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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
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSeafood
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Diner Reviews
  • "So sad. This was where I wanted to go - all the time. But last few times and particularly this time, just not good. Crab cake appetizer more crab balls with lots of filler. Crab stuffed Shrimp mostly filler with bacon. Not good. Gazpacho with lobster very good. Oysters - fresh! Music in bar excellent. Cocktails magnificent. Next trip we sit at the bar on a Friday night or Sat afternoon. Maybe we get a lobsta roll. But that's it. Skip the rice pudding for sure. I'm not sure what is wrong but this is not the place it was."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Best lobster roll ever. Little or no filling, just sweet lobster on a nicely toasted sourdough roll. Cioppino excellent as well. Flavorful and full of seafood. Schedule your Trip around it!"
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "I've been to Sam's many times and have always enjoyed a wonderful meal by the sea. However, I was disappointed in the lobster roll when I dined there this week. It came overflowing with lobster meat on a toasted brioche roll, looking as great as ever, but the presentation was the end of my happy experience. The claw meat had a fishy taste that stopped me short. I was able to pick through my sandwich, mostly avoiding the large pieces, which seemed to be the worst offenders. This was the first time I've ever been unhappy with one of my meals here, so I hope it's just one of those things that sometimes happen, even at the best restaurants. This won't be the end of my visits to Sams, but I probably won't order the roll again."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "Took a friend for retirement dinner--had placed a request for a table by the window, which the restaurant gladly provided despite a VERY busy evening. Food was outstanding--fried calamari very tasty; crab cakes delicious (although a bit small)--would suggest 2 orders if you have 4 people. One person ordered 16 oz sirloin--done to perfection and delicious; one person had mussels with linguine (as recommended by server to make a full dinner)--very good; others had halibut and cod with very tasty vegetables--all very, very good. Desert of chocolate cake--just enough for two as is very rich; soft serve with olive oil and sea salt sounds weird but was very good. Only thing missing was a beautiful California sunset as it was foggy!!!"
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "We are HMB locals and come here often. The food and service are excellent and nothing can beat the ocean view during a sunset. Ask for a table by the window in your reservation note, they are very accomodating. We love the tuna poke appetizer and seafood rissotto - but we've never been disappointed."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "We've been to SAMs before-- and loved it. Super high quaility fish, prepared simply, but deliciously. Unfortunately 3 of our 5 dinners were inadequate. More roadside fish stand quality, perpetration & presentation than our previous dinners at Sam's. We love the seaside feel, so we'll try again ... one more time."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "Always a pleasure to eat here. Great service! The view is excellent, however always arrive early as the parking can often be tough to find."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "If you order linguini with clams at most restaurants you get a lot of pasta and a few clams. Here you get some linguini with your clams, I must have had 2 dozen served to me, seriously and very fresh and delicious. Loved the prawn cocktail too. Nothing like fresh fish at the coast, didn't wait more than 5 minutes on July 4th, packed house, with our open table reservation, it was great - and great service! :)"
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "The place is airy and full of light. My waitress was extremely friendly and helpful. The food was solid, fresh and delicious. Clam chowder, fish and chips, lobster roll, and smoked salmon salad all get two thumbs up from me. Definitely stop by if you're in the area."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "We couldn't have asked for a better day at Sam's. The weather was perfect, the band was awesome, the food was yummy and the waitstaff were very friendly. Great kids menu too. We will definitely be heading back."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "You don't have to know much more about a restaurant when you see large crowds waiting for seating at dinner time. That speaks of value and quality both. Having said that, It has the menu of an upscale pub. They do fish very well and I see no reason to order a hamburger except for children etc. The fried seafood entree has too much batter, but for all other dishes the fish is easily recognized. Wine and beer prices are reasonable. Can't beat the view, especially at sunset. Don't go in the evening without a reservation. d"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "We're 4 local women who love to go out to dinner once a month. We always love going to Sam's...good food, good service, good view, good atmosphere."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "Originally made a reservation for six, more people ended up coming... so we got to the reservation desk and told them that we instead needed a table for 10. They accommodated and it was a perfect get-together!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "I love Sam's for the view, and last week's dinner there was perfect for the fine weather and window-table view of the water. As much as I love the setting, the food often disappoints. Unfortunately, that was the case last week. The lobster roll was dry and not very flavorful. I actually had to ask for a side of melted butter (had to ask twice) just to give it some flavor. The roll itself was very dry and crumbly, so I could not pick it up. The lobster, too, was dry (it almost tasted like the meat had been frozen!). For the (high) price, it should have been much better. My husband's crab cakes were bland--in flavor and texture. On the positive side, the chowder (white) was tasty, as was the coleslaw."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "The lobster roll is justifiably famous! Piled high with so much lobster I could barely finish it, but of course I couldn't let it go to waste! Pair it with a nice glass of wine and you're in heaven. We visited on a beautiful sunny day and had a table right by the window - perfect!"
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "I cannot think of going to the Half Moon Bay area without thinking of Sam's. It seems rare to find a great view that actually has food to match. This is it."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "A good friend from out of town came to visit, so I thought this would be the perfect spot to bring her. We arrived early before our reservation but they seated us right away. We were seated at the window overlooking the ocean. The service was fast and the food was great - good portions. The bowl of soup was actually very large. Delicious crabcakes. We got the special appetizer, which was basically a caprese salad with peaches - nothing too special. The bill was $76 for three people with two drinks."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "We always enjoy dinning at Sam's . . . We celebrated my Husband's birthday and it was wonderful . . .as usual . . . Linda & Jon Mahler"
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "This restaurant is always crowded because the food is excellent and very tasty. We go fairly often and have never been disappointed except the one in Palo Alto. The lobster roll and other food is better in Half Moon Bay than Palo Alto."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Whether or not you are from New England, this food will take you back. The clambake is dinner for two: clam chowder, one lobster, corn on the cob, linguica, mussels and clams, potatoes...more than two people can eat. Everything is delicious, especially the chowder. Sit by the window and look out at the ocean and after dinner fo out for a n easy stroll on the beach. You cannot beat this place for the perfect beach dining experience."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Sooo salty to the point of ridiculous. Food quality doesn't justify the high prices. The Fish Market is a much better choice."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "We had a group of 10 for lunch. I'd asked for seating so that all could have a view. We had a long table at the end of the restaurant, with half of us facing the marina and the other half with a view down the coast. The food was great and the service was friendly and caring. Great experience!"
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "i take my good freind here every year for her birthday and she loves it and the food is amazing. i was only disapointed one time......."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "really good clam chowder but that was it. Was hoping for something better. My husband had a terrible stomach ache after eating the food."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "One of the few coastal spots right on the ocean cliffs. The food here is always good, their chowder is justly renown, it isn't that heavy gooey type, but light and very flavorful. Food runs from burgers to fish specials. The fish is fresh and imaginatively prepared. They have some spicy items which are hot but only to the point where they enhance not smother the food. The clams and mussels are always done well here. Wine list is small, but changes and they always have interesting bottles available. Outdoor dining is always our preference. They have windbreaks and the view across all of Half Moon Bay is spectacular. Staff is always friendly and helpful (great bus staff, clear away things without being intrusive). Parking can be dicey."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Music in bar far too loud throughput the resturant. Too much use of olive oil. Stick to chowder and simple dishes that highlight the freshness of the fish. Tries to go gourmet. Best to stick to basics that are done well."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "The lobster roll is so good. Nice large chunks of lobster. So good."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "This is our second time @Sam's. This time we tried the sardine appetizer, which was amazing. For entrees we had the shrimp stuffed with crab, wrapped in bacon and the petrale sole. Both were very good. The only frustration was that the entrees were not served at the same time (about a five or ten minute delay on the shrimp). The restaurant seemed to be a bit under-staffed for a busy Thursday evening. The gentleman who cleared the table, poured water , & brought bread was working at full speed, and doing a great job!!!"
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "It was a Saturday early evening and I had made the reservation well over a week in advance. When we were seated it was in my favorite spot in the corner with a fantastic view of the bay and harbor! My husband ordered the Crab Louis and gave me a sample on my plate. He said it was full of delicious abundant crab meat and was the best Crab Louis he had in a long time! I ordered the Manhattan chowder. It was as delicious as before. This place has great food and atmosphere! Thanks Sam's Chowder House!"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Take it from a HMB local - this is the place to go for great seafood. The service is excellent, ocean view spectacular and did I mention the food - great. Ask for a table by the window under notes - they are very accommodating. We had the tuna poke, Manhattan clam chowder, seafood risotto and beet salad. All excellent. Another really enjoyable experience."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "We had been dying to go to Sam's for some time now. It's always packed, so it must be great, right? Well we started off with clam chowder. It was excellent! Definitely notable. That was about it for greatness. Our meals (seafood risotto, linguini w/clams and appetizers) were just so-so. We definitely expected better. We may try it for lunch sometime, to try out the lobster rolls. $22 and they come with chips. Seems a little high priced to be served with chips. Maybe we'll see someday. No rush, though."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "Our family had Father's Day at Sam's and it wasn't the experience I had anticipated - especially the food. While the view was beautiful, the food left a lot to be desired. I had a dish with crab and various other seafood. The broth was watery and the crab was far from fresh. It was dry and chewy. The fried calamari was barely warm when we got it for an appetizer and the french fries had seen better, and fresher, days. It was also expensive for what it was. I won't be back soon :("
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "Lunch was yummy. Calamari was flavorful and not greasy. The clam chowder was wonderful!"
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "I had asked for a table by the window and we got one. However, there was a party on the patio so we could not see the ocean. The food was a letdown. My guy ordered the halibut and said it was okay-good. I ordered the risotto and it was tasteless and mushy. We had the calamari as an appetizer and it was alright but not great. Our waiter was very good. We may try it again. It was a Friday night and it was crowded and noisy. Maybe a week night would be better."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Despite the crowds and inadequate parking, we loved our lunch here: clam chowder, lobster ceviche and a lobster roll. As East coasters who travel often to New England for lobster, we were amazed at how good the lobster is here: very fresh-tasting, perfectly cooked, served in generous portions - much better than lobster we've eaten at places ranked "the best" in Maine. So don't be hesitant to try it here. We're looking forward to returning to sample other seafood offerings on their menu. Service was very friendly and efficient, the view, looking our on the ocean is superb!"
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "This is an excellent restaurant! Great food, service and the views! A feast for all senses! Although I live many miles away, when I come this way again I will come back for a refresher course!"
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "Went to Sam's with my husband & 3 young children. My husband had the Prawns wrapped in bacon & thought it was the best sea food dish he ever had. The mix of the two flavors blows your taste buds away! If you're looking for something easier on the pallet, try the shrimp scampi with linguini. It has a light taste of garlic with wonderfully cooked shrimp. Sam's also has a fantastic children's menu. My 11 year old daughter had the fish & chips. She loved it so much that she wanted to save half of it to take home. My 5 year old son & 9 year old daughter had chicken strips & fries. Can't go wrong. Dessert was even better, creamy cheesecake topped with berries. We also had the chocolate cake. My son loved it so much, he cried when it was gone."
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "We live nearby and enjoy dinning here a lot. It's a great place to bring friends and show off the beautiful view!"
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "First time visitors but certainly will not be the last. Even though the facility was bustling .the noise level was good even with the large open room. We arrived a few minutes early but were shown to our table at the appropriate time of our reservation. Our server provided excellent service and the food was served just right. We had chowder to start and with cioppino and crab cakes as our main course which were both great. Sam's is on the water so nice view of of the bay and the breakwater."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "The food was pretty good, the only problem is they were out of a few things that I wanted. I know that may be because the food is fresh and comes from the nearby ocean, but still was disappointed that they were out of 2 or 3 of the things I wanted. You can sit outside even if its a little cool because they have heaters outside. It was a little noisy because it was fairly busy. I would go again though, pretty good. Make reservations. We told them our wedding was a couple days before and they gave us a free dessert. Very thoughtful."
    Dined on 6/8/2014