Chef Kwan's takes home the Readers' Choice award in two categories this year: favorite Chinese restaurant and favorite takeout. The restaurant is owned by Jason Kwan, whom the restaurant is named after, and it offers Mandarin and Szechwan-style Chinese dishes. Mr. Kwan says the restaurant is known for high quality, fresh ingredients. To the relief of those who loved the former Su Hong to-go at the site, Chef Kwan's uses the same recipes. The most popular dishes are General's Chicken, Chinese chicken salad and dry sauteed string beans, he says. 630 Menlo Ave., Menlo Park | (650) 322-4631 | chefkwans.com
MarketBar squeezes more than two words together. Much of the square footage that used to be an Italian restaurant's dining area is now the kitchen, and the remaining space is jammed with possibilities. You could go for coffee and pastry, a seasonal cocktail and oysters, a full dinner with terrific service or takeout items ranging from rotisserie chicken to quinoa salad. (Important note: It's open only Wednesday through Saturday.)
This cafe offers its visitors to degust Italian cuisine. Do not leave without trying good scrambled eggs, chicken salads and smoked salmon. Taste tasty French toasts, biscuits and French pancakes. It is good to enjoy delicious wine, draft beer or Mimosas. Order great espresso, fresh juices or hot chocolate.
The epicenter of Menlo Park's eating and drinking culture is the Borrone family's longtime stalwart cafe across El Camino Real from Downtown, right by the Caltrain station. Like the grand cafés of European capitals, Cafe Borrone is an all-day, all kinds of situations affair, complimented by an expansive outdoor patio. Whether you're enjoying a solo lunch of the must-order chicken chimichurri sandwich on house-baked focaccia while reading a book from next door Kepler's, catching up with friends during the busy breakfast and coffee am rush, or winding down with a burrata plate and glass of wine, Cafe Borrone does everything with consistently high quality. Don't miss the dessert case offerings or the beloved house whipped cream that's best on top of the mocha-like cafe's namesake drink. // 1010 El Camino Real (Menlo Park), cafeborrone.com
Menlo Park's biggest culinary secret is that it's the home of an outstanding destination-worthy cheesecake bakery. Off the top of our heads, only Zanze's in SF can compare. With a graham cracker crust topped by silky cream cheese and sour cream layers, each cheesecake achieves that perfect texture-flavor combination, then accented by various fruit or candy toppings. Whatever proprietor Cherith Spicer's recipe is, it's cheesecake royalty. Try to order in advance because the slices and whole cakes often sell out in advance of the closing time. Also, Namesake Cheesecake's storefront is home to the Take It Home lunch kiosk, offering a strong mix of salads, sandwiches, and cooked daily specials like fried chicken or tri-tip. // 425 El Camino Real (Menlo Park), namesakecheesecake.com 2b1af7f3a8