HelpiOS AppAndroid AppWindows Phone AppWindows 8 App

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.
If you like, we’ll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.
Is this your restaurant? Claim this listing

Permanently Closed - Sam's Chowder House - Palo Alto

356 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Top Tags:
  • Great for Lunch
  • Good for Groups
  • Fit for Foodies

Similar Restaurants


This restaurant is permanently closed. Permanently Closed - Sam’s PALO ALTO has now been SOLD - our last day of operation was Sunday Dec 11. Thanks for voting us “BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT IN PALO ALTO” two years in a row, and to our great staff for their excellent food and service. Many of them will be joining us at our Half Moon Bay Sam’s location. Watch for exciting news early next year about new, smaller Sam’s café locations, coming soon! If you have an unused Open Table gift card, email for a credit, or visit our website. We hope to see you at Sam’s Half Moon Bay, or at Sam’s ChowderMobile!

Dining Style
Casual Dining
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Seafood, Fish, Oyster Bar
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
Hours of operation
Mon-Thurs: 11:30am to 9:30pm
Friday-Saturday: 11:00am to 10:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am to 9:30pm

Sunday: 11:00am to 2:30pm
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(650) 614-1177
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
Pete Richey
icon/ic_private_diningCreated with Sketch.
Private party facilities
Sam's provides a fun atmosphere perfect for any occasion. With our fresh and delicious seafood, extraordinary wines and friendly staff, your guests will enjoy an unforgettable experience. Sam's can accommodate a variety of different sized groups up to 140 guests. Contact us for more information.
icon/ic_contactCreated with Sketch.
Private party contact
Kara Jankowski: (888) 986-4584
icon/ic_cateringCreated with Sketch.
Catering available via large group takeout for special events, business lunches, meetings and social events.
icon/ic_locationCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_cross_streetCreated with Sketch.
Cross street
Emerson Street
icon/ic_parking_detailsCreated with Sketch.
Parking details
Sam's Chowder House - Palo Alto is located on the corner of Emerson and University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto.

Parking is available in the city lot directly behind the restaurant,
and in the High Street and Lytton Street garages.
icon/ic_public_transitCreated with Sketch.
Public transit
When taking Cal Train please use the University stop.
icon/ic_entertainmentCreated with Sketch.
Live music on Thursday nights, which is also Ladies Night
icon/ic_special_eventsCreated with Sketch.
Special events & promotions
We offer a number of private dining options, including our Clipper Room, which opens out to University Avenue, for "al fresco" dining. For private dining and catering events, please contact the restaurant at (650) 614-1177 and ask for the Manager, or email
icon/ic_gift_cardCreated with Sketch.
Gift Card
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 356 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.8  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
75% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
Sort by
OpenTable Diner (New England)
5.0  Dined on September 6, 2016

Excellent service. Great oysters.

vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on September 2, 2016

Despite the restaurant being half full and plenty of open tables, they sat us right by the bathroom so that was my view. Our lunch wasn't during the noon time rush, so I think they could have sat us at a table away from the bathroom. Food was good but it's hard for me to fully enjoy because of the above. I like the HMB location better anyway.

vipFoodie (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on August 31, 2016

Great food.

vipHomie (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on August 31, 2016

Sadly, Sam's Chowder House made me wish this restaurant was still the Good Earth, which left the location many years back. We ordered several fried items including, calamari and shrimp, all had fish that was not fresh tasting and the batter was nothing special...which is must be for a fish house. My main course, Seared Ahi, was nowhere close to 'sashimi' quality and the seaweed salad mushy and lackluster. The only exception was a very tasty prawn appetizer. It's really disappointing that, after many years, the Fish Market is still the best Seafood specialist.

vipKelceyryder (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on August 27, 2016

They have really good seafood! Their Half Moon Bay location is much more popular due to it's setting by the ocean however!

HonestTea (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on August 13, 2016

We celebrated two birthdays with another couple at dinnertime. When making the reservation on Open Table, I mentioned this in the comments. Without me having to remind anyone at the restaurant, the waiter remembered and offered not one but two desserts on the house ! The waiter was amazing....polite, attentive, and friendly. His expertise in presenting and serving the food was impressive. The food was delicious and tasted flavorful and fresh. We were very impressed with our first visit and plan to return often.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on August 11, 2016

The food was expensive and we didn't get much food. I ordered $27 crab cakes and I only got two small cakes. The whole plate was mostly fries that weren't that great either.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on August 10, 2016

Took 10 people to lunch to celebrate our intern's last day. The music was a little loud, but the food and service were great, and it's not too pricey (~ $250 for 10). The Ahi Tuna bowl I had was delicious!

vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on August 4, 2016

We stopped by the chowder house after family arrived very late and after a long day of travel. Food came in large quantities and was good.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on July 31, 2016

My husband and me came here for our Wedding Anniversary. Terrible service all around. Our appetizers were forgotten. Our server was more aloof than apologetic the whole time we were there. We saw another table get scolded because they tried to get bread by themselves after not being offered any. We almost never got ours either. When we were ready to leave, the hostess asked another couple she was seating if they were there for any special occasion. We weren't asked that question at all when we were seated. (Again, we came there for our Wedding Anniversary, sad face.) It wasn't even a full house of customers, and was more on the slow side, yet service was incredibly and painfully slow. Management and staff seem disinterested towards us, and we felt un-welcomed during our whole stay. I would not recommend this location to anyone!

Fabulous (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on July 24, 2016

Absolutely amazing, a totally wonderful, delicious experience, enhanced by our excellent server, Jose, and the food was delicious! Could not have asked for more!

BruceP (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on July 22, 2016

I have eaten at Sam's in Half Moon Bay and enjoyed that experience - albeit more than a couple of years ago now. The Palo Alto version seemed out of place - kind of cheesy in ambiance ... trying to be coastal but not on the coast - and I thought the food was overpriced and mediocre at best. Our waiter was also overly-friendly - the kind that makes you uncomfortable because they're too cheery. I would not go back to this Sam's especially with so many other great choices in Palo Alto.

vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on July 21, 2016

Excellent seafood options. Great flavors. Lobster roll was fantastic! Just like my east coast vacation.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on July 19, 2016

Greatfood, great service. Don't order a full lobster, though, very expensive and not much meat to it. Soups are usually fabulous. Shellfish, terrific.

vipMizJanie (Dallas)
5.0  Dined on July 15, 2016

If bar tender hadn't remembered my guest, he would not have realized we had stopped in for drinks the night before after dinner elsewhere! It made a nice start to a 45 minute wait for our friends.
I had the salmon, which was more medium than rare but ate it after the long wait for our friends. My friend had the shrimp fettuccini which he thought was fabulous. Our guests had the sea bass which was the hit of the meal. Steven, our waiter was on top of everything.
Look forward to a return.