Support Local in California’s San Mateo County

As our heatwave continues in LA, it got me thinking of the San Francisco Bay’s brisk weather. When I took a road trip up Highway 101 last summer, the various temps at each stop kept me on my toes. I walked the heated streets of San Luis Obispo then grabbed a hoodie as I walked the Cayucous Pier. My final destination that July week? San Mateo County, of course.

Similar to my story with Roswell, I was first introduced to San Mateo County thanks to a trip with IFWTWA. Just a stone’s throw from San Francisco, the cozy coastal seasides, and small-town charms left a great impact on me. Enter last summer, I had the opportunity to return on behalf of this story. From the beach cliffs that make you feel right out of an Edgar Allan Poe novel in Pacifica to walking the gorgeous grounds of Stanford University in Palo Alto, the “SMC” is an incredibly diverse county. One that my husband and I have come to love.

Thus, they were at the top of my list when I began to plan out the Support Local series. From incredible wineries and food to specialty shops, take a virtual visit to SMC when you support one or some of my favorite places in the county. Local to the area? Even better. I’ve included some of my foodie must-eats that are offering take out/delivery options.

Support Local: San Mateo County
Take Out and Delivery

If I lived locally, I’d be so thankful Half Moon Bay’s Pasta Moon has remained open for dinner orders and take out. Authentic gluten-free ad regular pasta is made in-house with only the freshest, locally sourced ingredients. Pasta Moon is open for takeout nightly starting at 5 pm, with the phones open for orders to be placed beginning at 4:30 pm. During this time, take out orders receive a 10 percent discount, and the chefs are creatively adding specials of the day.

If you know someone in the SMC, consider purchasing a gift card for Pasta Moon to email them on your behalf. This would also be such a kind gesture to an Essential Worker in the area or even grab some for yourself to enjoy on your next venture when it’s safer to travel once again.

Gluten-free pizza at Osteria . (c) Mary Farah
The larger than life apple pie a la mode at 7 Mile House! (c) Mary Farah

When I first visited San Carlos, I had no idea the thriving wine community I’d be introduced to, and that’s still quite under the radar. Along the industrial streets of the suburb (population: 30,000) lays several small and independent wineries including one of my favorites, Domenico. The spacious winery recently unveiled their new sister project, Osteria, a beautiful wine bar and eatery paying homage to Italy in a post-WW2 era. Just like walking into an Italian’s home, I certainly felt like family from the moment I arrived.

Osteria and Domenico are open for patio pickup and delivery Tuesday through Sunday with varying hours. While the menu is limited, you can get one of their delicious stone oven pizzas for just one cent when you purchase six or more bottles of wine. They also offer gift cards.

Over in Brisbane, 7 Mile House has lived on for over 160 years. They’re not afraid of no pandemic! With a vibrant atmosphere and an eclectic blend of pub grub and Filipino cuisine, 7 Mile House was such a memorable stop on my first visit. They’re open for take out and delivery, and for those of us out of town, they got us covered. Check out these tees, tanks, and hoodies to help support the landmark.

Shop and Order Online

With so many terrific boutiques and independent shops in the county, it’s the ideal time to do some local shopping from your home, am I right? I recommend you begin at Del’ Oliva specializing in olive oils, vinegars, kitchen necessities, and gifts. Owner Eddie Sohirad is passionate about his products and one of the most personable shop keepers you’ll meet. 

While some may check out their online shop and know what they’re looking for, consider emailing Eddie as he has a plethora of recipes and “hacks” to incorporate oils and vinegars to your dishes. 

On my last visit with him, I discovered that blood orange infused olive oil is the perfect companion when baking cakes and pancakes. Who would have thought?!

Del’ Oliva in Burlingame. (c) Mary Farah
Nova eyeing my Tin Pot ice cream at the Clement Hotel. (c) Mary Farah

Over in Palo Alto, it’s no surprise they’ve got a happening downtown scene. As a coffee and ice cream fan, there’s two places I’m quite pleased have remained open. Cafe Venetia is such a unique experience compared to your usual coffee run. The space is warm, inviting, and the drinks expertly crafted. Best part? The staff makes all espresso drinks with latte art. In these hard times, I think many of us may be reaching for our “perks” like a good cup of Joe more than ever. The cafe is open to locals to grab and go, but for those of us not in town, their bold and robust javas (some organic) are available by the bag online

And, as far as ice cream. When we stayed at Palo Alto’s Clement Hotel days before COVID-19 became a pandemic, I discovered one of the tastiest ice creams I’ve had. At the hotel’s 24 hour pantry, they offer to-go scoops from Tin Pot Creamery. I tried their vegan raspberry fudge and still can taste it. It was one of the richest ice creams, dairy or non, that I’d ever enjoyed. Try for yourself as they’re open and offering pints and kits online.

Until you can “Play by the Bay…..”

Clearly, San Mateo County is a special spot in California for me. I’m hopeful the As Fresh As It Gets 2nd Annual Farm Dinner will go on this fall but in the meantime, there’s plenty of ways to support this gateway county to San Francisco. Learn more HERE! xo