Sweetwaters on the River

4.1
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401 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.
What 401 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
3.9
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Quiet
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
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PC
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had Victoria for our waitress. She was wonderful, informative, helpful on selection, took pictures for our party. We really appreciated her attentiveness. This was a 90th birthday party for an Aunt and we came from six different states to gather for the event. Everyone was kind. The bathrooms were clean. We came when the restaurant was not too full. The weather was perfect and the view of the River was outstanding. The food was very good, although they were out of one of the beers on the menu.

AT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

The most overpriced and sub-quality food I have had in Eugene. Every item was remarkably mediocre and the prices significantly too high. Server was kind, but the food came out very slowly. There are scores of better dining experiences in the area.

R
Portland
467 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great restaurant overlooking Willamette River with outdoor dining availability. Nice menu, two of us this evening, we both chose salads, the BLT salad and the Salmon salad, both with fresh ingredients, well prepared, tasty, and large portions. Nice beverage menu to complement your entree choice. We enjoyed our meals and the ambience on the outdoor patio. We have eaten at Sweetwaters on many occasions and experienced good to great meals, tonight was a great night. Definitely will be back again.

JL
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, great food and awesome atmosphere on the deck outide

DB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 4

The patio was closed due to paint repairs so I did not experience the outdoor dining I was hoping for. My clans and mussels seemed skimpy in quantity. The rolls served with and few pieces of baguette toasts were insufficient to enjoy the mussel juices. I had salmon salad which was disappointing. The greens were wilted and honey mustard dressing too strong. The salmon filet was cooked OK but rather small and unseasoned. Nothing in my experience would entice me back.

JH
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If you want to have wonderful food served by a personable staff with an amazing view, THIS IS THE PLACE TO DO IT! I mentioned on the reservation it was my mom's birthday and the terrific staff went out of their way to make her evening special. Bravo Sweetwaters Staff!

PO
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Beautiful view of the river, and a wonderful place to dine outside. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate (rain in August?) but we were graciously offered indoor seating.

OT
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great night out! Sat outside, the river was right in front of our table. Food and service was great.

SS
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the variety of healthy, tasty, well-presented food options on the menu. Service was excellent. Loved being outside by the river on a shaded patio. And especially appreciated the lower noise level so we could converse easily (two members have hearing issues).

SL
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

This is a beautiful restaurant with great staff. My only complaint was with my food selection. I ordered the quinoa bowl and it was super small with very little flavor. My guest ordered the Caesar and loved it.

KT
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food and a lot for the money. We had intended to eat on the patio,but ate inside, but still had a nice view of the river.

F
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic setting. Actually a little hot in the setting sun so pick your table carefully.

MA
Portland
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

food was fine, and the server was trying her best, but its a bit understaffed and the kitchen is very slow

DJ
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The outside deck is the perfect place for a romantic interlude.

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

So nice to have music on the river. Great atmosphere, good food and service

AZ
Phoenix
8 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Sweetwaters is one of our favorite spots to sit outside and enjoy a quiet lunch by the river. The salmon is always delicious. I tried their quinoa bowl and asked for salmon on top instead of the proteins offered, and they were happy to accommodate. The staff is always friendly and efficient. They’re also always helpful with my food allergies. I love a restaurant that knows what is in their dishes!

Sweetwaters on the River
Responded on August 10, 2019

Thank you for dining with us! #greatfood #sweetwatersontheriver #greatservice

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E
San Francisco
168 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Nice setting; eggs Benedict with crab not quite tasty enough. My husband and son enjoyed their food. Very loud family next to us with yelling children, but of course that isn’t the restaurant’s fault

RR
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

Seating near the river was lovely. Service was spotty. We ordered an appetizer, asking for an alteration. As the waitress left, she asked if we wanted bread first. We eagerly said yes. About 10 minutes later a gentlemen told us that the appetizer could not be adjusted as requested. So, we said we would not be wanting it, and reminded about the bread. The soup for one of the party arrived about 5 minutes later, but no bread, so it was requested again. It took about another 5 minutes for the bread to arrive - so 20 minutes after it was first confirmed that it was wanted. Roughly 5 minutes after the bread arrived, most of the meal arrived WITH THE APPETIZER, adjusted as requested earlier. One of the parties meal did not arrive. We assumed it would be arriving momentarily after the other food, since it was a grilled cheese & fries. After waiting for over 5 minutes, we had to wave our waitress over to ask for the sandwich.

Water glasses were not refilled when empty, for larger segments of time.

I believe a key part of this problem, is the typical restaurant experience these days - you have a waitress that takes your order, but there are multiple employees who deliver water, bread, meals. Continuity of service falls apart more frequently with this model.

The food though was outstanding. All four in our party were extremely pleased - Salmon salad, Shrimp pasta, Ribeye steak, and grilled cheese.

RK
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 4ambience 5

Beautiful setting and view of the river. Patio dining is the best.

Sweetwaters on the River
Responded on August 10, 2019

Thank you for joining us for a great day on the river! #sweetwatersontheriver #ambiance

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OT
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent brunch and great service.

Sweetwaters on the River
Responded on July 24, 2019

Thank you for your review, glad you enjoyed our delicious brunch. #sweetwatersontheriver #brunch

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AH
Portland
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I made reservations for patio seating well in advance. We were seated in a corner with no shade an well out of the way of any service. After several minutes of sitting in the hot sun, I became uncomfortable. We asked a server to be moved, we waited another 10 to 15 mins. At this point I was sitting in the aisle forcing my way out of the sun. My husband took control and grabbed my hand and we left. Very disappointing considering alot of planning had gone into our special day. Never return or recommend!!

JC
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing view! There was a trail between the outside seating and the river, there was bikes and runners but not too many. Very pleasant.

Sweetwaters on the River
Responded on July 24, 2019

Thanks for joining us and enjoying that great river scene. #ambiance #sweetwatersontheriver

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J
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 3ambience 4

See my review on Yelp. I am too sad to write it down again.

F
New York Area
43 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The server was excellent and the food was very good. The hostess gave us an outdoor seating because we had made a reservation.

Sweetwaters on the River
Responded on July 14, 2019

Thank you for your review! #greatfood #atmosphere #valleyriverinn

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B
1 review
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

All was good, but just missed the mark. Like the difference between a meal created by a passionate chef and a meal made by an uninspired cook, copying a chef-inspired dish.

I will try it another time, in case it was just an off night.

Sweetwaters on the River
Responded on July 14, 2019

Thank you for your review! #atmosphere #valleyriverinn

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BW
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 3

A bit over priced. The food was ok not what I was expecting for the price. I didn't like the music, would have been nice to been outside without it. The server was very polite. The view was nice along the river.

DM
Orange County
8 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect table by window to see out and then outside to hear music for entertainment. Guitarist was exceptional in doing request

Sweetwaters on the River
Responded on July 1, 2019

Thank you for your Review

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LA
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went on graduation weekend, thought it would be crazy, but it wasn’t. Had a lovely brunch and it all! Food, service and atmosphere top notch!!

Sweetwaters on the River
Responded on July 1, 2019

Thank you for your Review

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The setting was nice, but the food only so so. Would not recommend unless it’s just for drinks or dessert. Sitting outside by the water was the only pleasant part about my dinner.

CS
Denver
12 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Went for dinner. Maybe their brunch options are better. Was hoping for a nice place to take the college kid out to celebrate the end of the year, but this was just average and the nice setting didn't make up for the prices.

JS
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was good, service was attentive and patio was great location for casual visit with friends.

T
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 3

The food was not good at all. “Nachos”, Beet Salad, and a cheeseburger. The nachos were disgusting. I ordered a cheeseburger after one bite, because I couldn't stand the flavor combinations of the nachos. (Brisket, bbq sauce, & canned corn on potato chips. It was trying to be tricky and gourmet, but it was just nasty.) The beet salad was okay, though it all obviously came out of prepackaged containers. Think can of pickled beets, grapefruit slices from Costco, canned mandarin oranges, etc. the cilantro sprouts were a nice touch. Not worth the price, however.
The location was nice, even though we had to sit next to the door to the outside eating area, so waiters and customers were constantly going through the door the entire time. I’ll never eat here again. At least my hotel room was basically attached to the restaurant so I could go upstairs and relax after my gross meal.

MJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was the perfect place to start our day before going wine tasting. Great food and mimosas.

RK
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

The food is amazing. Beautiful view. Carpets are nasty and our server had no personality. We will return and eat outside.

WE
Los Angeles
17 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Expectations sere too high for what we received.... The Scallops were great but the grits were dry. The crab soup was pretty bla and the beet salad was so, so. The best part were the fries taht came with the burger.

CA
Las Vegas
9 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 3ambience 5

Food is just ok but the river views are amazing! Don’t waste calories on the desserts. Not so great.

Sweetwaters on the River
Responded on May 24, 2019

Thank you for the review

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T
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Always wanted to eat at this restaurant but never heard about it from neighbors/friends. The view is outstanding, the food is good ... but for the quality and price of the food, I wouldn't return. On Mother's Day they ran out of 2 of the desserts mid-afternoon which was disappointing.

AH
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

View is amazing.
Table clean and presented well.
Facility is aging and needs updating.
Layout for our Mother’s Day Buffett was decent. Very busy but they did a decent job of managing the flow of people.
Most food was very good, some not so much. Nice job having a section for kids.
Service was not good. Very rare to see staff smile and basic things are not remembered. Just a simple thing of refilling water really shouldn’t have to be asked for or waited on, especially when paying a premium price. Forgetting drink order so we could enjoy their Bloody Mary bar is just not ok. Most staff was rushed and abrupt.
Would recommend due to view and potential for great experience. So much potential here and ended with a lost opportunity.
Making the reservation online was simple and made a busy day less stressful.

Sweetwaters on the River
Responded on May 24, 2019

Thank you for the review

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NW
Portland
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, beautiful views, and delicious food.

Sweetwaters on the River
Responded on May 24, 2019

Thank you for the review

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w
Portland
40 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was scrumptious and served flawlessly and quickly. We had a lovely booth inside but in full view of the river, which was lovely. Our server gave us great recommendations for things to do while in Eugene. We would definitely come back here and eat, also liked the looks of the hotel! Altogether a lovely brunch!

Sweetwaters on the River
Responded on May 24, 2019

Thank you for the review

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