The Best Fine Dining In San Jose, California

Josh Wright

As California’s third-largest city, San Jose has its fair share of high quality culinary destinations, but the restaurants on this list go above and beyond your run-of-the-mill pizza place or family venue. They are found in the most luxurious of environs, source the best produce from all over the world, and employ the most talented chefs. If fine dining is what you’re after in the city, then look no further than our list of top quality restaurants.


1. Citrus

Restaurant, American

© Jen R/Flickr
The Zagat rated Citrus is the restaurant of the Hotel Valencia, located on San Jose’s upmarket Santana Row. Diners can be seated either in Citrus’s plush interior or grand courtyard where they can enjoy a menu that changes often to reflect the chefs’ reliance on seasonal, local ingredients. They deal in ‘globally influenced California cuisine,’ which may take the form of Jamaican curried goat with arepas and poblano crème fraiche, or California oysters with vodka ice, young ginger, and chili.

2. Nemea Greek Taverna

Nemea Greek Taverna

Nemea combines modernity and tradition to come up with the finest Greek food. A veritable Pandora’s box of dishes is available, from the classic moussaka to the brizola hirini, a double-cut pork chop with bacon, olives, polenta, potato purée, fig chutney, and jus. Specialty cocktails like the Medusa (Boyd & Blair vodka, basil, ouzo, and egg white) continue the theme. Finish off with their baklava, a dessert of Greek layered phyllo pastry topped with toasted walnuts, house made syrup, and fig ice cream.
Address & telephone number: 96 S 1st St, San Jose, CA, +1 408-279-4225

Mandarinquat | © Kimberli/FlickrMandarinquat | © Kimberli/Flickr

3. Le Papillon

Restaurant, French, Contemporary, American

Beef Tournedos
© Intercontinental Hong Kong/Flickr
This distinguished restaurant has received accolades from Michelin, DiRona, and Zagat (among others) and has been catering to the brightest of the Silicon Valley set since 1977. Chef Scott Cooper uses seasonal, sustainable, and organic ingredients and brings together Pacific, French, and Asian influences in exquisite dishes like flounder with preserved mandarinquat, Okinawa sweet potato, and nori oil. Cooper’s inventiveness extends to the desserts: try the white chocolate and passion fruit frozen mousse with coconut and palm sugar. Le Papillon provides impeccable service in a space of quiet elegance, with a wine list exceeding 500 different bottles.

4. La Forêt

La Forêt

In an idyllic and historic location, chef John Davoudi serves up culinary masterpieces like elk with portabella mushrooms, game reduction, and cognac sauce, and tournedos of beef with golden chanterelles, herbs, ginger, and brandy. La Forêt occupies the site of a former boarding house, now surrounded by forest, which was built in 1848 at the height of the California Gold Rush. Part of California history, La Forêt also stocks a large amount of wines from the Napa Valley, as well as the finest selections from France – the Chateau Lafite Rothschild goes for over $1000.
Address & telephone number: 21747 Bertram Rd, San Jose, CA, +1 408-997-3458

Rodizio | © Canon/FlickrRodizio | © Canon/Flickr

5. Taurinus Brazilian Steakhouse

Taurinus Brazilian Steakhouse

Taurinus is a fine dining experience with a difference. Here the customer eats rodizio style, paying a fixed price for an all-you-can-eat, continuous tableside service. Servers present you with slow-cooked barbecued meats on skewers, with over 12 to choose from, including chicken wings, lamb legs, pork loin with parmesan, and filet mignon wrapped in bacon. Cheese bread, mashed potatoes, fried plantains, and yucca fries are also provided, as are unlimited visits to the gourmet buffet fully stocked with fresh vegetables, salads, cheeses, and seafood.

Address & telephone number: 167 W San Fernando St, San Jose, CA, +1 408-294-0110

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Edit article