12 Best Restaurants in San Mateo, CA 2023

San Mateo, CA, is on the Peninsula, just 20 miles south of San Francisco. But with its wealth of restaurants, you don’t need to leave the Peninsula to enjoy many of the same culinary delights available in San Francisco.

You can savor a wide range of cuisines in San Mateo, from American to Mexican to International. This is just a tiny sample of what reviewers say are the best restaurants in San Mateo.

Check out the websites provided for more information to guide you to what could become one of your favorite spots to eat in San Mateo.

12 Best Restaurants in San Mateo, CA:

  1. All Spice
  2. Pausa Bar and Cookery
  3. Gao Viet Kitchen
  4. Cajun Food Crush
  5. The Fish Market
  6. Taikoshen
  7. Jack’s Restaurant and Bar
  8. B Street and Vine
  9. Porterhouse
  10. Apple Fritter
  11. Pancho Villa Taqueria
  12. Rainbow Pizza

All Spice

$$$-$$$$ | 650-627-4303 | WEBSITE

Trendy Restaurants in San Mateo, CA

All Spice serves Indian-inspired French California cuisine in the quaint ambiance of a 100-year-old Victorian cottage.

With three intimate dining rooms, it is perfect for a date night or that special occasion. Choose a 3, 4, or 5-course meal from their creative menu with a wine-pairing option. Open 5:30 to 8 PM Tuesday through Saturday with vegetarian and vegan-friendly options.

‘The service is on-point, with well-prepared and well-seasoned meals.’ Takeout, curbside pickup, reservations, gift certificates, and a private dining room for up to 18 are all available. Or buy out the entire restaurant for 40 people.



Pausa Bar and Cookery

$$$ | 650-375-0818 | WEBSITE


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Pausa, ‘Italian for pause,’ provides fresh, authentic, and modern Italian fare made from scratch in an atmosphere that provides just that…a pause from life’s busyness. It offers a unique charcuterie since the meats are cured in-house.

Indoor and outdoor dining and take-out are available seven days for dinner starting at 4 or 4:30 PM., with Happy or Spritz hours offered in the bar and patio until 5:30 PM. A ‘fun and lively atmosphere with upscale chic.

Perfect for celebrating an anniversary, wedding, or birthday party with group-dining options. Reservations are recommended.



Gao Viet Kitchen

$$ | 650-477-2524 | WEBSITE


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Gao Viet Kitchen is a popular Vietnamese restaurant in downtown San Mateo with a two-story dining room. But even that fills up quickly with only walk-in and waitlist offered. With a well-stocked bar, authentic Vietnamese fare, and delicious seafood options, the long wait is worth it.

Vegan and vegetarian options, party trays, and happy hour specials are available. Open Wed-Th, 4-9 PM for dinner, earlier on weekends for lunch with a break for staff between 3:30-5 PM.

Suitable for kids and groups with a ‘spectacular ambiance and fine décor.’ They have takeout and delivery options for those who don’t want to wait in line.



Cajun Food Crush

$$ | 650-685-6868 | WEBSITE


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Cajun Food Crush is a Cajun and Fusion Seafood restaurant with a casual, trendy, modern décor. Women-owned, it offers ‘food that is super good & servers who were extremely attentive the entire time we were there.’

Open Mon-Th from 5-9:30 PM and from noon till 9:30 or 10 PM on weekends; Cajun Food Crush has Happy Hour 7 days a week. Weekend rush hours are generally packed. No surprise with good beer and Sangria, heated outdoor seating, live music, and good staff in a comfortable atmosphere.

Takeout and delivery are available. Suitable for kids and groups, it also takes reservations.



The Fish Market

$$$ | 650-349-3474 | WEBSITE


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The Fish Market offers fresh, high-quality seafood for lunch and dinner that is simply prepared and served at an honest price. Choose outside seating by the water (dogs allowed) or enjoy the intimate atmosphere inside, with private dining available.

Open seven days a week from 11:30 AM-8 PM and until 9 PM on Fri and Sat; it has Happy Hour Sunday through Thursday from 3-6 PM.

Delivery, takeout, and reservations are available in this classy, casual restaurant that is good for kids and groups. ‘A great restaurant to eat with coworkers!’

Children’s entrees for children ten years old and under are served with a soft drink and a scoop of ice cream.




$$ | 650-445-7579 | WEBSITE


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If you like noodles and like to try new things, Taikoshen is the restaurant for you. Ramen and tsukemen, a Japanese dipping noodle, have been their carefully crafted legacy since 1951.

The noodles are made fresh daily, and their soups, with a combination of pork and chicken, are cooked over two days. Open seven days a week from 11 AM to 9 PM, with a break M-Th from 2-5 PM.

They do have limited vegetarian and vegan options and offer delivery and takeout. No reservations. ‘Service was spot on and nice atmosphere.’



Jack’s Restaurant and Bar

$$ | 650-350-1077 | WEBSITE


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Located in the Borel Square Shopping Center, Jack’s Restaurant and Bar is family-run with a focus on genuine, old-school hospitality. Known as an all-day, any-day kind of place, it is open from 8:30 AM to 9 PM daily, serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner.

It has covered outdoor seating, standing tables/bar options, and a TV for watching sports. Suitable for groups and kids, it offers takeout, delivery, vegetarian and vegan options, military discounts, and reservations.

Be forewarned. It is crowded on weekends for brunch. Family meals are available only for take-out and delivery after 4 PM.

‘The food is always tasty, and the service is always great. Prices are very reasonable.’



B Street and Vine

$$ | 650-347-8463 | WEBSITE

San Mateo, CA Trendy Restaurants

B Street and Vine is your place if you want a top-notch date spot. Offering a varied menu based on Italian and Spanish cuisines, it serves tapas, small plates, salads, soups, and its famous bruschetta.

It has a relaxing, casual atmosphere with a heated outdoor patio. Order California or International wine from the wine bar and enjoy live jazz music Wednesday through Saturday evenings. Come during happy hour when glass prices are slashed in half. ‘A staple for your after-work happy hours and lunches.’

Open Tues-Sat 11:30 AM to 9 PM and Sun till 5 PM with takeout, delivery, military discounts, online ordering, and reservations available. Bring your friends for the best nights on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.




$$$ | 650-579-5911 | WEBSITE

San Mateo, CA Trendy Restaurant

Porterhouse is a fine steakhouse with French influences. Using the finest Mid-Western beef available, steaks are grilled over an open fire for your dining enjoyment. Raw dry-aged steaks are also available to purchase. Don’t want beef? They also provide fresh fish, seafood, and gluten-free options daily.

Whether you are hosting a business luncheon, dinner, a special occasion requiring a private dining room, or having a romantic dinner, Porterhouse can provide the perfect setting.

Open nightly from 5-9 PM with happy hour Monday -Friday from 5-6 PM in their Bar and Lounge. Takeout, delivery, and online reservations are available.

None better for steaks in the area.’



Apple Fritter

$ | 650-525-9125 | WEBSITE

Good Restaurants in San Mateo, CA

If you’re hungry for breakfast and want to try something different, come to Apple Fritter, locally owned and operated since 2014.

This small café with an intimate atmosphere and divine décor was once a Taco Bell and is now transformed into a brunchy burger spot. It is known for its delicious root beer, wine, bourbon, and fritters that sell out fast on the weekends.

Open M-Fri 7:30 AM – 2 PM, weekends from 8 AM-2 PM, offers American fare with a twist and vegetarian options. Order online or eat in their outside seating area that can accommodate your pets.



Pancho Villa Taqueria

$ | 650-343-4123 | WEBSITE

Good Restaurant in San Mateo, CA

Pancho Villa Taqueria is a restaurant and pub that serves Mexican and New Mexican cuisine. Using fresh ingredients, they guarantee that everything is made without preservatives, lard, or MSG to provide a healthy dining experience.

Open daily from 10 AM to 8 PM, it has become one of the most popular taquerias in town due to its famous burritos.

Place your order at the counter and eat the large portions inside or outside with kids or groups. Or choose take-out or delivery. Vegan and vegetarian options are available, as well as happy hour specials. ‘Order online and get 15% off.’



Rainbow Pizza

$$ | 650-571-1848 | WEBSITE

San Mateo, CA Good Restaurant

Rainbow Pizza, located in Crystal Springs shopping center, is a family-owned and operated business offering Greek and Italian cuisine since 1983.

It is open Monday through Saturday from 11 AM to 8:30 PM, offering an endless selection of Greek and Mediterranean dishes. Eat in the covered outdoor seating area or come indoors and enjoy the décor that ‘makes you feel like you’re on vacation in Europe.

This restaurant is family-friendly and offers casual dining with pizza that is ‘over the top and tasty.’ Takeout and delivery are provided within a three-mile radius.




Hungry yet? This is just a sample of what is being served in San Mateo. Try one of these spots to eat or discover your own hidden gems as you enjoy that fantastic California weather. Offer your opinions and spread the word about your experiences at one of these best restaurants in San Mateo.

Best Restaurants in San Mateo

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Restaurant Observer is the ultimate go-to destination on the web when looking for nothing but fantastic places to genuinely enjoy food across the United States. Inspired by the saying when there’s good food, there’s a good life, Birch Restaurant starts the food blog to scout the best food places across the country.