Well, now you know the way to San Jose, the Capital of Silicon Valley. Welcome. We hope you enjoy your stay, and best of luck to your team.

The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers are going head-to-head once again this year, as they converge in the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday, Jan. 7. This year marks the fifth anniversary of the title match and the third time Alabama and Clemson have challenged each other on the national stage.

In 2016, Alabama walked off the field with bragging rights; the following year it was Clemson’s turn for glory. Alabama took home the championship trophy again last year when they defeated the Georgia Bulldogs.

Both teams have plenty to prove. As the Crimson Tide head back to the CFPNC for the fourth straight year, they are seeking their third victory, while their rivals from South Carolina look to even the score at two championship titles apiece. Both the Crimson Tide and the Tigers come to Levi’s Stadium—which is hosting this year’s big game—undefeated in their respective conferences.

Levi’s Stadium is observing its own five-year anniversary. Completed in 2014, the stadium is actually located within the city of Santa Clara, just north of San Jose. The home base of the San Francisco 49ers was built with state-of-the-art technology at front of mind. The place is packed to the gills with WiFi ports, which help fans order food and drinks from their smartphones; light rail runs directly to the gates, giving fans a convenient way to get to and from the game; and solar panels are everywhere—soaking up the abundant California sunshine and using it to power the rest of the arena’s cutting-edge tech.

Hey. This is Silicon Valley. What else would you expect?

When we are not building drones, smart watches, search engines and self-driving cars, we stay busy in other ways—like enjoying the great food and diverse cultural attractions this region has to offer.

While in town for the CFPNC, you’ll have plenty to do, both on and off the field. In addition to the game itself, the event’s organizers are taking over downtown San Jose. There’s the Playoff Fan Central interactive experience at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, a slate of three free concerts in Discovery Meadow (see page 24) and an open-air market and meet-up space, dubbed The Quad, which will fill the historic Plaza de Cesar Chavez.

And then there is the rest of this wonderful valley to explore. From acclaimed white linen restaurants to delectable local eateries, the food in Silicon Valley is excellent. Pair that with a huge selection of locally brewed craft beer and expert mixologists shaking up top-notch cocktails, and you’ve got a recipe for a seriously sumptuous culinary experience.

On top of all the great eats, there’s also an amazing arts and nightlife scene. We’ve got music, dancing, comedy, theater and art. While you’re visiting Playoff Fan Central or The Quad, you may want to take a detour to The Tech Museum of Innovation or peel off and check out the SoFA District on South First Street. There you’ll find more art galleries, and a number of lively bars, clubs and live music venues.

Consider this issue of Metro, an insider’s guide to San Jose and the surrounding Silicon Valley. Thumb through it at your leisure and discover all our city and region has to offer.


The Tech
201 S Market St, San Jose

With its splashy, mango-colored exterior, The Tech Museum of Innovation—or “The Tech,” as locals know it—definitely stands out. Opened in 1990, The Tech wholly devoted to science and technology. It is currently home to “Body Worlds Decoded.” The interactive exhibition features numerous “plastinated” cadavers, which visitors can examine with the help of an augmented reality app.

Cantor Arts Center
328 Lomita Dr, Stanford

Located at Stanford University—the academic incubator of Silicon Valley—the Cantor Arts Center’s diverse collections span continents, cultures and 4,000 years of art history. Outside, on the museum’s surrounding grounds, the Rodin garden features 20 bronze castes of the artist’s greatest sculptures, including The Thinker and Gates of Hell. The museum is currently showing a collection of photographs by Andy Warhol and work by Korean sculptor and installation artist Do Ho Suh. Admission is free.

The 49ers Museum
Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara

The 49ers Museum pays tribute to the red and gold with 11 gallery and exhibition spaces. Learn about the franchise’s history, get up close and personal with memorabilia and remember some of the greatest to ever play the game, like Joe Montana and Jerry Rice.


Rookies Sports Lodge
99 S First St, San Jose

With a serious selection of beers on tap and even more screens, there really isn’t a bad seat in the house. Featuring a menu of classic sports pub fare, a full bar and a spacious patio, it’s a great place to stay up on all your favorite teams while chowing down.

Fourth Street Pizza
150 E Santa Clara St, San Jose

Every year, Fourth Street Pizza ranks high on Metro’s reader-selected Best of Silicon Valley survey. With 100-oz. beer towers, yummy slices and plenty of screens, it’s no wonder.

The Britannia Arms
173 W Santa Clara St, San Jose

A large patio, plenty of screens, juicy burgers and two full bars are just some of the reasons The Brit is one of downtown’s most popular sports bars. Look for the old school British telephone booth out front.

300 Santana Row Suite 101, San Jose

Boasting an impressive draught beer menu, tasty food and a multitude of screens, Yardhouse is located at the posh Santana Row shopping center. Grab a bite and a brew, then peruse the neighboring shops, like Kate Spade, Free People and Tommy Bahama.


The Ritz
400 S 1st St, San Jose

With two bars serving strong drinks, darkroom-red lighting and a serious soundsystem, this is the place to see an alternative rock act or get down to an indie electronic mix. This Saturday, catch This Charming Band, a tribute to The Smiths.

Cafe Stritch
374 S 1st St, San Jose

A pillar of the South First Street Area—or SoFA—arts district, Cafe Stritch has a simple menu, a full bar, indoor and outdoor seating and is all about jazz. There is a live band most nights, and admission is usually free.

Poor House
91 S Autumn St, San Jose

Named after the famous poor boy sandwiches served in New Orleans, PHB is a place where people can come together, around good food and live music. Live blues and rock bands regularly play on the Poor House patio and in the adjacent music hall.


The Continental
349 S. 1st St., San Jose

Leather couches and armchairs, a spacious back patio with fire pits, and a large dance floor are the defining characteristics of The Continental. In the early evening, it’s perfect for lounging over a cocktail. Once night rolls around, the DJs start spinning of neo-soul, jazzy hip-hop and classic house.

LVL 44
44 S Almaden Ave, San Jose

With DJs spinning a mix of new and old-school hip-hop, this is one of the best dance floors in San Jose. LVL 44 takes a while to wind up, but once it gets cranking, it stays lit until closing time.

The Loft
90 S 2nd St, San Jose

Located in the heart of downtown, this chic, two-story San Jose restaurant features upstairs and downstairs dining, two bars and a rooftop patio. It transforms a lively dance club at night.


Jack Rose Libation House
18840 Saratoga-Los Gatos Rd

Taking its name from a popular 1920s cocktail, Jack Rose Libation House has a rustic ambiance, good food and fantastic craft drinks—mixed with homemade syrups and bitters, innovative infusions and top-notch hooch.

55 South
55 S 1st St, San Jose

Known for their monthly Tiki Tuesday parties and an excellent kitchen, 55 South combines upscale cocktails with an extensive wine and whisky selection.

Paper Plane
72 S 1st St, San Jose

This craft cocktail bar keeps things interesting with a towering liquor library and a constantly rotating menu—which always has an assortment of classic, adventurous, potent and light offerings to choose from.

43 W San Salvador St, San Jose

This cozy basement bar employs seriously talented mixologists traine art of drink recommendation. Just ask and
they’ll set you up straight away.


Uproar Brewing Company
439 S 1st St, San Jose

Located in the heart of the SoFA District, Uproar Brewing Company features a large communal seating hall, diverse tap selection and tasty menu of burgers and other bar bites. It’s an ideal location for large groups.

Camino Brewing

718 S 1st St, San Jose

A five-minute walk from Uproar, the Camino Brewing taproom is one of the newest on the San Jose scene. Enjoy their hazy Northeast by S. 1st IPA or perk up with their Café con Leche coffee milk stout—a partnership with local coffee roaster and café Chromatic.

Santa Clara Valley Brewing
101 E Alma Ave, San Jose

Known for their Electric Tower IPA—an homage to San Jose’s historic “moonlight tower”—Santa Clara Valley Brewing is an essential part of the scene.


1614 Alum Rock Ave, San Jose

This upscale Portuguese eatery offers a number of decadent prix fixe menus. They serve only the freshest food, and pair their offerings with a massive Portuguese-only wine list.

1185 Lincoln Ave, San Jose

Braise is the collaborative creation of several of San Jose’s brightest rising restaurateurs. They offer a simple and thoughtful New American menu—plus beer, wine and craft cocktails. Try their update on a childhood favorite: the PB&J with bone marrow.

25 W San Fernando St, San Jose

As one might expect from its name, Mezcal boasts an impressive mezcal and tequila selection. Their food is also excellent, with a menu that blends traditional Oaxacan cuisine with Mexican favorites and Californian flourishes.

The Grandview Restaurant
15005 Mount Hamilton Rd, San Jose

For those who like dinner and view, the name of this former roadhouse, built in the 1880s, pretty much says it all. Perched on Mt. Hamilton in San Jose’s East Hills, the Grandview offers sweeping vistas of the entire Silicon Valley.


La Victoria
Multiple Locations

The burrito is the quintessential California quick bite. And in San Jose, many taquerias serve this delicious Mexican wrap with orange sauce. But if you want the Orange Sauce you have to go to La Victoria.

Original Joes
301 S 1st St, San Jose

For a hearty, hefty Italian American meal—and a bit of a Goodfellas vibe—check out Original Joe’s. It’s a fine spot for a sit-down dinner, but you can also grab a quick bite by seating yourself at the counter. Pro tip: eat half of an OJ’s Famous Hamburger and take the second
half to go.

Culinary Corner Bistro
321 S 1st St, San Jose

Vietnamese food is huge in San Jose. There are few better ways to warm up on a cold day than with a hearty bowl of pho. This tasty, beef and noodle soup can be found in many local eateries, but few do it as good as Culinary Corner.


The Breakfast Club
1432 W. San Carlos St, San Jose

The Breakfast Club’s menu is classic all-American diner fare—ranging from burgers and patty melts to benedicts, omelets and even chicken and waffles. There’s always a wait on weekends, but it’s well worth it.

Forthright Oyster Bar
1700 W Campbell Ave, Campbell

This New American joint specializes in upscale diner food and deliciously slurpable oysters. Eggs benedict, a juicy burger and a salmon B.L.A.T. are just a few of the fine options on the menu.

SP2 Communal Bar
72 N Almaden Ave, San Jose
SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant has a beautiful outdoor lounge area, with spacious seating good for large parties or more intimate gatherings. Enjoy a luxurious brunch accompanied by craft cocktails.

Multiple Locations

Aqui excels in contrasts: Swill margaritas with health-conscious vegetarian exotica; pair fresh juices with meat-packed burritos. The ambiance is chi-chi, yet you serve yourself. Oh yeah… they also do brunch.