The River Café

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
Cool, Fun, Glamorous, Lively, Unique
Other Awards
One Michelin star
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating, Waterside
Celeb-spotting, Child friendly, Romantic, Special occasions, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


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


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 


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


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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