Restaurant Guide

Hello and welcome! 

Costume-Con is delighted to have you at the convention, and really, we want you to take good care of yourself and eat well! My name is Chris G and I love the variety of food available in San Jose – much of it close to the hotel!

Download this list as a PDF.

Like any city of a million-ish humans, there are literally hundreds of restaurants in San Jose, and that balloons to thousands when you add in neighboring cities. No single guide could contain such multitudes, but the approach we’ve taken is this: you’re at the DoubleTree, and since I work less than a tennis ball’s throw away from the con venue, I’ve eaten at pretty much every place within a fair distance.

This list is broken up into several sections: a general guide; fast food places; options that are open late hours and those good for larger groups/nicer dining.

We have striven to include places friendly for folks who eat gluten-free, who are lactose intolerant or eat halal or keep kosher, with notes to that effect with each listing.

Restaurant and HoursComments
Aloha Fresh – Hawaiian
225 Jackson St.,
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 217-8988

M – Th: 11:00am –6:00pm
F – Su: 11:00am – 7:00pm

Delivery available through DoorDash.
Located in Japantown, this is a pretty good place to pop in for some very nice, well-seasoned fish. While everyone seems to rave about the poke bowls, specifically the build-your-own option, do not overlook their kaluah pork!

If you come on Thursday, Friday, or the weekend, you can also get some delightful mochi! The butter mochi is particularly good.
Back-A-Yard – Caribbean
457 E. San Carlos St.
San Jose, 95112
(408) 217-9443

7 Days – 11am to 8pm

Delivery available through DoorDash, GrubHub, UberEats, and other services.
This might seem out of range of the guide, but most of their business is delivery, now. The menu is amazing.  The curried goat is wonderful, and the beef oxtail deserves more words than the author of this guide has space for.
In a nice consideration, the menu is full of indications of dietary appropriateness, including vegan, gluten-free, and vegetarian dishes. Not as great for the lactose-free, though you’d be safe with any vegan dish. Kosher and Halal offerings are unknown. 
BurgerIM Gourmet – Burgers
1751 N. First St.
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 436-5180

Mon – Fri – 11am – 9pm
Sat – Sun – 12pm – 8pm
This is a small, franchised chain that has taken the gourmet burger craze of the early 2000s, and made it slightly-faster food. The burgers are delicious and just sloppy enough to let you know so! The meat is of exceptionally high quality, and the toppings really well-executed. 

The impressive thing – it’s all halal (not certain re: kosher status). There are gluten-free and lactose-free options as well! 
Chikin Drip – Chicken
1721 Old Bayshore Hwy
San Jose, CA 95112
(669) 306-6934

Sun – Thr – 5pm – 11pm
Fri – Sat – 5pm – 12 midnight

No delivery
This rather unfortunately-named place is more or less a permanent food truck with a dining area. It’s also delicious! The chicken is so tasty, the fries are excellent, and the secret sauce is wonderful. The chicken tender sliders are the highlight, but everything is tasty. 

This is a poor choice for the gluten and lactose free. The chicken is halal. 
Danbi – Korean
1092 N 1st St.,
San Jose, CA 95112
(669) 292-5595

Mon- Sat
11:00 am – 2:30 pm;
4:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Delivery available
The soups, stews, and fried chicken are exactly what you’d expect from a very good Korean restaurant, but the Meat Jun is excellent, the meat perfectly tender and the assorted sides a perfect complement. The Seafood Pancake starter is the best of its kind in the area, and there are a LOT of Korean restaurants about. 
There are some good gluten-free options, including the Chap Chae and some of the hot pots. Lots of no lactose dishes, though no word from the restaurant on halal or kosher options. A decent selection of vegetarian and a few vegan options.
Denny’s – Diner
1490 N First St,
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 292-6217

Open 24 hours

Delivery through DoorDash, GrubHub, UberEats, etc.
Easily walkable from the hotel, open around the clock, and while nothing special, it’s actually a fairly comfortable version of the place, with added partitions for extra safety in the booths. They’ve been more and more focused on delivery and pick-up recently. 

Plenty of gluten-free and lactose-free options. Kosher and halal options available, and they made suggestions when asked on a recent visit. 
Gombei – Japanese
193 Jackson St,
San Jose Ca 95112
(408) 279-4311

Tues – Sat – 11am – 1:30pm;
5:00pm – 8:00pm

No delivery
The tofu hot pot with pork is delightful, as is the udon noodles. The food is dependable, and some things are fantastic. Highly recommend the combination dinners as they give a nice multiple view of one of Japantown’s most venerable institutions. 

Good for vegans and vegetarians, a bit difficult for the gluten-free, but much easier for those avoiding milk products. The staff couldn’t answer whether or not they were kosher or halal. 
Hangar Bar and Grill – American fare

1471 N 4th St,
San Jose, CA 95112 (in the Four Points by Sheraton)
(408) 452-0200

Daily- 6am – 11am, 5pm – 10pm

Offers delivery
A better-than-average hotel restaurant, the breakfast is a good option, if somewhat pricey. The Benedict is a very nice breakfast offering. The restaurant is clean and contemporary, and the burgers and salads are pretty good, too. 
The staff is pretty nice, and since they’re in a hotel, they’ll make sure you have the necessary information to ensure you get gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian food. On a recent visit, they indicated their burger offerings are kosher if you skip the cheese and bacon.
House of Genji – Japanese
1335 N 1st St,
San Jose, CA 95112

Mon – Thurs – 5:00pm – 08:30pm
Friday – 5:00pm – 09:00pm
Saturday – 4:30pm – 09:00pm

Delivery not available
A classy teppanyaki joint. They don’t require a jacket, and they accept (and for weekends recommend) reservations.

The surroundings are nice, the place fun and sometimes loud, but the food is brilliantly conceived. The steak is usually perfectly prepared, even on the busiest nights. The sushi rolls are nice as well. The Philly Roll is a highlight. 

Not the best for vegans or vegetarians, nor those who are gluten-free, but a safe bet for those avoiding milk. 
Hukilau – Hawaiian
230 Jackson Street,
San Jose , CA 95112
(408) 279-4888

Sun – Thurs – 11:00am – 2:00pm,
Fri – Sat – 11:00am – 2:00pm

Sun – Thurs – 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Fri – Sat 5:00pm – 9pm

Delivery available.
This is a kinda tiki/surfer place, and one that’s a lot of fun to eat-in, and the kaluah pork is really good.

The Clam Ramen is one of the few versions of the dish you’ll find in Silicon Valley, and it’s just dang good!

“Big Island Candies” Macadamia Nut Brownie Sundae might be the best dessert in Japantown.

There are options for the gluten-free, including the Kalua Pork, or so the staff informed me on my last visit. Not a lot for the vegans or vegetarians. 
Ike’s Love & Sandwiches
90 Skyport Dr.
San Jose, CA 95110
(408) 638-7015

Daily – 10am – 8pm

Delivery is available
Ike’s is a chain of delightful sandwich shops. The sandwiches are a reasonable size, and a reasonable value for the money. The Dirty Sauce is pretty dang good, and it goes well on almost every sandwich they have. 

Big plus – they know the dietary restricted audience, and they’ve got them covered! Whether it’s gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, lactose-intolerance, halal or kosher food you’ll be needing, let ‘em know and they’ll tell you exactly what they can do for ya!
iSlice Pizza
1751 N First St #20,
San jose, CA 95112

Mon-Sat – 11 am to 10 pm​
Sunday – 11 am to 9 pm

Offers delivery
If you’ve got a love of New York Pizza (also known as ‘that pizza-like thing they eat in New York’ in and around Chicago) iSlice is a good place to grab a slice or an entire pie. The best thing on the menu? Calzone. They’re Just flat-out great! The Pep Calzone, filled with bacon, banana peppers, jalapeno, and pepperoni just swims with incredible flavors!

They do gluten-free, have non-dairy cheeses, and have vegan and vegetarian options, though they note that everything is cooked in the same pizza oven.
Jackie’s Place – BBQ
840 North 1st St.,
San Jose, CA 95112

Thursday – Saturday – 11am – 9pm
Sunday – 11am – 7pm

No delivery option
Jackie’s is a great place for indoor or outdoor dining. The food is hearty. The BBQ is excellent, and you won’t find a better fried fish here in San Jose. The 2 meat combo is a good way to get a wider sample, and the sauces are so good, they sell them in 8oz containers if you wanna have some to keep around. If you fancy a tipple, Unc’s Old Fashioned is a fantastic cocktail. 

There are a couple of marked Vegetarian and Vegan options, though only fries for the Vegans. Not a lot for the gluten-free, though. 
Jade Cathay – Cantonese
1339 N. First Street,
San Jose, CA 95112 US

(408) 392-9388

Tue. – Fri.: 11:00 am – 2:30 pm
Sat. – 10:00 am – 2:30 pm
Sun: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Tue. – Fri: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Sat: 5PM – 8:00pm
Sun. 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

No delivery
Over the last decade, Jade Cathay has garnered an appreciative audience for their take on Cantonese. An expansive dim sum menu, coupled with the best Walnut Prawns in the area make it a place worth the visit. It’s sometimes crowded, often noisy, and while you can rack up a sizeable bill ordering the small plates, the set meals are a good value, and mighty tasty. 

This is a place that can certainly work for vegetarians and vegans. The staff wasn’t sure about gluten-free on my last visit, so you may want to practice caution. 
Kaita – Japanese
215 Jackson Street,
San Jose, CA 95130

Tue – Thurs  – 11:30am – 2:00pm
Fri & Sat – 11:30am – 2:00pm

Tue – Thurs – 5:00pm – 8;30pm
Fri & Sat 5:00pm – 9:00pm

No delivery option. 
This is a tale of two restaurants that happen to be one restaurant. The lunch at Kaita is wonderful, one of the best in all of Japantown. The Bento, in particular, can be amazing, and the Udon and the sushi combos are delightful. Dinner is good, but nearly the stand-out against other places on Jackson Street that the lunch menu is. Still, you’ll find very good food, and the crowds that hit on Friday and Saturday nights aren’t as bad as you’d think at first glance. 

Gluten-free is difficult (I was advised that the sushi can be done with gluten-free paper), but lactose-free and tree-nut free are both easily managed, as my last table of four there proved!
Kusan Uyghur – Uyghur
1515 N 4th St,
San Jose CA 95112

Ph: (855) –MY-KUSAN

Daily – 11am-2:30pm, 5pm – 9pm

No delivery option
If you’ve never had Uyghur food, do yourself a favor and try it. It’s a delightful half-way point between Middle-Eastern and Indian cuisines and makes good use of lamb, eggplant, tofu, peppers, and naan. T

he Polo, a fantastic rice dish, is an absolute delight, as is the Laghman. They have combos that are excellent introductions to the food. If you’ve never had an apricot samsa, you’re missing out!

Kusan does a couple of special combinations, including one for Vegetarians and a gluten-free combo. They’re halal, and they are fairly well-aware of all the food allergies we’ve brought to them!
La Victoria – Mexican
1415 N 4th St,
San Jose, CA
(408) 320-1595

Daily – 7am – 10:40pm

Delivery available 
If you grew up in San Jose, or went to San Jose State, or hung around with the South First theatre crowd, or were a regular at any of the clubs that closed at midnight, you inevitably enjoyed La Victoria more than once. It’s a local favorite, and for good reason… well, one good reason: orange sauce. A deliciously spicy and tangy sauce, it’s the single best sauce of its kind at any restaurant in San Jose, and it sets off the burritos, tacos, and quesadillas with a warm glowing warming glow. 

It’s good for the gluten-free, less good for those who can’t do dairy, though you can get a few good vegan and vegetarian options. 
LeYou – Ethiopian
1100 N. First St.
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 320-2620

Mon – Sat: 11:30am – 2:30pm
Sun: 11am – 2:30pm

Mon – Sat 5:30p-9p
Sun: 5:30p-9p

No delivery option
There are several good Ethiopian restaurants in San Jose and throughout the Bay Area, and LeYou happens to be the closest! Good thing it’s delicious with one of the best Alicha Wot (carmelized onion sauce) you’re gonna find.The injera is the backbone of the meal, and theirs is particularly nice.

They’re a good choice for just about everyone! Gluten free folks can get the teff injera and several other dishes, and there are a boat-load of vegan and vegetarian options as well.
Mi Quang Co Thao – Vietnamese
1560 N 4th St.,
San Jose, CA (408) 216-9035

Mon – Sat: 10am – 8pm

Delivery available
You’re on Fourth street, and there’s a business park to your right. In it, there’s a restaurant; the sign reads ‘Mi Quang Co Thao’ in a flowing script.You should park and then enter, because the comfortable modern surroundings play perfectly with the exceptionally good Vietnamese food they serve. The Pho is excellent, but the Turmeric Noodles are an incredible eating experience not to be missed.
A good choice for just about every dietary restriction, the staff is used to questions and has never been stumped as often as I’ve been taking people there.
Okayama Sushi – Sushi
565 N 6TH ST,
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 289-9508

Mon – Thurs: 10:30am – 10pm
Fri – Sat: 10:30am – 10:30pm
Sunday: 10:30am – 9pm

No delivery option
The sushi here is not only very good, but it’s influential.They were one of the first local places to do salad with bean cake and the Lobster Special Roll was one of the first cult rolls locally. They’re got a series of StarWars-themed rolls that are actually really tasty. The C-3PO roll is a work of genius.

The service can be a little rough, and they do find themselves slammed at the peak hours in the evening and at lunch, but the food’s good enough to put up with it!

A number of vegan and vegetarian options, though the gluten-free and those who keep kosher will have a harder time.
Omogari – Korean
154 Jackson St.,
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 288-8134

Mon – Fri: 11:30am – 3pm,

Mon – Fri: 5pm – 9pm
Sat: 11:30am – 9pm

Delivery available
Omogari has been around for more than a decade, and it’s because it’s food is just so good! The pan-fried mackerel is good enough to get me to eat mackerel! The Kalguksu is delightful, especially with the seafood.The most fun thing on the menu is the Flaming Chicken Fondue, which is corn, mozzarella cheese, chicken and human benevolence all on one hot place! It’s delightful.

The one drawback is the staff can be hit or miss on identifying dietary limitations, but if those aren’t a problem, it’s worth it.
The Nest – Asian Fusion
312 South 3rd Street,
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 882-3969

Weds – Mon: 11am – 8pm

No delivery option
Banh Mi here is really good, and they even have a flight which gives you the best of the best. The garlic noodles are tasty, and the texture is as good as you’ll find anywhere, but it’s the bulgogi fries that will get ya. While you’ll find carne asada fries all over San Jose, these have a special place in the pantheon of San Jose food stuff! Magnificent!

They’re helpful if you mention dietary restrictions, though gluten-free
Pho Bel Air – Vietnamese
1751 N 1st St Ste 60
San Jose, CA 95112

(408) 452-1060

Mon – Fri: 9am – 11pm
Sat: 11am – 10pm
Sun: 11am – 9pm

Delivery available through DoorDash, UberEats, GrubHub, etc.
If you come to San Jose and you don’t get a bowl of pho, did you really visit? It’s delightful stuff, the warm broth is great, and Bel Air’s got great, slightly chewy noodles that fill you up good! The rolls are also good, especially the grilled pork spring rolls.

The staff isn’t always helpful with dietary needs, though there are vegetarian options.
The Province – Asian fusion
1788 N 1st St Ste 10,
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 796-1699

Sun and Mon: 11am to 10pm
Tues – Thurs: 11am to 11pm
Fri & Sat: 11am to 1am 

No delivery option
This is a fancy-schmancy place inside one of San Jose’s new casinos. It’s a lovely dining room, with a contemporary design that’s very comfortable. The menu is kinda all over the place, with Singapore Curry, Shaking Beef, and Banh Mi alongside Philly Cheese Steak, Steak Frites, and street tacos. The Viet Beef Stew is easily the best thing on the menu. It’s very filling and it’s a bargain at less than 15 bucks.

They have vegetarian options, and the staff was helpful in finding and adapting a couple of dishes for the gluten-free folks in the party that visited a while back.
Sam & Curry – Indian
1751 N 1st Street #40
San Jose, CA 95112
(669) 242-7956

Mon-Sat: 11am – 8pm
Sun: 11am to 7pm 

Delivery is available.
OK, stay with me here – imagine what would have come about if a Chipotle and a half-decent Indian restaurant had a baby. You don’t need to imagine; it’s Sam & Curry. The idea is simple – you choose either salad, rice bowl, or Roti tacos (which are delicious, if a touch structurally unsound) and then the filling (the Lamb Curry is fantastic!) and then other toppings, like delicious Chili Lime Corn. It’s different, and it’s not fine dining, but man, it’s filling, and a great way to get that Indian fix in a hurry!

There are dairy-free options, though most of the currys do contain dairy, but there are no cashews or other nuts in anything.The chicken, beef, and lamb are all halal. Gluten-free options are fairly limited.
Smoking Pig – BBQ
1144 N. 4th St.
San Jose, CA 95112

530 Newhall Drive,
San Jose, CA 95110

Delivery available
The Hotel is equidistant from two of these wonderful BBQ joints, and they’re both very good. The Brisket in its many guises is very good, and you can’t go wrong with the ribs, either. Their sauce selection is top-notch too. The real thing to get, though, is the Wolf Turds. Yes, they’re actually called that, but they are actually jalapenos stuffed with sausage and cheese and wrapped in bacon. It’s quite tasty.
The staff is very helpful, and if you’ve got a dietary need, they’ll help hook ya up!
Sushi Kan – Japanese
1305 N. First St.
San Jose, 95112
(408) 453 1070

Mon – Thurs: 11:30am – 2pm
Fri: 11:30am – 2pm

Mon – Thurs 5pm – 9pm
Fri & Sat 5pm – 11pm

Delivery is available
This sometimes overlooked gem of a sushi place is really good. The rolls are creative, but not overly showy. The place can be quite loud at times, but it’s got a great feeling, especially if you eat at the counter or the bar.

They have soy paper for the sushi as an option, and gluten-free soy sauce on request, though there’s a lot of regular soy sauce in everything, so you’re best off letting the staff know you’re gluten-free. There are some nice vegan options, too!
Togo’s – Sandwiches
900 N. First Street,
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 287-4570

Mon – Fri: 9:30am – 9pm
Sat: 10am – 8pm
Sun: 10am – 4pm 

Delivery is available through GrubHub
Togo’s is San Jose’s favorite sandwich shop. This chain is everywhere ‘round these parts, and the franchise started right smack in the middle of Downtown. The sandwiches are dependable, and the folks making them at this location are friendly as all get out! The regular roll has that slight chewy texture that really helps draw you in for the pastrami or roast beef, or really, just about anything!

There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, and dairy-free isn’t hard either. Gluten-free is a slight bit trickier, but they have salads that work (ask them to hold the croutons), and you can get a gluten-free wrap instead of the rolls. No word on kosher or halal options.


A Selection of Fast Food
No, this is not every fast-food joint within a few miles, but it’s a collection of close ones that are known to be open, since so many have shuttered, or significantly cut-back hours.
Burger King
2170 Monterey Rd, San Jose, CA 95112 1181 Old Oakland Rd, San Jose, CA 95112
Carl’s Jr.
655 Coleman Ave, San Jose, CA 95110
El Pollo Loco
665 Coleman Ave, San Jose, CA 95110
Fosters Freeze
698 N 4th St, San Jose, CA 95112
In n Out Burger
550 Newhall Dr, San Jose, CA 95110
3001 Mission College Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95054
Jack in the Box
148 E San Carlos St, San Jose, CA 95112 1558 W San Carlos St, San Jose, CA 95126
Jamba Juice
695 Coleman Ave Ste. 10, San Jose, CA 95110
1702 Old Oakland Rd, San Jose, CA 95131 1451 Coleman Ave, Santa Clara, CA 95050
Panda Express
567 Coleman Ave, San Jose, CA 95110
43 S First St, San Jose, CA 95113
43 S First St, San Jose, CA 95113
Taco Bell
2284 Monterey Rd, San Jose, CA 95112 19 Market St, San Jose, CA 95113
782 S Bascom Ave, San Jose, CA 95128 990 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA 95129
702 N 4th St, San Jose, CA 95112 935 S First St, San Jose, CA 95110
You and Your Friends
Nothing like a group convention meal! While not every restaurant can deal with groups well, we’re lucky in that several in the nearby are able to not only handle groups, but don’t mind
doing so! These go further out from the hotel, but they’re worth the trip if you got a bunch of y’all!
Élyse Restaurant – French-Vietnamese Fusion 151 S Second St, San Jose, CA 95113
Encanto – Columbian
2988 Almaden Expressway, San Jose, CA 95125
Fogo de Chao – Brazilian BBQ
377 Santana Row #1090. San Jose, CA 95128
Gombei – Japanese
193 Jackson St, San Jose, CA 95112
Hao Hao Pho – Vietnamese
460 E William St, San Jose, CA 95112
Pacific Catch – Seafood
3315 Coronado Pl, Santa Clara, CA 95054
Petiscos – Portugeuse
399 S 1st St. San Jose, CA 95113
Pho Bel Air – Vietnamese
1751 N 1st St. Ste 60. San Jose, CA 95112
Hukilau – Hawaiian
230 Jackson Street, San Jose , CA 95112
House of Genji – Japanese
1335 N 1st St, San Jose, CA 95112
IslandTaste – Caribbean
225 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95112
Vito’s Trattoria – Italian
90 Skyport Drive, San Jose, CA 95110
Hunan Taste – Chinese
998 N 4th St. San Jose, CA 95112

Open Late
Sadly, a lot of this part of San Jose rolls up the carpet and heads to bed fairly early, but there are a few options not too far off if you’re looking for a late-night nosh.
open 24 hours
1390 S. First St., San Jose, CA, 95110
2077 N. First St. San Jose, CA, 95131
Kenji Sushi – Sushi
Open ‘til Midnight
385 S.Winchester Blvd. San Jose, CA 95128
Izakaya– Japanese
Open ‘til 11:30pm
1335 N. First Street, San Jose, CA 95112
La Victoria – Mexican
Open ‘til 3am
140 E. San Carlos St. San Jose, CA 95112
Nick the Greek – Greek
Open ‘til 3am 143 Santa Clara, St. San Jose, CA 95113
Paper Plane – New American
Open ‘til 2am Thursday, Friday, Saturday
72 S First street, San Jose, CA 95113
Pho Mai – Vietnamese
Open ‘til 2am
3074 Landess Ave. San Jose, CA 95132