local love: the best gift shops in Philadelphia, north of Market Street edition

Showing love for local! If you’re in the market for the perfect gift (or in the case of two of these shops, an amazing bouquet of flowers!) in the Philadelphia area, you cannot go wrong with supporting these local shops. For this blog series, my list of amazing brick-and-mortars was so long, I had to break it up into regions! The following Philadelphia-area gift shops are all north of Market Street, the East-West main drag in Center City. Read on to learn more about these neighborhood gems:

Ali’s Wagon Located in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia, you can recognize this sunny shop by their bright blue awning! My friend Kat from Stonecooper told me about this neighborhood haunt and I’m so glad she did! Ali’s Wagon is chock-full of Philly-themed gear for everyone. If you need a unique Philadelphia souvenir, come here!

Make a day of it: Ali’s Wagon is practically next door to Eastern State Penitentiary, a grim but stunning piece of Philadelphia history. Grab a beverage and lunch at Jack’s Firehouse across the street, a restaurant true to its name as it is located in an old fire station!

Art Star One of the OG gift shops celebrating handmade wares in Philadelphia, Art Star is a Northern Liberties institution! Erin & Megan are two Tyler School of Art graduates who opened the shop in a smaller shop front in 2004. Fast forward a few years and they grew into their current location. In addition to having a thoughtfully curated shop with handmade gifts for just about anyone, the duo also run Philadelphia’s largest outdoor craft fair in May of each year. If you’re a maker who appreciates a good gift, this shop is a must-visit!

Make a day of it: 2nd Street in Northern Liberties has blocks of great restaurants and bars to check out! Get in a round of bowling at nearby North Bowl and indulge in delicious Mexican food at Cantina Dos Segundos.

Robertson’s Flowers & Events A classic flower shop that has been in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia since 1927, passerby’s may not realize that Robertson’s also has an extensive gift selection as well! In addition to the gift selection in their physical store, they offer curated gift baskets online that pair well with flowers. Robertson’s is a fixture on Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill and always worth the stop!

Make a day of it: I always forget that Chestnut Hill is a neighborhood in Philly because it has such a bustling main street (Germantown Avenue). Robertson’s is adjacent to Cake, a restaurant which serves up coffee and meals in a beautiful greenhouse atrium. Just down the road, check out the Market and brews at Chestnut Hill Brewery. 

Sweet Mabel Both a store and an art studio, this cozy shop in Narberth has been a mainstay in this tiny borough since 2005. Shop from a range of colorful handmade and folk-art inspired gifts on the store side. Choose from a wide variety of classes and events for kids and adults on the studio side! This sweet storefront is bursting with color and character!

Make a day of it: Sweet Mabel is exactly one mile from Sabrina’s Cafe, a legendary local brunch chain. I also used to work at the Whole Foods across the street from Sabrina’s and can vouch that they have a nice bar serving up a nice selection of local craft beer.

This Little Gallery Another local institution, you would be colorblind to miss the bright purple awnings of this gift shop in Jenkintown! Since 1989, This Little Gallery has been offering up a wide a selection of American gift items. Owner Trish also compiles really fun, one-of-a-kind curated gift packages that are available online. No trip to Jenkintown would be complete without a stop in here!

Make a day of it: As someone who grew up basically down the road, I can vouch for The Drake Tavern being a solid lunch or dinner option. The Borough Brewhouse is Neshaminy Creek’s local brewpub concept that is also a nice find.

Vault & Vine V&V isn’t just a modern florist and gift shop, it’s an experience. Owner Peicha custom-designed this building space after outgrowing their original location. It features a greenhouse chock full of indoor plants, a full-service florist for bouquets and event design, a range of curate local gifts, AND a renowned coffee shop. Whew. As someone who adores plants, the shop is a thing of beauty.

Make a day of it: Obviously grab a coffee in the shop there. V&V is a short distance from the Schuylkill River Bike Trail and Wissahickon Brewing Company. Also, for bomb pizza, check out In Riva just down the road.

Not only are these shops some of my very favorite gift shops in the Philadelphia area, they are also exit343design stockists! When you support them, you are also supporting small business owners like me. If you spot my work in their store, send me a pic on Instagram! It’s always a thrill to see my products out “in the wild.”