The River Café

Italian·
££££
·
Gold Award
·

SquareMeal Review of The River Café

Gold Award

Although artisan competition is fierce these days, we side with the fan who reckons that The River Café serves “the best ingredients-driven Italian food in London”. This convivial Hammersmith evergreen (30 years young in 2017), which is rightfully so happy in its skin, is a very slick operation and certainly in the capital’s gastronomic ‘Serie A’, although it gains added kudos by virtue of its entrancing views and seductive riverside terrace (an absolute must-do on balmy days) as well as its decor, which some say is “dated but iconic”.

The rustic glories of Italian regional cuisine are writ large in a seasonal menu that majors on daisy-fresh salads, glossy pasta and specialities from the imposing red log-burning oven: in summer, that might mean poached langoustines with aïoli and pea salad followed by clam risotto dressed with zucchini flowers or wild salmon baked in sea salt; in winter, Tuscan bread soup with Swiss chard could precede whole Anjou pigeon wood-roasted in Chardonnay with speck, smoked celeriac and watercress. Further classics might be turbot with the greenest of beans, lobster risotto or char-grilled calamari with rocket. To conclude, chocolate nemesis is still the go-to option, but fruity tarts, grappa-laced pannacotta and the citrusy almond and polenta cake are also delicious.

 

Prices are top lire (a bowl of cherries is £10), although “exceptional service” is as friendly and engaging as it gets in London. Meanwhile, a list of pedigree Italian wines served at the correct temperatures in the correct glasses makes The River Café is the most well-rounded of treats.

 

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
Italian
Ambience
Cool, Fun, Glamorous, Lively, Unique
Other Awards
One Michelin star
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating, Waterside
People
Celeb-spotting, Child friendly, Romantic, Special occasions, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

FAQs

What is the menu like at The River Café?

The River Café is famous for its Italian-focused menu. You can expect antipasti, primi and secondi sections on the menu which include things like Tuscan bean soup, tagliatelle with ragu and bruschetta.

Helpful? 0

Who owns The River Café?

Chef Ruth Rogers owns The River Café in London.

Helpful? 0

How many Michelin stars does The River Café have?

The River Café has one Michelin star.

Helpful? 0

Location for The River Café

Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, Hammersmith, London, W6 9HA

020 7386 4200

Website

Opening Times

Mon-Sat 12.30-2.15pm (Sat -2.30pm) Mon-Sat 7-9pm (Fri-Sat -9.15pm) Sun 12N-3.00pm

Reviews of The River Café

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32 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Anon

Staff don’t get service charge
24 October 2021  

The food was incredible. But everything ended on a sour note when we double checked if the staff got the service charge. They didn't - and were very hesitant to tell us as such.

The owner was there ignoring any customer who wasn't a famous actor or disgraced businessman. Sad to think she gets the tips, not the lovely staff who served us.

 

Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Anon

06 August 2019  
Consistently good food and fabulous atmosphere.

Jill C

26 July 2019  
My favourite restaurant food, service and ambience superb.

Jacqueline H

01 July 2019  
We went to the River Café because we were given a gift card and I had very high expectations but sadly was very disappointed. The meal was average, prices too high for the quality and we ended the meal with a panna cotta which was not up to standard, it was actually flat on the plate, I considered sending it back, but when I observed the rest of the diners who had also ordered it nobody seemed bothered by a flat panna cotta so I didn't say anything which I now regret.

Hugh M

15 June 2017  
Always excellent food but at a price.

James W

30 May 2017  
The best ingredient driven Italian food in London - but what really sets it apart is the exceptional service and (in summer) glorious setting.

Natalie H

04 May 2017  
The best place to have lunch in West London.

Jane Q

02 June 2016  
EVERYTHING wonderful.

Hugh M

16 May 2016  
Delicious food in a great setting by the river, but getting ever more expensive.

Tal L

13 May 2016  
Beautiful location with great views - especially on sunny days. The food was very tasty but the prices are too much.
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