The Ultimate Guide to San Mateo

Photo by Cody Chan

Our office and my home are both in San Mateo, a little town in between San Francisco and Palo Alto. It’s a place I love not only for it’s perfect weather and abundance of hiking trails but also for its delicious and varied food. Now that Covid appears to be subsiding and restaurants are re-opening, I’m excited to revisit some of my favorite restaurants. From freshly baked bread to the best ramen there’s a little something for everyone. #Nomnomnom.



Photo courtesy of Backhaus

1. Backhaus

I buy Backhaus bread at the farmers’ market on Saturdays so was thrilled when they opened a store which meant I could indulge my carb cravings whenever I wanted to. Their bakery and cafe is located in downtown San Mateo and is always filled with the smell of freshly baked bread and gently percolating coffee.  I love their country loaves and my son has a penchant for their chocolate croissants. Don’t forget to sit out back on their sunny patio and enjoy an espresso.

2. Sushi Yoshizumi

3. Pancho Villa

Photo courtesy of Pausa

4. Pausa Bar & Cookery

When I’m craving a big bowl of pasta I head straight to Pausa. This buzzy restaurant offers fresh and authentic Italian fare and an extensive wine and cocktail list. They also make a mean Margherita pizza.

5. China Bee

Downtown San Mateo has changed rapidly throughout the years but I can always count on China Bee for hearty Taiwanese food. They are known for their weekend brunch where they serve up staples like spicy cucumbers, beef noodle soup and cold soy bean milk. Family owned and operated, expect fast and friendly service and the best Chinese doughnuts.

Go early or be prepared to wait!

6. Himawari

7. Teaspoon

Photo courtesy of Philz Coffee

8. Philz Coffee

There are few things I like better than a Philz iced mint mojito coffee on a hot summer day. Reminiscent of that fizzy cocktail you have on a beach vacation, Philz version features fresh mint, sweet cream and a dose of caffeine. I recommend ordering it sweet and creamy.