Hardware stores may not immediately spring to mind when you head out to do your holiday shopping, but they certainly deserve a look. In addition to selling tools and great gadgets for the do-it-yourselfers on your shopping list, they often carry a surprising variety of housewares, toys, and other interesting merchandise.
A visit to Hollywood Hardware on Freeport Boulevard in Land Park turned up a very nice selection of kitchen items, Christmas decorations, candles, and unusual stocking stuffers.
East Sac Hardware, at the corner of 48th and Folsom, has a whole Christmas section. They also sell a few very interesting toys, including science kits for kids, greeting cards, and, of course, lots of small items that would make great stocking stuffers.
On your way back down Folsom Boulevard, stop in at Cafe Capricho near the corner of 33rd and Folsom, where they have some tasty salads that are either vegan or can be made vegan. I especially like the quinoa salad!