Favorite San Francisco Peninsula lunch spots

Happy New Year!

I hope you all enjoyed your holiday and that your 2016 is off to a fabulous start!  How are those resolutions going?  Maybe one of your resolutions is to meet up with friends more often?  What better time than the new year to make connections with people you haven’t  seen for the last year or two.  Just do it….make that call or send that email and reach out!

Here are some of my favorite places to have lunch with friends and family.


Mingalaba Burmese

Burmese and Mandarin cuisine on Burlingame Avenue

A very casual spot that gets extremely busy for lunch and dinner.

Tea leaf salad and mango salad are two of my favorite starters and I love all of their chicken dishes.  You have to try this place….I’m not kidding!  So good!!  Excellent service as well!



Delfina Pizzeria

I love that Delfina now has locations on the Peninsula in Burlingame and Palo Alto. 

Two of my favorite starters are the marinated beets and the burrata with arugula. You can’t go wrong with any of their pizzas!



Kabul Afghan Cuisine

Kabul has three locations…..one in Burlingame, San Carlos and Sunnyvale.  The Burlingame location is newer and brighter.  We’ve been going to the San Carlos location for over 20 years and we absolutely love it and so do our kids.  The ambiance isn’t anything special, but in my opinion, they have the best chicken and lamb kabobs around.  Another favorite is the kadu  (steamed pumpkin with yogurt and lamb sauce).  A few other favorites are the bulanee  katchalu, challaw gulpi and the mantu.  This is not a place where I typically lunch with friends, but rather a place I go for a quick dinner with the hubs or a casual dinner with the kids…. or we order takeout.  I just had to mention this place so you can put it on your list of places to try in 2016.  You will not be disappointed!

San Carlos

Johnston’s Saltbox



Charming little place on the quiet, southern end of Laurel Street.

Farm to table food with a lot of their produce coming directly from their rooftop garden.

If you can’t find a spot inside of this adorable restaurant you might consider dining on their wonderful patio. They offer blankets and heat lamps on chillier days.

No reservations, so get there early….especially on warm days when the patio fills up quickly.

Half Moon Bay

The Ritz Carlton

The Conservatory or The Ocean Terrace are both great choices for lunch at this beautiful seaside hotel. On a warm day take any seat you can get at the Ocean Terrace!  Over the holidays I took my mom and daughters to lunch here and the service was outstanding and our lunch was delicious with a gorgeous view!

I hadn’t been to this property in years and I’m not quite sure why it took me so long to get back to this wonderful dining spot.  I definitely need to make a lunch date here with an old friend very soon!  I’m going to take some of my own advice and put something on the calendar!


Redwood City


I’ve been loving this delicious spot since they opened three years ago.  It is run by Peter Borrone and his wife.

Some of my favorites are the kale salad, beet salad, pork meatballs, roasted cauliflower, mushroom toast…. and I LOVE their margherita pizza.  They have a nice patio in front and a more intimate patio space in the back if you want to be away from the main street.




This cute waterfront restaurant has a lovely patio space that overlooks the lagoon in Redwood Shores and on chilly days and nights the outdoor fireplace is a cozy place for drinks and apps.

They do have an indoor space, but the outdoor space is what makes this place a nice spot for lunch.  You can’t say no to their delicious bread service…the best!

Palo Alto

Mayfield Cafe and Bakery 

Always good and always fresh.  Did you know that you can pre-order farm fresh produce from Mayfield?  You can pick up a box of local produce once a week.  I haven’t tried this service, but my neighbor buys from them on a regular basis and loves what they offer.


One of my absolute favorites is their pumpkin soup. I don’t think I’ve ever had a more delicious pumpkin soup….EVER.  Another favorite is the kale and beet salad.

Again, they have an outdoor patio space that is nice on warmer days.


They have a Palo Alto location, which I talked about in the Burlingame section.  Get here early as they fill up quickly for lunch and dinner!  The patio at this location is such a great place to linger on warm days and nights.

Los Altos



This cute place has been another favorite of mine for awhile now, thanks to a friend from Los Altos, who introduced me to it several years ago.

Great place to meet a friend for coffee or lunch.  A  wonderful fenced in play space outside for the little ones to run off some energy.  Where was this adorable cafe when my kids were younger?

Very charming interior and the menu is full of delicious baked goods and yummy salads.

 Hopefully you now have some ideas for places to meet so go ahead and connect with an old friend and have lunch together.  Maybe go for a run or a walk together beforehand as well!

What are your favorite lunch spots on the Peninsula? I would love to know!

Photo credits:

The pictures from Vesta came from the Vesta website.

The pictures from Mayfield came from the Mayfield website and the picture from Bumble came from the Bumble website.  All other photos were taken by Ms B. 🙂

About Ms B in the Bay Area

A San Francisco Bay Area lifestyle blogger Food-Travel-Fashion

14 comments on “Favorite San Francisco Peninsula lunch spots

  1. Hi April, great post! Lots of great spots and favorites, thanks for sharing. I have to say I have never been to Johnston’s Salt Box – sounds like my cup of tea. I love the farm to table and do they really have a rooftop garden? How cool! ladies lunch date? ? – Bita

    • Hey Bita, Glad you found a new place to try! They really do have a rooftop garden and I really think you will enjoy this darling restaurant! xo

    • Hi Traci, Thank you so much for stopping by and I appreciate your kind words! I’m glad my post gave you a few more ideas! I hope you enjoy Salt Box and Bumble! xo

  2. Nicely done April! I love these spots, although haven’t been to Bumble yet . . . I do love another Burmese restaurant that is actually in San Carlos (also Belmont and Palo Alto too) it is called Rangoon Ruby. The food is amazing and you have to order their signature tea leave salad! Sounds weird, but trust me it is delicious. The other two spots I really like for lunch (although a bit casual) is Zest on Arroyo in San Carlos. They are a gluten-free bakery that makes great sandwiches (organic ingredients), all kinds of baked goods and offer coffee drinks. The other is Vanilla Moon, which is around the corner on Laurel. Also a bakery, but they have the best salads (sandwiches too). I love the Brussels sprout salad with bacon and egg and their grilled chicken salad with goat cheese, dried cranberries and pecans. You order at the counter at both places, but Vanilla Moon offers beer and wine as well as coffee drinks.

    • Hi Lynne, Thank you so much for stopping by! I haven’t tried Rangoon Ruby and I think they just opened up another one next to Mingalaba in Burlingame. I was surprised they decided to open next to Mingalaba considering what a strong following they have. Minga has a really good tea leaf salad as well…..must be a signature Burmese dish. Delicious! Haven’t tried Zest, but I’m going to look for it now! I’ve been to Vanilla Moon for cupcakes and lunch and it is a great addition to downtown SC. Darling place! Hope all is well and thanks again for your informative comment! xo

  3. Love the photos….they are getting better all the time. Just makes me want to dine at all of those places the next time I’m in the bay area.

    • Hey Molly, Thank you for stopping by and thank you for your kind words! Yes, definitely check out those peninsula dining spots the next time you are in town! xo

  4. April fun post. There is nothing I like better than a girl’s lunch and I love a lot of these spots too. My favorite has to be Pizzeria Delfina. I’m crazy for the salads and everything. I also love Mayfield and we should meet there for lunch soon! I agree there is nothing like The Ritz in HMB for lunch.. the food and views! I hope I get to try some of your recommendations here. I wish I was up the peninsula as there seems to be so many more choices. Down here in the South Bay I love Nicks Next Door and Oak & Rye- in Los Gatos and The Table in Willow Glen neighborhood of San Jose. All have great food and good atmosphere. There is a cute place in Los Gatos called Jack Rose that’s a artisan cocktail spot with great food and a fun atmosphere that I love for date nights with the husband. Hope your new year is going well and we can meet soon for a lunch! xo Kim

    • Hi Kim, I agree….I love meeting friends for lunch! I would love to meet you at the place you mentioned in Willow Glen. I’ve always wanted to check out that neighborhood. Thanks for stopping by and I love all of your south bay suggestions…..they all sound great! I hope your new year is off to a good start! Looks like you had a nice time skiing! Finally some snow! xo

    • Hi Leigh, I know….that door is so cute! Makes me want to paint something in my house yellow. Not sure if my husband would go for the idea of me painting my front door yellow!? Thanks for sharing my favorites on your page. April xo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *