Sam’s Anchor Cafe is one of San Francisco’s classic brunch spots, even though you’ll actually find it a few miles north of the city in Tiburon. The good news is it’s just a very short, very pleasant ferry ride away. Sam’s Tiburon location is the perfect place to eat on a sunny day. It has a huge deck right on the water, and while the food isn’t anything extraordinary, the cocktails are excellent.
One important tip – if you’re taking the ferry to Tiburon to visit Sam’s, make sure you get off first. About half the people on the boat are going to head straight to Sam’s Tiburon deck, and it’s not big enough to hold all of them (and there are no reservations). The alternative is to hop in an Uber from San Francisco, which is actually a bit cheaper than the ferry if you’re splitting it among four people.
The bad news is there’s no bottomless, and it’s easy to spend a few hours drinking cocktails and rack up a hefty bill for your trouble.
While not bottomless, the drinks are excellent. Sam’s is known for their Bloody Marys, but all of their specialty cocktails are also excellent. They’ve got a nice beer and wine menu, too; there’s nothing like a bottle of Rose on a sunny deck in Tiburon to go with brunch, after all.
The food at Sam’s Anchor Cafe is fine, but definitely not extraordinary. We tried their ceviche, and the seafood didn’t taste fresh at all. The poke was much better as an appetizer. I had the tuna salad sandwich for a main course, and it was okay (the fries were the best thing on the plate). The fish and chips were the best thing on our table; nice and crisply fried. The burger was adequate at best.
But hey, you didn’t come here for exquisite cuisine.
The service was good – it’s busy and pretty crowded, but the wait staff checks in regularly. Food and drinks take a little while, but the wait is reasonable for such a packed house.
If you’re going to Sam’s in Tiburon, get there before the ferry crowd fills up all the patio seats. Don’t count on fantastic food, but definitely enjoy some beautiful drinks on the deck.