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  • Sam's Chowder House

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Sam's Chowder House
Sam's Chowder House

Sam's Chowder House Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://samschowderhouse.com
  • Phone: (650) 712-0245
  • 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 & Promotions: 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.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSeafood
  • Diners' Choice WinnerKid Friendly
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Diner Reviews
  • "We have been there a few times before and it is always wonderful food. Reservations are hard to get as the season gets warmer and there doesn't ever seem to be enough parking (safe parking also). I parked down the street from the restaurant and almost drove into a small gully which runs along the street parking on the side of the restaurant. It was a beautiful day, the lobster roll had plenty of lobster (I couldn't even finish it) and the sides were good, too. Will return again, but perhaps will try Paio Alto next time because it is much closer."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "the food and service was outstanding.I would recommend this place to anybody. I can't wait to go back again."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Great food. Friendly service. Fantastic views! Don't miss out on this favorite dining experience."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Late lunch, but with all the benefits of great service, fabulous food and excellent blood orange mimosas. What more could one want on a lovely Friday afternoon? I will definitely come back and now that I realize how easy it is to drive down from San Francisco with the new tunnel open, it may become a regular hang-out."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "My family of four live in the HMB area and go to Sam's often. They are family friendly and the food is great. I had the fish and chips. The fish was perfectly cooked and the batter scrumptiously crunchy. And the Old Bay Fries! I couldn't stop eating them. In past dining experiences at Sam's I have enjoyed the food and atmosphere just as much. Many might think this is somewhat of a touristy type place, but I disagree, we love it. And we are local!"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Outstanding fresh fish, casual spot overlooking the ocean."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "Sam's is a great place to hangout when the sun is out. The lobster rolls are good as well as the cups ( very large ) of chowders and gumbos. Can't find rolls like it in the SF Bay area. We had the calamari and the spicy shrimp as appetizers and they were good especially the calamari lightly floured and tender. Crab cakes appetizer was ordered with a small dinner salad by one of the group but it wasn't as good as she anticipated , I would stay away from it. The service was good and attentive but the sunset sells the place especially if you can withstand the wait for an outside table during lunch or early dinner on the patio."
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "Glad we made early reservation as parking was still tight but the restaurant seemed to handle the crowd very well. We enjoyed our drinks, the beet salad was wonderful and our entrees were both very good. My last lobster feast was along the New England coast in October so I thoroughly enjoyed the lobster roll! The service was excellent!"
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "It was a beautiful day and we ate outside. Everyone was happy with their food but service was slow. We waited almost 15 minutes for a waitress and then the food was very slow in arriving. That being said she was aware of the problem and they gave us two desserts."
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "I went to Sam's Chowder House for the first time on my birthday. I had heard it is a popular restaurant so I made reservations. We arrived at our reservation time and got a table immediately. We were seated inside at a window seat with a great view of the ocean. I ordered the spicy popcorn shrimp for an appetizer and a large bowl of the house speciality New England Clam Chowder. The Popcorn shrimp were tasty with just the right amount to spice. The Clam Chowder on the other hand was a treat for senses. It was mindblowingly good. Also as a treat for my birthday they let me choose a dessert from a list and they baked it just for me. I went with the Chocolate cake with yummy huckleberry sauce. The food here was so delicious!!!"
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "What an amazing staff, they were awesome in assisting us with ALL our needs! The food was great and we had a zero wait when we arrived. I highly recommend their Manhattan Chowder! OUT OF THIS WORLD!!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Very casual atmosphere but yummy menu and food options. the Lobster Roll should not be missed - delicious!!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Had a wonderful Thursday afternoon lunch with my wife, just a day trip to Half Moon Bay. Then we walked on the beach."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Great idea to enjoy the delicios food but. Go early an go often. The clam chowder was scrumptious."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Recommendation from a friend after we were looking at being stuck in traffic. The drive from San Matteo was easy and beautiful. The food was stellar. Great drink selection and fresh fresh fresh. Chowder is tough to impress me but this was top 3 I have ever had. Definitely recommend a "cup" before a meal but watch your order cause their cup is most folks bowl size."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "The first day of sunshine in ages so we were able to sit outside with our out of town guests. What a delightful place. The fresh fish (sardines)was perfectly prepared. The featured salad was fresh and delicious. It was a perfect introduction to the California Coast."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "As you might expect, Sam's Chowder House has a great New England clam chowder: the broth is rich and creamy but not too thick and gluey as you find in some places. The cup is generous, and the bowl is more like a basin of soup, so order with that in mind. The main fish dishes were good, but I found the Petrale sole to be only okay since it sat on a very watery and relatively unflavorful pool of lentils. Next time, I would order a cup of chowder and a couple of appetizers rather than a main course, the apps looked really inviting. A reasonable selection of wines both by the glass and bottle."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "We visited Half Moon Bay for the first time this weekend and had dinner at Sam's. The restaurant was full, but we had reservations by the window with a great view(even though it was raining). There was a Bluegrass band playing and the bar was full, so a fun atmosphere. The only negative was my 13 year old son is a Caesar salad fan, but did not like his Caesar here, and they did not have grilled chicken to add to it. Other than that, the food was average, but the service and atmosphere was very good so we would go again."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "I love everything about Sam's Chowder House! The food is outstanding, especially the Lobster Roll!"
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "Take it from a local, this is the best seafood in HMB. Service is excellent, atmosphere is active and the view spectacular. We come here often and are always satisfied, consistently top marks. I can vouch for the ahi tuna poke appetizer, seafood risotto and crab stuffed shrimp. My wife loves the grilled salmon. Make reservations just before sunset and ask for a table by the window. You'll be dining with a spectacular view ofthe sunset into the ocean. Enjoy!"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "The best lobster roll in the Bay Area combined with a sweeping and beautiful scenic view of the Pacific coast is a treat that can't be beat. On this day we were doubly blessed with sunshine and mild weather."
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "Ate at Sam's for the first time on 3/22. Appetizers were off the hook good. Our party shared a cup of Chowder (amazing), Lobster Ceviche (amazing) a Seared Ahi Tuna Special Appetizer (amazing) and the Beet Salad (amazing). Main's included the Lobster Roll (not really a lobster roll, and just OK), Crab Sandwich (just OK), Cioppino (really good) and a Grilled Fish Sandwich (not so good). Strategy for next visit would be appetizers to share and a whole Chili Crab (which my daughter has had before and said was amazing). Don't understand what all the fuss is about giving our menu selections, but worth a second look."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Loved the Manhattan chowder, but was disappointed in the seafood ceviche. It didn't have enough citrus tang and was about 95% shrimp. I had the lobster roll, which was as fantastic as promised in many of Sam's reviews here. The fish in the fish & chips ordered by my husband was light and crispy and not at all greasy. I can't comment on the chips -- I was too busy concentrating on my lobster roll. The dessert menu sounded awesome, but we were too stuffed to sample any of them. It was great to be able to walk along the beach afterwards"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We had a reservation for 6 and called to change to 8 with no problems. The hosted accommodated us and gave a great table in the back. I love the poke and they have a great clam chowder."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Were seated right away on a Saturday night with lots of people without reservations waiting. Definitely have a reservation for week night dinners. Had a nice window table with beautiful view of harbor, sunset, Prompt table service. Kid friendly. Dogs out on the patio. Good place to take out of town guests."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "We were only able to get late reservations but when we arrived for drinks we were able to get patio dining sooner. The weather was amazing and the view of the harbor wonderful. We ordered and got salads quickly. It took over an hour before someone checked on our entrees. We were told that the ticket was lost and had to be reconstructed. Food came shortly and we were comped for the entrees; a nice gesture. We were also given a gift certificate for a return. We will probably use it for lunch when we are in the area. The food was good but not worth the wait."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "We had a wonderful dinner, Black Olive Jazz was amazing, the views were amazing. Nice wine choices by the glass and the shrimp scampi was way too good."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "This is truly our favorite restaurant, not only for our special occasions but also for taking visitors who come to town and crave seafood. Quality of food is impeccable, service relaxed but so accommodating and the ambiance unequalled -- plus we get to show off the gorgeous Pacific Ocean from its great windows!"
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "Five of us celebrated a birthday, enjoyed listening to the great saxophone of Sonya Jason and her band playing golden oldies, dining on a wide variety of delicious dinners and simply having fun."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "We had a great time at Sams! Our drinks were great, and seats were outstanding, the service was helpful, and the lobster rolls were great. I actually don't like lobster rolls all that much but I had to try it since it was voted one of Americas best sandwiches. It surpassed my expectations! I also mentioned that we were celebrating my husbands birthday in the comments section of the open table reservation and they remembered without me reminding them once there. It was impressive!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "After a day of golf with our Children we went to Sam's and was greeted warmly. Our waiter had a dry sense of humor and catered to my husband who is picky about his beers. He brought him a thin lipped glass to drink out of which he requested. The 4 of us ordered many things off the menu and shared. The crab louie was very tasty and the lobster roll ALL lobster. The Key Lime Pie melted in your mouth."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Well known for the Lobster Roll, Sam's is a great place for all things seafood including their signature chowders. Great view out over the calm cove in Half Moon Bay, with a great outdoor setup for hanging out all day and a well designed interior that fits the food served. Service was great and on top of things too. Peak period parking can be a chore even with a good size lot."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "excellent chowder; food average & overpriced, which I heard of from others before. Lobster roll looked good but did not have it. Has the market on location & view. The panna cotta desert was great."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "We'll definitely be going back to Sam's....everything we had was fantastic and worth another drive up the coast again! We can't wait for the weather to warm up so we can sit outside on the terrific terraced outdoor dining area with an amazing view of the ocean and the coast! Go, go, go to Sam's!"
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "This is our go to spot!! We LOVE Sam's Chowder House and come here at least 1-2 times a month. We would come a lot more, but we live about 1.5hrs away. Every time we come here we get the same things... Fresh oysters, Maine Lobster Ceviche and Ahi Tuna Poke. We always have a wonderful time and the view is stunning on a clear day. We have brought so many friends and family here and now they are all hooked."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "What a find during our short trip to the Bay. Almost decided against it because it was a 30min drive from where we were staying, but the reviews were good, so we gave it a go. So glad we did, all three members of our party agreed that the food, service and view was worth the extra time in the car. We we enjoyed the live band and sun set while we ate. We will defiantly go out of our way to eat here again on our next trip to the Bay."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "We are local and eat here often. It is the best seafood along the coast with a great ocean view. Food this time around was very good and service excellent. I reccomend the tuna poke appetizer and crab stuffed prawns. Others at the table had lobster roll and salmon."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "The crab cakes were very crabby, not a lot of filler stuff, in other words just the way I like them. The remoulade sause was tasty. The prawns stuffed with crab an d wrapped with bacon were to die for."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "The food is good, nice staff and a beautiful ocean view"
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "We had a wonderful time at Sam's celebrating my mom's birthday. The food was amazing as always and they gave us two free desserts to share. The live R&B music in the bar was great and my parents even danced to a couple songs."
    Dined on 3/1/2014