Sam's Chowder House
Sam's Chowder House

Sam's Chowder House

  • 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: 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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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerKid Friendly
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Sam's Chowder House reviews from OpenTable diners
232 reviews since July 29, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.1
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
91% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
scenic view (195)great for outdoor dining (168)great for lunch (130)kid-friendly (86)good for groups (82)neighborhood gem (74)fit for foodies (69)special occasion (66)romantic (51)great for brunch (46)hot spot (44)vibrant bar scene (31)late-night find (7)notable wine list (4)Show More
  • Fun place!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    This place has great food, friendly staff and fun music. It's spacious, with beautiful views. Even though there was live music, you could easily talk with your party. Felt very local. We will go back and enjoy the ambiance again!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • CheriVIP
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    Very pleasant service and view is wonderful! Love the various seating options inside and out!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Delish
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    THE BEST chowder I have ever had. Not your usual wallpaper paste. Dungeness Crab - get the spicy / garlic sauce on the side to dip.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best seafood in Half Moon Bay
    HMBlocalVIP
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    We are Half Moon Bay locals and have eaten in all the local restaurants. Take it from a local that Sam's serves the best seafood in the area. It is always fresh, well prepared and service is excellent. And the scenery can't be beat. Make sure to ask for a table by the window when you make the reservation. We have settled on their tuna poke appetizer, salmon, seafood rissotto, and the hot fruit crumble for dessert. But we've never been disappointed. We bring all visitors here since it is so good and they have tables of all sizes. Can you tell we love this place and eat here often. Enjoy!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great fresh food and awesome service
    MikeVIP
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    We are visiting Half Moon Bay, CA from NC. Valet staff at Ritz Carlton Hotel recommended eating at Sam's Chowder House. The claim chowder was one of the best we have ever had. We both had the Dungeness Crab Louie salads. The Dungeness Crab was fresh and sweet. The Louie dressing was very good. We would definitely come back to dine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Been here many times and it never disappoints! The entire menu is great so it is always hard to chose. Love it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Solid, well-known restaurant on the Coast. Food is very good; however, their famous Clam Chowder was disappointing this time. The "soup" portion of the chowder was more "watery" this time, which was far different from the past.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding lobster roll
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Sam's did not disappoint - have had the lobster roll before, and it's still outstanding - full of so much lobster, it's almost too much to eat (but I managed!). My sisters had cioppino and risotto, and reported both were delicious. We were seated in the Veranda Room, which wasn't quite as nice as the main room, but it was quieter for conversation. Excellent service. Highly recommended!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Finnaly tried it
    AMAZING
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    I drive by this restaurant every Wednesday and it's always packed. I have been wanting to go to check it out for my self, it was our anniversary so I took my wife there. She loved it, I loved it the food was outstanding and what I love the most since I am a big eater. The portions were big so you will leave full and the food taste heavenly.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed
    RobertVIP
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    Great deck and view but the interior is warehouse-like and the food is mediocre at best: the bread was insipid, the clam chowder gloppy, and the lobster roll had no mayonnaise. They didn't bother picking up used plates so we had to put them on the floor to make room for new courses.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • GrannieMaGrannieBaby
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    SCH is the best. I love their food, drinks, the friendly and great service from the employees. I go everyother month with a new friend. I want them to enjoy peace at its best.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Spectacular view
    diningdiva
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    Sam's is always great for seafood, especially love their clam chowder and lobster roll. But the spectacular view of the Half Moon Bay ocean, fishing boats and pelicans on an especially warm, sunny day when we were there was great. Our server greeted us with a "welcome to Paradise!" and on the Peninsula it is as close as one can get to the days in Kauai where it is always paradise. Not lengthy list, but very good choices of wine to complement the seafood also!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • First time at Sam's!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/3/2014
    The food, restaurant, and service were all great. Definitely worth the drive from San Jose to Half-moon bay. Looking forward to next time!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very noisy
    JudyBrose
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    They put us two people in a room with large group, we spent 100.00 on dinner and could barely hear each other
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fabulous food and a view to match
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    My husband and I enjoyed a weekend together in Half Moon Bay and and wanted a restaurant with an ocean view and really good food for dinner. This was it! Everything is prepared to perfection with generous portions and some interesting twists and combinations of flavors. Excellent!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another great meal
    mlmlVIP
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    Sam's is fantastic all around! Great food, great views, and great service! Lobster roll and clam chowder are the best in the area!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sam's has it all!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    Excellent food. Great bar conversation (love their barkeeps). Fabulous ocean views. What more could you want?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great seafood and a view.
    LittleNancyVIP
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    This is such a great destination, delicious food, and an ocean view, clean air, etc. Caution, it is a very busy restaurant and even though there is an ample parking lot right in front of Sam's, it can be a challenge to get a parking space. Please note the only recommendation I didn't check is the on for good for groups. This is very open dinning room. I suggest you call the restaurant before booking for a group.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Smoked Salmon Salad
    GourmetGalVIP
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    We 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:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • food
    robdoc
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    linguini with clams were overcooked and floated in the souce! Clams were excellent anyway! excellent crab cake instead!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best!
    caroleon
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    So 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:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Place for Lunch
    PlanetRVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Enjoyed the lobster rolls and key lime pie. Very nice atmosphere and good service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Seaside rendezvous
    Carlysle
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    Quality 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:
    great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love the Lobster Roll Sandwich
    CinaVIP
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    I 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:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Mediocre in Every Respect
    Milton
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Had 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:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great service, views, and food
    bfukumoto
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Our 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 for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great place for Seafood
    KKPulliamVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, late-night find, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great views with descent food
    TryAnything1nce
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    This 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:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nightingale
    nightingale
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Food 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 huh
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious lobster rolls
    debbiemVIP
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    We had lobster rolls which were the best we've ever had. Window seating our patio seating have very scenic views.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overrated
    Steaklover
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    Don't believe the hype. Food, service, "view" not notable. I don't know why reviews are so glowing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food and great service!
    VL9458
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Great food and great service! The only thing I recommend is make reservations unless you don't mind waiting.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Beautiful View
    Fun2Dine
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Gorgeous day on the coast and beautiful view while dining!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Busy Friday night dinner
    scfoodieVIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    It 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:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • fantastic !
    lshondafamily5
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    Wife and I had a great dinner - beer battered prawns , clam chowder , calamari ,great sunset ,great waitress ,great beer , great experience and we are locals if that has any bearing . All in all a fantastic evening for two .
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tammy
    TammyVIP
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    First 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:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best seafoodin Half Moon Bay
    HMBlocalVIP
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We 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:
    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
  • Anniversary getaway weekend
    bogox2
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Arrived 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:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • sugarpie
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Beautiful setting. The food was good with plenty of menu selections. Service was outstanding. We would go back if in the area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    Texasbob88
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    The 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:
    good for groups, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic