Showing posts with label san jose food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san jose food. Show all posts

Saturday, October 7, 2023

VeggieFest 2023 in Downtown San Jose Today 🥕

Today from 11am to 5pm in Plaza de Cesar Chavez you can experience a celebration of healthy and sustainable living. There is a lot going on including live music, arts & crafts, and of course fresh veggies to eat. I've posted all of the details below. 

Tickets are free and available here.

🌿 San Jose VeggieFest 2023: A Celebration of Healthy and Sustainable Living 🌿

Join us for a day filled with joy, flavor, and community at San Jose VeggieFest! With an inclusive theme that embraces healthy living, sustainability, community engagement, local economic support, and cultural celebration, we are thrilled to host a day that brings people together for a common cause.

🎶 Featuring Las Cafeteras: Join us for a soul-stirring performance by Las Cafeteras, a band renowned for their infectious blend of Afro-Mexican beats, rhythms, and rhymes. Las Cafeteras' meaningful lyrics tell stories of social justice, community, and celebration, resonating with the core values of VeggieFest. Their music creates connections across cultures and generations, promising an inspiring and unforgettable experience at San Jose VeggieFest 2023!

🥦 What to Expect

Promoting Healthy Living: Explore a variety of mouthwatering plant-based foods and beverages that encourage healthier dietary choices.

Community Engagement: Enjoy live entertainment and connect with individuals from all backgrounds.

Economic Support for Local Businesses: Discover local small businesses that share the event's values.

Cultural Celebration: Engage in multicultural performances and diverse culinary offerings.

🎉 Confirmed Participants:

Food & Beverage : Azalea's Creations, Açaí do Amazonas, Casita Vegana SF, Churros El Guero, Green Flour Bakery, Green Wolf Foods, Jaguar Baker, The Giving Pies, The Lemonade Bar, Souley Vegan Food, Juice Alize, and many more!

Education & Community Services: Evergreen Valley College, Fresh Approach, CAL FIRE, California Highway Patrol, SCC Public Health, Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters, Elected Representatives, and more!

Art & Crafts: Art Pocket SJ, Beaux Nails, Bethinketh LLC, Eminence Candle, Harji Naturals LLC, Ivy Indigo, Jellybee Jewelry, Luna Glow, Sacred Source, SuccsLife, The Source Zero, and more!

🎟️ Tickets: FREE ENTRY!! Please register through Eventbrite, will be scanning tickets at entrance.

Free entry for all ages!

📢 Join Us:

Be part of this joyful and meaningful event that brings together our community for a day of fun, learning, and connection. Whether you're a vegan food lover, an environmental enthusiast, or simply someone who enjoys a great gathering, San Jose VeggieFest is the place to be.

For more information, please contact Juan Rodriguez at

Monday, September 25, 2023

Little Italy San Jose Street Festival this weekend

The 6th Annual Little Italy San Jose Festival kicks off this Saturday, September 30th from 6-10pm and continues on Sunday, October 1st from 11am-7pm. It'll feature authentic Italian cuisine, entertainment, Cal-Italia wine tasting, Italian supercars, arts & crafts, and will of course highlight both the existing and new Little Italy San Jose businesses. There is also a silent auction to benefit the Italian Museum & Cultural Center which is located right inside Little Italy.

The list of sponsors includes some big names like Google and The Sobrato Organization, which is great since over 15,000 people could participate this year. It's always a fun event and a great way to explore one of San Jose's newest districts. I would recommend parking at San Pedro Square and walking over or using Uber/Lyft so you can really enjoy those Cal-Italian wines.

For more information head over here!

Monday, September 18, 2023

La Ca Phe now open on 740 Story Road in San Jose near Vietnam Town

La Ca Phe is a Vietnamese Coffee shop specializing in a variety of specialties that are not easy to find in the Bay Area. Their Eggspresso Hanoi is a special egg-based coffee drink that I last tried in Vietnam and it blew my mind. They also have Ube Coffee and a wide variety of other Vietnamese and Southeast Asian-style drinks.

They have been working on this coffee shop for three years and opened to huge demand. La Ca Phe is at 740 Story Road. Instead of doing your typical Starbucks routine, come try out some unique and truly delicious coffee someplace new!

Source: Insta

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Menu for Maui at the Signia San Jose

Executive Sous Chef Joe Derla has a strong personal connection to the islands and crafted a unique menu offering to benefit the Kokua Hospitality and Restaurant Fund. It's called Menu for Maui and it's available at the Fountain Restaurant every Sunday until October 1st. Proceeds will assist fellow restaurant, bar, and hospitality workers displaced be the wildfires in West Maui.

The menu includes items such as ube custard French toast with candied macadamia nuts, braised short rib loco moco with kimchee fried rice, fish with poi, and a pineapple mimosa with Hawaiian salt.

It's a great menu for a great cause. The Signia is located right in front of Plaza de Cesar Chavez in the middle of Downtown San Jose.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

The WOW Festival 2023 in Downtown San Jose

A three-day music festival is taking place this Labor Day Weekend at Plaza de Cesar Chavez. The WOW Festival is showcase of emerging talent from San Jose and beyond, curated by Outside Live and featuring genres like indie rock, hip hop, EDM, folk, and more. 

Within the festival will be a variety of attractions, activities, food, a full bar, and "good vibes." Speaking of which, bad vibes are explicitly prohibited from this event according to their website.

It's open to all ages, although VIP tickets are 21 and over. The WOW festival runs from September 1st to 3rd, starting at noon each day and most musical acts ending around 10pm. For more info, head over here.

Friday, August 25, 2023

2nd Taco Bell *Cantina* opens in San Jose

If you have ever been to Taco Bell and wished there was something with a little more kick to wash those tacos down, today is your lucky day. A new Taco Bell Cantina opened next to the Century Theaters at Oakridge Mall. Unlike other Taco Bells, the "Cantina" variety serve alcohol including blended margaritas and beers and usually stay open until midnight.

It's a surreal experience getting your alcoholic beverages at a Taco Bell, but they were surprisingly good and affordable. I would take this over your typical movie theater food any day of the week.

There is one other Taco Bell Cantina at 19 Market St. in Downtown San Jose. I'll never forget that location as it's the only place where I personally experienced a crime. As I sat down to eat, a young man in a peacoat asked if he could have one of my Cheesy Gordita Crunch tacos. I said I'm good. Then he tried to trade me his peacoat for the taco. While tempting and likely a trade in my favor, I still said no. When I got up to tell one of the managers I was getting a bit uncomfortable, he grabbed my taco and ran away! He didn't even leave the peacoat. Thankfully customer service was excellent and Taco Bell Cantina staff immediately replaced my pilfered Cheesy Gordita Crunch taco at no additional charge. No police report was filed.

True random story aside, if you enjoy Taco Bell this is the best one to go to. Their fancy frozen margaritas can also be made without alcohol and they have nicer seating they your typical Taco Bell. This new one even has a patio with a fireplace.

Source: Fox KTVU

Friday, August 18, 2023

Egghead Sando opens new locations in San Jose and Santa Clara

One of my favorite sandwich places has opened two new locations. You can now enjoy Egghead Sando Cafe in South San Jose at 6201 Santa Teresa Blvd. and in Santa Clara at 3957 Rivermark Plaza (North San Jose area).

They are known for their fluffy egg-centric toasted brioche sandwiches, which are often paired with bacon, spam, or chicken. My go-to is the B.E.C. sandwich which has thick-cut bacon, an over medium egg, cheddar, and house sauce. They also have a specialty called the Eggy which is a poached egg on top of a potato puree topped topped with bacon and chives. It's a perfect complement to any sandwich, especially with tater tots. 

They're open from 7am to 3pm on the weekdays and 8am to 4pm on the weekends. Egghead also has two other locations off of Capital Expressway and in Downtown San Jose.

Source: The Merc

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Famous Korean BBQ spot Baekjeong opens first Northern California location in San Jose

Speaking of BBQ (see previous post today), Baekjeong is opening their very first location in Northern California at Westfield Valley Fair. This is a chain owned by Korean celebrity Kang Ho-dong and is extremely popular in LA and New York. San Jose will be one of just a two locations to accept reservations and they are already going fast on Resy.

While many malls around the country are struggling, Valley Fair somehow is continuing to expand and attract compelling restaurants. Eataly, Din Tai Fung, iChina, Maestro's, Kingfish, and Ramen Nagi are some of the other flagship dining destinations within the mall.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

100 Things To Do In San Jose Before You Die - 2nd Edition

Welcome to the blog post that has stayed in "draft" the longest. I started writing this right as COVID had just started to spread and decided to table it until the pandemic was over. Then last year, life got crazy... so this has been in draft for over three years!

Five Eight years ago I read the first edition of Susannah Greenwood's "100 Things To Do in San Jose Before You Die." As a hardcore San Jose aficionado, I was shocked (and delighted) that I had only done 54 out of the 100 things to do in the book. There is so much to do and see in San Jose.

25% of the entries on the second edition are new, and the rest have been updates with extended tips. I have used the book as sort of a checklist to see how many I can do. The answer is 52. In the 2nd Edition I have been able to do 52/100.

Some of the new entries include:
  • Hiking Mount Umunhum
  • Having a picnic at the Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve
  • Bike, Blade, and Board at Viva CalleSJ
  • Letting your taste buds travel with a Little Ethiopian in Little Ethiopia
  • Indulge at Adega (I think this will be updated for the 3rd Edition)
  • Pair farm-fresh food with gorgeous valley views at the Mount Hamilton GrandView Restaurant
  • Celebrating the geekiest week of the year with Star Wars Day and Free Comic Book Day
...and many, many more. It's a great book and still very relevant, especially if you want to get the most out of the beautiful place where you live and uncover as many hidden gems and fun attractions as possible in your own home. San Jose is one of the most underrated cities in the United States, and this book will help explain why.

If I haven't been super clear, I highly recommend the 2nd edition (even if you have the first). You can get the book in paperback or Kindle form over here.

"In sitting down to revise the book, I thought a lot about San Jose, how it has and continues to change, as well as what a successful travel experience for me personally constitutes. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to 6 continents and I examined what my favorite places were and why they ranked so. Certainly natural beauty, history, cultural offerings and great weather all play a part in connecting one to a destination and creating a positive travel memory, but what it really comes down to for me, are the people. That is the x factor. The people you meet, at least in my experience, can leave as much of a lasting impression in many cases as the food or the views or the activities you engage in. The people you meet have the power to transform a moment into a story and create a shared experience that extends its impact well after you’ve returned home. In short; conversations create connection and that connection is ripe for the picking in San Jose.

They say it’s not about the destination - it’s the journey, but I think San Jose truly proves they’re both very much intertwined. The featured places and events in the book were especially selected to not only represent our culture and highlight our tremendous natural landscape, but to underscore our strong sense of community. Each of the entries certainly qualifies as a stand-alone adventure, but each of them also strives to put the participant directly in the path of our cities most magical asset; San Joseans. These are the places you’re most likely to strike up that all important conversation with the most passionate and knowledgeable secret tour guides, each genuinely eager to enhance and elevate your experience with additional history, tidbits, and previously undocumented advice. It’s less of a guide to physical places perhaps as it is a curation of potential conversations by which one can better understand and enjoy our awesome City.

Whether you're a first time visitor to this biggest little city in the heart of Silicon Valley, a regular traveler to the area, or a local this 2nd edition is a great catalyst to exploring what makes San Jose tick and getting to know the authentic San Jose." -Susannah Greenwood

Monday, July 31, 2023

San Jose has the largest share of Vietnamese restaurants in the country and exciting projects to come

I believe San Jose has the largest Vietnamese community of any city in the US. At the County-level, it is only second to Orange County down south. However, despite having a slightly smaller Vietnamese population than Orange County (180k vs. 120k in here), Silicon Valley has the highest concentration of Vietnamese restaurants in the US. 6% of all restaurants in Santa Clara County are Vietnamese, featuring some of my favorite foods like pho, banh mi, and other delicacies.

SJ Today has great guides for both the top Pho and Banh Mi shops in San Jose. There are also lots of other types of restaurants featuring spicy Bun Bo Hue and Nuoc Mia (sugarcane juice) that you can find throughout San Jose.

The strength of the Vietnamese community here is one of the reasons why there is a proposal on the table to build a 260,000 SQFT Vietnamese indoor market modeled after a Ho Chi Minh City landmark (image below) where Sears used to be in Eastridge. It would be called Hello Ben Thanh Indoor Market and would have a combination of retail stores, massive food courts with as many as 50 booths, an entertainment center, and banquet hall. The project would take over both floors of the old Sears building. Think of it as a Vietnamese version of Eataly that will be accessible from both inside and outside the mall.

There is no formal ETA, but the developer Intelli has already secured the space for $24.8 million.

Source: The Merc, NextShark

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Santa Clara County Fair

The Santa Clara County Fair is back with a vengeance today after a COVID-related hiatus. Instead of running for three or four days, it will do a full 10-day run for the first time in 25+ years.

Today there will be a VIP ribbon cutting around 2:30pm followed by a 7pm parade. Each day there will be entertainment such as live music, magic, and even a hypnotist. The list of events and exhibits are too long to mention, so check out the full schedule and get tickets over here.

Source: The Merc

Friday, July 21, 2023

San Jose restaurants featured on TV

Just how many San Jose restaurants have been featured on TV? Quite a few actually. "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" hit up Falafel's Drive In and Naglee Park Garage. "Bizarre Foods America" swung by Mezcal, Bún Bò Huế An Nam, and Gaku Restaurant. "Man vs. Food" featured Henry's World Famous Hi-Life, Iguana's Burritozilla, and The Funny Farm.

My favorites on the list are Falafel's Drive In and Mezcal, but I have done the "Bizarre Foods" version of Bún Bò Huế An Nam with the pork blood and ox pizzle (you'll have to google it, but it's exactly what it sounds like).

For more on each and links to stream the episodes, visit the source link below.

Source: SJ Today

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

THE CATS is back open and featuring live music from Beggar's Opera

The tavern you see on the way to Santa Cruz off Highway 17 is actually a pretty nice restaurant with traditional slow-cooked BBQ and some modern twists like smoked Wagyu with Chimichurri. It's one of the oldest restaurants in the Bay Area and has recently been renovated. It also happens to be a live music and stand up venue. They are kicking off live music again with Beggars Opera this Friday, July 21st from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. No cover charge.

The CATS is located at 17533 Santa Cruz Highway just a few minutes south of Downtown Los Gatos. For more info on the restaurant, bar, or upcoming events, head over here.

Friday, July 14, 2023

Restaurant Week July 13-23

The largest restaurant week in Downtown San Jose history kicked off yesterday and continues all the way until July 23rd. This is a great opportunity to try out special fixed price multi-course menus at discount prices. 

There are several newer restaurant this year such as AJI (in the Signia by Hilton hotel, formerly the Fairmont), Angkor Chef, Bum Me Up, Tiki Pete, Case Guzmania (which is excellent), Fox Tales Fermentation Project (also excellent), La Carne Asada, Mommy's Banh Mi, Master Shin, and Dr. Funk with a cocktail as part of the 3-course menu. Your old favorites are on the list as well.

Check out all 45+ restaurants over here and support your unique, local San Jose Restaurants!

Thursday, July 13, 2023

30+ awesome brunch places to try in San Jose 🍳🥩

I'm going through posts from one of my new favorite sites, SJ Today, and came across a killer list of brunch places in San Jose. The are some obvious ones in there like Scramblz, Mimosas, and Bill's Cafe. There are also several unique surprises like Yeganeh Bakery & Cafe (Persian), K Cafe Patisserie & Tea House (Asian-French fusion), and Tostadas (Mexi-Cali).

Below are photos from my absolute favorite San Jose brunch--The Table in Willow Glen. It's normally a 45-60min wait, but absolutely worth it. They have the best Espresso Martini I've had as well and some creative non-alcoholic drinks. It's on the SJ Today list as well--check out all 30+ brunch places over here.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Top coffee shops in San Jose

SJ Today has a great guide to San Jose coffee shops--everything from from traditional American cafes, Vietnamese, Mexican, and even a famous Hawaiian coffee shop in Japantown where you can also get Spam musubi. I think I've been to most of the list with my favorites being Nirvana Soul, Academic Coffee, and Voltaire (all Downtown).

There was one great place that I didn't find on the list and that is Pastaleria by Adega (photo below). It's a Portuguese bakery featuring the famous Pastel de Nata egg custard dessert and many others, but they also have some strong espressos with enough caffeine to make you feel like you're bending time and space. Paired with a pastry, it's a great café worth adding to the list!

To see the full list of San Jose's top coffee shops, head over here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Petiscos and LeYou added to the Michelin Guide

Two San Jose restaurants were recently added to the Michelin Guide for the first time. Just being mentioned in the guide means the restaurants are worthy of a visit.

The first is none other than Petiscos in SoFA. This restaurant comes from a very special pedigree since the owners are the same as ADEGA, the first and only restaurant in San Jose to ever get a Michelin Star. Petiscos has a wide variety of Portuguese small plates designed for sharing with family and friends and some seriously delicious and unique cocktails you can't find anywhere else. The interior features a hand-painted mural of Five Wounds Portuguese National Church, a San Jose landmark off of Highway 101. It's well worth a visit and is reasonably priced given its background. At Petiscos I would highly recommend the flaming chouriço, shrimp turnovers, green bean tempura, duck rice (my favorite), octopus, peas & eggs, the pica pau, and the chocolate mouse. The Sangria and Gintuga won't disappoint if you're looking for a libation.

The second restaurant is LeYou Ethiopian off of First Street. While I haven't been there in person, it was one of the best Doordash meals I've had. With a newborn it's become a challenge to get out to new restaurants in person. I would recommend the platters and extra injera bread so you can try as many flavors as possible. I'm a total carnivore, but the vegetarian dishes blew me away. Definitely get the Four Vegetarian Sampler and the Beef Tibs. If you can handle some spice, the Katenga (toasted injera) was something I've never had before at an Ethiopian restaurant.

After a rough few years, it's great to see that the San Jose food scene is still alive and well! Bon Appétit.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Bay Area's first Portugal Restaurant Week! April 17th - April 24th

As a Portuguese-American it used to be a huge challenge to even find Portuguese food at restaurants in the Bay Area. Once Sousa's Restaurant (Azorean Portuguese) on Santa Clara Street closed down, there wasn't a single proper sit-down Portuguese restaurant in San Jose.

Fast forward to today and it's a different story. The first and only Michelin Star restaurant in San Jose and the only Portuguese restaurant with a star in the United States is ADEGA--coincidentally in the same East San Jose retail spot as Sousa's used to be. One of the hottest Downtown San Jose restaurants is Petiscos. Then you have Uma Case in SF, LaSalette in Sonoma, and Tasca Tasca also in Sonoma. There are also outstanding Portuguese-influenced restaurants popping up like Broma in Mountain View (with a Michelin Star chef from Chez TJ).

A celebration of these restaurants kicks off today with the Bay Area's first-ever Portugal Restaurant Week. Special discounted multi-course menus will be available at Adega, Petiscos, Uma Casa, La Salete, and Tasca Tasca. Now's the time if you have yet to experience Portuguese food, which is best served family-style with wide varieties of things to try. You can't go wrong with any of the five options, but please support our San Jose restaurants so they stick around for a long, long time. 

For more info and menus, head over to the Portugal Week site over here! The event only runs until April 24th.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Downtown getting another food hall! (Updated 4/18/23)

Downtown San Jose could one day become the mecca of food halls. It all started with the San Pedro Square Market which deserves much of the credit for revitalizing Downtown. To this day it is a top destination for locals and visitors alike. Wrapping a vibrant food, bar, and music scene around San Jose's oldest historic home was brilliant. Then came the SoFA market, which is smaller but also has a selection of excellent eateries (including my go-to spot for uni handrolls). Thirdly is the Littlest Little Italy... more on that in a separate post. Now, there is a fourth (!) food hall being proposed by an Uber co-founder.

The plan is to turn a historic late 19th-century building at the corner of Santa Clara and 3rd and turn it into a food hall with 26 kitchens. You might know this as the old Hank Coco Downtown Furniture corner, which is a key space right in the center of Downtown San Jose.

The entire ground floor would be utilized for the project. This would make it larger than the SoFA Market but slightly smaller than the San Pedro Square Market. Also part of the plan is a 1,000 SQFT dine-in restaurant and a coffee bar.

Exciting times ahead for San Jose foodies!

Source: The Merc

4/18/23 Update:

Unfortunately it looks as if the kitchens will not be publicly accessible and they will be used as ghost kitchens for delivery services. The dine-in restaurant is where you can order food from any of the kitchens, but it is a very small space. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Hat tip to Kelly Snider for sending in these corrections.

Friday, August 19, 2022

28th Annual Assyrian Food Festival

One of the biggest benefits of living in San Jose is diversity. It's amazing that we have access to so many events each year celebrating different cultures. This weekend is the 28th Assyrian Food Festival. The two day event also features dancing, live entertainment, exotic teas, coffee, parties, arts, a raffle and of course a ton of authentic Assyrian cuisine.

The event runs from 11am to 11pm on Saturday and 11am to 9pm on Sunday at the Assyrian Church of the East (680 Minnesota Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125). Admission and parking are both free. For more info head over to