Sam's Chowder House
4210 Cabrillo Hwy
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019Neighborhood:
Half Moon Bay
SeafoodPrice: $30 and under
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.
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.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
- Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
- Diners' Choice WinnerScenic View
Sam's Chowder House - Best Restaurants in Half Moon Bay ›
Sam's Chowder House reviews from OpenTable diners
273 reviews since June 4, 2014
- Ambiance4.2Noise LevelModerate
scenic view (232)great for outdoor dining (198)great for lunch (157)kid-friendly (110)good for groups (99)special occasion (90)neighborhood gem (82)great for brunch (75)romantic (68)fit for foodies (60)hot spot (59)vibrant bar scene (38)late-night find (11)notable wine list (10)Show More
- Lobster Roll Like No OtherFSThreeDined on 9/28/2014They are known for their Lobster Roll. Go for their Lobster Roll. It's a bit pricey, but the quality and quantity is, in my opinion, worth it. That's not to say their other food is good -- my wife got the clam chowder cup (which is actually a bowl portion), and it was good. However, their signature dish is the former. For first timers, go for their signature dish.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/28/2014My seafood platter was over cooked...calamari was so small I felt like it was remnants of what was calamari. My prawns were over cooked....you cannot over cook prawns. I saw you on the food channel and took my sister/brother in law for brunch. The lobster roll did not look like what was on the food channel somehow it shrunk and the bread was not fresh. The clam chowder could be thicker. The waitress was great. The crab cake was a disappointment. I do not want to spend that kind of money again for what I had to eat. I have learned not to believe what I see on TV any more.Special Features:
- Food LoveriolavolaVIPDined on 9/27/2014Sam's is always very good and the view is wonderful. I've been there many times and the menu is varied enough for anyone to go there, even if they are not a fish lover. Their clam chowder soup is soooooo good and so filling. I would suggest you make a reservation because it is always so crowded, especially in the summer. Try to get a window seat.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fantastic food!HawkeyeDined on 9/26/2014Everything was wonderful at Sam's Chowderhouse! Had a table with a great view of the harbor. Service was excellent and the food was superb. Would highly recommend Sam's to anyone. This is our 'go-to' spot when friends and family come to town. The chowder rocks!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- FAVEFLM59Dined on 9/26/2014This is one of our favorite places to dine. The scenery is the crowning touch to the fabulous food and wonderful service !Special Features:
- Special Night OutDandCfromSVDined on 9/25/2014We had a wonderful dinner on our anniversary. We were quickly seated at a nice window table and staff was quite good, prompt and friendly. The paella we ordered was exceptional and the menu reasonably priced. It was worth the drive from Scotts Valley. We will be back.Special Features:
- LobstaliciousPBLocalVIPDined on 9/22/2014Best lobster roll outside of Maine. California style roll done with melted butter instead of mayo. I like it better this way!Special Features:
- Yummy lobster rollPeggyVIPDined on 9/21/2014My friend and I are originally from Mass. so it is a treat to have a Maine lobster roll. Sam's provides a very ample portion of lobster in its roll (prepared warm in melted butter)--perfect. We also had ahi tuna appetizer which was very good. Desserts are always good here too. It's located along the Bay so nice scenic view. Popular spot and always crowded on weekends. We had a 2 pm reservation which gave us time to linger and chat since the restaurant slowed down after 3 pm before the dinner crowd.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great ViewgingerDined on 9/21/2014Great spot to take out of town guests. Food was good, view was amazing. Service was just OK.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- PeteSDined on 9/20/2014A very pleasant surprise. Our first time at Sam's Chowder House. The restaurant seem to have a great atmosphere even though being large,sprawling and a little noisy. The service was excellent , seated almost immediately (recommend booking before) and our server was prompt and attentive (young tall surfer dude with a beard) The food was an even bigger surprise with quality ingredients well cooked and presented. Most certainly will going again.Special Features:
- Seaside charm New England SeafoodIslandHopperVIPDined on 9/16/2014Ocean side dining south great seafood lunch or dinner - casual and right on Half Moon Bay. A must when in the area !Special Features:
- Disappointed in Dinnerseafoodfan2Dined on 9/16/2014Restaurant was not that busy, but it took about 15 minutes for our waitress to show up. The waitress poured our wine glasses 3/4 full, which was very annoying. We ordered food at the same time as our drinks. After a long wait, my husband got a huge bowl of clam chowder when he wanted a cup, and the server glared at him for a long time when he asked for a smaller portion. They must not have stirred the lemon ginger dressing on my salad, because it was just oil and no flavor. I've had it before and it was much better. Another long wait and both our entrees were also bland. Salmon was overcooked and dry. Even the basil aioli did not have a lot of flavor. Could not taste any artichokes in potato/artichoke cake. For the price, I expect better.Special Features:
- Fantastic SeafoodMaryFVIPDined on 9/16/2014Went to Sam's Chowder house on a lovely sunny afternoon for lunch. We had a reservation and were promptly seated. Our waitress was cheerful, attentive and service was prompt. No long waits between courses and our beverages were refilled without our asking. The food was great. We started with clam chowder and the steamed mussels. Their lobster roll and fish & chips were delicious. We were too full to even attempt dessert. I like going to this restaurant, even in the fog and rain, the food is always very good.Special Features:
- Love this placeneffDined on 9/14/2014We booked the reservation online, didn't wait for our table at all and service was fast. We also had a window seat so the view was awesome!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great family dinnermikek6mkfDined on 9/14/2014We were six for dinner Sunday, and my eldest daughter was visiting from out of state. We were seated promptly at a table with a great view. Each of us ordered a different meal, and the food was very good indeed! We left feeling well-fed and very well taken care of. This is a nice place for a special family dinner.Special Features:
- Great food and great service!Fun2DineDined on 9/13/2014Food was delicious and great presentation. The service staff were very attentive. Definitely plan on going back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Review of Sam's Chowder HouseOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 9/13/2014GREAT place. It was a lovely day to spend on our sixth anniversary. We even got a free dessert! If you like alcoholic beverages, the Ginger Limeade is a MUST. Our server was fabulous too. We even saw a wedding on the beach while enjoying our lunch. I am glad we made reservations because the place does get busy fast. We will be coming back for more.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- They Had Me at the Chowder!ROBOTMEISTERVIPDined on 9/12/2014Large, bustling Half Moon Bay icon on the ocean, famous for their seafood menu and especially their New England Chowder not thickened with gluten! My wife loved her lobster roll, overflowing with lobster on a special toasted roll. I happily dived into a huge bowl of the chowder and a Louie crab salad. Note: reservations needed for indoor seating but outside is first come, first served. People were lined up at the 11:30 AM opening on a Friday afternoon!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great ocean view and outdoor diningWatersignsVIPDined on 9/11/2014I ordered their lobster roll because it was their signature dish. It was served with fries and cole slaw. The roll for the sandwich was fantastic but the dressing and seasoning for the lobster was bland and unremarkable. The cole slaw was a little wilted. I would not order this dish again. However, we also tried the shrimp scampi fettuccini and it was delicious. We were fortunate to have a sunny day and the view was spectacular. It's a great place to eat for lunch.Special Features:
- yummyyumyumyumDined on 9/7/2014so good... food is delicious and service was great. little noisy due to large parties but the outside seating looked amazing... we will reserve outside next time.. they also have live music so check the website.Special Features:
- mmm!geminigirl67Dined on 9/6/2014Tasty lobster rolls! I want more! Beautiful view! Excellent service.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not as hopedNotTheBestDined on 9/5/2014Booking months in advance, they insisted on 6:15 dinner reservation time. A few of the party arrived first, and the Manager told us they had no reservation for us (after 3 check-ins that week alone!) The place was empty at that time and we could have come later. We changed to a party of 7 last minute so they put us in outdoor patio; no ambiance or music. Shrimp salad was not crisp and 7.95 cup of chowder not as good as Barbara's down the street. Go somewhere else!Special Features:
- fun for groupsSwany1019Dined on 9/4/2014We had 7 in our group and we were fully accommodated by the staff. Food came out quickly and tasted great.Special Features:
- Always a great place for seafoodfunkydowDined on 9/2/2014Sam's Chowder House is our favorite getaway. When we can we drive over the hills to Half Moon Bay to enjoy fresh seafood and the sweeping view of the bay. Wonderful service, comfortable spacing and noise level (not quiet!) as long as it's off hours.Special Features:
- Beautiful view & great fresh fishRobertDined on 9/2/2014A must do for an easy lunch out south of the city. And easy drive and excellent view. Exquisite food simply prepared.Special Features:
- nice but... underwhelmedOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/1/2014We had a good dining experience but for all the buzz about Sam's Chowder House we left slightly underwhelmed. The chowder is very good, the oysters/clams fresh and delicious, but everything else was good but not great. The lobster roll especially is a disappointment. True, there are large portions of lobster, but the sandwich simply did not live up to its name of the top sandwiches in America. If you need a place for an event or a view, this is a good choice. But if you just want a great bowl of chowder stick to the chowdermobile they have parked in the parking lot and avoid the wait and get right to the good stuff.Special Features:
- really crowded butaLe95014Dined on 8/31/2014It was labor day , so that explained the crowds, fortunately we had made reservations. The food was ok , it has been better. Overall a good experience.Special Features:
- DisappointingKathleenDined on 8/31/2014I have been coming to Sam's for 10+ years and this weekend was a horrible experience. We arrived at 6 (reservations are required.). The waiter took a vey long time to take our drink order, but the bus boy was prompt with the bread and butter. We ordered appetizers and dinner when we placed our food order, but everything came at once. The fries were cold and the soup was lukewarm. I had a crab salad and the lettuce was soggy. The other fish dinners were"ok" but not memorable (sole and sardines.) We waited 40 minutes for our plates to be cleared which was fine - it was nice not to be rushed. Then we asked for coffees and each of them were barely warm. Very disappointed .. No refills were ever offered.Special Features:
- Tasty food but priceyWendyMVDined on 8/30/2014We have enjoyed coming here for the view and sea food. The lobster roll sandwich was indeed delicious as advertised, but I wish there was a choice of side dishes to go with it, instead of having to pay $2 extra to substitute for the coleslaw and chips. The cioppino that my husband ordered was good but very messy since he had to crack a lot of the shellfish after they had been immersed in red sauce. I recall coming for lunch for crab and having a choice of side dished to go with our dishes; that that was a much better deal. The polenta chips, which are one of the side dishes, have a delicious creamy interior and crispy exterior. The fried artichokes were OK, but I wish there was an option for steamed.Special Features:
- good seafoodellaschrisVIPDined on 8/28/2014Great outside patio on a sunny day. The food was perfect, crab balls were not tasty, don't order.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best seafood on the coastHMBlocalVIPDined on 8/27/2014We are HMB locals and eat here often. This time was for our anniversary and they went out of their way to make it special. From the window seating overlooking the water to the excellent service and of course the great food. Certainly the place to go for a memorable experience. For us, the standout dishes are the tuna poke, seafood rissotto, king salmon and fresh peach tart. They consistently deliver delicious food. We highly recommend.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- NYVisitorDined on 8/27/2014The view is spectacular. Nice menu, good service, would come often.Special Features:
- Great Experience!!!OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 8/22/2014Awesome experience!! The service was excellent - our waitress and bus boy were fantastic and are definite assets to the restaurant!!! Food was great!!! Thank you!!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Solid, sound meal2manyrest2littletimeDined on 8/21/2014Not spectacular, but a very solid spot just out of Half Moon Bay. Enjoyed the meal, although I think it is a better lunch option than dinner. Always busy and the reputation is good. Won't blow you away but you'll feel good about the meal and experience.Special Features:
- Skip The "Famous Lobster Roll".BeebsDined on 8/19/2014So disappointed , made a special trip to Sam's just for the lobster roll. Lobster meat tough and dry and rather bland, won't be back.
- Good Seafood JointjimofseattleVIPDined on 8/18/2014We enjoyed our meal despite a somewhat scatterbrained waitress. The Oysters Rockefeller were especially good. This is a solid, old-fashioned sea food resaurant.Special Features:
- DinnerViewGood6Dined on 8/18/2014There was six of us - we were put in an enclosed outdoor room, accoustics were horrible - we had to yell to hear each other. The waitress didnt get our order correct - dont think i will go back again with a large group. Food was just average - not as good as down the way - maybe only a few clams in the clam chowder we ALL hadSpecial Features:
- Sam was great...JeffTVIPDined on 8/18/2014Both the server and the place of business. Awesome view of the beach and very good food. The Claim chowder was very flavorful, though a bit "soupy". The Oysters Rock was good and the oysters were very large. Lobster roll was 1 1/4 of meat, and while the "dressing" of the sandwich didn't provide much flavor, the amount of lobster was great. Sam the server made our experience and was fun while also being interested in our experience.Special Features:
- Good, consistent, enjoyableBrunchloverVIPDined on 8/17/2014Always enjoy coming here. Good food (some great, like the paella and cioppino, some just okay, like the calamari and shrimp scampi). Consistent good service, great view and ambience. Perfect to bring visiting family for Bay Area seafood flavor.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent restaurant!HSsweetheartsDined on 8/14/2014The food was delicious. The service was excellent. Our waitress, Katy, acknowledged our wedding anniversary and congratulates us. She sat us at a table by the window with a perfect view of the water. We will definitely come back and refer our friends. Open table was so easy!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.