A San Francisco Institution Since 1966
You've been here before...You remember... It's the place your so happy to see after a long night on the town. It's the only place that was open at 2 am on a Wednesday night. It's the place Anthony Bourdain famously declared "Top 3 in the world" on his show, "The Layover". This place makes you forget AND brings you back to reality. It feels like home.
Since 1970, Mike Shawa has been called Sam, after his uncle who first opened the burger counter in 1966. Uncle Sam was the first transplant that brought the Shawa family and eventually 50 other family members to San Francisco. Since then Mike has been running the show. At 22, Mike's uncle gave him his first job flipping burgers at the small hole in the wall clothed in burgundy stools, faded collaged photos of those who've come and gone, autographs of those that were and are famous among wooden wall paneling. The place hasn't changed an ounce since it opened 50 years ago, when it became the first fast food burger spot in the North Beach. On June 13, 2016, nearly 50 years after starting his legacy, Mike Shawa passed away at the age of 70. He is survived by his wife Marwa and 3 sons, Fadi, Hani, and Emad. Mike gave his life to the North Beach and his legacy will always live through the neighborhood. Sam's will always be there to remind everyone of his wisdom, his grace, and the legend he created. R.I.P. to the father of the North Beach and its new guardian angel. He will forever be missed.
Throughout the years, through the window on Broadway, Mike saw the North Beach neighborhood change while Sam’s has stayed the same. This has allowed Sam’s to become a San Francisco landmark. Our faithful customers have grown older and new ones have joined their ranks, while Sam’s has withstood the test of time. San Francisco is as much a part of Sam's legend as we are of hers and we wouldn't have it any other way. Here's to another 50 years serving the City we love.