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About
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,
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night
CUISINES
American, Seafood, Soups
FEATURES
Takeout, Seating, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service, Waterfront
Reviews (477)
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448 results
Traveler rating
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15
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LanguageEnglish
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Traveler rating
168
165
66
34
15
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All reviews prawns seafood gelato snapper clam chowder club sandwich stew bread fries salad sandwiches great view window table sea lions large portions worth the wait wharf
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Reviewed October 13, 2020 via mobile

Average food with a great view . My server was excellent and very quick to refill drinks. We got crab cakes, fish tacos, and shrimp sandwich . It was average - absolutely average . The view was amazing .More

Date of visit: October 2020
Helpful?1  
M2500PYmartind, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this reviewResponded October 28, 2020

Hi Kreilynn, we're pleased to hear you enjoyed the views and service at Riva - the views are spectacular and we'll be sure to pass on your kind words to the staff. We're sorry to hear the food didn't live up to expectations. Our goal...More

Reviewed September 30, 2020

Had lunch here a couple of weeks ago. I had the chipotle prawns and scallops and my wife had the prawn and crab sandwich. Both of us thoroughly enjoyed our meals. We were fortunate in that the Covid restrictions had recently been reduced and we...were able to sit inside next to the window as it was a little cold to sit outside. Tables were well spaced and service was very good.More

Date of visit: September 2020
Helpful?1  
M2500PYmartind, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this reviewResponded October 28, 2020

Thank you for the review! It's so great to hear you thoroughly enjoyed your meals at Riva! And, most importantly that you felt safe and well served. Looking forward to the next time you make it our way!

Reviewed September 20, 2020 via mobile

Like eating at a carnival. I’m sure many people would find it fun to eat on the pier, however the outdoor dining experience and food were both a disappointment. The tables and space just didn’t promote a clean Covid safe atmosphere. The crab sandwich lacked...flavor and all I had for accompaniment was French fries and catchup. The crab sandwich would have benefited from a dressing or at least a lemon wedge. The special calamari was a decent portion but only a small portion of cocktail sauce and the heavy deep frying leaves something to be desired. The waiter Was so busy I didn’t t have a chance to ask for more cocktail sauce. I know these are difficult times but I truly fail to understand why this place received such high review from others.More

Date of visit: September 2020
Helpful?
BarkingLion, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this reviewResponded November 3, 2020

Hi Farmer Corneilus, I'm sorry your visit to Riva did not live up expectations. We are working hard under very difficult circumstances to accommodate our guests and stay in business with very strict state and local guidelines and a depleted staff - this kind of...More

Reviewed August 13, 2020

Delicious finger food and great service. The view used to be beautiful, but due to covid restrictions you must sit in the parking lot.More

Date of visit: August 2020
Helpful?
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this reviewResponded August 19, 2020

Glad to hear you enjoyed your service as much as your order! During these times, we really appreciate your patience as we work to keep our staff and customers safe. Thank you for your support -- looking forward to welcoming you back again the next...More

Reviewed February 18, 2020

The sign outside said fresh crab with explanation marks, but they did not have any at 3:00 pm on a Sunday. The Apricot and Brandy Prawns was just a bowl of milk with dried apricots, prawns and pasta. The milk actually rejected any seasoning we...added to it. Further, the server was lacking any attentive ability I had to ask for service a few times.More

Date of visit: February 2020
Helpful?
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this reviewResponded February 20, 2020

We apologize if our sign outside mislead you in any way. As for our service, we pride ourselves on being attentive to each guest. This feedback isn't typical, so we will be discussing this internally to ensure the same level of service to everyone. All...More

Reviewed February 14, 2020

Pride in ownership and operation. Lots of seafood options fried or grilled, nice salads and soups too. Best calamari in the region. Sunsets you won’t believe and some big waves you can sometimes feel.

Date of visit: February 2020
Helpful?1  
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this reviewResponded February 19, 2020

Dinner during a sunset and waves in the back is almost magical. It's wonderful to hear you enjoy exploring our seafood options. Your support means the world! Hope to have you back for another unbelievable dinner. Best, Peter Drobac, Owner

Reviewed February 8, 2020

Okay here is a restaurant that more than lived up to its review. Best cesar I have had in forever with a bacon wrapped prawn as garnish...yum. Bartender took the time to share the ingredients. Waiter was attentive and knowledgeable about the source of seafood...he was serving and recommended a wild caught alternative. Both main dishes were delicious and well prepared. We waited for a window seat and were glad we did. We would highly recommend and did so to others strolling the peer.More

Date of visit: February 2020
Helpful?
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this reviewResponded February 11, 2020

Our dishes will leave your taste buds wanting more, Tanis! It's great to hear our team made delicious suggestions to you and your table. We can't wait to welcome you back for another great meal. Best, Peter Drobac, Owner

Reviewed January 26, 2020

Rivas has a good view of the bay and the service is great however, the food is mediocre at best. FYI they do NOT serve fresh fish.More

Date of visit: January 2020
Helpful?1  
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2020

Beach waves and stunning views on the wharf can't be beat! While we're thrilled our service always leaves you amazed, we're disappointed you don't find value in our dishes. I must correct you that we do, in fact, serve fresh fish and shellfish, including salmon,...More

Reviewed November 16, 2019 via mobile

While the view was great, the restaurant was very very dirty. Unfortunately because we sat down, we quickly ordered 1 drink and immediately left. Our intention was to have dinner there but quickly changed our mind.More

Date of visit: October 2019
Helpful?
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this reviewResponded December 9, 2019

We're disappointed to see you left with this impression of us. We take pride in maintaining a clean and welcoming restaurant, and we hope you'll give us another chance in the future to show you what great seafood we're known for. We're confident your next...More

Reviewed November 5, 2019 via mobile

We visited with 2 adults and an 8 year old. The service was good and the food was nice. We would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone wanting a nice meal. I would think the view would be nice in the daytime however we couldn’t...see much as it was dark (no fault of the restaurant). My soup was great and children’s fish was enjoyed by our son. We wouldn’t hesitate to return.More

Date of visit: November 2019
Helpful?1  
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this reviewResponded November 10, 2019

From our wonderful seafood to our service, we're thrilled you and your family enjoyed your time with us. You'll definitely have to come back to experience our breathtaking views during the day. Looking forward to welcoming you again. Until next time, Peter Drobac, Owner

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Questions & Answers
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Maria E
March 24, 2016|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from Geminiwiners | Reviewed this property |
We didn't make a reservation for a party of two. A bigger party might want to make reservations.
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