Celebrate Lunar New Year at one of these top Vietnamese restaurants in San Mateo

Ready to celebrate Lunar New Year? On February 5, families around the world take part in the celebrations for Tet, the first day of the Lunar New Year -- and spring -- for Vietnamese families.

To kick off the celebration, families gather at home or at a favorite restaurant on New Year's Day for a reunion meal, often featuring specialities that include dua hanh (pickled spring onions), banh chung (sticky rice with meat or beans wrapped in leaves) and boiled whole chicken.

If you're looking for a feast to celebrate the Year of the Pig with friends and family, Hoodline has crunched the numbers to find the top Vietnamese restaurants in San Mateo, based on Yelp ratings and our own methodology. Happy Lunar New Year!

1. Pho Element




Photo: Henry S./Yelp

Topping the list is Pho Element, situated at 2216 S. El Camino Real. With four stars out of 473 reviews on Yelp, it has proven to be a local favorite for its Hainanese chicken with rice, barbecued pork spring rolls and other offerings.

2. Ben Tre Vietnamese Homestyle Cuisine





Photo: Ann S./Yelp

Downtown's Ben Tre Vietnamese Homestyle Cuisine, located at 213 Second Ave., is another top choice, with Yelpers giving it four stars out of 430 reviews.

3. Gao Viet Kitchen & Bar




Photo: Gao Viet Kitchen & Bar/Yelp

Finally, Gao Viet Kitchen & Bar, another Vietnamese spot downtown, is another go-to, with four stars out of 109 Yelp reviews. Head over to 313 S. San Mateo Drive to see for yourself.