The Best of Silicon Valley 2017

Introduction | Bites & Sips | Goods & Services | Art & Culture | Nightlife

Adega Photo by Greg Ramar

Best (and Only) Michelin Star Restaurant in San Jose

Adega
Portuguese restaurant Adega opened in late 2015 as a simple café in Alum Rock, a district known to smart locals as a place to eat well but not exactly a regional culinary destination. Within a year, Adega became a surprise phenomenon as the first restaurant in America's 10th biggest city to garner a Michelin star. Now, regulars who used to saunter in for lunch book dinner six weeks out and order a multi-course tasting menu. The young team of Jessica Carreira, 23, and fiancé-chef David Costa, 30, hold down the kitchen while the front of the house is parentally supervised by Carlos and Fernanda Carreira. Lisbon-born Carlos came here as a San Jose State student, Fernanda was born in the Azores and David hails from a Lisbon suburb. First-gen Jessica is the only native in the pack but learned culinary chops in the mother country.

OVERALL

Best New Restaurant

Sushi Confidential
31 N. Market St, San Jose
The Bywaterx
532 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos
The Halal Guys
81 Curtner Ave #20, San Jose

Best Restaurant (Culinary Excellence)

Orchard City Kitchen
1875 S Bascom Ave #190, Campbell
Alexander's Steakhouse
19379 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino
Nick's Next Door
11 College Ave, Los Gatos

Best Chef

Jeffrey Stout, Orchard City Kitchen
1875 S Bascom Ave #190, Campbell
Nick Difu, Nick's Next Door
11 College Ave, Los Gatos
Jim Stump, The Table
1110 Willow St, San Jose

Best Dining Value

Aqui
Multiple locations
Bill's Café
Multiple locations
Blue Rock BBQ
3001 Meridian Ave, San Jose

Best Small Restaurant

Henry's World Famous Hi-Life
301 W St John St, San Jose
Los Gatos Cafe
Multiple locations
Brown Chicken Brown Cow
397 E Campbell Ave, Campbell

Best Family Restaurant

Old Spaghetti Factory
51 N San Pedro St, San Jose
Bill's Cafe
Multiple locations
Aqui
Multiple locations

Best Romantic Restaurant

La Fondue
14550 Big Basin Way, Saratoga
Alexander's Steakhouse
19379 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino
Nick's Next Door
11 College Ave, Los Gatos

Best Restaurant Patio

Aqui Willow Glen
1145 Lincoln Ave, San Jose
San Pedro Square Market
87 N San Pedro St, San Jose
Jack Rose
La Hacienda Inn, 18840 Saratoga Los Gatos Rd, Los Gatos

Best Late-Night Eats

La Victoria
Multiple locations
Original Joe's
301 S 1st St, San Jose
A Slice of New York
3443 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose

Best French Restaurant

Le Papillon
410 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
Black Sheep Brasserie
1202 Lincoln Ave, San Jose
Left Bank
377 Santana Row #1100, San Jose

Best German Restaurant

Harry's Hofbrau
San Jose
Teske's Germania
San Jose
Naschmarkt Restaurant
Campbell

Best Latin American Restaurant

El Burro
1875 S Bascom Ave, Campbell
Case Lupe
1875 S Bascom Ave, Campbell
Andalé
6 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos

Best Cuban/Caribbean Restaurant

Habana Cuba
238 Race St, San Jose
Back A Yard
80 N Market St, San Jose
La Bodeguita del Medio
463 California Ave, Palo Alto

Best Cajun Restaurant

Poor House Bistro
91 S Autumn St, San Jose
Boiling Crab
Multiple locations
The Bywater
532 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos

Mi Quang Co Thao Photo via Yelp

Best Place to Get Souped Up and sing

Mi Quang Co Thao
Despite its newcomer status, in less than a year Mi Quang Co Thao has deservedly earned a reputation for having one of the South Bay's best renditions of Bun bo Hue in the South Bay. Their version of the beef-based soup covers all the bases: sweet, salty, spicy and sour—all blended into one cohesive dish. Generous helpings of meat and rice noodles in each bowl are just a bonus, really. The north San Jose restaurant's yellow Turmeric Noodle dish is also a tasty treat worth trying. A modern Vietnamese-style interior and friendly and courteous service gives them a leg-up on similar establishments. As a bonus, they also have a sweet stage for live karaoke performances at night.

Best Italian Restaurant

Original Joe's
301 S 1st St, San Jose
Maggiano's
3055 Olin Ave, San Jose
Il Fornaio
Multiple locations

Best Greek/Mediterranean Restaurant

Dio Deka
Hotel Los Gatos, 210 E Main St, Los Gatos
Falafel's Drive-In
2301 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose
Athena Grill
1505 Space Park Dr, Santa Clara

Best Middle Eastern Restaurant

Falafel Drive-In
2301 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose
Dishdash
Multiple locations
Falafel Stop
1325 Sunnyvale Saratoga Rd, Sunnyvale

Best Steakhouse

Alexander's Steakhouse
10330 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino
Forbes Mill Steakhouse
206 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos
Henry's Hi-Life
301 W St John St, San Jose

Best Barbecue

Smoking Pig
Multiple locations
Henry's Hi-Life
301 W St John St, San Jose
Armadillo Willy's
Multiple locations

Best Vegetarian Restaurant

Falafel Drive-In
2301 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose
Good Karma
37 S 1st St, San Jose
Veggie Grill
Multiple locations

Best Hawaiian

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue
Multiple locations
Hukilau
230 Jackson St, San Jose
Hawaiian BBQ
6233 Santa Teresa Blvd San Jose

Best Ramen

Orenchi Ramen
3540 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara
Kumako Ramen
211 Jackson St, San Jose
Kahoo Ramen
4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose

Best Pho

House of Pho
Multiple locations
Pho Wagon
1712 Meridian Ave, San Jose
Pho 69
321 S 1st St, San Jose

Social Policy Photo by Greg Ramar

Best Hope to Break the Curse of Casa Castillo

Social Policy
"The Curse of Casa Castillo" is well known among downtown restaurateurs and San Jose culture writers—Hi, Sal! But for the uninitiated, here's a primer: back in 2001, Casa Castillo was doing just fine in its digs at 200 S. 1st Street on the Paseo de San Antonio pedestrian corridor. Then the city's redevelopment agency forced the Mexican joint to vamoose. Since then, many have tried to make something work there, but none have lasted long. We think Social Policy, or "SoPo" as it's known, has what it takes. It's the third brick and mortar location by Bellano Coffee. They serve excellent coffee under their own brand, Kickback, which they roast themselves just south of downtown. The coffee is sourced mostly from Central and South American growers, which contributes to its bright flavor and smooth finish. They also have an excellent menu, courtesy of Executive Chef Marshal Reid, plus beer and wine on the way.

Best Poke Restaurant

Hawaiian Poke Bowl
387 S 1st St, San Jose
Poki Bowl
Multiple locations
Poke House
Pacific Rim Plaza, 1698 Hostetter Rd H, San Jose

Best Pearl Teas

Boba Bar
310 S 3rd St, San Jose
Boba Pub
1576 Branham Ln, San Jose
Ocha Tea Cafe
1350 Grant Rd, Mountain View

Best Vietnamese Restaurant

Vung Tau
535 E Santa Clara St, San Jose
Khanh's Restaurant
335 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose
House of Pho
5353 Almaden Expressway, San Jose

Best Korean Restaurant

Burnt Rice
121 Curtner Ave #20, San Jose
Jang Su Jang
3561 El Camino Real #10, Santa Clara
Korean Palace
2297 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose

Best Thai Restaurant

KrungThai
642 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose
Blue Mango
635 Coleman Ave, San Jose
Banana Leaf
182 Ranch Dr, Milpitas

Best Seafood Restaurant

Fish Market
Multiple locations
Scott's Seafood
185 Park Ave, San Jose
Boiling Crab
Multiple locations

Best Sushi

Sushi Confidential
Multiple locations
Yuki Sushi
Multiple locations
Cha Cha Sushi
547 W Capitol Expy, San Jose
AND
Mizu Sushi
1035 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose

Jubba Photo by John Dyke

Best Around the Horn Entree

Jubba
Jubba serves one the more difficult cuisines to find in the South Bay, as East African/Somali doesn't turn up many search results. We've heard it described as almost a fusion of Mexican and Caribbean foods, but not really. Customers can't go wrong in ordering a Sambusa appetizer and the Kay Kay. The Sambusa is a deep-fried pastry dough, filled with a spicy blend of meat and veggies—one is never enough. The Kay Kay is a stir-fry mix of beef (or chicken), vegetables, bananas and chopped chapatti (imagine naan on steroids). Each bite is savory and sweet with just the right amount of kick.

Best Burger

The Counter
Multiple locations
Five Guys
Multiple locations
The Habit Burger Grill
Multiple locations

Best Pizza (Independent)

Blue Line Pizza
Multiple locations
Pizza My Heart
Multiple locations
A Slice of New York
3443 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose

Best Deli/Sandwich Shop

Ike's
Multiple locations
Erik's Deli
Multiple locations
La Villa
1319 Lincoln Ave, San Jose

Best Microbrewery Food

Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Pruneyard Shopping Center, 1875 S Bascom Ave #700, Campbell
Gordon Biersch
33 E San Fernando St, San Jose
Firehouse Brewery & Grill
111 S Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale

Best Desserts

Icing On the Cake
50 W Main St, Los Gatos
CREAM
Multiple locations
Bijan Bakery
Multiple locations

Best Donuts

Psycho Donuts
Multiple locations
Stan's Donut Shop
1080 Lincoln Ave, San Jose
Manley's Donut Shop
1080 Lincoln Ave, San Jose

Best Ice Cream/Gelato

Willow Glen Creamery
1100 Lincoln Ave, San Jose
Dolce Spazio
221 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos
CREAM
Multiple locations

Best Frozen Yogurt

Yogurtland
Multiple locations
Willow Glen Creamery
1100 Lincoln Ave, San Jose
Pinkberry
Multiple locations

Best Food Truck

Grilled Cheese Bandits
@CheeseBandits
Sam's Chowdermobile
@chowdermobile
Chairman Bao
@charimantruck

Best Caterer

Blue Rock BBQ
3001 Meridian Ave, San Jose
Smoking Pig BBQ
Multiple locations
Gunther's Restaurant & Catering
1601 Meridian Ave, San Jose

Aloha Fresh Photo by John Dyke

Best Place to Shut Up and Order What's on the Menu

Aloha Fresh
Build-Your-Own-Poke places proliferate the South Bay, but Cupertino's Aloha Fresh offers a sorely needed change of pace that features pre-set legit Poke recipes by native Hawaiians. With fish that's flown in daily from Hawai'i and ingredients sourced from surrounding farms, Aloha makes it easy to eat healthy and delicious. Their toothsome black rice base and "Surf and Turf" combo, featuring one poke mix and Kahlua pork, is da real kine.

Best Tea Room

Lisa's Tea Treasures
Moving location.
Satori Tea Company
14482 Big Basin Way, Saratoga
Steepers
346 E Campbell Ave, Campbell
TIED WITH
Fairmont Lobby Lounge
170 S Market St, San Jose

Best Ethnic Market

Chavez Market
Multiple locations
Mitsuwa Marketplace
675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
Mi Pueblo Food Center
Multiple locations

Best Microbrewery Food

Rock Bottom Brewery
1875 S Bascom Ave #700, Campbell
Gordon Biersch
33 E San Fernando St, San Jose
Campbell Brewing Company
200 E Campbell Ave, Campbell

Best Desserts

Icing On the Cake
50 W Main St, Los Gatos
CREAM
Multiple locations
Bijan Bakery
Multiple locations

Best Donuts

Psycho Donuts
Multiple locations
Stan's Donut Shop
1080 Lincoln Ave, San Jose
Manley's Donut Shop
1080 Lincoln Ave, San Jose

Best Ice Cream/Gelato

Willow Glen Creamery
1100 Lincoln Ave, San Jose
Dolce Spazio
221 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos
CREAM
Multiple locations

Best Frozen Yogurt

Yogurtland
Multiple locations
Willow Glen Creamery
1100 Lincoln Ave, San Jose
Pinkberry
Multiple locations

Best Food Truck

Grilled Cheese Bandits
@CheeseBandits
Sam's Chowdermobile
@chowdermobile
Chairman Bao
@charimantruck

Best Caterer

Blue Rock BBQ
3001 Meridian Ave, San Jose
Smoking Pig BBQ
Multiple locations
Gunther's Restaurant & Catering
1601 Meridian Ave, San Jose

Best Tea Room

Lisa's Tea Treasures
Moving location.
Satori Tea Company
14482 Big Basin Way, Saratoga
Steepers
346 E Campbell Ave, Campbell
TIED WITH
Fairmont Lobby Lounge
170 S Market St, San Jose

Best Ethnic Market

Chavez Market
Multiple locations
Mitsuwa Marketplace
675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
Mi Pueblo Food Center
Multiple locations

Best Microbrewery Food

Rock Bottom Brewery
1875 S Bascom Ave #700, Campbell
Gordon Biersch
33 E San Fernando St, San Jose
Campbell Brewing Company
200 E Campbell Ave, Campbell

K&C Wholesale Photo by Greg Ramar

Best Brusque Fishmonger

K&C Wholesale
When feeling a powerful lust for red salmon, some head straight for the nearest supermarket. But for the serious seafood aficionado, there's simply no substitute for a trustworthy fishmonger. K&C Wholesale, located in the Luna Park neighborhood of San Jose, is the real deal. With no street-facing entrance, customers must pull around the back of the unassuming warehouse building. Check the whiteboard for the day's prices and be prepared: bring cash and brace for a no-nonsense transaction. It's doubtful that the folks at K&C have ever perused a corporate grocer's customer service manual, but when you're getting fish this fresh, who cares?

PENINSULA

Best Business Lunch

MacArthur Park
27 University Ave, Palo Alto
Quattro
2050 University Ave, East Palo Alto
Mixx Restaurant
20 Castro St, Mountain View

Best American Restaurant

Los Altos Grill
233 3rd St, Los Altos
MacArthur Park
27 University Ave, Palo Alto
Soleil Restaurant
675 El Camino Real, Palo Alto

Best Chinese Restaurant

Chef Chu's
1067 N San Antonio Rd, Los Altos
Hunan Home's Restaurant
San Antonio Center, Showers Drive, Mountain View
Peking Duck
4151 California Ave, Palo Alto

Best Japanese Restaurant

Fuki Sushi
4199 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
Sushi Tomi
635 W Dana St, Mountain View
Higumi
540 El Camino Real, Redwood City

Best Mexican Restaurant

Joya
339 University Ave, Palo Alto
Palo Alto Sol
408 N California Ave, Palo Alto
Reposado
236 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto

Best Indian Restaurant

Darbar
129 Lytton Ave, Palo Alto
Janta Indian Cuisine
369 Lytton Ave, Palo Alto
Passage to India
1991 W El Camino Real Mountain View

Tayibaat Meat and Grill

Best Reason to Wait 20-30 minutes

Tayibaat Meat and Grill
Tayibaat Meat and Grill is an unassuming halal butcher shop in Milpitas that turns into a foodie haven around noon. The wait to get a seat in this quaint eatery can be anywhere from 20-30 minutes. Tayibaat has a small, curated menu that features mostly kabobs, rotisserie chicken and hamburgers—now featuring halal bacon! The rotisserie chicken is quite good, but we usually stick with the kabobs. They have either "Chili" or "Tikka" kabobs, with the former being cubed and the latter consisting of ground meat. Our personal favorite, though, is the Lamb Chili. Dishes come out with a nice helping of fluffy basmati rice and Afghan bread.

Best Thai Restaurant

Krung Thai
590 Showers Dr, Mountain View
Indochine
2710 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto
Siam Royal
338 University Ave, Palo Alto

Best Taqueria

Los Altos Taqueria
2105 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View
Taqueria El Grullense
3636 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
1280 El Camino Real, Redwood City
Sancho's Taqueria
2723 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto
491 Lytton Ave, Palo Alto
3205 Oak Knoll Dr, Redwood City

Best Breakfast

Joanie's Café
405 California Ave, Palo Alto
Hobee's
2312 Central Expressway, Mountain View
4224 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
Stacks
314 El Camino Real, Redwood City

Best Place to Become a Believer

Rosita's De Basilio Deli & Market
We should all be so lucky to have an abuelita cooking up something delicious and familiar, and this Alviso treasure provides just that vibe. A refreshing change of pace from the get-in-get-out dining experience, Rosita's serves up traditional Mexican fare—but two highlights not to be missed are the Chicken Mole and Carnitas. The Mole has a nice, deep chocolate flavor that blends well with the tender chicken, and their Carnitas are prepared a little unusual, as they're fried up chopped thin and crisp (almost like a Machaca) in the pan. One bite will make anyone a believer.

Best Independent Coffeehouse

Philz Coffee
101 Forest Ave, Palo Alto
3191 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto
Cafe Borrone
1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park
Clocktower Coffee Roasting
205 E Middlefield Rd, Mountain View

Best Bakery

Prolific Oven
550 Waverley Street, Palo Alto
Palo Alto Baking Company
381 N California Ave, Palo Alto
Mayfield Bakery
855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto

Best Burrito

Sancho's Taqueria
2723 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto
491 Lytton Ave, Palo Alto
3205 Oak Knoll Dr, Redwood City
Taqueria La Bamba
580 N Rengstorff Ave, Mountain View
La Costena
235 E Middlefield Rd

WEST VALLEY

Best Business Lunch

Nick's Next Door
11 College Ave, Los Gatos
Steamer's
31 University Ave, Los Gatos
Pacific Catch
1875 S Bascom Ave #550, Campbell

Best American Restaurant

Orchard City Kitchen
1875 S Bascom Ave #190, Campbell
Nick's On Main/Nick's Next Door
11 College Ave, Los Gatos
Oak & Rye
303 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos

Best Chinese Restaurant

Blue Sky
2028 Winchester Blvd, Campbell
Yeung Shing
14107 S Winchester Blvd
Tsing Tao
104 San Tomas Aquino Rd, Campbell

Weekend Coffee Photo via Instagram

Best Weekend Warriors

Weekend Coffee
Weekend Coffee Roasters, a family-owned startup that got its name from the fact that everyone has to keep their day jobs and work on building the company on the weekends. Like many a Silicon Valley startup, Weekend Coffee began in a garage. Five years later, it has its own HQ.

Best Japanese Restaurant

Kyoto Palace
1875 S Bascom Ave #2500, Campbell
Sushi Confidential
247 E Campbell Ave, Campbell
Kamakura
135 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos

Best Mexican Restaurant

El Burro
1875 S Bascom Ave, Campbell
Andale
6 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos
Aqui
201 E Campbell Ave, Campbell

Best Indian Restaurant

Royal Taj
1350 Camden Ave, Campbell
Rangoli
3695 Union Ave, San Jose
Amber India
377 Santana Row #1140, San Jose

Best Thai Restaurant

Thai Spice
337 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos
Thai Orchid
866 E Campbell Ave, Campbell
Mint Leaf Cuisine
14420 Big Basin Way, Saratoga

Best Taqueria

Andale
N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos
Adelita's
1896 Curtner Ave, San Jose
Los Pericos
1581 W Campbell Ave, Campbell

Best place to make a new Indonesian Friend

Indo Cafe
Another cuisine that may be unfamiliar for many, Indo Cafe in Saratoga has offerings similar to Indian and Thai food. Fortunately, owner Maria Handayani is a charming and pleasant guide who is all too happy to talk customers through the menu—as well as inform about her culture, if you please. The go-to for first-timers has to be the Padang Rice Combo. It gives diners a little bit of everything to sample: from Chicken Satay to the wildly popular young Jackfruit Curry. The dining experience feels akin to eating at a friend's house.

Best Breakfast

Los Gatos Cafe
340 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos
15662 Los Gatos Blvd, Los Gatos
Stacks
139 E Campbell Ave, Campbell
Hash House
851 W Hamilton Ave, Campbell

Best Independent Coffeehouse

Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company
101 W Main St, Los Gatos
Great Bear Coffee
19 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos
Orchard Valley Coffee
349 E Campbell Ave, Campbell

Best Bakery

Icing on the Cake
50 W Main St, Los Gatos
Manresa Bread
276 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos
Frosting Cupcake Factory
199 E Campbell Ave, Campbell

Best Burrito

Andale
N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos
El Burro
1875 S Bascom Ave, Campbell
Aqui
201 E Campbell Ave, Campbell

CENTRAL VALLEY

Best Business Lunch

Birk's
3955 Freedom Cir, Santa Clara
Faultline
1235 Oakmead Parkway, Sunnyvale
Faz Restaurant
81 E Tasman Dr, San Jose
1108 N Mathilda Ave, San Jose

Shanghai Dumpling Photo by John Dyke

Best Notorious XLB

Shanghai Dumpling
This polarizing dim sum joint specializes in Shanghai, or Hu, cuisine. While there are plenty of good options on the menu, it's their Xiaolongbao (a.k.a. XLB) soup dumplings that make this Cupertino eatery a must-try. They have all the usual cast of characters—Salt and Pepper Fish, Smoke Duck and the Shanghai-style Stir Fried Noodles—but we'd be remiss in not suggesting (no, demanding) customers order at least two or three orders of the XLB. Maybe even try the pan-fried version. Shanghai Dumpling even has a little dinner theater, as two employees are stationed at a window near the front doing nothing but frantically preparing basket-after-basket of the XLBs.

Best American Restaurant

St. John's Bar & Grill
510 Lawrence Expy, Sunnyvale
Parcel 104
2700 Mission College Blvd, Santa Clara
Park Place
10030 S De Anza Blvd, Cupertino

Best Chinese Restaurant

China Stix
2110 El Camino Real, Santa Clara
Tao Tao Cafe
175 S Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale
Mandarin Gourmet
10145 N De Anza Blvd, Cupertino

Best Japanese Restaurant

Yuki Sushi
1827 Pruneridge Ave, Santa Clara
Gochi Japanese Fusion Tapas
19980 Homestead Rd, Cupertino
Kobe
2086 El Camino Real, Santa Clara

Best Mexican Restaurant

La Paloma
2280 El Camino Real, Santa Clara
Aqui Cal-Mex
10630 S De Anza Blvd
Casa Lupe
2169 Winchester Blvd, Campbell

Best Indian Restaurant

Kabab and Curry's
1498 Isabella St, Santa Clara
Peacock Indian Cuisine
2798 El Camino Real, Santa Clara
Madras Cafe
1177 W El Camino Real, Sunnyvale

Best Thai Restaurant

Thai Chili Cuisine
1550 Halford Ave, Santa Clara
Pad Thai Cuisine
500 Lawrence Expy B, Sunnyvale
Jasmine Fine Thai
1211 Franklin Mall, Santa Clara

Best Taqueria

Viva Taqueria
444 N Winchester Blvd, Santa Clara
Chavez Market
666 N Fair Oaks Ave, Sunnyvale
Ruby's Taqueria
821 Borregas Ave, Sunnyvale

Best Breakfast

Sara's Kitchen
1595 Franklin St, Santa Clara
Old Ironsides
4655 Old Ironsides Dr, Santa Clara
Hobee's
21267 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino
800 W. Ahwanee Ave, Sunnyvale

Best Independent Coffeehouse

Coffee Society
21265 Stevens Creek Blvd Ste 202. Cupertino
10800 Torre Ave Cupertino
Roasted Coffee Bean
19110 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino
Bitter + Sweet
20560 Town Center Lane, Cupertino

Olla Cocina Photo by Scott Carroll

Best new Mexico City-esque Cantina

Olla Cocina
Look. There's nothing wrong with a quick gut bomb at the nearest taco truck or a late-night orange sauce explosion. We've had plenty of those in our time. But when it comes to refined Mexican cuisine at a price that won't break the bank, Olla Cocina excels. With its great interior design, fantastic selection of tequila and mezcal, and Executive Chef Everardo Andrade dreaming up inventive yet authentic renditions of the food he grew up eating in his native Veracruz, this addition to San Pedro Square feels more like something you'd encounter in a hip nightlife district of de efe than an anglicismo eatery. Try the albondigas (lamb meatballs), the huarache vegetariano (a corn masa patty topped with shiitake, butternut squash and more delicious veggies), or the lenguado relleno de mariscos (a sort of turducken of the sea with plenty of delicious Latin spices). Wash it all down with a super michelada.

Best Bakery

Nothing Bundt Cakes
939 W El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
Sugar Butter Flour
669 S Bernardo Ave, Sunnyvale
La Patisserie
19758 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino

Best Burrito

Viva Taqueria
444 N Winchester Blvd, Santa Clara
Ruby's
821 Borregas Ave, Sunnyvale
Aqui
10630 S De Anza Blvd, Cupertino

SAN JOSE & SOUTH VALLEY

Best Business Lunch

Original Joe's
301 S First St, San Jose
Grill on the Alley
172 S Market St, San Jose
Gordon Biersch
33 E San Fernando St, San Jose

Best American Restaurant

The Table
1110 Willow St, San Jose
Farmers Union
151 W Santa Clara St, San Jose
Dry Creek Grill
1580 Hamilton Ave, San Jose

Best Chinese Restaurant

Mandarin Gourmet
5560 Santa Teresa Blvd, San Jose
Taiwan Restaurant
1306 Lincoln Ave, San Jose
King Eggroll
980 Lundy Ave San Jose
1221 Story Rd San Jose

Best Japanese Restaurant

Yuki Sushi
140 Lincoln Ave #8, San Jose
House of Genji
1335 N 1st St, San Jose
Mizu Sushi
1035 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose

Best Mexican Restaurant

Zona Rosa
1411 The Alameda, San Jose
Chacho's
87 E San Fernando St, San Jose
Casa Vicky
792 E Julian St, San Jose

Best Indian Restaurant

Tandoori Oven
150 S First St #107, San Jose
Amber India
377 Santana Row #1140, San Jose
Rangoli India Restaurant
3695 Union Ave, San Jose

Maya's Cafe Photo via Instagram

Best Sour of Spring

The Valley of the Heart's Delight
It may seem like a homer pick to tab a beer called The Valley of the Heart's Delight, but Almanac Brewing Company—based out of San Francisco—paid homage to Santa Clara Valley's agricultural roots in killer fashion. We stumbled upon this beautiful bottle of 7-percent ABV suds at Spread in Campbell. While the price tag ($14.99) sent shockwaves through our digital wallet, we blissfully gave in to the extraordinary flavor combinations of a sour blonde ale aged in wine barrels with apricots and strawberries. We would drink this all the way to summer if our partners didn't control the purse strings.

Best Thai Restaurant

Krung Thai
642 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose
580 N Winchester Blvd
House of Siam
151 S Second St, San Jose
Blue Mango
635 Coleman Ave, San Jose

Best Taqueria

Dia De Pesca
55 N Bascom Ave, San Jose
Jalisco Taqueria
401 S King Rd, San Jose
Adelita's taqueria
1896 Curtner Ave, San Jose

Best Breakfast

Scrambl'z
775 E Dunne Ave, Morgan Hill
The Table
1110 Willow St, San Jose
Deluxe
71 E San Fernando St, San Jose

Best Independent Coffeehouse

Roy's Station
197 Jackson St, San Jose
Chromatic Coffee
5237 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara
Crema
950 The Alameda, San Jose

Best Bakery

Dick's Bakery
1593 Meridian Ave, San Jose
Peter's Bakery
3108 Alum Rock Ave, San Jose
Flower Flour
896 Willow St, San Jose

Best Burrito

Angelou's Mexican Grill
21 N 2nd St, San Jose
La Victoria
Multiple locations
Super Taqueria
Multiple locations

FREMONT & MILPITAS

Best Business Lunch

Zahir's Bistro
579 S Main St, Milpitas
Sen Dai Sushi
224 N Abel St, Milpitas
Tirupathi Bhimas
1208 S Abel St, Milpitas

Best American Restaurant

Country Way
5325 Mowry Ave, Fremont
Jack's Brewing Company
39176 Argonaut Way, Fremont
The Vine
37553 Niles Blvd, Fremont

Best Chinese Restaurant

Ho Chow
47966 Warm Springs Blvd, Fremont
Chili Palace
177 W Calaveras Blvd, Milpitas
Mayflower Seafood Restaurant
428 Barber Ln, Milpitas

Maya's Cafe Photo by John Dyke

Best Place to Discover Honduran Gold

Maya's Café
The very definition of a quaint, hole-in-the-wall restaurant, Maya's Café is located in a nondescript strip mall on the San Jose-Campbell border. The décor looks like a FIFA affiliate—absent the corruption, of course—and there's always a fútbol game on the telly. The owner is an extremely affable man, who's always making sure customers are happy. The menu leans primarily towards Honduran food, but also features Mexican and Salvadorian dishes, as well. The Sopa de Mariscos (seafood soup) features a Thai-like coconut base (sans the curry) and huge pieces of fresh fish—including a giant crab claw. Our go-to is the Camarones Aztecas: shrimp stuffed with cheese and jalaopeños and then wrapped in bacon. Pair these suckers with a side of rice, beans and handmade corn tortillas and its piggy time.

Best Japanese Restaurant

Satomi Sushi
3655 Thornton Ave, Fremont
Mioki Sushi
3924 Decoto Rd, Fremont
Sen Dai Sushi
224 N Abel St, Milpitas

Best Mexican Restaurant

La Piñata
39136 Paseo Padre Pkwy, Fremont
Los Cabos
3283 Walnut Ave, Fremont
Casa Robles
3839 Washington Blvd, Fremont

Best Indian Restaurant

Chaat Bhavan
5355 Mowry Ave, Fremont
Shalimar Restaurant
3325 Walnut Ave, Fremont
Peacock Indian Cuisine
39447 Fremont Blvd, Fremont

Best Thai Restaurant

Banana Leaf Restaurant
182 Ranch Drive, Milpitas
Banh Thai Restaurant
39060 Fremont Blvd, Fremont
Honey Thai
57 N Milpitas Blvd, Milpitas

Best Taqueria

Los Dos Gallos Taqueria
50 Whitney Pl, Fremont
Taqueria Las Vegas
1417 N Milpitas Blvd, Milpitas
Taqueria Los Cunados
196 Ranch Dr, Milpitas

Best Breakfast

Country Way
5325 Mowry Ave, Fremont
Original Pancake House
39222 Fremont Blvd, Fremont
Minerva's
37463 Fremont Blvd, Fremont

Best Independent Coffeehouse

Mission/Fremont Coffee Roasting
151 Washington Blvd, Fremont
The Coffee Adventure Co.
1535 Landess Ave, Milpitas
The Prolific Oven
43337 Boscell Rd, Fremont

Diridon Market Photo by Josh Koehn

Best Kings of the Corner

Diridon Market
Johnny (left) and Marwan Akkary are the kings of one well-trafficked corner in San Jose. Taking a page out of Cheers, the brothers know the name of just about everyone who enters Diridon Market—a block from downtown San Jose's train station—and they always have a smile at the ready. As Christians who experienced religious discrimination in Syria, the brothers immigrated to the U.S. in 2013 and bought the bodega a year later. Their devotion to customers is second to none, as they stay open most holidays and regularly update their food, beer and wine selection upon request. "We grew up in a tiny village," says Johnny, who worked as a product manager for a global paint company before coming to the U.S. "Everybody knew us and everybody cared about us. So, when we came to this community, we also brought this part of our culture. We care about this community and they care for us. Some neighbors don't even shop here and they just come by to say hi." Marwan, who previously owned two furniture stores, has a boisterous laugh and speaks English, Arabic, French and "un pequito" Spanish, which has come from his frequent conversations with neighbors. "Americans are open to everybody," Marwan says. "I put on the music I like and they accept me as I am."

Best Bakery

Nothing Bundt Cakes
39052 Fremont Hub, Fremont
The Prolific Oven Bakery & Cafe
43337 Boscell Rd, Fremont
Valerio's Tropical Bakeshop
1535 Landess Ave, Milpitas

Best Burrito

Los Cabos
3283 Walnut Ave, Fremont
Taqueria Super Taco
40798 Fremont Blvd, Fremont
El Taco de Oro
5220 N 1st St, Alviso, San Jose

Introduction | Bites & Sips | Goods & Services | Art & Culture | Nightlife

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