Best Nightlife

Out of all the clubs and bars in a city, 10Best narrows the options to those places with the most appeal and the best reputations. We offer a carefully vetted selection to let you explore San Jose nightlife on your own. If time is really tight, though, and you don't have the leisure to look through all our offerings, we present our San Jose Best Nightlife list. Here, we distill the best businesses down to a special selection of ten. These places promise a stellar experience and a taste of the city that you just can't miss.


Stevens Creek

JJ's knows what they're doing. Over two decades in the business means they know the blues, and they take pride in presenting up-and-coming performers as well as established names – the schedule varies, with jam sessions on Monday and Tuesday. There's a pool table in the back, a well-stocked bar with expert "intoxicologists" and a super casual vibe. No food, but there's a great pizza joint next door.

Read more about JJ's Blues Lounge →

Stevens Creek

Shopping, dining and partying, all in one location. Santana Row has it all. Shops like Z Gallerie, Salvatore Ferragamo, Ann Taylor Loft, Anthropologie, Gucci, Burberry and Tommy Bahama. Restaurants serving everything from fast food burgers and subs to elegant Indian, French, Asian and Italian cuisine. And nightlife options abound whether you're into casual Irish pubs, sophisticated wine bars or trendy dance clubs.

Read more about Santana Row →

A multi-level restaurant/lounge/dance club, Agenda has a lot going for it and is known for having a diverse clientele. There's plenty of space for dancing, pool tables and several bars where you can get virtually any kind of alcoholic beverage imaginable. The food menu is brief but well rounded with several appetizers. The place gets packed, but if you call a couple days in advance you can reserve a table with bottle service.

Read more about Agenda Restaurant & Lounge →


It's a dive bar, no doubt about it, but Blank is also considered the best place in town to catch bands. The schedule includes a huge variety, so the crowd differs from night to night. Past performers include Dick Dale, Birthday Massacre, Social UnRest, Tsunami, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Shonen Knife, Third Grade Teacher, Franz Ferdinand and a host of local punk, roots and alt rock bands. There's even karaoke on occasion.

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Need a laugh? Check out who's on at The Improv – you might catch Bill Bellamy, D.L. Hughley, Brian Regan, Bobby Lee or the Kims of Comedy. Full dinner menu is available if you want to make a night of it. Two-drink minimum. Show times vary, but usually start about two hours after doors open.

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A traditional British style pub, Trials is housed in an 1894 building that has functioned as a hotel, a brothel and even as extra jail space. Today though, the place is warm and inviting with real "across the pond" flair. The food menu features all the favorites: shepherd's pie, fish and chips, chicken curry, bangers and mash. And Trials also has the best-pulled pint of Guinness in town.

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Classy and sophisticated, the Hedley Club appeals to those who have moved beyond the meat-market club scene but still like to enjoy a night out. The art deco interior is warm and inviting with a wood-burning fireplace and comfy seating. Live jazz every Friday and Saturday night, too.

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The bartenders do tricks, the drinks come in a variety of rainbow hues, and a crowd of party people tends to be friendly and fun. Expect dancing on the bar, sing-alongs, and a rowdy good time. Despite the rowdiness, modern décor, red walls and plasma TVs, elevate the place well above "dive bar" status.

Read more about The Flying Martini Brothers Bar & Bistro →

Sometimes you just get an itch to shoot some pool. In San Jose, this is the place to go. Along with more than 25 tables, you can enjoy full food and bar menus. The ambience is a bit upscale, but casual.

Read more about South First Billiards Club Lounge →

Eclectic Gordon Biersch Brewery is a popular chain brewpub known as much for its flavor-packed menu (great garlic mashed potatoes!) as for its fine selection of German ales and lagers. On weekends, it tends to get fairly loud and crowded and makes for a fun place to hang out, especially for folks between the ages of 21 and 35. During the summer, you'll probably happen upon a little live music when you stop in.

Read more about Gordon Biersch Brewery →