Fujiya Market
What's better than Japanese pastries? Almost nothing. Maybe that's why we spend so much time cramming curry and melon pan into our waiting gobs at Arai Pastry, at the corner of Priest and University drives in Tempe. When pastry doesn't suffice, we head right next door to Fujiya Market. Walk in the door and expect to be greeted with a welcoming "irashaimase" from the staff. They're welcoming you to the store and their bountiful stock of imported milk tea, Japanese candy, and bento boxes prepared daily. Next to that is a fast-food teriyaki joint, and next to that is an Irish knickknack shop. Oh, wait, wrong continent. Anyhow, everyone needs a spot to get their Japanese fix. Who would have guessed Tempe is the place to go?
If you're into cooking at home and find yourself in need of anything from paprika to pita, look no further then Tempe-based Haji Baba. The marketplace section is small but packed, so take a chance, buy some, and figure out what to do with it once you are back home. The prices allow for an adventurous spirit. And while you're there, pick up some falafel or other pre-prepared items. Just in case.
Penzeys Spices
Galangal, epazote, mace, mahlab. If you're used to buying your spices from your local grocery store, you probably have no idea what we're talking about. All those foreign words are actual spices — not "spice," spices. You know that stuff that makes food taste better, right? You can find exotic spices like these and more at Penzeys. High-quality whole seeds, cracked seeds, ground seeds, regional spice mixtures — virtually every spice that you never knew you needed is right here at Tempe Marketplace. A serious must-visit for any spice-hound.
Queen Creek Olive Mill
Evie Carpenter
It's no wonder Arizona's best olive oil comes from the happy trees at Queen Creek Olive Mill. For more a decade, the East Valley olive oil producers have been sustainably farming the best olive varieties for our arid climate. The pesticide-free olives are harvested at just the right time and then cold-pressed into extra virgin olive oil. The oils have a smooth nutty flavor, with just a hint of sweetness that you won't find in your average grocery-store brand. And don't even get us started on Queen Creek's balsamic vinegars. The barrel-aged vinegar is made from the highest-quality Modena grapes and imported from Italy; once QCOM gets hold of the vinegar, it makes it better with the addition of strawberries or mountain figs. Look out for unique flavors, like the tangy blood orange olive oil, white balsamic crema, or the spicy chili-infused oil, sure to give a kick to your favorite recipe. If you can't make the trek to visit the mill, you can find QCOM's products at your local Whole Foods.
Rocket Fizz
Gone are the days when kids would pop by the local candy shop for penny candies and licorice whips on their way home from school. Now, they're more likely to be purchasing iPhone apps than Hershey bars. But we still can get our nostalgia fix at Rocket Fizz, where owners Brad and Kim Fry and their kids offer up Gobstoppers, saltwater taffy, and Twix bars with as much zeal as Sammy Davis Jr.'s Candy Man. The Frys stock more than 600 varieties of pop (we don't dare use the modern vernacular of "soda" here), including Brain Wash cola, Flathead Lake huckleberry, and the many crazy flavors of Jones Soda Co. You'll also find a ton of old-school and rare candies such as Bueno bars and Twin Bing. One look at the wall of saltwater taffy and the coolers of ice-cold birch beer and cola and it's hard not to squeal like, well, a kid in a candy store.
Have you noticed how all the cool parties have those DIY candy buffets, where you can fill cute bags and cups with brightly colored confections? Feeling as if you may not have the skills to pull it all together? That is where Chandler-based Couture Candy Co. comes in. They have it down and will do all the work for you. Think tables full of glass jars loaded with candy and colorful lollipops scattered about. If it involves candy and you want it looking cool, the best place in town to tap is Couture Candy Co.
Cupcake stands, you say? How very 2010 of you! The "it" way to serve up cupcakes is on floating, light-up, or suspended towers. Cake Hole Project is the combined brainchild of an architect and a surveyor. These funky contemporary designs come in all shapes and sizes, from tabletop models to twirling, ceiling-mounted numbers. Throwing a small tea for four? No problem, because Cake Hole Project has displays for eight cupcakes. For bigger bashes, the company makes crazy towers for up to 40 cupcakes. Have something else in mind? Reach out to these creatives, because they offer custom designs too. Cupcake lovers, unite!
ABC Cake Decorating Supplies
If you like to decorate cakes and cupcakes or make homemade candy — or you've seen Ace of Cakes and you're curious — then ABC Cake Decorating is the place in town to stock up on the goods you'll need. If you are in the advanced category, you can buy your gel colors and frosting tips here, and if you are a total novice you can stock up on cheater supplies, such as plastic toppers to just shove into the icing and be done with it. Either way, or somewhere in between, this is a fun place to browse for confection ideas.

Best Place to Sell Your Cake (Plate) and Buy One, Too

Kitchen Switchin'

Kitchen Switchin'
Kitchenware stores are toy stores in the eyes of any grownup who cooks or entertains. And just like toys — best loved when new and novel — appliances, gadgets and tabletop decor often end up collecting dust in our cupboards, hoarding premium storage and counter space. Say hello to Kitchen Switchin', a specialty kitchen consignment boutique. This is the place to unload your former kitchen treasure. Owner Christa Kent will buy your goods for cash or accept them on consignment. You can even track your sales online. Don't forget — you can buy, as well. The boutique is filled with small appliances, high-end cookware, kitchen tools, china and glassware. Housed in a Seventh Street bungalow, the goods, many still in original packaging, are neatly categorized and nicely displayed totally irresistible. That Christine Kent is one smart cookie.
Tuesday Morning
Every month, on a date sneaked to shoppers who've registered on Tuesday Morning's website, lines begin to form in the wee hours outside this cool clearance house. On these special days (and, yes, often they're Tuesdays), the store opens two whole hours early so that addicted shoppers can peruse the latest batch of discounted, high-end housewares and gift items. Cool chairs, swell bath towels and thousand-thread-count sheets, lovely oil paintings, and stacks of other another-man's-treasures make this a shopping staple among fans of a good deal. We hear that really familiar faces who don't have e-mail can leave their name and number with one of the friendly staff members, who will telephone to remind them when the next special sale is about to commence. Another reason to get up early, at least once a month!

Best Of Phoenix®

Best Of