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Jul 8, 2006 09:27 PM

Half Moon Bay??

I'll be in Half Moon Bay for work in early August. Can anyone make any restaurant recommendations? Thank you.

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  1. HMB is a terrific restaurant town for its size. Here are my personal rankings:


    Cafe Gibralter: 3-4 miles north of town across from Princeton Harbor. Nice soups, salads, wines, atmosphere. Private booths.


    Pasta Moon: Downtown. Decent pastas, 1 step below the great pasta houses in SF. A staple in town for years.

    Cetrella: Nice house, extensive Mediterranean menu. I prefer the first courses to the entrees. I think a bit overrrated and overrpriced, but overall, fine.

    Tres Amigos: Surprisingly good, fresh, traditional Mexican

    Sushi Main Street: Ditto re sushi

    Mezza Luna: Moved to the end of the Pier in Princeton. Nice view, very serviceable N. Italian menu.

    Duartes: Another mainstay, south of town in Pescadero. Great soups (artichoke), pies (Ollaberry), breads. I've found most entrees just ok and am disappointed that they don't do a better job with shellfish. Good place for breakfast.


    Barbara's Fishtrap. Another restaurant on the Princeton pier. Some people love this place but I find the calamari, fish & chips, etc greasy and uninspired.

    Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. Traditional ok brewpub food, good beers. Aging rock bands on weekend nites. Nothing special.


    The Miramar. Best views in town. Food disappointing x ok versions of crab and shrimp louie

    Moss Beach Distillery. Another nice view place when not fogged in, but food is horribly overpriced and mediocre at best. Best bet here is to go downstairs for steamers and beer & stare at the ocean.

    ??? The priciest restaurant in town is Navio at the Ritz Carlton. I have not been there.

    Also ... there is a breakfast place at the HMB airport which is decent and fun. Also a new restaurant across from the San Benito House, next to a hotel which has decent food. Sorry, names escape me.

    5 Replies
    1. re: doc

      >Mezza Luna: Moved to the end of the Pier in Princeton.<

      Wasn't Mezza Luna in the location of the old Princeton Inn? If so and they've moved, what's in the old Princeton Inn building (I still miss the Princeton Inn for lunch/brunch)?

      Added: I see the newer post below that Mezza Luna is still in the old Princeton Inn (Hotel?) location.

      1. re: doc

        Is "Doug's BBQ" still around? It was getting some very positive press here back in October 2005.

        "It is just off Main Street in the Stone Pine Center just south of Highway 92 (at the first stop sign)."

        1. re: doc

          I love the Half Moon Bay Coffee Company for breakfast or lunch. Their breakfast rice is wonderful and unique to them. Their biscuits and gravy on the weekends are wonderful too. The coffee and desserts are great, and the lunch options are varied.

          1. re: doc

            Barbara's Fish Trap is really good for fish and chips. There is also another good place on the road in from Hillsborough that's also good for fish. I believe it's called The Flying Fish. It's in a building with a little market, you can't miss it.

            1. re: SamuelA.L.

              Flying Fish Grill
              99 San Mateo Rd
              Half Moon Bay

              Very casual- good clam chowder, polenta fries, fish tacos ok depends on what they are using but I find the toppings boring.

          2. I was there once, and will always remember a spectacular berry crumble/cobbler dessert at Pasta Moon. Their butternut squash ravioli was terrific, so was their pizza. FYI, this was a couple of years ago.

            1. I have been living in HMB for a number of years and generally agree with your rankings. I do like Cafe Gibraltar but I would rank Pasta Moon and Cetrella above it. Sushi Main Street has decent sushi but service can be abysmal. Other Mexican I like are Happy Taco and Spanishtown. I feel Mezza Luna is on par with many of the best places in North Beach as far as its pastas go. Duarte's to me is highly overrated. The 301 Cafe at the HMB airport, I agree, is not too bad for what it is. Half Moon Bay Kitchen and Cocktails is the name of the place across from San Benito House on Main Street. I agree the food is decent and I like the decor, but I have talked to several people who really don't like this place. I'm not sure why.

              There is a new Asian fusion restaurant in El Granada called Red Ginger where the old Moon Bay was. I haven't been there yet. Sam's Chowder House (same owner as Cetrella) is supposed to open in August in the old Anchorage restaurant site on Highway One. Looking forward to that. A new Japanese restaurant called Shiki is opening in the Stone Pine Shopping Center. I will be absolutely shocked if it's any good. Cafe Gibraltar people are opening a place where Two Fools was on Main Street. Not sure if it's open yet.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Wendy_san

                It's the 30 Cafe, named for the primary runway at Half Moon Bay Airport. It's fun to fly in there (not on a foggy day) for brunch. Nothing spectacular, but better than quite a few other airport eateries.

                1. re: Wendy_san

                  Red Ginger closed in January 2007. They opened just before the closing of Highway 1 due to problems with Devil's Slide, and never recovered from the economic hit.

                2. Are we talking about the same Mezza Luna that was at 459 Prospect Way 2 months ago is now located at the end of the Princeton pier??

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: TomG

                    Mezza Luna has not moved from its location at 459 Prospect.
                    In general I would agree with Wendy San's comments although I respectfully disagree with Spanishtown. Nice folks, nice service but the food is very old school Mexican American---big time heavy. I am a bigger fan of Happy taco than Tres Amigos. Last couple time there I ordered the Carnitas and they were more like stewmeat than Carnitas.

                  2. Sorry ... I am stuck in a time warp. If I am correct, I remember eating at Mezza Luna when it was located on Highway 1, just north of HMB ... thus the "moved to the pier comment".

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: doc

                      You are not mistaken. Mezza Luna was originally in the spot on Highway One where Ono Hawaiian Grill resides (and, btw, a place I do *not* recommend). Mezza Luna moved to the old Princeton Hotel site maybe 4 or 5 years ago and a restaurant named Demi Lune took its place.

                      1. re: Wendy_san

                        What do you have against the Ono Hawaiian Grill? I've enjoyed the Kalua Pig plate lunch there and didn't find the macaroni salad to be as unassuming as so many other places.

                        1. re: Peter Yee

                          Ono has since closed. An Italian place will open once renovations are complete. They were putting up the sign today, and I think it said "La Italia."

                            1. re: Chowada

                              Its actually going to be (yet) another Tacqueria with, I believe, the same ownership as the one in Montara on Hwy 1 called El Gran Amigo. Hopefully it will be a little more interesting than that.