Showing posts with label new downtown san jose restaurants. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new downtown san jose restaurants. Show all posts

Monday, May 27, 2024

Downtown San Jose gets its first Japanese Ramen restaurant

Hinodeya Ramen has officially opened a restaurant in Downtown San Jose near the intersection of Market Street and Santa Clara Street. Surprisingly, this will be Downtown's first Japanese ramen restaurant--not the first Japanese restaurant but the first specifically specializing in ramen.

Hinodeya in headquartered in Japan and has a few other US locations. There are a number of outposts in San Francisco and one in Campbell, Newark, and Dallas.

This is long overdue Downtown and fortunately the restaurant is off to a great start.

Hinodeya is located at 9 N Market Street and is open from 11am to 10pm from Sunday through Thursday and 11am to 11pm on Friday and Saturday.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

More details emerge about "San Jose's Downtown Food Hall" on Santa Clara Street

A few tidbits are starting to leak out for one of San Jose's most mysterious projects--a food hall backed by the co-founder of Uber in the old Hank's Downtown Furniture retail spot. The location can support up to 26 kitchens and there will be a central ordering area for walk-ins. However, it will be optimized for to-go orders and deliveries.

Some of the restraunteur-oriented advertising for the project highlights that there are 1.1 million residents, 647,000 worker, and 44,000 students within a 15 minute drive. All of the order pickup and processing can be handled by the hall instead of the individual business.

The restaurants lined up so far include:
  • Forza Italia Kitchen
  • Y-Linh Sandwiches
  • Sophia's Sweets
  • Silk Road Kitchen
  • Cosmic Cuisine Halal,
  • Mercy Mediterranean
  • Monosushi
  • TeaZeer
  • Sam & Curry
  • Azuma San Jose
  • Cinco Milpas
Some of the menus are even already available over here. Even more interesting, several of the restaurants are slated to open at the end of December. This will be one project to keep an eye out for. You'll be able to access it at 82 E. Santa Clara Street.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Slice of Homage Review 🍕🤯

We are fortunate to have a lot of great pizza places in San Jose. For New York Style you have the ever-popular A Slice of New York and Bibo's. For Chicago, there is Blue Line and Paxti's. For more traditional Italian, Pizza Bocca Lupo. Californian? Pizza Antica. We even have some awesome Indian fusion pizzas--my favorites are at Blast & Brew on North First Street.

However, out of all the pizza genres and all the pizza places I have been to in Silicon Valley... the Detroit-style pizza at Slice of Homage was the best I've ever had. 

They have actually been around for a couple years for take-out, even operating out of a nightclub, but they have finally gotten a dedicated space in August. It's easy to miss, nestled between The Farmer's Union and San Pedro Social along Santa Clara Street in Downtown San Jose.

Detroit-style pizza is known for a crunchy, cheese-lined edge and crispy bottom. The crust almost tastes caramelized while the dough bakes bubbly and fluffy in the center.

Slice of Homage's flagship and my favorite slice of all time was appropriately named "The Detroit vs. Everybody." This masterpiece has a special four-cheese blend, bacon, Genoa salami, Rosa Grande pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms. It's topped with dollops of fresh ricotta, freshly grated Grana Padano, basil strips, and garlic-infused extra-virgin olive oil. Every ingredient is premium and it tasted like magic. Perfectly balanced despite the insane amount of meat and cheeses. 

If you want to step it up another level you can dip it in homemade ranch sauce or use a hot honey packet or two. They also had vodka sauce, buffalo, and BBQ dipping options.

You can order it by the slice for $13, and one is enough to fill up most people.

Of course my wife and I had to try more of their options including the Margherita, Halla Mahalo (a take on Hawaiian with fresh pineapple, American bacon, Canadian bacon, tomatoes, and jalapenos), and traditional New York slice with pepperoni and basil.

Everything was delicious. If you are a carnivore, you should run not walk to get "The Detroit vs. Everybody." The vegetarian Margherita was also spectacular so you can't go wrong either way here. There aren't enough superlatives to describe just how good the pizza was here, you have to try it for yourself.

They also have a Sicilian-style pizza that takes days to make, but you typically have to order it in advance and can only get it by the tray. It's on my list for next time.

Word has started getting out. Slice of Homage has they highest Yelp rating of any pizza place in San Jose with over 200 reviews. It even has a higher rating than Tony's pizza in San Francisco. Truly epic for pizza lovers and I will be back here many, many times. It's also one of the few spots Downtown conveniently open every single day from lunch to dinner (11:30am-9pm). 

Slice of Homage is located at 163 West Santa Clara Street in Downtown San Jose.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Downtown San Jose Restaurant List Updates (2016 Q1 & Q2 Edition)

It has been a while since posting the latest list of Downtown San Jose RestaurantsWe are up to a grand total of 268 eateries! This is yet another record-breaking number for Downtown San Jose. Our little database had 206 eateries just five years ago. 60+ new restaurants in such a short period of time is pretty amazing.

Every time I have compiled the list, there have been significant closures. Not this time. Amici's and Da Noodle are the most significant that I am aware of since the last time this list was posted. On the other hand, there are many notable additions:
  • Sushi Confidential - Creative, non-traditional sushi that took over the former Sonoma Chicken space.
  • Olla Cocina - Vibrant Mexican cuisine in San Pedro Square.
  • 2nd Story Bakeshop - Killer bakery providing some of the highest quality baked goods in San Jose.
  • Ola's Exotic African Coffee and Tea - Yet another candidate for the best coffee in town. Highly recommended.
  • IPOH Garden - San Jose's first Malaysian restaurant.
  • Ludwigs German Table - San Jose's second German restaurant, situated in a unique ornate building with a lot of history.
  • SoFA Market
    • Hawaiian Poke Bowl
    • Milk and Wood
    • Vitamina Juices & Blends
  • COMING SOON (you can find all "Coming Soon" restaurants at the top of the list in the spreadsheet)
    • Chromatic Cafe (2nd St.)
    • Elyse Restaurant (1st St.)
    • Origins Juicery (1st St., former Discovery Store)
    • Mo's (W. Santa Clara St.)
    • Tac-oh! (SoFA)
    • Pizzetta 408! (SoFA Market)
    • Toasted Craft Sandwiches (SoFA Market)
    • Uproar Brewery (SoFA, former Zer01 Garage)
Below is the change log from the Downtown San Jose Restaurants Database:

11/1/2015Fahrenheit on San Feranando has closed and is being replaced by Pieology.
11/1/2015Added Sushi Confidential, coming soon to 31 N. Market
11/1/2015Added Pieology, coming soon to 99 E. San Fernando
11/8/2015McDonald's on San Carlos closed
12/12/2015Added Jade Leaf Eatery and Lounge at S. Market St. Suite 170
12/23/2015Added Takai Sushi and Sake Bar in the Fairmont Hotel (5 star Yelp rating)
12/31/2015Ayola Closed
1/10/2016Da Noodle closed on Santa Clara Street
1/10/2016Added Elyse restaurant as coming soon, taking the old House of Siam place at 151 S. Second.
3/12/2016Added Olla Cocina as coming soon to 17 N. San Pedro St.
3/21/2016Added 2nd Story Bakeshop, now open at 138 E. Santa Clara St.
4/2/2016Our House has replaced Mid GoGo at 185 Park Ave.
4/2/2016Added Ola's Exotic African Coffee and Tea at 30 E. Santa Clara Street #120
4/9/2016Chromatic Cafe is coming soon to 2nd Street
4/24/2016IPOH Garden has replaced 8 Treasure restaurant at 150 S. First St.
6/4/2016Added Ludwigs German Table, now open at 261 N. 2nd St.
6/5/2016Replaced Oni Mexicatessan at the San Pedro Square Market with Crepes & More
7/2/2016Replaced Amici's with Mo's at 225 W. Santa Clara St.
7/2/2016Tac-oh! is coming soon to 399 S. First St. (formerly First to Market)

If you haven't bookmarked it yet, here's the link to the spreadsheet! There is also a permanent link over to the right entitled Downtown San Jose Restaurants.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Olla Cocina, a contemporary Mexican restaurant and bar will open soon in Downtown San Jose

A new flagship restaurant is coming to Downtown San Jose in late April that will fill a critical 5,900 SQFT void on San Pedro Street. This two-story space was previously occupied by La Pinta, which was a bit mediocre for its location on one of Silicon Valley's most thriving streets when it comes to restaurants and bars.

Olla Cocina is a contemporary Mexican restaurant with regional dishes featuring fresh Californian ingredients. The bar will have a dozen craft beers, wines on tap, along with signature cocktails featuring Mexican staples such as horchata, Jarritos sodas, and aguas frescas.

They are planning to create a festive and casual environment. The restaurant will have capacity for 228 people in the main dining room and 30 people outdoors, making it one of the largest restaurants in Downtown San Jose.

I can't wait to try Olla Cocina along with Sushi Confidential across the street. The San Pedro area is thriving and these two will help elevate the area even more. Please see the full press release below for Olla Cocina. I'll do a full review after the restaurant opens.

Inspired by regional dishes from across Mexico and California’s fresh ingredients, the new restaurant is coming to San Pedro Square

San Jose, CA (March 10, 2016) – An exciting addition to the downtown dining scene, Olla Cocina puts a contemporary spin on traditional dishes from Mexico in a fun and casual environment. Slated to open in late April, the restaurant is located in San Pedro Square in the heart of San Jose’s urban center. Olla is a celebration of all that is Mexican: a strong community, vibrant culture and generous, fresh food along with a little noise and quirkiness.

The restaurant’s Executive Chef is Adan Ornelas, most recently from adjacent restaurant, The Farmers Union, and Dry Creek Grill, both in San Jose. Ornelas worked in tandem with Olla Operating Partner Armando Navarro of El Dorado Kitchen in Sonoma, who oversees the menu.

Olla Cocina introduces innovative takes on regional Mexican food, elevating favorites with fresh, unexpected ingredients and flavor combinations. The menu includes fresh ceviches and a taco bar, as well as traditional dishes such as Carne Asada ($22) and Torta de Cochinita Pibil ($14).

Spotlighting the many regions of Mexico, the menu features small, shareable bites as well as larger entrees for a blended dining experience where the sharing of both is encouraged. Dinner starters include Roasted Chilies served with sea salt and lemon and Frijoles Fritos, featuring Rancho Gordo beans, Oaxaca cheese, jalapeños and totopos (both $7). Small plates include Ceviche Verde with halibut, lime juice marinade, tomatillo and avocado ($14), Vegetable Tamales with peppers, onion, zucchini, black beans, pasilla peppers, salsa verde and queso Oaxaca ($10) and soups such as Posole de Cerdo with pork shoulder, hominy, cabbage oregano, radish, onion, cilantro, chile de árbol ($13). Salads are tossed with surprising ingredients such as chorizo, masa croutons and crispy quinoa.

Larger plates include Tostada de Pollo with chipotle-braised chicken, black bean puree, cotija cheese, avocado, romaine, pico de gallo, spicy crema, cilantro ($15). The menu also features a variety of vegetarian options such as Camote con Mole, a salt-crusted sweet potato, mole sauce, almonds, rajitas of onion and peppers and house-made tortillas ($12).

The full bar will offer 12 local craft beers and 12 wines on tap, bottled Mexican beer, eight featured cocktails including a Margarita, Paloma and Sangria, horchata, Jarritos sodas and aguas frescas.

The dining experience takes place in an environment that’s both casual and special. Designed by restaurateur Doug Washington, interior décor touches include an authentic church pulpit repurposed into the host stand, witty Mexican artwork, beautiful tiles and decorative cinder blocks, intended to represent modern Mexico. A central design element featured in the main dining room and continuing to the outside patio is a ceiling trellis, made of repurposed reclaimed Douglas Fir from the garage across the street from the restaurant. Olla invites guests into a warm space with deft touches such as shoes hanging from the electrical wires that run along the ceiling, garage doors that open onto the front patio and Dia de los Muertos wallpaper. The dining area features walnut dining tables and two big, modern, custom picnic tables for communal diners. Sleek stool legs dipped in bright orange paint add to the festive environment. The eating space has low, dividing walls constructed from patterned concrete cinder blocks and capped with stained wood tops.

The 5,900-square foot Olla Cocina will seat a total of 228 in the main dining room and private dining room and 30 on the outdoor patio.

It’s in a prime location of downtown San Jose, near hotels, the convention center, offices and SAP Center, home rink for the NHL Sharks.

About Olla Cocina
Olla Cocina is a contemporary Mexican restaurant serving food and drinks in a casual, festive environment. The cuisine and bar program draw inspiration from many regions across Mexico and use seasonal California ingredients for a fresh take on traditional favorites. Located at 17 N. San Pedro St. in downtown San Jose’s popular San Pedro Square, Olla is a slice of modern Mexico with a fun and shareable menu of traditional favorites, signature cocktails and local beers and wine on tap. For more information, visit

Monday, October 12, 2015

Downtown San Jose Restaurant List Updates! (2015 Q4 Edition)

Today we get to discuss the latest changes to Downtown San Jose Restaurants. First off, the good news. We are up to a grand total of 260 eateries! This is yet another record-breaking number for Downtown San Jose! Our little database had 206 eateries in 2011.

As always there were some significant closures as well. The ones that stood out to me were Sonoma Chicken Coup and South First Billiards (which was a cool place, but I'll be the first to say the food was not great). On the other hand, quite a few places opened up in the last few months. Here are some notable additions to the Downtown restaurant scene as well as a look into the future:
  • Lou's Beachshack - The third incarnation of Lou's Village, located at the San Pedro Square Market. I love their fish sandwiches, popcorn shrimp, and abalone sliders. This is a solid addition to Downtown and a great nostalgic return of one of San Jose's most famous establishments.
  • Oni Mexicantessan - Killer Mexican sandwiches, also at the San Pedro Square Market. This is a sister restaurant to Loteira Taco Bar down the hall.
  • Deluxe Eatery & Drinkery - New American restaurant on San Fernando with a notable chef (Chad Ferry: The Plumed Horse, Paolo's, Spagos). Have not been here yet, but I can't wait to try their short rib tater tots.
  • Voltaire Coffee House - New boutique coffee shop at the base of 360 Residences. Downtown San Jose has a lot of great coffee shops, and this already ranks among the best. 
  • Aura Kitchen - New restaurant/nightclub replacing Motif in SoFA. They landed the chef from Nobu London. I've heard great things about this place even though it just opened.
  • HOM Korean Kitchen - The Chipotle of Korean Food comes to Santa Clara St. and is open very late!
  • Williams St. Restaurants: Added 6 restaurants that are technically within the boarder of Downtown San Jose: Sonia's Kitchen, SA-By Thai, Da Lat Cafe, Pho Cong Ly, Mi Chalateca, and Creasian. Highly recommend trying out Creasian.
  • COMING SOON (Now you can find all "Coming Soon" restaurants at the top of the list)
    • Hawaiian Poke Bowl (SoFA Market)
    • Milk and Wood (SoFA Market)
    • Vitamina Juices & Blends (SoFA Market)
    • Origins Juicery (1st St., former Discovery Store)
    • San Jose Pizza Co. (Santa Clara Street near San Pedro)
    • Uproar Brewery (SoFA, former Zer01 Garage)
Below is the change log from the Downtown San Jose Restaurants Database:

7/31/2015Chef Monalisa closed
7/31/2015Added Uproar Brewery in SoFA
8/1/2015Added Oni Mexicantessan and Lou's Beach Shack, both in the San Pedro Square Market
8/23/2015Changed the formatting so that restaurants "COMING SOON" will always appear at the top of the list
9/8/2015Sonoma Chicken Coop and South First Billiards closed
9/9/2015Added Deluxe Eatery & Drinkery at 71 E. San Fernando
9/13/2015Added 6 restaurants on Williams St. near SJSU: Sonia's Kitchen, SA-By Thai Cuisine, Creasian, Pho Cong Ly, Dalat Cafe, and Mi Chalateca
9/14/2015Added Voltaire Coffee House in SoFA
9/21/2015Motif has been replaced with Aura Kitchen and Bar on South First Street
10/4/2015Replace Cheese Steak Shop on Santa Clara Street with HOM Korean Kitchen
10/4/2015Added Origins Juicery, coming soon to 150 S. 1st Street

If you haven't bookmarked it yet, here's the link to the spreadsheet! There is also a permanent link over to the right entitled Downtown San Jose Restaurants.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Deluxe Eatery & Drinkery

A new restaurant and bar called Deluxe is going to open very soon at 71 East San Fernando Street, the address last used by Azucar. They have been posting some delicious-looking dishes on their Facebook Page as a teaser. Chad Ferry is Deluxe's chef and has worked in a long line of notable restaurants such as The Plumed Horse, Paolo's, Spagos, and Lark Creek Blue. I have never had short rib tater tots before, but the concept sounds amazing to me. It also looks like they are going to have some slick artwork in there by local San Jose artist Francisco Franco (see the last image below).

That is pretty much all the info I have right now, but will update this post as soon as I know the exact opening date.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Downtown San Jose Restaurant List Updates! (2015 Q3 Edition)

I have finally caught up again with updates for the Downtown San Jose Restaurants database! We are up to a grand total of 254 eateries! This is yet another record-breaking number for Downtown San Jose! We were at 206 eateries in 2011.

As always there were some significant closures as well. The ones that stood out to me were Little Chef, Falafel Bar, and Azucar. The good news is that the caliber of the new places opening up more than makes up for the ones that closed. Here are some of the newcomers:
  • Noodle Dude - This modern but unpretentious noodle house had some of the best Ramen I've had (Yelpers agree, 4.5 star rating). You order Ramen like you would a burrito at Chipotle--the noodles, ingredients, and broth are all independently selected by the customer, so you get exactly what you're in the mood for. They also have great service.
  • Konjoe-Tei - New Ramen and Izakaya joint in the SoFA Market brought to you by the owners of Konjoe. I've heard great things, also 4.5 stars on Yelp.
  • On the Flipside - New Burger bar in the SoFA Market.
  • Gotta Eatta Pita - Yet another 4.5 star restaurant on Yelp. Very inexpensive yet delicious Mediterranean food.
  • The Joint Eatery - Specializes in diverse comfort food, including Burgers, Sandwiches, and a variety of Appetizers. Oh yeah, also 4.5 stars on Yelp.
Below is the change log from the Downtown San Jose Restaurants Database:

1/10/2015Grub Shack closed
1/24/2015Icebee Replaced with My Milkshake at 151 S. 2nd Street
1/24/2015Falafel Bar closed
1/24/2015Azucar closed
1/25/2015Pete's Coffee on Santa Clara Street closed
1/25/2015La Pinata on San Pedro closed
5/2/2015Added On The Flipside, Konjoe-Tei, Hawaiian Poke Bowl, Milk and Wood, and Vitamina Juices & Blends which are all part of the SoFA Market
5/2/2015First to Market is now called The Craftsman
7/4/2015Konjoe-Tei in the SoFA Market is now officially open
7/4/2015Sama Zama in the SPSM was replaced with Pasta Fresca (same owners)
7/4/2015Little Chef at the SPSM closed
7/4/2015Gotta Eatta Pita has replaced Amir Restaurant at 86 N Market Street
7/4/2015The Joint Eatery is now open at 93 E Santa Clara Street (used to be Grub Shack)

If you haven't bookmarked it yet, here's the link to the spreadsheet! There is also a permanent link over to the right entitled Downtown San Jose Restaurants.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Milkshake Bar Downtown

Downtown San Jose has just gotten a new type of dessert place that I haven't seen anywhere else--a custom milkshake bar. You start off by selecting the flavor of ice cream and either normal milk or almond milk, and then things get interesting. You can infuse a wide assortment of chocolates, fruits, and candy into your milkshake.

My Milkshake opened up mid-December and it already has a four star rating on Yelp. You can find it at 151 S. 2nd St., in what used to be an Icebee Yogurt shop. While I love frozen yogurt, we had 6 different froyo places Downtown and I'm happy to see entrepreneurs trying something new. Looking forward to trying this place out!

For more info, check out their Facebook Page over here.

Hat tip to Alex Shoor for sending this in!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Downtown San Pedro Square Market #3?

The San Pedro Square Market set off a chain reaction in the Downtown San Jose food scene unlike any other I can remember. Not only is the original SPSM looking to capitalize on its success and substantially expand over the next few years, but it seems like everyone is now jumping on the market concept to try to be the next SPSM. A few months ago, the second Downtown market officially opened its doors with two great vendors. By the end of next year, the SoFA Market should be completely leased out and act as a key anchor in the neighborhood.

Now, get this... there are plans for a THIRD market near San Jose State University called Metro Public Eatery and Bar. This will be next to the Grocery Outlet on the corner of Sixth and Santa Clara. The size of the space is 10,000 SQFT and it can support up to 10 eateries! There will also be a full-service speakeasy-style cocktail bar and a special events area for private parties.

Like the other Downtown markets, there will be no chains. Some of the planned eateries are a kabob-style restaurant with exotic meats like bison and alligator, a fish taco stand, a Japanese burger bar, tapas, and a pastry shop. You can also expect live music and entertainment on the weekends.

The new market will also try to differentiate itself with a modern industrial design targeted to students and office workers Downtown. Currently the Metro Public Eatery is in permitting and scheduled to open by the end of 2015. I can't wait!

Source: Spartan Daily

Monday, November 24, 2014

Downtown San Jose Restaurant List Updates! (2014 Edition)

I have finally caught up with updating the Downtown San Jose Restaurants database (it has been a while, sorry about that). We are up to a grand total of 250 eateries! This is yet another record-breaking number for Downtown San Jose! To put it in perspective we were at 206 eateries in 2011.

We are up to an all time high despite some notable closures such as Blackbird Tavern, Bella Mia, and Los Gatos Brewing Company. I'm sad to see those go, but there are so many great places that opened in 2014 that I think more than makes up for the losses. Here are some of the newcomers:
  • C.R.E.A.M - The famous ice cream sandwich chain opens a new shop Downtown on 1st street. Open until 2am on weekends, you will almost always see a line out the door... but don't worry it moves deceptively fast.
  • Paper Plane - Not only do they serve up amazing craft cocktails here, but they have a menu that is up to par with their drinks. Try the deviled eggs and pork belly chicharron.
  • First to Market - Great traditional American cuisine in SoFA, brought to you by one of the same founders as Singlebarrel.
  • Taurinus Brazilian Steakhouse - Downtown gets a Brazilian steakhouse again! Great selection of meats and a sidebar with salads and Brazilian delicacies for when you need to take a protein break.
  • Power Bowl - New healthy offering with Acai-based fruit bowls and smoothies.
  • Garlic Bread - Finally open and providing tasty BBQ in Fountain Alley.
  • Ozu Sushi - Sushi place taking the baton from Smile Sushi.
  • Da Kine Island Grill - Traditional Hawaiian food, often accompanied by music, entertainment, and drinks.
  • Nomikai - Asian tapas and fusion pizzas along with craft drinks.
  • Louisiana Bistro - Cajun delicacies with a nice kick to them.
  • Nick the Greek - Best casual Greek spot in Silicon Valley. Killer food at reasonable prices.
  • Boba Bar Teahouse & Eatery - New Boba spot right next to SJSU.
    • San Pedro Square Market
      • Arepa Swing - Unique Venezuelan arepa eatery.
      • Spuds - Awesome potato bar where you can get everything from BBQ pork potatoes to Italian Pesto potatoes. Great food and great service, one of my new favorites at the SPSM.
    • SoFA Market (NEW!)
      • Falafel Bar - Today's flagship offering at the new SoFA Market. The falafels here are out of this world and you can customize your sandwich or bowl any way you'd like.
      • Vero's Coffee - Yet another outstanding coffee shop Downtown. I recommend the Mexican Mocha.
    • Other Places Coming Soon
      • Ramen Bar and Pizza Place in the SoFA Market
      • M Lounge Bar and Restaurant (in the P.F. Chang Spot)
      • The Continental in SoFA
    Below is the changelog from the Downtown San Jose Restaurants Database:

    1/4/20148 Treasure Restaurant replaced Asian Gourmet at 150 S. First
    1/4/2014Power Bowl is open at 132 E. San Fernando (was once Blendz)
    1/4/2014Ninja Star Sushi closed
    1/4/2014Added Sweet Express to the list
    1/5/2014Ozu Sushi & Grill replaces Smile Sushi
    1/5/2014Tico's Tacos Closed, the oldest Downtown restaurant I had a confirmed opening date for (1957)
    2/9/2014Added First to Market, at 399 S. 1st
    2/9/2014Added hours and Yelp info to CREAM, one of the few dessert shops open late
    2/9/2014Added Louisiana Bistro at 19 N. Market
    3/22/2014Zenon's Peruvian closed on 167 San Fernando but has been replaced with Taurinus Brazilian Steakhouse
    4/28/2014La Victoria is taking over the old Tico's Tacos site at 291 N. Fourth and Julian
    5/11/2014Added M Lounge Bar and Restaurant, which is taking over the P.F. Chang's location at 98 S. 2nd Street
    6/15/2014Added Arepa Swing and Spuds (coming soon), both in the San Pedro Square Market
    6/15/2014Added Nick the Greet at 143 W. Santa Clara St.
    6/15/2014Added Mid GoGo at 185 Park Ave, #189
    6/15/2014Added Cafe Eden at 2 N. 1st St.
    6/15/2014Added Seven Seas Sushi at 130 E. Santa Clara (replaces Ninja Star Sushi)
    6/29/2014House of Siam closed (owners reopening Tee Nee Thai on The Alameda)
    9/29/2014Los Gatos Brewing Company Closed (to be replaced with gaming lounge and bar)
    10/7/2014Blackbird Tavern Closed
    11/22/2014Bella Mia Closed due to escalating rents
    11/22/2014City Restaurant at 301 E. Santa Clara Street replaced with Bobo Drinks
    11/22/2014Hydration replaced with Boba Bar Teahouse & Eatery
    11/22/2014Added Garlic Bread in Fountain Alley

    If you haven't bookmarked it yet, here's the link to the spreadsheet! There is also a permanent link over to the right entitled Downtown San Jose Restaurants.

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

    You're Invited! First to Market - New restaurant opening in the SoFA District

    Opening this month in the SoFA District - First to Market, an American comfort food restaurant. 

    Full disclosure before I get into the nitty gritty - I am friends with one of the owners. However, he didn't ask me to blog about it - but I am, because I know you would all want to know about what this new restaurant is about. 

    Also because I'm inviting you, The San Jose Blog readers, to a special soft opening! But first, a little more about the restaurant...

    First to Market, located on the street level of the Agenda building in the SoFA District will bring downtown signature dishes from Chef Domingo Wolbert such as Bison Tartare, Shrimp and Grits, and Housemade Tots to name just a few. They will also be the first restaurant in San Jose to carry an authentic Southern Country Ham. Their menu will be seasonal, allowing even regulars to continue to experience new tastes as the year goes on.

    Owners Joe Gradillas and Jennifer Lin were both raised and educated in San Jose. Between them, they have extensive entrepreneur and restaurant experience; Gradillas has had success with several businesses downtown and Lin has a degree in Hospitality Management from SJSU along with a Culinary Arts degree from PCI.

    When asked about the origin of the name, First to Market, this is what they had to say:
    "It describes a time in US history when all food was made from scratch, and processed, shelf stable or frozen foods didn't dominate the shelves of pantries and refrigerators. This was a time when "supermarkets" didn't exist, and to plan a celebration, family members would have to plan early trips to the local market, to ensure they would have everything they need and get started on preparing the meal with ample time to finish. We want the food to be reminiscent of that time, when rich flavors came from the love of preparing a meal from scratch for the entire day. However, we have a running joke that we chose the name because we are literally located on First street, between First and Market Street."
    Because starting any new business can be adventurous, the owners have started a small fundraising campaign to help cushion the first months of opening. If you'd like to help them out - check out their campaign here:

    They haven't forgotten about where they are, the SoFA District. Art and community is a big part of that area of Downtown (First Fridays, SubZero, The ZERO1 Garage, etc) and to bring an element of that into the restaurant they will have one of their large walls dedicated to a local artist each month. Now, tooting my own horn for just a moment -- I was honored to be the first artist to showcase on their wall! As you walk in, you will see a handful of my photography pieces; I've themed my collection to include people and scenes from the South Bay/San Jose area. Be sure to check them out and see what you recognize.

    Now here's the fun part - for me, and for you, of course.

    You are invited to a soft-opening as my guest!

    Join me, Josh, and others as we welcome First to Market to the SoFA District.

    Special Event
    Date: Friday, February 21st 
    Time: 5pm to 9pm
    Address: 399 S 1st Street, San Jose

    Bring your friends and mix and mingle as you check out the newly decorated building, meet the owners, and best of all - get a chance to taste a select menu! Items will be available as appetizers to sample, FREE to guests. 

    We really hope you can make it out, as we'd love to get a chance to meet with our loyal readers! Please let us know you'll be joining us via the comments, Twitter or Facebook!

    If you miss the soft-opening, stop by after February 25th when they will officially be open!

    Wednesday, December 11, 2013

    Downtown San Jose Restaurant List Updates! (Q4 2013 Edition)

    I have done the latest round of updates to the Downtown San Jose Restaurants database (it has been a while, sorry about that). We are up to a grand total of 249 eateries! This is yet another record-breaking number for Downtown San Jose! To put it in perspective we were at 206 eateries just two years ago and we were at 234 last December.

    We did have some closures such as Pop's & Sons at the San Pedro Square Market and Rokko Japanese near Cesar Chavez Park, but the new restaurants opening up more than counterbalance what little bad news there was this past quarter. It's a good time to be a foodie Downtown! Here are some of the newcomers:
    • Bel Bacio Imported Italian Coffee - Little Italy finally gets a second Eatery to compliment Paesano's, one of the best Italian restaurants Downtown. Bel Bacio's specialty is high-quality imported coffee from one of the most famous coffee regions in the world.
    • Ike's Place - The most famous sandwich chain in the Bay Area has finally come to Downtown San Jose (located at 60 E. Santa Clara)! Their sandwiches are amazing and they have a large selection of vegetarian options that even meat-lovers will appreciate. 
    • Thirst Tea - Great boba milk tea shop in the heart of Downtown across from Camera 12 (in the former Sandella's spot). They also have a great honey-toast dessert that will easily feed 4 people.
    • SP2 - Trendy new restaurant next to the San Pedro Square Market with locally sourced ingredients and a mixology-style bar menu.
    • BJ's Brewhouse - Now open at the San Jose Market Center.  
    • Other Places Coming Soon
      • ISO: Beers
      • C.R.E.A.M.
      • Da Kine Island Grill
      • San Jose Pizza Co.
      • Nomikai
      • Take One Pizza
      • SoFA Market
    Below is the changelog from the Downtown San Jose Restaurants Database:
    • 7/25/2013 Added SP2, which replaced Sabor
    • 7/27/2013 Added Amor Cafe & Tea, which replaces Cafe Bon Terre
    • 7/28/2013 Noted that Sante Grill closed
    • 7/28/2013 Noted that The Mmoon closed
    • 7/29/2013 San Jose Pizza Co. is coming to the former Sante Grill Space
    • 9/15/2013 Take One Pizza will be opening in space formerly occupied by The Mmoon
    • 9/15/2013 Pops & Sons closed at the San Pedro Square Market
    • 9/15/2013 Added Da Kine Island Grill on Market (formerly Thepthai)
    • 12/1/2013 Koji Sake Lounge replaced with Nomikai
    • 12/1/2013 Added Bel Bacio Imported Italian Coffee in Little Italy
    • 12/1/2013 Added Thirst Tea on First Street
    If you haven't bookmarked it yet, here's the link to the spreadsheet! There is also a permanent link over to the right entitled Downtown San Jose Restaurants.

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013

    CREAM Ice Cream Shop Coming to Post St.

    Another hot eatery is coming to Downtown San Jose! C.R.E.A.M. (Cookies Rule Everything Around Me) is a chain that specializes in customizable ice cream sandwiches and tacos, as well as milkshakes. They will be opening up shop at the corner of South First and Post, adjacent to 55 South and across from Original Gravity House. Things are really starting to turn around along this corridor.

    Side-note, I have added DTSJNews to the blogroll on the right. Great site, I just found out about it!

    Source: DTSJNews, Drew S., Joseph M.

    CREAM Ice Cream Shop Coming to Downtown San Jose

    Sunday, April 7, 2013

    Amir Mediterranean Restaurant

    Had to share the Yelp review below I just completed. Really, this has to be the best year ever for Downtown San Jose restaurants. Amir has a well deserved 4.5 star rating on Yelp right now. A worthy successor to Morocco's, highly recommended!


    Downtown San Jose's lucky streak of GREAT new restaurants continues. This one is really a gem and easily one of the best values for Mediterranean in San Jose. The owner is Greek and grew up in Egypt, and the menu reflects a nice variety of foods from all over the Mediterranean countries.

    We had the hummus, tzatziki, and baba ghanoush for appetizers. All were good but the baba ghanoush was among the best I have ever had. Nicely pureed with a rich smokey flavor.

    For the main course we tried falafels (outstanding), chicken kababs, and geef shawarma... for the price you're going to have a really hard time finding quality and authenticity than this.

    For dessert we got almost all of the options available. The kunafa was the best I've tried so far. There was also an Egyptian dish topped with sweetened milk that was super unique and tasty. I can't remember the names of the other desserts we had but there wasn't a single bad or mediocre item among them, I would order all of them again.

    Oh, almost forgot. They have a freshly squeezed mint lemonade that will blow you away if you are a lemonade fan. On a hot summer day I think I would be willing to make the trek just for that.

    The customer service also rocked. I was very sad to see Morocco's go (moved to Mountain View), but am glad they were replaced with a worthy successor.

    Amir Restaurant

    Monday, August 13, 2012

    DevineGrind Coffee is Open Downtown

    I have several posts coming about new eateries in Downtown San Jose. There have been a ton of new places that have opened recently, many of which are exceptional and unique to Downtown San Jose. I'm hoping that DevineGrind will be one of those places. While I haven't visited this new coffee shot yet, so far I have heard good things and it has a great 4 star rating on Yelp.

    DevineGrind sits at the corner of Devine and 2nd Streets, near St. James Park (an area currently under-served by restaurants). They serve coffee, espresso, tea, Italian sodas, smoothies, freshly squeezed juices, pastries, and sandwiches. DevineGrind also has an enclosed patio area and free WiFi. The shop is family owned and the service is standing out in the reviews so far. These are exactly the types of places we should try to support versus the cookie-cutter cafes like Starbucks and Peets.

    Thanks to Luke (who also provided the photo) and Silvia for the tip.

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    Froyo Delight is Now Open!

    Today was Froyo Delight's first day open for business. I randomly stumbled upon this as I saw a line of people out the door as I was driving to a meeting. When I drove back to try it, they were sold out of yogurt but at least I did get to talk to one of the workers there. Froyo Delight is immediately next to Dac Phuc on Santa Clara Street (in fact I think they have the same owner). They have several varieties of frozen yogurt, smoothies, and espresso. Looked like a nice little shop.

    They are open from 8am - 8pm every day, and for this week only all of the yogurt is free from 8am-noon! They also mentioned free parking in one of the 2 spaces in front of the adjacent dry cleaners building (which I think they own as well).

    Sunday, March 6, 2011

    The Kebab Shack Replaces Chill Factor

    The bad news is Chill Factor Frozen Yogurt Lounge at 312 S. 3rd is no more. This brings us down to ONLY FIVE yogurt shops in Downtown San Jose.

    The good news is it was replaced by a solid Mediterranean place called The Kebab Shack. I tried their chicken kebabs and recently, and they were extremely tender and flavorful. It does take about 15min to get your order because everything is made fresh to order, but it's worth the wait. The best part? Open until 3am on the weekends.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    La Vic's on Santa Clara Street is Now Open!

    The remodeled and expanded La Vic's is now open on Santa Clara Street! This was pure serendipity. As my wife and I were driving by I noticed a decorated horse dancing on the sidewalk (literally). Of course we had to go check it out.

    The remodel is surprisingly upscale. All counter tops are granite, there are crown moldings, and plenty of comfortable seating. This is a dramatic improvement over the old storefront. My favorite touch is the bright orange wall in honor of their famous sauce. The menu is exactly what you would expect... whatever your feelings for La Vics were before the remodel, expect them to stay more or less the same. I'm hoping for the same hours as their SJSU location, but they may need to file new permits to stay open that late (3am).

    La Vic's, welcome back!

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    Pho 69 - Best Pho in San Jose!

    Downtown San Jose is really on a roll with restaurant openings lately. Since I was raised in San Jose, I'm intimately familiar with Pho (Over 100,000 people of Vietnamese descent live in San Jose... Pho is everywhere). Back in college, I had Pho for lunch almost every single day. Of the 50+ Pho restaurants I've been to over the years, Pho 69 is hands down the best one in every criteria I can think of!

    Let's start with the food. Today I had the spring rolls, crispy rolls, a Pho 69 special, and my wife had Chicken Pho. Everything was amazing, but the house special Pho 69 really rocked my world. The 3 main proteins in their signature bowl are brisket, meatball, and thinly sliced fillet mignon. You read that correctly, fillet Mignon in Pho! My wife's Pho Ga also featured a rare Pho ingredient, free range chicken. The broth was rich and complex. Usually I douse hot sauce and plum sauce in my soup, but that was really unnecessary in this case. Perhaps the $20,000 vat that they use to steam cook the broth over a 24 hour period has something to do with the quality here.

    Next, the ambiance. Easily the nicest Pho restaurant I have ever been to (I've had Pho at Parcel 104 before, but that doesn't really count). The dining area is spacious, lofty, and well appointed. There's a second floor for additional seating and private parties that overlooks the entire restaurant, and it's equipped for Karaoke. The kitchen is pretty open and is visible from the dining area. There's even a skylight, another feature I've never seen in a Pho restaurant.

    Lastly, let's talk about character. Pho 69 is located in the artsy SoFA district downtown. I've been keeping my fingers crossed for weeks that the restaurant would have a program for artists, and it looks like it paid off. The walls are fully prepped to support rotating art and the 20+ foot ceiling provides ample space for even over-sized works. And yes, Pho 69 is planning to participate in South First Friday and already have relationships with Anno Domini and MACLA!

    Personally, I couldn't have asked for anything more for a new SoFA restaurant. It's been a good year for Downtown San Jose!