Best Indie Shops in DC
If you’re in the nation’s capital looking for the latest vinyl from Matador Records, a seriously rare Italian olive oil, or a little black dress that’s anything but basic, you’ll find it at these independently-owned businesses.
Equal parts restaurant, cafe, and boutique, this multi-functional spot brings some of the coolest men’s brands from all over the globe under a single roof. In addition to Danish Wood Wood graphic tees and sweatshirts from Japanese label Bedwin & The Heartbreakers, a personal favorite of co-owner Will Sharp, you’ll also find a smart mix of books, watches and footwear.
Since 2004, owner Bill Daly and his incredibly knowledgeable (but friendly) staff have supplied the most diehard music fans with new and used vinyl. While the Adams Morgan shop boasts the largest selection of new LPs in the area, it’s especially known for carrying hip, lesser-known labels like Dischord, Matador, and Sub Pop.
For three generations since 1926, the DeFrancisci family has run this market on Florida Avenue, which specializes in everything Italian and delicious, from olive oil to wine to hand-made pastas. Need to eat, like right now? Then order one of their hearty and affordably-priced Italian subs, which also come in three- and six-foot versions to feed a crowd.
To combat the conservative fashion favored by her hometown, DC native and former deejay Lori Parkerson opened this airy, 2,300 square foot space on 14th Street. While Parkerson favors a more conservative palette – imagine a sea of black, white, grey and taupe – her taste in labels is anything but. In fact, Redeem is the exclusive local retailer of many up-and-coming labels like Won Hundred and Just Female.
This beloved institution in Dupont Circle sources a mind-boggling selection of reads, and regularly hosts readings. After shopping, head to the Afterwards Cafe in the back for a decadent slice of Goober pie. Fridays and Saturdays, the shop is open 24 hours, making it the perfect pit stop for night owls.
Consider this your one-stop shop for beautiful items for everyday life. Whether you’re looking for the perfect hostess gift or something fun and functional for your pad, owner and food writer Amanda McClements has it. Though the shop airs on the small side, everything is well-organized, making browsing a breeze and shopping fun.
Given DC’s small size and plethora of public monuments, bikes are naturally one of the most popular ways of getting around town. Visit any of City Bikes’ three locations for a sick selection of bikes and parts and competitively-priced repairs. The best part? Walk-ins are always welcome, and the work estimates are always free.
These sister boutiques by owner Marlene Hu Aldaba are located just one block from each other, on Georgetown’s bustling M Street. What locals love most is the ever-changing roster of chic labels, from the established (like Valentino and Stella McCartney) to the unexpected (like ALC and Nektar de Stagni).