The best clothing stores in Boston
This leading local gift shop may have more quirk per square foot than anywhere else in the city. Their tagline ("unexplained necessities") may offer cold comfort as you stagger home laden with art papers, hilarious hipster stationery, a Beehouse teapot, seven reusable bags, a log-shaped book on contemporary Japanese forest culture and a vegetable peeler in the shape of the Kraken.
The first branch of this women's boutique was launched by two Harvard graduates in Brookline in 2004, swiftly followed by a larger Harvard Square shop. Mint Julep offers an appealing melange of labels (both European and American), styles, prints and prices—the only unifying factor is an underlying postmodern country-club aura. You'll find lots of retro-influenced dresses, cool T-shirts and colorful accessories.
Among the nation‘s top gourmet shops, Formaggio Kitchen continues to dazzle connoisseurs with its vast, gem-studded collection of artisanal cheeses from the world over—as well as its cornucopia of accoutrements. You‘ll find condiments, charcuterie, confectionery and speciality ingredients, ranging from flowering teas and heirloom cattle beans to Hawaiian red sea salt and Piedmontese chickpea flour.
Harvard Book Store
This independent bookseller in Harvard Square works hard to rival the larger chain stores with its varied selection of general-interest books and helpful staff, always ready to recommend a title or two. Students crowd the substantial philosophy and cultural theory sections. Bibliophiles make a beeline for the basement, where the used and remainder book shelves are packed with everything from dog-eared cookbooks to gorgeous art books, all at a hefty discount.
More shopping in Boston
The best Boston bookstores
Read our essential guide to the best bookstores in Boston—insider tips and recommendations, written by local experts. From obscure poetry finds at Grolier, to coffee and culture at Trident Booksellers and Café, to monkey business and kidlit at The Curious George Store, Time Out's editors bring you the best of Boston's bookstores.RECOMMENDED: See the best of shopping in Boston
The best vintage and thrift stores in Boston
Boston is a great destination for vintage clothing and thrift stores, from by-the-pound bargains atCambridge institution Garment District to immaculately preserved suits, denim and more at destination vintage emporium Bobby From Boston and baubles at 20th Century Limited. If you want to extend the retro look to your home, check out the housewares at Abodeon, one of the city’s best furniture stores.RECOMMENDED: See the best of shopping in Boston
The best Boston sex shops
Sex shops in Boston are, like the city's populace, a varied and vibrant (and often vibrating) affair. There's something to suit all levels of adventurousness and tastes—quite literally, when it comes to the kinky confections served up at the Sweet-N-Nasty erotic bakery. Some stores are new arrivals on the Hub scene; others, such as Hubba Hubba, have been satisfying customers for decades. Whether you're after a new whip or just looking to raunch up your underwear drawer, Boston's got something to suit—read on for Time Out's guide to the best sex shops in the city.RECOMMENDED: See the best of shopping in Boston
The best furniture stores in Boston
If you’re on the hunt for furniture or home accessories such as ceramics, cushions and unique objects, start in the South End, which has evolved into a prime area for shopping in Boston. But one of the best furniture stores in Boston, Twelve Chairs, is tucked away in Fort Point. The Cambridge Antique Market is a great resource for vintage interior items—browsing there ranks among our favorite things to do in the city. Check out all the best furniture stores in Boston.
Best accessories and jewelry stores in Boston
Read our essential guide to the best jewelry stores in Boston—insider tips and recommendations, written by local experts. From the bejeweled headpieces at Galvin-ized Headwear to the handmade necklaces at Patch NYC, Time Out's editors bring you the best of Boston's jewelry shopping.RECOMMENDED: See the best of shopping in Boston
The best shoe stores in Boston
Read our essential guide to the best shoe stores in Boston—insider tips and recommendations, written by local experts. From the cowboy chic of Rick Walker's to the sleek sneakers of Marathon Sports, Time Out's editors bring you the best of Boston's shoe shopping.RECOMMENDED: See the best of shopping in Boston