San Pedro Square Market [San Jose]

San Pedro Square Market in downtown San Jose contains a number of small food vendors that look interesting. Any recent experiences?

There are two buildings, one at 87 N. San Pedro St and West St. John, and one at 100 N Almaden Ave and West St. John. I stopped into the latter for some good Mexican hot chocolate at Chocatoo and some Colombian foods at Arepa & Mas (formerly known as Arepa Swing).

Empanadas with white cheese filling were excellent. It’s deep fried, and the crackly wrapper bled seamlessly into the salty cheese.

The arepa itself had a potent cornmeal flavor and was fresh, and not rubbery. However, it lacked full-on crunchiness (there’s a similar comment on CH). I prefer the arepas at Columbian bakery Milohas in San Jose or Pica Pica in SF. The cheese and black bean filling was quite good though-- the black beans are as toothsome as home cooked beans.

Shredded beef patacone was very good. Patacone is a flattened disc made of fried green (unripe) plantains, and had more flexibility and flavor than I’ve typically had with the Puerto Rican equivalent, tostones. The topping was beefy and delicious.

Arepas & Mas
100 N Almaden Ave
San Jose ca 95110
(408) 768 7579

On a related note, I get my Arepas fix in Palo Alto at Coupa Cafe. I don’t have much to compare to, though.

I’d love more tips about where to eat in San Jose. My favorite spot was Blackbird for quite a while, and now end up having a burger at Stritch, but all the greater san pedro square places — some of them must be good, right? I typically prefer someplace a little more casual with great food ( kind of like Blackbird was ).