South Bay Restaurants Worth the Drive

The entire San Francisco Bay Area offers locals and travelers some of the best bites in the country. If you find yourself in the South Bay, here are some excellent choices in Santa Clara, San Jose, and Campbell:

Best of Santa Clara

Santa Clara offers an excellent variety of Asian cuisines, including quality Korean eats and high-quality Japanese yakitori and izakaya. For one of the best bowls of tonkotsu ramen in the Bay Area, head straight to the long lines of Orenchi Ramen. Come hungry to also enjoy the side dishes, like karaage (Japanese fried chicken). The best times to go are just before opening to avoid the longer lines.

In the same complex as Orenchi Ramen is another high-quality Japanese restaurant from the same owner. Iroriya offers robata dining, just as you would enjoy it in Japan. “Robata” implies slow grill over charcoal” and in Japan, the restaurants specialize in seafood and vegetables.

Iroriya Santa Clara
Grilled prawns at Iroriya. The restaurant specializes in seafood grilled over hot binchotan charcoal from Japan which creates a roasted depth of flavor. The menu also offers an excellent selection of vegetables and small plates to share with the table


Best of San Jose

San Jose provides an overwhelming choice of restaurants. While not all the best, Santana Row’s restaurants offer the most lovely outdoor environment for relaxed dining experiences. You can have fast casual food or leisurely eats along the patios or indoors – perfect at any time for Sunday brunch, weekday happy hour, or late night dinners.

My favorite places along the row are Roots and Rye for drinks with friends, Pizza Antica for wood-fired artisan pizzas, and Left Bank for classic French bistro and hearty burgers.

Roots and Rye Santana Row
Cheese and charcuterie to pair with the beer, wine, and cocktails at Roots and Rye. If you are lucky, you can get a seat around the fire pit. There are plenty of seats and tables around the bar for large and small groups
Left Bank Santana Row
Burgers and fries paired with red wine at Left Bank Brasserie. Left Bank is the perfect place for weekend brunch or for dinners with their classic French bistro cuisine. You can sit along the sidewalk and people watch or enjoy the booth and tables inside


Best of Campbell

Campbell may be a smaller city compared to Santa Clara and San Jose, but it offers a fun variety of eats and bars for the locals. Orchard City Kitchen, a chef-owned restaurant, has brought food lovers to the Pruneyard mall with its creative cocktail menu and New American/Asian-inspired small plates. OCK is perfect for weekend brunch and dinners with friends and family.

Orchard City Kitchen Campbell
Start the brunch or lunch with a cold brew coffee and then get to drinking. It’s easy to have a good time at Orchard City Kitchen with the fun and strong cocktails. Plus, during weekend brunch you can share plates of biscuits and bacon and more


Addresses & Hours

3548 Homestead Rd., Santa Clara
Monday to Saturday, 6pm to 12am
Sunday, 6pm to 10pm
Reservations Recommended

3540 Homestead Rd., Santa Clara
Monday to Thursday, 11:30am to 1:30pm and 6pm to 9pm
Friday and Saturday, 11:30am to 1:30pm and 5:30pm to 9:30pm
Sunday, 11:30am to 1:30pm and 5pm to 8:30pm
Walk-In Only

Left Bank French Brasserie
377 Santana Row #1100, San Jose
Monday, 11:30am to 10pm
Tuesday to Friday, 11:30am to 11pm
Saturday, 11am to 11pm
Sunday, 10:30am to 10pm

Pizza Antica
334 Santana Row, San Jose
Sunday to Thursday, 11:30am to 10pm
Friday and Saturday, 11:30am to 11pm

Roots and Rye
3055 Olin Ave #1005, San Jose
Sunday to Tuesday, 11am to 10pm
Wednesday, 11am to 11pm
Thursday to Saturday, 11am to 12am

Orchard City Kitchen
1875 S. Bascom Ave #190, Campbell
Monday, 11:30am to 2pm and 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Tuesday to Friday, 11:30am to 2pm and 5:30pm to 9:30pm
Saturday, 10:30am to 1:30pm and 5:30pm to 9:30pm
Sunday, 10:30am to 1:30pm and 5:30pm to 8:30pm


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