11 of the Best Shops in the CLE for Last-Minute Christmas Gifts

Thursday, December 21, 2017


It's that time of year: Time for last-minute gift-buyers to panic! My fellow Clevelanders, you've got lots of options that aren't Target or the mall or picking up a gift card from CVS (though I do love me a good old-fashioned gift card). You may be cutting it close, but that doesn't mean you can't shop small. Here are a few of my favorite local shops, all open this weekend before Christmas's arrival. 

1. Banyan Tree

By now, every Cleveland gal knows of Banyan Tree, repeatedly voted the city's best boutique on various such lists. From on-trend clothing to quirky accessories to lifestyle & homegoods (think lots of CLE-themed bar items!), Banyan Tree is a one-stop shop for any lady on your list. With three locations, there's probably one pretty nearby, too. (2242 Professor Ave., Tremont, open Fri./Sat. 10am -9pm, & Sun. 11am-5pm | 162 Main St., Westlake, open Fri./Sat. 10am-9pm & Sun. 11am-6pm 24677 Cedar Rd., Lyndhurst, open Fri./Sat. 10am-9pm & Sun. 11am-5pm)

2. Big Fun

Haven't yet shopped for the kid on your list... or the kid-at-heart on your list? Big Fun is the spot to shop, stuffed with modern-day toys & vintage gems alike. You'll find every action figure imaginable, giant Star Wars characters, old issues of Disney Adventures magazines, joke items & penny candies, pretty paper goods, & basically anything & everything in between. Needless to say, shopping at Big Fun is, well, big fun. (1814 Coventry Rd., Coventry, open Fri./Sat. 11am-10pm & Sun. 11am-8pm)


3. City Buddha

If you're looking for candles, crystals, beaded jewelry, wall hangings, scarves, & the like, City Buddha is the place to try. This spacious East Side store is jewel-toned & incense-scented, & as its name suggests, it specializes in items with an Asian flair. prices range from low to high, so you're bound to find something within your gift-giving price range. (1807 Coventry Rd., Coventry, open Fri./Sat. 11am-9pm & Sun. 11am-7pm) 


4. Evie Lou

Whether you're shopping for your mom, your wife, or your best friend, you're likely to find something for her within this surprisingly expansive boutique with locations on both the East & West sides. They're primarily a clothing boutique specializing in upscale but comfortable, wearable clothing (think aspiring Stevie Nicks types), but they also carry a variety of jewelry & accessories, too. (2509 Professor Ave., Tremont, open Fri./Sat. 11am-8pm, & Sun.12-4pm | 20075 Chagrin Blvd., Shaker Heights, open Fri./Sat. 10:30am-6:30pm & Sun.12-4pm)

5. Intro Boutique

This shop in the 5th Street Arcades has been open just over a year, & while the space isn't very big, they're making great use of it with a curated selection of clothing, candles, accessories, & homegoods, all at surprisingly affordable prices. Think Francesca's bit with a more minimalist, less corporate vibe. And it's owned by a friend of a friend! (530 Euclid Ave #34, Downtown, open Fri./Sat. 10am-6pm & Sun. 10am-4pm)

6. Lilly Handmade Chocolates

Perfect last-minute gifts: chocolate, beer, wine. Lilly has all three... & more. From truffles to bars to bark, they've got tons of varieties of couture chocolate to choose from (sugared plums for me, please!), & they can help you pair it with the perfect craft beer or fine wine for a classy, delicious gift that definitely doesn't look last-minute. (761 Starkweather Ave., Tremont, open Fri./Sat. 12-10pm; closed Sunday)

7. Lovely Paperie & Gifts

For all things paper-related (& paper-related-adjacent, like pens, tumblers, totes, & other such knick-knacks), Lovely Paperie is the best place in town. It's bright & beautiful, with high-quality curation at mostly-very-affordable prices. They also sell some of those go-to gift brands your older sister & your aunt love, like Vera Bradley & Nora Fleming. (19315 Detroit Rd., Rocky River, open Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 10am-5pm, closed Sunday)

8. OcĂ©anne Jewelry

I've written before about my love of this local jewelry artist originally form France. Her work is both classic & trendy at the same time, in familiar shapes & styles but always with a very of-the-moment vibe. Expect pieces that are primarily gold-toned in varying price points, plus lots of other fun, giftable goodies that make her new storefront more than just a jewelry shop. (6515 Detroit Rd., Gordon Square, open Fri,/Sat., 11am-8pm, & Sun. 12-5pm)

9. Room Service

This shop is freaking beautiful, & it's as much a work of art as the items within it, regularly redesigned to be not just a shopping trip but an experience. From statement watches to baby clothes to their "French pantry" collection, this husband-&-wife owned boutique is full of the unexpected, the unusual, & the unique. (2078 W. 25th St., Ohio City, open Fri. 11am-7pm, Sat. 11am-8pm, & Sun, 11am-6pm)


10. Visible Voice Books

I love me a good independent bookstore, & while Cleveland has a few great ones, I'm partial to the one on the street where I live. It reopened just this summer after a few years off, & its beautiful new space is modern & cozy at the same time. They sell both new & used books (& buy the latter), & if they don't have it in stock, they can order it for you - though probably not in time for Christmas! (2258 Professor Ave., Tremont, open Fri., 12-10pm, Sat., 11am-10pm, & Sun. 11am-5pm) 

11. Wild Cactus Boutique

This newish Ohio City shop features both new & vintage pieces that scream Free-People-meets-Pacific-Northwest-in-the-'90s. This is where you go to snag a Christmas gift for your coolest friend... or yourself, once you're thoroughly exhausted from shopping for everyone else. (2138 W. 25th St., Ohio City, open Fri./Sat. 11am-6pm & Sun. 11am-5pm)

Am I missing any of your favorites? Leave a comment & let me know where you'll be grabbing your last-minute gifts from this weekend. And merry Christmas!

Images from: @introboutique@wildcactus_boutique; &  @oceannejewelry

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