When planning a trip, one of the most exciting parts can be looking up all the cool restaurants and hot spots you want to try. Making a list, or booking reservations at the top dining spots is part of the game. And to do it right, it’s better to have all the info at hand.
Then, there are the times when you just really want someone to tell you where to go. You can’t be bothered by scrolling through yelp or asking friend groups if they know anywhere.
So if you fall under the latter category, this is just the post for you. Below is a quick guide to some of the best restaurants in Half Moon Bay that will make it easy for you to plan the right place to go.
Always check hours before you head out, and of course, tip your friendly bartenders and support small businesses whenever you can.
Always remember to double-check dates, opening times, and weather conditions before traveling.
When I first moved to the area, I began asking anyone I came in contact with where I should go for the best food in Half Moon Bay. Some were obvious ones that are in the more touristy areas, and are popular for a reason. Some were random spots that mostly locals only go to. This list is a mix of them.
Best Restaurants in Half Moon Bay
Best Coffee in Half Moon Bay
- Address: 155 Broadway Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Built out of an old container, this quick coffee stop is perfect before a long beach walk or after a water excursion out on the bay. And coffee won’t disappoint!
- Address: 198 San Mateo Rd Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Drive-thru or walk-up window. Grab a coffee for the road or just keep your hands warm as you go nursery shopping on Route 92.
- Address: 522 Main St Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
A sweet little cafe that offers a few pastries and a good latte when needed. One of the top places for coffee in Half Moon Bay.
Best Breakfast in Half Moon Bay
- Address: 107 Sevilla Ave El Granada, CA 94018
Just across the highway from Pillar Point Harbor area. Great breakfast options and a cute little patio for the right weather.
- Address: 116 N Cabrillo Hwy Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Smaller more like a cafe, but yummy breakfast options and really good bagels.
- Address: 146 San Mateo Rd Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Both sweet & savory crepes in addition to more traditional options. Very friendly staff and good service.
- Address: 210 San Mateo Rd Ste 103 Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
This Half Moon café has a hometown local vibe. Don’t be surprised if some people look like they come here every day. They probably do. Excellent quality and prices. No frills atmosphere.
- Address: 1 Miramontes Point Rd Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
**Special Occasion Alert**
Reach deep into your pocketbooks for this one-of-a-kind treat. A seated all-you-can-eat tasting brunch at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton. Ocean to table menu. Research prices and book ahead. Also a good dinner spot but most talk about their brunch. All the right ingredients make this one of the best restaurants in Half Moon Bay with a view.
Locals Tip: If you don’t want to pay for a valet, park at the coast side trail parking lot and walk. It’s a 10 minute walk and free.
A quick tip: Since they don’t serve food but deserve a shout-out, Hop Dogma in Pillar Point Harbor area is a great brewery with lots of seating. They are completely fine if you want to BYOF (bring your own food). Many of the sandwich and seafood spots in the area would be perfect for a to-go order so you can pair it with some great beer. Just an idea if you want to kill two birds on the bucket list.
Best Lunch in Half Moon Bay
- Address: 356 Main St Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Great outdoor space for eating w/ lots of tables. Keeps it real with simple sandwiches and creative flatbread pizza’s
- Address: 460 Capistrano Rd Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Looking for a restaurant in Half Moon Bay with outdoor dining? Check this laidback eatery with a chill vibe, great location, and good food. Good outdoor space for eating and even has a fire pit for chilly days. Good for dinner but has more of a brunch/lunch feel. Occasional live music too.
- Address: 225 Cabrillo Hwy S Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
This cute little caboose is take-out only but there are a few tables around if needed. The mushroom sandwich and homemade chips are always popular.
- Address: 4210 N Cabrillo Hwy Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Probably the most famous restaurant in Half Moon Bay. Award famous even. Always packed and most likely a line. But the food and views are all known for a reason. Popular opinion is the hot buttered lobster roll is better than the cold lobster sandwich. But you choose for yourself.
- Address: 3068 N Cabrillo Hwy Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
A personal favorite among all the places to eat in Half Monn Bay. Here, I slowly make my way through the menu, but I always order a salad. Lots of outdoor seating, quality ingredients, and consistently good. Right off the highway as you come into HMB from the city, you can’t miss the adorable Barn.
- Address: 40 Stone Pine Rd Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
It’s more of a local’s fave if you’re not in the mood for seafood or burgers. Consistently good cheesesteaks and the garlic fries are a yummy addition too. Good for fuel after a hills hike.
- Address: 281 Capistrano Rd Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Another staple of the go-to seafood restaurants in Half Moon Bay, Barbara’s is a quaint little space along the water that does fried seafood right. Their chowder is awesome too. Please be aware though that this it’s CASH ONLY. And be prepared for lines.
- Address: 2448 Cabrillo Hwy Moss Beach, CA 94038
If you’re coming from SF, you might blink and miss this little gem off the side of the road before you hit HMB. It’s a simple authentic taqueria that makes great tacos and burritos. Don’t let the lean-to, small shack facade fool you. It’s delicious and quick.
- Address: 211 San Mateo Rd Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Going last for a reason, this is a great lunch spot but also has a great oyster happy hour, so could be perfect for an early bird dinner. Their crab cheesy bread is amazing, but it’s good to order a few things on the menu for the table and try as much as you can.
Happy Hours In Half Moon Bay+ Sunset Cocktail Dinners
- Address: 730 Main St Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Starting first on the list because this place is great for lunch or an early dinner. They do a fun beer and dinner pairing, and always have some creative mixes going on. Friendly and open atmosphere. Great vibe.
- Address: 155 Broadway Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
This newer addition is a grateful reprieve from some of the more well know touristy places. With suburb cocktails and small bites, this is the perfect stop before dinner in the Pillar Point area.
- Address: 140 Beach Way Moss Beach, CA 94038
Location is everything for this place. Tucked away on a cliffside, it’s a great spot to sit by the fire pit with a few appetizers and some signature cocktails and watch the sunset. Be prepared to dress warm and make reservations.
- Address: 356 Main St Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
With a great happy hour and friendly vibe, this is a great way to get an early dinner and some cocktails in. Order at the bar and find a spot to relax in the chill atmosphere.
- Address: 390 Capistrano Rd Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Another obvious choice for the list because of its popularity and location. The beer is good, the food is good and you can’t beat the location. I’ve never gone wrong with the fish tacos but there are all kinds of things to try. If going for lunch or dinner dress warm. Both inside and outside can be chilly.
- Address: 450 Capistrano Rd Half Moon Bay, CA 94018
Sweet little tapas bar, perfect for foodies who like to try all the things. Yummy sangria and dog-friendly in the outdoor patio.
Best Places for Dinner in Half Moon Bay and Date Night
- Address: 260 Capistrano Rd Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Delicious Peruvian cuisine with a fun atmosphere and outstanding views. The cocktails are delicious additions and compliment the fresh flavors of the food perfectly. Try many things if possible.
- Address: 845 Main St Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Everyone loves this place and for good reason. It delivers delicious quality Italian dishes, raking among the best food in Half Moon Bay. With a focus on local produce, the proposals are fresh and consistently good. Lots of seating while still having a romantic cozy ambiance. Highly recommend and make reservations if possible.
- Address: 20 Stone Pine Rd Ste B Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Try some Nepal flavors in a lively fun environment. I suggest checking out their Yelp page for an idea of the food, but I will say they take their flavors seriously with homemade spices and attention to detail and authenticity. A great option for vegetarian food in Half Moon Bay.
Address: 500 Purissima St Unit C Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Another local favorite a little off the beaten less touristy path is some great Thai food. They deliver on the staples with a sweet friendly staff.
- Address: 696 Mill St Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
With its unique decor and creative plates, this is a great place to try some seafood with a Japanese focus. Sip on sake cocktails and share some plates surrounded by a stunning atmosphere.
- Address: 459 Prospect Way Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
A popular Italian restaurant close to the waterfront. Serves up traditional Italian with a heavy lean towards seafood. Great for larger parties but cozy enough for just the two of you.
- Address: 270 Capistrano Rd Ste 46 Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Don’t let the location fool you. Tucked away in the quiet mall in Pillar Point is this great Peruvian and Mexican food spot. They serve a mean cocktail and a great price point for a meal. Don’t be surprised if you see their food truck around the town as well.
In the Mood for a Sweet Treat?
- Address: 225 S Cabrillo Hwy Ste 104C Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
This little chocolatier shop is the perfect spot for a sweet treat or a quick gift. Their hot chocolate is amazing too. So even if it’s for someone else, it doesn’t hurt to grab a bite for yourself.
- Address: 9 Johnson Pier Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
This adorable shop is exactly what an ice cream cafe on the water should look like. Marine-themed decor and creative flavors make this a must-try if you’re wandering around and need a little sweetness in your life.
- Address: 617 Main St Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
A great place to let the kids browse and pick out something fun. The smell of this candy shop is divine and there’s always some cool throwback candy fromn your childhood to make it fun for anyone.
- Address: 287 Stage Rd Pescadero, CA 94060
Just south of Half Moon Bay is this cute little market that sells the famed Artichoke Bread along with all sorts of snacks and treats. Swing in and stock up for roadtrip snacks or a deli sandwich.
So there you have it, the best places to eat in Half Moon Bay all in one list… which one are you trying first?