If you like the idea of shopping local in downtown Raleigh and supporting small retailers, and have been searching on your phone for local shops near me, we’ve got some great suggestions down below!
As business owners ourselves and passionate Raleigh residents, we love supporting the local small businesses that are such an important part of the community.
We understand how important the health of small businesses are, not only from an economic sense, but how they add unique charm and culture to a city and they play a big part in what makes Raleigh, well, Raleigh!
Downtown is the perfect place to go shopping in Raleigh. In fact, it’s our favorite of the seven areas that make up the municipality of Raleigh, and just like we support the local Raleigh restaurants, we also like to support local retailers as much as possible!
When you visit Raleigh, downtown is where you’ll find historic neighborhoods, world-class museums, excellent restaurants, performing arts venues, great coffee shops, and some fantastic local retail stores!
It’s all accessible, too – getting around Raleigh downtown is easy by either walking, using the bicycle renting service Cardinal Bikeshare riding an electric scooter, or using the free R-LINE circulator bus to navigate the 12 block downtown radius.
You barely even have to move your car – see parking in Raleigh options here. AND, by popping into your local stores you can avoid any potential shipping and supply chain headaches currently plaguing the industry.
Here are our recommendations for local shopping in Raleigh downtown whether you are looking for clothing, books, holiday gifts, plants, wine and beer, records, handbags, bikes, skateboards and much more.
Logan’s One Stop Garden Shop
Logan’s is a popular family-owned and operated neighborhood garden center, currently located in the renovated Seaboard Railroad Station.
Operated by the Logan family since 1965, their name says it all, a One Stop Garden Shop – from flowers to fountains, houseplants to outdoor furniture, plus unique gifts and accessories.
If you love supporting local nurseries, go here for friendly and helpful staff.
Designed for Joy
What a wonderful concept and store Designed for Joy is. This nonprofit provides second chance employment to vulnerable women coming from trafficking, homelessness, time in prison, overcoming addiction or other vulnerable situations.
Artisans are paid a living wage and taught skills to create the Designed for Joy brand of jewelry, handbags, and home decor.
Black Friday Market
We love the concept behind Black Friday Market. This retail department store in the heart of downtown Raleigh allows black owned businesses, creators and artists to sell their products commission free under the one roof, or in their online store.
There’s a growing need to support local business owners without physical retail space to sell their products, and on offer here are creative and unique items. Run by great people too!
Chocolate lovers rejoice. This bean-to-bar chocolate maker-chocolatier sources high quality cacao beans from Latin America, working directly with the farms. And, their confections are made with their chocolate and sourcing local ingredients such as Maple View Farm Cream and Counter Culture Coffee.
They offer nearly a dozen unique chocolate bars, like their Goats Milk Bar, plus a large variety of confections.
Bring the kids and create an assorted confection box (from 2-24 pieces). I liked their White Chocolate Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Ganache. Oh, and their Peppermint Marshmallows are a hit for dipping in a cup of hot chocolate. There’s also a coffee bar and ice cream.
We’ve always enjoyed browsing DECO for gift-giving inspiration, and for our own home.
Pop into this gift shop and gallery that stocks hundreds of locally made gifts, housewares, books and cards from more than 75 local artisans and makers. There is a seriously unique and creative selection of gifts here you’ll be happy to give!
Curate is all about shop local Raleigh. They showcase over 60 local artists in their cute and cozy downtown Raleigh storefront with a nice collection of handmade goods. Artists rotate monthly so there is always a reason to stop by for something new. Popular items include candles, jewelry and homemade sauces.
The ZEN Succulent originated in Durham and is a modern terrarium and plant craft business full of unique greenery and handcrafted gifts from emerging makers. This is the place to shop for those new to house plant buying to get insider tips on what plants go where in your house, with what pots, and how to keep them happy and alive!
Looking for unique and elegant clothing and accessories? At Nashona, their products are handcrafted with vibrant African fabrics from Tanzania.
Founded in 2013 by Lilian Danieli, Nashona is based out of Goldsboro and seeks to promote the beautiful prints and textiles of Tanzania while also supporting its local artisans. And a portion of all sales goes to benefit the Shalom Orphanage in Karatu, Tanzania.
Young Hearts Distilling
If you know any Agave, Vodka or Gin fans out there, take note. Young Hearts Distilling is not only downtown Raleigh’s First Distillery & Restaurant, created by the folks behind Trophy Brewing, but you can pop in like we did and buy a bottle of their house-made spirits – Caroline is a fan of Agave!
- Address: 225 S Wilmington St, Raleigh
Pop-Up Shops on Martin St
Another excellent concept. This pop-up retail store program’s goal is to provide affordable retail space in a desirable location within Downtown Raleigh to minority-and-women-owned businesses.
Here, up-and-coming retailers can also participate in business counseling opportunities to grow their business through StartUp at Wake Tech.
TrêsLife – hair and skin care company, inspired by a Licensed Cosmetologist. All products are created using all-natural and safe ingredients.
Chance’s – a vintage and secondhand clothing store that is all about giving an item a second chance. All products have been thrifted, washed and sold for a fair and reasonable price.
Read With Me, A Children’s Book & Art Shop
Both our kids love to read, and we enjoy reading with them. Read With Me is an independent bookstore and local art gallery with a curated collection of books for all ages. They specialize in high-quality children’s books, but there’s also an adult book corner, audio books, and gifts and accessories to nurture creativity.
So & So Books
If you like supporting small independent local bookstores like we do, also pop into So & So Books who carry a carefully curated selection of the owners favorite titles in all the major genres that you probably won’t find easily elsewhere.
We bought Matthew McConaughey’s new book, Greenlights, here!
House of Swank Clothing
Go here for the raddest NC-themed shirts and swag. This is a design and print shop started by a passionate and local NC guy. I love my green t-shirt that features an oak tree, bluegrass instrument, and the Raleigh skyline.
Ealdwine (an upscale men’s store)
Guys, if you’re looking for an upscale men’s store in Raleigh downtown, consider Ealdwine. Opened in 2019, they feature Alden Shoes plus a well curated assortment of some of the finest brands in the menswear industry. Plus accessories including unique socks and leather goods.
Hunky Dory Record Store
Our old hobby of playing records has been ignited, and our favorite record store in Raleigh is Hunky Dory, I mean, what’s better than browsing through vinyl collections with a local craft beer in your hand.
Alternatively, see our post on 8 record stores in Raleigh.
Edge of Urge Boutique Store
If you’re familiar with Two Roosters Ice cream and Standard Beer in the North Person Street neighborhood, then between them is the Edge of Urge boutique store. They specialize in handmade and independent designer clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories.
Unlikely Professionals (Men’s General Store)
Unlikely Professionals is a Men’s General Store offering a full selection of clothing, accessories, shoes, and apothecary, plus the full beer and wine bar!
Walk across the street from Edge of Urge, go down the ramp and inside the old bike repair shop to this part dive bar, part retail store that’s a cool concept.
Wine Authorities Wine Shop
Independent wine store specializing in small, family owned wineries and up-and-coming winegrowers around the world and no wines over $50.
Friendly and knowledgeable staff. There’s a tasting bar with 24 wines to taste on their Enomatic wine dispensing machines, plus a cheese deli section. And, free wine tastings every week: Saturdays 12-3pm.
Bella Vita Home + Lifestyle (City Market)
Located along the cobblestone streets of Historic City Market, here you can shop unique home decor and furnishings for every room in your house hand-picked by the owners. This warm and welcoming store offers something for everyone’s style, with plenty of quality items for your home or gifts for loved ones.
Unleashed (dog & cat store)
We don’t own any pets, but I understand the value of quality nutrition and if you’re a dog or cat owner, be sure to check out Unleashed in City Market.
This locally-owned and popular store stocks an excellent range of treats and chews, plus the best collars, leashes and pet toys in Raleigh.
The Flourish Market
We can’t suggest a list of places to shop local in Raleigh who do good for the world without featuring The Flourish Market.
This unique women’s + gift boutique store stocks 60+ cause-based brands where your purchasing power does good. Come and shop clothing, jewelry, bags, shoes, greeting cards and much more.
Raleigh Denim Workshop + Curatory
This is a cool story. Raleigh Denim Workshop began with the idea of making the perfect pair of jeans. Located in the front of their workshop, the Curatory stocks the complete Raleigh Denim collection, as well as other exclusive well-crafted collections. Not the cheapest pair of jeans, but high quality!
Tasty Beverage Company
This is a great specialty retail beer store located in the refurbished train depot in the Warehouse District of Downtown. Crank Arm Brewing
It might be small in size, but laid out well and offers a great selection of North Carolina beers and a wide range of other bottled beers from around the world. Staff are very knowledgeable and helpful
NOTE: Currently only doing online ordering and pickup – No in-store shopping!
Pelagic Beer & Wine
Pelagic Beer & Wine is a super cool craft retail beer store and tasting room popular with the locals in the Mordecai/Oakwood community!
Founded in 2015 by local North Carolinians, they offer an extensive selection of craft beer, wine and cider to take home or enjoy in their tasting room, and we love their community spirit as they only sell beer from independent craft breweries in our state and region!
Endless Grind Skate Shop
This skater owned and operated skateboard shop was founded by professional skateboarder and North Carolina native Reggie Barnes in 1986.
Great selection of shoes such as Vans and Converse, plus skateboard decks, wheels, trucks and all your skating accessories. Friendly and knowledgeable staff who know all the local skating spots too!
Videri Chocolate Factory
Another excellent choice for chocolate lovers. At Videri Chocolate Factory you can go behind the scenes and tour the fully-operational retail space, or just sample yummy chocolates right at the counter.
Check out their gift boxes. We bought their Holly Holiday Gift Box (6oz Hot Chocolate Mix, a Classic Dark Chocolate Bar + Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Bar). They also offer soft serve ice cream, and one of the best coffee shops in downtown Raleigh, Black & White, is in the same building!
Father & Son Antiques
If browsing antique and thrift stores is your thing, put the 10,000 square foot Father & Sons on your list of places for shopping in Raleigh.
They offer everything from modern furnishings, vintage clothing and accessories, to records and books. They have one of the best vintage clothing selections in Raleigh.
Oak City Cycling
Looking to buy a quality bike? Oak City Cycling is a local, independent cycling shop focused on service, outreach and community.
They have a main focus on steel frame bikes, because steel bikes are strong, lightweight, and durable, plus carbon, aluminum and titanium bikes. These guys sell new and used bikes as well as accessories and components.
They also do custom build, service and repairs.
I hope this list helps you have a fund day of shopping in Raleigh. If you’re planning to visit Raleigh and need accommodation, check out these downtown Raleigh hotels.
More Raleigh Neighborhood Guides
Check out more guides for these Raleigh neighborhoods that also have great shopping with local stores.