The Caribbean Shopping Guide

Dominican Republic

Amber Art Gallery

Situated in a building that dates back to the days of Columbus and overlooks the oldest church in the Americas, this boutique has an air of serious history. What's inside is equally notable: a trove of timelessly chic jewelry made using the Dominican Republic's famed natural resources—black coral, pale blue larimar, and amber (don't miss the fascinating specimen of the latter oozing from a tree trunk in the shop's upstairs museum).
107 Calle El Conde, Colonial Zone, 809-221-1333

Products: Jewelry, Decorative/Lighting, Gifts/Design
Type of Store: Boutique

Bazar Couture

Owned by a stylish Spanish/Cuban couple who have been a retailing force in Santo Domingo for years (this is their fourth store), Bazar Couture is a worthwhile stop for clothing and shoes by marquee European brands like Moschino, Christian Lacroix, and Pucci.
10 Víctor Garrido Puello, Ensanche Piantini, 809-732-3222

Products: Shoes
Type of Store: Boutique

Felipe & Co.

This is the place to load up on quality Dominican-made trinkets of all types—from clay vessels painted with tropical fauna and sequin-flecked straw totes to delicate shell chandeliers and sacks of native coffee beans (hard to find in the States, coffee from the Dominican Republic is some of the best in the world).
105 Calle El Conde, Colonial Zone, 809-689-5812

Products: Jewelry, Decorative/Lighting, Linens, Tabletop, Gifts/Design
Type of Store: Boutique

Il Prato

Shaded by palm trees, fronted with a teak walkway, and stuffed with clothing and accessories by hip labels like Barbara Bui and Alice Temperley, Il Prato is Santo Domingo's insider-favored boutique. The handbag selection is especially great-look for the latest from Chloé and Jimmy Choo.
41 Federico Geraldino, Ensanche Piantini, 809-732-7266

Products: Bags
Type of Store: Boutique

Jenny Polanco

Venture a few blocks off Parque Colón, the Colonial Zone's shady main square, and you'll stumble across this tiny shop, constructed of rugged chunks of coral stone. It's the flagship for Santo Domingo's best-known designer, Jenny Polanco, and offers up an endless variety of her dramatically detailed white linen tops, skirts, and dresses.
53 Padre Bellini, Colonial Zone, 809-221-3796; plus other locations

Products: Bags, Jewelry
Type of Store: Boutique

Mundo Artesanal

One of Santo Domingo's biggest tourist attractions is pedestrian corridor Calle El Conde, and as such, it's overrun with souvenir stores. The only one worth visiting is Mundo Artesanal, and for a single, specific reason: its $5-a-pop nameplate bracelets, which are made out of a lattice of gold wire and can be customized on the spot (watch as an artisan bends and twists a string of metal to spell out your word of choice in a fancy script).
251 Calle El Conde, Colonial Zone, 809-688-3889

Products: Jewelry
Type of Store: Boutique

Nubah

Between the parks and gated homes in Santo Domingo's upscale Piantini neighborhood is the city's densest assortment of boutiques, and Nubah is our favorite for its extensive selection of pieces by Ya-Ya, Cigana, Robert Rodriguez, and Alice + Olivia. Proprietors Viviana Cabral and Laura Fernandez, two friends who grew up in the area, have an unerring eye and make an effort to bring in Latin American lines—like Colombia's Francesca Miranda (known for its playful, yacht-club-inspired pieces) and Brazil's Pape (famed for its Grecian leather sandals).
55 Rafael Augusto Sánchez, Ensanche Piantini, 809-565-8432

Products: Shoes, Bags
Type of Store: Boutique