So, your four years at Santa Clara are coming to an end. You actually managed to slog through countless core requirements, conquering all three religion classes and even your pathway essay.
Through this journey, it’s possible that food fell by the wayside sometimes. After all, when all you’ve got is Benson, you can only eat so many Saute pasta dishes before migrating once and for all to the diet your off-campus budget allows for.
Now that May has rolled around and you can commence your month-long celebration of your achievements, it’s important to bring delicious food back into the mix. And what better way to do so than when you’ve got your family in town to pick up the check?
Try one of these restaurants for something new to truly relish in the glory of your graduation. Either that, or just bring grandma through In-N-Out.
If you’re looking to get away from the guaranteed craziness that will be Santana Row on grad night, Dry Creek Grill has got you covered. From seafood to burgers, Dry Creek is sure to have something for everyone but also won’t overwhelm you with options.
The restaurant’s location in a strip mall is a bit concerning at first, but upon closer look it is evident that a lot of effort has been put into enhancing the exterior in order to differentiate the restaurant from its neighbors. Complete with a fire pit and benches, the patio area serves as a nice waiting area to enjoy a cocktail while waiting for the whole gang to arrive.
The atmosphere of the restaurant is mellow but also has enough of an energy to get you ready for grad parties and celebrate your accomplishments with friends, family and whoever else wants to tag along.
When it comes to cuisine, it’s very difficult to go wrong at Dry Creek, but the freshly baked cornbread (with jalapeños) makes it impossible. Top it off with honey butter because after 4 years of hard work, you deserve it. Follow up with the pan roasted day boat scallops and you’re golden.
Parcel 104 is a high-end spot that epitomizes Californian cooking, using seasonal ingredients sourced from Bay Area farmers and fusing together elements of French, Hawaiian, Italian and American cuisines.
Oddly enough, despite the gourmet presentation and impressively accredited chefs, Parcel 104 manages to maintain a relatively casual environment. It’s actually inside of the Santa Clara Marriott hotel, functioning as their on-site restaurant while simultaneously giving guests a more private feel than a regular street-side spot.
The menu changes daily, so be prepared for something new. Parcel 104 is especially noted for their foie gras, but for the vegetarians or those looking for something a little less ambitious, their dessert menu alone is worth checking out.
Maybe you want to revisit an old favorite for your final meal as a Bronco, maybe you’ve heard the raving reviews of Kabab and Curry’s flavorful food, or maybe you just want something a little less bourgeois than conventional Santa Clara graduation picks. Either way, you can’t go wrong with traditional Indian perfection.
Kabab and Curry’s is extremely close to campus, and known for fantastic, personable service. Make sure you come for dinner, not the lunch buffet, for better options and fresher food.
Must try items include butter chicken, lamb korma and paneer tikka masala. This restaurant was founded on the idea that not enough Bay Area Indian food was authentic, so you can eat your meal and know that you enjoyed traditional Indian cuisine at a pretty decent price.
Agape is perfect for any situation or combination of people. Mediterranean food, especially Greek, is in abundance here, which is one of the best types of food you can eat in order to stuff your face endlessly but not end up in that dreaded food coma.
A Santa Clara parent’s weekend favorite, The Yard House has a little something for everyone with that New American style food that fuses together elements of cuisines from around the world.
Lark Creek Blue is where you wanna head if you’re looking for an all-out smorgasbord of fancy, decadent food. Come ready to have your jaw drop when you see the huge array of seafood, steakhouse dishes, and more.
You’ve spent 4 years eating fast food in sweats at 3 am – reward yourself with a dinner where you can get dressed up and feel classy as Le Papillon serves you course after course of tiny foods. This is what being an adult feels like.
The neanderthal in you will love the crazy meat options available at LB. While they stick to the classics like filet mignon and prime rib, they add an exciting twist with gourmet preparation. Definitely check out the dessert menu if you can manage to save room.
Show off your great taste in beer (see ya later, Natty Light) and head to Steins for a fresh take on casual dining. Come thirsty!
Bumble is the cutest little brunch place you’ve ever seen – the outdoor seating is great for impressing out-of-town family members from drearier states, and the food will have you asking why brunch isn’t a daily thing. Check the mimosas to get in the graduation spirit.
Relive your semester abroad in France with some classic French cuisine at Santana Row. While it may be packed on weekend nights, their decadent menu options (everything from escargot to artisan cheese boards to truffle fries) can definitely be worth the wait.
You can never get too much meat when it comes to a celebratory dinner. They’ve got happy hour on drinks and oysters, what more could you need? The ambiance may be a little business-professional, but it’s a nice change from the super dressy vibes at other steakhouses.
The brand new Levi’s Stadium is home to the 49ers, of course, but it’s also home to a brand new restaurant serving both brunch and dinner. Michael Mina, an award-winning chef with a restaurant group across the country, ensures that your dining experience feels nothing like the inside of a football stadium.
If your family isn’t huge into formal spots, Dusita Thai might be the place for you. Vegetarians find a haven within a huge menu of curries and traditional Thai favorites. A lot of food at Dusita is known for being super spicy, so faint-of-heart foodies beware.
For more graduation inspiration, try these articles: