We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Good Ol Spenger's” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto

Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto
1919 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710-1933
510-845-7771
Menu
Improve this listing
Reserve with OpenTable
Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #209 of 619 Restaurants in Berkeley
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: American, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Entertaining clients, Large groups
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: University Ave.
Transit: We are located a few blocks from many AC Transit Bus lines. The closest Bart stations is about 1 mile away.
California
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Good Ol Spenger's”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

I used to get shrimp newburg here 30 years ago but they no longer serve it. The atmosphere is great - nautical and lots of wood and brass. Cheery staff, food is good..not gourmet but 'down home' and fair amounts. You are in Berkeley at an iconic place so expect to pay a skosh more than usual.

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

181 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    24
    58
    43
    35
    21
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Sonoma
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Legendary Feel with Upgraded Food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2012

I've been going to Spenger's since the early 1980's. Back then it was a throw back in time, with lots of fried seafood served with fries and coleslaw. But the food was consistent and it was always a party atmosphere! When they closed down I was very disappointed. However, now I'm thrilled with the new menu! McCormick & Schmidt basically left the interior as it was, like being inside an old wooden boat, with all the accoutrements. But the food is now comparable with their other restaurants - fish is always fresh so the menu changes daily with what's available. But everything I've had has been good. Seared yellow-fin tuna with wasabi and garlic mashed potatoes was cooked perfectly! The salmon sauteed with mushrooms and hazelnuts was some of the best salmon I've ever had. I've also had the seared scallops that were done just right - crispy outside and creamy inside not overdone like so many places do them. Their salads are fabulous as well, my favorite was the spinach salad with beets, but they have great ceasar or several seafood topped salads. It's a great place for a group or celebration - and they have a full bar plus wonderful desserts. Some other reviews that claim fish comes "fried, boiled or with bad cream sauces" left me wondering where he ate?!!

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kirkwood, mo
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“Entrees better than dessert”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012

We checked out several restaurants on 4th street before deciding to dine at Spengers for seafood. The atmosphere was pleasant; the building historic; and you get 3 hour validation at the parking lot across the street,( 1 1/2 hour validation before 5 pm) We loved our Parmesan encrusted filet of Sole($20) . Our companions enjoyed their Grilled Salmon and Mahi Mahi very much. Being the season, I tried the Peach Cobbler for dessert and was not pleased. It was too mushy and the topping was more of a Brown Betty than a cobbler. The service was attentive. I would go back, but not order a seasonal dessert. For the past 11 years the restaurant has been a McCormick and Schmick property.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walnut Creek, California
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Bland”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2012

Fried or boiled with bad cream sauces is the way your fish will come. I don't think their fish is fresh despite the wording on the outside of the building. Shame.

Visited March 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Missouri
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Still good”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

Have been eating at Spenger's since 1959. It was better when still owned by Spenger family, but Manhattan clam chowder still made from original recipe and GOOD. There were four in our group and all liked their seafood entrees.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto also viewed

 

Been to Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.