If you’re looking for a small beach town where the air is clean and crisp, the locals are passionate about their community, and the seafood is as fresh as can be, Half Moon Bay is it. I was lucky enough to grow up in this beautiful, idyllic, close-knit town. So, if you’re looking for what (and where!) to eat in Half Moon Bay, read up, straight from a local.
I grew up and spent my entire childhood in Half Moon Bay (or, “the coast”), from 1975-1993 and again from about 1997-1998 and 2001-2002. I get the pleasure of returning to this town often, to visit friends and family who live there. While a lot has changed since then, a lot still remains the same.
About Half Moon Bay
Known for surf and pumpkins, Half Moon Bay is a small beach town 29 miles south of San Francisco and 48 miles north of Santa Cruz. Its name comes from the half-moon-shaped bay that is Pillar Point Harbor.
The town is filled with beautiful beaches. Flower nurseries and farms line the main highway, Highway 1. The flower industry booms here (which is what my father did his whole working life in the US!). Family-owned farms like Andreotti xxxxxx
Half Moon Bay is a very safe and child-friendly town. Those who want to enjoy the outdoors in between those delicious meals will have plenty to enjoy.
Half Moon Bay is a foodie’s dream.
Let’s dig into the food and my recommendations for what to eat while in Half Moon Bay!
Editors Note: This page will be regularly updated, so check back here for additions and up-to-date recommendations.
Lobster Rolls @ Sam’s Chowder House
We can’t talk about food in Half Moon Bay without talking about Sam’s. Sam’s has won numerous national awards and is a really popular spot.
You have to try their deliciously fresh and famous lobster rolls and the clam chowder. They have indoor and outdoor dining, and both offer beautiful views of the ocean. From there you can walk down the path to the beach for a walk along the water after you eat. Be aware that there are a fair amount of stairs involved.
They currently only take reservations on weekdays, so expect a wait on weekends.
Local brothers serving local food. They have a lot of visitors there, but it’s also a local hangout spot (known as OPL to locals). They often have live music. It’s casual and relaxed, and a popular place for locals to gather.
It’s a close walk to the beach, and is a very relaxed place to grab a drink and hang out. They have a full bar and beers on tap.
You’ll definitely want to try some of their food while you’re there. It’s a great place for lunch. Their poke bowl is wonderful, as are their breakfast acai bowls. You can eat inside in the bar, or take it out back to eat and play some bocce ball.
Local Produce @ Half Moon Bay Coastside Farmer’s Market:
The market is held twice a week April through December and is full of fresh, colorful items sold directly from Coastside farmers and growers.
Fine Dining @ Navio at The Ritz Carlton
If you’re looking for fine dining, excellent presentation, and extra touches, Novia at the Ritz is your place.
Try their weekend brunch in their dining room with views of the ocean.
Even if you don’t stay or eat at this hotel, you should definitely plan on visiting for a variety of reasons. The biggest one? THIS VIEW.