Shortlist: 8 Burlingame Restaurants That Locals Love!

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Last updated on December 1, 2022 by Wandering our World

Burlingame is a must-see city for anyone on the coast of California. Situated south of San Francisco, it’s not surprising to see so many waterfront attractions overlooking the crisp blue waters. The food scene here is impressive too, and as vibrant and refined as the town itself.

So when your stomach starts to grumble, don’t hesitate to check out the bustling restaurants that line the streets. There are various choices, with cuisines from across the globe being plated by expert chefs in quirky venues.

Hungry yet? We are, and we’ve decided to help by building a quick guide to the best restaurants in Burlingame, CA.

Let’s tuck in!

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+

The Eight Best Burlingame Restaurants: Food Worth Waiting For!

1. Stella Alpina Osteria

A romantic Italian restaurant serving elevated Northern Italian classics.

Oh, to be in the Alps, sitting by the fireplace and sipping fine red wine. Unfortunately, we can’t offer you that, but we’ve got a close second. Stella Alpina Osteria brings fine Northern Italian cuisine to the doorstep of Burlington, transporting you to snow-white winters with their homely, authentic cooking.

This venue boasts all the comfort of a Mountain Lodge, which is incidentally where it grabs its inspiration from. It’s romantic, without being overbearing, and offers a relaxing dining experience whether you’re inside or on their patio.

Their staff are well-clued on the variety of meals and wines they prepare and are there to help ease guests into this exciting experience with a welcoming hand. After all, it’s more than just food here. It’s all about creating unforgettable memories.

Unlike most Italian restaurants, Stella Alpina doesn’t overwhelm you with options. Instead, they have a refined menu with elevated dishes suited to every palate.

Chef Matteo Ferrari strives to bring authentic Italian cuisine to their guests. They use a selection of imported and local ingredients to get their flavors right. Fantastic dishes like Milanese Di Vitello and Nonna’s Gnocci rise to every occasion, and we haven’t even mentioned their selection of desserts!

Pair any meal with one of their unique cocktails or a carefully selected wine. And if your sweet tooth fails you, you will undoubtedly be happy to end the evening with a beautifully made Noncello Cappuccino or perhaps a sneaky Grappa.

As they can fill up quickly, we highly encourage you to reserve a table. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to dine here!

Opening Hours: 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm Mon-Sat; 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm Sun

Location: 401 Primrose Rd, Burlingame, CA

Photo for illustrative purposes only:

2. Mykonos

A charming, modern Greek restaurant you simply cannot miss!

Mykonos is the perfect way to bring a Greek haven to your average Californian day. This standout venue is aptly situated in the heart of Burlingame, and like a beacon, its white walls invite guests to experience the Greek paradise within.

This venue will flood your mind with images of beautiful Mediterranean summers in a cliffside village. And the outdoor patio lets patrons relax in the Californian sun and let their worries melt away.

Inside, it’s cool, modern, and beautifully decorated. There’s ample seating to accommodate you and your closest friends. After all, this isn’t a restaurant you should experience alone.

Why? Well, Mykonos specializes in Meze. And by the very definition of the word, it’s made for sharing. Any foodie knows the best way to experience Greek cuisine is through meze. So while it might seem like a collection of appetizers, you can still fill up on an assortment of grit, keftedes, and flatbreads.

For a heartier option, you won’t be disappointed. Mykonos has a rather generous page of offerings. The Lamb Shank is a major crowd pleaser, tender and served with greek cheese and okra.

Other options include Souvlaki and, for vegetarians, a delicious Mousaka. Specials also occasionally reach the convenient boards around the restaurant.

The atmosphere of Mykonos is always bubbly. The friendly staff serve a storm of food to happy tables, with the owner occasionally visiting patrons to strike up a conversation. Laughter flows, and an evening can be while away joyfully while charming music plays overhead.

Mykonos is undeniably one of the best restaurants in Burlingame, and we highly recommend visiting!

Opening Hours: 11 am to 10 pm Daily

Location: 226 Lorton Ave, Burlingame, CA

3. Tuna Kahuna

A unique dive into Hawaiian cuisine in a modernistic setting.

We’ve all dreamed of a Hawaiian getaway, but Burlingame residents have had Hawaii brought to them. Tuna Kahuna is a one-of-a-kind hideaway that brings those tropical vibes to the West Coast. What started as a dream became an award-winning concept that brought a unique taste to the Californian food scene.

Poke Bowls are not new to the restaurant industry, but Tuna Kahuna has ensured they’ve taken enough of a spin on it to make it unique. They don’t compromise on authenticity and quality but simply took a new approach, adding delectable flavors from across the sea to add that extra bit of “Umph!”.

Influence from Korea, Japan, and the Hawaiian islands stir up an incredible selection of dishes on their small, robust menu. Options may not be overwhelming (and trust us, we’re not complaining), but each dish packs an unbeatable kick of flavor.

Their appetizers include things like Seafood Ceviche and Egg Drop Miso. While the main event holds an array of Signature Poke Bowls, including a Seoul Bowl that infuses Korean ingredients with a classic Hawaiian concept.

The venue itself is quaint and refined. They’ve taken a no-frills approach, creating a stately and encapsulating dining experience for their guests. From the dark, cozy interior to the sun-soaked outdoor seating, you’ll feel welcomed and embraced by friendly staff and a cheerful atmosphere.

Tuna Kahuna is undoubtedly a unique city feature and deserves a spot on our list of Burlingame’s best restaurants.

Opening Hours: 11:30 am to 8 pm Mon-Sat; 11:30 am to 4:0

Location: 1117 Burlingame Ave, Burlingame, CA

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Lorenzo

4. New England Lobster Market & Eatery

A fresh seafood market with outdoor seating that serves up Burlingame’s best shellfish in inventive ways.

With Burlingame being situated in The Bay area, you might find yourself hankering for some delicious seafood. Well, New England Lobster Market & Eatery is just the spot for you.

Doubling as one of the foremost markets to find fresh, New England-style shellfish, you can sit down and enjoy their wares fully prepared too!

Any lobster aficionado knows that one of the best ways to dive into this sweet shellfish is through a classic Lobster Roll. And as far as the West Coast is concerned, this restaurant does it best, naturally served with chips (not fries) and coleslaw.

However, Lobster isn’t all there is on the menu. You can also find a delicious assortment of Crab, Shrimp, and Land Loving options in all variations. In addition, Happy Hour is from 3 pm to 6 pm during the week and sees a discounted price on certain menu options.

The atmosphere is light and friendly, and the place is always bustling with activity. The venue is nautical industrial-chic and provides a charming indoor area with niche decor. But of course, nothing beats outdoor dining in Burlingame, and New England Lobster Market has a relatively spacious curbside patio.

The staff are accommodating, and the service is impeccable; whether you’re just there to buy shellfish for dinner or sit down and enjoy a meal, you’ll be well taken care of.

After all, we expect nothing less from one of Burlingame’s best restaurants, especially when the restaurant is believed to be on Michelin’s radar. Who knows, they might have a star in their future. Regardless, they’re already a winner in our books. [261]

Opening Hours:  11 am to 8 pm Sun-Thurs; 11 am to 9 pm Fri & Sat

Location: 824 Cowan Rd, Burlingame, CA

Photo for illustrative purposes only:

5. Alana’s Cafe

A charming little cafe, popular for their breakfasts.

Early birds might want to head down to downtown Burlingame; that’s where you’ll find Alana’s Cafe. We’re all for abandoning our bed when it comes to the delicious meals served at this charming restaurant.

It draws in a crowd on weekends, and while many are happy to wait for a chance to dine here, we recommend booking a table if you’re planning to have Sunday Brunch.

We’ve never been happier to tuck into a plump stack of American pancakes, and Alana’s knows best. If you grab a seat at the bar, the food is prepared right in front of you and looks as great as it tastes!

Breakfast is eggs-ellent and has an array of scrambles and generous plates of our favorites, home fries and bacon! Healthier options are also available in the form of granola bowls and fresh fruit.

We challenge you to find a better sandwich when it comes to lunch too. A multitude of different breads are topped with mouth-watering ingredients here. And their quiche? Don’t even get us started. They’re all homemade, and the variety changes daily, so be sure to ask the helpful staff for the flavor that day!

Such a charming little venue packs an incredible punch in terms of service and quality meals. And we can see where their popularity comes from. With a sun-soaked outdoor dining area and a quirky indoor space, you can find the perfect place for your and your group to settle for an unforgettable day of dining.

Alana’s Cafe is undeniably one of the best restaurants in Burlingame and the perfect place to kickstart your day

Opening Hours: 9:00 am to 2:00 pm Daily

Location: 1408 Burlingame Ave, Burlingame, CA

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Aliyeva

6. Park & Howard Bistro

A charming bistro serving an assortment of mouth-watering dishes.

For a more casual dining experience, Park & Howard Bistro is the place to be. Charming and quaint as it may be, this beautifully situated restaurant offers some of the best contemporary American cuisine found in Burlingame.

They’re open for lunch and dinner, although they can get pretty busy in the evenings, so it would probably be best to reserve a table. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the divine offerings on their menu!

The dishes they serve are of the global variety, with influences from all walks of life coming together with a bit of American flair.

This collaboration of flavors is something we love in restaurants, as it opens doors to experimenting and new taste adventures.

Burgers are nestled beside Chilean Sea Bass, collaborative New England Lobster Ravioli pillows swim in a creamy sauce, and prime cuts of steak with all the trimmings.

The ambiance is light and romantic. Beautifully decorated white-clothed tables dot the room and the curb. At night, candles are lit to set the mood while the slow beat of music plays along to the conversations that fill the restaurant.

The staff are attentive to your needs too, so you can rest easy knowing your dining experience is fully taken care of.

Opening Hours: 11:30 am to 2:30 pm; 5:00 pm to 9:30 pm Mon-Thurs; 11:30 am to 2:30 pm; 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm Fri & Sat; 11:30 am to 2:30 pm; 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm Sun

Location: 1300 Howard Ave, Burlingame, CA

Photo for illustrative purposes only:

7. Saffron

A trendy and refined restaurant serving North Indian cuisine.

Saffron was born from the same mind that created Michelin-starred Rasa. Through meticulous planning and travel, they’ve discovered the exotic tastes of Northern India and brought them home for Burlingame to enjoy.

You’ll have to have an adventurous palate to dine here, and that’s no bad thing. Authentic Indian cuisine is hard to come by, and you might feel overwhelmed by the exotically named dishes on the menu. But, fear not, if there’s one thing we can tell you about Indian cuisine, it’s that you won’t find any food more flavorsome than this.

You can tuck into Mangalore Fried Chicken and flaming hot Dosas for a start. Before moving through to their entree list, which features authentic curries, delicious fish, and plenty of vegetarian options. They’ve even scattered a few Westernized options for the faint of heart.

Remember that spicey doesn’t necessarily mean it’s hot, so before you shy away at the thought of chillis, ask your friendly servers for their mild options. You’ll be pleasantly surprised!

The restaurant is elegant, with dark walls and nuances contrasting the light wood. The inspiration feels natural and rustic, almost fitting with modern trends. Bright pops of color come from the lamps that adorn each table, perfect for setting a romantic mood.

Adventurous foodies will love visiting this venue. The colorful ambiance and delicious exotic delicacies are perfect for tickling the tastebuds. Saffron might be fresh to the scene, but it is undeniably one of the best restaurants in Burlingame.

Opening Hours: 11:30 am to 2:30 pm; 5:00 pm to 9:30 pm Sun, Tues, Wed & Thurs; 11:30 am to 2:30 pm; 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm Fri & Sat; Closed Monday

Location: 209 Park Rd, Burlingame, CA

Photo for illustrative purposes only:

8. Trapeze

A colorful dive into Italian cuisine, creative cocktails, and occasional live entertainment.

The aptly named Trapeze is a balancing act that brings re-imagined flare to Italian cuisine. The goal in mind was to up the ante in hopes of fitting in with the Californian lifestyle, and in that aspect, Trapeze has definitely delivered.

Not only is it a classy, upmarket Italian restaurant, but it also features an upbeat bar where guests can indulge in inventive cocktails. Tuscan yellows are illuminated by stunning mood lighting, and exposed brick and fireplaces add warmth and vibrance to the ambiance.

Trapeze is also one of the best restaurants in Burlingame to indulge in occasional live entertainment. So keep an eye on their social media for information; we guarantee you won’t want to miss it.

Away from the vibrant atmosphere, the kitchen is hard at work preparing delicious, authentic meals. Local produce and fresh ingredients cook away while expert chefs hand shape homemade pasta to perfectly capture every morsel of sauce.

The menus vary slightly depending on the time. The selection features an assortment of salads, sandwiches, and pasta for lunch. But heartier portions like Chicken Parmesan and Baby Back Ribs are also tucked amongst the options for the hungrier few.

Dinner is where the real excitement begins, as the menu opens up to feature all the best Trapeze has to offer. Delicate appetizers refresh the palate to usher in a creamy pasta. Succulent Lamb Chops and show-stopping Paella build up an elaborate selection of entrees. You’ll have an unforgettable meal paired with one of their award-winning wines.

Finish off the evening with some refreshing sweetness, and enjoy one of Trapeze’s incredible desserts.

Opening Hours: 11:30 am to 2:30 pm; 4:30 pm to 9:30 pm Daily

Location: 266 Lorton Ave, Burlingame, CA 

Photo for illustrative purposes only:

The Best Restaurants In Burlingame: Our Final Thoughts

Burlingame is a little paradise outside of San Francisco. Their upmarket retail and dining scene is world-class and worth every moment of your time.

So if you’re interested in trying the best Californian cuisine, we recommend visiting any of our favorite Burlingame restaurants. We’re sure you’ll be impressed!


  • Wandering our World

    Hi and welcome to Wandering our World! This article was written by one of the Wandering our World team - a team of travel enthusiasts who live around the globe.