointing
Carol Sloan.

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3.0Dined on May 14, 2018

Good food poorly prepared. Prime rib was cool to touch, and accompanying veggies cold. After a microwave warmup, the meat was barely warm, veggies still cold. Meat was plastered over mashed potato, creating difficult access. The plate was not attractive in appearance. Disappointed!

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3.0Dined on May 14, 2018

Lovely place. Cocktails good food good service was very very slow especially for mother’s day.

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1.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Made a reservation for mother’s day, and got there early so we could get our table. We waited 15 minutes until 2:30, still not called back. 4-5 parties came in and had reservations for 2:45 and 3:00 and they were seated immediately. When it was 3:00, we finally went up to ask what was going on with our table for 3. The host said they missed us on the list and will get a table cleaned right away. Finally got seated around 3:05.

The food was subpar- undercooked chicken, burned waffles, cold pasta. Couldn’t even finish the free mimosa because it was all champagne and maybe a drop of orange juice.

They were not telling people that the patio seating on the river wasn’t open, which is the main reason we went there, so that was another let down. It was very crowded, dimly lit, and stuffy inside the restaurant, with barely enough room for people to walk down the stairs.

Had to give a 1 star rating for this restaurant because our bill was $120 for 3 people for the buffet, which was not worth the money. Would not recommend to a friend for a special occasion.

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2.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Arrived on time for a 1:15 Mother's Day reservation and had to wait. Waitress rarely came by, husband ordered coffee with cream and had to wait 20 minutes before flagging her down for the missing creamer. Hectic atmosphere, was seated in a high-traffic area, food was okay but it was a battle getting to the serving areas. All for $150 for four people -- yikes.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Mother’s Day Brunch was Fantastic! The food was very good but the staff was exceptional.

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3.0Dined on May 12, 2018

The setting is great, unfortunately the food was disappointing. The crab cake on the crab cake sandwich was mainly filler and tasted nothing of crab. I had to pick through it to find maybe 3 pieces of crab. Service was also quite slow. I was very disappointed. The value would be reasonable if the food was decent.

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4.0Dined on May 12, 2018

The chicken & waffles were amazing: chicken moist, breading perfect, waffles small but mighty.

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3.0Dined on April 27, 2018

The service was slow, the food a bit disappointing.i have had much better meals there before.
We did have breakfast the next morning and it was great food and service

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