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Food&Fun at Fanime: A Local Guide to San Jose

May 2022 marks FanimeCon's in-person return and Bay Area Kei's debut in San Jose, California. Much of downtown has changed since Fanime last took place, but

luckily for everyone, beloved San Jose local Mani Tokkigo is here to tell us what's up.

Here's our cultivated list of places to check out while in the area!


Memorial Day Weekend WILL affect hours of operation for many places. Expect attractions and non-chain eateries to be closed on Monday, May 30th unless explicitly stated otherwise. You should also double-check if your destination is open that Friday (5/27) through Sunday (5/29), as businesses may have limited hours for the entire holiday weekend.

Enjoy your Fanime weekend responsibly and be sure to share some food & fun with us!

Food & Drink Within Walking Distance

Boba in order of distance from the convention center because we all know that's why you're here

a relaxed orangey-grey tabby laying down on table
This is Carne the cat we hope she's ok

Tea Villa (0.3 miles from SJCC): Closest boba spot since I know it's a necessity. There are many more around though.

Boba Bar (0.3 miles from SJCC): Boba, small bites, and bowls! Once home to a lovely cat named Carne but I am unsure of her current status. There is a cat printed wall inside however, and seating outdoors.

note from Jessica: also good vege options

Gong Cha (0.5 miles from SJCC): Gong Cha is a Taiwanese boba tea chain with snack options. Not much seating, so you may want to take your drink to-go!

Breaktime Tea (0.6 miles from SJCC): Probably the most kawaii option since they have a strawberry hearts topping. Also macarons.

Urban Ritual (0.7 miles from SJCC): Loose leaf teas & house made syrups (0.7 miles from SJCC): Crafted coffees and teas. It's fancy!

Coffee, Pastries, and Snacks

Image of the inside of Bijan Bakery, showing the food display and also cakes
Bijan Bakery also usually has a decent amount of seating

Nirvana Soul: New but accoladed Black women-owned café with all kinds of interesting drinks, as well as waffles and other pastries.

Bijan Bakery: The best place for cake and pastries!!! Typical café fare and savories also available but I mean.... Cake!

Cinnaholic: Customizable vegan cinnamon rolls.

My Milkshake: Build your own milkshake, milk alternatives also offered. Open late!

Academic Coffee: Beloved SJ coffee shop with locally made pastries & famous Stan's donuts!

CREAM: Ice cream cookie sandwiches and other delicious treats. Vegan options and open late!

Philz Coffee: SF founded chain with a whole bunch of different blends.


Outdoor seating area of the SoFA Market

SoFA Market: Food court with seating both inside and outdoors. See the current offerings here.

Original Joe's: Founded in SF in the 50's, real retro Italian-American joint.

Whispers Cafe & Creperie: Brunchy place tucked behind Hammer Theatre with outdoor seating

La Victoria Taqueria: The tiny original location of San Jose's holy grail Mexican food. Open super late!

The Nest: Heftier servings of Asian-fusion foods and boba too! Good wings, banh mi, vermicelli bowls, and outdoor seating.

Iguanas: Funky lookin place with build your own burritos of varying sizes, including a 5lb one.

Orchestria Palm Court: Proper sit down dining in an amazing antique setting. Also they have so many self-playing instruments.

Good Karma Artisan Ales & Cafe: Craft beer and vegan food with an outdoor patio.

Entertainment Within Walking Distance

Quetzalcóatl statue it's all curled up
Aforementioned dookie statue

Plaza de Cesar Chavez: Big grassy area where people hang out and do photoshoots.

  • Quetzalcóatl statue: The thing in the plaza that kind of resembles a dookie.

The Tech Museum & IMAX Theater: Science and technology exhibits and big dome theater showing both blockbuster and documentary films.

Children’s Discovery Museum: If you are or happen to know a child. There's also a big grassy area around it and a giant Monopoly board.

San Jose Museum of Art: Small contemporary gallery, free student and teacher admission.

3Below Theater: Indie theater with a café and drinks.

Axe-Men Axe Throwing: Indoor axe throwing range, make reservations ahead.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph: Restored church originally built in 1877. Featured on the first episode of Buzzfeed Unsolved!

San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles: For my fellow cloth enthusiasts.

Institute of Contemporary Art: Sizeable gallery with free admission


There are a whole bunch of clubs and bars clustered around San Fernando and First-Second streets, plenty of options for everyone's preferences. My own recs:

Paper Plane: Very chill place with nice cocktails and late night snacks

Fifty Five South: A more bustling option with live music

MINIBOSS: Arcade bar full of fun geeky shit!

A Wee Further Out

These places are accessible from the Convention Center via VTA light rail and bus, or whatever method of transit you prefer.

Santa Clara St:

Julian St:


More Attractions Around

Winchester Mystery House but the sky is edited to look all unnatural and shit
ooo spooky


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