Half Moon Bay has a rich history of fishing and agriculture, bringing some of the freshest seafood and produce to your table. Besides Half Moon Bay’s sights and activities it boasts a wide variety of eats ranging from all-day tapas to hearty Indian cuisine. Half Moon Bay’s blend of upscale restaurants, cafés and funky haunts are sure to whet your appetite. Here is our list of the top 8 restaurants to try in Half Moon Bay.
Sam’s Chowder House
Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
Winners of the San Francisco Bay Area A-Lists’ 2016 ‘Best Seafood’ award, Sam’s Chowder House is a destination for tourists and locals alike. Award-winning Executive Chef Lewis Rossman brings New England style cooking to the Bay Area, with fresh catches coming in daily from the coast. The menu offers a variety of traditional New England style dishes with a gourmet touch to fresh catches like sea bass, swordfish, and locally caught Half Moon Bay Petrale sole. Start off your meal with Sam’s famous clam chowder along with steamed Manila clams with pancetta, then grab a lobster clambake or seafood paella to share. Be sure to check out the next dates of the in-house musicians and the locations of Sam’s Chowder Mobile food trucks.
Situated in a house turned restaurant, Café Capistrano provides a quiet, homey vibe with Yucatean inspired meals and décor. Chef-owner Arturo Mul was born and raised on the Yúcatan peninsula and the Mayan foods he grew up eating are highlighted in his dishes. From slow roasted pork and chicken adobo to fish tacos, Café Capistrano provides bold traditional flavors. Be sure to try the Mayan panuchos: ‘a fried tortilla that is stuffed with black bean paste and topped Mayan coleslaw, pulled chicken, tomato, pickled red onion and avocado.’
A local favorite found on the harbor, Ketch Joanne’s ‘has a feel of home away from home and should not be missed when you visit our slice of the coast.’ Furnished with wood, and sailor décor, Ketch Joanne’s has the comfort of a boat house with the refined flavors of a gourmet restaurant. Ketch Joanne’s menu has a wide selection ranging from burgers and sandwiches, to steaks and pasta or a fresh catch of the day. If you come looking to drink, Ketch Joanne’s bar mixes up favorites like margaritas, daiquiris, and mai tais along with different craft beers,available until 1:00 a.m.
‘Love, Peace & Burger grease.’ The slogan says it all. Right off Highway 1, The Barn serves up a menu of American classics, in you guessed it, a barn. This funky joint brings fresh ingredients from local farms into their simple menu of burgers, dogs, and sandwiches. On a beautiful day, make sure to grab the ‘Mission dog’, a bacon-wrapped hot dog with caramelized onions and mayonnaise (washed down with a seasonal draft beer), and sit on the patio.
Located right on the water, Barbara’s Fishtrap is a cash-only local favorite with the option of beachfront takeout. Barbara’s Fishtrap provides scenic views and exceptional seafood in this laid-back and self-coined ‘fish shack.’ Barbara’s Fishtrap dishes are traditional seafood standards like their award-winning clam chowder, seafood pastas and daily catches. Don’t forget to try a basket of their award-winning fish and chips while you dine by the sea.
Voted Half Moon Bay’s Readers Choice ‘Favorite Overall Restaurant in Half Moon Bay’, Mezza Luna provides gourmet food serving up southern Italian dishes and the best California and Italian wines. Mezzaluna features a diverse Italian menu of creamy and delicious pastas, savory meats, fresh seafood and specialty pizzas. When finished with your main course, try a house-made gelato with an assortment of flavors to choose from. Be sure to check out Caffé Mezza Luna to sample different Italian eats like paninis, pastries and bespoke pizzas.
Seville Tapas brings a flavorful mix of Spanish plates and robust snacks to share with a group. Its sophisticated menu offers a variety of tapas from dry-cured ham to empanadillas with different fillings, to pork tenderloin simmered in garlic wine sauce, or pepitos (mini sandwiches). These strong flavors pair well with the extensive list of Spanish wines they serve or fresh house-made sangria. Bring a group of friends and enjoy some tapas by the ocean.
ARK North Indian Grill provides a homey feeling with traditional Indian décor and aromatic Indian flavors that will light up your palette. Its blend of middle eastern spices like turmeric, red chili and coriander enhance each dish. From popular Indian dishes like tandoori chicken or tikka masala, to rogan josh, ARK North Indian Grill brings bold flavors rooted in tradition. Follow ARK Grill Mobile food truck to see where they pop up next.