Holiday Gift Guide 2015

Food & Drink

Intro | Food/Drink | Entertainment | Hobbies/Toys | Clothing | Adult | What to Buy?

408 IPA Photograph by Stephen Layton

Hermit's Brew

408 Session IPA 22 Oz., $5.99

Hermitage Brewing Company, San Jose

Initially intended for a limited run, Hermitage's 408 Session IPA has become one of the brewery's most popular beers. The well-balanced 408 has a clear, hoppy IPA profile without overwhelming bitterness. And at only 5 percent alcohol by volume, it invites drinking more than one. (SL)

Friends With Kids

Bumble 'Bee Points,' $40 for 5

Bumble, Los Altos

Dining with friends who have kids is tough—unless the restaurant has a built-in playground. Bumble serves farm-to-table fare for brunch and dinner. And it has a playground to boot. Get your favorite couple five "Bee Points," good for 30 minutes of playtime each, and call them up whenever the mood strikes. They'll have no excuse not to go. (NV)

Orange You Glad?

12 Oz. Bottle, $6

La Victoria, San Jose

La Victoria Orange Sauce is a San Jose staple. And at just six bucks, it makes for a terrific stocking stuffer. Give a bottle to all of your friends to let them know you care about them—whether or not they have garlic-laden burrito breath. (NV)

Spice Things Up

Hot Sauces, Marinades & Garlic

The Garlic Shoppe, Gilroy

For spice-fiend on your list, the Garlic Shoppe in Gilroy has garlic braids, humorous aprons—"Danger: Men Cooking"—and a glut of hot sauces, from the tame, tasty and locally produced Pepper Plant to the insane, mouth-murdering "Satan's Blood." (NV)

Breaking Bread

Loaf of Manresa Bread: $8

Manresa Bread, Los Gatos

While we wait to see how much plates will cost at David Kinch's forthcoming Nola casual dining spot, The Bywater—slated to open very soon in Los Gatos—we know that Manresa is a bit too pricy for this guide. But you can still grab a few loaves of delicious Manresa Bread for those on your list. (NV)

Illustrious Imbibing

Gift Certificates, Any Amount

The Lexington House, Los Gatos

For the gourmand who already has cabinets overflowing with kitchen gadget gifts, why not a night out instead? Los Gatos' Lexington House serves a farm-to-table menu, with a special focus on seasonal craft cocktails. Their Coffee Negroni recipe was recently featured in IMBIBE magazine. (SL)

Sweet & Savory

Salted Dark Chocolate Caramels, $10+

Schurra's, San Jose

This superior chocolate shop has been in business for just over a century. Inside the store, there are foot-tall, shrink-wrapped Santas and assorted boxes of chews, cremes and nuts, but the best seller—and best bargain—is the 8-ounce bag of sea-salted dark chocolate caramels. They're dense, sweet-and-salty nuggets of ridiculous tastiness. (JF)

Small Plates

Gift Cards, $10+

Cascal, Mountain View

This tapas bar starts every meal with their housemade mojo verde and warm focaccia-texture cornbread. Two tasty options include the Brazilian lime-zested shrimp croquettes, and the grilled serrano ham and date brochette. Both were $10 and worthy of a Moorish sultan. (JF)

Seasonal Suds

Stone Xocoveza 6-Pack, $19

Jane's Beer Shop , Mountain View

This dim, tiny specialty store brings together beers from all over the planet. Their sage clerks will help you find a tailor-made brew for your needs by consulting their weekly staff picks and Table of Awesome. The Stone Xocoveza is a seasonal stout infused with the flavors of Mexican Hot Chocolate, possessing a renowned reputation it certainly deserves. (JF)

Like A Virgin

Olive Oil, $17+

The Olive Bar, Campbell

From the ancient Mediterranean to the modern era, olive oil has been kitchen staple. This small shop prides itself on carrying only the freshest and highest-quality extra virgin olive oils, from all over the world. This always-classy gift is sure to be used and can please even the most choosy foodie. (RC)

Everyone Loves Chocolate

A Box of Chocolates, $7-$30

Mariette Chocolates, Willow Glen

This family run shop in downtown Willow Glen, specializes in artful truffles, chews and chocolate dipped fruits and nuts. The truffles are as beautiful as they are delicious, with brightly colored swirls and drizzles to distinguish each flavor. Packed into distinctive blue and brown boxes and carefully tied with ribbon perfect for no-hassle gifting. (RC)

Hey, Hon

Local Honey, Prices Vary

Rocca's Market, San Martin

For 80 years, Rocca's Market has been a destination for artisan produce, wine, meat and cheese. One thing you won't find anywhere else, except perhaps at seasonal farmers' markets, is the rotating selection of local honey. At Rocca's, customers fill their jars from a self-serve spigot. (JW)

Intro | Food/Drink | Entertainment | Hobbies/Toys | Clothing | Adult | What to Buy?