Essential Eats Along the SF Peninsula

The San Francisco Peninsula consists of a nearly 30-mile stretch of land between San Francisco and the South Bay Area, boasting a plethora of dining options, ranging from fine-dining restaurants to takeout spots.  Showcased in a recent EATER SF article, vibrant downtown hubs of cities, including San Mateo, make for a rather dynamic dining scene, where a seemingly limitless variety of restaurants call home. San Mateo topped the list with 6 of the 25 top restaurants! Below are the six San Mateo establishments, with an excellent description, which made the list in the recent SF Eater article, 25 Essential Peninsula Restaurants.

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Wursthall310 Baldwin Ave
A fresh take on the traditional German bierhall, Wursthall serves a variety of house-made sausages and cold pints. The restaurant is one of the few in the area with a thoughtful and extensive craft beer selection of over 25 lines, in addition to kegged wine and batch cocktails. All sausages are made in-house, come with their own unique toppings, and are served on a toasted, lobster roll-style bun.

Sushi Yoshizumi325 E 4th Ave
Sushi Yoshizumi is one of the most coveted reservations in the Bay Area and for good reason. Chef Akira Yoshizumi specializes in the centuries-old Edomae style of sushi from Japan, which refers to a style of food preservation that doesn’t rely on refrigeration. This subsequently affects how cuts of fish are specially cured and how rice is prepared with akazu, an aged red vinegar. Yoshizumi’s intimate omakase experience embodies an unexpected simplicity that lets the fish speak for itself.

Pausa Bar & Cookery223 E 4th Ave
For those looking for a unique variety of pizza and pasta, Pausa has you covered. The restaurant relies on local, organic ingredients while staying true to the Italian craft of pizza making. All of the pasta, bread, and pizza dough are made in-house with flour imported from Italy, in a dedicated “dough room” that guests can peer into. Pausa is also the third restaurant in California that’s licensed to produce its own cured meats, so don’t skip out on the Butcher’s Board, a selection of various salumi cuts.

Backhaus32 E 3rd Ave
With its naturally leavened bread and freshly baked pastries, Backhaus embodies a creative but unpretentious approach to breadmaking. Though it started in a home kitchen, the bakery now cranks out an impressive variety of sourdough loaves baked directly on the stone decks of a bread oven. Most visitors opt for the country or seeded sourdough loaves due to their versatility. For those swinging by for breakfast, the Speck & Egg is an obvious choice — a savory pastry made with a flakey, buttery croissant dough and filled with smokey Italian speck and a jammy egg. Among the sweet pastries, the pistachio raspberry croissant is a standout. It features a house-made raspberry jam and pistachio filling.

Taishoken Ramen47 E 4th Ave
As the originator of the Japanese dipping noodle dish known as tsukemen, Taishoken is the real deal. Though the restaurant was founded in 1951 in Japan, this location in San Mateo is the first in the U.S. In demonstrating a commitment to the craft, the noodles at the San Mateo location are made fresh every day in a designated temperature and humidity-controlled room that houses machines imported from Japan. The Tokusei tsukemen is the signature menu item — fresh, cold, thick noodles are served with a rich dipping broth and topped with two cuts of sous vide Berkshire pork and a soft-boiled egg.

Ramen Dojo805 S B St
San Mateo’s Ramen Dojo may appear small and unassuming, but the bowls of noodles pack a punch. With about 10 tables and limited counter seating, the restaurant is almost sure to have a line out the door during peak times. The piping hot bowls of ramen come with satisfying soup and toppings, including roasted pork, ground chicken, garlic, seaweed, and a quail egg. The banbanji ramen is a crowd-pleaser, as it brings an extra depth of sesame flavor to the already umami pork broth, while the creamy corn ramen is a vegetarian option that’s comparably rich and flavorful. rates Bay Meadows high on the list for walkable locations to live on the San Francisco Peninsula and for good reason! Why? Because we are steps from shopping and entertainment (Hillsdale Center), groceries (Whole Foods), parks, a farmer’s market and an easy bike-ride from downtown San Mateo with its burgeoning restaurant scene. With wheels on-site to get you from here to there, there’s no need to own your own. And Caltrain is no more than a five-minute walk from anywhere in the neighborhood. Learn all about connecting the dots for your many transportation options with Connect San Mateo.