Ready, set, shop

These 100 local stores are standouts for holiday shopping

December 09, 2010

Often, the best way to find fun, original holiday gifts is to look locally. Greater Baltimore has a bevy of earnest, thoughtful shops with plenty to offer this season. The 100 clothing, jewelry, home goods, gourmet and gift stores on this list are some of the standouts. Grouped by neighborhood, they're intended as a starting point. Now, charge!

Bare Hills

Leesha Lee, Ltd.

6245 Falls Road, 410-337-7916

Owner Leesha Lee loves finding unusual home decor. This is a great place to find the perfect accent piece for your home, whether it's furniture, lighting or artwork.

Princeton Sports

6239 Falls Road, 410-828-1127

Get your gear for hitting the slopes, bike trails, tennis courts, swimming pools and most other sports, too, at Princeton Sports, in Baltimore since 1936.

Sunnyfields

6305 Falls Road, 410-823-6666

This home decor and gift store really is a Baltimore institution. An antiques and reproduction business when it opened in 1947, Sunnyfields is the place many locals rely on to find something fine to suit their traditional tastes.

Belvedere Square

The House Downtown

524 E. Belvedere Ave., 410-464-1440

Besides decor options like upholstered furniture, a variety of lighting designs and luxury bedding, the House Downtown also sells pajamas, candles and other gifts to help you feel right at home.

Matava Too

521 E. Belvedere Ave., 410-235-1830

Kathleen Matava's shop, Matava Too, which has been in Belvedere Square since 2003 and has locations in Green Spring Station and Annapolis as well, offers such brands as Stuart Weitzman, Cole Haan, Claudia Ciuti, Cordani and Frye.

Nouveau

514 E. Belvedere Ave., 410-962-8248

This furniture and decor store has matured a tad since its wild and funky earlier days when it was downtown on Charles Street. Now happily ensconced at Belvedere Square, it has pieces that can fit any home design, from transitional to modern. Not to worry, owners Steve Appel and Lee Whitehead haven't forgotten their roots. You'll still find some wild and whimsical things to keep any home feeling young at heart.

Canton

2910 on the Square

2910 O'Donnell St., 410-675-8505

This shop on O'Donnell specializes in whimsical gifts and items for the home that have a touch of out-of-the-ordinary. Whether it's for your kitchen, dining room table or an objet d'art, at 2910 you're bound to find something that brightens any room.

Chesapeake Wine Company

2400 Boston St., Ste. 112, 410-522-4556

Owner Mitchell Pressman, usually on the premises, has selected each of the wines himself. He gives great advice to a less knowledgeable shopper — helping him or her find the right wine to fit his or her taste and budget. Chesapeake Wine also has a great wine bar with cheese and antipasto snacks to help revive you during a shopping trip.

Dogma

3600 Boston St. Ste. 320, 410-276-3410

Owner Virginia Byrnes was a film set designer for years, and she brings a cool and quirky sensibility to her pet store. Dogma also offers a few pet-themed items for the humans on your gift list.

Catonsville

One World Emporium

825 Frederick Road, 410-744-5575

Father-son owners Lawrence and Alexey Mernaugh specialize in fair-trade items from craftspeople around the world at One World Emporium.

Cockeysville

Cohen's Clothiers

64-66 Cranbrook Road, 410-666-8952

Operating since 1904, Cohen's features lots of unusual Ravens gear, surf and skate wear, and trendy accessories for men, women and children. The store carries such brands as Polo, Billabong, Quicksilver, Ugg, Crocs and Roxy.

Five Wacky Women

10255 York Road, 410-683-8333

Five Wacky Women bills itself as "a store with personality," and its name sure doesn't hide the personality type it's going for. The shop features new products every week — a recent showcased item is "Switchflops," sandals with interchangeable straps — in categories like apparel, jewelry, food and more. Just beware of the cackling laugh track that starts playing automatically if you visit the store's website.

MB Klein

243A Cockeysville Road, 410-229-9995

Train enthusiasts need go only one place: MB Klein. Here they'll find model trains on different scales, electrical supplies, glues and lubricants, apparel and railroad memorabilia — basically anything one would need to get on track.

Downtown

Trinacria

This family-owned Italian deli has been operating since 1908. Trinacria specializes in traditional sandwiches, deli meats and cheeses, gourmet groceries and lots of other irresistible goodies.

Falls Road

The Ivy

6080 Falls Road, 410-377-2966

Independent bookstores used to be commonplace, especially here in the former City That Reads. Fortunately, we still have The Ivy, which has a respectable local-interest selection, is very customer-focused and frequently hosts author signings and discussions.

Federal Hill

Alexandra Webb

1028 S. Charles St., 410-244-5144

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