Where to make friends in San Jose

Here’s your guide to social clubs, public events, and more local ways to make pals in the great 408.


Get on your feet for some meet-and-greets. | Photo via the Silicon Valley Biking Coalition

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It can be hard making friends as an adult — and even more so with how hectic San Jose life can be.

But whether you’re new to the great 408, or have been a local all your life — there are so many ways to meet new people, and we’ve gathered a few places where you can start.

At the top of Almaden Quicksilver County Park, a man smiles with a thumbs up overlooking green fields and a dirt trail. There are people hiking in the background, looking at the expansive landscape.

Step up your selfie game by joining a hiking group.

Photo by SJtoday staff

👟 Get active

Looking for bike-minded people? The Silicon Valley Biking Coalition organizes social rides around town and educational workshops.

Wanna go the distance? This South Bay Hiking Meetup is not afraid of a challenge. Have kiddos? No problem — there’s a hiking group for that too.

Feeling young at heart? Join San Jose’s adult dodgeball league, the San Jose Pickleball Club, an ultimate frisbee meetup group, or take out your skates with SJ Roll Call.

🎨 Find a hobby

According to a recent survey, San Jose was ranked the ninth most creative city in the US. If you want to join in the creativity, consider art classes at the School of Visual Philosophy or Art Boutiki’s weekly Drink & Draw.

Friends mill around in a big gaming hall, where Street Fighter plays on multiple screens.

Make friends by showing off your fighting game skills at one of Guildhouse’s many competitive events.

Photo by SJtoday staff

🎮 Game on

Wanna find your Player Two? We’ve got you covered whether you prefer Super Smash Bros. or board games. There’s also Guildhouse (board + video games) and Miniboss (arcade games).

LGBTQ+ folks should check out Oddizens, and the Billy DeFrank LGBTQ+ Community Center’s various events — which welcome geeks, gamers, and crafters of all identities.

🍽️ Get cooking

Sharpen your knife skills, or get cracking on a new recipe at Sur La Table, Cultivate Culinary Gatherings.

Your littles will also enjoy classes at Cucina Bambini + TasteBuds (who also offer classes for adults).

Learn about sustainability through Veggielution and Garden To Table Silicon Valley.

Two people duet karaoke under blue, purple, and red lights.

Karaoke at 7 Bamboo Lounge is a great way to show your musical chops and meet new people.

Photo courtesy @doritapcbh

🎤 Express yourself

Not afraid of the spotlight? O’ Flaherty’s Pub, 7Bamboo + Renegades Bar host regular karaoke nights where you can duet with your future best friend.

Hone your comedy and poetry chops at Nirvana Soul After Dark and San Jose Improv’s Open Mic — and meet other creatives at the San Jose Poetry Slam.

Get groovin’ with the San Jose pod of the Dance Church, which offers a safe space for people to celebrate each other through the medium of movement.

🎶 Rock on

Find like-minded music fans when you rock out to local acts with weekly concerts at Mama Kin, The Caravan Lounge, Art Boutiki, and The Ritz.

Or, if you’re into the more experimental fare, SJZ Breakroom features intimate performances, too (Pssst... The San Jose Jazz Winter Concert series starts this weekend).

For more opportunities to get out + meet new people, head to our events page, with 100+ San Jose events to check out every month.

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