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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Foodspotting photos
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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 (199)great for lunch (157)kid-friendly (109)good for groups (98)special occasion (90)neighborhood gem (83)great for brunch (74)romantic (68)fit for foodies (61)hot spot (58)vibrant bar scene (38)late-night find (11)notable wine list (10)Show More
  • Food Lover
    iolavolaVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Sam'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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic food!
    Hawkeye
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Everything 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • FAVE
    FLM59
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    This is one of our favorite places to dine. The scenery is the crowning touch to the fabulous food and wonderful service !
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Special Night Out
    DandCfromSV
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, late-night find, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lobstalicious
    PBLocalVIP
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    Best lobster roll outside of Maine. California style roll done with melted butter instead of mayo. I like it better this way!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Yummy lobster roll
    PeggyVIP
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    My 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:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great View
    ginger
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Great spot to take out of town guests. Food was good, view was amazing. Service was just OK.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • PeteS
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    A 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:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Seaside charm New England Seafood
    IslandHopperVIP
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Ocean side dining south great seafood lunch or dinner - casual and right on Half Moon Bay. A must when in the area !
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed in Dinner
    seafoodfan2
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Restaurant 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:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fantastic Seafood
    MaryFVIP
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Went 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:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love this place
    neff
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    We 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:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great family dinner
    mikek6mkf
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food and great service!
    Fun2Dine
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Food was delicious and great presentation. The service staff were very attentive. Definitely plan on going back!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Review of Sam's Chowder House
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    GREAT 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • They Had Me at the Chowder!
    ROBOTMEISTERVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Large, 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:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great ocean view and outdoor dining
    WatersignsVIP
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    I 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:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • yummy
    yumyumyum
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    so 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:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • mmm!
    geminigirl67
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Tasty lobster rolls! I want more! Beautiful view! Excellent service.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not as hoped
    NotTheBest
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Booking 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:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • fun for groups
    Swany1019
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    We had 7 in our group and we were fully accommodated by the staff. Food came out quickly and tasted great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always a great place for seafood
    funkydow
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    Sam'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:
    neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Beautiful view & great fresh fish
    Robert
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    A must do for an easy lunch out south of the city. And easy drive and excellent view. Exquisite food simply prepared.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • nice but... underwhelmed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    We 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:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • really crowded but
    aLe95014
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    It 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:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointing
    Kathleen
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    I 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:
    kid-friendly, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tasty food but pricey
    WendyMV
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We 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:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • good seafood
    ellaschrisVIP
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Great outside patio on a sunny day. The food was perfect, crab balls were not tasty, don't order.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best seafood on the coast
    HMBlocalVIP
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    We 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:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • NYVisitor
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    The view is spectacular. Nice menu, good service, would come often.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, kid-friendly, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Experience!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Awesome 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:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Solid, sound meal
    2manyrest2littletime
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Not 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:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Skip The "Famous Lobster Roll".
    Beebs
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    So 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Seafood Joint
    jimofseattleVIP
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    We 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:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dinner
    ViewGood6
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    There 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 had
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Sam was great...
    JeffTVIP
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    Both 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:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good, consistent, enjoyable
    BrunchloverVIP
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Always 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:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent restaurant!
    HSsweethearts
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    The 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:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • lovehmb
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Great dinner, fresh and tasty. Disappointed that blue crab sandwiches are not available for dinner as well as lunch. Attentive server too.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Way overrated
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Food was marginal at best. Waitress took our order and said enjoy your meal and she was not kidding as she never came back to check on us at all till we were 100% done and table cleaned and wanted paid.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate