San Jose, in Silicon Valley, is more than the renowned technology hub of California’s Bay Area. It’s also the Valley’s most significant cultural, architectural, and political center. This famous city’s urban landscape is wrapped in the rolling hills of Silicon Valley that support rich farmland and thriving wineries. It’s home to an eclectic mix of California’s trendiest restaurants representing its diverse local culture. From La Foret Restaurant’s 100-year-old tradition of exquisite classic French fare to ADEGA, the only Michelin-starred restaurant in the city, this is a foodie paradise. Whether it’s sushi, tapas, seafood, or steak that diners crave, there is a taste for every palate, and a romantic ambiance for every experience. Hours/availability may have changed.
© Il Fornaio
Il Fornaio, recipient of the 2013 Wine Spectator award for Excellence in San Jose, offers creative cuisine and outstanding service. It’s the epitome of elegance with its interior design of multiple dining areas, blonde hardwood floors, and dark wood trim. The restaurant’s romantic atmosphere is enhanced by recessed and suspended lighting, a high arched entryway, and large pane windows. This upmarket Italian franchise is an ideal place for a romantic evening. Il Fornaio uses locally sourced ingredients to prepare sumptuous meals. Entrées include selections like Brasato Al Vino Rosso, Linguine Mare Chiaro, Conchiglie Al Pollo, Filetto Di Blue, and Pennoni Alla Vodka.
302 South Market Street, San Jose, CA, Phone: 408-271-3366
2.The Grill on the Alley
© The Grill on the Alley
The Grill on the Alley is an award-winning restaurant in downtown San Jose that serves New American cuisine. The Grill on the Alley is a stylish, elegant restaurant with white jacketed waiters, hard wood floors, recessed lighting, and white walls. The romantic atmosphere continues with sconce lighting, large wall paintings, crisp white linen, and dark wood furnishings, making this an ideal place for a date night. Known as a premier steakhouse, this restaurant also serves fresh seafood. Entrées include items like cold-poached Atlantic salmon, Lake Superior whitefish, petite filet mignon, braised short ribs, and a traditional prime rib dinner.
172 South Market Street, Phone: 408-294-2244
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3.71 Saint Peter Restaurant
© 71 Saint Peter Restaurant
For over 25 years, 71 Saint Peter Restaurant in San Jose has been a success in the Bay area providing quality service and fine European and Italian cuisine. The interior of the restaurant features brick flooring, exposed HVACs, and brick walls. With multiple dining areas, rich lacquered wood tables, and an outside dining patio with string lights, this an ideal place for a romantic evening. Meals focus on a farm-to-table concept serving European fare with Californian flair. Menu items include selections like Roasted Pork Loin, Risotto du Jour, and Roasted Mushroom Gnocchi.
71 North San Pedro Street, San Jose, CA, Phone: 408-971-8523
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ADEGA, is the only Michelin-star rated restaurant in San Jose. Guests can expect an upscale dining experience of authentic Portuguese cuisine. ADEGA’s interior décor features soft colors with white walls, blonde wood floors and beams, and large pane windows. The relaxed, rustic-chic ambience with wood tables and farmhouse-style sliding doors make this an ideal venue for a romantic evening out. ADEGA’s executive chef focuses on meat and seafood dishes paired with a wide selection of wines. Dishes include selections like Arroz de Pato, Bife a Portuguesa, Bacalhau a Adega, Arroz de Marisco, and Peixe Com Todos, as well as three-course and seven-course tasting menus.
1614 Alum Rock Avenue, San Jose, CA, Phone: 408-926-9075
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Bluefin in downtown San Jose, provides patrons in the Bay Area with authentic sushi in a contemporary setting. The atmosphere of this restaurant exudes relaxation with its open, airy space, high ceilings, and uniquely curved dining room. Wood floors, a banquette along a curved wall, bright white walls, and large pane windows, make this an ideal place for a dinner for two. Bluefin prepares its sushi with seafood entrées with the highest grade fish and seafood flown in daily from Japan. Sushi entrées include selections like Chirashi Sushi, Sashimi Moriwase, Scottish Salmon Teriyaki, and Unaju – eel grilled and sweet sauce served on a bed of rice.
754 The Alameda #10, San Jose, CA, Phone: 408-931-6875
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6.Dry Creek Grill
© Dry Creek Grill
Inside the historical Moose Lodge building in the Willow Glen district of San Jose, Dry Creek Grill has become the trendiest place for patrons in this area. The interior design features Tiffany lamps and recessed lighting, exposed wood beams, and lacquered wood tables. The outside features cushioned seats, blooming plants and trees, and romantic fire pits for cool evenings. This is an ideal setting for a date night. Purchasing organic and local meats, produce, and fish, the executive chef prepares entrées that include selections like Pulled Pork Memphis Style, Seafood Risotto, and Grilled Salmon. The upscale eatery serves small-batch bourbons with its delightful fare.
4570, 1580 Hamilton Avenue, San Jose, CA, Phone: 408-264-2011
7.El Jardin Tequila Bar & Restaurant
© El Jardin Tequila Bar & Restaurant
On Santana Row, beneath a sprawling California Oak, El Jardin Tequila Bar and Restaurant serves authentic Mexican bistro-style cuisine. This fun, vibrant restaurant features high tables and stools, exposed brick, and a rustic wood bar. The outside dining area features lush foliage and trees that shade in the daytime and sport string lights at night. It’s an ideal setting for a night out for two. Utilizing the vast farms in the Bay area, ingredients are locally sourced for freshness. The menu includes selections like Carne Asada Tortas, Tostadas de Ceviche, Carnitas and Chicken Burritos, Mexican fries, and Chicken Milanesa Torta.
368 Santana Row, San Jose, CA, Phone: 408-246-1744
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8.La Foret Restaurant
© La Foret Restaurant
La Foret Restaurant in San Jose is housed in California’s first ever two-story hotel, built over a century ago. This restaurant is made for romance with its light colored walls, hardwood floors, and multiple dining rooms to allow for large events or intimate dining experiences. The interior also features wood trim, large pane windows, and chandelier and sconce lighting making this an ideal setting for a date night. Locally sourced ingredients bring a freshness to the cuisine at La Foret Restaurant. Delectable menu selections include Ahi Tuna, Lobster Ravioli, and Prawns Meuniere with garlic, butter, vin blanc, and Meyer lemon.
21747 Bertram Road, San Jose, CA, Phone: 408-997-3458
© LB Steak
LB Steak, located on Santana Row in San Jose, has long been a staple providing residents and visitors alike with fine meats and seafood. The masculine interior design features a cushioned banquette, wood flooring, floor-to-ceiling windows, and cowhide chairs. One of the dining areas sports exposed brick, recessed lighting, and chandeliers making this an ideal place for a romantic dinner. LB Steak sources its hormone-free, antibiotic-free meats from the Northern Midwest. This includes selections like a 14-ounce double filet mignon, a 24-ounce porterhouse, pan roasted chicken breast, Wagyu beef burger, and Kurobuta bone-in pork tomahawk.
334 Santana Row #1000, San Jose, CA, Phone: 408-244-1180
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For over 40 years, Le Papillon in San Jose has set the standard for fine dining in Silicon Valley. The atmosphere of this restaurant is upscale casual. It features light colored walls, tan drapes and chairs, and dark crown molding, plus large pane windows, recessed lighting, and crisp white linen. These design elements make this an ideal setting for a romantic date. Le Papillon offers a tasting menu that changes seasonally, utilizing locally sourced ingredients. Main courses include selections like braised duck breast, Chilean sea bass that’s pan roasted, and rack of lamb with tomato pain perdu (French toast) and black garlic romesco.
410 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose, CA, Phone: 408-296-3730
11.Left Bank Brasserie Santana Row
© Left Bank Brasserie Santana Row
At Left Bank Brasserie Santana Row in San Jose, patrons will discover delectable French cuisine in a fun-filled environment. The elegance of its interior can be seen in design elements that include hardwood floors, large pane windows, and high ceilings. Adding to its romantic flair is a large banquette, cushioned booth seating, and dark crown molding, creating a romantic atmosphere. This restaurant uses the freshest and finest ingredients to create its fare. Entrées include selections like Penne Printanier, and Chicken Paillard – baby frisee, toybox tomatoes, English peas, cucumber herb vinaigrette, red onions, and parmesan crusted breast of chicken.
377 Santana Row #1100, San Jose, CA, Phone: 408-984-3500
12.Menara Moroccan Restaurant
© Menara Moroccan Restaurant
Menara Moroccan Restaurant is San Jose’s original Moroccan restaurant, serving patrons of this area for over 30 years. The interior design has a distinctive Moroccan ambience with carpeted flooring, low cushioned banquettes, and tile walls. Low tables that allow for eating on the floor, arched entryways, and a floorshow of belly dancers, make this an ideal venue for a delightful date night. Utilizing local farms to obtain locally grown produce and ingredients ensures every meal is fresh and flavorful. Entrées include items like lamb kebob, braised ham with almonds and honey, and spicy vegetarian b’stilla.
41 East Gish Road, San Jose, CA, Phone: 408-453-1983
13.Nemea Greek Taverna
© Nemea Greek Taverna
Located on a tree-lined street in San Jose, Nemea Greek Taverna offers fine Greek cuisine in a contemporary setting. The interior design features hardwood floors, exposed ceiling, and an open kitchen that allows diners to see their meals being prepared. With stone columns, large pane windows, and suspended lights, Nemea Greek Taverna a perfect place for a romantic evening of dining. Meals are prepared using locally sourced produce and ingredients. This includes selections like Moschari Souvlaki – filet of beef, watercress, Nemea potatoes, and yogurt dressing, Arni Kokinisto – braised lamb shank, mizithra, orzo pilafi, and lamb jus, and Paidakia – cut lamb chops, mesquite, Nemea potatoes, braised greens, lemon vinaigrette
96 South 1st Street, San Jose, CA, Phone: 408-279-4225
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14.Orchestria Palm Court Restaurant
© Orchestria Palm Court Restaurant
Orchestria Palm Court Restaurant in San Jose is an award-winning restaurant serving Continental European and New American fare. This restaurant has the allure of a European restaurant with brick walls, exposed wood beams and high barrel shaped ceilings. With an ornate wood bar, hardwood floors, and mechanical music machines playing ragtime, jazz, and blues tunes, this an ideal place for a romantic dinner. Utilizing organic produce, beef from grass-fed cows, free-range chickens, and other healthy ingredients, diners will enjoy traditionally prepared European cuisine here. Favorites include Austrian goulash, salmon salad, roasted pork, shrimp scampi, rib eye steak, and butternut-marsala pasta.
27 East William Street, San Jose, CA, Phone: 408-288-5606
15.Picasso's Tapas Restaurant
Serving authentic Spanish fare, Picasso’s Tapas Restaurant in San Jose provides diners with a true taste of Spain. This restaurant’s interior design showcases its Spanish roots with terra cotta tile flooring, brightly colored walls, and artful glass pendant lights. Featuring ceiling fans, blonde wood furnishings, and crisp white linens, this a perfect place for a romantic date. Utilizing locally sourced ingredients is how the cuisine at this restaurant is prepared. The signature dish at Picasso’s is any of their five paellas. Other popular menu items include Patatas Bravas, Ensalada Flamenca, Tortilla Espanola, Calamari Frito, Pimientos de Piquillo, Chile Champinon, and Chorizo de Cantimpalo – marinara sauce, grilled Spanish baby chorizo.
62 West Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA, Phone: 408-298-4400
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© Siena Bistro
In the Willow Glen district of downtown San Jose, Siena Bistro has been a staple of fine Mediterranean cuisine since 2007. The intimate restaurant features an atmosphere of cheerfulness with white walls that brighten the dining room, wood floors, dark wood furnishings, recessed lighting, and crisp white linens. An outdoor dining patio with overhead mesh and string lights makes an ideal place for a romantic evening. The owner/chef, David Wiesner, serves traditional favorites with a twist using sustainable ingredients that are locally sourced. Guests can expect entrées like sole almandine, Dijon crusted salmon, chicken marsala, and pork chop Milanese.
1359 Lincoln Avenue, San Jose, Phone: 408-271-0837
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17.Spencer's for Steaks and Chops
© Spencer's for Steaks and Chops
Located in the Double Tree Hilton San Jose, Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops offers fine dining in a stylish, contemporary setting. The restaurant has an interior design that features a soft color palette, cushioned chairs, and hardwood floors. Bold artwork, recessed lighting, and a large fireplace in the lounge make this an ideal venue for a romantic evening. The modern steakhouse serves USDA Prime steaks and chops. Spencer’s offers a variety of fine wines and handcrafted cocktails. Menu items include options like pan seared scallops, Ora King salmon, and a Louie salad with cherry tomato, herbs, Blue lump crab, red onion, egg, Russian dressing, and olives
2050 Gateway Place, San Jose, CA, Phone: 408-437-2170
18.Vin Santo Ristorante
© Vin Santo Ristorante
Vin Santo Ristorante serves San Jose diners authentic Northern Italian fare prepared by Italian Chef Umberto Pala. This restaurant creates a quiet atmosphere with walls that are painted Tuscan yellow, blonde wood floors, and a cushioned banquette along a half wall. Vin Santo also features a marble bar and dark wood furnishings. Heavy drapes cordon off tables for the ultimate in privacy for a romantic date night. Chef Pala prepares food here with fresh local ingredients to preserve its high quality. Entrées include selections such as Spaghetti Tutto Mare, Gnocchi Sorrentina, Scaloppine Di Pollo, and Brasato con Polenta.
1346 Lincoln Avenue, San Jose, CA, Phone: 408-920-2508
19.Vintage Wine Bar
Santana Row in San Jose is home to Vintage Wine Bar, an inviting, warm place with no pretention. The laidback restaurant has lots of windows, an urban industrial ceiling, marble countertops, wood furnishings, and shelves upon shelves of bottled wines. Vintage Wine Bar also features an outdoor dining patio with string lights, making this restaurant an ideal setting for a romantic date night. Guests can expect California small plates with selections like Mozzarella di Bufala, Meat Plate, and Chocolate and Port. The easygoing venue pairs their California fare with ample wine selections. Flights of wine offer the best variety.
368 Santana Row, San Jose, CA, Phone: 408-985-9463
19 Best Restaurants in San Jose (CA)
- Il Fornaio, Photo: Il Fornaio
- The Grill on the Alley, Photo: The Grill on the Alley
- 71 Saint Peter Restaurant, Photo: 71 Saint Peter Restaurant
- ADEGA, Photo: ADEGA
- Bluefin, Photo: Bluefin
- Dry Creek Grill, Photo: Dry Creek Grill
- El Jardin Tequila Bar & Restaurant, Photo: El Jardin Tequila Bar & Restaurant
- La Foret Restaurant, Photo: La Foret Restaurant
- LB Steak, Photo: LB Steak
- Le Papillon, Photo: Kalim/stock.adobe.com
- Left Bank Brasserie Santana Row, Photo: Left Bank Brasserie Santana Row
- Menara Moroccan Restaurant, Photo: Menara Moroccan Restaurant
- Nemea Greek Taverna, Photo: Nemea Greek Taverna
- Orchestria Palm Court Restaurant, Photo: Orchestria Palm Court Restaurant
- Picasso's Tapas Restaurant, Photo: nikkytok/stock.adobe.com
- Siena Bistro, Photo: Siena Bistro
- Spencer's for Steaks and Chops, Photo: Spencer's for Steaks and Chops
- Vin Santo Ristorante, Photo: Vin Santo Ristorante
- Vintage Wine Bar, Photo: Kalim/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: almaje/stock.adobe.com
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