Sam's Chowder House
Sam's Chowder House

Sam's Chowder House

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://samschowderhouse.com/
  • Phone: 6507120245
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 5:00pm, Saturday - Sunday: 11:00am - 5:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm; Seafood Market open Saturday and Sunday 12-8pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, American
  • Executive Chef: Lewis Rossman
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Entertainment: Live music Friday and Saturday nights in the fall/winter from 7-10pm inside, and also on Sunday outside from 4-8 during the summer months.
  • Special Events: Five oceanfront spaces are available for corporate events, weddings, and other special events. Offering appetizer, lunch and dinner selections and special lobster clambakes. All rooms have ocean views from every seat.

Getting there

  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: There are two lots available.
A word from Sam's Chowder House
Enjoy amazing sunsets by the cozy fire, a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, and fresh, award-winning New England style seafood in a casual, coastside setting. Watch the crashing surf, dine outside under a cozy heat lamp, or settle into an Adirondack chair near a toasty fire pit on Sam's dog-friendly patio, complete with wind protection and heat lamps. Featured on NBC’s The Today Show, and “Best of the Bay TV”, and named “Best Outdoor Dining in the Bay Area” by San Francisco Magazine, and “Best Seafood Restaurant in San Mateo County” by San Jose Magazine readers.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
  • Diners' Choice WinnerScenic View
Sam's Chowder House reviews from OpenTable diners
279 reviews since May 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.1
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
scenic view (237)great for outdoor dining (205)great for lunch (162)kid-friendly (114)good for groups (97)special occasion (94)neighborhood gem (87)great for brunch (78)romantic (71)fit for foodies (65)hot spot (59)vibrant bar scene (42)late-night find (11)notable wine list (9)Show More
  • Great place, take it from HMB local
    HMBlocalVIP
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    We are HMB locals and come here often. The food and service are excellent and nothing can beat the ocean view during a sunset. Ask for a table by the window in your reservation note, they are very accomodating. We love the tuna poke appetizer and seafood rissotto - but we've never been disappointed.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistently good
    BillVIP
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    You don't have to know much more about a restaurant when you see large crowds waiting for seating at dinner time. That speaks of value and quality both. Having said that, It has the menu of an upscale pub. They do fish very well and I see no reason to order a hamburger except for children etc. The fried seafood entree has too much batter, but for all other dishes the fish is easily recognized. Wine and beer prices are reasonable. Can't beat the view, especially at sunset. Don't go in the evening without a reservation. d
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good Times
    Ellehcar22
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Originally made a reservation for six, more people ended up coming... so we got to the reservation desk and told them that we instead needed a table for 10. They accommodated and it was a perfect get-together!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great spot
    Billie
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    We couldn't have asked for a better day at Sam's. The weather was perfect, the band was awesome, the food was yummy and the waitstaff were very friendly. Great kids menu too. We will definitely be heading back.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Awesome food, great location
    MelY
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    The place is airy and full of light. My waitress was extremely friendly and helpful. The food was solid, fresh and delicious. Clam chowder, fish and chips, lobster roll, and smoked salmon salad all get two thumbs up from me. Definitely stop by if you're in the area.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, great meal
    FoodieVIP
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    If you order linguini with clams at most restaurants you get a lot of pasta and a few clams. Here you get some linguini with your clams, I must have had 2 dozen served to me, seriously and very fresh and delicious. Loved the prawn cocktail too. Nothing like fresh fish at the coast, didn't wait more than 5 minutes on July 4th, packed house, with our open table reservation, it was great - and great service! :)
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great experience
    sonomarunner
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    A good friend from out of town came to visit, so I thought this would be the perfect spot to bring her. We arrived early before our reservation but they seated us right away. We were seated at the window overlooking the ocean. The service was fast and the food was great - good portions. The bowl of soup was actually very large. Delicious crabcakes. We got the special appetizer, which was basically a caprese salad with peaches - nothing too special. The bill was $76 for three people with two drinks.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • girls night out
    MossBeach4
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    We're 4 local women who love to go out to dinner once a month. We always love going to Sam's...good food, good service, good view, good atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    I cannot think of going to the Half Moon Bay area without thinking of Sam's. It seems rare to find a great view that actually has food to match. This is it.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love Sam's
    lovesams
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    We always enjoy dinning at Sam's . . . We celebrated my Husband's birthday and it was wonderful . . .as usual . . . Linda & Jon Mahler
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing food
    Lovetoeatandcook
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    I love Sam's for the view, and last week's dinner there was perfect for the fine weather and window-table view of the water. As much as I love the setting, the food often disappoints. Unfortunately, that was the case last week. The lobster roll was dry and not very flavorful. I actually had to ask for a side of melted butter (had to ask twice) just to give it some flavor. The roll itself was very dry and crumbly, so I could not pick it up. The lobster, too, was dry (it almost tasted like the meat had been frozen!). For the (high) price, it should have been much better. My husband's crab cakes were bland--in flavor and texture. On the positive side, the chowder (white) was tasty, as was the coleslaw.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Such a beautiful setting
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    The lobster roll is justifiably famous! Piled high with so much lobster I could barely finish it, but of course I couldn't let it go to waste! Pair it with a nice glass of wine and you're in heaven. We visited on a beautiful sunny day and had a table right by the window - perfect!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Sam's
    iolavolaVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    This restaurant is always crowded because the food is excellent and very tasty. We go fairly often and have never been disappointed except the one in Palo Alto. The lobster roll and other food is better in Half Moon Bay than Palo Alto.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Come for the New England Clambake
    bernalgal
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Whether or not you are from New England, this food will take you back. The clambake is dinner for two: clam chowder, one lobster, corn on the cob, linguica, mussels and clams, potatoes...more than two people can eat. Everything is delicious, especially the chowder. Sit by the window and look out at the ocean and after dinner fo out for a n easy stroll on the beach. You cannot beat this place for the perfect beach dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    Sooo salty to the point of ridiculous. Food quality doesn't justify the high prices. The Fish Market is a much better choice.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Group Experience!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    We had a group of 10 for lunch. I'd asked for seating so that all could have a view. We had a long table at the end of the restaurant, with half of us facing the marina and the other half with a view down the coast. The food was great and the service was friendly and caring. Great experience!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Teresa
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    i take my good freind here every year for her birthday and she loves it and the food is amazing. i was only disapointed one time.......
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    really good clam chowder but that was it. Was hoping for something better. My husband had a terrible stomach ache after eating the food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lovechowder
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Music in bar far too loud throughput the resturant. Too much use of olive oil. Stick to chowder and simple dishes that highlight the freshness of the fish. Tries to go gourmet. Best to stick to basics that are done well.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great View, Good Food & Bar
    PanebVIP
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    One of the few coastal spots right on the ocean cliffs. The food here is always good, their chowder is justly renown, it isn't that heavy gooey type, but light and very flavorful. Food runs from burgers to fish specials. The fish is fresh and imaginatively prepared. They have some spicy items which are hot but only to the point where they enhance not smother the food. The clams and mussels are always done well here. Wine list is small, but changes and they always have interesting bottles available. Outdoor dining is always our preference. They have windbreaks and the view across all of Half Moon Bay is spectacular. Staff is always friendly and helpful (great bus staff, clear away things without being intrusive). Parking can be dicey.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lobster Roll. Yum!
    Cawins
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    The lobster roll is so good. Nice large chunks of lobster. So good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best seafood in HMB
    HMBlocalVIP
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Take it from a HMB local - this is the place to go for great seafood. The service is excellent, ocean view spectacular and did I mention the food - great. Ask for a table by the window under notes - they are very accommodating. We had the tuna poke, Manhattan clam chowder, seafood risotto and beet salad. All excellent. Another really enjoyable experience.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good…but not great
    Demattei
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    We had been dying to go to Sam's for some time now. It's always packed, so it must be great, right? Well we started off with clam chowder. It was excellent! Definitely notable. That was about it for greatness. Our meals (seafood risotto, linguini w/clams and appetizers) were just so-so. We definitely expected better. We may try it for lunch sometime, to try out the lobster rolls. $22 and they come with chips. Seems a little high priced to be served with chips. Maybe we'll see someday. No rush, though.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed diners
    Kathy
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Our family had Father's Day at Sam's and it wasn't the experience I had anticipated - especially the food. While the view was beautiful, the food left a lot to be desired. I had a dish with crab and various other seafood. The broth was watery and the crab was far from fresh. It was dry and chewy. The fried calamari was barely warm when we got it for an appetizer and the french fries had seen better, and fresher, days. It was also expensive for what it was. I won't be back soon :(
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fathers Day Celebration!
    Made4Heaven
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    It was a Saturday early evening and I had made the reservation well over a week in advance. When we were seated it was in my favorite spot in the corner with a fantastic view of the bay and harbor! My husband ordered the Crab Louis and gave me a sample on my plate. He said it was full of delicious abundant crab meat and was the best Crab Louis he had in a long time! I ordered the Manhattan chowder. It was as delicious as before. This place has great food and atmosphere! Thanks Sam's Chowder House!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    Snickers2626
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    I had asked for a table by the window and we got one. However, there was a party on the patio so we could not see the ocean. The food was a letdown. My guy ordered the halibut and said it was okay-good. I ordered the risotto and it was tasteless and mushy. We had the calamari as an appetizer and it was alright but not great. Our waiter was very good. We may try it again. It was a Friday night and it was crowded and noisy. Maybe a week night would be better.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Exceeded our expectation
    likesgoodfood
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    Despite the crowds and inadequate parking, we loved our lunch here: clam chowder, lobster ceviche and a lobster roll. As East coasters who travel often to New England for lobster, we were amazed at how good the lobster is here: very fresh-tasting, perfectly cooked, served in generous portions - much better than lobster we've eaten at places ranked "the best" in Maine. So don't be hesitant to try it here. We're looking forward to returning to sample other seafood offerings on their menu. Service was very friendly and efficient, the view, looking our on the ocean is superb!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Seafood Gem
    PeterVIP
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    This is our second time @Sam's. This time we tried the sardine appetizer, which was amazing. For entrees we had the shrimp stuffed with crab, wrapped in bacon and the petrale sole. Both were very good. The only frustration was that the entrees were not served at the same time (about a five or ten minute delay on the shrimp). The restaurant seemed to be a bit under-staffed for a busy Thursday evening. The gentleman who cleared the table, poured water , & brought bread was working at full speed, and doing a great job!!!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best Sea Food Restaurant
    beckj
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    Went to Sam's with my husband & 3 young children. My husband had the Prawns wrapped in bacon & thought it was the best sea food dish he ever had. The mix of the two flavors blows your taste buds away! If you're looking for something easier on the pallet, try the shrimp scampi with linguini. It has a light taste of garlic with wonderfully cooked shrimp. Sam's also has a fantastic children's menu. My 11 year old daughter had the fish & chips. She loved it so much that she wanted to save half of it to take home. My 5 year old son & 9 year old daughter had chicken strips & fries. Can't go wrong. Dessert was even better, creamy cheesecake topped with berries. We also had the chocolate cake. My son loved it so much, he cried when it was gone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very tasty
    NearbylocalVIP
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    We live nearby and enjoy dinning here a lot. It's a great place to bring friends and show off the beautiful view!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I would go here again
    Calicoast
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    The food was pretty good, the only problem is they were out of a few things that I wanted. I know that may be because the food is fresh and comes from the nearby ocean, but still was disappointed that they were out of 2 or 3 of the things I wanted. You can sit outside even if its a little cool because they have heaters outside. It was a little noisy because it was fairly busy. I would go again though, pretty good. Make reservations. We told them our wedding was a couple days before and they gave us a free dessert. Very thoughtful.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lobster Roll Raves
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    This spot is a hot spot for a reason...great location, views and amazing seafood...with the standout being the Lobster Roll hands down. Made from Maine Lobster claws the sandwich is a decadent offering to any stomach!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sams was a fun experience & food
    Bobby
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    First time visitors but certainly will not be the last. Even though the facility was bustling .the noise level was good even with the large open room. We arrived a few minutes early but were shown to our table at the appropriate time of our reservation. Our server provided excellent service and the food was served just right. We had chowder to start and with cioppino and crab cakes as our main course which were both great. Sam's is on the water so nice view of of the bay and the breakwater.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed at lunch
    Thargdad
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    Back room where we were seated very noisy and too warm/stuffy. My beer battered shrimp was very greasy and not much flavor. The French fries were just lukewarm.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    Had an enjoyable time. The atmosphere is wonderful and the service Would return.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Pleasant dining experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    I made a reservation to celebrate our anniversary lunch at Sam's. We had a table at the window with an ocean front view. For starters we had the crab cakes with arugula and fennel salad, ahi poke. We enjoyed their signature dish, lobster rolls which were delicious and plentiful. To finish our meal we enjoyed a dessert on the house! Service was friendly and well timed. We will be back to try other dishes!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good lunch spot!
    RoxanneSF
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    Lunch was yummy. Calamari was flavorful and not greasy. The clam chowder was wonderful!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A fun place you will remember
    BirthdayGirl
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    I had my birthday dinner this week at Sam's Chowder House. We all had a great time. We got a table by the window, had a great meal, and our waiter was very cheery.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What a nice discovery
    9609481
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    We were a group of 6 and we will remember that place for a long time. The lobster roll is not disapointing, the oysters were fresh and i did tried everyone of them. The service was outstanding, Tiffany was doing an excellent job even if we asked for separate check. Just one constructive comment will be to give more description of the origin/difference of each oyster since they all coming from the pacific coast. One of my friend wasn't a fan of seafood and he ordered the newyork steak and he was pretty satisfied. Overall, i recommend that restaurant for any seafood enthusiast.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Feast!
    OneCat
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    This is an excellent restaurant! Great food, service and the views! A feast for all senses! Although I live many miles away, when I come this way again I will come back for a refresher course!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.