The River Café was founded by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers in 1987 as a canteen for local office workers. It is responsible for training some of today's most recognised chefs, including the likes of Jamie Oliver, Theo Randall and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. It is also regarded as one of the most influential restaurants of the past two decades, bringing such ingredients as sun dried tomatoes, polenta and olive oil into the mainstream consciousness of the UK.
The menu offers a fantastic selection of rustic Italian cooking, with antipasti and pasta selections, and a great selection of seasonable fish and meat dishes. But this comes at a price, and that price is high. With main course dishes up to £45, you can expect to pay around £80 a head, even at lunch, making it one of the most expensive Italians in London. The food is undeniably good, and the atmosphere around the restaurant is infectious. Ultimately, the price will put a lot of people off, but we still feel The River Café is one of the best Italians in London, let alone Hammersmith. We would encourage anyone to give it try... perhaps for a special occasion.
Last reviewed on November 10th , 2014
Hints and tips
- What will it cost?
Starters are around £25.
Primi (primarily pasta dishes) are around £20
Secondi (main meat and fish dishes), are between £35 to £45, with some rare seasonal dishes being significantly more (£60+)
- Nearest tube
Hammersmith - though it's an additional 10 minute walk from the tube station
- Getting a table
We would recommend booking at least a week in advance as the restaurant is usually very busy, popular with locals as well as visitors from further afield
- Going by car
The area around the restaurant has very relaxed parking in the evenings, making it easy to drive to after 5pm