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
273 reviews since June 2, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.1
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
scenic view (232)great for outdoor dining (198)great for lunch (157)kid-friendly (109)good for groups (98)special occasion (90)neighborhood gem (83)great for brunch (74)romantic (67)fit for foodies (61)hot spot (58)vibrant bar scene (38)late-night find (11)notable wine list (10)Show More
  • I'd go back for drinks and
    Overthehill
    Dined on 5/10/2008
    I'd go back for drinks and appetizers (or a burger) and the view. It's a great spot. I'd also try brunch sometime. But the food was overpriced. None of us considered it anything special but it was expensive. Probably wouldn't go out of my way to go to dinner there again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I had the dungeness crab sandwich,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/10/2008
    I had the dungeness crab sandwich, which I enjoyed. The crab tasted fresh as well as the other ingredients. Yet, I thought it could use a little bit more seasoning. I liked it more than its famous lobster sandwich...I prefer crab over lobster. The scenery of the ocean was very nice, and our waiter was attentive, unlike the other reviews I read in other websites.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very dissappointing overall
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 5/10/2008
    Very dissappointing overall - a bit like Chucky Cheese overlooking the water
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Consistently friendly/welcoming,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 5/9/2008
    Consistently friendly/welcoming, solid food (outstanding chowder). Would not order Backfin Crab Cakes again. (Too dry.)
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food reflects the area
    lfiszer
    Dined on 5/9/2008
    The food reflects the area with well executed fish dishes, especially the chowders. The service was attentive and knowledgeable, the view of the Pacific unsurpassed. If you prefer to dine al fresco there are heaters to keep you toasty warm. Great place for a drink and/or dinner and lunch. Definitely a destination restaurant.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Service was superb. We enjoyed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 5/4/2008
    Service was superb. We enjoyed the entire experience and will definitely make a return visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The fish was fresh, The crab
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/3/2008
    The fish was fresh, The crab cake was probably our favorite. The tuna poke could use some spice - wasabi or other - perk up the overwhelming soy flavor. Otherwise, it was very pleasant. The Caesar salad was just OK and the Manhattan clam chowder a bit too salty for our tastes.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent food and service,
    bogey
    Dined on 4/30/2008
    Excellent food and service, great view. Not opulent, but, a welcome find.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Portions were perfect! Even
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 4/27/2008
    Portions were perfect! Even had room for lite desert! Service was excellent with just the right "speed" of service. Never felt rushed. Great food at reasonable price. We will surely go back and recommend Sam's to family /friends.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, special occasion, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Sam's is one of the few places
    hmbterriVIP
    Dined on 4/26/2008
    Sam's is one of the few places on the coast that offer both a great view and great food. They have made the most of the outdoor area with fire pits and heat lamps to keep everyone comfortable. The service is terrific. I am there often and Sam's is now the place I recommend to all of my out of town guests looking for a great fun place with a view.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, scenic view, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food was very tasty.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/26/2008
    The food was very tasty. The service was a little slow, but they were very crowded at the time. definitely would go again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It was not extremely fancy,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/26/2008
    It was not extremely fancy, but we ate dinner there before our prom. It was nice but not super fancy. Service was excellent and food was good
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It was a very beautiful day
    LaSenadora
    Dined on 4/26/2008
    It was a very beautiful day on the California coast! Going to Sam's Chowder House only added the the wonderful experience. Very crowded but we were given enough attention. Overall fun experience...The drinks were great!!!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, scenic view, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Have always had a good time
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/26/2008
    Have always had a good time there. Servers and staff consistently pleasant and accommodating-this weekend we had Jennifer and she was a kick. There was a problem with the computer ordering system, but this did not stop the staff from providing the orders in a timely manner - did not notice them skip a beat. Jennifer kept us informed of the issue (which we appreciated rather than being left in the dark) but if there was a delay, it was not significant enough to impact on the dining experience. Am waiting for the return of the corn dish in May. The chef always uses fresh local produce and the quality really shows.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food was okay, I thought it
    CynthVIP
    Dined on 4/25/2008
    Food was okay, I thought it would be better, given the reputation, but it must be all about location/ambience, which is right on the beach. Would be ideal on beautiful day.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Only issue was forgetting
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/20/2008
    Only issue was forgetting one of our courses. Need to go on a diet anyway.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I have never had a bad meal
    Alamedaflower
    Dined on 4/19/2008
    I have never had a bad meal here. I really enjoy this restaurant. The food is really good, the service is also good. It's a great place to take out of town guests. Beautiful view, especially at sunset.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great view and outdoor dining
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 4/19/2008
    Great view and outdoor dining makes this a fun afternoon spot. Lobster roll and bay fries are the best!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • we know the entries are always
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 4/18/2008
    we know the entries are always good, so we decide by which side we're hungry for. just always delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • definately caters to the turist
    missionhighboy
    Dined on 4/16/2008
    definately caters to the turist crowd. expesive for what it is, but not exhorbitant. food what tasty and cooked properly. service was okay for young servers. might go there again if i was in the area.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We were a bit disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/16/2008
    We were a bit disappointed by the dessert rhubarb tart. It was soggy and tasteless. It needed something more tart. When ask by our waitress how it was, we told her but she did not do anything about it.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We went on a very busy evening-
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 4/13/2008
    We went on a very busy evening- however, we had a reservation and were seated immediately. Had a great view of the ocean. Service was very good. Server was good- I had a special request on food prep and they took care of it. Only critique- the cole slaw needs some zip- it was pretty bland. Fries were spicy but could have been crisper. Taste was great. We would go back for sure. We were there on Sunday evening April 13
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I was very impressed by the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/13/2008
    I was very impressed by the amount of crab that topped the Crab Louie. It was delicious! The other four guests each had something different, and we all had a taste. Everything was very good. We shared two desserts, and raved after each bite as we passed around the plates. Lots of fun, great service, and lovely ambiance. Thank you.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The ambience, view, and service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/13/2008
    The ambience, view, and service were great. I had issues with some of the food. The fried calamari were on the pale side, which indicated to me that the oil was not hot enough. Longer cooking time wouldn't have helped since the meat was succulent and further cooking would have dried and toughened it. So, hotter oil was needed. Hence it wasn't crunchy enough. Secondly, I ordered their famous lobster roll, as did two of my guests (so I know it wasn't an isolated incidence) and I found that the lobster meat consisted mainly of meat from the tiny legs and claws, without any of the tail meat. While excusable at a lower price, at over $20, I thought this was a bit of a rip off since the whole lobster would have cost less than that at reta
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • it was a rare 80 degree spring
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/12/2008
    it was a rare 80 degree spring day in HMB and Sam's was mobbed. The kitchen was very slow, but the staff quite cordial and the food very good. Quite enjoyable.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We have been here many times
    rockerlin
    Dined on 4/12/2008
    We have been here many times and it is a great place! Great food, great service, great view!!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, romantic, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Half Moon Bay and Princeton-by-the-
    lucky2BhereVIP
    Dined on 4/12/2008
    Half Moon Bay and Princeton-by-the-sea are great destinations for a day near the ocean. This restaurant is casual so you can spend the day outdoors in jeans, then have drinks as the sun comes down and great, fresh seafood. Other local restaurants have great food but less casual and/or no view (Cetrella, Ritz Carlton), or not as good food (Brewing Company, Moss Beach Distillery). Also, the wine list is interesting and not marked up too highly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food there is AWESOME
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 4/12/2008
    The food there is AWESOME and the fact that they are right off the beach is PERFECT. However..... the servie the past two times was not very good. We had to order two drinks at a time just to make sure we didn't run out. Also, it took forever to get our food and then once it came, it wasn't very hot and it was prepared as ordered. We've decided that Sam's Chowder might be a better place for appetizers and a drink but not for a full-on dinner. This restaraunt has lots of potential but seem to fall short with wait staff & customer service. If the manager was able to run a "tighter" crew, they could stand to do so much more business.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We each had chowder, which
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 4/12/2008
    We each had chowder, which was above average by far: nice tender intact clams and lighter and tastier than the usual thick starchy gravy-like chowder. The lobster roll, which was billed as being one of the best sandwiches in America, was disppointing. The meat was drenched in broth and the bun was a tad soaked. It was OK but not what I was expecting--plain meat in a small amount of mayo. The entire staff were very friendly. Our waiter was exemplary in terms of professional-rate service and friendliness. The atmosphere and outdoor patio seemed quite pleasant, with a beautiful view of the coastline. Despite all this I think it was a overpriced, but I'd still return for the overall experience.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great dining experience.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 4/12/2008
    Great dining experience. Portions are a little light, but the food tastes great. The Maine Lobster Roll sandwich that is one of the house specialities is very light, but the size of the sandwich is smaller than most. the crab cakes are great, really great, but the crab cakes exterior is made of deep fried flour in case you were expecting a more traditional crab cake. went away feeling like i had a good meal, without any sense of being too full.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Noise level is fine outside
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003
    Dined on 4/11/2008
    Noise level is fine outside where we sat, but inside might be rated as loud. Friday night they have music at the bar but the whole place is open so even in the main dining area you will be listening to the music. No casual chatting at that point. View cannot be beat; request a window seat or to sit outside if it's warm.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • I enjoyed the ambiance over
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 4/9/2008
    I enjoyed the ambiance over looking the ocean quite a bit but I just did not like the food at all. I ordered the "famous" lobster roll and it was very plain no dressing and quite frankly very bland. My wife ordered the whole crab and although a nice size wasnt anything memorable either. Unfortunately I wont be back although our server was friendly and polite.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • beautiful place, great food,
    anne
    Dined on 4/7/2008
    beautiful place, great food, friendly and efficient service
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • the food was good, especially
    katoVIP
    Dined on 4/6/2008
    the food was good, especially the lobster roll. our server seemed very unsure of herself. perhaps a newbie....nice, but not great service.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We have had a problem with
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 4/6/2008
    We have had a problem with the service in the dining area, everytime we come, The servers don't acknowledge us for at least 5 minutes. the bussers do bring water at least. 4 or 5 servers are standing around the front desk, and nobody even sees us waving for attention. We always get great service at the bar. We would normally eat there, but we had elderly guest with us. Food is always very good.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, scenic view, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I want to be clear that everything
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002
    Dined on 4/5/2008
    I want to be clear that everything we ate tasted very good. It just took a long time and we were ignored until the food started coming. Our soup was very hot. One of the entrees could have been a bit warmer.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • chowder was on the thin side.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/5/2008
    chowder was on the thin side. shrimp linguini was bland and dryer then it should have been, not much juice/sauce. shrimp leaning towards being rubbery. I could see this being a fun place with the outdoor seating
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • My sisters and I had a wonderful
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 4/5/2008
    My sisters and I had a wonderful outdoor lunch on Sat. The food and the service were very good. We have already made plans to return next month. Making reservations online and seeing the menu ahead of time were a real plus.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, scenic view, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Service was poor. Had to
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/5/2008
    Service was poor. Had to call the waitress to get refills of water, get desert and get the bill. Upon exiting the restaurant no one even thank you for coming or greets you with a smile. The service staff was very aloof. Feels like we had no service at all. The food was fair, the seafood was fresh but the bread on the tuna melt was greasy. The salmon portion was very small for $25 price tag and the barley was cold. The lobster for the lobster roll was not flavored sufficiently, lack of butter, etc. Overall disappointed with our dining exprience. The view and the freshness of the seafood was the ONLY pluses.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • food was good didn't clear
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 4/4/2008
    food was good didn't clear the plates before next course took fork away without replacing --- had to physically chase down server --- he had to finish whatever it was he was doing instead of grabbing a fork and handing it over --- had to go back to table and wait some more him to finish, and then bring fork
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic