Great Shopping Experiences
Collected by Julia Cosgrove , AFAR Staff
Vintage shops, bazaars, flea markets, food shops, and boutiques around the world.
76 Long St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
On a street that looks a lot like one in the French Quarter of New Orleans sits one of the best markets on the planet. The Pan African Market is three stories of small shops filled with collectibles from all over Africa. My favorite section was on...
52 White St, New York, NY 10013, USA
One of our all-time favorite designers is Ted Muehling. He makes wonderful jewelry and sculptures and then curates pieces from other ceramic artists and jewelers in his shop. He has a very loyal clientele. He posts pictures online and will make...
Boonville, CA 95415, USA
Boonville, a tiny town in the middle of California's Anderson Valley, is proudly anti-establishment and idiosyncratic. The area has its own language, and a radical newspaper that isn't afraid to print controversial stories. The last time I passed...
400 Gate 5 Rd, Sausalito, CA 94965, USA
Heath Ceramics was founded in 1948 by Edith Heath. Today it is one of the most lasting examples of midcentury American design. Heath is famous for its tableware collections, as well as its tile. The colors are amazing, and their bud vases make for...
4500 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
Mollusk is a neighborhood surf shop that sells clothing and great boards. They carry my surfboards and handplanes [for body surfing]. They occasionally host art shows and live music. The shop is sort of like the cornerstone of the Sunset. 4500...
4035 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
An artist and an architect curate a cool mix of practical things here. You’ll find books on furniture and design, and interesting items like wooden radios and pencil sets. Lots of it is handmade. The store also sells chairs and tables that Luke...
6600 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028, USA
This is our favorite shop in Los Angeles. The owners stock amazing vintage clothing, and they have their own house fashion line and cute, mostly antique jewelry. (323) 461-1530. For the September, 2012 issue, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Opening...
3827 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, USA
I love and collect sneakers, and the guys who own Undefeated create and sell limited-edition collaborations with such brands as Puma, New Balance, and Vans. They also carry all the retro Air Jordans as soon as they are released. 3827 W. Sunset...
Los Feliz, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Our neighbors Peter Bahlawanian and his wife, Bronwen Tawse, import exotic ingredients and the freshest spices I’ve ever tasted: paprika, flavored salts, and black limes. They have an amazing store, and I see top chefs shopping here. We get...
3926 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029, USA
You wouldn’t know there was a store there unless you lived in the neighborhood, but the owner, Chris, has an amazing list of cheeses. I love his shop because he sells what he likes, not what people tell him is good. He’s also got an...
Vico Due Porte a Toledo, 39/40, 80134 Napoli NA, Italy
In Pignasecca, I found another of Naples’ artisans of elegance: Mario Talarico. Talarico sat at a 200-year-old worktable, fashioning a gnarled piece of wood into a shaft over which an umbrella mechanism would smoothly slide. “I grew up in this...
3-5 Place Saint-Pierre, 75018 Paris, France
While wandering the back streets of the fabric district in Monmartre, I came across a delightful notions shops full of every kind of button imaginable. The neighborhood around the base of the Sacré Coeur has many more interesting vintage, sewing...
825 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
A primo sourcing grounds for picnic provisions or a casual cafe meal, Publican Quality Meats is the latest food enterprise by the never-miss restaurant team behind Avec, Publican, and Big Star. Billed as a contemporary American butcher shop, its...
37 Rue de Verneuil, 75007 Paris, France
Around every bend in Paris it seems as though there's another picturesque specialty shop to be explored. When planning the trip I had envisioned wandering past quaint little store-fronts, each with their own antique charm, and of course found what...
Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi, Sofyalı Sk. No:18, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
A few blocks from Rodeo, Hiç is a shop where you can find beautiful ceramic tableware, Afghan and Turkish carpets, and contemporary crafts at reasonable prices.
As told by Rodeo art gallery owner Sylvia Kouvali to Lawrence Osborne. This...
As told by Rodeo art gallery owner Sylvia Kouvali to Lawrence Osborne. This...
560 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
There are a handful of stores in San Francisco that sell quirky and distinctive clothing, jewelry, and homewares. Eden & Eden is one. The brother-and-sister owners stock some vintage pieces and a nice selection of funky jewelry from the U.K. I've...
11-13 Suffolk St, Dublin 2, Ireland
About twelve years ago I lived in Dublin, where I studied literature at Trinity College. The reading lists were long, and as such, I had a lot of time to read books over cups of tea and pints of cider. One of my favorite places to grab a bite was...
6820 E Cave Creek Rd, Cave Creek, AZ 85331, USA
Outside Scottsdale, the little Western town of Cave Creek is full of kitsch. One shop in particular stands out. The Town Dump is a sprawling indoor/outdoor store devoted to eclectic curios of every kind. From antlers and Mexican glass to beads and...
1112 k, Pilestræde 29, 1112 København, Denmark
This is my favorite design shop in Copenhagen. Dedicated to contemporary Danish design, Hay occupies a historic building overlooking the car-free Strøget district. You’ll find furniture and accessories inspired by midcentury design and pieces by...
8425 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90069, USA
This high-end boutique is all about living with beautiful things. The white-walled space displays art along with a wide selection of limited-edition shoes, handbags, jewelry, and vintage men’s neckties from brands such as Clare Vivier, Rachel...
Oranienstraße 24, 10999 Berlin, Germany
In Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, here you’ll find racks constantly restocked with coveted labels (Wood Wood, Acne, Kenzo, Opening Ceremony) and supersmall brands such as Stutterheim, a Swedish design house that handsews raincoats. In addition you...
6920 N. Mannheim, Rosemont, IL 60018, USA
A bargain-hunter’s paradise, Wolff’s rewards vigilant (and diligent) shoppers with deals on art, antiques, clothing, collectibles, and odds and ends of every description. For the best finds, get there as early as possible and head for the vendors...
Sidi Bouloukat Djemaa el fna 53 Sidi Bouloukate، Marrakech 40000, Morocco
No matter what time of the day, sitting in a cafe on the edge of Jamaa el Fna, the central square in the old city of Marrakesh, is entertaining and inspirational. In the early morning its quieter, and dominated by orange juice vendors and people...
R. das Salgadeiras 10, 1200-396 Lisboa, Portugal
Portugal produces at least half of the world’s cork, harvested from its many cork oak forests. A design shop in the Bairro Alto neighborhood sells umbrellas, handbags, and kitchenware made from the recyclable material. Rua das Salgadeiras 10,...
350 W Cordova St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1E8, Canada
Jennifer MacKay’s clothing boutique is the go-to store for fashionable locals, who know they’ll find pieces exclusively in her shop. I have a weakness for the shoes. (604) 685-8885. As told to Rhonda May. This appeared in the September, 2012...
Humberto 1º 412, C1103 CABA, Argentina
The store specializes in antiques and vintage clothing from the 1920s to the 1980s. Everything has an air of elegance, from the beaded gowns to the crystal decanters. 54/(11) 4361-5019. For the September, 2012 issue, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of...
Praça Benedito Calixto - Pinheiros, São Paulo - SP, Brazil
Anyone who has been to Brazil knows that the country has fantastic open-air markets, known as "feiras" in Portuguese. They often feature a combination of handicrafts, antiques, live music, dancing, and street food. The market on Saturdays at Praça...
1/85 Dunning Ave, Rosebery NSW 2018, Australia
In the Sydney suburb of Roseberry lies an unsuspecting warehouse space that is home to Koskela, a fantastic treasure trove of home furnishings, jewellery, kitchenware and unique artifacts from Australian designers. (photo: Leanna Maione)
339 Oxford St, Paddington NSW 2021, Australia
Dinosaur Designs immediately draws you into a new, visual and tactile world that you're not quite sure where to place in your mind. And then you pretty much want to own everything they've ever produced. (I did). I was lucky to meet Louise Olsen...
6 Chome-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-0032, Japan
Kapital is a really cool clothing chain known for its denim. They have two shops in Roppongi Hills—Kapital Duffle and Kapital Legs. I always pick up tabi, these handmade split-toe socks. They are split between the big toe and other toes and are...
90-94c Nathan Road, Burlington Arcade, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Since 1957, Sam’s Tailor has been a favorite stop for visiting royalty, prime ministers, and rock stars. The largest order ever received? Ten jackets, 48 suits, and 168 shirts. The flashiest? Coats with national...
399 Lujiabang Rd, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000
Shanghai tailors are the best in the world, says fashion designer Christy Holzer, whose label, Dowry Designs, was inspired by the city. She suggests visiting the South Bund fabric market to order custom garments. DRESS: STALL 308 “A fun style to...
417 Xizang S Rd, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200085
With a name like "Flower, Bird, Fish, & Insect Market," why wouldn't you want to check this out?? Just south of People's Square, this market is practically hidden within an entire city block. There are entrances on each side of the block, and it...
Via della Spiga, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Milan is home to some of the finest designer boutiques in the world. The best ones (and the best-dressed locals) cluster around Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga. Many shoppers go straight to Spiga 2, Dolce & Gabbana’s 2-year-old incubator...
2f, 32, Khan Market, Rabindra Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi 110003, India
Anokhi has sold clothes and linens with contemporary block-print designs since 1970. 32 Khan Market, New Delhi, 91/(0) 11-2460-3423; 2nd Floor KK Square, C-11, Prithviraj Rd., C-Scheme, Jaipur, 91/(0) 14- 1400-7244; plus 21 other locations across...
1st Floor, Pheroze Building, Above Indigo Deli, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Marg,, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400005, India
As manufacturing moves out of the city, industrial spaces are being repurposed. In 2011, a boutique, cafe, and flower shop called Le Mill opened in a former rice mill near the naval dockyards. Roughly half the merchandise is made in India....
Nelson Mandela Marg, Vasant Kunj II, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, Delhi 110070, India
This is bar none the best store for colorful Indian clothing and textiles that I've found yet in Delhi, and as a bonus, they are an ethical shop that pairs quality dyes and fabrics with excellent business practices. Often the beautiful Indian...
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