Contributed by: Erica S. | Last date of travel: Currenlty Resides in SV
San Jose, Palo Alto, Moutain View, etc.
There are a few restaurants located in the Silicon Valley which is defined as stretching from San Jose to South of San Francisco along the Peninsula. Izzy’s Brooklyn Bagels is located in Palo Alto and does the best possible job of imitating a NY Bagel Shop. Open mornings and afternoons, this restaurant is pretty delicious if you are in the mood for a perfect bagel with lox and vegetables. Some parve Shabbat takeout items available as well as Challah. There is a kosher Krispe Kreme Donuts in Mountain View and a new meat restaurant on Castro Street... the sous chef was formerly at Baron Herzog’s Tierra Sur in Oxnard, CA and the menu is expected to be very good.
Kosher groceries are available in the Silicon Valley but the price is marked up from what you would pay in NY or LA. Kosher chicken and turkey as well as other certified products can be found at various Trader Joe’s locations throughout the region. Mollie Stones in Palo Alto has a complete kosher aisle, packed meat, dairy (including Cholav Yisroel products) and freezer section. Lucky in Los Altos and Lucky in Saratoga have 2 full aisles of Kosher goods as well as a large freezer section, and dairy and meat fridges.
The Silicon Valley is mostly occupied by residents and businesses and there are not many “touristy” things to do. This isn’t really a vacation destination. However, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay are all within an hour’s drive and all are geared towards tourists. San Jose has a great technology museum and Great America, an amusement park is in Santa Clara. The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose is enjoyable if you like weird large Victorian houses. One can take a driving tour of high-tech/internet company headquarters (which is fun for the technologically inclined traveler).
Palo Alto is home to two orthodox synagogues: Emek Beracha, which is OU Affiliated, and Chabad of the Greater South Bay. There are daily minyanim available. The Dryan Family Mikvah is housed on-site at the Chabad. The Jewish Study Network (Community Kollel) is now located in Palo Alto and offers daily classes for Jewish adults. Palo Alto has an Eruv.
San Jose has an orthodox synagogue called Am Echad which is located in the Willow Glen neighborhood. There is also a Mikvah in San Jose.