Denver >Food & Dining > 8 Rivers Cafe
4:30 - 6:30 Happy Hour (M-F)
4:30 - 10:00PM Dinner (M-F)
3:00 - 11:00 PM Saturday
3:00 - 9:00 Sunday
Neighborhoods: Northwest Denver, West Highland
I was disappointed – In the last month, we tried this place on two occasions in order for the entire family to have an opportunity to taste 8 Rivers version of Jamaican dishes. For approximately 20 years Jerk and various other Jamaican foods have been family favorites, and after mastering a number of recipes from a friends grandmother (Jamaican) and spending a lot of time with Jamaican friends, we know what the dishes should taste like. What drew me to this place was the fanatic website and the chef/owner's bio. I said to my spouse, "I found this place that we have to check out." Presentation of the dishes was good, but the chicken wings (only a slight jerk taste), the pork was dry and overcooked, the journey bread was big piece of bland flour (sent it back), and the jerk chicken dinner (give me a break, this was only smoked chicken). I never would have known that it was considered Jerk, had I not ordered it. The Coconut Shrimp was over cooked the first time; but my daughter said the second time it was perfect. Regarding the Rice and Peas, let me tell you they were very dry (you could count the 1 to 3 beans in each serving)/no spice; just bland dry rice/dry beans. The dipping sauces were good (used them to bring life to the Rice and Peas and to put moisture in the pork). The collar greens were good and spicy and we enjoyed the idea of French fried plantains (these were our favorite dishes). For the quality of the food, I expected a lot more for the money (I am so happy we had Groupons; otherwise this would have been a greater disappointment. The place itself was nice. The wait staff was really good the first time, and seemed a bit rushed/not focused on giving the best customer service on the second occasion. A much better option in my occasion is Weldon Cafe. Since we discovered this place, the Jerk Chicken dinner plates have been consistently the same (declious) each time we ordered. Now you will want to call in your order at least 30 mins to 1 hour ahead of your pick up time because they are a bit slow; but the Jerk was really close to that I learned to love. I also sent the last 7-8 months in Cuba and made friends with the Jamaicans their, and the dishes equaled that which I learned years ago from my Jamaican friends grandmother. If I were looking for a place to hang out and drink (I don’t) then I might consider 8 Rivers because those around the bar and in the place seemed to be having a good time; but for dining the website and others may have overrated it. Maybe it is in the taste buds; but you really have to know the food in order to fairly compare this to the authentic Jamaican dishes.
Worst Place Ever! – We went to 8 Rivers on a Friday night at 10:40pm for a mojito. When we got there the bartender told us they close at 11pm but would be happy to make us a drink and a shot. As soon as 11pm hit they shut off all of the music and tried kicking us out very rudely. The mojitos were average size but we still had about half of the drink left. The bartenders and waitstaff were yelling at us from across the bar that they wanted to go home and that we were taking too long. I understand the restaurant closes at 11pm but at 10:40pm the bartender should have refused to make us a drink if there were going to be so completely rude as soon as 11pm hit. I would never go back here, it was the worst experience with customer service i have ever had. PS. The mojito and the shot were pretty awful as well.
Disappointing – My friends and I went in to get a few drinks. They pour us our mojitos, which tasted like a coke with mint leaves. Really gross! They turned the music down and when we asked about it the hostess said, "I could turn the music up, but I choose not to!" The server then asked us to leave and the waiter said what we are doing (drinking) is what he wants to be doing so they are closing. It was an awful experience and I will NEVER go back.
Best Restaurant in Denver – I have been to 8 Rivers over a dozen times and tried nearly everything on the menu. I can honestly say that I have not had a bad meal there - EVER! The staff is great, and if you go there more than once you will realize that it's the same staff over and over. They're great people !
Some of the highlights include the Smoked Jerk Crab appetizer, the Jerk Chicken, Bread Pudding and Rum Ice Cream. The House Dirty Mojito is one of the most refreshing drinks that I've ever had. Try 8 Rivers, you will not be disappointed!!
Used to like this place – Food is consistently good, if you like it spicy. Over the years this place had been a favorite of ours, but sad to say that the service has consistently gone down hill. Most notably on a recent trip: after we paid our bill we still were finishing our drinks. Wife had about 1/3 glass of wine left and I had about 1/2 a beer. The server came back and told us that people were waiting on our table and they'd appreciate it if we'd hurry up. We had a reservation, wouldn't that at least give us the table long enough to finish our drinks? I later complained to the owner who seemed to be appalled and said she would send a gift card, but that never happened. Not the first experience with poor service at this restaurant. We do like the food, but will not be returning.
NO WAY – The hostess asked us to wait for ten minutes after acknowledging our reservation and then forgot to seat us. After 45 minutes when approached she bought us each a drink (2 people) and seated us within minutes. The waitress ignored us until prompted by the hostess. The food was mediocre bordering on bad. The bartenders were competent, the music too loud for the space, and we will not return. We will make faces at them when we walk by and tell our friends not to attend 8 Rivers.
We decided on trying this restaurant based on CitySearch reviews and a Westword 2008 recommendation. In that regard, it was disappointing. However, overall, like many restaurants, it was just ok.
Ambience is a matter of taste, but again, in our opinion. It was just ok. The prices and food portions were fair.
We tried the two different rum drinks. On the positive, they didn?t skimp on the rum, but otherwise the drinks were just ok. The crab cakes appetizers were ok, but the fried chutney appetizers were boring.
The dinner presentation was nice and we enjoyed the seasonings ? the sides were just ok. The jerked pork was drier than it should have been and was tough ? and my wife didn?t even take home the leftover jerked tofu. She obviously wasn?t impressed.
Our waitress was helpful, but didn?t have the subtleties or unobtrusive nature of a good server. She was just ok.
Finally, the fact that the restaurant remained 50% - 67% empty (at the busiest time) on a beautiful Saturday night indicates to me that others also think this place is just ok.
Love this restaurant – Had lunch there and liked it so well took my husband there the next night for dinner. The ambience and service are great. Try the white berry sangria. Yummmm!
A cozy place for girlfriends to have lunch!
Caribbean done right! – I have to say that this was one of the best dinning experiences we've had in a while. The atmoshere was romantic and the food was spicy. Our server was polite and made an excellent wine suggestion. We started off with soup for me and a salad for him. My JRK chicken and rice soup had the perfect amount of spice and his salad had the most wonderful curry dressing atop mixed greens with tomatoes and cucumbers. We had to keep switching back and forth. Our entrees were no let down either. I had the Tropical Chicken which was incredible. Who knew chicken wrapped plantains could be so divine? He had the Jrk Tenderloin, impressive indeed. Needless to say we have been raving about it to our friends ever since. Certainly a place I will be returning to again and again.
good food but not outstanding – I came here on a Tuesday night with a party of six. We had reservations but probably didn't need them as the restaurant was not crowded. We sat indoors, but the restaurant wasn't running its A/C so it was a bit toasty indoors. More people gathered on the patio outside as the evening progressed. Service was okay. One plus is that they leave water pitchers on the table and kept the pitchers filled, so we didn't have issues with being thirsty. It took a while for the waitress to ask if we wanted another drink, however. (besides water) For appetizer, I had the spicy shrimp, which was FANTASTIC! And it was definitely spicy. For entree, I had the jerked chicken, which was good but nothing outstanding. For beverages, I tried the rum fruit juice drink, which was pretty good, and a mojito, which was just average. Overall, I had a good experience at this restaurant, but it will probably be a while before I come back again.
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