Things to do in San Jose

Top San Jose Bars for an Unforgettable Nightlife Adventure

San Jose's nightlife scene is an unmissable adventure waiting to be tasted, sip by sip.

Are you a craft beer queen, a cocktail king, or someone who just loves to party? San Jose bars offer never-ending opportunities for unforgettable experiences.

From hidden speakeasies to swanky lounges, there’s a spot to suit every mood. With so many fun things to do in San Jose, rounding off the day at one of these establishments is a must. Ready to be the life and soul of the party at the city's finest bars? Come along on a tipple tour of Silicon Valley.

Craft Beer Enthusiasts

Exploring San Jose's craft beer scene introduces you to citrusy IPAs bursting with tang, barrel-aged stouts with chocolaty foam, and everything in between. Each sip is a thrill, every moment a memory.

Grab a schooner and prepare to discover San Jose's hoppy havens. Cheers to new discoveries!

1. Clandestine Brewing

Clandestine Brewing has been a cultural hub in San Jose's SoFA district since 2014. Inside, exposed brick walls meet industrial lighting, creating a relaxed, contemporary vibe. We wouldn’t expect anything less from a trendy, converted warehouse like this!

It's a co-op brewery and the brainchild of passionate home brewers Adrian Kalaveshi and Colin Kelley, who share their love for the craft with a diverse clientele. They welcome beer experts and curious newcomers alike for tours, tastings, and friendly conversation.

An ever-evolving tap list boasts bold IPAs and crisp pilsners. But fear not; toasted malt lovers, smooth stouts, and impressive porters are also available.

Photographer: Josh Olalde

Cocktail Aficionados

Candlelight flickers against coupe glasses as you raise a drink crafted with artistry. The aroma of bitters dances with sweet, sharp, and sour flavors. Sink into plush armchairs surrounded by friends, and immerse yourself in the warm glow of good company.

While you catch up, master mixologists perform liquid sorcery and serve perfectly balanced drinks. Yearn for a classic drink with a modern twist? Perhaps you prefer innovative, edgy drinks.

You'll find it all in San Jose, and it's all served under the California sunshine, no less. We love nothing more than the refreshing mint and lime of a mojito to chase away the city's buzz after a performance.

2. Haberdasher

Descend into Haberdasher bar, a modern speakeasy tucked away in charming downtown San Jose. This basement bar is bathed in mood-setting light. As soon as you walk in, aromas whisper secrets of creative cocktails. Knowledgeable bartenders act as guides, crafting bespoke drinks tailored to your every whim.

Try bold and innovative concoctions, such as Tally Me Banana, or stick to a classic old-fashioned—the menu caters to every palate. The scent of herbs and exotic garnishes mingles with the murmur of conversation, creating an oh-so-intimate ambiance that we love to get lost in.

3. Paper Plane

Pop into Paper Plane in San Pedro Square and take flight. This craft cocktail bar serves lip-smacking cuisine until late, and the drinks list entices even the most discerning cocktail connoisseurs.

Craving something unusual? We love the small-batch whiskies you can sample here. And if you haven’t tried Japanese shochu, this is a place to do it.

4. 55 South

Unwind in style at 55 South, a chameleon cocktail lounge catering to all tastes. Love fruity rum cocktails served in whacky glasses? Tiki Tuesdays are for you. Prefer speakeasy style? You’ll fit in just fine. If hunger strikes, indulge in mac and cheese, cheesy olive bread, or tacos.

Somehow, this cozy, low-ceilinged space manages to feel homey while retaining an upscale ambiance. Little ones are not allowed in after 8 p.m., when the party kicks off. Once the DJ and dance floor are in full swing, you'll forget the word "worry" ever existed.

5. The Continental Bar, Lounge & Patio

The Continental Bar, Lounge & Patio is housed in a beautiful 1917 brick building. It blends the rustic glamour of the past with today’s fizzy energy. Reclaimed wood and salvaged metal create a speakeasy-chic scene straight out of a Fitzgerald novel.

Amble in and quench your thirst with craft cocktails shaken with precision, or try the specialty beer selection. Daily happy hour beckons, and live music and DJs will keep you singing and swinging all night long.

Photographer: Sohan Shingade

Sports Fans

The roar of the crowd fills the air as you raise a cold beer with friends in a buzzing sports bar. Screens show every heart-stopping moment of the game, and the atmosphere crackles with conversation.

Give in to the aroma of wings and burgers, and tuck into classic pub fare alongside fellow fans. Put each other to the test at pool tables or dartboards, and let your competitive spirit ignite.

It doesn’t matter if you're a Warriors, 49ers, or Raiders fan — or a visiting rival. San Jose's sports bars welcome you to celebrate every victory and commiserate every loss. Grab your jersey, gather your crew, and prepare for a night to remember.

6. San Pedro Square Market Bar

San Pedro Square Market Bar pours craft brews, quirky cocktails, and local wines that would make anyone do a victory dance. The calendar is jam-packed with live music, while lively sports fans watch the Super Bowl and other major sporting events on big screens.

While you’re here, raise a glass to history — you're surrounded by it. The bar can be found in San Pedro Square Market’s walls. That’s right, you’re sipping on beverages in the last remaining structure from El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe.

Ponder on that as you drink timeless Manhattans and unique in-house concoctions. This joint's a magnet for San Jose's coolest cats, so come ready to swap stories and make new friends.

7. O'Flaherty's Irish Pub

Let O'Flaherty's Irish Pub transport you straight to Ireland. Opened in 2002 by Ray and Marie O'Flaherty, the walls are adorned with memorabilia shipped directly from the Emerald Isle. You’ll find 52 beers on tap — including Guinness, of course — and hearty fare, such as fish and chips, will warm your soul.

O'Flaherty's isn't decked out in jerseys and flat screens, but you can still watch the game here. Catch the telly on match days or cheer alongside your pals for the big leagues. Just don't expect the pub's usual chatter to be silenced by the crowd.

Photographer: George Bakos

8. Jack's Bar & Lounge

All sorts of eclectic characters flock to Jack's bar, from college students to techies and even Silicon Valley legends. During football season, gather around one of the five HD TVs, and don’t miss out on Jack’s pocket-friendly deals. Weekday happy hours are nothing short of legendary.

Want a taste of competition for yourself? Win or lose, you can laugh the evening away, playing cornhole, beer pong, or giant Jenga with pals on the backyard patio. Are you feeling your voice? We are, too. We’re no strangers to showing off our vocal prowess when karaoke nights come around.

9. Rookies Sports Lodge

Rookies Sports Lodge is a family-friendly dream for San Jose’s sports lovers. The wall-to-wall TVs mean you'll never miss a moment of the game, and the endless roster of beers on tap includes local favorites and classic imports.

The scrumptious menu has juicy burgers, crispy wings, hearty pizzas, and fresh salads. If you’re celebrating, Rookies has private rooms for larger groups. Locals huddle at this Willow Glen hotspot for team outings, birthday parties, and get-togethers with friends.

Wine Lovers

Discover intimate alcoves where knowledgeable staff guide you through a vineyard of varietals. Try these bars and taste bold cabernet sauvignons from Napa Valley or the subtlety of pinot noir from Santa Cruz.

Looking for a new go-to? Swirl, sip, and savor as you taste hidden gems for the first time. And enjoy the company as you engage in lively conversation with fellow enthusiasts and compare tasting notes.

San Jose's wine bars are a sensory odyssey for the discerning palate, nestled in the heart of California's vibrant wine country. We love San Jose’s wine scene almost as much as we love to twirl, flip, and soar.

10. Vintage Wine Bar

Immerse yourself in the gloriously unpretentious atmosphere at Vintage Wine Bar. If you're partial to the inviting warmth of the bar or you yearn for a sun-kissed outdoor patio, it’s yours. This San Jose wine bar is a relaxed setting for sniffing and sampling the finest vintages.

With a diverse selection of over 25 wines by the glass and a rotating list, choice is the order of the day. We never fail to be impressed by the knowledgeable staff at Vintage Wine Bar. They're ever-ready to provide recommendations or serenade you with lyrical descriptions of wine flights.

11. Ancora Vino by Enoteca La Storia

A sparkling gem in Little Italy, Ancora Vino by Enoteca La Storia is a stylish wine shop and bar with a global cellar. Prepare to be whisked away on a grape-fueled romp through the old and new worlds.

Friendly staff, passionate about the vine, help you select the perfect pour, whether it’s a bold Tuscan red or a crisp New Zealand sauvignon blanc. For sustenance, nibble on delectable cheese plates and other delightful bites as you sip your way to satisfaction.

Photographer: Kelsey Knight

Live Music and Entertainment

Sway to soulful vocals, rock out to a local band, or escape amidst the heart-pounding beats of electronica. San Jose's live music scene caters to every taste, and there's a gig every night. It's a platform for emerging artists and seasoned musicians and a paradise for music lovers.

12. The Ritz

You have to experience the folly of The Ritz to believe it. This debonair club champions the freshest up-and-coming local bands, such as Loving, Fog Lake, and Go Ahead and Die. Dance the night away, and take your pick of its range of local and international beers, classic cocktails, and spirits.

Not just for music lovers, The Ritz also hosts occasional comedy nights and DJ sets. Partial to great laughs? San Jose's comedy clubs San Jose's comedy clubs are among the most celebrated.

13. Poor House Bistro

Thrumming with live music, Poor House Bistro in downtown San Jose is a gateway to joy. Every Thursday through Sunday, it showcases a diverse soundscape, ranging from sultry blues to toe-tapping jazz.

Before losing yourself in the melody, remember to try the blackened chicken pasta and wash it down with a Happy Hops IPA. We take every opportunity to indulge our senses, and Poor House Bistro always delivers the goods.

Dive Bars With Character

Some of the best haunts in downtown San Jose are dive bars. They offer unpretentious, untamed experiences for free spirits like us. Step back in time, and get down with sticky floors, faded neon signs, and jukeboxes that only play the classics.

Spin yarns with locals and travelers over cocktails and no-frills fare. You know the type of characters. Those who tell inspiring, moving, and downright life-changing stories. We love embracing the chaos and unleashing our inner rebels at San Jose's legendary dive bars.

14. Cash Only

Groove down to Cash Only, which is more of a honky-tonk hub than a fancy lounge. Vintage neon signs, a classic jukebox, and affordable $5 shots all day, every day make Cash Only an inexpensive treat.

The menu focuses on mainstay cocktails, such as daiquiris and whiskey sours, and you’ll find your go-to beers on tap or by the bottle. Cash Only serves bar snacks, but famished foodies can eat their fill at the coolest restaurants in San Jose.

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15. The Caravan Lounge

The Caravan Lounge is an old-school, owner-operated dive bar that prioritizes drinks and live entertainment over frilly extras. Shimmy down for some late-night karaoke, a comedy show, live music, or even a burlesque performance.

You'll never pay a cover charge at The Caravan Lounge. And its doors are always open to welcome you with open arms 365 days a year.

Unfolding the Night, One Toast at a Time

As darkness descends on San Jose, a kaleidoscope of nightlife unfolds. From frothy craft beers to intriguing cocktails, the largest city of Silicon Valley has a libation to tempt every night owl.

Costumes shimmer under the spotlight. Aerialists soar through the air. Acrobatic feats unfold, defying logic with unbelievable contortion and breathtaking balance. Prepare to be mesmerized by evocative music and stunning visuals that paint a canvas of pure wonder.

Our shows are immersive experiences that leave you breathless, inspired, and craving more. Secure your seat at one of our shows in San Jose, and witness the extraordinary unfold before your eyes.

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