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“old fashioned quality food/great atmosphere&service”

Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto
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Ranked #325 of 709 Restaurants in Berkeley
Price range: US$21 - US$30
Cuisines: American, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Groups
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: University Ave.
Transit: We are located a few blocks from many AC Transit Bus lines. The closest Bart stations is about 1 mile away.
San Francisco, California
Level 6 Contributor
162 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“old fashioned quality food/great atmosphere&service”
Reviewed 10 March 2012

The $4 bite sized dessert, the $6.50 ceasar salad with plenty of anchovies and the $15 oysters rockafeller were great. Also enjoyed for $9.50 the wine flight, 3 3oz glasses of different wines to drink with each portion of my meal. Nice old atmosphere inside with model sailing ships, etc and beautiful bar areas. It is old fashioned but sometimes old fashioned good is still great.

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Desigal7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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284 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Richmond, California
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Tasty food, nice location, historic as well as kitsch decor, great place for a family meal”
Reviewed 20 February 2012

I have been going to Spenger's for years (I think my first time was in 1985), and I still love it despite some negative reviews I've seen of it. The food was excellent (I had the mussels, which were a special), although the prices are a bit high (but no higher than most upscale seafood restaurants), the service was great, and my kids loved all the old nautical theme decor. Some of it is really historic, such as old ships bells and other items, and some of it is rather kitsch, such as old signage and all the old lamps used as lighting.

They have a kids menu, which is great for families, and they also have an extensive wine list (which might be great for some harried parents as well). They serve lots of bread, in fact they will keep giving you more if you eat all they give you. There were a lot of seafood specials as well as a wide variety of other foods, although I'm not sure how much vegan or vegetarian food they serve other than pasta. I like the soups that they serve, such as their Cioppino.
They are now owned by a chain, unfortunately, Mccormick and Schmicks, but that doesn't seem to have affected their quality at all yet.

  • Visited January 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank pookietooth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“This place HAD a great reputation for years. What happened???”
Reviewed 7 February 2012

I ordered Manhattan clam chowder, salad, bread and soda. My soda was brought out right away, the soup came out 5 minutes later without the bread or salad. i asked my server to check on the salad and bread then within 5 minutes they too were delivered but by then the soup was no longer warm. There weren't many people being served so I can't understand why all the food couldn't come out together. The bread should come out soon after the beverage at the very least. The server was pleasant although she should have noticed that her tables were not getting food run to them timely. I heard people at a nearby table asking when they could expect to receive their bread also. The salad was cold and tasty. The soup tasted like it could have come from a can. There was too much broth and not enough substance. I was thankful they validated my parking.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank 1tallmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anderson, California
Level 6 Contributor
96 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“An Amazing Taste of History”
Reviewed 1 February 2012

Spengers has been a landmark in the East Bay forever. Regretfully, this was my very first trip here. The food was so delicious and the staff wonderful. Our son ordered the Blue crab stuffed sole which we decided was the best. Dessert was fantastic as well. The stars were divided between the apple upside down pie and carrot cake. BOTH TO DIE FOR! My husband's chocolate lava cake was delicious as well. This amazing place will not disappoint-would definitely recommend.

Visited January 2012
Thank 1horseshay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alameda, CA
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Pleasant Return....”
Reviewed 23 January 2012

Very pleasant improvement on this long time standby. When original owners sold, was initially questionable. The new owners have greatly improved on the food, especially the coating used on the deep fried calamari and Captain's Plate. Sauteed trout almondine was cooked perfectly, although why it covered the green beans, don't know. Extremely courteous and readily available waiter. We will return.

  • Visited January 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank tikinca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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