8 Best Restaurants in San Mateo

Sternsmith Group

San Mateo, a picturesque city nestled in the heart of California's Bay Area, is a haven for food enthusiasts. Known for its intriguing culinary scene, this city boasts a delightful array of eateries, each offering a unique dining experience. From upscale dining establishments to cozy neighborhood gems, there's something for every palate. Read on for a culinary journey through some of the best restaurants in San Mateo — your taste buds are in for a treat.

The Barrel Bistro & Wine Bar

246 S B St, San Mateo, CA 94401

Wine lovers, take note. The Barrel Bistro & Wine Bar is a gem in downtown San Mateo, offering an extensive selection of wines from around the world. With a cozy atmosphere and knowledgeable staff, it's an ideal place to unwind and explore new vintages. Pair your wine with their artisanal cheese and charcuterie boards for a delightful experience. From the Barrel Burger to the teriyaki skirt steak and Atlantic king salmon, the menu is nothing short of outstanding.

Must-Try Dish: Mushroom risotto simmered with green peas

Sushi Maruyama

279 Baldwin Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401

If you have a penchant for sushi and sashimi, Sushi Maruyama is a top choice. This beloved sushi restaurant in San Mateo serves some of the freshest and most artfully crafted Japanese dishes in the Bay Area. The skilled sushi chefs take pride in their work, and the omakase experience is a culinary journey that you won't soon forget.

Must-Try Dish: Omakase Chef's Selection

Apple Fritter

1901 S Norfolk St, San Mateo, CA 94403

Sometimes, the simplest pleasures are the most satisfying. Apple Fritter is a charming bakery that excels at creating sweet treats that warm the heart. Their apple fritters, in particular, are legendary. These golden, crispy pastries filled with cinnamon-spiced apples are the perfect indulgence to accompany your morning coffee. Don’t miss the churros, vanilla yogurt with banana, or cream French toast for even more flavors.

Must-Try Treat: Apple Fritter (of course!)

Blue Bottle Coffee

3081 S Delaware St, San Mateo, CA 94403

For coffee connoisseurs, Blue Bottle Coffee is a must-visit in San Mateo. This specialty coffee shop takes pride in sourcing high-quality beans and brewing them to perfection. Whether you prefer a classic drip coffee or a meticulously crafted pour-over, the rich and aromatic flavors of Blue Bottle's brews will delight your taste buds.

Must-Try Drink: Single-Origin Pour-Over


115 De Anza Blvd, San Mateo, CA 94402

Prepare to be transported to the exquisite world of kaiseki dining at Wakuriya. This Michelin-starred restaurant in San Mateo offers an authentic and artful Japanese culinary experience. The chef curates a seasonal tasting menu that showcases the finest ingredients and traditional preparation techniques. The intimate setting and impeccable service make Wakuriya a must-visit for food enthusiasts seeking an exceptional and unforgettable dining experience.

Must-Try Dish: Chef's Kaiseki Tasting Menu

All Spice

1602 S El Camino Real, San Mateo, CA 94402

For a unique dining experience through modern California flavors, All Spice is the destination of choice. This fantastic restaurant takes diners on a culinary adventure with its exceptional tasting menu. The dishes are beautifully presented and meticulously crafted, from the smoky shrimp with brown sugar glaze to the beer-braised pork cheek with pickled apple. The cozy and intimate setting is perfect for celebrating special occasions.

Must-Try Dish: American Wagyu coulotte steak with caramelized hazelnut puree

Central Park Bistro

181 E 4th Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401

Central Park Bistro is a contemporary American restaurant that embodies the essence of classic bistro dining. With its warm and welcoming atmosphere, it's a superb choice for a cozy evening out. The menu features an array of dishes, from grilled Australian lamb chops to wood oven pizzas. Their wine list is extensive, ensuring the perfect pairing for your meal. Don't forget to leave room for their delectable desserts, whether you choose the warm toffee bread pudding, vanilla bean gelato, or chocolate lava cake.

Must-Try Dish: Tagliatelle pasta with braised short ribs and Parmesan

Pancho Villa Taqueria

365 S B St, San Mateo, CA 94401

No list of San Mateo's best restaurants would be complete without mentioning Pancho Villa Taqueria. This beloved dining spot serves up some of the most mouthwatering Mexican street food in the city. From tacos to burritos to spicy chicken enchiladas and everything in between, their offerings are packed with flavor and a touch of authenticity that makes you feel like you've stepped straight into a Mexican mercado.

Must-Try Dish: The “Super Carnitas” burrito

So, the next time you find yourself in the Bay Area, make sure to carve out some time to explore the culinary wonders of San Mateo. From cozy, family-owned gems to upscale dining experiences, this city has it all. Whether you're a local looking for a new favorite spot or a visitor eager to sample the local cuisines, these fantastic restaurants in San Mateo are a great place to start your dining adventure. Bon appétit!

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