Made Famous
Our Friends

What our customers are saying about Old Fisherman's Grotto
Hi Chris,
Since 1958 my family has been eating at the Grotto on Fishermenís Wharf. As a child, I remember that your father Mr. Shake stood in front of the Grotto. I donít think anything could stop him. Like the old saying goes ďcomes neither rain nor shineĒ. People came from all walks of life to sample the best clam chowder ever made. I remember him always smiling and wearing a cowboy hat. He took the time to speak to the people passing by. Itís so nice to see you and staff carrying on that tradition.
My family and I moved but took our vacations here at home in the Monterey Bay. The one thing we looked forward to was eating at the Grotto. As luck would have it, we moved back to the Peninsula. The Grotto is absolute favorite place for our family and friends to eat. Whatever the occasion is, we look forward to eating at the Grotto.
Chris, youíre doing a great job! Bringing the restaurant up to date with the times but still keeping that wholesome feeling. So many of our businesses with class have closed down and fast food has taken over. I thank God that you are keeping the Grotto alive today. Please thank your staff for the wonderful service.
Ross Family
Dear Chris,
My family and I would like to thank you and your staff for such a wonderful experience at the Grotto. In 1995, my husband proposed to me while we were having dinner at your restaurant. Your staff treated us well back then on that magical night and we were given a VIP card. Fifteen years and two kids later, our daughter was celebrating her 9th birthday and requested that we have lunch at the Grotto because she wanted clam chowder. (I will only eat your clam chowder, so I think she just knows better than to suggest any other place). We put our name in at the front, as it was a busy Saturday afternoon. The greeter asked how we were doing and my husband said, "Great! We are celebrating our daughter's birthday today!" We didn't expect what came next! We were brought a complimentary appetizer (even though we hadn't yet notified our server that we had our VIP card). Then, after our lunch, our server brought out a beautifully presented slice of cheesecake with a candle for my daughter! My daughter, Schae, was pleasantly surprised and felt so special. Your staff went above and beyond our expectations and made it such a memorable day for our family! THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts!
Angie McGrew


Another Great Meal

Today Pat and I treated our friends John & Sue Simpson, from Aptos, to lunch at Chris Shake's OLD FISHERMAN'S GROTTO on the wharf in Monterey. The meal was great, and the host, Chris Shake, as usual was very gracious. John was one of the finest, if not THE finest, administrators ever to run a school in the North Monterey County Unified School District (and he has run several -- Elkhorn Elementary, Moss Landing Middle School, Gambetta Middle School, and was VP at North Monterey County High School).
Bob Coble, Seaside, California

Good afternoon Mr. Shake.  We had the good fortune of spending my birthday dinner at your lovely restaurant.  My parents have told us about it for years and my dad remembers your dad standing at the door.  My parents are 74 and 77.  They live in Groveland now and arenít in the area too often. 

We loved the dinner, our waiter Luis was wonderful and the service was impeccable. We canít wait to visit Monterey again and come in for dinner.

Thank you very much,
Maryanne Elliott

Dear Chris,

I just wanted to express how much our family misses your restaurant.  We moved to Georgia 3 years ago and NOTHING compares.
My husband and I started going to Old Fishermanís Grotto in 1987 and had the pleasure of meeting your father on several occasions, he would always greet us with a warm smile and made us feel ďright at home.Ē  We used to drive to Monterey from the Bay Area at least once a month just to have dinner at your restaurant.  Even when my husband got laid off from his job in 2003 and we could not afford to dine out, we would still make the little journey for the chowder in a bread bowl.

I am so thrilled that I came across your website because Iím going to order some clam chowder for my husband for Fatherís Day!

Best of luck!
Deanna Mitchell
Dear Chris,  
My wife and I had the pleasure of dining at your family's restaurant last Sunday the 17th. You may remember us as you graciously signed one of your cook books for us and then gave it as a gift. I wanted to return the gesture of kindness with some wine from the winery that I currently work for. Having been a business owner, I appreciate those operations that show the owner's involvement and enthusiasm that you exhibited that night. It is obvious you love your work.
Our night was one of the most enjoyable dining experiences we have had. Every one of your employees was thoughtful and efficient. The meal was unparalleled and one of the best seafood presentations we have enjoyed. The appetizer you sent us was delicious as well. Please be assured that whenever we have the opportunity to recommend a dining experience in the Monterey area, your restaurant will be the first mentioned.
I hope you will enjoy the 2 wines I have selected for you. These Reserve wines are two of my favorites. As I mentioned that night, if you have a chance to visit our area, please allow time for me to host you at the winery for a tour and tasting.
Dining at the Grotto now gives us an excuse to visit Monterey more often.
John & Sandy Bertram
The 50th Anniversary Luncheon
Delta Chi
alumni from Stanford
Hi Chris,
My wife and I just wanted express our sincere appreciation for the attention you and your staff gave us on our recent visit to your restaurant. The reason we came to Shake's Old Fisherman's Grotto is that the look, color and the cleanliness of the front of the restaurant as well as the display of some of the foods was appealing. Most of all, your presence, smile and the way you welcomed us and others at the entrance to your place was very professional and appealing. You never pushed us to come in. We were treated as if we were a guest in your home. When we entered, the decor of the interior was just outstanding. The chair and hat honoring your father is just one more thing that impressed us. I still have a chair and hat of my father. The food and the cleanliness of the interior and the attention given to us was tremendous. Our thanks to you and Julio G. who's service was outstanding and you both made our anniversary celebration beautiful and a memorable occasion. Recognition from an employer is motivation to an employee to take pride to be the best. We shall return.
Ray & Lonnie Gonella, Sun City, Arizona


Hi Chris,
I just wanted to take a minute to thank you so much for your hospitality with my Wine & Dine group last Saturday. I will pass along to you, Danny, Dave and your staff that many in my group are saying that that was the most fun Wine & Dine in our forty-nine month of events (over four years). Pretty impressive! The service was excellent, the ambiance just right, the prices reasonable with generous portions, the wine list extensive and fairly priced, and the food cooked to perfection. We were all sharing dishes to taste different things, and all the feedback I received from my entourage was positive ++. Now, of course, I have my personal affinity with regards to the Grotto, but I let everyone else make their own judgment regarding the experience, and everyone came out with glowing accolades.
Please pass along to Danny, Dave, the chef and our waiter all of our praise for their care of our group. This is a tough, critical little group of diners that freely share their opinions about every nuance of their dining experience, and we relish being critical. Again, I heard NO negatives following our Grotto dinner, a first!  And I would like to give special kudos to Dave. He was wonderful! Of course I took advantage of our friendship to taste a couple of wines I had questions about before the dinner, and he graciously obliged, but his customer service throughout the evening was exactly what we wanted and what we so appreciate at the higher-end restaurants, and his customer service pushed the Grotto to the top tier of our historical list of favorite Wine & Dine restaurants.

So once again my friend, thank you for your graciousness and friendship and I am certain that we have now turned several new families into Old Fishermanís Grotto regulars. If I can ever be of service, please feel free to call. Iíll always be there for you!
John Thibeau

"Food was best on the wharf, server was outstanding."  ♦  "Very pleased, delicious!"

"Always excellent.  We've never gone anywhere else on the wharf to eat."

"Five star server! My favorite restaurant on the West Coast!" 
♦  "Service and food were excellent!" ♦  "Great place!"

"We want to thank you ever so much for providing us with an absolutely fantastic dining experience. The food, the service, the whole ambiance was truly wonderful. The balloons made us feel special, too. We will treasure the memories of our time in Old Fisherman's Grotto. Thank you again, and we will definitely see you again next year. By the way, we simply had to return the following day for lunch -- you already know that your chowder is incomparable, but we also have to mention the fried calamari -- batter so light it melted in our mouths. Thank you again and we look forward to our next visit."  -- Darryl and Teri House

"I was so impressed with your restaurant - food, service, view, and everything!"

"Chowder in a Bowl, excellent -- Crab Louie, outstanding -- best I've had in years."

"Your clam chowder is #1 and I'm from New Orleans!" 
♦  "My son said best waiter and food ever."

"Best calamari and clam chowder in the Monterey area" 
♦  "Everyone is very friendly and attentive-superb!"

"We loved our visit - you exemplify Monterey hospitality and great seafood!!"

"The best macadamia halibut and artichoke/crab quesadillas."

"We walked the pier and sampled all the chowder on Sunday.  We ate lunch and dinner all three days here.  It's the best!!"

"The whole presentation of the restaurant was a superb experience."
♦ "Five stars, excellent service!"

"We love this place and the management as well. They have such a great attitude and the food is amazing."

"The phone has not stopped ringing at my house. Everyone is in awe of you. There are no words to adequately express our gratitude for all that you have done to support the Nancy Kotowski campaign.  She was too excited to sleep last night. She was so thrilled and was in total disbelief that you made the evening so special. Everything was done to perfection-the decorations, the food, the service, the professional manner in which every aspect was given. I sensed smiles from your dad. Chris, you put your whole heart into this event and it will not go unnoticed. You made lots of friends last night-not just for what you did but for who you are. Your exceptionally fine personal qualities shined brightly. You have invested in the future of the children of Monterey County. I am so grateful and I love you."

"You are awesome!  I love you for who you are and what you do for others."

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Old Fisherman's Grotto . 39 Fisherman's Wharf . Monterey, California 93940 . Phone 831.375.4604 . Fax 831.375.0391
A Seafood, Steak and Pasta Restaurant on Fisherman's Wharf  in Monterey

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