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Party Size
For 2
7:00 PM
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Booked 6 times today

Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto

1947 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Casual
  • Good for Groups
  • Special Occasion
A historic landmark since opening our doors in 1890, Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto features antique stained glass and porthole windows to give you the nautical dining experience. Enjoy your lunch, dinner or happy hour while browsing century old salvaged maritime artifacts that adorn the reconstituted teak walls. Delight in viewing the "Star of Denmark" Canary Diamond and 6 foot Ming Vase in our main dining room.

Conveniently located in the trendy 4th Street shopping district in Berkeley, CA. Spenger's is famous in the San Francisco Bay Area for impeccable cuisine, an inviting atmosphere and superior service.

Planning a Private Event or Corporate Meeting? Spenger's offers unique Event Rooms for 15 to 200 guests. Our Event Manager will work with you to create a unique menu, perfect for your group. Make your next event a one of a kind, stress free experience.
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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Seafood, Steak, American
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Hours of operation
BRUNCH: Sunday 11:00am-3:00pm
LUNCH: Monday-Saturday 11:30am-3:00pm
DINNER: Monday-Thursday: 3:00pm-9:30pm | Friday & Saturday: 3:00pm-10:00pm | Sunday 3:00pm-9:00pm
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Phone number
(510) 845-7771
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Patrick Kehler
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Cross street
University Ave.
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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.
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Public transit
We are located a few blocks from many AC Transit Bus lines. The closest Bart stations is about 1 mile away.
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Gift Card
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access

Private Dining

An historic landmark since opening our doors in 1890, Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto features antique stained glass and porthole windows. Enjoy your Private Event while browsing century old salvaged maritime artifacts, adorning reconstituted teak walls.

View Private Dining Details
What 1947 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.6  based on recent ratings
Noise · Moderate
62% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
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OpenTable Diner (Sacramento)
4.0  Dined on January 26, 2018

The lobster and steak medallions were delicious as was everything else. Want to try the fish and chips next time!!

vipEna1 (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on January 23, 2018

The food was good but they didn’t count my open table reservation at first. There were very few people there yet the waiter seemed to be really busy.

vipCHeretic (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on January 23, 2018

Classic local landmark. Good food. Great service. Booths available for quiet conversation.

RogerB (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on January 21, 2018

My parents used to bring me here and it was such a great place. Sad to see that Spengers has descended into pricey mediocrity. Our waiter couldn’t tell me if the English sole was petrale or dover, then compared it to tilapia. Wow. I was surprised there were no specials. Very small portions. I had the sea scallops which were tasteless and uninspired. Also, there were only 4 scallops on the plate. FOUR !? For $33 !! Really ??

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on January 20, 2018

The restaurant under the McCormick and Schmidt management has lost its flair. They just kept the Spenger’s name but everything else has changed. The food is just average and the cost is to high. A very limited menu selection for dinner. The menu doesn’t list what actually comes with the entree. I ended up ordering extra sides that just inflated the bill. I have been going to Spengers for about 45 years and expected more during this visit.

Dlynch2121 (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on January 20, 2018

We had a very nice drink in the bar first and then a beautiful dinner after! We were really looking forward to our evening and you did not disappoint! We have gone to the McCormick and Schmidt in Irvine several times while my daughter was in school there and every visit was better than the next! Hoping that will be the same here!

kate21 (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on January 20, 2018

Very, very disappointing. Menu never changes.Will not be back.

vipkaboolie (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on January 19, 2018

We had a great dinner and this was our first time. It would be fun to bring a bunch of friends! So many choices so we had a hard time deciding. Our waiter was very helpful and came back to check on us which is always important for good service.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on January 13, 2018

Since we had a reservation, we were seated as soon as we arrived. No waiting! Enjoyed the fish and boat decor. Shrimp Scatter was delicious as usual. There weren't as many shrimp as there used to be but they were larger. Meal was pricey but for a special occasion was well worth it.

BayBrenda (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on January 13, 2018

You can't go home...We celebrated my father's 88th birthday at Spenger's after confirming they still had the shrimp scatter platter. Well, the recipe used by McCormick and Schmicks today is NOT Frank Spengers and was disappointing. One review said it was right up there with Sizzler and I would agree.

They are understaffed but our server met all our demands especially considering we had 5 children under the age of 7 with us. The bar staff was REALLY bad took our order first and served my father last...I understand she serves regulars first but WOW we were the 1st two people in the bar.

Overall, it was a nice drive and a walk down memory lane for my dad but I wouldn't recommend this restaurant - it is not even up to McCormick and Schmick's standards. It is convenient to 4th Street so if you are out shopping and want to grab lunch it would be fine.

OpenTable Diner (Mobile)
1.0  Dined on January 11, 2018

Fresh squeezed lemonade was very nice; I have had better sourdough bread. Their sour dough bread crust was tough and the loaf was sliced very thin. The butter was abnormally salty. Fried calamari was good and should be served with cocktail sauce. There was a few bits of crab shell or cartlige in the crab Louie. The hard boiled eggs were like rubber. The Louie dressing must have a milk product in it and every time I have it I get sick within 15 minutes of ingesting it. I Should know better not to try it again.
Waiter was not attentive to our needs.
I did not complain about the shells in the salad.
My husband enjoyed the fish and chips.
Spengers is not as good as it was before the original owner's sold it many years ago.
Waiter told us a new group just purchased the restaurant from McCormack and Scmick; Kelley Group?

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on January 9, 2018

I have come to spengers whenever I visit Oakland for over 40 years. It seems to get better each time. Great atmosphere and the seafood is great!!!

vipCarol (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on January 6, 2018

We were a party of 8 that contributed to the "moderate" noise level . . . Food and service were so much better than the last time we dined here. My sister had cioppino which was phenomenal in many ways: 1-the presentation was wonderful with crab legs sticking up; 2- cioppino wasn't on the menu for lunch but our wonderful server checked with the kitchen and they were able to accommodate - really above and beyond expectation, plus 3-my sister gobbled every bit, hardly talking while she ate, and that's saying something! Did I say our server was wonderful? I wish I remembered her name (small, Asian woman?); my daughter paid the bill so I can's check the receipt to get her name. She was very attentive and efficient - kudos, Spenger's!! My crab and shrimp Louie was outstanding too! Thanks!

HungryGirl (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on January 5, 2018

Mediocre food served in a gloomy setting. At least they modernized the bathrooms. I remember the old family owned Spenger’s and how great their breakfasts were. It was cheap to eat there and maybe the food wasn’t so good, but it was cheap. Now the food is terrible and it’s expensive. Not going back.

PHDK (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on December 31, 2017

The entire experience was totally poor. Service was basically non existent and then they attempted to overcharge me. We were not offered anything to drink except water and were not offered desert. The waitress was apparently in a hurry to leave because she passed us in her car when we left.
They did not have shrimp or crab and there was only a few other people in there. I was terribly disappointed. Everything was so different and substandard since the old Spengers.
It was quiet because there was no one there.

vipmbdiner (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on December 30, 2017

Spengers has been a favorite for more than 25 years - good food and good service - great seafood!

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on December 25, 2017

Mwaw was ok

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 25, 2017

Excellent food and service!

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on December 25, 2017

I HATE giving bad reviews because I understand how hard it is to be in the food industry business. I will say the drinks are good. So if you just want to drink and nothing else it could be ok. The absolute worst part was paying for 4 star dining and we were getting two star with the food in both taste and looks. The food looked like a blue plate special at Golden Corral. It tasted only a bit better. There was a hair in our appetizer. Our order was completely screwed up and by the second mess up we just didn't have the energy to fix it. We aren't the kind of people that make a big stink and demand our dining "rights." We ate here Christmas day. It was the server's first day. He was very sweet, but he wasn't properly trained and Christmas shouldn't be your first day for a busy restaurant. McCormick & Schmuck bought them so they are now a corporation. I HATE THE CORPORATIZATION OF 4th Street. Next year for Christmas we are going to Black Bear Diner. They won't mess up our order; the food will be just as good, and will be half the cost.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on December 25, 2017

The menu states that the seafood on the menu is available in preparations other than those described in each entree. God only knows we wished we’d taken this seriously. The “herb crusted halibut” at $30 was a glorious piece of fish encased in an inedible casket of burned panko. As a dish, simply hideous, but in fairness, if we’d ordered the halibut grilled or pan fried it might have been palatable. The salad, the roasted root veg, cocktails and desserts were very good. I had a memorable swordfish steak (no burned panko, thank you).

Service was terrible, with wrong orders and long waits for, well, service.

So go and order the simplest of preparation. The embiance is glorious, with a floor to ceiling wall of model ships, and seafaring memorabilia at every turn. This is way out of the way, near practically nothing unless you’re shopping on Fourth Street or going to Steamworks .

And bring your gold card. This place is expensive.