La Lanterna Ristorante

4.5
516 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 516 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
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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n
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

It was a 2-hour meal, mostly for waiting. It took 25 minutes to get our orders. Waiter got my wife's wine order then left without asking me or my son what we wanted. Came back 10 minutes later (probably just for the remaining drink order), so we decided to place all our orders (plus or drinks) in case he doesn't come back sooner. First course arrived 20 later. Two out of three main course arrived 25 minutes after we sat. They gave my food to another table so I had to wait another 10+ minutes for mine.

For wise, calamari was OK; clam chowder was watery (not thick, as they typically are); ink squid pasta was also watery (may it was supposed to be so). Didn't bother for any dessert because it might take another hour for it. For the size of this place, service is too slow. This is one place I will check off as NOT TO RETURN TO.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Very good, but we had to wait 10 - 15 minutes even though we had a reservation. Worth the wait, however.

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FL
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a great neighborhood restaurant. The food is always good and the staff is pleasant. Your water glass is never empty.

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SF
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

The Italian cuisine is well represented here. A couple of large parties raised the lunch time noise level beyond my comfort. Go for the food and service.

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b
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food here is always delicious.
The atmosphere is friendly. We love it!

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F
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Large portions. More seasoning needed for chicken parmigiana. Misto was good and well dressed. A nice quiet restaurant in San Mateo for casual dining.

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MH
1 review
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Experience from reservations to receiving the check was all spectacular

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SS
San Francisco
45 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

We were welcomed immediately and seating right away. The menu was both traditional and interesting...which was appreciated. The one negative item to note is there was no music, so when the restaurant started to empty, we felt the need to pull our an iphone and turn on the jazz playlist.
;-)

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JR
1 review
Dined on April 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 3

Our first time at La Lanterna was excellent. We went on a Monday, so it was probably quieter than it could otherwise be. Staff was wonderful and attentive and we enjoyed the food very much! Our dinner was tasty and beautifully prepared. We found the prices comparable to almost anywhere else we dine. Good portions, too.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

This was first time visiting. Wanted to avoid downtown San Mateo on a Saturday night. I was most definitely pleased with the selection. We were almost 15 mins late for reservation but they were polite and seated us right away

The noise level is a little high but nothing unmanageable

The service was super without being intrusive . The food was beyond great. I had the tortellini, fabulous. Others in our party raved about the penne , gnocchi and petrale sole. Not a bad meal at entire table

Pricing fair for portions. We had dinner for four, two bottles of wine and desert out the door for a little over 200.00

Definitely coming back !!

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o
San Francisco
173 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This has been one of our favorite restaurants since its opening. The specials are always a treat, as are the deserts.

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H
London
8 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and food.

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EA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The food was well prepared and excellent quality. Complements to the chef. Nice wine selection and ambiance. I will go back.

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MS
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 2

Good wine selection, good service, friendly staff, and the bread and olive oil they put out first is a solid start. Unfortunately, the specials were not so special. Being from New York and growing up surrounded by various high end Italian restaurants this particular place does not meet the expectations I had judging by other reviews. It was decent food, but not great, and not worth the $30+ price per dish in my opinion.

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HN
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Lovely neighborhood restaurant with quality and ambiance to match downtown restuarants.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 5

Worst service ever, which is too bad because the food is amazing. We were never checked on once, not offered a dessert menu just given the check. Will never go back which makes me sad!

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OT
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thank you for another amazing meal, service and overall dining experience!

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OT
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food, lovely ambiance. The noise level is pretty high. I would recommend to friends as a lovely neighborhood restaurant.

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b
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The risotto was delicious! I’ve never had better.

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T
111 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We were a table for eight so we tried many plates on the menu. What is good is that we had two less than six-year-old children with us. We ordered the chicken fingers shortly after we sat down and they were served a few minutes later. With the children covered the rest of us were able to enjoy our dinner.
The burrata was delicious as was the bruschetta and the black pasta with fruta di mare. The veal was enough for two as was the salmon and the cannelloni, and they all both delicious.
For pairing we drank the house Sangiovese, perfect!
And for dessert the apple pie a la mode was great. A double espresso ended the feast in style.

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LL
Portland
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

The group thought the service was outstanding and the space was good. Unfortunately they found the food mediocre and wouldn't recommend going back.

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C
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time dining here and will definitely be returning. Food and service was outstanding!

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LL
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was really fresh and awesome. We ordered the milk chicken and fresh tomato pasta, calamari, seafood ink pasta and veggie ravioli. All tasted fab!! And the servers were courteous and friendly- even surprised my hubby with a bday cake on the house with candles!!

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LS
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

There were four in our party and we all had a fantastic meal! My steak was perfectly cooked and the sauce was delicious as was the potato tort. Other items ordered were the calamari steak and the squid ink pasta, all great.
The service was great, never felt rushed.

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MP
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 4

We have been going to LaLanterna for many years. The two most recent visits have been less than stellar. The quality of the food has really gone down. The atmosphere is still good and the service is stellar. My wife and I really enjoy a great restaurant, both from a food perspective and the overall restaurant ambiance and service.

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T
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service! Yes

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service was great! The atmosphere is relaxed no matter how busy they get. Perfect place for any occasion. Kathy was our server and she was amazing, attentive at the right times.

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OT
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Wonderful neighborhood restaurant!

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C
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We went to have dinner at La Lanterna because we want to have a dinner meeting for the Past District Directors, Past District Governors, and Past International Directors there, when our current International Board Member is visiting. We were very satisfied with how we were greeted, the food, and the service. We are looking forward to returning for our dinner meeting next month.

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AS
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

This is a great neighborhood restaurant. The food and service have stayed consistent over our many visits. Friendly staff.

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L
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

The portions of the salad we were given were clearly smaller than other patrons. They also served others before us, even though they came in after us. Favoritism is not appreciated here. Thanks.

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s
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was a Valentines Day (early) with friends and everything was perfect. Got the table I requested, food (as usual) was wonderful. Good time was had by all.

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4
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So glad we chose La Lanterna, great meal and excellent service. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a great Italian meal.

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VD
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

- The waiter took away the plate while my wife was still eating
- They missed packing some of our food even though we specifically asked for it
- The waiter handed out the check to my wife!
- Also food was horrible.

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OT
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service for a birthday celebration with 4 adults.

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EM
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Attentive service, warm welcome and very good food.

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JC
San Francisco
54 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service and generally quiet. We can't wait to go back.

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b
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was excellent!

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D
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love eating here! It's easy to get a reservation (even for a larger group), and it's outside of the downtown area so you don't have to fight for parking. The pasta is authentic and always on point. I've had the frutti di mare, penne with sausage and mushrooms (this is my FAVORITE here), and the seafood risotto. All were delicious! I can't wait to dine here again.

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T
111 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

La Lanterna is a neighborhood gem. The food is always good as are the wines they pour.

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