San Jose, California, is a bustling city with a diverse dining experience. San Jose has everything, from upscale dining to informal cafes. Whether you’re a foodie or simply enjoy fine food, you’ll find a variety of options to fit your budget and taste. We’ve compiled a list of the top ten best restaurants in San Jose, each with a reputation for excellent food, ambiance, and service.
San Jose is home to a vast range of restaurants that offer different cuisine, ambiance, and dining experiences. The city has a vibrant food culture, and visitors can find restaurants that suit every taste and budget.
Best Restaurants in San Jose
Whether you’re looking for exquisite dining or a casual eatery, the city has something for everyone, from farm-to-table eateries to ethnic restaurants and high-end bistros. The following are the top ten best restaurants in San Jose.
If you live in San Jose, it should come as no surprise that Adega is at the top of our list of the best restaurants in San Jose. Adega is San Jose’s only Michelin-starred restaurant and just the second Portuguese restaurant in the United States to receive the award.
David Costa and Jessica Carreira have both cooked in Lisbon and host Portuguese chefs from other Michelin-starred restaurants in Lisbon and Porto on a regular basis. Not only is Adega the most ambitious and exquisite Portuguese restaurant on the West Coast, but it also features a wine cellar full of Portuguese treasures rarely seen outside of the Iberian Peninsula.
Manresa is a renowned restaurant in Los Gatos, just a short drive from San Jose. This two-Michelin-starred restaurant is a favorite among foodies and offers an innovative tasting menu that showcases the flavors of Northern California.
Manresa’s elegant decor and impeccable service make for a memorable dining experience. So if you wish to know what dining is like in the best restaurants in San Jose, try Manresa.
The Table is a popular farm-to-table restaurant located in Willow Glen, a charming neighborhood in San Jose. The restaurant’s cuisine changes periodically and uses ingredients produced locally. The Table’s cozy, rustic decor and friendly service make it a favorite among locals.
Acopio, a contemporary Mexican restaurant, took nearly a decade to rise from the ashes of a taqueria that burned down in 2012. The wait was really worth it.
Acopio seems like a classy Mexican restaurant in Guadalajara or Mexico City, with a menu that highlights California’s exceptional farm products.. Delicious dishes like chile adobo duck confit with pipian verde and mushroom and lemon-thyme masa and hibiscus flower tacos haunt our dreams.
Reserve a table for supper when the succulent-and-tile-filled restaurant is bustling, or pop in for a cocktail made with agave spirits, tepache, and chile. And discover what it’s like to dine in one of the best restaurants in San Jose.
4. Straits Restaurants
Straits food is as broad and eclectic as the city of San Jose itself. The cuisine is inspired by Singapore, which often combines flavors from Malaysia, China, Indonesia, and India. Chef Chris Yeo’s product is a delectable, bright Asian fusion menu offered in dishes meant to be shared around the table.
Settle into this trendy, modern ambiance restaurant and prepare to be wowed by tastes from all around the world. A meal at Straits will show you why it is regarded as one of the best restaurants in San Jose.
5. Nick’s Next Door
Nick’s Next Door is a cozy, casual restaurant located in Los Gatos, just a short drive from San Jose. The restaurant’s menu features comfort food classics with a modern twist.
Nick’s Next Door is also known for its craft cocktails. The restaurant’s friendly service and laid-back atmosphere make it a popular spot for a casual dinner, earning it a place in our list of best restaurants in San Jose.
6. Aqui Cal-Mex
Opened in 2010, Aqui Cal-Mex is one of the first fast-casual restaurants to emerge in Silicon Valley. Aqui Cal-Mex serves a variety of Mexican meals, including burritos, bowls, and tacos, with an emphasis on fresh, locally produced ingredients.
The area is quite spacious, featuring both indoor and outdoor seating as well as a “Swirl Counter” where you can order the restaurant’s unique “Industrial Strength Swirls,” which are simply fruit mixes mixed with the restaurant’s distinctive margarita. So, Aqui Cal-Mex goes on our list of the top restaurants in San Jose.
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7. The Grill on the Alley
The Grill on the Alley is a classic steakhouse located in downtown San Jose. The restaurant’s menu features a range of classic American dishes, with an emphasis on steak and seafood.
The Grill on the Alley’s elegant decor and attentive service makes it a favorite among business diners. So if you want to dine in the best restaurants in San Jose, try The Grill On The Alley.
8. La Foret
La Foret, one of the best restaurants in San Jose, is housed in a creekside boarding house in the hills above New Almaden.
La Foret restaurant specializes in rustic French cuisine, with wild animals on the menu at all times. It’s one of the few eatry in the Bay Area that serves elk and wild boar, as well as fantastic wine and butter-based sauces.
Dinner could be a la carte or you could choose from any of the three tasting menus. The six-course menu, however, features grilled scallops in saffron herb cream and elk loin in a portabella cognac reduction so we recommend it.
You can request a seat on the stone patio opposite the 4,000-acre county park and you’ll feel a million miles away from any Silicon Valley tech dude.
9. The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse
If you’re a seafood lover, then The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse is a must-visit restaurant in San Jose. The restaurant offers a variety of fresh seafood options, including oysters, lobster, and salmon, as well as prime cuts of steak.
The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse also has an extensive wine list, making it the perfect place for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends. So it makes our list of the best restaurants in San Jose.
10. le Papillon
Le Papillon is one of the best restaurants in San Jose. Chef Scott Cooper worked his way up from dishwasher to executive chef, holding practically every position in the profession.
His worldwide travels are reflected in contemporary Cal-French delicacies like linguine and prawns in Cognac truffle cream, Burgundy snail ragout with fennel panna cotta, roasted duck breast with sour cherry, sage, and black forbidden rice.
The South Bay is brimming with delectable and innovative eateries. And, when it comes to an amazing and lively food scene, San Jose, the capital of Silicon Valley, should not be missed. Family-run Greek restaurants, taquerias, and even a Michelin star or two can be found in this eclectic city.
If you wish to explore the area, go downtown or the South of First (SoFa) district, which is one of the fastest developing neighborhoods for restaurants, pubs, breweries, as well as arts, to find some of the best restaurants in San Jose. You are sure to be hungry after all that walking.