Greater San Jose Restaurants
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Steakhouse. Consistently delivering outstanding meals in a refined setting, Spencer's is a San Jose steakhouse where quality is second to none. The robust menu boasts expertly prepared corn fed & well-marbled beef as well as mouthwatering treats like Australian lobster, grilled portobello mushrooms and Dungeness crab cakes. Located in the Doubletree Hotel near the San Jose Airport, this fine dining steak restaurant in San Jose also boasts an award-winning wine list comprised of vintages from both well-known purveyors and smaller boutique wineries.
Indian. An stylish, bejeweled restaurant rich with exotic aromas, Amber India is a Santana Row restaurant that stands out with creative Indian fare and fabulous cocktails. Under the direction of award-winning chef Vittal Shetty, the menu showcases inspired preparations traditional and contemporary Indian cuisine that are as appealing to they eyes as they are to the taste buds.
Steakhouse. Black Angus Steakhouse in San Jose is an institution for quality steakhouse cuisine. This casual, family friendly restaurant is awash with the aromas of aged Black Angus steaks cooked over flame, and the menu satisfies diverse palates with additional options ranging from seafood to chicken to baby back ribs.
Sushi, Asian Fusion. Blowfish Sushi to Die For is anything but a typical sushi restaurant. Unique and flavorful sushi combinations strive to redefine the traditional perception of the cuisine, fusing together uncommon flavors and clean, healthy ingredients. The swanky vibes of Santana Row mesh with pop-culture style and the daring Japanese cuisine to create an atmosphere that’s lively, trendy and maybe even a tad overwhelming – just don’t go there expecting a quiet dinner.
Steakhouse. Citrus Restaurant at the Hotel Valencia fits into its snazzy Santana Row confines without missing a beat. This artistically designed steakhouse blends elegance and contemporary style to remain both upscale and trendy, whether in the main dining room or in the open-air, European-style courtyard. The menu showcases well-crafted preparations of everything from steak to lamb to ahi, not to mention unique, designer-gourmet side dishes and satisfying vegetarian options.
Mexican / South American. With some of the best, most flavorful preparations of South American cuisine populating the menu, Consuelo restaurant bills itself as a bistro and pleases with both familiar and uncommon fare, lesser-known ingredients and a selection of tequilas that’s worth going green with envy over. The food is served tapas style and is meant to be shared, an approach that serves the lively, often noisy restaurant well.
Mexican. When it comes to quality mexican food, California has long established itself as a worthy substitute for the real thing down in Mexico. Hot Tamales Cal-Mex Cantina features an always-evolving menu (with well-priced starters, sides and specials) as well as a well-rounded drink menu. The later compliments Hot Tamales' events menu, which features either live music or happy hour specials between its seven-days. Come for the food; stay for everything else.
Seafood. Lark Creek Blue at Santana Row is one of San Jose's premiere restaurants, offering a menu that prioritizes only the freshest produce, meats and poultry from small, organic, family-owned California farms. Its seafood items (one of the restaurants staples) is sourced in accord with the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program, making sustainable practices a key part of the restaurant's ethos. With nightly classics and season sides, and featured wines sure to be perfectly paired with every meal, Lark Creek is one of San Jose's best.
French. Satisfying Gallic cravings with well-crafted translations of French cuisine, Left Bank does right by the fashionable Santana Row crowd. This breezy, bustling restaurant boasts the feel of a European brasserie, with ample natural light, sidewalk dining terraces and French artwork. This French restaurant in San Jose also features a full bar, an oyster selection, an exhibition kitchen and four private dining rooms.
Italian, American. The word "big" hardly does justice to Maggiano's concept of super-sized dishes for family-style dining. Like a warm Italian embrace, this Santana Row superstar has already proven a welcome haven for company lunches and congenial dinner parties. The Italian food is a cut above standard, with creative salads, roast chicken and veal marsala standing out. The desert list is divine.
Moroccan. Conveniently situated near the San Jose Airport and several Silicon Valley businesses including Ebay, Sony and BEA Systems, Menara Moroccan Restaurant has been serving delicious, traditional cuisine since 1977. Dinner is accompanied by belly dancing, creating a unique dining experience just a few blocks north of Japantown in San Jose. Menara is easy to get to from State Route 87, Interstate 880 and Highway 101. There isn't a better place to experience an exciting dinner complete with entertainment than San Jose’s Menara Moroccan Restaurant.
Irish, Contemporary American. Rosie McCann’s is a casual staple on fashionista-filled Santana Row. A welcoming restaurant and pub, Rosie’s is a favorite not only for traditional Irish pub fare like lamb stew and shepherd’s pie, but also for creative preparations of contemporary Californian cuisine. After dinner, the inside and outside areas of this bar are packed in with a lively crowd enjoying beer and cocktails from the full bar.
Chinese. Don't let Sino restaurant's flashy style fool you. This Santana Row restaurant has brains to back up its good looks. The restaurant offers traditional Chinese cooking with a few modern riffs. The kung pao chicken lollipops are a must order. Entrees like the sizzling ginger beef tips are generally quite good, but the prices can feel out of step with what's on your plate. The lunchtime dim sum is good and don't miss the fanciful mixed drinks.
Asian. By night it's a jam-packed hipster hotspot; by day it's Singaporean chef Chris Yeo's latest chic fusion venue. Small plates such as roti prata, a griddled flatbread with curry dipping sauce, share the menu with entrees such as the lobster and shrimp pad thai. This stylish Santana Row restaurant is equally as popular among the after-work and late-night crowds as it is among weary shoppers seeking a mid-spree martini and a creative lunch.
Mediterranean. Thea Mediterranean Cuisine is a favorite among the restaurants on Santana Row. This breezy Greek restaurant features huge indoor and outdoor dining areas, complete with olive trees and authentic Greek art. The beautiful bar boasts a great selection of spirits, including creative vodka infusions, and the friendly service enhances the enjoyable atmosphere and dining experience.
Californian. A chic bistro and wine bar at Santana Row, VILLAGE is an undeniably appealing option for everything from mid-shopping lunches to dinner dates. The menu highlights California-inspired cuisine crafted from the finest seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. The wonderful wine list focuses on boutique wineries from all over the world and boasts over 300 selections, not to mention an incredible assortment of half bottles.
Amalfi's Grill1740 N. 1st St., San Jose CA 95112; Tel. 408.793.3928
Italian. With a full dining room and lounge available to business people of the Silicon Valley, Amalfi's in San Jose is an all around fantastic restaurant. Relax under the stars on their palm tree laced garden patio, or reserve a dining room table for an elegant evening out. Amalfi's is located in the San Jose Hyatt, 1 mile from the San Jose airport.
Amato's Restaurant1162 Saratoga Ave., San Jose CA 95129; Tel. 408.246.4007
Sandwiches. The sandwiches make for greasy, sloppy, ferociously delicious eating. There are 34 varieties, categorized in three groups: hot, cold, specialty.
Anise Café1663 W. San Carlos St, San Jose CA 95128; Tel. 408.298.8178
Vietnamese Fusion. The menu at Anise restaurant fuses Vietnamese ingredients with Western style and technique to create a cuisine that's greater than the sum of its parts. Chef Rosalie Cartwright has reinvented the spring roll by filling these with nontraditional ingredients like swordfish, pork loin and mango, and tofu with shiitake mushrooms and peanut sauce. Check out the excellent green apple beef salad, too.
Cao Nguyen Restaurant2549 S. King Rd., #A16, San Jose CA 95122; Tel. 408.270.9610
Vietnamese. Gargantuan menu features nearly 200 Vietnamese menu options, including smoked duck, sautéed frogs and claypot catfish. Casual.
Cocola Bakery333 Santana Row #1045, San Jose CA 95128; Tel. 408.551.0018
French Bakery. With a chic, sleek interior that matches Santana Row's Euro stage set, Cocola is a fine place to while away an afternoon sipping tea and sampling a pear tart with vanilla custard and slivered almonds. For heartier fare, try the gourmet sandwiches.
Di Da Vegetarian Fast Food2597 Senter Rd., San Jose CA 95111; Tel. 408.998.8826
Vietnamese Vegetarian. Quick, friendly service and a comprehensive menu, with food that's simple, low-key and homey. Not too hot, not too salty, not too spicy. The jackfruit salad is surprisingly fresh, sided with a chile-tamarind sauce.
Di Lac Vegetarian Restaurant1644 E. Capitol Expwy., San Jose CA; Tel. 408.238.8686
Vegetarian Asian. A bite of veggie heaven. The spacious Di Lac serves up an appetizing array of foods all of which are made fresh daily, including the soymilk and tofu.
Dynasty Chinese Seafood Restaurant1001 Story Rd., 2nd Floor, San Jose CA 95122; Tel. 408.286.6668
Chinese. Huge tanks of lobsters, crabs, various fish and shellfish line one wall. The setting is fit for royalty, and there's a menu to match: lobster with special sauce, Peking duck, emerald-colored mustard greens, even suckling pig. Or try the more delicate fare: dim sum every midday.
Fish Market Restaurant1007 Blossom Hill Rd., San Jose CA 95123; Tel. 408.269.3474
Seafood. Preparing brilliant seafood dishes such as Alaskan halibut, Catalina swordfish and offering a wonderful array of fresh sushi, the Fish Market in San Jose is perfect for seafood lovers. This San Jose seafood restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and can accommodate large groups. Reservations recommended.
Frankie, Johnnie, & Luigi Too!5245 Prospect Rd., San Jose CA 95129; Tel. 408.446.9644
Family-style Italian. Traditional Italian-American favorites-spaghetti and pizza--served in ambience with plenty of elbow room and garden qualities. Big portions and wholesome family-style service. Full Bar.
Fratello's1712 Meridian Ave. #F, San Jose CA 95125; Tel. 408.269.3801
Italian. Bursting with simple flavors, Fratello's transcends the ordinary dining experience by glowing with a rosy hue of authenticity that piques the appetite, boasting the attributes of native Italian dining without affectation.
Gervais Restaurant Francais1798 Park Ave., San Jose CA 95126; Tel. 408.275.8631
French. Winning service, a menu of updated continental ideas and a comfortable setting keep this venerable restaurant attracting the following it deserves. Full bar.
Giorgio's1445 Foxworthy Ave., San Jose CA 95118; Tel. 408.264.5781
Family-style Italian. Simple Italian cooking--the rugged kind with Southern Italian leanings, full of robust flavors and tangy tomato sauces. Boasts one of the best pies in town. Great food, generous portions and fair prices.
Gojo Ethiopian Restaurant1261 W. San Carlos St., San Jose CA 95126; Tel. 408.295.9546.
Ethiopian. Simplicity reigns here; just Ethio-pian food--chicken, beef, lamb, vegetarian--and Ethiopian coffee. The flavors taste even better with honey wine. Beer, wine.
Govea's Restaurant1996 Tully Rd., San Jose CA 95122; Tel. 408.270.0973
Mexican. A community hub that serves up wonderfully fresh, old-fashioned Mexican food with no trendy gimmicks. Both the restaurant and the food are wholesome and filling. Open daily.
Gyoza No Hana4320 Moorpark Ave., San Jose CA 95129; Tel. 408.255.1187
Dumplings. The specialty at Gyoza No Hana restaurant is the house-made gyoza, a wok-fried dumpling while the lunch special gets you steamed rice, a sweet-and-sour tofu and vegetable soup with steamed broccoli and stir-fried celery and onions on the side.
Cuban. A culinary oasis full of good flavors, Habana Cuba exudes cultural delights. The menu boasts sensuous foods of the Caribbean and Cuba, long on tomato and peppers, slow-roasted meats and earthy black beans. This award-winning restaurant has been praised by local publications like the San Jose Mercury and CitySearch for everything from the tapas to the authentic style to the romantic appeal, and has most notably been named among the Top 50 Best Spanish Restaurants in the Country by Hispanic Magazine.
Happy Bamboo1711 Branham Lane, San Jose CA 95118; Tel. 408.694.0740
Vegetarian. The menu at the Happy Bamboo restaurant is almost all vegan and most of it Vietnamese or Asian-inspired. There is also a vegetarian tuna salad a veggie burger and, out of nowhere, Hungarian goulash and spaghetti. On the best dishes is the lemon grass "chicken." The soy-based chicken is browned on the outside and has a surprisingly poultry-like texture and flavor.
Hunan Taste Restaurant998 N. 4th St., San Jose CA 95112; Tel. 408.295.1186
Hunanese. Hunan Taste was the first in the South Bay to offer real Hunanese cooking. Joanne Song, the chef and niece of Henry Chung who opened the ever-popular Hunan in San Francisco, created a menu that hums with the spirit of her birthplace, the village of Lile in the Hunan Province.
Island Grill1355 N. 4th St., San Jose CA 95112; Tel. 408.392.2468
Island Cuisine. Situated on the ground floor of the Clarion Airport Hotel, the Island Grill is a relaxing tropically-themed restaurant. From tasty ribs and chicken dishes to unique islander favorites, everyone is sure to be delighted. With occasional live jazz performances, couples can enjoy romantic tunes while they dine. Online reservations are available.
Located in the heart of one of San Jose’s most vibrant social areas, Kaama Lounge is a stylish restaurant and lounge directly across the street from Santana Row. This intimate dining spot boasts an award-winning chef who is continually scripting a menu of comfort food classics brilliantly updated with worldly influences. The beautiful bar delivers creative cocktails, and the setting is designed to offer everyone from groups to romantic dates the perfect night out.
Krung Thai Restaurant640 S. Winchester Blvd., San Jose CA 95128; Tel. 408.260.8224
Thai. Located across from the movie theaters, this handsome restaurant specializes in full-bodied Thai cuisine, such as pineapple fried rice, hot pompano and garlic eggplant. Bargain lunches draw a devout crowd. Casual. Beer, wine.
Layang Layang1480 S. De Anza Blvd., San Jose CA 95129; Tel. 408.777.8897
Malaysian. Brightly painted walls, bamboo and palms give Layang Layang restaurant a festive, tropical feel. Start your meal with an order of an order of roti canai or murtabak, a thin and light Indian-style pancake filled with egg, chicken and onion. Good entrees include the nasi lemak, kari mee, and ikan bakar, stingray or sea bass, grilled, coated in a sour but rich tamarind sauce and wrapped in a banana leaf.
Le Papillon410 Saratoga Ave., San Jose CA 95129; Tel. 408.296.3730
Contemporary French. Once inside, mid-town traffic feels a million miles away. And the food presentation matches up to the restaurant's namesake, seen in butterfly portraits around the room. Full bar.
Mount Hamilton Grandview94 Mt. Hamilton Rd., San Jose CA 95140; Tel. 408.251.8909
Seafood, Steak. Perched high above the Santa Clara Valley, the Grandview is an old school roadhouse with an atmosphere that is warm and alive. Add dishes like surf and turf, rack of lamb chasseur and chicken Cordon Blue, and servers who are characters themselves, and you've got yourself a destination.
President Restaurant1190 Hillsdale Ave., San Jose CA 95118; Tel. 1.408.978.7188
Mongolian BBQ. This mom-and-pop eatery gears itself toward the common man with the uncommonly large appetite. Thrown into the bargain is a Chinese steam-table buffet.
Race Street Seafood Kitchen247 Race St., San Jose CA 95126; Tel. 408.287.6280
Seafood. For 35 years, Race Street Seafood Kitchen has been a bargain-priced, straightforward restaurant that dispenses with the white tablecloths and waiters and just focuses on the fish. Fried fish is the most popular, but it's the grill that stands out. At any given time, there are nearly a dozen kinds of fish and shellfish available: salmon, red snapper, scallops, prawns, halibut, ahi, catfish, etc. Served with rice and steamed vegetables for roughly $8 to $9, it's a real bargain.
Ramen Halu375 S. Saratoga Ave. #M, San Jose CA 95129; Tel. 408.246.3933
Ramen. Exemplifying the culinary heights a high-quality bowl of ramen can reach, Ramen Halu restaurant serves its ramen in a rich, porky broth topped with roast pork shoulder, velvety Chinese black fungus, pickled bamboo shoots, sliced green onion, and emerald-green fresh spinach.
Contemporary Indian. Rich with a sophisticated yet unpretentious attitude, Rangoli Indian restaurant sets the bar high in the world of San Jose Indian restaurants. The menu focuses on North Indian cuisine, with both traditional and more innovative renditions available. The service is impeccable, with great care taken to please the palates of guests, particularly in the realm of spices, which can be toned down or turned up according to preference. Organic and range-free ingredients pepper the menu of this restaurant in the Cambrian shopping plaza, and the lunch buffet is top-notch.
Asian/American. Located 5 minutes north of downtown San Jose on the ground floor of the modern Radisson Hotel San Jose Airport, RSVP44 is a stylish new bistro offering Asian-inspired preparations of classic American recipes. This San Jose restaurant also caters to both business and leisure travelers with a satisfying selection of traditional breakfast fare, creative lunch options and sweet treats for midday splurges and deserts.
Spivac's Restaurant262 Palm Valley Blvd., San Jose CA 95123; Tel. 408.528.1203
New American. A glamorous dining room, formidable wine list and impeccably fresh and beautiful cuisine brimming with uncompromising flavors comprise one of San Jose's white tablecloth dining experiences.
Three Flames Restaurant1547 Meridian Ave., San Jose CA 95125; Tel. 408.269.3133
Continental. One of five remaining restaurants owned by three brothers. The menu is enormous; among the best choices are scampi, lamb and pepper steak. Casual. Full bar.
Tong Dumpling Pot6184 Bollinger Rd., San Jose CA 95129; Tel. 408.996.0317
Dumplings. This cluttered little storefront is dumpling heaven. Tong Dumpling Pot's menu features pork dumplings, beef dumplings, chicken dumplings, vegetarian dumplings, and dumpling soup. Order freshly made dumplings and dine inside or take frozen dumplings home to enjoy later. The restaurant also serves several good side dishes such as the green onion pancake, egg rolls and tofu-egg porridge.
Yas Restaurant1138 Saratoga Ave., San Jose CA 95129; Tel. 408.241.5115
Persian. In keeping with this ancient cuisine's traditions, entrees are dressed up with the clean, fresh tastes of lemon and saffron, and desserts wear a distinctive hint of rose water. Beer, wine.
Zeni Ethiopian Restaurant1320 Saratoga Ave., San Jose CA 95129; Tel. 408.615.8282
Ethiopian. Zeni Ethiopian Restaurant offers a great introduction into a sumptuous cuisine. The vegetarian and meat combinations are good and don't miss the unassuming but excellent gomen wot, sautéed collard greens and beef kifto. A palm-thatched bar serves surprisingly potable Ethiopian wine as well as beer and cocktails.
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