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The Top 10 Coolest Stores in Saratoga

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Top 10 Coolest Stores and Shops in Saratoga Springs, NY

Best Shopping in Saratoga: Toys, Records, Boutiques, Olive Oil, Fun and More Await You

Saratoga has a lot to offer both visitors and residents alike – the springs, the race course, a rich history, and some of the best shopping in the upstate NY area. Although there’s much more to Saratoga beyond just Broadway, the Broadway historic district is the commercial core of the city and it’s also where some of Saratoga’s coolest stores are located. Here, you’ll find a store for practically every need imaginable – your health, home, special occasions, listening pleasures and even your dog. We chose these 10 stores for their unique and fun offerings, for their ability to, well, to ultimately make you want to shop. Listed here in no particular order are our picks for the Top 10 Coolest Stores in Saratoga…

1. Saratoga Olive Oil; 484 Broadway

Saratoga Olive Oil Like its name implies, Saratoga Olive Oil is a store devoted to olive oil. Fairly new to downtown, S.O.O. is a family owned and operated business looking to provide the area with the freshest and healthiest oils available. In addition to varietal oils, they also offer white and red balsamic condimento vinegars, sea salts, olive oil based beauty products, pottery and locally produced bread and crackers. Their large collection of oils and vinegars are imported from all over the world from places like Italy, Portugal, France and Argentina. The selection of over 60 kinds of oils isn’t even the best part – it’s the hands-on experience that comes with choosing a favorite… or five. Dip bite sized-pieces of bread into flavors like basil, garlic, cilantro, roasted onion, and my absolute favorite, blood orange. It’s olive oil like you’ve never tasted it before. S.O.O. is smart to let you taste their goods – that’s how they get you. I never gave much thought into olive oil, and now I have one for cooking, one for dipping, one for pasta dishes, and one for salads. Taste at your own risk, you’ll be hooked at first dip.

2. Lyrical Ballad Bookstore; 7 Phila Street

Located right off Broadway and amongst the coolest of the used bookstores that you’ll find just about anywhere (how many do you know that contain a true blue bank vault within them?), Lyrical Ballad Bookstore is not for those of the Barnes & Nobles mindset. Organization is not key here; rather, it’s the kind of place you go to wander and browse (if you’re a book lover, you’ll be doing it for hours on end). Inside this labyrinth of a bookstore, you’ll find hallways that twist and turn into rooms, each filled with treasures of old books, fun art prints, collections of postcards organized by state and country, and much more. If you’re in search of a particular title, you’re best off asking the staff–they’re super friendly and accommodating and will do their best to help you find what you’re looking for. Finding it on your own, however, may prove challenging.

3. next summer; 516 Broadway

next summer, saratoga, photo by dave bowerThe newest of the stores on the Broadway block, next summer hails originally from Bolton Landing, where owners Matthew and Cathy Slaughter (a son-mother team) operate a sister store in the summer months. Featuring an inspiring array of unique and eclectic housewares, furnishings, clothing, kitchen items, rugs, and more, the store is surprisingly well-priced for the collections you’ll find. The store blends elements of modern with the antique (corresponding to the owners’ various tastes), along with a fresh, colorful “next summer” approach, all the while living up to its motto of “supplies for a good life.” Among the brand names you’ll find here are Joseph Joseph, Dash & Albert, Vineyard Vines and Zak. Another great factor is that they also sell items by local artisans. Dog lovers won’t be disappointed either, as this shop also carries some fun dog-centric items. Located across from the Saratoga City Center, it’s a great place to shop when you’re in search of those unique one of a kind items.

4. Red Wolf, 15 Spring Street

Owners Kendra and Mark Yale opened this upscale boutique-emporium in April 2010 with the idea of filling it with beautiful things–a task they’ve easily achieved. Although Red Wolf‘s main focus is on clothing and accessories, they also carry other items, from pottery to glassware to handmade furniture created by Mark on their West Glenville farm. If you like a feminine, classy feel, then you’ll definitely be at home here, with their unique dresses, tops and skirts (and some gorgeous scarves too). They also carry many men’s items as well, including the hip yet classic Scotch & Soda line. By focusing on smaller designers like Krista Larson, Dressed to Kill, Pete & Greta, Scotch & Soda, Tamara Stopinski (and more), Red Wolf remains ever stylish and unique.

5. G. Willikers; 461 Broadway

G. Willikers Forget Toys-R-Us, G. Willikers is the kind of toy store all toy stores should aspire to. Selling toys in downtown Saratoga since 1984, G. Willikers offers a variety of toys for children from infancy to 12+ years. They have baby toys and gear, stuffed animals and puppets, science and educational toys, imaginary play, blocks, building and construction and of course, things that go. G. Willikers takes having fun seriously and that’s why they’re a longstanding tradition in Saratoga. (I’m sure you’ve seen their signature purple bags once or twice). It’s a great place to make the kid in your life happy (or to rediscover your own inner child). I just love their storefront windows, (especially this jungle one!) – they get more and more creative with each display.

6. DiVinyl Revolution; 437 Broadway

Even if the days of cool kids hanging out in the record store were a little before your time, at DiVinyl Revolution, you can live the retro dream. The funky shop buys, sells and trades used and new vinyl, CDs, DVDs, kid robot toys and other various collectibles. Their music selection is extensive and if there’s an old CD or record you’ve been looking for, chances are they have it. In the back, there’s racks of vintage clothing, posters and skateboards–it’s a plethora of punk rock-classic rock and rock-n-roll memorabilia, music and more. Plus, there’s a gold encrusted toilet adorning the space. Stop by if not just to see the toilet, but to do some rummaging and save vinyl!

7. Piper Boutique; 441 Broadway

Piper Boutique is the perfect addition to the boutique scene on Broadway. The fashion forward clothing store has the latest trends in apparel and accessories at tolerable prices. Plus, you’re not bombarded with racks and racks of clothing, just a modest selection of all must-haves. The majority of the labels they carry are BB Dakota, Jack, Collective Concepts, Audrey, JPK Paris and Gorgana. I really have never been in a store before where I literally loved everything I saw. Owner Alessandra Bange-Hall, a Lake Luzerne native, carefully handpicks what comes through the cute-painted doors. You can also get notified of some good deals on Piper’s Facebook page, including deals of the day and pictures of the store’s latest imports.

8. Tushita Heaven; 322 Broadway

Tushita Heaven

Get enlightened at Tushita Heaven, one of downtown’s newest stores. Located at the corner of Spring Street, this eclectic shop has minerals, crystals, jewelry, aromatherapy products and everything else under the new age sun. Tushita Heaven is not only a store, but a wellness center, so if you’re looking to get on the right spiritual path, this is definitely where you’ll want to head. Both curious beginners and serious crystal collectors will be at home here, and the staff is super friendly to boot. The first time I visited Tushita Heaven, I stopped by to see if they had my favorite kind of incense, and left with two packs, lotion and a really cool, mini-Buddha statue that looks great on my bookshelf as a bookend.

9. Sloppy Kisses 493 Broadway & Dawgdom 441A Broadway

If you haven’t noticed, there’s almost as many dogs as people in Saratoga. I’m constantly reminded how I wish I had a dog-friendly apartment and four-legged walking buddy. Whether walking down Broadway or taking a stroll in Congress Park, dogs and their companions are everywhere, so it’s only natural that there would be two stores on Broadway dedicated to our fluffy friends. Sloppy Kisses is Saratoga’s premier Dog Bakery with dozens of fresh baked treats like doggie donuts, Pupcakes and peanut butter puppy cookies. The bakery also doubles as a Pet Boutique which carries designer clothing and collars, beds and toys. At Dawgdom, they have functional necessities, unique novelties and creative gifts. It’s where you go to get the dog who has everything, something.

10. Fiat Feminae; 454 Broadway (in the Saratoga Marketplace)

fiat feminae, saratogaEvery woman has her secret, and thankfully we can finally say goodbye to Victoria’s. Sorry all you fans of Victoria’s Secret, but Fiat Feminae has got her beat hands down. Though still fairly new to the Saratoga scene, this unique lingerie boudoir has quickly gained in popularity. Blending a mix of 50s style pinup with shabby chic and French boudoir, and adding to it some top notch customer service, what you’ve got is a sure bet for success. It doesn’t hurt either that they throw in a couple of classy extras, like a monthly champagne and truffles. But ultimately, with any store, it’s the products that will keep you coming back, and Fiat Feminae wins out here as well. The store even carries a line of eco-friendly lingerie by Brooklyn designer Clare Brown made from bamboo jersey and vintage fabric. Now that’s cool.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Pipits of Saratoga; 487 Broadway

Pipits of Saratoga is the eclectic meets sophistication store for all your home decorating needs. Pipits has one-of-a-kind accessories like Alpaca fiber sock monkeys (a must have) and fabulous home finery like crystal and china, vintage flatware and dinnerware. It’s the kind of store that you can go in for one thing and four hours later come out with ten.

Saratoga Salsa & Spice, Co.; 398 Broadway

Packing a punch with its over 1,000 hot sauces, salsas, BBQ sauces, spices, cookbooks and spicy paraphernalia is the Saratoga Salsa & Spice Co. If you can’t take the heat – no worries, there’s delicious fruit and wine based salsas, and if you can, there’s hot sauces like Blair’s Ultra Death and one of the hottest in the world, Mad Dog 357 Pure Ghost Hot Sauce. There’s a wall of fame (and shame) of those who have dared to try their tastebuds with some of the spicier sauces. It’s a fun, friendly place, where taste-testing is encouraged.

–This article was co-written by Aubree Cutkomp and Monica Sirignano.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

Short URL: http://thefreegeorge.com/thefreegeorge/?p=15557

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