Pausa Bar & Cookery

4.8
1089 Reviews
$30 and under
Italian
Pausa, a bar and cookery in San Mateo, calls for guests to take a recess from life and enjoy a dining experience that transports them to a place of leisure. With a strong focus on modern Italian, our menu will consist of house-made pasta, wood-fired pizza, wood-fired grill, and house-cured meats. Our friendly and knowledgeable team will ensure your pause is a memorable one.

We are now taking reservations for our patio tables, bar, and indoor tables. As we practice social distancing with our new limited floor plan, we ask that you and your guests limit your dining to 1 hour and 45 minutes to accommodate all reservations.

When checking table availability, if outdoor seating is not an option to select, then your reservation will be for an indoor table as the outdoor may be booked.

We will also not be allowing any outside food, beverage, wine, or cake until further notice.

Thank you for understanding.

Support Pausa Bar & Cookery during COVID-19

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 1089 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.8
service
4.7
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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M
Molina
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall1food1service3ambience3

This was our second visit to Pausa.
Our first experience in Aril was exceptional, the chef and staff were on point.

This time, not so much.
All three of our entrees did not meet expectations:
The pasta was tough and chewy, we had it replaced.
The pizza was soggy.
The wagyu beef was a tiny piece of meet that tasted like it had been sitting around far too long.
The staff was clearly overwhelmed by the reopening.
They had the “C” team working without quality control.
Very disappointing.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service and food was amazing.

LC
LorettaC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience4

One of the few Bay Area Restaurants that offers Italian food with an innovative touch as is temporary happening in Italy.
For someone who likes cold cuts, the in restaurant prepared variety of cold cuts is excellent, and mortadella is the best choice.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was great. Food was great. This turned out to be a great time.

p
perfection
San Francisco
32 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Enjoyed an excellent dinner last night! Service was superb and food, excellent!

E
Eileen
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing and attentive service. The waiters always kept our wine glasses full and were patient in recommending dish pairings. Service was 15/10. Definitely will come back.

h
happycustomer
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

incredible! every time! service was a 10, food was over the top delish and the vibe is always cool! I can't wait until the state opens up and we no longer have to wears masks b/c we are vaccinated! Way to crush the covid year by staying alive and keeping your standard high! Best restaurant in town!

RN
RositaN
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding in every way! Exquisite food and presentation! Impeccable service!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Please ask for Carlos to be your server. He is wonderful.

AA
AbelA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service, food, and ambiance. My favorite restaurant in San Mateo.

L
Linn
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was fabulous and exceeded my expectations. Came here with a friend on a Friday night to celebrate a birthday. A day before our reservation, I received a call from the host to ask the name of the birthday guest so they can write a special message printed on the menu. What a great touch! We sat at the bar and enjoyed our customized charcuterie plate. The buffalo soft cheese is mild and went well with our squid ink salame. The mushroom and blue crab risotto was mildly creamy and smooth and the Alaskan halibut with pistachio crust was perfect! Moist, little crunchy and mild nutty flavor. Nothing was overly salty. The service was wonderful!! Our wait server Jose H. came around at just the right times to check in and was very friendly. Thank you Jose H! Every little thing made for a wonderful and unforgettable evening! Would definitely return!

CT
ChrisT
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience3

Fun tasting of all 5 Spritz Hour spritz offerings and all 4 Spritz Hour appetizer offerings. Spritz a little pricy but overall a fun and very good experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was excellent and the service was great. I was super full from sharing a pasta and 3 meat board (plus drinks of course). I see why it’s always so busy.

ST
SasT
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Good food, pleasant service.
The pizza (crust) was a bit disappointing, pretty doughy but rest of the dishes (charcuterie and cheese board, pork belly appetizer, potato/peach salad, almond cake) was all very good. Good cocktails as well. Would go again.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is quite simply - perfect. Service- excellent. love, love this restaurant

AM
AMM2
Palm Springs
21 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing Food; Spritzes delightful. Excellent service from check in to Post dining.

JW
vipJasonW
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall3food3service5ambience4

Nice to have a fun lively restaurant in San Mateo but the chef trirs a bit too hard on inventing new pasta dishes. Cheese are salumi were great but wish they'd offer some simpler pasta plates.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First time out with my girlfriend since the pandemic. It was absolutely wonderful. The service was impeccable and the food was outstanding.

PF
PeterF
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

I returned to Pausa post Covid for a delightful Friday evening dinner. We were seated outdoors, which, as the hostess noted, is a bit noisy. We took advantage of the happy hour specials which were quite a good value. One of us had the elderflower Prosecco cocktail which was pleasant, but nothing spectacular and we also had a glass of a nice Primitivo and a glass of an Italian Pinot Noir. The cheese plate was fine, with nice pairings with honey and fresh preserves. The pizza Margherita was a real Neapolitan pizza. The pomodoro sauce and mozzarella were excellent, the crust was perhaps not quite as light as it could have been. The polpette were a bit disappointing. We ended with a couple of cafe which were definitely not up to standard, almost no crema. The service was a little slow but very friendly and accomodating. It is hard to know how to rate restaurants post Covid because they have clearly had to make some compromises in order to survive. I will look forward to returning so that I can update this review.

L
Laurel
1 review
Dined on June 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

As always the food and service were impeccable. With the pandemic and the hanging dividers to slow down swapping air between clients, the ambiance suffers a bit and is completely understandable. So happy that Pausa is being cautious with everyone's health & well-being. Being the frugal engineer I am, of course, the price is always too high! :-)

m
millahoots
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great dinner with amazing service. They kept bringing the wrong food, but fixed it quickly

Y
Yasi
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

great service; portions are a bit small for the entrees

CG
CatG
Salt Lake City
5 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ended up here by chance driving from SFO to Carmel-by-the-Sea, and WOW was I impressed! What an absolute gem this place is. Music was excellent, loved the decor, the staff was impeccable, and the food was to die for. If I could give more stars, I would. Our server’s name was Kailyn (hope I am spelling that correctly!) and she was informative, knowledgeable, friendly, and paid exactly the right amount of attention to our table. She even found out the name of the Pandora station that was playing in the restaurant for us, and grabbed a tiny dessert for the table for my mother’s belated birthday. 10/10, I wish I lived closer by! I’d be here every week.

MF
MariaF
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is delicious 😋 and the service is great 👍

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Despite it still being covid era, service was still good. Staff were very attentive even though I'm sure they must be short-handed like every other business. Everything is locally sourced/organic and or made in house which I love. The pasta I ordered was perfectly al dente. Everything we ordered was delicious! No complaints on my end!

BL
BarbaraL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First time for our family (4 of us) to celebrate my son’s college graduation. Food was outstanding! Folks acknowledged my son’s big step! Carlos, our server was SO amazing—attentive, funny, informed, super great guy!! We’ll definitely be back soon. We want to try Spritz Hour soon!!

TT
TeenaT
London
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

great meal, outstanding service, lively ambiance with cool music

2
vip2picky
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I returned to Pausa first time post-pandemic for a birthday celebration with friends. It’s as good as I remember. The owner and the waiters were so welcoming and attentive. Loved the lamb and the sides were equally delish.
Thank you, Pausa!

SB
StellaBlue
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

From the moment we arrived to the moment we left we were treated so well by everyone there. The food was fantastic and the cocktails delicious. The service was attentive without being intrusive. Loved it! Overall it was a great value for the cost and we’ll definitely be back!

SD
vipsubuurbanchickSD
Tahoe
14 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Overall, a great dining experience. Only one comment on food - each item was a bit over salted. Aside from that, the food was delicious.

NJ
vipNJmo
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2021
Overall2food2service4ambience2

It was the smallest piece of Halibut I have ever had and it was very dry.....have eaten here many tiles and I this experience was very disappointing

C
vipClif
San Francisco
32 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

always one of the best restaurants in this part of the peninsula.

AC
vipAlisonC
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This dining experience was amazing! From the service, ambiance to the overall quality of the food. Everything is sourced sustainably and locally which is a plus! They make their bread, cheese and cured meats in house and the menu is anything but ordinary. From start to finish they made sure to go above and beyond with service. I can’t wait to go back and try more! Don’t skip this restaurant! Thanks guys!

S
vipSarah
San Francisco
45 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall3food5service3ambience3

Food fantastic but service poor. Management to blame for situation, was not our server fault. Will not return for awhile.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another great experience! Margarita pizza is amazing. The drinks and ambiance also make this a great restaurant. Lastly the service was top notch. Our server Carlos was great.

FI
FoodIsGood
Salt Lake City
8 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful staff, great energy. Food was incredible and reasonably priced.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

A neighbotgood

TD
TraciD
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We ordered the burrata, a pizza and the lamb. Everything was delicious!
The service was excellent

CB
vipCelesteB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall2food1service2ambience2

Mothers Day... food not up to usual standards. Temporarily forgot rule to never eat out Mom Day—too busy + old prep+ swamped kitchen. Otherwise, this spot is usually awesome

CB
vipCelesteB
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our first meal out in a year, and it had to be at Pausa! What a wonderful restaurant. We did take out from them during the pandemic, which was excellent, but it's great to be back in person. We ate outside and had a delicious meal: appetizers, pizza, wine & dessert.

FAQs

Pausa Bar & Cookery offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (650) 375-0818.

Pausa Bar & Cookery is rated 4.8 stars by 1089 OpenTable diners.

Pausa Bar & Cookery does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://pausasanmateo.cardfoundry.com/giftcards.php.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.