Mariscos La Riviera Nayarit

Next up, Mariscos La Riviera Nayarit. This translates to Nayarit River Seafood, which sounds delicious. At first blush, this place looked like a latino version of Red Lobster or Ruby Tuesday. It seems obvious from the branding that this is a big chain, but I can’t seem to find any information about the company. Just that there are other locations in California and Illinois. I mean, no website for a chain restaraunt, really?! I was relying finding an online menu for pricing confirmation, so you’ll see question marks, sorry about that. Anyway, there were kids playing soccer in the parking lot, and some people in mariachi garb taking a smoke break, so we knew right away this was going to be an immersive experience.

And we were right! The place was packed, and a mariachi band was going at full tilt. We were seated and served with ceviche, toasted tortillas and some tasty and damn damn hot salsa. As white people exploring ethnic restaurants, we often deal with the reputation of white people as shy boring people who eat plain, boring food. For example, whenever we order kitfo, we’re enthusiastically warned that it’s raw, are you sure you want raw, by the way it’s raw. Same with spicy food. We are constantly warned about dishes. As purveyors of fine spicy foods, we usually brush these admonitions off, which is what I did when our waitress warned us about the sauce for the ceviche. I dove right in before we had even been served water. And good lord, was it spicy. I don’t know if it was a particular ingredient that got me, but I had tears coming out of my eyes by the time that ordeal was over. 

I was too busy trying not to look like a crying weenie to take any pics of that dish, but there is one on Review Atlanta. Be sure to take the link and check out that excellent post on this restaurant. 

After recovering my composure, we ordered an octopus cocktail (around $9?) and horchata ($2?) to start. I enjoyed them both quite a lot. I thought the flavor combinations in the cocktail were amazing; I would definitely recommend this dish to any seafood lover. Adam thought it was only so-so… he said it tasted like ketchup.

Coctele de pulpo, y horchata.

We had a really hard time choosing what to order because it all looked so good, but we finally settled on a seafood caldo ($10?) and the filete rey ($12?), both of which were HUGE. The soup has huge and tasty, with king crab, mussels, large and small shrimp, oysters, octopus and more. The filete rey came with with rice, fruits and veggies, fries, and bread. The filet itself was covered in seafood and peppers and drenched with a white cheese sauce. I thought the sides were all so-so, but the filete and toppings were quite delicious. It was so huge, we couldn’t quite make it through, and took about a third home for leftovers.

Caldo de mariscos and bread.
Filete rey with  rice, fruits and veggies, fries, and bread. 

Interestingly, Adam and I have surprisingly different outlooks about this restaurant. Despite my stomach taking this food a little hard (TMI, but you’ve been warned for your own protection), I still would give this place a 3 or 3.5. I think it was my fault for using too much hot salsa and for eating the bread, rice and fries, rather than abstaining from the “white foods” like I usually do. While it was certainly not a cheap meal, I felt like the value was fine enough due to the large portion sizes, and the quality of the food was good. The atmosphere was entertaining – live music and we watched the mexican version of Star Search on wall-mounted flatscreens. Adam, on the other hand, gives Mariscos a 2.5. He felt that the flavor of the food was underwhelming. In the end, we average out to 3 stars.

Mariscos La Riviera Nayarit
3979 Buford Hwy NE
Atlanta, GA 30329

Mariscos La Riviera Nayarit on Urbanspoon


Nerd. Foodie. Gamer. Homecook. Perpetual planner. Gardener. Aspiring homesteader. Direct response graphic designer. I use too many damn commas.

4 thoughts on “Mariscos La Riviera Nayarit

  1. WANT! I'm gonna have to find someone to go with me, Jeremy *hates* seafood. Though he *does* love spicy food…

  2. We finally got our office group over to Mariscos La Riviera Nayarit for lunch, with my wife joining us. For drinks, three of us ordered lemonade, the pineapple juice and horchata. The fellow who ordered the pineapple juice was not sure if he’s like it, so the waitress was kind enough to bring half a glass to the table as a “sample”. I ordered the horchata and my only complaint was that by the time I was finishing it, the ice was making it watery. These were huge drinks!

    We noticed there was a filete vegetariano on the menu, which was encouraging for those who prefer veggies. Not being a fish lover I was tempted to go for that, but I ended up with the filete crema de hongos (pardon my Spanish if I got that wrong), which was a tilapia fillet topped with mushroom sauce. I think all the dishes we ordered were $15.99, which is pricey for lunch.

    The tilapia was grilled and so tender it just about fell apart at the touch of my fork. This was NOT Mexican food as I knew it. It was rather bland, so I just had to drizzle some of that wicked salsa picante on the tilapia, much to the amazement of my table-mates. (A note about that – I did warn them about the salsa, but they claimed I had not. It is every bit as hot as you’ve heard, but when used properly, makes the dish much more interesting.)

    My wife had the piña rey, half a pineapple cut out and filled with a mixture of shrimp, octopus (maybe squid), shell fish, peppers, mushrooms and onions. The pineapple flavor is what made the dish, in my opinion. (The serving was so large, she couldn’t finish it, so I just HAD to help her out!)

    Two people at the end of the table ordered filete rey – grilled tilapia covered in a similar seafood mixture with cheese melted over it. I think that has already been mentioned.

    Across from me was an order of grilled shrimp. It came with a sauce which, I’m told, tasted like ranch dressing, and went better with the salad and fries than the shrimp. For the shrimp, she poured out some Mexican ketchup – black-label Valentina sauce in a bottle on the table – and dipped her shrimp in that.

    Every plate was served with fries, salad, and toasted bread. The salad was disappointing, a chunk of lettuce with other veggies stacked around it. We asked for some dressing and the waitress was happy to bring some to the table.

    There were live musicians. They played several songs for one table before we left. It was not very crowded, but then it was Thursday afternoon. And it was certainly family friendly with several couples bringing kids.

    It was pricey for lunch. But, as one person said, she wanted to return at night and see what the place is like then. Everybody enjoyed it and decided we want to return – but not before our next paycheck.

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