La Lanterna Ristorante
180 W. 25th Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94403Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $30 and under
La Lanterna Ristorante
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.lalanternasanmateo.com/#
- Phone: 6503418877
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: M-Sa 11:30am-2:00pm
Dinner: M-Su 5:00pm-9:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Italian
- Executive Chef: Ramon Lopez
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Private Party Contact: Jennifer 6503418877
A word from La Lanterna Ristorante
Open since 2001, La Lanterna is a family-owned business with Ramon Lopez as Executive Chef and Jennifer Villa-McGuffin service as manager. Prior to opening, Ramon and Jennifer were employed at various fine dining restaurants in the San Francisco Peninsula. With his own signature style, Chef Ramon has received numerous accolades and is honored to serve you at La Lanterna.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
La Lanterna Ristorante - Best Restaurants in San Mateo ›
La Lanterna Ristorante reviews from OpenTable diners
55 reviews since April 30, 2014
- Ambiance3.8Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (41)special occasion (20)good for groups (18)great for lunch (14)fit for foodies (12)kid-friendly (7)romantic (6)great for outdoor dining (6)notable wine list (5)great for brunch (4)late-night find (3)hot spot (1)Show More
- Go To PlaceLouBDined on 8/24/2014My wife has MS so going out is a little hard. We celebrated her birthday at La Lanterna and they did their usual terrific job. Hector is very attentive and very friendly, as are the whole group.Special Features:
- yummy and freshkimmiekaeVIPDined on 8/22/2014Yummy Tortolloni;wow. Very fresh and delightful pasta! Busboy and waiter very efficient and nice. We are return customers!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- PatronEScottiDined on 8/22/2014Food was outstanding! We were pleasantly surprised by both the quality and quantity. It wasn't your typical "three bite" plate, and the flavors were excellent. We had the chicken parm and the cheese/spinach ravoli. The desert sampler was also extremely tasty. I would recommend to anyone-and for special occasions ask for a booth!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OnoliciousVIPDined on 8/11/2014EVERYTHING WAS GREAT UNTIL THE GUITAR MUSIC STARTED. WE LIKE THIS RESTAURANT BECAUSE IT'S QUIET AND RELAXING, AND WE COULD HAVE A DECENT CONVERSATION AT THE DINNER TABLE; BUT WITH THE MUSIC, WE HAD TO SHOUT ACROSS THE TABLE (THERE WERE 6 OF US). WISH THEY WOULD DO AWAY WITH THE MUSIC.....Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Something changed....luvmywineVIPDined on 8/8/2014We have eaten here 2 - 3 times in just the last few months and really enjoyed it. The food was good and the service was too. This time, the food was just "ok" and the service matched. We did notice there were not as many customers this time too.....was this just an off night? We will give it another try sometime, but not very soon.Special Features:
- Neighborhood gemSharVIPDined on 7/31/2014Always a treat to see a neighborhood restaurant doing well and La Lanterna is one of them. Food is consistently good. I opted to have a spinach salad and then an appetizer for my main course. Appetizer was toasted polenta with Parmesan cheese and garlic. It was excellent and a very large portion. Decor is so pleasing on the eye and food again was delicious.Special Features:
- Little bit of ItalyMichaelDined on 7/31/2014La Lanterna is shinning beacon of Italy in San Mateo! This was my first visit to this Italian neighborhood gem. Food, service and atmosphere were excellent!Special Features:
- La LanternaOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 7/27/2014The food and service were excellent. Our server was very polite, unobtrusive, and the food came within a reasonable time--and was delicious.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best Italian on the PenninsulaFoodyVIPDined on 7/25/2014This small, well appointed restaurant has everything going for it, great, fresh food and good service. All the pasta is hand made and outstanding. What more can I say but to definitely dine here soon.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good for GroupsOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 7/24/2014Took great care of our large group. Were able to get us in and out in a short amount of time. Excellent turn around. Portions were good and manageable.Special Features:
- Decent food, cold ambiencevitalmhVIPDined on 7/12/2014The food and service are decent with some dishes above average and some below. Service was fine, not stellar. Not sure we'll be back since the space is cavernous and feels cold even with a fair amount of people in it. The front wall is all windows facing nondescript stores on 25th Avenue. I'd suggest drapes which could be closed for dinner so it would feel more intimate. They could also divide up the space with half walls to create smaller dining areas rather than the one large room.
- otdinerVIPDined on 7/5/2014We always enjoy this restaurant. The food is consistently good; the specials are always great, too. The staff is friendly and helpful. Tonight we had the special anti pasti plate, and as an entrée, the calamari dore and special swordfish. All were delicious and good portions.Special Features:
- server was way rude!!!!OpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 6/30/2014Just one word good food, but young server should not be in this business! Expressing his self with foul language to his guests.....
- Great food!OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 6/30/2014Good service. The risotto is outstanding. Good price/quality relationship.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food but lack of attentionOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 6/16/2014Our reservation noted on Open Table that the dinner was to celebrate my wife's birthday and that she had an allergy to the entire onion "family". The allergy problem was mentioned to the waiter again while we were ordering; in fact, he acknowledged she could not have one of the items. Then when her food arrived it included chives all other her food! Never once did the waiter or anyone at the restaurant mention her birthday. This lack of attention is too bad since otherwise the food was tasty and they had a nice added touch of a person playing a guitarSpecial Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2003Dined on 6/13/2014Have dined here many times over the years and have always been pleased with the experience. They have a private room in the back and we used it for a 90th birthday party for my mom a few years ago. Whether it is a party or small group for lunch or dinner, you can count on good food and professional and friendly service. A real gem in the neighborhood!Special Features:
- JoJoVIPDined on 5/31/2014Very friendly and efficient wait staff. Excellent food and great special menu items.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very enjoyable evening!sallieDined on 5/30/2014Food was wonderful, service great. We were not rushed - could enjoy the evening and the delicious meal. Service was excellent.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent dining continuesGourmet1VIPDined on 5/16/2014Our most recent visit reinforced our feeling that this is one of the best restaurants on the peninsula for Italian food and for excellent service. The veal piccata was done perfectly as was the house-made-pasta dish. Service from Vito was perfection. Highly recommended. Bravo!Special Features:
- La Lanterna RestaurantJoeyDined on 5/8/2014I've eaten here many times and food is always really good. Great veal dishes.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 94 reviews are from the La Lanterna Ristorante reviews archive.
- otdinerVIPDined on 4/26/2014As always, we enjoyed our dinner. This is a wonderful restaurant with great food and good service, although service can be slow at times. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is relaxed. I look forward to their specials, tonight I had swordfish with a delicious sauce, light and airy mashed potatoes, and sautéed spinach. My husband enjoyed the calamari steak, one of his favorites, here.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Birthdays!FoodieVIPDined on 4/12/2014I haven't been in in a while and celebrated 2 birthdays with friends, they surprised us with lovely desserts on beautifully decorated small plates, very sweet and much appreciated. The bread they serve is outstanding, we shared the polenta and pastry appetizer, both very good. The gnocchi was good, I would have preferred a gorgonzola sauce to the black truffle, but I enjoyed it. My friends had the sole and risotto and both were enjoyed. Good service and overall great celebration!I would recommend this to a friend.
- Impressive neighborhood restaurantluvmywineVIPDined on 4/4/2014I really had no idea what to expect when we walked into La Lanterna. It is a small simple restaurant and only had a few people dining (we were early). Bottomline, the food was excellent and the restaurant promptly filled up by 6pm. I had their special of pesto rissoto with asparagas and scallops that was amazing. The atmosphere is comfortable and not too loud so you can hold a conversation.Special Features:
- Great neighborhood restaurant.snowmanVIPDined on 3/27/2014Great neighborhood restaurant. It is so nice to have La Lanterna within walking distance of our house.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Service was not great. WeMissSFVIPDined on 3/14/2014Service was not great. We had a table for 6. The first two in our party arrived 10 min ahead of our 7:15 reservation, and the rest of its at 7:20. After sitting, talking, reviewing the menu for another 10-15 min, we still had no bread or anyone else approach the table. I finally asked a busboy to send our server. The hostess-I assume-was standing near our table the whole time. Never made eye contact or checked in with us. Seemed very aloof--not the trait I would want in a hostess of a family style restaurant. Our server was perfectly fine once he tuned-in. Food was very good; fresh Italian bread; authentic pastas and sauces. Wine list could use some help on the white side.Special Features:
- Great Neighborhood gemSharVIPDined on 3/10/2014This restaurant has survived because the food is consistent, good and not overly priced. When the weather is nice, as it was when I was there, tables are set up outside. Crab cakes, salad, were the choices for our lunch. Excellent and always a favorite....Special Features:
- Great food for a reasonableLocal1955VIPDined on 3/8/2014Great food for a reasonable price. Had a $30 bottle of wine, 2 appetizer's, two main dishes and with tip got out with a $95 bill. Food was great - the clams appetizer was the fantastic - not a drop of sauce was left after mopping it up with the fresh bread.Special Features:
- Poor serviceChrisVIPDined on 3/8/2014I have been a loyal customer since opening. Over the years, I have enjoyed the food and staff. On Sat night, with my large family, the service was so poor, and waiter so rude, that I do not plan to return. We were told that we were too loud by the waiter. While trying to be respectful of he request, our service continued to be poor and rude. Not once did the waiter freely come over to our table and ask how he could help. I constantly had to try to waive him down and beg for help and more service. So sad since my friends and I have enjoyed so many meals over the years at La Lanterna. But I now plan to share with all my friends about the poor service and the rude waiter. Chris Cooper
- Hidden secretOpenTable Diner Since 2000VIPDined on 3/8/2014This unassuming gem on 25th ave. is outstanding. I wish I had gone a long time ago. I had veal that was as good as any place I"ve had it. Compared to restaurants that are in the area, this ranks as on top for sure. The service was great and friendly. Can't wait to go back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- La LanternaJazzLoversVIPDined on 3/5/2014We were just visiting the area for a short 3 day sightseeing trip and went on Yelp to look for places to eat. We were pleasantly surprised at the high quality of the homemade pastas and unique entree choices. The service by the staff was impeccable. The restaurant is very open but the noise level is very low even with a table for 6 next to us. There did seem to be a room in the back for large parties. I would definitely go back!!!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Memorable EveningOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 3/4/2014We celebrated my daughter's birthday at La Lanterna. Everything was just perfect.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- This is our favorite restaurantOnoliciousVIPDined on 3/4/2014This is our favorite restaurant on the Peninsula and go there often. We have only good things to say about all we expect in a restaurant, and they fulfill our every expectation.Our lunch this time was for a group of 8, and everyone enjoyed the food,ambiance, and service.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great ChoiceLamontDined on 2/28/2014La Lanterna has been our go to restaurant for a number of years. The food is always very good and it is nice to go to an Italian restaurant that has Italian waiters. We always take friends to La Lanterna when they come to visit. This restaurant is very popular so make reservations if you go on a weekend night.Special Features:
- Food was delicious and serviceBeckyDined on 2/26/2014Food was delicious and service was outstanding! So glad to have found this restaurant.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- This is a warm and friendlyotdinerVIPDined on 2/22/2014This is a warm and friendly neighborhood restaurant with consistently good food. The servers are always helpful. The kitchen can be a little slow at times but we find the food is worth the wait.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- everything from start to finishOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 2/22/2014everything from start to finish was excellent service a tad slow but a wonderful evening Italian style helloSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- La Lanterna Dinner was wonderfulTracySFDined on 2/14/2014We had reservations for VDay. It was very busy as anyone would expect. The staff was very friendly and set each party in order of arrival. The Soup that night was a corn chowder with Crab. WOW - it was delicious! Our main meals were tasty and well prepared as well. THe whole experience was TOPS. This is a San Mateo neighborhood GEM.Special Features:
- DeliciousLauraDined on 2/14/2014It's rare that we get to go out as a couple sans children and we were looking for a quiet and delicious Italian meal to celebrate Valentine's day. This was perfect. Great service, deliciousness authentic food and not rushed.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Even though it was Valentine'sBeverleyVIPDined on 2/14/2014Even though it was Valentine's Day, the service was excellent and the food served promptly and nicely done. Of course, the most important thing is the food. Very good! There is a full bar and a very good wine list. The only fault I would mention is the lighting. Otherwise I would give it even a higher rating.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Our favorite in the areaOnoliciousVIPDined on 2/13/2014WE can always count on La Lanterna to provide excellent food, service and friendliness. Have recommended this restaurant to many, and no one has been disappointed - only kudo's Only complaint (and it's not a fault of the restaurant) too many restaurants on the Avenue and very limited parking, not to mention hardly any parking available for the handicapped.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.