10. Alchemy Nail Spa, San Jose
Along salon-hop heaven on Lincoln Avenue, Alchemy constantly tops the favorites lists of locals and the local press. Lori seems to be the one to talk to about pedicures, with devoted fans who sing her praises online and off.
9. Los Gatos Nail Works, Los Gatos
In Los Gatos, where they call manicurists “nail technicians,” Los Gatos Nail Works is the place to go. Cleanliness, quality work, and free snacks from nearby bakeries keep clients coming back.
8. Nothing But Nails, Saratoga
Saratoga lends itself to relaxation, so you might as well hit Nothing But Nails while you’re there. This small operation can be hard to find, but it’s well-known for its quaint and soothing atmosphere.
7. Barbarella, San Jose
Barbarella is a full-service salon that excels at everything it offers. It offers tons of perks that go beyond the mini-fridge of soda—hot drinks and surprise discounts number among them. Barbarella even offers kid’s mani-pedis, so you can get your little girl all Toddlers and Tiaras’d out.
6. Pinky Nail Spa, Cupertino
Pinky is super-cheap, but not in quality. At around $18 for a meticulous pedicure, it is popular with the greater SJ population. Call ahead and make an appointment, as this pedi palace is usually pretty busy.
5. Sakura Nail Bar, San Jose
Like most things in the downtown, Sakura is super trendy. However, for its prime location and its stylized blue interior decoration, Sakura’s services are actually relatively cheap. No wonder it’s so popular.
4. Lavande, San Jose
Lavande in Santana Row features a Starbucks-status mani-pedi menu, with heaps of variations on the usual procedure that even incorporate additives like mint, almond, and chocolate. The price point is definitely up there, but if you’ve got the cash or someone who owes you big-time, settle in to an afternoon at Lavande.
3. QT Nails, Santa Clara
QT Nails is a longtime favorite for a quick nail fixer-upper. QT Nails staffs seasoned employees who know their way around a file. QT also carries a huge range of OPI colors and houses cutting-edge ozone-equipped chairs, which employ a special cleaning agent to reduce the risk of infection.
2. Nail Spa by Tammy, San Jose
Nail Spa by Tammy is a great place to stop during an afternoon on the Avenue. It’s a small but sunny studio is right in the middle of stroll-worthy downtown Willow Glen, and the staff is famously sweet and accommodating.
1. Tranquility Day Spa, San Jose
Tranquility Day Spa is the best-kept secret on the East side, where nail salons are a dime a dozen. These ladies give you the full shebang, starting with a cold glass of water and ending with a pair of feet that look nothing like the ones you came in with. At around $35, it’s a little pricey, but totally worth it.