Best Gifts in Boston




You can’t help but smile at the fetching, affordable curios at this Somerville shop: stylish tumblers and flasks for beer lovers, Ex-Libris journals made from recycled books for stationery geeks,…Read More

2014 Best Gifts

Olives & Grace


In keeping with her whimsical shop’s slogan, “a curtsy to the makers,” owner Sofi Madison can tell you the tale behind each small-batch snack, bracelet, necktie, and bar of soap…Read More

2013 Best Gifts

Black Ink


This was a winner in our 2013 Best of Boston Readers’ Poll. See all the 2013 winners…Read More

2012 Best Gifts, West

Long’s Jewelers


Some jewelry stores know only engagement rings and wedding bands. Others have eyes just for luxury timepieces. Long’s is the rare shop that specializes in both, from custom-designed sparklers to…Read More

2012 Best Gifts

Gift at the Gardner


Unveiled as part of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s new wing in January, this shop’s jewelry, housewares, books, and children’s items are crafted by artists from all over the world….Read More

2011 Best Gifts

Simon Pearce


With artfully arranged pedestals of bowls, vases, and handcrafted housewares, Simon Pearce comes off more like an MFA gallery than a gift shop. These pieces, made by master potters and…Read More

2011 Best Gifts


North Adams

When you want to get a truly original gift for your best friend or the happy couple, this is the place to come. Run by two former art professors, Hudsons…Read More

2010 Best Gifts, For Kids

Stellabella Toys


Whether you’re the grandma seeking something educational or the free-spirited auntie who extols the virtues of dress-up, Stellabella has gifts sure to please you—and, er, the kids you’re shopping for….Read More

2010 Best Gifts, For Weddings



Sure, you could pick out a nice blender from the registry. But for a more original present, hit up Abodeon. The store’s vintage and modern furniture and home accessories will…Read More

2010 Best Gifts, For Him

The Boston Shaker


Most men appreciate a stiff one (we’re talking drinks, people). And most men enjoy impressing others with their knowledge of crafting a good stiff one (please). Adam Lantheaume’s recently expanded…Read More

2010 Best Gifts, For Her



When you’re looking to impress, skip the lame box of chocolates and head to Passport in Harvard Square. Inspired by her own adventures, owner Jessica Good’s collection of travel-ready clothing…Read More

2009 Best Gifts, West



In the overflowing box marked ‘Good Idea at the Time,’ you’ll find, along with DIY plumbing and getting bangs, plenty of gift-buying impulses gone wrong. Pewter-starfish-napkin-holder wrong. What you won’t…Read More

2009 Best Gifts, North

Peabody Essex Museum


Even if the proceeds didn’t benefit Asian-art mecca the Peabody Essex Museum, we’d still spend like drunken Qing-dynasty mandarins here. There are all-occasion gifts like Mariposa salad bowls alongside Far…Read More

2009 Best Gifts



A tightly focused inventory is all well and good for precision shoppers. For hapless procrastinators—the other 99 percent of us—less focus and more serendipity goes a long way, especially when…Read More

2009 Best Gifts, South

La Petite Maison


A baby boutique, home décor haven, and antiques shop rolled into one and tied with a fetching French bow, La Petite Maison spans gift-giving needs with élan. Highlights include luxury…Read More

2008 Best Gifts, Shower



Baby-lust-inducing clothing (Pixie Lily onesies, Trumpette ‘cowgirl boot’ socks) and accessories (Skip Hop diaper bags, Dwell crib sets) make this whimsical South End shop our favorite answer to big-box hegemony….Read More

2008 Best Gifts, Shower, Eco-Friendly


Jamaica Plain

Shopping for an earth-mother-to-be? Consider feel-good products that actually feel good—like the ones at three-year-old Hatched, whose soft cotton diapers, soothing all-natural lotions, and cloudlike merino wool blankets prove “environmentally…Read More

2007 Best Gifts



Owner Paul Niski culls the world for art and oddments seldom seen here in Boston, and consequently Good’s inventory of goods—which run the gamut from furniture to linens to pure…Read More

2006 Best Gifts

Wild Goose Chase


We know: It’s better to give than to receive. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Frankly, we beg to differ. But when we have to do the buying, we make our…Read More

2005 Best Gifts

Wild Goose Chase


Birthdays. Anniversaries. Mondays. Gifted gift-givers can always find occasions (however obscure) worth buying for. And Wild Goose Chase’s eclectic crafts and handmade housewares make it simple. The Brookline boutique sells…Read More

2004 Best Gifts

Flat of the Hill


Searching for the perfect gift can be a chore—unless you’re at Flat of the Hill. This cute shop stocks only things that are in style (providing, of course, that they’re…Read More

2004 Best Gifts, Martha's Vineyard

Midnight Farm

Vineyard Haven

You may not be looking for anything in particular when you enter Midnight Farm, but once you lay eyes on its quirky and exotic collection of clothing, housewares, bedding, and…Read More

2003 Best Gifts

Flat of the Hill


After perusing the wares at Flat of the Hill, you’ll either wish you had more people to buy gifts for or you’ll break down and buy something for yourself. From…Read More

2002 Best Gifts, West

Long’s Jewelers


Momentous milestones deserve momentous gifts. Find them all at this elegant but comfortable family-run store, where shelves and glass cases are filled with crystal (classic Kosta Boda, shimmering Waterford, and…Read More

2001 Best Gifts, Baby

Ray Flynn’s book

John Paul II: The Personal Portrait of the Pope and the Man, which Flynn sent to Swift when she gave birth to twins. That should put them to sleep at…Read More

2000 Best Gifts


Chestnut Hill

See you later, Pottery Barn: Essentia is the perfect place to find a hostess, shower, or birthday gift. Accessories from this boutique have that handmade quality without smacking of hokey,…Read More

1999 Best Gifts, Baby

Lester Harry’s


This store offers a mix of apparel, bedding and accessories, furniture, and eclectic items for infants and toddlers. Other times include sterling silver charm bracelets for kids, handmade, quilts, spoons,…Read More

1998 Best Gifts, Housewarming

Fresh Eggs


After starting her stylish housewares store,, Ned Hand launched a second store stocked with chic furniture. But mixed in are some smart choices for gifts. Look for the stainless…Read More

1997 Best Gifts, Housewarming

Sweet Peas Home


This cheerful shop in Back Bay offers a selection of creative, user-friendly items for the home—hand-painted furniture, small handmade gift items. The staff is particularly helpful, especially if you’re trying…Read More

1996 Best Gifts, Artsy



Life’s little necessities—from CD racks to toothbrush olders—artfully wrought, along with terrific accessories for the home, in two tantalizing shops…Read More

1996 Best Gifts, Wacky Ideas


Jamaica Plain

The place to go if you’re searching for that unusual, eyebrow-raising gift. Clothing, jewelry, mirrors, clocks, magnets, gargoyles, Keith Haring cards—and even “woogie lamps” (those revolving lamps with figures cut…Read More

1996 Best Gifts, African American

Treasured Legacy


Rosalyn Elder opened this gallery/bookshop almost four years ago to make African American culture both approachable and affordable, and to foster a sense of artistic heritage that had been lacking…Read More

1996 Best Gifts

Oriental Gift and Design


For unusual gift ideas, this store offers gorgeous Asian silk robes and beautifully detailed prints and screens. there are plenty of inexpensive finds—wind chimes, figurines, and knicknacks—in addition to high-end…Read More

1996 Best Gifts

Artisans Gift Gallery and Cafe


An unlikely place to find Newbury Street-quality merchandise, but don’t be deterred by its setting hard by Foodmaster and Blockbuster Video. A small but lovely selection of art furniture, innovative…Read More

1996 Best Gifts, Housewarming

F. Kia


The majority of these specialty items are produced by local artists. From frames made of old printer’s type to revamped dressers with industrial-size wheels in place of legs, you’re sure…Read More

1995 Best Gifts, Wedding, Inexpensive

Simon Pearce


At this shop you’ll find an abundance of sparkling glasses, goblets, pitchers, vases, and bowls at very reasonable prices. For real bargains, check out the slightly irregular merchandise in the…Read More

1995 Best Gifts

Artful Hand Gallery


A multi-year winner, and still the best place around for great handcrafted jewelry, hand-blown glass, terrific pottery, fabulous clocks, and other one-of-a kind items…Read More

1994 Best Gifts, Distinctive, for the Home

Henry Solo


Whether it’s a delightful display of decorated birdhouses or a fetching arrangement of hand-painted plates, the windows always lure us inside this tiny shop, brimming with things we suddenly decide…Read More

1994 Best Gifts, Wrapping Paper

Museum of Fine Arts


Even the merest trifle takes on special significance when wrapped in one of the beautiful gift papers form the MFA gift shop…Read More

1993 Best Gifts, Wrapping Paper

J. Oliver’s of Boston


No matter what the gift, this shop has the wrap. The racks of beautiful papers in every motif imaginable—from botanicals to gilt medieval prints—are a visual feast. What’s more, the…Read More

1993 Best Gifts, Unusual

The Artful Hand Gallery


From jewelry to furniture and everything in between, this gallery has something for every taste. The hand-blown glass from thumb-size miniatures to slender Art Noveau orbs are stunning examples of…Read More

1989 Best Gifts, Under $50

Crate & Barrel

For gifts you never knew you needed—say, a fish grill or a cafetière—but now can’t live without…Read More

1989 Best Gifts, for Men



What buckeroo wouldn’t want to sport a bolo tie with a scorpion in amber from Walkers?

1989 Best Gifts, for Women



Victorian picture frames, frilly froufrous, sugar and spice and everything nice…Read More

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