This restaurant added safety precaution details

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River Café

4.6
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3947 reviews
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CAN$31 to CAN$50
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Canadian
*The Jaipur Bridge at 3rd street SW will be closed for the 2020 season*

An extraordinary dining experience is to embark on a journey. We have created a beautiful place in an extraordinary setting and have tended to the details that make you feel at home: staff who care, chefs who are passionate about quality and the regional seasonal ingredients that bring to your palate a taste of place.

Getting to River Cafe is just a walk in the park.

Access us from:
1. The 6th Street SW causeway at the West end of the island.
2. The North side of the island, crossing the Bow River and Memorial Drive at the Calgary Curling Club.
3. The bridge at 2nd street SW from the Eau Claire area.
4. The Jaipur Bridge at 3rd street SW will be closed for the 2020 season.

Parking is available on the street in the Eau Claire area, underground at Eau Claire Market for a flat fee of $5 on weekends and evenings, or across from Memorial Drive.

Thank you for choosing to dine with us!

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitising
  • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Clean menu provided to every guest
  • Sanitiser or wipes provided for customers
Social Distancing
  • Extra space between tables
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
Personal Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
What 3947 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
Food
4.6
Service
4.8
Ambience
4.2
Value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MQ
MichaelQ
Calgary
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Outstanding dinner in every way possible. It was a beautiful evening and we ate on the patio over-looking the river/lagoon. The service was exceptional. The food, as always, did not disappoint. This is our favourite Calgary restaurant. HIGHLY recommended.

G
vipGr8foodie
Calgary
8 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3Food2Service4Ambience5

I have come to the River Cafe many times over the years. It remains one of the most delightful venues to enjoy a lunch or dinner outside. That said, I have felt that over the last few years the food has become an ever more disappointing affair. I find that the dishes offered almost without fail are strange interpretations of the flavour profile expected. Now this could be a good thing but I feel that many of the flavours clash and do not meld well. Overly acidic elements jar against sweet notes overwhelming any possibility of nuance. Further, the protein portions are sadly diminished in proportion to the balance of the entree. I’m certainly finding $32 for a single Duck joint or Chicken thigh (and small at that) a high price to pay in comparison to many other fine establishments. Desserts do not escape the odd treatments from the kitchen either. Tarts that are sadly misrepresented as nothing one would recognize seem par for the course. I do love adventurous food and enjoy unusual takes on classics as well as completely new journeys but I expect the chef to have worked on the dish to a harmonious conclusion. Not happening here.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Calgary
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

My fiancé and I absolutely loved our time there! Our server was knowledgeable, quick and friendly. The food was absolutely delicious! I had the pork and he had the duck. Drinks were refreshing and the dessert was unreal! Will definitely be back!

AK
AndreasK
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

River Cafe is one of the best restaurants in Canada we have visited and definitely a culinary highlight in western Canada. By Canadian standards quality and presentation of food is excellent.

KK
KristyK
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Excellent as always- the bison was just amazing and my friend had the duck and she raved about it as well. The servers were all very knowledgeable about the menu and were patient and efficient. Best place in Calgary, hands down.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Graduation and bday

R
Rozz
Calgary
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

This was a lunch for 4 friends. 2 had never been here before and were looking forward to th experience. It didn’t disappoint, the food, service and ambiance were perfect. In particular, our Waitron, was professional, friendly and provided excellent service. Sorry I cannot remember his name, but it was a male, slightly built and he wore his hair up. Great job, we will be back.

MP
MarcoP
Calgary
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Higher end dining experience that does not disappoint. Top notch service and cuisine. Outdoor seating is recommended with warmer weather and outdoor heat lamps are accessible.

RT
RosalieT
Calgary
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience5

The menu seemed a bit limited.
The service was OK, but not at the same level it used to be.
The price you pay seemed a bit much, for no extra « touch ».
The duck was good, but nothing special.
The bison was good, but the piece was really small.
The trout was original, but then again, was very small, with very little side dish in the broth.
I expect more to impress me when I pay the extra.

The desserts were tasty and well priced, but then again not impressive.

RD
RickD
Calgary
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Overall, an excellent dining experience. The location and food along with the service was all good. I like to support local business. The review in the Calgary Herald prompted me to choose the River Café.

DR
DeniseR
Calgary
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Amazing food- best patio in Calgary! Great service.

BL
BobL
Calgary
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

It was a special evening for us. We were seated by an open window on a beautiful summer night. Our server was warm and funny. The food (halibut and bison) was wonderful, and we felt we’d celebrated in style. A favourite memory thanks to the River Cafe.

NH
NeilH
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2020
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience5

The food was delicious! Our first time to dine and we had a lovely brunch on Saturday. A very quaint cafe tucked away in downtown Calgary. We will definitely go back! I would highly recommend this restaurant.

HD
HannaD
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2020
Overall4Food3Service4Ambience5

We had a brunch at the River Cafe on Saturday. We sat on their patio, which is awesome. I ordered eggs benedicts with bacon. I have to say I was a little disappointed. They were a little heavy with fried bread and some kind of deep fried potato cakes on the side. There was no veggie of any kind included in the dish, not even a slice of tomato on Benedicts. I would recommend to order some on the side in case you are ordering eggs Benedicts. Overall I expected a better meal.... The patio and the surroundings are great, though..

j
joshr
Calgary
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Best restaurant for food, ambience, and experience, in Calgary, hands down

N
Nali
Calgary
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2020
Overall3Food3Service4Ambience5

It was lovely to sit on the beautiful patio surrounded by leafy vegetation and lots of edibles too. The ambience is great, being right on Prince’s Island. The food, however, seemed underwhelming, the few fresh greens on the plate seemed not so fresh. And the teensy bits of tomato seemed a “why bother”. We got bacon and eggs for four and paid approximately $120. I understand local, fresh, farm- to -table eating costs more and I value that. It just seemed a little uninspired on the day we were there and one must pay extra for toast when ordering bacon and eggs. I will try it again as I do love to support local establishments such as this.

AM
AmandaM
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2020
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

The most delicious halibut I have ever tasted!! And such a beautiful setting!

MW
vipMarciW
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great evening as always. Patio is alway so beautiful, food was great, and our service was the best! It was wonderful to have a night out, especially during these times. Thank you!

RH
RileyH
Calgary
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2020
Overall3Food1Service4Ambience4

The food quality has just dropped over the last few years. Shame really. It’s such a beautiful place, I’ve always celebrated milestones in my life here. And for the last few times I’ve been quite disappointed. Everything is great apart from the kitchen staff. Servers have been quite good. But when I went for breakfast it took nearly 90 min to get my food. It does not take That long to fry an egg. The most recent trip was for lunch. My father ordered the chicken thigh. Normally $35 doesn’t bother me, however what arrived was no larger than a chicken nugget. Someone please help this place...

OT
OpenTable Diner
Calgary
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2020
Overall4Food5Service4Ambience5

beautiful atmosphere, great food, good covid protocols. a tad pricy, but a nice splurge.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Calgary
4 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We love eating out but truthfully had avoided River Cafe because we’d heard mixed reviews. But we decided it would be a nice place to spend lunch today. Booked on Open Table a few hours before. Service was great and really attentive but not annoying. Food was seriously delicious. Good choice of drinks too. Had charcuterie to share to start which was the perfect amount- the blue cheese on there was particularly delicious! Then I had the mushrooms on toast- if you like rich food (I do) it was really lovely. It doesn’t look like a huge amount but because it’s so rich it isn’t needed. Husband had the eggs with wild boar sausage which he said was also really good. We felt the price was totally fair as well. Sometimes it’s definitely worth making up your own mind rather than reading reviews! We will go again to try an evening meal next! Thanks for today!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2020
Overall4Food4Service3Ambience5

Reserved a table for my wife’s birthday five days before. Arrived on time, although majority of seatings were on patio, they offered us to sit inside, we said we would prefer a seating in patio which was the main purpose of advance reservation. There was a table for 5 available in the patio but they offered it to another family who came after us without a reservation since we had only 3 in our party. After 30 minutes of wait they could only offer a table under sun with no umbrella. Our birthday celebration mood was ruined and I was quite disappointed with the treatment.

ED
EricaD
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

This was our first time coming here and it was everything that I expected and more! We did the Chef’s tasting menu which was such a fun way to experience the whole menu without getting too full. We did not sit on the patio and had a beautiful table by an open window. I can’t wait to come back in another season and try more.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2020
Overall4Food5Service5Ambience5

Once we were able to find the restaurant it was excellent. We were plate for our reservation because the directions were not correct on your website. Then we had to park at Eau Claire and walk a fair distance to the restaurant.

E
Eat2much
Calgary
6 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We eat at the River Cafe usually a couple of times a year for our birthdays - we could tell right away there was a new chef - portions were larger and the food was absolutely phenomenal!

S
Steve
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2020
Overall2Food2Service1Ambience5

From the beginning this experience was awful. I called to see if we could get a reservation on the patio, my wife is 8.5 months pregnant and we were being a bit cautious due to covid. When I called to ask I was told if we can be down there in 15 minutes we could have a spot on the patio as one was available. I was able to get my pregnant wife down there within 15 minutes just have the server tell me that there was no patio tables available and that they didn't reserve any seats.(not what I want we told on the phone) .. after a short wait of 20 min we actually did get a seat on the patio.. the hostess did say sorry about the inconvonce but no manager came over to speak with us. We got seated only to be greated by a very rushed server. The entire experience felt like he wanted us to order quickly and leave. I ended up getting the tenderloin for 52 dollars and my wife got the fish for 42. Both meals were average at best lacking any type of flavor and left us hungry. So we ordered two desert's which were really good, but before we could finish our last bite the server had already taken our plates lol. We got our bill and left and both decided that we wouldn't likely ever come back. The restaurant is stunning and has great views, it's a shame we had such a poor experience.

C
Carol
Calgary
4 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Just what I was wanting for a brunch. Good food, attention to detail, a relaxed setting, comfortable surroundings, prompt and friendly service. Perfect!

D
Donna
Calgary
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2020
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience5

Great experience!
Waiter was very professional which enhanced our overall experience.

AW
AshleyW
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Went for brunch and was very delicious and we had great service. We went during COVID and it felt very safe. Would go again.

VF
VeronicaF
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2020
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience5

Went for brunch and a few favorite menu items missing, French toast and fruit yogurt parfait. We always got the French toast, this was a big disappointment. Also, the River cafe concentration on local products goes a little too far, no fresh ground pepper or citrus. Unanimous preference of rosti potatoes over the previous honey potatoes that always seemed too sweet. Excellent service and ambience as usual!

j
joshr
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2020
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

Amazing food, incredible setting, lovely cocktails. One of Calgarys best for sure

HT
vipHugginThePost
Calgary
11 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2020
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience5

Great place. Very romantic. Food is always great.....albeit a little expensive.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Calgary
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2020
Overall4Food4Service3Ambience4

Nice spacing of tables, servers wire masks, friendly staff. And great food. Felt a bit rushed but otherwise great food and service.

T
Teedex
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

This was my first time at the River Cafe and it was lovely. The service was great. Ethan was our server and he was so fun and entertaining. He kept us laughing. His recommendations were spot on.

The scenery was beautiful and social distancing was in effect. I would go back again.

C
vipCathymac
Edmonton
36 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2020
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience5

THe atmosphere on the outside patio is amazing, right along the river. The food was very good. I was extremely disappointed that we paid 3.00 for water for the three of us when the burgers were 23.00 each.

BT
BrandyTaylor
Calgary
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Excellent Covid measures in place. Halibut was fantastic, impeccable service. Made us feel very special on my husbands birthday.

PR
vipPRAT123
Calgary
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2020
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience5

Anniversary

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Seattle
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The service was excellent and the food was amazing! One of the best restaurants I have ever been to in Calgary. I did the tasting menu and it was superb, I enjoyed every single dish.

SK
SarahK
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We went to River Cafe to celebrate my friends job promotion. It was a beautiful sunny day, and we sat on the patio overlooking the calm river. It was a perfectly picturesque setting. They had a varied selection of local menu choices. It’s reasonably priced for more high-end ingredients. The service was good. They also had a choice of two feature mocktails; which was really nice to see as a menu option, as many places don’t have anything other than the standard choices (like virgin Caesars or daiquiris) but they were $13 each; when the specialty cocktails were $14, so they seemed a bit overpriced. Overall a wonderful dining experience.

GM
GraceM
Calgary
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Excellent food, service, wine … everything! I loved every moment of our visit to River Café and would highly recommend.

FAQs

River Café is rated 4.6 stars by 3947 OpenTable diners.

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