The blaze broke out in the kitchen area of Flames Coffee Shop at 1812 Hillsdale Ave. around 6:20 a.m.
A few workers were preparing to open the restaurant at 1812 Hillsdale Ave. around 6:20 a.m. when the fire broke out in the kitchen area, San Jose fire Capt. Barry Ehlers said.
Ehlers said two of the employees ran to a fire station located just around the corner and alerted firefighters to the blaze.
By the time crews arrived on the scene about a minute later, thick black smoke was billowing from all sides of the restaurant, the captain said.
Fueled by cooking oils, furniture and other materials, the blaze ripped through the building, causing multiple sections of the roof to collapse.
Firefighters battled the fire from the outside and were able to keep it from spreading to neighboring businesses. The fire was knocked down around 7:30 a.m., the fire captain said.
No injuries were reported.
The building was completely gutted by the fire, which Ehlers estimated caused more than $1 million in damage.
Although the blaze apparently began in the kitchen, investigators have not yet determined the exact cause.
Ehlers said about 75 firefighters responded to the fire, many of whom remained on scene as of 9 a.m. to root out hotspots.
Traffic is being diverted around Hillsdale and Ross avenues and onto nearby Camden Avenue.