We Angelenos all know Glendale for its rich hub of Armenian bakeries (some of the best in LA) and late-night roller skating at Moonlight Rollerway. But it’s not just pastries and roller skates that have us hopping on the freeway to this suburban metropolis near Burbank. Home to some of the city’s largest shopping malls (looking at you, Glendale Galleria), luxury retail concepts and under-the-radar local boutiques, this burgeoning neighborhood is ripe with top-tier shops spanning all genres. Think luxury clothing and accessories, movie set-ready costumes, Etsy-approved art supplies, rare bookstore finds and so much more. While all of LA is crawling with malls and standalone boutiques, it’s Glendale that has Angelenos making the trek for all their shopping needs because chances are, whether you’re looking for a prom dress, first edition tome, video game or pretty much anything else, there’s a shop for it.
Top shops in Glendale
This isn't your average outdoor shopping mall. Thanks to its dancing fountain and light shows, complimentary San Francisco-style trolley rides, fine dining options (Katsuya, Din Tai Fung), 70-plus premier retailers and even luxury apartments, the retail concept is more entertainment than shopping mall. With alfresco dining areas and open grass fields, the Americana at Brand cultivates more of a leisurely, joie de vivre experience rather than a quick in-and-out of the store errand run. Designed and operated by Rick J. Caruso (also the force behind the Westside's similarly designed outdoor mall, the Grove), the Americana at Brand offers the same kind of urban oasis that makes it a top tourist attraction and a favorite among LA locals. Heavy hitters include Bloomingdales, Nordstroms, Anthropologie, H&M and Barneys New York, while smaller boutiques range from Lululemon Athletics, Free People and J. Crew to Tiffany & Co., Kiehl's and Sur La Table.
The Costume Shoppe specializes in authentic-looking period costume rentals (along with standard costume fare) and is a resource for professional theatrical and movie-industry use (it's affiliated with the Glendale Centre Theatre). The Costume Shoppe boasts inventory of some 20,000 different pieces that can be combined to make an endless list of unique Halloween identities, including medieval, pirates, superheroes, ancient, biblical, literary etc. Plus, experienced costume designers are on hand to help you recreate your favorite era, and professional seamstresses can modify costumes to fit.
If you consider yourself a scrapbooking fiend or Etsy-approved DIYer, chances are you've heard of Swain's landmark art and supply store. And if you haven't, it's time to make the trek to Glendale and re-stock your arts and crafts drawer. It's the holy grail of all things crafty and has served as one of LA's coveted art supplies stores since 1949. The 17,000-square-foot space is home to a mix of artist marterials, architectural supplies, picture frames, stationary, scrapbooking essentials, office products, children's toys and more. Whether you're a professional artist or you're looking for a hobby, Swain's has the tools to get your creative juices flowin'.
For well-kept gents looking to step up their grooming game (beard maintenance, anti-aging serums, cologne—you name it), this under-the-radar skincare oasis is the logical next step. Comb through over 1,200 products spanning top-of-the-line apothecary goods, fragrances and accessories like the sleek, Mach3 chrome-plated razor, lime-scented after shave, leather enclosed manicure sets and nutrient-rich moisturizing face balms. While you're at it, score a fresh shave at the in-store barbershop from one of the pros.
For local oenophiles looking to satisfy their vino cravings, Glendale's neighborhood tasting room and boutique, Rosso Wine Shop, houses the finest "every day" bottles from domestic California wineries to far flung regions of Italy, France and Spain. Helmed by Italian musician turned wine connoisseur Jeff Zimmitti, the retail space draws local wine enthusiasts for weekly tastings (held Fridays and Saturdays) to showcase the shop's finest pours. Whether you're looking for that perfect dinner pairing, a gift that'll never disappoint or a taste of Europe, this local wine joint has it all—plus, a small-town, Euro charm that we can't resist.
Opening the door to Glendale's longstanding neighborhood book store is like unlocking the portal to a different time zone. Since 1975, this under-the-radar alcove of new, used and rare books has catered to both reader and collector with its range of first editions, vintage reads, paper backs, hardcovers and more. Mystery and Imagination Bookstore (a moniker paying homage to luminary Edgar Allan Poe) plays host to a series of readings, book signings and in-store events, drawing countless authors from near and far to its Brand Boulevard digs. Add to your summer reads and check out tomes from a wide scope of genres including mystery, detective, science fiction and fantasy.
In a sea full of upscale department stores and indoor/outdoor shopping malls filled to the brim with designer boutiques, standing out as a local shop can be no easy feat. But one step into this Euro-inspired enclave and you’ll understand why Madlen’s the Lobby Boutique has earned its keep among Glendale’s burgeoning shopping emporiums. Located down the street from the Americana at Brand, this designer shopping destination offers resonably-priced couture threads and accessories from French designers like Didier Parakian, Lauren Vidal, Double Jeu and Parfums Et Couture. Stock your closet with exclusive ready-to-wear separates spanning a multihued tartan dress, billowy nautical blue maxi and ruffled button-up top.
Nestled in downtown Glendale, the longstanding Glendale Galleria is an old-fashioned indoor operation which counts its size as its greatest asset (the fourth largest mall in LA). Think three floors of retail splendor spanning department stores like Macy's, JC Penny and Bloomindales, as well as familiar name brands like Lush, Banana Republic, Foot Locker, Apple and Gamestop. It's a one-stop-shop for all your retail cravings with nearly 200 spots at your disposal and a bevy of casual dining destinations (think your run-of-the-mill food court). But when it comes to narrowing down the mall's hidden gems, look no further than Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, a treasure trove of luxury home decor and furnishings from the namesake designers offering eco-friendly upholstry, lighting, rugs, bed linens, tabletop accessories and more.