Half Moon Bay is well known locally for its annual Art and Pumpkin Festival but did you know that this harbor town also has a seafood restaurant that serves great lobster rolls – some of the best I’ve had outside of Boston.
Sam’s – not to be mistaken for the other well known Sam’s located in Sausalito – is located in the heart of Half Moon Bay along the harbor. You will find lots of parking in front and lots of waterfront tables in the back.
I recently took my mother, who was visiting from out of town, out for a nice leisurely drive south of the city. Being from Seattle originally, she loves to visit little coastal towns along Highway 1 whenever she comes to stay with us in search of good seafood.
We walked into Sam’s without reservations on a weekend and they were able to seat us almost right away. At the front of the restaurant they also have a separate seafood market, open on the weekends. The entire restaurant is quite large with two floors, an outdoor area for warm weather seating and a long bar area near the front door. They have tables set up across the dining room floor and along the big picture windows looking out onto the harbor.
The hostess gave us a nice spot so my mother could look out at the fishing boats. The service was a little inconsistent though. Our waiter set us up pretty quickly when we sat down, but then after we placed our order he didn’t come back to fill my mother’s water glass until I flagged someone down to ask.
Even with this little bump, I decided to go for it and order their house specialty, the $20 lobster roll and was I impressed, very impressed. It was tasty and came with home made potato chips, fortunately sitting on lots of paper because they were a bit on the greasy side. My mother had the crab Louie salad and was very satisfied with the quantity of fresh crab and the flavor of the classic dressing.
Definitely a bit touristy but given its location on the harbor and proximity to the city, I would go again. And on a sunny day, a nice glass of white wine enjoyed with that relaxing view of the coast is wonderful.
Next time, I’m going for the Boston Clam Chowder or I might just grab one of their clam bake pots to go!
Sam’s Chowder House
4210 North Cabrillo Hwy,
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Open daily from lunch through dinner.
Sam’s Seafood Market Hours
Friday 4:00p – 8:00p
Saturday-Sunday 12:00p – 8:00p
Photo credits to Sam’s