The Best Restaurants For Dining Al Fresco In San Jose, California

Josh Wright

Located in central California, San Jose enjoys warm weather for most of the year and thus is a prime location for al fresco dining. Here are the best spots for dining under the sky in the city.

Eggplant parmigiana

1. El Patio

Restaurant, Mexican, Italian

Braised short rib
© Alexa Clark/Flickr
Sitting out on the patio from which this restaurant gets its name is the perfect way to enjoy a warm San Jose evening. Patio heaters providing much-needed warmth for when the night rolls in. Stay refreshed by sipping on a micheladaor chavelaand enjoy El Patio’s range of Mexican food or Italian cuisine. Menu items range from chicken piccataand fettucine Alfredo to their specialty, eggplant parmigiana. This is a sliced and breaded eggplant smothered in homemade marinara sauce and melted mozzarella cheese.

2. Siena Bistro

Bistro, Restaurant, Mediterranean, Italian

San Pedro Square
© Dave Walker/Flickr
Siena Bistro is worth seeking out for both its food and its charming outdoor seating. Stroll through its iron gates and you’ll be greeted by a host of parasols and a stone T bedecked in fairy lights. Beers and wines from California and the Mediterranean can be enjoyed out in the sun or under the evening stars. Accompany your beverages with salads, pastas, seafood, or the signature short rib braised in a bourbon stout with sun-dried plums and creamy polenta.

3. San Pedro Square Bistro & Wine

Bar, Bistro, American, Pub Grub

Agua fresca
© ProtoplasmaKid/WikiCommons
Close to the bustling San Pedro Square Market in downtown San Jose lies this restaurant and wine bar. Its large front patio filled with ornate stone benches and a fountain. Underneath the boughs of trees, diners can partake of salads, gourmet burgers and sandwiches, pastas and steaks. The chef’s signature dish is a sizzling Cornish game hen, glazed with honey-infused garlic butter sauce and served with salad and a choice of garlic fries or rice. This is a wonderful place to sit back, soak up the atmosphere, relax, and people-watch.

4. Dia de Pesca

Dia de Pesca

This seafood-centric joint offers a vast array of oceanic delights as fillings for burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and other Mexican dishes. These include crab, breaded halibut, salmon, snapper, mahi-mahi, scallops, and shrimp. To ward off the sun when dining in their spacious courtyard, sample one of Dia de Pesca’s thirst-quenching aguas frescas. One of the favorite “food” dishes here is the tilapia ceviche. It is composed of pieces of the fish cured in citrus juices, spiced with peppers, and served with vegetables and avocado.

55 N Bascom Ave, San Jose, CA, +1 408-287-3722

Burrito | © stu_spivack/FlickrBurrito | © stu_spivack/Flickr

5. Taurinus Brazilian Steakhouse

Taurinus Brazilian Steakhouse

The chefs here prepare local cuisine influenced by the flavors of Latin America, the American Southwest, and Asia. Although best known for their “Industrial Strength” margaritas and “Swirls” – margaritas mixed with fruit juices, vodka, Patron, or sangria – the food here is just as much of a draw. The dishes are prepared using organic and sustainable ingredients, like grass-fed bison. Aqui Cal-Mex operates without waiters and waitresses, letting diners order their food at the counter for a hassle-free experience. This allows patrons more time to enjoy the ambiance at their leisure.

1145 Lincoln Ave, San Jose, CA, +1 408-995-0381

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