Spend some time hopping shelf to shelf for books, music, home decor and more at some of the best gift and specialty shops across Houston.
There’s no shortage of retail adventures in Houston. Nearly every neighborhood in the city has its local gems worthy of a look, where shoppers will find everything from quirky toy stores to specialty boutiques with handcrafted items.
We’ve curated eight shops across the city, perfect for gift hunting or specialty shopping, that make it easy to spend a slow morning shop hopping with a coffee in hand. Plus, you can feel good flexing your AmEx muscles while supporting some local businesses and artisans.
Top Gift & Specialty Stores in Houston
Casa Ramirez in the Heights
A staple on 19th Street in the Heights for decades, Casa Ramirez is not only a great spot to spend an afternoon browsing its folk art treasures but also offers a glimpse into Latino culture. The small boutique, always bursting with color, comes alive during Dia de los Muertos, when sacred altars are assembled to honor and remember those who have passed on. Featuring art, books, photographs and clothing from local artists and artisans in Mexico and Latin America, it’s easy to get lost in all the shop offers.
Open 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday; noon to 5pm on Sunday; closed Mondays.
Space in Montrose
Founded in 2010 by husband-and-wife team Leila and Carlos Peraza, Space Montrose is dedicated to showcasing local artists and handcrafted goods. Popular for its Texas and Houston focus and pop culture finds, the small shop is full of unique merchandise, from clothes and jewelry to stationary sets and posters. The shop rotates artists’ work regularly, making each visit a new shopping opportunity.
Open 11am to 7pm daily.
All the Feels in Midtown
Step into a beautiful 1928 art deco building on Milam Street to shop local, vintage and handmade goods at All the Feels. The outpost, which opened in 2021, carries a lovely collection of 20th-century designs featuring everything from art nouveau and art deco to mid-century modern and postmodern items. Browse for jewelry, home decor, accessories, apothecary items and one-of-a-kind trinkets.
Open Wednesday to Saturday noon to 7pm; Sunday noon to 4pm; closed Monday and Tuesday.
Cactus Music in Upper Kirby
For nearly 50 years, Houstonians have been shopping at Cactus Music shop for the latest tunes. Known for its extensive music collection, Houston’s oldest independently-owned music store has everything from cassette tapes to vintage LPs and CDs, plus it’s easy to spend an afternoon browsing the collection of concert posters, music memorabilia and autographs that cover the walls. Check out their calendar for in-store events, including live music performances, album release parties and artist meet-and-greets.
Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 7pm; Sunday noon to 7pm.
The Flora Cultura near the Galleria
Don’t have a green thumb? Don’t worry. The Flora Culture helps to make decorating with plants accessible and approachable for everyone. Founded in 2019 by husband and wife Jemine and Matthew Oakes, the Flora Culture encourages an easy plant lifestyle by offering indoor plants, educational services, decorating ideas and experiential workshops. The Flora Culture offers free potting with the purchase of a plant or pot and will help customers pick the perfect specimen for their space.
Open 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday; 10am to 6pm on Thursday and Friday; closed Sunday.
Kinokuniya in Katy Asian Town
This bookstore carries an impressive collection of Japanese and English language books, as well as issues of hard-to-find magazines and coffee table books. Anime and manga enthusiasts will be dazzled by their massive selection of high-quality imported items, plus Kinokuniya also carries an extensive stationary and pen selection, including hard-to-find quills and inks. The bookstore also has in-store events such as book signings, storytelling sessions and meetups, so keep an eye on their calendar for future programs.
Open 11:30am to 8pm daily.
Misfit Toys at Multiple Locations
Reflect on your childhood while walking up and down the aisle of Misfit Toys. The toy store, with three Houston locations in the Heights, Montrose and Memorial, carries everything from vintage He-Man and Transformers to Star Wars collectibles. Also known for their extensive collection of horror toys, each location is full of action figures, dolls and other classic toy memorabilia that make great gifts or prized additions to your own collection.
Hours vary by location.
Kaboom Books in the Heights
Brought westward after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans transplant Kaboom Books has been a haven for bibliophiles in Houston ever since. Still going strong after nearly two decades, they invite customers “tired of looking for books in your underwear, hunched over your keyboard” to come in and browse what the lively store, with more than 100,000 books ranging from current to out-of-print titles and stacked floor-to-ceiling, has to offer.
Open noon to 6pm daily.
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