.Food & Drink | Reader Picks

The tuna tartare is one of the many dishes that helped Amber India win Best Indian Restaurant honors in this year’s voting.

Best Indian Restaurant

Amber India
2290 El Camino Real #9, Mountain View, 650.968.7511; 600 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View, 650.968.1751; 377 Santana Row #1140, San Jose; 408.248.5400. Amber India pretty much owns the Indian fine dining category in Silicon Valley. This area is awash in Indian restaurants, many of them are quite good, but Amber’s combination of white tablecloth elegance, swanky cocktails and first-rate regional and contemporary Indian food has made its restaurants in Mountain View and San Jose must-eats in Silicon Valley.

2. Tandoori Oven
Multiple locations

3. Royal Taj
1350 Camden Ave., Campbell; 408.559.6801

Best New Restaurant

Sonoma Chicken
1735 E. Capitol Expwy., San Jose; 408.223.2345
In fewer than 10 years, Sonoma Chicken Coop took over the South Bay with a total of six locations across San Jose and Campbell, and plans for the franchise to open outposts on the East Coast are also under way. This seemingly effortless speed of growth has been made possible by the chain’s popularity among those looking to get homey meals at near fast-food prices. Sonoma Chicken (which has since dropped the “Coop” from its name) opened its latest location in April on Capitol Expressway, much to the joy of locals, who voted the eatery as this year’s best new restaurant.

2. Adamson’s French Dip
806 W. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale; 408.830.9024

3. Bayonne
399 S. First St., San Jose; 408.287.4085

Best Restaurant (Culinary Excellence)

Le Papillon
410 Saratoga Ave., San Jose; 408.296.3730. Located off busy Saratoga Avenue next to a liquor store, the modest-looking Le Papillon gives little indication of the culinary riches found within. But make no mistake. Chef Scott Cooper is creating some of the most exciting food in Silicon Valley.

2. Manresa
320 Village Lane, Los Gatos; 408.354.4330

3. Alexander’s Steakhouse
10330 N. Wolfe Road, Cupertino; 408.446.2222

Best Chef (Other Than David Kinch)

Scott Cooper, Le Papillon
410 Saratoga Ave., San Jose; 408.296.3730. Since Metro readers named Le Papillon their best restaurant, it only makes sense they pick Scott Cooper as best chef. Cooper weaves culinary magic as he draws from French, Japanese and various other world influences.

2. Nick Difu, Nick’s on Main
35 E. Main St., Los Gatos; 408.399.6457

3. Jeffrey Stout, Alexander’s Steakhouse
10330 N. Wolfe Road, Cupertino; 408.446.2222

Cascal in Mountain View took top honors for its tapas plates.

Best Tapas/Small Plates

400 Castro St., Mountain View; 650.940.9500. A taste of this, a taste of that, and all of those tastes are good? It’s true at Cascal. The Spanish tapas sampler highlights everything Spain boasts of in its cuisine. The array includes eggplant piquillo tapenade, chicken liver mousse, stuffed dates, octopus salad, tuna escabeche and chorizo; and it pretty much takes up the entire table. But don’t neglect to order one of the awesome paellas or ceviches.

2. Consuelo’s Mexican Bistro
337 Santana Row, San Jose; 408.260.7082

3. Picasso’s
62 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose; 408.298.4400

Best American Restaurant

Blue Rock BBQ
3001 Meridian Ave., San Jose; 408.978.2583. On the outskirts of Willow Glen sits a grand central station of meat, each cut beautifully graced with barbecue sauces and marinades. Blue Rock BBQ treats meat right and serves it up with authentically American sides like mac ‘n’ cheese and baked beans. It isn’t all about the heavy hitters; there’s one dinner side salad available for order, too. But appropriately, the main draw for this barbecue institution is meat. Sorry, vegetarians.

2. Los Gatos Brewing Co.
130 N. Santa Cruz Ave. #G, Los Gatos; 408.395.9929

3. Hobee’s
Multiple locations

Best Cajun Restaurant

Poor House Bistro
91 S. Autumn St., San Jose; 408.292.5837. California is about as far from the South as possible in this country, but that doesn’t mean authentic Cajun food is nowhere to be found in the South Bay. Poor House Bistro packs in the flavor in traditional dishes including jambalaya, red beans and rice, gumbo and fried oysters. The downtown San Jose restaurant also hosts live music most nights of the week and draws Sharks fans during the hockey season with a wide array of beers direct from New Orleans.

535 Ramona St., Palo Alto; 650.328.2722

3. Roux
3055 Olin Ave., San Jose; 408.249.8000

Best Seafood Restaurant

Fish Market
1007 Blossom Hill Road, San Jose, 408.269.3474; 3775 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, 408.246.3474; 3150 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, 650.493.8862. At the Fish Market, it’s all about the fish. There are fancier seafood restaurants, but Metro readers know that if you want a wide variety of fresh fish the Fish Market is the place. It’s hard to compete with a seafood restaurant that has its own fleet of fishing vessels.

2. McCormick and Schmick’s
170 S. Market St., San Jose; 408.283.7200

3. Hawgs Seafood Bar
1700 W. Campbell Ave., Campbell; 408.379.9555

Best Chinese Restaurant

Mandarin Gourmet
10145 N. De Anza Blvd., Cupertino, 408.725.8168; 420 Ramona St., Palo Alto, 650.328.8898; 5560 Santa Teresa Blvd., San Jose, 408.281.8898. Too many Chinese restaurants traffic in the basics, but Mandarin Gourmet is one of the few that rise above the rest. The dishes aren’t dumbed down for American tastes here; they are made with flavors true to Chinese cuisine. Stand-outs include moo shu pork, Peking duck and Mongolian beef.

2. Taiwan Restaurant
1306 Lincoln Ave., San Jose; 408.289.8800

3. Chef Chu’s
1067 N. San Antonio Road, Los Altos; 650.948.2696

Best Japanese Restaurant

Yuki Sushi
1140 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, 408.287.9854; 1827 Pruneridge Ave., Santa Clara, 408.248.9144. Yuki Sushi treats sushi like a thing of beauty, turning ordinary thin-sliced meats, vegetables and rice into culinary works of art that taste just as creative as they look. Plates of colorful makimono-, sashimi- and nigiri-style sushi quickly stream out of the kitchen to eager diners. Among the innovative creations served at Yuki Sushi’s Willow Glen location is the Double Rainbow eight-piece roll (which fully lives up to its name in spectacle as well as in flavor, featuring avocado and kani topped with maguro, hamachi, fresh salmon, ebi, saba and tai).

2. Kazoo
250 Jackson St., San Jose, 408.288.9611; 1165 Lincoln Ave. #110, San Jose, 408.971.7755

3. Kyoto Palace
1875 S. Bascom Ave. #2500, Campbell; 408.377.6456

Best Business Lunch

Blue Rock BBQ
3001 Meridian Ave., San Jose; 408.978.2583. For those wanting to fill up on just a few bucks but still get quality food and impress a client or co-worker, Blue Rock BBQ comes to the rescue. Meals are served picnic style, and the restaurant is in a small shopping center, so it’s more business casual than fine dining. But if the food is good, who’s going to be talking anyway? Blue Rock BBQ was also voted Best American Restaurant this year.

2. Opa!
27 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, 408.399.7417; 1384 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, 408.998.8704

3. Birk’s
3955 Freedom Circle, Santa Clara; 408.980.6400

Best Korean Restaurant

Korean Palace
2297 Stevens Creek Blvd., San Jose; 408.947.8600. Banchan (traditional side dishes, including kimchi) are not only plentiful here at Korean Palace, they’re also filling and masterfully executed. It’s like getting a generous helping of goodies before dinner even begins. And the main dishes are just as wonderful, especially the restaurant’s take on kalbi (barbecued short ribs) and jap chae (sweet potato noodles sautéed with vegetables and beef).

2. Palace BBQ Buffet
1092 E. El Camino Real #1, Sunnyvale; 408.554.9292

3. Omogari
154 Jackson St., San Jose; 408.288.8134

Best Dim Sum

1700 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto; 650.857.7700. Consistently praised for its dim sum, Ming’s lives up to the hype. Every dish is made with traditional style in small portions—just enough to get diners hooked but enough variety to avoid boredom with one flavor or texture. Beyond the dim sum, the restaurant’s menu of entrees and sides is extensive. Ming’s also offers an option to order food online for pick-up (or delivery in select areas if spending more than $100).

2. Joy Luck Place
10911 N. Wolfe Road, Cupertino; 408.255.6988

3. Dynasty
10123 N. Wolfe Road, Cupertino, 408.996.1680; 1001 Story Road, San Jose, 408.286.6668

Best Mexican Restaurant

2222 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, 408.978.3665; 721 Willow St., San Jose, 408.287.9777; 699 Curtner Ave., San Jose; 408.448.1230. Sure the food is good, but the chavelas (beer, lime and salt plus a shot of tequila if you order the super chavela) are amazing—beer on flavor steroids. But back to the food: the chile rellenos are huge, spicy and appropriately stuffed, the camarones a la diabla (“devil’s shrimp”) lives up to its name in spiciness alone (making the chavelas a necessity), and of course there are superb burritos of all kinds. There may be a wait on most nights, but it’s well worth it.

2. El Burro
1875 S. Bascom Ave. #570, Campbell; 408.371.5800

3. Aqui
Multiple locations

Best Ethiopian Restaurant

1320 Saratoga Ave., San Jose; 408.615.8282. In an area with several good Ethiopian restaurants, Zeni Ethiopian Restaurant, named after co-owner and chef Zeni Gebremariam, gets the nod from Metro readers for best in show. Aside from the fine food, part of the pleasure of eating here is the bonhomie that pervades the mealtime experience. The exotic menu includes euphonious specialties like ye-timatim fitfit (a vegetable blend) and gomen besiga (lamb with collard greens and herbed butter).

2. Gojo
1261 W. San Carlos St., San Jose; 408.295.9546

3. Cafe Rehoboth
655 N. Sixth St., San Jose; 408.947.1717

Best Cuban Restaurant

La Habana Cuba
238 Race St., San Jose; 408.998.2822
While Cuba is known for cigars, bearded revolutionaries and ham-and-cheese sandwiches, the cuisine of the island nation is more closely related to the foods of Spain and the Caribbean isles. Black beans and fluffy rice are staple items that ably accompany La Habana Cuba’s stewed meat dishes, most notably lechon (chunks of slow-roasted pork) and vaca frita (lemon-garlic beef with perfectly crispy edges). Fried plantains make for a sweet way to end the meal.

2. Los Cubanos
22 N. Almaden Ave., San Jose; 408.279.0134

3. Azucar
71 E. San Fernando St., San Jose; 408.293.8482

Best French Restaurant

Le Papillon
238 Race St., San Jose; 408.998.2822
410 Saratoga Ave., San Jose; 408.296.3730. This is a fine-dining establishment, and that’s more than evident upon entering. If the ambience isn’t enough, the food is far more than fine, it’s exquisite. Combinations such as pan-roasted beef tenderloin with maitake mushrooms, potato gratin and bone marrow and pinot noir-braised duck breast with sour cherry, green peppercorn gastrique and black forbidden rice are beautifully presented and superbly executed. Don’t miss out on the Grand Marnier soufflé with fresh berries, which is a delectably sweet treat.

2. La Fondue
14550 Big Basin Way #3, Saratoga; 408.867.3332

3. Left Bank
377 Santana Row #1100, San Jose; 408.984.3500

The grill at Alexander’s Steakhouse produces the kind of steaks readers prefer.

Best Steakhouse

Alexander’s Steakhouse
10330 N. Wolfe Road, Cupertino; 408.446.2222. Silicon Valley boasts more than its share of steakhouses, but it’s clear why Metro readers picked Alexander’s as their favorite house of beef. Alexander’s is a carnivore’s heaven. Choose from true Kobe beef, grass-fed beef and Angus beef with side dishes and a wine list that would make Larry Ellison blush.

2. Morton’s the Steakhouse
177 Park Ave., San Jose; 408.947.7000

3. Forbes Mill Steakhouse
206 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos; 408.395.6434

Best Italian Fine Dining

Il Postale
127 W. Washington Ave., Sunnyvale; 408.733.9600. Diners appreciate Il Postale for its beautiful antipasto appetizers, flavorful risotto, braised lamb shank and veal Casablanca. Oh, there’s pasta: rigatoni, gnocchi, penne, ravioli—the whole nine yards. But it’s pasta treated with loving care. Pizzas (with a choice of toppings) and calzones are available as well. To match the quality of the food, Il Postale also serves up a cozy atmosphere with attentive waitstaff.

2. Aldo’s Ristorante
14109 Winchester Blvd., Los Gatos; 408.374.1808

3. Paolo’s
333 W. San Carlos St. #150, San Jose; 408.294.2558

Best Moderately Priced Italian Food

Original Joe’s
301 S. First St., San Jose; 408.292.7030. Atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere. It’s kind of like location, location, location, but both go hand-in-hand in the restaurant world. While Original Joe’s is centrally located in downtown San Jose, inside it feels more like a set from a movie about 1940s New York. The restaurant is open late (until 1am seven days a week), so one can grab a drink at the long bar surrounding the kitchen and imagine deals going down in the corner booths, or fill up on OJ’s larger-than-life portions and then go dance it off at one of downtown’s nearby night clubs.

2. Giorgio’s
643 E. Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas, 408.942.1292; 1445 Foxworthy Ave., San Jose; 408.264.5781

3. Frankie, Johnnie & Luigi Too
939 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View, 650.967.5384; 5245 Prospect Road, San Jose, 408.446.9644

Best Mediterranean

27 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, 408.399.7417; 1384 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, 408.998.8704. Metro readers picked Opa! for best Greek restaurant so why not best Mediterranean restaurant, too?

2. DishDash
190 S. Murphy St., Sunnyvale; 408.774.1889

3. Dio Deka
210 E. Main St., Los Gatos; 408.354.7700

Best Middle Eastern Restaurant

Falafel’s Drive-in
2301 Stevens Creek Blvd., San Jose; 408.294.7886. There’s a reason Falafel’s Drive-in has been winning awards in the annual Best of Silicon Valley for nearly 25 years: consistently delicious and honest Middle Eastern fare. As the restaurant’s namesake, falafels are the main draw for visitors from near and far (Guy Fieri even visited with the crew of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives). Although Falafel’s focuses on Middle Eastern cuisine, it doesn’t ignore the drive-in aspect of its name, serving hamburgers, corn dogs, fries and onion rings, which were the original staples of the restaurant when it opened in the late ’60s.

2. DishDash
190 S. Murphy St., Sunnyvale; 408.774.1889

3. Kabul
833 W. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale; 408.245.4350

Best Greek Restaurant

27 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, 408.399.7417; 1384 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, 408.998.8704. Opa! smoked the competition with its affordable and generally delicious Greek-American food in a modern, urbane setting. With stylish décor, a cozy dining room and a friendly neighborhood vibe, the restaurant occupies the sweet spot between fast food and fine dining, the kind of place that’s nice enough for a night out, but cheap enough that it doesn’t feel like a splurge.

2. Yiassoo
2180 S. Bascom Ave., Campbell, 408.559.0312; 10660 S. De Anza Blvd., Cupertino, 408.253.5544

3. Evvia
420 Emerson St., Palo Alto; 650.326.0983

Best Thai Restaurant

640 S. Winchester Blvd., San Jose, 408.260.8224; 580 N. Winchester Blvd., San Jose, 408.248.3435. Satay, pad thai, tom yum soup, red, green and yellow curries, pad see ew, mango and sticky rice—Krungthai brings it all to the table. The restaurant established itself in 1988 on South Winchester Boulevard near 280; in recent years, Krungthai has expanded into a second location on North Winchester Boulevard. Diners consistently vote Krungthai as the best of the best not only because of great standards but because of lesser-known dishes, including gum poo prik pao (crab in the shell) and kang sop (a bowl of Napa cabbage, shrimp, cauliflower and tamarind sauce in a broth perked up with a little chile pepper).

2. House of Siam
151 S. Second St., San Jose; 408.295.3397

3. Thai Pepper
2000 S. Bascom Ave., Campbell, 408.369.9399; 1045 Monroe St., Santa Clara, 408.984.1931; 103 E. Fremont Ave., Sunnyvale; 408.739.7717

Best Malaysian Restaurant

Banana Leaf
182 Ranch Dr., Milpitas; 408.719.9811. Malaysian food takes from other nearby countries, including Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, and adds a slightly tropical twist. Banana Leaf embraces the tropical in dishes like pineapple fried rice, coconut rice and mango chicken, but also serves traditional fare such as tom yum (hot and sour soup) and roti prata (an Indian-style bread with curry sauce). Authentic, quality food is what keeps readers coming back for more, and this outpouring of support helps keep Banana Leaf packed, even on the restaurateurs’ dreaded Monday night.

2. E&O Trading Company
96 S. First St., San Jose; 408.938.4100

3. Layang Layang
181 W. Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas, 408.263.6788; 1480 S. De Anza Blvd., San Jose, 408.777.8897

Best Pho

Pho 54
127 Dixon Road, Milpitas, 408.945.1954; 2874 Alum Rock Ave., San Jose, 408.729.6633. Pho 54 is not the place for the slightly hungry. Bring an appetite—it will be satisfied. Bowls of steaming pho can be served with any number of fillings. In the mood for chicken gizzards and other innards or a standard beef bowl? A basic noodle soup or the works? No matter what you put in the bowl, the base broth is a savory masterpiece. Just remember to bring cash because it’s the only form of currency the restaurant accepts.

2. Pho Hoa
Multiple locations

3. Pho Y #1
1660 E. Capitol Expwy., San Jose, 408.274.1769; 2050 Concourse Dr., San Jose. 408.526.0880

Best Taqueria

La Victoria
140 E. San Carlos St., San Jose, 408.298.5335; 5015 Almaden Expwy., San Jose, 408.978.7666; 131 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose, 408.993.8230. Mention La Vic’s, and the immediate response from pretty much anyone in Silicon Valley is something comparing the restaurant’s famed orange sauce to the best sex they’ve ever had. Anyone who claims never to have never eaten here should be prepared for a tirade about how it’s a sin to live in the valley and never experience what it’s like to dance on the edge of a rainbow, to tickle the nose of a unicorn or to be enveloped in a sea of butterfly tears—all because of a burrito.

2. Super Taqueria
Multiple locations

2222 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, 408.978.3665; 721 Willow St., San Jose, 408.287.9777; 699 Curtner Ave., San Jose, 408.448.1230

Best Late Night Eats

Original Joe’s
301 S. First St., San Jose; 408.292.7030. Before the South of Market district was known as SoFA, there was Original Joe’s. Before the Sharks came to town there was Original Joe’s. In all likelihood, before you even existed there was Original Joe’s. The reason this culinary institution of Italian-American food and swagger has lasted so long is that the restaurant offers heaping helping of Italian-American food served with big city style and swagger. And Original Joe’s stays open later than just anyone so you can enjoy it all until the wee hours.

2. La Victoria
140 E. San Carlos St., San Jose, 408.298.5335; 5015 Almaden Expwy., San Jose, 408.978.7666; 131 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose, 408.993.8230

3. Mini Gourmet
599 S. Bascom Ave., San Jose; 408.275.8973

Best Breakfast

1115 Willow St., San Jose; 408.294.1125. If there is one place to go to get the best cure-all, feel-good mega breakfast, it’s Bill’s. Omelettes, benedicts, pancakes, French toast, waffles, small dishes and even a selection of healthy breakfasts makes this a place that anyone who loves a good breakfast will enjoy.

2. Hobee’s
Multiple locations

3. Stacks
139 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell; 408.376.3516

Best Barbecue

Armadillo Willy’s
Multiple locations Any restaurant that has a menu item called “The Belly Buster” has got to be the Silicon Valley’s favorite for barbecue. Armadillo Willy’s dishes up Texas barbecue favorites: brisket, ribs and chicken and all the fixin’s.

2. Henry’s Hi-Life
301 W. St. John St., San Jose; 408.295.5414

3. Blue Rock BBQ
3001 Meridian Ave., San Jose; 408.978.2583

Best Hawaiian

230 Jackson St., San Jose; 408.279.4888 On top of the drink specials and all-week-long entertainment lineup, Hukilau does “island” best with a large menu highlighting Hawaiian favorites like ahi poke, mahi mahi and the best teriyaki, ever. Not to mention the Hawaiian staples of pork, cabbage and Spam, served with eggs, over rice or just by itself.

2. Aloha Kitchen
1041 E. Capitol Expwy., San Jose; 408.360.8899

3. Kona Wave
814 S. Bascom Ave., San Jose; 408.293.2600

Best Asian Fusion

E&O Trading Co.
96 S. First St., San Jose; 408.938.4100. The building is from the 1800s, and the dramatic décor is open and spacious with artifacts from Southeast Asia. The menu beckons with an incredible selection of dishes from Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. The open kitchen is kind of like performance art to go with the ambience and the food.

2. Straits
333 Santana Row, San Jose; 408.246.6320

3. Blowfish Sushi
355 Santana Row, San Jose; 408.345.3848

Best Asian Vegetarian

Blue Mango
4996 Stevens Creek Blvd., San Jose; 408.248.7191. Tofu never tasted so good. The vegetarian menu at Blue Mango presents five different preparations of tofu. Vegetables, fried rice, noodles and spicy Thai flavors make this the destination for the most flavorful Asian vegetarian meal around.

2. Vegetarian House
520 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose; 408.292.3798

3. Good Karma
37 S. First St., San Jose; 408.294.2694

Best Vietnamese

Khanh’s Garden
335 S. Winchester Blvd., San Jose; 408.241.4940. How can this local gem that used to be in the old Town and Country go wrong with a “Firepot” on the menu? It just sounds exotic and almost dangerous—but definitely delicious. The spicy and sour shrimp firepot is served with Thai spices, prawn and tamarind.

2. Vung Tau
535 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose, 408.288.9055; 1750 N. Milpitas Blvd., Milpitas, 408.934.9327

3. Green Papaya
137 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos; 408.395.9115

Best Indian Vegetarian

Royal Taj
1350 Camden Ave., Campbell; 408.559.6801. Exotically spiced, authentic and moderately priced Indian cuisine is what one would come to expect from the best of Silicon Valley, right? Probably the world’s best curry has its home at Royal Taj. The lamb, chicken and vegetable curries come in varying degrees of spiciness.

2. Chaat Paradise
165 E. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650.965.1111

3. Junoon
150 University Ave., Palo Alto; 650.329.9644

Best Vegetarian Overall

Good Karma
37 S. First St., San Jose; 408.294.2694. Healthy, inexpensive and great-tasting food is hard to find among the chains of fast food, but Good Karma not only has great food at reasonable prices, it also boasts live entertainment, art installations and four beers on tap as well.

2. Vegetarian House
520 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose; 408.292.3798

3. Happy Bamboo
1711 Branham Lane, San Jose; 408.694.0740

Best Restaurant Patio

Aqui, Willow Glen
1145 Lincoln Ave., San Jose; 408.995.0381. On a hot day, few pleasures rival a margarita and some people watching on the patio at Aqui’s. The beautiful people abound, and sometimes one can catch a glimpse of a San Jose Shark. The food lives up to the atmosphere.

2. Britannia Arms Downtown
173 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose; 408.278.1400

3. Wine Cellar
50 University Ave., Los Gatos; 408.354.4808

Best Local CoffeeHouse/Coffee Cart

Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company
101 W. Main St., Los Gatos; 408.354.3263. There are always people at the Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company, which should be proof enough of its winning status. The staff is extremely friendly; the coffee is excellent and roasted on-site daily. Added benefits include free WiFi and ample seating.

2. Willow Glen Coffee Roasting
1383 Lincoln Ave., San Jose; 408.297.9077

3. Barefoot Coffee Roasters
5237 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara; 408.248.4500

The goodies at Icing on the Cake in Los Gatos convinced readers to name them top bakery.

Best Bakery

Icing on the Cake
50 W. Main St., Los Gatos; 408.354.2464. It’s almost like walking into a bake shop from the past. This small but cute and friendly place serves up the best cupcakes, cakes and cookies around. The enticing smell of chocolate, sugar and spices greets shoppers as soon as they walk in the door. The all-butter, no-nonsense bakery uses the best quality products.

2. Dick’s Bakery
1593 Meridian Ave., San Jose; 408.269.5212

3. Peters’ Bakery
3108 Alum Rock Ave., San Jose; 408.258.3529

Best Desserts

Icing on the Cake
50 W. Main St., Los Gatos; 408.354.2464. Cheesecakes, brownies and bars, pies, bread pudding, confections and crème brûlée. Icing on the Cake is not only the best bakery, they have the best desserts too. The one stop you need to make to satisfy each sweet tooth! With the holidays coming up, the favorite pumpkin crème brûlée is definitely not one to miss.

2. Psycho Donuts
2006 S. Winchester Blvd., Campbell, 408.378.4540; 288 S. Second St., San Jose, 408.378.4540

3. The Prolific Oven
550 Waverley St., Palo Alto, 650.326.8485; 3938 Rivermark Plaza, Santa Clara, 408.986.8388

Best Donuts

Psycho Donuts
2006 Winchester Blvd., Campbell, 408.378.4540; 288 S. Second St., San Jose, 408.378.4540. Sometimes Silicon Valley’s most brilliant minds come up with a new way of interfacing with technology. Sometimes they come up with a new way of interfacing with donuts. The former might change the world, but the latter tastes so delicious. Psycho Donuts is the brainchild of two techies who, like any Silicon Valley geniuses, saw a need and filled it. Mostly with cream or raspberry filling. The horror-themed PD has taken the valley by storm, and though it might seem gimmicky to the uninitiated, the truth is the wacky toppings (cereal, Butterfinger, green tea frosting, etc.) will change the way you think about donuts. Not only that, but the Apricotology fritter remains the best donut we’ve ever tasted.

2. Stan’s Donut Shop
2628 Homestead Road, Santa Clara; 408.296.5982

3. Manley’s
Multiple locations

Best Pizza – Regional Chain

Pizza My Heart
Multiple locations. From San Jose and Mountain View to Los Gatos, Palo Alto and pretty much all over the Silicon Valley, Pizza My Heart is in the heart of all pizza lovers. True pride is taken in making the best, freshest and tastiest pizza in each of their locations. Pizza My Heart hosts local events, gives love to the surf culture in décor in each location and has a cult following.

2. Willow Street Pizza
20 S. Santa Cruz Ave. #218, Los Gatos, 408.354.5566; 1554 Saratoga Ave., San Jose, 408.871.0400; 1072 Willow St., San Jose, 408.971.7080

3. Amici’s
10310 S. De Anza Blvd., Cupertino, 408.252.3333; 790 Castro St., Mountain View, 650.961.6666; 225 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose, 408.289.9000

Best Pizza-Independent

A Slice of New York
3443 Stevens Creek Blvd., San Jose; 408.247.5423. A Slice of New York is a little hard to locate, but it’s worth the effort to locate, because it serves the best New York-style pizza anywhere outside of the Big Apple itself. A crispy crust and savory sauce makes this place a favorite, not to mention the flavorful garlic knots that make this more of a “second date” place.

2. Jake’s
1074 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, 408.287.7960; 12175 Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road, Saratoga, 408.257.5858; 174 E. Fremont Ave., Sunnyvale, 408.720.8884

3. High Five Pizza
171 Branham Lane, San Jose, 408.629.6800; 800 Embedded Way, San Jose, 408.365.5500

Best Local Burger Place

2388 S. Bascom Ave., Campbell, 408.371.3565; 75 Town & Country, Palo Alto, 650.326.6159; 2605 Homestead Road, Santa Clara, 408.241.5475. Loyal South Bay customers can remember their first Kirk’s Steakburger. Kirk’s has been around since the 1940s serving superior burgers cooked over charcoal. Add franks, sandwiches, salads and shakes, and no hunger goes unsated.

2. Mojo Burger
Multiple locations

3. Peggy Sue’s
185 Park Ave., San Jose, 408.294.0252; 29 N. San Pedro St., San Jose, 408.298.6750

The multitude of toppings at Willow Glen Frozen Yogurt made them tops in the polls.

Best Ice Cream/Gelato

Willow Glen Frozen Yogurt Co.
267 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell, 408.370.3272; 1104 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, 408.292.5961. Delicious, creamy, low fat and just as refreshing as ice cream on a hot summer day is the frozen yogurt at Willow Glen Frozen Yogurt Co. This small shop on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Willow Street is plain and simple, but it serves the best froyo around. It also sells Treat Ice Cream, another beloved San Jose company.

2. Dolce Spazio
221 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, 408.395.1335

3. Gelato Classico
191 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell, 408.370.9020; 241 Castro St., Mountain View, 650.969.2900; 435 Emerson St., Palo Alto, 650.327.1317

Best Burrito

La Victoria
5015 Almaden Expwy., San Jose, 408.978.7666; 140 E. San Carlos St., San Jose, 408.298.5335; 131 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose, 408.993.8230. There probably isn’t a more coveted San Jose staple than La Vic’s Orange Sauce. Orange sauce just seems to make the world a better place; especially when it is covering a burrito, late at night after studying for finals at San Jose State.

2. Super Taqueria
Multiple locations

3. Burrito Factory
Multiple locations

Best Sushi

250 E. Jackson St., San Jose; 408.288.9611. Silicon Valley sushi restaurants abound, but our readers deem Kazoo the ichiban. Fresh fish, cool vibes and chefs whose skills are as sharp as their knives keep this San Jose spot on top.

2. Yuki Sushi
1827 Pruneridge Ave., Santa Clara, 408.248.9144; 1140 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, 408.287.8854

3. Blowfish Sushi
355 Santana Row, San Jose; 408.345.3848

Best Deli/Sandwich Shop

Erik’s Deli
Multiple locations. Erik Johnson founded Erik’s DeliCafe up in Scotts Valley in 1973, when the food he sold—big, fresh sandwiches, home-made quality rustic soups and chunky green salads—was part of a cultural revolution. Since that time, California cuisine has evolved, but Erik’s still specializes in this simple fare. And it works: the franchise now includes more than two dozen locations throughout the Bay Area.

2. Zanotto’s
1970 Naglee Ave., San Jose, 408.294.9151; 1421 Foxworthy Ave., San Jose; 38 S. Second St., San Jose; 408.977.1333

3. La Villa Company
1319 Lincoln Ave., San Jose; 408.295.7851

Best Microbrewery Food

Gordon Biersch
33 E. San Fernando St., San Jose; 408.294.6785. The famous Signature Garlic Fries are now as essential to the appeal of AT&T Park as the view and a Lincecum strike-out, but they are better enjoyed in the fine old courtyard of this downtown San Jose landmark with one of the six beers (one of them seasonal) poured here. Appetizers like Kobe Sliders and Southwestern egg rolls lead up to the menu’s big guns, like the rib-eye steak dripping with Gorgonzola butter or the terrific crab cakes.

2. Rock Bottom Brewery
1875 S. Bascom Ave., Campbell; 408.377.0707

3. Los Gatos Brewing Company
130-G N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos; 408.395.9929

Best Dining Value

Sonoma Chicken Coop
Multiple locations. We can see that our readers have taken notice of the bargains available at the Coop. Meals top out at $15 a plate, but most fall beneath $10, and all are made with quality ingredients and never meant to leave diners wanting (except maybe for some dessert, like the classic Chocolate Hockey Puck). With these kinds of values, it’s no wonder SCC won this year for Best Family Restaurant and also for Best New Restaurant for its recently opened San Jose location on Capitol Expressway.

2. Aqui
Multiple locations

3. Willow Street Pizza
1072 Willow St., San Jose, 408.971.7080; 1554 Saratoga Ave., San Jose, 408.871.0400; 20 S. Santa Cruz Ave. #218, Los Gatos, 408.354.5566

Best Caterer

Parsley Sage Rosemary & Thyme
795 S. Second St., San Jose; 408.798.8388. Parsley, Sage Rosemary and Thyme is more than a line from a Simon and Garfunkel song, it’s Metro readers’ favorite caterer. And for good reason. Blending great food with a healthy attitude of fun, the San Jose company boasts clients such as Lockheed Martin, Cirque de Soleil and the Marcus & Millichap Company.

2. A Catered Affair
3255 Scott Blvd., Santa Clara; 408.727.6480

3. Purple Onion
26 E. Main St., Los Gatos; 408.335.0067


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