Looking for new body art? Comics? Cigars? Books? We’ve rounded up 14 NW Philly shops you don’t want to miss, whether it’s for yourself or to find gifts, like the lovely collaboration piece pictured above from East Falls Glassblowing and Vault + Vine (found at the latter), for the ones who dance to the beat of a different drum.
This boutique cigar shop offers an excellent selection of cigars at reasonable prices. If you’re not a smoker their seasoned staff will help you select your gifts, and if you are there’s a lounge in the back to sit and relax with your stogie. And if you’re in the smoker category, they hold regular events in the shop, which are posted on their website.
BnB Cigars (7920 Germantown Avenue)
Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop
We’re of the belief that everyone loves cheese, and an old-school shop offering an international selection of artisanal cheeses, crackers and condiments and has a Cheese of the Month club? Sign us up! Plus they offer samples and sometimes even some wine while you shop, so it’s a win win for everyone.
Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop (8509 Germantown Avenue)
East Falls Glassworks
East Falls Glassworks is Philadelphia’s only public access glassblowing studio and visitors and artists alike are welcome to see what it’s like to work with this fascinating material. While there you can also shop for hand-crafted glass pieces created by local artists, including their staff and students, or pick up a gift certificate. Want to learn how to create these awe-inspiring pieces of art yourself? They also offer glass-blowing classes, even more fun to do with a friend.
East Falls Glassworks (3510 Scotts Lane)
Johnny Destructo's Hero Complex
This boutique style comic, graphic novel and merch shop with a deceptively large collection earns 5 stars across the board for their customer service and selection. They also offer subscription services to ensure that you get the comic books you want as they are released, comic-shipping service for subscribers and host a monthly gaming night and a Graphic Novel of the Month Club.
Johnny Destructo's Hero Complex (4327 Main Street)
Whether it’s a first or a 50th piece of body art, customers rave about the professionalism and experience of Kadillac Tattoo’s owner and staff. Treat a friend or yourself, they also have a fantastic reputation for making early life mistakes look like you meant it all along.
Kadillac Tattoo (7102 Germantown Avenue)
It’s so nice to find a real old-fashioned hardware store these days, especially one that offers a wide variety of housewares, garden supplies and gifts, and also specializes in functional and decorative hardware for wood doors and windows for your own home improvement needs. With 30,000 items in stock, they are sure to have the gadget or gizmo you’re looking for.
Kilian Hardware (8450 Germantown Avenue)
Knight’s Beauty & Barber Supply
West Oak Lane
This 2nd generation, family owned and operated business with 37 years of experience provides innovative, high-quality products and services that earn them big accolades from their loyal customers. Brushes, product and other supplies that are barber-shop-quality are on hand and you can browse their website in advance if you’re looking for something special.
Knight’s Beauty & Barber Supply (7161 Stenton Avenue)
Philly Electric Wheels
This full service bike shop specializes in folding and electric bikes, plus accessories from bike bags to brakes. So what’s this ebike thing all about you ask? Don’t ask us, they’re the experts! And their friendly and knowledgeable crew will answer all of your questions about this machine from the future.
Philly Electric Wheels (7153 Sprague Street)
Philly Muscle Tees
Philly Muscle Tees has a cool line of unique sports gear to help support the home team and turn heads. They’ve designed their store concept around the “Throwback” appeal, selling throwback Eagles, Phillies, Flyers and Sixers apparel that will set your favorite sports fan apart from the crowd and hopefully help send our team and Philadelphia on to victory.
Philly Muscle Tees (6216 Ridge Avenue)
Pick-a-Panel True Value
This long-running True Value outpost sells lumber, cabinets, contractor supplies, tools and more. Their helpful staff will remind you that you’re at a local hardware store and not a big box store, and they even offer “how-to” videos on their website.
Pick-a-Panel True Value (5000 Germantown Avenue)
Smoke Cigar Lounge & Hookah Bar
This accessible cigar lounge has a passionate staff to help pick the perfect boutique cigar and comfortable sofas, making it great for groups or folks who just want to kick back and relax. They also host regular events and talks in the shop with industry professionals, sometimes with swag and raffle prizes included.
Smoke Cigar Lounge & Hookah Bar (4453 Main Street)
The Spiral Bookcase
This neighborhood independent bookstore carries a broad range of titles spanning every genre, including fiction, sci-fi, history, classics, cookbooks, travel, children's, spirituality, local interests, and much more. The vastness of the selection is the result of a community-cultivated effort — book browsers are able to trade in their used books for store credit, something that brings a special charm to the neighborhood’s only bookstore.
The Spiral Bookcase (112 Cotton Street)
Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books
Uncle Bobbie’s house was special to the shop’s founder and it’s no surprise that Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books is so much more than a coffee shop and bookstore. Featuring high quality titles from local and independent authors for those of us who still like to turn the pages when we get lost in a book, they also host a wide range of public events to spark community engagement and create a sense of home, including a weekly children’s story time, lectures, poetry slams, workshops, and film screenings, most free to the public. Now that’s something special.
Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books (5455 Germantown Avenue)
Vault + Vine
If an urban oasis is what you crave and like to give the gift of, then look no further than East Falls’ floral studio/greenhouse/retail shop/cafe Vault + Vine. Their beautifully designed flower arrangements, potted plants, handmade crafts and even coffee are all sustainably-sourced, locally when possible. And if you’re not sure if your gift recipient is into succulents, jewelry, candles or coffee, the choice can be up to them with a gift card, also available online.
Vault + Vine (3507 Midvale Avenue)