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San Rafael Inexpensive Caterers

Browse these inexpensive caterers with great ratings from Thumbtack customers in San Rafael.

Chef Pete Coleman
4.9
from 144 reviews
  • 20 years in business
  • 257 hires on Thumbtack
Dalila S.
Verified review

We were looking for catering services for our small and intimate wedding during December 2015. Food was a big part of the event, but we also had a limited budget, so we shopped around to find someone that would fit our needs. Pete understood our menu concept right away and was able to work with our budget. He didn't fuzz about small details that we wanted to incorporate and went above and beyond to make them happen. He even provided ideas on how to improve the overall experience, not just the food. We interviewed lots of chefs and catering companies and we couldn't be happier about working with Pete. Our foodie friends and family members praised the food, the presentation was extraordinary and the service was very professional. Pete also provided support for the drinks, bringing with him a great mixologist that crafted creative drinks for the crowd. Finally, the next morning Pete prepared brunch for guests that spent the night at the venue (and ourselves) and even tho some things did not go as planned for him (the professional oven broke down!), he was able to have everything ready flawlessly by the time we woke up. Thank you Pete for taking care of such important part of our event! We are looking forward to working with you again.

A Plus Catering
4.3
from 95 reviews
  • 20 years in business
  • 159 hires on Thumbtack
Ren S.
Verified review

We received excellent service from A Plus Catering. The food arrived on time, was tasty, and everything went as planned. I would recommend them for any event. Very professional, friendly and affordable.

Top Pro
Bouquet Catering
5.0
from 73 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 102 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Yvonne C.
Verified review

This was my first time using a caterer and trying Thumbtack. I have to say this was a very positive experience. Stephanie was easy to work with and seemed to understand what I needed. The food was very good and the service was too. Her assistant stayed to help me set up and serve, then she cleared the food and put the leftovers in to-go portions. I was not expecting this but it sure made the clean up go easy. Thank you for making our event very special.

Top Pro
Kitchenina.com
4.9
from 74 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 101 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Thumbtack Customer
Verified review

I had a great experience with hiring Kitchenina as our caterers for an event with 40 people. The communication was always prompt, polite and friendly. They did a great job on the day of the event to ensure that the food was delivered on time (despite the traffic/weather conditions) and made my job as the event organizer much easier. I would definitely work with Kitchenina again in the future, and regret that I did not take photos of the food! (Thanks for the brownies as well!)

Nitro BBQ & Catering
4.8
from 69 reviews
  • 18 years in business
  • 95 hires on Thumbtack
Ardeth C.
Verified review

I have hired many caterers over the years for various events. I was looking for an experienced caterer for our son's wedding rehearsal BBQ for 130 people at our house in June. I meant Paul Lira through Thumbtack and he promptly returned my call. We set up a tasting date and the food was so delicious I hired him on the spot. His menu is locally sourced, fresh and all of it tasty for every palate. Paul and his staff were a pleasure to work with....professional and friendly. Wedding RSVP's can be slow in coming in and the few updates I sent Paul within my timeline were graciously accepted. I would highly recommend Nitro to anyone looking for delicious food prepared to the highest of standards and delivered with professionalism, on time by a great guy who loves what he does and brings a cool vibe with him!

Quiche and Carry
4.6
from 65 reviews
  • 98 hires on Thumbtack
Darlene M.
Verified review

We had a buffet dinner party for 27 family and friends. Deborah provided the food -- it was wonderful! We had appetizers including 3 different kinds of mini-quiche and absolutely decadent deviled eggs with bacon and then entrees of flank steak (all gone!) and lemon chicken (so tender!), roasted vegetables, a farmers salad and garlic bread. Beautiful, healthy and delicious. The staff was very good and left my kitchen as they found it. A great experience from a very good caterer. Thanks, Deborah!

Passionate Plates
4.8
from 60 reviews
  • 78 hires on Thumbtack
Melissa J.
Verified review

Had a Christmas Party for 30 people in my home. Food was prepared on-site. As guests arrived first and caterers second, the kitchen was full of guests nibbling on appetizers. Alisa and her assistant blended right in working around guests. The food was delicious! All guests commented about how wonderful the food was and how pleasant Alisa and her assistant were. Clean-up was provided, and they did a great job at that too. It made enjoying guests and myself fantastic! Planning for the event was seamless, organized and expeditious! When I have another party for my 50th this year, Passionate Plates and Alisa will be on "speed-dial"!

Top Pro
Celebrations by Chet Chase
5.0
from 55 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 76 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Nick L.
Verified review

Chet prepared an awesome menu for our 50 person cocktail party. After a quick phone call, Chet took the theme of the party and crafted a menu that really fit what we were looking for. There were hardly any leftovers, so the portions were perfect. Chet is really responsive and highly communicative, making him really easy to work with. The only snag was that he ran into some day of oven issues (which can't be predicted), but was able to get us the food in the nick of time. I would definitely recommend Chet to anyone looking for an awesome caterer who is easy to work with, and prepares delicious food! Thanks for making our party a success!

Top Pro
Chef Andrea Lawson Gray
4.7
from 56 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 94 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Bob R.
Verified review

Andre and her crew were outstanding. Wonderful, imaginative food. Very easy to work with. We would use them again if the opportunity presented itself.

Top Pro
Graceful Kitchen
4.8
from 52 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 58 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Haya K.
Verified review

I've known Grace for many years. I have been over to her house for home cooked meals that were truly gourmet, and delicious. She also prepared some food and sold it from her home. On the level of catering for large parties, I went to our friend Dave's party last month were Grace did the catering. The food was flawless, delicious, with great presentation, and great variety. I strongly recommend Grace for catering your events.

Top Pro
Dani Bensimon Catering
4.8
from 46 reviews
  • 4 years in business
  • 80 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Lesley C.
Verified review

Daniella made our July 4th celebration the best yet! Her delectable menu choices were just perfect for the occasion. Everything was so beautifully and appetizingly displayed, and most importantly...every dish was delicious! Looking forward to our next celebration......DaniBensimon Catering will be our caterer of choice from now on!

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

Matt and his wife Nina did a wonderful job catering my small backyard wedding for 20 people. Their food was absolutely delicious and everyone loved it! Very professional with day of services and were both very kind and welcoming people. Generally pretty responsive with emails/messages. Very receptive to everything that I wanted for the event and delivered on all my requests. We rented dinnerware and glassware from them and it made everything a breeze! Such a pleasure to work with. Overall was a good experience. I would love to eat their food again!!

Mocha and Matcha, Inc.
4.8
from 32 reviews
  • 8 years in business
  • 58 hires on Thumbtack
Kimberly C.
Verified review

Reina and her team did such a beautiful job on our catering. The food was fantastic, we received so many compliments including from a foodie friend of ours who is very particular. Reina worked with me to craft a really lovely menu and made our day really special and totally did it within my very tight budget. Thank you thank you thank you!!

Top Pro
Green Chow Down
4.9
from 27 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 27 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Leah A.
Verified review

Angela is an exceptional caterer! We hired her for a long (10 day) job for a production crew, serving multiple meals for VERY hungry people. I heard consistently that they were the best meals the crew had ever had on a job. She was very thorough in her choices, and made it obvious that she takes pride in what she cooks, plans, and serves. We plan to make Angela our go-to caterer for ALL future jobs. As much as I would love to tell you to stay away so we can hoard her...you HAVE to hire Angela and try her meals for yourself!

Top Pro
LL Services
5.0
from 24 reviews
  • 25 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Shannon B.
Verified review

Lucas and his team were fabulous. Food was excellent and service outstanding. They also left the place spotless. Highly recommend!

Top Pro
Phiesty Food Catering
4.8
from 23 reviews
  • 9 years in business
  • 17 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.

Jake Reichart Catering
4.4
from 24 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 25 hires on Thumbtack
Martha P.
Verified review

Jake was a real trooper - we threw a going away luncheon for a colleague and he really stepped up after our original caterer cancelled due to family emergency. He was a real pleasure to work with and communication was seamless throughout the process.

Top Pro
Liberation Foods BBQ
5.0
from 18 reviews
  • 1 year in business
  • 17 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Marielle N.
Verified review

What an incredible pop-up and delicious food! Dennis was awesome in working with our organization for our holiday party. He was very responsive and helped us organize platters for ~80 people. His food was demolished by our team well before the night ended. Highly recommend!

Top Pro
Farm to Table
4.8
from 19 reviews
  • 6 years in business
  • 27 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Krista L.
Verified review

Zachary was a pleasure to work with. The food he catered for the party I planned was delicious! There were many many compliments on everything and the tamales were especially moist and amazing! I will be hiring him again in the future! Krista

Olive Cater
5.0
from 8 reviews
  • 4 years in business
Ohad M.
Verified review

I went to an event catered by Arkadi and Elinor back in January. I loved the richness of flavors and colors. The food was as tasty as it looked. The meats were cooked to perfection. I booked them to cater a costumers appreciation event for my construction company and it was a big success! Food was great and the service was professional.

  • 7 years in business
  • 3 hires on Thumbtack
Julia L.
Verified review

Best service ever.!! I had their catering service at my wedding and it was a success. The food was mouthwatering and everyone loved it. They are very professional and definetly met my culinary needs. They provide affordable catering services which was a plus for me!!

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

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.

How much should catering cost per person?

Catering prices can range from about $10 per guest on the low end to $150 or more per person on the high end. Catering costs represent the quality of food, presentation, variety, ingredients and service. But catering prices are more than the cost to cook the food that will be at your party; they also include the cost for the company to do business. Here is a simple breakdown of catering prices:

  • Menu: The food you serve your guests will directly affect the price per person. Organic ingredients, complex recipes, elaborate presentations, or high-ticket items like lobster or filet mignon all add to the cost.
  • Service: Buffet, family style, plated dinners — how you serve the food affects the cost per person. For example, a true plated meal can cost about twice the price of a staff-assisted buffet because of staffing costs. Hiring waiters, bartenders and cleanup crew will all be calculated into the per-person catering price.
  • Drinks: Providing beverages and alcoholic drinks for guests greatly increases your catering budget. Hosting an open bar can cost as much per person as the meal.
  • Rentals: Seating, plates, glassware, etc., will all have an effect on the cost per person for catering. For example, a plastic conference table that seats 10 costs about $6 to rent on average, while a wooden farmhouse table is about $80 to rent on average.
  • Business costs: Any catering cost will also include the cost for the company to do business such as insurance, employee wages, commercial kitchen space and more.
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