Well, you've been debugging and you look up and it's 11 pm and you've haven't even had breakfast. Here's several places to get food late at night in Silicon Valley. My favorites are Man Bo Duck (now closed) and Fu Lam Mum, the two Chinese restaurants on Castro in Mountain View. No-nonsense good Chinese food. There's always people there, even at 1am. The Chinese restaurants are also open on most holidays, including Bunny Day, Turkey Day, and Christmas Tree Day.
I live in Palo Alto. I've worked at many companies ranging from San Mateo to San Jose. I've tried most of these restaurants. Yes, Denny's isn't so great, but they're open 24 hours a day and it's eatable, mostly. Tip: Avoid their mixed drinks. Bleagh!
If you know of other places (or if a place changes their hours!) drop me a note. To qualify, they should serve full dinner at least till 11pm.
Evvia. 420 Emerson St., between University Avenue and Lytton avenues,(650)326-0983. Upscale Greek. Dinner seating till 11pm F-Sa.
Gordon Biersch Restaurant Brewery. 640 Emerson St., (650)323-7723. Hours: Su-W till 11pm
Gyros Gyros. 478 University Ave., (650)327-0107. Hours: till 11pm.
Happy Donuts. 3916 El Camino Real, north of Charleston., (650)843-0658. Hours: 24/7.
Mackie's Supper Club. 541 Ramona St., (650)326-1446. Closed for remodeling till August 2006; reopening as The Old Pro. Was full dinner till midnight Th-Sa, light appetizers till 1am -- now, who knows?
Cheesecake Factory. When you walk in, go pass the receptionist and look up. What is the architectural style? Is it Late Babylonian French Empire? Influenced by Chagall? Someone was smoking the cheesecake! 375 University Avenue Palo Alto, CA 94301. (650) 473-9622. Mon-Thu 11:30am–11pm. Fri-Sat 11:30am–12am. Sun 10am–11pm
Nola's. Family Restaurant, Casual $$; 535 Ramona St., (650)328-2722. Hours: M-Th 5:30-10pm, F-Sa 5:30-11pm, Su 5:30-9pm.
Peninsula Fountain & Grill (nobody calls it that; it's "The Creamery); 566 Emerson St., (650)323-3131. Dinner till 10pm Su-Th, till midnight F-Sa. There's another one at the Stanford Mall, but they're open only to 10pm nightly.
Pizza A GoGo. 220 University Ave., (650)322-8100. Dine-in and free delivery to Stanford, Palo Alto, and Menlo Park. 11AM-midnight 7 days.
Pluto's. American, Casual $; 482 University Ave., (650)853-1556. Hours: Su-Th 11:30am-10pm; F-Sa 11:30am-11pm. A favorite for mega-turkey sandwiches. It's sorta like the morning after Thanksgiving, all year round. Not very clean. Keep an eye out for Chelsea.
Safeway. San Antonio Shopping Center. Hours: 24/7.
Taxi's Hamburgers. 403 University Ave., (650)322-8294. Hours: M-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sa 11am-11pm, Su 11am-10pm. Pretty good burgers, and call-in or online ordering for take-out. See www.taxishamburgers.com/locations.html
Fu Lam Mum Seafood. 153 Castro St., (650)967-1689. Hong Kong-style seafood and friendly waiters. Hours: till midnight daily (last call 11:45pm).
Chili's. 2560 W. El Camino Real, (650)941-2227. Hours: 11am-11pm M-Th, 11am-11:30pm F-Sa, 11am-10pm Su.
Frankie, Johnnie & Luigi Too. 939 W. El Camino Real, (650)967-5384. Homestyle Southern Italian with hand-tossed pizza. Hours: 11am-midnight M-Th, 11am-1am F, 11:30am-1am Sa, 11:30am-11pm Su.
Kirin. 485 Castro St., (650)965-1059. Simple cafe with fresh Hong Kong-style seafood. Hours: 11am-midnight daily.
Hong Kong Bistro. 147 Castro Street. tel: (650) 968-8938. Sun-Sat: 11:00am-11:45pm
Pho Hoa. Vietnamese pho shop. 220 Castro (next to Sue's Indian), (650)969-5805. Pho is great stuff. It's a huge bowl of delicious Vietnamese broth. Many locations, incl. San Jose, Cupertino, Santa Clara, and more. For more, see phohoa.com. Hours: till midnight Su-Th, till 3am F-Sa.
Pizza Hut. 1955 W. El Camino Real., (650)324-4500. Hours: Su-Th 11am-11pm; F-Sa 11am-midnight.
Denny's. 442 W. Calaveras Blvd., (408)262-9090. Hours: 24/7.
Milpitas Square. A bonanza for late night food is Milpitas Square, the Asian shopping center at 237 and Milpitas. Hop out from 237 onto McCarthy Ranch Road and get on the south side of 237. Go to the stoplight, turn left, and after two blocks, you're in Asia: Chinese, Vietnamese, Singaporean, Thai: everything is there. They're open nearly every day and very late. (Note: on the North side of 237, there is McCarthy Ranch Shopping Center. This is the "other" shopping center there.)
China Palace Restaurant, 688 Barber Lane, (408)894-7060. Hours: till 3 am every night. Free delivery (on orders over $100) Whoa! This is a real Chinese restaurant, with Chinese food for Chinese people. Great menu. If you order, ask the Chinese engineers on your team to place the order. When it shows up, don't ask what it is. Just eat. It's delicious.
Jujubi. 550 Barber Lane (Milpitas Square), (408)432-3395. Hours: till 1am Su-Th, till 3am F-Sa. Thai/Chinese/Fusion.
Lee's Noodle House. 2569 S King Rd. (King and Tully), Ste C9 San Jose, CA, 95122. Tel. (408) 238-6888. Open til 3 am. Very popular for the post-club crowd.
Agenda Restaurant, Bar and Lounge. 399 S. First St., San Jose, (408)287-3991. Kitchen stays open till midnight or so on summer weekends (F-Sa).
Arcadia. Su-Th until 10PM. Bar & Bar menu til Midnight M-Su. Fs and Sas full dinner til 11PM service. 100 W. San Carlos, San Jose, CA 95113, T (408)278.4555.
Asian Garden. 304 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose, (408)279-8764. No-frills Vietnamese cafe with big-screen TV. Hours: till midnight Sus-Ths, till 3am Fs-Sas.
Bay 101. 1801 Bering Drive (Brokaw Road at Highway 101), San Jose, (408)451-8888. Shuffles Deli has sandwiches, soups, salads, pizza in airport-style alcove. Sutter's Broiler ups the ante with extensive menu, from lemongrass chicken to steak sandwich, in sports bar off the casino. Both open till 2am nightly.
City Restaurant (Vietnamese). 301 East Santa Clara Street. San Jose, CA 95113. phone:(408) 920-9662. hours: Sun-Wed: 10:00am-1:00am. Thu-Sat: 10:00am-3:00am
Denny's. 1015 Blossom Hill Rd., (408)448-6205. Hours: 24/7.
Flame's Coffee Shop (Winchester.) 449 S Winchester Blvd (just South of Stevens Creek), San Jose. (408)246-8154. Su-Th: 6:00AM - 11:00PM, F-Sa: 6:00AM - midnight.
Garden City Restaurant. 360 Saratoga Ave., San Jose, 408 244 3333. Take a sharp left before the card room and settle into a booth in Tahoe-like comfort. Steaks, lobster and Asian foods such as egg rolls and Mongolian chicken 24 hours a day.
Gordon Biersch Restaurant Brewery. 33 E. San Fernando St., San Jose, (408)294-6785. Second location in Palo Alto. Late-night menu of burgers, pizzas and salads every night, about an hour before closing: Su-WSunda 11pm; Th midnight; F-Sa 1am
The Grill on the Alley. Fairmont Hotel, 172 S. Market St., San Jose, (408)294-2244. Upscale steak house featuring prime steaks and chops, fresh fish and All-American favorites from shrimp cocktail to fruit cobbler. Dinner till 11pm Fs-Sas. Bar menu (crab cakes, hamburgers, salads) till midnight Fs-Sas. Bar menu till 11pm Ms-Ths.
Los Diablitos. 855 N. 13th St., San Jose, (408)297-6651. Taqueria with covered patio. Menudo (beef tripe) and pozole (pork soup) on weekends. Hours: till midnight F-Sa.
Mini Gourmet. 599 S. Bascom Ave., San Jose, (408)275-8973. Open 24 hours daily.
Original Joe's. 301 S. First St., San Jose, (408)292-7030. Steaks at midnight! Very noisy. Open till 1am daily.
Pho Hoa: Vietnamese pho shop. For more, see phohoa.com. Open til 2am every night.
Picasso's Tapas. 62 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose, (408)298-4400. Tapas, paella, classical guitar till 11pm F-Sa.
Tacos al Carbon. 1733 Story Road, San Jose, (408)272-3318. Carnitas, mariachi, like being in Michoacán. Till 2am daily.
Tony Roma's. 4233 Moorpark, San Jose, (408)253-4900. Barbecue, salad, onion rings. Sunday to Thurs, 10 pm. Friday and Sat, 11pm.
Willow Street Wood-Fired Pizza. 20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, (408)354-5566. Also 1072 Willow St., San Jose (408)971-7080, and in Westgate Shopping Center, 1554 Saratoga Ave., San Jose, (408)871-0400. California-style pizza, salads, sandwiches. Dinner till 11pm F-Sa.
Misc. places noted on misc. web sites: ... OJ's on First Street is open late, Pizza A Go Go on San Carlos Street. sometimes Muchos is open, right next door to My Burger Place, kick-ass rotiserrie chicken burritos. And who could forget about La Vic.... La Victoria with the Orange Sauce!!! All in downtown SJ.