Hidden Gems: Exploring San Jose's Top 20 Neighborhoods
It’s time to do a virtual walkthrough of the San Jose neighborhoods that really deserve some of your attention. This article will give you a very comprehensive overview of over 20 different neighborhoods in one of the most vibrant cities in Silicon Valley.
A family with children has different needs than a single person looking to live in San Jose, so we’ll be pointing out which neighborhoods are best for different buyer types.
Be well aware that you will have to look carefully for affordability in San Jose and skillfully make bids with a realtor. This city has a reputation for being on the expensive side compared to the rest of America - and that is true - but finding homes at the right price is entirely possible.
Let’s see 20 of the top neighborhoods in San Jose
What Do San Jose Neighborhoods Have in Common?
San Jose is a competitive and active real estate market in Silicon Valley. You probably know it as one of the strongest economies in America, with big names like Apple, Tesla, Adobe, and Google making long-term commitments to the city. Almost a million people live in the city of San Jose, enjoying a high quality of life with excellent employment opportunities for qualified residents.
A healthy lifestyle can be a lot of fun in this city, nestled up against the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Cruz Mountains - not that you have to leave the city to find nature. If you want something closer to your doorstep, you’ll be happy to know that all of the San Jose neighborhoods on our list have plenty of parks and green spaces.
Every year, around 300 days of sun shine down on San Jose’s solar panels and orchards, while the winters are mild.
In general, the Bay Area is known for above-average public schools and universities, like UC Berkeley and Stanford.
Breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner become highlights when you’re dining out in one of San Jose’s neighborhoods. You don’t always have to overspend just to find a tasty meal and there’s a diverse range of cuisines in the city, from Mexican flavors to Mediterranean dishes.
Our Top 20 San Jose Neighborhoods
We can’t list all of the area’s neighborhoods on the list, but checking out our 20 top San Jose neighborhoods will give you a headstart on your homebuying or investing journey.
For each neighborhood, we’ll give you a buyer-focused summary of what to expect, plus the median prices. If you see an area that stands out to you, take a deeper dive by looking at listings or asking us about the neighborhood.
Central San Jose
Most of the residents in Central San Jose are renters, and because of the density, you’ll find many apartments here, with some single-family homes and condominiums too. The homes are generally smaller in size since this is a developed urban area, but you won’t need to break the bank to live here.
Our database shows a median listing price of $790,000 in October 2023. Considering that Central San Jose is the largest urban center in Silicon Valley, the properties are often great value for money.
Central San Jose is probably better for singles or couples without children, though families who find the right property will find it a great place to live too. The prices for apartments and small homes begin at around $600,000.
Downtown San Jose via Will Buckner
North San Jose
North San Jose combines three districts: Alviso, Berryessa, and Rincon. It’s to the north of Central San Jose, closer to the San Francisco Bay and Milpitas. It’s also known as the Innovation District and along with Samsung HQ, it has lots of important attractions like the San Jose Municipal Golf Course, Paypal Park, and the San Jose Mineta International Airport.
In August of 2023, theaters North San Jose home prices were around $1.1 million.
While it isn’t quite as dense as downtown, many of the homes here are townhomes, apartments, or condominiums. Single-family dwellings with garden spaces are a little more scarce, but far from impossible to find.
In terms of location, North San Jose scores very highly, with access to the bay, Sierra Vista Open Space Preserves, and everything else that San Jose has to offer.
North San Jose via Will Buckner
South San Jose
The South San Jose neighborhoods like Communications Hill, Vista Park, and Edenvale are southeast of San Jose.
South San Jose had a median listing price on our website of $993,333 in October 2023, with more than 50 properties listed.
Just a short drive from the downtown core, South San Jose has a very low price point on some modest single-family homes. There’s a great range of property types and features as well, though a lot of the most desirable property starts around the median listing price.
South San Jose is well situated between the San Francisco Bay and areas further south like Morgan Hill, where you’ll discover world-class wineries and local produce.
West San Jose
Unsurprisingly to you, the western part of San Jose is called West San Jose. Let’s skip the boring details though; what makes this area special?
West San Jose residents are close enough to take a bicycle into Downtown San Jose, but far enough away to escape the downtown lifestyle. Santana Row in West San Jose may be one of the best shopping areas in all of San Jose.
Many locals prefer the balance of returning to West San Jose after working in other San Jose neighborhoods. Single-family homes, apartments, and condos are the norm here.
Our West San Jose homes have a median listing price in October 2023 of $1,249,000.
The arts are important in West San Jose, showcased in over a dozen different theatres and playhouses.
San Jose streets via Ken Lund
The Rose Garden district is quite small and exclusive, with homes not lasting long on the market. This is one of the most charming neighborhoods in San Jose, containing a lovely garden that the area takes its name from, plus a fantastic Egyptian Museum laden with artifacts.
Many of the shops hold on to the vintage vibe that the Rose Garden district is well-known for. The historical homes here are sometimes centuries-old and very coveted by the owners.
The median home price in Rose Garden was around $1.8 million in August 2023.
Rose Garden is a lovely spot for lunch or coffee amid the floral tree-lined streets, but living here is even better.
Santana Row is actually part of West San Jose which is well known for a higher level of affluence, top-tier dining, boutique shopping, and a maker’s market. Living in Santana Row, you’ll be close to highway access (but not too close) and just to the west of Downtown San Jose.
This area is trendy, with vintage flair mixing with modern minimalist. The apartments and condos will suit the lifestyle of young San Jose professionals quite well, as long as you can find well-priced options in this competitive market.
Many of the lavish apartments on Santana Row are priced between $900,000 to $1.3 million.
Supply is quite limited, so it’s quite hard to find a precise median listing price. Rather than using an inaccurate number, speak with a realtor about Santana Row to see what homes are being listed right now.
CineArts Santana Row shows short films and hosts events like the San Jose International Short Film Festival. You’ll spend quite a few evenings enjoying the arts if you move to the area.
Santana Row via David Wilson
In East Foothills of San Jose is the Evergreen neighborhood, where it’s impossible to forget that you are outside of the city. Out here, southeast of the downtown core, your views will be grassy hills and golf courses, rather than concrete and apartments.
Living in Evergreen affords you larger lot spaces and nearly direct access to great trail systems in the hills.
The median listing price in our Evergreen directory was $938,000 in October 2023.
Roughly 64,000 residents have already chosen the Evergreen area, but we still show around 60 properties for sale in this neighborhood in October 2023. Most residents in Evergreen are homeowners, not renters.
Blossom Valley might be perfect for families who want reliable homes and views of the foothills without paying exorbitant listing prices. Most properties are single-family one or two-story homes and condos with ranch styling, plus large garden spaces.
About 65,000 people live in the urban-suburban mixed neighborhood of Blossom Valley.
Homes in Blossom Valley had a median listing price of $945,000 in October 2023.
From a price perspective, the Blossom Valley neighborhood is quite affordable despite being so close to Central San Jose. It’s quite a convenient place for young professionals who need to reach Downtown San Jose (just 10 minutes by car). Other highways like the 85, 87, and Almaden Expressway will help get residents to and from home conveniently.
Willow Glen is one of the most appealing San Jose neighborhoods on our list, with very distinct architecture and a small-town feel. It is home to about 51,000 residents, including young professionals and new families who want some distance from the cityscape. Willow Glen is bordered by the Sinclair Fairway to the north and Hillsdale Avenue to the south.
Living in Willow Glen, you’ll have short commute times into Downtown San Jose and nearby access to trails and parks like Almaden Lake, Belgatos, or Martial Cottle Park.
In October 2023, our website shows median listing prices of $1,698,000 for the Willow Glen neighborhood.
The lovely homes in Willow Glen may be slightly on the pricey side, though affordability is out there. Apartments and condos can be found for under a million dollars, as can some standalone single-family homes.
The Willow Glen Library via David Sawyer
Almaden Valley isn’t kidding - it really is a valley - and also a southern San Jose neighborhood. This gorgeous area, also known as Almaden, sits between the Santa Teresa Hills and the Santa Cruz Mountains.
These ridges will give you exercise, and wine tasting tours, as well as stunning views. 39,000 residents live in Almaden Valley, a spare suburban neighborhood with roomy properties (occasionally with swimming pools).
Our Almaden Valley directory shows a median listing price of $2,197,500 in October 2023.
Some of the homes higher up the ridge are multi-million dollar palaces, and even though supply is not high, there are options closer to the million-dollar mark.
Japantown has been one of San Jose’s most lively neighborhoods for a while now, attracting a diverse crowd to its restaurants, cafes, shops, and homes. “Pretentious” has never been used to describe Japantown, a neighborhood that draws more pride from it’s culinary scene than glitzy glass-covered buildings.
This section of the city, also known as “Nihonmachi” (a term for historical Japanese communities), is very close to Central San Jose.
There is a lot of variation in the median sale prices in Japantown and we’re seeing an approximate range between $775,000 and $1.4 million.
Finding properties in San Jose’s Japantown is not always easy since the area is quite small and supply is limited. Don’t worry about that. Connect with a San Jose realtor today so that you can get updated on properties as soon as they hit the market.
Alum Rock is one of the San Jose neighborhoods that has the classic features the Bay Area is known for. It sits at the base of the East Foothills, so after a short walk or drive, you’ll be in the gorgeous ridges looking down on San Jose. The wineries in the hills are just an added bonus of living in the Alum Rock neighborhood.
Approximately 48,000 people live in Alum Rock, with a slight majority owning their homes.
Our median listing price for Alum Rock homes in October 2023 was $1,150,000.
There’s good value here, with the opportunity for a spacious home with lots of garden space and parking. Almost all of our listings are regular single-family dwellings, though condos and townhouses get listed as well.
Alum Rock Via Elaine
Silver Creek Valley
Anyone loving spacious properties and an escape from the city will love Silver Creek Valley. Residents choose this neighborhood for the peacefulness and community feel.
Attractions here include the famous Silver Creek Valley Country Club, the network of trails in the nearby hills, and boutique shops in the Evergreen Village Square. For other shops, locals can head to the Silver Creek Plaza or the shopping complex on San Felipe Road.
We showed a median list price in Silver Creek Valley of $1,474,450 in October 2023.
Supply here is low and the properties range from modest and affordable to palatial and pricey - especially along the ridges and hillsides.
The Villages is a very exclusive retirement neighborhood located southeast of Central San Jose. Supply here is very limited, though there is potential for a very affordable home if you and your realtor are watching the market.
One of the biggest draws to the area is leisure and enjoyment, which the Villages Golf and Country Club has a lot of.
According to some sources, August 2023 showed a median sale price in The Villages of around $850,000.
Living in The Villages, your home will be on peaceful, walkable streets, with dreamy scenery all around. Flanked by Montgomery Hill and Mount Misery, strolls can be extended into long hikes, depending on your energy.
Cambrian, also called Cambrian Park, is one of the smaller San Jose neighborhoods. The area is great for families, with peaceful streets and other quiet neighborhoods surrounding it, like Blossom Valley and Willow Glen. Though it’s quiet, Cambrian does have a large shopping plaza and other retail stores throughout the neighborhood.
The properties in Cambrian are spacious inside and out, with many homes being just one floor spread out over a larger lot.
Our October 2023 median listing price for Cambrian Park was $1,599,999, with over 40 homes listed for sale.
Cambrian Park isn’t in the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve, but it’s close enough to the hills to make it a great option for weekend hikes or winery tours.
Santa Teresa sits north of Coyote Valley in South San Jose. It’s actually the most southern urban district of San Jose, which is why it’s on this list.
About 45,000 residents live in Santa Teresa, which is slightly more dense than some of the other San Jose neighborhoods on our list. That’s going to be fine for some residents, especially singles or young couples looking for lower median home values in an expensive city.
The median home price in Santa Teresa sat around $880,000 in August 2023, though this is a rough estimate, so you should always get an updated statistic from a local realtor.
With great access to Highway 85 and 87, getting into Central San Jose only takes 20 minutes by car at the right time of day.
Santa Teresa, San Jose via Cristiano Tomás
Berryessa District, or Berryessa for short, sits in North San Jose. It’s named after a prominent California family, the Berryessa family, that owned this area.
This neighborhood stretches from Japantown up into the Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve. It has the San Jose Municipal Golf Course and several smaller parks, like Cataldi Park, Northwood Park, and Berryessa Creek Park to keep residents active.
There’s a friendly atmosphere in Berryessa, especially on Saturday when the local flea market starts up.
For October 2023, there was a median Berryessa listing price of $1,073,998.
Homes will probably be built on the hillside more and more as time goes on, but for now, the ridges aren’t developed much. Around half of Berryessa is residential, while the rest is mostly empty grassy hills.
Little Portugal is split into Little Portugal North and South split by East Santa Clara Street. At the heart of this neighborhood is the Five Wounds Portuguese National Parish, a very memorable building with high towers and stained glass windows.
The businesses in Little Portugal lend a lot of character to the area and many businesses have been here for a very long time.
Finding an accurate median home price that is accurate for the Little Portugal neighborhood is tricky, so we recommend that you ask a local realtor directly instead of guessing. What we can say about the homes here is that they typically list for below $1 million.
You absolutely must try the dishes at ADEGA, a Michelin-star restaurant in Little Portugal.
Little Portugal via Cristiano Tomás
Like many San Jose neighborhoods, Little Italy puts a lot of flair into its food and entertainment. This area just north of Central San Jose is a great place for non-locals to spend afternoons or weekends, but finding a great property in Little Italy would be even better. Little Italy would also be perfect for tech workers and other professionals working in San Jose.
Finding a median home price for a small area like Little Italy is difficult, but we can look at the surrounding area for a good comparison.
When we look at the zip code that Little Italy is in, 95110, we get a median home value of roughly $830,000.
We have several listings nearby Little Italy, mostly apartments, though some regular single-family homes are in the area too. Buyers will enjoy the range of home styles and architecture.
Victorian and Craftsman style buildings are a characteristic of The Alameda, a historic spot near Downtown San Jose - and also near to the San Jose Sharks games at the SAP Center.
The Alameda is also the name of an expressway in the area that runs between East Santa Clara Street and El Camino Real. Homes on either side of this expressway could be considered part of The Alameda neighborhood.
Property supply is tight, though a realtor with a watchful eye will find properties as they hit the market. You’ll see apartment buildings and single-family dwellings in The Alameda neighborhood.
It’s difficult to get an accurate median home value for The Alameda since the supply is very limited. Your best move is to contact a local realtor and ask them for an updated summary of home values in the area.
The Alameda’s location is great for young professionals looking to experience delicious morsels at any time of day, with coffee in the morning and craft beer on Friday nights. The Alameda residents live near various highways and connections to other parts of the city and more San Jose neighborhoods.
More Questions? Follow-up With Us!
If you have more questions about what to expect from the markets around the Bay Area, don’t be afraid to reach out to us today. Our experts are experienced in all property types and the entire San Francisco Bay Area, and we can help you to find what you need to know today.