San Marcos, CA635 Buffet Caterers near you

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San Marcos Buffet Caterers

Browse these buffet caterers with great ratings from Thumbtack customers in San Marcos.

Top Pro
Baja's Tacos & Catering
4.8
from 141 reviews
  • 13 years in business
  • 161 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Yvonne C.
Verified review

My employer hired Baja's Tacos to cater a company event at Qualcomm Stadium on 12/27. We host an annual tailgate party for clients and industry partners, and have used other caterers in the past. I got quotes from 5 caterers, and ultimately went with Baja's because it was evident that they are very passionate about what they do, and really dedicated to quality and authenticity. (side note: although cost wasn't a factor in our decision, Baja's price was probably the lowest of all 5 companies) Jesus was always quick to respond and answer questions, and every interaction I had with him was pleasant. We were extremely happy with the service that Jesus and his team provided, and the food was amazing. We had three types of tacos (carne asada, pollo and adobada) with fresh corn and flour tortillas and extra chips and guacamole as an appetizer. I appreciated that they included all the toppings including various salsas, guacamole, etc. in the price, as well as rice and beans. It was also very important to us that the tortillas be made fresh onsite, and they did not disappoint! In fact, they made everything right there, including salsa, guacamole. The team arrived well in advance of the event start, and were completely set up and ready to go before any guests arrived. They also provided plenty of staff to serve and cook., so no one had to wait in line. Overall, we would highly recommend Baja's Tacos and look forward to using them again in the future.

  • 18 years in business
  • 143 hires on Thumbtack
Kathy G.
Verified review

Mike was extremely helpful & professional. We had at least 100 guests at my daughter's surprise bithday party and Mike provided a delicious buffet meal of lasagna, chicken masala & cheese tortellini. He was also asked at the last minute to provide appetizers which he did. The party turned out great with Mike's help. We were very happy with our experience & highly recommend Mike & Gourmet Your Way Catering.

Top Pro
Mr. WorldWide Catering
4.9
from 91 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 151 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Brandi G.
Verified review

I don't even know where to begin! Jose is an amazing caterer and I am so happy we hired him for our wedding this past Friday. When we were first tasting caterers food they all seemed metiocre but Joses was amazing! We hired him on the spot! Not to mention he was the most reasonable price! Then everyone was making me nervous saying that catered food is never as good when they have too cool it in large quantities (we had 180 people). When we got to the reception everyone was already eating appetizers and happy. When Jose spotted my husband and I he came up to us and told us he had made us each an appetizer plate and if we wanted it. Then he came up to me to make sure I wanted dinner served when I had originally asked. I did and he brought us the first 2 plates. The food was amazing! Just as good as I remember! Everyone was so pleased and kept talking about how the food was the best they had ever had at a wedding! That was exactly what I wanted! His bartender was amazing and all his staff was so friendly. The setup looked nice and professional. The drinks he brought were great and everyone was talking about how great the mint water was! Then I ordered cheeseburger sliders and French fries to be served late night and they were amazing! He even brought wings and everyone was so excited! They went fast and by the time I got over there everything was gone. Jose told me let me get your plates and pulled out two foil covered plates. He always thought of us first and without him I wouldn't have eaten. All day everything had hiccups and my rentals were late, everything was slightly wrong except Jose! He really came through and went above and beyond. I will definitely hire him again for any events and recommend him to the fullest!

Top Pro
Busy Bee Cook for Me
5.0
from 70 reviews
  • 92 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
LouElla S.
Verified review

Amazing! Sit down dinner for 32. Everything perfect. People asked me for her card. First time hiring a catered dinner won't be the last. She made the party a celebration from the specialty drinks and passed hors d'oeuvres to the fillets and fish and through to dessert. Lilian, YOU made my husband's birthday special! Thank You so much.

Top Pro
Best Mobile Chef
5.0
from 56 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 87 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Gina W.
Verified review

Chef Shawna went out of her way to make our wedding special. Food- We had an idea of what we wanted, fancy picnic food, and she really ran with it. Fried Chicken, Tri Tip, Cedar Plank Smoked Salmon and Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms, Parmesan Mashed Potatoes a mixed greens salad with raspberries and vinegarette, Squash Trio and appetizers that my groom and I missed of course! Every person who ate the salmon asked about it, there's a strong chance it was the best salmon we'd ever had. I don't eat chicken, however getting anyone's attention after dinner was served was almost impossible if they had it, I'm pretty sure I saw grown men fighting over drumsticks and thighs. EVERYTHING was amazing but I cannot overstate the amount of compliments I heard about her fried chicken and smoked salmon. We had 62 people and everyone had enough to eat themselves halfway to a food coma without there being an excess left over. I think that was one of the more impressive things, working out the quantities so well. Service- Shawna communicated with me and answered all my questions leading up to the big day, as well as making some last minute tweaks to the menu to make everything flow better. She showed up on time and dinner was served when we'd asked with no interruptions from her or her (well dressed and mannered) staff. This was a huge help as I had to answer questions and wrangle other people throughout the day who had apparently forgotten our weeks of preparation. I ordered items from VG's bakery for our dessert bar then realized that no one would be able to set it out between the buffet and the time I wanted it open. Shawna stepped in and set up the table beautifully, all I had done was place the boxes and serving bowls/ canisters/ trays in the kitchen! If we lived closer we would absolutely use her services more often, personal chef, small parties, large events, I would even take classes from her if she offered. She is friendly, soft spoken and polite, yet professional, that is a hard combination to find.

Chef Mumsie LLC
4.6
from 54 reviews
  • 28 years in business
  • 97 hires on Thumbtack
Chitra C.
Verified review

The Chef Mumsie team did an amazing job of catering my 40th birthday party! From day 1, the team was quick to respond to my emails and work with our dietary restrictions, taste preferences and budget to create a memorable menu . They even prepared something on the spot, in my kitchen, for a gluten free party guest. He was extremely pleased and so were we! I’m still getting text messages from friends raving about the food and dessert. I highly recommended the Chef Mumsie team for your next event!!

La Mexicana Tacos & Catering
4.4
from 54 reviews
  • 14 years in business
  • 74 hires on Thumbtack
Lucia V.
Verified review

Everybody loved the food. There was plenty and we even had leftovers. The caterers didn't mind all the stairs they had to take to carry their stove, tables etc. We will hire them again for sure when we are in the area.

Top Pro
Sage Bleu Catering
5.0
from 35 reviews
  • 1 year in business
  • 38 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Daniel G.
Verified review

I contacted Sage Bleu based on the reviews I saw here. Although there were other caterers with more reviews, I was looking for a talented caterer, not jaded by decades in the business, who would go the extra mile to deliver superlative food and service. The reviews I saw here painted a picture of incredible food and personalized, unobtrusive, caring service, so I called Sage Bleu. When I spoke with Lavonne, I casually mentioned a few dishes that only the most savvy food aficionado would know. She subtly let me know that she not only knew what those dishes were, but knew how to prepare them. SOLD! I had Sage Bleu cater a casual neighborhood get together as well as a white tablecloth dinner for a dozen finicky business associates. The food selections were appropriate for both crowds. The food, wine pairings and presentation were impeccable. Service began exactly at the appointed time and clean-up was to the highest white glove standard. I cannot recommend Sage Bleu highly enough!

Top Pro
CUCINA MIGRANTE LLC
4.9
from 29 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 33 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Gianluca P.
Verified review

Chef Francesco prepared an excellent meal. The food selection and the wine pairing was excellent. The ingredients selection is incredibly thorough and worth a Michelin star! Well done and thanks for a great meal!

  • 3 years in business
  • 63 hires on Thumbtack
Dolores G.
Verified review

I am beyond grateful to Thumbtack for connecting me to Chef Keith Prante and his team at Hautè Productions Events and Catering to cater my mom's 80th birthday celebration. They are absolutely A-MAZING! Chef Prante was one of two chefs who responded to my request via Thumbtack, and I also received a personal referral. Neither of the other caterers offered ANYWHERE NEAR the quality, selections, variety and value that Hautè offered at my price point. We had our tasting today, and it absolutely sealed the deal! Everything was delicious and the presentation was outstanding. I highly recommend Hautè Productions to any potential customer who appreciates excellence, accommodation and genuine customer service.

Top Pro
  • 7 years in business
  • 51 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Sydney T.
Verified review

I hired Stacy for a vday dinner, the food was amazing, her personality was great and the experience she gave us will last a lifetime. I highly recommend her and will hire her again.

Top Pro
Tastefully Yours
5.0
from 21 reviews
  • 14 years in business
  • 32 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Jane B.
Verified review

As you know we all like good food and we like to look good. The brunch that Isaac Catering did for my son's couple baby shower accomplished both of those. It was the most spectacular display of good tasting food and lovely presentation. The shower was in down town San Diego and the driver of the truck arrived on time and proceeded to set up the warmers for the hot items and placed the fruit and salad and rolls nicely for a buffet. Everything looked beautiful but the best part of all was that it was all delicious too. The people I worked with at Isaac's catering were polite, knowledgable and very pleasant. This was a wonderful choice and I will call them again and recommend them to all my friends. Jane Burke

Enjoy Dining In
4.9
from 21 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 15 hires on Thumbtack
Bala Z.
Verified review

On Saturday I attended a dinner that she catered. There were 70 people or so. It was a 4 course meal and it was delicious. Well prepared and well presented and most importantly served ON TIME!

Top Pro
BAPS!
4.8
from 19 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 17 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Jessica C.
Verified review

BAPS! Catered my family event. There buffalo chicken dip was out of this world. They delivered more then what was expected. Would recommend them to everyone.

  • 3 years in business
  • 33 hires on Thumbtack
Janese J.
Verified review

They were timely, professional and adaptable. Fixed plenty of food to feed our 80 guests. The food was great especially the BBQ. If we're ever in San Diego again we will definitely use them!

Chef Stephani Hunter
5.0
from 17 reviews
  • 1 year in business
  • 9 hires on Thumbtack
Linda H.
Verified review

Stephani did a wonderful job. We all enjoyed the tea party set up & the foods she prepared! I hosted the party; another person paid for it, so I cannot answer to Value, however, my guess is it was very good, as that person told me she & her sister, Staci were GREAT to work with! Linda H

Top Pro
Daily Chew Catering
5.0
from 9 reviews
  • 17 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Kathleen K.
Verified review

Wow Carly made our event so easy! I contactcted her on SHORT notice and wow she delivered ! Fed 13 of us a great meal with dessert and brought it all ready to serve !! Really loved the Mac and cheese and fried chicken, salads and dressing was yummy ! Loved that we could enjoy the company and not be busy in the kitchen, and—- she even took our group photo !!! Thanks Carly !

URBN Catering
4.5
from 8 reviews
  • 18 years in business
  • 6 hires on Thumbtack
Jessica D.
Verified review

They were quick on their toes when the parking situation wasn't ideal. They set up a beautiful table for salads and appetizers and the food was incredible! Highly recommend them!

Chef Joann
5.0
from 7 reviews
  • 10 years in business
  • 1 hire on Thumbtack
Kendall C.
Verified review

Joann's catering impressed all guests at my wedding and catered to all dietary needs. Gluten free lasagna and vegan enchiladas pleased even the meat and wheat eaters. Joann is flexible, creative, and eased the process of planning my event!

O'SIDE BBQ MAN
5.0
from 4 reviews
  • 17 years in business
  • 7 hires on Thumbtack
Greg R.
Verified review

Mahalo Alvin. You and your food was outstanding, Great BBQ meal at a great price. Ordered for 25 and got enough food for 30 plus. Thank you again. Call you for our next occasion.

  • 9 years in business
  • 7 hires on Thumbtack
Thumbtack Customer
Verified review

We hired Unique Luxury Catering to prepare a family dinner for 8 for my wife's birthday on our patio at the Villa we were staying in at Pelican Hill.Chef Brad prepared a spectacular meal and the carrot cake was over the top.The red wine reduction with vanilla bean was a very special treat for everything to be plated in.The cucumber with lobster & quac & apricot / almond appetizers were perfect starters.Great evening ,Great setting ,fabulous meal ! Thanks !

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How do you find a good caterer?

Reviews, interviews and menu tastings will help you find the right catering choice for your big day. Start by screening possible wedding caterers based on past reviews. If a caterer you are interested in has a review that concerns you, ask them about it; how they respond will be very telling. Next, ask about their availability for your wedding date.

If the wedding caterer is available on your date, it’s time to talk about menus and prices. Be clear about what your maximum budget is find out what choices this will allow you. Caterers may custom-create a menu for your event, or they may have menu templates within different price ranges that can guide your decision. A clear budget gives the caterer clear parameters within which to work and offer creative suggestions. Schedule a menu tasting to confirm you love your wedding menu. Once you have a menu and date, and have paid a deposit to reserve the caterer’s services, confirm additional details including when the food will be delivered to the site, what kind of service will be provided, how many servers will be onsite and for how long, and who is responsible for setup and cleanup. The more specific your contract, the fewer worries you’ll have on your wedding day. Get more smart hiring tips here.

Do you tip a wedding caterer?

Tipping 15 percent to 20 percent on a $3,000 catering bill can feel daunting — especially in light of all the other costs of throwing a wedding — but tipping your wedding caterer is standard practice. Be sure to ask your caterer about their specific policies. Many catering companies include gratuity as a line item on their bill. If tipping is not automatically included in your total, a good approach is to tip all the people involved the day of the event rather than paying one lump sum to the catering company. For each server and bartender, you can tip $20-$50, depending on how long they were onsite and whether they did exceptional work. You can also tip the chef; experts suggest $50. It’s also a good idea to tip the catering manager, the point-of-contact person who keeps the catering service running smoothly the day of your wedding, ensures all the food looks beautiful and is plentiful, and resolves any mishaps. Industry pros recommend tipping the catering manager $100-$200. If gratuity is not included and you’re tipping individuals, set aside $200-$500 in cash to be safe.

How much does wedding catering cost per person?

Wedding catering costs will always vary based on the number of guests you’re inviting, the menu you want to serve, and the way the food will be served to your guests. As you interview wedding catering companies, you’ll be presented with a cost per person for various menus. On the low end, wedding catering may cost approximately $15-$18 per person. This would include prepared food only, with no setup or service of any kind. The starting price for a simple buffet meal with minimal service typically averages $22 per person. Opting for the same menu with all organic ingredients could raise your costs to about $33 per person. A moderately upscale menu (finer ingredients, more elaborate presentation) could range from $24 to $34 per person. High-end wedding catering cost truly has no limit. Lobster, filet mignon, specialty seafood, organic ingredients — menu choices like these can boost your cost per person up to $150 and more.

How much does it cost to hire a caterer?

Catering prices depend mainly on how fancy you want the food and service to be and how many guests you’ll have. When you’re first looking to hire a caterer for your event, consider how many guests you’ll have and your total food and drink budget. The national average for event catering is $340, but catering prices can range into the thousands depending on your menu, guest count, and service.

Event catering is a broad term that covers everything from fully prepared, ready-to-eat food that the hosts plate and serve themselves to full-service, multicourse meals, including rental of linens, glassware and other items, with service staff organized by the catering company. Usually a caterer will determine cost based on the type of event you’re having, how many guests will attend, the level of service you desire, and what type of menu you’d like to have. For example, if you have a set catering budget, say $1,500, and you plan to have 50 people attend, that means you have $30 per person for food. If you have the same budget with 100 people, you have $15 per person for food. In this way, the number of people you want to attend your event and the level of food you want to serve them determines how much catering will cost.

What should you look for in a caterer?

A delicious meal is a critical element of a successful wedding, with happy guests fondly remembering your fabulous wedding food. The right caterer for you will be:

  • Available: Even the best caterer is no good if they aren’t available on your wedding date. Ask early before you get your heart set on someone.
  • Affordable for you: Find a caterer that you can afford. Having a spending plan ahead of time will mean you won’t overspend on food.
  • A good personality fit: Wedding planning is stressful, so work with someone that you can get along with and communicate with easily.
  • Experienced and recommended: Ensure the company has a proven track record with events of your size and the references to back it up.
  • Transparent about money: Steer clear of shady pricing. Find a caterer who is very clear about costs and is happy to talk you through budgets and pricing options.
  • Transparent about food: Find someone who is clear about where they source their food from and where it is prepared.
Hire skilled professionals for absolutely everything.