Mill Rose Inn
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The Moss Beach Distillery Offers Relaxed Dining in a Beautiful Setting

January 19, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

Moss Beach Distillery

Moss Beach Distillery / Photo By Tony Chang via Flick

Along the cliffs of the San Mateo coast, you’ll find a multitude of dining options, but none so pleasing as the relaxed atmosphere and unmatched view found at the Moss Beach Distillery. Not only is this one of the best places to dine in the area – located directly north of Half Moon Bay – but it also has a rich history dating back to the Prohibition Era and is known to be one of the most haunted properties around. If you’re visiting the area this will be one of the best meals you can get both for the quality of the food and the ease of the experience. It’s a quick drive from Mill Rose Inn located in downtown Half Moon Bay.

Moss Beach Distillery Food

The Moss Beach Distillery has a variety of menus with the ability to meet the desires of all their customers. Whether you’re just popping in for a drink and a snack at the bar, a full dinner or Sunday brunch, you won’t be disappointed by the delectable options here. Their menu is certainly coastal fare serving delicious renditions on chowders, oysters, and fish tacos, but you’ll find plenty of options if seafood isn’t your favorite. There is also an extensive kids menu if you’ve got the little ones in tow. Their cocktail, wine and beer menus are impressive serving things from local producers and famous importers alike. If you want to bring your dogs along for a sit on the pooch-friendly patio the kitchen even has a menu for them!

Ocean View Patio

Moss Beach Distillery is known to be one of the best happy hours on the coast, and not just for its half-price drinks, but because of its stunning views. This is a favorite among dog owners, as well as those seeking renowned views of the San Mateo coastline. Known as Seal Cove Patio, the view overlooks the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and is one of the best places to watch the sunset. The patio is a relaxed experience, offering a full self-service bar menu, and is first come first serve. It’s just a great place to kick back and breathe in that salty Pacific air.

“Frank’s Place” History & “The Blue Lady”

The site of the Moss Beach Distillery was built in 1927 and was known as “Frank’s Place”, named for the owner who was a black market business man making a killing on illegally importing alcohol from Canada during the prohibition. Boats would pull up onto the beach below and crates of bottles were carried up the precarious cliffs to be distributed up and down the coast. Left from these days of mystery is a reported ghost known as “the Blue Lady”.


While in Half Moon Bay we certainly recommend a trip to the Moss Beach Distillery. Whether you’re just looking for a great happy hour special or a wonderful meal out with your sweetheart, it comes highly recommended. If exceptional food is something you look for in a vacation then you’ll love staying at the Mill Rose Inn bed and breakfast. We’ll make sure your days starts gourmet and see to it that you hit all the best restaurants around.


Where is Half Moon Bay and Why Should I Visit?

November 24, 2014 by Mill Rose Inn

Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay / Photo By Chris Gin via Flickr

Half Moon Bay is a small coastal town in Northern California. Located in San Mateo County, which covers about half of the San Francisco Bay Peninsula, it is home to just under 12,000 people. This quaint California town offers the best of the north coast views and culture without the bustle of the city. You’ll find world class surf, fishing, and food in a quiet atmosphere. Half Moon Bay is a great getaway from California city life, as well as a wonderful destination for those traveling from out-of-state.

Half Moon Bay is 45 minutes from San Francisco, San Jose and Palo Alto making it a very accessible from two international airports for vacationers, and an easy day trip for the residents of Bay Area metros. It also just over the hill from San Mateo, from which you can get on the San Mateo Bridge and be in the East Bay in about 30 minutes. It is a prime location for anyone Bay Area bound, and easy stopover if you’re not planning on staying.

You’ll find those famed rocky California shores in Half Moon Bay, which you can see from any number of the great hiking trails, none of which are far from downtown. The Purisima Creek Redwoods trails are popular and offer unique canyon hikes. Pillar Point Bluff trails will take you soaring above the wide open Pacific Ocean, and give you both northern and southern views of the gorgeous coastline. The San Pedro Valley Park is a breathtaking hike that will get you up in the mountains that run down the middle of the Peninsula, featuring views of the San Francisco Bay on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other.

Half Moon Bay is also home to one of the most famous waves in the world, known as Mavericks. This surf spot, named after a famous surfer’s dog, is the destination for the annual world class, invitation only surf competition, which is also called Mavericks. Surfers and spectators alike travel from all over the globe to participate in this event, which is always a somewhat impromptu competition because it depends completely on the weather. If you’re not quite at the pro-wave level there are plenty of other great beginner and intermediate surf spots around including Santa Cruz, which is just another hour down the coast.

This great little town is also home to some wonderful dining options. Chez Shea is fabulous french restaurant that will put you in the small town mindset with its petite, welcoming dining room. The Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is another favorite amongst both locals and visitors for its great craft beers and reputable menu. Cameron’s British Pub is another local favorite hangout with hearty food and drinks.

The charming Half Moon Bay offers everything California is known for in one small, walkable package. You can reside small town style and drive up to San Francisco for the day, returning to the quiet of our little bay at the end of the day. If you’re looking for a great vacation come and stay with us right downtown at the Mill Rose Inn. We’d love to have you!

Have Fun at Our Local Half Moon Bay Brewing Company

November 14, 2014 by Mill Rose Inn

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company / Photo By Henry Alva via Flickr

The Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is a favorite among both locals and the international travel community who visit us for our many natural and cultural attractions. Known for its house made craft brews, locally sourced food, and welcoming, beautiful beach-side atmosphere Half Moon Bay Brewing was selected by Travel + Leisure as one of America’s best beach bars. It comes highly recommended from our guests here at the Mill Rose Inn. They are also recognized throughout the community for more than just a stellar menu, but also their commitment to sustainable business, and giving back to local causes like education.


The Half Moon Bay Brewing company is devoted to their artisan craft as the first brewery on the San Mateo coast. They offer a large variety of their classic brews as well as creative seasonal brews. After the elaborate brewing process is completed they recycle their grains by giving them to local farmers to use as livestock feed. Their session ales include the Pace Setter Belgian Style Wit, the Back in the Saddle Rye Pale Ale, and the Pit Stop Chocolate Porter. Their Mavericks Amber Ale won bronze at the World Beer Cup 2012! You can buy their beer with a meal, or to go in a case, growler, or five gallon keg.


Their menu features some of Northern California’s most celebrated produce and livestock, all spearheaded by nationally acclaimed chef, Gaston Alfaro. You’re sure to find a fresh, seasonal meal at Half Moon Bay Brewing Co., whether you’re there for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They follow the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guides for purchasing all their seafood in order to uphold their philosophy of sustainability. Their house-made soups and chowders are a hit, as well as their scrumptious burgers, salads, and mouth-watering steaks. You won’t be disappointed with a meal at the brewery, nor will you leave hungry.


The Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is just yards away from Mavericks, the world class surf spot famous for its annual international competition. The brewery is the closest establishment to the famous wave and streams the competition on their beach-side patio. They also host the after-party, which is one of Half Moon Bay’s biggest events of the year. When there isn’t a famous sporting event happening, you’ll be sure to find this beachy environment quiet, welcoming and cozy. If it’s a cool day you can still enjoy the view on the patio and stay warm with a fresh brew beside one of their many open fires. The view is breathtaking and your dogs are welcome to join you.


The Half Moon Bay Brewing Company has been a favorite in its decade of existence, and continues to improve even its staple, year-round brews, along with its seasonal beers and creative menu. If you’re in town with us at the Mill Rose Inn, this is a destination you don’t want to miss. Once you’ve enjoyed their delicious treats, treat yourself to a walk on the beach. This is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in our local culture, including the famous food and beverage scene of Northern California.

Half Moon Bay Restaurants to Try During Your Visit

February 26, 2014 by Mill Rose Inn


Half Moon Bay RestaurantsVisitors to our Half Moon Bay bed and breakfast won’t have to look far for fine dining.  Not only does the Mill Rose Inn offer beautiful accommodations in a breathtaking setting, it is also near many of the best Half Moon Bay restaurants.  Whether you’re in the mood for pasta, seafood, sushi or a casual beer and burger, the area has something to please all palates.  With so many places to choose from, the task of selecting one may be daunting, so hopefully this guide will be helpful in making your decision of which Half Moon Bay restaurants to try during your visit.


Barbara’s Fishtrap

Barbara’s Fishtrap offers a classic seafood menu that utilizes a “sea to table” philosophy.  Beautiful views of Princeton Harbor are also a signature of this restaurant.


Cetrella Bistro

Cetrella Bistro is an ideal choice for fans of Mediterranean food who are also in the mood for great wine and live music. Cetrella Bistro is within walking distance from Mill rose Inn.


Cafe Gibraltar

Cafe Gibraltar has an award-winning menu of Mediterranean cuisine.   The 2014 Zagat Guide awarded Cafe Gibraltar with the highest food score of any restaurant on the San Mateo County coast.


Chez Shea

If you’re a vegetarian looking for delicious dining options, Chez Shea is the place for you.  The menu includes flavors from around the world made with fresh organic ingredients.


La Costanera

If you’re looking for some international flavor, La Costanera offers contemporary Peruvian cuisine.  Some say La Costanera has the best view of the coast.



Flavor is a perfect place to go for “California comfort food” while enjoying an outstanding ocean view.  The menu includes salads, burgers, pastas, seafood and more.


Half Moon Bay Brewing Co.

Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. offers indoor and outdoor dining as well as live music.  Enjoy some of the house-brewed beers on the patio overlooking the harbor or get comfortable around one of the fire pits. The menu includes classic burgers and sandwiches, seafood, salads, pasta, tacos and gluten-free options.


It’s Italia

Just two blocks from Mill Rose Inn, It’s Italia has a Tuscan-style menu.  Enjoy your Italian favorites inside or on the courtyard patio.


Mezza Luna

Contemporary southern Italian cuisine prepared with the freshest of ingredients is what you’ll find at Mezza Luna. Located in the historic Princeton Landing building, the restaurant is on Princeton harbor.


Miramar Beach Restaurant

This beachfront restaurant has seafood, steaks and a full bar.  Enjoy live music on the weekends.


Sam’s Chowder House

You can enjoy the fresh seafood served at Sam’s Chowder House on the oceanfront patio, at the bar or in the dining room.  Great views of the iconic crescent shaped bay as well as beach access are available here.


Pasta Moon

One of several Half Moon Bay restaurants within walking distance of Mill Rose Inn, Pasta Moon is a farm to table restaurant that’s been in business for 25 years. Using local ingredients, Pasta Moon’s dishes include handmade pasta, pizza, sumptuous desserts and more.


Sushi Main Street

This Japanese restaurant has an excellent sushi bar and an exceptional selection of sake. Right across the street from the inn, a great option for those looking Half Moon Bay restaurants within walking distance.


Princeton Seafood

Fresh fish and seafood straight from Pillar Point Harbor.  Princeton Seafood is a market as well as a restaurant.


When you’re deciding which Half Moon Bay restaurants to visit, don’t forget to book your stay at Mill Rose Inn.  Browse our selection of elegant and luxurious rooms  to find your perfect getaway.  Each stay comes with a delicious full champagne breakfast so your days get off to the right start. Our Half Moon Bay bed and breakfast is conveniently located, making it easy to get to dining, shopping, galleries, hiking and more.  When you choose to stay at Mill Rose Inn, your trip will be enhanced by personalized service in a charming location.  Start planning your trip today and let the memory making begin!


Photo courtesy Noatake Murayama.