Sam’s Grill & Seafood Restaurant

4.5
339 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
Top Tags:
  • Business Meals
  • Authentic
  • Neighborhood Gem
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.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Seafood, American
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 5:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Friday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
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Phone number
(415) 421-0594
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Private party facilities
Sam’s Grill & Seafood Restaurant offers private dining and can entertain parties of up to 24 in the private booths. We are also available for full-buyouts.
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Private party contact
Peter Quartaroli: (415) 421-0594
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Catering
Dominique offers American cuisine with a French twist. For more information please call our catering office or check our catering web site for ideas: www.twist-cafe.com.
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Cross street
Kearny St.
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Parking details
Local public garages or street parking after 6:00pm.
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Public transit
BART and MUNI: Montgomery St.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 339 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.6
service
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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3.0Dined 4 days ago

I've been going to Sam's Grill for 25 years, and I've watched it decline during the past few. Recent menu changes and price increases have pretty much done me in. Sorry to say, but I'm no longer a Sam's fan.

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4.0Dined 5 days ago

Nice “old school” restaurant with an excellent wait staff and good food.

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

A must-dine. Kind and gracious staff, good food. Don't miss it.

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3.0Dined 5 days ago

Advertised as one of the oldest restaurants in America and the menu proves it. Probably hasn't been updated in 70 years, though I must say the food was good. If you'd like to experience the same meal your grandparents had on their honeymoon trip to SF this is it. You have to look at it from an historical perspective and if you do then they do a fine job.

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5.0Dined on August 14, 2018

Amazing restaurant!! Old school. Super fresh and cleAn.

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4.0Dined on August 14, 2018

Great food and excellent service. The restaurant has an old look and feel but it is 150 years old. Decent prices for downtown San Francisco.

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5.0Dined on August 10, 2018

Great service and wonderful food!

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5.0Dined on August 3, 2018

A San Francisco Gem being one of the oldest Restaurants in the City...
Unique atmosphere and setting, excellent food and great service.

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3.0Dined on July 28, 2018

Went for dinner with the extended family. The food was delicious. Cocktails good. Our table was very cramped in spite of having made a reservation 3 days in advance. Service can be improved.

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4.0Dined on July 28, 2018

Were lucky enough to sit in private booth. Very personable and gracious waiter, Stephano. Started with calamari which was clearly FRESH (SO unusual these days). Scallops, veggies were delicious. Only issue was I think the garlic burned and kind of over powered with burnt taste but cooked very well otherwise.

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5.0Dined on July 28, 2018

Great Ambience! Great service and reasonably priced! Michael was a great waiter and we will be back!

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3.0Dined on July 25, 2018

They are very s l o w. The food is pretty darned good, and we loved the bread. Each person receives their own serving of butter which is cool. Oddly, the water was served is small juice glasses with refills few and far between.....very stingy with water. I would have enjoyed the meal more if I had a beverage that wasn’t rationed. Oh well, at least the food was good.

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5.0Dined on July 25, 2018

Perfect evening. We had a reservation and dined for the first time at Sam’s based on a recommendation. No complaints and we were very pleased. I had veal scallopini which came with linguini and steamed vegetables. My husband had a scallops dish that came with potatoes and vegetables. Pretty good sized portions. Service was exceptional. Overall highly recommend for a solid dining experience.

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3.0Dined on July 25, 2018

I think Sam’s could use some updating, from their booths to their menu. Everything just feels a little tired and used. The food is good but not REALLY good. I know it’s an institution in SF but they need a shot of newness and enthusiasm.

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4.0Dined on July 20, 2018

The Clam Chowder was excellent and out of the usual kind - probably Coney Island is the best descriptor. Very generous portions (tutti di mare pasta, fried oysters - both very good). Our waiter was personable and efficient and served us freshly brewed coffee very close to their closing time. The ambience is traditional San Francisco - dark wood partitions and booths, and waiters in dark suits, white tablecloths.

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4.0Dined on July 13, 2018

We mildly mentioned that it was grandma's 90th birthday and at the end of dinner they presented her with a cake and candle and sang Happy Birthday. So sweet!

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4.0Dined on July 12, 2018

Very good food and service!

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5.0Dined on July 10, 2018

If they've lasted 150 years, must be doing something right! Always a pleasure. Best wait staff ever. Plates are large, but we enjoyed sharing.

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5.0Dined on July 7, 2018

I absolutely love Sams. I’ve had many great meals there, wonderful memories. I love sitting in the cozy booths. The wait staff is always friendly and attentive. Excellent crab Louis.

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5.0Dined on July 6, 2018

Dependable is the word that best describes Sam's. Whenever we are in SF, we try to have a meal at Sam's. The seafood is always fresh and prepared well. The servers are professional and know their jobs. We hope that you continue to endure.

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5.0Dined on July 3, 2018

Good place. Would recommend to friends and business meals

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5.0Dined on June 23, 2018

My husband and I, mid-life New Yorkers celebrating our 15 married years together on our anniversary trip to SF, made Sam’s Grill one of our top choices. I knew about the restaurant from decades ago, when my father, who first came to SF as a naval officer in the mid-40s, spoke of Sams’s as a favorite haunt. And he always mentioned the curtained booths. So I had to finally experience it for myself, and thought it would be a great anniversary surprise for my husband. Not only did we get the booth we requested, but we were wished happy anniversary from the moment we stepped in the door, and our server could not have been more warm and engaging. But most importantly, the meal we got was excellent. This restaurant does not fall back on its historical credentials (and the history is colorful indeed), but still delivers excellently prepared seafood. My husband started with their signature clam chowder, which is made without cream or milk and is out of this world good! I started with their sweet bay shrimp cocktail, absolutely fresh. As my entree I got sand dabs, a favorite when I was a kid in the 60s, and sadly hardly ever offered at any Cal. restaurant these days. I was lucky they had them the night we dined, for they do not always have them. My husband had salmon served with asparagus, tomato jam, and mashed potatoes in a delicious combination. The salmon is, according to our server, the only seafood item that is not wild caught, but that did not detract from the fresh flavor. We finished with cheesecake and berry compote for my husband, and a lovely tiramisu for me. Prices are very reasonable for downtown SF while quality is high. Hope to come again next year, if only for the clam chowder!

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5.0Dined on June 23, 2018

My partner and I had another terrific dinner at Sam's. If sand dabs are available be sure to order them. They are delicious.
Each time I have dined at Sam's the service has been terrific. On Friday Michael was our waiter. We had such a delightful time that we were almost late for the symphony.
If you are planning on dinner or lunch at Sam's remember the restaurant is only open Monday thru Friday. We planned our trip to San Francisco accordingly.
Thank you Peter and Michael for a terrific evening.

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5.0Dined on June 21, 2018

Sam's is one of our favorite and historic Restaurants in S.F.
The food has always been excellent as well as the service...
The private cabin/booths provide for privacy on those special occasions...

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4.0Dined on June 21, 2018

the wine pours are no longer generous wild salmon was always available (unlike most other restaurants) until recently the food remains excellent

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5.0Dined on June 19, 2018

We wouldn’t have walked in if it wasn’t for our Opentable reservation. We were so pleasantly surprised, turned our to be our best meal in San Francisco... would highly recommend,

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5.0Dined on June 16, 2018

Distinctive, with excellence in all kinds of ways.
A fantastic treat, each time we eat at Sam's.

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5.0Dined on June 15, 2018

Had a great dinner in one of the private booths and Stefano was fantastic. I have never written a review before, but I saw many of the negative comments regarding Stefano and find them very hard to believe. He went out of his way to accommodate us and as a result I felt compelled to send a message that he and the restaurant were great.

Cheers!

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5.0Dined on June 14, 2018

One of the best seafood restaurants. It is the 6th oldest restaurant in America, dating. Ack to 1867. I had wonderful oysters and a lobster tail. Excellent. My wife had steamer clams and I wanted to put a straw in delicious broth and drink it! The tuxedoed waiters are very professional and helpful. We highly recommend this landmark restaurant. Warning: It is not opened on Saturday or Sunday.

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5.0Dined on June 8, 2018

Great service BEFORE we arrived. I was contacted by phone and email to confirm details. The level of attention was wonderful and I was very happy we had our special work event here.

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4.0Dined on June 2, 2018

I remember seafood casseroles, but there were none on the menu...not as much choice as a decade ago

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5.0Dined on June 1, 2018

One of our favorite Seafood Restaurants in San Francisco...
Excellent Food & Great Service

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5.0Dined on May 25, 2018

Sam's Grill is still great after all these years. Bon appetit !

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4.0Dined on May 25, 2018

Always delivers simply prepared fresh fish with good service. Private tables available.

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5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Birthday; great menu, food, service in an authentic and historical sf restaurant

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4.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Very nice historical restaurant, very friendly welcome

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5.0Dined on May 18, 2018

Sam’s is San Francisco treasure. We LOVE the cioppino here—best in the city and a great value. Yes, one must wrestle a bit with the crab leg shells, but they already come cracked and segmented. Pretty simple. And the cioppino tomato soup is the best flavor in the city. Classic Caesar salad and cocktails makes this a retro San Francisco dream.

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5.0Dined on May 16, 2018

A San Francisco tradition--great food and excellent service.

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5.0Dined on May 12, 2018

Sam’s Grill is both a tribute to past San Fran and celebrates local, fresh food. Where you can get great old school cocktails and anfresh piece of local fish, and professional, dedicated service.

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5.0Dined on May 11, 2018

Old school is so out of fashion these days, but there is often a reason why the tried and true has stood the test of time. Simple food, simply and well prepared, served with attentiveness and grace without pretense - that’s what a neighborhood restaurant should be and that’s what Sam’s was on our visit. Our waiter Michael was fantastic - ready with menu advice, unobtrusively pouring the wine, refilling the water glasses, keeping it light and friendly with dry wit while not being overly familiar. Very reasonable prices, especially for San Francisco, make it a bargain in a sea of overpriced mediocrity. It may not be trendy, but it’s definitely worth a visit. Highly recommended.

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