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11 Best Italian Restaurants in San Jose

pasta in san jose italian restaurant

Discover the captivating tastes of Italy right in the center of San Jose as we take you to some of the best Italian restaurants in the area. Take a culinary tour that honors the many regional cuisines and rich traditions of Italy, from the robust simplicity of a well-made pizza to the cozy embrace of pasta. Every eatery on our carefully selected list is a tribute to the culinary mastery of Italian cuisine, taking patrons to the lively streets of Rome or the sun-drenched slopes of Tuscany. Come along as we explore well-known venues and undiscovered treasures that have perfected the art of striking the right mix between innovation and authenticity. We promise a symphony in our investigation of the city’s Italian eating scene, regardless of your level of expertise with traditional dishes or your desire to try new ones.


Vin Santo Ristorante

1346 Lincoln Ave, San Jose, CA 95125
408-920-2508
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Vin Santo Ristorante San Jose
Source: Instagram

One of the best Italian restaurants in San Jose is Vin Santo Ristorante, found in the Willow Glen neighborhood. It has a relaxed, intimate atmosphere with warm lighting and an extensive wine list with flavors that enhance any meal. Additionally, their culinary team prepares dishes for private banquets or other special occasions. My favorite dishes are their Penne Bolognese, Spaghetti Polpette, and Ravioli Di Pere. Don’t forget to visit on Tuesdays for $1 oysters all night and Wednesdays for half-price wine bottles. If you stop by for happy hour, consider sampling their flavorful Smashed Lemonade, Porn Star Martini, or Don Berto cocktail.


Maggiano’s Little Italy

3055 Olin Ave Suite 1000, San Jose, CA 95128
408-423-8973
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Maggiano's Little Italy San jose
Source: Instagram

Next up on this list of the best Italian restaurants in San Jose, California, is Maggiano’s Little Italy, located within Santana Row. I consider this a great place to enjoy classic Italian dishes if you’re looking for a relaxed, partially upscale setting with warm vibes. After starting with their Garlic Bread or Italian Sausage Flatbread, consider ordering their Chicken & Spinach Manicotti, Taylor Street Baked Ziti, Four-Cheese Ravioli, or Chef KB’s Lobster Carbonara. These dishes taste best when paired with a Citrus Mule or Italian Peach Rita. Don’t miss out on their Tiramisu or Warm Apple Crostada if you’re in the mood for dessert.

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Paesano Ristorante Italiano

350 W Julian St, San Jose, CA 95110
408-217-9327
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Paesano Ristorante Italiano San Jose
Source: Instagram

Located east of the Guadalupe River, Paesano Ristorante Italiano is your best option if you prefer dining in a cheerful, contemporary Italian eatery after a day of sightseeing. This restaurant’s traditional dishes offer bold flavors to locals and tourists, making it the perfect setting for private dinners or dates. During my last few visits to San Jose, I started with their Bruschetta and Mozzarella Caprese. Then, I ordered their Pollo Saltimbocca, Veal Parmigiana, and Spaghetti Bolognese. They serve the best cannoli and tiramisu for dessert for anyone craving something sweet. Be sure to ask your server about their best wine pairings.


Tomato Thyme

1560 Hamilton Ave, San Jose, CA 95125
408-723-7333
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Tomato Thyme San Jose
Source: Instagram

Another one of the best Italian restaurants in San Jose, California, is Tomato Thyme, nestled in the heart of Willow Glen, about a mile and a half away from Wallenberg Park. This relaxed neighborhood eatery serves quality wood-fired pizza and scratch-made pasta for their hungriest guests. If you’re dining with friends, consider starting with their buffalo wings or fried ravioli. Then, try their Blackened Ribeye, Tomato Basil Pizza, Scallop & Prawn Risotto, or Chicken Marsala. They have a wide selection of wines, draft beer, cocktails, and soft drinks to pair with your meal. I recommend their Pear-Tini, Tropical Mai Tai, or Blood Orange Cosmopolitan.


The Old Spaghetti Factory

51 N San Pedro St, San Jose, CA 95110
408-288-7488
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The Old Spaghetti Factory San Jose
Source: Instagram

Within walking distance from St. James Park and Hotel De Anza stands The Old Spaghetti Factory. This family-friendly restaurant has a cozy atmosphere with old-school decor and serves traditional Italian cuisine. Their interactive murder mystery dinner is an excellent way to immerse yourself in this restaurant’s setting if you’re dining with friends. They offer plenty of entree options for their three-course dinner. Their best dishes are Spinach and Cheese Ravioli, Spaghetti with Mizithra Cheese and Browned Butter, Spinach Tortellini with Alfredo Sauce, and Gourmet Jumbo Crab Ravioli. If you have specific dietary preferences, you can choose a dish from their gluten-free menu.


Il Fornaio San Jose

302 S Market St, San Jose, CA 95113
408-271-3366
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Il Fornaio San Jose
Source: Instagram

You can find El Fornaio San Jose inside The Westin San Jose Hotel, near The Tech Interactive and Plaza de Cesar Chavez. This refined restaurant serves quality dishes with in-house baked bread and the finest Italian wines. Its aesthetic is simple and homey, giving guests a cozy setting to enjoy their meals. Consider trying their Salmone Alla Griglia, Paccheri Alla Vodka, or Tagliatelle Bolognese if you stop by for dinner. I also recommend their Fritelle allo Sciroppo d’Acero or Omelette Alle Verdure if you stop by for breakfast. Also, don’t forget to treat yourself to their Setteveli or Gelati Misti for dessert.

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Original Joe’s San Jose

301 S First St, San Jose, CA 95113
408-292-7030
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Original Joe's San Jose
Source: Instagram

Another Italian restaurant found inside The Westin San Jose Hotel is Original Joe’s San Jose. Enjoy quality Italian cuisine in a stylish, vintage environment with dim lighting. It’s a great place to grab a quick bite before walking to one of the local theaters to watch a performance. I love ordering their Broiled Salmon, Pasta Primavera with White Sauce, Chicken Piccata, or Prime Rib whenever I stop by for dinner. They also have plenty of breakfast and lunch options if you stop by earlier. Don’t forget to browse their drink list for flavorful, international ed, white, or sparkling wine pairing options.


Tomatina

5245 Prospect Rd, San Jose, CA 95129
408-380-0040
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Tomatina San Jose
Source: Instagram

Tomatina is one of the best Italian restaurants in San Jose, California, for anyone who prefers enjoying quality scratch-made meals prepared by Executive Chef Rogelio Jacinto in a casual atmosphere. You can find it less than half a mile away from Mission College and eight miles north of Winchester Mystery House. You can enjoy their dishes in their open-air kitchen or outdoor patio. I’m a fan of their Shrimp Pomodoro, Chicken Flatbread, Carne Combo Pizza, and Roasted Salmon. They taste best with an Espresso Martini, Vanilla Mint Lemonade, or Italian Smash. You can also customize a gluten-free pizza pie with your favorite toppings. Then, finish your night right with their sweet Affogato or Apple Crisp.


Bertucelli’s La Villa

1319 Lincoln Ave, San Jose, CA 95125
408-295-7851
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Bertucelli's La Villa San Jose
Source: Instagram

Are you having trouble finding San Jose Italian restaurants offering tasty dishes to go if you don’t have time to stay? If so, Bertucelli’s La Villa is the best option to consider west of the Northern Cross neighborhood. This casual dining destination offers plenty of prepared dishes and sandwiches at any time of the day. You can choose from a wide selection of salads, sandwiches, hot entrees, and frozen meals. I recommend sampling their Meat and Spinach Ravioli, Chicken Parmesan Sandwich, Turkey Club, or Calzone. Do you prefer something sweet? Then, consider ordering their daily-made brownies, pound cake, or biscotti to go.


Antipasto’s By DeRose Gourmet

3454 McKee Rd, San Jose, CA 95127
408-251-5647
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Antipasto's By DeRose Gourmet San Jose
Source: Instagram

If you’re spending time near the La Pala South neighborhood, one of the best Italian restaurants in San Jose, California, you shouldn’t miss out is Antipasto’s By DeRose Gourmet. This family-owned deli offers the best scratch-made ravioli in the neighborhood, shaped in a vintage ravioli machine and several New York-style sandwiches. Consider ordering their Ribeye Steak, Meatball Sandwich, Beef Ravioli, or Grilled Fish if you plan on staying for dinner or taking your meal to go. Be sure to pair your dish with their international, regional, and local craft beer. They also have a wide selection of international, local, and regional craft beer to pair with any specialty dish.

See also  17 Best Restaurants in San Jose

A Slice of New York

3443 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose, CA 95117
408-247-5423
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A Slice of New York San Jose
Source: Instagram

Last but not least on this list of the best Italian restaurants in San Jose, California, is A Slice of New York, located about four minutes away from Winchester Mystery House. This Italian eatery specializes in thin-crust pizzas and serves them in a casual setting decorated with New York City street signs for an authentic urban feel. If you’re interested in customizing a pizza, you can choose from a small, large, personal, or Sicilian pie. I prefer topping mine with bacon, ricotta, and fresh basil. I also recommend their Buffalo Chicken Pizza or Meatball Parm Sub if you prefer ordering something else.

Why Trust Us?

When it comes to local restaurant recommendations, we pride ourselves on being a reliable and trustworthy resource. Our suggestions are not just based on our personal experiences, ensuring a more authentic and well-rounded perspective, but also on extensive online research. We diligently searched the internet and reviewed 6 credible sites and blogs, including Timeout and SanJose.com.

We compiled all the findings in one location and sorted them by the frequency of mentions to ensure you receive top-notch recommendations. We strive to present you with a curated list of establishments that truly stand out, allowing you to enjoy the best dining experiences possible. 

Interested in the sources we consulted? Check out the list of all 5 sites we referenced below this paragraph, offering transparency and an opportunity for our readers to explore further. Our commitment is to deliver trustworthy and unparalleled recommendations, helping you make informed decisions on your culinary journeys.

https://www.opentable.com/cuisine/best-italian-restaurants-san-jose-ca
https://wanderlog.com/list/geoCategory/53648/best-italian-restaurants-in-san-jose
https://foursquare.com/top-places/san-jose/best-italian-restaurants
https://familydestinationsguide.com/best-italian-restaurants-in-san-jose-ca/

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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