Sam's Chowder House

4.5
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4634 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
Enjoy a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, amazing sunsets, 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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What 4634 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined 7 hours ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best.Lobster.Roll.Ever

LM
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great views of the water. The local fish is nicely grilled. And really local. The sides that accompany the grilled fish are not as well put together. The lobster roll was disappointing, but it is not surprising that lobster rolls are not as good as those in Maine. Go for the fun, the chowder and the grilled fish.

S
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sit outside and enjoy the sun and beach sounds my family loved it best bday brunch 🔥✌🏽🍺

DW
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

For a place some consider "touristy", we really enjoyed it. Great service, relaxing deck. Would definitely return. And for oceanfront seafood dining, the prices were pretty reasonable too. Very happy we went there.

ML
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Wonderful place & service. Seafood could be better. Overall experience no complaints very enjoyable. Will be back!

OT
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect place for lunch any day of the week! Great food, service and wonderful view!

MG
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Make a reservation for this fish house if you plan to eat there -- or else get there when they open. People know about Sam's and for good reason. Great food in a very friendly and beautiful setting. On top to that is first class service. Worth the trip to Half Moon Bay area.

DT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 2ambience 2

Had 2 orders of salmon that was not cooked enough and was very fishy tasting also 3 salads that were tasteless

OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The best Crabcake in town!
Staff are always smiling and accommodating!
Always a great view overlooking the water.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Well-deserved getaway!

D
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time at Sams. Our waiter, John Paul was very helpful and was a major factor in us having such a great experience. His recommendations were spot on and the food was incredible. I had the stuffed prawns and my husband had the short ribs. The short ribs were “to die for”. Live music and an awesome view topped it off. We will definitely be back.

J
Houston
13 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ate on the patio, which provides a great view of the ocean and the surrounding area. It was a perfect setting for a family birthday dinner.

KP
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Staff were very friendly. The food is excellent and the view is even better. Couldn’t fault it. Wished we lived closer so we could go back.

MN
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great view
Good food
Very good service

DD
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always love a visit to Sam's. Seated at great window table. Our waitress acknowledged our birthday guest right away. Meal was terrific, large portions, we enjoyed the popcorn shrimp, the salmon burger (my favorite), shrimp scampi, and fish & chips. Birthday girl enjoyed a free wedge of key lime pie for dessert. Thank you Sam's Chowder House : )

j
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Quick efficient service. Best chowder that actually tasted of clams with a creamy broth.. We would have taken some home if it had been possible. It was delicious. My husband had friend shrimp and it was the best he ever had. I had sea bass cooked to perfection. A wonderful experience and will return when we are in the area.
Kathryn and John

BR
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 4

The food was delicious but the service got very spotty after we got our meal. We tried to wave down the waitperson but could not get anyone to come to the table. We ended up having to go to the front desk to get help. It was not because they did not have enough staff as there were staff everywhere. I love the food but I will think twice about going back to this place.

CW
Portland
15 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Very much enjoyed Sam’s. Great location, good food, very good waiter. We had two appetizers fried calamari and fried artichoke hearts. Not great but guide ok. Dinner was petrale sole for my wife which she really liked and I had beer battered shrimp. Best shrimp I’ve had in a long time. I will eat there anytime I’m in the area. Hard to beat the coastal view, wildlife and truly fresh seafood.

u
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 1

Bad food bad service bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad

BD
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Sam’s is one my family’s favorites. Labor Day we came to listen to Califuego. Patio is pretty tight to listen to the band. I suggest having more than one bartender out there. Had to wait a considerable amount of time in line for a drink. We had a later reservation for an early dinner. The food was outstanding. The linguini and clams is my go to. While my son enjoys the lobster roll. Can’t possibly leave without tasting the key lime pie. So yum! Our server was friendly and efficient. The only way to make this experience perfect is to get rid of all the traffic.

KM
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

It is just a fun place. Great vibe. The weather was awesome so we it is even nicer to sit outside.

s
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My happy place: great scenery, good food and nice staff.

C
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Had 2 servers, both women and both excellent. Really went out of their way to provide great service. Halibut was very good.

HM
San Francisco
62 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We are local and visit Sam's every couple of months. The food is consistent but lacks originality. We had the Ahi Poke appetizer, crab cake and king salmon. We always like the poke and crab cake but the king salmon was simply broiled fish (no spice) with bitter greens and a luke warm mushroom sauce. Temperatures of each component were inconsistent and did not compliment eachother. That being said, all was made up by the ambiance and excellent service by Tima. We would definitely recommend but I'll order my usual seafood risotto rather than fresh fish dish.

j
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Busy Friday night and we felt a little lost in the shuffle. Lots going on. We specifically asked for our drinks with the appetizer. Our waiter went missing and I could see our drinks sitting at the bar counter whilst another waiter delivered our appetizers which were hot and delicious and which we ate without our cocktails. Disappointing. Drinks were finally delivered but by that time, the appetizer was almost finished. We have had better service other times and want to be fair - they were busy!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Shrimp scampi was a little over cooked. Dressing on crab salad was bland. Not enough flavor in it. We still love it there though. One of our favorite places.

BL
San Francisco
226 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Really good lunch and excellent service. Enjoyed the arugula salad with pesto mozzarella and cherry tomatoes. Naked lobster roll was chock full of delicious lobster meat. Chips and coke slaw were good too. Next time I’ll hope to sit outdoors. There were so many sea birds feeding in the water it would have been nice to be a bit closer to see the pelicans diving for fish.

OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We smelled the chili garlic prawns from across the parking lot. Our fabulous server,Barry, recommended we save our sourdough bread to sop up the butter leftovers. Wise man, that Barry. It’s worth the trip for those prawns and the patio.

DO
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our fish was delicious, fresh and nicely prepared. Our waitress was friendly, efficient, and accommodating to a number of our special requests regarding how we would like our entrees prepared. Would definitely go back again.

P
San Francisco
69 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If you love Maine lobster, their lobster rolls (in butter) are fantastic--good size portion of big chunks of lobster and cooked perfectly. My friend & I always celebrate our birthdays there since we are originally from New England and difficult to find Maine lobster here. Service is great, friendly, attentive and willing to make substitutions. Plus request window table for ocean view.

RG
San Francisco
33 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, Sam’s was a super experience. Delectable food, augmented beautifully by a marvelous view! Chandra, our waitress, was excellent.

RP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

The service was incredible & our 40th anniversary was recognized. However I was disappointed in the food after looking forward to having my first meal at Sam’s. I would still return to try another menu choice like the prawn salad which my husband ordered. Also we were sitting outside & the bees were relentless so we moved inside & I was given a fresh drink. Our server was so accommodating & gave us a dessert on the house. Big shout out to the hostess that remembered us from the Beach House hotel. She gave us the royal treatment!

OT
Hawaii
386 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Very good food & service with a terrific ocean view, but a bit pricey. My party enjoyed calamari, crab cakes, Caesar salad, shrimp & crab Louie salad, a blue-crab sandwich, and a naked lobster roll. Each was very tasty, as were the IPA beers that we ordered.
Lunch was most enjoyable and I would definitely return to Sam's Chowder House, but this will likely be a special event restaurant due to the high cost.

CV
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Disappointed with the lobster rolls. Lobster meat was tough n over cooked, the bun was greasy. My friend’s salad looked okay.

LK
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have never been able to get past the Lobster Sandwich on the menu. So I was intrigued and excited to know that my 3 companions were able to see beyond deliciousness on a roll to order completely different menu items. All were delicious, and the warmth of the sun, the sound of the ocean, and the view made this the must come back to restaurant for our French guests. Thank you!

RE
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great selection of seafood dishes. Only con is the parking

OT
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The ladies on the reservation line we're unreal!! The one where I moved it from 11:00 to 11:30 was exceptional!!!!! Our waitress was great!! Even the guy in the parking lot was helpful

MT
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

John Paul gave friendly and quick service. Bus Boy also friendly. Food came quickly and delicious.

FJ
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was our 1st time and it took me 2weeks to get reservations for 2. I'd heard about place before and welp I wanted to treat my mom. It turned out to be worth it we will definitely return. Our server Brianne was so cool and very helpful with our selections. We had special app of halibut and I don't like fish it was awesome didn't taste like fish. We of course has chowder and the lobster roll DELICIOUS! My only negative was parking we got there early and just barely got lucky with it found a real spot didn't have to park on road. That is a bummer we live in city and welp it's so full and trying to get parking is a hassle. I guess if u don't mind that so much it's ok. I will return but will try to when not so busy. My senior mom enjoyed thanks!

2
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lobster Roll is a must have and largest most delicious hearty bowl of clam chowder I have ever seen.

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