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Sam's Chowder House - CLOSED

185 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301-1633
+1 650-614-1177
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  • Excellent23%
  • Very good47%
  • Average19%
  • Poor7%
  • Terrible4%
Travelers talk about
“chowder” (14 reviews)
“oysters” (9 reviews)
Restaurant Hours Closed
American, Seafood, Soups, Bar, Gluten Free Options
$$ - $$$
185 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301-1633
All Details
Reviews (68)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

1 - 10 of 65 reviews

Reviewed December 15, 2016

We visited for Mother's Day last year - the Sam's on the coast was BOOOOOOKKKKKED up solid all day, but this location had space available at 7 PM just right! Good food, good service, fast and easy!

Thank BeadsOfLight
Reviewed December 3, 2016

I came in to Sams on a cold night to have a large bowl of hot stew. Well their idea of a bowl of stew and mine is very different. I am use of a deep bowl full of fish and broth, their Fisherman stew...More

Thank Iamalwayslost
Reviewed November 23, 2016

Sam's Chowder House, located in Half Moon Bay turns out to be THE location for lunch (and dinner too I assume). Unpretentious from the outside, with chowder wagons in the parking lot it looks like just an ordinary seafood joint. To say that location is...More

Thank 445sandym
Reviewed November 18, 2016 via mobile

You should try the lobster tail and the clam chowder. The location is very good and not too crowded. Parking can be an issue.

Thank Marcelo C
Reviewed November 13, 2016 via mobile

I was passing by Sam's Chowder House and noticed the window where I could get a Chowder without going into the restaurant. I asked what clam chowders were available and was told that I could choose between the richer New England with cream and bacon...More

Thank jenniferlsylman
Reviewed November 4, 2016 via mobile

Very nice place. Seating outdoors and indoors. Menu not long but a good mix of standard seafood starters and good quality seafood mains and raw fish dishes. Oysters and so on. Large number of seats. Good attentive friendly staff. Cocktails too. Worth a visit for...More

Thank drdave10
Reviewed October 21, 2016 via mobile

After coming from Boston, I was craving for a good seafood chowder. I went to the right place! I tried the fisherman's stew. It had Cod, prawns, mussels, clams in a lobster bisque wine broth. Wow! Craving satisfied, tummy extremely happy! Will definitely be a...More

Thank TuttieG
Reviewed October 12, 2016 via mobile

I had the blackened fish tacos and my husband had the seafood salad bowl and both were fantastic! I would definitely come here again - had a great experience all around!

Thank Tari E
Reviewed October 3, 2016

Sam's is an institution.We visit Palo Alto from England regularly to see our family.We have eaten both here and at Half Moon Bay previously. This time very dissappointed. The chowder was long on potatoes and celery but short on seafood. An institution living on it's...More

Thank peanutts9
Reviewed September 29, 2016 via mobile

A late lunch on a Sunday afternoon led us to this nice seafood restaurant along university ave. in downtown Palo alto. We enjoyed their seafood paella and shrimp fettuccine. Friendly staff and available outside tables make this a must when in town. Avoid busy hours,...More

1  Thank Manny L
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Restaurant Details

Average prices
$15 - $30
Dining Style
Casual Dining
Good for
Bar scene, Families with children, Kids, Business meetings, Large groups
Open Hours
11:00 AM - 9:30 PM
11:30 AM - 9:30 PM
11:30 AM - 9:30 PM
11:30 AM - 9:30 PM
11:30 AM - 9:30 PM
11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 185 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301-1633
    (Emerson Street)
  • Public Transportation: When taking Cal Train please use the University stop.
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Palo Alto
  • Phone Number: +1 650-614-1177
  • E-mail
Dear Sam's fan's, Sam's Palo Alto has been SOLD to a new restaurant. Our last day of operation was Sunday, December 11, 2016. Our expansion business model has changed to focus on smaller, fast casual "cafes" which are easier to staff and operate, so this opportunity came at a good time for us. In addition to our popular and continually growing Half Moon Bay "mother ship" location, we will be announcing some new, smaller café locations in the coming year. We appreciate everyone who voted us "BEST NEW RESTAURANT" and "BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT IN PALO ALTO" two years in a row, and we've enjoyed serving you delicious seafood. It's been fun to be in Palo Alto the past several years, and we are grateful for the warm and wonderful reception that we've received from the community. THANK YOU to our staff for working hard to deliver great food and service - we are happy that many of them are joining us at our Half Moon Bay location, or staying on at the same location with the new owners. THANK YOU also to our farmers, fishermen and purveyors, for all the wonderful ingredients you have provided to us. We hope to see you at our Half Moon Bay Sam's Chowder House location, or at one of our Sam's Chowdermobile trucks. Or maybe we'll see you at one of our future new locations (stay tuned!). Meanwhile...thank you for all of your support - we truly appreciate it! The Sam's Team
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