Last December, we published an article on Christmas shopping in the neighborhood, and it was a big hit. It was widely read, and we got some terrific feedback from neighbors telling us that the suggestions we made simplified the holiday season for them.
So, we thought we'd do the same thing again this year. We've checked out what's new and what's changed, and we've got the definitive neighborhood holiday shopping guide.
We’ll start, however, with the same recommendation we made last year: Skip the malls. Skip Amazon. Skip the big box stores. Instead, visit and shop at some of the terrific places that are right here in the neighborhood.
It’s genuinely fun walking from shop to shop, talking to owners who are excited about their products, and finding unique, one-of-a-kind gifts that are truly special. And it's a great way to support our neighborhood businesses, which are still recovering from some very tough years.
Here’s our list of neighborhood spots where you can pick up some really special things for the loved ones on your shopping list, and have fun while doing it!
This little shop in the Blue Star Arts Complex offers jewelry, stone works, metal works, glass works and other art.
Located in the Blue Star Arts Complex at 1420 S Alamo. Facebook page
‘Fashion activist’ Agosto Cuellar’s Blue Star shop carries modern retro and vintage clothing, jewelry, belts, and all kinds of fashion accessories.
Located in the Blue Star Arts Complex. Website
Belle of the Ball
Owner Elaine Lopez’s boutique in Lavaca is welcoming and quaint, and offers women’s clothing and accessories… a big assortment of unique jewelry and even cute gifts for pets and pet lovers.
Located at 1020 S Presa. Facebook Page
Described by owner Kelly Welker as a ‘Fun-tique Emporium’, you’re sure to find something beautiful and unique at Bijou Betties. It’s full of European and American antiques, art, books, furnishings, pillows, jewelry, collectibles, and Christmas ornaments and decor. This is a great place to browse!
Located at 1009 S Alamo. Facebook Page
Blue Star Bike Shop
This shop boasts one of San Antonio’s biggest selections of Electra bicycles, BMX, single speeds, fixed gears, Cruisers, Sports Cruisers, Road bikes, city bikes, kids bikes, brooks saddles and bags, along with an extensive showing of accessories. If there’s a cyclist on your shopping list, you just might find the perfect gift here.
Located at 1414 S Alamo in the Blue Star Arts Complex. Website
Blue Star Provisions
I don’t usually think of a grocery market as a spot to do Christmas shopping, but this quaint neighborhood shop has a lot of ‘gift worthy’ items to offer. In addition to the grocery staples they carry, there are all kinds of products that would make great gifts… wine, candles, incense, craft soap and body products, Blue Star growlers, coffee, and more.
Located at 1414 S Alamo in the Blue Star Arts Complex, next to Halocyon. Website
Owner Florence Barrera is “a fashion lover with a fascination for bold prints and bright colors.” Her shop offers her own handmade jewelry and hair accessories, and clothing that she personally and lovingly curates.
Located at 721 S St. Mary’s. Website
San Angel Folk Art Gallery
Owner Richard Henry (“Hank”) Lee describes his gallery as a ‘Victorian Curiosity Shop’. It carries the work of self-taught artists from all over the world. You can pick up pieces from Mexico, Latin America, the United States, Europe, Africa, and many other exotic locations. Browse through the shop and ask about the stories behind the unique and beautiful works of art.
Located at 110 Blue Star. Website
San Antonio Art League & Museum
This San Antonio gem, located in the heart of King William, displays award winning art by local artists, and has a ‘Small Works Gift Shop’ that offers jewelry, artist cards, and other small pieces of art. You can purchase one of the larger pieces on display in the museum, or pick up a small piece from the gift shop.
Located at 130 King William. Website
Slab Cinema Arthouse
Did you know we’ve got a movie venue here in the neighborhood? Owned and operated by the Slab Cinema folks, Angela and Rick Martinez, the Arthouse features a diverse selection of films… including many classics. A gift card from the Arthouse (and perhaps one from a local restaurant) is a great ‘date night’ gift for the movie buff.
Located at 134 Blue Star. Website
Owner Marcy Newman offers beautiful custom-designed cookies for all occasions, and she’s got a great assortment of pre-designed holiday cookies. Everyone has a sweet tooth this time of year, so this may be the perfect gift for those ‘hard to shop for’ folks on your Christmas list. Check out the article Jim Feuerstein wrote Marcy’s business here.
Located online at Southtown Sweets
If you thought vinyl albums were a thing of the past, think again… they never went away and they are gaining popularity by leaps and bounds among music lovers. And this shop is a music lover’s dream. It carries a huge selection of both newly pressed and used albums, and it even offers some very reasonably priced turntables.
Located at 1112 S St. Mary’s. Facebook page
Just about everyone has a ‘coffee lover’ on their Christmas list. Stop by the Tumbleweed Coffee trailer on S Presa (or order online) and pick up a pound (or ½ pound) of Tumbleweed’s coffee, roasted on site. I can tell you as a coffee connoisseur, this coffee is wonderful, and would make a great stocking stuffer.
Located at 636 S Presa. Website
That’s the list of neighborhood gift shops we found. But here are a few more suggestions for some neighborhood shopping.
In addition to the several of the shops listed above, the Blue Star Arts Complex is home to a number of art galleries and artist-run studios that offer exhibits and showcase the work of local artists. Those galleries are: Blue Star Arts Collective, BLK WHT GRY, Carbon Bloom, Carolina Flores Art Studio, Contemporary at Blue Star, Creative Eye, Flax Studio, Fl!ght Gallery, Hijole SA, JojoDancer Photography, KGS Studios, Las Meninas, Not For You Gallery, Un Grito Gallery, and The Upstairs Studio. Click here for a complete directory of the establishments in the Blue Star Arts Complex
Restaurant Supply Stores
We are lucky to have two large restaurant supply stores - Ace Mart Restaurant Supply and Mission Restaurant Supply —right here in the neighborhood. Both are well-stocked with lots of items for home chefs. They carry cookware and all kinds of serving items, utensils, knives, small appliances, kitchen gadgets… everything you need for a well-equipped kitchen. Learn more about these stores here and treat the cook-lover in your family to a gift from one of these places.
Ace Mart Restaurant Supply, Located at 1220 S. St. Mary’s. Website
Mission Restaurant Supply, Located at 1126 S St. Mary’s. Website
Everyone loves to eat out!
Most of the neighborhood restaurants offer gift cards. Browse through the restaurant directory on our website and pick some favorites. Treat that special someone to a night out with you!
There are lots of pop-up holiday markets coming up that will likely have some unique and fun holiday gifts. Go to the events page on our website, click the button for ‘See the latest newsletter’ and look for the section on holiday markets.
I hope these suggestions help to make your last-minute shopping outings fun and easy!
This Blue Star shop is a vintage lover’s delight. Shop for vintage clothing, handbags, luggage, jewelry, belts, and all kinds of accessories.
Located at 1420 S Alamo #106B in Blue Star. Facebook
Treat your fitness-minded loved ones to a gift from EnergyX Fitness in Hemisfair. They offer gift cards, memberships, and class packages. And this December, owner Alison Galvan is offering LNF readers a free class (use the code MERRY).
Located at 623 Hemisfair Blvd. Website
Garcia Art Glass
This glassblowing studio “creates one-of-a-kind works of art with an emphasis on thoughtful design and authentic story telling.” Choose from wall art, bowls, glasses, and glass sculptures in vibrant, beautiful colors.
Located at 715 S Alamo. Website
Helotes Creek Studio
“A unique boutique, gift shop, and Art gallery in the heart of Southtown... Your source for the unique, the contemporary, your next treasure.” The shop offers clothing, leather goods, jewelry, candles, body care products, and more.
Located at 1420 S Alamo in the Blue Star Arts Complex. Website
Owner Macy Esquivel has the coolest selection of clothing, scarves and jewelry in her, chic Lavaca boutique.
Located at 734 S Alamo. Instagram
San Antonio artist Robert Tatum sells his unique assortment of clothing, home goods, posters and more at the HotBox Gallery in Lavaca.
Located at 642A S Presa. Website
Jane Bishop’s shop in Blue Star carries a large selection of work from local artists. The walls are lined with beautiful paintings and the shop is filled with ‘fine craft’ — artist cards, hand-blown glass objects, jewelry, sculptures, pottery, and textile arts.
Located at 1420 S Alamo #C112A in Blue Star. Website
Can you say ‘oink’? Pig Liquors carries a huge selection of top-shelf spirits, tequilas, wine, champagne and beer. Great place to pick up tequila and margarita kits, and stocking stuffers. Owner Anet Alaniz always has some doggy treats on hand so it’s a great place to stop at with your pup.
Located at 519 S Presa. Facebook Page
The Pipe Corner
Is there a cigar aficiando or pipe lover in the house? The Pipe Corner is the place to go for a large selection of cigars, pipes, lighters, cutters, humidors and locally blended tobacco. You can also pick up wine, champagne and beer.
Located at 727 S Alamo. Facebook
Remedy CBD Parlor
Located right here in Lavaca, this shop can satisfy all your CBD needs. Owner ‘Little Bud’ (yes, that’s his real first name) keeps his place well stocked with CBD oils, drops, CBD pet products, and even Willie Nelson CBD-infused coffees and teas. He’s a knowledgeable grower who supplies products to medical organizations and hospitals in Texas.
Located at 640 S Presa. Instagram
Re:Rooted Urban Winery
This unique wine bar and shop carries a selection of Texas wines, many of which are produced at a winery collective in Fredericksburg and carrying the Re:Rooted label. Owners Jennifer and John Beckmann know their stuff and can help you select the right bottle or growler of wine for a loved one. Or you can really splurge and give a wine club membership. See some of Jen's gift reccomendations here.
Located at 623 Hemisfair Blvd in Hemisfair. Website
Jane Gennarelli is co-editor of LNF Weekly. She also edits the Lavaca & Friends weekly arts and entertainment newsletter.
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