There’s a lot that happens in the South Bay, and it’s not all tech. San Jose, once the epicenter of Silicon Valley, seems to have traded high-tech for high-ball glasses and coupes as the craft cocktails movement takes over. Here, you can find all admirers of artisan drinks and spirits that maintain the culture in this place. The art of the cocktails here is alive with plenty of establishments to choose from.
Unique combinations aren’t the only thing that most cocktail spots are known for here. Most have delicious cuisines, live performances, and plenty of entertainment to make your evening as memorable as possible. That said, here are the best cocktails bars to try in San Jose.
If you know someone on your happy hour squad who doesn’t mind enjoying some more, why not surprise them with an electronic GiftYa gift card to any of these bars on this list? These cards are completely customizable and can be used in a couple of restaurants in San Jose. Don’t forget to add a special message just to spice up the experience.
43 W San Salvador St, San Jose, CA 95113 haberdashersj.com
Laidback bar with velvety banquettes serving signature cocktails and other drinks!
San Jose has no shortage of cocktails, and the local spots take pride in making some fantastic options. Setting itself apart from its rival joints, Haberdasher offers a wide variety of kegged cocktails available on the tap as well as a table-side service, where expert mixologists create incredible made-to-measure cocktails based on the diner’s tastes.
Wondering what’s on the menu? Well, there’s plenty of cocktails from small batches to the old fashioneds options with whiskey, butter, ice and sugar. The arsenic and old lace on the go are also great options to try after a long day.
Stopping off at this San Jose location for happy hour is a great idea, where you can sample all the drafts available and also order something from their creative menu with items such as the amazing sweet and savory pies made in Willow Glen by Sweet Dragon baking.
66 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113 originalgravitypub.com
Mellow bar serving unique craft brews, delicious sausage sandwiches and other pub fares in a laidback setting!
Beer lovers here is another one of the best spots to grab a craft beer and order that pub fare that you have been craving. Located in the heart of Downton San Jose, Original Gravity Public House offers about 20 rotating taps of incredibly refreshing beer and cider as well as a mighty can and bottle selection.
This should be a beer nerd’s first stop in San Jose. The best part is that the popular rotating taps keep changing throughout the night as kegs are kicked with plenty more available by the bottle.
Along with the extensive selection of beer, the kitchen features delicious takes on the classic American cheeseburger and of course the house famous duck fat fries that come with a choice of dipping sauce (either sriracha ketchup, garlic aioli, or boss sauce). Make sure you come here are enjoy their unique brews and grab something to eat as you enjoy your drink.
72 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113 paperplanesj.com
Relaxed joint with a long bar serving creative or classic cocktails and snacks!
If you’re looking for a spot to grab a seat and hang out, then you should visit Paper Plane. Come here if you’re looking for a great experience filled with dancing and live music. The welcoming spirit here is on another level which is why most people come to chill here. The best part is that you can choose your drink from an innovative flavor chart on their menu and grab something from the food’s menu to enjoy along with your drink.
Explorers will have fun enjoying selections such as specialty cocktails created by their talented bar team especially The Sun that contains Citadelle gin, passion fruit, aurora oloroso sherry, and milk shrub. They also have craft beers and signature wines to enjoy.
If you love spirits, then they have plenty of them with options such as whiskey, shochu, agave, gin, cane, brandy, and more. So, if you want to have fun, then spend a night at Paper Plane, and you will surely go home with a smile after sipping the best cocktail in your life all night.
55 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113 the55south.com
Bustling hangout that serves innovative cocktails and craft beer on tap!
Who can say no to a treat at an upscale hangout to enjoy some signature drinks and just bask in the energetic ambiance. Here are 55 south, there is a different experience especially by how they serve their customers and serve their innovative cocktails and craft beers. The lively spot hosts night and live performances keep the drinks flowing into the early hours.
Come here during Monday and enjoy classic music while sipping on your favorite cocktails such as Moscow mule, old-fashioned, sidecar, Rosalinda, pisco sour, and French pear martini which is a combination of pear grey goose, fresh lemon juice, St. German elderflower liqueur, and sparkling wine. Tiki Tuesdays feature a wide selection of new cocktail menu to enjoy too, so you will have something to choose from.
We cannot forget to mention that they have an enticing food menu including savory desserts and Moscow Mules that come in traditional copper cups.
87 N San Pedro St, San Jose, CA 95110 sanpedrosquaremarket.com
This loft-like watering hole has some great classic and unique cocktails during happy hours!
Sometimes you want to just relax after a long day at work with friends and grabs a couple of drinks. There’s no better place to try some specialty cocktails than San Pedro Square Market Bar. Diners can select great options from the market bar which is the ultimate beer destination in downtown San Jose. Here, a modern taproom offers 16 different craft beers on tap and over 270 rare bottled and canned options that are suitable for every beer lover.
Happy hour starts at 2 pm and revelers can enjoy items from the “Three Sisters,” a stylish cocktail bar that serves handcrafted cocktails with a robust selection of whiskies and craft beers and wine. Also, they have the Urban Ritual selection, a unique brand that offers a healthier alternative cocktail that contains ingredients such as loose leaf tea and house-made syrups made from scratch.
If you’re not into cocktails, you can grab the voyager craft coffee with a unique flavor journey that brings joy for the explorer. If you’re hungry, make sure you check out the food menu that has plenty of options to try.
349 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113 thecontinentalbar.com
Spacious bar with reclaimed wood accents serving craft beer and specialty cocktails!
In the Historic SOFA district, downtown San Jose sits a hidden gem and a local favorite known for its comfortable atmosphere for a drink or a night out. The Continental Bar Lounge and Patio offers craft cocktails, daily happy hour classics, specialty beers, live bands, and big TV screens to enjoy your favorite sporting events. It also features salvaged metal, reclaimed wood, classic leather seating, and a patio inside to give those welcoming vibes.
As part of their culture, they serve the best specialty cocktails and craft beers from Santa Clara Valley Brewing. The interesting part is that the experts at this cool spot will help you find just the right beer, cocktail, or wine you’re looking for. When you come here, your night will be nothing but fun, and don’t forget to tag your friends along so that they can have the best cocktail experience too.
169 W Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113 fivepointssj.com
Sip into the fancy old-school drinks and enjoy the small plates at this warm and dimly lit old-school cocktail bar!
In the mood for the modern renditions of vintage cocktails and other classy spirits? Why not head down to the Five Points. This downtown craft cocktail bar evoked a historic NYC saloon in one of the most notable places in the country. Here, they honor those cultures and traditions of speakeasies and old school saloons that once graced the most notorious neighborhood of America.
This bar offers carefully cocktails with options such as Renaissance – a collection of seasonal cocktails inspired by the Renaissance, Legendary liberations – a collection of house cocktails named after the infamous gangs of Five Points, For the Gothamist – a selection of snaffled classic tipples and modern creations from New York, Classic variants – a selection of draft cocktails inspired by the quintessential drams, and slushes which are slow churched frozen cocktails made with fresh ingredients and premium spirits.
In addition to specialty cocktails, they also serve whiskey, craft beers, wines, and spirits. You can also order something to eat from their menu to enjoy with your favorite drink.
No matter where you’re, happy hour in San Jose is always a unique moment with lots of great experiences. These cocktail spots in San Jose have something for everyone, no matter what you’re looking for. Whether you’re looking for a quiet bar, an upscale lounge, or a lively dance club, you’re sure to find a spot that fits your needs. So, which cocktail bar do you plan on visiting next? Let us know in the comments!