1. Adega

Adega is the only Michelin-starred restaurant in San Jose, and just the second Portuguese restaurant in the United States. Chefs David Costa and Jessica Carreira, both from Lisbon, frequently welcome Portuguese chefs from other Michelin-starred restaurants in Porto and Lisbon.

2. Straits Restaurant

The cuisine offered at Straits is as broad and eclectic as San Jose itself. The cuisine is influenced by Singapore, which frequently combines flavours from Malaysia, Indonesia, China, and India. Chef Chris Yeo has created a delectable and bright Asian fusion menu, served in dishes meant to be shared around the table.

3. La Foret

Housed in a charming creekside boarding house built in 1848, La Forêt is surrounded by a lush forest on the outskirts of San Jose. In late 2017, the classic restaurant reopened under new ownership. 

4. Falafel’s Drive-In

A San Jose institution, Falafel Drive-In is an old school, fast-food stand serving Middle Eastern fare through a take-out window. The city is hooked on their authetnic falafel, gyros, kabobs, hummus, foul (a fava bean dip with jalapeños, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil) and tabbouleh.  

5. Aqui Cal-Mex

Aqui Cal-Mex was one of the first fast-casual concepts to open up in Silicon Valley, back in 2010. Since then it's opened several locations, including this one in San Jose in 2019. Here, you'll find a smattering of Mexican dishes – from burritos, to bowls, to tacos – with a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. 

6. Back A Yard 

Back A Yard serves chef Robert Simpson’s authentic Jamaican comfort food. While downing Jamaican Ting (grapefruit soda), fill up on tender curried goat, jerk chicken and sides like plantains, coconut rice and beans and honey-sweet festivals (a Jamaican staple somewhere between a doughnut and cornbread).  

7. Naschmarkt

Naschmarkt offers upscale Austrian food from Austrian-born chef Matthias Froeschl. The menu features European classics like wiener schnitzel, Hungarian goulash and kraut rouladen (a cabbage roll filled with beef, pork and smoked bacon in mushroom demiglace).  

8. Zeni Ethiopian Restaurant

With spongy injera “bread” as the base, scoop up yemisir wot (red lentils in berbere spice mix), kikil kitfo (finely chopped beef in herbed butter sauce and chili powder) or kik alitcha (yellow peas in turmeric, garlic and ginger) at this tasty Ethiopian restaurant. 

9. Black Sheep Brasserie

The focus at this French-American brasserie is on quality cocktails (like A Postcard from Japan, made with black sesame-washed Japanese whisky, oloroso sherry, Licor 43, black sesame bitters) and fare like the oxtail rillettes, Burgundy snails in Pernod parsley butter and pan-roasted duck breast, lentils and herb salad. 

10. Le Papillon

This is San Jose's fine-dining destination. Chef Scott Cooper worked his way up from dishwasher, holding nearly every position in the industry before eventually becoming executive chef.