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“Clams Chipotle” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Riva Fish House

Riva Fish House
Santa Cruz Warf, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
+1 831-429-1223
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Ranked #66 of 328 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner
Description: 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.
Garden Valley, California
Top Contributor
159 reviews 159 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
161 helpful votes 161 helpful votes
“Clams Chipotle”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

We love this restaurant, and have been coming here for years, the food is always consistent. Even when something is not on the menu, they will make it for you.

Visited July 2014
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128 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    49
    39
    24
    14
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Santa Cruz, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Best Fish and chips in town”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

Favorite lunch spot on the wharf in Santa Cruz . Wonderful fresh fish at a reasonable price. Great view, great food.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Okemos, Michigan
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Oyster Guacamole! Holy Moley!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

Nice family restaurant with an ocean view on the Santa Cruz Wharf. Had the oyster guac, which I've never heard of before. The oysters were a bit on the small size but the guac with cheese were incredibly tasty. You have to have this dish if you have anything to eat. The clam chowder was tasty and recommendable, although my preference is for a creamier version. Mexican prawns were huge! Nice batter, not too heavy.

Visited July 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salinas, California, United States
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“One of the best clam chowders I've ever tasted”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014

Took my son and a friend to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and took a stroll along the municipal wharf. It was almost sunset and I was a little hungry so I stopped in Riva Fish House. I was seated near a window and had a great view of the sunset and enjoyed the creamiest, tastiest clam chowder. Being a big chowder fan, I have found that not every restaurant - even those who advertise how great their chowder is - doesn't have truly delicious chowder so I was so happy about this one. I definitely will return and have a big bowl again soon. Very attentive wait staff. My only suggestion is they give a bigger water glass if you are just drinking water as I often do in my quest to reduce my soda intake. The water glass was a little tiny juice glass which they waiter kept refilling. Next time I will know better and ask for a bigger glass or have them leave the pitcher for me!

  • Visited June 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Half Moon Bay, California
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Great views, friendly service, ok food”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

Enjoyed lunch with family on a beautiful santa cruz summer day. Stunning views looking back to the Santa Cruz westside coast line across the water. That was the highlight of our meal.

Chowder was good! The other dishes were just average, but par for the course on the wharf. I wish there was just one really good restaurant out there and would be happy to pay higher prices for it, but i have yet to find it. Rivas may still be the best of the bunch but i haven't had the inclination to sample them all.

Service was friendly but sparse. Overall the meal took way too long (both to arrive and to get us through the various courses and the final bill) though they were able to validate our parking so we didn't have to pay the wharf parking fee even after the 1st free half hour. Thank you!

Alas, the view kept us content throughout.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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