The Best Gift Shops
In the age of Amazon, it’s completely feasible to cross everyone off your list from the comfort of your desk. That said, so long as you don’t find yourself somewhere too overcrowded, there’s really nothing that inspires holiday spirit more than a day spent picking up special, unique pieces for loved ones in person. Here, our favorite shops for perusing with an armful of shopping bags in tow and Christmas music playing in the background (plus a few online favorites for emergencies).
Turpan225 26th St., Brentwood | 310.899.6711
Everything at this pristine home store in the Brentwood Country Mart is a design classic—past or future. While it's the sort of spot where you duck in for a hostess gift, it's invariably the sort of store where you end up re-thinking your china and splurging on some steak knives too. They also have impeccable stationery, beautiful blankets, and every conceivable size and color of Comme des Garçons pouch. There's also a location in East Hampton.
Ooga Booga943 N. Broadway, #203, Chinatown | 213.617.1105
This deeply under-the-radar shop, located on the second floor of a Chinatown office building, is more like a gallery than a boutique. You'll find an Opening Ceremony blouse, hung next to a vintage poster, a one-off book, and a Mended Veil necklace. They opened a second location downtown, known as Ooga Booga 2 or Ooga Twooga.
A + R777 S. Alameda St., Suite 100, Downtown | 213-298-3174
Though this design shop got its start in a space on Abbot Kinney, its relocation to DTLA is finally letting A + R stretch its legs a bit, and show larger pieces, like Bend Good's metal chairs and Scholten & Baijings' technicolored rugs. It's all arranged with smaller, more suitcase-appropriate picks, like Hay's Kaleido trays and Y'a Pas Le Feu Au Lac's vases.
Amoeba6400 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood | 323.245.6400
Though there are two other locations in San Francisco and Berkeley, this Hollywood location, which occupies an entire city block, is the largest. The diverse music selection spans two floors, and an entire room devoted to jazz.
Burro Kids1405 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice | 310.450.6283
Equal parts clothing boutique and toy store, this is the sort of place where you can pick up a gift for anyone under 10. It's very well-edited, meaning that there aren't a ton of options, but they're all good, from Aden & Anais swaddle blankets, to non-toxic crayons, to robot-printed pajamas.
Garde7418 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood | 323.424.4667
Marble-topped Tom Dixon candles, cyan-hued wallets from PB 0110, and pretty sublime cashmere blankets are just a few of the offerings at this serene, grey-washed space. Bedding and linens, coffee table books, and Hella Jongerius plates round out the mix.
Broome Street General Store2912 Rowena Ave., Silver Lake | 323.570.0405
In addition to the delicious lattes, homemade sandwiches, and old-fashioned candies and trinkets, this general store stocks an equally excellent selection of homewares, including perfectly minimal white ceramic bowls, gardening tools, kitchen supplies, and more.
Urbanic1644 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice | 310.401.0427
If you're one of those people who believes that the card should be as well-conceived and personal as the gift, this is your mothership. They have all the best lines, along with sweet notepads, journals, and a good selection of pens.
Sugar Paper225 26th St., Brentwood | 310.451.7870
Known for modern and beautiful letterpress stationery, Sugar Paper also does great holiday cards, wedding invitations, and monogramming. The tiny shop (in the Brentwood Country Mart) also offers cards and paper goods from Rifle Paper Co., Kate Spade, and more—and they can wrap any gift (just bring a box) while you wander the mart.
Mohawk General Store4011 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake | 323.669.1601
Now four locations strong, this general-style store offers generally guy-centric range of clothing and accessories (there are a handful of great picks for women, specifically at this location), along with really beautiful home goods. Expect to find Isabel Marant jumpsuits (for her), Engineered Garment pants (for him), along with Want Les Essentials laptop sleeves, Cire Trudon candles, and Fort Standard trivets. There's also a location in Pasadena and Santa Monica.
New Stone Age8407 W. Third St., West Hollywood | 323.658.5969
This home accessories and jewelry shop may be on bustling Third Street, but it's a few storefronts farther along than most tend to walk, making it a pretty great secret resource. Nowhere else in the city are you likely to find a beautifully crafted bottle opener hanging out next to a fabric ball from India and a heart milagro shaped door knocker. They also have two cases of exquisite jewelry, like diamond slice pendants and opal earrings.
OK Store8303 W. Third St., West Hollywood | 323.653.3501
Everything at this long-standing, architecturally-minded boutique—from Noguchi lamps, to Heath bud vases, to Alice Park wallets—would look just right inside, say, a Schindler or a Neutra home. The emphasis is on great gifts (almost everything comes pre-gift wrapped in basic brown butcher paper), whether it’s a framed beetle or Carl Aubock designed book-ends. There's also a location in Silver Lake.
Heath Ceramics7525 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood | 323.965.0800
A true mid-century American icon, Heath has been producing beautiful modern and minimal tableware (with a brief break) and tiles since 1948. In fact, it's part of the permanent collections in New York's MoMA—and graces many a table across the Los Angeles restaurant scape. The store, like the products, is modern and minimal, with wooden shelves, concrete floors and a lot of space to browse. Besides the Heath line, they've selected a handful of designers to showcase. There are multiple locations in the SF area, including an outpost in the Ferry Building—the factory store in Sausalito offers seconds (i.e., subtly imperfect plates and bowls) at big discounts.
The General Store1801 Lincoln Blvd., Venice | 310.751.6393
While its unlikely location on a grungy strip of Lincoln Boulevard keep this spot slightly under-the-radar, The General Store always justifies the trip. While it’s set in a big lofty space that could theoretically hold hundreds of items, the impeccably-curated store is an exercise in restraint: You’ll find hand-done ceramics, brass trivets, thread wrapped bows and arrows, and rare, vintage books. The original is actually in San Francisco.
Otherwild1768 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz | 323.54.OTHER
Owner Rachel Berks focuses exclusively on artist and designer-made clothing, jewelry, pottery, posters, and prints. This is one of those stores where you never know what you're going to find, whether it's a simple turquoise drop necklace or a Gravel & Gold toiletry case, emblazoned with line drawings of boobs.
Nickey Kehoe7221 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood | 323.954.9300
Interior designers Todd Nickey and Amy Kehoe put out their own own line of perfectly-textured home goods (solid cast brass hand sconces, tufted headboards, hassock ottomans), which they've mixed with an eclectic range of accessories at this subtly-industrial shop. You'll find Japanese bear bookends, pillows cut from vintage Hmong embroidery, black-bristled brooms, and Astier de Villate journals—and you'll want to buy it all.
Lost & Found2000 Main St. & 2230 Main St., Santa Monica | 310.450.9782
Lost & Found in Hollywood occupies a stretch of adjacent buildings on Yucca Street, which is tucked away above Hollywood Boulevard. It’s there that you'll find one of LA's best shopping destinations. While there are spaces for women and homes, we particularly love the kids' edit, which revolves around feathered headbands, papier-mâché masks, and T-shirts emblazoned with everything from motorcycles to birds. The new outposts in Santa Monica are huge, offering more floor space to men's and women's clothing, along with even more delights for little ones. (Plus, a great edit of home.)
Love Adorned2923 Main St., Santa Monica | 310.450.2227
We were pretty thrilled when Love Adorned finally landed on the West Coast last year—after all, its flagship in Nolita (the jewelry companion to the legendary New York City tattoo parlor NY Adorned) is stunningly cool. It's also one of the few stores around that can embody an entire aesthetic, one that is subtly bohemian, gothic, and yet gloriously feminine, too. You'll find stunning, slightly asymmetrical diamond rings from Polly Wales, cool, Natural Park–themed bandannas for kids, and the resin champagne buckets by Tina Frey. The location in Santa Monica is fittingly airy and light and lined with all the jewelry treasures you’d expect along with a smattering of kitchen goods, throw pillows, and beautifully scented candles. There is also a location in Amagansett.
The Piece Collective1629 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice | 424.238.8382
In our experience, it’s almost impossible to walk out of this sun-drenched beach bungalow empty-handed. The white washed interior is kept simple on purpose to give the bright, boho-centric buy—which offers a little bit of everything, from jewelry, to home décor, to a small but mighty denim edit—the attention it deserves. They also do a great job of importing beautifully handcrafted beach totes, espadrilles, and blankets from all over the world and making them readily available to the masses.
Bazar1108 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice | 310.314.2101
In addition to being one of the longest-standing shops on Abbot Kinney, Bazar is also one of the most special. Owner Tina Wakino keeps the smallish space packed with antique furniture, textiles, and racks of hard-to-find international brands and vintage pieces for both men and women, then she rounds out the assortment with imported apothecary favorites from Santa Maria Novella and Astier de Villatte. Though small, the children’s section holds incredibly adorable options for giftables and accessories that are unlike anything you might find at a traditional toy store.
General Quarters153 S. La Brea Ave., Fairfax | 323.937.5391
Shopping for dudes can be risky business, though in our experience, the house line of basic tees and pants at this handsomely turned out men’s shop has a pretty stellar success rate. The vibe here is all about California cool, and the walls of vintage photography and retro memorabilia express that aesthetic perfectly. And if the racks of essential from Filson, Red Wing, and Rogue Territory, plus the tables of subtle, well-designed accessories and home goods aren’t enough of a draw, there’s a classic barbershop in the back where barber, Chrissy Phelan, performs her famously precise cuts.
ReForm School3902 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake | 323.906.8660
Near the popular junction of Santa Monica Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake, this favorite shop has a curiously curated array of goodies from handmade pottery to children's toys, graphic t-shirts, jewelry, handbags, and stationery. Nearly everything in the shop feels like a brilliant find, making this a particularly good place to shop for special gifts.
Kinokuniya3760 S. Centinela Ave., Culver City | 310.482.3382
Based in Culver City's Japanese food market, Mitsuwa Market, the Japanese-based Kinokuniya offers great notebooks, stationery, pens, and gifts. Kids, in particular, go nuts here. There's also a location Downtown.
Ige7382 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood | 323.939.2788
It's easy to overlook this home goods shop, which has been holding down the fort on Beverly for years. It's a little bit out-of-the-way, which makes it easy to miss, but it's absolutely worth seeking out. John Derian decoupage plates, hand-beaded scarfs from Megan Park, and slightly macabre (but gorgeous) objects, like bronze cast beetles mingle with Ige's own line of pillows and fabric calendars.
The MIA Project4628 York Blvd., Highland Park | 323.739.0390
True to its name (M.I.A. stands for Made in America), every piece of merch stocked in this homey, lovingly curated shop is made in the U.S., as the goal for founders Micha Thomas and Jaime Lawson is to shine a light on local independent makers at a time when so much of production is done overseas. The mostly handmade and small-batch edit includes a little bit of something for everyone: soy wax candles by Venice-based Yoke, delicate linen dresses by Matteo, Minnesota-made handbags by heritage brand J.W. Hulme, and so much more.
Individual Medley3176 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village | 323.665.5344
Though the assortment at this Atwater Village favorite includes quite a bit of vintage (mostly of the denim and cotton tee variety), mixed in with home goods, apparel (plenty of stuff for guys to rifle through, too), and apothecary items from beloved international lines like Fredericks & Mae and Jao, plus one-of-a-kind pieces from the local community of makers, it all feels totally fresh.
Hennessey + Ingalls300 S. Santa Fe Ave., Downtown | 213.437.2130
As the West Coast's largest art and architecture-centric bookstore, this is the sort of place where you can easily rack up excess baggage charges with beautiful coffee table books.
Lake1618 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake | 323.664.6522
Founder Melissa Lovoy opened Lake in February 2007 in the heart of Silver Lake and filled this quietly low-key space with pieces that are modern, beautiful, and well made. You'll find simple leather pouches from Clare Vivier, Isabel Marant blouses, and delicate scents from Il Profumi di Firenze.
Vacation Vinyl3815 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake | 323.666.2111
This great little record store features a tight edit—but that shouldn't dissuade you from asking them to help you track down something that's not out on the floor. During the week, they're open until 9pm.
RTH Shop537 & 529 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood | 310.289.7911
Styled like an other-worldly trading post, RTH takes much of its inspiration from the Southwest. It makes sense, as he owner (and designer), René Holguin, hails from El Paso and did stints at Ralph Lauren, J.Crew, and Levi’s before setting out on his own. There’s a house line of perfectly aged leather bags, smocks, and Liberty print scarves, along with seed bead pins and bracelets.
Tenoversix8425 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood | 323.330.9355
While there are a few pieces scattered about for men, the focus here is really on women's accessories, home goods, and picks for kids...though there's a smattering of ready to wear, too. Pieces from Rachel Comey and Jesse Kamm share rack space here with eensy sweatshirts from Boy + Girl and Misha & Puff while the glass cabinets are lined with Gabriela Artigas earrings and Fort Standard bottle openers. There's another location in Dallas.
Record Surplus12436 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica | 310.979.4577
Since 1985, this place has been offering every conceivable genre of vinyl to loyal West LA music lovers. Merchandise is re-stocked daily, there are stations where you can sample music, and you can trade in or sell your records here, too.
Yolk1626 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake | 323.660.4315
Whether you're in the market for kids furniture from Scandinavia, or a Pantone-themed mug, this long-standing boutique sources home goods and gifts for kids from all over the world.
Poketo374 E. 2nd St., Little Tokyo | 213.537.0751
A testament to owners (and real-life couple) Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung’s creativity and taste, this color-happy shop in Little Tokyo somehow manages to look entirely different from visit to visit. While the core categories—home décor, stationery, accessories, and kids—stay the same, the assortment is constantly updated to keep up with the latest and greatest in design and still meet Poketo’s playful aesthetic. Expect to find Japanese stationery, tabletop pieces from Danish firm HAY, beautiful art books, and so much more. There's also a sister location in Culver City and in The Line Hotel.
The Apartment by the Line8463 Melrose Place, West Hollywood | 323.746.5056
With its sprawling layout and ample natural light, the follow-up outpost to NYC's The Apartment—the offline retail experience for Vanessa Traina Snow's The Line—feels right at home in Los Angeles. Tucked away on a side street off Melrose Place (the second-floor entrance is easy to miss), the space is broken up into shoppable rooms—living room, kitchen, bedroom, closets, etc.—much like a very chic, realistic-but-better apartment. In the living room you'll find modern furniture pieces done in subtle neutrals and scented candles; a freestanding bathtub that resembles a beautiful bowl in the bathroom; and luxe Newbark slippers, exclusive 3x1 denim, and Calvin Klein Collection separates in the walk-in closet.
Chariots on Fire1342.5 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice | 310.450.3088
This gallery-like shop on Abbot Kinney is the brainchild of Ritz Yagi, who runs a creative agency of the same name. The offerings are spare, gorgeous, and special, whether it's a gem-inflected necklace or a perfectly imperfect hand-throw tray by Japanese artist Makoto Kagoshima.
Formerly Yes954 S. Broadway, Downtown | 213.332.4254
Founded on the design principle that less is often more, Formerly Yes (which formerly used to just be online-only), now occupies an airy boutique Downtown—just a stone's throw from the Ace. Much likes its site, the offerings are extremely winnowed down and edited, i.e., you'll find only design classics, like Braun alarm clocks, Japanese platters, and Iittala tumblers.
Shout and About547 Echo Park Ave., Echo Park
Known for fun, colorful stationery and cards for every occasion, it's entirely possible to (happily) lose an afternoon at Shout and About browsing through every good on display. In addition to their stationery, the store has a selection of jewelry, plants, and other gifty items, making it an ideal one-stop shop for last minute birthday, housewarming, and just-because presents.
Alchemy Works826 E. 3rd St., Arts District | 323.487.1497
Set up in the center of the most walkable stretch of the Arts District, Alchemy Works is the brainchild of Lindsay and Raan Parton (their former Apolis store is now a pop-up within Alchemy) and aims to bring a bit of the coastal lifestyle to downtown. The industrial-style shop doubles as an events space, so there’s lots of room to roam around and admire the hand-picked apothecary pieces, letterpress prints, indy-designer accessories, and more. Also sharing the space is a Warby Parker shop-in-shop and a Blacktop coffee counter. It's Newport Beach location is equally stunning.
House of Intuition2237 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park | 213.413.8300
This kooky shop is filled with the types of gems, crystals, candles, incense, and other knickknacks that make perfect metaphysical souvenirs to bring back from LA. If you have time, opt for one of the amazing readings or a treatment with one of the healers on staff, who offer modalities like Reiki, crystal healing, and shamanic energy medicine.
Midland Shop8634 Washington Blvd., Culver City
Started by Paige Appel & Kelly Harris (founders of the much-loved event design business Bash, Please) opened their long-awaited shop on Washington boulevard in Culver City, within easy striking distance of nearby Platform, where there's also some excellent shopping to be had. The buy is a mix of one-off items like West African woven fans and Zuni stones along with pieces from up-and-coming designers, like Beatrice Valenzuela slides, Cinq jewelry, and Sara Barner bags. The apothecary has great body oils and some Shiva Rose creams, as well.