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Food & Dining in San Jose


San Jose is a remarkably diverse community, with large populations of Chinese, Vietnamese, Hispanic and Indian immigrants. The city's eateries reflect its diversity, offering a wide array of options for those seeking distinctive flavours.

Choices include Asian, Californian, French, Italian, Mexican and vegetarian, as well as various fusions; Cal-Mex restaurants are especially popular. A number of hotel restaurants stand out, particularly La Pastaia, in the Hotel De Anza.

Dress is typically California casual. If a restaurant is more formal, you might feel comfortable in a jacket and dress slacks, but you can almost always leave the tie at home. And don't be surprised to see diners in jeans, no matter how sophisticated the restaurant.

Breakfast is usually served 7-10 am, lunch is 11 am-2:30 pm and dinner is 6-10 pm. Many restaurants in the San Jose area close between lunch and dinner, so grabbing a late lunch may not be as easy as you would like. Reservations are suggested for popular places on Friday and Saturday night.

Places to Dine


For the most refined and stylish dining in San Jose, regardless of cost, one should try the fusion favourite E & O Trading Company, and Spiedo Ristorante.

You can certainly eat well at other downtown restaurants, without such severe prices. Scott's Seafood, Il Fornaio and Blake's Steakhouse and Bar are all excellent choices for a business lunch or dinner. Robust and reliable American fare can also be had at local favourites Original Joe's and Waves Smokehouse and Saloon.

Eulipia serves imaginative fusion fare at reasonable prices in stylish surroundings. If you are a sushi lover, Kazoo should satisfy with remarkably fresh fish. Thepthai Thai Cuisine and House of Siam are favourites with local Thai food enthusiasts. And if you're not in the mood for Asian cuisine, try Picasso's Restaurant, a charming and traditional Spanish establishment with live flamenco guitar on weekends.

For some inexpensive but satisfying grub, the burrito haven of Muchos should fit the bill. Or head to Peggy Sue's, and to top it all off, O'Brien's Candy Store, an old-fashioned soda fountain inside the San Jose Historical Museum.

Willow Glen

South of downtown, Willow Glen (an older neighbourhood of San Jose) has lined its main drag, Lincoln Avenue, with some fine dining establishments. Aqui Cal-Mex Grill offers California-Mexican with a grill. Flower Flour is a great one stop bakery and flower shop, specialising in cakes, but with no shortage of other goodies as well as other café fare like sandwiches and salads. For something with a little more heat, Sue's Indian Cuisine is a small, hidden gem with great food.

Santa Clara

A highlight of Santa Clara (for the most part a land of chain and franchise restaurants) is Birk's Restaurant. Its California cuisine is worth the trip if you're in the area. However, Mexican food seems to be the specialty in Santa Clara, with such restaurants as Pedro's Restaurant and Cantina and Mexicali Grill.

San Jose West

Los Gatos, a town with a carefully preserved image and lots of money, has a small downtown area offering many worthwhile places to drink and dine. The Los Gatos Brewing Company is a local hangout where many go after work for some suds and chow. The Plumed Horse is another popular choice for locals and visitors.

One can also venture into restaurants of nearby Saratoga, as well; Viaggio is an impeccable Italian restaurant and bar. At La Fondue reservations are required up to three months in advance. The primary culinary attraction of Campbell (wedged between San Jose and Los Gatos) is The Pruneyard, a shopping centre, where shopping is accompanied with a variety of eateries.

San Jose North

In Palo Alto, the California Cafe offers memorable views to complement the California cuisine and pleasant ambiance. Menara Moroccan Restaurant has been serving up North African cuisine for over 20 years, complete with bellydancers. Aldo, in Los Altos serves up small plates of traditional Italian foods, while Chef Chu's offers up some of the best Chinese food in the area.





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