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 WinnerKid Friendly
- Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Sam's Chowder House - Best Restaurants in Half Moon Bay ›
Sam's Chowder House reviews from OpenTable diners
257 reviews since July 2, 2014
- Ambiance4.1Noise LevelModerate
scenic view (220)great for outdoor dining (187)great for lunch (141)kid-friendly (99)good for groups (88)neighborhood gem (79)special occasion (75)fit for foodies (59)great for brunch (59)romantic (57)hot spot (49)vibrant bar scene (35)notable wine list (9)late-night find (8)Show More
- Excellent Smoked Salmon SaladGourmetGalVIPDined on 10/28/2014We have lunch at Sam's frequently and usually order the delicious Lobster Roll but in this visit I tried something different for a change. The Smoked Salmon Salad was terrific. There was quite a large serving of smoked salmon plus spinach, roasted Delicata squash and a light dressing. Really tasty. My husband always orders the Tuna Melt which is equally delicious with house made tuna confit and a great little Fuji apple salad. Service is also good at Sam's. We've never had to wait for a reserved table and service is prompt. View is lovely.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- foodrobdocDined on 10/23/2014linguini with clams were overcooked and floated in the souce! Clams were excellent anyway! excellent crab cake instead!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best!caroleonDined on 10/23/2014So I had a lobster roll in NYC at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station - bah...not even CLOSE to the fabulous lobster roll at Sam's. And my guests loved their meals, too, the fish-of-the-day, the beet salad, the dessert-of-the-day (pumpkin tiramisu!) and always and forever, the key lime pie.....yum yum...Special Features:
- Great Place for LunchPlanetRVIPDined on 10/23/2014Enjoyed the lobster rolls and key lime pie. Very nice atmosphere and good service.
- Seaside rendezvousCarlysleDined on 10/20/2014Quality food and quality drinks, delivered via quality service as you enjoy ocean views. Essence of coastal California. The New England clam chowder (not thick, but intensely flavorful) is justifiably famous, the crab/shrimp Louis salad is impeccable, the salmon burgers are outstanding, and you've died and gone to heaven when you taste the cucumber refrigerator pickles. Fun!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Love the Lobster Roll SandwichCinaVIPDined on 10/19/2014I order this every time I go to Sam's. Friend liked the fish and chips. Our reservation was at 3:30 and we were seated on or about 3:30. Excellent service from our waitress--very attentive and made sure I received my free birthday dessert (anything on the dessert menu). The pumpkin tiramisu was delicious and very light.Special Features:
- Mediocre in Every RespectMiltonDined on 10/18/2014Had reservations for wife's birthday dinner. Showed up early, went to the bar. The drink and hors d'oeuvres were served 20 minutes apart by an indifferent staff. After 40 minutes, checked with the hostess who pointed to four tables and said one of them was being cleared for us. We watched while the staff seated four other couples at the tables. Then we were ushered to the back of the restaurant to a crowed and noisy corner, not appropriate for our occasion. A huffy waiter told us that every effort had been made to accommodate us (after we had been there an hour) and would we like to speak to an assistant manager. I didn't want a scene on my wife's birthday, so we left. We had a nice dinner at another restaurant down the road.Special Features:
- Great service, views, and foodbfukumotoDined on 10/18/2014Our first time to Sam's was several years ago to try their world-famous crab cake sandwich which at the time was underwhelming. In our recent visit, we had the paella, shrimp scampi pasta and my 9 year-old daughter had the fish & chips. The food was all very good, piping hot and well prepared. We started with the mussels which were large, fresh and tasty. Parking can be a problem, but we walked from The Beach House hotel which is right next door.Special Features:
- Great place for SeafoodKKPulliamVIPDined on 10/18/2014We pulled into the parking lot and there was barely any space left for parking. After we parked, we approached to the front desk and saw a long line of people waiting for tables. We thought we would be waiting for a while too since the restaurant was full (despite we had a reservation). Upon checking in, we were seated immediately!!! That was great! We ordered the famous lobster sandwich, New England Clam Chowder, grilled salmon (kid's menu) Crab cake and Tomato based muscles. The crab cake, lobster roll, muscles (gotta try this one) were great. The kid's grilled salmon was quite bad - overcooked and very very dry. Clam chowder was on the thin side (I prefer the thicker texture ones). But over all it's pretty good.Special Features:
- Great views with descent foodTryAnything1nceDined on 10/18/2014This was my first time at Sam ' Chowder House and based on the mixed reviews, I thought I would try anyway. Great ambiance, fun, live music, and scenic views. The food was only average. I ordered the gumbo which wasn't that great and my GF had the clam chowder. Her first comment was how thin the soup was. She then ordered the shrimp and crab louie salad and she said it was delicious. I ordered the appetizer crab cake and it was tasty also. Unfortunately due to the reviews we avoided the lobster roll, however, IF we return we decided to try it next time. Overall, our experience was very pleasant due to the views, but the food and service were a little less memorable.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- NightingalenightingaleDined on 10/17/2014Food was very spicy . Even the French fries!!! We went in with a party of six and only one person liked their food. Three couples voted not to return. Not very good huhSpecial Features:
- Delicious lobster rollsdebbiemVIPDined on 10/15/2014We had lobster rolls which were the best we've ever had. Window seating our patio seating have very scenic views.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OverratedSteakloverDined on 10/13/2014Don't believe the hype. Food, service, "view" not notable. I don't know why reviews are so glowing.
- Good food and great service!VL9458Dined on 10/12/2014Great food and great service! The only thing I recommend is make reservations unless you don't mind waiting.Special Features:
- Beautiful ViewFun2DineDined on 10/12/2014Gorgeous day on the coast and beautiful view while dining!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Busy Friday night dinnerscfoodieVIPDined on 10/10/2014It was difficult to park and also the service was not what we have experienced before. Took quite a while for our drinks and then follow up. Food was good and overall a nice evening.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- TammyTammyVIPDined on 10/5/2014First time at Sam's and we'll definantly be back! Chowder is delicious and great Mai Tai's! Also, had the Lobster Roll and Fish & Chips, both are yummy. Band playing outside. Beautiful view and great service. Only complaint would be the notice level. So, go with a group that don't want a quiet conversation...just a good time!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best seafoodin Half Moon BayHMBlocalVIPDined on 10/4/2014We are local HMB'ers and have eaten in all the local restaurants. Sam's is by far the best seafood along this coast and has the best view - especially during a sunset. We typically eat the ahi poke appetizer and then salmon and seafood rissotto - both always great. With king salmon in season, they have a special, which my wife said was excellent. One thing we love about this place is consistency. The food, service, ambiance and view are always top notch, never an "off" day as we find in nearly all other restaurants along the coast. There is also something for everyone - bar with TVs to watch sports, large tables for groups, two person tables along the window for romantic dinner and outdoor dining with heat lamps. Absolutely great!Special Features:
- Anniversary getaway weekendbogox2Dined on 10/1/2014Arrived early for patio seating for viewing the sunset. We advised our waiter we were there for the evening and planned on slowly ordering our way through appetizers, soup, entree and dessert. He checked in w/us w/out being pushy throughout our evening. For starters the crab cake was very good & chili prawns were exceptional. The waiter offered add'l bread for the leftover sauce from the prawns. The chowder, though plentiful in cup size, was ok I've had better. My salmon entree w/butternut squash in a pomegranate reduction sauce was delicious. My husband had the lobster roll which he liked but thought it was a poor bread choice. The key lime pie is the best I've ever had. Great ambiance, excellent wait staff, would definitely go back.Special Features:
- sugarpieDined on 10/1/2014Beautiful setting. The food was good with plenty of menu selections. Service was outstanding. We would go back if in the area.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DisappointedTexasbob88Dined on 9/30/2014The service was great. The veggies were good and the key lime pie was terrific but the halibut was dry and tasteless. We had friends with us and were really looking forward to a good seafood dinner.Special Features:
- 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:
- WhaaaaaaaDined 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: