La Lanterna Ristorante

4.5
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563 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
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.
What 563 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Quiet
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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SH
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Has been a favorite for many years and never disappoints!

LF
Portland
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Staff was incredibly inviting, attentive and thoroughly professional. Beautiful atmosphere and terrific food. We’ll be back!

OT
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience2

I’ve enjoyed a good meal here several times but was very disappointed when I brought a new friend with me on Sat night. We were seated outside the large room where there was a surprise 70th party going on. Across from us was a large table with a noisy children’s BD party. I understand these things happen but the worse part was that my chicken parm was rubbery and cold and there’s no excuse for that! I didn’t send it back because I didn’t want to spend the time waiting for it. My friend enjoyed his cannoli.

CY
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Special occasion. They did a very nice job with the birthday dessert. Every thing was solid, good to very good. But, beware, PARKING is a big problem.

JC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is one of our favorite restaurants. A neighborhood spot with hospitality, parking, neighbors, good food, a big menu, and the food is always served hot.
Jean C.

DC
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

La Lanterna is one of my favorite restaurants to go to when I’m looking for a quiet, relaxed meal. I had lunch there last Saturday to meet a distant relative I’d never met before. We were able to have a great conversation and share family photos, even staying well past the end of our meal and not feeling rushed. The food is consistently good and the service is first-rate. I felt they accommodated us very well and my companions complimented me on my choice of restaurant.

BB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have dined here multiple times and we always have the best experience. Highly recommend!!!

GC
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Although there are quite a few restaurants around the area, my wife and I found this restaurant using Yelp about a year ago. We have always had consistently great experience. The food and service is really good. Not very expensive which really makes going back worthy. Well worth making an appointment so you can get a table.

g
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Great place for lunch

OT
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

I love this place! The food is delicious and it was perfect for celebrating a birthday with friends. I think we might have been the loudest people there but no one seemed to mind. The wine selection seemed good, as my friends enjoyed it and everyone loved their meals.

j
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

A pleasant evening with friends. Not rushed. The special of the evening was a very good Dore Sole. Fried Calamari antipasto was delicious as were the Crab Cakes. Even the Ceaser Salad was tasty. Been there several times before and never disappointed. Will continue going there to enjoy a consistently good meal. Not many restaurants can provide such a meal for as long as La Lanterna has been in business.

D
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience2

Used to be good, but now it just poor food, and not good service. Also, no point given from open table for the visit.

L
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have always enjoyed dining at La Lanterna. The food is excellent. Tried the crab cakes there for the first time at lunch yesterday and can honestly say they were the best I have ever had.

OT
San Francisco
40 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Super great food.

DG
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very good as always! Such a great neighborhood restaurant!

KG
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We went to celebrate a birthday. I chose the restaurant because I had been there several times before, but nobody else in our group had. We all had a wonderful time!

We had the burrata and polenta for appetizers and both were spectacular! The polenta had a nice crunchy exterior and the sauce was savory and not overpowering.

Almost everybody was thrilled with their meal; the only exception was the calamari steak. 2 off us ordered it and the breading was simply too much for the calamari, so all you tasted was the bread. It should have been a light eggy batter, not a heavy bread batter.

The service was great, everyone got everything they wanted, all the waiters were friendly and attentive, and we can’t wait to go back!

Thank you for a beautiful meal and a wonderful time!

d
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Outstanding. Salad of tender arugula, beets and finely chopped pistachios was perfectly dressed in vinegrette with a hint of mustard. Vegetable filled fresh ravioli in a bright marinara with a hint of cinnamon(?) Dessert was gelato filled profiteroles with a high grade chocolate sauce. Wow.

Ingredients were superior. Flavors were subtle and delicious.

HT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love it here and it was a great night to sit outside!

c
San Francisco
38 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

We got off to a questionable start with service: I was completely ignored for the 5 minutes I was sitting before the rest of my party arrived and then we waited almost 10 minutes more before the waiter appeared, 5 minutes after he'd said he would be "right with us". But once we had his attention he was very good - checking with us periodically to see if we needed anything more, bringing our orders quickly and correctly, and with a nice smile and attitude. The food was excellent - we started with fried calamari, then had entrees of stuffed chicken breast, spaghetti bolognese, and pork tenderloin wrapped with bacon and served with spinach and butternut squash. The portions were generous and the seasoning was excellent - all the dishes were cooked perfectly and the vegetables were fresh. We would have liked to try the desserts but we were just too full! The slightly lower mark on ambiance is because the dining room itself is quite large and fairly plain, part of which might explain the high noise level; there's no acoustic material on the walls or ceiling to absorb sound. I made the reservation on the early side to avoid the peak dinner hours when noise would also be at its peak, and I'm glad I did. Overall this was a pleasant first experience and I'm sure we'll be back. It's rare to find a nice restaurant with quality food still serving on white tablecloths!

AM
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have eaten at this restaurant many times and always enjoy it.

R
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Some dishes are better than others like many restaurants. Our group of eight liked the calamari steak, spaghetti mare, gnocchi, and risotto. Everyone loved the warm bread. The chicken Marsala had good flavor but the chicken was dry. We liked the sauce of the tortoloni but we didn’t like the tortoloni. We only tried two desserts, apple strudel and lemon tart; everyone voted the lemon tart as excellent. We feel the prices are a little high compared to comparable Italian restaurants.
This is one of the better restaurants in San Mateo.

MH
San Francisco
36 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

By not opening at the appointed time you never honored my reservation. Instead you embarrassed me by leaving me and my two guests outside standing around for almost an hour. On your window it specifically states that you are open for lunch on Monday from 1130 to 200pm. WE LEFT, OUR PLANS RUINED AND YOU DON"T EVEN HAVE THE DECENCY TO APOLIGIZE OR MAKE GOOD. TO DO WHAT YOU DID TO ME< YOU DON"T DESERVE TO BE IN BUSINESS.

JC
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and the service were outstanding. We can't wait until we can go back.

D
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Service was kind of slow. One server and owner. It took a bout one and a half hours
to finish our meal. Menu was limited.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Anniversary

ND
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

This was the perfect pre-theatre dinner, food and service were excellent. The restaurant was busier than they expected but explained this to us and still exceeded our expectations.

m
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

La Lanterna has always been consistently good. Not the least expensive but with reason. The food is well prepared. Ther service is great. Nothing to complain about.

SJ
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

5 STAR EXPERIENCE - I brought my family, everyone LOVED the FOOD, OUTSTANDING 5 STAR SERVICE, they really go out of their way from the owner to the bus boy, best waiters in the Bay Area and i eat out alot!!! My Favorite new place! Very authentic Italian Ceasars, Veal, sauces, great variety: The Steak was very tender, Calamari Steak if my favorite, My mom was impressed by the Raviolis', dad loved his veal, everyone loved the fine wine and DESSERTS! Thank you for the great memory, a night to remember!!

GA
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Service was great and accommodated a special request due to food allergies without a problem.
Food delicious. A neighborhood gem

L
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience4

La Lanterna used to be better. My dish, the vongole was good but several people at our table were not satisfied with their meals. The brushetta was good but calamari average. The biggest issue was the service. Our waiter/manager was very pushy and if he had been less pushy we wouldnt have ordered all the appetizers he brought, plus he was filling everyones wine glass way too high - forcing us to but at least one extra bottle for the table and then quickly refilling the glasses so we would drink more- Overall the quality of the food wasnt as good as the last time and prices were higher and service was uncomfortable-

GC
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great experience!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience4

I was here celebrating my niece’s bday and high school graduate, when I made the reservation, I already mentioned about that but at the end, nothing special was offered to her. While we were still chatting, the waiter already gave us the bill. There was nobody waiting, I was wondering why he was so rush to give us the bill? I had to ask if he would give us something special because of the special occasion. He did gave us a dessert for free at the end. I was here last time to celebrate my son’s birthday. The waiter was very nice and gave a surprise dessert to my son, that’s why I was back.

SB
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Very good food. Reasonably priced. Good service. A little noisy for quiet conversation. All in all a nice experience. Definitely would recommend and visit again. We try to go there a few times a year.

OT
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a favorite of my family, friends, and colleagues - we’re lucky to have this caliber of restaurant in a local special neighborhood!

OT
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Food was wonderful but the noise level was quite unpleasant . A large party was going on in the back room and unfortunately the guests were standing in their opened door way enjoying cocktails and lots of loud laughter- signs of a fun party🥳. Too bad it made trying to hear what was being said at our table of 4 guests nearly impossible We were seated 2 Tables away from the party room. Perhaps the management should try to keep the party room’s double doors closed for private parties so everyone can enjoy this lovely restaurant.

l
San Francisco
77 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Birthday before concert at San Mateo county fair

BL
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always consistently excellent. Wonderful menu.

P
Phoenix
15 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The Calamari Steak is to die for and restaurant has always been good about substituting more veggies and deleting the starch. It's definately worth a visit.

MH
San Francisco
36 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is the second time. Food and service was again excellent. Will come back again.

R
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

The restaurant was very busy including a graduation party in the back private room. However, the staff took good care of us nonetheless. The owner found the time to stop by our table for a chat even though she had her hands full that evening. It was a pleasant gesture and certainly appreciated.