Spend Some Money in Atlanta at These Top Shops
By Kelly Skinner
Atlanta Local Expert
Ready your wallets! Atlanta is a hub for shopping, whether you’re looking for a bargain at Kohl’s or sky-high heels from Jeffrey’s. The options for fashion run the gamut from that Five Points corner thrift store to that swanky Virginia-Highland boutique.
While Buckhead has long laid claim to the city’s biggest malls, it is by no means the only place to shop—though the triumvirate of Lenox, Phipps and Shops Around Lenox pretty much cater to all range of tastes and price tags. You’ll find big-name brands and designer labels, as well as smaller specialty stores alongside multiple dining options.
If you're the type who prefers malls over boutiques, the shops at Atlantic Station and Perimeter Mall will fit the bill for your clothing, registry and home good needs.
Though, top-notch home goods can be found by the truck-load at the trendy Westside Provisions District, where wall sconces, high-end rugs, avant-garde bookends and vibrant throws make up a bulk of the commerce.
Neighborhood treasures are a common theme citywide. Decatur’s Little Shop of Stories is a world-class bookstore for kids and adults, attracting both new and old-school children's book authors from around the globe (cue Julie Andrews). Virginia Highland is bustling with femme-driven boutiques stocked with cute sundresses, fabulous shades and heels galore. Five Points thrives in the realms of funky and fun—Rag-O-Rama and Psycho Sisters beckon!
Little 5 Points
You can easily fill an afternoon window-shopping, people-watching and thrifting in Little Five Points. Long regarded as Atlanta's arty neighborhood, the area is known for quirky shops and thrift stores like Psycho Sisters, Rag-O-Rama and The Clothing Warehouse. You'll find a colorful, largely youthful crowd in these parts that's part eclectic, part grunge and always interesting. A walk in front of Criminal Records (a music store with an excellent selection) usually includes a performance by a street musician. Check out music there and buy a weird souvenir from Junkman's Daughter. Buy a burger at Vortex Bar & Grill. Beer snobs, welcome home. The Porter Beer Bar and Wrecking Bar Brewpub both offer a large beer selection and good food. ((404) 522-2926)
Enjoy Decatur's homespun charm and meander through the boutiques and shops around the Decatur Square. Highlights around the Square include whimsical children's book store, Little Shop of Stories, fine jewelry emporium, Worthmore, boho-chic clothier Squash Blossom, and arty gift shop, Vivid. Art galleries and gift shops are aplenty, and include The Seen Gallery and Wild Oats & Billy Goats. Further down Ponce, you can shop for flirty dresses at Boogaloos, colorful office and design goodies at Heliotrope and old (and new) records and CDs at Decatur CD. Your Dekalb Farmers Market, a gigantic warehouse filled with fresh produce, meats and fish definitely warrants a visit if you don't find yourself pulled in by one of the area's fabulous restaurants for dinner. We suggest Taqueria del Sol or Farm Burger for lunch and The Brick Store Pub, Leon's or No. 246 for dinner. (404-370-4100)
Leafy side streets and a scattering of clothing stores, bars, and restaurants give this historic neighborhood an appeal that's hard to resist. Named for the main streets in this area, Virginia Avenue and Highland Avenue, the neighborhood has a wide selection of shops that will speak to a range of people. Men and women can snag trendy garb from atelier Bill Hallman Original; camping gear from Half Moon Outfitters; handcrafted, gourmet chocolates from Cacao; or American-made gifts and home goods from the Indie-Pendent. Fashion-minded ladies can score Michael Kors, Free People and Rebecca Minkoff styles at Winter Wren, while trendy workout fiends will want to stock their closets with cute gear from Atlanta Activewear.
Westside Provisions District
Design-centric stores are a large basis of the shops on the industrial-chic Westside at and around Westside Provisions District. Bungalow Classic, Environment Furniture, Jonathan Adler and Room & Board all offer ample opportunities for eying incredible furnishings. Atlanta MADE meanwhile highlights jewelry, accessories and home goods made locally, while locals Sid and Ann Mashburn continually set the bar (and gain national acclaim) for impeccable Southern fashion at their eponymous men and women's boutiques. When not grabbing goodies from spots like Anthropologie or the aforementioned interiors stores, gourmet grocery shopping at Star Provisions or lunch at Taqueria del Sol are in order. ((404) 872-7538)
The Shops of Miami Circle
It's easy to miss The Shops of Miami circle when flying down Piedmont Road while heading from Midtown to Buckhead--but don't. There are great prizes to be found among the small galleries, gift shops and home design shops that make up this shopping circle. Get in the art mood and begin your adventure with strolls around Thomas Deans Fine Art, Anne Irwin Fine Art and Bill Lowe Gallery, three local art galleries with an ever-changing line-up of local and national artists. Select handsome accessories and give your digs that extra flourish after a trip inside The Gables Antiques, Acquisitions or Foxglove Antiques & Galleries. Post-shopping fun can be had at the newly opened boutique bowling alley, The Painted Pin, which sells craft cocktails and gourmet grub lane-side.
The always bustling Perimeter Mall is a choice spot for grabbing clothes, gifts, food, home items and more when you're near the north perimeter. Hotels are abundant in this area, making a shopping spree convenient for out-of-town guests staying close by. The complex is huge, and often confusing, so take your time as you drive the loop around the mall. Department stores include Nordstrom, Von Maur, Dillards and Macy's, while smaller stores include ALDO, The Gap, bebe, Abercrombie & Fitch, Express, Guess, H&M, Urban Outfitters and Swarovski. Nearby are a slew of restaurants, including the always outstanding Alon's, Eclipse di Luna and Cafe Intermezzo as well as Barnes & Noble. (770-394-4270)
Shops Around Lenox
Located across the street from Lenox Square Mall on Lenox Drive, this semi-circle of small shops and eateries packs an impressive punch with its diverse lineup of stores. Crate & Barrel and Paper Source will satisfy the design-minded shopper looking for stationery or appealing items to fill an office or home. American Apparel is chockablock with bright tights, short shorts and hipster gear, while Cosabella thrills with lacy lingerie. Suitsupply sports modern men's stylings in a triumphant space, and Ona is filled to the brim with beautiful giftables. Women's boutiques put their best heels forward with Tootsie's, The Impeccable Pig and Bill Hallman. (404-856-4888)
The gargantuan Atlantic Station is a mixed-use development located just west of Midtown near Georgia Tech, and feels very much like a small town unto itself. A massive IMAX movie theater finds a place alongside numerous shops, a grocery store and various fast-casual restaurants. The pedestrian-friendly location is great for families and regularly hosts concerts and festivities in the summer months, including the BB&T Atlanta Open tennis match (attracting pros like John Isner). Major store anchors include Ikea, Target and Dillards, with shops like American Apparel, H&M, West Elm and Banana Republic rounding out the mix. Restaurant offerings include Tin Drum Asia Cafe and Chick-a-Biddy. (404-888-4900, 404-733-1221)
Buckhead's posh shopping mall is located just across the street from Lenox Square and claims a handful of the city's most expensive stores. Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue both make a base at Phipps. Other elite designer shops include Tiffany & Co., Hugo Boss, Bottega Veneta, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Hublot, Jimmy Choo, Valentino and Tory Burch, among others. There are exquisite promenades and beautiful courts to be found, and the Simon Mall regularly plays home to fashion shows and events attended by the city's well-heeled. Going hungry won't be a problem. Yebo., The Tavern at Phipps and Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse are among the delicious restaurants onsite and nearby. Ample hotels are within walking distance as are a fab movie theater and kid-favorite, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta. (404-261-7910)
If there's a brand you adore, there's a good chance you'll find it at this sprawling Buckhead mall, located across the street from Phipps Plaza and surrounded by upscale hotels and great places to eat. More than 250 businesses occupy the mall, ensuring visitors won't leave empty-handed. Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus are among the anchor department stores at the multi-floored mall. Brand-name shops include Burberry, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Prada, C. Wonder, Gap, Pottery Barn, Sephora and several others. A large selection of restaurants have been added to Lenox recently, the most notable ones being, Sprinkles cupcakes, True Food Kitchen and Zinburger. (404-233-6767)
About Kelly Skinner
Kelly Skinner comes to Atlanta by way of sunny coastal city, Pensacola, FL. A lover of all things food, music and travel, Skinner found her perfect match in Atlanta in the food-centric hub of Decatur. A full-time freelance writer and editor, Skinner's byline has appeared in a range of publications including Paste, The Atlantan, Jezebel, Redbook, South and Living Intown. When she's not writing, editing and exploring Atlanta for the best places to eat, drink and play, Skinner loves doing yoga, running with her dog in Piedmont Park and scouring book stores and record shops for hidden treasures.
Read more about Kelly Skinner here.