St. Louis' Best Shopping Districts

For shoppers on the hunt for great gifts, St. Louis neighborhoods full of independent and locally owned boutiques, stores and restaurants provide all-in-one ease.

Don't waste limited time in town driving all over the place to see a hotspot here and a must-shop there: instead, pick a place where you can just park the car once, or have the cab deposit you, and then work your way through the quality shopportunities. We have you covered with this handy guide!

• The Central West End is the city’s original cosmopolitan neighborhood, a tight mix of upscale residential options, independent boutiques, local restaurants and sweet shops, bars and nightclubs. The anchor Chase Park Plaza hotel even offers a movie theater, if you need a matinée break so you can drop after you shop. We recommend: Left Bank Books, The Cup, Libby's, Q Boutique, 10denza.

Western wear from Giddyup Jane
Western wear from Giddyup Jane (©D. Lancaster)

• Ladue, in several strips along Clayton Road, offers collections of shops from stationers and menswear to toy stores and art galleries. Find the perfect thing for the fashionistas and hard-to-buy-for folks in your life. We recommend: Mister Guy, Giddyup Jane, Imagination Toys.

It's all STL-themed at STL Style
It's all STL-themed at STL Style (©Adnama Elyod)

• Cherokee Street keeps it funky, with a vibrant mash-up of longtime antiques/collectibles vendors and an eclectic mix of other offerings, everything from art supplies to cheeky retro clothes, with stops along the way for musical instruments, awesome STL souvenirs and tees, garden and terrarium goods, and obscure music on vinyl. Feed the meter and walk the street to take it all in. We recommend: STL Style, Firecracker Press, Dead Wax, Flowers to the People, Saxquest, Retro 101.

Gifts from Plowsharing Crafts
Fair-trade gifts from Plowsharing Crafts (©D. Lancaster)

Kirkwood exudes the charm of an earlier era, with the blocks surrounding its downtown train station packed with mom-and-pops selling toy trains, exquisite home décor, the latest on-trend fashion, sports equipment, kitchen and entertaining goods, and so much more. Their farmers’ market is a year-round affair, too, so pop in and see what’s offered in the stalls. We recommend: Plowsharing Crafts, Lass & Laddie, Christopher's gifts, Cornucopia, Down By the Station.

The Loop bustles with youthful energy from the Washington University students who hang out there, and it’s a diverse mix of folks and shopping: art, jewelry, books, music, fair-trade handicrafts, baby and toddler toys, premium denim, the works. We recommend: Rocket Fizz, Subterannean Books, Craft Alliance, Vintage Vinyl, The Silver Lady.

Maplewood has a little bit of everything, and we especially love to recommend its gourmet gift options: chocolate, vinegars, oils, honey, liqueurs, oh my! Stop into: Vom Fass, Larder & Cupboard, Kakao Chocolate.

Taubman Prestige Outlets
Taubman Prestige Outlets (©D. Lancaster)

• And let’s not forget the malls! From the Saint Louis Galleria and West County Center to Plaza Frontenac and a trio of outlets (Taubman Prestige OutletsSt. Louis Premium Outlets, and St. Louis Outlet Mall), the conglomeration of stores/eateries/entertainment options makes for can't-beat shopping that's sure to have something for everyone in your group.