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
106 reviews since June 23, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food3.7
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
80% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (42)special occasion (41)neighborhood gem (34)great for lunch (29)fit for foodies (22)kid-friendly (20)vibrant bar scene (14)notable wine list (13)romantic (12)great for brunch (9)late-night find (4)hot spot (3)scenic view (1)Show More
  • As touristy as Berkeley gets
    TheNikonKid
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Service wasn't just slow, it was cold and a little bit dumb. Food was so-so. Doubt I'd go back. If not for the "since 1890" vibe and cool historic photos, it would just be a big, bad restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    The service (Daniel) was excellent and the food was great!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • AndarVIP
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    We have been going her for 50 years; however, we were very disappointed. Our server was very young, inexperienced. The menu has been pared a great deal since we last dined her giving much fewer choices. The drinks were watery and took forever to arrive at the table. The food service was very slow.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistently first rate
    PanebVIP
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    Our group meets for dinner here once a month after a campus lecture to entertain our speaker. They are always impressed with Spenger's. Everything is fresh, can be altered to meet your dietary needs, and cooked to order. We used to have speakers who didn't care for seafood, but they have added meat items to the menu, so now everyone can be accommodated. Wines are reasonably priced. The service is always great, our favorite server, Rumeena, is always cheerful, helpful and extremely efficient. They really do groups well here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Spengers Fish Grotto
    ucaggie91
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We had an excellent reunion with the kitchen at the restaurant. we always eat at Spengers when we visit Bay Area.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A shadow of it's former self
    Ziacles
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    This isn;t Spengars anymore, it's Long John Silvers. :-(
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always Good
    mcbaglesout
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    Went to Spenger's for my father-in-law's 84th birthday and everyone there gave him such sp ciao treatment. The food was wonderful as always and you definitely got what you pay for!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • dineroutVIP
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    We've eaten at Spengers numerous times (before and after McCormick's took it over). All of the seafood items (linguine & clams, shrimp scampi and bouillabaisse) ordered were very fresh and delicious! The oysters on half shell were the best! The clam chowder was not hot (all soups should be).
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    Mangia
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    The food was mediocre at best. Pleasant atmosphere but that was about it. I realize is has become part of McCormick and Schmidt ......but it is supposed to be a fish restaurant. If that is the case, the fish should be excellent. This is the San Frnacisco Bay Area. They can do better with quality and service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Spengers - expensive!
    foodie4fun
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Hadn't been here in years, went after a Cal game. Sat in a nice booth, easy to hear each other. Four people - $400 (2 hors d'oeuvres, 4 dinners, 2 desserts, bottle of wine and one cocktail each). Food was okay, nothing special. Definitely overpriced. Waiter was sort of nervous, hovered too much, then disappeared when bill came. There are way better places to go.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Would not go again.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Overpriced overpriced overpriced. Asked for quiet spot and was sat next to the bar. Moved to another room much better.Had to ask for more bread--that tasted dry and was only given one butter for two people. Asked for more bread and butter. There were no specials on this menu on Saturday and even the appetizers were overpriced--16 ???? Heard a disagreement between the waiter and hostess that was uncomfortable. Crab was great on salad but there was not much of it. Ordered a latte for 4.50 and had to give it back. It was bitter,tasted old and was horrible. they said they were all like that. not good. Spangers could really do better. So much better in the past. The wine(7 dollars for house wine, and not much of it in glass, was great.)
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Inger's Dining Experience
    IngerB
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    I have been enjoying Spengers for years; we recently had dinner on a Friday night, and it was superb. The food was fantastic, the presentation was superb, and the martini's were spot on, just the way I like them!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A good dining experience
    ReneeSVIP
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    We enjoy our meals at Spenger's and have added Spenger's as a dinner destination before our concerts at Zellerbach in Berkeley. This meal did not disappoint. I tried their fall features and found the kale salad exceptional. Tasty and well presented, I will definitely have it again at our next visit. Their clam chowder is always satisfying and enjoyable. The other dishes were good, but nothing special. Service was excellent, and overall we had another good experience.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a pleasure
    MeekoB94501VIP
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    Food is always excellent, the service is as well. Wednesday nights $1 oysters on the half shell and/or peel-n-luv prawns (we enjoy both by the dozen) is a no-brainer.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, kid-friendly, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Better Than Ever!!!
    Young72
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    We were early for our reservation so waited in the bar where the staff was very attentive. No Dubonnet on hand, but the champagne cocktails were delicious!!! Over the years we dined at Spenger's as children, as newly weds, with family, and with friends. Truly, each visit has been better than the last!!! Had been a year or so since we were there and this visit was just delightful. Andre made several stops at our table, making us feel like we were guests in his home, adding tremendously to the enjoyment of the evening!!! The food...we do not have words. Presentation was a 10! Taste was 10 plus!!! And the wait staff was knowledgeable, helpful, and accessible!!! So try it again!!! You will be WOWed!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • ppmolliesedona
    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
    LynnVIP
    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