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Jul 11, 2007 12:36 PM

Your fave vegetarian, ethnic or panini-style food near Plaza de Cesar Chavez, San Jose?

Considering heading down to San Jose for some of their concerts on the Plaza this summer. Not being all that familiar w/the area, rather than just grabbing something
in the park or bringing a dinner w/us....thought it might be fun to grab some food pre or post-concert. However, we're both vegetarian...probably looking for something other than pasta this time around. (altho' we enjoy that too)

Just thought w/San Jose's many ethnic & unique spots, someone might make some recommendations! :-) Also, if staying for the whole show & it goes 'til 9pm, I think...
the caveat would be the place would need to serve past 9pm. Guessing
some of the smaller restaurants might not? (family run ones perhaps not?)
Would be okay too w/bringing food with us from a spot you think has awesome carry-out
or picnic like fare....that too could work. Just let me know your faves. If some place
does awesome panini nearby, could definitely go for that, too.

Walking distance places most appreciated...We're active so fine w/a bit of a walk
but whatever would make sense w/parking down in that area, too, would be great.
(which again, I'm not sure where to do that, for it to make the most sense?)
Any San Jose tips most welcome! :-) Thanks chowhounds!!

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  1. For vegetarian within walking distance to the 3 "free-after 6 pm & weekends" parking garages on Market St, 2nd St, and 3rd St., I like the following:

    Dakao for cheap Viet takeout - vegetarian choices include banh mi, sometimes spring rolls, some shrink-wrapped foam plates; or ask for mon chay (pronounced like chai tea) which means vegetarian dishes.

    La Victoria Taqueria - for takeout burritos & stuff. I can't remember if they have vegetarian choices other than the usual bean & cheese +condiments. Wicked spicy orange colored salsa (with habaneros?).

    House of Siam - not the best Thai in the South Bay but nice decor and decent to good food and most convenient location.

    I've seen others rec Original Joes for old school Ital-American (not my style), Il Fornaio (too chainish for me), and Bo Town for vietnamese-cantonese sit down.

    I also remember there's Good Karma which is Asian veggie/vegan and it's only a couple blocks from Chavez Plaza, or 1 block from the 2nd St free garage. I've never been but the Yelpers seem to like/love it FWIW.

    A farther schlep away (or you'd have to park twice), are:

    La Pastaia - I've never been but it's often suggested here; mostly meat entrees but they have a few vegetarian pasta choices.

    Vegetarian House - I think this used to be named something else but they renamed it to be less cult-ish. I went here once with my parents & a grand auntie who thinks it's the best vegetarian in San Jose, never mind that it's like the HQ of the Supreme Master Ching Hai who looks like a very scary woman (her 'museum' is part of the restaurant). I only mention it since it's a rare thing to say you ate in a cult HQ and the food was actually very good (one step above the usual Asian vegan).

    The other places I can recommend are not very vegetarian-friendly, and my favorite vegetarain place in downtown San Jose (White Lotus) has seemingly closed.

    98 E San Salvador St, San Jose, CA 95112

    House of Siam
    150 S 2nd St, San Jose, CA 95113

    La Victoria Taqueria
    140 W San Carlos St, San Jose, CA 95113

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

    Good Karma Vegan Cafe
    37 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113

    International Vegetarian House
    520 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95112

    2 Replies
    1. re: Alice Patis

      Wow, Alice! Many thanks for this wonderful resource list!!
      Look forward to using much of it, on various forays down to the area.
      This time, we might take the train...will see. Worried about construction
      on it for the return, but will gamble. Still...look forward to trying
      some of these. And thanks for the tips, too! :-) All the best...

      1. re: Alice Patis

        Just wanted to say that I work in downtown San Jose and I would not consider the walk between La Pastaia and the Plaza to be far at all -- just about a 5 to 10 minute walk -- certainly not worth re-parking the car. I've only eaten their takeout, but it's pretty good.