December 15, 2011

Last Minute Shopping in DC/VA

I hope you have all your shopping done for the season, but I bet you don't.  Well, if you're looking in DC here are some great shops, where you're sure to find something.  At these places you can find something for anyone:

Cowgirl Creamery919 F Street NW, DC, between Gallery Place and Metro Center. This DC outpost of the California based dairy-and-cheese haven is the perfect place to find gourmet pantry items, a small but good selection of wine and beer, as well as the best cheese selection in the district. Bonus: it's around the corner from the Christmas Market, where they have fresh hot doughnuts.

Politics and Prose5015 Connecticut Ave NW, DC, one mile from Van Ness metro. This is, without a doubt, the best bookstore in Washington. Art, literature, music, cookbooks, travel, and a very very fine children's section, all in one roof. Plus yummy sandwiches downstairs, if you get peckish.

Proper Topper1350 Connecticut Avenue NW, near Dupont Circle Metro. This store has something for nearly anyone. Originally a hat shop--a very cool hat shop--it now sells toys and baby clothes, a small but very well curated selection of home goods and jewelry, and some paper goods and books too. I always find something I must have there. And it is the only place in DC where you can get a decent umbrella.

Artisan Confection1025 N. Fillmore Street Arlington, VA. These incredible chocolates are made in house.  I haven't found better chocolate here in DC, and they have such creative (and ever rotating) flavors.

Grape + Bean119 South Royal Street, Alexanria, VA. G+B is a one stop shop for the holidays, as far as I am concerned.  Get wine for your hosts, champagne for your sweetheart, chocolates for the kids, coffee for Christmas morning, gift certificates for classes (new year's resolution: learn more about wine). And, after the incredibly exhausting task of finishing your Christmas shopping, you can sit down, have a sandwich, and a relaxing glass of wine.  (Full disclosure: I work here! And I love it!)

La Cuisine: 323 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA. This is a humdinger of a kitchen shop. It has really stunning selection of pots, pans, cookbooks, professional quality baking items, and even a ton of fun food-themed Christmas ornaments. (The photo above is of their Christmas window.) And anything they don't have they can order. My favorite purchase of 2011: their suede, washable oven mitts in turquoise.

Red Barn Mercantile: 113 South Columbus Street, Alexandria VA. Three words: Whale Bottle Opener. But seriously, this shop (slightly off the main drag of King Street) has lovely and fun household items as well as gorgeous furniture and well loved and restored antiques.

Second Story Books12160 Parklawn Dr., Rockville, MD. This incredible warehouse of used books in Rocckville has all the extras from their well curated shop in Dupont. They have everything, and at the warehouse, at least till Christmas, it is all 50% off (with coupon).

The Waygoose: 4926 Hampden Lane, Bethesda, MD. The Waygoose is an old standby at Christmastime.  For years my Aunt would send us little brown paper packages with little curls of deep purple paper ribbon and the words "Waygoose" stamped on it.  Inside were the most delightful things: glass ornaments and hand crafted wood toys and sumptuous leather goods.


  1. yeah. it's the last weekend before Christmas. If I don't get it done this weekend, it won't get done.

  2. Haha, I remember going shopping with my dad on Christmas Eve . . . in the not too distant past, in fact. I got to pick out my own presents. :-) Also, this year, I think I'm just going to wait till around Epiphany to do friends' gifts. Family gifts will be punctual, because they don't understand as much, experientially, that Christmas more than just 1 day. Most of my friends do, which means LATE cards and LATE presents :D