- Vittoria Caron
Sun, sea and good food. This is San Jose, the largest city in the Silicon Valley, home to a wide variety of dining venues, from local restaurants which serve the best of Californian food to fusion cuisine. Here’s our pick of the 10 best restaurants in San Jose.
‘Many of life’s best memories have been created around a table’. So runs the motto of this urban neighbourhood restaurant, which pays tribute to the table’s unique ability to bring together delicious food, tasty drinks and good people. Guests should experience eating at The Table as if eating in a friend’s home — you’re part of the family. The interior design reflects this philosophy: the cozy and welcoming atmosphere is made possible by a rustic location and wooden details. Seasonal ingredients and farm-to-table food is the base of their hearty and contemporary American cuisine.
The Table, 1110 Willow Street, San Jose, CA, USA, +1 408 638 7911
Cafe Stritch is one of the coolest venues in town for a fun night out. A jazz bistro with lovely live music, this restaurant offers modern comfort food and casual American favorites, such as chicken and waffles, must-try mac and cheese and its signature dish, the Eulipion sandwich. Located in the arty SOFA district, Cafe Stritch has an exposed-brick design and pub style; it’s the go-to place for those who want to enjoy some good music and dine in a relaxed atmosphere.
Cafe Stritch, 374 S 1st Street, San Jose, CA, USA, +1 408 280 6161
Original Gravity Public House
First craft beer bar located in the heart of San Jose’s city center, Original Gravity Public House is a must stop for all beer lovers. It features a rotating menu of domestic and imported craft beer, offering a selection of beer varieties for even the most discerning taste. Accompanying the beer is an impressive food menu of gourmet sausages from award-winning local butchers from around the Bay Area, with flavors ranging from the traditional (bratwurst, boudin) to experimental (sweet potato), as well as grilled cheese sandwiches and duck fat fries. The bar also organizes frequent events featuring Californian and international niche market beer tasting.
Original Gravity Public House, 66 S 1st Street, San Jose, CA, USA, +1 408 915 2337
Nestled under a huge California oak, El Jardin boasts a romantic outdoor patio and a reputation as one of the best Mexican restaurants in town. 100% blue agave tequila, live Mariachi music and Mexican food specialties create a cheerful and enjoyable atmosphere for a gathering with friends. Lounging on the low-slung chairs and Spanish-style benches around the huge oak, reclining on fluffy red pillows while sampling the tapas-style menu, or sitting at the rustic wooden bar tables sipping tequila infusions made with fresh juices, customers will feel like dining in a classic Mexican hacienda.
El Jardin, 368 Santana Row, San Jose, CA, USA, +1 408 246 1744
Lying close to the Pacific Ocean, San Jose is rich in fish restaurants. Scott’s Seafood serves American regional cuisine, featuring a wide variety of seafood dishes, pasta,soups and salads. It uses only the best fish from the ocean and the freshest, high quality ingredients. Located on the 6th floor, the breathtaking view of the city and the surrounding hills of the Silicon Valley, as well as the fine interior design, makes this the perfect place for all occasions: from casual dining to business meetings, to special events.
Scott’s Seafood, 185 Park Avenue, San Jose, CA, USA, +1 408 971 1700
In the city center of San Jose this snug wine bar makes its appearance between 3rd and 4th street. With its red walls, its minimal interior design and its soft lights, Vyne Bistro is the perfect venue for an after work drink with friends or an evening out. Cozy up to the fireplace in the lounge or sit by the floor-to ceiling windows, and enjoy the wide array of wines the place offers. From local tipples to international vintages, this modern wine bar is not lacking in variety, although the focus is mainly on sublime wines from Napa Valley grapes. The food menu includes a selection of paninis, salads and desserts. The cheese plate and the cold cut plate are stand out dishes. Vyne Bistro, 110 Paseo De San Antonio, San Jose, CA, USA, +1 408 375 2618
71 Saint Peter
American taste blended in with European tradition: this is 71 Saint Peter, a European grill featuring the flavours of French and Italian cuisine, but made using the best of California’s products. From bruschetta to risotto, everything is made with the highest quality ingredients. The wine list includes some of the best Mediterranean products, such as Italian chianti and pinot grigio and sparkling French Jean Philip. Must-tries are the wild mushroom ravioli and the bacon wrapped grilled top sirloin. For dessert, try the crème brule or tiramisu.
71 Saint Peter, 71 N San Pedro Street, San Jose, CA, USA, +1 408 971 8523
Henry’s Hi Life
Henry’s Hi Life is located in the Guadalupe River Gardens. A neighborhood popular with Italian immigrants, the location of this old-character American steakhouse and barbecue place is deliberately rustic and unpretentious. High quality meat, fresh ingredients and a relaxed and cheerful atmosphere make this place an excellent venue. The barbecued chicken is juicy and moist and the boneless teriyaki chicken breast is just as wonderful, but its the the spare ribs that earn Henry’s its reputation. Try yours accompanied with salad, baked potato and garlic bread.
Henry’s Hi Life, 301 W Saint John Street, San Jose, CA, USA, +1 408 295 5414
Orchestria Palm Court
Entering the door of this rustic restored 1910 brick building, it seems time has stopped at the beginning of the 20th Century. Music of that era, such as ragtime, jazz and blues provide the soundtrack at Orchestria Palm Court, played by original instruments from the early 1900s, like the Wurlitzer violin piano. The menu specializes in European cuisine, featuring only organic ingredients from the best local farms.
Orchestria Palm Court, 27 E William Street, San Jose, CA, USA, +1 408 288 5606
Chic and elegantly furnished, Arcadia is one of the most sophisticated dining spots in the South Bay. Chef Michael Mina is world famous for mixing unexpected flavors and accents, and this modern American steakhouse in downtown San Jose is known for its prime cuts of beef, fresh fish and poultry. The dinner menu includes longstanding Mina classics such as Maine lobster pot pie with truffle cream, as well as other favorites like the glazed Alaskan black cod and the wood-roasted mushrooms. Master sommelier Rajat Parr has hand-selected a list focused primarily on boutique wines from America, in order to allow customers to enjoy the rich national wine tradition.
Arcadia, 100 West San Carlos Street, San Jose, CA, USA, +1 408 278 4555