Recommended by 98%
Alyse · Married on 09/14/2013
This restaurant is a hidden gem in Chicago. If you want your wedding guests to have the best wedding experience ever, this is your venue. There is something for all of your guests to enjoy: great views of the river and city (boat watching is such a blast!), 2 full bars (outside and inside) with a large variety of beers, outdoor and/or indoor seating depending on weather, and AMAZING food! Our guests are still raving about how it’s the best food they have ever eaten, and not just at a wedding! The staff is extremely friendly and accommodating. Ashley and Dan were so great to work with and my Husband and I feel so fortunate to have had the most memorable experience of our lives, thanks in part to them. We absolutely LOVE this venue and would recommend it in a heartbeat to anyone looking to host their wedding here. We and our guests all agree that you will not be disappointed.
Brittany · Married on 08/11/2018
We could not have picked a better place for a Chicago city wedding. All the staff at Rivers helped make the day absolutely perfect. The view of the city was beautiful, food was amazing, and staff were well organized. We had so many compliments from guests on the venue. I would definitely recommend Rivers to anyone planning a city wedding,
Kaitlin · Married on 08/04/2018
We hosted our August wedding reception at Rivers and it was amazing! I cannot say enough good things about the atmosphere, food, staff, etc. We heard multiple times from our guests how great the food was. We also did a late night snack which was a huge hit! We had about ~190 guests and the outside patio hosted everyone perfectly for dinner. We migrated inside after dinner where our band was set-up. I was a bit nervous about the space fitting a band and all of our guests, but it worked out perfectly! Overall, it was a great fit for our wedding and would recommend it to other brides in Chicago!
Megan · Married on 06/30/2018
After very quickly deciding the "type" of wedding we wanted, I instantly knew that Rivers was the perfect place for our wedding after seeing it. For what you get, which is the entire restaurant inside and out, top quality food and service, and various food and drink package choices, it's worth every penny. Our wedding was 3+ months ago, and our guests are still talking about how beautiful it was and how delicious the food was. If you want a wedding with a true downtown Chicago feel, Rivers will not disappoint and will wow your guests!
Allison · Married on 07/08/2017
AMAZING! We were told throughout the night of our wedding and even for the days following the event how amazing the food, venue, and staff were. Compared to other Chicago venues, Rivers is very affordable for what you get. The dance space inside the restaurant is perfect and big so it's easy to have your whole wedding dancing! At the same time, the outdoor patio is such an incredible space for people to get fresh air, go outside and talk, and also to get spectacular pictures.
I loved the fact that there were two bars open, no one ever had to wait longer than a minute or two for a drink! Food was incredible and so was the staff. Can't recommend Rivers enough!!!!!!
Amy · Married on 10/08/2016
Working with Taylor at Rivers could not have gone smoother. Everyone commented how pretty the wedding was and how great the food was. It was perfect inside and outside. Taylor makes everything a breeze. We planned the whole wedding from another state and I would do it again!!
MaryAnn · Married on 08/20/2016
I was the mother of the bride. The wedding ceremony and reception were held at Rivers. I cannot say enough good things about Taylor, their event coordinator, the food, atmosphere, and everything else! I was told by so many guests that it was one of the best, if not THE best, wedding they had ever been to. Beautiful location with packages to suit every budget!! My daughter and son in-law's vision of the perfect wedding was brought to life. We wouldn't have done anything different. Thanks Taylor for a job well done. It was perfect!
Jenna · Married on 09/05/2015
I cannot recommend Taylor and Rivers for your wedding enough. This girl deserves a raise. She is phenomenal to work with. She responds VERY quickly which is huge when you're a bride trying to plan your own wedding. There were a few small things that went wrong the day of (of course) but she fixed them all quickly. The food and liquor at the venue was top notch and we are still getting compliments. THANK YOU Taylor and Rivers! You made the best day of my life perfect!
Julie · Married on 08/08/2015
My daughter recently got married at Rivers in August of 2015, and it could not have gone any better. I wouldn't change a thing and HIGHLY recommend this venue and especially Taylor Dahlstrom, the main contact for weddings. The venue is amazing..a really unique place right on the Chicago river. We had the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing all on the outside covered patio. It was so nice to have everything in one place. The Rivers staff “flipped” the patio from the wedding to reception without any of the guests even noticing. The food was FABULOUS and far from standard wedding fare. My friends and family are still commenting that the steak was the best filet they have ever had. The head chef made sure the plating was timely, attractive, and most of all delicious. Taylor sequenced the room so the dinner time flowed perfectly to ensure that everyone’s food was hot and correct. The waiters, waitresses, and bartenders were awesome. From the initial venue visit to the countless emails and phone calls back and forth during the time leading up to the event, and of course everything she did the day of, Taylor was always responsive, friendly, flexible, helpful, and just simply a pleasure to work with! She was also extremely helpful in providing unbiased recommendations for other vendors with whom she had had good experiences. I had no idea how much work went into planning a wedding before this experience, and I am so grateful that I had Taylor there to guide me through the process, and always be there with a smile. The recommendations she provided were great! Overall, I couldn't recommend Rivers more. I wouldn't change a thing! The takeaway was .. I wish we could afford to throw that party every year. It was PERFECT!
Kara · Married on 07/11/2015
We just had our reception at Rivers this weekend and it was so amazing!! The venue has beautiful views of the river and city, and the staff was wonderful!! Everyone was so impressed with the food! And the packages they offered were reasonable and gave a ton of options. They were so flexible and accommodating!!! The portions are big and the food tasted amazing! We could not have asked for a more perfect place to celebrate! And we would recommend this site to anyone! Thank you to Taylor and Ashley!!!!
Lindsey · Married on 06/13/2015
Choosing Rivers was by far the best decision my husband and I made while planning our wedding. From the very first email to picking up decorations the day after the wedding, my husband and I received 5 star service. We worked with Taylor from the get go. She is professional, knowledgeable, and quick to respond to emails. We wanted to have our wedding downtown but didn't have 100k to spend. After reaching out to several venues, River's was hands down the most affordable. In fact, their packages give you a great bang for your buck.
We had both the ceremony and reception on their covered patio on a sunny Saturday this June, the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable night. They have a huge outdoor bar and a great cocktail area. As far as venues go, I was very particular that the dance floor is near the bar, as most people hang near the bar at weddings. The setup was perfect! The dance floor was packed and our guests always had a full drink.
The food was incredible. The chef was flexible. He even tweaked a dish to make it exactly what we wanted. My husband and I spend our fair share of time at great restaurants and we had many foodies in our group. I cannot even count the number of compliments we're still receiving on the food....especially the beef tenderloin with béarnaise sauce, mashed potatoes, and asparagus. Out of this world.
If you are considering having your wedding at Rivers-DO IT! I promise you won't regret it. The service was impeccable, Taylor will be sure everything is perfect (see my Midwestern Bride review next!), your guests will dine on 5 star food while sipping wine and taking in the views, and you'll dance the night away on the Chicago River. Does it get any better than that?!
Rivers by far exceeded our expectations and I wish we could replay that night over again. Our family and friends made unforgettable memories on that patio and it truly was the best day ever. Thank you Rivers!
bailey · Married on 09/13/2014
I recently had my wedding ceremony and reception on the patio of Rivers Restaurant.
My husband and I along with our families received countless compliments on how beautiful the venue was, how AMAZING the food was (best wedding food anyone had ever eaten), how friendly the staff was, and how unique the layout was. Our wedding guest list was just at 210 and it fit our party size perfectly with enough room to spare for the DJ, dance floor, and large bar/cocktail hour space.
I would HIGHLY recommend Rivers to any bride and groom looking for a unique space that captures the beauty of the city, offers amazing food/drinks for guests, and guarantees an awesome wedding experience.
Wouldn't have chosen anywhere different!
Allison · Married on 08/31/2014
When looking for a wedding venue, we knew we wanted something outdoors and something "Chicago". We got both at Rivers, and for a reasonable price!! The ambiance there is amazing, right on the river, and the covered patio alleviated the worry of rain! Having the ability to use both the outside patio and indoors was also a bonus, especially because our wedding day was warmer than planned for. We're both big into food and wanted to be sure that we had good food served at the wedding. People haven't stopped raving about it (specifically the beef tenderloin and salmon!). Our florist and DJ, who did the lighting, did an unbelievable job setting up the venue. Rivers seems to have hopped on the wedding circuit in the last year, as it should be.
Roman · Married on 08/23/2014
We wanted a "Chicago Wedding" without paying top dollar, and that's exactly what we got. We caught a break with the rain ending a couple of hours before the ceremony, so we were able to have everything outside. Friends are still talking about what a great venue it was with the unique and spectacular backdrop of the city buildings and the water. Everyone loved the food and the decor. And it was reasonably priced compared to the other venues we considered. We also were very pleased with our day-of coordinator, Taylor, who works there and represents Midwestern Bride. This is a hidden gem in the city.
Donna · Married on 09/14/2013
Fantastic venue! Service was outstanding from beginning to end from management to servers. Guests at the wedding raved about the food. We were told by many it was the best food they ever had at a wedding. From appetizers to dessert the food was superb! Staff was extremely friendly and helpful prior to and throughout the event. We loved the flexibility of the venue from being able to dine inside and/or out. The view is incredible! Throughout the planning process they were always willing to try to accommodate our wishes. We are so happy we had the wedding reception here. Top notch all the way around!
Larissa · Married on 08/25/2012
As the bride, I don't mind saying that I definitely needed some extra special care before and on my wedding day. My husband might even say that i was a little high maintenance. I had a vision in my head of what my perfect reception would be like and Rivers Restaurant far exceeded my expectations!!
The staff at Rivers were absolutely amazing!!! They were some of the nicest and accommodating people I have ever met!! They never hesitated when I needed something on, or even before my wedding day. They turned the vision that I had in my head into the perfect wedding, and I know that couldn't have been easy! Rivers made me feel like my wedding, was the only wedding, in the city of Chicago that day! I truly felt like a princess!
I also want to say that Rivers deck is THE BEST space for a reception in the city of Chicago!!!!! It sits right on the Chicago River. My guests were absolutely amazed! They still have not stopped talking about how stunning the view was!
My guests also still love to tell me that the food at my wedding was some of the best food they have ever had!! A lot of them have gone to Rivers after the wedding, to eat there again, because they loved it that much!
Needless to say, I highly recommend Rivers Restaurant! I will definitely be calling them for upcoming events that my family plans on having! Maybe even a baby shower!
Carlotta · event on: 12/07/2012
It has been a pleasure working with the Rivers/Rittergut Team. I have done several events with them and I am always totally satisfied with the performance. Their attention to detail and consistent quality of food are admirable. In years past, I have paid considerably more for events at other venues and somehow no matter how good the tastings and customer service were before the event; they fell short on the night of. Thankfully, I have had no such experience with this team. My group is a very, very picky bunch and they feel no need to keep quiet if they don't like something. So the Rivers/Rittergut team has made my life easier, because I take criticism personally even though I have not prepared the food. I don't think you can go wrong in selecting this venue for your event.Sent on 04/30/2013
Rivers Restaurant's reply:
User3229638 · event on: 04/20/2013
Favorite restuarant in Chicago to book for a corporate event -so accomondating! so professional! and they work with my strict budgets!!
Laura · Married on 07/12/2014
“Breathtaking venue.” “Incredible food.” “The most fun wedding we’ve ever been to.” These were some of the comments we received from our wedding guests. We could not be happier with the decision to have our wedding at Rivers. Below are some of the highlights.
Venue: Almost all of our guests were from out of town and had never been to Chicago before. Given that, we wanted a venue that would give our guests a bit of the Chicago experience. Rivers is perfect for that, given its location in the Loop and beautiful views of the Chicago River. The patio is very elegant when dressed up and the river/city backdrop provides excellent photo ops. We did our ceremony on one end of the patio, cocktail hour and dinner on the other end and dancing inside. It worked out really well.
Food: The Rivers Staff was very flexible and helped us craft an original menu for our wedding. We ended up settling on an assortment of passed hors d’oeuvres that included truffled deviled eggs, pork belly bites, tuna tartare, and assorted crostini. For our first course we had a beet, orange, arugula and goat cheese salad. For the main course, guests had a choice of duck breast and leg confit, steak, mahi mahi or vegetarian napoleon. And, I can’t forget to mention, we had Chicago-style hot dogs as a late night snack. Everything was done perfectly and the presentation was top-notch. My only complaint is that it took quite a while to serve all 160 of my guests - our head table was done eating long before the last table was served. It would have been helpful to have a few additional waiters to get all guests served a bit faster.
Staff: I cannot say enough good things about Taylor, who was our on-site coordinator. Throughout the event, Taylor made sure people were in the right place, everything looked nice, and any issues that came up were resolved quickly. Having her around made it easy to relax and enjoy the day.
Jennifer · Married on 10/28/2017
We had an amazing wedding with Rivers! We had both our ceremony and reception. The ceremony was out on the terrace and the reception took place inside the restaurant. Kelly and Jay an the event team was incredible at making sure every detail was taken care of and our vision for the day brought to life! The food chef Tom prepared was amazing. We had so many compliments from guests on the staff and location. My only critique is that early on we were told that the venue could no longer allow amplified music outside on the terrace and so the reception/dancing could not take place outside. That was not a problem for us as we were married in late October and didn't want to chance the weather (and a good thing as it was about 40 degrees!). However, we were later told that a wedding a few weeks earlier had been held outside and that ours was in fact the first wedding to take place inside! We are happy to have set this precedent as it was an absolutely beautiful setting indoors, but did not appreciate being given inaccurate information. The staff did make every effort to work with our vision and it was evident they cared deeply about making sure we had no concerns or worries for the day of. Thank you to all at Rivers!
Mary · Married on 09/12/2015
Awesome venue! Such an amazing space to work with. The staff is very friendly and accommodating. Taylor is awesome!!! She made the planning process easy and was there the night of the wedding to make sure everything went smoothly. Our guests are still raving about how delicious the food was!
Allison · Married on 09/06/2015
I cannot recommend Rivers enough!
First, it's a beautiful location on the river, which gives a true city experience. It's difficult to find outdoor space in the city, but Rivers patio is absolutely perfect for both a ceremony and a reception. The space itself is large and can easily accommodate all your guests, and with both inside and outside options, our guests were able to cool off indoors when taking (short) breaks from dancing!
The biggest compliment I've gotten from our guests was the food, and I cannot argue, it is the absolute best! Rivers knows what they are doing because they're a restaurant and they cook for large groups all the time. The ease of having in-house chefs is wonderful. My father-in-law actually commented it was the best steak he's ever had! On top of that, the drink options were phenomenal. We did a signature drink and it was exactly what we had envisioned. Plus, because there are two bars (one indoors and one outdoors), our guests didn't have to wait for drinks, which really added to the experience.
For our wedding party, we rented out the wine bar and we were able to have our own private bathrooms all night and a safe place to stash all of our belongings.
Most importantly, the staff there is absolutely amazing. Taylor was so helpful in coordinating and working with all of our vendors and executing my plans flawlessly.
The most important thing on my wedding day was to provide a memorable experience for us, our family and our friends and Rivers did that and more. It was an absolute blast and I wish I could do it all again!
User3537504 · 2+ years ago
I can't tell you how many compliments we received on Rivers restaurant....everyone just loved it for both its ambiance and food; and of course so, did I and my husband and the bride and groom. One of the most frequent comments was about the food...fantastic!! Please share this with the chef. And the servers and everyone were great! Taylor went above and beyond the call of duty and can't thank her enough for her assistance in preparing the venue..
Rivers restaurant is one of a kind location and perfect for a gorgeous city wedding reception...the river, the beautiful buildings and bridges all combine to produce a memorable event!
User3247254 · 2+ years ago
We found out that our original venue was going out of business 7 weeks before our Wedding Date. We met with Dan and the entire Rivers Team a month and a half before the big day and were set from that point forward. The original venue closing turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Dan and the team are amazing and we had a memorable and perfect wedding reception.
Laura · Married on 09/02/2017
Great venue; bad event coordinator
Rivers is a great venue for a modern themed wedding, couples wanting outdoor space in a covered area, and/or couples wanting a city backdrop. Being a restaurant, they regularly execute dinner so they have the catering down. Highlights in particular include our guests saying it was the best wedding cocktail hour they've ever had and loving the aesthetics of our setting. My parents appreciated the tasting that was held for us, and the manager Dan and chef Tom were very accommodating.
The downside of booking with Rivers is having to work with their Event Coordinator Elaine Simcox. We originally contracted with her predecessor Taylor Dahlstrom, and you should know that the past 5 star reviews are when Taylor was working at Rivers (prior to October 2016). With Elaine, we had to constantly follow-up to receive responses on our questions, re-confirm everything that had been previously agreed upon and decided, and continually remind her of past decisions that she did not remember and could not locate in her email. I hired a day-of planner because I did not trust that things would be executed properly with just her there. Additionally, multiple family/bridal party members commented to us about her rudeness on the day of the wedding. If you book with Rivers, make sure you have a strong planner who can manage Elaine, get all agreements in writing, and brace yourself for the lack of organization.