A night at the bars in San Jose means you’re going to be downtown around 1st and San Pedro Streets. The area has an eclectic selection of bars, and you’ll surely find one that fits the type of environment you’re seeking. Here’s a list of the 10 best bars in downtown San Jose.
One of the new kids on the block, Paper Plane has made a name for itself since it opened in 2014. Local twenty-somethings consider it a favorite spot for craft cocktails. Make your way to the front of the crowd and find a mixologist who can suggest something new. There isn’t a lot of seating, but Paper Plane has a lot of standing room, and it’s a fun place to grab a drink and mingle.
Paper Plane, 72 S 1st St, San Jose, CA, USA +1 408 713 2625
Feeling gutsy? 7 Bamboo is the place for karaoke lovers to take to the stage — usually after downing a shot of liquid courage. The lighting is dark, drawing eyes to the lit stage. Sign yourself up and wait for your name to be called, but be prepared to stay for up to an hour, as the sign-up sheet becomes more popular as the brave get blurry-eyed.
7 Bamboo Lounge, 162 Jackson St, San Jose, CA, USA+1 408 279 9937
Whether you’re a college student or you just feel like reliving your beer pong days, then Old Wagon is the place to do so while you chug from one of the over-sized mugs. The Old Wagon’s beer garden fills up pretty quickly on the weekends, but come Sunday through Wednesday, and you’ll be able to find a seat. Happy hour is everyday from 3pm to 6pm. Head to the fire pits to cozy up next to the heat, especially if you’re coming from a Sharks game.
Bars don’t always have to mean beers. Vino Vino is the place to go when the majority of your group feels like indulging in reds and whites. Not sure what kind of wine suits your fancy? Ask your server for a few samples before committing to one. The inside has a cozy ambiance, and the inviting wooden decor on the outdoor patio will actually have you considering braving the cold, Bay Area weather just to sit under the stars. It’s perfect for a laid-back outing with friends over a cheese and meat platter.
Vino Vino, 87 N San Pedro St, Ste 105, San Jose, CA, USA +1 408 703 2333