84 Best Places to Shop in Boston, Massachusetts

Beacon Hill Chocolates

Beacon Hill Fodor's choice

Let this store's aroma entice you to enter before it wows you with stunning display cases lined with local and European artisan chocolates that you can buy by the piece. You can also shop a vast array of gourmet chocolate bars, some bagged candy, and a few flavors of gelato. Yum!

Boston Public Market

Government Center Fodor's choice

Open year-round, the indoor Boston Public Market offers a great place to grab a sandwich, sample local foods, and even pick up a tasty souvenir. The New England–centric marketplace has 30 vendors, selling everything from fresh herbs and fruit to meat and seafood, as well as plenty of food stalls. Everything sold at the market is produced or originated in New England, including nonperishables like wool and carved wooden bowls. There’s also a food demonstration kitchen, where visitors might be able to catch a live cooking class (with samples). Since it's all about staying with the season, the exciting thing about visiting the BPM is that no two days are the same. The Kids’ Nook is a designated area for kids to gather and play, with activities throughout the week.

Brattle Book Shop

Downtown Fodor's choice

Bibliophiles can't get enough of this old-timey book store that has been in operation since 1825 and is, literally, chockablock with books floor to ceiling and stuffed into corners. The owner Ken Gloss, who regularly tours with Antiques Roadshow, fields queries from passionate book lovers about out-of-print, rare, antique, and foreign-language tomes. If you're simply in need of a read for the ride home, browse the rolling carts in Brattle's adjacent outdoor lot, where books of all genres go for $5, $3, or just $1.

Recommended Fodor's Video

Gus & Ruby

Beacon Hill Fodor's choice

Sure, we love our technology, but we still also really love paper products and that's the majority of what this cool gift store stocks. First, explore the entire section devoted to wares by Rifle Paper Co., and then pick up something for the cherished infant in your life from the edited selection of precious and expensive baby clothing. There are also artful gift items focused on the cities of Boston and Portland, Maine.

Leavitt & Peirce

Harvard Square Fodor's choice

A throwback to another era, this storied museum-like tobacco shop has been in the same location since 1883, when it served as a clubby gathering spot for young Harvard men, who puffed away while playing pool on the back billiard tables. While Harvard oars, hockey sticks, and photos still adorn the ivy-green walls, the store now caters to a broader clientele in search of quality smoking items, old-fashioned straight razors and shave brushes, chess and checker sets, and small gift items, such as beer steins.

Shake the Tree

North End Fodor's choice

Irresistible defines this one-stop shop, brimming with an eclectic array of floral dresses and tops, wide-legged pants, letterpress greeting cards, small brand apothecary, craft cocktail supplies, global cookbooks, woven baskets, and mixed media jewelry that you never knew you needed. Owner Marian Klausner creates an inspiring award-winning selection from her global travels.

Skylight Jewelers

Downtown Fodor's choice

This independently owned jewelry store features custom creations, from gorgeous engagement rings to signature carved moonstone jewelry. Men's jewelry is a specialty.

The Harvard Coop

Harvard Square Fodor's choice

What began in 1882 as a nonprofit service for students and faculty is now managed by Barnes & Noble College, a separate entity that manages college campus bookstores. Housed in the same location since 1906 and affectionately called The Coop (pronounced "coop," not "co-op"), the store sells books and textbooks (many discounted), school supplies, clothes, and accessories plastered with the Harvard emblem, as well as basic housewares geared toward dorm dwellers. If you need a public restroom, you'll find it here. And if you're looking for MIT swag, they have a location on that campus as well.

Trident Booksellers & Café

Back Bay Fodor's choice

This two-story shop with windows overlooking Newbury Street is known as much for its eclectic collection of books and magazines as its all-day breakfast menu. Follow the pack and order either the lemon-ricotta-stuffed French toast or homemade corned beef hash and then settle in with a favorite read. Feel free to stay through lunch, dinner, and beyond, as the store's open until midnight daily, making it a popular spot with students. A full slate of events, from game nights to author talks, is scheduled almost daily.

Alpha Gallery

South End

This gallery specializes in paintings, drawings, watercolors, and mixed media works from contemporary American and foreign artists. It also has a fine selection of master prints and works from 20th-century American masters. The gallery exhibits emerging, mid-career, and established artists, as well as special shows of master artists such as Pablo Picasso, Fairfield Porter, Max Beckmann, and others.

Barnes & Noble

Back Bay

Inside the Prudential Center this large branch of the popular bookseller chain carries a diverse selection of hardcovers and paperbacks, American and international magazines, music, and small gifts, like soap and candles.

Barneys New York

Back Bay

Tucked inside Copley Place, Boston's denizens scope the lofty, two-story space to load up on cutting-edge lines like Comme des Garçons and Nina Ricci. Men and kid needs are covered too, as well as your yen for beauty products and funky home goods.

Betsy Jenney

Back Bay

This small, personal store showcases well-made, comfortable lines that cater to women who cannot walk into a fitted size-4 suit—in other words, most of the female population. The designers found here, such as Nicole Miller, Autumn Cashmere, and Cambio, are fashionable yet realistic.

Blackstones

Beacon Hill

If you've shopped Charles Street in the last 45 years, you'll recognize this long-standing shop, now in a much larger location. Many of the gifts, books, and greeting cards on display are made in the United States and locally focused. The back room boasts an awesome selection of spices, Swedish dish cloths, and small kitchen utensils.

Bonde Fine Wine Shop

Harvard Square

Challenging the very concept of a wine shop, Bonde is more like an experience, or a place you'll "bond" with the vintages. Owner Bertil Jean-Chronberg (one of America's only master sommeliers) sells only eco-responsible wines, 95% of which are from American micromakers. His wine accessories are unique—think swordfish tusk wine stoppers custom-made for the shop and stunning champagne sabres—and the tiny display table transforms to eight-person "Wednesday Wine Tastings" with food pairings.

Brodney Antiques & Jewelry

Back Bay

In addition to plenty of porcelain and silver, Brodney claims to have the biggest selection of estate jewelry in New England. Shoppers will also find plenty of antiques, furniture, clocks, paintings, and more.

Bromfield Gallery

South End

Tucked among dozens of art studios in the artsy SoWa (South of Washington) area, this artist-run, members-only gallery mounts monthly shows featuring contemporary art in all forms, including printmaking, video, acrylic, ink drawing, and pastels.

Brooks Brothers

Back Bay

Founded in 1818, Brooks still carries in its nationwide shops the classically modern styles that made it famous—old faithfuls for men such as navy blazers, summertime seersucker, and crisp oxford shirts and similar styles for women and kids (4–16 years). Its Newbury Street store offers the hipper Fleece collection with both a bright affordable line and a high-end designer line aimed to appeal to less conservative shoppers. There's another location at 75 State Street.

Cambridge Antique Market

Off the beaten track, this antiques hot spot has a selection bordering on overwhelming: five floors of goods from more than 150 dealers ranging from 19th-century furniture to vintage clothing, much of it reasonably priced. You can find everything from collectible magazines to China dolls, art work to fine silver. Head to the basement for a large selection of secondhand bikes.

Cambridge Artists' Cooperative

Brattle Street

Unique, handcrafted ceramics, weavings, jewelry, paper, wood, and leatherwork fill this two-level artist-owned and -operated store, with more than 200 global artists represented—more than half of whom hail from New England. Spend time perusing the glass cases of artistic hand-crafted notions that greet you inside the front door, then stroll downstairs for wearable art in the forms of scarves, purses, and more.

Cardullo's Gourmet Shoppe

Cardullo's has been a local standout for gourmet global food items for the last 70 years, although it recently opened its Seaport location, a bit of a departure from its Harvard Square origins. Artisan and international wines and beer, chocolates and sweets, jams, crackers, teas and coffee, cured meats, cheese, and foodstuffs made in the New England region stock the shelves. A deli counter serves awesome sandwiches to-go.

Castanet Designer Consignment

Back Bay

Chanel purses, Rick Owens jackets, and Hermès bracelets have all graced this jam-packed couture-quality consignment shop, located on the second floor, which finds gently worn gems from fashion lovers across the country. Its picky choices are your gain.

Chanel

Back Bay

This spacious 10,000-square-foot branch of the Parisian couture house (complete with custom sofas upholstered in Chanel tweed and a 20-foot-high strand of cascading glass beads) carries suits, separates, bags, shoes, cosmetics, and, of course, a divine selection of little black dresses.

Childs Gallery

Back Bay

The large selection of works for sale in this gallery, established in 1937, includes paintings, prints, drawings, watercolors, and sculpture from the 1500s to the present. For a special memento with more weight than a Red Sox hat, pick out a piece from the gallery's impressive collection of Boston expressionism and Boston School impressionism art.

Concepts

Sneaker collectors love having what other people can't find and this store features exclusives by Nike, New Balance, Vans, Adidas, and others. Fanatics line up around the block when a limited-edition shoe debuts.

Copley Place

Back Bay

An indoor shopping mall in the Back Bay, Copley Place includes such high-end shops as Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton. It is anchored by the pricey but dependable Neiman Marcus and offers a few dining options, such as Legal Sea Foods and Caffè Nero.

Copley Society of Art

Back Bay

After more than a century, this nonprofit membership organization continues to present the works of well-known and aspiring New England artists, as well as out-of-town and foreign members. Styles of artists range from traditional and academic realists to contemporary and abstract painters, photographers, and sculptors. Each year, the gallery hosts between 15 and 20 exhibitions.

CouCou

South End

When you want your tot to stand out sartorially, head to this globally sourced boutique packed with a thoughtfully curated selection of clothes; you'll also find toys and crafts, as well as a playroom in the back of the store. CouCou has also started carrying women's collections.

Crush Boutique

Beacon Hill

Find weekend casual outfits, jeans, silky shifts, and even party attire at this feminine boutique. Accessories are not overlooked, as Crush offers jewelry and handbags that will dress up any ensemble.

December Thieves

Beacon Hill

The edgiest clothing boutique on the Hill, December Thieves stocks fashion-forward, contemporary, emerging designers and brands from Europe, Asia, Latin America, and other places across the globe. Find a curated and wildly fun array of apparel, scarves, handbags, jewelry, beauty products, and home decor.