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SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant, San Jose, CA
SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant, San Jose, CA
Photo: Facebook

The Eater San Jose Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now

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SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant, San Jose, CA
| Photo: Facebook

Today Eater returns to San Jose, California, to focus on 13 newish restaurants that have been garnering some serious buzz. Once again Eater has consulted with food writer and San Jose local Jeffrey Cianci on his picks for the hottest openings of the past year.

So what's hot in San Jose? Hawaiian classics (Da Kine Island Grill), Southern comfort food (First to Market), and Cajun specialities with a New Orleans vibe (Louisiana Bistro). There's also a Brazilian steakhouse that carves 12 kinds of meat table-side (Taurinus) and a quick-service restaurant serving up Greek classics (Nick The Greek). Plus, many places are serving great drinks whether they be punch creations and barrel-aged libations (Paper Plane), innovative craft cocktails (SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant), or a huge variety of beers on tap (ISO: Beers). Here now, and in alphabetical order, the Eater Heatmap to San Jose.


· All San Jose Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Eater Heatmaps [-E-]

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Blackbird Tavern

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200 S 1st St
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 286-1313
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With folding patio doors inviting you to outside tables, Blackbird Tavern has the feel of a California bistro with the flavors and sounds of the South. The bar features a vintage espresso maker, specialty spirits, and imported beers. Live music is featured regularly, accompanied by a drink or food special to match the performing genre.

[Photo]

2. Cafe Eden

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2 N 1st St
San Jose, CA 95113

Flavors of the Mediterranean can be found in downtown San Jose at Café Eden. The menu features shawerma and falafels as well as kebab platters. However, the specialty is manakeesh, a thin flat bread seasoned with thyme and olive oil.

[Photo]

3. CurryPundits

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30 E Santa Clara St
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 295-1000
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Building your own curry is the main draw here; think Chipotle meets Indian food. Friendly staff helps you customize your currito, curry taco, bowl, or Bombay Frankie with meat, curry, and chutney options. Order a mango lassi for a sweet treat to cool down your palate.

[Photo]

4. Da Kine Island Grill

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23 N. Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 568-9700
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Maybe it’s the tiki craft cocktails like a mai tai served in a pineapple, but seriously good Hawaiian vibes can be felt at Da Kine Island Grill. All the island comfort food favorites — loco moco, Spam musubi, kalua pork — are here. Craft beer from Hawaii is also available on tap.

[Photo]

5. The Farmers Union

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151 W Santa Clara St
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 277-0545
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The Farmers Union is aptly named for the building it occupies, an agricultural depot from the early farming era of San Jose. A massive bar takes center stage, as do several large projection screens for sports gatherings. The menu consists of a solid sandwich board and standard modern American bar bites.

[Photo]

6. First to Market

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399 S 1st St
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 600-2120
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The menu at First To Market is Southern American comfort food with many of the items featuring country ham and greens. The restaurant features a full bar as well with Joe Gradillas, the co-founder of San Jose’s original craft cocktail bar, Single Barrel, serving as an owner.

[Photo]

7. Ike's Love And Sandwiches

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75 E Santa Clara St Ste 130
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 294-2802
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The Bay Area custom sandwich shop has popped up in San Jose. Ike’s uses halal meats and fresh produce in their popular sandwiches. Pick from a huge menu of sandwich creations with names like Steve Jobs and Matt Cain or use the Ike’s app to create your own.

[Photo]

8. ISO: Beers

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75 E Santa Clara St
San Jose, CA 95113

With the same ownership as Bobby’s Liquor in Sunnyvale, ISO Beers is a humble bottle shop with a killer beer selection that delivers a great variety of beers on tap as well as hard to find bottles.

[Photo]

9. Louisiana Bistro

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19 North Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113

A New Orleans bistro from an owner with “N’awlins” roots, Louisiana Bistro serves po’ boys, gumbo, and other cajun specialties. A drink menu featuring Sazerac and Hurricane cocktails, both with Bourbon Street roots, completes the New Orleans vibe.

[Photo]

10. Nick The Greek

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143 W Santa Clara St
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 294-6425
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From the Tsigaris family, owners of Nemea Taverna and Flames Coffee shops in San Jose, this counter service Greek restaurant serves salads, gyros, and souvlaki platters. Nick The Greek stays open until 3 a.m. on weekends making it a perfect stop to end the night on San Pedro Square.

[Photo]

11. Paper Plane

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72 S 1st St
San Jose, CA 95113

Not only a neighbor to Original Gravity, Paper Plane shares the same ownership as the brat and beer house. A large list of old school and experimental cocktails can be found here as well as barrel-aged cocktails and house punch creations. Accompanying drinks are a good selection of small plates.

[Photo]

12. SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant

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72 N. ALMADEN AVE
San Jose, CA 95110
(408) 299-2000
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SP2 specializes in craft cocktails, both traditional such as their Blood and Sand to the innovative Cool Spice Squared with gin, lime juice, muddled cucumber, ginger beer, and jalapeño-ginger syrup. This is a popular new spot for drinks before a Sharks game, as well as for brunch and happy hour.

[Photo]

13. Taurinus

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167 West San Fernando Street
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 294-0110
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Skewers of meat presented table-side by passadores is the standard performance at the churrascaria. At $40 a head, the Brazilian steakhouse serves more than twelve kinds of meat from filet to chicken hearts. Be sure to enjoy the traditional Brazilian caipirinha.

[Photo]

1. The Blackbird Tavern

200 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113

With folding patio doors inviting you to outside tables, Blackbird Tavern has the feel of a California bistro with the flavors and sounds of the South. The bar features a vintage espresso maker, specialty spirits, and imported beers. Live music is featured regularly, accompanied by a drink or food special to match the performing genre.

[Photo]
200 S 1st St
San Jose, CA 95113

2. Cafe Eden

2 N 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113

Flavors of the Mediterranean can be found in downtown San Jose at Café Eden. The menu features shawerma and falafels as well as kebab platters. However, the specialty is manakeesh, a thin flat bread seasoned with thyme and olive oil.

[Photo]
2 N 1st St
San Jose, CA 95113

3. CurryPundits

30 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113

Building your own curry is the main draw here; think Chipotle meets Indian food. Friendly staff helps you customize your currito, curry taco, bowl, or Bombay Frankie with meat, curry, and chutney options. Order a mango lassi for a sweet treat to cool down your palate.

[Photo]
30 E Santa Clara St
San Jose, CA 95113

4. Da Kine Island Grill

23 N. Market Street, San Jose, CA 95113

Maybe it’s the tiki craft cocktails like a mai tai served in a pineapple, but seriously good Hawaiian vibes can be felt at Da Kine Island Grill. All the island comfort food favorites — loco moco, Spam musubi, kalua pork — are here. Craft beer from Hawaii is also available on tap.

[Photo]
23 N. Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113

5. The Farmers Union

151 W Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113

The Farmers Union is aptly named for the building it occupies, an agricultural depot from the early farming era of San Jose. A massive bar takes center stage, as do several large projection screens for sports gatherings. The menu consists of a solid sandwich board and standard modern American bar bites.

[Photo]
151 W Santa Clara St
San Jose, CA 95113

6. First to Market

399 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113

The menu at First To Market is Southern American comfort food with many of the items featuring country ham and greens. The restaurant features a full bar as well with Joe Gradillas, the co-founder of San Jose’s original craft cocktail bar, Single Barrel, serving as an owner.

[Photo]
399 S 1st St
San Jose, CA 95113

7. Ike's Love And Sandwiches

75 E Santa Clara St Ste 130, San Jose, CA 95113

The Bay Area custom sandwich shop has popped up in San Jose. Ike’s uses halal meats and fresh produce in their popular sandwiches. Pick from a huge menu of sandwich creations with names like Steve Jobs and Matt Cain or use the Ike’s app to create your own.

[Photo]
75 E Santa Clara St Ste 130
San Jose, CA 95113

8. ISO: Beers

75 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113

With the same ownership as Bobby’s Liquor in Sunnyvale, ISO Beers is a humble bottle shop with a killer beer selection that delivers a great variety of beers on tap as well as hard to find bottles.

[Photo]
75 E Santa Clara St
San Jose, CA 95113

9. Louisiana Bistro

19 North Market Street, San Jose, CA 95113

A New Orleans bistro from an owner with “N’awlins” roots, Louisiana Bistro serves po’ boys, gumbo, and other cajun specialties. A drink menu featuring Sazerac and Hurricane cocktails, both with Bourbon Street roots, completes the New Orleans vibe.

[Photo]
19 North Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113

10. Nick The Greek

143 W Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113

From the Tsigaris family, owners of Nemea Taverna and Flames Coffee shops in San Jose, this counter service Greek restaurant serves salads, gyros, and souvlaki platters. Nick The Greek stays open until 3 a.m. on weekends making it a perfect stop to end the night on San Pedro Square.

[Photo]
143 W Santa Clara St
San Jose, CA 95113

11. Paper Plane

72 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113

Not only a neighbor to Original Gravity, Paper Plane shares the same ownership as the brat and beer house. A large list of old school and experimental cocktails can be found here as well as barrel-aged cocktails and house punch creations. Accompanying drinks are a good selection of small plates.

[Photo]
72 S 1st St
San Jose, CA 95113

12. SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant

72 N. ALMADEN AVE, San Jose, CA 95110

SP2 specializes in craft cocktails, both traditional such as their Blood and Sand to the innovative Cool Spice Squared with gin, lime juice, muddled cucumber, ginger beer, and jalapeño-ginger syrup. This is a popular new spot for drinks before a Sharks game, as well as for brunch and happy hour.

[Photo]
72 N. ALMADEN AVE
San Jose, CA 95110

13. Taurinus

167 West San Fernando Street, San Jose, CA 95113

Skewers of meat presented table-side by passadores is the standard performance at the churrascaria. At $40 a head, the Brazilian steakhouse serves more than twelve kinds of meat from filet to chicken hearts. Be sure to enjoy the traditional Brazilian caipirinha.

[Photo]
167 West San Fernando Street
San Jose, CA 95113

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