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Sam Cafe

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235 W 12th St, Ste A, Merced, CA 95341-6158
209-383-5350
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Today
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Sat 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 50 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 35
    Excellent
  • 8
    Very good
  • 6
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    3.5 of 5 stars
Authentic Thai food

I am not Thai but I have been to Thailand and eaten in "homespun" Thai restaurants in the US. This restaurant holds its own. We are vegetarians and were able to find a few dishes to suit our tastes. All were really good. The owner is upbeat and even though he was short-staffed he was able to... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed January 1, 2016
Lorne29
,
Claremont
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50 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
Claremont
Level Contributor
142 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2016

I am not Thai but I have been to Thailand and eaten in "homespun" Thai restaurants in the US. This restaurant holds its own. We are vegetarians and were able to find a few dishes to suit our tastes. All were really good. The owner is upbeat and even though he was short-staffed he was able to provide excellent service.

Helpful?
2 Thank Lorne29
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2015 via mobile

The owner is the sweetest person I have ever met. He genuinely cares about his costumers as well as students from the UC. All of his food is carefully prepared and very good. I also love that you can pick the spice levels of certain dishes. I LOVE the pad Thai!

Helpful?
1 Thank BPMPMH
Level Contributor
34 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2015

I ate here on a recent business trip. They were very friendly and even made me something that was not on the menu. Everything I ordered was fresh and delicious. Don't let the area this restaurant in in put you off.

Helpful?
Thank Sweetamd
Level Contributor
26 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2015

We eat there 3-4x per month and it's great. Sam is a super host and the food is fantastic. I love the Pad Thai (heat level 6) and my lady likes the Pad Siu. We also have the Chicken Satay and Combo fried rice and all that is $40. We love Sam Cafe!!!!

Helpful?
Thank John L
Fresno, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2015

Overall the food was okay, nothing amazing about it. The panang curry was not good, I've had better. Wished the food was cooked with less oil, especially the orange chicken. The portion sizes was too small for the prices we paid.

Helpful?
Thank tuelor
Phoenix, United States
Level Contributor
66 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2015

The food and service was very good. We felt like family there. However, Sam needs to update the decor! The ceiling needs a complete renovation and the tables and chairs are very outdated.

Helpful?
1 Thank Rick B
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2015

All I can say is wow! We have now been there 4 times now and it's the best Thai food my wife and I have ever had and travel all over the globe! We have programmed Sam Cafe into our GPS and anytime we travel from Sacramento down Highway 99 it's a stop for us. Sam and his wife that... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Szguitar
Merced
Level Contributor
32 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

I've eaten at Sam Cafe a few times. When Sam is there, it's great; when he's not it's pretty mediocre. Not bad ever, but not special. I will say that they allow their customers to choose a level of hot between 1 and 10. I generally get 7 which is pretty hot, but not lip numbing, nose running, eye tearing... More 

Helpful?
Thank Cosmosticon
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2015 via mobile

Glad we did. Combo Pad thai very good as was the Kung Pow Chicken. Loved the Thai lemonade/ Would do again when in the area. Looked like lots of locals and repeat customers.

Helpful?
1 Thank Candace C
San Francisco, California, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2015 via mobile

Like many others who reviewed Sam's Cafe, we stopped here on the way through Merced. It's well worth it the stop! Delicious food which Sam puts his own individual spin on and a personal touch.

Helpful?
2 Thank John H

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 235 W 12th St, Ste A, Merced, CA 95341-6158
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Merced
  • Phone Number: 209-383-5350

Price and Cuisine

  • Cuisine: Asian, Thai
Open Hours
Sunday
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Monday
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Tuesday
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Wednesday
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Thursday
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Friday
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Saturday
11:00 am - 9:00 pm

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Sam Cafe staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?