Complete guide to visiting downtown San Jose during the week of Super Bowl 50

Even though Super Bowl 50 is hosted by the San Francisco 49ers, America’s Biggest Game, will be held in Santa Clara, a neighboring city to Northern California’s largest city, San Jose. So if you find your way to downtown San Jose, where the NCF champion Carolina Panthers will be staying all week at the Marriot Hotel, then here are some choices of places to eat, places to drink, places to visit, and events.

Continue to check this page it will be updated throughout the week.(Last updated 02/02/16)

16 can’t miss choices for restaurants in downtown San Jose:

Freshly Baked Eatery 152 North 3rd Street:

Sandwiches made with sour dough bread straight out of the oven. Cash only, business hours only.

Konjoe Burger Bar at San Pedro Square Market 100 North Almaden Avenue Suite 180:

Best burgers in downtown, add the fried egg on top

Sa By Thai 404 South Second Street:

Order the “Duck Curry,” medium spicy and really good.

The Loft Bar and Bistro 90 South Second Street:

Something for everyone here, order the “Lamb Penne.” There is also a second floor terrace for outdoor eating and drinking

Cafe Eden 2 North First Street:

Fresh Mediterranean, great vegetarian options including falafel, the “Shawarma Beef” is excellent.

Angelou’s Mexican Grill 21 North Second Street:

In a competitive burrito market, this place is the best, order the al pastor or carnitas. Open to 3am on weekends. Serves breakfast.

SP2 72 North Almaden Avenue:

Great communal table restaurant, with a large patio, a great bar, and a seasonal selection on the menu. Brunch on weekends. Order the “Ginger soy glazed rack of baby back ribs” for lunch or dinner.

Scott’s Seafood 185 Park Avenue:

Have lunch or dinner with a view from the 6th floor. Great outdoor terrace that overlooks Plaza de Cesar Chavez. Great seafood and fish options.

Pizza Boca Lupo 87 North San Pedro Street:

Best pizza in downtown. Thin crust Neapolitan style, order the “Pesto pizza.”

Kubota Restaurant and Bar 593 North 5th Street:

Only a 2o minute walk, 5 minute Uber or light rail ride to Japantown. Great menu choices from sushi to terryaki chicken.

Bakery Mexico No. 2 87 East Santa Clara Street:

Come here for one thing, tortas almost the size of football. Order the “Hawaiiana Combinada Cubana.”

Back-A-Yard 80 North Market Street:

Caribbean and American cuisine. Medium spicy, everything is good here, but go with the “Curry goat special” if there on a Thursday-Saturday.

Com Ga Nam An 348 East Santa Clara Street:

San Jose has the largest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam, order the Pho noodle soup, highest rated Pho place in downtown,

Good Karma Artisan Ales and Cafe 37 South First Street:

Vegan only, but a highly recommended. They also offer a wide variety of craft beer, with an emphasis on Belgian beers

Mezcal Mexican Bar and Grill 25 West San Fernando Street:

Family owned and operated Oaxacan menu, authentic mole, and for the adventurous order the “Chapulines(grasshoppers).” Enclosed outdoor terrace, the bar carries a wide variety of tequilas as well.

Paesano Ristorante Italiano 350 West Julian Street:

Great Italian(Sicilian focused) restaurant in Little Italy, with lots of pasta and entree choices, order the “Mozerella in manrinara” appetizer.

 

Worth the drive:

La Costa 1805 Alum Rock Avenue:

Best fish tacos in San Jose.

Smoking Pig BBQ 1144 North 4th Street:

All the different meats here are good, must order the “Wolf Turds”: jalapeno stuffed with cheese and sausage, wrapped in bacon.

Bertucelli’s La Villa 1319 Lincoln Avenue:

Traditional Italian deli with hot and cold foods and deli sandwiches. Order the “Chris Combo” or the “Death Sandwhich:” Half a loaf of garlic bread with baseball sized meatballs.

 

California craft beer choices:

ISO Beers * 75 East Santa Clara Street #120:

Great rotating tap and bottle options, has a large outdoor patio area, no food options, but allows outside food

Original Gravity Public House * 66 South First Street:

Great rotating tap and bottle options, lots of local California beers, full food menu of sausages, fries and poutine. Small outside patio.

Market Beer Company * 100 North Almaden Avenue

Within the San Pedro Square Market, half a dozen rotating taps, mostly sharing bottle sizes. Bottles and glasses can be taken anywhere within market property.

The Farmer’s Union * 151 West Santa Clara Street:

Full restaurant with 25+ rotating taps.

Mission Creek Brewing Company at Whole Foods * 777 The Alameda:

Brewery taproom on the second floor terrace at the Whole Foods. Can order hot food, and small bites from the store’s freshly made section. If you buy beer or wine inside the store, you can bring it up to the terrace to enjoy.

SmokeEaters * 29 South Third Street:

Featured on Man Vs. Food, and known for hot wings, they also have a large selection of craft beers

O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub * 25 North San Pedro Street:

54 taps of craft beer and cider, and a list of pub food favorites, outdoor seating available along San Pedro Street

 

Craft cocktails:

The Fountainhead Bar inside the SoFA Market * 387 South First Street:

In the back of the SoFA Market, architecturally inspired seasonal cocktails, from a selection of small batch spirits and locally grown organic produce

55 South * 55 South First Street:

Craft cocktail bar and lounge with guest DJ’s.

Paper Plane 72 South First Street:

Bourbon and whiskey bar with food options. They provide a cocktail map to help make choosing a drink simple. Good mix of traditional and new school drinks.

Haberdasher(Formerly Single Barrel) 43 West San Salvador Street:

Located in the basement of an old building, this is the bar that started the craft cocktail scene in San Jose. Still focused on hand crafted cocktails.

The Continental Bar * 349 South First Street:

A newcomer to the craft cocktail scene, great atmosphere with a roll up door to the sidewalk, and a outdoor terrace with a firepit in the back.

 

Live music:

Check out Live and Local  calendar

 

Caffeination:

Philz Coffee 118 Paseo de San Antionio:

Individual hand poured drip coffee. Order the “Mint Mojito.” Skip the line with the Order Ahead app.

B2 Coffee 87 North San Pedro Street:

Inside the San Pedro Square Market, individual hand crafted espresso drinks and coffee. Order the cold brew. Large garage and outdoor seating available adjacent the coffee bar.

Voltaire Coffee House 360 South Market Street #80:

Hand crafted espresso drinks, across from the Convention Center and Marriott Hotel.

Caffe Frascati 315 South First Street:

Locals coffee shop with a large menu of coffee and tea choices. They also serve beer and small breakfast and lunch items. Live music, comedy, or other events weekly. Curbside area to sit in front of the cafe.

 

* Great place to watch the Super Bowl, call ahead and check if they are open to the public on game day.

 

Events:

Monday, February 1st

 

Tuesday, February 2nd

 

Wednesday, February 3rd

The Wizard of Oz 7:30pm

Thursday, February 4th

Madden 16 The Big Game Tournament 7pm

Norm Macdonald at the San Jose Improv 8pm

Friday, February 5th

South First Friday’s Winter Market 7-11pm

Saturday, February 6th

Kevin Hart LOL Presents Comedy Slam 8pm

Sunday, February 7th Game Day!

Super Guadalupe River Run 2016 9am

Ongoing: February 1st-7th

Winter at Plaza de Cesar Chavez:

Right in the middle of downtown, The Plaza is activated with LED lights, a light sculpture, firepits, ping pong tables, chairs, a beer garden, food trucks, hammocks and a music stage.

Downtown Ice:

Skate under the Circle of Palms, with accompanying LED lights and music.

Super San Pedro Square:

San Pedro Street will be shut down to traffic, for a football field, games, chalk art, sumo wrestler suits, and more.

 

Getting around:

Walking: The interactive map of Downtown San Jose

Biking: Bay Area Bikeshare

Public transportation: Caltrain(To and from SF), light rail, and busses

Ridesharing: Uber and Lyft

Taxis: (408) 777-7777

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6 thoughts on “Complete guide to visiting downtown San Jose during the week of Super Bowl 50

  • Matt

    Saying that Winter at Plaza de Cesar Chavez has a beer garden should be false advertising. I was so, so disappointed yesterday. Why isn’t there even heat lamps at the tables, and only one beer on draft?
    Has anyone been to a successful beer garden before? I don’t want anyone to go to SJ in rush hour looking for a beer garden.

    • This is a temporary activation of the park. Just having beer available in a city park, is a big step for the city. Once the Super Bowl leaves, the regulations on which beer is served changes. I imagine that future “beer garden” iterations will have locally crafted beer available.

  • No shout out to any of the local breweries?

  • Mark, I thought about this last night post Super Bowl where do people go when waiting for the Sharks Game to start at 7:30. Equally, you forgot all the great nonprofit events and Kartma coffee right there at Santa Clara and Market the helps homeless get off the street.
    What about the Museum of Art / The Tech for tours…I tried to “hang out” downtown last night without eating or drinking my choices was watching a movie, going to the library or walking around Walgreens and Ross aimlessly. The Park was great but the kids skateboarding was the only activity that was there before and after the Super Bowl they even turned off the laser lights 🙁
    Hopefully, Cinequest will bring in the missing million people that was suppose to be here for SB50 because even when I went to look for SP2 in San Pedro Square I walked right passed it without any real “need” to go in.

  • Great Guide for businesses in San Jose, CA

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