River Café At Prince’s Island Park

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A Hidden Gem, Right Out In The Open

Located right in the middle of Prince’s Island Park is River Café, a beautiful café style restaurant serving up some of the best local and Canadian food in Calgary. River Café is often mentioned as one of the best restaurants in Calgary, which isn’t at all surprising given the large number of awards they’ve won over the years. Their menu changes seasonally, as well as offering picnic baskets and picnic tables in the summer. During festivals at Prince’s Island Park, it’s the best seat on the island. The staff really elevate this place from a great restaurant to an exceptional experience, and they’re happy to answer any questions you have about their ingredients. They are also available as a venue for weddings or other events, which makes for some stunning memories of your special event. River Café is such a great place to visit with family or friends for good food and good conversation. Try it at least once!

River Café would be a good place to visit for

  • weekend brunch
  • romantic date nights
  • family and friends visiting from out of town
  • family dinner at a nice restaurant
  • food critics/writers
  • foodies/hungry people
  • instagrammers

River Café

River Café is easily accessible by foot from several directions as they’re located right in the middle of Prince’s Island Park, a large downtown public park. It’s only a short walk from the

Parking is available nearby in several places. You can park in Eau Claire on the street or across Memorial Drive and just walk over.

Websitehttps://river-cafe.com
E-mailinfo@river-cafe.com
Address25 Prince's Island, Calgary, AB T2P 0R1
Phone403-261-7670
Facebook@rivercafeyyc
Instagram@rivercafeyyc
Twitter@rivercafeYYC

 

River Café At Prince's Island Park wooden sign shaped like a fish, nailed to a tree
River Café wooden sign. Source: River Café Facebook
River Café At Prince's Island Park outside main doors

River Café At Prince's Island Park Stone fireplace with rustic interior

River Café at Prince's Island Park inside bar and tables with people

History

In the summer of 1991, we set about transforming an aging park concession on Calgary’s Prince’s Island. River Café began as a small full service café, operating summer only, with just a roof sheltering the tables from the elements. In 1995, we transformed the open air space, enclosing it with windows and walls to expanded the seating and operate year-round. We repurposed found materials and worked with local artists.

Our vision was to create a unique restaurant that would feel as though it had always existed and that belonged in this remarkable setting along the Bow River. We built a fieldstone fireplace, created an open kitchen with an oven and grill that were fueled by orchard wood, and a bar made from a real boat. We created a large outdoor terrace overlooking the lagoon and landscaped it with mostly native plants which would flourish without irrigation.river-cafe.com/story

River Café at Prince's Island Park tables with glass windows overlooking patio

The Food

River Café has a lunch menu, a dinner menu, dessert, wine, and a weekend brunch menu. Each menu is unique, and they change and evolve over time. All of the ingredients are sourced either locally if available, or from elsewhere in Canada. River Café prides itself on only serving the best, high quality sourced food from sustainable suppliers. River Café also works with Mealshare, offering a free meal to someone in need when an eligible item is purchased. The menus offer a wide selection of simple to fancy ingredients, from shucked oysters to top grass beef tenderloin, trout, wild boar, bison, lamb and more. Try the Artisan Cheese & House Cured Charcuterie.

In addition to chefs for the food, River Café also employs their own Sommelier (Bruce Soley), so they have a professionally curated list of wine from all over the world, including several older vintages. View their wine list.

The beer menu is somewhat small, but local. They also offer a selection of non-alcoholic drinks, cider and cocktails.

River Café at Prince's Island Park Food drinks beer - Cabin Brewing Super Saturation beer, Buckwheat Pancake, Pastry Trio

River Café at Prince's Island Park Hollandaise Breakfast food

River Café at Prince's Island Park Weekend Brunch Menu
River Café Brunch Menu (September 2020)

River Café Wedding Venue

River Café also hosts weddings! You can rent the entire venue for your wedding, which seats 95. The restaurant itself is absolutely beautiful but with the Bow River making an excellent backdrop, the photos and videos you’ll take will be amazing. See riverweddings.ca for more info.


Conclusion

River Café has been serving Calgarians since the early 1990s, and given how much effort they put into every aspect of their service it’s easy to see why they’re still in business today. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re still around in another 30 years from now. If you’ve never been, why not make a reservation and see what all the hype is about? You’ll love it.

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