The Top 10 Brunch Spots In San Mateo

Brunch © Pexels
Brunch © Pexels
Photo of Sheila Navarro
14 October 2016

Who said brunch is overrated when there’s plenty to rave about in San Mateo? A city known for its impeccable weather and outdoor seating, there’s no reason not to roll out of bed and head to one of our favorite brunch spots guaranteed to satisfy any mid-morning craving.

Restaurant Bay Watch

Cafe, Restaurant, American, $$$
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Buttermilk Pancake at Coupa Cafe, Palo Alto
Buttermilk Pancake at Coupa Cafe, Palo Alto | © Jun Seita/Flickr
Offering classic dishes with a twist, it’s easy to see why Restaurant Bay Watch is a favorite for many locals far and wide. With popular dishes like macadamia nut, banana crunch with granola and apple cinnamon, there’s no combination too savory or decadent for any hotcake connoisseur. Open from 8am-2pm, times are limited for late risers, but the healthy portions and low prices should be incentives to rally the crew and head to this local brunch gem.

The Pantry

Restaurant, American
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Beef sirloin steak
Beef sirloin steak | © dbreen/Pixabay
A place that offers American and Filipino breakfast plates? Too good to be true. But not for The Pantry. Dishes like tocino, longanisa, and corned beef hash will have your cultural palate thanking you. If you’re playing it safe, order the local favorite – teriyaki chicken made with the house’s very own sweet and tangy teriyaki sauce, but if you’re feeling fancy – go for the famed basket of lumpia. They’re crisp, moist, and as traditional as any Filipino mom’s version. Take a detour to this fine establishment where the West meets the East, at least with mouth-watering food.

Fiero Caffè

Cafe, American, $$$
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Oregon Croissant
Oregon Croissant | © Ron Dellete/Flickr
Off the beaten path, with a study room included, is Fiero Caffè. Bring a book, read the paper, sit outside or inside. In this quaint café, you decide the particulars. If you want to be social over robust and bold coffee or just nibble on a fresh, homemade croissant, the choice is yours. With a relaxed and airy vibe, it’s a perfect place to bring a date, a friend, or mom. But do yourself a favor and order the salmon omelette. With a heavy portion of salmon wrapped in soft textured egg, your taste buds will scream for more yummy goodness.

Apple Fritter

Don’t let the name fool you. The ambiance is just as unique as their menu, and at Apple Fritter you get more than just decadent pastries, although it wouldn’t hurt to try their famed donuts or apple fritters. Burgers, sandwiches, and fritter fries are just a small sample of the eclectic stars on the menu. Perfect for any special occasion or casual brunch experience, get there early though, because there’s sure to be a line of patrons hovering over the fresh baked goodies.

Apple Fritter, 1901 S Norfolk St, San Mateo, CA, USA, +1 650 525 9125

Gluten free doughnuts - Mister Nice Guy

Gluten free doughnuts – Mister Nice Guy

Paul Martin’s American Grill

Restaurant, American, $$$
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Salmon Sashimi
Salmon Sashimi | © Sammy L. / Yelp
No need to look too far for organic sustainable food. On the menu at Paul Martin’s American Grill you will find the best sustainable seafood, free-range meats and poultry, artisan cheeses and cured meats. With only a prix fixe brunch on Sunday, but an extensive happy hour menu 3pm-7pm daily, the exclusivity transcends with every fresh and wholesome bite, even in something as unassuming as lemon honey butter to go with your complimentary baked blueberry bread. Sit indoors under dim lighting or enjoy the fire pit outside. And if you’re feeling really fancy, try any one of their 100 wines, surely a great way to compliment any one of their freshly made dishes.

Three Restaurant and Bar

Bar, Restaurant, American, $$$
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Three Restaurant & Bar, San Mateo
Three Restaurant & Bar, San Mateo
Consider the casualness of a communal table and put that ambiance in an entire place – then add some bubbly and organic ingredients. Three Restaurant and Bar meets all your needs for a cool, casual, social place to nosh on dishes made from herbs from their very own living wall and vegetables from sprawling roof-top garden. Sink your teeth in anyone of their five Benedicts or sip on their world famous Bloody Mary – complete with their very own house-made Worcestershire sauce. It’s time to cheers over the perfect dining experience!

Nini’s Coffee Shop

Cafe, Restaurant, French, American, $$$
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belgian waffle
belgian waffle | © [cipher]/Flickr
Since 1955, Nini’s Coffee Shop has been serving comfort breakfast food to the masses. It doesn’t get more homey than perfectly cooked steak and eggs, butter-ladened French toast, fluffy blueberry pancakes and crispy savory bacon. Portion size is huge, so come prepared with a healthy appetite and an elastic waistband. Open until 3pm on weekdays and 2pm on weekends, this busting joint has no shortage of options, and their robust menu covers everything from light options for the health-conscious and a manager’s special for those feeling adventurous. There’s something for everyone, and after one visit you’ll see why they’ve been around for decades.


Diner, Restaurant, American, Coffee, $$$
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Finally, a brunch place that executes serious, well-crafted food with an artisan appeal. KitchenTown isn’t like your typical diner with pages of food on the menu. They specialize in simple, well-executed meals and with a dish like Monterey sardines with egg, potato and watermelon radish, anyone’s umami profile will be impressed. The menu changes weekly, so grab your buddy and make this place a weekly must-visit. The locally sourced ingredients and rich cappuccinos will satisfy all your sweet and savory cravings.

B Street and Vine

What’s a better way to start off the morning than as Italians do? With cheese and bread. At B Street and Vine, you get your choice of paninis with goat cheese or any one of their 18 different bruschettas. Be like the locals and order the special brie with apples, gorgonzola and honey, fresh mozzarella with tomato and basil and ricotta cheese with dates. Top it off with a nice cold glass of white wine and for the grand finale, order the slice of coffee ice cream pie. Sure, you’re in the middle of downtown San Mateo, but the Italian tastiness will have you believing you’re sitting in the very heart of the Tuscany. Buon appetito!

B Street and Vine, 320 S B St, San Mateo, CA, USA, +1 650 347 8463

© tookapic/PixaBay

© tookapic/PixaBay

Andes Cafe

Cafe, Restaurant, Peruvian, Seafood, $$$
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Arroz con mariscos
Arroz con mariscos | © Yvette Tan/Flickr
It’s easy to miss this unassuming, yet charming Peruvian establishment, but once you’re at Andes Cafe, nothing, especially the flaky and savory filled empanadas, nothing will keep you away. Start your South American experience with a sweet pineapple smoothie and citrus ceviche, then move on to staple items like arroz con mariscos, rich in seafood, and lomo saltado with loads of chunks of potatoes shaped like fries and slices of perfectly cooked steak. Open all day from 9am to 10pm, come in for brunch, lunch or dinner because what’s not to love about picarones with syrup for morning, noon, and night?