San Mateo has one of the larger, well developed, more prominent suburban downtowns in the San Francisco Bay Area. The downtown core contains over 800 shops and restaurants, many of them in historic buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A historically influential area for the Japanese-American community, the downtown is home to many Japanese restaurants and shops. A large, modern 12-screen movie theatre complex gives the downtown a major entertainment option.

Central Park is considered to be San Mateo's signature park with tennis courts, picnic areas, playground, a baseball field, a recreation center, a miniature train, and a Japanese Tea Garden. The Caltrain station is situated downtown. The downtown also contains many large and small multi-story office buildings, apartments, government buildings and Mills Medical Center, making the area a busy employment center day and night.

Police Services
San Mateo Police Department
Non-emergency: (650) 522-7700

Fire Protection
San Mateo Fire Department
Non-emergency: (650) 522-7960

Garbage, Recyclables and Green Waste
Recology San Mateo
(650) 595-3900

Library Services
San Mateo Main Library
(650) 522-7802

California Water Service
(650) 558-7800