Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.13mi
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  1. Distance: 0.13mi
  2. Distance: 0.20mi
  3. Distance: 0.30mi
  4. Distance: 0.31mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.13mi
  2. Distance: 0.20mi
  3. Distance: 0.30mi
  4. Distance: 0.31mi
  1. Distance: 0.13mi
  2. Distance: 0.20mi
  3. Distance: 0.30mi
  4. Distance: 0.31mi

About Central Park Bistro

Central Park Bistro is a 100 seat contemporary restaurant in downtown San Mateo featuring fresh seasonal American cuisine, in the $15-$26 range. We offer a carefully chosen eclectic Wine Spectator award-winning wine list. Central Park Bistro is an affordable sophisticated, fun dining experience. Relax and unwind with a house specialty cocktail at our wonderful Martini Bar. We also have several intimate private dining rooms perfect for that corporate presentation business meeting, wedding rehearsal dinner,
retirement/anniversary dinner, or any special function you may have in mind. Check out our private wine cellar room which seats up to 8 people for that extra special dining experience.

181 East 4th Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94401
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
American, Comfort Food, Southern

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 2:30pm;
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm Friday- Saturday : 5:00pm - 10:00pm

Cross Street:
Ellsworth Street

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(650) 558-8401

Website:
http://www.centralparkbistro.com/

Catering:
We can recreate our menu or customize it to your needs. Please call for details.

Parking Details:
Metered parking on street and large lot in back of restaurant.

Executive Chef:
George Garcia

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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Private Dining

We are a family-owned restaurant that specializes in individual personalized service and simple home-style American cuisine, all in an intriguing and intimate environment. You'll be met by a seasoned staff, who are prepared to indulge your group with an extraordinary private dining experience.

Central Park Bistro Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.3

ambience

4.3

value

4.1

Noise

Quiet

92% would recommend it to a friend

Neighborhood Gem (20)
Special Occasion (20)
Business Meals (19)
See All
Good for a Date (17)
Great for Lunch (14)
Good for Anniversaries (13)
Fit for Foodies (13)
Quiet Conversation (13)
Good for Birthdays (12)
Good for Groups (12)
Romantic (10)
Casual (9)
Comfort Food (8)
Notable Wine List (8)
Creative Cuisine (7)
Healthy (7)
Cozy (6)
Pre/post Theatre (5)
Worth the Drive (5)
Authentic (4)
Handcrafted Cocktails (4)
Local Ingredients (4)
Paleo Friendly (4)
Bar Seating (3)
Hot Spot (3)
Great for Outdoor Dining (3)
Sunday Lunch (3)
Fun (3)
Great for Brunch (2)
Kid-friendly (2)
Disabled Access (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Happy Hour (2)
People Watching (2)
Seasonal (2)
Tapas (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (2)
Late-night Find (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Spicy (1)
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789 reviews
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 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 4, 2012

This is one of our favorite restaurants on the Peninsula. Service is always friendly and prompt and the food is consistently good, meats cooked to order and never cold. We've been going there for years and are never disappointed.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service5

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on January 20, 2012

Service was horrible. The bus boy told me, "what do you want?!, you need to stay seated!" service was horrible. I seriously can't believe he had said that to me. After I sat down, he had brought the stuff to me, and asked again, "what else do you want?" I seriously was speechless when someone would say that to a customer. Also, I had told the waiter to hold on the appetitzers, but he brought all of it out when half the party was here.

Tags: Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience2
service1

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 13, 2012

Pleasant but pricey lunch spot. In recent visits the service was occasionally spotty (side dish forgotten, dessert missing sauce). Food is fine but not special, had more unique touches a year ago.

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food3
ambience3
service2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 11, 2012

It's always great. Don't miss this place. I love it and the price is right.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 10, 2012

Solid menu, good place to meet family. Not a brilliant restaurant but very good.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 6, 2012

The food is great and the menu is amazingly extensive (several fish options, two lamb options, several beef options, pasta, pizza, etc.), especially given the size of the restaurant. The pomegranate-glazed lamb is wonderful, as are the scallops and the skirt steak. The back room is quieter than the front room, but both are intimate and warm.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 31, 2011

Great place, loved the food and service.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 24, 2011

Food was very nicely prepared. Chilean sea bass was great. Waiter ruined the ambiance bc he acted like he really didn't want to be there. He was curt, and it made us feel very uncomfortable.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Notable Wine List, Romantic
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food4
ambience3
service1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 21, 2011

Had our company Christmas lunch there and it was a perfect setting. Festive, great service and the food was delicious.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 17, 2011

I've been coming here for years and the servcice and food is always excellent!
Excellent options for private banquet rooms also.

Tags: Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 16, 2011

All four of our entrees were exceptional. Service could not have been more gracious or accommodating. Delightful interior, fine quality meals at a realistic price. Deserts were also delicious

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 16, 2011

We had asked for a quiet table in the back, but it was anything but quiet. There was a very large office party celebration right next to our table, and this added to the general din in the restaurant. The food was delicious and the service was excellent. But it IS a noisy place, and we have yet to find the perfect time to go there and be able to hear each other.

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food4
ambience3
service5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 11, 2011

I had been to the Bistro for lunch a couple of times and been impressed, but never for dinner. It was wonderful. I think we all (4 of us) had something different and we were all delighted. The starters were lovely (soup, calamari and salad) Three people had fish entrees and raved. I had the lamb chops, which were a work of art! Also the lack of loud music was MUCH appreciated. We could actually converse. Loved the whole experience.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 8, 2011

Great menu, great food, and the server was actually the owner and took great pride in his business

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience3
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 6, 2011

I actually showed up a day prior to the reservation. No problem. Small restaraunt with nice window views of downtown San Mateo. Great food and service.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience4
service4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 5, 2011

This is a great neighborhood restaurant. We eat here a lot on Friday nights and have never been disappointed.

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food4
ambience3
service3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 30, 2011

We all enjoyed our food with the exception of the beet salad which was very ordinary...The service was very slow, since there was only one waiter and one busboy..These 2 individuals were GREAT, but the restaurant had quite a few of walk-ins and 2 people can only to so much..We will definitely come back and hopefully management will read this review and properly staff this great restaurant...It truly is a neighborhood gem for San Mateo...

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 27, 2011

Central Park never disappoints in presenting an interesting combination of flavors and an artistic presentation. The staff is friendly and very attentive. We had guests fro th east coast and they found their meal exceptional.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience4
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 21, 2011

THE WAITER WAS INEXPERIENCED. HE WOULD DISAPPEAR AND NOT CHECK ON US FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME. THE BUS BOY BANGED THE DISHES AROUND AS IF HE WAS WORKING AT A LOWER-END RESTAURANT. THE FOOD WAS MEDIOCRE.

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food2
ambience2
service1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 5, 2011

We went for a birthday celebration for a very special friend. She loved the food, the service and most of all, the dessert. would highly recommend this place for lunch

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience4
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 4, 2011

My husband and I had dinner with friends and we all thoroughly enjoyed our dining experience. The server was great. The food was fantastic. We didn't feel at all rushed. Very impressed.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 25, 2011

Everything is so good! The risotto is luscious -- especially when the lobster version is available. Short ribs fall off the bone. Chilean sea bass is perfectly cooked. Caesar salad is just the right size with just the right tanginess. Wait staff is friendly and efficient. We are lucky to have this restaurant in the neighborhood.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 21, 2011

We love Central Park Bistro. The food and service is excellent. It's a great gourmet meal without a stuffy atmosphere. I had the scallops the first time we went there and they were excellent. The last time I had the burger and it was absolutely delicious. My husband had ribs both times and they are amazing. I would highly recommend Central Park Bistro for a special occasion or even just a slightly more expensive nice dinner when you are in the mood for really delicious food. We will definitely be back!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 21, 2011

Good food. A bit pricey but all good stuff and very good service.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 12, 2011

This was a perfect place to meet a friend who was flying in to SFO and had meetings in SF. I live in Palo Alto so we were trying to find a place in between. The service was excellent but the food was just OK. I had roasted salmon on a bed of greens and while the fish was cooked just right, it was bland -- needed a pop of spice! Bread was nothing special. I would definitely come back and try other things on the menu, though.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food3
ambience4
service4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 12, 2011

One of my favorite places to have lunch. Always very good - the bread is outstanding!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience4
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 7, 2011

Even though it is my first time at this restaurant. My family and I had a great time. Food was okay. We liked the calamari and the complimentary bread and butter in the beginning. The seared scallops are pretty well cooked. The sea bass entree was also pretty well done. And last but not least, the skirt steaks looked well cooked and just like my family wanted it. Very nice, food was great. Great for lunch and brunch. Environment in that area is pretty well done. Lighting is very romantic like. Maybe next time, I can bring my friends or my boyfriend to have brunch over the weekends or something. Overall, really good.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience4
service4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 7, 2011

We love this place. The food is invariably good. Always can rely on having a good meal. Reasonable prices, convenient location and friendly service are other reasons we keep returning. The circular booth in the back is the bomb!

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 5, 2011

a real gem in Downtown San Mateo. It had been a long long time since we were there and glad we decided to give it a go again. It was delightful. Food was excellent. I enjoyed the port medallions with a squash puree and delightful butter lettuce salad with cranberries, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate vinegar. Husband had the lamb chops and roasted beet salad. Great wine list. Give it a try, you will not be disappointed......

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on October 2, 2011

Excellent find! Have walked by it several times, and finally decided to try it. Food was flavorful and the presentation reminded me of a fancier downtown restaurant, but the comfortable, unassuming atmosphere of a neighborhood café. Because there are only about 10 tables in the place, service was very attentive but not in a 'pushy' manner. Atmosphere of the restaurant completed the experience which was decorated like a European ... well, bistro, as the name suggests. Best for groups of 2-4 who want quality food without driving all the way to San Francisco. Highly recommend!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 1, 2011

Really good wine selection, salmon was great.

Tags: Good for Groups, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 29, 2011

Beautifully presented, great value and relaxing ambiance. Sorbet was out of the world.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 24, 2011

Best kept secret in San Mateo. Service is top notch. Very friendly employees all around. Never felt so relax in a fancy beautiful restaurant. Foods that the chef recommended are wonderful in taste and presentation. Would gladly recommended to friends and visitor.
Thanks for a great evening.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion, Scenic View, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 24, 2011

Very pleasant and reasonably priced place. Service is excellent!I recommend for a relaxing evening.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 23, 2011

excellent food; attentive and fast service; better than any other "new" American restaurant I've tried in this area.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 15, 2011

always a special treat for dinner at bistro central parc! delicious food, fabulous service, nice atmosphere, and very friendly people.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 7, 2011

CPB is an undiscovered gem...very good food...it is run by two brothers who go out of their way to ensure an excellent dining experience...

Of note, my check was incorrect...I pointed out that I had been undercharged by $9.50...within minutes I had the new check with the $9.50 added in ...so much for integrity "paying" ...nevertheless the right thing to do...I thought they would be more accommodating... :-(

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 27, 2011

Not worth it. Go to McDonalds for a better meal... seriously, sad.

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food1
ambience2
service1

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 20, 2011

I really loved this place. The food was fresh, well presented and great flavor. Service so generous and accomodating. Nice city vibe yet quiet if you want it. Definitely would come back even though we live over 40 miles away.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 19, 2011

Excellent dinner, we are frequent visitors to Central Park Bistro and it was a pleasure to see all the new items on the menu. We enjoyed the lobster risotto and the tri-tip buffalo very much. The duck pate was great too. Great espresso, all in all fabulous meal!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service4

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