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Mar 20, 2001 04:17 PM

Lunch in Burlingame?

  • j

I'm looking for a place to have lunch in Burlingame, something light, pleasant atmosphere a must. Suggestions?

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  1. That would have to be Pisces. Be sure to make a reservation.

    I'm glad to have the chance to pay you back for all the good tips you've provided for points south, Judith.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong
      Judith Hurley

      I followed up on Melanie's suggestion, but it turns out that Pisces is no longer open for lunch. I'll try it for dinner one of these days, but in the meantime, I'm still looking.

      1. re: Judith Hurley

        That's sad news - lunch had been about the only way to get into Pisces with less than a month's notice. Maybe the economic slowdown has reduced the dinner queue.

        The only other place in Burlingame that I've been to in the last year is Kuleto's - not bad Italian food, convenient valet parking, nice room. My experience is more dated with Ecco, Kincaid's Bayhouse, Il Fornaio, and Left at Albuquerque. Perhaps another chowhound has been to these places more recently and can give a fresher report?

        Then one from a long time ago was the Copenhagen Bakery & Cafe. Probably not the right setting for what you're looking for, but I'd still like to hear if it's still the place for a polite sandwich and pastry lunch.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          i grew up in burlingame, and, having sampled many of the restaurants there, have not found it to be much of an eating-out town.

          when i was in high school, cafe marimba opened up on burlingame avenue. snotty residents didn't like the bright colors of the storefront and cafe marimba departed shortly thereafter. worse thing burlingame ever did, culinary-wise, was to let marimba go.

          that said, there are some decent places...i ate at copenhagen a couple of months ago and have found it to still be pretty good. i like the atmosphere there, too.

          i don't care much for kuleto''s kinda pricey and the food isn't all that great.

          i know judith mentioned something light, so this probably won't help, but i've gotta mention it anyway because it's one of my all-time favorite breakfast/lunch places: Ninni's.

          Ninni's is located on the burlingame/san mateo border, on bayshore ave. i think. it's a strange location b/c the area isn't really zoned for restaurants (it's actually surrounded by houses) and it's a tiny hole in the wall. still, the place is always super-busy on weekends (there's always a wait, but they do provide free coffee), and weekdays has it share of customers as well. Ninni's was owned by Ninni (natch) and her husband, and when they got too old to take care of the place, their son Wally took over. he's been behind the cash register the whole time i've been going, and he's a really sweet guy.

          and the food! the food is great, some of the best diner food in the bay area (and i do mean 'diner'...this isn't low-fat fare, though they do have "diet plates"). for breakfast, i love their pancakes, and their homefries are the best in the bay, imho. when it comes to lunch, i've always enjoyed their cheeseburger, and their sandwiches are pretty good, as well. they also make one hell of a milkshake.

          anyway, one day when you're craving something diner-ish, check out Ninni's. you won't be disappointed.


          1. re: monica

            Yep, Burlingame hasn't been a fine dining center. When my friends Cheri and Marshall still lived there, we often joked that their kitchen was the best restaurant in town. More truth there than a joke.

            While Cafe Marimba's exterior colors were indeed controversial, the partners decided to leave because they weren't getting as high a return on capital as their restaurants in SF. The town just doesn't go out for dinner.

            I'm happy to hear that Copenhagen is still good. Would you believe that they're on the web? They proudly proclaim that there's nothing slick or trendy about their place. Hurrah!

            I agree that Kuleto's is a compromise. I used to pick up our business partners from SFO, take 'em to lunch here or Kincaid's for a meeting, then back to the airport.

            Thanks for the tip on Nini's Coffee Shop. Sounds like a great find - a search turned up this spelling and it is indeed on the San Mateo side of the border. Usually when I'm in the neighborhood and in the mood for a big lunch, I'll head to Brothers Deli. Just like the idea of a Taiwanese family that makes their own pastrami. (g) But I'll give Nini's a try next time.


            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Hi All!

              Copenhagen Bakery - still a favorite. If you haven't been there for a while, you will see that it has doubled in size and is now open in the evening. Not that every dish is perfect, but it is always fresh and in earnest.

              I'll second Melanie on Brother's Deli on Howard -- Traditional Deli (great cabbage rolls, excellent burgers) but they do serve pork products.

              Another place I regularly go is Tomokazu (also on Howard) although I admit it is uneven. I discovered it when my car was being repaired on San Mateo Ave (it was walking distance) and have seen it go through some ups and downs since then. For the best sushi, go on Tuesday night.

              I generally avoid the brew pub, the new incarnation of World Wraps, and La Pinata. I had high hopes for the diner/soda fountain on Blgme & Primrose but it was only so-so.

              Happy Dining! Anne

              1. re: Anne Emry

                Hi there Anne, you've been scarce lately, nice to see you.

                Sorry to hear the result on the diner/soda fountain. It looks so cute - I'd been meaning to try it myself. This did remind me though of a casual work-a-day lunch spot, more like a deli counter with a few tables, which I think is on Primrose on the other side of Burlingame Ave. It's been 4 years since my last time there, so maybe it's gone. Hopefully not, the focaccia sandwiches and pasta plates were wonderful.

                Does the new Tantillo's serve lunch? Anyone been there?

      2. re: Melanie Wong
        Carol Gerstei

        Stacks in Burlingame is good for breakfast and lunch They are not open for dinner ever. The downside can be a long wait for a table and difficult parking. But that's true of everywhere in Burlingame at lunchtime.
        Fast service and decent basic food.