News and Reviews: Best of BayList

San Francisco BayList

2011 "Best Waterfront Dining in the Bay Area"
and "Best Seafood in the Bay Area

There were 90,002 voters and in the 2012 contest.


2011 Best of BayList - Best Waterfront Dining in the Bay Area 2011 Best of BayList - Best Seafood in the Bay Area
Sam's Chowder House ocean view at sunset

Sam's Chowder House

Nestled on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Sam's offers stunning sunsets, true oceanfront outdoor dining, and a casual and authentic seafood experience reminiscent of an East Coast style seafood house. Watch the crashing surf inside by the fireplace, dine outside under a cozy heat lamp, or settle into an Adirondack chair near a toasty fire pit on Sam's dog-friendly patio and enjoy the crisp, salty ocean air.


Marci D. ... voted BEST Waterfront Dining
"Clam chowder is tops"
March 18, 2011

Jennifer B. ... voted BEST Waterfront Dining
"Yummy views... and the food is great too."
March 16, 2011

Tom M. ... voted BEST Waterfront Dining
"Easily the best chowder I've ever eaten. The menu is sutainable and all the dishes I've had were delicious. Try the escolar. They also have an open air patio."
March 18, 2011

Les D. ... voted BEST Waterfront Dining
"Can't beat the views"
March 11, 2011

Richard B. ... voted BEST Seafood
"Clam Chowder...most excellent..."
March 14, 2011

Cheryl B. ... voted BEST Seafood
"Love the ChowderMobile!!!"
March 18, 2011

Tom M. ... voted BEST Seafood
"Plus the menu is sustainable. Worth the drive!"
March 18, 2011

Best of the BayList 2011 - Best Waterfront Dining

This restaurant has the best atmospheres and even better service. If you are looking for a family night out or just a romantic place to dine, this is the place. Lunch or dinner, give this place a chance and you'll never go anywhere else!


Great food and a wonderful setting. I reccomend it anyone traveling to the Bay Area


I Love Blues Music ! At Sam's I can set and eat great food have good drink and listen to great blues music all while the kids play on the beach ;-) makes for a wonderfull day pleasing the whole family, watching the sun set sipping on hot coco with my kids gets me though the next week .


Love the Lobster roll


Excellent food in a great location by the ocean. Good place for a wedding ceremony or reception.


Great food and atmosphere; music, too!


Sam's has it all: Best location, view, food, atmosphere...


AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME! Food just doesn't get any better than this! You will be in heaven with the innovative cuisine of Lewis Rossman. I recently had the salmon and the fish was fresh and delicious served on a bed of corn and barley that was simply out of this world. Lewis changes the preparations with the fresh local produce of the seasons and is simply a genius with food. I just can't get enough of this place!


Always, always great food and great ocean view.


sam's is my favorite water-side for two reasons; an incredible ambience overlooking the HMB harbor and the Maverick break, one, and two, culinary excellence with a true chowder house style reminensince of great Eastern harbor dining


The food is fresh, the service is great, the venue is wonderful (you can eat indoor or outdoor on a patio near the ocean. The outdoor seating includes heat lamps so you are comfortable even when the weatehr is not all that warm. And their authentic lobster roll is excellent.


Sam's is the best!


SFGate's Best of the BayList 2009 - 1st Place Best Waterfront Dining

At the edge of the western world

I totally love this place. My guy & I go almost once a week for the wonderful chowder. The view can't be beat with a stick and the service is pleasantly attentive without being overbearing. I love our romantic walks on the beach before the winding ride back to the City. See you there!


New England with a California flair

The promise of a Maine lobster roll was the lure to visit Sam's in Half Moon Bay for lunch on a February day. My wife and I lived outside Boston for many years and would take a vacation day now and then to travel to Ogunquit, Maine. Our sentimental journey was no disappointment at Sam's where they take the classic New England seafood house and give it some signature California touches like a decadent cocktail menu and an in-house pastry chef. The old favorite Key Lime Pie tastes homemade down to the perfect meringue and thin slices of candied lime as garnish. The lobster roll was more like a lobster pie, sauteed in butter with diced celery and cooked not a second too long for a perfect texture without being tough or stringy. Served with potato chips instead of fries kept the mean light and the flavenoids concentrated on the lobster. Coleslaw was not floating in white glop and tastes like they actually use a recipe instead of dumping dressing over shredded cabbage. The New England clam chowder is some of the best I've tasted west of the Piscataqua--not white and thick, but off-white from the generous amount of clams and a diced potatoes and vegetables. It's 20 bucks for a lobster roll, but it's a Maine lobster, after all, and this is California. Figure at least 5 bucks for the plane ticket. All in all, it was a great experiences evocative of pleasant memories Downeast.


Best by far....

This place is wonderful! Hardly anything on the menu I wouldn't try over and over. And as far as Waterfront dining...Well, I could practically stick my toes in the sand from my seat.Fun, casual and lively during the day & Beautiful during sunset. The staff has always been friendly and helpful and I just love it here!


Doesn't Get Much Better

Can be a spectacular view, weather permitting. Great outdoor areas as well. Service and food much improved with a little age. First visit have the cup of chowder and the Lobster Roll! It gets my vote as the best dining on the coastside. Owner created Cetrella. Now he's here.



By far the best view of a Beautiful Harbor. Perfect at Sunset!


Best of the Best!!

Great food, Fun & Friendly staff! Who wouldn't want to enjoy lunch or dinner here?!? Dog friendly patio over looking the Half Moon Bay Harbor, Great drink specials and delicious Lobster sandwich and Oysters shucked to order! Yum!


sam's chowder house

By far the best waterfront seafood restaurant. Food is fabulous and service great. we had a great time on our visit!!
Joyce Kean


A great evening!!!

We enjoyed a warm relaxing evening by the fireplace while viewing a beautiful sunset...last evening...clam chowder was excellent and service other parts of the US we have traveled for miles looking for such a place on the coast (both east and west) and this can hardly be "topped". Prices are reasonable and the view cannot be "bought". It was just great!!!!


Best Restaraunt in Half Moon Bay!

The Spouse and I read the review of Sam's in the S.F. Chronicle and gave it a try after checking out Sam's Website. The food was perfect, the service excellent, and the ambience was perfect inside, and outstanding outside. We met the head chef, and were impressed by how cool this guy is! I would highly recommend Sam's Chowder House to any seafood lover, and anyone who loves waterfront dining. Phil Schraub


Best seafood and ocean view!

We live in Miramar, only 1 miles from Sam's and we are very lucky to have such a great restaurant within walking distance. We have known Paul for over 16 years and his detail and attention to this restaurant and his previous ones are fantastic. The food is always fresh, delicious, and the waitstaff are very friendly. We love the 25% off local eating on Wednesdays and the all you can eat shrimp on Tuesdays.
We also have an Old English Sheepdog and enjoy eating outside where pets are welcome.

Mille grazie, Paul, for always being a warm host and remembering your local customers.

Deirdre and Sal


Yum Yum!

Sam’s Chowder House is more than just a spectacular view! The service is the BEST and the food is to die for! The moment you walk in the door a hostess is there to greet you with a smile. I suggest a reservation if you are EXPECTING a window seat! However, no seat in the house has a bad view. Even if you’re just off the window, you can still gaze out into the ocean. The bar tables have the best view in my opinion, you’re up high over looking everyone else’s head…all you can see are the views and the ocean.

The service is the BEST. Every time I’ve been there, I’ve asked what they suggest and have never been unhappy. My favorite is the Hawaiian Escolar. So yummy and buttery! I am treated like royalty the minute I step inside and feel like king while enjoying the view! Service should get 10 stars!!

Sam’s Chowder House has THE best view in the Bay Area. When it is warm out, and you can sit on the patio, the view is to die for! I can’t wait for Summer!


wait staff

Love the smiles we get from your servers....They are the is delicious as well.......



Best Lobster roll

Yummy!! :)