Sam's Chowder House

4.5
4071 reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
Top Tags:
  • Scenic View
  • Waterfront
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
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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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Seafood, American
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Hours of operation
Monday - Thursday: 11:30am - 4:30pm Lunch ~ 4:30pm-9pm Dinner
Friday: 11:30am-4:30pm Lunch ~ 4:30pm-9:30pm Dinner
Saturday: 11:00am-4:30pm Lunch ~ 4:30pm-9:30pm Dinner
Sunday: 11:00am - 4:30pm Lunch ~ 4:30pm - 9:00pm Dinner

HOLIDAY HOURS:
Thanksgiving Day: CLOSED
Christmas Eve: 11:30am-3:00pm
Christmas Day: CLOSED
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Phone number
(650) 712-0245
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Lewis Rossman
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Catering
Already found the perfect spot for your corporate event, graduation party or family reunion? Sam's ChowderMobile will bring its award-winning seafood to the location of your choice!

Order Sam's famous Lobster Rolls, New England Clam Chowder, Fried Calamari and more, off the traditional menu — or have the ChowderMobile arrive fully equipped to prepare an authentic Lobster Clambake for your special event.

For more information, contact Sam's Catering Manager: (650) 712-1766 or events@samschowderhouse.com
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Neighborhood
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Parking details
There are two lots available.
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Entertainment
Enjoy live music from blues to jazz!

May - October: Every Friday night from 5:30-8:30pm (inside bar) and Saturdays & Sundays from 1-4pm (outside bar, weather permitting).

November - April: Every Friday & Saturday night from 5:30-8:30pm (inside bar)
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Special events & promotions
Six different oceanfront event spaces are available for your private dining event - all featuring gorgeous ocean views from every seat. Perfect for corporate events, weddings, and other special events. Offering appetizer, lunch and dinner selections including authentic Lobster Clambakes.

Are you envisioning a beachside corporate teambuilding day? Or an intimate indoor anniversary party? However you are picturing your perfect coastal event, we're here to help make it happen.
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Gift Card
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

Amazing sunsets, award-winning seafood and spectacular oceanfront dining. Perfect for family gatherings, business events and team off-sites from 10-300. Six indoor and outdoor spaces for lunch or dinner with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. Beach access. Lobster Clambakes. Full buyout avail.

View Private Dining Details
Reviews from verified diners
4,071 reviews
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Outstanding
64%
Very Good
24%
Good
8%
Fair
2%
Poor
2%
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined 2 days ago

always a fun experience.....the halibut was wonderful and so was the desert..........very busy but good service as usual

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4.0Dined 3 days ago

The staff was really nice and it was lovely to look at the beach

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Lovely place, super fresh food, not only seafood, also veggies and other items. Reservations recommended.

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4.0Dined 5 days ago

We like to go the Sam’s for special
Night out, and not too often so I made reservations. we arrived a little early and the were able to seat us right away, but they put us in one of the worst tables in the whole place. In a corner we a large party backed up next to us squishing is in the corner and we could not even have a conversation . I wanted to move but my husband didn’t want to bother. It really made our evening unpleasant. There were a lot of vacant tables so I wish I would have been asked if this table was alright, never again will I let them seat us there.

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Great experience! The food was fantastic, especially the clam chowder. My son has food allergies and we communicated with the owner before we came. When we ordered, the server was very knowledgeable and helped us find safe things to eat. He had the cioppino and love it!

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Loved our waitress. She made it a real occasion! Fish was tasty but swimming in too much buttery sauce, which hid the taste of the fresh peas and quinoa. The lobster roll was stunning as usual.

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Great place great vibe

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4.0Dined 5 days ago

Brought a visiting friend from Sweden for lunch because of the views and typical California seafood fare. Lunch was good (not great) but perfect for what we had in mind. Wonderful waitress. Definitely make a reservation. We were there for a Friday afternoon lunch and it was crowded but we were seated quickly. Because there was an extra 25 minute wait for an outdoor table we asked for the best indoor view seat and were accommodated. Overall, a very satisfactory outing.

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3.0Dined 6 days ago

worth one visit, but won't rush back. curiosity has been satisfied.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

Thank you for making our twentieth Anniversary so special. Love your restaurant ❤️

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5.0Dined on July 12, 2018

We we’re celebrating our 10 year anniversary. From the moment we walked in, everyone treated us awesome! Big hello’s, big smiles, and our server, Grace, was fantastic.

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5.0Dined on July 12, 2018

Excellent as always except water glasses and coffee weren't refilled without asking. Outside patio looking at water is the best

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5.0Dined on July 9, 2018

We had a window table inside which was perfect for us. It was a bright sunny and windy day & we liked being inside but still able to enjoy the views... which are the best!

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4.0Dined on July 9, 2018

Wonderful setting, excellent menu and great service.

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3.0Dined on July 8, 2018

Food way too salty. Fish portions very small. Worst tartar sauce I have ever had. Polenta fries delicious. Desserts huge and tasty. Key lime pie delicious. Ice cream sundae very good. Cole slaw so-so. Excellent service, fast and attentive. I would return to try lobster roll. Sour dough bread excellent. Family place. Beautiful views of water. Place is clean. Bathrooms very clean.

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5.0Dined on July 7, 2018

Had dinner for my husband's birthday. Great location, wonderful food, excellent service.

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4.0Dined on July 6, 2018

Beautiful view! Delicious succulent lobster rolls. The New England clam chowder was tasty, but could be thicker. Initial taste was delicious, but later, we felt the chowder was too watery. For $35, I’d expected a larger piece of Wild King Salmon which was small in portion.

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5.0Dined on July 4, 2018

Marvelous! Good food, wonderful service and great view!

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3.0Dined on July 4, 2018

Whenever we take our RV over to Half Moon Bay, we stop at Sam's for their delicious "naked" lobster rolls because my wife, as a former Boston native, is finicky about her lobster rolls. Sam's has the best in the area. But it's served with potato chips and cole slaw. Any other sides are an up-charge, so I take 2 stars off for that.

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4.0Dined on July 3, 2018

Sam’s did not disappoint us!! As always their food is good/well prepared and filling. We had an outstanding waitress, Celeste, who attended our every request, especially mine as I am unable to eat dairy. Overall, a great time!

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4.0Dined on July 3, 2018

Sam’ Chowder House has fresh fish and great clam chowder. One of the fish dishes was cold; but, my friend didn’t want to complain. My dishes have always been tasty and hot!

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2.0Dined on July 1, 2018

I’ll make this very simple. Mussels smelled like horse manure. Fish and chips were cold, soggy, tasteless bricks of grease.

The good: Server was nice, great spot.

Bottom line....tourist trap with HORRIBLE food.

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5.0Dined on July 1, 2018

Fried oysters the best!!

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5.0Dined on June 30, 2018

My go to place anytime we make the drive from Tracy to Half Moon Bay! Great food, service and music on Saturdays!

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5.0Dined on June 30, 2018

Great Seafood . Friendly service. Very enjoyable dinner. Started with some raw oysters and moved on to the Cioppino.
Perfect.

The live music was loud and annoying but you can’t have everything

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1.0Dined on June 29, 2018

This was without a doubt the worst meal any of us had. There is nothing positive to be said about what should have been a special seafood meal and family reunion. The lobster roll cost $29, looked like krill and tasted terrible. The clam chowder was so-so and the other soup was not edible. Very disappointing. We had a reservation which was not honored properly and we ended up at a table that was too small. The service was also disappointing. We had to ask for bread to be served. Nothing was done right at a restaurant touted as one of the best. We will never go there again and never recommend it to anyone.

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5.0Dined on June 29, 2018

Food is always delicious and service is great. It's the first stop we make when my family visits from Arizona.

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5.0Dined on June 29, 2018

Great spot for a family dinner celebration, good atmosphere. Beautiful views.

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3.0Dined on June 27, 2018

I loved the ambiance! The beer and service were terrific! My wife and 3 grown children came to Sam's to celebrate our 25th wedding Anniversary, so we were in a great mood to party. Nice sea view, great music in the background, tasty beer, and awesome service. The food was just average though. The bread for the lobster sandwich was dry and flaky. (if you had heated the bread, it would have been better) The Paella looked fantastic on the menu, but when we took a bite out of it we were really disappointed because it tasted old. You can tell it had been sitting all day. The Paella rice tasted like oatmeal. So sorry to be harsh but the Paella was a big disappointment. Lastly, the linguini with white clams was just okay. I'm a HUGE fan of linguini with white clam sauce when it's made right. I order it whenever we go to an Italian restaurant. I've never heard of red pepper flakes in this dish. The red pepper flakes didn't work for us. Overall, we had a great time celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary but the food could have been a lot better.

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5.0Dined on June 26, 2018

After a day of beach hopping we came in for our 35th Wedding Anniversary. Spectacular views, incredible food and good fast service. We totally enjoyed our visit and will come again soon.

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5.0Dined on June 25, 2018

Sam's Chowder House really earns their reputation for great food with a beautiful location. I went for a business lunch with colleagues and we all ordered the lobster rolls since it was our first time. Both Naked and Dressed the rolls were just incredible and more than enough for a meal. The fried oysters and Old Bay fries were perfectly cooked with no greasiness. The staff is friendly and accommodating. Parking is a challenge so be prepared to wait or walk a bit. A star of Half Moon Bay!

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4.0Dined on June 25, 2018

Our server was excellent! Food was tasty.

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3.0Dined on June 25, 2018

Sam's Chowder House has a fun atmosphere and a fantastic view of the ocean. On a clear day I am sure the sunset is stunning. As a spot for a beer or a quick snack, I think it would be fine. However, four of us had dinner there on June 24 and the food was very below par. The sole did not seem fresh, the gumbo was not tasty, the crab salad was OK but not great and the fried sea platter only so-so. We had driven a long distance from SF and were very disappointed in the food. I think Sam's better up its game. We will not be returning until we hear the food has improved.

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5.0Dined on June 24, 2018

Our waitress knew it was my
Boyfriends bday so we expecting
A dessert with a candle but nothing.
Plus, she spoke so fast.

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5.0Dined on June 23, 2018

I love taking my out-of-town friends here; the view is awesome, the food delicious and so fresh and the staff is extremely friendly and accommodating.

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3.0Dined on June 23, 2018

My daughter and I were visiting Half Moon Bay and I wanted seafood and an ocean view, so Sam's Chowder House seemed the ideal location. Our waitress was outstanding. She was attentive without being intrusive and very helpful when we had questions. We started with a Caesar salad and it was dressed perfectly with one of the best dressings I have ever had on a Caesar. There was just the perfect amount of anchovy flavoring in the dressing. For the entree, I had the Petrale sole. The fish was perfectly cooked but the sauce and veggies were extremely bland. My daughter is not a fish eater so she ordered the roasted half chicken. It was also well cooked and moist but bland. Wine by the glass is expensive, but nice options. Overall an expensive but pleasant meal. We paid about $100 for a salad, 2 entrees, 1 glass of wine, a soda and dessert. Beautiful view of the beach!

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3.0Dined on June 22, 2018

Although we made reservations, and requested a table outside on the back patio, we were told that they do not take reservations for outside tables. That has not been the practice on the past. The greeting at the front desk was quite cold.

The view and food were great!

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5.0Dined on June 22, 2018

Beautiful setting on sunny summer afternoon...reliably delicious lobster rolls....what’s not to love?

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5.0Dined on June 22, 2018

We come to Sam’s often. We always have a great experience. The food never fails to meet, or exceed, expectations. Wait staff is great, our waitress tonight, Salwa, was cheerful, knowledgeable, and attentive. Beautiful view, great food and drinks!!

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5.0Dined on June 21, 2018

Always a great place for lunch. Outside patio is awesome with a beautiful water view. The muscles were amazing...very plump and the tomato based sauce was fabulous...healthier than butter/garlic and just as good. The King Salmon salad was great--lots of salmon this time (sometimes I'd like more) ... we split both the muscles & salad and were super happy!

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