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San Mateo Caterers

Browse these catering services with great ratings from Thumbtack customers in San Mateo.

Chef Pete Coleman
4.9
from 152 reviews
  • 20 years in business
  • 272 hires on Thumbtack
Heather H.
Verified review

Pete was great to work with! He REALLY knows his stuff when it comes to catering. He made suggestions to make the event better for the guests and also was available to me by phone, text and email. Pete and his team catered my wedding in Sonoma. I was an out of town Bride from San Diego and had a hard time selecting vendors. Pete gave me references to call and also made a trip to meet with us at the venue months before the wedding. He and his team did a great job staffing the event. All the wedding guests raved about his food. He also was so easy to work with and created a fun menu for us filled with the Bride and Grooms favorite entrees from all types of cuisine. He is knowledge, honest, and makes delicious foods. I highly recommend Pete and am sure we will work with him again in the future to cater other parties. Thanks Pete!

Top Pro
Cazadores Catering
4.9
from 117 reviews
  • 28 years in business
  • 195 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Larry J.
Verified review

The catering job I just experienced this past Saturday, Dec 28, 2013, with Taqueria Cazadores was excellent and I'd like to max out the stars for them. Although they are area-renowned for their Mexican offerings, I learned they also cater good 'ol BBQ which I chose for my 60 guests for my son's Boy Scout Eagle Court of Honor. Nearly all guests went out of their way to tell me how excellent the food was. Way to go, Evan!!! For readers: Evan was there plenty early; had all the food ready on time; no problems with portions; and even went out of his way for having vegan-type food for a few of my guests. Thank you, Larry

A Plus Catering
4.3
from 102 reviews
  • 20 years in business
  • 168 hires on Thumbtack
Lara W.
Verified review

A Plus Catering lives up to their name!!!! I needed 2 servers to help facilitate a bridal shower tea party and they were perfect!!! They did everything I asked and created a smooth, seamless experience while I enjoyed my guests. And they left the kitchen sparkling!

Top Pro
Kitchenina.com
4.9
from 79 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 118 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Velina T.
Verified review

I am an event planner and have worked with many catering companies in the past few years. Kitchenina is by far my best find and the catering company that I will continue to recommend to any of my future clients. Aliki is extremely kind and very accommodating. The food is top quality and their customer service is unmatched. So glad to have found this company on thumbtack! Looking forward to working with them on many future events!

DNL Catering
4.6
from 72 reviews
  • 29 years in business
  • 133 hires on Thumbtack
Maria R.
Verified review

Emily arrived on time and Tony followed short after. They were both pleasant and professional. The food presentation was truly attractive and appetizing. Emily was particularly mindful of making sure that the meats were kept fresh prior to serving. Layout was organized with Tony even making sure to put away the desserts for later. All our guests were impressed with the food. Many raved about the brie in particular! The tiramisu and carrot cake were also favorites. The cheese with berries was amazing. The quiche looked a little overcooked but was actually not. We didn't get to taste everything but based on response from our guests, we think every dish was well-received. There were hardly any left-overs - mostly the vegetables and the cheeses. We were very impressed with DnL catering. We will definitely recommend to others and will consider for our next event.

Top Pro
Celebrations by Chet Chase
5.0
from 56 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 77 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Elizabeth I.
Verified review

Chet was a dream to work with and will certainly become my go-to person for any event. I'm typically pretty anal and always cook everything for my own parties, but for our housewarming we decided to cater a portion of it. Chet was very willing to work with our budget and was prompt in his email and phone responses and put up with my 10,000 questions with ease. He was able to help us determine where to put food and beverages layout-wise in our home and really went above and beyond. The food was, of course, stellar and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm extremely picky when it comes to catering, but I would use Chet again in a heartbeat!

Top Pro
Graceful Kitchen
4.8
from 54 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 64 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Sasha S.
Verified review

Grace cooked outstanding food (salmon, prosciutto/melon, eggplant, citrus salad) and provided an all-around amazing experience - customizing the menu to fit our tastes! Thank you so much Grace! I will recommend you to everyone looking for a personal chef/catering!

Top Pro
Dani Bensimon Catering
4.8
from 46 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 82 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Catherine F.
Verified review

Amazing food and she's a delight on top of it! I highly recommend her to handle any catering needs that you may have, her food is SO tasty!!

Kitchen 350
4.7
from 39 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 64 hires on Thumbtack
Sheri A.
Verified review

Matt was very nice and professional at all times. He showed up at the event I booked him for way before the event time to set up and to personally make sure everything was as it should be. He is really the whole gamit when it comes to catering. He obviously takes pride in what he does and it shows. As an events coordinator, he is the type of person I want to work with. I will definitely use him again for my clients events. Sheri A Touch of Class Entertainment

Rose Johnson Catering
4.9
from 34 reviews
  • 14 years in business
  • 35 hires on Thumbtack
Kyle M.
Verified review

Rose catered my Super Bowl party (30 guests). It was, without a doubt, the best catering experience I've ever had. The food was plentiful and unique, the presentation was top notch, and her (and her staff's) service was impeccable. I'll not only use her again, she'll be the only one I call.

Top Pro
Green Chow Down
4.9
from 28 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 30 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Jocelyn B.
Verified review

Angela was very helpful right from the beginning. Once she and I spoke, determined a budget, she proposed some wonderful selections, and the evening was divine. Having a few people who have gluten-free diets, the menu planning was extremely important to me - and every item was gluten free AND delicious! Angela is able to help rent anything you need, so that isn't a worry. She has a wonderful assistant who is warm and friendly. I would highly recommend Angela's business for your catering event.

Top Pro
LL Services
5.0
from 27 reviews
  • 29 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Carol M.
Verified review

Don't look any further: LL Services is the BEST! They catered a women's luncheon in my home, and I found their friendly manner, professionalism and responsiveness to be unmatched. They offered flexible menu options with fresh, creative and delicious selections. My guests went back not only for seconds, but thirds, and they all left with a business card for their own catering needs. Don't pass up the opportunity to have them cater your next event.

Rainbow Chefs Bay Area
4.7
from 29 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 65 hires on Thumbtack
Andrew A.
Verified review

Catered with passed apps and one wine pourer. Very good experience, would hire again. Lana, chief contact, was very professional and gave good food options for our event at our price point. (We provided our own wine.) Food quality was excellent The venue owner was also very pleased, which is a win-win for us.

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Phiesty Food Catering
4.9
from 23 reviews
  • 9 years in business
  • 18 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Lori S.
Verified review

Oh my goodness, I was so, so impressed with Cheri's cooking. I've never, and I mean never, tasted a turkey that was as tender and flavorful as hers. I'm getting hungry right now just thinking of it. She catered our holiday party, and the depth and delight of all her amazing dishes tantalized all the guests. All her dishes we're cooked and baked to perfection. She's a genius in the kitechen, with a down-home, nurturing spirit to boot. I highly recommend Cheri for any catering event you're planning in the future. Your guest will rave that it's the best catered food they've ever had.

Top Pro
Liberation Foods BBQ
4.9
from 19 reviews
  • 1 year in business
  • 18 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Taylor O.
Verified review

Dennis is everything an amazing catering should be: responsive, efficient, polite and purveyor of absolutely delicious food! We hired Dennis to cater dinner for a team offsite, and it went over marvelously. He arrived right on time, set up everything without needing much oversight, served up the food to our team, then cleaned up everything himself. All while chatting up our team and with a smile. We will absolutely be hiring him again for future catering events.

Top Pro
Mise En Place
5.0
from 18 reviews
  • 7 years in business
  • 13 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Mackenzie B.
Verified review

Daniel was an amazing caterer. He was extremely prompt and came with most of the catering gear he needed (which is good because I have very few kitchen tools). Our entire group loved the food: cheese/meat course, tuna tartar, couscous, salmon, and tiramisu. It was delicious! And as a bonus, we did not need to clean up :)

  • 9 years in business
  • 14 hires on Thumbtack
Melissa K.
Verified review

Avocado & Company is well beyond a catering company that designs exquisite foods and decor. Every member of their staff filled the venue with a lovely energy and created for us a perfect mood, a blend of elegance and playfulness. They catered an event in honor of my grandmother and it was stunning. Johnny made sure that every moment is one which will leave an imprint. Paired with the divine food and impressive bar it was one of the most beautiful days in recent memory. Thank you, Avocado & Company! - Melissa

Culinary Misfits
4.9
from 11 reviews
  • 7 years in business
  • 22 hires on Thumbtack
Cindy B.
Verified review

Hired this private chef for company retreat in Austin lakehouse. Served around 24 people. Very personable, food was fantastic. Everything was perfect. Definitely recommend Eric Daniel of Culinary Misfits.

Magic of the Catering
5.0
from 10 reviews
  • 6 hires on Thumbtack
Fe L.
Verified review

Food was good - I ordered the sushi trays and thai food. Very punctual and set up catering service. Highly recommend them. I have use them several times for our catered lunches.

Canela Bistro & Wine Bar
5.0
from 5 reviews
  • 7 years in business
Erin D.
Verified review

Canela Bistro was responsive and provided quality food that was enjoyed by all. It 100% met our needs. They were timely, friendly and helpful throughout the entire catering process for our event. We would definitely use them again.

Rainbow Chefs Eastbay
5.0
from 3 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 2 hires on Thumbtack
Amber F.
Verified review

Rainbow Chef's catered our company Halloween Party and did an amazing job! They served up homemade small bites with personal touches, including adorable coffin-shaped brownies and ricotta and spinach eyeballs. Everything tasted amazing. We highly recommend them!

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.

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.

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.

How much should catering cost for a wedding?

The cost of wedding catering will reflect the level of service, the menu you choose, the luxury you desire and the number of guests you invite. Where you live also plays a major role in your wedding catering costs. The regional cost to do business and local cost of food will affect your catering bill. There is no set price for wedding catering, because each wedding and each menu is different. This is why many caterers provide a per-person price. This allows you to break down what it costs to feed each person based on the menu you want. Working with your caterer, you can adjust menu items, service level and more to accommodate your budget and guest count. Keep in mind that wedding catering costs are not just for the food. The bill reflects all the components that go into commercial food catering: a commercial kitchen, ingredients, staff, insurance, marketing and more. Here are some examples of average costs:

  • Three-course plated meal, moderately upscale, for 125 in Los Angeles: $14,000. Because of staffing costs, a true plated meal costs about twice as much as a staff-assisted buffet.
  • Buffet meal, standard menu, for 100 in Los Angeles: $5,000.
  • Per-person cost for hors d'oeuvres, dinner and nonalcoholic beverages: $24–$37, depending on menu selection, in Southern California.
  • Drop off prepared food for 50: $1,000 in North Carolina. Price does not include any service, setup or breakdown.

How do you serve food at a wedding?

Food service at your wedding will affect your catering costs and influence the atmosphere of the reception. Buffet style is more informal; plated meals are a bit fancier; family style encourages sharing. Read about the different food service styles to select your preferred wedding catering choice.

  • Buffet: Caterers can drop off prepared foods for a DIY and budget-friendly buffet option where you set everything up and food is entirely self-service. For a fuller-service buffet, the caterers set up food, oversee the buffet throughout the event, and clean up afterwards. For food only, prices per person might average $16-$18, while a service buffet may start around $20-$22 per person. Adding food stations can increase per-person costs by at least $3-$5.
  • Family style: Servers bring large platters of food to guest tables in courses. It’s less formal (and less expensive) than a plated meal, but more formal and higher-cost than a buffet. You’ll need large tables to accommodate the platters, so plan accordingly when renting furniture for the event.
  • Plated: A plated event is a formal dining experience; waitstaff serve your seated guests for each course, fill their drinks, and attend to them throughout the dinner. A plated dinner is typically the most expensive option for both food and service.
  • Food trucks: Similar to buffets, with food trucks your guests get their own food and bring it to their table. A food truck gives a relaxed and playful vibe to your reception.
  • Cocktail reception: If you don’t want a formal seated dinner, you can opt for a wide assortment of passed appetizers at an extended cocktail hour reception.
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