NFT Atlanta Shopping

Atlanta / Shopping

You know a city has reached retail sophistication when a day spa just for men opens. Atlanta metrosexuals looking for a facial, body waxing, or a jar of face mud can head to Buckhead’s Joq (Map 2). Shopping is a full-time hobby for many in Atlanta and the options are endless, from country flea markets and high-end boutiques to quirky antique shops and ethnic supermarkets.

Atlanta shopping hot spots are all spread hither and yon, so take the car because you will be driving great distances and filling the trunk. There are lots of bargains to be found and the sales tax is lower than most other shopping destinations. For gifts your mother would not approve of, Junkman’s Daughter (Map 11) cannot be beat; whips, go-go boots, and ahem, “smoking accessories” can all be found at this Little Five Points icon. The same can be said of any Inserection, Starship or similar porn shop plunked within walking distance of where you are right now.

For sports fans, Distant Replays (Map 38) in Buckhead offers really cool vintage jerseys, jackets, and other memorabilia. For retro toys and hilarious gag gifts, check out the selection at Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse (Map 6). This gay bookstore features fabulous items including photos of scantily clad hunks and other treats. And the only convenience store that we found in Atlanta that sells the delightful combination of 40 oz malt liquor, lottery tickets, and fine wine is the Midtown Food Mart (Map 6). The selection at less-seedy-than-you-might-think Buddy’s in Poncey-Highland ain’t bad either.  

Shopping Districts
Miami Circle Design District (Map 25) is Atlanta’s antique shopping headquarters, but don’t overlook their custom-designed home furnishing offerings and restaurants. For more decor and quirky boutiques, the Virginia Highland (Map 7) neighborhood is a good destination, along with its nearby cousin, Inman Park. Expect to pay top dollar in Buckhead (Map 22) with their concentration of high-end boutiques. For all things outside of America’s border, head to Buford Highway (Map 23), where Latino/a and Asian grocery and variety stores are as plentiful as gas stations—but much more exciting. Even if you are not an adventurous foodie, this area is also great for antique bargains. Little Five Points (Map 11) and the Cheshire Bridge Road area (Map 26) can take care of all of your naughty needs, such as tattoos, body piercings, dominatrix gear, XXX videos, and hand-blown glass pipes.  

A good starting place is Lenox Square Mall (Map 22) in Buckhead. It offers a decent mix of higher-end and mid-priced department stores, along with home furnishing chains like Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn. The Apple Store is where geeks drool over the latest gadgets. Skip the ho-hum food court and head to Brasserie le Coze for some excellent French cuisine. If you really have money to burn, head across the street to Phipps Plaza (Map 22). Here you will find even higher-end stores, designer boutiques, and a movie theatre. Twist (Map 22),  and The Tavern at Phipps (Map 22) are good dining/drinking choices for the single, ultra-cool set in between pricey shopping sprees. Underground Atlanta is the place to go for cheap souvenirs and other junk with the word ”Atlanta” emblazoned on it—perfect for all of those out-of-state relatives that you have to buy a gift for. Amsterdam Walk (Map 6) is a brightly colored in-town version of a mini-mall that includes high-end furniture and a cool pet store, Cook’s Warehouse (Maps 6, 19) for the latest kitchen gadgetry and cooking classes, and Gado Gado (Map 6), for all of your Indonesian home furnishing needs. Ansley Mall (Map 3) is where the gay consumers of Midtown gather to sip skinny lattes at Starbucks and then flex their abs at L.A. Fitness. The Publix (Map 8) supermarket at Ansley has won local awards as one of Atlanta’s best cruising spots for gay men.  

Gourmet Food and Wine
The Barrelman (Map 5) specializes in unique, limited barrel vintages and each selection on the shelf is hand-picked by proprietor Kenneth Green. It’s just about impossible to pick a bad wine at this store, and with their bread, gourmet cheese, and meat selections, you can acquire the ingredients for a nice romantic meal in one stop. Star Provisions (Map 4), the gourmet store attached to the divine upscale restaurant Bacchanalia (Map 4), is a gourmand’s dream come true. Here you can find the finest deli selections, cheeses, breads, desserts, and wine, plus high-end kitchen appliances pleading for purchase.

Wine Gallery + Market (Map 25) is a new wine store located near the old Lindbergh Plaza in Buckhead. They offer an extensive wine selection, along with wine accessories, gourmet food, and a deli. The staff is friendly and laid-back, but they know their wine. Eatzi’s (Maps 21) is a national chain, but their prepared gourmet offerings are such a hit with Atlantans that a second location has opened in the Dunwoody area. World Market (Map 21), another national chain, offers unique food selections, candy, and desserts from around the world, along with a very nice, reasonably priced wine selection.

Sherlock’s Wine Merchants (Maps 19, 24), with four metro Atlanta locations, offers an excellent selection of wines in all price ranges, and they employ a staff that is well-educated in the store’s inventory. Ansley Wine Merchants (Map 3) offer great value-priced selection of wines, and they supply witty commentary tags to many of their favorites. Ali-Oli (Map 22) offers a small gourmet store attached to their upscale Mediterranean restaurant, with to-go selections from the restaurant kitchen as well as gourmet sauces and wines. D’Vine Wine Bar and Shop (Map 36) (near the Perimeter area) offers a good wine selection as well as tastings and light menu.

Healthy eaters need not despair as Atlanta has several natural food stores including Sevananda (Map 11), a co-op in Little Five Points, Return to Eden (Map 26), in the Cheshire Bridge area, and the national chain Whole Foods (Map 40), which is packed to the gills after work and on weekends.

For high end department stores, Lenox Square Mall (Map 22) offers Macy’s, Bloomie’s, and Neiman Marcus. Phipps Plaza (Map 22) offers Parisian and Saks Fifth Avenue, and a Nordstrom is on the horizon. But boutique shopping is where it’s at, both trend-wise and value-wise in Atlanta. Find retro fashion bargains at one of the many vintage clothing consignment shops in town like Psycho Sisters (Map 11) or Stefan’s Vintage Clothing (Map 11). A new boutique seems to pop up almost daily, but some good ones to keep on your shopping radar include Blue Genes (Map 21) around Lenox, Sage Clothing (Map 21) in Buckhead, and Luxe (Map 4) in Miami Circle. Boutiques are sprouting like mushrooms in Midtown West, especially in the Brickworks project, and along Highland Avenue in Inman Park.

Find hip kids’ clothes at The Owl and the Pussycat (Map 7). Sports fans flock to Distant Replays (Map 38) in Buckhead for authentic and replica vintage jerseys of national and local sports teams. Abbadabba’s (Map 11) is the place to go for Doc Martens, Birkenstocks, and any other cool shoes that you can think of. For men’s shoes and shoe repairs, the dependable Bennie’s Shoes (Map 25) has been serving the community for decades.

Pet Supplies
Atlantans love their animals, so pet supply stores are bountiful. Highland Pet Supply (Map 7) offers a good selection of healthy diets for your pets in addition to some nifty toys and accessories. They also have a convenient self-serve bathing station. Pet Supplies Plus (Map 3) is a no-frills pet supermarket that offers a discount card that comes in handy for multi-pet households. The Pet Set (Map 23) offers boarding services in addition to food and supplies. Pet Fancy at Lenox Square Mall (Map 22) is a tiny shop where you can spend way too much on your furry friends with their selection of designer toys and pet-lover merchandise. Canine Showcase & Wild Bird (Map 3) moved to the Cheshire Bridge area, but it still provides natural food diets for a variety of animals as well as some really cool toys and accessories.

Maybe it’s a Southern thing, but Atlantans love their antique stores. There seems to be one on almost every corner, and they make a great way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon. The Miami Circle Design District (Map 25), with over 80 stores, offers a great selection of European antiques. Paris on Ponce (Map 7) is a treasure-digger’s paradise, with several winding rooms chock full of vintage items. The Lakewood Antiques Market is open for business the second weekend of each month and, with over 1,500 dealers, is referred to as “America’s biggest treasure hunt.” The Virginia Highland neighborhood (Map 7) offers a good selection of 20th-century antiques and folk art, along with woodworking tools at Highland Hardware. The Cheshire Bridge area (Map 26) has a mini-row of antique shops. Chamblee’s Antique Row (Map 42) has been around since 1979 and offers over 20,000 square feet of antique shopping. If you can’t find it here, it probably doesn’t exist.

The relocated and expanded Criminal Records (Map 11) in Little Five Points is Atlanta’s best independent music store, an oddity of success in today’s online world. Wax N Facts (Map 11) and Fantasyland Records (Map 25) are cool indie music shops as well. For hard-to-find and treasured jazz, rock, and blues albums, visit Wuxtry (Map 29) for its unbelievable collection and super-knowledgeable staff.

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Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Progressive Lighting
A great source of focal point medallions and gaudy chandeliers, Progressive Lighting on the west side of Midtown actually has some modern, trendy touches that belong in city homes. You have to dig through the crystal hailstorm to find them. It's the largest chain of residential lighting showrooms in the Southeast, and no matter where you are in metro Atlanta, there's one down the road (see the industrial Ellsworth area for a nifty outlet). Keep an eye on seasonal sales, when the many thousands of fixtures in these sprawling (and well-lit) showrooms can drop 30 percent in price. More often than not, traditional Southern opulence (think plantation entryway) is the order of the day.

Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

House of Bling
Dragged in the House of Bling recently, I was happy to find a sweeping variety of things my daughter will never wear. That's not to say the merchandise isn't flashy-cool, and less pricey than the ostentatious business title might imply. Truly, anything that could ever bling is here. Wine glasses. Handbags. Panties. Just nothing that goes on men. Which is a good thing. Employees are quick to point out that 95 percent of said bling ducks under $80, which is the rumored starting point at Phipps. The boutique doubles as an event space, capable of housing 40 "Sex in the City" recaps at once. It's a colorful, quirky facet to the East Atlanta Village, best viewed (in my very male opinion) from a beer patio across the street.

Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Mix the cold, creamy smell of Dairy Queen with the aesthetics of "A Clockwork Orange" and you have Yoforia, a winning concept in the Highlands outpost that also houses Doc Chey's. The Dairy Queen comparisons pretty much end there. This is healthy, delicious stuff, with organic milk and yogurt and just 25 calories per ounce. (A large original with three toppings was a pucker-inducing $7, but substantial enough to supplant my dinner appetite). Toppings include an array of delicious fruits and wackier offerings like--no shit--Fruity Pebbles. Launched at Perimeter in 2007, the concept is spreading virally throughout Atlanta and Charlotte. Hopefully, a franchise will pop up in the 200 block of Highland Avenue before summer's famous swelter suffocates us all.

Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

The Lighting Loft
Looking for a nifty wall sconce? Need a large pendant (i.e., a giant, suspended hockey puck for your kitchen?) How's about an outdoor light to spice up your night? The Lighting Loft is a one-stop shop for truly superb bulb-holders. It's on Edgewood near Thumbs Up Diner, between downtown and Inman Park. Traditionalists with rooster wallpaper in the kitchen need not patronize. The Loft is contemporary cool to the gills, with some more bizarre arrangements leaning toward WTF. Don't be alarmed: the uber-friendly staff will dispel your fears of snooty, Versace-clad salespeople rumored to haunt such businesses. Wander the two-story showroom and indulge. And then save up. Adorning your home with LL-grade accoutrements is an investment, and probably worth it. Home Depot can't front.

Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Good Cents Cleaners
Seventeen garments. Twenty three dollars. I'll repeat that. Seventeen garments. Twenty three little smacks. That's what I paid last week, dropping off a rank heap of Express slacks and Van Heusen Oxfords. Good Cents Cleaners, a bona fide assembly line of friendly, is the best dry cleaning service I've found in metro Atlanta, both in terms of price and crispness of garment. It's worth the drive to Duluth, a stone's throw from Interstate 85, a tad south of Pleasant Hill Road. Don’t let the $2.29 sign fool you--they'll go cheaper with light starch. If the place looks vacant when you walk in, behold the maître d’ style bell on the front counter. They all switch places when you ring the bell.

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