The holidays are right around the corner and those stockings aren’t going to fill themselves. It doesn’t matter if you are buying for a young tyke, an old food lover or anyone in between, Seattle’s local shops have you covered. Here are some of our favorite places to pick up splendid gifts to slide into the stockings of all those we love as Santa comes calling.
Pike Place Market
85 Pike St.
Seattle, WA 98101
Some Seattleites will tell you that the market is just a tourist trap — they are wrong. The market is a neighborhood unto itself that houses hundreds of permanent residents and businesses and even a half a dozen social service organizations including a preschool, a medical clinic, a food bank, a senior center, a public garden and more. But mostly, the market is just loaded with interesting people, places and things. Some of the best places in the market to grab great little gifts include: Ugly Baby Shower Art, Holy Cow Records, BLMF Books, Solstice Jewelry, Left Bank Books, Market Magic & Novelty, Milagros Mexican Folk Art, The Great Wind Up Toy Store, Metsker Maps, Cintli Jewelry, Paris Grocery, Pike Street Press, Seattle Cutlery, Perennial Tea Room, World Spice Merchants and Britt’s Pickles. And the market is open 363 days a year so you don’t have any excuse for not getting your shopping done.
1300 N. 45th St.
Seattle, WA 98103
Got a punching nun, a whoopie cushion, worry dolls or a rubber chicken on your shopping list? No one really does but this shrine to all things kitch and toy brings joy to kids of all ages anyway. The colorful upbeat surroundings of Archie McPhee in Wallingford have a way of convincing you that just about any purchase is a good idea. And with thousands of affordable items in stock and plenty of room to browse, you are certain to find just the right stocking stuffer for everyone on your list. Plus, if you’d rather stay home and bake cookies than shop, Archie McPhee has a convenient website that will deliver your thoughtful choices right to your front door.
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1400 Second Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101
This stellar shop sits in the heart of downtown Seattle, but its tremendous inventory of beautiful letter-pressed paper products is made with loving care in charming downtown Tieton in Eastern Washington. Ed Marquand and his team fill the Seattle shop with their wonderful broadsides, greeting cards, notebooks, journals, calendars, planners and the like. And if paper goods aren’t on your list, not to worry. Paper Hammer augments the shop’s stock with other thoughtfully handcrafted items like pins, paperweights, letter openers and the such.
400 Pine St., Suite 036
Seattle, WA 98101
Daiso is loaded with small, affordable gift items that please and delight those on the receiving end. From children-sized aprons and umbrellas to cellphone accessories and key chains, you can usually walk out of Daiso with something for yourself and something to give as a gift for less than you’d spend on one item at most shops. About half of what Daiso stocks is imported so it also means you’ll find unusual items like owl-shaped soy sauce containers, Japanese craft items, anime-inspired stickers and toys and even candy with edible wrappers. So grab your reusable shopping bag and get there fast!
144 Western Ave. W.
Seattle, WA 98119
Marx Foods is one of the newer retail outposts to grace lower Queen Anne. While Marx Foods sells online, its retail space is a real treat replete with an adjacent test kitchen. Marx specializes in offering premium food stuffs to please the most discerning or adventurous palate. Foods like fresh truffles, wild, hand-foraged mushrooms, infused oils, finishing salts, shrubs, gourmet insect products and a whole lot more are available. The beauty of Marx’s extensive selection is that each item has been hand selected by the tasting team. And if that doesn’t convince you that the product is going to meet your satisfaction, Marx allows customers to try (taste test) before they buy to be certain they are pleased with their purchase. If you pick up the food lovers in your life stocking stuffers at Marx, you’ll be certain that it is going to be a delicious gift.
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Jenise Silva is a freelance writer in Seattle who has studied culinary, visual and performing arts. She penned the financial planning guide Women & Money, and has been writing about food and the arts for a number of years. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.