River Café

4.5
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3750 reviews
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CAN$31 to CAN$50
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Canadian
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.

We are located in the middle of Prince's Island Park and we are accessed on foot via one of four bridges or causeways. 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. We look forward to welcoming you soon.
What 3750 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
Food
4.5
Service
4.7
Ambience
4.1
Value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Melbourne / VIC
2 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 2Food 5Service 1Ambience 5

The food and the cocktail were good which worth 5 stars. However the services (or I should say the lack of) were terrible. The servers just put the plates and glasses on the table without introducing what they were presenting!? Regular water was charged but nobody cared to refill during the whole time. Also, nobody cared to ask whether everything was ok. After declining for desserts she didn’t even ask whether I want any coffee or tea! After asking for the check it was just put down without stopping and addressing the patrons and did not come back with the card machine for a prolonged time. Didn’t deserve any tip imo but I still gave 18% just because I had no smaller change.

JH
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The food was delicious, the surroundings were wonderful, and the service was provided in a timely, friendly, and professional manner with the result that our visit was most enjoyable.

s
Calgary
6 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Amazing service; they accommodated my needs for special meal off the list in their menu. Thank you.

CT
Atlantic Canada
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Very good local ingredients and food was sooo tasty !

OT
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

very good food and service. the restaurant is a bit noisy, so try to sit towards one of the walls at the big to find a quiet spot.

JL
Calgary
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

One of the best ambiences in the city for traditional yet modern cuisine.

n
Calgary
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Incredible service, incredible foods, a super yummy vegan main option. Server was wonderful.

FT
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 3

Went during the evening with my Son. We did the tasting menu with a bottle of wine, experience was good at the start, food was good but definitely not on par with other restaurants at similar price points that i have been to. Wine was never offered to be decanted and opening of the bottle was suspicious. During our tasting there was a small error in the beef course ; it was cold. They quickly brought back the dish but to our notice it was completely different and the cut of meat was not the same, have never experienced this before. They did manage to rectify the issue by giving us additional wine and another course to replace it. But it wasn't corrected professionally and corners should not have been cut to let that dish come back to us differently.
Overall a decent experience but after going to Shokunin restaurant the next evening you can see the difference and why the restaurants are placed where they are in "Canada's best 100 Restaurants".

To conclude, i would go back again but hopefully get a better experience. Slightly poor they didn't offer some kind of incentive to come back again to give them another chance to change my opinion.

JN
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3Food 3Service 5Ambience 4

The service was amazing, our server was so attentive and lovely. The wine list is impressive. The food was not worth the price. Their vegan entree was 2 pieces of fried ravioli, that were undercooked so not super appealing. The onion puree was tasty, but cold. For the price of the entree, 2 pieces was not sufficient. Thoughtfully and beautifully presented, and I really wanted to love this place, but I don't. I wouldn't come back.

DR
Calgary
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 3

Excellent wait staff, nice ambiance, but seemed a bit pricey for what we got, small menu.

CS
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Absolutely one of the best experiences I've had in a long while.

K
Calgary
6 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Everything was perfect from the food to the service! Love it when the servers explain the different elements of a dish and where the ingredients come from.

H
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic service and food! Highly recommend the Chef Sampler with wine pairing!

J
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Overall, I left the River Cafe with a good impression. We had a reservation for 4:30, but were presented with the "afternoon" menu, which was disappointing, since we were going for dinner, not lunch. This review will be in the context of the afternoon menu.

This place is a great stop for a glass of wine and a shareable. The building is nice, the staff are friendly, and the food is excellent. They do not, however, have many things that I would consider "hearty" on the menu. There's one hamburger, and the rest seem to be fancy appetizer style selection (perfect for lunches). If you're in the mood for a nice glass of wine and maybe a cheese selection, then the River Cafe wins. What they do serve is really good, they just didn't seem to cater to big appetites during the day.

We had the cheese plate, which was excellent, more than enough to share, and a Chorizo Flatbread. The flatbread was good, but poor substance, a few pieces of Chorizo and scattered on fried bread, with a few tomato pieces. Not enough to consider more than an shareable appetizer, but with the price point of an entree. The preserve served with the artisan cheese plate was excellent, the (in house made?) crackers were also good. The carrot cheesecake desert was really good!

The River Cafe supports local farms, and presumably buys direct from them. This is an important feature, as it probably determines their menu throughout the year, and it's something that I think more and more restaurants should do. I would go back to the River Cafe again, but during whatever hours they consider to be dinner instead.

HA
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Came for Brunch on a Sunday, Great ambience. Lively environment, but quiet enough to have a conversation with your table without having to raise your voice. Service was splendid and Food was amazing. 100% recommend.

OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic food and service, I’ll back back!!

JS
Calgary
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Beautiful and delicious, we have already made out next reservation

OT
Edmonton
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I took my niece out for lunch. Neither of us had been to the River Cafe. It was amazing!

FG
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

A really pleasant surprise along the river, just outside of the Calgary downtown area. great menu, good wine selection, really lay back and relaxed atmosphere. Great place to switch gears and maintain a very upscale environment.

PL
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food and services in a wonderful setting..

I have been to River Café many times. Never disappointed..

L
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Always a pleasurable experience while visiting Calgary. River Cafe is located on Prince Island Park and with the snow falling in early October was picturesque, so setting is A+. Evidently the restaurant has a new chef and re-vamped menu. Both wife and I enjoyed our meals, from a vegetarian for the wife to my tenderloin. Was able to go on a night it wasn't very crowded, so service was prompt. And has been my experience upon dining at the River Cafe, have no reason not to go back upon a return visit to Calgary.

TS
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent food and service in a lovely location. Made all the better by the first snowfall of the year!

L
Calgary
5 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 2Food 2Service 4Ambience 4

We asked for gluten free dishes as one of us has celiac.
We never had issues with the River Cafe with this. However, fr lunch we had n Sep 29th, unfortunately, we ended up in urgent care after what seems to be gluten poisoning, probably due to gross contamination.

Of course we had to cancel our evening plans and it was a horrible experience for the person with the celiac. I urge you to be more careful with possible cross contamination so that this does not happen again.

Gluten is poison for ppl having celiac. We did not think we need to explain this at the River Cafe, but maybe someone was less attentive that day and it caused an unforgettable evening, not in a nice way.

We really hope it was a one off!

CD
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

We enjoyed the food but found the one entree (Barbajuan) was not enough food for the main course.

M
Calgary
3 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

This is the best place all year round. It is like walking to a cabin that is by the river in the woods. The people in the cabin are very nice and welcoming. They give you water and wine. Then the food comes and it's so delicious , some dessert and coffee by the fireplace or a icy beverageon the patio...it's a gem!!!

OT
Calgary
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Beautiful restaurant, cuisine, wine. A special treat for the senses right on the downtown!

JU
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Beautiful location to grab lunch when in Calgary. Set in a park, the rustic looking restaurant is beautiful. Both the food presentation and quality is outstanding.

n
Calgary
10 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had the chefs tasting menu and it was exceptional. The servers took the time to explain each dish, and we enjoyed every bite!

OT
Calgary
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall 1Food 4Service 1Ambience 4

We got there 11:15and order food at 11:25Appetizer came in 10 min and we were waiting patiently for main. Around 12:00I asked the server about main foods and she replied that oh I thought you are still working on the appetizer.
Listen I’m not here to listen to your excuses. Just say sorry is better. If you are paying attention you would know that we were not touching the appetizer anymore or least you should ask when to bring main dish. I owe few service base businesses and I found that the customer servise is really poor. Food is good but I though the rainbow trout was a little fishy. We ordered coffee at beginning but the server only came to refill coffee at 12:15. It’s was not busy at restaurant. I’m really disappointed.

AD
Kent
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Lovely location and great ambience. Food ranged from good to stunning. Service was warm if a little slapdash

M
Calgary
8 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

This is was one of the more exceptional meals we’ve had in a long time. We were reminiscing of a meal we had at MOMA in NYC. The new (returning) head chef is spectacular as was our server. We will be back soon!

R
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

The outdoor patio is beautiful and they provide blankets to keep you warm!

KE
Calgary
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food. Very fresh. And whats on the maerket and available locally.

OT
Toronto
3 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fabulous food - inspired cuisine and presentation. Very friendly staff.

m
Vancouver
7 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Food is phenomenal, pricey, but worth it, service was good, although a little slow. Very cool location, but you have to walk there, so its not the most accessible, but gorgeous location and the patio is perfect.

MM
Philadelphia
14 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food, great service, magical setting

JH
Edmonton
4 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 5

Love the setting by the river in the island park. We booked way in advance for brunch but we had to push to get a good seat on the patio. It was so busy, at times we felt they were scrambling. Food was nothing special & they were out of every kind of juice & their signature cocktail of prosecco & peach. It was only 11am!

YC
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Breakfast was amazing. Fresh with creativity that stood out. The potatoes were amazing and the portion was great. The fruit was just good, as some was not very flavorful/ripe. The whip cream served with it made up for the lack of flavor in the fruit. Overall, we lived it and will definitely be back.

SB
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 4

This is a cute cafe in the park with a cabin decor. The service was good and the atmosphere nice but the food was less than expected. We ordered the Island Fizz (prosecco and "fresh" peach juice), the French toast and the Eggs Benedict (vegetarian - mushrooms). The drink was just okay with not the fresh peach flavor I expected. The French toast was cut very thick and barely coated in batter creating an extremely dry, bready inside, not the custard center you would expect. The accompanying sauce was tasty, sort of a vanilla flavor, and the syrup good, but that did not make up for the bad French toast. The Eggs Benedict looked good and tasted quite good. The hollandaise sauce was very rich and decadent with a good flavor. The mushrooms were interesting varieties with a very woody, chewy consistency that detracted from the dish. Normally I am a mushroom lover but in this case, a softer mushroom would have been a much better choice. Overall, I would like this place with a few tweaks to the food. Everything had the potential to be great, but all fell short in my opinion.

JB
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 5

Unparalled setting with very good food and service. Charming place that I would return to.

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