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Where to EAT in Downtown San Jose?

Posted by on September 10, 2014

Disclosure: I was invited out to San Jose to experience all that the city has to offer via a Media Fam Trip.  All Opinions and Stories are my own.  

They often say that food is what brings people together.  And in the mecca of Downtown San Jose, this area alone, is not hurting for fine eating establishments.  Although I was only there for a brief few days I was introduced to a wealth of places to grab a bite before a show, for a nice dinner out, or for a GREAT big celebration.  This helps answer the question of “Where to Eat in Downtown San Jose?”

Here’s the low down:

San Pedro Market Square:


If you’re ever planning an outing with a huge group of friends, and a lot of the friends have differing opinions of food? Meet the San Pedro Square Market, pretty much, this two building food court has a plethora of local food establishments to choose from.  From sushi to ice cream to sweet treats to tacos and wood fired pizzas to even bar establishments.  And yes, even a wine bar for the wine lover.  A fun place to gather, chat, and eat amongst yourselves before enjoying the rest of the evening in Downtown San Jose.  Also makes for a GREAT lunch spot.

I mean, just check out this pizza:


Loft Bar & Bistro:

Often found to be a local’s favorite, the Loft Bar & Bistro has an interesting theme going on with their recipes, all dedicated to Capers so if you’re not a fan, this just might not be the restaurant for you.  Our evening out here we were greeted by a round of appetizers when we first walked in:

loft-bar-and-bistroBe sure to try a few of their signature cocktails.  I had the lychee Martini myself, and was very happy with the results.

Loft-Bar-SteakOne of the Main Entrees at Loft Bar and Bistro: Braised Lamb Shanks

Blackbird Tavern:

Another really unique establishment within Downtown San Jose is The Blackbird Tavern.  Owners grew up in the music genre, and decided to open a restaurant in the heart of Downtown San Jose where their creative vision of food and music collide.

In one spectrum is the Blackbird Tavern serving lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday, and dinner on Saturdays where they create specialized food menus around music events happening at The Blackbird.  In the other, live music performances happen over at their new venue, “The Blackbird Annex,” where their vision of food and music truly come alive.

During the San Jose Jazz Summerfest, they cultivated a complete menu around New Orleans food and jazz for the entire weekend offering up classics like Steak Chili Fries, Dirty Couscous and crawfish, Pilsner Clams, and of course their classic salads and charcuterie plates.

blackbird-tavern-dessertBut a total favorite amongst the group were the desserts.  From Chocolate Pudding to Pound Cake covered in peaches and cream to the BEST Root Beer Float ever with ice cream from a local San Jose company.

Arcadia Steakhouse:

If there was one restaurant I would recommend before an evening out on the town, this would be the one.  Every meal done with perfect detail from the appetizers to the entrees to the desserts.

The Arcadia Steakhouse, in accordance with Marriott Hotels, has something truly special happening with head Chef Michael Mina at the helm of design and innovation.  Michael Mina brought in Executive Chef de Cuisine Evan Perlick to keep the San Jose Arcadia Steakhouse running smoothly, and let me tell you, has become a new favorite.

A few favorites of the evening included:


Lobster Corn Dogs:  (whole grain mustard creme fraiche, fennel salad.

(This appetizer was pure brilliance, and a nice surprise to start off the evening!)

Ahi Tuna Poppers (sushi rice cake, sriracha, wasabi tobiko)

Duck Spring Rolls (lettuce wraps, spicy ginger dipping sauce)

What’s great about Arcadia Steakhouse is that there are two private rooms that can be reserved so if you’re wanting a more intimate dinner party you’re able to have the peace and quiet to enjoy each others company:

Arcadia-Wine-RoomOur fun group the evening we dined at Arcadia Steakhouse

And then dinner began.  We started out with a few salads to try:


The Arcadia Salad (candied walnuts, blue cheese, mixed in with summer peaches.)

Heirloom-Tomato-SaladThe Heirloom Tomato Salad

This salad was a favorite around the table filled with burrata cheese, compressed melons and aged balsamic amongst the tomatoes.

And then we were on to the entrees:


The Organic Chicken Breast served with Onion Rings and Truffle Mac n Cheese.  And trust me, because of the mac n cheese, this is exactly why I ordered this dish.  The three ingredients combined together worked well together.


And then, of course, dessert.  Creme Brulee coming in Vanilla, Chocolate, and Caramel.


And their version of Beignets with a Macallan Caramel Custard.

This Michael Mina restaurant does not disappoint, and I’m still dreaming about this meal today.

And to add to the fun, the San Jose Marriott has recently added in the “Headliner” package making it a great hotel to choose to stay at during an evening out on the town especially with acts such as Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, and Cher scheduled to perform at the nearby SAP Center this year.

Starting at $189 plus tax and gratuity, the Headliner package features:

  • A luxurious one-night-stay.

  • Star-studded Snacks – welcome amenity of treats favored by today’s top entertainers

  • Breakfast in bed or in Michael Mina’s acclaimed Arcadia.

  • Valet parking.

  • Complimentary WiFi.

    Guests of the San Jose Marriott can travel at the speed of light rail to the SAP Center with the train stop located next to the hotel.

    For reservations, please visit or call 1-800-228-9290 and mention promotional code ARN.  The “Headliner” package is available now through January 2015






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