River Dock Cafe – 1 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, New York City

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Yes, ladies and gentleman, you read that right… Staten Island. Now let’s get the giant elephant in this blog post out of the way. Yes, River Dock Cafe is in Staten Island. And yes, some of you may balk at even the thought of going out to Staten Island. But, for those lucky enough to realize a free scenic boat ride providing breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty and downtown Manhattan doesn’t sound that bad, you’re in for treat. How does this view look?

River Dock Cafe View of Manhattan

River Dock Cafe is located just steps off the ferry. The restaurant has both an indoor dining area as well as (recommended) an outdoor patio with awesome views of the Manhattan skyline. This patio screams refreshing happy hour cocktails on a Friday. Any takers?

The views aren’t the only thing that make River Dock Cafe. Sitting literally on the water would lead you to believe seafood is a large part of the menu here. You’d be spot on. During my visit we were treated to a never-ending onslaught of food. A sampling of what we had is outlined below.

  • Appetizers: Fresh mozzarella, crab cakes, appetizer assortment of coconut shrimp, mozzarella sticks, calamari and Buffalo wings, shrimp satay, black and white ahi tuna salad
  • Main Courses: Cajun steamed pot, fresh Maine lobster, Thai mussels pot, shrimp fra DiaVolo, grilled mix combo, Alaskan pan fried salmon
  • Dessert: Red velvet, chocolate molten cake, New York cheesecake

I wasn’t kidding about all that food! Every dish was plated beautifully and tasted just as good as it looked. The versatility of River Dock Cafe was on full display here. Not only can they do seafood right, but they can do all types of seafood. Whether you’re ordering a steamed lobster or an ahi tuna salad you can’t pick wrong. Don’t feel restrained to seafood either. We devoured some delicious tasting baby back ribs smothered in barbecue sauce and free range chicken breast.

What really made me love River Dock Cafe wasn’t the view or the food but the owner’s connection to the local community. While sitting with us during dinner, multiple people came up to him to say hi, he told us stories about his ‘regulars’ and the homeless people his kitchen feeds with leftovers. I can’t say enough about the impression that left on me. This is a restaurant that clearly wants to become part of the local Staten Island community.

River Dock Cafe is bound to only become more popular as word continues to spread. Additionally, the area around the Staten Island Ferry Terminal is slated for a major revitalization, with an enormous Ferris wheel and outdoor outlet mall set to be constructed in the coming years. In other words, get to River Dock Cafe quickly before the crowds do and enjoy a picturesque trip on the Staten Island Ferry. I promise you it will be one of the nicest trips you’ll ever take to a New York City restaurant.

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