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anything to eat in Santa Clara with minimal driving?

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I have to go to the Intel buildings pretty regularly and the only things i can spot are chain hotels and chain restaurants. I'm looking for something that involves minimal drive (minimal meaning 10 mins from Mission College Blvd.) and is fairly upscale, though not break the bank event dining upscale. I'm open to most cusines. The minimal drive is more important than the upscaleness-- i really can't be bothered to make any effort after a day's worth of meetings there...

any help would be much appreciated.
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  1. I actually work in one of the buildings across from Intel...there's a couple of restaurants near you such as Birk's (I see it off S-101 as I'm about to exit Great America) and Parcel 104 (at the Marriot?) that are pretty upscale but they might be expensive (I don't eat upscale food for lunch). Pedro's which is on Freedom Dr...is okay Mexican. I like to eat at hole in the wall places of various cuisines...so I don't think my recommendations would be good.

    1. I used to work at the twin of the McAffee building so I was right in that area all the time. On great america parkway by mission college there's an IHOP and a Bennigans. Then if you keep going there's a strip that has a Chinese fast food place, a Japanese place Sushi Express that has great lunch plates and bento boxes for a fair price, a semi-edible Thai place (Amarin) and a Togo's all in that one strip.

      If you want to keep walking down mission college past Yahoo there's the Mercado center with Tomatina (good italian), a Wraps place (it's alright), and an In n Out.

      Hope all those help! They're super close to you.

      1. If you go south on San Tomas, get out at El Camino - the stretch between Scott and Lawrence is hound heaven. You could do a search on Korean and Indian restaurants in Santa Clara to get started. Not a lot of upscale restaurants, though. Gaesung House of Tofu might have the nicest interior of all the places I've been in that immediate area.

        1. Here are your best bets:

          Amarin (Great America & Mission College) - Really good food, good complimentary soup and great cashew chicken served in a mango shell.

          Tomatina (Mercado - Mission College) - Some dishes can be hit or miss. Avoid the piadinis and garlic rolls and head for the pizza.

          Kabab and Curry's (Isabella & El Camino Real) - Pakistani hole in the wall with great chicken kababs and chicken tikka masala.

          Giovanni (Lawrence & Lakehaven, north of the 101) - Great rustica pizza slices (chicken, tomato, basil)

          Athena Grill (Scott & Space Park) - Amazing olive aioli with house bread (ask for the aioli if your entree doesn't come with it); $10 pastitsio gets me an extra dinner out of it

          Real Ice Cream (Lawrence & Calaveras) - Great Indian chaat; don't miss the sev puri or raggada pattis

          Other options: Maria Elena's (Mexican in Alviso), Shebele (Ethiopian at Trimble & N. 1st), Noah's Bagels (love the tuna sandwich at El Camino & San Tomas), Amber Cafe (15 min. away but worth the drive on El Camino Real in Mtn View for Indian food).

          1. Athena Grill has great Greek food. You order & pay at the counter then wait for your food. It is not upscale but the food is very tasty and inexpensive.

            Nicolino's Italian Restaurant on Tasman between Lawrence and Great America Blvd is more upscale inside but the food is just OK. It has an old world, outdated feel to it (unless they've renovated in the last 3 yrs).

            For Dim Sum, Hong Kong Saigon Seafood Harbor Restaurant is close by. They roll the carts around but sometimes you end up waiting a several minutes for another one to come by. 1135 N. Lawrence Expwy
            Sunnyvale, CA 94089
            (408) 734-2828