We love shopping and if you think that’s shallow you can just stop judging—we don’t have to justify a little retail therapy when it comes to Baltimore. Whether it’s tourist-like window shopping in a ’hood across town, getting inspiration from the chicest boutiques, or avoiding the same old cheaply made Target wares, shopping locally is where it’s at. We love a cheap thrill, and they aren’t hard to find in Charm City neighborhoods teeming with fabulous shops and keeping-it-real stores.
Alliance Comics (904 Light St.,  685-0021) joins the forces of print and three dimensions, all for the good of comics and their fans.
American Apparel (1125 Light St.,  244-7260,americanapparel.net), although known for trendy ’80s pieces that really only work if you were too young to wear them in the ’80s, does sell perfect basics.
Apothecary Wellness (1200 Light St.,  540-4022, apothecary-wellness.com) is a spa with a well-turned-out boutique of holistic body and facial items, soaps, and oils.
The Book Escape (805 Light St.,  504-1902,thebookescape.com) is definitely one of the city’s best used bookstores—plus points for the romance section nestled in the old fireplace.
Brightside Boutique and Art Studio (1133 S. Charles St.,  244-1133, with a second location in Fells Point, brightsidebaltimore.com) offers well-curated clothing, shoes, and pretty little gold necklaces up front, and a tattoo parlour in the rear.
Cottage Kidz (1129 Light St.,  962-5556,cottagekidzboutique.com) sells some freaking cute clothes for the city kidz you know.
Dan Brothers Shoes (1032 S. Charles St.,  752-8175) is a Baltimore shoe institution and with good reason, selling only brands that will last you forever and never go out of style.
Doggie Style (1130 Light St.,  347-7575,federalrestoration.net) is like PetSmarter, with a green bent and two cats licking each other in the window!
Klein’s Antiques (912 S. Charles St.,  752-6562,kleinsantiques.com) keeps a tight selection of antiques minus the crippity-crap that seems to collect in similar shops. Plus, shop cat.
Light Street Cycles (1124 Light St.,  685-2234,lightstcycles.com) keeps your two wheels rolling and offers a steady selection of refurbished rides when yours won’t.
Lovelace Showroom (1201 Light St.,  528-5978, lovelacetoujours.com) rolls with urban looks for both men and women and totally unique smaller designers.
Morstein’s Jewelers (1114 Light St.,  727-3232, morsteinsjewelers.com), the oldest jewelry store in Bmore, probably has your wedding rings, should you be in the market.
Pandora’s Box (50 E. Cross St.,  244-1442, facebook.com/shoppandorasbox) contains great gifts for your mom and fun Baltimore stuff for out-of-towners.
Protean Records (925 S. Charles St.,  227-3006, proteanrecords.com) sells used media of all kinds from a good-sized selection.
Tobacco Hut and Gifts (1003 S. Charles St.,  244-0023) smells tobacco-dy delicious and offers well-worn leather armchairs for testing out the rolled goods.