Located in the heart of kid-friendly downtown San Mateo, this brand new Italian restaurant fits right with the existing local family favorites. Tomatina’s boistrous atmosphere, surprisingly eclectic kid’s menu and delicious grown-up fare make it a can’t-miss for your entire family. Plus, with seven locations all over the Bay Area, you won’t have to drive far to get in on the goodness, no matter where you live.

Tomatina Pizza

Photo: Tomatina

No Silent Suppers
Like any authentic Italian dinner, things can get loud—in the best way possible. The atmosphere at Tomatina is lively, a bit noisy, and totally casual—you won’t get any sideways glances when a fork (or plate, or glass of water) inevitably crashes to the ground. Best of all, the menu and service are very accommodating to families with small children, and if you’re bringing the whole brood, you’ll likely be in good company, as families with young kids are plentiful here. If it’s not insanely busy, bring your kids up to the pizza-making station, where they can watch dough being tossed around and pizzas bubbling in the giant hearth.

Tomatina Piadine

Photo: Tomatina

Choices, Choices, Choices
The menu is massive, so while ordering may not be an easy decision (for you or your bambino) it’ll be hard to mess this up, as everything is so tasty. Our advice is to just go nuts and try a little bit of everything. If you’re the lucky parent of a kid who craves crudité, start with the veggie dippers or Caesar salad from the kid’s menu to keep hungry tummies happy while the mains are being prepped. Got kids who are more into carbo-loading? Go with a round of a Tomatina’s specialty—garlic rolls—fresh baked and swimming in olive oil and fresh garlic. For your entrees, count on classics like lasagne, ravioli and spaghetti but do try what Tomatina has come to be known for: Piadine. What is a pee-yah-dee-nay? It’s basically a delicious mound of cool salad atop a fresh baked flatbread. Fold it up, eat it like a pizza, or eat it like a salad. However you eat it, it’ll be scrumptious. Also worth a mention are the oven fired pizzas. You just might want to order a large, because you’ll probably end up sharing this one with the little mouths at your table.

Tomatina Spaghetti

Photo: Tomatina

The Perks
There are even more good reasons you will want to frequent Tomatina, aside from the great atmosphere and delicious food. They have a loyalty program that’s easy to manage, and will quickly reward you for dining with them. Get one point per dollar spent, and after your first 200 points, you will automatically get $10 deducted from your next bill. No coupons necessary. Plus, every Thursday, kids eat free during dinner hours.

Tomatina Oven

Photo: Tomatina

So, make an afternoon of it. Tomatina is just a few doors down from Talbot’s Toyland, where your kids can play throughout the display of outdoor toys and race cars around their electric racetrack. Next stop, and next door, is Scribble me Happy, which offers open studio from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. on Thursdays. Now, you’re only steps away from dinner. Shop, play, paint, then eat up the rest of your afternoon at Tomatina!
401 S. B St.
San Mateo, Ca
650-918-5030
Hours: Mon.-Sun., 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Online: Tomatina.com

—Heather Rodgers

What’s your favorite thing on Tomatina’s menu? Let us know in the comments below.