Welcome to WILLOW GLEN
With historic homes on tree-lined streets and quiet avenues that lead to a lively downtown area, it’s easy to see why Willow Glen is one of San Jose’s most beloved neighborhoods. Despite being incorporated into a big city, Willow Glen truly feels like a small town thanks to its family-oriented nature, downtown area filled with sidewalk cafés, eclectic boutiques, and vintage shops, and historic real estate.
Willow Glen began as marshland and was drained in the early 1900s to make way for orchards during the Santa Clara Valley’s agricultural boom. As the industry grew and more people began to inhabit the area, Willow Glen started to urbanize with the construction of roads, homes, and the beginnings of the downtown area along Lincoln Avenue. Throughout the 20th century, Willow Glen continued to thrive and resist attempts of overdevelopment and division by railroad and expressway construction. Today, this commitment to maintaining its character has made Willow Glen one of the best places to live and visit in San Jose.
What to Love
Lively downtown area with small-town charm
Mix of real estate for every style
Strong sense of community and culture
People & Lifestyle
Bridging its rich California history with an appreciation for contemporary culture, Willow Glen is a unique community that attracts those looking for a more-than-ordinary lifestyle. Its residential pockets are filled with single-family homes of all architectural styles, from Victorian and Tudor to Craftsman and Spanish eclectic ranches, including many larger homes for families looking for a bit more space outside downtown San Jose.
Thanks to its safe streets, charming downtown area, and small-town vibe, Willow Glen attracts many Bay Area and Silicon Valley families seeking a strong sense of community. Willow Glen is also home to many Californians who have been here for decades and can’t bear to escape the distinctive lifestyle it offers, blending small-town living with easy access to a major city.
While it isn’t a town of its own, Willow Glen’s downtown area makes it a very walkable place to live. Despite not being at the center of a major city, residents enjoy being able to eat out, browse boutiques, bookstores, and specialty food shops, and attend local events all within walking distance or a short drive from home. On any given day in Willow Glen, you’ll find strollers parked outside local businesses, families walking their dogs, and children playing, all enjoying the area’s favorable Mediterranean climate and seemingly endless sunshine.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Willow Glen’s Lincoln Avenue leaves little to be desired in the restaurant and shopping departments. This tree-lined downtown area is known for its more than 250 local small businesses, including casual-yet-delicious eateries, year-round Saturday farmers market, and indie boutiques selling everything from unique children’s gifts to vintage fashion to rare books.
On the corner of Lincoln and Willow is The Table, a neighborhood restaurant with a local, seasonal menu and an impressive wine list. Serving creatively-crafted takes on traditional brunch dishes, The Table is a weekend favorite. Bertucelli’s La Villa is well-known near and far as the go-to Italian deli and market, famous for its handmade, highly-coveted ravioli that Willow Glen residents frequently turn to for holiday and special occasion meals. Willow Street Pizza also brings a taste of Italy to Northern California with its wood-fired pizzas made with 100% organic house-made dough served in a cozy, brick-walled setting. Black Sheep Brasserie offers an elevated dining experience with a menu stacked with rich French dishes, from braised lamb to pomegranate duck breast, complemented by drinks from the talented mixologist behind the bar.
As you walk down Lincoln Avenue, you can’t miss the numerous shops begging to be browsed: Hicklebee’s, the local landmark children’s bookstore; Our Secret, a designer consignment store where you can dig for unbeatable fashion finds; Willow Glen Collective, an antique shop perfect for unique housewares and gifts; and Ohana Board Shop, a quintessential California skate shop with custom boards and helpful staff. You can also indulge your sweet tooth at one of the old-fashioned shops, like Willow Glen Sweet Shoppe, Willow Glen Creamery, or Mariette Chocolates.
Things to Do
Annual events in Willow Glen draw thousands and let the community showcase its charms to people from near and far. Every spring and fall, downtown Willow Glen transforms into a one-day wine tasting experience with the Willow Glen Wine Walk, where ticket holders can stroll along Lincoln Avenue, pausing at participating businesses to sample wines from local vineyards. This event serves both as a celebration of Northern California’s wine culture, as well as a fundraiser for the Willow Glen Business Association, who help maintain Willow Glen as the outstanding community it is today.
For over 60 years, Willow Glen has hosted St. Christopher’s Festival, a three-day event filled with music, food, entertainment, and community benefiting the local St. Christopher Parish and School. Taking place each year in early June, St. Chris’ Festival is Willow Glen’s long-standing tradition to welcome summer and bring families and residents of all ages out to join in on some good old-fashioned festival fun. Another trademark community event is the annual Willow Glen 5K, a professionally-coordinated race with proceeds supporting local schools. More than 2,000 runners participate and the post-race festival provides a chance for racers, their families, and the neighborhood to come together to celebrate.
Willow Glen schools are among the best in the area and are part of the San Jose Unified School District:
St. Christopher’s, K-8
Booksin Elementary, K-5