News and Reviews: San Jose Mercury News

Half Moon Bay day trip: 3 great spots to eat

by Jackie Burrell, March 25, 2021

Sam's famous lobster roll sandwich
The famous lobster roll at Sam’s Chowder House (Bay Area News Group)

Whether you’re beach bound or hitting the Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail — or Devil’s Slide to the north — you’ll need to refuel. Here are three tasty options near the coast.

Dad’s Luncheonette

Located in a charming, bright red caboose on Highway 1, this casual roadside counter-service spot hails from chef-owner Scott Clark, who spent three years at San Francisco’s Michelin-starred Saison. Here Clark turns out decked-out burgers ($12) made with grass-fed beef or maitake mushrooms, topped with melty cheese and a soft egg and served on grilled Rosalind Bakery white bread. The potato chips are housemade, the herb salad tossed with a Meyer lemon vinaigrette and there are seasonal specials, too.

Details: The popular eatery menu occasionally sells out — especially on weekends — so if you’re going on the late side, you’ll want to call ahead. Open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday-Sunday at 225 Cabrillo Highway in Half Moon Bay;

The Barn

How can you resist a big ol’ barn that proclaims itself Barnalicious? Add in outdoor beer garden seating, Four Barrel Coffee and locavore fare, including Marin Sun Farm Barn Burgers ($10.50), What the Cluck chicken sandwiches ($15.25), deep-fried Mac Attack ($6.50) and seasonal salads, all made with ingredients from nearby producers. Order at the window, then grab a perch in the tent or garden.

Details: Open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and until 6 p.m. on Sunday at 3068 Cabrillo Highway in Half Moon Bay;

Sam’s Chowder House

This Half Moon Bay seafood mainstay has not yet reopened for indoor dining — renovations are still underway to make the interior safer for guests — but don’t fret. Sam’s full menu is available for alfresco dining. And you can still get those signature lobster rolls ($27) and chowder ($9) at the eatery’s takeout window to enjoy at the beach or on the lower lawn. (That chowder is available by the quart to reheat at home, too.)

Details: Sam’s outdoor dining is open from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekdays for reservations and walk-ins, and 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekends for walk-ins only. Order takeout online or at the window, just be aware that the weekend wait may be 30 minutes or more. 4210 Cabrillo Highway in Half Moon Bay;