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“Reasonable prices for this area”

Big Sur River Inn Restaurant
Ranked #11 of 22 Restaurants in Big Sur
Price range: $10 - $40
Cuisines: American, Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Families with children, Kids, Scenic view, Special occasions, Romantic, Local cuisine, Large groups
Dining options: Brunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Late Night, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Dining
Transit: During the summer months, MST Transit offers bus service to Big Sur. The bus stops right at the Big Sur River Inn! For schedules and more information, visit www.mst.org
Description: Renew your spirit at the full service restaurant and bar at Big Sur River Inn. Enjoy a fabulous breakfast, lunch or dinner in the historic dining room or outside on the deck, the lawn or along the bank of the Big Sur River. Have a seat on one of the bent willow chairs in the river and let the smooth current cool your feet as you enjoy the best Big Sur lunch around. What sets us apart from other Big Sur restaurants is our 100-year-old tradition of locally grown fine food, friendly, efficient service and warm hospitality. And yes, we still serve the original homesteader’s version of "Hot Apple Pie!"
Level Contributor
55 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Reasonable prices for this area”
Reviewed November 28, 2013

We stopped here on our way from Carmel to the Hearst Castle in San Simeon and wanted an early lunch. Since we arrived at 11:10am, the manager informed us that the kitchen would not be prepared for the lunch menu until 11:30am. I guess I understand that. We ordered a club sandwich and a southwest chicken breast sandwich. Both about $15, which was actually the lowest priced meal at any restaurant in the Carmel/Big Sur area we visited. Both sandwiches came with fries (you could choose something else to substitute). Our order actually came out before 11:30am, so we were grateful for that. The restaurant is part of an inn with cabins on a stream. It has a gas station and country store as part of the complex. Very scenic. We would go again.

Visited November 2013
Thank Scoot2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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484 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Level Contributor
100 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Riven Inn Big Sur Again”
Reviewed November 10, 2013

We visit River Inn restaurant yearly and always look forward to a good meal, drink and relaxation. This year was not up to par food wise; the fish and chips were ok but not the usual great. Service was very good, we got a patio seat in the shade as the sun can scorch you in Big Sur. They also offer indoor or feet in the river seating. We will return again.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Autobob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tidworth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Don't bother!”
Reviewed November 7, 2013

The waiting staff could not be bothered and the Mojito that we ordered was probably the worst I have ever tasted. Would have tried to take exchange it if the staff had been interested !!

The only plus I have is that it is located right next to the river and is very idyllic.

My advice - go for a mooch but don't linger....

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Service
Thank PM551H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
43 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Eh .. it was ok”
Reviewed October 23, 2013

Restaurant is cozy and large.. with a cool deck outside - however the food and service was just blah. Nothing to note. It was ok.
Kinda wish I would have checked out Nepenthe

Visited October 2013
Thank MinaNYC19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pacific Grove, California
Level Contributor
410 reviews
193 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
“Shoulda Been Better”
Reviewed October 20, 2013

We drove down to Big Sur for lunch on a Sunday. As always, the drive was spectacular, but this time, the lunch wasn't nearly as good. We decided to try the Big Sur River Inn on the basis of past Trip Advisor reviews. We came away feeling that the restaurant was inconsistent and maybe resting on its considerable history. On the good news side, the rear deck setting, overlooking the stream, made for a pleasant venue. But the food was decidedly mixed. The fish and chips offered well-cooked fresh snapper; however, the french flies were undercooked and barely warm. By contrast the timbale of crab and avocado with crostini on a bed of greens was delightful. The iced tea was refreshing, but the lemonade had a chemical taste and seemed made from a powdered mix. The apple pie, which the Inn touts as made from a historic Pfeiffer family recipe, was dreadful. The pastry had the consistency and taste of wet cardboard, and the filling was little better. It's hard to believe that this was the same recipe that brought people here for decades. Bottom line: we'll give the Inn one more try, but our first visit was a very mixed bag.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank RuNanS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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