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“Our favorite place for Happy Hour”
Review of Riva Fish House

Riva Fish House
Ranked #26 of 406 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Child-friendly
Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Dinner, Reservations
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.
Reviewed 8 October 2018

My husband and I have been coming here for years and love the zucchini sticks and other appetizers with a glass of wine/beer during Happy Hour or anytime. We used to come here all the time for dinners and still have something now and then but usually we like to get back over Highway 17 before it gets late and the traffic gets worse.

Thank Janet J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Janet, thanks so much for being a fan of our happy hour! It's great to hear you and your husband enjoy a dinner or happy hour every now and then. It makes me happy knowing you enjoy your time here. Looking forward to the next time you make it our way!

All the best,
Peter Drobac, Owner

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3 - 7 of 433 reviews

Reviewed 8 October 2018

We went there for a family birthday, the 11 y/o loves their clams. In our group were two elderly with walkers. There unisex bathrooms are little more than a closet. These people could not get them and their walkers into the closet at the same time.

Also, parking is very limited, you are on the pier.

There is probably other places in Santa Cruz just as good with more parking and ADA friendly.

    • Value
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1  Thank Ray S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Ray, thank you so much for celebrating with us! It's great to hear your group enjoyed the food. We always want all of our guests to be able to move around comfortably, so your feedback is very important to me. I hope we get the chance to serve you again soon!

Best,
Peter Drobac, Owner

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Reviewed 7 October 2018

Every time we visit Santa Cruz to see family, we head to Riva for lunch. Their crab sandwiches are fantastic. The wharf always provides a great view and the service is always nice and friendly. A long time favorite!

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Thank Mary B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this reviewResponded 8 October 2018

Mary, this is so great! Thank you so much for your support and for all the kind words. Hoping to have you back in our seats very soon!

All the best,
Peter Drobac, Owner

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Reviewed 7 October 2018

After many years we returned to Riva's after hearing positive things from friends. We waited for a window side table (worth waiting for the view). We found our dinners only okay and unmemorable. Neither seafood dinners had the flavor we associate with fresh seafood. Riva's recipe for cioppino was unique and included sliced onions, green peppers and potatoes. Despite a busy night (filled mostly with out of town visitors), the table service was very good. Riva's is a casual restaurant with a small bar, a gelato counter, an ATM machine, and a small seating area outside for waits.

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Thank shewoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this reviewResponded 9 October 2018

It's unfortunate to hear you weren't completely impressed with your recent visit. We work hard to make sure every visit is memorable, so I'm sorry if you felt that wasn't the case. While I'm glad the service and views were worthwhile, I wish your meals would have been just as impressive. Hoping you'll be back to give us another shot in the future.

Sincerely,
Peter Drobac, Owner

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Reviewed 6 October 2018 via mobile

I have to say, we weren't wowed by our experience here. The meal was ok, the service was ok, the view was the best thing about the place. We actually waited to get a nice window seat and did some shopping until our table was ready. That was fine. Our server was nice, came to refill our water once or twice. Our group of 4 all had variations of fried seafood, the best being the fish tacos. Our friend who had those said that the flavour was spot on and the presentation was great too. We all thought it looked good. My husband had the fish and chips, which he said was ok, but breading too thick on the fish, and greasy. My friend and I both had the seafood platter, which I would not recommend. We both felt so full and gross for the rest of the night and didn't feel like the meal was worth feeling that way. It was simply because of the breading. The breading was way too greasy and super thick, just as the fish and chips were. By the time you cut through the breading and got to the inside, the flavor just wasn't there. They need to change the batter they use for the fish in my opinion. We have had much better battered fish and seafood at many other places.
The one thing I must say is that the Seafood Chowder was delicious! It was the best part of the meal; creamy and full of flavor. It came out hot and the bowl was a good size portion. I wish I had of had a second bowl of that instead of my greasy seafood.

Thank JameAndDare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter D, Owner at Riva Fish House, responded to this reviewResponded 8 October 2018

It's very unfortunate to hear you weren't wowed with your time here. You should always be able to expect greatness when you dine with us, and I'm sorry if you felt that wasn't the case for your visit. While I'm glad the chowder hit the spot an the views were enjoyed, I wish the rest of your experience would have been just as impressive. Hoping you'll make your way back to give us another try in the future.

Respectfully,
Peter Drobac, Owner

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