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The 10 Best Restaurants In Central San Jose, USA

Picture of Helen Silverstein
Updated: 9 February 2017
The central area of San Jose, California has an amazing variety of foods, visitors will find a rich selection of places to eat. Read on to find out the best restaurants of all different kinds in the central area of San Jose, California.
Sandwich at Smoking Pig BBQ
Sandwich at Smoking Pig BBQ | Courtesy of Smoking Pig BBQ
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Smoking Pig BBQ

At the Smoking Pig BBQ Company you can get a taste of Southern style barbecue in Northern California. The restaurant is known for their delicious, slow smoked ribs and slow smoked angus beef brisket. Smoking Pig BBQ serves many other Southern classics like pulled pork, catfish, jumbo chicken wings, and hotlinks. The BBQ joint also has unique items on its menu like bacon-wrapped ‘chicken lollipops’ and ‘wolf turds,’ smoked jalapeños stuffed with cheese and sausage. In addition, the restaurant serves tasty desserts such as banana pudding and peanut butter pie.

Address & Telephone Number: Smoking Pig BBQ, 1144 N 4th St, San Jose, CA, USA, +1 408 380 4784

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SJ Omogari Korean Restaurant

SJ Omogari Korean Restaurant, in central San Jose, is a popular spot for getting authentic Korean food in the city. The Korean restaurant’s most popular items are its seafood pancakes made with mussels and shrimp, its Korean-style ramen noodle soup, and its sizzling stone bee-beem-bap pot with crispy rice on the bottom. Sj Omogari Korean Restaurant is a popular spot for vegetarians and vegans, as it has a large selection of tofu dishes including soft tofu soups, and tofu can be substituted for many of the meat items in the restaurant’s regular dishes.

Address & Telephone Number: SJ Omogari Korean Restaurant, 154 Jackson St, San Jose, CA, USA, +1 408 288 8134

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Back a Yard

Back a Yard is a Caribbean and American grill featuring unique Jamaican cuisine. Back a Yard grill is most famously known for their jerk meals, which come in the options of chicken, salmon, pork, steak, and tofu, slathered in jerk sauce and served with rice, beans, and sweet fried plantains. In addition to Jamaican jerk meals, Back a Yard serves barbecue meals like barbecue chicken, spare ribs, and hot links, brushed with their honey barbecue sauce. They also serve a variety of fried seafood and have a daily rotating selection of specialty dishes.

Address & Telephone Number: Back A Yard, 80 N Market St, San Jose, CA , USA, +1 408 294 8626

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Vung Tau

Vung Tau is a large, widely acclaimed restaurant in San Jose revered for its authentic Vietnamese cuisine. The most popular items on the menu are ‘bahn khot,’ small, crispy pastries made with shrimp and coconut milk; ‘bo luc lac,’ shaking beef, and ‘bun cha han noi,’ which is skewers of grilled pork over rice noodles. In addition, the restaurant also serves other classic Vietnamese favorites like noodle soups, vegetable or meat rolls, pan fried noodles, various fried rice dishes, and a variety of seafood meals.

Address & Telephone Number: Vung Tau, 535 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA, USA, +1 408 288 9055

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Gombei

Gombei Japanese Restaurant is a casual restaurant in San Jose’s Japantown. This place is so popular that it’s not unusual for lines to stretch outside the door, but the authentic food inside is worth it. Gombei is known for its teriyaki bowls, udon noodle bowls, curry rice dishes, sashimi, chicken, beef, and deep fried shrimp donburi, and tofu hot pots. In addition, the restaurant almost always has new specials available on the whiteboard that get updated regularly for customers to order.

Address & Telephone Number: Gombei, 193 Jackson St, San Jose, CA, USA, +1 408 279 4311

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Tofoo Com Chay

This Vietnamese deli in central San Jose is a popular spot for vegetarians and vegans because every item on the menu is made without meats or animal products. Tofoo Com Chay’s menu makes use of vegetarian substitutes for pork, tuna, chicken and sausages as well as tofu to make vegetarian and vegan versions of classic Vietnamese dishes like bahn mi sandwiches and pho noodle soup. The portions served at Tofoo Com Chay are very large, but for smaller appetites, smaller versions of all items can be ordered.

Address & Telephone Number: Tofoo Com Chay, 388 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA, USA, +1 408 286 6335

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Fuji Sushi

Fuji Sushi is a trendy and popular Japanese and sushi restaurant on Santa Clara Street. Customers can sit inside the Fuji Sushi restaurant or outside on the patio, and this spot serves a large variety of sushi and sushi rolls including vegetarian rolls, baked and fried rolls, and sashimi. In addition to sushi, Fuji Sushi serves other traditional Japanese foods like ramen soups, udon and soba noodles, gyoza, teriyaki, and rice curry dishes. A popular item at Fuji Sushi is their bento box, which comes with either two or three items as well as miso soup, salad, and rice.

Address & Telephone Number: Fuji Sushi, 56 W Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA, USA, +1 408 298 3854

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Freshly Baked Eatery

Located right across the street from San Jose’s St. James Park, Freshly Baked Eatery is a cozy deli that’s perfect for lunch. This is a sandwich shop and serves a large variety of both hot and cold sandwiches. Some of their popular offerings are their ruben sandwich, which is lean corned beef, swiss cheese, and sauerkraut on dark rye bread; their pastrami sandwich on sourdough bread; their german bologna sandwich with swiss cheese; and their old country favorite sandwich.

Address & Telephone Number: Freshly Baked Eatery, 152 N 3rd St #101, San Jose, CA, USA, +1 408 298 9370

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La Victoria Taqueria

La Victoria Taqueria, or ‘La Vic’s’ as it is affectionately referred to by San Jose locals, is a popular, casual spot for Mexican food. The restaurant is known for its long daily hours, the shop stays open until 3am every night. La Vic’s serves delicious Mexican and American-Mexican cuisine like burritos, tacos, flautas, enchiladas, tortas, tostadas, quesadillas, and nachos. La Victoria Taqueria even offers Mexican bottled sodas to go along with their dishes, as well as their famous ‘orange sauce,’ a delicious, bright orange sauce that goes well on every one of their menu’s items.

Address & Telephone Number: La Victoria Taqueria, 131 W Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA, USA, +1 408 993 8230

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Original Joe’s

Original Joe’s is a classic Italian restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner to visitors from its location on 1st Street. For lunch, Original Joe’s serves grilled sandwiches like tuna melts and chicken pesto, as well as traditional sandwiches like salami sandwiches and Italian subs, and burgers. For dinner, Original Joe’s serves more traditional Italian favorites like garlic bread, minestrone, spaghetti, and ravioli. In addition, from Tuesday to Saturday, Original Joe’s offers a rotating selection of specials like braised short ribs and duck breast with a cherry port reduction.

Address & Telephone Number: Original Joe’s, 301 S 1st St, San Jose, CA, USA, +1 408 292 7030