What's dating in San Jose, California like? If you’re interested in finding romance in the Capital of Silicon Valley, then you’re in for a unique challenge. On the good side, San Jose is one of the warmer, more ethnically diverse spots in the state, and there are many enjoyable things to do.
On the other side the coin, if you're a younger guy, you’ll have a bit of a disadvantage. Today, there are currently more men of your age range in the San Jose dating scene than there are women. It’s one reason why the town earned the nickname “Man Jose”.
That said, with all options San Jose offers, aided by the invaluable help of dating apps, you’re more than likely to find partners for dating, relationships, or just a bit of fun now and then. This article will guide you on what to see, what to expect, and where to meet like-minded people to spend time with.
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What Dating in San Jose is Like Right Now
There are two things that distinguish the San Jose dating scene from all others in the country. First, expect to meet a lot of software engineers, most of them male, making the most out of their time in Silicon Valley. Second, expect the dating game to be less about clubs and bars than in, say, San Francisco or Los Angeles, and more about activities, hobbies, and shared interests.
To date, San Jose has a total population of 1,030,796, 33.3% of whom are single. And among the 343,255 single individuals in town, 184,854 are men, while 158,401 are women. So you can expect dating in San Jose to be easier if you’re a woman.
More good news: The economic gravitational pull of Silicon Valley means new people will always be moving to San Jose. Companies like Cisco Systems, Western Digital, and Infineon Technologies attract the country’s best tech workers. Likewise, universities like the San Jose State University, De Anza College, and the University of California Santa Cruz bring fresh blood to San Ho every school year.
And why not? The people of San Jose enjoy living here. Sprawling and suburbanite, the town has many areas brimming with activity.
Where to Meet Someone to Date in San Jose
So where do you meet people to date in San Jose? Your first options are, obviously, singles bars—but they’re not your only options. As long as a date spot has the following characteristics, it’s worth a visit:
- Lots of singles
- Fun atmosphere
- Easy to mix and mingle with new people
- Quiet enough to actually have a conversation
- Alcohol is a plus
- Relatively inexpensive
You can also go to some of the spots we’ve outlined in our list of the best places to find hookups in San Jose.
Why You Should Be Using at Least One App
As vibrant as the San Jose dating scene is, it’s smart to make it even better with dating apps. That way, you’ll stop wasting energy through trial-and-error, save time by matching up with like-minded people, and get the most enjoyment out of your money. Here is a list of our top San Jose dating apps we recommend.
Considering San Jose is the home of many tech giants, you can expect that many singles here also make the most of technology to have fun in their dating lives.
If you’re looking for casual partners and one-night flings, we recommend AFF and their free trial, especially for guys.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for “the one,” we suggest you sign up for eHarmony. Both apps have free trials, so once you decide which route to take, you know there’s an app for you to try.
The Best Singles Bars in San Jose
San Jose singles love their bars for their variety. Owing to its sprawling nature, the town has many neighborhoods, each with their own unique offerings bar-wise. There’s enough to keep you busy for a while, but here are our recommendations if you need them:
- Das Bierhauz in Mountain View - 135 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041
- Hapa's Brewing Company - 460 Lincoln Ave #90, San Jose, CA 95126
- 3rd & Bourbon - 93 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113
- Good Spot - 386 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113
- Paper Plane - 72 S First St, San Jose, CA 95113
- 55 South near the San Jose Museum of Art - 55 S First St, San Jose, CA 9511
- LVL 44 - 44 S Almaden Ave, San Jose, CA 95113
- Haberdasher - 43 W San Salvador St, San Jose, CA 95113
- Los Altos Grill (especially if you’re a younger guy who’s looking for older women in San Jose) - 233 3rd St, Los Altos, CA 94022
Other Great Places to Find a Date in San Jose
If you’re used to the club scenes in New York or Los Angeles, then most places in the world would pale in comparison, and San Jose is no exception. Instead, the Capital of Silicon Valley sets itself apart through its own lineup of dance clubs, piano bars, and cafes. Here are some of our recommendations:
- Opal Social Club - 251 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041
- Alberto's Night Club - 736 W Dana St, Mountain View, CA 94041
- The Cats Restaurant & Bar - 17533 Santa Cruz Hwy, Los Gatos, CA 95033
- Poor House Bistro - 91 Barack Obama Blvd, San Jose, CA 95110
- Voyager Craft Coffee in San Pedro Square Market - 87 N San Pedro St, San Jose, CA 95110
- Hannah Coffee in Avalon at Cahill Park - 754 The Alameda #80, San Jose, CA 95126
- Mitsuwa Marketplace at Strawberry Park Shopping Center - 675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA 95129
We also recommend you use MeetUp.com to find San Jose singles who share your interests, besides the apps we suggest in our San Jose dating guide.
What About Speed Dating in San Jose?
If you want to make your San Jose dating experience easier without using dating apps, then speed dating is your best bet. There are many reasons to join a speed dating event, not the least of which are:
- It’s a safe, controlled environment to meet new people
- The people you meet in speed dating events have dating in their mind—no guessing games for you
- You can meet up to 20 people or more in under an hour
If you want to try speed dating in San Jose, we recommend you stick to the agencies that hold events regularly. These include:
Our Best Date Ideas in San Jose and Why They're Great
Let’s say you’ve immersed yourself in the San Jose dating scene, matched with great people on dating apps, and even attended a speed dating event or two—and now, you’re steadily dating someone. Where do you take them?
In general, you’ll want to take them to places that lend themselves to making fond memories. You’ll want a place that:
- Has a fun and upbeat energy
- Things are going on around you that you can talk about
- Doesn't involve you sitting face-to-face for long periods of time
- Has you both moving around a bit
- Isn't too expensive
- Doesn't last for hours and hours so you can cut it short if there isn't any chemistry
- Allows both of you to feel comfortable
- Has a little friendly competition
I'm going to give you a handful of my best date ideas that work well around San Jose and then some very specific suggestions in the next section. These are dates that both people will enjoy as long as they have a good attitude about it going in:
- Take a dance class together
- Shoot some arrows at an archery range
- Go to the driving range
- Check out a street fair
- Axe throwing
- Escape room
- Take a walk with your dog somewhere fun (if you have one)
- Painting class (preferably with booze)
- Botanical garden
This is a very short list, but you get the idea. All of these are somewhat active and fun and don't involve any great amount of skill. Set the expectations that you're just going to have fun and fool around.
The First Date Idea That We Always Recommend
The ideas above can be great first dates, but we have a better idea. When people ask our team what the best first date in San Jose is we always tell them the same thing, meet up at a laid-back lounge or coffee shop and get to know each other a bit.
A full-blown date is a lot of pressure and isn't cheap. It takes time to plan and might involve you taking a bus around town to get there. Before you make that kind of investment you want to know that you and your interest have at least some level of compatibility. The last thing you want is to get stuck for hours on a date that you knew 10 minutes in wasn't going anywhere.
Instead, tell them that you're really busy but would love to meet up for a drink to get to know each other a bit. If things go well, you can always extend the date into one of the activities above. If it doesn't, you haven't lost much. This also takes a lot of pressure off both of you so you can both relax and be yourselves.
Best Date Bars in San Jose
When in doubt, taking your date to a bar is almost never a bad idea. The bars in San Jose come in all shapes, sizes, and gimmicks. No matter what you’re looking for, there’s bound to be a few places that are almost tailor made for you.
Bars aren’t just good for food and drinks. Many have bands, shows, games, and other events that make the experience more memorable for you and your date. There are several San Jose bars that have been around for a decade or longer, having built quite a reputation.
And the best part? If you’re not exactly feeling the bar you’re in right now, there’s always another one just down the road to bring your date to. Here are some of the best date bars in San Jose—according to our opinion, of course:
- MINIBOSS - 52 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113
- RedZone Sports Bar and Lounge - 1150 Murphy Ave D, San Jose, CA 95131
- 7 Bamboo Lounge - 162 Jackson St, San Jose, CA 95112
- Eve's Lounge - 1922 Aborn Rd, San Jose, CA 95121
- Doghouse Sports Lounge - 1336 N First St, San Jose, CA 95112
- Caravan Lounge - 98 Almaden Ave, San Jose, CA 95113
Best Date Night Restaurants in San Jose
What about restaurants? Are they good date options when you’re in doubt? That depends, really—if you and your date have been seeing each other exclusively, then yes—restaurants are awesome, and there are many good ones in San Jose.
Meanwhile, if this is your first date together (or at least you’re still getting to know each other), then you should probably treat restaurants as a last resort. That’s because there’s little to do besides eat and talk, and that can feel like an interview rather quickly.
If you’ve just started dating each other, then it’s much better to focus on activities. Go instead to parks, museums, and recreation centers. Once you get exclusive, that’s when restaurants become great options. When you get to that point (or if you’re there already), here are the best date night restaurants in San Jose, in our estimation:
- The Grandview Restaurant - 15005 Mt Hamilton Rd, Mt Hamilton, CA 95140
- Trattoria 360 - 360 E Campbell Ave, Campbell, CA 95008
- Élyse Restaurant - 151 S Second St, San Jose, CA 95113
- Good Spot - 386 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113
- La Catalana - 3720 N First St UNIT 10, San Jose, CA 95134
- The Table - 1110 Willow St, San Jose, CA 95125
- Paesano Ristorante Italiano - 350 W Julian St, San Jose, CA 95110
- Firehouse No. 1 Gastropub - 69 N San Pedro St, San Jose, CA 95110
More Date Spots in San Jose We Love
If you need more date ideas—especially for daytime meetups in San Jose—then here are our recommendations:
- San Jose Municipal Rose Garden - 1649 Naglee Ave, San Jose, CA 95126
- Vasona Lake County Park - 333 Blossom Hill Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95032
- Alum Rock Park - 15350 Penitencia Creek Rd, San Jose, CA 95127
- Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum - 1660 Park Ave, San Jose, CA 95191
- San Jose Museum of Art - 110 S Market St, San Jose, CA 95113
- Hiller Aviation Museum - 601 Skyway Rd, San Carlos, CA 94070
- Golfland USA in Sunnyvale - 855 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087
- LVL Up Campbell - 400 E Campbell Ave, Campbell, CA 95008
- Guildhouse - 420 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113