Sam's Chowder House

4.5
4241 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Seafood
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.
icon/ic_private_diningCreated with Sketch.
Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
Seafood, American
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
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
New Years Eve: 11:30am-9pm
New Years Day: 11am-9pm

2019 ANNUAL MAINTENANCE:
Sam's will be CLOSED Tues, Jan 8 through Tues, Jan 15 - reopening on Wed, Jan 16.
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(650) 712-0245
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress code
Casual Dress
icon/ic_chefCreated with Sketch.
Executive chef
Lewis Rossman
icon/ic_cateringCreated with Sketch.
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
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
Neighborhood
icon/ic_parking_detailsCreated with Sketch.
Parking details
There are two lots available.
icon/ic_entertainmentCreated with Sketch.
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)
icon/ic_special_eventsCreated with Sketch.
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.
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
What 4241 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
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
RM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Loved Sam's in the past, and still love many things about it. BUT:
1. Famous clam chowder just didn't have enough clams - always my chief complaint about any chowder. Never thought I'd see that here.
2. Requested sherry to put in the chowder - not having it would have been OK. I was brought, supposedly from a chef, a shot of vinegar instead. WTF, no one but me knew the difference?

My swordfish was good, waiter (correctly) suggested switching veggies/sides with another dish that I would (and did) like better, plenty of service for beverages etc.

Report
Helpful
JS
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Consistently outstanding and straightforward seafood. Without trying to impress, this place always does. Also a great place to gather with friends or family. My wife and I have been coming here for years, and we will keep coming back.

Report
Helpful
G
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

We made our reservation at 9pm because that was the first available time. When we walked in, the place was 2/3 empty.

From the first moment our waitress greeted us, she announced that the kitchen was closing asap & we had to hurry. That seemed odd since we had been provided a 9pm reservation & it was a Saturday night.

If it was a problem to be there at 9pm, then don’t offer it. And if they place is practically empty, why not have earlier spots available?

We tried to be understanding & ordered oysters when she first came back to the table & our mains shortly after that.

Each time our waitress came to the table, she repeated that the kitchen was closing. She gave us the dessert menu before our mains arrived- & of course reiterated that the kitchen was closing.

Pretty pathetic & terrible experience.

Report
Helpful
TT
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Its large parking lot is always full here, even during the week. That tells you something about its popularity. Lunch is the same price as dinner and is not inexpensive. Good view, good food, good service. Worth the drive.

Report
Helpful
FF
Las Vegas
6 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food and views of Half Moon Bay coastline provide a memorable dining experience. Service is always very good and servers very personable. You can't go wrong with the lobster rolls, but everything is very good on the menu.

Report
Helpful
RT
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

been twice, more fun and better food in the summer

Report
Helpful
F
San Francisco
110 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I took my friends here for lunch and everything was perfect. Not fancy but the seafood was excellent. The spicy seafood pasta was to die for and everything else was great. I suggest not coming here on the weekends because the restaurant gets quite crowded as well as Route 1 but is worth the trip.

Report
Helpful
J
Palm Springs
110 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was here on a Tuesday, when oysters are just one dollar each during happy hour. The bar was crowded, primarily with local residents, completing the warm, friendly environment. The dinner I had later was quite good, featuring local petrale sole. I would be more than happy to return, although its location several miles north of Half Moon Bay puts Sam’s well off the beaten path for most people.

Report
Helpful
AG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Second time to eat here to try out the Lobster Roll, I had the naked and ordered an extra fries to share and everything is good. My friend ordered a vegan risotto and she said it tastes good as well. They also have hard cider which is perfect for a comfort food, desserts are also very good.

Report
Helpful
OT
Tahoe
2 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place, amazing food We drove out of our way to eat here Well worth it!

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and great service. My mom had her birthday and even had a candle blown by the server.
Keep it up. Kudos!

Report
Helpful
DB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

from Ellie's warm greeting to our server wishing us Happy Anniversary - it was a very enjoyable week night evening at Sam's for this local HMB couple. Thank you!

Report
Helpful
TM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lobster roll was outstanding. Wine of the day was excellent. Service was outstanding as well. Overall just a great day there

Report
Helpful
LO
San Francisco
47 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Our server was very professional. For the first time however my lobster roll was soggy and rubbery. Very unusual.

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 1

I reserved way in advance for a table at the window in the main dining room to celebrate my husband’s birthday and was seated in the back of the Resturant with all the loud big groups of parties. The hostess was not very kind.
This is one of our favorite Restaurants and we were very disappointed.

Report
Helpful
j
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great location, excellent food. The restaurant is very busy so I recommend you make a reservation.

Report
Helpful
C
San Francisco
143 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

For the first time I was disappointed in Sam's. The lobster roll was tasteless and the chowder very thin.
I hope quality has been sacrificed because popularity is so high, they think people will come back anyway,.

Report
Helpful
P
San Francisco
68 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Always a must if you are in Pacifica or Half Moon Bay. Worth the trip from anywhere though! Great fresh seafood, Dungeness Crab when it is available.

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Very crowded and our food took forever but they offered free chowder to tide us over. Waitress was very nice. Lobster rolls and oysters we're great. Ciopino was ok

Report
Helpful
T
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Always receive great service. The lobster rolls and Manhattan clam chowder is always good!!!

Report
Helpful
BJ
San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

Visitors No no nono

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always a stellar experience. Wife and I brought some first timers and they were impressed with the overall experience. This is our go to spot for a treat.

Report
Helpful
AL
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Parking is horrid, but this is a nice spot near the beach for a good meal. Service was excellent, but the food wasn't anything to write home about.

Report
Helpful
CO
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We love Sam's Chowder House. The food is great, the view is wonderful. Glad we discovered it. We come from the East Bay and are happy to make the drive over the San Mateo Bridge. We got smart and made reservations. They have one of the best Louie's and my friend had chicken and it looked great. Our server was friendly and nice and did a great explanation of a Bloody Mary. Not too spicy! Will always come here.

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

The restaurant at 6 pm was less than half full. I asked for a table by the window. Instead of sitting us at one of many emtpy tables by the window in the main dining room, we were taken to a table in the back room which made us feel very unwelcomed. And our servers were inexperienced and very rough when placing the food on the table.

Report
Helpful
KH
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Had a beautiful ocean view. Great service. Food was excellent. Would definitely go back and highly recommend this restaurant.

Report
Helpful
DF
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great time! Twice in 2 weeks and look forward to many more visits! The food and the service are outstanding! We drive down from Sonoma County!

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

I went for the lobster roll. It was tasty but I thought overpriced for what I got. Cole slaw was ok but the potato chips were from a bag, not house made. Fries would be better especially since the price is $26+

Report
Helpful
W
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We ordered a gumbo, fried oysters, and a fish and chips plus a Mai Tai and a Guinness beer. We really enjoyed the fried oysters. The fish and chips were a little greasy (either the oil was not hot enough, or they did not allow enough time to let the oil drain). However, this is one of the best fish and chips that we have had in the SF Bay Area (the best ones are in London, England). Overall, it was a very good lunch.

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Originally seated at a table that had a puddle of water under it. They moved us but we had to wait another 10 minutes. Server was a little abrupt for requests but generally friendly. Have been many times and will be back

Report
Helpful
V
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food, worth the wait
Service was very good even though it was busy

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
46 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

The view is always fantastic! Over the years the food has improved, especially for those searching “healthy”. The two chowders (Manhattan and Boston) are both very good.

The fish dish (petrale) was enjoyed by my husband. I truly enjoyed the Caesar with Prawns. Plus we brought home Linguini with Prawns. That was delicious!!!

Report
Helpful
JS
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Great food as always there, but waitress messed up order and we waited quite a while for correct entry to come. By then, other two diner’s food was cold. It happens, but for the price, should have been more comp than a free dessert.

Report
Helpful
MB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

I’d had a good meal at Sam’s before. I think they decided the view was enough to make people want to pay too much for average food. We won’t be coming back.

Report
Helpful
CN
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful experience here. My husband and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary in Half Moon Bay and made a reservation here based on a takeout order we got from Sam's last on a previous outing to HMB. We loved it so we decided to dine here for our special occasion. Great Captain's Platter. Chowder a little watery not so creamy but tasted good with big clams. The lump crab cake SO good, filled completely with crab. Definitely recommend!

Report
Helpful
LS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Love this place. The best pumpkin creme brulee ever!!!!

Report
Helpful
LR
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

Good was food, unfortunately the waiter was inexperienced and our table was below the music speaker. It is good that we like Led Zeppelin.
It blared through the meal.
Last visit was way better as far as table, noise/music level, and our server was great last visit.

Report
Helpful
IV
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Amazing with great food and ambiance! It is worth the drive and meets the expectations of this touristy destination. But book a reservation or you will be waiting too long in my opinion!

Report
Helpful
MC
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 3food 1service 3ambience 3

We frequently go here but this time it was disappointing. My husband and I usually each order the steamed clams and they cut WAY back on portion size. They gave us one bowl for the shells and it was all we needed. We used to each need our own shell bowl but not this time. We each got half the usual portion that they used to provide. They also don’t serve the typical piece of grilled garlic bread that goes so well with it that most places do.
My daughter got the Salmon burger. They hold the Salmon Burger shape by adding cream cheese. They don’t say this in the description and she HATES cream cheese. This had huge lumps of cream cheese and the white lumps looked disgusting. Good service, attentive staff but disappointing meal.

Report
Helpful
M
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Sam's was excellent in so many ways. The food was fresh, and well prepared. Service was good, and the view fantastic. Best seafood in the area, and plenty of selections. Would definitely go back.

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
107