Sometimes, the urge to have Italian food strikes, and nothing satisfies until you get it. When that happens, count on 10Best to point you in the direction of San Jose's best Italian restaurants. We understand the desire to have a great meal, and we work hard to bring you the top places to eat in San Jose. We vet restaurants carefully for quality, and when we recommend popular eateries like Ristorante Fratello or tell you that Bella Mia gets good reader feedback, you can believe it. We'll make sure you get - and eat - what's best.
Original Joe's, known to locals simply as "OJ's," has been a staple on the San Jose restaurant scene for nearly half a century. Part of the restaurant's appeal is its simple charm, including a counter that tends to fill rather quickly at both lunch and dinner. The menu boasts some of the best burgers in town, including the spinach-filled "Joe's Special." OJ's also offers several excellent Italian dishes. For dessert, give their excellent tiramisu or cheesecake a try. (408-292-7030, 888-841-7030)
Il Fornaio, located in the Sainte Claire Larkspur Hotel and near the Convention Center, is actually part of a restaurant/bakery chain. The Old World elegance of this restaurant is unmistakable – stylish décor marked by high ceilings and a cozy fireplace and a menu that is second to none. Entrées include several seafood dishes, including lobster ravioli and grilled fish. Il Fornaio also offers excellent breakfast pastries and Italian roast coffee. (408-271-3366)
La Pastaia, which is part of the Art Deco Hotel de Anza, is one of the more highly recommended Italian restaurants in San Jose. Locals adore the trattoria's casual Mediterranean atmosphere and contemporary Italian cuisine. Their personal pizzas are favorites, and dishes like osso buco, ravioli al sugo, and filetto are also worth trying. La Pastaia also offers a cappuccino bar. (408-286-8686)
Spiedo Ristorante is a reasonably priced Italian restaurant that offers a full bar and banquet rooms. The décor is sleek and modern, and the menu boasts such delightful appetizers as calamari, and excellent entrées like grilled steak served with mashed potatoes. Their mesquite-rotisserie dishes are also very popular, including rabbit wrapped in pancetta and roasted duck with balsamic sauce. There is a second location at 223 East Fourth Avenue. (408-971-6096)
A casual neighborhood Italian eatery that's family owned and operated, Ristorante Fratello may not have a trendy location or stylish décor, but it does have fantastic classic Italian food. The menu is lengthy, so choosing what to order may be a problem! Sausage polenta, ravioli, cannelloni, spaghetti carbonara, chicken marsala, salmon primavera – all are excellent. Two things are for certain – the tiramisu is a must have, and you will leave absolutely stuffed. (408-269-3801)
Giorgio's Italian Food & Pizzeria
Pizza and classic Italian soups and pastas are the mainstays here. You really can't go wrong with anything on the menu, but the lasagna is a favorite, and calzones are popular as well. Everything's available for take out, as well, which might be the best way to go on a Friday or Saturday night when the place is packed. (408-264-5781)