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San Jose Dining Recommendations

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Will be staying at San Jose Marriott for 4 nites...prefer walking distance since we don’t know the roads but do have car for something we can’t miss....Prices can be top to bottom, taste ranges from American, Continental, French, Italian, Chinese, Mediterranean, steak......no sushi, Mexican, Asian or Ethiopian...

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  1. Downtown Area:
    French (Swiss): Emile's, may be too far to walk, closing soon.

    Contintental: Paolo's

    Italian-American: Original Joe's

    Steak: Blakes

    For the View: (Rancho) Grandview Restaurant, Continental/American. Get on Santa Clara (~blocks north from the Marriot) and head east, Santa Clara morphs into Alum Rock at Hwy101, turn right on Mt Hamilton Ave, continue into the foot hills. On a clear night, one can see the Santa Clara Valley.

    1 Reply
    1. I read that Emile's (owned by Emile) has closed. It was to reopen as - I recall - Emile's but under new ownership and
      with Emile as a consultant. This may have already happened.

      Blake's is gone.

      2 Replies
      1. re: taco_belle

        "Blake's is gone."

        What is it called now, Picasso's ? I ate there two weeks ago, there was both Blakes and Picassos signage. I didn't notice any difference in the menu. I eat there at least once a year, before a Shark's game.

        The hostess is the same.

        1. re: Alan408

          The original owners recently sold Blakes at the end of 2006.

      2. Saigon 75 has wonderful Vietnamese food. It is on Santa Clara
        and 8th St.


        1. For Chinese, try Bo Town Seafood, just steps away from your hotel.


          1. Other thoughts:

            71 St. Peter on San Pedro

            La Pastaia in the DeAnza Hotel on Santa Clara

            Arcadia in your hotel - basically a steaks/chops themed
            Michael Mina restaurant

            Stump's on Santa Clara - another steaks/chops place

            Moving down the food chain - McCormick's by the Fairmont
            Hotel on Market - chain/seafood/typically fresh and decently
            prepared but ho-hum.

            Tied House on San Pedro - a microbrew place with mostly
            okay bar/pub food.

            I didn't mean by my earlier post to rule out Emile's, but I
            don't have a feel for how its brand new ownership would affect
            your experience.

            You are also right on the light rail line, and the Convention
            Center station (1/2 block from your hotel) should be reopened.
            This gives you pretty easy access to Mountain View (about 40 minutes) and also to Campbell (about 15 minutes). If you're there between Wednesday And Saturday, I'd be tempted to ride the light rail to Campbell and try either Restaurant O on Winchester (maybe 7 to 8 blocks from the Downtown Campbell station) or Twist Bistro on Campbell Ave (about 3 or 4 blocks from the station). Fare is $1.75 for a 2 hour ticket purchased in advance from a machine on the platform.

            One last thought:

            Chez TJ in Mountain View (very close to the light rail

            I've not included Manresa in Los Gatos because it might be
            hard for you to get to, but if you're up for a bit of a driving adventure, you might consider it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: taco_belle

              This thread was pointed to in a more recent thread so I have to update here.
              Skip A.P. Stumps, Arcadia, and Tied House. The first brought us out severely heat damaged wines, cancelled our reservations on us without calling us on one occasion, and substituted a fish I had ordered because they ran out and didn't ask me if I cared for the substitution. The second went way down hill in the past years, and the third brought out a hamburger when we ordered a cheeseburger. When we talked with the waitstaff on rectifying the matter, it took them forever and their solution was to bring out a slice of cheese.

            2. Just FYI, if you are an early/late eater, McCormick's has a $1.95 happy hour bar menu that features a pretty decent 1/2 pound burger and fries (the rest of the bar menu is pretty yuck). There is a two drink minimum but they don't usually enforce it. I think happy hour is 4:30-6 and 9:30-11pm on weekdays.

              1. AP Stumps and La Pastia at the De Anza Hotel are great! I've been to both repeatedly. The atmosphere at Stump's is more upscale than La Pastaia, but both are nice.

                The Hedley Room at the De Anza Hotel is also a nice place for an after dinner cocktail. They usually have some sort of jazz on the weekend evenings, and a piano player on other days.

                1. For downtown, if you like Moroccan, go to the Menara:


                  Ask at the concierge desk for your hotel. There are sometimes discounts for out of town visitors. It's pricy, but good, and has belly dancing. Go there for a dinner.

                  For lunch, I'd recommend Gordon Biersch, the brew pub. The courtyard is very nice, the beer is good and the deserts are very innovative. The main meals try to push the envelope of brew pub food with varying degrees of success. I'd just go with the sausages and leave it at that.

                  Yes, it's a chain, but this is the original location:


                  For original San Jose German food, go to Teske's Germania:


                  The tap room looks like a Bavarian hunting lodge. They've often got wild game on the menu as well, so if you like venison or antelope, it's a good bet.

                  1. Here's a report from 12/2005 on Teske's Germania, any updates?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      I can't do an "update" exactly, but I've eaten at Teske's many times before and have never had bad service. And it has been over a year since the one bad review.

                      Even some of the best restaurants have the occasional waiter-on-crack or understaffed situation. I certainly wouldn't write it off on a single bad review, especially since I've had so many nice dinners there.

                    2. Back in the late 70's there was an old-time Italian deli north of Santa Clara that had the most outrageous homemade sausage.
                      My older brother worked at United Pump and went there for lunch all the time.
                      Don't reall the name, but I think it was a family name.
                      Anyone know if it's still there?

                      There were some other neighborhood places--taquerias, etc that used to do pit-cooked pork etc., for the weekend. Anyone?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: toodie jane

                        Haven't tried it, but maybe Chiaramonte's?

                        Chiaramonte's Deli & Sausages
                        609 N 13th St, San Jose, CA
                        (408) 295-0943

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          It's been many years, but I do believe I remember No. 13th! thanks. I can vouch for the sausage--fresh Italian in a huge coil, not links. Boy, oh boy!

                      2. It will take a car to get to Zeni in West San Jose, but it's totally worth it to have the best Ethiopian food ever. Seriously, a friend named her her favorite restaurant in the world. I'd put it in my top 10.

                        Ethiopian in San Jose - Zeni: Come Come for the Gored Gored, Stay Stay for the Firfir

                        1. Much improved lately - Scott's on Park for seafood
                          Very good steaks etc. - Grill on the Alley at the Fairmont
                          Try the Newhattan Chowder at Hawg's Seafood at the Rep
                          71 St. Peter prix fixe is reliable
                          I would not recommend McCormicks.
                          For very casual - Sonoma Chicken Coop (although the one is Campbell is bigger and better with a full bar).
                          All walkable from the Marriott

                          1. Manresa in Los Gatos is definitely worth the drive. You can't get there easily on public transportation.

                            Japantown is a long walk/short drive. I like Sushi Maru, but there are several other good places as well.

                            1. Paolo's is fantastic for authentic Italian, especially if you will be downtown anyway (Original Joe's ISN'T Italian, its just plain bad and I wouldn't recommend La Pastaia).

                              Restaurant "7" for eclectic American

                              John's Excellent on Linclon Ave in Willow Glen or Il Fornaio for breakfast

                              Chiriamonte's is still on 13th Street with delicious Italian sausage for lunch only (but has little else if you want some variety)

                              Kobuta(sp?) in Japantown for Japanese. Great small plate menu and huge selection aside from the superior sushi

                              1. Links to San Jose dining

                                Zeni Ethiopian Restaurant
                                1320 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA 95129

                                La Pastaia
                                233 West Santa Clara St., San Jose, CA 95113

                                19 Market
                                19 N Market, San Jose, CA 95113

                                Saigon 75 Bistro
                                304 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA

                                71 Saint Peter
                                71 N San Pedro St, San Jose, CA 95110

                                Arcadia Restaurant
                                100 W San Carlos St., San Jose, CA 95113

                                Morton's the Steakhouse
                                177 Park Avenue, Suite 100, San Jose, CA 95113

                                A P Stump's - closing July 10 2009
                                163 W Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113

                                Grill On the Alley
                                172 South Market St., San Jose, CA 95113

                                41 E Gish Rd, San Jose, CA 95112

                                Emile's Restaurant
                                545 South 2nd St., San Jose, CA 95112

                                Sushi Maru
                                262 Jackson St, San Jose, CA

                                John's XLNT Foods
                                1238 Lincoln Ave, San Jose, CA 95125

                                Chiaramonte's Deli & Sausages
                                609 N 13th St, San Jose, CA 95112

                                Sonoma Chicken Coop
                                31 N Market St, San Jose, CA 95113

                                Bo Town
                                409 S 2nd St, San Jose, CA 95113

                                Teske's Germania Restaurant and Beer Garden
                                255 N. First Street, San Jose, CA 95113

                                Paolo's Restaurant
                                333 West San Carlos Street, San Jose, CA 95110

                                Blakes Steak House
                                17 N San Pedro St, San Jose, CA 95110

                                Mount Hamilton Grandview Restaurant
                                94 Mount Hamilton Rd, Mount Hamilton, CA

                                Picasso's Bar & Grill
                                17 N San Pedro St, San Jose, CA

                                McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant
                                170 South Market Street, San Jose, CA 95113

                                Tied House Cafe & Brewery
                                65 N San Pedro St, San Jose, CA

                                Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
                                33 E San Fernando St, San Jose, CA 95113

                                Scott's Seafood Bar & Grill
                                185 Park Ave., San Jose, CA 95113

                                Hawgs Seafood Bar
                                150 S 2nd St, San Jose, CA 95113

                                Original Joe's Restaurant
                                301 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113

                                Seven Restaurant
                                754 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126