The food and drink scene in San Jose is pretty slept on. We have some hidden and not so hidden gems in the neighborhood. I’ve compiled a list, in no particular order, of my favorite coffee cafes in San Jose (and nearby!) that offer more than just great coffee.
1.) Voyager Craft Coffee
3985 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95051
My friend came in during a weekday afternoon for a quick cup of coffee. I tried coming here on the weekend once and it was PACKED. I decided to pass and I’m glad things are more chill during the weekday. There is a parking lot for the plaza but it’s pretty tiny. We parked right on the side street with no problem.
Right when we walked through the door, we were greeted right away. We ordered fairly quickly and the barista was super friendly and helpful. We ordered two matcha lattes with the fancy rainbow latte art and the avocado toast. The matcha lattes tasted great. The avocado toast was a nice snack but we probably wouldn’t get it again.
Right off the bat, I understood why this place is rated 5 stars. The inside decor has some cute rustic elements, outdoor seating was nice, bathroom was clean. We will definitely come back to try their different drinks.
2.) Sue’s Gallery Cafe
14665 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070
I’ve been to this cafe a handful of times and each time has been great. It’s a short drive from San Jose. The decor inside is very cozy and picturesque. There is plenty of seating inside, upstairs and outdoors (you can find seating in the gallery next door as well). Parking is street parking but with no limit (as far as I can tell). It’s located pretty far from the rest of the businesses in Saratoga.
The service here is very good and quite friendly. I was sitting upstairs and had to bring two lattes up with me and one of the baristas offered to help me. We usually order the matcha latte, affogato (they have a few ice cream flavors to choose from), and the manako ice cream sandwich. The presentation and cups that they use are so lovely! They also serve some pastries as well.
WiFi is available and you don’t have to hunt down the employees for it. Check the signs around the cafe. Great place to hang out after a meal with friends or for some solo studying. Clean bathroom is also a plus!
3.) Social Policy
200 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113
I love this place! I wish I knew about it when I went to school at SJSU. It’s a great place for coffee and a nice brunch. Parking is a pain but it’s expected in downtown. It’s located right across the lightrail and Muji’s.
We ordered the hot chocolate and latte and had the avocado smash, yeasted waffle with mixed berries and a chicken sandwich and side garden salad. Everything tasted great and the presentation was on point. I really appreciate the attention to detail.
Order at the counter and find a seat with your number. They will bring out your order when it’s ready. The place has plenty of seating and it looks to be quite popular with studying and group meetings. There’s also outdoor seating when weather permits.
4.) Voltaire Coffee House
360 S Market St, San Jose, CA 95113
Parking can be a drag since it’s downtown San Jose. We did free street parking on Sunday. Workers are friendly and helpful. We ordered a matcha latte (sweetened) and a Nutella latte. The match latte was very good. The Nutelle latte was pretty bitter for our taste, surprisingly. The workers did a Totoro latte art upon request. Thank you! The place is pretty small but it does have enough comfortable spaced out seating and a bathroom.
754 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126
My friend and I were looking for a quick bite for lunch at work. I found Hannah’s and the reviews looked good enough to try. Parking is along the street, the backlot seems to be for residential. Plenty of seating unless it’s busy.
We went in at around noon on a Thursday and only a handful of customers were there. They serve breakfast and lunch all day. The workers are super friendly and helpful. We ordered the turkey pesto sandwich and the egg/sausage sandwich. Both come with a mini red velvet cupcake and salad! We also ordered an almond roco latte and salted caramel latte. Both were are the bitter side but the cute latte art was a great touch. The sandwiches were good… nothing special. We checked into Yelp for a free (another) cupcake!
Bottom line: friendly service, good food, reasonable prices, pretty presentation, typical cafe. Would go here again for a quick bite!
6.) Big Mug Coffee Roaster
3014 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051
We came on a weekday afternoon after getting lunch at 99 Chicken. It’s located in a small plaza that has plenty of parking. The inside of the cafe is pretty big and has lots of seating (although it can get pretty crowded). It’s a great spot to hang out after a meal or to study solo and with a group. They offer the usual coffee drinks and desserts. We got the matcha latte hot and iced along with their matcha belgian waffle (yes, we like matcha. Who doesn’t?!). The ice cream is from Marianne’s in Santa Cruz! Yum!
Everything was delicious. Bathrooms are spacious and clean. Workers are friendly. I will definitely be back!
7.) Academic Coffee
499 S 2nd St, San Jose, CA 95113
Academic Coffee is the newest cafe to hit Downtown San Jose! We got an iced mint matcha latte, hot matcha latte, and hot chocolate paired with Third Culture Bakery’s custard cakes and mochi muffins. This is the first and only place in San Jose that has those delicious Mochi Muffins! They also serve a wide variety of tea and they’re the only cafe to serve tea from Camellia Sinensis Tea House. The space has limited seating but they make great use of what they have.
You’ll probably find lots of San Jose State University students there as the school is nearby. Street parking is available but be warned that some of the meters only take coins (Update all your meters, San Jose!). Academic Coffee has brunch on the weekends as well! Check out their website for more information. Academic Coffee is on its way to becoming a local favorite. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!
Academic Coffee is the newest cafe to hit Downtown San Jose! We got an iced mint matcha latte, hot matcha latte, and hot chocolate paired with @thirdculturebakery’s custard cakes. They also serve a wide variety of tea and they’re the only cafe to serve tea from Camellia Sinensis Tea House. 🍵☕️ Thank you for having us, @academiccoffeesj! #academiccoffee #sanjoseeats #bayareaeats