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.
Cafe, Restaurant, Mexican, $
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.’
Restaurant, Seafood, $
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.
Restaurant, American, $
‘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.
Restaurant, Diner, American, $
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.
Mezza Luna Restaurant, Half Moon Bay
Restaurant, Italian, $
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.
Restaurant, American, $
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.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.