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. We named our new restaurant in honor of 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.
When we decided to give up the fish market for the restaurant, our objective was to prepare the best possible meal at a cost working people with a family could afford. It meant, and still means, a delicious meal and quality 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 Restaurant and Best Seafood Restaurant, we offer something for everyone. Try our chowder, acclaimed fried-calamari, fish tacos, broiled oysters, fried zucchini, or killer crab melt featuring juicy tasty crab, seasoned to perfection, served on sourdough bread hand-made and baked to Riva's exacting specifications, with cheese of your choice. Good for body and mind! Wash that down with a craft beer or handmade cocktail. Complete your experience with some of our 12 flavors of delicious, creamy gelato.
What started as a fish market evolved into Santa Cruz’s go-to fish restaurant and bar. At Riva Fish House, we offer a view with flavor. Dine at our seaside haven on the Municipal Wharf today!