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“Reserve well in advance or get there early (especially on weekends)”

Sam's Chowder House
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Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $30
Cuisines: American, Seafood, Soups
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Families with children, Scenic view, Bar scene, Kids
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Brunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: Overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Half Moon Bay, California, Sam's Chowder House offers oceanfront dining and delicious seafood. Voted "BEST SEAFOOD" by the locals (Half Moon Bay Review Readers Choice Awards), and by the Bay Area BEST OF THE ALIST. Enjoy daily fresh fish, Maine lobster, local crab, award-winning lobster rolls, lobster spaghetti, oysters and clams from the raw bar, fried calamari, farm fresh salads, and more. Outdoor oceanfront dining and weekend music. Gluten-free and vegetarian options available, as well as a children's menu. Family friendly, with a dog-friendly outdoor patio.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
128 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
“Reserve well in advance or get there early (especially on weekends)”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2014

I live about 5 minutes from Sam’s and often go there for weekend brunches. I always book a table first on OpenTable because that place is always packed, especially on weekends. The best thing about it is the location: it sits right on the beach, with amazing views of the ocean and nearby towns of Miramar and Princeton by the Sea.

If you can get there early enough, snag a seaside seat on one of the colorful adirondack chairs in the outdoor patio or by the firepit (first come, first serve). It’s a wonderful place to sit and sip drinks, watch the sunset or just chill. The food is good, not super amazing, and the prices do tend to be a bit on the high side. On the weekends, parking is extremely difficult as it is a very popular tourist spot.

After your meal, head down to the beach and take a stroll along the coast.

5 stars for the view and ambiance, 3 stars for food and service.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank XtinaDunham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,433 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Pennsauken, New Jersey, United States
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“OK but not worth 1.5 hour wait”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2014

The wait for seats was RIDICULOUS. I was travelling alone and couldn't even get a seat at the bar for 1 and this was at 2:30 PM on a Sunday. I got take out through the gift shop which was pretty quick but the food was just OK, nothing great. Kind of bland. I had the famous lobster roll and chowder, not impressed.

Visited February 2014
Thank Joan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlingame, California
Level Contributor
42 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Good food, great service!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2014

Food was good, we had fish and chips(not on the menu but available), the halibut(cooked well and laid on a bed of mushrooms), polenta fries and brussels sprouts(both delicious). Our waitress was friendly and informative, the bussers were attentive and friendly as well. The hosts seem to be a group of youngsters scratching their heads and not at all inviting, but look past that and you'll get good food. We recommend trying it out and we'll definitely come again.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank M W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manteca, California
Level Contributor
389 reviews
170 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
“Fell way short of my expectations”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2014

We have driven by this Sams Chowder house many times and this time we planned to eat there. We arrived about 1 PM and we were seated right away at a window seat. It wasn't that busy. The parking lot looked like it would be busier then it was.
Our waitress was very nice. We told her we were celebrating out Anniversary so she said that we would have dessert on the house. Nice!
I noticed that they had a crab louie salad but that they didn't have a Shrimp Louie. I asked our waitress if I could get a shrimp Louie. and she said she would check. She came back and said that I could but it would cost 2 dollars more. I order that with the dressing on the side. When I got my salad the dressing was all over it, not on the side. When she came by , she said, " OH NO, they put the dressing on it. I am sorry! I wrote on the tag to put it on the side." She did not take it back. I didn't say anything. The salad was pitiful. Shrimp, Lettuce, a little cucumber, one half of hard boiled egg, and some radishes. Thats IT!!!!! and not a lot of it for the price!! Very disappointing. My husband had Chopino and a cup of Clam Chowder. They brought us a little tiny bread, 4 small slices. She asked if we would like some more, We said yes, but she never brought it. I had water, My husband had coffee.. $66 dollars.. Whew.. Go somewhere else. :(

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Sally J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rhodes, Greece
Level Contributor
143 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“Excellent restaurant!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2014

This is a funny story! My friend and I got there a couple of hours before they opened, and there were 4 cars in the parking lot. We decided to explore Half Moon Bay and come back. When we did, not only was the lot filled, cars were lining the highway! Even so, we got a very good table overlooking the bay; service was excellent. My friend got the clam chowder and I got the seafood salad. I tasted the chowder and it was very good; my seafood salad was heavenly and filled with seafood. Portions were generous. We saw many other delicious looking dishes being delivered to other diners. It was a very pleasant atmosphere. I highly recommend, even if you have to wait for a table!

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank CTJodi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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