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Riva Fish House

Certificate of Excellence
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Santa Cruz Warf, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
+1 831-429-1223
11:00 - 21:00
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 11:00 - 21:00
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322 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 303: English reviews
Bedford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
166 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We dropped in here without a reservation as it looked nice from the outside and the menu looked good, having only 1 day in Santa Cruz, we figured we wouldn't check reviews and just follow our noses and we were so glad we did! Nestled halfway along the municipal pier, we walked in and were seated straight away with efficiency... More 

Thank Suzy C
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this review

You're so welcome, Suzy! I know you and your boyfriend must have been pretty busy with only one day to spend in Santa Cruz, so I'm thrilled you had a chance to visit us. I know Lindsay will be just as thrilled as I am to see this -- glad the tilapia and "Release the Kraken" truly hit the spot.... More 

Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
36 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2017

Love this restaurant best on the wharf. Great options for all the family, kids etc. Different types of food options

Thank crumbles1234
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this review

It's just wonderful you consider us the best on the wharf! I look forward to welcoming you and your family back. All the best, Peter Drobac, Owner More 

Rio del Mar, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2016

This restaurant has it all, great views, good and generous portions, and wonderful cocktails. With the best bartender Jordan.

Thank warbler44
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this review

Jordan truly is the best! Glad you felt so welcomed with a beautiful view and a cocktail in hand. Next time you're in the area, we'd love to welcome you back. All the best, Peter Drobac, Owner More 

Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
200 reviews
155 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 December 2016

Make sure you get an ocean view because we sat near the restrooms and it felt like we were in the kitchen. The food was better than average, but I much prefer other places on the wharf. We wanted to try this place, so we gave it a whirl, but for the money, I would stick to a higher rated... More 

Thank timteresa0
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this review

While we didn't exactly leave the best impression, we hope we left a favorable impression. It seems that the food at least hit the spot, so we definitely look forward to welcoming you back. If there's a preference you have when it comes to seats, Tim and Teresa, definitely let the host know! We can see what we can do... More 

West Berlin, New Jersey
Level Contributor
70 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 December 2016

The food is certainly acceptable and prices for dinner are very affordable. The beer list is limited. Clam soup doesn't have the freshness that I encountered in several restaurants in Monterey. Service was good and very friendly. It has the feel of a family place and there may have been some regulars at the bar. The view by the water... More 

Thank whelfand
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this review

While the clam chowder wasn't exactly what you were expecting, I am glad you got to enjoy your visit overall. We look forward to welcoming you back next time you need refuge from the seagulls. All the best, Peter Drobac, Owner More 

Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 December 2016

Dropped in for our last lunch in Santa Cruz. We really wanted to check out the wharf (SEA LIONS!!!) and this place sounded good. Did not disappoint! It was early & not busy at all, we were seated immediately. Service was fine, our food arrived promptly and was pretty damn good. I had fish & chips- huge portion, delish, and... More 

Thank acantwell72
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this review

Glad you got a chance to see this sea lions before leaving Santa Cruz! And of course, see us as well. I'm thrilled the fish and chips and clam chowder hit the spot for you both -- hope you had a safe trip back. All the best, Peter Drobac, Owner More 

Rancho Murieta
Level Contributor
173 reviews
99 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2016 via mobile

My wife and recently visited Santa Cruz and were anxious to stop in at Riva's because last time we were in town it was closed. We arrived around 4:00 so we were able to take advantage of the happy hour offerings. We were immediately seated at a table with a view, so we were elated. Instead of dinner we decided... More 

Thank OldNorCalGuy
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this review

It's wonderful you and your wife had a chance to visit us on your most recent trip from Nor Cal! I'm glad the happy hour apps hit the spot, and thanks for the praise for thebusboy. I'll be sure to pass along your compliments. Hope to welcome you back next time you're visiting Santa Cruz! All the best, Peter Drobac,... More 

Marion, Indiana
Level Contributor
82 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 November 2016

Good food, beautiful water views, & fast/friendly service. I had the tilapia tacos, which were very good. My husband had the burger--he said it was just OK. Gelato is good.

Thank DanaJ0
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this review

Dana, I'm so glad you enjoyed spending some time here -- thank you for the kind words! It's great to hear you liked the tilapia tacos, but I apologize your husband's burger wasn't more of a hit with him. Please know, we're always happy to prepare anything more towards one's preference if we're made aware! Thank you for the wonderful... More 

Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 November 2016 via mobile

The clam chowder and crab cakes are beyond belief here! Friends I was with ordered platters that contained an immense amount of food. Great views of the ocean and Santa Cruz!

Thank jhetzel0937
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this review

We're so glad you could enjoy the view with some tasty clam chowder and crab cakes! I truly appreciate you taking some time to support what we do here, and I hope it won't be too long until we can welcome you back for a bite. Take care! All the best, Peter Drobac, Owner More 

Rainbow, CA
Level Contributor
42 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 November 2016

Stopped in for a light lunch and ordered the Fish & Chips. I chose the Coleslaw instead of chips and it was so bland I took it to go and fixed it up back at camp. Yes, Apparently I have more spices in my trailer than this kitchen does. The fish was very good. The three pieces were nice sized... More 

Thank wwubbly
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this review

So cool you got to see a whale out there -- thanks for stopping by for lunch! I'm happy to hear you enjoyed everything, but I apologize the coleslaw came out a little bland. Please know, we're always happy to correct those kinds of things on the spot! We truly appreciate the support, and we hope it won't be too... More 

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
American, Seafood, Soups, Gluten Free Options
Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
Restaurant features
Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Parking Available
Good for
View, Child-friendly, Kids, Local cuisine, Cheap Eats
Open Hours
11:00 - 21:00
11:00 - 21:00
11:00 - 21:00
11:00 - 21:00
11:00 - 21:00
11:00 - 21:00
11:00 - 21:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: Santa Cruz Warf, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Santa Cruz
  • Phone Number: +1 831-429-1223
What started as a fish market has ended up an amazing dish restaurant and bar. At Riva Fish House, we offer a view with flavor. Dine at our seaside haven on the Municipal Wharf in Santa Cruz today!

When we gave up the fish market for the restaurant, our objective was to turn out the best possible meal at a cost working people with a family could afford. That didn't mean something they could handle but under stress. It meant, and still means, a really good meal and beverages at a really comfortable price.

Our loyal and friendly staff now serves some of the best, award-winning seafood around. Voted Santa Cruz's Best Seafood Restaurant, we offer something for everyone. Try our chowder, fish tacos, zucchini fries, or a killer crab sandwich. Big hunks of juicy tasty crab, seasoned to perfection, served on sourdough bread hand-made and baked to Riva's exacting specifications, with cheese of your choice, grilled and hot for your body. It's probably good for your mind, too.

Wash that down with a craft beer or handmade cocktail. Finish off your experience by trying some of our 12 flavors of delicious, creamy gelato that is sure to please.

Stop by and dine with us soon. You'll walk in with a smile. You'll walk out with a grin.

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Riva Fish House and other visitors
1 question
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Sacramento, California
11 months ago

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Questions? Get answers from Riva Fish House staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?