An image of Burlingame Avenue in California

A Primer to San Mateo County Dining

Looking for a primer to San Mateo Country? Tired of the same old fast food options or looking for a night out? San Mateo County, located in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, is flies under the radar as hub for a wide variety of bars and restaurants. The county is home to an eclectic mix of culinary options, from locally-sourced, farm-to-table cuisine to international flavors from all around the world. Come with us as we explore what San Mateo County dining has to offer.

Saffron – Burlingame, Ca

On the Bay

One of the most popular areas for dining in San Mateo County is downtown Burlingame. The area is full of restaurants offering everything from classic American burgers and fries to modern Asian fusion dishes. One local favorite is Saffron for their hot take on Indian fare, as well as the modern California cuisine of All Spice.

A short drive south, the city of San Mateo is home to many great dining options as well. For traditional Italian fare, head to Ristorante Rocca, a family-owned restaurant that has been serving the community for over 30 years. If you’re in the mood for some authentic Mexican food and the best burritos in the Bay, check out Charlie’s Taqueria, which is known for its generous portions and affordable prices.

On the Coast and Beyond

If you’re in the mood for some seafood, head over to Half Moon Bay, a scenic coastal town located on the western edge of San Mateo County. Sam’s Chowder House, located right on the beach, is known for its fresh, sustainably-sourced seafood, including its famous lobster rolls. Another great seafood spot is Barbara’s Fishtrap, a family-owned restaurant that has been serving up fresh seafood for over 40 years.

In a surprise twist, be sure to visit what is widely considered one of the most beautiful Taco Bell locations in operation. Read more in this excellent firsthand account: I went to the world’s most beautiful Taco Bell, and it was so stunning I forgot I was eating fast food.

Taco Bell Pacifica, California | credit: Taco Bell via Insider

For those looking for a unique dining experience, try Koi Palace in Daly City. This Chinese restaurant is known for its dim sum and traditional dishes, and has been recognized as one of the best Chinese restaurants in the Bay Area. Another popular spot is Ramen Parlor in San Mateo, which is known for its rich and flavorful bowls of ramen.


In addition to its great dining options, San Mateo County is also home to some unique drinking establishments. The San Francisco Bay Area is known for its craft beer scene, and San Mateo County is no exception. Local breweries like Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company in San Carlos and Half Moon Bay Brewing Company on the coast offer a wide selection of unique and delicious beers. Bonus point: HMB Brewing Company is dog friendly!

Credit: HMB Brewing Co.

If you’re in the mood for something stronger, head over to Fiddlers Green Irish Pub in Millbrae. This cozy pub offers a wide selection of Irish whiskey and beer, as well as classic pub food.

We hope this primer to San Mateo County dining was helpful in giving you some ideas. San Mateo County offers a wide variety of bars and restaurants for every taste and budget. Whether you’re in the mood for classic American burgers, authentic Mexican food, or innovative Asian fusion cuisine, San Mateo County has something to offer. So why not grab a bite to eat or a drink and experience all that this unique county has to offer?

If you have a favorite spot, let us know on our contact page and we’ll be happy to give it a shout out.