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Top 5 Budget-friendly Restaurants in San Jose

The Top 5 Budget-friendly Restaurants in San Jose has a lot to offer in terms of budget-friendly dining options, with a variety of cuisines available to suit any taste. From traditional Mexican fare at La Victoria Taqueria to vegan bites at Good Karma Artisan Ales & Café, these top 5 restaurants have proven themselves to be popular and well-reviewed among locals and visitors alike. Here is why they are the best restaurants in San Jose for your budget.

1. La Victoria Taqueria – This popular Mexican restaurant, one of the top budget-friendly restaurants in San Jose, is known for its delicious and affordable tacos and burritos. Their famous orange sauce is a must-try, and their friendly service and casual atmosphere make it a top spot for locals and visitors.

2. Falafel’s Drive-In – Serving up some of the best falafels in town, Falafel’s Drive-In, one of the most popular budget-friendly restaurants in San Jose, is an institution. Their falafel sandwiches are crispy and flavorful, and their banana milkshakes are a local favorite.

3. Good Karma Artisan Ales & Café – This vegan café and brewery, another of the top budget-friendly restaurants in San Jose, offers a unique dining experience, with a menu of plant-based dishes and a selection of craft beers. Their buffalo cauliflower and tempeh reuben are must-tries.

4. Ike’s Love & Sandwiches – This sandwich chain, among the top budget-friendly restaurants in San Jose, has multiple locations in San Jose, and their sandwiches are always a hit. Their menu features creative sandwich combinations, and they offer a range of vegan and gluten-free options.

5. Konjoe Burger Bar – Konjoe Burger Bar, amid the top budget-friendly restaurants in San Jose, puts a Japanese twist on the classic burger, with toppings like teriyaki sauce and miso mayo. Their burgers are juicy and flavorful, and their friendly service and cozy atmosphere make it a top spot for a casual lunch or dinner.

These top 5 budget-friendly restaurants in San Jose offer a range of delicious and affordable dining options, from Mexican street food to vegan sandwiches and Japanese-style burgers. Each of these restaurants has earned a strong following among locals and visitors, thanks to their delicious food, friendly service, and welcoming atmosphere.

Top 5 Budget-friendly Restaurants in San Jose

1. La Victoria Taqueria - Budget-friendly Restaurants in San Jose

La Victoria Taqueria

Address: 140 E San Carlos St, San Jose, CA 95112
Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-8pm, Sunday 10am-7pm
Phone Number: (408) 298-5335

La Victoria Taqueria, one of the top budget-friendly restaurants in San Jose, is a popular Mexican restaurant located in the heart of downtown San Jose. The interior of the restaurant is small and cozy, with bright colors and decorations adorning the walls. The menu features a variety of Mexican street food favorites, including tacos, burritos, and quesadillas.

One of La Victoria’s signature dishes is their famous orange sauce, which is offered alongside all of their menu items. The sauce is a tangy and spicy blend of flavors, and adds a delicious kick to any dish.

What sets La Victoria apart is their dedication to using fresh ingredients and making their food from scratch. Everything from the tortillas to the salsa is made in-house, giving each dish a homemade taste and feel.

The service at La Victoria is friendly and efficient, with staff members taking orders at the counter and bringing food out to tables. The restaurant can get busy during peak hours, but the staff works hard to keep things moving smoothly.

Main Menu Items:

Orange Sauce Super Nachos – These nachos are piled high with refried beans, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, and La Victoria’s famous orange sauce, made from fresh jalapeños, tomatoes, and garlic.

Super Breakfast Burrito – This hearty breakfast burrito is stuffed with scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, cheese, and La Victoria’s spicy red sauce.

Carne Asada Super Taco – This taco features juicy grilled steak topped with guacamole, cheese, and La Victoria’s red salsa, all nestled in a soft corn tortilla.

Super Veggie Burrito – A vegetarian favorite, this burrito is filled with black beans, rice, cheese, avocado, lettuce, and La Victoria’s creamy white sauce.

Super Fish Taco – Made with crispy battered fish, shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and La Victoria’s tangy green sauce, this taco is a must-try for seafood lovers.

Customer Reviews:

“I ordered the super burrito with steak and it was delicious! The meat was tender and flavorful, and the orange sauce gave it the perfect amount of heat. The staff was friendly and welcoming, and I loved the colorful decor inside the restaurant.”

“La Victoria is my go-to spot for tacos in San Jose. The chicken tacos are my favorite, and the orange sauce is a must-try. The restaurant can get crowded, but the staff does a great job of keeping things organized and moving quickly.”

“I’ve been coming to La Victoria for years, and it never disappoints. The carnitas burrito is my favorite, and the homemade tortillas are amazing. The orange sauce is definitely the star of the show though – it’s addictive!”

In summary, La Victoria Taqueria is a popular Mexican restaurant in downtown San Jose, known for their fresh and flavorful street food dishes and famous orange sauce. The cozy atmosphere and friendly service make it a top spot for locals and visitors alike. They rank amid the top 5 budget-friendly restaurants in San Jose for good reasons.


2. Falafel’s Drive-In - Budget-friendly Restaurants in San Jose

Falafel’s Drive-In

Address: 2301 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:30am-8:00pm, Sunday 11:00am-7:00pm
Phone Number: (408) 294-7886

Falafel’s Drive-In, one of the most popular budget-friendly restaurants in San Jose, is a casual Middle Eastern fast food restaurant that has been serving up delicious falafels, gyros, and other Mediterranean favorites since 1966. The interior of the restaurant is small and simple, with limited seating, but there is a drive-thru window for convenient takeout orders.

The signature dish at Falafel’s Drive-In is, of course, their falafel sandwich. Made with freshly fried falafel balls, lettuce, tomatoes, and a tangy tahini sauce, this sandwich is a must-try for first-time visitors.

The unique factor of Falafel’s Drive-In is its retro vibe and nostalgic feel. The restaurant has been in operation for over 50 years and has maintained much of its original decor and signage, making it a beloved San Jose landmark.

The service at Falafel’s Drive-In is fast and friendly. The staff is knowledgeable about the menu and always happy to make recommendations or answer any questions.

Main Menu Items:

Original Falafel Sandwich – This classic sandwich comes with six freshly made falafel balls, lettuce, tomatoes, and tahini sauce, all stuffed inside a pita bread.

Gyro Plate – This plate features slices of seasoned beef and lamb served over a bed of fluffy rice, with a side of tangy tzatziki sauce and warm pita bread.

Banana Shake – A sweet and refreshing drink made with fresh bananas and creamy vanilla ice cream.

Shawerma Sandwich – This tasty sandwich is made with strips of marinated chicken or beef, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a tangy garlic sauce, all stuffed inside a pita bread.

Veggie Kabob – A healthy and flavorful dish featuring skewers of grilled veggies, including bell peppers, zucchini, onions, and mushrooms, served with rice and pita bread.

Customer Reviews:

“The falafel sandwich is hands down the best I’ve ever had. The falafel balls are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, and the tahini sauce is perfectly tangy. I also love the gyros here – they’re loaded with juicy meat and fresh veggies.”

“Falafel’s Drive-In is a San Jose institution. I’ve been coming here since I was a kid, and the food is just as good now as it was back then. The falafel sandwich is my go-to, but I also love the hummus and baba ghanoush.”

“If you’re looking for delicious, affordable Mediterranean food, look no further than Falafel’s Drive-In. The falafel balls are crispy and flavorful, and the gyros are packed with meat and veggies. And don’t forget to try the banana shake – it’s amazing!”

Falafel’s Drive-In is a beloved San Jose institution that serves up delicious, affordable Mediterranean food in a fast and friendly environment. The retro vibe and nostalgic feel of the restaurant make it a unique and memorable dining experience, and the falafel sandwich is a must-try for first-time visitors. They stand out among the top budget-friendly restaurants in San Jose.


3. Good Karma Artisan Ales & Café - Budget-friendly Restaurants in San Jose

Good Karma Artisan Ales & Café

Address: 37 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-10pm, Sunday 11am-8pm
Phone Number: (408) 294-2694

Good Karma Artisan Ales & Café, among the top budget-friendly restaurants in San Jose, is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant that offers a variety of unique and flavorful dishes, along with a selection of artisanal beers. The restaurant has a cozy and laid-back interior, with wooden tables and chairs, and a bar area with stools. Their signature dish is the BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich, which features slow-cooked jackfruit with a smoky BBQ sauce, topped with coleslaw, served on a toasted bun.

One of the unique things about Good Karma is their focus on sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. They use compostable takeout containers and utensils, and source their ingredients locally whenever possible.

The restaurant’s service is friendly and welcoming. They have a knowledgeable staff who are happy to answer any questions about the menu, and provide recommendations based on dietary restrictions and preferences. Orders can be placed at the counter, and are brought to the table when ready.

Main Menu Items:

Vegan Mac & Cheese – This vegan version of the classic mac and cheese dish is made with cashew cheese sauce, gluten-free pasta, and topped with crispy breadcrumbs.

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings – A vegan twist on traditional buffalo wings, this dish features crispy baked cauliflower bites coated in spicy buffalo sauce.

Tofu Banh Mi Sandwich – A Vietnamese-inspired sandwich featuring marinated and grilled tofu, pickled veggies, jalapeños, cilantro, and vegan mayo on a baguette.

Kale Caesar Salad – A healthy and flavorful twist on the classic Caesar salad, this version features kale instead of romaine lettuce and a vegan Caesar dressing.

Chana Masala Bowl – This hearty and filling bowl features spiced chickpeas, brown rice, roasted veggies, and a coconut milk-based sauce, topped with fresh cilantro.

Customer Reviews:

“I had the BBQ jackfruit sandwich and it was so delicious! The jackfruit was perfectly cooked and the BBQ sauce had just the right amount of smokiness. The coleslaw added a nice crunch, and the bun was toasted to perfection. I also tried their garlic fries which were amazing. The service was friendly and attentive. Would definitely come back!”

“As a vegetarian, I appreciate how creative the menu is here. I had the buffalo cauliflower tacos and they were so flavorful and satisfying. The beer selection is also great. The atmosphere is cozy and welcoming. Highly recommend!”

“The food here is amazing! I had the katsu curry and it was one of the best I’ve had. The staff is so friendly and accommodating. I also love that they have a rotating selection of artisanal beers. Can’t wait to come back!”

Good Karma Artisan Ales & Café is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant in San Jose that offers unique and flavorful dishes and a selection of artisanal beers. Their focus on sustainability and environmentally friendly practices sets them apart from other restaurants in the area. The BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich is a must-try item on their menu. The restaurant has a cozy and laid-back atmosphere, and the service is friendly and attentive. They deserve to be ranked among the top 5 budget-friendly restaurants in San Jose.


4. Ike's Love & Sandwiches - Budget-friendly Restaurants in San Jose

Ike’s Love & Sandwiches

Address: Multiple locations in San Jose, CA. One of the locations is 75 E. Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113
Hours: Varies by location
Phone Number: Varies by location

Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, another of the top budget-friendly restaurants in San Jose, is a fast-casual restaurant that serves a variety of sandwiches, including vegetarian and vegan options. The interior is bright and colorful, with modern decor and plenty of seating. The menu is extensive and features unique sandwiches named after celebrities, TV shows, and local landmarks.

One unique feature of Ike’s Love & Sandwiches is their “dirty sauce,” a secret sauce that is included on many of their sandwiches and adds a spicy, tangy flavor.

The service at Ike’s Love & Sandwiches is fast and friendly. Customers order at the counter and their sandwiches are prepared quickly and efficiently. The staff is knowledgeable about the menu and happy to make recommendations.

Main Menu Items:

“Menage a Trois” sandwich – Roast beef, turkey, and pastrami with Ike’s yellow BBQ sauce, dirty sauce, and cheddar cheese on a Dutch crunch roll.

“Madison Bumgarner” sandwich – Chicken, bacon, avocado, and Ike’s red pesto on a Dutch crunch roll.

“Matt Cain” sandwich – Halal chicken, honey mustard, and pepper jack cheese on a sourdough roll.

“Tom Brady” sandwich (vegan) – Vegan meatballs, marinara sauce, and vegan provolone cheese on a French roll.

“Steve Jobs” sandwich – Halal chicken, honey mustard, and Swiss cheese on a Dutch crunch roll with Ike’s dirty sauce.

Customer Reviews:

“I ordered the ‘Steve Jobs’ sandwich and it was amazing! The combination of flavors was unique and delicious. The dirty sauce added the perfect amount of spice. The staff was also very friendly and helpful.”

“Ike’s Love & Sandwiches has the best vegetarian and vegan sandwiches I’ve ever tasted. I highly recommend the ‘Meatless Mike’ sandwich – it’s packed with flavor and very filling. The service is also great and the restaurant is very clean.”

“Ike’s Love & Sandwiches is my go-to spot for lunch. The sandwiches are huge and the variety of options means there’s something for everyone. I also appreciate that they have gluten-free bread available. The dirty sauce is definitely a must-try!”

Ike’s Love & Sandwiches is a popular sandwich restaurant in San Jose that has a diverse menu with many unique and creative sandwich options. The restaurant has a fun and casual atmosphere with bright colors and quirky decor. Customers rave about the sandwiches and the friendly and efficient service at Ike’s Love & Sandwiches. Overall, Ike’s Love & Sandwiches is a must-try for sandwich lovers. They have earned the rank of the top 5 budget-friendly restaurants in San Jose.


5. Konjoe Burger Bar - Budget-friendly Restaurants in San Jose

Konjoe Burger Bar

Address: 100 N Almaden Ave, San Jose, CA 95110
Hours: Monday to Saturday from 11:00am to 8:00pm, Sunday from 11:00am to 5:00pm
Phone Number: (408) 882-7992

Konjoe Burger Bar, amid the top budget-friendly restaurants in San Jose, is a trendy restaurant that serves up creative burgers with an Asian twist. The interior is sleek and modern, with an open kitchen that allows customers to watch as their food is prepared. Their signature burger, the Konjoe Burger, is made with a juicy beef patty, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, and their secret Konjoe sauce, served on a brioche bun.

One unique feature of Konjoe Burger Bar is their use of Japanese flavors and ingredients in their burgers, such as wasabi aioli and miso glaze. They also offer vegan and gluten-free options for their burgers.

The service at Konjoe Burger Bar is fast and friendly, with staff members always ready to help customers choose their perfect burger. The ordering process is straightforward, with clear menus and easy-to-understand instructions.

Main Menu Items:

KBB Burger – This signature burger features a 6 oz. beef patty topped with bacon jam, gruyere cheese, garlic aioli, arugula, and caramelized onions on a sesame bun.

Umami Burger – Another popular burger choice, the Umami Burger is made with a beef patty, shiitake mushrooms, umami mayo, arugula, and tomato on a sesame bun.

Truffle Parmesan Fries – These crispy fries are topped with truffle oil, parmesan cheese, and chives.

Bulgogi Beef Tacos – These delicious tacos come with bulgogi beef, kimchi, pickled cucumber, green onion, and cilantro on a corn tortilla.

Fried Chicken Sandwich – This sandwich features a crispy fried chicken breast, spicy aioli, slaw, pickles, and cilantro on a brioche bun.

Konjoe Burger Bar also offers a build-your-own-burger option and a variety of sides, including onion rings and sweet potato fries.

Customer Reviews:

“I had the Konjoe burger with miso glaze and it was out of this world! The flavors were so unique and really complemented the juicy patty. The service was great too, with the staff making sure my order was perfect. Highly recommend!”

“I’m not usually a fan of burgers, but Konjoe Burger Bar changed my mind. I had their vegan burger and it was delicious! The patty was made with mushrooms and had such a great texture. Plus, the wasabi aioli gave it a really nice kick. Can’t wait to come back!”

“Konjoe Burger Bar is my go-to spot for a quick and delicious meal. Their burgers are always perfectly cooked and the flavors are so unique. I love the fact that they have gluten-free buns too. Highly recommend this place!”

Konjoe Burger Bar is a popular San Jose restaurant known for their creative burgers with Japanese-inspired flavors. Their unique menu and fast, friendly service make it a great spot for a quick and delicious meal. With vegan and gluten-free options, there’s something for everyone at Konjoe Burger Bar. They can definitely be counted among the top budget-friendly restaurants in San Jose.


Whether you’re in the mood for a quick and casual bite or a sit-down meal, these establishments have something for everyone, without breaking the bank. This is why they are the best restaurants in San Jose for your budget.



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