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San Diego Shopping

5&A Dime
701 Eighth Avenue
San Diego , California
Tel: 619 236 0364

Downtown San Diego's premier streetwear sanctum for gents is 5&A Dime. Sneakerheads flock to this soi-disant haberdashery for Brixton Ltd. fedoras, Lurkville skateboards, and Crooks & Castles threads. Inside, a giant buffalo bust competes with vintage Singer sewing machines, hardbound books, and massive pretzel tins for American Picker–style decor honors, while cubbies stocked with cult-followed kicks and a lifetime's worth of tees lure the more stylish of the Petco Park crowd. Save for a smattering of watches, knapsacks, and shades (including the piping-hot Raen line), the store has quit carrying women's gear—but the cabinet full of Super7 monster toys from SF's Japantown play nice with both fanboys and -girls.—Audrey Davidow

Open Mondays through Saturdays noon to 8 pm, Sundays noon to 7 pm.

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Be Beauty
21 West Fir Street
San Diego , California
Tel: 619 795 4585

This sunny pampering parlor set in a charming garden cottage in Downtown Little Italy offers up everything a gal could need for full-body and soul prettifying. A boutique sells flirty dresses and one-of-a-kind finds from local designers, and the salon offers facials, waxing, makeup, and manicures. Once you're all dolled up, rendezvous with your pals in the Jardim, a jasmine-scented garden set up for tea parties and other girly fests.—Audrey Davidow

Open Mondays and Tuesdays and Thursdays through Saturdays 10 am to 6 pm.

Bixby and Ball
214 South Cedros Avenue
Solana Beach , California
Tel: 858 436 7214

A haven for upscale coastal nesters, this breezy Solana Beach boutique is set up to look like your dream cottage. Outside the place is decked with beachy white shingles and blue awnings. Inside the quaint 1920s bungalow is filled with all the essentials of hip seaside living—nix the anchors and life preservers in favor of Matteo linens, John Robshaw textiles, Kai candles, and pretty gifts galore. Owners Betsy Bracken and Melissa Anderson also offer interior-design and event-planning services.—Audrey Davidow

Open Mondays through Saturdays 10 am to 6 pm, Sundays 11 am to 5 pm.

Lou's Records
434 North Coast Highway 101
Encinitas , California
Tel: 760 753 1382

Lou's Records—a staunch champion of the unusual and unexpected listening experience—is San Diego's favorite (and hippest) spot to buy vinyl. The owners of the 30-year-old shop take great care to keep the titles on the floor rich with obscure, avant-garde, and international releases. They also host in-store musical performances and record release parties. But don't let that scare you off: Lou's is intimate and friendly, and questions about records are actively encouraged.—Audrey Davidow

Open Mondays through Thursdays 10 am to 7 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 10 am to 9 pm, and Sundays 11 am to 7 pm.

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Make Good
2207 Fern Street
San Diego , California
Tel: 619 563 4600

Make Good is a funky collective of local artisans, designers, and crafters hell-bent on giving throw-away items a second lease on life as up-cycled clothing, jewelry, and gifts. Cucapá beer-carton wallets from Bombyx, cashmere purses by Sophia Carolina, and hand-crafted letterpress cards are artfully displayed among vintage knickknacks and resale clothing you'd actually want to wear. We especially dig the rings made from buttons and Bottlehood's glasses crafted from sliced-off bottle bottoms. Many of the designers stop by the store and work on-site, turning the boutique's open floor space into a makeshift studio.—Audrey Davidow

Open Tuesdays through Thursdays noon to 8 pm, Fridays through Saturdays noon to 9 pm, and Sundays 10 am to 5 pm.

Mimi & Red
3032 University Avenue
San Diego , California
Tel: 619 298 7933

With two locations, one in La Jolla and the other in North Park, Mimi & Red has quickly emerged as the go-to fashion spot for femme-favorites at reasonable prices. This laid-back boutique lures both surfers and socialites looking for the latest fashion staples—from breezy summer maxi dresses by Rebecca Beeson to cool autumn ponchos from BB Dakota—as well as other essentials, including lotions, potions, and jewelry from Mimi & Lu.—Audrey Davidow

Open Mondays 11 am to 6 pm, Tuesdays through Saturdays 11 am to 7 pm, and Saturdays 11 am to 7 pm.

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2210 Kettner Boulevard
San Diego , California
Tel: 619 239 4788

A haven for serious design with splashes of whimsy, this Little Italy warehouse is the go-to store for cool art, one-of-a-kind jewelry, and funky modern decor. Big-statement lighting ranges from clusters of glass orbs to seven-foot life-size horse lamps. It's also the place to find stylish furniture that could double as art, such as the ultramod sofas and chairs from Artifort.—Audrey Davidow

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 am to 6 pm, Sundays noon to 5 pm.

3827 30th Street
San Diego , California
Tel: 619 501 6318

Graduates of Urban Outfitter's cheap homewares flock to Pigment to acquire the grown-up versions of hipster decor. Dozens of terrarium orbs float from the ceiling of this North Park gem that sells one-of-a-kind pieces—from art and books, to fishbowls and compostable tableware—inspired by nature. This place is known for its amazing terrarium selection, and there are also kits and workshops for terrarium building.—Audrey Davidow

Open Mondays through Saturdays 11 am to 7 pm, Sundays 11 am to 5 pm.

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2225 30th Street
San Diego , California
Tel: 619 280 5501

If you're looking for gifts with a conscience—from eco-coasters made from fallen branches to scarves knitted from recycled cashmere sweaters—drop by this artsy South Park neighborhood outpost for green design fiends. The store also does a brisk trade in earth-friendly furniture.—Audrey Davidow

Open Mondays through Thursdays 10 am to 7 pm, Fridays through Saturdays 10 am to 8 pm, and Sundays noon to 5 pm.

Shopping Recommendations
San Diego , California

San Diego's version of Rodeo Drive, La Jolla is a high-end shopper's paradise. Small fashion boutiques selling ridiculously expensive white pantsuits, fine art galleries lined with oil paintings and modern sculpture, and diamond-filled jewelry shops can be found on a handful of blocks surrounding the always-tony Prospect Street. Hillcrest is a hip, urban (and predominantly gay and lesbian) neighborhood just northeast of downtown San Diego. It's home to an eclectic mix of shops that hawk everything from used clothing to books to hardware to sex toys. The Hillcrest Farmer's Market is held every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Lincoln Street. Set alongside the Old Town State Historic Park, Bazaar del Mundo is a vibrant—albeit touristy—collection of shops full of jewelry, fashion, gifts, and arts and crafts, mainly from Mexico and Central and South America ( Most of the shopping in Ocean Beach is based around Newport Avenue, with its quirky collection of shops including beachwear shops, antique stores, surf shops, and even a pair of true head shops. Every Wednesday there's a regular Street Fair/Farmer's Market on Newport.

Solo on Cedros
309 South Cedros Avenue
Solana Beach , California
Tel: 858 794 9016

Spend an afternoon alongside the haughty Hollywood designers scouting the aisles of housewares, books, jewelry, and other treasures at Solo. Housed in a 4,000-square-foot restored warehouse in the Cedros Design District, the collective of upscale home and accessory merchants offers everything from hand-painted French linen tablecloths and bistro tables to arty coffee-table books, soap, and letterpress stationary. Don't miss Jennifer Price's vintage stall, where funky vintage furnishings get a new lease. We especially dig her film reel coffee tables and typewriter jewelry.—Audrey Davidow

Open Mondays through Saturdays10 am to 6 pm, Sundays 11 am to 5 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.