Sam's on the Waterfront

3.4
929 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top tags:
  • Waterfront
  • Outdoor Eating
  • Scenic View
“Well worth the trip” is what the Washington Post say about Sam’s on the Waterfront. Tucked away in the middle of Chesapeake Harbour, Sam’s is a true visual & culinary experience. Built in 1986 & designed after the historic Spider Leg Screw pile lighthouses, this uniquely crafted building on the water provides the most elegant of settings. Executive Chef, Matty Rose, will tailor your meal to meet any of your specific requirements. Staff will make sure that all your expectations are met.

Make no mistake about it, Sam’s is dedicated to providing the most fresh, creative, local dining experience possible! Sam’s has a truly remarkable modern American cuisine w/ regional influences. Menus change seasonally w/ weekly special & many gluten free options. Winner of Wine Spectators & Wine Enthusiast "Award of Excellent" & Zagat's "Best Bet Award" & Voted best Burger in Annaplis 2 yys in a row!
Sam's offers the best live Music every Friday & Saturday Nights starting at 7pm.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
American, Contemporary American, Wine Bar
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Hours of Operation
Brunch: Sunday: 10:30am - 4:00pm
Lunch: Tues - Sat: 11:30am - 4:00pm;
Dinner: Sunday, Monday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm; Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm
*Sam's is open on Mondays from May 1st through Oct 17th
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Phone number
(410) 263-3600
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Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Smart Casual
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Executive Chef
Trever Champion
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Private Party Facilities
Sam's on the Waterfront can help plan or execute any private party which you can imagine. Inside or out let us make your next event unforgettable.
We also provide off site catering for all of your special events needs.
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Private Party Contact
Andrew Parks: (410) 263-3600
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Catering
It is with great pleasure that we welcome you to the highly acclaimed “Sam's on the Waterfront”. You are very important to us & catering your next special event is our number one concern. As you enter, you step into a World of hip elegance and quiet charm; all tastefully appointed for your special occasion. Our staff is ready and able to cater to your every desire. We offer on and off-Premise catering with both Butler Service or a Plated Affair. With a catering menu of over 30 pages we can create any event you may be dreaming of. We do on and off premise catering.
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Neighbourhood
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Cross Street
Edgewood Road
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Parking Details
Avoid the stress of Downtown parking, Sam's on the waterfront offers Plenty of Free parking in our own private lot. We will pay for any ticket you receive while dining at our restaurant!

You can also come by boat and get free docking while dining with us at our Dock Bar or in Chesapeake Harbour Marina.
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Entertainment
Offering the best local & live Acoustic entertainment every Friday & Saturday Nights starting at 7:00pm. Sam's also offers great local acoustic music Friday, Saturday & Sunday nights outside at Proud Mary's Dock Bar which is open seasonally (May through Mid October).
Cooking classes offered monthly. Small craft whiskey dinner as well as scotch and wine dinners offered throughout the year!
New Years Eve Extravaganza and a variety of fun entertaining events all year long!
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Special Events & Promotions
Choose Sam's for all of your special Events: New Years Extravaganza, Traditional Thanksgiving Day Dinner, Easter and Mothers Day Special Dinner menus! Wine, Scotch, Tequila, and Beer Tastings, as well as great weekly specials. We also do on and off premise catering, step out of the ordinary and into an event that will be like none other you have ever had.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 929 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.4based on recent ratings
3.4
Food
3.5
Service
3.8
Ambience
3.3
Value
Noise · Quiet
69% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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1
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s
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 1Food 1Service 2Ambience 1

Terrible experience!! Loud bar, limited menu, very poor food, bad lighting, possibly trying to hide the run down appearance of the inside. We should have walked out before we sat down. I ordered panko encrusted rockfish. What was served was NOT rockfish. I think it was tuna but it was too dark to tell. It was dry and tasteless and the risotto it was served on was like glue. My husband ordered the rib roast which was very poorly prepared. Our daughter had the salmon which she politely said was okay. We will never return nor would we ever recommend this restaurant to anyone. Since our visit we have had several people, upon learning where we went for dinner, comment that they wished we had asked them. They said they would never recommend it to anyone. One friend who had lived at Chesapeake Harbor said that residents never went to Sam's because it was so poor. Needless to say, we will never go back nor would we ever recommend it to anyone. A very disappointing birthday dinner!!! We are well experienced at dining in excellent restaurants locally, nationally and internationally so know what to expect in a good restaurant.

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CD
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 2

The food was nice, some of the items on the menu were unavailable because of the brunch crowd and my rockfish was a little overcooked (only food miss, everything else tasted great). Bathrooms were not clean

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OT
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Had a very good experience. Food was delicious. Just a little too chilly with the air conditioner.

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MS
Baltimore
13 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 3Food 4Service 1Ambience 4

We selected Sam's, a favorite restaurant of ours, because its tables are widely spaced making it good for conversation and we have enjoyed the ambiance (on the water) and food on previous visits. What a disappointment!! Although we were seated at some distance from the bar and its live music, the singer was quite loud. However, the band left well before we finished dinner. We ordered 3 items to share: a caesar salad, which was fine--and large; fried oysters and a seafood pasta. The "oysters" consisted of a lot of fried items but the oysters were either very small or in at least one case, non-existent. by the time we finished the appetizers we were the only people at the tables. Yet it took the better part of an hour for our pasta dish to be served. It was separated in two dishes with an extra plate for shells as it should be. But the very large scallops were cold. We returned the dishes to the kitchen and it took 10 or 15 additional minutes to be reheated. The seafood pasta now was quite good. We complained to the manager about the "oysters" and the long wait for food. He comped the food. (We also had a bottle of wine.) Because the manager made up for the experience, we will definitely return and hope that future meals will be up to Sam's usual standards.

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BD
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 3

Disappointed in the limited brunch menu for Sunday afternoon. Wanted a quiet place on the water so went away from downtown Annapolis to Sam's. Have come to Sam's by boat on good weather days and it's been great, but the limited menu and constant cheering from the bar due to the Sunday football games made it seem more like a Sports Bar than a nice restaurant.

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KV
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great place with wonderful live music (acustic) Water views of boats

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S
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 1Food 1Service 1Ambience 1

Got a call a few hours before our reservation telling us the restaurant was closed. Reportedly all the Kitchen staff had walked off the job.

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t
Philadelphia
19 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 2Ambience 2

The food was weak and the service was blah. The place was empty and we still had the order wrong and NOTHING special. Very disappointed!

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OT
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 2Food 3Service 1Ambience 2

Chosen because of being on the waterfront and had last-minute seating available. For being a Saturday night - during Labor Day weekend - we were surprised at how empty it was. Despite this, it took over ten minutes for our server to make his first visit to our table, and thirty minutes to get our drinks. There were two portable AC floor units right by our table, yet we got the feeling these weren’t so temporary. Food was unimpressive and service overall was plain awful.

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w
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 1Food 3Service 1Ambience 1

This was a terribly slow experience, which showed lack of proper management.

The kitchen was understaffed and the waitstaff had not been trained as to how to handle such a situation. Bread, the simplest of already cooked things, took multiple asks. At some point the manager came by, when the food finally had arrived, not to initially apologize, but to ask how our food was. Instead of comping drinks or appetizers or applying a discount to the meal, he offered dessert. Dessert? That would mean more time!

Unfortunately, this was a most disappointing meal.

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JA
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 5

Aside from the outdoors bartender yelling and cursing horribly to another employee right in front of us (last Sunday August 26th), we enjoyed our experience. The food was great and valuable and the scene was to die for!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 2Ambience 5

We only ordered light fare, and it was good. The ambiance is noisy, fun, and casual out on the deck. The musician on the night we were there was fantastic. The only real negative was slow service. Took too long to take our food order, took FOREVER to get the food, and took a long time to handle the bill. It was busy, but not THAT busy.

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OT
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 2Food 3Service 2Ambience 1

Sit outside or at the bar. Dining room is not a great experience.

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s
Baltimore
28 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had the mussels and rockfish and both were delicious.

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M
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 1Food 1Service 1Ambience 1

Late food and wine: unprofessional server no AC; meal was unsatisfactory compared to menu descriptions
This restaurant comes highly recommended. It was to our standards, awful.
We will not be back

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DD
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 4Food 3Service 5Ambience 5

The best part of Sam's is the ambience--it's right at the Chesapeake Harbour Marina--and it's fun to watch the boats both large and small coming and going. This restaurant is not living up to its potential though. We were there for brunch and were told that there were no specialty coffees available; no latte or cappuccinos which one would expect at brunch. In the past, Sam's use to offer those drinks. Maybe the machine was broken. Surprisingly there was no tea available either (ran out of tea bags). Someone there needs to be paying attention to details more closely and keep up with ordering. Two in our party ordered the shrimp and grits. While the dish was good, it did not reflect the ingredients stated on the menu--instead of sausage it had bacon pieces and it was quite spicy, which no warning was given on the menu. Fortunately we liked spicy but customers should be warned. Our server Jason was fantastic--very attentive.

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OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 1Food 1Service 3Ambience 3

The location is beautiful and the service was good. However, the rockfish entire was spoiled, the scallops were rubbery, and the pasta was dry. Couldn’t eat our meal so we had to leave. They did remove the meals from the bill so that is something. Will not return.

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OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 2Ambience 3

So slow tonight. Close to 2 hours to get food. Like this place but need to make service more of a priority.

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C
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 3Ambience 4

The lettuce in my dinner salad came out wilted and brown in many spots so the server took it away. A new salad was brought out after my family finished their meal. Th restaurant was not busy and there was no compensation or apology for the inconvenience.

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M
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

We were 3 couples visiting Annapolis for the weekend. I remembered seeing the photo of Sam's last Spring when we visited, so we went there this time around. There was a table of 8-10 behind us and they were noisy and not too thoughtful to the waitress. We thought she was wonderful.
The food was fabulous, especially the Cream of Crab soup. It was a fun evening with good friends.

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J
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

A wonderful afternoon respite on a rainy day. Good food; no rush.

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KH
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Very good restaurant. The food was fantastic. Would defiantly recommend.

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p
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 4Food 3Service 4Ambience 5

We I hate to say anything negative. Service, food and ambiance was very good. I hesitate because the manager came by to tell us about the special chef, but nothing was that special. Our friend had crab Benedict but could barely find the crab. Explained the very reasonable price, but more crab for a few more dollars would be better. Crab cake was good but crab cakes are good.

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BD
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 4

I would have given this restaurant 5 stars had it not been for dessert. Everything was going well- the appetizer was fabulous- wings with sesame barbecue sauce and the main course- crab and lobster pasta was great too. Food was quick and came out hot.
Then we asked for dessert. My husband wanted cherries jubilee which is a tableside dessert. After about 30 minutes of waiting, and getting several replies from our waiter that supplies were being gathered and that they had run out of vanilla ice cream, he asked if we wanted another dessert option, and we ordered key lime pie for me and peach cobbler for my husband.
This was taking about another 15 minutes when we called over the manager who proceeded to tell us that they had run out of vanilla ice cream and had to go to Giant to buy some more.
So my husband got the vanilla ice cream on the peach cobbler.
Very confusing.
The manager did comp us our desserts which is why I gave 3 stars and not 2.
However, they should not advertise that they have a tableside dessert if they cannot deliver the product as it should be.

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HD
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Wonderful time at Sam’s!

We were so impressed with our server, Danielle. We came with our new baby and our six-year-old and she did a wonderful job of making sure everyone in our party was comfortable and well fed. We ordered delicious versions of the eggs Benedict – not to miss, especially the Chesapeake version with crab on top.

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LA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 4, 2018
Overall 3Food 2Service 4Ambience 4

I’d give the meal a C-. My arugula salad was made with old arugula so it was kinda tough. The crab soup was excellent but everything else was unremarkable

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JP
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 5

Good view of the docks and harbor.

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OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on July 1, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

First visit and I have to say, I will be returning. Wonderful atmosphere, great food and diverse environment!
New manager went out of his way to find us a wonderful bottle of bubbly. Can't wait to visit again!

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HW
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2018
Overall 1Food 1Service 1Ambience 1

It was awful. Your waitress was very disorganized. Never brought bread until we asked for it. The pasta dish was so dry, had no flavor. For $26, you would probably expect better when it comes to pasta. It had hardly any sauce on it. Waitress never came to check on the meal until we were done, people who had pasta would have asked for more sauce. Took also forever to get the wine (even for a Friday night, place wasn't that packed). I made reservations through opentable. When we got there, I asked to me moved next to the windows, they said they couldn't accommodate, while there were at least 4 tables empty by the windows. Waitress said these are reserved, I pointed out that I made reservations too, no dice. When we left, those same 4 tables were still empty....VERY DISAPPOINTING EXPERIENCE GIVEN THE PRICE

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JK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 24, 2018
Overall 1Food 2Service 1Ambience 1

We are so sad to see Sam’s nose dive the way it has. It has so much potential. It’s been going downhill for a while, but this visit was awful. 1hr45min to get a salad and then the entire mains order was wrong or extremely poorly prepared. The manager did take care of the check, but unfortunately this wasn’t an anomaly. We won’t be taking a chance here again.

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DN
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 2Ambience 3

The brunch menu is limited, the kids’ menu has no breakfast food options, our service was lacking, my soup was delayed because “the machine” wasn’t working (I canceled it), and the food we received wasn’t great at all. The only redeeming quality is the location, but that won’t be enough for us to return.

Tried: kids’ cheeseburger (dry and they forgot the cheese), lobster roll (some of the meat was mealy), and Chesapeake Benedict (nothing amazing, just okay).

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r
Baltimore
7 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Everything was very nice - quiet location, good service, very good food, great entrainment with Peter James, fresco dining. Will go back back again.

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KA
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 1Food 2Service 4Ambience 4

Don’t bother. Plenty of other waterfront restaurants in the area.

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OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 2Food 1Service 1Ambience 5

The place is in a great location and nice waterfront view with plenty of parking. Food is overpriced and very small portions. Did not help that our server did not do a great job talking up the food items. But there was nothing overwhelmingly good and would probably suggest another waterfront restaurant in a similar price point to get better food.

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RN
Baltimore
21 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2018
Overall 2Food 4Service 1Ambience 3

Location is wonderful looking out at the water and boats in the marina. Food was above average and tasty. Service, however, was almost nonexistent. One server for the entire dining room which only had four tables of guests.

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HA
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

I always visit this place when I am in Annapolis and the weather is nice! Good food, not your ordinary local joint, but with that very familiar feel!
Live small Bands are singing over the weekend, with nice outdoor seating and service usually very good at this place!

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b
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Had a great time..food portions are very big. You can enjoy good food on a great day with a nice view on the water.

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BS
1 review
Dined on June 3, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Atmosphere: cozy and warm, with a beautiful view and waterfront tables. Not too large or noisy, but not stuffy. Service: Very good, timely but didn’t rush us. Wine list: affordable with a good selection of wines from all over the world. Food: fried oyster appetizer had a tad too much breading on them for our taste, but otherwise were big and juicy, not overcooked. Crab cake dinner was superb. 95% crab, perfectly seasoned, not overcooked. One of the best restaurants in Annapolis and not overpriced.

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l
Baltimore
7 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2018
Overall 2Food 4Service 4Ambience 2

We were concerned , why we were the only patrons in the restaurant for a Sunday brunch

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AP
1 review
Dined on May 23, 2018
Overall 1Food 1Service 1Ambience 5

After being seated, waited 10 minutes for a server, but I asked the bartender for drinks she made them but they sat there a few minutes and the ice melted. The server brought us waters, and. I said we're ready to order, he said ill be right back 10 mins later.... we got an appetizer, took 10 mins, asked for the check and a box, brought the check but no box. We just left. Lesson learned, never again

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