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.
Restaurant, Mexican, Italian, $$$
Sitting out on the patio from which this restaurant gets its name is the perfect way to enjoy a warm San Jose evening. Patio heaters providing much-needed warmth for when the night rolls in. Stay refreshed by sipping on a michelada or chavela and enjoy El Patio’s range of Mexican food or Italian cuisine. Menu items range from chicken piccata and fettucine Alfredo to their specialty, eggplant parmigiana. This is a sliced and breaded eggplant smothered in homemade marinara sauce and melted mozzarella cheese.
1635 Alum Rock Ave, San Jose, CA, +1 408-272-7000
Bistro, Restaurant, Mediterranean, Italian
Siena Bistro is worth seeking out for both its food and its charming outdoor seating. Stroll through its iron gates and you’ll be greeted by a host of parasols and a stone T bedecked in fairy lights. Beers and wines from California and the Mediterranean can be enjoyed out in the sun or under the evening stars. Accompany your beverages with salads, pastas, seafood, or the signature short rib braised in a bourbon stout with sun-dried plums and creamy polenta.
1359 Lincoln Ave, San Jose, CA, +1 408-271-0837
San Pedro Square Bistro & Wine
Bar, Bistro, American, Pub Grub, $$$
San Pedro Square Bistro & Wine
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.
20 N Almaden Ave, San Jose, CA, +1 408-298-9463
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 “sí 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
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