WORK TODAY, FLY TOMORROW • March 2016
Home to the world’s most influential technology companies, San Jose is at the vibrant heart of Silicon Valley. But it’s not all tech geeks and office blocks: Ngoc Ngo, author of the San Jose Food Blog shares her favourite spots to soak up local culture
First Street is the backbone of social activity in downtown, and in the middle sits Paper Plane (above). The drinks may take a while to make, but the spectacle is worth the wait. Try a signature drink, ‘Heard it Through the Grape Vine’, with raisin-infused vodka, sherry, cinnamon and lemon. The food is good too: Mezcal-cured gravlax, or bone marrow with confit garlic and strawberry port reduction. If you’re a craft beer fan, head down the road to Good Karma Artisan Ales and Café. It has an impressive, mostly American tap list, and staff keen to talk about the latest brews.
Starting on a Thursday evening, locals flock to San Pedro Square for weekend entertainment. Grab a seat at San Pedro Square Market (above) to enjoy a drink while watching live bands. Acts are announced around a month in advance, with everything from Latin jazz blues to country and western. Want a piece of the action? Thursday is karaoke night. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, visit SP2 Communal Bar & Restaurant, for locally sourced ‘American bistro’ cuisine.
Scratch your shopping itch and sharpen your bargaining skills at the San Jose Flea Market. You can find pretty much anything at this enormous open-air market, from cowboy boots (above) and silver charm jewellery to upcycled mirrors and hand-crafted mini kegs. It’s also your go-to spot for Mexican street snacks, barbecue food and beer.
Fast-paced innovation is only part of the San Jose story. No place embodies the feeling of suburban paradise better than the Rose Garden neighbourhood, built around a municipal rose garden (above). When everything’s in bloom, the flowers and fountain are picturesque, while the unique character of the surrounding houses is not to be missed. Take advantage of San Jose’s 300 days of sunshine to stroll through the streets.
Levi’s Stadium (pictured) may be in the neighbouring city of Santa Clara, but it’s worth the trip to see it, especially as it hosted 2016’s Super Bowl. If you want to experience the height of American sports fanaticism, book a behind-the-scenes tour or try to see a game.