2317 S El Camino Real
San Mateo, CA 94403
Why did we dine here? – One of those hidden local gems. Andes Cafe is a small Peruvian restaurant on a non descript stretch of El Camino Real in San Mateo. A friend tipped us off that their food was legit, so we had to give it a try. One of us recently returned from Peru, so it was a good time to compare this restaurant to the real deal.
Insider Tip – They sell vouchers on Restaurant.com
Cuisine – Peruvian
Location – San Mateo
Opened – 2014
Service – Andes Cafe was not very busy. The server was friendly and helped us navigate the menu. We even got some free samples.
Verdict – Andes Cafe is one of those homey restaurants that serves up good food at fair prices. Definitely one of the better Peruvian spots in the SF Bay Area.
Is this restaurant worth a 5 minute drive? Yes. 30 minute? Maybe. 1 Hour? No
Andes Cafe Signature Dishes – Causa, Lomo Saltado, Pescado a Lo Macho, Roast Chicken
Andes Cafe’s Menu is pretty wide rangings with all the classic and lots of chicken dishes.
Andes Cafe Food Picks:
Complimentary roasted corn nuts, white corn and spicy green habanero sauce.
Causa ($6.99) Seasoned mashed potato terrine stuffed with chicken and topped with egg, peruvian olive and avocado was a very rich cylinder of goodness. A classic way to start a meal.
Ceviche de Pescado ($12.99) Fish marinated in a zesty lime juice. Comes with yam, corn, cancha and special Peruvian rocoto sauce was definitely on the spicy side. No ceviche in a cup like the usual spots. Pretty authentic.
Lomo Saltado ($13.49) Beef sauteed with onions, tomatoes, cilantro and special seasoning. Comes with fresh fries and a side of rice. This is a classic and was done well. Nice sauce, but could have used more meat. B grade compared to the A grade in Peru.
Pescado a Lo Macho ($14.49) Fish fillet and seafood (calamari, mussels, shrimp) covered in a creamy coconut base sauce. Comes with a side of steamed white rice. A really good reference dish. Excellent sauce and some well cooked seafood.
Mazamorra Morada ($3.99) Peruvian purple corn pudding was an interesting dessert the waiter suggested. A thick pudding like dessert with a nice sweet flavor.
Alfajor ($1.99) A peruvian milk caramel (dulce de leche) filled cookie. Be sure to get the small ones that are sold in a bundle. The large one was a bit stale.
Inca Cola ($2) does not taste like cola. Give it a try, it brings back memories of Peru.
OK: (Order if you like this dish)
Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)
Do you agree with our review? Have you found other similar restaurants that are better?