The Silicon Valley is booming and San Jose is quickly becoming the place to be, not only in California but in all of the United States. Some say it’s technology that brings everyone here, and that’s definitely true, but we know the real reason they stay is for the food.
If you’re a native though, these are the foods you’ll miss the most.
With reviews calling it fantastic, amazing, mind-blowing and “the best burgers in town,” the Naglee Park Garage is a must. Best known for their half-pound angus beef burgers, you have an array of toppings such as bacon, blue cheese, avocado and more. Add a side of mac and cheese to dip your home fries in for the perfect meal. Save room for dessert though, the bread pudding is said to be heaven on earth.
Looking to get away from chicken? Try lamb. Get a little cultural and head to Nemea for mouth-watering lamb gyros. To add a little more spice to your life, order Piperies me Haloumi, roasted Anaheim peppers stuff with cheese. The perfect place to lunch with friends, mark down Nemea on your calendar for next Saturday afternoon.
Adega is without a doubt the best way to go to Portugal without leaving the South Bay. Authentic foods like the Salada de Polvo will bring out your adventurous side, with forkfuls of octopus salad with roasted red pepper sauce. If you don’t order it, be sure to steal a bite of the Bife a Portuguesa off your friend’s plate. The braised beef rump with roasted taro root puree and sauteed spinach will having you going back again and again.
If you’re a meat eater, get yourself to The Grill. You absolutely must order a USDA Prime Steak. This place has topped “best steaks in the bay” lists for the last few years running, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon. They also have a killer happy hour. Looks like I just helped you find your new favorite spot — you’re welcome.
5. Fuji Sushi
You cannot go to San Jose and not have sushi. With a thriving Japantown, the city is bustling with numerous sushi restaurants. While most of them are probably delicious, Fuji Sushi is hands down one of the best in town. Try the dynamite roll to give your taste buds the best indulgence this side of the Pacific.
You scream, I scream, we all scream for — Milk and Wood. If you love ice cream, you need to get to this innovative shop — and fast. With combinations like Oreo cookie mint (and that’s before any toppings) and naked Reese’s peanut butter cup, Milk and Wood is taking ice cream to the next level. Also, make sure you call me before you go, I’ll meet you there.
Every day can be your big fat Greek wedding at Opa! With a lively atmosphere and great spirits, grab your friends and clear your schedule, you’re going to be there a while. Order anything on the menu and you will be happy, I promise. Definitely get a taste of the lamb chops with garlic noodles and the loaded mac and cheese. Again, call me, I’ll meet you there.
8. Cafe Stritch
Cafe Stritch is a favorite of all San Jose natives. Best known for their live Jazz music, Cafe Stritch will have you tapping your foot and taking up the saxophone long after you leave the restaurant. I’ll let you in on another secret, they have MAC AND CHEESE WAFFLES. Need I say more?
For classic comfort food, head to Sonoma Chicken Coop. While chicken is not the only thing on the menu, it’s definitely their specialty. Order the half rotisserie chicken with warm lemon vinaigrette and steamed green beans or leek mashed potatoes. You should probably wear looser clothing though, I guarantee you’ll be leaving with a food baby.
This place is not well known, even by many South Bay natives, however it is certainly a hidden gem. Jubba is authentic Ethiopian food. Owned and run by a family that will you will soon wish you were a part of, they serve phenomenal food and delicious hot tea. Order the chicken sports plate and bring a friend, because this dish is massive, in both size and flavor.
11. Henry’s Hi-Life
If you still haven’t gotten your meat fix after visiting The Grill on the Alley, head to Henry’s Hi-Life. A San Jose icon, their food will have you buying a new mattress for the numerous food comas you will surely be in post-visit. Order the baby back ribs, or the full rack, if you think you can handle it.
Featured on many food shows, Iguanas is the place for all those who like a good food challenge. The burritozilla is a monster burrito only a select few have ever conquered. It’s just as tasty as it is big, but if you don’t feel like gaining three pounds in one day, go for the carne asada nacho fries. Mmmmmm, so good.
Standing since the 1960s, the Drive-In is a true San Jose icon. This is great for lunch in between classes or on break from work. Stay classic on this one and order a falafel with everything, especially the tahini sauce.
14. Taqueria Eduardo
Taco Tuesday takes on a whole new meaning at Taqueria Eduardo. With a variety of meats, salsas, and garnishes you can make a different taco for every day of the week. Just be careful, they have a few sauces that can wipe out the best of them.
15. Original Joe’s
Everyone loves to brunch, especially at Original Joe’s. An Italian restaurant with a huge following even outside of San Jose, you’ll soon find yourself there every Sunday morning. The french toast has been known to turn a few heads and so have the scramble platters — you really can’t go wrong with brunch.
Who doesn’t love a sandwich? Outside of San Francisco, Fresh Baked Eatery has the best sourdough in the Bay. Numerous combinations can make even the most experienced sandwich enthusiast anxious, so we recommend the customer favorite, #5. This big seller is piled high with turkey, country ham, roast beef, swiss cheese and all the fixings. You can thank me later.
17. Psycho Donuts
If you go cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, you will loose your mind at Psycho Donuts. They have been made famous by their cereal killer donut. Different every day, you’ll have to pop in to see what’s new on the menu. Don’t be shy on taking pictures either, they have a huge social media following and have been featured on numerous food shows.