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RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Details

PRICE RANGE
C$14 - C$41
CUISINES
Seafood
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options
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meals, features, about

MICHELIN Guide's Point of View

If you love oysters, this coastal-chic spot will have you as happy as a clam. Nearly half its menu features these ultra-fresh bivalves plucked straight...
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Reviews (304)
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Traveller rating
174
74
24
15
10
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All reviews oysters salad panzanella monday night main dish sitting at the bar five star drive california coast
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Reviewed October 7, 2023

We were lucky enough to get a recommendation by a local in the area to try this place. It was beyond our expectation. The food was exceptional. We had the halibut blacken tacos and my husband had the clam chowder. Both dishes were incredible and...the flavors were a delight to our taste. We really liked the that the ingredients to the dishes were locally sourced. The dessert of bread pudding was excellent. The selection of wines were also very well done. Please give this establishment a top priority you will not be disappointed but pleasantly surprised!!!!More

Date of visit: September 2023
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Reviewed August 16, 2023

We were looking forward to going to Saltwater, as there are few restaurant choices in the area, especially ones offering a higher-end dining experience. However, we left feeling disappointed and agreeing we wouldn't be returning. It's not that the food wasn't good--mine, lamb merguez, was...quite good, and my wife's salad was better than the typical. And the atmosphere--cottage-style--is inviting. But the experience suffered on two counts. First, the menu of entrees is VERY limited--other than various oyster options, they numbered about three. Secondly, the service was subpar--aloof and inattentive. This while the host and staff seemed to be fawning over locals/favorites. The restaurant also adds on not only a 5 percent staff wage surcharge (they note that it's to make sure the employees have a living wage--what about raising your food prices to provide for that, as a typical business would?) but also a three percent charge for using a credit card. It adds up to poor public relations.More

Date of visit: August 2023
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Reviewed June 24, 2023

We had driven down the coast of California with no itinerary and came upon Saltwater by accident. It was OUTSTANDING!!! I had the halibut sandwich, and my husband had a grilled cheese sandwich that was a 50 on 10. Flowers everywhere, charming decor, delightful artwork....We truly danced away after what felt like a five-star experience. Such a little gem.More

Date of visit: May 2023
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Reviewed June 18, 2023

Horrible food and service. Low quality dog food. For the price these people should be in jail. Father's day dinner only main dish in the menu was a dry tasteless halibut tostada that tasted like cardboard. The ONE waiter was more interested in the 2...women sitting at the bar and left my family waiting for 20 minutes of zero service.More

Date of visit: June 2023
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed September 27, 2022 via mobile

We lucked into a day (Friday) when this cute place was open for lunch. Very pleasant staff. Fresh flowers on all the tables. Short menu from which my husband and I both made great selections: fish tacos and panzanella. Pitch perfect seasonings.

Date of visit: September 2022
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Reviewed July 6, 2022 via mobile

Food was excellent. We ordered an oyster platter, a clam chowder and a fish burger. The oysters were fresh from local waters in Inverness. The clam chowder is a surprise to us. It came with shells and was very delicious. The bun of the burger...was roasted so its very tasty. Place and service were also very nice. Highly recommended.More

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed May 29, 2022

Best oysters ever, fantastic wines, and Superior Salad. Attentive staff and great friendly owner. Who could ask for anything more?

Date of visit: May 2022
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Reviewed January 7, 2022

We had two meals there in late December: A. For Sunday lunch we had a halibut fish sandwich with salad (best prepared halibut ever) and Pear Clafouti for dessert--we ate by our car. It was so good that we decided to return on Monday night...when they have a "locals' special" of $10/each for each of 3 dishes (excluding oysters and crab dishes). Due to Covid, we decided to show up at 5 pm when they open and order broiled oysters at the bar (they were delicious), then took the rest of the meal home to eat since outdoor seating was not an option. Everything we ordered was very well prepared, including their desserts and clam chowder. If the weather is good, there is a nice garden behind the restaurant. They have an outdoor seating area but it was closed. The weather had been rainy but the good food at this restaurant made up for it.More

Date of visit: December 2021
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed November 14, 2021 via mobile

Fabulous lunch spot, we ate here two days in a row and had most of the offerings on the menu. Gem salad was super fresh and delicious. Clam chowder was to die for! Oysters were wonderful, we enjoyed all the different preparations. We also had...the leek soup, which was great. The staff is friendly and helpful. Great spot!More

Date of visit: November 2021
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed September 27, 2021

I visit this restaurant each time Im in the area and the food never dissapoints! Freshly prepared, delicious flavors, wonderful atmosphere.

Date of visit: September 2021
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Reviewed August 15, 2021

We had a mostly outstanding meal here on our last visit. The food was excellent, the wait staff was fantastic and we love the atmosphere. The only problem on our last visit is that dinner extended to over 2 hours, and that was mainly due...to a 30+ minute gap between clearing the plates for the 2nd course and delivering the main course. We're not in a hurry, but that's a little much. To make matters worse, the mains were delivered lukewarm. The fish was still delicious but would have been better served at the right temperature. Since they only offer a prix fixe set menu for a limited number of seats, not sure how you can manage to delay a course and still deliver it lukewarm, particularly when the wait staff was otherwise very attentive! Nonetheless it was an enjoyable evening and we'll go back.More

Date of visit: August 2021
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Reviewed July 25, 2021 via mobile

My friends told me about this place and that they had an amazing new chef. Five stars from all of us. Five courses and everyone was fantastic. Well worth the price and drive. Great view of Tamales Bay.

Date of visit: July 2021
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Reviewed May 15, 2021 via mobile

Outstanding & Delicious From the moment we arrived everything was perfect We were greeted by Jenna, and I loved seeing the owner working side-by-side all the staff was so great‼️ Our food was excellent From the oysters to each dish The presentation was excellent, truly...the chef Tim just put a lot of time and energy into things and it shows. His love for preparing the food reflex in the taste and the presentation. A reservation is a must and the drive from San Rafael to Inverness well worth it. I know we will be back everybody was raving about the tasty food‼️ Nice Job!!More

Date of visit: May 2021
Helpful?3  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed May 5, 2021 via mobile

We ate small plate lunch afternoon fare....broiled oysters...wonderfully fresh....sauces light and fully of flavir....one spicy...one sprvegetable and garlic.....halibut crude was light and drlicious... touch of Asian ingredients and french tones....oyster chowder was creamy but not heavy...interesting background f lin avors including fennel.....small 3 glass flight...of perfectly paired wines.....great flavors and lovely coastal ambiance....glad he is again open....More

Date of visit: May 2021
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Reviewed September 7, 2020 via mobile

Tucked away in small Inverness. Been there three times during Covid times. Pleasant outdoor patio seating Keep coming back for the locally sourced oysters. Sold both fresh and broiled.

Date of visit: September 2020
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Questions & Answers
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doitrightat50
August 25, 2016|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from masgchips | Reviewed this property |
Yes, there were two options (one seafood, one other) each for the appetizer, main, and dessert. Highly recommend it!
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SALTWATER OYSTER DEPOT, Inverness - Restaurant Reviews, Photos & Phone Number - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Saltwater Oyster Depot

Yes, Saltwater Oyster Depot is taking precautions against COVID-19. A full list is available within the "safety precautions" section of this page.

Saltwater Oyster Depot is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4.5