A cross-sectional survey of 188 ambulant patients with chronic liver disease was performed to determine the prevalence of restless legs syndrome (RLS) using a validated patient completed questionnaire. Patient responses were verified by standardised telephone interview. RLS was identified in 64 (34%) patients. Significantly, more patients with cirrhosis had RLS than patients without RLS (43.9 vs 23.3%, P = 0.003, respectively). Cirrhotic patients with a history of hepatic encephalopathy were also more likely to have RLS than patients without hepatic encephalopathy (odds ratio = 4.33, 95% confidence interval = 1.40–13.37, P = 0.011). Patients with chronic liver disease may be at risk for RLS; early detection and treatment may improve patient outcomes.