We hope you’re hungry because restaurants in San Mateo County and Silicon Valley have recently reopened for outdoor dining! Our destination is packed to the brim with restaurants specializing in just about every type of cuisine, local and exotic. From craft breweries to northern Italian eateries, meals always seem better when enjoyed outdoors. Whether you’re exploring Half Moon Bay or Redwood City, here eight restaurant recommendations for you that offer great outdoor seating!
If you happen to be in Northern San Mateo County, we highly recommend heading to 7 Mile House in Brisbane, CA! Established in 1853, the historic 7 Mile House is a family restaurant serving up a unique mix of homestyle Italian/American/Filipino food. Located in the SF Bay Area for over 160 years, 7 Mile House is the only mile house still standing in its original location! They are open for patio dining, as well as pickup and delivery. Their hours are Wednesday-Sunday from 12-8 pm.
Moving down the peninsula and surrounded by trees and evergreen grass, Par 3 at Poplar Creek in San Mateo offers a unique menu and stunning outdoor views. With two outdoor patios, you can enjoy a delicious meal, sip on an artisan cocktail, or choose from 12 rotating craft taps, all while overlooking the gorgeous green golf course!
Outdoor Patio at Par 3 at Poplar Creek
If you're craving an American classic, families will enjoy some of the best burgers and milkshakes at Jack’s Prime, as will anyone else with a hearty appetite. The outdoor dining area is casual, covered, and kid-friendly. The modern-day San Mateo diner is a go-to spot to enjoy flame-grilled burgers and hand-spun shakes, as well as beer, wine, and other Californian cuisine staples. Of course, there are plenty of vegetarian dishes as well. Local ingredients are used whenever possible, and for burgers, natural Niman Ranch beef.
Hanging out in Palo Alto? Saint Michael’s Alley is a Palo Alto hotspot. Described as a “bohemian beatnik cafe,” the restaurant is a nice place to go for lunch or even a romantic dinner for two. Their space actually started as a small coffeehouse but has since expanded into a full-blown dining establishment. On a warm evening, the outdoor patio offers a relaxing yet polished experience. Try the spring vegetable risotto or the red snapper.
Or you can enjoy a delicious meal poolside at Dinah’s Garden Hotel Poolside Restaurant in Palo Alto! The restaurant is now open for outdoor dining and takeout 7 days a week. We recommend their Artichoke Fontina Agnolotti with roasted peppers, zucchini, san marzano tomato sauce, capers, and olives! The fresh, locally-sourced fare in a relaxing dining setting will have you wishing it was summer year-round!
Dinah's Poolside Restaurant
Now, if you happen to be visiting our beautiful coastside, we have some additional options for you! After a full day of exploring our area, you’ve earned yourself an ice-cold beer at Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. Swing by for a cold brew or a bite to eat and enjoy the view of the Pacific from the outdoor patio. The relaxed brewpub crafts its own beer and uses the finest ingredients available.
Also, located in Half Moon Bay, Sam’s Chowder House is a New England–style seafood house with a patio dining area that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. It’s especially well known for its clam chowder and lobster rolls, so don’t leave without ordering one (or both)! Sunset views are pretty spectacular from the patio, so try to plan for a late-afternoon or early-evening meal.
Outdoor Dining at Sam's Chowder House
Head up the coastside and enjoy beautiful coastal views and delicious bites at Moss Beach Distillery! Located in Moss Beach and overlooking the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, their patio is open Monday through Saturday, 12-8 pm. Reservations are highly recommended, as with the required distance of 6 feet between tables, their seating will be limited.
For more restaurant options, check out the restaurant section of our website.
Blog was originally written by Megan Eileen McDonough in 2017 and updated by Kristen Friis on June 16, 2020.
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