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Jul 16, 2006 03:28 AM

Good Value for Money Restaurant in San Mateo County?

We want to take friends out to a restaurant next week and are looking for a great value for money restaurant. Some of the restaurants ones we have tried were very good, but very expensive for our current budget. Any hidden gems out there?

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  1. Piacere in San Carlos or Mistral in Redwood Shores are good and not overly expensive. But they aren't exactly a bargain. It's been 18 months since I moved into San Francisco (how short memory is); I used to like Ciao Amore at 788 Laurel St in San Carlos, although I wouldn't say that it qualifies as a Chowhound kind of place. Southern Italian comfort food, fun staff and people, spills out on to the street at night.

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      1. Can you give us a budget of what you're looking for? Like $20 per person, or $10, or $25. Also, are you up for hole-in-the-wall places or the atmosphere has to be a little nicer?

        1. First, fyi, Caio Amore was closed by the IRS.

          I wouldn't call Piacere a budget place. It has good food and service but a bit pricey. One of my old standbys is Olivio's (Italian) on El Camino in Belmont. It is homey and personal and has very good pasta. You can get a main course for under $20. For a caloric and budget splurge, put in your dessert souffle order when you order your dinner.

          Very recent discovery on Burlingame Ave. - Sapore Italiano which is fabulous from the bread to the dessert. Especially recommend the prawn entree and the semi-fredi dessert. It is up the street from Copenhagen which has partial week dinner service which I hear is quite good.

          Let us know where you end up and how you liked it.