Travel Guide of San Jose
Hustle with Beauty recently published a San Francisco travel guide, and I thought I’d follow up with one for San Jose. Lauded as the heart of the Silicon Valley, San Jose is San Francisco’s smaller, slightly nerdier cousin. But with it’s diverse community and sprawling streets, there are great discoveries all over the city.
Places to eat:
San Pedro Square Market. SPSM is one of the Bay Area’s first food halls and the stomping grounds for college students, young professionals, and families alike. With over 20 different food vendors and live music every weekend, this is a must stop for anyone who wants a fun night with lots of good food. Located right next to the Peralta Adobe, the oldest building in San Jose, SPSM is a great place to learn about history and make new memories.
La Costa. La Costa received a Michelin star for it’s amazing tacos, burritos, and other Mexican fare. Stop by this east side favorite for fantastic fish tacos, or delicious ceviche. Service is quick and friendly. If you’re visiting in the winter, make sure to bring a good coat because there’s no indoor seating.
Pho Tick Tock. The best pho in San Jose (aside from my mom’s of course)! Pho Tick Tock offers authentic, flavorful pho served in a hot stone bowl, ensuring that your broth will stay piping hot for the duration of your meal. The bun bo hue is also amazing, and their other dishes are all mouthwatering if you aren’t feeling soupy.
Siena Bistro. Nestled in quaint Willow Glen, a tiny suburb near downtown San Jose, Siena Bistro is an great Italian restaurant offering delightful, filling dishes. At once comfortable and charming, this restaurant is sure to put a smile on your face. The angry pasta is a must, and make sure to leave room for their scrumptious cappuccino and gelato.
Smoking Pig BBQ. This mom-and-pop barbeque joint is a local favorite. Famous for their wolf turds (bacon wrapped peppers stuffed with cheese) and tender brisket, Smoking Pig is a no-fail choice for lunch or dinner. Parking may be hard to come by at this Little Italy spot, but the struggle is so, so worth it.
Things to do.
Catch a San Jose Earthquakes game. If you’re in San Jose between March and October, try to get down to Avaya Stadium for an Earthquakes game. Tickets are relatively low-priced, and the rollicking crowd, thrilling on-the-field action, and drinks from the longest outdoor bar in North America are all part of the recipe for a guaranteed good time.
Hike Mission Peak. I’m cheating a bit, since Mission Peak is actually in Fremont, but it’s less than 45-minutes from San Jose, so I like to think it still counts. This is a rough hike, especially for beginners, but the view of the East Bay from the top is amazing. There’s a post marking the top, which has been featured in millions and millions of Instagram photos, so be sure to leave time to strike a pose. And please, bring lots and lots of water.
Walk around downtown Campbell. Downtown Campbell is located in south San Jose and is great for a night out. Stroll down Campbell Ave and stop by any of the great restaurants, peruse the many small shops, and bring your dancing shoes for a good time at the Campbell Brewery. Before the night is over, rest your feet at Aquis, and get one of their famous swirls.
Spend some time at Santana Row. Santana Row has it all, shopping, dining, and night-life. Grab some friends and walk around the Row any night of the week. The people watching is unparalleled - everyone comes here - and you’re sure to find something to buy or eat at the many establishments located here.
Read a book at Martin Luther King Jr Library. MLK library is the largest library on the West Coast, boasting eight floors packed with books. Right on the campus of San Jose State University, the library is always full of students studying (or pretending to study), but it’s a great place to visit if you love books. So grab some coffee from Philz and get ready to spend hours browsing the seemingly endless selection of reading material.