One of my biggest complaints about San Jose has always been the lack of casual nightlife. The city has a huge trendy club scene with big bouncers guarding the doors of the hottest clubs and ensuring only the most beautiful and well-dressed people enter. What is there for those of us who wear ratty blue jeans and t-shirts to do? I occasionally like a few of the places in San Pedro Square, but Gordon Biersch is the best place I've found in the downtown area for good casual eating and drinking. Here you will see guys in running shorts and flip flops chatting with girls dressed up but too sober to go to the clubs, you will also notice blue jeans, tennis shoes, t-shirts, as well as shirts and ties... they welcome all kinds here!
We arrived late, probably around 11pm and the outdoor patio was packed, the restaurant inside was pretty busy, and the large bar area was also completely full of people. We were lucky to find one available high-top table. We had a few of their beers including a blonde bock, a hefeweizen, and a black or schwarz beer for $5.25 each. We also had a pretty tasty peperoni and mushroom pizza from their kitchen that stays open at least until midnight.
Gordon Biersch is a chain that started in California in 1988 but has spread to about 30 restaurants in various states around the country. They also own two of the Rock Bottom Brewery locations along with Big River Brewery, Seven Bridges Brewery, and a few other restaurant brands.
Gordon Birsch is cool. Big terrasse and cheap beer. The only thing I can't stand in San Jose at night are police cars lined up on every street like the apocalypse is about to happen...it kinda kill the atmosphere
Dress Code: none
The best bar we found was Gordon Birsch downtown. Especially on Friday nights when the weather was good enough for the courtyard to be open(basically spring/summer/autumn). On Friday there would be a live Jazz band out there.
Only problem could be the wait for a table. Ah well - just had to wait at the bar with one of their onsite brewed beers.