Since it lacks a central attraction, this area is often ignored by the tourist guides. But look closer and you'll discover a jackpot of fabulous sources for retro dishware, covetable gifts, and clothing by rising designers.
Sisters Marisa and Mariëlla Angel opened this pair of shops because they wanted to offer the area's many artists and creative types access to anything-but-run-of-the-mill clothing. Angel Basics, the original store, is largely stocked with pieces priced south of 100 euros, while Too is home to splurgier familiar-label items, like Antik Batik tunics and Anonymous camisoles.
Situated in an old tiled butcher shop, this tableware purveyor seems straight out of another era. Cherry-print pitchers and lattice-design mugs hang from the original meat hooks, while stacks of bowls and sugar-and-creamer sets rest on wrought-iron bread racks.
True to its name, this boutique favors timelessly chic clothing-striped lawn shirtdresses, cashmere wrap cardigans, cropped trenches—exclusively in muted tones. We hadn't heard of most of the lines, and found ourselves loving Rue Blanche, a Belgian label with a distinct '50s sensibility, and understated Dutch brand No Man's Land.
Upscale street wear, an alternative newsstand, and an in-store hair salon make this spot stand out among the endless pot-paraphernalia shops on touristy Leidsestraat. You'll have to hike up a staircase to reach most of the clothing, which comes from names like Adidas, Original Penguin, and Fred Perry. Also look for custom low-rider bikes and a music section.
There's more to this debauched neck of the woods than brothels and hashish bars—namely, a collection of esoteric and highly inventive up market shops.
This row of same-named stores consists of a vintage clothing outpost known for its affordable dresses, a recently opened shoe annex, and a dead-stock military-gear store loaded with sailor-stripe jerseys and wool navy caps.
For the past dozen years, this Dutch design firm has collaborated with young designers to produce clever, brilliantly functional products that have become modern-day classics, like Tejo Remy's milk-bottle pendant lamps and Marcel Wanders' iconic chair made of knotted, epoxied rope.
Three branches of this feminine Dutch clothing chain dot the center of town; the most atmospheric faces one of the city's original canals and has echoes of an old steamer ship. While creaky wood floors and oversize portholes paired with dainty, eyelet-edged camisoles and fluted chiffon skirts may seem like an odd combination, somehow it all works.
Most shops in town tend to shutter by 6 pm, but this off-the-beaten-path spot, which only sells pieces by local labels, keeps far later hours—and sometimes stays open until 9