Silicon Valley Hidden Gems: South Bay Edition

This is a special post to me as it is my first time being part of a collaboration! Connie over at Earth to Connie wanted to create a collection of local hidden gems from bloggers around the world. The posts highlight favorite lesser known places to visit like cafes, restaurants, parks, trails that may not be found in a city guide! Are you ready for a tiny taste of Northern California? Here are my Silicon Valley hidden gems..

While most people may visit Silicon Valley for business, there are many places to be explored outside of the high-tech bubble. Here are a few hidden gems worth visiting when you make your way south of Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram headquarters towards a collection of cities called the South Bay!

Latte, Cake, Waffle, Matcha Latte

Start off your day at Living Room Coffee Craft where a portion of your purchase will be donated to local organizations. You will find a spacious interior filled with tables of all sizes to relax and enjoy your morning. Have a coffee or tea with their fresh pastries! The peach brown butter cake has an amazing caramelized exterior and the fresh peach slice compliments the cake. Their gluten-free “everything cheese waffle” is a fantastic version of the Brazilian pão de queijo made of tapioca or rice flour giving it a distinct chewy texture. Mix that in with sesame, poppy seeds, dried garlic, and onions for a unique bite!

Hiking Trail at Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, CA

If coffee wasn’t enough to get your blood pumping or you have the desire to be in nature, we have that too! Head to Villa Montalvo and hike among California Redwoods without having to drive an hour away through windy mountain roads. As a non-hiker, I really appreciate the easy incline and shaded trail here. To make things more interesting, there is actually an arts residency program attached to the grounds of Villa Montalvo and hosts over a hundred artists a year. (Probably the reason people don’t think you can hike here.) Check out the statues located inside the picturesque garden while you cool down from your hike. Both entrance and parking is free in Lots 2, 3, or 4.

Ready for lunch? Pop into one of my favorite Silicon Valley hidden gems at family-owned Antipasto’s Deli for salad, a plate of pasta, or a completely customizable sandwich. I recommend their chicken ravioli with half tomato basil cream (TBC) and half alfredo sauce. The in-house ravioli is one of the best I’ve ever had. (There’s an all-cheese version, too!) They are so soft and comforting, just like fluffy pillows. The meat for their sandwiches is sliced upon ordering and pair incredibly well with their fresh baked bread.

900-square foot mural on South First Street in San Jose, CA

While street art isn’t exactly hidden, it will be easy to miss if you don’t know where to go. San Jose is a really big city! The Arts District lies mainly on South First Street in Downtown San Jose. Check out The 100 Block Mural Project to see the work of 100 local artists who created their own mini mural on a 3×3 square. The resulting 900-square foot space is filled with different art styles, techniques, and colors is truly a sight to behold. If you want to see more, wander over to the next few blocks and see what else you can find!

Guacamole and chips from Cali Spartan in San Jose

Since you’re in the downtown area, don’t leave without trying another Silicon Valley hidden gem with some of the best tacos in all of San Jose! Stroll down or catch a ride on an electric scooter towards 10th Street to Cali Spartan Mexican Kitchen. I highly recommend their guacamole and chips (with a chili lime seasoning) and any of their tacos. They have a full menu so you’re bound to find something delicious! Note: It is cash only. There is an ATM on the premises.

If you’re planning on visiting, which places spark an interest to you? If you’re a native to Silicon Valley, have you been to any of the places I recommended? What Silicon Valley hidden gems would you add to the list?


Connie is a travel and lifestyle blogger over at www.earthtoconnie.com. She
began her blog in 2018 and ever since she has slowly been making her way
around the world. Discussing advice and tips for long term travel whilst sharing
her own adventures, there is something on her blog for everyone.  You can also
keep up to date with all her new content through her twitter, facebook and instagram.


  • Carissa

    Thanks for the recommendation at Villa Montalvo. I had heard of it before but I don’t believe either of us have even been. We’ll have to go check it out. 🙂

    • tammy

      My pleasure! It’s a quick, relaxing hike. Remember to take caution and beware of poison oak along the trails!

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