Sam’s Grill & Seafood Restaurant

4.6
398 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
Established in 1867, Sam’s Grill & Seafood Restaurant is the quintessential San Francisco restaurant. Sam’s serves traditional San Francisco cuisine and cocktails with a focus on locally sourced ingredients, and sustainable seafood served in an old-school setting. Located in San Francisco’s Financial District on charming Belden Place, Sam’s Grill & Seafood Restaurant is one of San Francisco’s oldest restaurants, and the fifth oldest restaurant in the United States.
What 398 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Quiet
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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GR
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Valentines Day

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lucky to find this wonderful place. Had a great meal, our waiter was outstanding.
Next time we are in the city we will be back.

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AA
Charleston
18 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 4

Our dinner was disappointing. The quality and taste of our food was way below the average. I had chowder and salmon. My salmon was supposed to be grilled but tasted as pan fried. My wife's fish did not taste good and was greasy. She left almost all the fish on her plate. No one asked if something was not right. We will not come back.

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LZ
Portland
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Best fish house in San Francisco! Oysters were superb and rex sole was wonderful. Kids had a great time too. Fabulous drinks!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

An 80 th birthday

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SB
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the restaurant’s 1900’s look with rich mahogany wood
railings and partitions! Quiet atmosphere conducive to relaxed dining and conversation with no Muzak or distracting and too loud “club”music.

Menu is classic seafood choices among appetizers and entree and some grilled meats. Side dishes are well balanced. Desserts are light and delicious.

Service was thoughtful and impeccable. Four stars all around
and well deserved !

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IJ
Los Angeles
17 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

As other reviewers have said, this is a very old style restaurant. The private booth was great and quiet for being able to hear each other. We each had the petrole sole prepared different ways, mine which sauteed, was fresh and well prepared, but my husband had the stuffed preparation and it was a small portion and mushy. The brussel sprouts were good, but overall the food is average for the price.

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t
San Francisco
44 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

always delicious and reliable its great when you get a booth so you can chat without noise

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K
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Long time fan of Sam's. Unfailing great seafood. Out of Rex Sole ala Sam's and no Sandabs or Sweetbreads--perhaps we were too late. Classically perfect Sour dough bread and Martini's. Iconically San Francisco. Service impeded because they were too busy -- nice kind of problem to have.

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BD
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sam's is now my go-to rest®Anthony in the city! Period!

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h
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Only get to San Francisco once every two or three years and try to visit Sam's at least once a trip. A great Italian restaurant. Wonderful atmosphere, great service (this trip Stephano did a marvelous job for us) and excellent food. Reasonably priced for the area. Nice wine list as well. This is a can't miss if you enjoy traditional Italian.

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GD
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent overall experience. Great food, service and classic dishes with a modern flair. Not pretentious at all. Really enjoyed dinner with a friend there.

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b
San Francisco
73 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Petrale very good. Creamed spinach not what it used to be and not that good. Pannecotta good, hot fudge sundae not.

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G
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We really enjoyed this gem in San Francisco. The ambiance is fairly casual and appears to be a place that appeals to a local clientele. The plating was not fancy, but when we dug into the dishes we found the food was absolutely delicious with the perfect amount of seasoning and sauces. Shrimp Louie and scallops were absolutely delicious and the taramisu and chocolate Crème brûlée were exceptional. Service was excellent as well and we would highly recommend and return.

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SL
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderfully fresh seafood. Cioppino a bit too salty but still very good. Excellent service.

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C
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great dinner at Sam's. I had the Stuffed Petrale Sole “Marguery” and my wife had the Petrale sole. Our meals were delicious and the service was outstanding. We appreciate the local ingredients and traditional SF restaurant setting.

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DG
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

The service was lacking. This is the second time in 3 weeks where the wait staff was less than professional.

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RR
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was only the second time i have been here, it it is rapidly becoming one of my favorite restaurant. I had a fine clam chowder and a trout amandine that was excellent. The restaurant is quiet and comfortable and the service is good.

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D
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Meets the criteria for a bit of history with excellent food and service. A must visit in SFO.

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L
Montreal
7 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Very interesting old school menus. Would return to try more of the classics.
Nice cocktail as well.
Great place for a date especially if you do not want to be seen.

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l
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Always great at Sam’s... but the calamari steak is not great. I do not recommend. Everything else we had was delicious

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j
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

excellent seafood, fresh. Nice ambience, Treated well by the staff. Fine restaurant without pretense.

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b
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 4

Fish restaurant that was out of sand dabs and Rex sole. Excuse was all the fishermen were out for crab. We ordered about 8:15 because we had to wait for our 7:30 table but they gave us a booth so we were happy. We would have preferred honesty in saying they were sold out.
They did have petrale which comes from Monterey and we all can buy and cook at home. People order sand dabs and Rex sole at Sam’s because it’s a pain to cook them and they are really tasty. They must be on a really tight budget.

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OT
Denver
14 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and excellent service!!

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r
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sam's has become the perfect restaurant for the San Francisco of today, combining city's history, culture, and charm, with a modern patio and a lively new tavern. Anyone who really loves San Francisco should go to Sam's.

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a
San Francisco
86 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We love Sam's and in the Financial District, it's our favorite destination. Sam's has the best fresh fish in town and the choices on the menu are so varied that one doesn't have to resort to salmon. I had the branzino with peppery sauce (optional) and my dining companion had the petrale meuniere, both of which were outstanding. Our waiter was attentive without hovering -- what could be better. We'll definitely be back a few times in 2019.

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AB
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of our top favorite restaurants! We also reserve a booth - with a curtain :) - the food and service are always exquisite. I love that it's kept it's old SF atmosphere (Est. 1887!). It's just the best.

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OT
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Surprising find. Sort of old school ambiance, and,really delivered great food and service!

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OT
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have been here twice, once on business and once on a date, and it was really great both times. The private booths are fun and romantic.

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NC
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very good , very classic dinner and wonderful service from all the staff.

Probably not the most cutting edge dining but there are other places for that.
I can definitely recommend going to Sam's for well made classic dishes and an excellent dining experience.
The fact that one is not bombarded with noise (even with a full dining room) makes the experience even more pleasant.

The calamari steak and the Sole a la Sam are winners and, (a very good sign) the sides were very well made.

My recent experience makes me wonder why I don't eat there more often

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MS
Tahoe
4 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great classic San Francisco dining. Excellent service and food.

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G
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Early dinner at Sam's in a private booth is always fun! We arrived at 5pm for our reservation and were seated right away. The fresh fish at Sams never disappoints. It is always prepared perfectly and arrives to the table hot! Veggies and sides perfect. We have loved Sams forever and will continue to return. How rare to have that wonderful experience over many decades!

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HD
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Welcoming courteous, professional and accommodating (gave us a booth). Food excellent. No complaints. Served without frills, hot and non-pretentious. We'll be back soon.

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S
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was wonderful. Classic traditional S.F. atmosphere.

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S
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

An excellent meal in an authentic setting. The waiter was swift, unobtrusive, and pleasant. We were impressed by the atmosphere and the food was great. Can’t wait to go back.

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LK
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Always dependable and consistently good. The fish is always very fresh and prepared simply, a compliment to the quality.

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G
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best seafood dinner in years! Wonderful waiter. Can't go wrong.

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DI
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Although Sam's still has the old San Francisco feel, it has fallen short of the food quality and value it once had. We ordered a dozen oysters and were told they only had a half dozen so we combined a half dozen clams with the half dozen oysters. What came were pitifully small and almost inedible. The management should have lunch at the Hog Island Oyster place at the ferry building to see how to represent and serve real oysters. Also, the waiter misrepresented some menu items as being to small to share so we ordered more than we originally intended and which turned out to be much more than we needed but had to pay for. The main courses were OK...not terrific as they once were, and not bad, just OK and run of the mill. Boring. So sad to see yet another SF landmark disintegrate. With the multitude of really good restaurants in this beautiful city, spending another evening at Sam's just doesn't make sense.

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SS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 1

Food was good at best. Out of oysters, swordfish, and sand dabs. Waiter was impatient and made sure to tell us to hurry up and order dessert because the kitchen was closing. The restaurant has a lot of history which makes it cool. Other than that I’d never go back - plenty of other great places in SF.

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KA
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We didn't know what to expect but an establishment that's been around for over 100 years and loved enough to be owned by people with history in it, well it was worth the try. And Sam's does NOT disappoint. A fantastic choice and a great experience.

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