We’re probably not telling you anything you don’t already know when we say “going to the airport” isn’t exactly on everyone’s bucket list. But just like every destination is different, so is every airport. And just as navigating a new city is challenging in and of itself, so is navigating a new airport. Should I go for Ivar’s chowder or Beecher’s mac & cheese at SeaTac? Do I have time to do yoga at SFO’s Terminal 2? How long will it take to get to ATL’s Concourse E for a cocktail at One Flew South?
If you’re anything like us, then these are the types of questions you have. But never fear, because we have answers to your airport questions with our series of guides to America’s airports. Today, we bring you the TripIt airport guide to San Jose International Airport (SJC).
San Jose International Airport is conveniently located just a couple miles north of downtown San Jose. It’s one of three major airports that serve the San Francisco Bay Area, with both Oakland and San Francisco located 40 miles north. SJC features two terminals, Terminal A and B, which are connected to one another. All international arrivals are located in Terminal A.
A number of public transportation routes run to and from the San Jose airport, with the Airport Flyer making a continuous loop between the Metro Light Rail Station, the Santa Clara Caltrain Station and the airport terminals. Many of the local attractions and hotels, however, are only a few minutes away. The Rental Car Center, located across from Terminal B, is accessible by the crosswalks outside Terminal B’s baggage claim or blue shuttle bus at Terminal A.
Complimentary Wi-Fi is offered throughout the airport. Also, CLEAR members will be happy to hear that they’ll be able to skip the security line here.
Where to eat at San Jose International Airport first begins with some of its locally inspired restaurants, such as San Jose Joe’s (Terminal B), based off San Jose’s Original Joe’s, which has been serving Italian food since the 1950s. Elsewhere, there’s Tres Gringos, which features your standard selection of Mexican food. Meanwhile, your best Italian option is at Pizza My Heart (Terminal B), a chain of Northern California pizza restaurants, while Sushi Boat (Terminal B) is your go-to spot for sushi. Many of the San Jose airport’s other restaurants are more familiar chain restaurants such as Einstein Bros. Bagels (Terminal A), Gordon Biersch (Terminal A), Brioche Dorée (Terminal B) and Smashburger (Terminal B). Finally, since SJC is so convenient to San Jose and Santa Clara, it’s within just a couple miles of a number of restaurants, such as In-n-Out and Kenny’s Café.
Similar to the dining options above, SJC’s bar options have a local spin, such as The Brit (Terminal B). The Brit features most of your staple pub fare, as well as a full bar, including some local craft beer options and a British-inspired craft cocktail menu. Elsewhere in Terminal B is Shark’s Cage, a hockey-themed bar paying homage to the local NHL team, the San Jose Sharks. Also in Terminal B is Santa Cruz Wine Bar, which is just that, a wine bar that features many wines from the Santa Cruz area. In Terminal A, Gordon Biersch Brewing Company features a number of German-style beers, such as pilsners and hefeweizens, which they brew themselves. Otherwise, many of the restaurants mentioned above, such as San Jose Joe’s and Tres Gringos, also have full bars.
Like many major international airports, San Jose International Airport has an art program of both temporary and permanent exhibits, many of which are high-tech, since San Jose is at the foot of the Silicon Valley. Perhaps the San Jose aiport’s most unique amenity, however, is the piano in the Terminal B baggage claim, where you can tickle the ivory while waiting for your flight. One of SJC’s biggest benefits is its proximity to San Jose and Santa Clara, with a number of attractions within just a few minutes, including Guadalupe River Park, the SAP Center (home to the San Jose Sharks) and Levi’s Stadium.
While San Jose International Airport doesn’t have the airline lounges of many of the bigger international airports, it does have The Club, an upscale independent lounge. Located in Terminal A, The Club features many of the perks of your typical airline lounge, like complimentary food and drinks, but for just a $35 day pass fee.
Spencer is a seasoned food, drink, and travel writer who has written for publications from Outside Magazine to Travel + Leisure and Los Angeles Times. When he’s not traveling, he’s perfecting his favorite cocktails in his home bar. He chronicles his adventures (and cocktails) on his travel site, Whiskey Tango Globetrot.