Sweetwaters on the River

3.9
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414 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 414 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.9based on recent ratings
3.8
food
4.1
service
4.2
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Quiet
72% of people would recommend it to a friend
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B
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall2food2service4ambience3

For the price the value was “ok”. Not sure if I’d go back

l
Hawaii
3 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall2food1service4ambience2

Not for Thanksgiving. We made our reservation weeks before to assure they were set up for ADA and we would be able to bring our family members that use wheel chairs. Yes, we were told "there would be no problem".
We were seating in the lobby area. The room was in the high traffic area with other dinner, as well as Festival of Trees crowd. Noisy and people walking by the group of tables to get to the restaurant, waiting to be seated etc. The wall of plate glass windows, was VERY COLD even with the fireplace across the room which must be for beauty not a heat source.
The food by 5 pm was running low, the server was picking white meat off the bone to give to the women in front of us - so no Turkey for us on thanksgiving. Cold hot dishes and not much of those anything remained. If they replenished the food, by the time we came back into the servicing area in the bar from the lobby area, it was gone. We were able to get hot waffles/omelettes from the great breakfast area. The server/chief was quick, friendly and helpful... a saving grace for us.
So sadly, not worth the 250.00 dinner for 4. Our server Shelby was wonderful and give us her best, she and the breakfast chief were defiantly the high light of our experience.

RS
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall2food2service1ambience3

Service was bad, it was like we were invisible. They were so concern with getting as many people into the place, they seem to forgot the people they sat down ! Food was okay but nothing to get excited about! We will not be back, and won’t recommend them either!

w
Portland
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall3food4service3ambience4

If I’m dining out in Eugene for Thanksgiving, Sweetwaters is probably the place to be. Plenty to eat at the buffet including turkey, ham and roast beef. Plus a nice selection of desserts. Reasonably quiet during our meal and nice to watch the river flow by. I made my reservation weeks in advance and am glad that I did. Took about an hour and fifteen minutes to be seated, have our meal, pay the check and leave.

JE
Portland
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Lunch Thanksgiving day: The food was mostly OK. The cranberry "sauce" was TERRIBLE. So sour and vinegary - I shook and shuttered with one bite. My mother had nothing to good to say about it either.
And, why were the three of us seated at a table for six? Seems like poor planning on the part of the restaurant or reservations system? I noticed a group of four crammed into a booth meant for two people.

AD
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience2

We had reservations and arrived on time. No one at the hostess desk, waitress arrived looking like she worked at a diner. Just not what we expected. After spending several minutes looking at desk she sat us in a booth. The decor is some updated some 90’s with a splash of original 1970’s. Needs all around updated including staff uniform attire, please more than jeans and cotton shirt. The booth seats were uncomfortable because they were too high for table. The food was good, limited wine selection. We only ate there because we had an event to go to at the hotel.
Would love to see a fine dining on the water again!!

JO
New England
30 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

This place is a bit of a mystery... at least on a chilly Sunday evening after dark. Perhaps it's a different place when the riverside patio is open? Restaurant is located in a hotel. For the entire 90+ minutes we were there, there were few other diners. Yet service was strange and strangely slow and the dishes we ordered were, with one exception, nothing special. It took over 10 minutes to get a drink order placed. Asking for tastes, we got them after another 10 minutes or so. Then appetizers arrived, finally followed by the drinks we ordered. Crab chowder was decent but the crab taste was "subtle," to say the least. The redeeming feature of the Caesar Salad was that the romaine lettuce was not rusty. "Homemade" dressing was bland; croutons which were supposedly made from focaccia, were tasteless. The mushroom risotto was outstanding and seemed to include maitake mushrooms, which I didn't know were native but were delicious and copious in the risotto which was also cooked perfectly al dente. Reuben sandwich was good but nothing special. In short, I think we'd avoid this place if we return to the Eugene area.

S
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

limited menu at Sat lunch and food quality not good

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall3food1service2ambience5

Beautiful setting in the river. Great coffee! Food selections looked great on the menu; many well thought out combinations and yummy sounding. There were 4 of us for brunch and 3 of our meals were VERY disappointing. The quinoa bowl had too much mayonnaisy dressing, the chopped salad had a speck of bacon and same sort of gloppy dressing, and the smoked brisket hash tasted like sliced, day old steak. The server was harried and brought our extra bread after we finished our food. We will not be back

JK
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall3food2service5ambience4

The kitchen sent a burnt beyond recognition steak to our table, for the waitress to check and see whether it was too done. It looked terrible and never should have been sent to the table. The next steak was fine, and was comped, but the free dessert that was given to us was gross, and had clearly been sitting in a display case for a week too long. Overall, the waitress, busboy, manager and hostess were great, but the kitchen staff made some poor choices in what food was served.

ML
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were there for my Dad's 81st Birthday, there were seven of us and it was absolutely perfect. The food was amazing, the price was extremely reasonable, our waitress Katie was the best!!!! Cannot wait to go back again soon.

g
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

first time visit for us but not our last. we loved the crab chowder. i’ll be back for that.

TS
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Beautiful setting, nice staff, good food. What more could you ask for?

PC
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall2food1service3ambience3

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
471 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

DB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2019
Overall2food1service3ambience4

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall4food4service5ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall4food4service5ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
3 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

MA
Portland
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience2

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

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

AZ
Phoenix
8 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

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
Overall3food3service4ambience5

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
Overall3food5service2ambience4

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
Overall5food3service4ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall1food1service1ambience1

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall1food2service3ambience4

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

F
New York Area
44 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

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
Overall4food3service4ambience4

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
Overall3food2service5ambience3

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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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