The Gift Guide: Cincinnati’s Favorite Boutiques Where You Can Shop Local This Holiday Season

Shop local this holiday season with CityBeat's Gift Guide.

Nov 16, 2022 at 5:01 am
click to enlarge Fern is a green oasis for plant lovers and design enthusiasts with a wide selection of houseplants to choose from, including air plants, ferns, hoyas and cacti, along with everything you need to take care of them in style. - Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Fern is a green oasis for plant lovers and design enthusiasts with a wide selection of houseplants to choose from, including air plants, ferns, hoyas and cacti, along with everything you need to take care of them in style.

The winter holiday season is quickly approaching, and with it begins the mad rush to get the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Finding unique and tailor-made items is a time-consuming and stress-inducing task – but it doesn't have to be.

Skip the online shopping and instead take this time to explore and embrace the holidays by shopping in the Queen City with our gift guide. Here, you’ll find 30 local businesses voted the “best” by readers in CityBeat's 2022 Best Of Cincinnati issue, from the best gift shop and best overall boutique to the best record store and best jeweler.

So whether you're shopping for a comic book-loving friend, an art-loving partner or a fashion-savvy sibling, you're sure to find unique and thoughtful gifts. 

Adrian Durban Florist
For almost 125 years, the multi-generational, family-run Adrian Durban Florist  has been providing beautiful bouquets, floral arrangements and houseplants to the Greater Cincinnati community. Started in 1899 by George Durban, a gardener for a wealthy Clifton family, the shop now has three locations and hand-builds its colorful creations from a daily delivery of farm-fresh flowers. If you’re bored by blooms, they also build gift baskets such as a Taste of Cincinnati box with Skyline Chili, LaRosa’s tomato sauce and Grippo’s chips, or one filled with local craft beer. 3401 Clifton Ave., Clifton and 6941 Cornell Road, Blue Ash,

Aglamesis Bro’s
Aglamesis Bro’s was founded in 1908 by Greek immigrants and brothers Thomas and Nicholas Aglamesis, and it is still operated by their descendants today. Specializing in ice cream, Italian ice and gourmet chocolate made from self-described “Old World recipes” and traditional techniques, its candies are extremely giftable. For a sweet sampler full of decadent flavor and texture, choose an assortment that includes creams, fruits and nuts covered in milk or dark chocolate, or opt for seasonally themed, foil-wrapped gold coins, stars, bells or Santas. 3046 Madison Road, Oakley; 9899 Montgomery Road, Montgomery,

BlaCk OWned Outerwear
BlaCk OWned Outerwear offers a mix of men's, women's and kids' clothing and accessories, including colorful T-shirts, comfy-yet-stylish sweatshirts and a plethora of hats in baseball to bucket styles. Shop owner Means Cameron says the goal of the brand is to “promote Black ownership, while challenging societal inequities through our garments and storytelling,” per the website. Each piece is designed with the company's name as a focal point to keep spreading its mission. Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval, several Cincinnati Bengals players and plenty of other local celebs have been sporting the shop’s wares. 822 Elm St., Downtown,

Cincinnati Art Museum
The Cincinnati Art Museum is home to thousands of works of art spanning centuries and cultures, but it's also home to a cozy gift shop filled with goodies and trinkets. You'll find prints, bags, shirts, puzzles and ornaments of some of the museum's most famous pieces, as well as books and merchandise from current and past exhibitions and general art history. A selection of creative home decor, Charley Harper tiles and CAM-branded items lets you bring a bit of the museum home with you. 953 Eden Park Dr., Mt. Adams,

Cincinnati Museum Center
The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal is one of Cincinnati's most admired gems, filled with exhibits dedicated to history, science and wonder – but if you haven't checked out the gift shop, you're missing out. This shop is filled with items that will delight both kids and adults, spanning from science-based STEM kits and unique Cincinnati history ephemera to space-themed jewelry. Nicole Koenig, retail operations manager, tells CityBeat the CMC gift shop is unique because it's constantly changing. "We are consistently looking at new, fresh ideas to offer our guests," she says. "We buy from local and national vendors, so it's a good mix of what makes Cincinnati Museum Center and Union Terminal special.” 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate,

Cincy Shirts
Spread hometown pride far and wide with a gift from locally owned Cincy Shirts. At all three locations, grab printed T-shirts with everyone’s favorite hippos Fritz and Fiona, fierce Bengals sweatshirts, and fresh FC Cincinnati gear. You’ll also find a medley of Skyline-themed stickers, nods to local pop culture and a selection of Cincinnati-themed hats to represent the city in style. Many of the items come in both adult and children’s sizes, and if they don’t have a size in stock, they can print the shirt on site for you to pick up later. 1301 Main St., Over-the-Rhine; 2709 Observatory Ave., Hyde Park; 2501 Dixie Highway, Ft. Mitchell,

Creative House of Art & Design
Creative House of Art & Design offers items for those who enjoy collecting art or making their own. Browse laser-cut buttons with a slew of cute characters, like Pikachu, Baby Yoda and Stitch, along with quirky earrings featuring intricate designs. If you’ve got an RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg) fan in your life, make sure to check out the shop’s coasters honoring the legend. For those looking instead for experiences over material goods, gift someone a workshop or schedule a paint party and invite all of your friends. 609 Main St., Covington,

The Daily Vintage
Reduce, reuse and recycle with a splash of time travel at the Daily Vintage. The store’s stock is constantly updated with stylish vintage finds, including retro Cincinnati sports apparel like classic Bengals, Reds and UC sweatshirts and shirts, along with fantastic ’80s and ’90s pop-culture throwbacks. It also has timeless hats, purses, accessories and clothes for every season that are both fashionable and sustainable. Check out its Instagram page for the most up-to-date options, or just make an impromptu stop in the store — you never know what you'll find. 1810 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine,

click to enlarge Everybody’s Records - Photo:
Everybody’s Records

Everybody's Records
With an expansive collection of new and used records, the independent Everybody’s Records has impressed music fans in the Cincinnati area for more than 40 years. Peruse the wide selection of vinyl covering genres from rock, pop and reggae to jazz, rap and country, plus find albums by local acts. Leave time to browse the CDs and cassettes to reveal long-lost favorite tunes you grew up listening to. Not only is this shop jam-packed with music, but you'll also find band T-shirts and custom Everybody’s pieces. 6106 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge,

Fern is a green oasis for plant lovers and design enthusiasts with a wide selection of houseplants to choose from, including air plants, ferns, hoyas and cacti, along with everything you need to take care of them in style. Its two locations are filled with all the tools you need to keep plants flourishing, from watering cans, natural plant food and propagation tools to modern and chic planters. Don't forget to check out their stationery, coffee table books and home decor products for the perfect finishing touch for a well-accessorized home. 6040 Hamilton Ave., College Hill; 737 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills,

Fleurish Home
Fleurish Home has a little bit of everything all in one spot, from home decor and kids’ toys to apothecary items and trendy women's clothing. For those who love to entertain, there are coasters, cutting boards, towel holders, wooden spoons and decorated napkins. For the style-centric, there’s jewelry, handbags, scarves and eyewear collections. And for interior design fans, check out the pillows, throws and seasonal decorations. 135 Main St., Hamilton; 110 S. Second St., Suite B, Loveland,

Whether you're shopping for a loyal UC Bearcat, dedicated OSU Buckeye or die-hard Xavier Muskie, HOMAGE has the gear to represent their favorite Ohio team, plus duds dedicated to the Bengals, Reds and FC Cincinnati. You'll also find super-soft shirts, sweatshirts and hats repping Cincinnati classics, like Uncle Woody's, Skyline, Little Kings and Kings Island, all designed in a vintage style. Not a sports fan? HOMAGE also sells clothing with pop culture references from classic ’80s movies to shows like The Office. 1232 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine,

Hustler Hollywood
If you’re opting for naughty over nice this holiday, Hustler Hollywood is a one-stop-shop for erotic gift-giving, with a selection ranging from sex toys and adult books to lube, X-rated lingerie and BDSM kits. The store caters to every type of person in a self-described “judgment-free zone governed by knowledgeable and unbiased staff.” So feel free to shop for kinky costumes, playful pleasures or educational items without blushing. 18 E. Seventh St., Downtown; 411 Elm St., Downtown,

I Love Cincinnati Shop
The I Love Cincinnati Shop is for those who can't help but share their love for the Queen City with all of their family and friends. As the name suggests, you'll find T-shirts, mugs, hats, keychains and drinkware focused on our city's greatness. There are countless apparel options for local college and professional sports teams, shirts honoring cuisine like the legendary 3-Way, and wood cutting boards and ornaments featuring the Cincinnati skyline. 441 Vine St., Second Floor, Downtown,

indigenous craft gallery
indigenous craft gallery offers a mix of handcrafted products, from jewelry and pottery to prints, ornaments and stained glass, with many made by local and regional artists. Owner Diane Christian-Budd says her store’s selection — with unique pieces in media like wood, metal and fiber — and energy set it apart. “[It’s a] relaxed environment with wonderful natural light to show off the beauty, color and variety of our handmade works,” she says. “Plus, we have a gallery cat named Junipurr, who is always available for soft pets.” 1609 Madison Road, East Walnut Hills,

Joseph-Beth Booksellers
At Joseph-Beth, you'll find a book (or two) for anyone on your list, whether they’re into mystery, romance, biographies, cooking or anything in between. The kids’ section boasts hundreds of titles for ages ranging from newborn to middle school. While getting sucked into a good book is easy, the shop also has a gift section on the first floor with locally made goods and treats, home decor, fashion accessories and stationery. 2692 Madison Road, Norwood,

Kentucky Botanical Co.
Kentucky Botanical Co. sells a variety of Kentucky-grown hemp products, all free from unnatural flavors and preservatives. Some items include CBD tinctures, gummies, capsules and a mixture of topical creams and personal care products, like bath soaks, salves and cooling pain relief lotion. “We offer a selection of products that we are passionate about to start a conversation and ignite an interest in everyone who walks in the door,” says owner Christain Watt. “From the owners to our associates, we bring knowledge and passion for the products that we carry to every interaction.” 406 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue,

King Arthur's Court
King Arthur’s Court is a whimsical and nostalgic toy store. The open-concept store’s shelves are filled with dolls, building blocks, cars and gadgets. There's a section dedicated to books, puzzles and board games, and the shop has a vast number of craft and STEM kits to keep kiddos learning while having fun. While the toys on the main floor are mesmerizing, kids also can climb and swing in the dungeon-themed play area in the renovated basement. Bonus: King Arthur’s Court offers complimentary gift wrapping with each purchase. 3040 Madison Road, Oakley,

Kismet is an eclectic shop with two locations selling unique clothing and baubles with a boho lean. Catering to free spirits, Kismet’s selection of chunky knits, printed dresses and cute hats is complemented by a treasure trove of globally inspired jewelry, tarot cards, crystals, candles, journals and tons of zodiac-themed accessories. 1233 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine; 2037 Madison Road, O'Bryonville,

Knickers of Hyde Park
Knickers of Hyde Park specializes in beautiful intimates and undergarments. Associates are at the ready to guide shoppers through the store’s selection of top brands, including Panache and Chantelle, and to provide the best fit possible for all body shapes and sizes. Browse an assortment of elegant lingerie pieces, including baby doll-style and teddy pieces, or shop for soft and cozy loungewear like plush robes, silky pajama sets and fluffy slippers. 2726 Erie Ave., Hyde Park,

Metallic Giraffe
Metallic Giraffe sells gifts and apparel made by a mix of local vendors and specialty retailers. This boutique offers home decor and kitchen items, including cookware, seasonal door signs, kitchen towels and painted wine glasses. There's also a collection of Simply Southern T-shirts and stylish apparel to represent your favorite Cincy sports teams, plus scented body care products and candles. 2034 Anderson Ferry Road, Western Hills,

MiCA 12/v
MiCA 12/v offers a curated collection of items made by local artists, indie makers and small design lines. Explore its inventory of home decor and kitchenware, including fine ceramics and vibrant handmade glassware. The store also offers unique prints and paintings, vegan-leather handbags, cute kids items and fun finds, like handmade glass nightlights featuring various celebrities. “Our particular selection of items usually resonates with people who love art and design, with a tiny bit of quirkiness,” says owner Carolyn Deininger. MiCA also offers free gift wrapping with each purchase and complimentary delivery within the I-275 loop. 1201 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine,

The Native Brand
Inside the Native Brand store, walls are lined with screen-printed T-shirts and sweatshirts, brandishing the company's name or promoting Cincy's hometown spirit, with designs dedicated to Pete Rose, Joe Burrow and Harambe. Each shirt is made using a remarkably soft fabric that'll keep the wearer feeling comfy and cozy all day long. Don't forget to check out the various colored beanies and snapback hats with the word “Native” and the area code “513” on them. 1 Levee Way, Newport,

Puzzle Pieces A Sensory Sensation
Puzzle Pieces is a sensory-friendly children’s store offering a selection of toys, plushes, fidgets and more for those with autism and special needs. The store provides a unique experience for kids by allowing them to test almost all the toys in stock before buying. “What makes us unique is our store design,” says owner and creator of Puzzle Pieces, Holly Young. “We have a sensory room on-site, plus a play area for the kids — rock climbing wall, playhouse, sand play area and more.” 11912 Montgomery Road, Mason,

click to enlarge Queen City Alchemy - Photo: Maija Zummo
Photo: Maija Zummo
Queen City Alchemy

Queen City Alchemy
Crystals, candles, and self-care galore — you'll find them all and more at Queen City Alchemy, located across from Findlay Market. Take time to discover the collection of handmade face and body products, including creams, natural deodorants, bath salts, face masks, toners and cleansers, all in various floral and woodsy scents. Tables in the center of the shop are filled with an assortment of crystals, each accompanied by a notecard describing the stone’s special abilities. 1808 Race St., Over-the-Rhine,

Queen City Comic & Card Company
Queen City Comic & Card Company boasts the self-proclaimed largest selection of new and back-issue comic books and graphic novels in Cincinnati, with titles from Archie, Marvel, Disney, DC Comics and beyond. The shop also sells a collection of superhero T-shirts, baseball and gaming cards, Disney park pins and action figures. If you're not sure what to get, the staff is happy to help. "Our customer experience is different because we try to help each customer find what they're looking for or offer suggestions if they're not sure what they want," says owner Geoff Hoffman. 6101 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge; 6600 Dixie Highway, Suite V, Fairfield,

Richter & Phillips
Since 1896, Richter & Phillips has been one of the city’s top spots to find — and repair — jewelry, watches and diamonds, including custom and estate pieces. The family-run shop is helmed by Gemological Institute of America Graduate Gemologists and located in an Art Deco building downtown, complete with its own bank-vault-turned-speakeasy lounge. Offering everything from rings and bracelets to necklaces and cufflinks in a range of price points, staff will help you pick out the perfect present, whether that’s a show-stopping engagement ring, timeless Rolex or pretty pendant for everyday wear. 601 Main St., Downtown,

Rose & Remington
Rose & Remington is a locally spawned and family-owned chain dedicated to providing “empowering and affordable fashion for both mom and daughter,” per its website. With a base in Lebanon and locations spread throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and West Virginia, the lifestyle brand specializes in flowy dresses, elegant tops and cozy cardigans. It also carries stylish athleisure wear — leggings, joggers and pullovers — and jewelry and accessories, like headbands and scrunchies. 7875 Montgomery Road, Kenwood; 454 Ohio Pike, Beechmont; 3657 Stone Creek Blvd., Colerain; 9275 Governors Way, Fields Ertel; 7562 Bales St., Liberty Township; 454 Ohio Pike, Beechmont; 35 E Main St. Lebanon,

Ten Thousand Villages
This nonprofit shop features ethically sourced fair-trade goods from around the world, all made by artisans in underserved communities. You'll find handmade personal care items like vegan soaps and woodblock-printed robes, as well as a wide selection of home goods and decor, from hand-woven pillow covers and rugs to ceramic sake sets and recycled iron wind chimes. A self-described “global maker-to-market movement,” each purchase celebrates sustainability and directly supports artisans and their communities. 2011 Madison Road, O'Bryonville; 11316 Montgomery Road, Harper’s Point,

The Village Junction
Located in Montgomery, the Village Junction is a locally owned shop filled with a curated collection of thoughtful items, including apparel, bags, candles, home decor and more. This welcoming shop is the ideal spot to stop, especially if you’re unsure what gifts to get. “Our number one focus is our customers,” says owner Lisa Tepe. “The Village Junction is a small woman-owned business, and we thrive because of our loyal customers. We assist customers with picking the perfect gift or outfit that makes them feel confident.” 10827 Montgomery Road, Montgomery,

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