Top Iconic Restaurants in San Jose To Make a French Connection

San Jose’s vibrant dining scene is among the Bay Area’s best-kept secrets. And if you’re in the mood for a little Parris in San Jose, you’re in luck. From traditional French-inspired bistro to white tablecloth dining, there is a unique French spot for everyone. These restaurants are truly elegant examples, putting put classic dishes and modern updates with savoir-flaire.

Here is where to find the hallmarks of the French cuisine, the decadent confits, and creative sauces.

If you have a friend who loves French food, then you should get them a virtual GiftYa card to their favorite French restaurants. Within seconds, you can send them the GiftYa cards and they can easily redeem them straight onto their debit card. To add to that, they are completely customizable and you can add a special message for your friend to make the experience special!

La Forêt

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21747 Bertram Rd, San Jose, CA 95120 laforetrestaurant.com

Romantic bistro serving a sophisticated French dining experience in a countryside setting!

We know that French cuisine might be your favorite. But where do you get only the best in town? Make your way to La Forêt and enjoy authentic and classic French dishes. Today, this historically significant spot have professional chefs that perfectly executed various labor-intensive style of cooking that is primarily executed through a perfectly crafted mixture of wine, marrow, and herbs over low heat for a prolonged period – extracting all unique flavors.

On the menu, you will find classics such as sea scallops, seared and served with light saffron herb cream and puff pastry or poached cold water lobster with lime beurre blanc for Sunday brunch. Make sure you order the smoked salmon or one of the savory desserts to enjoy along with your meal.

If you’re here are for dinner, get started with the garlic and rosemary roasted Australian lamb served with tarragon mustard and natural jus. Then go ahead and order their five-course La Foret Salade that includes bay shrimp, shaved radicchio, and red pepper vinaigrette or even try the six-course, or seven-course, selection. While at it, make sure you try their wine pairing that features plenty of signature wine selections to enjoy along with your meal.

Le Papillon

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410 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA 95129 lepapillon.com

Upscale 1977 eatery featuring a contemporary French menu with over 500 wine selections!

If you’re craving the best French cuisines but don’t want to fly to Paris, then you should go to Le Papillon. Established in 1977 on a bustling street corner, this popular has become the finest of Silicon Valley with fine dining and exceptional setting!

Get a taste of Chef Cooper’s cooking displayed in the tasting menu with delicious options such as roasted breast of Pheasant served with black truffle and chestnut cappelletti, the local abalone with miso butterscotch and caramelized avocado, or the chilled King crab with tart apple, celery root puree, and caviar.

For dinner, order your first course and enjoy the seared sea scallops served with hazelnut polenta and preserved Meyer lemon or the slow-poached lobster served with sauce maltase, braised leeks, and blood orange. For the main course, you want to try the grilled rack of lamb with pine nut puree, pomegranate, and yam timbale.

Throw in a little gem lettuce with satsuma mandarin, shaved radish, and tahini dressing as a salad, and make sure you order one of the favorite French white wines to enjoy along with your main course!

Elyse

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151 S Second St, San Jose, CA 95113 elyserestaurant.com

A contemporary spot serving a fusion of French and Vietnamese dishes served with signature craft cocktails!

If you want to enjoy the best French fusion dishes, then you should check out Elyse. This hidden gem situated in downtown San Jose offers an appealing combination of exquisite Vietnamese and French dishes with cultivated mixology plus an extensive wine list.

The chef’s menu is international and creative. Bring your date or friends for dinner and enjoy delicious appetizers such as grilled shrimps, grilled pork spring rolls, or vegetarian spring rolls. If you still want to add something on top of that, then they offer mouth-watering entrees like roasted lamb chops served with baked ratatouille, Brussel sprouts, and cooked in a rosemary-red wine sauce, or Angus beef rib-eye steak sauce champignon served with carrot, potato gratin, and mushroom creamy sauce.

Vegetarians will have a great time enjoying the vegan-beef shaken tofu served with bell peppers, tomato or garlic rice, and oyster mushroom. Don’t forget to a side, a savory dessert, and one of their signature cocktails, wine by glass or bottle.

Black Sheep Brasserie

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1202 Lincoln Ave STE 30, San Jose, CA 95125 bsbwillowglen.com

Swanky restaurant serving a French brasserie menu with a creative California twist!

A fan favorite located in Lincoln Square, Black Sheep Brasserie is a cozy French restaurant that offers classic French food with a perfect California twist and a huge wine list to choose from.

Get down to fine dining and sample their extensive menu of house specials, small plates, entrée, soups, salads, and desserts. Diners rave about their cheese stuffed crispy fried olives, classic beef tartare with eggs and toasted Manresa levain, the day’s selection of oysters, or even the duck liver mousse.

Want something light, try the steam mussels with Pommes Frites and saffron cream, seared Hokkaido scallops with leek dashi and black garlic, or the cauliflower gratin served with toasted bread crumbs, sauce mornay, and thyme.

If you’re here with kids, then they will have finger-licking experiences when enjoying the cheeseburger, penne pasta, or grilled New York with some Pommes Frites and ketchup. Don’t forget to order one of the sides and of course a glass of wine or draft beer to wash it down!

Poor House Bistro

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91 Barack Obama Blvd, San Jose, CA 95110 poorhousebistro.com

Popular eatery located in an old house dishing out New Orleans-inspired dishes with live music on weekends!

If you’re a fan of fine dining but French-style, then you should visit Poor House Bistro. It’s one of the restaurants in Downtown San Jose that offers free, live music daily over a delicious plate of Cajun food and a brew.

Their name comes from the classic New Orleans sandwich called Po Boy (Poor) served inside a Victorian family home, turned into a restaurant. Among the favorite dishes here include Muffaletta sandwiches served hot or cold on an Italian 9 inch round bread. Customers also love their authentic New Orleans hot PO boys all dressed in tomato, shredded cabbage, mayo, pickles, and creole mustard on a New Orleans-style French roll.

The fried seafood platter is also a great dish to try and it included oysters, shrimp, and catfish, served with a choice of two sides – Cajun potato salad, creole slaw, or French fries. If you’re craving something sweet, then try the sweet potato French fries or the bread pudding with New Orleans praline sauce. Don’t forget to grab a drink to enjoy with your dish of choice!

Elements Restaurant

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6471-10 Almaden Expy, San Jose, CA 95120 sanjoseelements.com

Unassuming spot offering creative, European-inspired Vietnamese fare in a beautiful interior!

If you’re on the lookout for a perfect date night spot in San Jose, then you should try Elements Restaurant. This upscale bistro located in the heart of South San Jose offers diners a unique experience that allows them to enjoy different unique flavors found in their dishes. They prepare their food using fresh, locally sourced ingredients to ensure you get only the best quality food available in town.

When it comes to the menu, you’ll be delighted by the delicious appetizers especially the fresh spring rolls either pork, shrimp, or vegetarian bean sprout served with fresh herbs and hoisin-peanut sauce.

They also serve rice noodle soups served hot with red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno. Diners love the Northern-styled chicken with sautéed beef, rice noodle, and onions. Vermicelli rice noodles are also a great option to try served with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and fresh sauce. Seafood lovers will have a great time enjoying the seafood combo vermicelli that comes with scallop, grilled prawns, egg roll, peanuts, and soft shell crab.

Order the triple chocolate mousse as a dessert and end the day perfectly with one of their signature drink. It’s absolutely refreshing!

Left Bank

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377 Santana Row #1100, San Jose, CA 95128 leftbank.com

Bustling, family-friendly French restaurant featuring a seasonally changing menu and outdoor seating!

Left Bank Brasserie has been serving seasonally changing French-inspired dishes crafted by Chef Roland Passot. Their diverse menu features a diverse selection of meat, fresh vegetables, hearty salads, seafood, and sumptuous desserts.

Come in any time of the day and enjoy options from the sea including oysters, chef’s catch of the day, and bouillabaisse including clams, prawns, saffron tomato broth, and mussels. The cheddar cheeseburger or raclette burger served with maple glazed pork belly, raclette cheese, and red wine braised shallots will leave you craving for a burger every time you come to The Left Bank.

The menu also features the Chef’s plats with options such as the house-made grilled sausage, mushroom risotto, and vegan cassoulet with sautéed mustard greens, roasted marble potatoes, apple mustard sauce, and apple chutney. Make sure you grab one of their savory sides and a dessert to enjoy along with your meal! Come to The Left Bank and see the wonderful fun and French dishes they have planned for you!

There is something about French dishes that makes them unique. If you’re craving only the best French-inspired cuisines, make sure you try these amazing French eatery in San Jose. Once you do, don’t forget to let us know your favorite spots in the comments below!

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