Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto
Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto

Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.spengers.com/
  • Phone: 5108457771x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Daily: 11:00am-3:00pm; Dinner: Sunday-Thursday: 3:00pm-10:00pm Friday-Saturday: 3:00pm-11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Steak, Seafood, American
  • Executive Chef: Patrick Kehler
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access

Getting there

  • Cross Street: University Ave.
  • Public Transit: We are located a few blocks from many AC Transit Bus lines. The closest Bart stations is about 1 mile away.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: We validate for parking in the lot located across the street from the restaurant. 1 1/2 hours free before 5pm, 3 hours free after 5pm.
A word from Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto
Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto's menu features over thirty selections of seafood, fresh fish, shellfish and more from the Bay Area, Pacific Ocean and other regions around the globe. The classic, traditional presentation of the menu items, combined with professional, knowledgeable service and the unique atmosphere make for a truly memorable dining experience. The restaurant features five private dining rooms with a nautical theme, seating groups from 25 up to 250 and receptions up to 400. Banquet rooms feature porthole windows, antique memorabilia, and hand-crafted glass chandeliers that complement the teak walls and brass fittings. Corporate and social groups alike will enjoy the highest quality fresh food along with gracious and professional service in this unique and exciting setting.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto reviews from OpenTable diners
107 reviews since May 25, 2014
Overall Rating3.7
  • Food3.7
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
82% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (43)neighborhood gem (40)special occasion (39)great for lunch (32)fit for foodies (21)kid-friendly (21)great for brunch (13)notable wine list (13)romantic (11)vibrant bar scene (9)hot spot (3)late-night find (3)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    I don't believe after eating there that Spenger's is owned by the same company. I was there along time ago several times and it was great. Haven't been for quite a few years. The service was terrible, we had to keep looking for our waitress and we were there at the beginning of the lunch period, 11:45 AM. Also, our food was very disappointing. My sisters Fish & Chips was OK. I had Oysters Rockefeller and it was awful. I believe they just boiled the oysters and all they did was mix spinach with a white sauce, there was no cheese and there was absolutely no flavor. All I tasted was a mouthful of spinach. I had to look for the oysters. This dish that had only 4 oysters that I couldn't find cost me $19.99.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing
    just4dinner
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We were seated next to a large party and our waitress was working both of our tables. We were a party of 4. The drinks took too long to come out, our food was cold and we were definitely not her priority. I understand large groups and the staffs need to accommodate them but I won't be sitting next to a large party again. We were ignored most of the time and we were there probably 45 minutes longer than we should have been.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • like an old friend!
    optionsnot
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We hadn't eaten at Spengers in several years and thought it would be fun to try it again! We couldn't have been happier that we did! My wife had the catfish with sweet potato fries and coleslaw and everything was delicious! I have been coming to Spengers for probably 30 plus years and the only dish I've had is the breaded calamari and it was excellent! The mash potatoes and the asparagus were as good as they come! It is always nice to find a restaurant that is able to provide a good meal at a fair price and do it for a long time! Additionally, our server, a young woman, was very knowledgeable and provided great service!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • disappointing
    aldoVIP
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    The clam chowder was too thick and never tasted like any clam flavor. The salmon cake sandwich hardly had a salmon flavor due to so much breading. Disapppointing after a long absence from this long-standing institution.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • HGJK
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    was ignored by the waitpersons until called out to a passing waiter. the one piece of fish that was cooked was good (-2 pieces -) one piece not done. too bad, as we had come here for years and always had a good meal and good time.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Family friendly quality dining!
    FoothillFamily
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Our group of six, including two children, came by here on our way home to the foothills from an Oakland A's game. We'd made reservations for 6:00 pm but were easily able to change them online on Open Table to 5:00 when the game was over earlier than we estimated. We were greeted by the friendly hosts, seated, and brought beverages and menus immediately. Our dinners were served quickly and exactly as we had ordered. Everything was wonderful and we hope to be back soon. Thanks for helping to make this a memorable day for our group!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun seafood place in Berkeley
    Lynn
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We love Spengers. It's a favorite spot to take our UC Berkeley son and his pals when we are in town. The food is good and plentiful. The service is always great. It's a fun atmosphere and can handle larger groups.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • enjoyable
    EvePro
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    We've been there a few times. We love the clam chowder, shrimp scampi and the Creme brûlée. The server forgot to bring the bread at first, and kept making the same joke once we placed our order "I'll cook it myself" 3x the same joke??? We gave him our courtesy laugh anyway. The ambiance/decor is a bit too dark, it wouldn't hurt to brighten up a little (it would attract a younger crowd), but the food is so good we keep coming back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, kid-friendly, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good Food--Service Needs Attention
    TomasVIP
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    Had been to Spenger's years ago when I had visited East Bay but heard that it had gone down hill. But decided to give it a try for "old times sake." In a nutshell--very good food, service needs attention. Clam chowder was excellent, along with our fish and chips. One of our party had the crusted sole--also very good. Waiter could have been a bit more attentive. All in all, not a bad experience.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loyal customer
    Jusgdfoodpls
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    I Came for the lobster and steak holiday weekend 25.99 special. Our server was surprised that I knew about it. I do get emails from M & S. It was worth the price. Nothing special. I have been coming to this restaurant since 1969. My husband ordered the fried seafood platter which was a HUGE disappointment! Flaccid and soft seafood on top of barely warm flaccid and soft french fries. Although we had reservations the service was slow, slow, slow. We waited 30 min to get a glass of wine and a cocktail.The Margarita was absolutely scrumptious and I had another to still the irritation of our dining experience. We were celebrating my husbands birthday which I stated in the reservation comments but no one acknowledged it. I did not say anything.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food but veggies raw
    CarolR61
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    A group of us went to the horse races &dinner my husband &I recommended Spengers. We are local &have always had good meals there.The service was outstanding. We asked about the huge Asian jar &the manager came out to talk us about it which was a special treat. Asked for recommendations from our server &her choices were excellent. It took longer than it should in my opinion to get our food. The deserts were to die for I thought my salmon on cedar plank was good the upside down Apple pie was better. It even beat out the cheesy bread which was awesome There was one huge problem. My veggies were completely raw didn't want potatoes so asked for all veg got squash,onion,pepper love them all but they should have been sautéed totally wrong! Yuck!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Time Old Tradition
    ACSO1248
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Spengers has been a tradition for and within my family for more than 25 years. In fact, in 1996, I proposed to my wife in one of the banquet areas with more than 20 in attendance. Although divorced and having gone our seperate ways, the memories are still vibrant, pleasurable and long lasting. The ownership and staff may have changed over time, but the atmosphere hasn't..... if anything, maybe a little better with time. My youngest daughter (19) and I celebreated our birthdays with our last visit August 30th. Both Managers and wait staff went out of their way to ensure our satifactions with both service and feast. Bravo! We'll be back.... again and again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Turning the corner?
    Anon
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    We visit Berkeley quite frequently for work and try to eat at Spenger's everytime we are in town. Over the past few years we had noticed that the quality of the food and wait staff service had been significantly poorer than previous years to the point of considering abandoning this eatery. However, we are glad to see that the restaurant appears to be making a comeback. We have noticed over the past two times that we ate at Spenger's, the wait staff was far more attentive and helpful. More important the food was very good, though perhaps the salmon could have been a bit fresher this past time, served hot and in a timely fashion. The appetizers were also very good as was dessert. We shall return with the expectation of further improvement.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • bpbwVIP
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Since Landry's took over this venerable old place, the food is always excellent. The service is always good but if you are a Landry's member, it is truly top notch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I love the food but ....
    MemlouiseVIP
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    This was my first time to Spenger's. I loved my blue cheese salad and stuffed shrimp! Service was attentive but a bit forgetful. I will go here again and try many of the other inviting items on the menu. That said, the other 3 people I was with - all of whom had been to Spenger's before and consider it "touristy" - were not happy with much of anything, except the salmon which was great, they said. I'm not sure if they gave it a fair shot or not. The menu is not "fancy" nor is it consistently healthy. The "creamed spinach" was very creamy and covered in cheese and my friends couldn't eat it. The waitress said, "it's an acquired taste." That's probably right - this is the type of place that feels comfortable and homey, even the food.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • visiting family dinner
    TyeeKing
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Visiting our med school student nephew with family of seven, asked about great seafood restaurant locally. Drawing on past working experience in the Bay area, immediately thought of Spengers, my favorite spot for fresh, exciting local seafoods. Wonderful dining experience for all of the visting family. Don't be 'put off' by the rustic, nautical exterior, a 5 star experience awaits you inside, don't miss it!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bad Restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    This is supposed to be a seafood restaurant but the fish was not fresh, the shrimp was bad, the food was overpriced for the the quality and quantity. We have to return the pasta becasue it was dry. It was bad.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overpriced for what it is
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    For the quality of the ambiance and the B level service, it is overpriced. Basically, a good restaurant that should be priced about 20% less.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Excellent food; friendly service and overall a good deal for the price.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fresh Fish
    JerryVIP
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Always the freshest fish and best selection - never disappoints
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    I choose Spengers to celebrate my daughters birthday with the family, unfortunately I was unaware thart Brunch was no longer served on Sunday. The wait staff was rushed even though ther was only a few tables filled. The food wasn't very good to say the least my salmon was cold, my daughters oysters were slimy and had to be sent back to the kitchen. The waitress said " had another customer complain about them as well." My family has been going to Spengers for many years and loved it however I don't think I will ever go back after this recent experience.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Waikoloa
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Wonderful old time restaurant with lovely nautical decor.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Spenger's is spantastic
    2wiceisnice
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    I had a friend visiting from out of state and he enjoyed it!! Food and service was great! I had linguini with clams and loved it, very flavorful & plentiful!! My friend ate the andouille sausage with rigatoni and it too was great. I love the history and ambiance! I will return
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pattysr
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Haven't been there for forty years. Enjoyed seeing it again.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Living in the past
    Dough0909
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    Sprengers used to be the spot to go to. Tons of people being served great food. This place is now dead. Only a few patrons in the resturant and an old building. Don't waste your time or money. Find a better resturant....maybe In and Out.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Salmon Saute - special
    GloriaVIP
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    I think of Spengers as overpriced. They have added a well-priced lunch feature; that is, $14.99 for 2 courses. I had the salmon saute which was absolutely delicious -- mushroom and salmon in a good sauce; however, white rice is not healthy food-- should serve healthy brown rice instead!
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    Met my uncle and aunt who were here traveling from arizona and they really enjoyed the calamari steak which they both had. My wife enjoyed the salmon sandwich although the catch was not as fresh as same sandwich she had previous day out of bodega bay. I had the fried shrimp , numerous in quantity and waitress very accomadating in change of extras. Service was good and it became a busy afternoon ,after 1.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • CfoodfanVIP
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Waiter was determined to get us out within 0.5 hour. Not appreciated.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not so Hot~
    klhr
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Service was AWFUL - there were 6 of us and we had a very unhelpful, unresponsive waitress. Food was pretty good but not great. Maybe just a bad night (or wait-person), but I wouldn't recommend it unless you sit at the bar and watch sppaorts.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • average
    iteeitupVIP
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    The service was fair. The food was expensive and not very tasty. The portions were very small. The menu selections were limited. We have gone to this restaurant for many years and watched the overall quality decline steadily and the popularity decline as well. We were there on a Friday night and the restaurant wasn't half full. Sad to see.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Rahdoo
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Everything about our trip to Spengers was awesome. The food, service and wine list were spot on. We could not say a bad thing; other than the Manager opted to repair the table behind us with a power screw driver during lunch service.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Spengers Still!
    OldBlue
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Despite the ownership change several years ago Spengers is a lot like stepping into a time machine. The history, ships models, and marlin have been here since I graduated from Cal in 1970. Menu is old school and good. Service is good. Always try to sneak in a dinner when I come back to Berkeley.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing dinner
    AnonymousVIP
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    I was disappointed by the food and service. Long times where the waitress didn't check on us, and that was after waiting a long time (even though we HAD reservations!). I might go back for happy hour, but dinner was a huge disappointment! My tri tip was full of gristle and carrots were dry and undercooked. I appreciate them not oversalting the veggies, but wish my carrots were cooked properly. Sad.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great last minute for large group
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    I had a last minute dinner to host. This place was great for accommodating our large group at the last minute. The pricing was good and the server was very kind and attentive when there at the table. However, we did go a long period of time without being checked on. The food was okay.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not quite Spenger's I grew up with
    JayJ
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    I was born and raised in the Bay Area and was a frequent (3-4 times a month) diner for over 10 years at Spenger's. The plate I grew up on was their famous popcorn shrimp. When I left the Bay Area the restaurant was closed down and was on the verge of being torn down. I am glad that someone came in and kept it for its historical significance to the Berkeley Marina. I was happy to see that a lot fo the decor still existed and it was very well preserved and tastefully remodeled. Unfortunately, the menu has changed a lot and the "taste" I grew up their has been significantly changed. I wasn't to fond of it and the prices have skyrocketed. Thank you for the memory but I don't think I will be returning anytime soon.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Elenka
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    We have been coming to Spengers for 3 decades, always good food, fun time!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very nice meal, great service
    KenB
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    4th of July, decided to eat fish for dinner. Made reservation within 30 minutes and say promptly. Wife had stuffed salmon and I had grilled salmon. Both were perfect. Shared wedge salad, again, very good. Waitress was outstanding, she was exceptionally attentive, checking on us frequently but not obtrusive. The restaurant has been acquired by Landry's, you can feel, see the positive influence in the menu and service. We'll be back
    Special Features:
    special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    The attentive and smoothly professional service was the salient element of our visit, and very much appreciated. The pomegranate dressing was an excellent substitution for my non-cesar salad - yummy! My husband says thumbs up on the white clam chowder. My shrimp scampi was the best I'd every had, and presentation was great. Husband says his Oregon rock cod was very good. Husband's up-side-down apple pie was good, but I did not like my Quato Leches cake at all. The description sounded irresistible, but the actual cake was dense and spongey, and the "leche" was syrupy. I love tes leches cake, and this is not the same genre.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good, but not Great
    EATS4BB3VIP
    Dined on 6/30/2014
    I am working my way through the menu of dishes I like, found the Oregon Rockfish to NOT be very Cajun, with a FEW small pieces of blue crab. My dining partner had a dish that is consistently good, the Stuffed Pacific Salmon, we shared the spinach/beet salad and the Shrimp Kiss. All dishes but the so called Cajun Rockfish were very good.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing
    Foodie4life
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    Going downhill. Not consistently good across the menu. Too thick breading on fried fish; small portion on calamari dore though it was tasty. Chowder very good. Bread good. Still like the place as a unique local historical venue. But improve the food overall.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet