Holiday gift giving guide: Northside

Are you looking for an off-the-beaten-path holiday shopping experience?

Try Northside.

Like all other Cincinnati neighborhoods, Northside has its own flavor and culture. All along Hamilton Avenue, holiday shoppers will find a diverse collection of shops and restaurants to inspire gift-giving and each stop along the way will give you a better taste of what Northside is all about.

Do you want help charting your shopping path?
Read on.

For those looking to pick up small gifts for friends and family, The Chocolate Bee is a great place to start. It’s a partner shop for Bee Haven Honey and Chocolats Latour. In the shop you’ll find a variety of fine chocolate treats and seasonal packaged chocolates, as well as fresh local honey and honey products like candles, jams, and salves. 

Next door is Hi-Bred, a super hip boutique of vintage and handmade clothing and accessories. (The perfectly curated and organized jewelry collection alone is worth your stop.) Across the street you’ll find the Joseph Clark Gallery with an extensive collection of African art.

If you choose to travel south from there, take a quick right on Spring Grove Avenue to find Casablanca Vintage, which is perhaps Cincinnati’s most iconic vintage clothing shop. Just a bit further down Spring Grove you’ll find the headquarters of Visionaries + Voices, an inclusive arts organization. Browse their gallery space for a piece of artwork to give as a gift or ask about other items—like stationery, household items, and wrapping paper—that you can purchase to support the organization.

Shop Shake It Records for new and vintage LPs and CDs, hip culture zines, and more.If you’d rather travel further north of The Chocolate Bee on Hamilton Avenue, you’ll find The Mindful Nest, a metaphysical lifestyle boutique that sells things like crystals, herbs, and tarot card decks. Shake It Records is just a bit further up the street and is a Cincinnati cultural institution in and of itself. Shop there for new and vintage LPs and CDs, hip culture zines, books, and gifts, and walk away with a whole lot of street cred.

Create a custom six pack at Higher Gravity in Northside.If you’re headed to a holiday party or are looking to create the perfect gift basket, there are also a few great places in Northside to grab some things before you head home.

Co-owner Mark Dreibelbis, Morsel & Nosh
At Happy Chicks Bakery, you can find grab-and-go cupcakes and cookies, or you can place an order for special order cakes and seasonal items like cinnamon roll wreaths. Stop at Sidewinder Coffee or Collective Espresso for a bag of locally-roasted coffee beans. Make a custom six pack of local or craft beer at Higher Gravity. Or find the ingredients for the perfect charcuterie plate at specialty grocer and delicatessen Morsel & Nosh.

For a more non-traditional gift, consider stopping in at one Northside’s local tattoo parlors, piercing studios (like Skincraft), or salons for a gift certificate.

On your way out of the neighborhood

A quick trip further up Hamilton Avenue, past the boundary of Northside, leads to the neighborhood of College Hill. Before you wrap up your shopping for the day, consider driving the few miles north for a stop at Silk Road Textiles, Fern plant shop, and College Hill Coffee.

Happy shopping!
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Read more articles by Liz McEwan.

Liz McEwan is a proud wife, mama, urbanite, musician and blogger. Follow her at The Walking Green and on twitter at @thewalkinggreen.