San Mateo, California, nestled in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, is not just a tech hub; it's also a burgeoning culinary destination. With its proximity to fresh, local ingredients, the city boasts a vibrant dining scene that caters to every taste bud. From cozy bistros to intriguing international flavors, here's a taste of the top restaurants in San Mateo that should be on your must-try list.
For a truly memorable dining experience, indulge in the culinary artistry at All Spice, a Michelin-starred restaurant that elevates Indian and Californian cuisines to new heights. This intimate and elegant establishment, helmed by Chef Sachin Chopra, is a testament to the marriage of traditional Indian flavors with Californian culinary sensibilities. Chef Chopra's innovative approach to Indian cuisine showcases the rich tapestry of spices, herbs, and ingredients that India is known for, all thoughtfully combined with the freshest local produce. The result is a dining experience that transcends borders and intrigues the senses, earning All Spice its place among the best restaurants in San Mateo and the entire San Francisco Bay Area.
Chef Sachin Chopra masterfully combines aromatic Indian spices with fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create dishes that are both sophisticated and flavorful. The tasting menus here are a journey of culinary discovery, offering a chance to explore a range of unique flavors and textures. Try the slow-roasted lamb loin with crisp potatoes and pear, the pan-seared king salmon with cilantro and sweet peas, or the crispy smoked baby potatoes with sweet corn. And don’t skip a dessert of “Pineapple Express” cheesecake, malted rye flour and carrot cake, or house-made gelato and sorbet. With its gorgeous ambiance and impeccable service, All Spice is perfect for special occasions or when you want to treat yourself to a world-class meal.
Wakuriya is a culinary treasure that transports diners to the exquisite world of Japanese kaiseki cuisine. This intimate, Michelin-starred restaurant offers an unforgettable dining experience characterized by meticulous attention to detail and a deep respect for seasonal ingredients. Renowned Chef Katsuhiro Yamasaki, a true artisan of his craft, curates a stirring seasonal menu that celebrates the beauty of nature and the essence of each ingredient. Each course in the multi-course kaiseki meal is truly a work of art — a harmonious blend of flavors, textures, and visual aesthetics that reflect the changing seasons.
Wakuriya's elegant dining room, with its serene ambiance and minimalist decor, provides the perfect backdrop for the culinary journey that unfolds. The omakase-style menu, which changes with the seasons, allows guests to surrender their palates to the chef's expertise, placing complete trust in the culinary prowess of Chef Yamasaki and his team. From delicate sashimi to perfectly grilled seafood, every dish is a revelation, offering a glimpse into the sophistication of Japanese cuisine. Wakuriya is not just a restaurant; it's an immersive dining experience that transports guests to the heart of Japan, making it a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts seeking a transcendent culinary expedition in San Mateo.
Pausa Bar & Cookery
Escape to Italy without leaving San Mateo at Pausa Bar & Cookery, a delightful Italian restaurant that showcases the heart and soul of Mediterranean cuisine. Their menu, led by chef-owner Andrea Giuliani, celebrates the many regional flavors of Italy, from handmade pasta dishes to wood-fired pizzas. The cozy, rustic-chic atmosphere invites you to savor each bite while enjoying a selection from their curated list of Italian wines and craft cocktails. Whether you're on a romantic date night or enjoying a fantastic family dinner, Pausa Bar & Cookery offers an authentic Italian experience right here in San Mateo.
Curry Up Now
For those seeking a unique culinary adventure, Curry Up Now is the go-to spot. This beloved restaurant takes traditional Indian flavors and gives them a modern twist, creating a fusion menu that's both exciting and delicious all at once. Their "Indian street food meets Mexican burrito" concept has won over the hearts of locals and tourists alike. Try their innovative dishes like the Tikka Masala Burrito or the Deconstructed Samosa, and you'll understand why this dining spot has become a Bay Area favorite. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are also available, making it a welcoming choice for all dietary preferences. If it’s not already on your must-visit list of the best restaurants in San Mateo, it certainly should be!
Porterhouse is a testament to the art of steakhouse cuisine. With a reputation for delivering exceptional cuts of meat in an inviting, upscale atmosphere, Porterhouse has become a beloved destination for steak enthusiasts. This phenomenal restaurant takes pride in its commitment to sourcing only the finest quality beef, which is expertly aged and grilled to perfection, ensuring that each bite is a succulent and flavorful experience. Beyond its steak offerings, Porterhouse also boasts an impressive selection of appetizers, seafood, and a well-curated wine list that complements the rich flavors of its dishes. Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or simply seeking the ultimate steakhouse experience in San Mateo, Porterhouse delivers a memorable meal that elevates the art of fine dining.