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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!"
USD 10 - USD 40
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, After-hours
American, Bar
Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service, Highchairs Available, Live Music
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We had tried to have lunch at a restaurant down the road overlooking the Pacific. It was an absolute madhouse and parking nightmare. Middle of the week. We turned around and stopped here at the River Inn to dine. All dining is outdoors at this...time. Order your food and later pick it up in a cooler. When done leave everything that’s left in the cooler. Very nicely thought out! The 3 of us tremendously enjoyed the setting. We sat at the edge of the deck close to the river, observing kids playing in the water. Adults had chairs in the water dangling their feet and watching their little ones. We enjoyed our food. We had the chicken sandwich, burger, fries, salad, all was quite delicious. The only “problem” were several bees, which also were trying to enjoy our lunch, and they just wouldn’t give up. The only reason I’m mentioning it is that some people need to stay away from bees. We tipped generously. Addressing previous comments about tipping, employers should pay their staff living wages, I totally agree. However. Since that’s not the case, and I’m not going to get into politics here, the staff depends on our tips. Even if not being served at the table. When on a road trip, I noticed at least half of the restaurants have “help wanted” signs out. So be glad for those who ARE working and thank them for providing you with a meal! Thank you, Big Sur River Inn, nicely done!More

Date of visit: September 2021
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We had drinks (excellent wine!) overlooking the river, then dinner: Caesar salad with grilled salmon, and fish and chips. All was really good, served in a container to be taken to wherever we felt comfortable eating. Choices included a heated patio, and a beautiful indoor...room with plenty of ventilation (we have tried to avoid closed spaces during the pandemic). Other guests had enjoyed happy hour with their feet in the river, sitting in Adirondack chairs. I wished we had another day to enjoy the scene.More

Date of visit: September 2021
Reviewed 31 July 2021 via mobile

We ate here and loved the outdoor seating that backs up to a creek, video on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok @onecoolraisin. Food was just okay, if they can raise the bar on that then this is a must stop in the Big Sur area.

Date of visit: July 2021
Reviewed 7 July 2021

The morning of July 01, we went here to eat and ordered two items: 1) The vegetable scramble 2) The vegan breakfast roll with Dr. Praeger's vegan sausage and JUST vegan egg. The place was not busy, and we were the only two people in...line at the time, but more were coming. The vegetable scramble arrived as a cheese and ham scramble, and the vegan sausage roll arrived with deep-fried bacon instead of vegan sausage. Just two orders, and both of them wrong. I was ready to leave, Better Half walked it all back up the stairs and asked them to remake them both, which they did, and got it right. But you know, if you can get it right the second time, why not the first time? It delayed our trip by about an hour, and it just seems the food vendors are so sure of tourism dollars that they don't really care, and that's a shame. The Big Sur River Inn Restaurant has been family owned since 1939, and we love to support businesses like that, but if you don't hire quality, you don't get quality, and that's a problem presenting itself everywhere. Is it wages? Is it availability? Is it apathy? I don't know, but it certainly is a problem presenting itself again and again these days. We love to travel, or have in the past, pre-covid -- I hope we can get back to the business of more enjoyable travel, and quality dining, soon.More

Date of visit: July 2021
Reviewed 29 June 2021

My mom and I were headed up to the Bixby Creek Bridge and other state parks and decided to stop here for breakfast. I ordered a tuna salad sandwich with fruit salad and my mom got the breakfast bagel with smoked salmon in cream cheese....The portion of fruit salad was HUGE! I was expecting a little cup, but it was a whole takeout container EACH. It was lovely. We both packed up half of our sandwiches and the other half of our fruit salad and ate it for lunch before our hike in the park. We ordered up front and they gave us a beeper. When we picked up the food, it was nicely placed in a cooler and we were instructed to place all the items back in the cooler when we finished. We sat on the deck overlooking a beautiful little stream. It was a fantastic way to start a day. I did think the prices seemed a little high, but I understand COVID procedures and pricing right now.More

Date of visit: June 2021
Reviewed 24 June 2021 via mobile

Super tasty food! Staffing a little light coming out of covid, so the bartender/waiter was hustling a bit. Great vibe outside under the trees.

Date of visit: June 2021
Reviewed 13 June 2021 via mobile

We walked from the campground next door. Ordered at front and chose a seat at back patio overlooking river. They also have Anorak chairs at the river which many enjoyed with their feet chilling in the stream. Server brought our individually wrapped meals in a...cooler box. When done we put everything back inside and they collected Nice wine and small beer brewery selection. Great variety of food for breakfast lunch and dinner.More

Date of visit: June 2021
Reviewed 5 June 2021 via mobile

There were a few things on the menu we really liked and were decently priced (for the area). But mostly we liked the big outdoor space. I didn’t care for their required gratuity due to COVID as I don’t think their patrons are responsible for...giving their employees a living wage. But I do think they adapted well with delivering all food in a cooler and recycling the food containers. It’s a busy place so crowds are a give but it still managed to bea relaxing place to go for dinner.More

Date of visit: May 2021
Reviewed 14 April 2021

$19.50 for a burger. Seriously. And it was overcooked. Two of us paid $76 for lunch: 1 burger, 1 fish 'n chips, and 1 cucumber ginger cocktail. Big Sur is expensive, there is no way to avoid that, but if you're going to spend a...few bucks, at least go somewhere tasty. This ain't it.More

Date of visit: April 2021
Reviewed 2 December 2020

We eat here every time we visit Big Sur. We love enjoying brunch on their back patio or on the lawn near the river. The food is delicious and the scenery is beautiful. We travel to Big Sur every year and every time we sit...down to eat at Big Sur River Inn, we feel like our vacation has officially begun. More recently, we ate here in November 2020 over Thanksgiving weekend. The restaurant is closed for dining inside, but you can order take out and enjoy it on the patio or take it with you. The food was still delicious and we felt safe while ordering and picking up our meal.More

Date of visit: November 2020
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Questions & Answers
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24 July 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Chip144 | Reviewed this property |
I was there Saturday. Call the restaurant.
9 May 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Chip144 | Reviewed this property |
I did not know they had that sorry. Try calling restaurant.
Dori Z
4 October 2015|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from 607happytraveler | Reviewed this property |
We are usually a small party and have not encounter this situation. Best to call and ask.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Big Sur River Inn Restaurant

Yes, Big Sur River Inn Restaurant offers takeaway services.

Big Sur River Inn Restaurant is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 3.5
  • Atmosphere: 4.5