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“Totally delightful neighborhood restaurant”

Aya Sofia Cafe and Bistro
Ranked #200 of 599 Restaurants in San Jose
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Philadelphia, PA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Totally delightful neighborhood restaurant”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2012

We happened on Aya Sofia in a brief walk around the Los Yoses neighborhood and asked to see a menu because we were looking for vegetarian options for my niece. The warmth of the welcome led us to decide to return for dinner, and we're glad we did. The Mediterranean-inspired food was uniformly excellent, service was professional and friendly, and we had a wonderful chat with the multi-lingual owner about his and his partners' vision for making the restaurant a community gathering place to explore culture and cuisine. This would be a neighborhood find in any big city in the U.S. or Europe. We are in Costa Rica frequently, and the Aya Sofia will be a regular stop for us from now on.

  • Visited January 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank philacctraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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62 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    25
    23
    7
    4
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
26 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“OK food but way overrated”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2012

Turkish restaurant where the cook is a local guy taught by two turkish blokes. Not impressed with the quality of the food, the service is always with a smile, but the prices are WAY too high for the overall experience. Went there a couple of times and promised never to return unless I had already eaten and wanted only some dessert from there.

Helpful?
1 Thank Francisco B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
27 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Good but pricey”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2011

A group of three friends visited early on a Friday night to grab a quick bite, having called before to make sure that there was no special activity for that night as they usually have different kinds of shows on weekends and it becomes impossible to find a table. There were a few customers and the atmosphere lent itself to a nice conversation. Since we weren't in for a big meal we decided to go with small bites and appetizers only, which visibly annoyed the waiter. We had a mediterranean mixed dish, which consists of very small portions of hummus, baba ghanoush, goat cheese, tahini and the like accompanied with pita bread. Very tasty! We also had a couple of sandwiches (chicken, mediterranean) which were nice, but on the bland side, and one drink per person. At the end the bill was well over US$80.

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank fizbin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naples, Florida
Level Contributor
212 reviews
130 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Wonderful dining experience in San Jose”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 21, 2011

We stumbled upon Aya Sofia en route to another restaurant. Mehmet, one of the owners, took us under his wing, explaining all of the dishes in English, and helping us decide what items to tey. The Babagnoush was outstanding and full of flavor. I had what he called "Lamb Stew" which turned out to be a deliciously seasoned Lamb Shank. My husband had the mixed Lamb Grill, which was also outstanding. Nice atmosphere, quiet location, and wonderful food. Well worth a visit!

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank steelpanwoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grecia, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Aya Sofia's Special Ottoman Menu Evening”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 20, 2011

Oh, it was wonderful! Last night Mehmet & Hassan, owners of Aya Sofia Mediterranean Restaurant in Barrio Escalante, San José held one of their monthly special menu evenings, November's being 15th & 16th century Turkish recipes from the Harem at Topkapi Palace in Istanbul! We sampled all of the wonderful menu and Chef Oscar demonstrated the preparation of the special main couse, Elma Dolmasi (apple stuffed with lamb and rice). Oooooh yummm! Videos were also shown of Istanbul and we were seranaded with a Turkish music. A memorable evening and we can't wait until next month's 'special' evening featuring foods from Morocco.
Joan and Iain Dewar

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ijdewar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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