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Apr 4, 2008 09:03 AM

Lunch near Filoli?

We are headed to Filoli on Sunday to check out the spring flowers. I am woefully unfamiliar with this stretch of the peninsula. Where can we go afterwards for lunch that isn't too much of a shlep out of the way? We are coming from SF and meeting friends coming from Sunnyvale.

As a group we are not picky about price or cuisine; we just want yummy.


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  1. Filoli is in the middle of nowhere, so you might as well choose any place that's convenient to both of you. The nearest town would be Woodside -- anything else is going to be out of the way for one of you, especially since the best route for your friends is up 280, which doesn't really have anything.

    1. We were just at Filoli this past weekend (the tulip arrangements are phenomenal and cherry blossoms stunning at the moment). As Ruth said, Filoli is smack dab in the middle of nowhere, however they do have a cafe and although not every epicurian's dream it is not horrible by any means. You can rsvp for proper tea or walk in to a plethora of sandwiches, quiches, baked goods and espresso drinks. We enjoyed the spinach quiche and they make a fine cup of cappuccino.

      If you do take the risk of getting lost, woodside has a small downtown hubbed by Robert's grocery, but I would recommend you track down Alice's of Woodside on Skyline. Otherwise head further south and lunch in Palo Alto.

      3 Replies
      1. re: wchane

        Do you know if they allow picnicking? The best solution might be to bring yummy food and eat with the flowers.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Nope. From the website

          "No picnic baskets, coolers, bags or food of any kind is to be brought in and consumed on the grounds. The Café at Filoli is open from 9:30-3:30 to serve visitors."

          I wonder what the monthly afternoon tea is like. It is already sold out for the year except for August.

          86 Canada Rd, Woodside, CA

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Filoli itself might not allow picnicking, but you have the option of using the Pulgas Water Temple grounds right next door (literally 100 yards north on Canada Road from Filoli's gate). The temple, one of the loveliest public spaces on the Peninsula, is open weekdays until sundown.

        2. Buck's down in Woodside is okay, or grab provisions at Robert's and chow al fresco at Filoli, at the Pulgas Water Temple that is almost next door to Filoli, or at one of the many county parks (Huddart, or the Old Woodside General Store).

          Otherwise, Redwood City is not too too far away...and there is a decent Mexican place near the Canyon Store, which is a small strip mall even closer than RWC proper...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Munching Mark

            I agree that Buck's can be fine or the Woodside Bakery and Cafe (right down from Buck's), I believe, serves lunch, at least they did a couple of years ago. Haven't been there recently, but went with my mom for lunch and we had a nice time in their garden seating.

          2. Great ideas, all.

            Ruth, they do not allow picnicking on the grounds, but the Water Temple idea is a good one (I forgot all about the weird Water Temple) if it's warm enough. If it is not, we've got some great leads here for indoor dining.


            4 Replies
            1. re: Pistou

              They used to close the parking lot for the water temple on weekends (and ticket you if you parked on the side of the road)--not sure if this is still the case.

              1. re: xanadude

                According to the SFPUC website, the parking lot is still closed on weekends except for permitted events. In addition, Canada Road is closed to traffic on Sundays. But can't the OP park at Filoli and walk to the Temple?


                1. re: Xiao Yang

                  I think that's a moot point, given that the predicted high today is 52 degrees.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Indeed. It was cold and raining on and off so the picnic was bagged and we ended up in Palo Alto for pizza at Paxti's after a failed attempt at Mexican food in Redwood City.

                    Thanks again, everyone, for the suggestions. They will come in very useful for future excursions!

            2. The Village Pub's just a couple of miles away. Good reports here.

              Village Pub
              2967 Woodside Rd., Woodside, CA 94062