Ask A Local About Milpitas
What brought you to Milpitas? I ended up moving to Milpitas because I got a job working at a local company here, right out of college.
What do you like best about it? I love how diverse my city is. It offers a variety of cuisines, good restaurants, highly rated school district, and hardworking police officers. The cost of living is also decent compared to the rest of the Bay, making it great for students and young working professionals.
What do you like least? My only complaint would be traffic congestion. During rush hour it can get hectic, but that’s like most of the Bay Area.
What’s the city’s vibe? Milpitas is full of big tech companies, such as Cisco and SanDisk, who have made it their headquarters. Then there’s the residential areas that have a suburban feel, that is quite peaceful and family oriented. Since there’s no downtown area, the commercial areas are broken down into retail centers focused on a variety of cultures.
How has your neighborhood changed since you moved there? Mostly it’s various residential construction projects. Most are townhomes, condos, and apartments that are popping up.
Do you need a car to get around? I own a car, which is really nice since Milpitas has such easy access to all of the major highways. Although, I don’t really use my car all that often because the city has such great public transportation options and lots of bike lanes. These include buses, CalTrain, and the light-rail.
What's the neighborhood housing stock like? Compared to the rest of the South Bay, I feel that there are more homes on the market. And I know the local government is constantly trying to create more affordable housing for its residents.
Better for buyers or renters? I'd say that you have more opportunities as a renter as there are a lot of townhouses, apartments, and condos available. Although there are some relatively affordable options for first time homebuyers.
Tell us something we don't know about the neighborhood: Milpitas, which means ‘little cornfields’ in Spanish, once housed the Ford San Jose Assembly Plant but now is a major suburb with residential areas, industrial parks with large companies and retail shopping plazas.
Any hidden gems? Hidden Lake Park of course! It’s a beautiful man-made lake that hosts lots of ducks, BBQ areas, picnic tables, and a great loop for walking your dog or a quick jog.
Nearest grocery store? Safeway, though it’s not my favorite. What I love about Milpitas is that you can find so many different communities living in one place, which means you have an unlimited option of foods to try. If you’re looking for Asian cuisine, the Marina Grocery, Ranch 99, Lion, and the Ocean Supermarket are the perfect places to shop. Hungry for some authentic Indian treats? Check out the Swadesh Bazar. Interested in Middle Eastern products? Try the Halal Market. And if you’re looking for some bomb carnitas or other Mexican options, you’ll want to stop by the Fiesta Market.
Good for kids? Definitely! The school system is highly rated, the city’s quite peaceful, and there are so many activities and events for children of all ages to partake in.
Notable Residents: From the NFL there’s been Kim Bokamper, Deltha O’Neal, Lenzie Jackson, Tab Perry, and Vita Vea. Then there’s t.v. personality, Jeannie Mai, and science fiction writer, Andy Weir. As well as Zeno Ostenberg, nationally recognized chemical and medical researcher, and Henry Strickroth, one of the original Minute Men who fought off San Jose’s attempt to annex Milpitas.
Best brunch spot? Mil’s Diner is an excellent choice. It’s a wonderful diner with plentiful portions, traditional brunch options, a friendly staff, and even nicer owner. I would highly suggest the chorizo and eggs, california benedict, country fried steak, or the world’s fluffiest pancakes. I also appreciate the indoor/outdoor seating and the fact that the diner is named Mil’s in honor of Milpitas. It’s a wonderful homage to the city.
Best park? Cardoza Park is about a 10-acre park that features a baseball field, horseshoe units, volleyball poles, an outdoor amphitheater, BBQ areas, playground, and picnic spots. Plus it’s dog friendly! You can rent out the canopy and various parts of the park for events as well. And in the summer, you can view the annual 4th of July fireworks show from the Sports Center Field. It’s usually about $3 a person, with 1 year and younger being free. It’s great because you can lay out blankets and folding chairs, bring picnic food, test out local food carts, or enjoy a delicious ice cream. I would highly suggest visiting Cardoza at any time of the year.
Beloved neighborhood joints? Golfland for sure and stopping by the Black Cat Comics shop is one of my favorite shops. The owners, Mark and Francie are super great to talk to and incredibly friendly. Their staff is super helpful and if you have their subscription service, you’ll fall even more in love. And if you aren’t satisfied with what this month’s selection was, they have no problem changing it out for another.
Best Boba Spot? For me, it’s a tie between i-Tea and Ten Ren. i-Tea is awesome because they offer a large selection of food to go along with your tea. I would suggest trying their ramen, curry, potato croquette, and garlic popcorn chicken. And in regards to tea, I really like their mango slush with lychee jelly and aloe vera, Alishan milk tea,, and Osmanthus Oolong milk tea with boba. Sadly Ten Ren doesn’t offer food but it is located in a plaza with many other restaurants. I like that you have the option of buying tea leaves and fresh teas there, I’d suggest ordering numbers: 63, 83, or 38. I really like ordering their mango coconut milk tea with boba or the roasted Oolong milk tea with grass jelly or boba.
Favorite nightlife spot? Blue Note Lounge is a fun jazz and blues bar with live music and karaoke nights. It’s a very fun, low-key place to stop by. I also really like the IBU Taproom and Bottle Shop, though you don’t have to specifically check it out in the evening. They have so many excellent options to choose from, great customer service, a knowledgeable staff, offer TVs for any games you may be interested in catching, and it’s connected to Stuft Pizza. I love bringing my friends here, it’s got a great atmosphere.
Favorite thing to do on the weekend? The Great Mall is a great place to stop by and get all your shopping done or I like to stop by Big Dog Vineyards. They have a wonderful selection of wine, affordable tastings, lovely picnic space, live bands on the weekends, and are extremely dog friendly! You can even meet the owner’s dog Daisy, an extremely lovable and tame Great Dane that just wants some cuddles. Overall, I think it’s a convenient location, cozy atmosphere, and offers wonderful service.
Where is the best place to experience the outdoors? Ed R. Levin County Park. It’s the largest park in Milpitas and offers facilities for hang gliding, paragliding, picnicking, hiking, biking, a dog park, fishing, and horseback riding areas. There are lakes stocked with fish, though no swimming is allowed, and there is a little over 20 miles of trails. There’s so many fun things to do here and never enough time. This park, with all of its’ scenic views of the bay, offers fun for the entire family.
Final Words: Milpitas is unique in that it is constantly transforming, with all the new construction and prospective Bart line, yet it manages to maintain it's small town feel. It's a very friendly community and I would highly suggest moving here!