We all know what it's like to search for that perfect gift. Your best bet? L.A.'s top gift shops, of course. These shops are full to the brim with giftable goodies and covetable objects you just might want for yourself. Find gift ideas for everyone and any occasion—from your Valentine's Day sweetheart to all the family members on your Christmas list. Birthday and wedding presents? No problem. We (and these top shops) have you covered.
RECOMMENDED: The best shops in Los Angeles
L.A.'s top gift shops
This husband-and-wife-owned shop/gallery in Downtown's Art District (named for her grandmother's mispronunciation of "pocket") strives to bring art into customers' everyday lives. Find all sorts of eclectic goods, from the artist-designed vinyl wallets to colorful socks and tees. Plus, the store occasionally hosts art shows and musical performances.
A symbol of longevity in Japan, the tortoise is the theme for this lovely little store that showcases traditional Japanese crafts and items designed to last. The stock normally includes cast-iron ornaments and recycled glassware. There's a sister store, Tortoise, just down the block.
Run by and named after British expat Andy Griffith and L.A. style journalist Rose Apodaca, A+R offers a super-fresh selection of desirable designer goodies: mostly homewares, alongside a few other gift ideas (books, artworks and other chic novelties). Goods are sourced from around the world, making it a good place to find something unusual.
Whether you're a veteran LACMA goer or first-timer, this museum gift shop thoroughly blurs the lines between want and need-right-now. Sure, the prices are a bit steep, but with selections like stationery, posters, books and other trinkets outfitted in prints from the latest exhibition, it's like you're taking a piece of the museum home with you (a tangible souvenir alongside your candid Urban Light lamp posts pic). Think a Frank Gehry poster, Barbara Kruger printed mug, Robert Mapplethorpe printed journal and more. The items inside reflect the eclectic art that the museum houses. Shop the sleek store to find a range of books, gifts, clothing, art pieces and children’s items—perfect for anyone on your gifting list. LACMA members receive a 10 percent discount on nearly all purchases.
Carla Denker's shop in the midst of 3rd Street's eating and shopping stands out for its well-curated mix of all shapes and colors for the house and kids. Items from around the globe include bento boxes from Thailand, one-of-a-kind woven plastic totes from Oaxaca, Japanese bath products and Scandinavian home design. There's a whole section dedicated to children from baby's bibs, toys and lamps for tots and mini canvas totes.
In the clear light of day, does your apartment look like a shrine to mediocrity? Need a collection of Mao Tse-tung wall art or sparkly unicorn floor mats? Spice it up with the freaky offerings at Wacko Soap Plant, known to locals simply as Wacko’s. A curiosity and book store (with a gallery, La Luz de Jesus, in the back), this sprawling retailer offers an exhaustive collection of everything colorful and cool, like Hindu dashboard deities, Betty Page shower curtains, jalapeno string lights, Tibetan statues, Japanese bobbleheads, and Mexican death figurines. It’s worth spending an afternoon just amusing yourself with the extensive book collection on kitschy art.
Perfect the modern, Scandanavian look for eveything in your home—huset means "the house"—from furniture, houseware, kitchenware to women's clothing and accessories and knick-knacks for children. Each piece, including the recent addition of men's clothing, is curated by Swedish owner Holly Hollberg who makes regular shopping trips to her native land for unique finds.
Peter Graham and Sophie Esteban bring their New York style (both are NYC expats who named their store after their former East Coast address) to Silver Lake with a bungalow storefront selling home goods, gourmet kitchen items and cafe eats from pastries to sandwiches. Peruse items like Laguiole and Oriole knives to Pendleton and Stanely mugs or laze on the outdoor patio with a cup of joe. Unsurprisingly, the brew on offer is NY's Gimme! coffee, which is brewed to perfection while you browse around. It's a lovely spot for a coffee date, just don't be surprised if you leave having purchased more than just a drink.
Looking for a one-of-a-kind gift? Check out the unique mystery bags, candles, jewelry, pillows, dolls and home goods at this shop owned by tattoo artist Jason Schroeder and wife Kristin, who first started making her whimsical box cards for her daughter's birthday. Shop for Spitfire Girl’s trademark thin wooden cards with fun sayings as well as funky wood-made goods such as trays, journals, hang tags and postcards in this quirky store.
Find classic books and toys like Goodnight Moon and whoopie cushions to items such as mohawked knit dolls and recycled chalk at this colorful Abbot Kinney store, located just two doors down from its sister-store, Firefly. Kid Firefly also carries clothing for newborns to six-year-olds, featuring higher-end brands such as Baby Ya Ya, Chaser, Nui Organics and Anthem of the Ants.
This museum gift shop specializes in all products (books, clothing, stationery and other goods) from the contemporary art world. Shoppers are exposed to new and exciting pieces from different designers and artists—many of which have shown works at the museum. Proceeds help support MOCA exhibitions, programs and collections. Plus, flash your MOCA members card to receive a 10 percent discount on most purchases.