Latin American Restaurants in San José California: Fogo de Chão
Latin American Restaurants in San José California: Fogo de Chão Fogo de Chão Facebook

San Jose might be mostly recognized for being the home of Silicon Valley, but the city truly serves as a vibrant representation of cuisines from the region's diverse immigrant background. Showcasing a rich array of Latin American restaurants, San Jose is a foodie's dream, especially for those with a serious craving for arepas, tacos, empanadas, or ceviches.

Latinos make up 30.8% of the 971,233 people residing in San Jose City, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. This is reflected in Latin American eateries, fine dining restaurants and food trucks everywhere.

Mexican cuisine undeniably takes center stage in nearly every neighborhood, especially in Downtown San Jose. However, diverse options influenced by the flavors of South America and the Caribbean are also readily available.

Here are some of the best Latin American restaurants in San José, California.

Top 5 Latin American Restaurants in San Jose, California

Latin American Restaurants in San José California: Habana Latin Cuisine
Latin American Restaurants in San José California: Habana Latin Cuisine Habana Latin Cuisine Facebook

1. Venezuelan Food Restaurant: Arepas Latin Cuisine

This restaurant, located in downtown San Jose, California, presents a delectable array of Latin American recipes, placing a special emphasis on Venezuelan cuisine. Naturally, a diverse selection of arepas is featured, accompanied by tequeños, tostones and the signature 'Pabellon'—a traditional Venezuelan dish comprising rice, black beans, sweet plantain, shredded beef and egg.

Beyond these Venezuelan delights, the menu boasts other enticing Latin American specialties, including Peruvian ceviche and parrillada, a barbecue inspired by diverse Latin American culinary traditions.

  • 1384 Lincoln Ave, Downtown San Jose, California

2. Cuban Food Restaurant: Habana Cuba Restaurant

Chef and owner Jennifer Echeverri has maintained a family tradition in downtown San Jose, offering generous servings of authentic Caribbean, Cuban, and South American dishes for over 20 years.

Habana Cuba Restaurant's menu includes Cuban-style 'tamales' topped with fricase de pollo, lechon, masita, or the iconic 'ropa vieja,' a dish featuring stewed meat in a tomato sauce with green bell peppers, onions and Cuban herbs.

  • 387 S 1st St Ste 1091

3. Brazilian Food Restaurant: Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse

Fogo de Chão, a globally renowned Brazilian steakhouse, started in 1979 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, when it was founded by two brothers raised on a traditional Southern Brazilian farm in the Serra Gaucha. Their culinary foundation was shaped by the 'churrasco' grilling tradition, which later became the core of their menu.

Between 1997 and 2013, this innovative churrascaria expanded its footprint in Brazil and the U.S., opening 29 other restaurants. While initially specializing in grilled steak, Fogo de Chão has evolved to encompass a diverse menu featuring seafood and Brazilian-inspired dishes with a focus on market vegetables.

  • 377 Santana Row #1090, San Jose, California

4. Colombian Food Restaurant: Fonda Colombiana

Arepas, Colombian ceviche, empanadas, 'patacones' with Hogao, plantains with cheese or chicharrones—Fonda Colombiana's menu leaves nothing out when showcasing its Colombian culinary tradition. That has always been the goal of the Ruiz family, which started selling tamales in 2019 and, amid the pandemic, and then opened the family restaurant.

"We started with the aim of connecting with our Colombian community members who long for home-cooked meals. Our recipes are 100% homemade and personally crafted, offering a unique and incomparable flavor. This is why our slogan, 'As delicious as at home,' is highlighted," they explain on their website.

  • 1442 S White Rd, San Jose, California

5. Mexican Food Restaurant: Zona Rosa

Located in the heart of San Jose, Zona Rosa is a Mexican restaurant recognized for its commitment to the craft of taco-making. The establishment distinguishes itself by handcrafting all of its tortillas, adding a personal touch to each dish.

The menu features classic combinations like al pastor, alongside more unconventional options such as shrimp and salmon tacos. The salmon variant is prepared with blackened seasoning, shiitake, corn relish, cilantro aioli, and bacon, offering a unique twist to traditional flavors. You can also enjoy their renowned Margaritas paired with your choice of taco topping.

  • 1411 The Alameda, San Jose, California

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