Shop Local in the Lou

Books make a great gift, especially if they're from your local independent bookstore.
Books make a great gift, especially if they're from your local independent bookstore.

It is the season of buying. Doorbusters. Gift Guides. Cyber Monday. Black Friday. You're going to be spending money, so before you give it all to Amazon, it is worth looking around St. Louis.

Luckily, there are endless options for the delicious, the stylish and the unique. We've got a few recommendations that will get you started and keep you out of the pileup in the Instapot aisle of the big box store.


Dictate Never Accept (1311 Washington Avenue, 314-669-9852) specializes in men's fashion, particularly streetwear, curated by the prescient eye of DNA co-owner Nathaniel Brown III. None of it is cheap, which goes for the price but also the quality. The stock, which changes frequently, recently included luxury hoodies from Rhude and Billionaire Boys Club, Ksubi jeans and the boutique's own line of St. Louis-themed hats.

Bonus pick: STL Style (3159 Cherokee Street, 314-898-0001)


Online shopping has killed its shared of small businesses, but the in-person experience of a bookstore remains irreplaceable. You can't go wrong with Left Bank Books (399 North Euclid Avenue, 314-367-6731), the Riverfront Times' 2019 pick for "Best Bookstore." Not only does the 50-year-old shop showcase writers from the cultural margins, it is responsible for coordinating some of the best author events in the city.

Bonus pick: Subterranean Books (6275 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-862-6100).


Siblings Justin Harris and Ryan Griffin couldn't find the kind of beer store that they wanted in St. Louis, so they opened their own. Saint Louis Hop Shop (2600 Cherokee Street, 314-261-4011) carries that passion forward into an impressive selection of local brands. There is also an in-house bar, making the shopping season a little more palatable.

Bonus pick: Intoxicology (4321 Manchester Avenue, 314-833-3088).


Missouri winters can be a little bleak, so gifting a small reminder that the earth will thaw again and color will replace gray is not a bad idea. Flowers and Weeds (3201 Cherokee Street, 314-776-2887) is a solid place to start. Make sure to catch its annual winter bazaar from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on December 7.

Bonus pick: Bowood Farms (4605 Olive Street, 314-454-6868).

The Unexpected

If you're stumped for gift ideas, trust in the taste-makers at Urban Matter (3179 South Grand Boulevard, 314-456-6941). The shop has a little of everything: furniture, clothes, jewelry, notebooks and drink mixes, to name just a few items. And it has even more space since moving to into a corner spot on South Grand from the Dutchtown neighborhood.

Bonus pick: ReFab STL (3130 Gravois Avenue, 314-357-1392).