Whether you’re looking for the perfect place to splurge on a scoop of ice cream or are craving something more substantial, San Jose has plenty of options to satisfy your sweet tooth.
But don’t just go to your usual ice cream shop. Several new places in the South Bay serve inventive and wildly delicious frozen desserts that incorporate unlikely mix-ins, cultural influences, and more.
Pastelaria Adega is a new bakery from the owners of Michelin-starred Adega in San Jose’s Little Portugal district. It opened Friday with a line out the door and brisk business all afternoon.
If you’re looking for an egg tart that will make your heart sing, try the Pasteis de Nata here. They are made using the original recipe and come in several flavors, including passionfruit, lemon, and strawberry.
Sugar Mama Desserts
This ice cream shop is a local institution, and the staff has a well-earned reputation for making some of the best ice creams you’ll ever have. The shop is a stone’s throw from downtown San Jose and is open for business every day. In addition to ice cream, Sugar Mama Desserts offers a range of specialty cupcakes, cookies, and other treats sure to please the sweet tooth. The shop’s saffron rosewater pistachio ice cream might be the best thing you’ll ever put in your mouth. The company also boasts 40+ unique ice cream flavors, including the signature Fresh Strawberry.
Willow Glen Sweet Shoppe
The Willow Glen Sweet Shop is located at 415 Lincoln Avenue and offers a wide range of retro candy and gelato. Owner Matthew Rodriguez has had to weather a few challenging business cycles in his short tenure, including the COVID-19 economic downturn and wildfires that shut his shop for weeks.
He isn’t alone. Brian Mundy, the owner of San Jose’s Schurra’s Candy Company, recently closed his flagship store on The Alameda. The former owner, also an employee at the Sweet Shoppe, has now teamed up with Rodriguez to sell Schurra’s candies in his shop on Lincoln Avenue. Besides the signature turtles, English toffee, and chocolate sea salt caramels, they also carry Mundy’s 12 large and artisan truffles made in old-fashioned brittle molds.
Milk & Wood
You’ll love this cute shop inside the SoFA Market if you’re a popsicle lover. They make 25 different popsicle flavors, including Nutella, strawberry, Thai tea, and green tea Kit Kat. Each pop is $4, or $5 for unlimited toppings.
Aside from ice cream, this spot also serves up coffee. They roast fair-trade coffee beans from Mexico and Ethiopia and serve a dozen different espresso drinks. And the plant-based fan has seven plant-based kinds of milk to choose from, including oat, sweet pea, and hemp. We especially liked the maple cardamom latte, which was smooth and complex, with the right amount of sweetness.
A family-owned and operated chain of ice cream shops, Sweet Retreat, has a wide array of tasty treats. Their sundaes must be tried to be believed, and you’ll never go wrong with the big scoop. Their frozen yogurt is a must-have as well. Their chocolate frappe will do the trick if you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated.
If you’re planning a birthday party in the neighborhood, this is a place to look for the perfect venue to ring on the big day. They offer several party packages, including a 3000-square-foot laser tag arena, a mini golf course, and a go-kart track. They also have a few other widgets that will impress your guests. The best part is that you don’t have to break the bank.
The Sweet Corner
Located in Poblacion 1, San Jose de Monte Bulacan, The Sweet Corner is a small shop that sells Asian sweets, from pastries to cookies and tea, coffee, and smoothies. It also serves perfectly cooked taro, causa, and rolls.
The business is owned by Ms. Jella Mia Y Omamalin, who believes the bond between the company and its employees is intense. This makes the business stable and reliable for its customers. She also ensures that all the employees enjoy doing their jobs. She uses different machines and technologies to maintain the quality of her product. She also gives bonuses to her employees to motivate them and improve their lives.