Peninsula/South Bay Food

Roughly in order from north to south...

San Bruno/Millbrae/SFO

Coast/Highway 1

  • Pescadero: Duarte's - pronounced "dew-ahrts", an old-as-heck bar/restaurant with a lot of charm, try the half-and-half soup (it's not on the menu), crab melt, and save room for pie!

  • *** Half Moon Bay: Dad's Luncheonette - a traincar converted into a take-away kitchen that serves amazing lunches Thursday through Sunday from 11 to 4; chef Scott Clark used to work at fancy Michelin-starred places like Saison so he uses top-notch ingredients in interesting ways (but still casual & not too expensive)

  • *** Half Moon Bay: The Barn - fancy burgers (pastured-raised beef, etc) in a hip converted barn setting

  • Half Moon Bay/Montara Beach: La Costanera - Peruvian...previously had a Michelin star?

San Carlos/Redwood City/Menlo Park

  • ***Mack's BBQ - 1754 Laurel Street, San Carlos 650-592-4BBQ, some of the best brisquet, pulled pork, and tri-tip in the Bay Area

  • ?? Camper (Meno Park) - california cuisine, rec'd Michelin, dinner only

  • Flea Stret Cafe (Menlo Park) - pretty upscale, organic, sustainable ingredients, California cuisine, Yelpers like short ribs, lavender lemon drops, crispy sardines, beet salad, and smoked trout, rec'd Michelin, dinner only, closed Sun/Mon

Palo Alto/Woodside

  • ?? Georgian: Bevri - rec'd Eater

  • ?? Barcelona/Tapas: Telefèric - rec'd Eater

  • Pizza/Italian: Terún - pretty good pizza, excellent appetizers (including burrata), rec'd Eater

  • Upscale Indian: ROOH - also a branch in SF, dinner only except Sat/Sun

  • Upscale Cal-Indian: Ettan - dinner only except Sun, rec'd Eater (more here), Michelin

  • French Bistro: Zola - dinner only (but opens early at 3 PM), rec'd Michelin

  • Pizza/Italian: Italico - dinner only, rec'd Michelin

  • Cuban: La Bodeguita del Medio - folks online rec'd ropa vieja, arroz con pollo, tierra y mar, rec'd Eater

  • Cal/French: St. Michael's Alley - when I was at Stanford this was the place you'd take a romantic date; it still looks nice/romantic although perhaps a little bit dated?, rec'd Eater

  • Italian: Vina Enoteca - rec'd Michelin

  • New Orleans: Nola - rec'd Eater

  • Upscale Vietnamese: Tamarine - great Vietnamese-inspired food, although a bit pricey, try their "fish in a bag", rec'd Eater, Michelin

  • Upscale Greek: Evvia Estiatorrio - awesome appetizers; try the cheese, etc., also a branch in SF, rec'd Eater, Michelin

  • Burmese: Rangoon Ruby - nice tea leaf salad

  • casual stops:

    • Ramen: Ramen Nagi Palo Alto - was their first US location, rec'd Eater

    • Israeli/Mediterranean: Oren's Hummus Shop - 261 University @ has outposts all over the Bay Area, rec'd Eater

    • Jamaican: Coconuts - rec'd Eater

    • Breakfast/brunch: Hobees - fun old-school place for brunch

    • Casual Indian/Pakistani: Zareen's - rec'd Eater

    • Old School American: Palo Alto Creamery / Peninsula Grill - diner fare & milkshakes, decor makes you feel like you're in the 1950s/60s, rec'd Eater

    • Bakery: Manresa Bread - outpost of Michelin-starred restaurant

  • expensive haute cuisine:

Mountain View/Los Altos

  • ?? ASA North (Los Altos) - looks like a slightly more casual version of the Los Gatos ASA South restaurant, looks nice, dinner only

  • Doppio Zero Pizza Napoletana - pretty decent Neapolitan-style pizza and a few other dishes, rec'd Michelin

  • Aurum (Los Altos) - somewhat upscale Indian place rec'd Michelin

  • Sushi Tomi - rec'd by many, good specials, fresh fish

  • Haute Cusine French: Chez TJ - expensive, haute cuisine tasting menu, 1 Michelin star

  • Cascal - tapas

  • Amber India (Los Altos) - nice neighborhood Indian place with classics like tikka masala

  • Bakery: Manresa Bread (Los Altos) - outpost of Michelin-starred restaurant

  • Kappo Nami Nami - rec'd by chowhounds, Kyoto-style, like izakaya

  • Very Fancy Japanese: Hiroshi (Los Altos) - expensive but looks very nice


  • Middle Eastern: Dish Dash - nice mix of dishes, fun for a group, vegetarian friendly

  • Japanese: Tanto - somewhat casual, good online reviews

  • Japanese: Rokko - also pretty good reviews

  • Eater also has a list of Chaat places in Sunnyvale

Santa Clara/San Jose

  • Korean places galore: Jang Su Jang, Silla Korean, Chungdam, etc. (probably the highest concentration/best in the Bay Area)...see Eater's list for more

  • Din Tai Fung - outpost of the famous Taiwanese dumpling place in the Westfield Valley Fair Mall

  • Lady M Cake Boutique - outpost of the Japanese pastry shop, known for their "mille crêpes" desert (many layers of thin pancakes with cream in between...I tried it in Shanghai and it was great), also in the Westfield Valley Fair Mall

  • Eastern European: Euro Grill - looks interesting

  • Japanese: Amakai

  • Cult Ramen: Ramen Nagi

  • coming soon: Eataly San Jose...

Cupertino/Los Gatos/Campbell/Saratoga

  • Manresa (Los Gatos) - expensive farm-to-table tasting menu by chef David Kinch, 3 Michelin stars

  • ? The Bywater (Los Gatos) - New Orleans-style food, Michelin Bib Gourmand

  • ? ASA Restaurant South (Los Gatos) - looks like a fun fusion-y place with a fair amount of pasta, Michelin Bib Gourmand

  • Cult Ramen: Ippudo (Cupertino)

  • Upscale Mexican: Luna Mexican Kitchen (Campbell) - rec'd Michelin

  • California Cuisine: Orchard City Kitchen (Campbell) - rec'd MIchelin

Were recommended before, not sure now:

Daly City

  • Dim Sum: Koi Palace, Moonstar, Tai Wu Mr. Fong's

  • Burmese: Little Yangon, Burma Cafe

South San Francisco

  • Mexican: Rancho Las Trancas - South SF

  • El Charro - South SF (Bolivian)


  • Vietnamese: Cherimoya - bahn mi, garlic noodles, rec'd by chowhound

  • Burmese/Chinese: Mingalaba - 1213 Burlingame Ave, chowhounds rec'd the "house special noodles"; also try tea leaf salad

San Mateo

  • Sushi Yoshizumi - 2 seatings per night (except Mon/Tues) for $145+ tasting menu, rec'd by Googler, need to book ~2 months ahead...*cannot* do gluten-free

  • Ramen Dojo

  • Sushi Sam

  • Hotaru (homestyle japanese)*

  • Sweet Breams (dessert teriyaki)

  • Wasiiki (peruvian...changed owners?)

  • All spice * - 1 Michelin Star 2015

  • Viognier (on top of Draegers) [high end]

  • Wakuriya (Crystal Springs shopping center, upscale Japanese) - 1 Michelin Star 2015

  • AcquaPazza?

  • Osteria Coppa?

  • Tannourine - 120 W 25th Ave

  • Beijing Regional Chinese: Everyday Bejing

San Jose

  • Ethiopian: Zeni's

  • Islamic Chinese: Chinjin Eastern House

  • Peacock Indian - good biryani (also branches elsewhere)

Mountain View

  • Kabul (Afghan)

  • Yam Leaf (Salvadoran)

  • Himalayan Kitchen (Nepalese/Indian)

  • Sakoon (Upscale Pan-Indian) - a bit fancy but nice

  • Shezan (Pakistani/North Indian) -

  • Shana Thai (Thai) -

  • Tommy Thai (Thai/Cambodian) - most of waitstaff is Chinese but chef is Cambodian

  • Krung Thai Mountain View (Thai) - curries, "authentic", although some people like the San Jose location much more

  • Amarin Thai (Thai) - reasonably-priced, nice

  • Le Petit Bistro (French) - classic dishes, Yelpers like lobster bisque, liver paté, and coq au vin...nice, romantic atmosphere

  • Chef Zhao Bistro (Sichuanese) - rec'd by several CHs (see long discussion), lukewarm Yelp reviews...also San Mateo location

  • Sajj Mediterranean (Middle Eastern) - spin-off of a food truck, offers inexpensive shawarma, falafel, kebabs, etc.

  • ViVe Sol (Mexican/Pueblo)

  • Agave (Mexican) - especially regional Mexican (from Oaxaca/Yucatan) and pre-Columbian Mexican, opened ~2012,

  • Vietnamese/Fusion: Xanh - a fancier take on Vietnamese food, a little bland but generally tasty, accommodating for large groups

More Peninsula notes: chowhound commuting list, chowhound south bay list. This guy's impressive list of (mostly Asian) South Bay places.