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Best Philadelphia Shopping

AOL PICK from our Editors

Philadelphia can please even the pickiest shoppers, whether you’re looking for fashion’s heavy-hitters or no-name labels. And while you could make the 30-minute drive from Philadelphia to visit the King of Prussia Mall (the largest mall on the East Coast at nearly 3 million square feet), we prefer to stay within the city limits to frequent the smaller shops that can only be found in the city. If you’re inclined to one-of-a-kind items, check out Antique Row in southwest Center City for a mix of independent art galleries and stores selling refurbished chandeliers, or head to South Street, where the urban flavor skews funky, offering eclectic art and kinky women’s wear. If you’re still hungry for an upscale shopping experience, make your way to Walnut Street, between Broad Street and Rittenhouse Square, where labels dominate the scene—but don’t be afraid to veer off the path if you see something interesting down a side street. 

Omoi

Neighborhood: Rittenhouse

Take a trip to Japan without ever leaving the city. After returning from living in Osaka, Japan, owner Elizabeth Sieber began importing her favorite things back to Philly, many with an emphasis place on cute. But while you can find googly-eyed miniature toys and rings shaped like cartoon cats here, you can also find funky, one-of-a-kind tote bags and sophisticated, delicately patterned stationery. Shop for men and women’s accessories and apparel (we love their collection of T-shirts), or spruce up your home or desk with offbeat art, like a neon pink bust of Ludwig Von Beethoven.

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Omoi  

Duross & Langel

Neighborhood: Midtown Village

Piles of soap resembling confettied candy confections lure bath and body fanatics into this Midtown Village storefront. Locally handcrafted in small batches, these beautiful bars, which sometimes look more like art than soap, are all-natural and vegan-approved. If you're shopping in Philadelphia for souvenirs or thoughtful gifts to bring back for loved ones at home, Duross & Langell is a great stop. Stock up on summer favorites, like the sea-scented “Ocean” or zesty “Lemonade,” or opt for a more unusual fragrance like black pepper or the popular sweet-yet-spicy “Coriander.”  The store also carries candles and products for the hair and face. Free in-store events (like how to make your own lip-gloss) and $45 workshops, where participants are invited to make their own soap art, are held monthly.  

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Duross & Langel  

AIA Bookstore and Design Center

Neighborhood: Chinatown

What began in 1976 as an information center for architects has evolved into the go-to place for unique gifts, like water-powered calculators and Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired candleholders. While the store still sells an encyclopedic range of books about design, it also carries jewelry, housewares, lighting, and even children’s toys—just in case you know a kid who’s just dying to build a 3D model of the Guggenheim Museum. If you’re fortunate enough to be shopping in Philadelphia during the Christmas season, head to the Holiday Shop for the largest and most unique selection of ornaments and holiday cards in the city. 

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AIA Bookstore and Design Center  

Eye's Gallery

Neighborhood: South Street

Fans of Isaiah Zagar’s Magic Gardens can trek six blocks east on South Street to Eye’s Gallery. The store is owned by Julia Zagar, wife of the artist, and functions as a kind of continuation of the artwork, with a mosaic entryway and unusual finds decorating the walls. While not everything here is for sale, the majority of it is, with the focus on Mexican arts, crafts and jewelry. Pick up earrings with depictions of the Virgen de Guadalupe or buy a dia de los muertos wedding cake topper. Prices may seem a little steep, especially if you’re from the Southwest, so be sure to head down to the basement to check out discounted merchandise.  

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Eye's Gallery  

Walnut Street

Neighborhood: Center City

If South Street proves too gritty for your taste, head to Walnut Street, where upscale stores and restaurants dominate the stretch from Broad Street to Rittenhouse Square. Keep in mind Pennsylvania’s statewide law that keeps clothing tax-free while you shop designer stores like Burberry, Kenneth Cole, and Coach. If you’re looking to bypass the chains, pop into Knit Wit for sophisticated women’s wear or Ubiq, an independent boutique that specializes in vintage sneakers in addition to newer fashions. As an added bonus, the street also serves as a place for ad-lib musical performances, ranging from bucket drummers to violin virtuosos.

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