When it comes to urban people-and-dog-watching, it’s hard to beat Santana Row, San Jose's wildly successful, Mediterranean- style shopping and entertainment district. Plop down at any of 25 dog-friendly sidewalk cafes (patio heaters run full blast in winter) and watch the parade.
One of our favorite spots to grab a bite is Consuelo Mexican Bistro, where the Mexico City-style cuisine is a world removed from the usual Tex-Mex (be sure to try the rich, slighty tangy pozole verde), El Jardin, in a garden setting, is another Mexican-flavored, canine-friendly eatery and a great pick if you enjoy sipping margaritas to the accompaniment of entertainment along the lines of salsa lessons and karaoke. Another fave is Pasta Pomodoro, where the salamone cannelloni—grilled salmon over cannelloni beans—comes highly recommended.
While at the Row, look for "paws welcome here” stickers in dozens of dog-friendly shop windows.
Photo: "Candy at Santana Row" – Ronald Wong (CC)