Berkeley >Food & Dining > Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto
1919 4th St, Berkeley, CA | Directions 9471037.867974 -122.299887
Monday - Sunday 11:30am-4:00pm : Monday - Thursday, Sunday 4:00pm-10:00pm, Friday & Saturday 4:00pm-11:00pm Served until 3:30 P.M Mon-Friday 4pm-6pm,Mon-Thu 9pm to Closing, Fri 9:30pm to Closing
Neighborhoods: Northwest Berkeley
Great place for traditional seafood fare, awesome decor, and excellent drinks.
Avoid this Over-Priced Tourist Trap – May have been good in the past but awful now. We had steak and seafood. The steak was Morton's prices and Sizzler quality. The ala carte baked potato was under cooked and the clam chowder wayyy too salty. My fisherman's platter (recommended by the waitperson) could have been from Long John Silver's. The cheesy interior was fun and the service was OK. My tab with drinks (no wine) and tip for two people was $130. I won't be back.
This place is worth it – Been here a couple of times and it has not failed me! My family and friends almost always say yes when I invite them to this place. I am a big seafood lover so I can become picky with how seafoods restaurants work. it may be on the pricey side but nevertheless is worth it.
A place of satisfaction to my palate and dining experience – Historical, antiquing, yet a place of great comfort to dine in for great food, drinks and service. The executive chef is very meticulous in his selections of all ingredients, especially seafood. Yum! Even some basic food like New England Clam Chowder is unique, tasteful, and very gourmet. Great place to keep coming back. Also, don't forget to check out a special chef dinner when you have a chance. It goes fast!
Best Happy Hour in the Bay – A huge burger for $1.95!!!! The entire happy hour menu is super cheap. We filled the table with food for practicaly nothing and all of it was great.
I fell in love with this place again. – All there is to say is Great Seafood! The Stuffed salmon that I had was outstanding. Los, the bartender was great, he introduced me to the chef. This is my new/old favorite place.
best crabcakes & excellent service – We went to Spenger's for my husband's birthday.There were 7 of us. All of the food was great! We
are all very picky when it comes to food & service because some of our family members are exquisite cooks & some have been waitresses . Our waiter was fantastic. I had crab & shrimp stuffed salmon.Wow! My sister-in-law has had crab cakes everywhere & she said these are the best.
Mediocre food, outrageously priced – On a pleasant Saturday afternoon we wanted an enticing fish salad at Spenger's for which they were always known. Well, let me tell you we were in for a major disappointment. First, the crab cobb salad was served with wilted lettuce at room temperature, a very flat, tasteless experience. Next the bill came charging us $14.95 and $ 10.95 for wine that was listed in the menu for $8.95 and $7.95. I suffer from delayed reactions which means I didn't challenge the outrageous cost of wine, until now. Thus, I write this review in retrospect feeling cheated out of an experience at this venerable Berkeley institution. Furthermore, we went to the fshmarket to take some crab home. We found the shop disheveled smelling badly of fish, which is a sign that you don't buy fish from a market that smells. I don't intend to cross its threshold again. The French bread and butter was good as always.
OUTSTANDING FISH! – I first ate at Spengers about a month ago. I am a vegetarian and ordered the Astoria Sole. My friend ordered the crabcakes. The Astoria Sole was OUTSTANDING...perfectly cooked. The bread that was served was excellent as well. The crabcakes were so-so. The fish was so good, I could hardly wait to go back, which I did last week on a weekday at about 2:00 p.m. We waited too long for our server, but this time both orders, the barbequed Salmon and the Rex Sole, were EXCELLENT. My friend was so impressed with the flavor of the Salmon, as was I. My Sole was pan seared perfectly with mashed potatoes. The broccoli was a a bit undercooked but delicious. I will make this restaurant one of my regulars! We thoroughly enjoyed these fantastic, fresh fish dinners more than any other fish restaurants in the area!
Bad food + mediocre service + high prices = never again. – Other than airport food I have never been so startled by the gap between the quality of a restaurant's food and the restaurant's prices. Not only did we have to wait 10 minutes for our reservations, but once we got inside we found that there were at least 10 empty tables. Our appetizers were uninspired and not very good. My wife's entree was probably the worst piece of fish either of us have ever been served (airplane food included). It was tough, dry, flavorless and kind of small. My cioppino was fine, but nothing special. For $20+ entrees I expect much, much better, tastier food. The waiter was nice, but the service was incredibly slow.
The place was packed, but I honestly can't figure out why. I've lived in the Bay Area my entire life and have passed Spenger's 1000 times at least, so when my wife told me that she was taking me there for dinner I was really psyched. Tourists and old folks seemed to be into the restaurant, but my wife and I were just so disappointed.
Next time I want good cioppino I'll goto Franchino Restaurant (347 Columbus Ave in SF) or The Old Clam House (299 Bayshore Blvd. in SF). For good seafood in the East Bay I'll stick to
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