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1. Chez Sovan

Lunch, This downtown restaurant serves excellent Cambodian food in a casual environment. While the surrounding neighborhood may not be postcard material, the authentic Cambodian food is a refreshing addition to San Jose's restaurant scene – especially for those who love the distinctive flavor of paprika.

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2. Taqueria Eduardo

Whatever you do, do not let the exterior of this little taco place fool you. The people who run this joint have a lot of heart and some serious talent when it comes to making food. The taste of the carne asada alone makes that obvious. If you want to take a walk on the wild side, have them put some lengua in your burrito or taco. You might be hesitant once you learn what it is, but you’ll have to trust us that it’s super delicious, just like their burritos in general.”

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3. Tied House Café & Brewery Company

Tied House is a downtown San Jose brewpub. The atmosphere is casual, and just about every seat here has a good view of one of the many television sets. Tied House's menu consists of everything from traditional pub fare to such dishes as steamed clams and salmon. However, it's not only the food that draws in the big crowds - it's the great selection of domestic and imported beers.

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4. Grace Deli & Cafe

Located in San Jose's Minnesota suburb, Café Primo's atmosphere is refreshing and homey. Their menu is a nice mix of California and Mediterranean cuisine, including hearty breakfasts and lunch time fare such as panini and salads. Try to save room for one of their pastries for dessert or a cup of espresso.

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5. 71 Saint Peter Mediterranean Grill

Lunch: Owner/chef Mark Tabak prides himself on creating innovative Mediterranean dishes at this European-style bistro. The atmosphere is warm and inviting with superb service, cozy décor, a glass-front kitchen, and a patio dining area. Entrées include a popular roasted duck, mahi mahi, and various seafood pasta dishes

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6. Original Joe's

Lunch, Italian: Original Joe's, known to locals simply as "OJ's," has been a staple on the San Jose restaurant scene for nearly half a century. Part of the restaurant's appeal is its simple charm, including a counter that tends to fill rather quickly at both lunch and dinner. The menu boasts some of the best burgers in town, including the spinach-filled "Joe's Special."

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7. Aqui Cal-Mex Grill

Lunch: Aqui, located in the Willow Glenn area, offers affordable and healthy Mexican food. The guacamole here is real, and their thai chicken burrito, tostadas and salmon fajitas are simply marvelous. Make sure you have an appetite when you stop in, for all of Aqui's portions are generous

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8. Le Papillon

Lunch: For more than 20 years, Le Papillon has provided the San Jose area with superb Nouveau French cuisine. This elegant restaurant is only a few minutes drive from downtown and provides a welcome respite from the bustle of the city. Appetizers include foie gras and Oestra Caviar; steamed salmon served with citrus and Open Ravioli of Wild Mushroom are among their tasty entrées

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9. Emile's

Lunch: This Second Street restaurant sets a very high bar for excellence in San Jose. When you sit at one of Swiss chef Emile Mooser's tables, expect to be swept away by a truly unique contemporary European dining experience. The menu includes such dishes as peppered salmon, crusted scallops, and their famous house-cured gravlax. For dessert, try Emile's fabulous "Grand Marnier Soufflé," a delight you will never forget.

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10. Aqui Cal Mex

Create fine dining food using the flavors of the Southwest, Asia, California and Latin America. We will match the food with gorgeous decor and fill the place with art. Then, we’ll add order-at-the counter service to make it hassle free. And above all, we will make it affordable." The two worked hard on the first menu, which included some crazy ideas like Lamb Colorado, Goat Cheese Quesadillas and a Thai burrito. Then, they created the Industrial Strength Margarita™ that made one’s feet tingle..

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