Sam’s Grill & Seafood Restaurant

4.6
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527 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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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.
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What 527 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
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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A
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Private booths, fresh seafood, attentive waiters, San Francisco classics. What more can you for? Definitely worth a visit!

OT
London
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Old school San Francisco with Waiters in tuxedo! Great seafood and service. Tom was delightful. Will be back soon!

B
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Classic SF restaurant ....one of the most authentic places in town. Love it.

JH
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A classic and classy restaurant. I went with 9 colleagues and we were brought to a booth - almost a room. Everyone raved about their food (drinks salad entrees and dessert). The Manhattan was superb.

r
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sam's is as great as ever. It has become my go to restaurant for dinner with friends.

DR
London
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place to visit very warm and welcoming, food was very good and service was friendly

OT
Orlando
6 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great waiter, Tom!
My last opportunity to dine at Sam’s was 1982.....
Just as amazing & delicious as ever!

OT
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Waiter: Michael. Courteous Helpful Efficient Friendly

CH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Good food, served quickly in a great setting. Very good experience

h
Ottawa
30 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Great service but the food was only okay. Cute spot.
Not someplace I would recommend

DL
Columbus
38 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience2

Scrumpy servings with three small potatoes and old squash. Fish was half size as last year!

Y
San Francisco
53 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

No nice a place like this exists. Always enjoy the food, service, quiet, and atmosphere.

K
San Francisco
69 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ken, our waiter, was EXCELLENT. His demeanor was so welcoming and accommodating and he was just plain nice...good people! Wouldn't come in our curtained dining room unless we opened the curtain, even though we told him it was absolutely fine if he did. The food and drink were fabulous as always. We can ALWAYS depend on Sam's to provide an excellent meal and a great experience. Thank you!

s
New York Area
75 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely excellent food and service. Real old-time, historic San Francisco location that still packs a punch. Excellent crab cakes. Outstanding seafood salad. Exceptional veal piccata and spaghetti. If you want an only in San Francisco experience and wonderful food, Sam's Grill is the place.

DD
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience2

We had a decent experience. The waiter was professional and personable. The food was said to be good by others...my clam chowder was good, but not great. My head lettuce salad was good. Others mostly had the crab louie salad which they said was good...but looked a little skimpy to me. Two things that were not the greatest...ambiance (we were put in a closed in booth like room...5 of us...out in the open restaurant would have been better....and price ( the crab louies were $38, which seemed excessive) The next night we at at Betty Lou's ...the food was as good or better. The ambiance was much better and it was significantly cheaper.
Go to Sam's for and old SF experience and enjoy, but sit in the main open part.

NM
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall4food3service3ambience4

Our meals (fish for four) were very good. Our only problem was dessert; we were told there was no vanilla gelato, and we were served chocolate gelato instead. My hot fudge sundae was OK, but a guest's bananas foster was not very good like that. I regret not sending it back, frankly. Waiter was a t-a-d boisterous, but he was extremely efficient and thorough.

OT
Hawaii
11 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Enjoyable evening in a private booth (3 of us). Excellent meal & service. Only downside was we ordered decaf coffees with dessert but were all up until after midnight - wasn't decaf.

KB
Phoenix
31 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

What an absolute disappointment. Took family from out of town and it just was terrible from beginning to end. Server did not listen-told him we had a gluten allergy at the table and it didn’t register. Fish was good, nothing to write home about. Squash side was cold on every plate. Dessert contained gluten (hot fudge sundae) even though description didn’t list and after we asked again for something without. Even the gelato came with a cookie. Waiter never checked on us during dinner. Trout was not deboned. Water glasses left empty until we got up to get the pitcher ourselves. Could go on...Not the SF experience we hoped to share. $300 later...Won’t be back. Ever.

OT
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Get one of the enclosed booths! Perfect for a date

b
Atlanta
73 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As you enter, you walk into another era of dark paneling, white tablecloths and tuxedoed waiters. You can tell this place has been here for a very long time. I had the largest and most tender scallops ever and my wife had perfect sole. Very competitive prices and a great evening.

M
Greensboro
10 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall4food4service2ambience3

While the food was good, the service was incredibly slow.

OT
San Francisco
95 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Sam’s. Private booths are priceless. Our waiter was very professional and offered great service. The food was so so. I had the halibut. It was perfectly cooked but very boring. Not creative cooking by any means. My friend had the shrimp and raves about it but didn’t care for her COLD zucchini salad accompanying it. Ahi Tuna also perfectly cooked but again no creative sides. Basic but good.

DR
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Woody is fantastic! Seated us a party of 3 in a private booth.

DJ
Miami
21 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sam's was my favorite place when I came to SF all those trips to visit our radio stations KFRC across the street. Beginning in 1975. And then for decades after. Oh that Petrale sole. We tried for the special tiny and delicious sand dabs but alas none!!!! Shrimp Louis so good. Nice wines. Same old ambience. It has not changed one lick in these 45 years. I am so happy the owners are keeping up the old Sam tradition.

H
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were there for our 33rd anniversary. We booked our reservations a couple of months ago. When we arrived we were seated right away. The service was great, the food was superb and the atmosphere was terrific.

c
Baltimore
12 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Arrived early for our reservation and were given our choice of table. Service was great u til dessert, when the restaurant was crowded and we had to wait for freshly made crepes.

MP
London
2 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Excellent menu with beautifully prepared dishes and great service. Would definitely eat here again.

m
Miami
60 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

On vacation in the Bay Area. Went here for dinner. Food was wonderful. Service was great. Our fault but did feel underdressed in shorts and collared shirt. Still no one from the restaurant made a deal out of it. Will definitely return

s
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was wonderful except desserts . The crumble frozen had to be warmed and pecan pie not wonderful BUT EVERY Thing else fantastic! s Nelson

F
Los Angeles
51 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I always take clients and have pesto lunches and dinners at Sam’s. The staff and the food are always first rate!
B. Frymire

F
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall3food4service5ambience2

Very old school place. Menu is traditional but timeless & prepared well. Waiter was very professional & kind. It feels a bit run down though, a little freshining up of this classic spot wouldn't hurt the old San Francisco feel.

MF
London
4 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding piece of SF history with marvellous seafood service and sommeliers. Don't miss it!

JG
San Francisco
36 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Sam's is going on my list of places to go again and again, joining Zuni Cafe, Hayes Street Grill, Greens and Sociale.

The food is good, the service (by experienced waiters) is excellent, the menu is long, and the noise level is low enough so that normal conversation is possible. What more can one ask?

LL
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sam's is, without a doubt, my favorite restaurant in SF. Been going since I was little with my parents and continues to be excellent. Highly recommend.

OT
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall1food1service2ambience2

Tuesday night at 6:30 the restaurant was out of sand dabs( in season) and oysters. Quality of remaining food was not as good as I could make at home and prices were high. The pan seared piece of fish I ordered was small, nothing special, and with mashed potatoes and no other vegetables was $36. I could buy a whole fish for less. Simple green salad was way overdressed and bay shrimp drowned in dressing.
Tables are old, may be charming, but can’t cross your legs.
It’s not what it used to be. Won’t go again. Tadich Grill is 150% better!

w
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding service. Great bartender, Kevin. Waiter was Stephon. Food was perfect. Grilled fish.
Oysters,salad, sourdough bread! Old famous restaurant worth checking out!

g
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The booths are the ideal place for private conversations or a business "meeting."

O
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

This place was awesome- wasn't quite sure what we'd be getting in coming here, but all of the food was excellent. We shared several apps and deserts along with our meals and everyone unanimously loved it. Great spot. Decent prices, too!

JB
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always good choice for an “adult” dinner - good food, great service and a noise leave that allows you to have a dinner conversation at a normal, pleasant level. A definite five stars ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

c
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best old school seafood restaurant in SF. First time was 1964.