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Boston's Top 10 : Essential Shopping Experiences

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  1. Newbury Street

    Try as it might, Back Bay’s most famous street cannot escape comparisons to Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive. True, both offer stupendous people-watching, sophisticated shopping, chic dining, and prestigious galleries. Yet with its 19th-century charm and convenient subway stops, Newbury Street outclasses its built-yesterday Left Coast counterpart by far. 

  2. Filene’s Basement

    Discount fashion outlets nationwide owe Filene’s Basement an immense debt of gratitude. Since 1908, this sprawling subterranean department store has championed the “name-brand shopping for less” retail philosophy. Some items are well priced, while others see their prices plummet the longer they sit on the shelves – illustrating Filene’s markdown concept. The store is closed until 2010 while the 1912 building undergoes extensive renovation.

    • 426 Washington St

  3. Charles Street

    Charm abounds on this bluest of blue-blooded street, which is studded with antique dealers, specialty grocers, and modern houseware boutiques. Come nightfall, wrought-iron gaslamps illuminate the brick sidewalks, residents hurry home with wine and fresh flowers, and sleek bistros buzz with excitement.

  4. Dairy Fresh

    The waft of enticing aromas floating from this treasure could send even the most resolute dieter into a tailspin. Candied fruits, chocolate-covered nuts, imported hard candies – all sold in bulk – taste as heavenly as they smell. But don’t overlook the extensive inventory of imported Italian foods, and quality teas and coffees.

    • 57 Salem St

  5. Harvard Coop

    Next to a Red Sox baseball cap, no other clothing item is as fundamentally Bostonian as a Harvard sweatshirt. The Coop, in Harvard Square, is your one-stop shop for Harvard-related merchandise with a dizzying array of clothing, books, posters, prints, and even specially engraved Tiffany silver jewelry.

    • 1400 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge

  6. Copley Place

    This was among the country’s first upscale urban shopping malls. It counts such du mode tenants as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Neiman Marcus, and Gucci plus locally owned shops such as the arts and crafts boutique, Artful Hand.

    • 100 Huntington Ave

  7. The Haymarket

    Being presented with a grilled salmon fillet may be more appealing than cooking one yourself, but this 350-year-old outdoor produce market still holds undeniable charm for visitors. Witness the feeding frenzy as fishmongers try to undercut each other on the day’s catch.

    • Open noon–7pm Fri, 7am–7pm Sat

    Fish stall, The Haymarket
  8. Harvard Square Bookstores

    Harvard Square’s bookstores are some of the most distinguished in the country. The Harvard Coop boasts 170,000-plus titles, while Schoenhof’s Foreign Books specializes in non-English books. The c.1932 Harvard Book Store (1256 Massachusetts Ave) stocks countless new and used titles. 

  9. Faneuil Hall Marketplace

    With its millions of visitors every year, Faneuil Hall Marketplace would not be found on any best-kept secret list. However, with its central location, rich colonial history, and plethora of food stalls, it offers a unique shopping experience. Choose from name-brand stores such as Victoria’s Secret or the more unusual offerings in the fleet of pushcarts. 

    Stall, Faneuil Hall Marketplace
  10. Downtown Crossing

    Here you’ll find large stores such as Macy’s and Filene’s Basement (closed until 2010). A range of smaller shops attract a youthful mix, while the jewelry district lies just east on Washington St.

    • Junction of Summer, Winter, & Washington sts

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