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.
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 poblanocrème fraiche, or California oysters with vodka ice, young ginger, and chili.
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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
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.
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
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.