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“Elegant tropical ambiance, delicious food”
Review of River Cafe

River Cafe
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Ranked #25 of 1,020 Restaurants in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $25
Cuisines: Mexican, Contemporary, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Business meetings, Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: The River Café is a landmark in Puerto Vallarta. Enjoy its cuisine and ambiance with infused flavors for breakfast, lunch or dinner, cared for the friendliest service. By day you'll see this natural setting surrounded by trees, iguanas and birds. At night expect a pleasant evening with the river sounds, candlelight tables, listening to the live music. Visit and enjoy River Café with all your senses!
Greensboro, North Carolina
Level Contributor
260 reviews
116 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 175 helpful votes
“Elegant tropical ambiance, delicious food”
Reviewed August 26, 2012

Conveniently located on the Isla Rio Cuale (river island), this restaurant has it all--tropical open-air, sheltered ambiance; excellent service from accommodating English-speaking waitstaff; and delicious food attractively presented. Guacamole and bruschetta appetizers were fresh and tasty. Our family group of eight polished off beef fajitas, shrimp fajitas, vegetarian sandwiches, caprese salad, enchiladas suissas, and a shrimp-scallops dish cooked in foil, followed by excellent flan. Lunchtime drinks were buy one, get one free. At about 2300 pesos including tip, this is not the cheapest lunch, but we often enjoy a major, relaxed meal in the middle of the day and found this the perfect break in a day of exploring/shopping. Shops surround the restaurant and continue down the island. The small, nicely done, free Museo Rio Cuale, which displays archaeological artifacts, is a short walk. Ask for a table overlooking the river; we watched iguanas in the trees and on the ground below us (not a threat to diners) and water birds flying and wading along the river. Visit the bathrooms to see pretty ceramic sinks and brickwork ceilings.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank CarolinaTravelers2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,197 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Nice Place.”
Reviewed July 26, 2012

Been there only once to eat with friends. Great service and authentic mexican food. Right by the river and has great scenery. Easy to get there and this place is a popular place to go.

Visited February 2012
1 Thank fbguy57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
British Columbia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“An excellent meal”
Reviewed July 21, 2012 via mobile

My parents has raved about this restaurant for years and I finally had the opportunity to go.

My parents, niece, and nephew and I went this Wednesday. The food was excellent and the service impeccable. I had the shrimp fajitas and they were so good. My mum and niece had the ham and cheese baguette and one order could have fed both of them. My mum us allergic to garlic and when her first entree came, it had a sauce not mentioned in the menu. The waiter immediately took it away no questions asked and brought another within minutes.

There was a freelance photographer in the restaurant wanting to take our picture. He was a lovely man who went and bought a lettuce so my niece and nephew could feed the iguanas. Both my dad and I tipped him a few dollars for giving the kids such a wonderful experience.

Lunch was just under 1000 pesos, which isn't bad for five people and three of them having drinks from the bar.

I would definitely visit the River Cafe again if I have the chance.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank worldtraveller1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“night of the iguana”
Reviewed July 20, 2012

I enjoyed this place. it was similar to mediterranean type places back at home. we had the calamari. so-so. not much seasoning.
I had the filet mignon which was cooked well, and had a good sauce. good, but not memorable.
1 of us had the ny steak, and it was good with a nice sauce, but not overly flavorful.
2 of our party had the lobster ravioli. and those were enjoyed.

i had the creme brulee and it was so-so. a bit small and kind of ricotta-y. the cheesecake was very large.

the best part of the restaurant is that it is next to the river and it offers a nice view. plus, while we were eating, 2 iguanas climbed down from the trees and came into view. and they just stared at us. maybe they expected food. i would go here again, because i think the 4 of us only payed just over $100 for dinner with a small beverage tab.

Visited July 2012
1 Thank Daniel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Level Contributor
92 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Tropical Elegance”
Reviewed July 19, 2012

River Cafe on Isla Rio Cuale is right near the top of all the restaurants I have been in Puerto Vallarta area and recorded for my dining guide. Breakfast starts so pleasantly while seated alongside the Rio Cuale, with birds chirping and iguanas resting in the trees. Lunches are creative followed by wonderful dinners, many nights accompanied by live music. This place is not only great to take visitors but for us locals to frequent and not spend an arm and a leg. Tasty dishes, friendly service, beautiful art and decor. A Must!

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Gary B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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