The other day we heard ourselves saying, “Medfield is the new Hampden,” which was not at all what we meant to say (beer) but it makes about as much sense as the nonsensical “Baltimore is the new Brooklyn.” Screw Williamsburg; Baltimore’s been building a solid base of independent shops inspired by the DIY DNA running through our orange-and-purple blood since before Lena Dunham was born. Most Baltimoreans would rather keep our dimes local whether shopping for our homes, closets, or our friends and family. Sure, you’ll find a few chain stores on this list but many more regionally owned and operated shops full of the good stuff we love to spend our hard-earned dolla bills on.
904 Light St., (410) 685-0021, alliancecomicsonline.com
Self-proclaimed as “Maryland’s Coolest Comic Shop;” sells comics in print, in toy versions, and on tees for all you nerds and the folks who love you.
1125-1127 Light St., (410) 244-7260, americanapparel.net
Offers cotton, leather, and spandex in styles both classic and rather humiliating for a certain 44-year-old.
1200 Light St., (443) 540-4022, apothecary-wellness.com
Sells yummy potions and lotions for face and body along with services to keep you looking and feeling peaceful.
The Book Escape
805 Light St., (410) 504-1902, thebookescape.com
A bibliophile’s dream selection of lovingly used books ranging from chick lit to cookery, history, art, and local interests.
Brightside Boutique & Art Studio
1133 S. Charles St., (410) 244-1133, brightsidebaltimore.com
With a second location in Fells Point, this boutique has the sweetest little necklaces at tiny prices and other youthful additions to your closet.
Dan Brothers Shoes
1032 S. Charles St., (410) 752-8175
Baltimore’s old-school shoe shop; sells classic and comfortable brands and is also a cobbler so they can re-sole the ones you bought from them 20 years back.
Dolce Vita Leather and Fashions
1038 South Charles St., (410) 837-5066
Purveyors of grown-up looks, best described as Dan Brothers’ closet cousin.
Klein’s Antiques and Collectibles
912 S. Charles St., (410) 752-6562
Features the titacular antiques and collectibles but also houses Federal Restoration and Antiques (federalrestorations.net) to keep your oldies looking good.
Light Street Cycles
1124 Light St., (410) 685-2234, lightstcycles.com
Bike shop sells and fixes bicycles for the city commuter, two-wheeling families, and pleasure coasters alike.
1201 Light St., (410) 528-5978, lovelacetoujours.com
Sells street fashion for the urban upwardly mobile with a killer corner location.
1114 Light St., (410) 727-3232, morsteinsjewelers.com
Over a century old; sells the kind of jewelry and timepieces you’ll pass on to future generations. And they’ll also repair any in need of love.
50 E. Cross St., (410) 244-1442, facebook.com/shoppandorasbox
Just doors down from many Fed Hill drinkeries, PB sells seasonal accessories, affordable baubles, and easy gifts for girls.
Posh Jewels and Real Divas are Large
1129 Light St., (443) 985-1068
Has the greatest name in retail history and sells a range of sizes up to 3x, bitches!
930 Charles St., (410) 752-4212, shofers.com
A 70,000-square-foot mecca for those ready to move away from Ikea and toward one of Shofer’s 200 designer case goods and upholstery brands.
1623 Thames St., (410) 342-5000, amusetoys.com
Has the most whimsical and educational toys for all the talented shorties in your world.
The Antique Man
1806-12 Fleet St., (410) 732-0932, theantiquemanltd.com
A virtual museum of curiosities, artifacts, and old stuff from the region and beyond.
Babe. (a boutique)
1716 Aliceanna St., (410) 244-5114, babeaboutique.com
Offers a tightly curated collection of name-brand clothing, jewelry, and bags for the babe in the city.
714 S. Broadway, (410) 657-8000, capitolmac.com
They will sell you gadgets to keep your Apple productive and polish it if and when it gets sick.
1625 Thames St., (410) 276-5437, thecorduroybutton.com
Hands-down the cutest kids clothing shop in the whole universe, no hyperbole.
813 S. Broadway, (410) 522-0941, cupcake-shop.com
A veteran CP Best Of winner. One of those women’s boutiques that’s worth running into whenever you’re in Fells—you never know what you’ll buy.
1926 Fleet St., (443) 276-0817, thefashionattic.com
For when full-priced clothing just isn’t in the cards, FA sells gently worn on-trend items along with a few vintage treasures.
Fells Point Surf Co.
1631 Thames St., (410) 276-7873, fpsurfco.com
Sup brah, wanna hang 10 with beach-worthy clothing and all the buoys and whistles to go along? Come on through!
1643 Thames St., (410) 732-0017
A clothing store for the more adult woman; features ornately detailed jewelry and sizes 0-18.
A Good Yarn
1738 Aliceanna St., (410) 327-3884, agoodyarn.com
Offers classes and good advice—after a decade and a half in the biz—plus yarn, needles, and more supplies for the knitting crafter.
Gorilla King Comics
1711 Aliceanna St., (410) 327-0181
Sells a shit-ton of comics to those of you that probably get the reference in the store name.
Hats In The Belfry
813-B S. Broadway, (410) 342-7480, hatsinthebelfry.com
Our go-to for hats for ladies and chaps regardless of the season.
817 S. Broadway, (410) 276-5396, inkakuya.weebly.com
This place is all Peruvian gifts and clothing, including the sweetest little colorful bits for boys and girls.
Joe’s Bike Shop
723-B S. Broadway, (443) 869-3435, joesbikeshop.com
Deals in two-wheels both new and used along with all the additions you need to ride, plus the solid advice is always generously free.
1709 Aliceanna St., (410) 669-0600, facebook.com/KatwalkFashionShowroom
Showcases high-fashion looks, street apparel, and one-of-a-kind trappings.
602 S. Broadway, (410) 675-2449
Like a gigantic garage sale thrown by 100 fashionistas ages 13-100 looking to clean out their closets—yeah, it’s that good.
1744 Aliceanna St., (410) 327-9499, majacollections.com
“A Nomadic Journey in Wearable and Collectible Artistry,” plus music, soap, and incense for sale along the way.
723 S. Broadway, (410) 675-5105, partydressboutique.com
They will deck you out in a flirty dress for that holiday party, sure, but also offer up options for a summer BBQ, nephew’s graduation, work engagement, or a blind date.
Polina’s Privé Fine Lingerie
724 S. Broadway, (410) 276-0205, polinasprive.com
An intimate little boutique; carries the prettiest underthings in lace, cotton, mesh, and silk.
Poppy and Stella
728 S. Broadway, (410) 522-1970, poppyandstella.com
Killing it as per usual with the freaking cutest heels, wedges, flats, boots, and sandals along with a tightly edited selection of apparel, jewelry, handbags, and butter London nail polish.
901 S. Bond St., (410) 522-7010, sucasa-furniture.com
Ten Thousand Villages
1621 Thames St., (410) 342-5568, tenthousandvillages.com
Sells fair-trade, handmade items from all over the world for all over yours.
Sells a cutesy, worldly lifestyle via adorable housewares, sweet sweaters and blouses, unique trousers, Etsy-looking dresses, and old-fashioned jewelry reproductions.
660 S. Exeter St., (410) 244-6376, arhaus.com
A northeast chain with gorgeous pieces for your home and lovely tokens to bring to a homewarming party.
604 S. Exeter St., (410) 576-0444, bin604.com
Makes wine-buying a breeze with an approachable inventory, helpful staff, and $100 boxes with a dozen mix-’em-up bottles.
809 Aliceanna St., (410) 837-4420, citysports.com
A nice-sized sports clothing shop; inspires the runner, hiker, swimmer, biker, and general workouter to get it done looking good in the appropriate gear.
1033 Lancaster St. #130, (410) 727-6262, curiosityforthehome.com
Subtitled: Intriguing Objects for the Home. Recently moved from Fed Hill and features a bevy of beautiful things curated by local interior designer Katie DeStefano.
Handbags in the City
840 Aliceanna St., (410) 528-1443, handbagsinthecity.com
120 International Drive, (410) 637-8231, jcrew.com
An outpost of the modern take on preppy; sells covetable suits, beachwear, soft tees, cozy sweaters, and a small but tight selection of shoes and jewelry. Oh, and stuff for men.
Loafers & Laces
612 S. Exeter St., (410) 244-5344, loafersandlaces.com
Sells classic men’s shoes, clothing, and accessories from that small little storefront that’s seen a few different businesses in the past—maybe this one will stick.
820 Aliceanna St., (410) 528-5485, lululemon.com
Makes such stylish yoga wear, you gonna wanna get your Namaste on every day.
805 Aliceanna St., (410) 244-1114, sassanova.com
A tiny closet for the adult princess (who vacations to warm locales); sells girly goods and perfect gifts.
South Moon Under
815 Aliceanna St., (410) 685-7820, southmoonunder.com
A boutique with men’s and women’s clothing; can skew slightly young but is always fresh and fun.
700 S. President St., (410) 528-5304, underarmour.com
Baltimore’s Nike. Sells amazing sneakers for around $100 and all-weather workout togs.
1001 Fleet St., (410) 528-1640, wholefoodsmarket.com
Sells more and more what a “clean” household and body need to run efficiently and deliciously.
Barnes and Noble
601 E. Pratt St., (410) 385-1709, barnesandnoble.com
Bookstore for when you want to browse magazines or take the kids to a good, old-fashioned kids’ book section.
200 E. Pratt St., (410) 332-4191, thegalleryatharborplace.com
It’s a fucking mall with mall stores and a Starbucks.
Harborplace Pratt Street Pavilion
201 E. Pratt St., (410) 323-1000, harborplace.com
Hats in the Belfry, the Flag Shop, Life in Charm City, Edo Sushi, etc.
Harborplace Light Street Pavilion
201 E. Pratt St., (410) 323-1000, harborplace.com
Ripley’s Believe it or Not, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Hooters, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co, McCormick World of Flavors, etc.
501 N. Charles St., (410) 837-2323, beadazzled.net
Has been doing a Pinterest thing with beads and other baubles since before Pinterest, so get your beading supplies local, hon.
The Doll House Boutique
525 N. Charles St., (443) 874-7900, shopdollhouseboutique.com
Emphasizes original designs by owner Natalie Karyl and other local designers.
For Rent Shoes
515 Cathedral St., (443) 873-9928, forrentshoes.com
It is actually NOT for rent but sells dope sneaks (including a Treton decorated with “maple” leaves), rotating art, and sweet tees, sunglasses, and awesome kids’ crap.
Gian Marco Menswear
517 N. Charles St., (410) 347-7974, gianmarco.org
Covers all your Italian and bespoke menswear needs—and you’re gonna need a silk shirt and new tie after walking in.
11 W. Preston St., (410) 837-3911, oknaturalfoods.com
A health-food store like your momma used to co-op at, plus shop cat!
521 N. Charles St., (410) 528-1877, pariswestoptical.com
The answer to your Lenscrafters nightmare of too many boring frames and not enough smaller, chic brands in eyewear.
A People United
516 N. Charles St., (410) 727-4471, apeopleunited.com
Serious hippie trappings—and incense, furniture, jewelry, etc.—from artisans in Nepal who receive fair wages for their handiwork.
Star Won Fashions
823 N. Charles St., (410) 547-7827, starwonboutique.wix.com
Like their website says, presents clothing in urban chic, party glam, and sassy sophisticate styles.
The Woman’s Industrial Exchange
333 N. Charles St., (410) 685-4388, womansindustrialexchange.org
Started in 1880 (!), sells locally made unique arts and crafts with the majority of the $ going back to the consignors.
813 N. Charles St., (410) 539-2817
Vintage clothing store ain’t cheap, but you’ll find amazingly diverse looks from every moment in fashion history.
901 W. 36th St., (410) 467-0329, avenueantiques.com
Houses three packed floors of antique vendors, each with its own speciality, including clothing, mid-century modern, and prairie.
3620 Falls Road, (941) 662-4444, atomicbooks.com
Co-owned by occasional City Paper contributor Benn Ray; sells new and used books while housing the Celebrated Summer record store and Eightbar.
The Bottom Drawer
1001-A. W. 36th St., (410) 783-8998, bottomdrawerboutique.com
Sells panties, bras, and other forget-me-nots for ladies and those who love to see them in as little as possible.
810 W. 36th St., (410) 235-7323, breathebooks.com
Wins the awards for chillest bookstore/vegetarian cafe/ayurveda (Chinese medicine) devotees/drum circle.
3649 Falls Road, (410) 243-0789, shophuntingground.com
Run by the nicest, coolest folks around and their well-curated stock of new and vintage wear for men and women always has us reaching for our uncool wallet.
In the Details
813 W. 36th St., (410) 889-0380, inthedetailsshop.com
Sells affordable men’s and women’s clothing from independent designs off the beaten path. They are also nice.
In Watermelon Sugar
3555 Chestnut Ave., (410) 662-9090, watermelon-sugar.com
One of our most favorite places to buy gifts for the home and body we want to keep for ourselves. Everyone in Hampden is nice, just FYI.
K Staton Boutique
1007-A W. 36th St., (410) 400-9113, kstaton.com
Doesn’t cotton to one-size-fits-all and instead stocks the latest fashions in sizes fit for a queen, plus baubles and pocket books.
Kiss N’ Make-Up
827 W. 36th St., (410) 467-5477
Makes shopping for beauty products waaaaay more fun than hitting the Nordstrom cosmetic counters or the Rite Aid on Falls.
Ma Petite Shoe
832 W. 36th St., (410) 235-3442, mapetiteshoe.com
Shills European-styled shoes and boots along with really fun socks and a prodigious selection of chocolates.
1005 W. 36th St., (410) 235-3800, shopmilagro.com
One of our favorite retails in Baltimore; sells international goodies from places like Japan and Mexico along with winsome jewelry made by the owner.
833 W. 36th St., (410) 534-9999, 9th-life.com
A trashy, colorful, and fun-filled emporium trading in new and used clothing and shit.
Sixteen Tons and DoubleDutch
A partnership made in heaven; nails on-point looks for the urban lumberjack and Susie homemaker who works in a restaurant and grows herbs on her Boh-strewn front stoop—in a good way.
Soft and Cozy Baby
915 W. 36th St., (410) 467-2229, softandcozybaby.com
A baby-goods store that knows that baby goods should be both soft and cozy.
Sturgis Antiques & Collectibles
3554 Roland Ave., (410) 262-5383, sturgisantiques.com
Has more antique stock than his packed little shop lets on—just ask and definitely touch.
921 W. 36th St., (410) 366-3456, trohvshop.com
This is a perennial on CP’s Best Of list and is so good at filling its two stores with housewares we want that we’ll forgive it its bee-keeping window display.
Vu Skate Shop
3608 Falls Road, (410) 523-6113, vuskateboardshop.com
Kicks it old school with serious decks and wheels, dope sneaks, and solid advice that’ll keep you rolling without losing your dough.
On the Road
Gogo’s Retread Threads
(443) 810-7512, facebook.com/GoGosRetreadThreads
Takes fun vintage togs with a flair for the flirty on the road to a festival, farmers market, and gathering near you.
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