River Café

4.5
3389 reviews
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CAN$31 to CAN$50
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Canadian
Top tags:
  • Outdoor Eating
  • Scenic View
  • Special Occasion
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.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Canadian, Farm-to-table, Wild Game
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Hours of Operation
Open 7 Days A Week.
Lunch, Monday to Friday from 11am.
Dinner, Monday to Sunday from 4:30pm.
Brunch, Saturday and Sunday from 10am.
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Phone number
(403) 261-7670
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Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Pay with OpenTable, Visa
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Dress Code
Business Casual
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Executive Chef
Matthias Fong
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Private Party Facilities
For an intimate gathering of 8 guests or a stylish cocktail party reception of 250, we are pleased to cater to your every need. Private and semi-private events are available. Please contact our Event Manager for more information, events@river-cafe.com
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Private Party Contact
Hannah Petkau: (403) 261-7670
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Catering
Enjoy an exclusive cocktail party or dinner in your home presented and prepared by River Café. Our accomplished culinary team will prepare an exquisite menu tailored specifically to your event, executed by our professional service team. Experience a culinary journey presented with the elegance, beauty, and professional service. You and your guests can relax while we look after all of the details.
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Neighbourhood
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Parking Details
Paid parking is available on the street during the day and no charge after 6pm. Free street parking on Sundays. Heated underground parking at Eau Claire Market for a $5 flat rate evenings and weekends.
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 3389 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
4.0
Value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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KR
Edmonton
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Although I had overdone it the night before, so did my fabulously perfect server so it all worked out great.

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L
Key West
12 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Had not visited the River Cafe for a half dozen or so years and most pleased that we did on this trip to Calgary. Food, service and especially the wine list much improved. We shared the fish and game appetizer platter, my wife had the trout and I the tenderloin which was the day’s beef. All wellprepared and presented. A Calgary institution that does not rest on its laurels. Well done!

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

We really enjoyed our special anniversary brunch at the River Café. The table was nice by the fire and all the food was delicious. The fingerling potatoes with honey were amazing! The cheese board was also really enjoyable, focusing on all local options (BC and Alberta) which River Café is known for. The trio of pastries with jam was great, too. Thanks for a nice time, River Café.

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DM
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Our waiter Jared was AWESOME! So attentive to us and all the other tables in his area. He was quick with everything; drinks, appies, food, and dessert. Love the personal touch!

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LR
Calgary
70 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Feels like being in the country when you are in the middle of town. We went on a cool day, you could smell the wood burning fireplace as you came up the path to River Cafe. Service was amazing, beautiful fall ingredients, just perfect. I was there for lunch and can’t wait to try it in the evening.

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AW
Calgary
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

The very best of service; knowledgable, attentive but not intrusive.
Great food and when I expressed concern over one item there was an immediate offer to replace it.
Wine list, including extensive list of half bottles, is outstanding.
Lively without being noisy.

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CN
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Very tasty meal, lovely location, great service!

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S
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We have a great waiter, I don't remember his name but he was from Czechoslovakia if I remember. He spoke a bit german as well :)

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BF
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Service is excellent, the dishes what we ordered overall a bit salty.

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IL
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 2Food 4Service 2Ambience 3

Everything was very good! The only thing was kind of weird, we had have to leave at 2Pm in the afternoon because was some event there. I did not like it, they suppose to told us before! And all the waitress kind of pushing us to leave!

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JC
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall 4Food 3Service 5Ambience 5

River Cafe has always been my mother’s favourite restaurant to go to, especially when the leaves in the park are changing colour. However, the menu can be hit and miss (primarily miss the past few seasons) and quite expensive for what you get. My mother and I both ordered their beef entree - filet mignon on this particular night - and her dish came out under cooked. The server quickly had a new dish prepared for her however with only 6oz of meat for $45 each, it felt pretty petit. My father ordered the halibut and was underwhelmed, letting us know that the dish was tasteless and even the sides that came with it were just as bland. We skipped dessert due to finding nothing appealing (and we usually never have an issue finding something to try) however ordered a latte and cappuccino; both luke warm when given. Overall the place is beautiful and sometimes the food can be great, however the price tag is quite staggering, especially compared to the various other exceptional choices in the city.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We went here for brunch, and it was fantastic. The menu was creative and had a wide variety of options, the portion sizes were just right (not too much, not too little), the presentation was beautiful (see the attached pictures of the desserts), and everything was delicious. Though it's a bit out of our usual price-range, we'll come back again for a special occasion, I'm sure.

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AK
Calgary
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 4

The food is good. However it’s a bit slow. We got an appetizer and a main course. The main course did not come until 20 mins after we finished the appetizer. Tables around us came later then us got their meals way earlier then us. And the coffee and water refill were quite slow as well. Hope they could improve that. But overall, food and environment are good.

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s
Miami
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Anniversary

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BT
Calgary
8 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Great service from Mike, very knowledgeable and seemed to arrive just at the right time in our conversations. We had the Chef's Tasting Menu and it didn't disappoint. Right-sized portions that gave us the flavours described.

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m
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 1Ambience 3

The restaurant is set in a beautiful area in Calgary, however it does not live up to the beauty.

We were greeted promptly at the door and shown to our table. That was the highlight of the services.

Our waitress came by unenthusiastically explained some dishes and took our drink and starter orders.

The beverages we ordered (Moscow mule, whisky flip, and river currant) were tasty but severed in flimsy glass wear that did not seem appropriate.

Next came our fish and game board ... the board was well presented but left us grabbing our water glasses as the only seasoning we could taste was salt.

Next came our mains. Halibut, trout, and tenderloin. All which were semi-uninspired. The beef was rough and the veggies didn’t not shine through. The piece of trout was tasty and moist, however once again the veggies were sub-par, and lastly was the halibut. The first piece of fish unfortunately fell off the plate as it was being served leaving us to wait for a new piece to be fired (which came out cold and unseasoned). The staff did apologize and took the halibut off the bill due to the mistake.

This was our second and perhaps last time visiting the river cafe as it’s setting does not make up for poor service and underwhelming food inside.

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LB
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had a tasty brunch. Poached eggs which were perfect with halibut cakes. Eggs benny fabulous. Everyone enjoyed their meal. Wonderful ambience for all occasions.

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f
Edmonton
13 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

This was my first trip, but not my girlfriend's, whose birthday it was. The service was efficient and friendly, the food was not the cheapest but beautifully cooked and presented. The ambience was delightful and we had a great time - will definitely return

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JV
Calgary
3 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

The restaurant is located in a very nice setting and has a cozy atmosphere. The food was only slightly above average. The service was average. I found the prices to be high and portion sizes a bit small. The restaurant is worth a visit if you've never been but I wouldn't go out of my way to eat there again.

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L
Calgary
34 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Absolutely worth the trip! Food and service are both outstanding. A bit prIvey but great restaurant for a special occasion.

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MR
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Great food and atmosphere (we sat outside on the patio). Service was helpful and friendly but very slow.

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ML
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Our family of 4 were celebrating university grad of one child and a 19yr old birthday of the other. Excellent service and delicious meal. Bit pricey. Still thoroughly enjoyed our dinner.

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b
Calgary
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Amazing beautiful quite little place. Had my anniversary here and proposed to my girlfriend.

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KL
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic food and beautiful setting. Just be sure you understand Uber will drop you off near the Sheraton and you’ll need to walk over the bridge and into the park.

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OT
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 3Food 5Service 3Ambience 4

First, food is great! Service was subject to distraction. Beautiful, improbable location. Memorable vacation experience.

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KV
London
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 3Food 2Service 4Ambience 4

The main food was ok but uninspired . The desserts looked great but were not good tasting

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NO
Calgary
6 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

We have been going to the River Cafe since it opened. It has never disappointed. This latest visit was probably the best ever. Everything was fresh, artistic and incredibly well prepared. The servers are all knowledgeable and friendly. I wish we had more restaurants like this in Calgary.

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FM
Calgary
4 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Always a great choice and a getaway feel without leaving the city. I so appreciate they stay true to their concept: indigenous to the area, home grown, showcasing the ingredients.

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JA
Kansas City
2 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The River Cafe is in a gorgeous location, with views of the Park and River on two sides and a patio overlooking the water. The food is spectacular and showcases local ingredients. As someone with celiac disease, I appreciated the care that was taken with my meal and the willingness of the chef to accommodate my needs. Highly recommended!

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OT
Calgary
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

It was great to have blankets offered for an especially cold summer day.

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s
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

we were hoping for the deck to enjoy a summer lunch but it was raining so instead we had a cozy inside experience ~ a round table of 5 friend. Very nice change to actually be able to hear and talk to each other...music if there was any was the perfect decibel to allow conversation while enjoying a delicious meal.

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SM
Calgary
6 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 5

Fantastic place to eat and relax - away from everything.

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G
Calgary
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 5

Deck lunch the best. Would be nice if they cater to Gluten Free better.

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KA
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 1Food 1Service 1Ambience 4

Couldn't Be More Disappointed!
My Sons Birthday Was an Absolute Flop!!!
Bad Service, HEAVILY SALTED food,
portions are a joke.
Prices were Ridiculous
Food Presentation was Beautiful except for The Flower
leaf that had been previously enjoyed prior to picking it
from the plant!
I kept LOOKING around for THE REAL MENU,
thinking this was some sort of JOKE!

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IM
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 1Food 2Service 1Ambience 2

Planned eating at this restaurant weeks in advance for 25th anniversary trip. Staff had trouble articulating directions to restaurant when we were only a short distance away (directed us up very tall stairway to top of mountain - thank goodness we figured out THAT was incorrect). Arrived 5 minutes or less late nonetheless. Not a problem as there were numerous available tables. Hostess rolls into attacking Trump right off the bat (just what you need when you are away on vacation, right?). Then we waited 30 minutes for anyone to take our order (but she never did). Got up and left. In 25 years of marriage, we have NEVER gotten up and walked out of a restaurant. Returned to hotel to eat gruyere cheese and wine for dinner. No way were we going to pay exhorbitant prices for poor service and a very limited and pricey menu. Ours was a big celebratory dinner they missed. Not sorry we left. Totally unacceptable. Couldn't recommend to anyone.

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K
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 2Food 1Service 2Ambience 3

We were really disappointed with our meals. The River Cafe is renowned for simple Canadian fare but the dishes were overly complicated, undercooked and chewy. I could not finish the vegetarian meal. I’ve always made the River Cafe the high light of my trip but unless the menu changes significantly I don’t think I can come back. The staff however were pleasant. It’s just the menu and high prices that let down the restaurant.

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SB
Calgary
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food, wine and ambience. On Princes Osland being so close to downtown, it was like an oasis.

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ME
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We really enjoyed going the river cafe again this year but things seemed to have changed. We were expecting a bit more of a conventional experience but were pleasantly surprised when we received our meals and they were not the same old, same old but different and extremely delicious! I had the trout and this plate really had a lot going on. You could tell that it was thoughtfully prepared and all of the different flavours in the dish were completely complimary to one another. It was a treat to experiment within the dish by trying flavour combinations. Dessert was the same. An unexpected presentation and simply a pleasure to enjoy. Keep your mind open and just enjoy the flavour experience.

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S
Calgary
3 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Celebrated our daughters 30th b-day for lunch. Excellent food and attentive servers. Ash roast potato meal was superior! Will come back on a sunnier day and try the patio!

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JD
Calgary
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2018
Overall 2Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

Should have mentioned which items on the menu were not available , and should have mentioned
that there were other appetizers available that were not listed on the menu . Very limited desserts

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