San Mateo, California


2013 Best Small Towns in America

Contest ends:  September 3, 2013

1363 Votes - "Best For Food"
11 Votes - "Most Beautiful"
10 Votes - "Friendliest"
7 Votes - "Most Fun"
1 Votes - "Most Patriotic"


With so many restaurants to choose from San Mateo offers a food diversity like no other small town. This week I ate locally grown at Three. Organic, mostly grown right there, tasty, and fairly priced, all made for a great dinner. In the past month, my family has been out in San Mateo for Greek, Japanese, and Italian. And that was just in the one month! I've noticed my friends in other towns always choose to meet up in San Mateo because of all the choices and such a full range of styles and prices! Next time you're hungry, look no further than San Mato!
Reviewed by denisenelson10
on September 20, 2013
The San Mateo food scene is out of this world. It is one of the main reasons we moved from Redwood City back to downtown San Mateo a year ago. Now we have access to hundreds of restaurants within an easy walk or bike ride, and the mix of restaurants is absolutely fantastic. We love Hummus with its amazing, shareable Mediterranean dishes. Our two elementary school kids are really into the different flavors and our oldest son (10 years old this week) picked Hummus for his birthday dinner. Restaurant Three has the best French onion soup we've had outside of France. That place has a great vibe and tons of shareable dishes and great house wine and cocktails. The many Indian restaurants throughout the city are also of very high quality, whether you like fancier sit-down at Clay Oven (which we love) or a faster meal at Curry-Up-Now and Dosa Republic. We finally visited Fusion Peruvian Grill and I am definitely going back for some fantastic ceviche. South American dining in San Mateo is outstanding and so is the Asian dining experience. Kingfish, Vault and 31st Union are other restaurants that are hard to beat. And we feel like family at Spiedo's as they do know us well there. Great food at a great price. Several of the less central neighborhoods in San Mateo such as 25th Avenue, 42nd Avenue, along El Camino Real corridor, Crystal Springs shopping center and around Norfolk provide great options if you don't want to go downtown. Overall, I give San Mateo 5 of 5 stars when it comes to food!
Reviewed by terschure
on September 18, 2013
The Japanese Food in downtown San Mateo is great. Hotaru is great for cooked food. Izakaya Mai has the best variety and quality of sushi on the Peninsula. The inexpensive quality Chinese food is the best on El Camino. Silver House and Silver Lake are across the street from each other but both offer tasty food. Little Shanghai has great Shanghai fish like Mom used to make.
Reviewed by cloudwizard
on September 18, 2013
I lived in San Mateo my whole life, left for college, and recently moved back to the area. One of the best things about being back is taking my girlfriend (from Texas- we met in college) to all of the places that I remember going to in middle and high school. I'm so happy all of the restaurants I loved before leaving are still there and going strong. San Mateo has every food you could be in the mood for, and I'm still finding new places to take her. My favorite restaurant, located close to the Downtown Theater, is definitely North Beach Pizza. North Beach Pizza is the best-smelling restaurant I have ever been in. The smell of pizza, cheesy garlic bread, and their other Italian dishes is amazing and radiates to the nearby street. Their service is always quick and kind, and they are so mindful of people on a tight schedule if you mention you have a movie time to get to. Although that's my favorite restaurant, I must also give a "shout-out" to my favorite sandwich, Mr. Pickles. I walked miles to that sandwich shop when my car and bike were both out of service, and I go there nearly every weekend. If you haven't tried it, please do. They name many of the sandwiches after local high schools and sports teams, so feel to try your high school's taste- The Hillsdale Knight sandwich is my favorite.
Reviewed by jstrange
on September 18, 2013
San Mateo offers the most amazing variety of food from all over the world. It is easy to find something to satisfy a hungry palate at every price range.
Reviewed by Pnkin
on September 16, 2013
Showing 26 through 30 of 67 reviews



Add a Photo

You must be logged in to add photos.

Write a Review

Close ×

Vote for

You can only vote once for each town every 24 hours. You can vote again in

Vote for 2013 Best Small Town


Are you a DMO or CVB?
Explore "Best Town Travels" – Rand McNally’s new map-based digital travel guides for your website plus an iPhone and Facebook app! Learn More


Thank you for Voting!

Promote , by sharing your vote or writing a review.

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter or Write a Review