Sam's Chowder House

4.5
4578 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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Specials

Thanksgiving Dinner Special Menus & Offers

We are closed on Thanksgiving Day, so that our employees can spend this special day with their families. We apologize for the inconvenience, and look forward to seeing you soon!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

What 4578 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
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RZ
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Visitor's restaurant, but the food (Lobster Sandwitch) is good for me.

EI
Palm Springs
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

After playing 18 holes at the Half moon Bay Golf Links - Ocean Course, we were hungry. We made reservations for 8:30 P.M., arrived 40 minutes early but we checked in anyway and we were seated in 10 minutes. My husband and I were happy. Our waiter was very friendly and he knew right away that we were there to celebrate our (27th year) Wedding Anniversary. Service was quick, superb and impressive. Our food was deliciously prepared...ooooh so good, every bite was awesomely good. We were informed that our dessert is free for our anniversary, how thoughtful and absolutely sweet and yummy...thank you so much for making our day/night so memorable and completely perfect!😍

SB
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

We live in HMB and have been to Sam's many times. When possible, they source the food locally, which is great. The wait staff have been almost universally great, and we appreciate Locals' Night - thanks!

BC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious as always. Took home your clam chowder for another meal.

RA
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 5

We come here a lot and love it bit the service is always lacking! aghaghagha

NC
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome views, delicious food (highly recommend the naked lobster roll), great beer, excellent service. What else would you want in a dining experience? Exceptional. The only draw back, if you look at it like that is parking. Not so much of a big deal however, as if there is no parking in the actual parking lot one can park easily enough on the street.

G
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We came for the food and were not disappointed - our sons ended up food they ate (which can be a challenge with them), and my wife and I enjoyed the seafood - I had the blue crab sandwich, and my wife with the fish and chips. The housemade potato chips were lovely - housemade often are either very thick, or not crunchy, or both. These were thin and crunchy. We made a reservation, and we were able to be seated very much in line with our reservation. We were in the annex room, and the service was attentive. Look at the prices on the menu before you commit - it is a good experience, though it requires cash. We also ordered the polenta fries - these were crispy on the outside, and were served very warm - the texture was great - crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside, with the nice corn taste one looks for with polenta. We have each ordered the lobster roll, and certainly suggest that for your first visit.

CI
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 1

Although we still like the food, we’re not crazy about the crowds. It’s become quite popular so even with a reso you still have to wait in a long line to get in. So naturally, it was packed solid by 11:30am on Sunday in August. Maybe we’ll come back in, say, January?

k
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Forget the “famous” lobster rolls - too much roll and not enough lobster. But definitely try the fried calamari and steamer clams. And the view can’t be beat!

AW
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really good seafood restaurant right on the Pacific Ocean. Comfortable atmosphere. Indoor and outdoor seating. Excellent food.

JL
San Francisco
76 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I go to Sam's anytime I am in the area. They do the best job of any oceanside fish house I have found in this part of the world. I particularly like the fact that they have done their research on lobster rolls and make it available in both Connecticut and Maine styles. I have recently been to New England and had a lot of lobster rolls, and Sam's is as good or better than many. The place is always packed, but the service is strong enough to handle it.

R
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent service! Love the view and coastal ambiance. Food is good ... not great, but good.

M
Chicago
29 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place to have lunch or dinner in Half Moon Bay. This was our second time, where we had dinner versus lunch the first time. They were very busy, yet the service and the food quality were simply outstanding and a great value. We would recommend!

JA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 1service 3ambience 5

Love this place,but last time we ate there we had between us 2 dozen oysters. I believe some of them were bad, I got sick witn in 30 minutes. We have eaten there a lot over the past 5 years, first time oysters were bad. Overall very good place to relax and enjoy.

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

our waitress was superb, the food was great and the patio was perfect

s
San Francisco
43 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun place to eat and food was excellent! We had a table by window and that was a bonus

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

The highlight of our trip to San Francisco! What a meal. My wife and I both had the calamari for an appetizer. It was outstanding. I had the lobster and my wife had the lobster roll. They both were just the best. The lobster was huge! There was more meat in one claw than in most lobster tails. This is an absolute must.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

20th Anniversary

C
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service were amazing as always!!!

VC
Hong Kong
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful sceen, super nice staff, delicious food!

JR
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Took my dad for a treat - we have been customers for years - my dad ordered the Captains Platter - the clams were not shucked on the half shell so they would not come out of the shell. The ceviche had not flavor and the scallops were chewy. My prawns were great.

PD
San Francisco
34 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 4

Our reservation was served immediately, and we had a quiet location (rather difficult to find here). Service was good, the server was trying very hard to please, but the company policies are not in accord with excellent customer service. (additional cost to switch a side dish, not able to warm bread, etc.)
Out of 5 dishes only one was very good. The crab cake and the oyster appetizers were mediocre at best. The oysters were so heavily breaded that when fried it was hard to determine what was within the breading. A jumbo shrimp dish was ok -- the garlic mashed potatoes and the vegetable were very good. The tasty dish of the evening was the steamed mussels - nice, nice sauce and the mussels were not overcooked.
This place is always full - tourists galore - with the best view out of all the local restaurants ---- so if you have all that - apparently there is no real reason to make excellent food and outstanding service.

JW
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I love the Oysters Rockefeller and order them every time I visit. The New England Clam Chowder was delicious. My friend ordered a special salad featured and enjoyed that as well. Service was excellent, and we were able to use our 20% friends and neighbor discount.

BO
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great moment in family. The food was very tasty et really good. The service was personalized and fast . Oysters were fine. Thanks for this moment.

MS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

Very mediocre meal, my sardines were over cooked, the popcorn shrimp chewy and after a long wait we had to send our second courses back as they were cold. My biggest complaint was over our cocktails, I had trouble tasting any tequila in my margarita and my wife’s extra dry martini was watery and tasted primarily of vermouth, without doubt the worst cocktails we have ever been served.

The staff were very friendly and tried their best to compensate and the restaurant is in a great location.

Would not go back or recommend.

JA
Dallas
14 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food great scenery

j
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great waterfront dining! Everything is fresh and delicious, but don’t fill up on that fresh yummy sourdough bread. Friendly staff, live music on the patio on weekend afternoons and a fun atmosphere. We love Sam’s!

OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We arrived on a very busy day! Nevertheless, we were seated immediately and at a window table. The service was friendly and efficient and the food delicious. We especially enjoyed the fried oyster appetizer.

BS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was noted by some locals that Sam's was a tourist resturant so we inherently lowered our expectations...Not the case at all. Great restaurant. Food was awesome as was the service. Can't wait to go back again.

MP
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food as always, we were ~20 mins late but Sam's held our reservation as we were stuck in really bad traffic. Always enjoy coming here, will come back next time I'm in HMB!

KL
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Seasonal grilled corn side was delicious! Key lime pie is creamy and meringue is just right! Amber is a great server who’s recommendations are on point!

S
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect Friday! A little overcast at the coast but the food made up for it. Delicious as always. Great service, nice waitress. I always go back!

BS
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food, service, views & my favorite to go for special occasions & quick get away.

NH
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a wonderful lunch and enjoyed sitting on the patio on a gorgeous day. I'm planning on returning next month with five of my close friends

SH
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

If you’re a New Englander (as I am) you’ll probably be a little disappointed with the food here — but, hey, it’s hard to mess up boiled lobster.
The clam chowder is pretty sub-par, but the cioppino (a more West Coast dish) is very good.
The service is cheerful though unprofessional, but the ambience — including heat-lamp seating, right on the water — is fantastic.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Great beachy spot with fabulous seafood for the price. Ambience is a bit touristy and the cocktails are weak and like water. But it worth going to again and again.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

From the first bite of our appetizers to the last bite of our desserts, DELICIOUS!!! The crab cake was all meat and no fillers...perfection. The Coconut Lime Upside Down was freshly baked, it was still hot and oh so scrumptious. We will definitely come back.

M
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Jesus was our server and made us feel like we were the most important guests! We had the garlic, pesto and feta cheese prawns for appetizer — Holy cow they were good!! Our entire meal was GREAT! Everything was fresh and had REAL taste — wonderful! We have found our new dinner place when visiting HMB. Thank you!

BH
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So glad we made reservations. When we got there at 11:30am, there was already a long line. We simply walked up, gave our name and a lovely table by the window was waiting for us. Service was exceptional, I mean really good. The good was what we had hoped for. We went for the clam chowder and we were not disappointed. Truly delicious. A wonderful afternoon made even more special due to our experience at Sam's.

AC
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love HMB and Sam’s! It’s always a special occasion to drive over and spend the night.

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