The Best of Silicon Valley 2012
Best Desserts & Sweets
Best Traditional Donuts
2628 Homestead Road, Santa Clara. While Psycho still drives customers crazy, this 1950s old-time donut dispensary is one of the last of its breed. It earns lines from locals looking for a little something to take the edge off of church on Sunday morning. You can see why people wait: fist-size, shaggy-with-cocoanut-cake donuts, the traditional melty glazed kind and many others.
Best Palo Alto People-Watching
Michael's Gelato and Cafe
440 University Ave., Palo Alto. This small friendly cafe on the main stem in Palo Alto is well known for its gelato, but what's less known is the tile-lined second-floor balcony where you can observe the crowds while being shielded from the sun on hot days. This nook has turned up in at least one locally made movie (Jarrod Whaley's The Glass Slipper), but it's hardly overexposed as yet.
3055 Olin Ave., San Jose; Town and Country Village, 855 El Camino Real, Suite 50, Palo Alto. Cupcakes are no longer just for birthday parties. Kara's Cupcakes of San Jose and Palo Alto creates wonderfully moist cupcakes that come in a rainbow of flavors, from java and banana to vanilla and "karrot"—and some even have a gluten-free option. Best part? The frosting.
Sprinkles 393 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto
Love's Cupcakes 85 E. San Fernando St., San Jose
Best Chocolate Maker
Schurra's Fine Confections
840 The Alameda, San Jose. Schurra's isn't exactly a fresh young thing. The San Jose chocolate maker has been around since 1912. Mrs. See, sit down and shut up. Life is like a box of chocolates, only Metro readers know just what to get: Schurra's. The choosing has recently become even easier as Schurra's has debuted an online store at www.schurrasfineconfections.com.
Fleur de Cocoa 39 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos
Dolce Bella Chocolates & Cafe Westgate West Shopping Center, 5325 Prospect Road, San Jose
Best Frozen Yogurt
267 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell. The Willow Glen location of the popular soft-treat store is being remodeled; luckily, the Campbell location is prepared to handle the crush.
Yumi Yogurt Multiple locations
Sweet Retreat Multiple locations
Best Ice Cream/Gelato
221 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos. Angling for Hall of Fame credentials, Dolce Spazio won over voters again this year. It serves an especially chewy, dense form of gelato in a dazzling array of standard and rotating flavors.
Gelato Classico Multiple locations
Palo Alto Creamery Stanford Shopping Center, 566 Emerson St., Palo Alto
2006 S. Winchester Blvd., Campbell; 288 S. Second St., San Jose. When it came to donuts, there used to be just glazed, jelly and old-fashioned, but Psycho Donuts exploded the category with its anything-goes approach to fried rings of dough, topped off with a wicked sense of humor.
Stan's 2628 Homestead Road, Santa Clara
Manley's Multiple locations
50 W. Main St., Los Gatos. Sugar, butter and flour are simple ingredients, and what Icing on the Cake does with this potent trio is simply delicious.
Nothing Bundt Cakes Multiple locations
Psycho Donuts 2006 S. Winchester Blvd., Campbell; 288 S. Second St., San Jose