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Sam’s Grill & Seafood Restaurant, San Francisco, CA

Sam’s Grill & Seafood Restaurant

4.4
4.4
594 Reviews
$31 to $50
Seafood
Fresh fish grill featuring classic San Francisco dishes from the gold rush to the 1970s, Sam’s Grill is the fifth-oldest restaurant in the US, opened in 1867, shortly after the California gold rush.

Sam’s takes pride in serving exceptionally fresh and local seafood alongside classic San Francisco dishes from the turn of the century. Boasting old-school curtained booths, and superior traditional formal service by waiters in tuxedos, Sam’s has been a cornerstone of the San Francisco restaurant scene for over 150 years.

Come join us, and take a step back in time to a more civilized time where lunches always start with a cocktail.
Sam's Grill and Seafood Restaurant accepts reservations at lunch and dinner.

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.


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Claim this listing

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Seafood, Continental, Shellfish

  • Hours of operation

    Tue–Fri 11:30 am–8:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (415) 421-0594

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    David Gingrass

  • Neighborhood

    Downtown / Union Square

  • Cross street

    Kearny St.

  • Parking details

    Local public garages or street parking after 6:00pm.

  • Public transit

    BART and MUNI: Montgomery St.

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

What 594 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

4.4
4.4 based on all time ratings
  • 4.4Food
  • 4.5Service
  • 4.3Ambience
  • 4.2Value

NoiseQuiet

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  1. SF

    SFgourmand

    San Francisco

    63 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    63 reviews

    Dined on March 10, 2020

    overall5food4service4ambience5
    I love that Sam's has been rescued, refreshed, and remains a San Francisco gem
  2. C

    Contessa

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 10, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had a great lunch with friends. food was good. Waiter attentive. We'll be back of course. Contessa Claire and Steve Price
  3. n

    notalotofwords

    San Francisco

    11 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on March 7, 2020

    overall1food1service1ambience3
    From the start, it was not a good experience. Our host seated us giving us way too much information about his birthday and his girlfriend's birthday because our birthdays were also this week. Next, our server took our drink orders and was back in a flash. We ordered today' special, Sam's crude which was not available. Side note is that it's not actually "today's special". It's on the menu EVERY DAY. We got to sit in the sweet little private booth with a curtain. The problem was our server gave us zero privacy. Took our order, but kept dropping in. We were celebrating our birthdays - drinks and wine would have been great to order. I would have really loved to order a birthday dessert had we been asked or if there was a chance to have a dessert menu. I paid for my vinegary salad, boyfriend's short ribs, side of soggy spinach, and a couple cocktails. Reservation was at 6:30. We were done and paid at 7:15. No joke. I gave our server slightly less than fifteen percent because he wouldn't leave us alone. I got up to put my jacket on and he came by to take the bill and then turned to me and asked my what the problem was. So, Open Table, you asked for a review. All weekend, I was thinking about this lousy experience. My hope is that this restaurant realizes that people come for good food as well as a good experience when going out on a Friday night. We got neither.
  4. DL

    DavidL

    San Francisco

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on March 6, 2020

    overall5food4service5ambience4
    Tradition that is rare and nice to appreciate including private, curtained off booths.
  5. BU

    ByUBennny

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on March 6, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    There for birthday celebration. We requested, and were seated in a classic booth. Service was great. Food and drinks too. Checked all boxes, as always.
  6. SM

    SusannaM

    San Francisco

    43 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    43 reviews

    Dined on March 3, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We love this restaurant, especially the bartender and waiter----first rate service and food in a wonderful old-fashioned quiet atmosphere. A real jewel! WE plan to return very soon.
  7. DD

    DineorDie

    San Francisco

    25 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    25 reviews

    Dined on February 29, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Great SF place for old fashioned service and god food. A stand out even after all these years.
  8. J

    Johnxn

    San Francisco

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 22, 2020

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Salmon was sold out. Surprising for a 7:30 reservation. WE were told to get our order in pronto, lest the kitchen ran out of other items.
  9. ME

    MELK

    Los Angeles

    81 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    81 reviews

    Dined on February 22, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Tried a private booth for the first time. Fun! The day boat scallops and mushroom risotto are worth going back for.
  10. MM

    MaryM

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on February 22, 2020

    overall5food4service5ambience4
    My husband and I enjoy Sam’s. My husband loves seafood, and I don’t. That said, non-seafood entrees are always available, and they are very good.
  11. LK

    LarryK

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 20, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Dinner at Sam's was the highlight of our vacation. All of the food selections were excellent. My personal favorite, Clams Elizabeth, was as good as i remembered from a dinner here over 40 years ago. The dining room was sufficiently quiet one could have a conversation over dinner without shouting,
  12. SL

    SpanishLady13

    San Francisco

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on February 19, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Sam’s Grill is the 5th oldest restaurant in the United States (not just SF) and a classic, woody-goody with curtained booths for those who want privacy. Our waiter, Angelo, took great care of us during our almost 2 hour lunch and the food was amazing! After a vodka martini with sourdough bread, we started with wedge salads, had calamari steak with capers and Rex Sole, then Crepe Suzette’s for dessert. Can’t wait to return soon!
  13. S

    Spencer

    London

    46 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    46 reviews

    Dined on February 19, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It has been a number of years since I had been to Sam’s, but I will return soon. A wonderful piece of San Francisco history. The booths are a terrific way to visit with your guests while enjoying a meal and a truly professional waiter.
  14. JB

    JesseB

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2020

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Sam's is a GEM in the rough that should be experienced by all San Franciscans to retain their namesake! Reminds me of an authentic Viennese Beisl (Ghasthaus)
  15. JJ

    JeanJ

    San Francisco

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2020

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    We had the best oysters and crab cakes in years! Loved the "old school" restaurant look and feel.
  16. CA

    CyAN

    San Francisco

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2020

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Just really good with a vintage ambiance. Can’t wait to go back.
  17. SC

    StevenC

    San Francisco

    33 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    33 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2020

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    A San Francisco treasure, with an Old School ambience. World class Cioppino. Excellent wait staff.
  18. EA

    EATS4BB3

    San Francisco

    295 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    295 reviews

    Dined on February 14, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Scallops with Mushroom Risotto and Crispy Calamari were to die for. Cannot wait to go back for the Rainbow Trout
  19. DB

    DianeB

    San Francisco

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on February 14, 2020

    overall4food5service4ambience5
    Excellent food. Original San Francisco dining- traditional . Great experience.
  20. s

    starvinginbillings

    San Francisco

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on February 14, 2020

    overall4food4service3ambience5
    Good solid food - seafood- in old school setting. Nothing spectacular in terms of food but solid, fresh seafood. Loved the private booths. Service was a bit off. Waiter was good overall but pushed us a bit and was impatient as we took in menu. He actually said he was quite busy as a way to push us along! When we didn’t order wine he seemed a bit inappropriate in telling us the drinks we ordered were not really drinks at all. So, a bit off putting and rushed from waiter only down side to tge evening. I guess if you’re a sought after cool retro joint - who needs service?
  21. j

    jonathonstone

    San Francisco

    73 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    73 reviews

    Dined on February 10, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Fish was perfectly prepared and delicious. My guests enjoyed their food also.
  22. J

    Jim1

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on February 6, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    My go-to lunch place...delicious, fun, and healthy
  23. A

    Agnes

    Denver

    17 reviews

    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on February 5, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Just perfect from start to finish. Friendly & helpful staff. Great food. We were seated in one of the private booths. So nice
  24. N

    Netzard

    San Francisco

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on February 4, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I love Sam's. Their fish is always fresh, and the setting is charming. They also make a first-rate martini.
  25. SK

    SallyK

    San Francisco

    15 reviews

    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on January 31, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Classy and delicious. A great place to have great fresh fish and very good cocktails.
  26. OG

    OldGuy

    San Francisco

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 31, 2020

    overall4food3service4ambience5
    Old SF memories. The charm remains. Private booth is always a plus. The food not as it was a few decades ago when had business lunches at Sam's in the '80s. The calamari (rings and steak) were quite good. The Osso Buco just average. Tiramasu also good. Bread was not fresh. Definitely a day or two old.
  27. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    31 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    31 reviews

    Dined on January 28, 2020

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Great cioppino! Very classic restaurant, charming in an absurdly old-fashioned way.
  28. RB

    RichardB

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on January 28, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Since 1974 I have been going to Sam’s. The food has always been delicious. The service magnificent. The drinks exceedingly well made. Good wines at decent prices. The exact opposite of snooty restaurants more worried about the bling than solid, get it done, enjoy the company of friends and family meal. I feel over the years it has gotten better. I had a dish called Clams Elizabeth I never tasted until now: terrific. And the oysters - perfectly fresh with all the eloquence of this fabulous simple most tasty feast. The waiter took care of us with the food delivered on time, wine glasses filled, and the management of the wines perfect. Joy with high professionalism. Another great time at Sam’s. Yahoo! And the martini and negroni were pretty damn good too.
  29. JH

    JohnH

    San Francisco

    21 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    21 reviews

    Dined on January 23, 2020

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    The waiter was friendly. The crab cakes were wonderful and the entrees were excellent.
  30. FF

    FonzF

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 18, 2020

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    The food was really good. The best part of my experience is the service we received. It was outstanding.
  31. WW

    WilliamW

    Tampa

    29 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    29 reviews

    Dined on January 17, 2020

    overall2food4service1ambience3
    First, it took a while for the wine to be served. Second, the wrong food was served to the table. Third, the coffee we ordered was not served. At the end the server noted that he had not served the coffee, and asked if we still wanted it. He didn't apologize, he simply asked if we wanted it. No. We won't be back.
  32. v

    vegan

    San Francisco

    29 reviews

    4.0

    29 reviews

    Dined on January 16, 2020

    overall4food4service3ambience4
    Very nice restaurant and very good seafood. Waiter was non chalant and too hurried
  33. RS

    RickS

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 14, 2020

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Great venue for a warm, relaxed meal, whether with business associates or with friends. The cozy, old-school booths are simply wonderful and rarely seen in this day and age. Good range of menu options and, though not particularly creative or dazzling in presentation, solidly prepared and very tasty, and served by efficient and unpretentious wait staff. Prices seem reasonable given the downtown SF location and the ability to enjoy a good meal and good company inside an exceptionally private and quiet eating booth.
  34. B

    Buns

    San Francisco

    70 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    70 reviews

    Dined on January 11, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food, service and fun retro feeling.
  35. SF

    SFNative

    San Francisco

    131 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    131 reviews

    Dined on January 11, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    One of the best seafood restaurants in SF. My halibut sole was excellent. Crabcakes were large and moist. And it's so much fun to have a booth.
  36. O

    Ojaibaker

    Los Angeles

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on January 6, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    After coming through a friend's recommendation, we continue to come back every time we are back in San Francisco. It is iconic and the food scrumptious. The calamari steak melted in my mouth.
  37. a

    alrac

    San Francisco

    29 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    29 reviews

    Dined on January 3, 2020

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We keep returning...one of our favorite s.f. restaurants.
  38. DJ

    DJ77

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 1, 2020

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    Even though I had made a reservation here, it was closed at that time. In addition to that, I tried to talk to a staff in the restaurant, but she wouldn't talk at all. You should make sure about your reservation through the restaurant if you made it via this site.
  39. VJ

    VJ33

    Phoenix

    33 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    33 reviews

    Dined on December 31, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I would never think of coming to San Francisco without dining at Sam’s at least once. A traditionally outstanding restaurant with friendly and highly competent serving staff and great traditional fare. So good we went twice this trip. An experience in great food, outstanding service and a truly fine dining experience. No wonder it has been around since the mid 1800’s!
  40. r

    ralphb

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 31, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    A San Francisco classic! There are not many left in our great city and this is one of . them.

FAQs

Sam’s Grill & Seafood Restaurant offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (415) 421-0594.

Sam’s Grill & Seafood Restaurant is rated 4.4 stars by 594 OpenTable diners.

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

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Kearny St.

  • Neighborhood

    Downtown / Union Square

  • Hours of operation

    Tue–Fri 11:30 am–8:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Seafood, Continental, Shellfish

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Local public garages or street parking after 6:00pm.

  • Public transit

    BART and MUNI: Montgomery St.

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    David Gingrass

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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