Summer Escapes: Stick Around
Out-of-towners want a shopping experience that’s bona fide Boston? Steer them to these spendworthy streets.
SHAWMUT AVENUE Browse hip home décor boutiques like J.E.M. and Hudson — or pick up bold, geometric baubles from Michele Mercaldo Jewelry — on this tree-lined, brownstone-filled street in the South End. Polka Dog Bakery and Formaggio Kitchen are perfect places to stop: The former offers treats for pups (and is worth a visit even if yours is at home), while the latter has one of the most comprehensive selections of cheese and charcuterie in the city. Take Home: Taza’s salted-almond Chocolate Mexicano disk, $5.25, Formaggio Kitchen.
BRATTLE STREET This boutique-packed stretch in Harvard Square proves that bigger is not always better when it comes to shopping. Black Ink offers a whimsical selection of letterpress stationery and irreverent gifts, and Cardullo’s has been packed with gourmet dry goods, coffee, and chocolate since 1950. The Tannery stocks tried-and-true brands such as Hunter and Boston-based Timberland, while Passport proffers stylish designer duds and accessories from the likes of Vince, Hayden-Harnett, and Chan Luu. Take Home: Cards from Milton-based stationer Two Trick Pony, $4.50, Black Ink.
CHARLES STREET For an epic combo of historical scenery and boutique shopping, there’s nowhere better than Charles Street in Beacon Hill. Those with a penchant for used treasures can lose themselves at Antiques at 80 Charles and Upstairs Downstairs. Good meets in the middle, with unique luxuries like vintage jewelry and art. Moxie and Wish round out the spectrum with mod, contemporary women’s clothing, while Charles Street Supply, the city’s oldest hardware store, has something for the toolheads in tow. Take Home: Chart Metalworks’ Boston Harbor keychains, $135 each, Good.
— Anne Vickman