River Café | Calgary's Best Restaurants 2020

River Café was decades ahead of the curve when it came to offering top-tier regional cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients.

Chicken-liver parfait on toasted brioche with Okanagan fruit. Photograph by Jared Sych.

Food: Canadiana fine dining.
Vibe: Woodsy elegance.
Order this: The chef’s tasting menu.
Know this: In the name of environmental responsibility, the restaurant no longer uses cling film in the kitchen, using reusable containers and cheesecloth in its place.
Average Price: $42 per entree.

With its location in Prince’s Island Park, there’s no denying that River Café is in one of the city’s most idyllic settings. But a beautiful, casually refined dining room and renowned wine list aren’t all that has kept this restaurant relevant for almost 30 years. River Café was decades ahead of the curve when it came to offering top-tier regional cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients. After a few years cooking in Europe, head chef Ross Bowles has come home to create impeccable dishes that speak to restaurant’s surroundings. Taking the concept to new extremes, Bowles has even phased out things like pepper, citrus and olive oil so that the restaurant can truly represent a Canadian culinary experience.

25 Prince’s Island Park, 403-261-7670, river-cafe.com

Chef Ross Bowles. Photograph by Jared Sych.
Rainbow trout with spaghetti squash, tomatoes, espelette and crispy lonza. Photograph by Jared Sych.

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This article appears in the March 2020 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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