5.4 out of 10


37.600368961462 -122.390893550043
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Eating Out
  • Shopping Options
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Safe & Sound
Not great for
  • Childcare
  • Cost of Living
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Medical Facilities
  • Parking
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • LGBT+


3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 2/5

"Okay For Locals but Nothing to Brae About"

Although Millbrae’s Downtown doesn’t quite rank up there with other San Mateo downtowns either in terms of size or offerings, it still has enough going on that it is worth exploring—especially if you live in Millbrae. The 5 block stretch of Broadway is the heart of the downtown area. There you can find a fair number of stores and restaurants.

Some of the restaurants worth checking out:

--16 Mile Steakhouse: A pretty solid steakhouse. It is not Espetus, but it gets the job done.

--La Collina: A little family owned Italian place on El Camino right by Fiddler’s Green. Great Italian food, with the especially nice touch of having great bread with a homemade olive dip as an appetizer. Yum!

--Hoa Ky: Excellent, inexpensive Vietnamese food. My favorite of the several East Asian joints in the area—though I must admit there are many to still explore.

As far as bars, your one and only choice, as far as I know, is Fiddler’s Green, an Irish Pub. It is a good spot to go with friends if you want to hang out and talk.

You will also find a number of boutiques and beauty shops around here like Dee Dee’s Boutique and Jeet Sing’s herbal store.

You will also find some brand new apartment buildings on the southern end of the downtown, though I am not sure what they
are charging for rent there.

With the Millbrae BART on the southeastern end of the downtown area, this is a perfectly walkable area.

Overall, a nice little spot so that you don’t have drive down to Burlingame or up to the city to find something to eat.
One unfortunate drawback of the area is that your are right in the flight path of SFO, so if you are sensitive to airplane noise, this place may drive you nuts.
  • Nice Restaurants
  • Close To BART
  • New Apartments
  • Not Much Nightlife
  • Smallish
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • LGBT+
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5

"Small town charming commercial hub"

Downtown Millbrae is a skinny sliver of land split mostly between charming commercial quarters and apartment living. Geographically speaking, the area is bounded by El Camino Real to the north, Taylor Boulevard to the east, Magnolia Avenue to the south and Millbrae Avenue to the west. It’s also very walkable, only encompasses about 5 blocks spanning .12 square miles.

Although very cramped, Downtown Millbrae has everything you need in a small town commercial hub. Its main drag is El Camino Real. The street has three lanes going in each direction, and offers everything from banks, to gas stations, from car dealerships to business parks. On Broadway, the street is host to a number of other shops, eclectic restaurants, delis and business firms. The area is complete with nice commercial aesthetics and trimmed landscaping lining the streets. Window shoppers can be seen buzzing around Victoria and Broadway at all times of the day. However, downtown parking can be a bit of a hassle though, especially during nights and weekends.

Downtown Millbrae’s residential terrain is dotted around Magnolia Boulevard. The area offers numerous two-floor apartment buildings. For perspective residents, there is a wide range of attractiveness (some have attractive gardens on the property) between buildings. Yet, it’s nicer, mid-size condos are situated on El Camino Real. For numbers sake, the median rent within the neighborhood’s limits is upwards of $1,400/month. As for your commuting options, the Millbrae Bart and Caltrain stations are located two blocks east of the downtown limits. Both transit options connect residents up and down the San Francisco peninsula.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Trendy & Stylish

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