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Ozumo on Santana Row is just one primo option for taking in all that the San Jose mall has to offer.
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Where to Eat Around Valley Fair and Santana Row

A vetted guide to the best restaurants at this Silicon Valley retail destination

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Ozumo on Santana Row is just one primo option for taking in all that the San Jose mall has to offer.
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San Jose is home to more than its fair share of decadent and destination-worthy food. It’s the biggest city in Northern California, by size and population, and boasts mega-popular Korean barbecue, Vietnamese bánh tét, and much, much more. Santana Row is an apt microcosm of that landscape. You can sip tequila in an outdoor garden while watching the Sharks take home a win, chomp into a premium rib-eye, or work through a flight of super flaky croissants. Head across the street to the Westfield Valley Fair Mall for some of that Korean barbecue, luxurious glasses of wine, and blockbuster soup dumplings. These 15 restaurants, bars, and cafes are just a slice of what this walkable mall district offers South Bay diners and visitors.

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Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐

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Much has been made of this luxe global dim sum chain. The experience, and the lovable xiao long bao, often live up to the reputation. Even the Bay’s own superstar chef Martin Yan hails Din Tai Fung for putting clout on pan-fried dumplings and har gow; $1 dumplings from a hole-in-the-wall restaurant these are not, but the restaurant makes up for it with high-quality flavors.

Din Tai Fung in Santa Clara. Din Tai Fung

Italian food and drink emporium Eataly finally came to the Bay Area in spring 2022, making the 45,000-square-foot, three-floor marketplace and restaurant center the ninth location for the Turin-founded business. Come here for rare cheeses, a library of wine, and even cooking classes. Plus, there’s a rooftop restaurant for those looking to take in that South Bay sun with a glass of Nebbiolo.

Eataly Silicon Valley

Baekjeong

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After making hay of Los Angeles’s Korean barbecue scene, the tremendously popular restaurant opened in the Bay Area in summer 2023. Believe the hype: Getting a table at this restaurant is not for the faint of heart, and knowing what to order in advance is smart. In general, fans love the high-caliber cuts of meat, the sheer joy of preparing meat at the table, and the often cacophonous party vibe.

A bowl of stew. Wonho Frank Lee

Stores have come and gone from the street, but Cocola is one of the originals. This iconic French-style patisserie at the heart of the Row has been a faithful standby over the years. It’s the perfect way to indulge in a little decadence, whether it be a mocha and macaron or a chai and cheesecake. Finding it is relatively easy. Keep an out for the storefront with the dapper couple painted across the entrance. A 19th-century woman in a puff-sleeved gown and a mustachioed young gentleman flank the doorway as if inviting guests into their tea-time ritual.

A tower of multicolored macarons. Cocola

Pizza Antica

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Does anything say “comfort food” quite like a hot cheesy slice? Pizza Antica’s Italian-style thin-crust pies and wood-fired oven match their mission to embody the classic Roman pizzeria. You don’t need a discerning palate to taste the quality. Partnering with local farmers, ranchers, meat curers, cheese producers, and bakers, the local ingredients earn the restaurant a wholesome rustic flavor. As for toppings, try the heirloom potato pizza or the spicy fennel sausage, though they’ve got all the classic standbys, too. And if you don’t mind getting cozy with your carbs, go ahead and order a side of spaghettini or gnocchi while you’re there.

Two hands holding a margherita pizza Pizza Antica

Straits Restaurant

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If you’re craving Southeast Asian fusion make a beeline for Straits. To achieve intricate flavor profiles, this modern Singaporean establishment combines elements of Malaysian, Indonesian, Chinese, Nonya, and Indian cuisine. The house favorite is the roti prata, a traditional Indian flatbread crowned with scallions and served with a mouth-watering yellow coconut curry dip. But there are plenty of noteworthy options on the menu. Make sure to load up on spicy basil chicken, curried vegetables, and lemongrass beef. The lychee martinis are also a must. Heads up: Straits opens its dance floor and notches up its music in the evenings. So if you’re hoping for a lowkey kind of meal, stop by for lunch instead.

A whole lobster on ice with lemon and sauces. http://www.straitsrestaurants.com/

Ozumo Santana Row

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Travelers and locals find their way to Ozumo, nestled beside the grand Hotel Valencia. This creative dining concept (think sushi bar meets sake lounge and robata grill) offers a number of izakaya specialties like yakitori chicken skewers and okonomiyaki, a savory pancake, as well as a wide range of nigiri and sashimi options. In 2023 chef Yukinori Yamamoto joined the ranks, bringing in a new sushi and sake menu in August.

Two sushi rolls on white plates Ozumo Santana Row

Sauced BBQ & Spirits

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For brisket and baked beans, stop by Sauced BBQ, a trendy industrial joint with intentionally “rusty” corrugated metal siding, weathered wood, metal chairs, and neon signage. Make sure to accompany your sauce-saturated ribs with deep-fried delights like jalapeño poppers stuffed with pulled pork, sharp cheddar, and cream cheese playfully referred to as hand grenades — and for dessert, deep-fried Oreos.

A tray of barbecue meats with a beer in the background Sauced BBQ & Spirits

Oveja Negra

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If you value presentation over serving size, Oveja Negra is the option for you. Though the portions may be small, these pleasingly plated tapas are reminiscent of abstract art. Treating plates like canvases, the team here embellishes dishes by layering ingredients, strategically placing microgreens, sprinkling seasonings, and drizzling or brushing sauces across their surfaces. Try the raised beef cheeks, Oveja Negra’s signature dish. It contains tender meat with potato puree, seasonal mushrooms, and a full-bodied sauce with red wine.

Rosie Mccann's

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This is Santana Row’s go-to lowkey pub and bar. The bar’s been around for more than a decade, is terrific for pints of Guinness and for dishes including blackened chicken and mahi mahi tuna alike, and even hosts live music on a regular basis. Drop by for a happy hour or get comfortable for a vibey evening.

Outside of a bar. Rosie Mccann’s

Smitten Ice Cream

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Located on the edge of the Plaza de Valencia with its cow-sized chameleon statues, Smitten Ice Cream offers some of the best people-watching views of Santana Row. Not your run-of-the-mill parlor, Smitten serves ice cream churned to order ensuring fresh flavor and silky smooth texture. The Brr Machine, an invention by the shop’s founder Robyn Sue Fisher, turns locally sourced ingredients into pure creamy goodness in 90 seconds flat. In the early days, Robyn placed her device in a little red wagon and wheeled it up and down the streets of San Francisco — but after growing a cult-like following, her operation got a whole lot less bare bones. Today, her handful of brick-and-mortar operations serve exploratory flavors like Earl Grey with chocolate chips, cheesecake, and American pie to dessert foodies across the Bay.

An ice cream sundae in a cup. Smitten Ice Cream

Dumpling Time

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This is the only spot on Santana Row for super cheap and well-seasoned edamame, delicate and decadent xiao long bao, pickled vegetable salad, bottomless tea refills, and even vegan fried rice with big old hunks of broccoli for the plant lovers out there. There’s outdoor seating, too, which is ideal for those fog-riddled San Franciscans looking to enjoy the San Jose heat.

Food for Dumpling Time. Paolo Bicchieri

Left Bank

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Left Bank is a sister restaurant to LB Steak and though it might be the simpler of the two siblings, it is by no means less tasty. Acting as the brasserie on the block, Left Bank serves French cuisine with iconic regional dishes like escargot, cheese fondue, and beef bourguignon. There are also daily specials prompted by the chef’s happy excursions to local farmers markets.

A plate of sliced duck in sauce. Left Bank

El Jardín

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As far as ambiance is concerned, El Jardin can’t be beat. Offering light bites and cocktails in a tiled garden patio flush with leafy green plants and string lights, it’s the perfect way to kill time before your dinner plans or draw out the evening after your meal. So order tacos and tequila, then settle in to enjoy the live music because this open-air venue hosts contemporary Latin pop singers and traditional mariachi bands.

Meso Modern Mediterranean

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If you’re looking to impress your date, venture away from the main stretch to Meso, where the owner’s intention is to make you feel like you’re enjoying a meal along the shores of the Mediterranean. Expect a flatbread laden with artichokes, kasseri cheese, and tahini; creamy hummus studded with garbanzos alongside disks of fluffy, fresh-baked pita; and succulent lamb shank laid on a bed of couscous, all served on speckled ceramic dishes in a room with ocean-blue accents, mosaic tile floors and tabletops, and intricate latticework.

Tumeric Roasted Cauliflower Meso Modern Mediterranean

Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐

Much has been made of this luxe global dim sum chain. The experience, and the lovable xiao long bao, often live up to the reputation. Even the Bay’s own superstar chef Martin Yan hails Din Tai Fung for putting clout on pan-fried dumplings and har gow; $1 dumplings from a hole-in-the-wall restaurant these are not, but the restaurant makes up for it with high-quality flavors.

Din Tai Fung in Santa Clara. Din Tai Fung

Eataly

Italian food and drink emporium Eataly finally came to the Bay Area in spring 2022, making the 45,000-square-foot, three-floor marketplace and restaurant center the ninth location for the Turin-founded business. Come here for rare cheeses, a library of wine, and even cooking classes. Plus, there’s a rooftop restaurant for those looking to take in that South Bay sun with a glass of Nebbiolo.

Eataly Silicon Valley

Baekjeong

After making hay of Los Angeles’s Korean barbecue scene, the tremendously popular restaurant opened in the Bay Area in summer 2023. Believe the hype: Getting a table at this restaurant is not for the faint of heart, and knowing what to order in advance is smart. In general, fans love the high-caliber cuts of meat, the sheer joy of preparing meat at the table, and the often cacophonous party vibe.

A bowl of stew. Wonho Frank Lee

Cocola

Stores have come and gone from the street, but Cocola is one of the originals. This iconic French-style patisserie at the heart of the Row has been a faithful standby over the years. It’s the perfect way to indulge in a little decadence, whether it be a mocha and macaron or a chai and cheesecake. Finding it is relatively easy. Keep an out for the storefront with the dapper couple painted across the entrance. A 19th-century woman in a puff-sleeved gown and a mustachioed young gentleman flank the doorway as if inviting guests into their tea-time ritual.

A tower of multicolored macarons. Cocola

Pizza Antica

Does anything say “comfort food” quite like a hot cheesy slice? Pizza Antica’s Italian-style thin-crust pies and wood-fired oven match their mission to embody the classic Roman pizzeria. You don’t need a discerning palate to taste the quality. Partnering with local farmers, ranchers, meat curers, cheese producers, and bakers, the local ingredients earn the restaurant a wholesome rustic flavor. As for toppings, try the heirloom potato pizza or the spicy fennel sausage, though they’ve got all the classic standbys, too. And if you don’t mind getting cozy with your carbs, go ahead and order a side of spaghettini or gnocchi while you’re there.

Two hands holding a margherita pizza Pizza Antica

Straits Restaurant

If you’re craving Southeast Asian fusion make a beeline for Straits. To achieve intricate flavor profiles, this modern Singaporean establishment combines elements of Malaysian, Indonesian, Chinese, Nonya, and Indian cuisine. The house favorite is the roti prata, a traditional Indian flatbread crowned with scallions and served with a mouth-watering yellow coconut curry dip. But there are plenty of noteworthy options on the menu. Make sure to load up on spicy basil chicken, curried vegetables, and lemongrass beef. The lychee martinis are also a must. Heads up: Straits opens its dance floor and notches up its music in the evenings. So if you’re hoping for a lowkey kind of meal, stop by for lunch instead.

A whole lobster on ice with lemon and sauces. http://www.straitsrestaurants.com/

Ozumo Santana Row

Travelers and locals find their way to Ozumo, nestled beside the grand Hotel Valencia. This creative dining concept (think sushi bar meets sake lounge and robata grill) offers a number of izakaya specialties like yakitori chicken skewers and okonomiyaki, a savory pancake, as well as a wide range of nigiri and sashimi options. In 2023 chef Yukinori Yamamoto joined the ranks, bringing in a new sushi and sake menu in August.

Two sushi rolls on white plates Ozumo Santana Row

Sauced BBQ & Spirits

For brisket and baked beans, stop by Sauced BBQ, a trendy industrial joint with intentionally “rusty” corrugated metal siding, weathered wood, metal chairs, and neon signage. Make sure to accompany your sauce-saturated ribs with deep-fried delights like jalapeño poppers stuffed with pulled pork, sharp cheddar, and cream cheese playfully referred to as hand grenades — and for dessert, deep-fried Oreos.

A tray of barbecue meats with a beer in the background Sauced BBQ & Spirits

Oveja Negra

If you value presentation over serving size, Oveja Negra is the option for you. Though the portions may be small, these pleasingly plated tapas are reminiscent of abstract art. Treating plates like canvases, the team here embellishes dishes by layering ingredients, strategically placing microgreens, sprinkling seasonings, and drizzling or brushing sauces across their surfaces. Try the raised beef cheeks, Oveja Negra’s signature dish. It contains tender meat with potato puree, seasonal mushrooms, and a full-bodied sauce with red wine.

Rosie Mccann's

This is Santana Row’s go-to lowkey pub and bar. The bar’s been around for more than a decade, is terrific for pints of Guinness and for dishes including blackened chicken and mahi mahi tuna alike, and even hosts live music on a regular basis. Drop by for a happy hour or get comfortable for a vibey evening.

Outside of a bar. Rosie Mccann’s

Smitten Ice Cream

Located on the edge of the Plaza de Valencia with its cow-sized chameleon statues, Smitten Ice Cream offers some of the best people-watching views of Santana Row. Not your run-of-the-mill parlor, Smitten serves ice cream churned to order ensuring fresh flavor and silky smooth texture. The Brr Machine, an invention by the shop’s founder Robyn Sue Fisher, turns locally sourced ingredients into pure creamy goodness in 90 seconds flat. In the early days, Robyn placed her device in a little red wagon and wheeled it up and down the streets of San Francisco — but after growing a cult-like following, her operation got a whole lot less bare bones. Today, her handful of brick-and-mortar operations serve exploratory flavors like Earl Grey with chocolate chips, cheesecake, and American pie to dessert foodies across the Bay.

An ice cream sundae in a cup. Smitten Ice Cream

Dumpling Time

This is the only spot on Santana Row for super cheap and well-seasoned edamame, delicate and decadent xiao long bao, pickled vegetable salad, bottomless tea refills, and even vegan fried rice with big old hunks of broccoli for the plant lovers out there. There’s outdoor seating, too, which is ideal for those fog-riddled San Franciscans looking to enjoy the San Jose heat.

Food for Dumpling Time. Paolo Bicchieri

Left Bank

Left Bank is a sister restaurant to LB Steak and though it might be the simpler of the two siblings, it is by no means less tasty. Acting as the brasserie on the block, Left Bank serves French cuisine with iconic regional dishes like escargot, cheese fondue, and beef bourguignon. There are also daily specials prompted by the chef’s happy excursions to local farmers markets.

A plate of sliced duck in sauce. Left Bank

El Jardín

As far as ambiance is concerned, El Jardin can’t be beat. Offering light bites and cocktails in a tiled garden patio flush with leafy green plants and string lights, it’s the perfect way to kill time before your dinner plans or draw out the evening after your meal. So order tacos and tequila, then settle in to enjoy the live music because this open-air venue hosts contemporary Latin pop singers and traditional mariachi bands.

Meso Modern Mediterranean

If you’re looking to impress your date, venture away from the main stretch to Meso, where the owner’s intention is to make you feel like you’re enjoying a meal along the shores of the Mediterranean. Expect a flatbread laden with artichokes, kasseri cheese, and tahini; creamy hummus studded with garbanzos alongside disks of fluffy, fresh-baked pita; and succulent lamb shank laid on a bed of couscous, all served on speckled ceramic dishes in a room with ocean-blue accents, mosaic tile floors and tabletops, and intricate latticework.

Tumeric Roasted Cauliflower Meso Modern Mediterranean

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