Releases: Expanded View
Philadelphia's Shopping Scene Is Proudly Independent
A Guide To Owner-Operated Retailers Throughout The City Of Philadelphia
In Philadelphia, owner-operated shops are a way of life—and have been since the 17th century. Independent storefronts fit naturally into the city’s fabric; their size and spirit thrive amid similarly independent restaurants, bars and cafes in close-knit neighborhoods.
It’s perhaps no surprise that college-filled, athletics-obsessed Philadelphia is the birthplace of iconoclastic retailer Urban Outfitters (and stylish spawn Anthropologie, Free People and Terrain) and throwback pro sports apparel phenom Mitchell & Ness. Also not too surprising: The city’s recent surge of upscale boutiques and haberdasheries that have followed Philly’s surge of stylish residents and visitors. Certainly pleasantly surprising to shoppers: Philadelphia levies no sales tax on apparel or shoes.
Here are some standout, sought-after, Philly-proud indie shops:
- Bario-Neal – Bella Vista atelier where skilled jewelers and a knowledgeable sales and design crew use ethically-sourced materials and progressive manufacturing processes to create custom and collection-based fine jewelry with an artisan, modern feel. 700 S. 6th Street, (215) 454-2164, bario-neal.com
- Commonwealth Proper – Men find modern suiting and outerwear, both custom and ready-to-wear, as envisioned by former attorney Craig Arthur von Schroeder, at this by-appointment-only showroom. 1839 Chestnut Street, 2nd floor, (267) 319-1741, commonwealthproper.com
- Fason De Viv – Contemporary women’s boutique features local designers and a global feel, plus acoustic performances on First Fridays. 228 Arch Street, (267) 745-8231, fasondeviv.com
- Henry A. Davidsen – Absolute custom—no made-to-measure here—is the gentlemanly purpose of this studio for men’s suits, shirts, formalwear, accessories and image makeovers. 1701 Spruce Street, 2nd floor, (215) 253-5905, henrydavidsen.com
- M Concept Shop – Gallery-like retailer of local design-makers, including Damiano Collection, West Oak Design, and M Concept X by Ethan Nguyen, fosters slow, stylish shopping. 1540 South Street, (215) 839-9154, mconceptshop.com
- Moon + Arrow – With tagline “Handmade + Vintage + Apothecary,” Fabric Row’s eco-conscious shop vends brass and copper jewelry, handmade leather bags, organic babywear, terrariums and more. 754 S. 4th Street, (215) 469-1448, moonandarrow.com
- NinoBrand – In her by-appointment-only atelier, Bela Shehu designs future classic, monochromatic street-to-opera wear for women. 333 S. 20th Street, (267) 761-9388, ninobrand.com
- Philadelphia Independents – Adorable Old City shop for made-in-Philly totes, ceramics, buttons, cards, T-shirts, accessories and home décor—the next level of souvenir sourcing. 35 N. 3rd Street, (267) 773-7316, philadelphiaindependents.com
- Boyd’s – Esteemed circa 1940 clothier carries Alexander McQueen to Ermenegildo Zegna of topline men’s and women’s fashion. Four polished floors display Trussini, Kiton, Paul Smith, Escada, Jil Sander, Brioni and more alongside in-house tailors, custom valet parking and personal shoppers. 1818 Chestnut Street, (215) 564-9000, boydsphila.com
- Erdon – Recherché international designers such as Ivan Grundahl, Closed, Jerome Dreyfuss and Heyne Bogut mix in a spare space that feels right at home amid Old City’s art galleries. 162 N. 3rd Street, (215) 923-0300, erdon.co
- Joan Shepp – Philadelphia staple serves as a reckoning force for avant-garde, eminently wearable women’s clothing, accessories and shoes by Maison Margiela, Urban Zen, Vetements, Yohji Yamamoto, Marni, Sonia Rykiel, Ann Demeulemeester and others. 1811 Chestnut Street, (215) 735-2666, joanshepp.com
- Knit Wit – Trend and tradition combine in a stalwart boutique for connoisseurs of Theory, Cinq A Sept, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Raquel Allegra and their contemporaries. (Additional location in Bryn Mawr.) 1729 Chestnut Street, (215) 564-4760, knitwitonline.com
- Shop Sixty Five – A Bucks County émigré serves up cosmopolitan denim, knitwear, dresses, bags and jewelry via labels such as Mason by Michelle Mason, Burning Torch, Elizabeth & James, Haute Hippie and more. 128 S. 17th Street, (267) 239-5488, shopsixtyfive.com
- Skirt – Main Line mainstay brought a battalion of personal stylists to Rittenhouse Square to better meet Philly’s demand for Tibi, Missoni, Milly, Splendid, DVF, on-point denim, office and cocktail wear. 212 S. 17th Street, (215) 309-8419, shop-skirt.com
- Sophy Curson – Elegant Rittenhouse Square boutique has serviced debutants and doyennes since 1929. Owners are the niece and great-nephew of the shop’s eponymous founder—the inventor of women’s petites. On decorous display: ball gowns to blue jeans. Shoppers here make requests, rather than browse racks. 19th & Sansom Streets, (215) 567-4662, sophycurson.com
- Third Street Habit – Old City forerunner of laid-back haute-ness offers Boho-chic dresses, jumpsuits, separates, shoes, accessories and jeans from the likes of Heidi Merrick, Ulla Johnson, Rodebjer, Mother Denim and more. 153 S. 3rd Street, (215) 925-5455, thirdstreethabit.com
- Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction – Shoppers find heritage-label clothing, but also precision-handmade goods—bar goods, apothecary items, home wares and original art—here. Also doubles as Warby Parker showroom and a tasting room for its owner’s line of artisan spirits (Snap, Root, Rhubarb, Sage). 116 N. 3rd Street, (215) 922-2600, artintheage.com
- Charlie’s Jeans – At this one-stop shop for designer men’s and women’s denim, the employees are fit experts. Exclusive carrier of owner’s U.S.A.-made Sebastian McCall jeans. 233 Market Street, (215) 923-9681, charliesjeans.net
- Lapstone & Hammer – Showpiece gallery shop for sneakerheads and city gents offers Philly-made jeans, leather jackets, hand-destructed T-shirts, limited-edition sneakers—and serious style cred. 1106 Chestnut Street, (215) 592-9166, lapstoneandhammer.com
- Metro Men’s – South Philly shop offers menswear by Fred Sherman and Penguin, among others, plus colorful socks and beer koozies. 1600 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 324-5172, metromensclothing.com
- Nutz & Boltz – Clients frequent this Gayborhood newcomer for fancy underwear, loungewear, T-shirts, swimsuits and more. 1220 Spruce Street, (267) 639-5958, nutzandboltzfashion.com
- Ps & Qs – Heritage brands Herschel Supply Co. and Pendleton, on-trend Norse Projects, Penfield and Victory Press—and, more recently, women’s wear. Also on offer: classic Tretorns, rugged candles, kids’ style essentials. 820 South Street, (215) 592-0888, psandqs.com
- Shibe Vintage – Busy, hip find sells vintage Philly sports-inspired duds and gear for diehards—in a store named after an old Philadelphia stadium, naturally. 137 S. 13th Street,
(215) 566-2511, shibevintagesports.com
- Sugarcube – Old City stalwart is known for its thoughtful collection of men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, especially U.S.A.-sewn denim, American-milled socks, vintage finds and after-dark styles. 124 N. 3rd Street, (215) 238-0825, sugarcube.us
- Totem Brand Co. – Totem stocks outdoorsy, made-in-the-U.S.A. men’s clothing and shoes by Wolverine, Danner, Rogue Territory, Steven Alan, Red Wing, Filson and more. 535 South Street, (215) 440-9922, totembrandco.com
- United By Blue (UBB) – Eco-conscious clothier and coffee house serves as a flagship for sustainable men’s and women’s fashions and accessories. For every product sold, UBB removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways. 144 N. 2nd Street, (215) 278-7746, unitedbyblue.com
- Vagabond – A pioneering Old City women’s boutique, Vagabond draws regulars for its Philly-knit sweaters and on-point, affordable to splurge-worthy clothing by Rachel Comey, Black Crane, Brandy Melville, Ace & Jig, plus shoes, jewelry and gifts. 37 N. 3rd Street, (267) 671-0737, vagabondboutique.com
- Egan Rittenhouse – This refined offshoot of an esteemed jeweler (see Egan Day in jewelry section) offers good taste for the whole family: classic shaving brushes and bowls, pretty clutches, cool balance bikes for chic city children. Rittenhouse Hotel, 210 W. Rittenhouse Square, (215) 433-1632, eganrittenhouse.com
- Occasionette – Etsy darling Sara Villari, creator of Girls Can Tell, runs this Pinterest-worthy emporium of note-perfect crafts and gifts, including hand-drawn silkscreened tea towels and bags, plus loads of cards, wrapping paper, baby presents, costume jewelry and tabletop beauty. 1825 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 465-1704, occasionette.com
- Omoi Zakka – Shoppers hit this fun, Japan-inspired lifestyle shop for impeccably current planners, soaps and desk supplies. 1608 Pine Street, (215) 545-0963, omoionline.com
- Open House – Packed with merchandise, this popular Midtown Village shop specializes in casually modern homewares, furnishings, jewelry, baby goods—and great Philly-splashed gifts. 107 S. 13th Street, (215) 922-1415, openhouseliving.com
- Portfolio – Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’ store offers artist- and artisan-made textiles, jewelry and gifts inspired by the museum. 128 N. Broad Street, (215) 972-7600, pafa.org/store
- Rikumo – Kaz and Yuka Morihata’s serene Midtown Village serves as a destination for Japanese craft and design: ceramic matcha bowls, charcoal towels, beech baby toys, gauze bedding, kitchen and office wares, jewelry and more. 1216 Walnut Street, (215) 609-4972, rikumo.com
- Scarlett Alley – Old City’s pre-occasion destination stocks elegant, approachable tableware, candles, costume jewels, cozy clothing and accessories, personalized gifts, shower gifts and wedding gifts. (215) 592-7898, 241 Race Street, scarlettalley.com
- Select Shop 215 – Twice the size of sibling Omoi Zakka (see above), this neat, colorful Old City choice carries thoughtful, useful home goods, including coffee and kitchen wares, stationery, backpacks, wall art, jewelry and more. 41 S. 3rd Street, (215) 454-6910, selectshop215.com
- South Fellini – South Philly newcomer offering Philly themed gear like T-shirts, pins, and accessories that rep city neighborhoods, commemorate bygone landmarks, and play on regional brands. 1507 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 751-3667, southfellini.com
- Verde – Open House’s younger sister and neighbor carries colorful jewelry and accessories—and site-made Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates. 108 S. 13th Street, (215) 546-8700, verdephiladelphia.com
- Bella Turka – A rainbow of on-trend and fine pieces from all ends of the earth occupy this colorful store. The Rittenhouse location also carries global home goods and gifts. 113 S. 13th Street, (215) 560-8733; 1700 Sansom Street, (215) 560-8733, bellaturka.com
- Craiger Drake – Second-generation supplier of precious gems and metals opens the showroom by appointment, for collection and custom pieces. 1701 Walnut Street, 5th floor, (215) 253-6507, craigerdrake.com
- Egan Day – Kate Egan’s inimitable gallery of ethereal wearable and displayable art is a must-see and must-shop. 260 S. 16th Street, (267) 773-8833, eganday.com
- Halloween – In this hidden lair, repurposed altar boxes display pearls, silver, gold—heirlooms and original pieces by bon vivant owner and metalsmith Henri David. An orange business card serves as signage. 1329 Pine Street, (215) 732-7711
- Jewelers’ Row – Some 300 wholesalers, repair shops and vendors of engagement rings, estate pieces and other glittering investments make up the nation’s oldest diamond district.
Between 7th & 9th Streets and Walnut & Chestnut Streets
- Ritual Ritual – A rotating roster of indie artists and six in-house designers furnish and burnish the wares at this glamorously Goth Northern Liberties destination. 819 N. 2nd Street, (267) 606-6082, ritualritual.com
- Born Yesterday – This Rittenhouse Square boutique outfits newborns through tweens in Lili Gaufrette, Deux par Deux, Eliane et Lena, Appaman, Splendid—and sells haute toys, too. 1901 Walnut Street, (215) 568-6556, bornyesterdaykids.com
- The Children’s Boutique – Divine layette, knit-to-order rollneck letter sweaters, more upscale togs plus toys and music time aim to please discerning parents and their kiddos. The Shops at Liberty Place, 1625 Chestnut Street, (215) 732-2661, shopsatliberty.com
- Cloth – Natural parenting store offers supplies for cloth diapering, baby wearing, breastfeeding, bathing, playing and dressing. 1605 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 755-1575, shopatcloth.com
- Happily Ever After – Antique Row’s friendly, neighborhood toy and doll store specializes in the classics. 1010 Pine Street, (215) 627-5790, happily.com
- Minnow Lane – Organic and sustainable form the credo of this Fishtown apothecary and boutique of hip clothing and toys. 2029 Frankford Avenue, (215) 291-1875, minnowlane.com
- Momo’s Tree House – Old City’s answer to Toys R Us offers smart playthings, from baby’s first sensory toy to big-kid arts and crafts. 205 Arch Street, (267) 457-2803, momostreehouse.com
- Tildie’s Toy Box – South Philly newbie opens early on Saturdays for the pre-birthday party rush on smaller-maker goodies: first scooters, soft puppets, smart games and more creative playthings. 1829 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 334-9831, tildiestoybox.com
- Benjamin Lovell – Two stylish walking shoe shops for a city of walkers offer Fitflops, Birkenstocks, Naot, Mephisto, Arche, Dansko and more comfortably chic choices for men and women. 119 S. 18th Street, (215) 564-4655; 318 South Street, (215) 238-1969, blshoes.com
- Bus Stop – Brit-born Elena Brennan sources on-point kicks and bags at this Fabric Row shop. She designs some of them, too. 727 S. 4th Street, (215) 627-2357, busstopboutique.com
- Head Start Shoes – This shoe haven stops many Rittenhouse passersby who peer through windows at modern marvels of leather, as fashioned for women’s feet. Coveted brands include: Officine Creative, Roberto Del Carlo, Prima Base and more. 126 S. 17th Street, (215) 567-3247, headsartshoes.com
- ToBox – Scarpe di Bianco, John Lobb, Rancourt and other elite makers fill Tung To’s homage to men’s footwear. Shines available. 25 S. 19th Street, (215) 644-9435, toboxshoes.tumblr.com
- UBIQ – At this former mansion, sneakerheads line up before limited-edition releases. The shop also stocks men’s jackets, jeans by Yeezy, Converse and Han Kjobenhavn. 1509 Walnut Street, (215) 988-0194, ubiqlife.com
VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.
On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.
Philadelphia's Top Spots For Souvenirs
Visitors seeking a tricorn hat, feather quill pen or mini-Rocky can certainly find such souvenirs in and around Philadelphia’s best-known historical and cultural sites. Then again, those who prefer artisan-made goods and foods, cool T-shirts or locally made jewelry can stop into stylish shops all over the city to pick up unexpected Philly memorabilia. Here are some of the city’s best places to scoop up merchandise and more:
- Cheesesteaktees lets its shirts do the talking. The online shop specializes in fun, cheeky Philly-themed tees, hoodies and decals. Patrons can pick up an iconic “illadelph” decal or go
Black-Owned Shops, Restaurants, Day Spas & More Boom In Philadelphia
Shops, restaurants, galleries and bars owned and operated by African-Americans are abundant in Philadelphia. Among Philly’s destination-worthy black-owned businesses: high-end lingerie boutique Coeur, nerdy-cool hangout Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, healthful juice and açai bowls bar Stripp’d Juice, top-shelf nightclub Reserve, and and West Philadelphia’s inimitable arts space, the Tiberino Museum.
Here’s a traveler-tailored list of some of the city’s standout black-owned businesses.
- Amazulu Collections – Charita Powell, owner. Seven days a week and for more than 25 years, this popular Reading Terminal Market stand has represented artists from all over the world and lived the motto, “where cultures meet.”
What's In The Fishtown Neighborhood?
Like its hip neighbor Northern Liberties, Fishtown has quickly become one of the coolest sections of Philadelphia, thanks to an influx of quality restaurants, inventive bars, impressive music venues and forward-thinking art galleries.
Philadelphians have found new and innovative uses for Fishtown ever since William Penn made peace with the Lenape Indians in what’s now Penn Treaty Park. It’s the only place in the city where, in the same evening, someone can buy a custom-made guitar, drink craft beer while playing Tetris, eat stellar Yugoslavian food, sample Philly-made craft whiskeys and visit the world’s only pizza museum. Fishtown’s Frankford Avenue...
What's In The Northern Liberties Neighborhood?
Once considered an up-and-coming neighborhood, Northern Liberties has officially arrived, evidenced by the international restaurants, respected gastropubs and trendy boutiques—all this while maintaining the artistic vibe that made it so cool in the first place.
The warehouses that populate the former manufacturing district found new life as condos, galleries, stores and restaurants, and along with newly designed buildings, Northern Liberties enjoys a pleasant mix of older functional and modern design. Two shopping/dining/art/entertainment plazas helped make the area accessible and thriving: Liberties Walk and The Schmidt’s Commons.
The neighborhood lies north of Old City, and its borders (depends who you ask,...
What's In The East Passyunk & Pennsport Neighborhoods?
For decades, insiders have headed to South Philadelphia—particularly the neighborhoods east of Broad Street, for the red-gravy Italian restaurants. Today, the area around East Passyunk Avenue—a diagonal interruption to Philadelphia’s grid layout—has enjoyed much revitalization. This is especially so on the food front, with many new eateries earning enormous acclaim from Bon Appétit, The New York Times, Travel & Leisure and more.
Visitors who stroll down Passyunk (pronounced “pashunk” by old-timers) find boutiques, coffee shops, gastropubs, excellent Malaysian, French, Mexican and Filipino fare, as well as the ristoranti (Marra’s, Victor Café, Mr. Martino’s, Tre Scalini) that first made this street...
What's In The Logan Square Neighborhood?
Logan Square’s personality defies a single definition. What’s there? Corporate and municipal office buildings; the museum-packed Benjamin Franklin Parkway; and green spaces, including the square that gives the area its name. Once called Northwest Square, Logan Square—one of the city’s original five squares—was renamed to honor 18th-century mayor James Logan.
City Hall is a natural focal point of the Logan Square neighborhood. Its elaborate architecture and ornamentation makes people stop and take notice—and photos. The sprawling building is adorned with carvings of allegorical figures and is capped off with a massive statue of William Penn, all of which was designed...
What's In The Avenue Of The Arts Neighborhood?
Although technically named South Broad Street, the center of Philadelphia’s performing arts community—stretching from City Hall to Lombard Street—has earned the nickname Avenue of the Arts. And for good reason. The energy is contagious as theatergoers, orchestra fans, opera lovers, dance aficionados and artists spill onto the street to mix with the locals who live, work and dine on the storied thoroughfare.
Home to the striking Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the legendary Academy of Music, The Wilma Theater, Merriam Theater, University of the Arts, Arts Bank and other cultural landmarks, the Avenue of the Arts has earned its...
What's in the Washington Square West Neighborhood?
Washington Square West is a historic Center City neighborhood comprising a 17th-century park, the vibrant enclaves of Midtown Village, the Gayborhood and lots more.
Named “Southeast Square” in 1682, Washington Square once served as a grazing pasture and potter’s field on the edge of the original city of Philadelphia. Today, modern residences surround the park, home to the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier, a sycamore moon tree and a steady stream of visitors. To Washington Square’s north are the nearly 300 jewelry merchants of Jewelers’ Row. And to its south is Antique Row, tree-lined blocks of...
What's In the Chestnut Hill, Germantown & Mount Airy Neighborhoods?
Diverse and historic, Chestnut Hill, Germantown and Mount Airy are urban neighborhoods in northwest Philadelphia. Each enclave has a distinctive style, feel and highlights that represent the communities’ past and present. All are worth day trips, and fortunately, getting there is a cinch via SEPTA, Philadelphia’s public transportation system. Check bus and regional rail schedules at septa.org before heading off to explore these vibrant neighborhoods.
Chestnut Hill (via the Chestnut Hill East/West train lines or the #23 Bus):
With a higher elevation than the rest of the city, Chestnut Hill, a National Register Historic District, was once a vacation