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RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

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CUISINES
American
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner, After-hours
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meals, features
Reviews (815)
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

It was a significant mistake on our part not to take the host's offer to have dinner in the bar. We got cocktails in the bar while we waited 30 minutes for a table and were pleased with the prompt service and attentive server. Unfortunately,...that was not the same experience in the restaurant. The server took approximately 20 minutes to come by the table to greet us or take our order. He quickly and abruptly asked what we wanted and left. We witnessed that the few other tables he had also received this same dismissive service. He failed to bring salads and didn't even ask if we wanted drinks when he threw the dinners on the table, even with 3 empty glasses at the edge of the table. And the food was mediocre at best. We will be here another couple of nights but I guarantee we will NOT return to the River Restaurant. It really reflected poorly on this entire establishment.More

Date of visit: September 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 24 August 2022

Some of these reviews are harsh. This isn’t a Michelin star restaurant in NYC. It is a family restaurant in the middle of the Sierras next to a state park. Some people need to adjust their expectations. My family went to the River Restaurant for...dinner and liked it so much we had breakfast the following morning. The menu was small, the prices a little high, but nothing crazy. The staff were really friendly and attentive. I was happy to have a sit down restaurant available so I could enjoy a meal with my family that wasn’t pizza or deli sandwiches. Overall, the River Restaurant is a good choice for a hot meal for dinner and an all you can eat breakfast buffet in the morning to start your day in Yosemite. Everything was delicious, fresh orange juice and fruit and tons of warm breakfast choices. Definitely worth it. We didn’t need to eat again until dinner.More

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed 12 July 2022 via mobile

Waited an eternity. Then they were out of fries, the veggies I ordered instead never came. The “rare” hamburger was overcooked. Margarita was bad also. 2 out of 8 at the same table were served 20 minutes before the others, and the drinks were served...after the burger.More

Date of visit: July 2022
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed 20 May 2022 via mobile

First time here. Didn’t read any reviews prior and I’m glad I did not. Our experience was wonderful. Ambience was great. Sat outside along the River. I little loud but it’s a river, enjoy the beauty. Price point was good. I had the Chicken Marsala...with Mash and vegetables; it was outstanding. The sauce made the meal. My wife had the ribs and for regular pork ribs they were fall off the bone great. I’m a sucker for dessert, the carrot cake was really good and enough for two Service was great, our waiter had all the answers. If your in a rush, you need to tell them. To me, this Is more a dining experience Overall I’m very happy that we are here and we will return Cheer’sMore

Date of visit: May 2022
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Reviewed 22 December 2021

Thank Goodness the rooms have toasters and a 2-burner kitchenette area. On the morning I was headed back to LA I thought I'd give breakfast a try. While there are many options, none of it was worth $18 per person. I could barely cut my...pancakes, they were like a thick sponge. The biscuits and toast were hard. Fruit was a great option. Our server was great, he had a large group of people and handled things well. The decor of the restaurant is awesome overlooking the water.More

Date of visit: December 2021
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Reviewed 27 November 2021 via mobile

We came in about 6:30 pm. Only 3 other tables of people. First thing I noticed were cloth chairs at every table that were filthy from years of people touching them with no way to clean [photo included]. Carpet was smelly & dirty. Service was...slow despite several staff members present and few patrons. Waiter didn't speak great English and had no personality. The menu has only a few choices. Burger....only one choice...a hamburger. Overpriced. Want cheese on the burger....that is extra but the waiter didn't know how much. Took a long time to get our food. Burger was large & fries were good. Waited another 10-15 min to get the check once we were finished eating. From our table my husband could see the staff, 4 men, visiting & joking around in a back area. Some of them eating. 90 min later we were done. This restaurant aligns in service & cleanliness [lack of both] with the Yosemite View Lodge which it is tied in with. The next night we purchased food at store inside Yosemite park & ate in our room.More

Date of visit: November 2021
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Reviewed 1 November 2021

Affordable & yet Surprisingly the food and the service were good. This is the ideal location so close to Yosemite Valley. I enjoyed my diner and breakfast in this cozy restaurant. One recommendation; please get better coffee quality

Date of visit: September 2021
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Reviewed 24 September 2021

I went there for dinner and breakfast. The food was OK but overpriced. I also had the breakfast buffet which is $18.50 a person. It was very overpriced and the food was not very good. Unfortunately in this are there are no options for a...good breakfast. Best option is to go into park.More

Date of visit: September 2021
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Reviewed 26 August 2021 via mobile

Decent food and extremely convenient for those staying at Yosemite View Lodge. The menu is limited but we both found what we like. We ordered chicken masala, ribs and a burger. The burger was very good and the fries were surprisingly crispy. The chicken was...tasty even though the masala sauce is not very authentic. The ribs were a bit on the dry side. We noticed that there are a few outside tables with river view but we opted for take out and enjoyed our meals in our room. Our orders were ready relatively quickly. If I stay at Yosemite View Lodge again I will eat here or order take out from them again.More

Date of visit: August 2021
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed 13 July 2021 via mobile

Full bar and decent food. I got the swordfish and it was a bit dry but good. Kids enjoyed their burgers. Nice patio on the River. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised.

Date of visit: July 2021
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Reviewed 8 July 2021

Nice atmosphere and good service. But, the menu was VERY limited...like, only 1 salad choice. If you like pizza, that seemed to be the thing to get.

Date of visit: June 2021
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed 6 July 2021

We had dinner here after a long day in Yosemite. Since there are really very few options in this area unless you are willing to drive a ways, I was skeptical about this place. We both ordered trout and it was quite good and the...waiter recommended a good microbrew from the area. Service was very attentive as well. It did start getting busy since there are only 2 choices for eating here at the Yosemite View Lodge, which has over 300 rooms. My only criticism is the prices seemed somewhat inflated, but that is not surprising since they basically have zero competition.More

Date of visit: June 2021
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Reviewed 30 June 2021

Nice selection of foods and well prepared. Rib-eye was tasty but only 1/2 inch thick. Salads were fresh and good size. Fries and burgers were very good. Bar coctails were tasty. Wine list was limited.

Date of visit: June 2021
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Reviewed 23 June 2021 via mobile

Good location not far from where I live and the park nice atmosphere. Decent service they’re kinda busy so it’s a bit slow and it took a while to get the food like half or almost an hour I would say. We ordered orange ginger...shrimp it’s over sweet it’s too much for me I felt like I had a cup of syrup on my plate. No other flavors and the rice is hard they didn’t cook it right so 0/5for this dish and the tortellini is nice creamy decent taste but my husband ordered extra chicken but they barely gave you any and charged for $6 that’s ridiculous so overall it’s expensive decent food I gave this dish 3/5 but I guess they don’t care because it doesn’t seem like you have many choices around here.More

Date of visit: June 2021
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Reviewed 22 June 2021

I think Benny B. from google reviews summed up our experience perfectly about this restaurant, I'll copy and paste his review below mine. TL;DR: Prices resemble that of a fine dinning restaurant, the food resembles that of a college kid cooking food (to quote Benny)....The pizza place next door's left overs had better flavor. We came here for our engagement dinner with 2 friends and thought it was going to be a nice evening. Our friends told the waiter of the occasion , and he seemed indifferent on the big moment (not a big deal, but it was a special night to us). After waiting an average time you would expect for our food to come out, my steak I ordered was over cooked and well done, I ordered medium rare. Our server apologized and took it back not problem. My parties food was lukewarm when they received it and it seems to have sat for a while before making it our table. My fiancée's meal of pesto had an odd vegetable pairing of peppers in the meal and the pesto was soupy and bland. The pasta did not seem like the water was salted and our friends alfredo was also under seasoned and also soupy as well. When my second plate of steak came it was also over cooked and had the juice pouring out and covered the plate, telling me they did not let the steak rest before putting it on the plate, and it was tough and the meat was bland as well. The veggies were steamed and only had oregano sprinkled on them so they were bland as well, with the mashed potatoes being the okay part while also every portion of the dish being lukewarm. The server comped two meals, but we still paid with tip $25 a person for (4 people) for 3 drinks and 3 meals. I did not eat and had left over pizza from the pizza place next door,( which I would go to over some of the pizza places in my hometown!). The food was not great, and the prices reflect that of a restaurant that would have salted their food and know the basics of cooking. I am assuming that the food was pre frozen for the amount of liquid at the bottom of all our plates, and they make the other sides in bulk and just keep them warm until it is served. Overall from reading the other reviews, they are a tourist trap and think they can charge what they want with minimal effort since they are the closet sit down restaurant to the national park. Benny B.'s review as promised: We were charged about 130$ on 2 pasta plates, a burger,some fish and chips,wings and a couple of juices... The food quality and preparation was worth 30$ all together and that would still be overpaying...I wish I took some pictures but the food literally looked like it was made by a college freshman on a hot plate in his room...weird vegetable combinations that don't belong on a pasta, sauces out of the clearance section of the dollar store and lazy meat preparation have showed me that this place's attitude is pretty much: we want to maximize our profits by selling cheap food and we're the only place to eat around here so we will charge you whatever we want for it. so here's a nice view and some tv dinners you can either pay us top dollar or starve...on the upside the staff seemed chill and the atmosphere was relaxed so the only way I'd recommend anyone to go eat there is if they're properly drunk.More

Date of visit: June 2021
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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THE RIVER RESTAURANT & LOUNGE, El Portal - Restaurant Reviews, Phone Number & Photos - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about The River Restaurant & Lounge

The River Restaurant & Lounge is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 3.5
  • Service: 3.5
  • Value: 3
  • Atmosphere: 3.5