Best Shopping in Boston 2011

Children's

2011 Best Baby Gear

When it comes to guiding you through the bewildering array of diaper bags, baby carriers, and car seats out there, none of the other tot emporiums in town compares to...

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Children's

2011 Best Children's Bookstore

Will future generations see actual hold-in-your-hands books as curious, unidentifiable objects? Not if the scene at this Brookline Village gem is any indication. The area’s oldest independent children’s bookstore has...

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Children's

2011 Best Children's Clothing

This shop provides a variety of styles to fit a variety of budgets: Leather motorcycle jackets are perfect for the itsy-bitsy easy rider, while turquoise tutus will brighten a wannabe...

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Children's

2011 Best Toy Store

This locally grown stalwart earns our salute by appealing to kids and parents alike. Stocking time-honored brands like Alex, Gund, and Manhattan Toy at a variety of price points, Henry...

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General Shopping

2011 Best Art Supplies

Painting your next masterpiece starts here. Blick has a deep selection of everything you’ll need, plus folks behind the counter who are artists themselves—meaning they’ll be delighted to expound on...

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General Shopping

2011 Best Bike Shop

For its impressive size, central location, and huge inventory, Landry’s gets our vote. The staff has consistently serviced our two-wheelers well and quickly (as we’ve scooted around on Landry’s-issued loaners),...

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General Shopping

2011 Best Luggage

Globetrotters will have no problem finding the ideal traveling companion amid Leather World’s broad assortment of luggage from Hartmann, Vera Bradley, Victorinox, and other trusted names. Standing by to help...

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General Shopping

2011 Best Music, New

The Newbury Street flagship of this legendary local chain is stocking less music (and more knickknacks and novelty books) these days, and the fact that it constantly repositions its racks...

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General Shopping

2011 Best Ski Shop

East Coast Alpine, which made its Boston debut last fall, carries a truly comprehensive array of top-name snow-carving equipment, clothing, and accessories. Staffers, meanwhile, are adept at customizing your purchase...

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General Shopping

2011 Best Bookstore

A working fireplace and mismatched, well-worn furniture make the Andover look more like a private library than a retail store. The atmosphere at this 200-year-old spot (the second-oldest bookshop in...

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General Shopping

2011 Best Fragrances

The biggest names in the perfume biz (Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel) are fully represented on these gleaming counters, as are scores of cult lines (Creed, Jo Malone). But the fun...

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General Shopping

2011 Best Drugstore

Pick up everything you need and more at this third-generation, family-owned Cambridge institution. Competitive prices and a wide-ranging inventory (from hard-to-find medical equipment to organic soaps and lotions) make Skenderian...

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General Shopping

2011 Best Running Shop

Here road warriors can find the latest shoes; outerwear built to withstand the elements; and a multitude of accessories and performance-boosting extras. What puts Marathon out in front, however, is...

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General Shopping

2011 Best Sex Shop

When it comes to pleasure-seeking in Bostonian boudoirs, Good Vibrations knows that proper stimulation of the mind is the first step. That’s why this boutique prides itself on the expertise...

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General Shopping

2011 Best Watches

Watch specialist Tourneau’s cache of 100-plus elite brands is the world’s largest. Though not for the faint of checkbook—an average watch sells for thousands—Tourneau also offers the reasonably priced line...

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Houseware

2011 Best Home Theater

Whether you’re after an MTV Cribs-worthy home movie theater, a multiroom system that lets you watch in your bedroom and bath, or a 7.1-channel surround-sound setup, the audiophiles here will...

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Houseware

2011 Best Antiques

Okay, so 20th-century goods aren’t exactly antique. But if you’re simply seeking exquisite items with a storied past, you’ll find them at South Boston’s Machine Age, a 9,000-square-foot warehouselike store...

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Houseware

2011 Best Kitchen Appliances

A 20,000-square-foot space that stocks everything plus the kitchen sink: Sub-Zero fridges and Thermador stovetops, Maytag dish-washers, GE microwaves, and more. But the best part is that it’s not just...

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Houseware

2011 Best Bath and Body Products

There’s skin care, and then there’s skin-care shtick. Thankfully, lab coats and “cosmeceuticals” have no place at Fresh, which keeps our lips pucker-ready and our skin smooth and smelling divine....

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Houseware

2011 Best Kitchen Appliances

A 20,000-square-foot space that stocks everything plus the kitchen sink: Sub-Zero fridges and Thermador stovetops, Maytag dish-washers, GE microwaves, and more. But the best part is that it’s not just...

Winner

Houseware

2011 Best Bath and Body Products

There’s skin care, and then there’s skin-care shtick. Thankfully, lab coats and “cosmeceuticals” have no place at Fresh, which keeps our lips pucker-ready and our skin smooth and smelling divine....

Winner

Houseware

2011 Best Kitchen Design

A former project manager for a design-build company, Vickory is at home with interior architectur—she creates whole kitchens (from windows to molding to lighting) rather than plunking cabinetry willy-nilly into...

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Houseware

2011 Best Bedding

Frustrated that she couldn’t find bedding to satisfy her fierce aesthetic and quality standards, interior designer Eileen Patterson started her own custom line. The sheet sets, made with stratospheric-thread-count organic...

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Houseware

2011 Best Garden Supplies

Year after year, we appreciate Mahoney’s straightforward approach to gardening: Give us what we want (fertilizer, soil, a variety of hardy plants), and when summer sneaks up on us, we’re...

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Houseware

2011 Best Hardware Store

This 63-year-old landmark reminds us of a time before hardware superstores—no orange-aproned “sales associates” hawking vinyl siding while you search for a lockset. Petite and packed with everything from flowerpots,...

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Men's

2011 Best Men's Clothing, Sophisticated

Economic downturn bedamned. This boutique is still standing tall, thanks to a rocking inventory that keeps the well-heeled masses coming. Find handmade Chelsea boots by Albert Fasciani, a one-of-a-kind Imp...

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Men's

2011 Best Men's Shoes

This international label caters to footloose folks with sandals and canvas kicks while delighting strait-laced types with leather loafers and refined cap-toes worthy of a suit. The possibilities are as...

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Men's

2011 Best Accessories, Men's

Spared the ever-shifting trends that rule women’s fashion, men have the luxury of building their accessories wardrobe from time-honored staples. From leather belts to sunglasses to silk ties, the best...

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Women's

2011 Best Women's Clothing

With a résumé that includes stints at Louis and Serenella, Dresscode owner Amy Finegold has made the fashion rounds—and it shows. Renowned designers mingle with cult favorites like Chan Luu...

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Women's

2011 Best Jewelry, Artisan

Owner Paul Niski scours the globe for handmade jewelry that’s as beautifully crafted as it is just plain beautiful. Exotic leathers, carved bone, hammered metals, and precious stones unite to...

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Women's

2011 Best Jewelry, Vintage

This magpie’s nest in Beacon Hill is crammed with costume gewgaws and finer jewelry painstakingly culled from estate sales and individuals. As you scour the cornucopia of bangles, brooches, and...

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Women's

2011 Best Jewelry, Designer

Lux, Bond, and Green aren’t the only names dropped around here. Founded in 1898, this New England institution packs its cases with Mikimoto pearls, A. Jaffe wedding jewelry, and stylish...

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Women's

2011 Best Women's Clothing, Casual

Thanks to buyer Brittney Rothweiler’s eye for sophisticated yet street-inspired clothing, the Tannery comes off like something you’d stumble upon amid Milan’s fashion-filled back alleys. Pieces like J Brand wax-coated...

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Women's

2011 Best Jewelry, Designer

Lux, Bond, and Green aren’t the only names dropped around here. Founded in 1898, this New England institution packs its cases with Mikimoto pearls, A. Jaffe wedding jewelry, and stylish...

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Women's

2011 Best Makeup, Counter

At this Newbury Street boutique, even customers browsing for mere bronzer receive the same top-drawer service as those splurging on Chanel’s pricey threads. The cosmetics and fragrance area itself is...

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Women's

2011 Best Women's Shoes

A store’s shoe section cannot be judged by its stock of sky-high Manolos and red-soled Louboutins alon—though, to be sure, Barneys has plenty of those. No, what we need is...

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Women's

2011 Best Makeup, Selection

Though we’re not usually fans of national chains, Sephora’s credentials in this category are unimpeachable (as anyone who’s browsed its well-stocked shelves can attest). The store’s Pru outpost has an...

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Women's

2011 Best Fine Jewelry

Dorfman has occupied the highest-of-high-end niches for more than two generations, and under the leadership of executive director Gérard Riveron, it remains unrivaled in its collection of showstopping sparklers (think:...

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Women's

2011 Best Accessories, Women's

The smallish Stel’s proves that more is not always more. By showcasing only the most au courant of accessories—from statement-making jewelry to walk-on-the-wild-side shoes that nobody else in town has...

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Women's

2011 Best Designer, Women's

Drawing inspiration from art, culture, and global travel, Istanbul-born designer Nirva Derbekyan fills her eponymous line with flowing, feminine dresses and separates that feel utterly of the moment. Relaxed silhouettes...

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Women's

2011 Best Jewelry, Artisan

Owner Paul Niski scours the globe for handmade jewelry that’s as beautifully crafted as it is just plain beautiful. Exotic leathers, carved bone, hammered metals, and precious stones unite to...

Winner