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Shop Like a Local: Kearny Mesa is the Place to Find Unique, Last-Minute, PRE-WRAPPED Gifts

We love a grab-and-go gift that we don't even have to wrap.


Kearny Mesa has become my go-to destination for gift shopping. Daiso on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard is a great place to find whimsical stocking stuffers and affordable gift wrap, and I’ve made some pretty epic Korean barbeque-themed gift baskets using finds like bulgogi marinade, hot chile paste, and dukbokki-flavored potato chips from the newly opened H Mart on Balboa Avenue.

But when it comes to holiday gift-giving, Mitsuwa Marketplace is a step ahead of the rest.

Gift sets crowd the end caps during the holiday season, festively displaying the likes of sake gift sets, Pocky gift sets featuring every flavor under the sun, and soba noodle gift sets.

Basically, if they sell it, it’s likely to be bundled in an enticing gift set.

While these are all amazing options, the most life-changing offerings can be found in the front of the store where you’ll be greeted by rows of pre-wrapped bundles to satisfy all your gift-giving needs. Yes, you read that right—the gifts are already perfectly wrapped.

On top of each neat stack, an open box lets you peek at the delights tucked inside the ready-to-give package, from nori rice crackers to mochi, sesame-studded cookies to moon cakes. Whether sweet or savory or a combination of both, each set provides a bite-sized culinary adventure.

This is a gift that always fits, is always surprising, and, did I mention, requires no wrapping. You’d be just as thrilled to receive one as you’d be to give one.

Visit Mitsuwa Marketplace

4240 Kearny Mesa Road

Felicia Campbell
Felicia Campbell is the author of the award-nominated cookbook and culinary history, “The Food of Oman: Recipes and Stories from the Gateway...
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