The Best Places to Shop in Downtown Raleigh, N.C.
Wednesday, September 07, 2022, 10am by visitRaleigh
The downtown Raleigh, N.C., shopping scene is quite the impressive one. With unique boutiques and stores galore, there is no shortage of adorable and affordable souvenirs, trendy and timeless clothing, funky and fancy gifts! Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone, a souvenir that just screams “Raleigh!” or a new outfit to splurge on for your next night on the town, exploring the streets of downtown Raleigh is a shopper’s paradise.
Clothing and accessories
Edge of Urge is an artsy shop and maker incubator that prides itself on diversity, authenticity and relationships with independent and small designers. Dolly Parton earrings, baby shoes, eccentric mugs and bourbon candles are just a few of the amusing items that grace the shelves.
Just across the street, Edge of Urge's newest concept, Unlikely Professionals, is a mix of clothing, shoes and vintage items—trending towards men but with goodies for everyone—plus a beer and wine bar to top things off.
For an authentic Raleigh experience, head to Raleigh Denim Workshop and Curatory in the Warehouse District where passionate minds Sarah Yarborough and Victor Lytvinenko create one-of-a-kind, high-quality pieces. You just might walk out with your next favorite pair of jeans.
This fashion-forward women's clothing line from Tanzanian native Lillian K. Danieli—opened in downtown Raleigh in fall 2021—specializes in melding modern styles with vibrant African fabrics (Nashona translates to "I sew" in Swahili). The phrase "made with love Tanzania" can be found across the tag of each piece, a callout to a loyal team of local Tanzanians, retailers and brand ambassadors that have been critical to the brand's success, and a nod to Danieli's home where a portion of all sales benefits the Shalom Orphanage in Karatu, Tanzania.
Nestled in the Warehouse District, you’ll find a treasure with lots of treasures inside. Father & Son Antiques carries the glorious scent of old books and exudes a homey feel with its furnishings and records, vintage clothing and accessories. Prepare to be greeted by their resident cat when you walk in!
Quercus Studio, the boutique and workshop of Lauren Ramirez, has become well-known for its gorgeous hand-crafted jewelry—including custom wedding and engagement rings! Be prepared to walk away with more bling and bedazzle than when you arrived.
For affordable finds, look no further than Revolver Consignment Boutique, where high-quality apparel from vintage to designer begs to be modeled. Local tip: You can also consign your clothes for cash, or even better, a discount on other items in the store.
With clothing from the 1920s onward, Raleigh Vintage is a trendy and easy-going fashion studio where shoppers can experiment with their style and boldly cross over into other decades.
Ealdwine, an upscale men’s store, opened in downtown Raleigh in 2019. Along with the countless brands of men’s clothing and luxurious leather goods, they also sell nearly 50 separate styles of Alden shoes in-store—seven of which are unique to the Raleigh area.
Now sporting a brand new storefront and studio space at 517 W. Cabarrus St., Designed for Joy supports transitional living wage jobs for women in vulnerable situations by selling gorgeous accessories and purses, created by the very women they support.
The Green Monkey is a unique gift shop and bar that sells souvenirs, jewelry and clothing by local artists. Enjoy a craft beer or some wine while you shop, or just hang out at the bar. The Green Monkey's mission is to make shopping fun and makes sure everyone leaves a little happier than when they arrived.
Emily Gray's Flourish Market got its beginnings as a boutique on wheels, and now--from a 3,500-square-foot retail space--partners with more than 200 brands from all over the world with a mission to drive positive social change. You'll find exquisite jewelry, clothing and other adorable décor items. Flourish not only works to provide an incredible experience for customers locally but to inspire artisans and spread dignity in vulnerable communities globally.
Green and glamourous, the ZEN Succulent offers unique gifts for customers with a true green thumb and those who just like a little nature sprinkled throughout their home. Stop in for one of their workshops as well, including a DIY Terrarium Bar class.
A staple in the downtown community, Pam Blondin's DECO operates as a gift shop and gallery with merchandise made by more than 75 local artisans and artists. They also have a great kids section with cute books, puzzles and toys and an entire section of Raleigh-related items.
Food and drink
As N.C.’s first cocktail bitters company, Crude was founded in 2012 and excels in cocktail bitters and shrub syrup. On weekends, visit The Bittery, their cocktail supply shop and soda fountain or attend one of their monthly cocktail classes at the shop!
Videri Chocolate Factory, a chocolate haven, sweetens Raleigh's booming Warehouse District. Take a self-guided tour of the factory floor and witness the magic of chocolate-making. Don’t forget to sample or take some home for later!
Whether it’s a stop along the way or the only stop of the day, leaving Escazú without a sweet treat is nearly impossible. Boasting their bean to bar chocolate, original ice cream flavors and hot chocolate bar for the cooler months, Escazú has been a sweet staple of the downtown community for more than a decade now.
Music, art, books and more
A little gem for new and used vinyl, The Record Krate offers an enviable and well-organized selection of rock, jazz, punk, funk, classic country, new wave, '90s and more in the Glenwood South district. You can also find cassettes, old-school video games, movies, CDs, speakers and turntables along with one-of-a-kind vintage tees and stickers. Before heading over, bone up on their recent arrivals by checking their Facebook page.
The Glenwood South district is also home to Sound Off Records & Hi-Fi. Not only can vinyl enthusiasts sell and buy used records here, but also a wide range of vintage audio equipment. The shop even offers vinyl cleaning and repair services. Local tip: Sound Off resides in the basement of the Carter Building, but there’s a side entrance through the red door at the end of the driveway.
Sorry State Records is anything but sorry. With thousands of records and the best selection of DIY punk and hardcore vinyl in the world, this brick-and-mortar record shop provides the music you love and helps you discover great new music as well.
Game Theory is a game store specializing in board games, role-playing games, card games and more. Plus, they host numerous events—including league play, tournaments and weekly game nights. Local tip: Game Theory’s downtown Raleigh location has rooms available for reservation.
When shopping in downtown Raleigh, we can’t forget about our four-legged furry friends. Unleashed at City Market is a locally owned and operated pet store with treats, toys and more for cats and dogs. In addition to pet products, they also offer services such as dog washing (appointments encouraged!), nutritional consultations and meeting spaces.
Your favorite Black-owned businesses in one awesome retail store in a great location in downtown Raleigh? Yes, yes and yes! CEO Johnny Hackett, Jr. turned his work with Black Dollar—an online directory of Black-owned businesses across the state—and turned in it into a brick and mortar store in Dec. 2020, carrying products from more than 50 entrepreneurs that include art, clothes and gift items like candles, mugs and the like, giving Black-owned businesses more exposure to more customers and bringing in more sales.
Located in the N. Person St. neighborhood, So & So Books is the place for bookworms to gather. Peruse its carefully selected books and enjoy book clubs and reading events throughout the year.
Kids are free to let their imaginations run wild at Read With Me, an adorable children’s book and art shop. With hand-picked, diverse books to browse, an inspiring art gallery and fun events from birthday parties to book fairs, spending time at Read With Me is a memorable experience for the young and the young at heart.
Note: Authored by David Menconi, this piece has been produced in partnership with Raleigh Arts. Menconi's latest book,... View More
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