San Jose is the largest city in northern California by size as well as population, with more than a million residents. It is located on the southern shore of the San Francisco Bay and is almost always warm and sunny. Between the gorgeous waterfront views, spacious parks, and beautiful vistas, the city is popular with outdoorsy folks.
Besides being a fantastic nature retreat, San Jose is also the capital of Silicon Valley. But it is also well-known for its delicious dining establishments. The variety is vast, and the choices seem endless. So, once you’re in town, drop off your suitcases at one of the San Jose suitcase storage lockers and head out to eat.
- Luna Mexican Kitchen
Luna only uses local ingredients so it’s always fresh and delicious. Choose from one of over a dozen entrees or get the mixed grill that comes with lobster tail, sweet potato, grilled chicken, cheese chili relleno, carnitas, ribs, steak, herb garlic butter shrimp, bacon-wrapped shrimp, and jalapeño sausage.
- Olla Cocina
Enjoy nachos with guacamole for a starter, tamales and enchiladas for an entrée, and corn or rice for a side. Olla Cocina makes their tortillas by hand daily so you get the best and freshest food in town. Top it all off with a margarita, glass of wine, or a beer, and some churro bites for dessert.
- Tu Mero Mole
For an amazing authentic Mexican meal on the cheap, try Tu Mero Mole. This colorful eatery is casual and friendly but has some of the best Mexican fare in the city. The mole de Puebla is unbelievable with six types of dry chili peppers as well as raisins, nuts, and sesame seeds, and they have delicious flan or crepes for dessert.
- Pho Bel Air
From egg rolls to spring rolls and beef spicy to seafood stew, Pho Bel Air has a little bit of everything, but they are big on taste. And their prices are not bad either. Get a brisket flank with sides for less than $15! In fact, nothing on the menu is over $15. And the plates are filled with delicious food. This is a can’t miss for sure.
- Tomi Sushi
For a fancier dining experience, try Tomi Sushi. Their meals are nicely presented to you in a way that makes you want to take pictures to share on social media. They have over 30 kinds of sushi plates, 10 entrees like beef teriyaki and tempura, and seven kinds of sashimi plates. And they are all delicious.
- Yuki Sushi
With over 50 kinds of rolls, two dozen kinds of sashimi and nigiri, and a whole menu full of other dishes, you may have a hard time deciding at Yuki Sushi. It is a good thing they are all so inexpensive so you can get several. Or they offer a Kazoku family-style meal with a variety of appetizers, entrees, and sides. Don’t miss the sake.
Steaks and Burgers
- Bill’s Café
Try the All-American burger here with lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese with fries and a drink. The Wild-Wild West burger is a grilled sourdough burger with jack cheese and thousand island dressing. Or try Bill’s Steak sandwich with 12-ounce tri-tip, lettuce, and tomatoes. Add some country potatoes and a drink for a hearty meal.
- Henry’s Hi-Life
If you are looking for a nice meal in a laid-back setting, Henry’s Hi-Life is fantastic. The Combo Chicken and Ribs meal is luscious. Or try the 16-oz T-bone, 16-oz ribeye, or 20-oz Porterhouse. All meals come with a baked potato, garlic bread, and a salad. But they also have burgers with beans and potato salad.
- Smoking Pig BBQ
The Smoking Pig has two locations in San Jose for you to choose from because they are so good. Start with a sampler platter with three of the house appetizers and then move onto some of their famous smoked BBQ meats. The pig burger, brisket, chicken, ribs, and catfish are all popular but don’t miss the desserts.
Pizza and Pasta
- Giorgio’s Italian Food
At Giorgio’s, you can have a real Italian meal made by real Italian chefs. Veal Marsala, chicken parmigiana, and salmon risotto are just a few of the amazing dishes you can get. Or you can try one of their many pasta dishes like gnocchi, fettuccine, or tortellini with a salad and a glass of wine. They even have champagne.
- Pizza Maria
Relax with a pizza and a glass of wine or beer after a day of touring the town. Pizza Maria has 17 toppings to choose from and 11 specialty pizzas. Or try the meatball or Italian sandwich, burger, or chicken dinner. You can even get pork spareribs. And of course, they have salads, pasta, wings, and bread.
- Bossman’s Pizza
You would be hard-pressed to find a pizzeria with more variety than Bossman’s. They have 70 different types of pizza or you can choose your own toppings. They also have vegan and gluten-free pizza. Then there’s the wings, bread, and fries. They even have burgers, burritos, quesadillas, and seven kinds of desserts.
Sweets and Snacks
From ice cream tacos to cookie sandwiches and ice cream cakes, Cream has what you crave. There are 17 flavors of ice cream from banana walnut to cin-ful churro, and of course, chocolate and vanilla. Get a pint, a milkshake, sundae, or choose the flavors for a cake, cookie, or taco. And the cookies are freshly baked.
- My Milkshake
Are you a fan of milkshakes but sick of the regular flavors? Hit up the custom milkshake bar, My Milkshake. You can make your own by picking the milk, ice cream, candy, and other mix-ins like fruit, cake, or brownies. Or try one of the specialties like the Black Widow, Hulk, or Thor.
- Psycho Donuts
Psycho Donuts has 17 new and unique flavors you cannot get anywhere else. The Cereal Killer is covered with frosting and cereal. The Doh Nilla is a cookie and a donut with vanilla icing. The Marla is a maple donut with Butterfinger chunks and peanut buttercream. And that’s just a few of the decadent delights.
You cannot pass up some of the places on this list. Psycho Donuts always has new flavors to choose from so it is a new experience every time you visit. And Bill’s Café has several locations in San Jose. And the Smoking Pig BBQ is always adding new meats and sides. Variety is the spice of life. Enjoy!