Restaurant Guide Introduction

San José might not have the international culinary reputation of its near neighbor, San Francisco, but it is by no means devoid of good places to eat. There are plenty of Silicon Valley employees in need of good places to go out to dinner, and they tend to have cosmopolitan tastes. Some of them are also very rich. In addition the Valley imports the brightest and best programmers from around the world, and they all bring their local cuisines with them.

This Guide will concentrate primarily on San José, and primarily on places within easy walking distance of the convention. Restaurants further away will be included if they are particularly interesting or particularly good.

The Guide is organized primarily by cuisine. We have included not just the popular places, but also places where you can get a decent meal for a decent price.


Each location is rated for cost and quality. Our rating systems are as follows:


*– Nothing special, but not awful either.
* * — Tasty, maybe only one really good thing on the menu or maybe the service isn’t what it could be.
* * * — Tastier, probably better service, dependable. The kind of place you might fall in love with over time, if you had it.
* * * * — Delicious and wonderful. The kind of place you’ll want to come back for after the convention is over.


$ — easy on the pocketbook
$$ — inexpensive enough
$$$ — enjoy the caviar and champagne – you’ve earned it $$$$ — take out a mortgage before going

Other Ratings

V — Has a choice of vegetarian options on the menu
VV — Has a choice of vegan options on the menu
VVV — Meat eaters should avoid this one

R — reservation recommended (many restaurants offer online reservations – check their web sites)

A? — California is very strict about accessibility, but some restaurants still present challenges to people with mobility problems because they are in old buildings or get very crowded. This symbol indicates that we think the establishment is not as accessible as you might want.


These are walking directions to the establishment from the Fairmont Hotel. There are exits to both South First Street and Market, as well as onto Paseo de San Antonio, a walking plaza that runs for several blocks. All of these paths are used as starting points for directions. For locations more than a mile away, we’ve simply included distance for driving.

San Pedro Square

If you are one of those people who has trouble making up your mind, your best bet is to wander down to San Pedro Square. This small neighborhood lists 18 different restaurants on their web site, with a wide range of cuisines and price levels.


To help you make up your mind where to eat we have also included comments from our brave testers who have selflessly been eating their way around the city to help in the creation of this Guide. Anything that begins “XXX says” is a personal opinion given by one of our testers. Those responsible are: Chris Garcia, Neil Hopkins, Linda McAllister, Cheryl Morgan, Julie K. Rose, Spring Schoenhuth, Kevin Standlee, and Rina Weisman.

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