Restaurants & Bars: Restaurants

The River Café

Ruth Rogers’ iconic Hammersmith spot


Opening hours

Mon-Sat: Lunch from 12.30pm, dinner from 6.30pm
Sun: Lunch from 12pm


Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, W6 9HA

More info


October 1987

A mainstay in London’s dining scene for more than 30 years, The River Café is still one of our most mentioned restaurants across UJ and remains a total treat-yourself favourite. Owners Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray pioneered the British love affair of regional Italian cuisine seen in the late 1980s and 1990s, and it’s hard to overstate just how much influence Ruth and Rose have had on the UK’s dining habits (Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jamie Oliver, Samantha and Samuel Clark and Stevie Parle all trained here). With Ruth now the sole owner of the restaurant, the light-filled River Café which sits at the top of the north bank of the Thames still feels contemporary, thanks to a timeless focus on ingredient provenance and seasonality: the menu changes every day, but it’s famed for grilled squid, risotto, polenta, and (of course) the Chocolate Nemesis. A trip here is a journey back to where it all began, sans nostalgia – just incredible flavours. Go for birthdays, celebrations (book in on the terrace if it’s summer time) or just because you haven’t been yet.


Originally published on
22nd October 2018


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