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!
! BIG DISCLAIMER !
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
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
Dr.ink (0.7 miles from SJCC): Crafted coffees and teas. It's fancy!
Coffee, Pastries, and Snacks
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.
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.
Good Karma Artisan Ales & Cafe: Craft beer and vegan food with an outdoor patio.
Entertainment Within Walking Distance
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:
La Victoria Taqueria: Larger location if you can't make it to the OG one.
San Pedro Square: Market of various food and drink options with lots of seating inside and outdoors.
Peralta Adobe: San Jose's oldest building made of Adobe mud bricks.
SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant: Nice big patio, open late!
Ike's Love & Sandwiches: SF chain with dietary accommodative options.
Vegan Bistro- Donuts & Cafe: What it says on the tin! Good smoothies and Vietnamese coffee.
Vegetarian House: Delicious vegan restaurant that might be affiliated with a cult.
Poor House Bistro: Recently relocated New Orleans Cajun food.
Devine Cheese & Wine: Fancy wine bar with cheeses, charcuterie, and small plates.
La Victoria Taqueria: Anotha one
The Dancing Cat: Cute cat lounge and adoption center
Shuei-Do Manju Shop: Little counter with handmade Japanese sweets
Nijiya Market: Get Japanese snacks for less than the inflated con price!
Japanese American Museum: Open weekends from 12-4pm.
Classic Loot: Really cute little thrift and local creative shop.
Fosters Freeze: California's old fashioned burgers, soft serve, and shake chain.
More Attractions Around
Guadalupe Gardens: Area around Guadalupe River with trails, playground, and gardens.
Solar4America Ice Rink: Big skating rink with public skate times and lessons.
San Jose Vietnam Town: Tons of Viet food, drinks, and shopping in one place.
Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum: One of the coolest museums in the Bay.
Municipal Rose Garden: Scenic variety of rose cultivations.
Falafel's Drive In: Acclaimed 60's drive in approved by Guy Fieri himself!
Santana Row: Fancy shopping and food pavilion outside Valley Fair mall.
Winchester Mystery House: Also seen on Buzzfeed Unsolved. Pricey to tour but pretty ooky spooky.