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Restaurants in or near Half Moon Bay

MizEvie Apr 6, 2011 04:59 PM

Any ideas for good restaurants in or near Half Moon Bay - or fun things to do? We are renting a beach house for a week at Moss Beach. Thanks!

  1. Robert Lauriston Apr 6, 2011 05:02 PM

    Costanera. Happy hour downstairs is cheaper.

    La Costanera
    8150 Cabrillo Highway, Montara, CA 94037

    1. m
      ML8000 Apr 6, 2011 05:18 PM

      In HMB, Chez Shea is good, so is Flying Fish Grill...although a bit funky/touristy. .

      Might check out Pescadero down Hwy 1 for a day...Duarte's and Harley Farm's (goat cheese dairy with tours). The taqueria at the gas station is very good...as good as any in CA...even if you're from CA.

      Harley Farms
      205 North St, Pescadero, CA

      Chez Shea
      408 Main St, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

      3 Replies
      1. re: ML8000
        wolfe Apr 6, 2011 05:22 PM

        Cafe Gibraltar in El Granada.

        Cafe Gibraltar
        425 Ave. Alhambra, El Granada, CA 94018

        1. re: ML8000
          Pius Avocado III Apr 7, 2011 07:42 AM

          Second on the gas station taqueria and Harley Farms- aside from the excellent cheeses, baby goat season is upon us which is always fun at the farm.

          Just up the road you can pick up heirloom beans at Phipps Ranch.

          A good meal of bread, soup and pie can be had at Duarte's. I also like the hot beef with mashed potatoes on a cold day.

          Ketch Jo-Ann at Pillar Point Harbor has good fried fish sandwiches on toasted sourdough, and the adjoining Harbor Bar is a good place to stop for a drink. If it's cold, sit by the venerable cast iron fireplace reclaimed from some sort of marine equipment (I forget the exact story).

          The beer selection at Cameron's just outside of HMB has improved of late; it's fun for the funky atmosphere but skip the food.

          Duarte's Tavern
          202 Stage Rd, Pescadero, CA 94060

          Ketch Joanne
          17 Johnson Pier, Princeton-by-the Sea, CA 94018

          1. re: ML8000
            Melanie Wong Nov 1, 2012 11:16 AM

            A couple things not to order at Chez Shea -

            Fish & chips (kid's size, $6.50) - Though we were happy that Mom could get the kid's size portion, the batter was way too thick. She pulled it off and reassembled it on the plate, still stood up. Soggy, greasy fries.

            Gibraltar mezze plate, $10.50 - Also not so crazy about the mezze plate. Three of the selections were starchy, legume-based, and two of these were sweetened. With the tomato jam, this made for three sweet things on the plate. Liked the grilled flatbread.

          2. Robert Lauriston Apr 7, 2011 07:45 AM

            Barbara's Fish Trap is classic. Locals appear to order Mexican as often as seafood.

            Duarte's is seriously hit and miss, some great stuff and some real losers. You can eat well if you know what to avoid.

            Duarte's Tavern
            202 Stage Rd, Pescadero, CA 94060

            Barbara's Fish Trap
            281 Capistrano Rd, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

            5 Replies
            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              artemis Apr 8, 2011 05:33 PM

              I like Barbara's, too. The fish is so fresh. Note that portions are massive - the SO and I usually split an entree, and add a cup of chowder for him, or a bowl of chowder to share.

              Fun fact: the chowder is dairy-free. It is therefore not what one expects to be "chowder," but it's very tasty and full of clams.

              1. re: artemis
                Robert Lauriston Apr 8, 2011 05:43 PM

                The chowder has neither cream nor tomato. To me it seemed like a chunky vichyssoise.

                They're pretty deft with the fryer, though the french fries weren't memorable.

              2. re: Robert Lauriston
                LadyBeretta Apr 8, 2011 11:10 PM

                Barbara's is a must for me everytime I return to CA. I love their Fish and Chips and cole slaw! If you have the chance, try the cioppino! It is to die for! It is very filling and I always have a second full meal from the "doggy bag" that I take back.

                Barbara's Fish Trap
                281 Capistrano Rd, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

                1. re: LadyBeretta
                  Robert Lauriston Apr 9, 2011 10:13 AM

                  The fish in Barbara's fish and chips was first-rate. The chips could have been better.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                    estnet Nov 5, 2011 07:55 PM

                    Tried Barbara's for the first time - strangely the fish was the least good thing - it tasted a bit strange - not bad but not really fresh, the shrimp and scallops were fantastic and the calamari was okay. Had the combo plate - and I agree the fries are not special, wish I had ordered the slaw or rice. Also had 1 tempured oyster which was amazing - fresh, huge and sweet.
                    Had a taste of the chowder and l'll have to have it next time - it was wonderful.
                    They do not take credit cards - only cash.

              3. pamf Apr 7, 2011 08:20 AM

                This is a relatively new place, located in Princeton Harbor, called Flavor. They have "American Comfort Food" in a casually stylish setting. They offer $29 3-course prix fixe dinner or a la carte. At lunch they have a great burger. They have a small but interesting list of wines by the glass and good beer selection.


                I also second recommendations for Cafe Gibraltar for a nice dinner (this is in Princeton Harbor/El Granada a little bit north of Half Moon Bay proper). Chez Shea is a very casual place, but with very good food. Both restaurants are run by the same husband and wife team. Chez Shea is on Main Street in downtown HMB.

                Also on main is Pasta Moon, which was described quite nicely in this recent topic.

                If you search this board for Half Moon Bay you will find a lot more recent information.

                Pasta Moon
                315 Main St., Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

                Cafe Gibraltar
                425 Ave. Alhambra, El Granada, CA 94018

                Chez Shea
                408 Main St, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

                1 Reply
                1. re: pamf
                  artemis Apr 9, 2011 11:43 PM

                  Flavor is in the building formerly housing Red Ginger.

                2. m
                  mevans Apr 8, 2011 03:53 PM

                  The Moss Beach Distillery in Moss Beach is good for a sunset and cocktails...don't bother with dinner as it's OK and very expensive.
                  Sam's Chowder House is the "go to" spot because of the view and is packed nonstop...however it's way overpriced and overrated.
                  Love Barabara's Fish Trap for simple seafood at reasonable prices.
                  Cafe Gibraltor has just gotten too weird for me lately...too many flavors so you're not sure what type of food it is.
                  Flavor is still trying to smooth their service out, but the food was good and reasonably priced.
                  Crab Landing was awful.
                  Mezza Luna is a classic Italian place run by a great family and has been a local favorite for years. One of the few coastside restaurants to last for many years.
                  Everyone loves the HMB Brewery, but I just find it too crowded and sorta feels like a bar.
                  Good luck...lots of good choices.

                  Sam's Chowder House
                  4210 Cabrillo Hwy, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

                  Mezza Luna
                  459 Prospect Way, Princeton, CA 94038

                  Moss Beach Distillery Restaurant
                  140 Beach Way, Moss Beach, CA 94038

                  1. c
                    charliemyboy Apr 8, 2011 08:29 PM

                    Since you have a whole week you might find time to check out the Miramar Beach Restaurant for a drink, especially at sunset. Nice beach setting and some of the seats have views but the food isn't great.

                    Miramar Beach Restaurant
                    131 Mirada Rd, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

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