Flores Cocina & Bar at Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo

Flores Restaurant San Mateo

How exciting that we have a new restaurant in San Mateo! Just before Christmas, Flores Cocina and Bar at Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo opened it’s doors. My friends and I have been anticipating this new spot for margaritas (and good Mexican food) for a while– Flores definitely fits the bill, and checks all of the boxes. I had visited Flores’ San Francisco and Corte Madera locations a number of years ago, but seeing Flores was coming to our town, just before Santa Claus would be coming to town, how great!?

Belcampo meats was the first restaurant to inhabit this space in the newest section on Hillsdale Shopping Center, dubbed the “North Block”. You can read about the demise of Belcampo here. Flores Concina and Bar did a revamp of the space and the new look goes very well the their margaritas. And ceviche. And churros. After the hustle and bustle of holiday craziness started its downswing, my husband and I got lucky with a kid-free New Years Eve, so Flores it was! You can make reservations ahead on Yelp (highly suggested for a Friday or Saturday night), which I did. After showing homes late in the afternoon, I was starving and called to see if they could accommodate us before our 8pm reservation. They were very friendly and moved our reservation a full hour earlier than booked. After entering the restaurant, being greeted by the host and spending a few minutes in their waiting area, we were ushered to our table. There is a bar area with table seating (first come, first served) just before you get to the actual, long, bar that runs along the west wall of the restaurant. I instantly noticed the light fixtures, in a variety of colors, materials and hanging lengths; all very cool and I’d love to have one of each in my home.

Once seated, and introduced to our server, we settled in and were given a small bowl of chicharrones. Then we ordered a pitcher of their house margaritas, obviously. Our server was attentive the duration of our visit and everything we could have expected and better. We decided sharing a handful of dishes would maximize what we were able to try on this first visit to Flores, so we agreed on the following:

tortilla chips, trio of house salsas

Ceviche Mixto Campechano
local halibut, shrimp, squid, avocado, onion, burnt tomato
agua de chile, corn fritter

chile braised beef, oaxaca cheese, beef broth

Tacos (3)
slow-roasted pork
Carne Asada
grilled marinated steak
fried adobo cod

Churros for Dessert
these came with chocolate and cajeta sauces. The dulce de leche was the winner, by far.

From the selections we made, the standouts were the ceviche with corn fritters, the fish taco and the churros.

Worth noting: their house margaritas ($42 for a pitcher– not bad!) didn’t need any adjustments. This is rare when I order a margarita. Typically they are too sweet and I have to ask for a million limes to squeeze myself. This pitcher was perfection. Easy to order and easier to consume. We decided that we will be back to share an order of ceviche and a pitcher of margaritas. It will be a light dinner, mostly liquid, and that’s fine with me. Brunch with a michelada is also on my list!

Flores Cocina and Bar is a welcomed addition to San Mateo. I know we’ve all been through mourning of upscale Mexican dining in this area– long ago we lost Holas (both Burlingame and then Belmont) and more recently, Sixtos.

If you have a chance to check Flores out, give us your mini review and a tag on social @teamtapper for all platforms.

Flores Cocina & Bar
4 Hillsdale Mall
San Mateo, CA 94403
Phone: (650) 418-9742

Tuesday 11:30 AM–9 PM
Wednesday 11:30 AM–9 PM
Thursday 11:30 AM–9 PM
Friday 11:30 AM–10 PM
Saturday 11 AM–10 PM
Sunday 11 AM–9 PM
Monday 11:30 AM–9 PM


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