Sweetwaters on the River

4.2
344 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 344 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.0
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Quiet
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RC
Portland
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

This is still one of our favorite venues for a leisurely meal on the river. The food is consistently good, the service, friendly, helpful, and efficient, AND the view of the river and adjoining landscape is lovely and relaxing. It's always a treat to be there, especially on a sunny day!

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RC
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So amazing! Our sever Lindsey was great!!!!
The food was amazing as always and the view is so beautiful!

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W
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 5

Lunch item was over priced, very little meat in sandwich, not favorable. Staff pleasant as well as ambiance.

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CL
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

20 years and still excellent. I’d choose other music, and lower, but you can’t please everyone.
OUTSTANDING service!!!!!

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Request that was ask for when the reservation was maid was not given even though it was guaranteed. But the Restaurant Host made it right and was very professional in her Reasoning. Food was great. Service was good.

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RO
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Service was good and the setting was lovely. My entree' was the salmon which had a burnt aroma which wasn't pleasant. It was served with... pickled lentils? Didn't go well with the salmon in my opinion.
My friend had the steak which was great and my wife had the cobb salad which was also good.

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was top quality with a positive and friendly staff, the grilled salmon salad was excellent and the prime rib melted in my mouth, will definitely be visiting again

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d
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food wonderful waitress beautiful view all around a very romantic setting I will definitely be back.

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N
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Second year in a row for Valentines. Really enjoyed it!

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AG
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

I took my wife there for Valentines day. We enjoyed the prefix menu which was simple but delicious and a bottle of oregonian wine . Michelle our waiter was attentive and our host who guided us to the table was also very funny. We loved having a choice between booth or normal seating. We got the front row river view. The only thing very negative to share was the complimentary champagne it was horrible smelled and tasted like sewer water. We didnt drink it very dissapointing. Very thankful we ordered the wine.

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JD
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Valentine's Day with the wife. Very pleasant dinner with excellent service. A little pricey (>$100) for dinner for two, but I'd take her there again.

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DP
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

We had a very enjoyable dinner on Thursday 2.14.19. The Ketel One Martini was very good. The service, Irene, was our very nice and friendly Server, was very good. Each of the four of us had something different. I heard that the Crab Chowder was very good, my Chicken Cobb Salad was excellent and came with a gravy pourer portion of Blue Cheese dressing-YES! the Calamari was good and not my taste as it a bit sweet curry style. The mussels and clams were good, maybe a few more wouldv'e been fair.
Overall, we love Sweetwaters because it is on the Willamette River. We enjoyed a few moments of the view before the Winter sundown happened. We often have dinner here with our aging parents and they always enjoy the prices.

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JV
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our Valentines night was beyond perfect. The staff was so attentive to our needs and so great. The food was delicious and the restaurant was very romantic. I will Definately go back again.

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SL
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was wonderful, and the service was amazing.

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DR
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a great little gem!
Melissa was our waitress and she is so sweet & efficient!
Had the clams & mussels, Cioppino, and beat salad. Everything was delicious!

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

For whatever reason, there were a ton a smokers there this night and walking in and out of the building was through a haze of smoke. The food was not great (I didn't finish my risotto) and the service was friendly, but a bit slow.

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JH
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

My husband loves good fish and chips. To his delight, he proclaimed Sweetwaters fish and chips the best he has had in Eugene. I requested my cobb salad be chopped. Presentation not as beautiful but so much easier to eat and very yummy.

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FM
Miami
11 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Great location by the river. Great appetizers. Main course Food so, so,not great. Been there, ate there, saw the river. Not returning.

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OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Birthday it was nice

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CL
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious food in a lovely setting for New Years Eve dinner with friends.

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RC
Portland
114 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I have honor to hang my large scale paintings at the hotel and in the wine room of the hotel and I have enjoyed many meals here. Tonight I took my lovely wife on an early New Year date and it was perfect. Her Risotto was one of the best she had ever had (and this woman knows her Risotto) and I did something I never do; order a hamburger! It to was delicious and NOT RUNNING AND MESSY! Again, something I never do. The wine , a 2014 pinot noir from Erath, was perfect! And we got to see the lights shimmering on the river. Not a bad night.

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CC
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Rachel & Chris were great servers and bussers. Food was very yummy, attentive service and serene scene of the river.
Yes I will go there again!

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L
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Christmas evening menu was limited, not full menu which we did not know . Very limited offering, two entrees were shellfish which we cannot eat so not much to select from. Glazed chicken was good but steak was poor cut of meat, too much fat and gristle, medium turned out to be much undercooked, somewhat bloody in spots, and steak knives were not sharp enough to cut the meat. We had house salads but champagne vinegrette was bitter and flavorless, couldn’t finish my salad....some desserts were already out of stock so ordered the chocolate mousse which was somewhat flavorless also.

The restaurant has a great location on the river and the interior design was attractive but we were quite disappointed by the food on Christmas evening. We had high hopes and it was a special holiday to us. Not sure we will come back. Sweet waters, you need to step up your game, customers don’t expect you to be Sizzler or Denny’s.....

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JH
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Cozy and tasty buffet on Christmas Day was impressive. We thought you must have cooked up everything on your menu and served it all at once. A perfect solution for our change of plans and very satisfying.

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JG
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 3

Very over priced for the quality. Very disappointing particularly given it was a holiday.

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 3

We stayed at the Valley River Inn. Our very nice room was right around the corner from Sweetwaters. We both thought it was the worst buffet we have ever been to. The food was luke warm. The prime rib was very rare and my first piece had as much fat as meat. Didn’t think the desert selection was very appealing. I could go on and on. Even our table was very uncomfortable. It was a booth. Our room was $129 plus tax. Our buffet was $98 for two plus one $6 beer and tip. Will never eat there again.

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C
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 4ambience 3

$45 a plate for 2 risotto cakes and a small wedge of chocolate cake and cup of mushroom soup, wow way to take it to the consumer of xmas eve, same experience on thanksgiving as well terrible buffet service and again two people = $100. Way outta sight for what your getting many better choices in Eugene wont be back and don't recommend. Get it together Sweetwater

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KH
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Sweetwaters has an excellent menu, outstand service and a relaxing ambiance. Whenever my family and I go there on a special occasion, we are never disappointed.

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M
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The meals were excellent; didn't feel rushed ; accommodated special request.
Will definitely return...soon!

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CK
Portland
28 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2018
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 1, 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 29, 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
2 reviews
Dined on November 22, 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 20, 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
114 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great meal, simple with great presentation.

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CK
Portland
28 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 3, 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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