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Reviews & Testimonials

Coastal Canine Magazine article features dog-friendly ocean view patio dining at Moss Beach DistilleryMoss Beach Distillery a destination in "Half Moon Bay Revisited"

After a day at the beach, there is no better place than Moss Beach Distillery to watch the sunset and get some good grub. Originally a speakeasy during Prohibition, the dog-friendly patio has fabulous fireplaces overlooking the ocean (but be sure to go inside and check out the beautiful stained glass windows). The Distillery has a dog menu, priced in bones, and the burger patties (5 bones) were a huge hit with all our pups. The crab & avocado quesadilla was heavenly and made me want to go back again and again. No complaints from any humans or dogs. As the sun set over the ocean, we sat around the many fireplaces, wrapped in warm wool blankets provided by the restaurant. The dogs settled all around us, tired from a day of running the beach. A perfect end to a perfect day - our bellies and our souls were full.

Read the full article...

Moss Beach Distillery named one of top 100 scenic view restaurants in AmericaWinner of 3 Readers Choice Awards!

Our local newspaper, the Half Moon Bay Review, recently released the results of their annual Readers Choice poll. We're proud to announce that out of over 1200 ballots cast, readers voted the Moss Beach Distillery First Place for "Favorite Place for Happy Hour", "Favorite Place to Watch the Sunset" and "Most Romantic Coastside Spot".

Thank you to everyone who voted for us!

Read the article...

Moss Beach Distillery named one of top 100 scenic view restaurants in AmericaMoss Beach Distillery Named One of the Top Scenic View Restaurants in America by OpenTable Diners

[Moss Beach, CA]  August 08, 2014 — The Moss Beach Distillery announced today that it has been named a winner of OpenTable Diners’ Choice Awards for the Top 100 Scenic View Restaurants in America.  The list of winners is derived from more than five million reviews submitted by OpenTable diners for more than 19,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Read the full article...

VIA Magazine features Moss Beach Distillery as favorite Destination RestaurantVIA Magazine Features the Moss Beach Distillery as a Member Favorite Destination Restaurant
Your Favorite Restaurants
excerpt from March/April 2014

"California's Moss Beach Distillery has a gorgeous ocean view!"

"... catch Pacific views from inside the Moss Beach Distillery near Half Moon Bay, Calif., or on its dog-friendly deck."

"Visitors come for fresh local seafood, spectacular ocean views, and one very special guest. 'You might catch a glimpse of the resident ghost, the Blue Lady, walking along the seashore.'"

Cover photo taken at the Moss Beach Distillery.

The Mom Reviews
Half Moon Bay, California:
Restaurants that the Whole Family can Enjoy
excerpt from April 8, 2011 post by The Mom Jen, The Mom Reviews blog

With spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, an impressive kids menu, a dog-friendly patio and an infamous ghost story, this renowned local spot is sure to entertain the entire family. The kids menu offers seven kid-approved entrees, veggies or fries, a place to color, and a spin of the Distillery winner's wheel with a chance to win some cool prizes. The patio gives families a place to eat with the family dog who can order from the special doggie menu with delectable dog bowls that include tasty bacon slices and mini hot dogs. While enjoying the expansive view of the Pacific from the patio, families can read about the renowned ghost, “The Blue Lady” who supposedly haunts the restaurant to this very day. In addition to the Blue Lady, Moss Beach Distillery is also historical landmark dating back to 1927 during prohibition when the San Mateo Coast was a hot spot for rum-running, bootleggers and “speakeasies.”

VIA Magazine writes about Moss Beach DistilleryVIA Magazine Lists the Moss Beach Distillery Among 16 Best Pet Destinations in the West
Best Pet Destinations
excerpt from March/April 2011

Moss Beach Distillery Moss Beach, Calif. “Enjoy a cocktail on the patio with your furry friend in front of a nightly bonfire,” says Katriona Seevers of San Mateo, Calif. “You won’t be able to discern whether it’s the humans or the canines whose smiles are bigger.” (650) 728-5595,

Tide Pools of the West Coast
excerpt from article by Christopher Hall, March/April 2011

Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
Off Highway 1 in Moss Beach, about seven miles north of Half Moon Bay, Calif.
You might think “garden of the sea,” on first seeing Fitzgerald’s water-filled furrows full of urchins, anemones, and iridescent algae. But tide pools, like gardens, can be too loved. Before it became a protected reserve in 1969, visitors had long gathered food and souvenirs here. “Some people would collect an entire shopping bag of sea stars to decorate a house,” says Bob Breen, the reserve’s former naturalist. “The problem now is the huge number of visitors.” To stem wear and tear, docents accompany groups, and signs remind people of intertidal dos and don’ts. A new stairway allows you to visit tide pools along the beach and return by coastal bluffs. The nearby Moss Beach Distillery makes a fine perch for a sunset drink.


couple watching sunset at the Distillery

"We went here for the first time tonight. Had the prime rib -it was Excellent!!!! Love the dog friendly patio! She had the chicken and loved it! We met so many friendly people!!! Will be back soon!!!!"

"Always a good time you can sit outside with a blanky and watch the sun set. I love it here...."
-Wendy S.

"One of my favorites of all time Very romantic."

-Crista M.

"Great service! When my wife and I went there on our honeymoon, they made us feel special. I think we're were the last customers to walk in that evening. Would've liked to go hang out by the fire pit and enjoy the scenery, but we did get to see the sun set from our table. They even took our picture and gave us a dessert to celebrate our nuptials. Looking forward to going back there to celebrate an anniversary"
-Eric E.

"Awesome! Ive been going here since I was young and always enjoy it. The distillery steamers are the way yo go for food. Bottomless mimosas on Sundays. The view is incredible and if you have a dog bring them the most dog friendly place ever!"
-Joseph S.

"A very magical place with a lot of history right on the edge of the beach! Excellent food, with friendly and attentative service staff with a view to die for! 5 out of 5 stars! Must Go! Experience the mystery for yourself and bring a friend ;)"

-Jeromy H.

"Amazing food and beautiful scenery! Will be going back every week!"
-Aura O.

"As absolute pleasure to dine here."
-Karen, Alameda

"Great place to dine on the coast!"
-Edmundo, West Sacramento

"Phenomenal service, delicious food, great views...what else do you need?!"

"Definitely worth a 5 star rating! Their panko-crusted halibut with that delicious apricot couscous and that creamy sauce is absolutely to die for! Delicious food in perfect size portions, presented beautifully. Absolutely no complaints, would definitely recommend!"

-Abbie S.

"GREAT service and food! We were there for Valentine's Day and had a wonderful time. Our server was in black shirt with a purple tie (didn't get her name!). She was fantastic!! She served us in July when we had a wedding rehearsal there and made the experience so lovely. Can't wait to go back!"
-Faye U.

"The place is great to get away. Service is excellent and the bartender will take care of you. There is a fireplace that you can relax after dinner."
-Willie W.

"Came to visit in May 2010, it was awesome. What a quaint place, the Irish coffee hit the spot especially outside when it was cold. Thanks, will have to come again."
-Laine G.

"We sat outside with our lovely dog, Makena, with friends watching the tide roll in and out. We had delicious appetizers and drinks and it was so much fun to have new people sit with us around the firepit. We will definitely go back."
-Pam H.

"Great experience! The staff was great, had a lot of fun.... even had food for me on their "dog menu". I got to eat scrambled eggs and my owners had a great fish dish that they shared with me and a steak sandwich. I would recommend this place to all my friends and for them to bring their owners. We got to cuddle under the blankets they provide near their fire pits. 5 star experience for us. I was even entered in their cutest dog contest.... which I'm gonna rock!!!"
-Jake Chihuahua

"I have been there the first time in summer 1994. It is amazing to see that the quality of food, service and friendliness of the staff has always been and is still top notch. Pity I moved back to Germany, I miss the Sunday brunch. Every time when I am back in the bay area I stop by to enjoy the food and the stunning view. Oh I forgot: I love the dogs too....."
-Peter L.

"Thank you for the lovely evening we had at the Moss Beach Distillery. All the out of town guests thought the Distillery was fantastic and the meal was great. Thanks again for everything you did to make it a special night."
–Jackie C.

"Thank you for your great friendly service at the bar this past Thursday. My buddy and I had a great time. Your staff and your restaurant is truly one amazing gem, glad we stumbled upon your happy hours sign =D ."
-Dr. Alan C.

"Superb dinner and dessert, great service"
–Judy B.

"My husband and I enjoyed a romantic and very memorable wedding anniversary - exquisite food & service"
–Sage M., Citrus Heights, CA

"Great experience - very upbeat and lively - beautiful scenery"
–Kaila I., Watsonville, CA

"The food and service were excellent throughout the evening; even with the presence of small children underfoot, the staff was friendly and efficient. The foggy view, the elegant dinner, the fire pits - the evening was all we had hoped for."
–Lori E. and Steve W., Dublin, CA

"Our entire family will never forget what a wonderful time they had overlooking the Pacific at Moss Beach."
–Adrienne L., Hillsborough, CA

"You are a jewel gracing our coast!"
–Kyle H. , Valley Springs, CA

"We bring all out of area guests to the Distillery."
–Michele M., Half Moon Bay, CA

excerpt from
10 Restaurants Where Dogs
are Served Steak, Beer, and
Ice Cream

by Dan Gentile

"Moss Beach Distillery
Moss Beach, CA
What your dog is eating: Mini burger patties with bacon slices
What you're eating: Coastal crab cake Benedict and bottomless mimosas
Formerly a Prohibition-era speakeasy supplied by Canadian rum runners, Moss Beach Distillery is now a seaside destination restaurant known for a spectacular brunch and hallways that are haunted by the spectre of a woman supposedly killed on the seashore near the restaurant. The place is also haunted by the ghosts of hundreds of dogs' appetites."

Phoenix Beer & Wine GuideSan Francisco and Half Moon Bay
"From Prohibition haunts to beach-side horseback-riding, plus a host of cultural and viticultural activities, this Bay Area duo serves up a bevy of traveling gems.

You could drive past it a thousand times and never know it was there. For years, Mavericks was kept secret, and then as the rumors leaked, it was dismissed as myth by the very people who discovered it. This fall, a movie about the Mt. Everest of surfing, Chasing Mavericks, will put Half Moon Bay on the map for more than just big wave riders.
     Located about 25 miles south of San Francisco, Half Moon Bay lies along a crenellated coastline where emerald cliffs plunge into a seething sapphire sea. It's the kind of semi-secret place favored by rum-runners during Prohibition and modern sightseers seeking the unlikely confluence of sleepy seaside burg with big-city amenities like fabulous food and wine. Add a splash of arts and culture and a streak of outdoor activities, and it all comes together like the waters at Mavericks that it holds in one of its coastal folds.
     Taking full advantage of HaIf Moon Bay's fog-shrouded coves, Moss Beach Distillery (140 Beach Way, Moss Beach, 650-728-5595, was once Frank's Place, a Prohibition-era speakeasy supplied by seafaring bootleggers. Dashiell Hammett was a habitué and appropriated the setting into his suspense short story The GirI with the Silver Eyes. Today, you can chase crab cakes Benedict with a horseradish-rich Bloody Mary and keep your eyes peeled for another colorful gal, the Blue Lady. The resident cobalt-clad ghost was allegedly a scarlet woman who had an affair with a prurient piano player and was murdered while strolling with her lover on the beach."
–excerpt from Phoenix Beer & Wine Guide, October 2012

CNN Travel
excerpt from
"Five Fido-friendly getaways"
by Jessica DuLong
Wed March 21, 2012
"Dog-friendly activities abound in Half Moon Bay . . . grab a nightcap in a comfy chair beside a fire pit and take in the ocean sunset at the Moss Beach Distillery's Seal Cove Patio, which features a doggie menu of grilled hot dogs, mini burger patties and skirt steak. Ask the hostess to take your pooch's photo for the annual contest and you might just win a prize."

Sunset Magazine, November 2011, Northern California Editor's picks suggests visiting the Moss Beach Distillery 'where the dog-friendly patio has firepits and wool blankets to ward off the chill for anyone without a ntural fur coat'.

"After a day at the beach, there is no better place than Moss Beach Distillery to watch the sunset and get some good grub. Originally a speakeasy during Prohibition, the dog-friendly patio has fabulous fireplaces overlooking the ocean (but be sure to go inside and check out the beautiful stained glass windows). They have a dog menu, priced in bones - burger patties (5 bones) were a huge hit with all our pups. The crab & avocado quesadilla was heavenly and made me want to go back again and again. No complaints from any humans or dogs. As the sun set over the ocean, we sat around the many fireplaces, wrapped in warm wool blankets (provided by the restaurant). The dogs settled all around us, tired from a day of running the beach. A perfect end to a perfect day – our bellies and our souls were full."
–Whitney Wilde, excerpt from "Traveling Canine" , Coastal Canine magazine

For ambiance, view, service and great food, the Moss Beach Distillery is a must (a rumrunner's drop off point in the probation days). Make a reservation to coincide with the glorious pink, yellow and orange pastel sunset, sit back and relax with your favorite pre-dinner drink and enjoy. A comfortable heated and pet-friendly patio awaits you. The varied menu includes fresh local fish and vegetables. The salmon and crab cakes are recommended, and the coffee is special. Sunday afternoons offer the best brunch anywhere, and if you look and listen, you might see and hear the beautiful resident ghost running on the beach. That's another story. Visit The Moss Beach Distillery and they will give you the details."
-Camilla Bounds, The Gilroy Dispatch
Read the full article

"A cozy romantic eatery perched on a bluff with a spectacular view of the Pacific. Fine food with an upscale menu"
–Pacifica Tribune, Pacifica, CA

"Best Ocean View", "Best Brunch", "Best Place to Take Out of Town Guests", "Best Seafood on the Coastside", "Most Romantic Restaurant"
–Half Moon Bay Review, Dining Survey

"There is no better place on the Coast to listen to the surf, watch the sunset, or simply enjoy people watching"
–SF Independent, Dining Out With the Habits

"Sip chilled champagne as you watch the sunlight dance on waves. Their Famous Sunday Brunch is a traditional with visitors and locals alike"
–Coastal Dining Reviews

"Travelers from all over the world have experienced the beautiful ocean views and the excellent food"
–California Online Highways

"The Distillery is a romantic restaurant with beautiful views... they offer blankets if you wish to sit on the outdoor patio on cool California days"
–SF Travel Magazine

"Tourists and couples on dates fill window-side tables, gawking at the stunning view of the rocky coast, while gracious servers deliver seared, sugar-crusted filet mignon, grilled wild Pacific salmon and more New American favorites. On pleasant days, the sun-drenched patio is the place to be for drinks and light bites. If a breeze whips up, staff is happy to pass out blankets."
– Editorial Review

"The Premier seafood and steak restaurant in San Mateo County. Panoramic ocean views, fabulous food, historic site, romantic ambience, outdoor patio and famous ghost legend."
–San Jose Magazine

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Moss Beach Distillery
140 Beach Way
Moss Beach, CA 94038