Best Store for Unusual Gifts
East West Bookshop
East West Bookshop is designed to be a place for "self-exploration, expansion of understanding and self-awareness in an uplifting environment," according to the store manager, who said the shop stocks unique gift items with that philosophy in mind. East West offers crystals, singing bowls, jewelry, used books, art and much more. The shop also hosts more than 300 author events each year. Since the pandemic, those events have pivoted online. Check the website for updated information.
324 Castro St.; eastwestbooks.org; 650-988-9800
Best Bike Shop
Founded in 1964, independent bike chain Mike's Bikes has a singular purpose — to get as many people on bikes as possible. The shop features a big selection of brands and types, plus a skilled staff to offer tuneups in its shop or off-site through its mobile mechanic service.
4233 W. Middlefield Road; mikesbikes.com; 650-858-7700
Books Inc. has been serving the Mountain View community for more than two decades. The shop stocks nonfiction, fiction and kids' novels, in addition to games and gift items. Books Inc. has reopened for in-store shopping and is offering live and virtual author and reading events.
317 Castro St.; booksinc.net/MountainView; 650-428-1234
Therapy sells clothing, home goods, vintage furniture, jewelry and unusual trinkets. The company also donates 1% of all sales to community organizations, including food banks, wildfire relief funds and charities.
250 Castro St.; therapystores.com; 650-691-1186
Fleur de Lis
Neighborhood flower shop Fleur de Lis sells floral arrangements for weddings, birthdays, holidays, funerals and corporate events. The store also offers a selection of gifts, fruit baskets and plants.
811 Castro St.; fdlflowers.com; 650-968-0220
Best Hardware Store
Blossom True Value Hardware
Since 1973, Blossom True Value Hardware has been providing customers a wide variety of items for plumbing, gardening and electrical work, in addition to housewares and other small appliances. The hardware store also provides a key- and glass-cutting service for customers.
1297 W El Camino Real; truevalue.com; 650-964-7871