The lighter side of real estate

These 15 Bars In San Jose Will Make You Want To Stay Until Last Call

Here’s how you party like a rockstar in San Jose.

Tena Moore

16 articles, 0 comments

1. Get Swanky At Singlebarrel

Singlebarrel Bar - San Jose Bars

Source: singlebarrel via Facebook

43 W San Salvador St
(408) 792-7356
Yelp: 4 Stars – 1255 Reviews

This Prohibition-style bar is chock full of good vibes, with jazz music, dim lighting, and cocktails made from scratch based on your  specific preferences. Just tell the bartenders what flavors you like and they’ll whip you up something incredible every time. Singlebarrel has a house rule of speaking softly–no yelling allowed, which adds to the relaxing, classy atmosphere.

2. Beer Geeks Rejoice At Original Gravity Public House

Original Gravity Public House Bar - San Jose Bars

Source: Original Gravity Public House via Facebook

Original Gravity Public House
66 S 1st St
(408) 915-2337
Yelp: 4 Stars – 448 Reviews

What could be better than craft beer and gourmet sausages? Nothing, that’s why it’s all about the beer and sausages at Original Gravity Public House. With an abundance of rotating taps and a fantastic selection of ciders and meads, beer geeks and the craft beer curious will fall in love within mere seconds of entering. Don’t leave without getting the best duckfat fries in San Jose.

3. Bar Hop All Night Long At San Pedro Square Market

San Pedro Square Market Bar - San Jose Bars

Source: San Pedro Square Market via Facebook

San Pedro Square Market
87 N San Pedro St
Yelp: 4.5 Stars – 539 Reviews

The San Pedro Square Market is a rockin’ market square with several places to get your drink on. All the bars are amazing: Garage Bar, Vino Vino, The Market Bar, Market Beer Co. and Blush Lounge.

Whether you want a craft beer, a fabulous glass of wine or a expertly prepared cocktail, you’re completely covered. Plus, you’re able to walk around freely between the bars and restaurants with your drinks and enjoy live music to boot.

4. Fly High At Paper Plane

Paper Plane Bars - San Jose Bars

Source: Paper Plane via Facebook

Paper Plane
72 S 1st St
(408) 713-2625
Yelp: 4 Stars – 366 Reviews

Let’s start with the first thing you’ll see here: their fully lighted, floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall liquor shelf is super impressive and witness to the fact that you can order just about anything here.

The food menu is as awesome as the cocktail menu, with everything from pork belly and wings to a kale and Brussels sprouts salad. Definitely try their seasonal, hand-crafted punches from the tap.

5. Party Like An Irishman At O’Flaherty’s

O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub Bar - San Jose Bars

Source: O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub via Facebook

O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub
25 N San Pedro St
(408) 947-8007
Yelp: 4 Stars – 336 Reviews

O’Flaherty’s is that place you go when you want to get a little loud and rowdy in San Jose. Go ahead and scream at the TVs, especially when the Sharks are playing. With over 50 beers on tap and plenty of whiskey to go around, they’ve got all your drinking needs covered.

Depending on which day of the week you show up you can have a great time playing trivia, singing karaoke, dancing to traditional Irish music or catching a live band.

6. Impress Your Hipster Friends At 55 South

55 South Bar - San Jose Bars

Source: 55 South via Facebook

55 South
55 S 1st St
(408) 288-6000
Yelp: 4 Stars – 269 Reviews

This fabulous cocktail bar has an almost daunting selection of spirits. If you’re not sure what to order, try the State of Grace, Bramble, French Pear Martini, or the most popular, the Moscow Mule served in a traditional copper mug (you’ll get your ID back when they get their copper mug back). The tunes will be agreeable to hipsters and normals alike, the crowd is friendly, and the bartenders are magic.

7. Cinebar Will Be Your New Favorite Dive

Cinebar - San Jose Bars


69 E San Fernando St
(408) 292-9562
Yelp: 4 Stars – 291 Reviews

Cinebar is a straight up dive. We’re talking Johnny Cash on the juke, bad movies on the TVs, tacky wall art, and heavy pours. Whether it’s those heavy pours, jukebox tunes, or awesome art deco murals on the wall (especially the stormtrooper and Frida), folks can’t get enough of Cinebar. This low-key spot is the place to get your drink on and enjoy super cheap specials.

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8. Sing Your Heart Out At 7 Bamboo

7 Bamboo Bar - San Jose Bars

Source: Flickr User Idandersen

7 Bamboo
162 Jackson St
(408) 279-9937
Yelp: 4 Stars – 316 Reviews

7 Bamboo, affectionately nicknamed ‘The Boo’ by locals, is a funky dive in Japantown. It’s dark and small, the bartenders are attentive and it’s all about the karaoke. You’ll find all the die-hard karaoke addicts jammed into The Boo for the good selection of songs, the wireless mics so they can walk around, and the stiff drinks that help them loosen up.

9. If You’re Searching For Beer Go To ISO Beers

ISO Beers Bar - San Jose Bars

Source: ISObeers via Facebook

ISO Beers
75 E Santa Clara St
(408) 298-2337
Yelp: 4.5 Stars – 100 Reviews

Beer, beer and more beer, all served in an open, clean, industrial atmosphere. ISO Beers means serious beer business: they have a whole wall of fridges packed with bottled beers and an entire wall of stainless steel taps.

They don’t serve food, so get it to go at Ike’s or La Victoria’s and bring it on over, they don’t mind. Plus they have a great beer garden out back so you can eat and drink in the sunshine.

10. Firehouse No. 1 Gastropub

Firehouse No. 1 Gastropub Bar - San Jose Bars

Source: Firehouse No. 1 Gastropub via Facebook

Firehouse No. 1 Gastropub
69 N San Pedro St
(408) 287-6969
Yelp: 4 Stars – 699 Reviews

Firehouse No. 1 might be a gastropub with excellent food first and foremost, but the atmosphere is high energy bar, especially during a game. They get packed fast both inside and out and the place always seems to have a can’t-stop-won’t-stop vibe.

You can’t go wrong with any of their delicious libations or craft beers, but if you’re with a group of friends, ask for the stoplight drink and race your friends to the finish line.

11. The Blank Club

The Blank Club Bar - San Jose Bars

Source: Flickr User milesgehm

The Blank Club
44 S Almaden Ave
(408) 292-5265
Yelp: 4 Stars – 198 Reviews

New wave, synth pop, goth, 80’s, punk, live bands… The Blank Club has it all and does it right. This is a bar you’ll be happy to go to any night of the week knowing that they’ll have fantastic music and cheap, strong drinks. It’s a San Jose icon with it’s own spin-off night of EBM and goth music: Club Satori.

12. Clandestine Brewery

Clandestine Brewing Bar - San Jose Bars

Source: Clandestine Brewing via Facebook

Clandestine Brewing
1805 Little Orchard Street, Suite 124
(408) 520-0220
Yelp: 5 Stars – 31 Reviews

Make Clandestine Brewing your go-to weekend beer destination. They are passionate about their barrel-brewed beers, and you’ll definitely want to get geeky with the beertenders to find out which ones you should try. The best bet is one of their beer flights with six different 4-ounce pours.

This place isn’t your typical big brewery, it’s like hanging out  in a small, intimate space with your home crafting friends. They brew in small batches, so when you notice a new beer on their website it’s best to run over as soon as you can.

13. Get Glamorous At Hedley Club Lounge

Hedley Club Lounge Bar - San Jose Bars

Source: The Hedley Club via Facebook

Hedley Club Lounge
Hotel De Anza
233 West Santa Clara St
(408) 286-1000
Yelp: 4 Stars – 158 Reviews

The Hedley Club in Hotel De Anza is a super swanky spot to enjoy some cocktails and wine in an art-deco atmosphere. Lounge by their wood-burning fireplace, mingle in their beautiful outdoor area, belly up to their cherry wood and marble bar or sway to some live jazz by the best local artists.

Try the French Pear with elderberry and lemon cocktail and a Mediterranean-inspired pizza or the ricotta ravioli with brown butter and sage.

14. South First Billiards

South First Billiards Bar - San Jose Bars


South First Billiards
420 S 1st St
(408) 294-7800
Yelp: 3.5 Stars – 228 Reviews

Pool tables, darts, air hockey, pinball, ping pong and foosball make South First Billiards one of San Jose’s best spots for getting your game on. Sometimes they have live music and DJs and other nights the jukebox does the work. The garlic fries and wings are the bomb, and this is the place to get your beer by the pitcher to improve that pool game.

15. SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant

SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant - San Jose Bars

Source: SP2 Commual Bar + Restaurant via Facebook

SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant
72 N Almaden Ave
(408) 299-2000
Yelp: 3.5 Stars – 503 Reviews

SP2 is a sweet downtown place to bring a group of friends and relax communal-style inside or outside with some fantastic, locally-sourced food and tasty drinks. They have a killer happy hour with bargain drink and food specials, Friday and Saturday nights are rocking, and the Sunday brunch is the only way to nurse a hangover…with bottomless mimosas.

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What’s the best watering hole in San Jose? Tell us in the comments below!

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posted on: February 23, 2015
40,059 views, 2 comments


  1. Amy Anderson

    Several SJ Downtown institutions…

    CAFE STRITCH (The name doesn’t scream BAR, but good selection of craft beer & wines & cocktails – with some of the best live music programmed in San Jose, along with great prices on comfort food – and veggie options too)!

    TRIALS PUB (British style w/no tvs’ real dartboard, great selection of ales and British inspired pub food)

    TESKE’s GERMANIA (They are not only known for their traditional German food – good draft beer selection and their patio with live music in Late Spring through Fall transports you to a European villa)

    GOOD KARMA (although started primarily as a Vegan Cafe, the emphasis has really shifted to one of the best craft beer and import selections – including cider and sours – in town before many others like ISO and Original Gravity opened)

  2. Joan

    Single Barrel #1? Please. Only dare to wait in line if you’re looking for pretentious and overpriced “atmosphere” that breaks up any group of people having anything resembling fun. And they really don’t know their whiskies for crap, either. I’ll take the Caravan to this fake hipster BS any day.


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