Speciality Shops, San Jose
This is absolutely the best place to go to for candy, chocolate and sweets in San Jose and Silicon Valley. It is a small store packed with everything and anything you can imagine: chocolates, gummi, jellybeans, hard candy, gelato, candy toys and any candy bay you can think of from the deepest corners of your memory. You will find things here from other regions of the country (and globe) and others that you didn't know were still being made. I saw things I hadn't seen in over 30 years.
A visit can be a bit of a sensory overload - not helped with the TV screen showing a loop of the Willie Wonka movie going all the time.
What to buy: Whatever your sweet tooth wants. Personally, I go strait to the licorice area to get my favorites from England and the Netherlands.
Nijiya is a small chain of grocery stores with about 11 stores in central and southern California, as well as one in New York. They specialize in Japanese meats, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), spices, snacks, and candies of all varieties. They have a huge amount of imported items, but also a selection of locally grown vegetables and rices that are stables of the Japanese diet. They also have a small selection of traditional utensils, bowls, vases, and other kitchen or gift items.
This is a great little store that is certainly worth a visit, even if you know little about Japanese culture. Swing on in and grab a Japanese Pocari Sweat drink and a bag of shrimp chips, and you'll be set for a walk through Japantown!
Open 10:00am- 9:00pm everyday.
Hidden in an industrial area of San Jose, just on the edge of the antique district is Artefact Design & Salvage. This warehouse if filled with all kinds of interesting objects from building facades and signs to old gazebos, statues and fountains. To some it may be junk but to most it is treasure. It's worth a stop if you like unique old stuff.
What to buy: Unusual things to fill your home and garden
What to pay: prices on some objects are pretty reasonable but others can be expensive.
Streetlight Records is one of the best sources for new and used CDs, records, tapes and DVDs in the South Bay. I have a pretty obscure taste in music and I always walk out of the store satisfied. They buy/sell/trade: Indie, Punk, Metal, Experimental, Progressive, Blues, Electronic, Reggae/Dub, World, Classical, Jazz, Rock and more. Friendly helpful staff too. Almost anything for any musical taste.
What to buy: CDs, records, tapes and movies
What to pay: Normal new and used CD prices