About Us




Our hostess, Lauren welcomes you to Riva Fish House!

The beginning of something else...


In 1981 we started with the idea of having the best fish market on the West Coast.  We were on our way but a year or so later one of our regulars asked if we’d put some of our Bay shrimp in a cup for him, which we did, and he dumped some red sauce on it. Actually, it looked pretty good.


The next time he was in he wanted to sit down, so we gave him a chair and poured a glass of wine from a bottle one of us brought for lunch. It wasn’t long before we had two or three regulars joining us for lunch, so we put up a couple of tables, and chairs.


That was the end of something, and the beginning of something else. The name we borrowed from a little fishing village on the Ligurian Coast of Italy, Riva Trigoso.  It had been home for a number of early Italian immigrants who settled in Santa Cruz and worked on the Wharf.


That’s our story.

Come in and meet the Riva Fish House bartenders: Greg, Jamie and Manuel!

Family (one that gets along)...


But it’s really not a story about us, at least not exclusively.  It’s also about this really great staff we have, mostly like Family (one that gets along), a number of whom have been here for more than twenty-five years.  Pretty much no one tells anyone what to do.  Everyone does what they know needs to be done.  And they’re proud to be the best at it.  It’s a unique place.


“About Us”, though, is mostly about you.  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.


You’ll walk in with a smile.  You’ll walk out with a grin.


Riva Fish House  •  Tel. (831) 429-1223  •  31 Municipal Wharf  Santa Cruz  CA  95060

Lunch & Dinner  Monday - Sunday 11am - 9pm  •  Happy Hour  Monday - Friday  3pm - 6pm

© Riva Fish House 2014  •  Photography by Tyler Hopkins


We proudly accept: