When it comes to shopping, Cleveland has it all, which is why even the local folks sometimes need help deciding where to go. Shall we go boutiquing in Gordon Square? Scouring through racks in Coventry? Here, then, is a handy (though nowhere near comprehensive) guide to help retail enthusiasts with some of those tough questions. Happy shopping!
Head down Coventry toward Mayfield Road and you'll find Big Fun (1814 Coventry), an oasis of entertainment for kids and adults alike. Here, hours slip away, absorbed between shelves of vintage Star Trek figurines, an immense Pez collection, lewd magnets, costume mustaches, and a finicky photo booth.
Across the street is City Buddha (1807 Coventry), offering an expansive selection of imported jewelry at rock bottom prices. (Studs for $3.95? Yes, please.) You'll also find clothing, toys and even furniture. Find a similar array of goods at Passport to Peru (1806 Coventry), though prices are steeper.
Mac's Backs-Books on Coventry (1820 Coventry) and the Exchange (1836 Coventry) are both worth a visit, even if you're just stopping in to browse. Bring your old reads and music to trade for store credit or to sell for cash.
Get a pick-me-up at Cleveland's favorite java joint, Phoenix Coffee Company, with an afternoon cafe au lait and a lopsided blueberry muffin, before heading to Blush (1783 Coventry), a quaint women's boutique known for its colorful dresses, stylish shoes, and funky accessories, and the Avalon Exchange (1798 Coventry) with its racks of new and gently used vintage and designer items.
Want even more shopping options? Visit coventryvillage.org.
Folks stopping off for fresh pasta at the West Side Market, or a growler of suds from Market Garden Brewery, should take advantage of West 25th's other retail options, including Xhibition (2068 West 25th), a new men's boutique that boasts an uncluttered, minimalist design and caters to no-nonsense gents looking for choice kicks, hats, pants and tees.
Ladies, head to Blackbird Fly (2621 West 25th) for a variety of contemporary apparel, shoes and accessories. Here, each item is hand selected by owner Angelina Pata who scours both local and national markets for unique, high quality goods that appeal to the contemporary Cleveland fashionista. Salty Not Sweet (2074 West 25th) deserves your attention too. Its tables of deliciously scented soaps, locally made coasters, and beer glasses are swoon-worthy.
If you don't mind picking through some scuzzies, head to Unique Thrift (3333 Lorain Ave.), voted Best Thrift Store in Cleveland time and time again by Scene readers. A treasure trove of vintage apparel, as well as retro housewares and bizarre doodads that you suddenly need to own, Unique Thrift is more of an experience than a run-of-the-mill corner boutique.
Need to grab some smokes for Pop? Stop in to Cigar Cigars (2718 Lorain Ave.), your one-stop shop for all things tobacco. What about some flowers for Ma? The Urban Orchid (1455 West 29th) is right down the way with a stunning selection of arrangements.
Running on E? Grab a chili cheese dog at the Old Fashioned Hot Dog Inn (4008 Lorain Ave.) before calling it a day.
Find even more shopping options at ohiocity.org.
Since 2008, the CLE Clothing Co. (342 Euclid Ave.) has been making folks look good with a line of snazzy shirts, hoodies, hats, and a whole lot more. Locals and visitors alike get a kick out of the cheeky designs — "Cleveland's not that bad ... Have a beer!" or "Don't hassle me, I'm from Cleveland"— as well as Cleveland sports collections with gear for every tragic season.
The historic 5th Street Arcade (530 Euclid Ave.) has been a destination for shoppers since the 1890s, offering indoor access to a variety of local shops — from jewelry and apparel to shoe repair and tea stores — as well as an upclose look at some stunning Romanesque architecture.
The Cleveland Store (230 West Huron Rd.) in Tower City is your place for Clevelandly things like shirts, mugs and artwork, and the Cavaliers Team Shop (Quicken Loans Arena) is, of course, your destination for all things Cavs-related. We're fans of the new navy Cleveland Basketball ClimaLITE tee now available for $32.
Refuel at Colossal Cupcakes (528 Euclid Ave.) where desserts are just as large and decadent as the name implies.
YellowCake Shop (6500 Detroit Ave.), owned by Project Runway's season eight contestant Valerie Mayen, is probably one of Gordon Square's better-known retail outlets, and we're certainly fans of her inventory of classy, contemporary designs.
But equally exciting is The Cleveland Shop (6511 Detroit Ave.), across the street from Mayen's boutique. Here, folks who don't mind perusing the racks can emerge with one-of-a-kind vintage finds — a bedazzled 1920s flapper dress, anyone? — which shoppers can rent or buy depending on their needs (or wants; we're not here to judge).
Retropolitan (6516 Detroit Ave.) has shoppers covered in domestics, with an eclectic collection of vintage home goods and funky fixtures like those bright Brunswick bowling chairs and sleek oak desks your grammy used to have.
Blazing Saddle Cycle (7427 Detroit Ave.) has boatloads of gadgets and gizmos for the cycling enthusiast, plus offers repairs and restorations if your wheels need work. Guide to Kulchur bookstore and co-op (1386 West 65th St.) carries hundreds of print zines, small-press publications and a hearty selection of new and used books. Hausfrau Record Shop (1388 West 65th St.) offeres a hodgepodge of new and used records for the casual music junkie. Do visit them all.
Round out the day at Sweet Moses (6800 Detroit Ave.) with a chocolate malt, whipped cream, and a maraschino cherry.
Discover even more at gordonsquare.org.
Visit the North Union Farmers Market on Shaker Square every Saturday morning, April through December; from January to March, the action moves indoors to 13111 Shaker Square, #301. Vendors change weekly, but shoppers are sure to find the regular staples: produce, pastries, and pottery, regardless of when they visit.
Stop by Cosmic Bobbins (13226 Shaker Square), a family owned and operated retail boutique specializing in upcycled fashions and the work of more than 50 local artists. Another reason to visit? The Cosmic Bobbins team offers sewing, knitting and crafting lessons so you can finally learn how to make that cable-knit scarf you've been promising your sis for all these years.
Round out the day with a visit to Dewey's Popcorn Shop (13201 Shaker Square) for a bag of delectable kettle corn, before catching an afternoon flick at Shaker Square Cinemas (13116 Shaker Square).
Find more at www.shakersquare.net.