This month we’re highlighting our favorite stores for holiday (and everyday) shopping in the commercial districts near Piedmont. (If we overlook one of your favorite spots, let us know in the comments!)
Featured Shopping District: Piedmont Avenue
Piedmont Avenue’s densely packed commercial district is close to a full mile long, starting at Macarthur Boulevard and tapering off at Chapel of the Chimes. It’s an easy walk with lots of great stops for coffee, tea, and quick bites to eat. Even if you’re familiar with the neighborhood, there are always new discoveries.
Many retailers stock locally made items. This Saturday, Dec. 16, a pop-up street market behind vintage home and clothing outfitter Heads or Tails Collective at 4125 Piedmont Ave. from noon to 5 p.m. will offer even more local fare. (The market takes place the third Saturday of each month.)
Stop by Surprise for silly toys, stuffed animals, hostess gifts, a nicely curated selection of novelty socks, and lots of party and gifting supplies like paper, cards, balloons, and paper tiaras. Nathan and Co.’s Piedmont Avenue location is smaller than its Rockridge sister store but you wouldn’t necessarily notice — the store carries all the same clever gifts for recipients of all ages.
Philippa Roberts‘s signature selection of elegant jewelry has been popular with Piedmonters for many years — you’ll also find other local artisanal wares and luxurious gifts in her charming shop. Find gorgeous contemporary custom and handmade fine jewelry at Lireille in a spacious gallery setting. Just steps away from Lireille, Prism jewels sells rings, charms, and earrings that are a draw for the tweens in our households, along with locally made homewares and ceramics.
For the crafters on your list: Blue Door Beads has been on the Avenue since 2012 and specializes in a beautiful selection of beads to make your own jewelery. It’s more than a bead store — sign up for the mailing list to get notified of upcoming workshops or special events. Piedmont Yarn dates to 2005 — a small store that offers supplies and classes for knitters of all levels. Check their calendar for help clinics and special workshops.
With close to half a dozen vintage clothing stores like the aforementioned Head or Tails Collective offering carefully curated collections, Piedmont Avenue is a thrifter’s delight. We’ll start with Piedmont’s own Dress Best For Less storefront; shop here for practically new or gently worn contemporary clothing, home decor, and more — you’ll benefit our public schools by doing so. The American Cancer Society Discovery Shop just off the Avenue might yield some treasures with proceeds going to cancer research. Mercy Vintage is full of designer treasures (and don’t miss Mercy Too across the street — all buying is done there.) Sunshine Prophecy cohosts monthly pop-ups with Heads or Tails Collective (see above for details).
Not vintage, still cool: Find handmade, local, and ethically made apparel and goods (featuring over 75 artists and designers, according to their website) at Resurrect. Maple Street Denim is an upscale denim boutique that also sells Pendleton blankets (great gifts for a college kid at school in a cold climate), unique baseball hats and beanies, and other on-trend accessories.
Valentine’s Baby and Kids fills a gap on the Avenue, offering a curated selection of baby and toddler clothing, as well as some toys and books (plus some gently used clothes as well.)
Sweet treat stocking stuffers
Ebiko for Japanese candy and snacks (and maybe a bite to eat — the sushi is delicious and packed for takeout.)
Euromix is great for Central and Eastern European staples — and, during the holidays, its tempting range of European sweets — we like seasonal marzipan and krówki caramels.
Books and music
Spectator Books is packed floor to ceiling with new and used books. Find staff’s picks of new releases with a leftie bent up front and head deeper into the back of the store for kids lit, romance, and other genres.
You need go no further than Dr. Comics & Mr. Games (since 1988!) to find the perfect family board game. The helpful staff behind the counter can tell you what’s popular at the moment. The store carries a wide range of manga, graphic novels, and comic books for all ages plus trading cards and other pop culture toys.
Find new and used instruments (some vintage) at the Piedmonter-owned Mountain Music store at the top of Piedmont Avenue by the Chapel of the Chimes.
Plants and flowers
Moss and Spade is selling beautiful holiday gift boxes perfect for a gardener or anyone who loves plants. We love their dried flower arrangements and eclectic gift selections. Crimson Horticultural Rarities is another house plant destination with a nice selection of pots. Need a floral bouquet for a hostess gift? You have three good options: Mille Fiori , Arjan, and J. Miller.
Can’t decide what to give? Gift cards from Piedmont Avenue’s many restaurants, bakeries, and cafes are always the right answer. We’re fans of Pomella, Tea on Piedmont – (owned by a Piedmonter), Timeless Coffee and La Farine.