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How to survive WWDC

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How to survive WWDC

Are you spending the week in San Jose? We know where to eat, drink, and visit!

If you're on the ground in San Jose in or around the McEnery Convention Center and are wondering what to do next, you're going to need some help figuring out where the popular spots are for your post-conference fun. Sure, the days-long developer sessions are incredibly helpful and they're literally the reason you're here, but after-hours (and sometimes before-hours) is where it's at. It's where you'll meet and connect with other developers, press peeps, and sometimes even Apple insiders. But you have to know where to go in order to stay connected.

Don't forget to download the WWDC app to help get you around the conference itself.

Where to eat

The Grill on the Alley

The Grill is the place to be if you want to sink your teeth into something rich and full of protein. It specializes in steak and seafood, but you can also fill your belly full of savory chicken dishes and even share a hearty helping of loaded mac 'n' cheese. It's located inside the Fairmont Hotel across from the convention center, so you know the place will be packed with post-WWDC mixers.


Arcadia was founded by celebrity chef Michael Mina. An upscale eatery, Arcadia boasts some melt-in-your-mouth delicacies, like Lobster Pot Pie and roasted bone marrow. Don't be scared away if this sounds like too much. You won't be able to turn your back on a traditional New York Strip or braised short ribs. Arcadia is located inside the Marriott Hotel, which is also directly across from the convention center on the south side. Arcadia is probably going to be populated by WWDC attendees looking for a relaxing evening away from the hustle and bustle.

Fountain Restaurant

The Fountain is going to be where you want to go for breakfast before hitting the conference floor. It opens every morning at 6:30 am, so you'll have plenty of time to grab a bite on your way to your first session. The Fountain serves your classic breakfast fare, like eggs, french toast, and fruit plates and you can your caffeine fix with HC Valentine coffee or a wide variety of teas. Oh, and they're open for lunch, too.

OpenTable app

Of course, if you want to find the right restaurant for your mood or if you just want to make sure you can get a table at one of the more popular haunts, use OpenTable to find great places nearby. OpenTable works a little better than, say, Yelp, in this situation because it's easier to narrow down the popular eateries that will likely be patronized by WWDC attendees.

Where to drink

Paper Plane

Paper Plane is a watering hole that specializes in cocktails. It even has its own creations on the menu for you to experience. One of its specialties is the "punch bowl," which is a bowl (yes, bowl) of cocktails that you can drink with a group. The wall of liquor is nearly floor to ceiling and wall to wall. Paper Plane does more than just liquor, though. You can also satisfy your late-night craving with some high-class bar snacks. Buddybuild will be hosting a free WWDC-related event at Paper Plane on Tuesday between 5 and 7 pm that you can check out if you're interested in meeting some other mobile app developers in the industry. You'll want to register to attend this little shindig.

Loft Bar and Bistro

The Loft is a fancy-pants restaurant and bar with not one, but two floors of hanging out-ness. It's huge on the inside, so you probably won't have trouble finding a place to sit after a long day at the conference. The upstairs patio is partially covered but exposed enough to let you feel the night breeze of San Jose. Though the beer and wine menu is nothing to sneeze at, there is a wide variety of things to nosh on from their full menu. The Loft is only open until 10:00 pm on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, so keep that in mind when you're thirsty for some after-after hours fun.

Philz Coffee

Of course, all those late nights of mixing and mingling are going to make you tired. Philz is just what you need to kickstart your day. We here at iMore are used to sipping Blue Bottle before the WWDC keynote, but the nearest one is about 30 miles away. That's OK. Philz has plenty of flavorful coffees and teas to keep us moving through the day.

Parties, Parties, Parties!

There are always big to-dos before, after, and during WWDC. You can literally stay in San Jose for five days without attending the conference once and still feel like you've been surrounded by Apple and developer news and classes the entire time. We have a list of the best events to attend while you're in town for WWDC.

Best events to attend during WWDC week

If you're still looking for even more WWDC-related gatherings, you should check out the Parties at WWDC app. It's an unofficial app created by developers that love the conference as much as you do.

Points of interest to visit while you're there

Tech Museum of Innovation

You can't go all the way to San Jose for a tech conference without making a stop at the Tech Museum of Innovation. It's three stories of gadgets, robots, and other tech-focused exhibits. You can find out more about bioengineering, the future of wearables in health, and test out some pretty sweet VR headsets. It's like a discovery museum or exploratorium, but you're never to old to learn something new, and during WWDC, it's going to be filled with tech nerds just like you.

San Jose Museum of Art

If you need to get a way from all this technology and want to relax with some culture, check out the San Jose Museum of Art. During the month of June, the Museum will host a nature-focused exhibit with water-themed photographs from the likes of Ansel Adams, Ernest Brooks II, and Dorothy Keeper Monnelly. If your tired eyes need some respite from too many screens, you can take a nature walk through some of the most beautiful photographs of the ocean you may never get to see in real life.

Hang out with us!

Of course, we're going to be at WWDC all week long, visiting the hot spots for dinner, drinks, and parties. So be sure to say hi when you see us. We love meeting other Apple enthusiasts, especially the ones that read iMore.


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