As Seen on TV: San Jose restaurants in the limelight

Take a foodie tour through San Jose, CA, based on the eateries featured in popular food TV series such as “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,” and “Man v. Food.”

The Falafel's Drive In sign.

Every local knows about this gem.

Photo via @joicejourneys

Table of Contents

Here’s our take: San Jose is a foodie paradise.

And we’re not the only ones who believe that — check out these 10 local eateries that have been featured on a variety of foodie shows over the years.

“Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” (Food Network)

Falafel’s Drive-In | Aired: 2007 | In Guy Fieri’s “Totally Fried” episode, he tried falafel balls from the classic drive-in that has called San Jose home since the 1960s.

Naglee Park Garage | Aired: 2010 | The Mayor of Flavortown stopped by this auto shop-turned-restaurant and indulged in its 10-oz burger patty, served with a side of Brussels sprouts + bacon.

Stream on: Discovery Plus, fuboTV, Max, and Philo

“Bizarre Foods America” (Travel Channel)

Mezcal | Aired: 2013 | Host Andrew Zimmern visited this eatery known for its Oaxacan cuisine and chapulines (fried grasshoppers).

Bún Bò Huế An Nam | Aired: 2013 | Located in East San Jose by Little Saigon, Andrew ventured to this Vietnamese spot to try the Bun Bo Hue Ngau Pin, a soup made with certain ox body parts.

Gaku Restaurant | Aired: 2013 | The Japanese izakaya drew in adventurous Andrew with its charcoal-grilled skewers of chicken liver, hearts, gizzard, and knee cartilage.

Stream on: Discovery Plus and Philo

The exterior of Henry's World Famous Hi-Life restaurant.

This restaurant has been a mainstay in Little Italy since the 1960s.

Photo via @ballinninja

“Man v. Food” (Travel Channel)

Henry’s World Famous Hi-Life | Aired: 2009 | This San Jose institution drew in host Adam Richman for its “world-famous” baby back ribs.

Iguana’s Burritozilla | Aired: 2009 | San Jose native + competitive eater Joey Chestnut joined Adam on the episode where he tackled the five-pound challenge in three minutes and ten seconds.

The Funny Farm Restaurant | Aired: 2019 | Host Casey Webb tried the eatery’s “Monte Cristo Reeto,” which is just as crazy as it sounds — the beloved sandwich is wrapped in a tortilla and deep-fried.

Stream on: Discovery Plus, Max, and Philo

Your nominations

We asked you, “What San Jose restaurant would you nominate to be featured on a food show?” and here’s your local picks:

Sweet Mango | Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives | “Great food and great service” - Christine R.

Fox Tale Fermentation Project | Other | “They are a unique place and there is no one around doing it like them.” - Jessica K.

Maza | Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives | “Authentic Mexican food with a fun outdoor vibe and great drinks” - Anonymous

BackAYard | Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives | “Jerk chicken and oxtail stew are great!” - Stefen G.

Burger Bar | Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives | “it’s a burger stand with a patio and a giant sign that says 5 burgers for $10 and I HAVE to know if that’s true, and if they’re good. I haven’t had the chance to stop there yet (it’s in the middle of my commute).” - Jenna B.

Keep them comin’ — send us more of your local nominations.

More from SJtoday