A hip and expansive suburban community complete with city amenities and beautiful green spaces
San Mateo was mainly ranch country until the opening of a railroad in 1864. Soon, wealthy San Franciscans came here to build their summer homes. One of its oldest neighborhoods, San Mateo Park, was designed by Golden Gate Park architect John McLean. He planted redwood, cedar, elm, and oak trees as part of the landscape. It remains an exclusive enclave just two miles from downtown San Mateo. The architecture features turn-of-the-century Victorian homes, 1920s Colonial Revival estates, and smaller Arts and Crafts-style bungalows. Even more affluent is the Baywood-Aragon area, with larger homes on wide tree-lined streets and luxury condominiums complete with libraries and indoor pools. You can find brand-new homes and townhouses in Bay Meadows, an urban development with residential and commercial spaces, parks, a community garden, restaurants, shopping, and its own downtown.
Downtown San Mateo is bustling day and night, second only to downtown San Francisco. It’s hip and walkable with eateries, retail stores, nightlife, and a cinema all within its five square blocks. Just south of downtown is Central Park, which houses a Japanese tea garden and hosts numerous events, including the Central Park Music Series, Eggstravaganza, and the 4th of July in the Park. The San Mateo Station on First Avenue runs trains north to San Francisco and south to San Jose, while Highway 92 directly connects to the East Bay for an easy commute.
San Mateo has an active, urban lifestyle. There are many professionals working in San Francisco, in Silicon Valley, or in one of the technology companies within San Mateo. But there are also quiet suburban neighborhoods. While downtown is often bustling with activity, there are wide natural spaces throughout San Mateo that are great for picnics, hiking, and biking.
There are over 100 eateries in downtown San Mateo alone. Foreigner is a casual restaurant focused on California cuisine. For upscale dining, Porterhouse is known for its prime-cut steaks and homemade sauces. For an exclusive omakase experience, Sushi Yoshizumi has a seasonal chef tasting menu you need to reserve far in advance.
Taishoken Ramen specializes in Tsukemen ramen, a noodle that is served separately and dipped into the broth right before eating. Hummus Mediterranean Kitchen is a laid-back café with vegetarian options. For seafood, Pacific Catch serves poke, sushi, Baja tacos, lobster rolls, salmon burgers, and grilled platters.
For pizza and pasta, Tomatina uses local seasonal ingredients and has a delicious happy hour. For more upscale Italian cuisine, Pausa Bar and Cookery has made-from-scratch pasta dishes and an Italian wine list. Wursthall makes its own German sausages, serves European craft beers, and has recently partnered with Impossible Foods to add vegan options to its menu.
The Barrel Bistro and Wine Bar has live music and an extensive menu, including charcuterie boards and seafood. Outside of downtown, All Spice serves Indian fusion in a fine dining setting, and Espetus San Mateo is a popular Brazilian restaurant carving skewers of meat tableside.
Hillsdale Shopping Center by Bay Meadows is your one-stop-shop for goods, food, and entertainment. They have grocery stores, retail shops, a dining terrace, a movie theater, a bowling alley, the Red Door Escape Room, and Sandbox VR.
Aside from shopping and dining, San Mateo is home to fairs and festivals year-round, like Summerfest and the Downtown Wine Walk in the fall. The San Mateo Country Fair brings carnival rides, live music, and 100,000 attendees to the fairgrounds every summer. The San Francisco Aloha Festival at the San Mateo County Event Center has food vendors, entertainment, and artisans. There are also night markets, jazz festivals, and the Halloween Fun Fest.
If you’re looking for the great outdoors, Coyote Point is just one of the many recreation centers in San Mateo. It sits right on the bay and has water activities alongside nature trails and a playground. Nearby, you will find the 18-hole Poplar Creek Golf Course and the members-only Coyote Point Yacht Club.
San Mateo is served by the San Mateo-Foster City School District and San Mateo Union High School District.
Together with his wife and son, the Buljan Group has grown as a commanding force in the local real estate realm over the years selling every major landmark property in the community.