A Guide to Holiday Shopping in Raleigh, N.C.
Friday, December 03, 2021, 2pm by visitRaleigh
With the holidays fast approaching, you may feel a bit panicky about getting your holiday shopping done. Relax, take a deep breath and dive into this helpful guide to curating the perfect shopping excursion in the City of Oaks.
Easy access to local shops, restaurants, museums and holiday decor make downtown Raleigh a no-brainer during the holiday season. You'll find two giant, decorated trees—in front of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and at the North Carolina State Capitol, which is going up soon and being lit Dec. 9 at the annual tree lighting ceremony!
Edge of Urge
Kick off your shopping spree at Edge of Urge, a men’s and women’s boutique specializing in handmade and independent designer clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories.
Videri Chocolate Factory
Excite the chocoholics in your life with a stop at Videri in Raleigh's trendy Warehouse District. It’s nearly impossible to leave this sweet shop empty-handed. Look out for their gift boxes!
For the craft brew aficionado on your list, make your way over to Tasty Beverage. They have an extensive selection of packaged beers plus draft beers for your consumption and subsequent enjoyment.
Ealdwine, an upscale men’s store, opened in downtown Raleigh in 2019. Shop countless brands of men’s clothing and luxurious leather goods. For gift ideas and stocking stuffers, a selection of unique socks, belts and wallets can go a long way.
42 & Lawrence
Speaking of coffee, why not stroll over to 42 & Lawrence to enjoy a great cup and snatch a couple bags of Larry’s Coffee? Larry’s Coffee is a Raleigh roasting company started by Larry Larson, who is as passionate about making extraordinary coffee as he is about making the world a better place to live.
For some major gift-giving inspiration, hop over to DECO Raleigh (pictured in header). This customer-centered gift shop and gallery from passionate mind Pam Blondin carries the work of more than 75 local artisans and makers. Shoppers regularly find unique, smart and eclectic gifts like apparel, jewelry, personal care/grooming products, ceramics, teas, stationery and more.
Raleigh Denim Workshop
For fashion-forward friends and family members, shop Raleigh Denim Workshop—the creation of passionate minds Sarah Yarborough and Victor Lytvinenko. The workshop/retail space is devoted to conscientiously producing small-batch, handmade jeans and clothing. Consider getting a gift card to make any style icon’s holiday brighter.
Green and glamourous, the ZEN Succulent offers unique holiday gifts for those with a true green thumb and those who just like a little nature sprinkled throughout their home.
House of Swank Clothing Company
While it may look like a plain brick building from the outside, inside you’ll find an explosion of color and creativity. House of Swank Clothing Company prides itself on fun and original designs, quirky N.C.-themed shirts and other must-have Raleigh swag.
Dog and cat lovers alike will adore you when you surprise them with a gift from Unleashed, the Dog & Cat Store. Located in City Market, this locally-owned and -operated store offers the best chews, treats, collars, leashes and toys around. Best part: everything is affordably priced to help give your wallet a rest.
Pour House Music Hall & Record Shop
In addition to being one of Raleigh’s favorite live music venues since 1997, The Pour House Music Hall also boasts a collection of both new and used vinyl records. Find something for the music lover on your list and enjoy an adult beverage from the full bar there as well.
One of our absolute favorite newer shops downtown, Anne's is a plant-based, bio-active skincare company offering up gift ideas like lip treatment sets for the winter, clay masks, soaps and more.
For more holiday shopping inspo, check out Downtown Raleigh Alliance's 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
After a successful day of shopping downtown, a scrumptious meal is a must. While there’s a ton of options to choose from, you can’t go wrong with any one of these spots:
When it comes to holiday shopping in West Raleigh, the Village District is the place to go. With more than 100 unique shops, cafes, restaurants and services stretched across six city blocks, shopping here is a real treat. Especially when whole place is decked out in holiday lights and decorations. And beyond the Village District, you should definitely explore some of the most local-favorite shops around.
Tin Roof Teas
Thrill any tea lover on your list with a gift from the Village District shop with the bright blue awning. Built on a family passion for tea and a commitment to bring the world’s finest teas and chocolates to North Carolina, Tin Roof stocks hundreds of premium teas and a range of tea accessories.
The Local Squirrel
Not far away is the Local Squirrel, a lifestyle boutique featuring jewelry, home accessories and other gifts. If you’re looking to shop local, this is the place to go as roughly 70% of the store’s goods are from local makers and small business owners. Be sure to check out the holiday décor on sale as well if your digs could use a little festive cheer.
Cheshire Cat Antique Gallery
The ideal present doesn’t need to be shiny or new. Go the antique route with a visit to the Cheshire Cat to find gifts that ooze vintage charm. This antique mall is a 25,000-square-foot shopper’s paradise of collectibles, furniture, art, jewelry, dishware and more.
Buying for fashionistas can be easy when you have knowledgeable experts on your side. At Kannon’s, you can trust the staff to help you find what you’re looking for and suggest apparel items you might not think of. Shop a selection of world-class clothing for both women and men.
Carolina Popcorn Shoppe
This locally-owned and -operated shop on Western Blvd. (not far from the Village District) has been making ultra-gourmet popcorn since 2000. One bite, and you’ll know you’ve experienced the best gourmet popcorn in the world! Buy a tin (or two) and spread a little cheer to those on your holiday gift list.
The Green Monkey
The Green Monkey’s mission is to make shopping fun, especially during the holidays. Visit this warm hug of a retail shop where everyone is welcome and the shelves are stocked with goodies from local artisans around Raleigh and N.C. The Green Monkey is also a craft brew bar, so go ahead and enjoy a brew while you browse.
If you’re looking to snag grub while shopping in West Raleigh, add one of these eateries to your itinerary:
- Benelux Coffee for locally roasted coffee and Belgian waffles
- Gonza Tacos y Tequila for delicious Mexican food
- My Way Tavern for traditional bar food and local beer
- David’s Dumpling and Noodle Bar for warm noodle soups and dumplings
- Tazza Kitchen for casual dining and beverages
- Trophy Brewing Company for craft brew and bites
Midtown boasts two major shopping hubs. North Hills is an eclectic mix of 130+ local shops, restaurants, world-class bars, spas and premier hotels. For the holidays, this shopping mecca truly lights up with festive décor and a 41-foot Christmas tree in The Commons. Farther south is Crabtree Valley Mall, an ever-popular, more traditional-feel mall that draws visitors from hours away year after year.
Quail Ridge Books
Brimming with books of every genre, Quail Ridge Books at North Hills features a wide range of incredible book-themed merchandise, including journals, scented candles, tons of calendars, bookish T-shirts and comfy socks and bookish art for the walls. You’ll also discover a generous selection of signed books that make perfect gifts for bibliophiles. Local tip: Check out their website for a list of available copies.
There are few holiday presents more unique or personal than that of gorgeous, customized stationery. At PaperBuzz, located right next door to Quail Ridge Books, you’ll find fresh, stylish stationery and other distinctive gifts including products from local artists and small businesses across the country.
North Hills shopping center also boasts a fair share of clothing boutiques. At Gena Chandler, discover the designer women’s clothing, outerwear and jewelry items that will surprise and delight anyone unwrapping them. What’s more, the collection is curated by two Raleigh natives who strive to fill the store with the season’s best pieces.
If there’s a well-dressed gentleman or two on your list, then check out Peter Millar. The store offers a wide range of casual sportswear, tailored dress apparel as well as luxury and performance golf attire. The focus here is as much on providing a customer-centric experience as it is on fashion.
Learning Express Gifts
With a huge selection of top toys and games, Learning Express Gifts is children’s gift buying at its absolute best. Locally-owned and -operated for 20 years, the toy store stocks popular brands from LEGO to Dolls to Pokemon. The right purchase here just might make you cooler than the man in the red suit.
With shopping bags filled with goodies, take a load off and enjoy a meal at any of these fine restaurants:
Even more shopping!
Venture out into city’s other areas and surrounding towns to discover even more great options for holiday shopping.
Shop for pet lovers (or pets of your own) at independent, locally owned pet supply store Phydeaux. You’ll find the best quality products (at reasonable prices) for dogs, cats, birds and other small animals.
Homewood Nursery and Garden Center
Giving to those with green thumbs or just looking to add to your holiday decorations? Try Homewood Nursery, where you can choose from a gorgeous selection of festive poinsettias and other holiday plants. If you get hungry, head over to nearby Sassool for some authentic Mediterranean/Lebanese cuisine.
Upcoming holiday shopping markets and events not to miss in Raleigh, N.C.
- Merry Moore Market, Dec. 10 and 11
- Holiday Punch Class, Dec. 11
- MAKRS Holiday Fest, Dec. 11
- Zebulon Winter Market, Dec. 11
- 50th Annual Historic Oakwood Candlelight Tour, Dec. 11-12
- Holiday Cheeseboard Class with Raleigh Cheesy, Dec. 16
- GingerBuild Houses & Hops: A 21+ Event, Dec. 17
- Carolina Ballet presents The Nutcracker, Dec. 17-24
- A Very Merry Cary Holiday Market, Dec. 18-19
- Holiday Wander Market at Oaklyn Springs Brewery, Dec. 19
- WRAL First Night Raleigh 2022, Dec. 31
- NYE 2022 International Spy Gala, Dec. 31
Header/DECO Raleigh photo: Joe Bruno
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