The South Bay last week joined much of the rest of the state in allowing diners to eat indoors, though local health officials remain wary of any kind of operation that requires customers to take their masks off inside.

Despite the trepidation, indoor dining has arrived on a limited basis, allowing restaurants to fill up to 25 percent of their typical capacity. But during the wait, restaurateurs figured out how to survive in a pandemic-induced lockdown. Some brave entrepreneurs  even pushed ahead with grand openings. And for those looking to venture out a little more and try some of those eateries, the staff at has compiled a list of restaurants for just about any mood.

Newly Open

Flowers Saratoga

14577 Big Basin Way, Saratoga; 408.647.2727

Flowers opened in early September with family-style dishes, including bacon wrapped dates, ahi flatbread and sweet prawn cigars. Limited indoor seating is allowed, but outside is where customers will find cabana-style dining. Open Wednesday to Saturday from 5 to 10pm and Sunday from 5 to 9pm.

946 Billiards

946 El Camino Real, Sunnyvale; 408.542.9690

The pool hall formerly known as Santa Clara Billiards moved from its longtime home along Stevens Creek Boulevard to a new Sunnyvale locale. Inside are 24 regulation pool tables and a Snooker table surrounding a 30-foot circular bar. New York-style pizzas from Fiorillo’s are cooked on site. Open daily from noon to 2am.

Nirvana Soul

315 S 1st St, San Jose; 408.759.1351

San Jose coffee shops have struggled during the pandemic, but sisters Jeronica Macey and B’Anka Ashaolu were undeterred from opening their own in the middle of the city’s downtown last month. They were rewarded with lines out the door opening weekend. Open 7am to 4pm Monday to Saturday and until noon on Sunday.

King’s Fish House

Valley Fair Mall: 2855 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose; 669.699.3474

King’s Fish House opened its first Northern California location last week in the middle of Westfield Valley Fair Mall’s new outdoor dining district. Open daily at 11am. Closing time is 10pm Sunday to Thursday and until 11pm on Friday and Saturday.

Date Night


14109 Winchester Blvd, Los Gatos; 408.374.1808

Born of the former La Strada restaurant, Aldo’s has become one of Metro readers’ favorites, specializing in Italian food in a relaxed atmosphere. Open for lunch Monday to Friday and for Dinner every day except Sunday, when the restaurant is closed.


546 University Ave, Palo Alto; 650.325.8500

Tamarine’s Vietnamese cuisine is also influenced by dishes from China, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and France. The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor dining as well as takeout from 5 to 7:30pm Tuesday to Sunday and 5pm to 8:30pm Friday and Saturday.

Forbes Mill Steakhouse

206 North Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.395.643

200 Sycamore Valley Road W, Danville; 925.552.0505

Forbes Mill Steakhouse is among the top-rated steakhouses in Silicon Valley, but also serves fresh seafood and keeps an award-winning wine list. Its Los Gatos location is open from 5 to 9pm Tuesday to Sunday. The restaurant is closed on Mondays.

Grill on the Alley

172 S. Market St, San Jose; 408.294.2244

Grill on the Alley is aptly named, located off The Fairmont lobby, along the twinkle light-lined Paseo de San Antonio. Open from noon to 9pm Monday to Friday; from 1 to 10pm on Saturday and from 1 to 9pm on Sundays.

Il Fornaio

2752 Augustine Dr, Suite 120, Santa Clara; 408.217.8844

327 Lorton Ave, Burlingame; 650.375.8000

Ritzy Il Fornaio typically has multiple locations across Silicon Valley, but for now only two remain open during the coronavirus pandemic. Both the Santa Clara and Burlingame locations offer takeout, pickup, indoor and outdoor dining daily.

Steamer’s Grillhouse

31 University Ave, Los Gatos; 408.395.2722

Steamer’s, known for its seafood, has drinks to-go and offers takeout and delivery after 5pm daily. The restaurant also now offers outdoor dining at its location in the Old Town shopping district. Reservations are recommended for both lunch and dinner.

Casual Dining

The Nest

312 S 3rd St, San Jose; 408.882.3969

The Nest Asian Bistro sits among a line of old homes-turned-eateries just outside of downtown San Jose. It offers takeout, delivery via a robot and outdoor dining on its patio. Open 11am to 8pm Monday to Saturday. Closed on Sundays.


1105 W El Camino Real, Sunnyvale; 408.732.2244

3075 El Camino Real, Santa Clara; 408.243.2778

4555 Hopyard Rd, Pleasanton; 925.750.7709

Aappakadai was founded by experienced chefs aiming to bring South Indian Chettinad food to Northern California. All three locations are open daily between 11:30am and 10:30pm most nights. Some locations close between lunch and dinner.


1710 West Campbell Ave, Campbell; 408.374.5777

Capers Eat And Drink, an American-style bistro, has been in Silicon Valley for two decades offering a huge variety of food and its signature martinis. The restaurant offers takeout, delivery and patio seating daily starting at noon. Closing time is 8pm Sunday to Thursday and at 9pm on Friday and Saturday.

Good Karma

37 S 1st St. San Jose; 408.294.2694

Good Karma, the longtime vegan and craft brew diner in downtown San Jose, reopened its doors with limited outdoor seating or takeout and delivery. Open 11am to 9pm Tuesday through Saturdays; from noon to 8pm on Sundays; and 9pm on Mondays.

Faultline Brewing Co.

1235 Oakmead Pkwy, Sunnyvale; 408.736.2739

Faultline opened in Sunnyvale in 1994, before craft breweries were the hip, new thing. The brewery is now open for indoor dining, but also has an outdoor patio overlooking a man-made lake and is kid- and dog-friendly. Open from 11am to 9pm daily.

Country Way

5325 Mowry Ave, Fremont; 510.797.3188

Country Way is a Silicon Valley mainstay, not far from the Tesla factory it has earned a reputation as a Fremont favorite when it comes to breakfast. Open daily from 6am to 10pm.

Chaat Bhavan

5355 Mowry Ave, Fremont; 510.795.1100

976 E EI Camino Real, Sunnyvale; 408.795.1100

4112 Grafton St, Dublin; 925.829.1700

Chaat Bhavan, a family-owned and run restaurant, offers vegetarian Indian cuisine in three locations around the Bay Area. Those locales are currently open daily between 11am and 10pm for takeout, delivery thorough DoorDash and UberEats and patio dining.

Chacho’s Restaurant

87 E San Fernando St San Jose; 408.293.4321

Chacho’s Restaurant has patio dining on lively San Fernando Street with music and waitstaff as well as takeout and delivery services. They have updated their hours for the covid-19 pandemic, now closing at 10pm Fridays and Saturdays.

Takeout & Delivery

China Wok

9 N. Market St, San Jose; 408.280.6688

China Wok restaurant doesn’t have much space for outdoor dining, so instead the longtime downtown San Jose restaurant is offering specials on its website — like the occasional free eggroll — and takeout and delivery options. Open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner.


6 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.395.4244

1 Airport Dr, Oakland; 510.638.6000

Andale has been in the Bay Area since 1987, and remains a Metro reader favorite. The restaurant’s main locale is in Los Gatos, which is open from 10am to 8pm daily. It also has outposts in both the San Francisco airport (currently closed) and the Oakland airport.

Sen Dai Sushi

224 N Abel St, Milpitas; 408.263.1472

Sen Dai Sushi offers Japanese cuisine, but only for those who order online between 11:30 am and 2pm or between 5 and 8pm for dinner. Delivery is available through DoorDash and UberEats, and takeout orders take about 40 minutes to prepare.

Tea Era

20916 Homestead Rd STE F, Cupertino; 408.996.9898

271 Castro St, Mountain View; 650.969.2899

Tea Era offers specialty boba drinks, but also has bento boxes and desserts for those looking for a quick snack. In Mountain View, the cafe is open from 11:30am to 11pm Sunday to Thursday and 11:30am to midnight Friday and Saturday. In Cupertino, Tea Era is open from 11am to 11pm daily.

Tofu Plus

10971 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino; 408.777.0900

This Korean barbeque restaurant may specialize in tofu, but its menu offers a variety of options. Open from 11am to 9:30pm daily.


161 Main St, Los Altos; 650.917.8388

Mikado serves up Japanese cuisine and sushi, including bento boxes, hibachi, tempura and specialty rolls along Main Street in Los Altos. Open daily for lunch between 11:30am and 3pm and for dinner between 4pm and 9pm.

The Pasta Market

579 Coleman Ave, San Jose; 408.288.6600

4546 El Camino Real, Los Altos; 650.949.1235

460 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale; 408.720.1299

The Pasta Market is a family-owned italian eatery that has been in Silicon Valley since 1982. For now, the restaurant offers takeout or delivery through DoorDash only. Open 11am to 9pm daily in most locations.

71 Saint Peter Restaurant

71 N San Pedro St, San Jose; 408.971.8523

71 Saint Peter sits just outside of San Pedro Square Market in downtown San Jose and serves up European food meant to evoke the French countryside. Open for lunch between 11:30am and 2pm Wednesday to Friday and dinner between 5 and 10pm Wednesday to Sunday for takeout and delivery.

Hapa Musubi

1558 Gladding Ct, Milpitas; 408.775.8158

Hapa Musubi promises a taste of Hawaiian comfort food from the comfort of Milpitas. The restaurant offers only takeout and delivery to limit close encounters during the pandemic. Open from 11am to 3pm Tuesday to Saturday.

Dim Sum King

824 W El Camino Real, Sunnyvale; 408.739.1551

Dim sum is the Chinese version of small bites and literally translates as “to touch the heart,” according to the folks at Dim Sum King. The Sunnyvale restaurant offers a wide variety of dumplings, pork buns and a few vegetarian options. Open for takeout and delivery only.

Dog-Friendly Patios

Hapa’s Brewing Company

460 Lincoln Ave, San Jose; 408.982.3299

Derek Tam and Brian Edwards have welcomed dogs since opening Hapa’s in San Jose’s Midtown in 2017. But the pandemic-related shift to open-air dining has made the place even more suited for leashed up, well-behaved furry drinking buddies. The brewery’s spacious layout offers limited indoor and plenty of outdoor seating.

Lazy Dog

19359 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino; 408.359.4690

Dog-friendly enough to honor man’s best friend in the name, Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar even offers a “pup menu” featuring plain brown rice ($2.75), grilled hamburger patty ($5) and grilled chicken breast ($5). Bowls of water are on the house. Patio pooches can’t sit on chairs or laps, must stay outside and avoid the “Three B’s”: barking, begging, biting.

Park Station Hashery

1701 Park Ave, San Jose; 408.320.1711

The patio at Park Station Hashery has been one of the main draws since the Rose Garden eatery replaced Antonella’s restaurant in 2016, becoming a favorite hang for cyclists. Doggos welcome—as long as they can chill out on a leash.

LUNA Mexican Kitchen

1495 The Alameda, San Jose; 408.320.2654

1875 S Bascom Ave Suite STE 570, Campbell; 408.963.6681

Nestled in a quaint 70-year-old Mission-style building The Alameda, LUNA’s is a dog-friendly eatery in a dog-friendly neighborhood. The restaurant opened four years ago by entrepreneurs Jo Lerma-Lopez and John Lopez and even expanded with a second location at The Pruneyard in Campbell.

Das Bierhauz

135 Castro St, Mountain View; 650.336.7613

Mountain View’s newest German restaurant, Das Bierhauz, opened in late August in direct response to the pandemic-prompted demand for more outdoor dining. Owner Mehmet Vural said the beer garden concept seemed well-suited for the age of social distancing. Polite dogs are welcome.

Jack’s Bar & Lounge

167 E Taylor St, San Jose; 408.287.5225

It may look tiny when you walk into the narrow bar, but Jack’s has one of the most spacious dog-friendly patios in Japantown. It also pours cheap drinks and draws a rotating cast of regulars. Bring your four-legged friend, head to the back patio to play cornhole or watch football on one of several outdoor TV screens. Disposable dog water bowls available by request.

Drinks Done Right (to-go)


43 W San Salvador St, San Jose; 408.792.7356

Diners can stay warm with Haberdasher’s assortment of whisky and bourbon-based cocktails, including its Bourbon Caramel Apple Soda for $12. The downtown San Jose staple sells some of its to-go drinks in doubles and flights for when one drink isn’t enough. Pickup available Thursdays through Saturdays from 4pm to 8pm.

Los Gatos Soda Works

21 College Ave, Los Gatos; 408.402.5111

This contemporary cocktail bar serves up its award-winning drinks in bottles to-go, including its “A Man and His Mule,” which is a mixture of Ketel One with green chartreuse and ginger beer. Some cocktails are available as doubles for $24. Open 4 to 10pm Wednesday and Thursday, 4 to 11pm Friday and Saturday and from 3 to 9pm on Sunday.

The Cider Junction

820 Willow St, San Jose; 669.234.2751

The Cider Junction is celebrating its third anniversary with its three ($59) and four-packs ($49) to-go. Each comes with a special 16 oz anniversary glass and an assortment of pre-picked regional ciders. The downtown Willow Glen cidery also sells single cans to-go. Curbside pickup available from 4 to 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday.

Aqui Cal-Mex

201 E. Campbell Ave, Campbell; 408.374.2784

1145 Lincoln Ave, San Jose; 408.995.0381

503 W. Capitol Expy, San Jose; 669.246.7350

10630 S. De Anza Blvd, Cupertino; 408.996.1443

5679 Snell Ave, San Jose; 408.362.3456

Aqui’s famous, industrial-strength swirls are ready for takeout.  Seasonal offerings include the Bombay Raspberry Lemonade Swirl—Bombay Sapphire, vodka, lemonade, raspberry and lemon juice. The popular cali-mex eatery limits swirls to two per customer and they must be purchased with a meal.

The Oxford

195 S Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale; 408.245.8503

Customers can step into the streets of London with The Oxford’s United Kingdom-themed drinks in downtown Sunnyvale. The gastropub serves up British favorites, like the Summer Pimms Cup—a mix of Broker’s London Dry Gin, Pimm’s No. 1, cucumber-strawberry elixir and seltzer in double (10 oz) and community sizes.

Great Deals

Birk’s Restaurant

3955 Freedom Circle, Santa Clara; 408.980.6400

Birk’s specializes in steaks, pork chops and seafood and has a few pandemic deals. One of those is its three-course dinner for two, available for takeout only, served family style starting at $53 a pair. Plus, all bottles of wine are 25 percent off. Open for lunch Tuesday to Friday and Dinner Tuesday to Sunday. Happy hour happens early evening Tuesday to Saturday.

Quality Bourbons and Barbeque

216 Castro St, Mountain View; 650.969.1112

For those who love bourbon, barbeque and a good deal, QBB is offering 10 percent off its food and a whopping 33 percent of  its bourbons for call-in orders. Diners can eat outside, pick up or get delivery through DoorDash. Open daily between 11:30am and 1:30pm and from 5 to 8pm.

The Post

395 Main St, Los Altos; 650.542.6552

The Post outdoor dining spills into the streets during Los Altos’ Open Streets Thursday to Sunday. Diners can bring their own wine to drink at the table. The first bottle is free, but the rest come with a $20 corking fee. The Post also offers 25 percent off bottles of wine to go.

Pizza Antica

334 Santana Row, STE 1065, San Jose; 408.557.8373

Pizza Antica, in San Jose’s ritzy Santana Row shopping center is open for outdoor dining, but for those more comfortable at home, all bottles of wine are half off for takeout and delivery. Open 11:30am daily, closing time is 10pm Sunday to Thursday and 11pm on Friday and Saturday.


400 Castro St, Mountain View; 650.940.9510

Mountain View’s mainstay Pan-Latin restaurant, Cascal, offers family meals, cocktails and 30 percent off wine on takeout. Reservations are recommended for those who dine in. Happy hour is Tuesday to Friday from 3:30 to 6pm. Open Tuesday to Sunday at 11:30am to 9pm.

Taiwan Restaurant

1306 Lincoln Ave, San Jose; 408.289.8800

This Willow Glen-based eatery offers 15 percent off on dine-in orders and 10 percent off on takeout orders on Mondays. Open Sunday to Thursday from 11:30am to 3pm for lunch and 5 to 9pm for dinner.

Mama Mia’s Italian Restaurant

200 E. Hamilton Ave, Campbell; 408.379.3333

Mama Mia’s offers takeout and patio dining for lunch Monday to Friday and for dinner daily. Thrifty couples—or a pair of friends—can get a free bottle of Salmon Creek wine with two entrees while eating on the patio.