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  • Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto

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

Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.Spengers.com
  • Email: spen@ldry.com
  • Phone: (510) 845-7771
  • 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: Seafood, Steak, 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. Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
Diner Reviews
  • "Had a nice quiet dinner on a weeknight - service was friendly and efficient. I had a cup of Clam Chowder, which was hot (not gloppy), with lots of clams, and Linguine and Clams (white). My companion had Mahi Mahi and she enjoyed it very much. All-in-all, a very nice dining experience. Hope to return, soon."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "Spenger's is an old time landmark- There's a plaque outside that says so. The food was overall good, the server was outstanding. I had the Captain's platter- the fish part of it was good, but the fries were soggy, and the coleslaw was tasteless. Others in our party ordered more wisely- the salmon was wonderful. If you want to talk to the others at your table, go somewhere else. This place is NOISY!"
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "Spengers has been around a long time. I know this because I ate here when I was a young man and that was a long time ago. The current corporate owners have done a good job of preserving the history of the place while updating the menu and food quality. The menu puts an emphasis on fresh seafood with versions that should appeal to those who both love fresh seafood as well as those who are less enthusiastic."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "We went to Spengers excited about trying a Berkeley Institution on a random Sat. night. We had to wait 30 Min. for water and our server passed us by 12 times (yes we did count) There were more servers and staff that night than people in the dining room area we were in and the service was just not good. Our glasses of wine took 45 min to get. We were tempted to leave but kept hoping they would rally. The lobster bites were mediocre, the salad was ok but for a seasonal salad lacked flavor. The ahi was good but took a very long time to get. Overall really disappointing and a long wait for mediocre food and just plain bad service.Lights did go ou at end of mealt due to neighborhood power outage."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "My sister and i speed in for lunch on a Wednesday. We had sizable crabcakes served with fresh crunchy corn. The two served were most golden brown and fresh tasting. also had a crap louie, which we split. we had seen a louie on the table beside us with lump crab much 2 our delight. we loved the fresh crab and the louie dressing, likely fresh made. The salad was flavorful and fresh. These 2 plates left both of us pleasantly full. Yes we will return again."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "My husband and I went out to dinner on Sunday. We hadn't been here for a while. It was a great experience, wonderful food and service. We will have to come back again soon."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "I treated my friends to dinner. I had heard it was very good from a colleague. The grilled salmon and the salmon with mushrooms and berries in a cream sauce was great. We had their Manhattan clam chowder as well as the creamy clam chowder. Both were excellent. We had creme brulee. The decorations in the dining area were nice and the ambience was quite lively. I had made a 4:30 reservation in case it filled up soon which it did."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "Great old time traditional restaurant! This business was once the historic family owned Spenger's Fish Grotto. It has now been taken over by McCormick & Schmick. The restaurant retains it's traditional ambiance and old time feel. The food is superb and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys seafood."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "The fish is always good here but the seats are getting a little incomfortable."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "I grew up in this area. The restaurant is nowhere near as good as it was years ago. The food is of poor quality, taste, and texture. The steaks are dried out and tough. The seafood is dry and tasteless. The food is overpriced which is an additional insult along with the poor quality. I would never go back and will be surprised if this establishment remains open."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Spanger's has been consistently good for our dinners lately. We have come four times in the past three weeks, and each meal has been very good. It is this consistency that kept Spenger's open for so many years and then for some reason the restaurant lost it. We came back not knowing what to expect and have been pleasantly surprised. We have come to enjoy a meal before concerts in Berkeley, and will continue as long as the service and food remain consistent and enjoyable."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "We enjoyed great clam chowder, a great wedge salad with bleu cheese dressing and fresh salmon well prepared. The bread is too good; nice fresh sour dough bread, soft and delicious. We finished off our meal with a scoop of ice cream. A wonderful meal with ample time and space for us to chat and enjoy our companions. We will be back."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "Our group of 6 enjoyed all of our selections (gumbo, fish & chips, salmon, walnut salads & clam chowder soup)! The service was outstanding!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Have been going to Spengers since the 70's when at Cal, through various owners. The newest owner seems to have moved from local/fresh, to more "americanized" food. Too bad. The appeal was always simple and fresh. Also noticed that the place has quite an odor to it....might be time for a refresh. $29 lunch entrees with a college era bathroom, and a musty odor don't quite fit together. Will have to see how Landry's changes Spengers to their model."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "for decades this was the place to go in Berkeley for a good seafood meal. No longer. The Sole was dry. Vegetables way way undercooked. Service was just there."
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "Food was fair, but pricey. Had to send some food on the plate back because it was cold. I would not recommend this restaurant."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "Not the same since it was bought by Landry's. Go for the ambiance. Stay away from the food. They didn't ruin the prawn cocktail or fish and chips. Can't say the same for the sand dabs or swordfish, which had freezer burn. Bread was a disgrace."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "We have a group event once a month here for about twelve people. We had 20 people decide to attend on my reservation for 12. The staff jumped in and rearranged tables, got everyone water and took drink orders. Really amazing response. The food is always fresh and prepared to your order. The new Spring menu has some excellent items. The sashimi is a bit unconventional but delicious and the asparagus salad is really tasty. We always recommend McCormick and Schmick restaurants wherever we travel."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "We came to Spenger's before a concert date in Berkeley. The food and service were very good. The fish was fresh and well prepared. There was a lively energy with March madness and a Friday night crowd. We enjoyed our meal and will put Spenger's back into the rotation of restaurants we will frequent."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Of all the years I have lived in the Bay Area, this was the first time I have eaten at Spenger's. It was a good half way point to meet a friend and we started our evening in the bar. The bartender was very nice and attentive and there was tons of choices to drink. I love the amiance of the place and the history. Our food was mostly very good with the exception of a salty rub on the fish. I would definitely return."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "The menu has changed for the better since our last visit. They still offer seafood prepared in a variety of ways, but the menu seemed to be updated to better reflect today's tastes. We started with a wedge salad that was superb! The lettuce was crisp and fresh, the dressing was perfect and the kitchen sent it on two separate plates so we didn't have to split it ourselves. We followed with their chowder--I had New England, he had Manhattan--both were delicious. For entrees I had the smoked salmon--it was perfectly cooked and very tasty; my husband had the scampi--again perfectly prepared. By this time we were too full to enjoy dessert but we couldn't have asked for a better more perfect meal."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "We went for 1.00 oyster night on Wed. The oysters were so small and really not very good. I would not go back for them. On the plus side the beat and spinach salad was delicious. Its not like the good old Spengers. To many other really good restaurant's to go to."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "We have an annual dinner meeting at Spengers each year. They are most accommodating as we have a large group (14) and also require an electrical outlet. They always put us in a spot where other diners will not be bothered. We never feel the need to rush through our event ... or to keep the noise level down ... with that many poeple we can get a little noisy!! On this occasion, the wait staff was very attentive and worked around our needs on when each course was brought out. The wine & food were delicious as always. We have had our meeting here for 15 years and will continue to do so."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "The Servers were really nice, very friendly and helpful and respectful. The food got mixed up for some of my guests and some food came late or didn't arrive due to a mix up."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "The food and ambience is great. However, the waitress and service is sub par. If waitress could be more attentive and responsive, then I'd return much more often."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Love the food it wad a little bit but it got me full you can taste the fine shrimp and tri tip very fresh. Loved it. The atmosphere wad lovely very chill back. Not crowded."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "I had not been to Spenger's in years and was hopeful that the food had improved. Unfortunately, the food was mediocre, the timing of the kitchen was awful, and the service was poor. There were no bus boys. We waited 15 minutes before anyone attended to us. Throughout dinner, water glasses were not re-filled. Bread did not arrive until after the first appetizer was served to our party. My wife did not receive her appetizer until 10 minutes after mine arrived. The main courses also arrived in shifts. My grilled salmon was overcooked and bland. My rice was luke warm and crunchy and appeared to have sat under a heat lamp for a while. My broccolini was cold. My son's Mahi Mahi was tasteless. The high prices are not warranted."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "I moved from the Bay Area over 40 years ago, but still want to go to Spengers whenever I visit! It was a Monday night, so quiet, and they have nice big booths in addition to tables. There is nothing better than their Fried Shrimp. The service is great; made an order substitution with no problem. There is also a very nice bar. You will not be disappointed choosing Spengers for lunch or dinner!"
    Dined on 3/3/2014
  • "Spanger's is a personal favorite and like a good wine, it gets better with age. The service was incredible; smiles from everyone - even the bus boy! Our waiter made suggestions that made the dining experience more pleasant; e.g., he served the Cioppino in two separate bowls and suggested the other meal we ordered be served first as if it were an appetizer (since we were splitting that as well). Perfect idea because the first meal was light (seared Blue Fin Tuna). The drinks were also made to perfection. It was a memorable evening for me and my date. On a personal note, I only wish my father were still alive so he could see how our favorite place for the best Clam Chowder, had turned into a top of the line 5 star restaurant."
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "The one area worth noting was the wait staff service. It was as though the wait staff was on skates, whoosed to the table for the order, speed talked through the specials, whoosed away, whoosed backed whisked plates away even if we weren't finished. during the service pit stops I was called honey and sweetie all evening. The food was good, very good, it was however not a relaxing experience."
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "When I was a kid (30 years ago) I looked forward to the trip to Spengers. I was afraid of the diver suit but wanted to stand next to it everytime. My father and I had not been here in over 25 years so for his 82nd birthday (Spenger's 82nd too) I surprised him and drove from the Peninsula to Berkley just to see his eyes light up. Place still looked the same outside, we were so excited. Overall service was horrible, ambiance terrible, very dark & loud (and the diver suit was gone) and the food was flavorless and dry, even clam chowder was terrible, drinks not worth the price, tri tip & lobster tail dry and not worth even trying again. After 82 years this place is no longer a great memory to my dad and for myself either. So sad. :("
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Spengers.....went there for a soup(clam chower) and salad lunch.....nice! And they have great bread!"
    Dined on 2/24/2014
  • "We had a party of 8 at a reunion dinner for a project I was on. While the food was ok, the service was horrible. The waitress was clearly angry that we asked for separate checks and instead of handling it grateiously, she kept the change and did not ask anyone if we needed change back and when one of our party asked for change she announced loudly 'how much do you want?' it was so inappropriate. Most of us were giving her over the 20% that was built into the bill anyway. won't go again."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "We've been going to Spenger's for years and now at least once a year for a combination birthday dinner for my mother, daughter and nephew and have been extremely disappointed the last two times. Two of the dinners were cold when they finally arrived at the table and two of the our plates, the rice was hard, either it was the bottom of the pot or they were left under a heat lamp too long. My dish was salmon and mushroom saute and there was hardly any salmon! The service was ok, but left us hanging for long periods of time. We were one of the first to arrive in our area and one of the last to leave (3 1/2 hours). No discounts for the inconveniences and bland food, just huge bill!"
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "I booked a Valentine's Day dinner with my sons and significant other. Our 7:30 dinner reservation was extended to 8PM. We were led through a series of entwined hallways, passing through the kitchen area into a back banquet room in which a table was set up just for us. There were 4 other tables already there with the over flow of the over bookings. We had a good waitress who was working a double shift. Service was very slow which left a me undecided as to whether I liked the solitude or was I missing the excessive noise and activity in the main restaurant. Since it was Val. Day and not my first time there I knew it was just a bad day to choose such a popular rest.The food was not up to par! Overpriced and long waited. Try again another time!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Our dinner was for Valentine's Day, and overall the place was good. The place is very roomy, the servers/staff were friendly. However, the place appeared to be short staffed that evening as we never saw too much of our waitress. The noise level was on the higher side. The plates themselves were tasty (Mac and Cheese is very good), and the portions were neither too big or too small. Unfortunately, the prices were inflated due to the occasion, but the restaurant is worth going to."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Food was fabulous and for the most part the service was good. We sat in the main dining room, it was quiet and even though they were busy we did not have to wait to be seated (we had reservations) and our food was served quickly. My only complaint was I was served a salad that was not the way I ordered it. I ordered the wedge salad, no blue cheese and a vinegarette dressing and it was served the way it was described on the menu. I told our waitress and she apologized and brought a new salad, 2 hunks of lettuce, bacon bits on the side and a sectioned tomato, it was ugly!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "I took a friend to Spenger's for Valentine's Day. I was happily accommodated in getting an off the menu lunches menu. My friend and I totally loved our selections that were proportioned in a non-glutinous size. Our wonderful waitress was charming, thoughtful, present and unobtrusive. I believe her name was Jennifer. I will be sure to ask for her again. Excellent service always makes for a more pleasant dining experience for me."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We expected to get slow service because it was valentines day. But the bar was understaffed. it took 25 minutes to get a drink before we were even sat for dinner.The food was extremely slow to arrive. I got my dinner about 20 minutes before my wife got hers. Not entirely the restaurant's fault, after all it was valentines day. My wife has been going to Spenger's before she was even born. Her parents went for years before she was born and introduced us to the place. We will continue to go in the future but not on any special holiday."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Service was great, me and my husband didn't know what kind of wine to get and our waitress pick the wine for us and it was good. Food was great too will go back."
    Dined on 2/14/2014