While most people may visit Silicon Valley for business, there are many places to be explored outside of the high-tech bubble. Here are a few Silicon Valley hidden gems worth visiting when you make your way south of Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram headquarters towards a collection of cities called the South Bay!
Start off your day at Living Room Coffee Craft where a portion of your purchase will be donated to local organisations. You will find a spacious interior filled with tables of all sizes to relax and enjoy your morning. Have a coffee or tea with their fresh pastries! The peach brown butter cake has an amazing caramelised exterior and the fresh peach slice compliments the cake. Their gluten-free “everything cheese waffle” is a fantastic version of the Brazilian pão de queijo made of tapioca or rice flour giving it a distinct chewy texture. Mix that in with sesame, poppy seeds, dried garlic, and onions for a unique bite! The Living Room Coffee Craft is definitely a Hidden Gem of Silicon Valley!
If coffee wasn’t enough to get your blood pumping or you have the desire to be in nature, we have that too! Head to Villa Montalvo and hike among California Redwoods without having to drive an hour away through windy mountain roads. As a non-hiker, I really appreciate the easy incline and shaded trail here. To make things more interesting, there is actually an arts residency program attached to the grounds of Villa Montalvo and hosts over a hundred artists a year. (Probably the reason people don’t think you can hike here.) Check out the statues located inside the picturesque garden while you cool down from your hike. Both entrance and parking is free in Lots 2, 3, or 4.
Ready for lunch? Pop into one of my favourite Silicon Valley hidden gems at family-owned Antipasto’s Deli for salad, a plate of pasta, or a completely customisable sandwich. I recommend their chicken ravioli with half tomato basil cream (TBC) and half alfredo sauce. The in-house ravioli is one of the best I’ve ever had. (There’s an all-cheese version, too!) They are so soft and comforting, just like fluffy pillows. The meat for their sandwiches is sliced upon ordering and pairs incredibly well with their fresh baked bread.
While street art isn’t exactly hidden, it will be easy to miss if you don’t know where to go. San Jose is a really big city! The Arts District lies mainly on South First Street in Downtown San Jose. Check out The 100 Block Mural Project to see the work of 100 local artists who created their own mini mural on a 3×3 square. The resulting 900-square foot space is filled with different art styles, techniques, and colours is truly a sight to behold. If you want to see more, wander over to the next few blocks and see what else you can find!
Since you’re in the downtown area, don’t leave without trying another Silicon Valley hidden gem with some of the best tacos in all of San Jose! Stroll down or catch a ride on an electric scooter towards 10th Street to Cali Spartan Mexican Kitchen. I highly recommend their guacamole and chips (with a chili lime seasoning) and any of their tacos. They have a full menu so you’re bound to find something delicious! Note: It is cash only. There is an ATM on the premises.
If you plan to visit the area, which of these places would you check out? If you’re a native to the South Bay Area, have you been to any of the places I recommended? What Silicon Valley hidden gems would you add to the list?
Tammy is a travel and food blogger who loves to share information from her adventures over at her blog Bites of Travel. While she does have a full-time job, she aims to see a little bit of the world with every day she has off. Head over to her site to find information on transportation guides, budget tips, and food finds to help inspire and plan your own trip. Feel free to follow or send her a message on Instagram, Twitter, or good ol’ email!
Tammy isn’t the first guest writer for the Hidden Gems series and if you want to read more articles just like this then check out the following: