Eat Like a Local: Mexican Food in San Jose

Mexican food

With diverse culture, you can be sure to have some diverse cuisine, and San Jose’s large Mexican and Latino population brings some of the most flavorful options in the South Bay Area. Whether you’re craving something straightforward like a hearty burrito or something more specialized, like Oaxacan street food, this list of 5 restaurants should satisfy your cravings. Plan your visit to these savory spots while in San Jose to take your taste buds on a trip south of the border.

By Nikhil Misra

 

MEZCAL

Old school Oaxacan cuisine nuanced with the zest of traditional recipes—now this is specialty Mexican food. Mezcal creates a myriad of dishes with a balance of fresh ingredients from family recipes passed down generation to generation. Homemade, carefully crafted mole sauces span a wide range of distinct flavors and are extremely popular.

For more audacious foodies, Mezcal also serves chapulines (fried grasshoppers), a common and delicious snack found throughout Oaxaca. Complement your meal with the restaurant’s namesake; Mezcal, the traditional Mestizo drink made from agave.

CHACHO’S 

Entertainment, drinks, and prime Mexican food—Chacho’s is the place to be when you’re in the mood for Mexican at an affordable price. Knock back some tequila or Mexican beer, but definitely make sure to try the Hennchata, Chacho’s own invention of Hennessy cognac and a traditional rice drink, Horchata. This drink made Chacho’s the restaurant the largest seller of Hennessy bottles in Northern California.

Stop by for reliably tasty and fresh food at this exciting venue, and if you come for their renowned breakfast, make sure to try the chilaquiles!

DÍA DE PESCA

For flavorful Mexican seafood dishes and more, come to Día De Pesca. Enjoy well-seasoned meals or snacks, with an abundance of classic favorites to choose from including burritos, tamales, quesadillas and more. This friendly eatery welcomes groups of all sizes, has a special children’s menu, and provides a delightful family spot for Mexican food-lovers.

TU MERO MOLE

The definition of a hole-in-the-wall, Tu Mero Mole is often overlooked by many visitors of San Jose. However, what the establishment may lack in decorative appeal, it makes up for with tasty dishes and an abundant salsa bar. Irresistible food such as tacos al pastor, chili verde, and corn tortillas made from scratch boast striking flavors that stand in contrast to the restaurant’s forgettable exterior.

If you’re looking to venture away from the norms of restaurant-going on your trip, plan a visit to this hidden gem. Depending on when you plan to come by, cabrito (goat) or “peanut butter” salsa may be available!

METRO BALDERAS 1

Serving up affordable and authentic Mexican goodness, Metro Balderas 1 is an extremely popular taqueria in a snug, yet vibrant setting. The al pastor tacos are made to order and consistently earn rave reviews, as do the burritos and quesadillas.

The wide variety of delicious food on the menu is all prepared with fresh ingredients—you can watch the “Taquero” cut the meat right in front of you. For undeniably satisfying Mexican, make sure you don’t miss this local joint.

Want to explore San Jose some more? Make a personalized day-by-day itinerary using your interests and budget in moments at tripplan.sanjose.org!

 

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