Where to Get Your Holiday Shopping Done on Your Lunch Break
Thanksgiving falling so late this year means there’s a little less time than usual for holiday shopping. Fortunately for lawmakers and staffers, the Capitol Hill area is home to many local businesses and stores with unique gifts.
Whether you’re searching for the perfect way to thank an unpaid intern or kiss up to the chief of staff, it’s all here. (A note: Many of these businesses are closed on Mondays, but have extended weekend hours.)
Think Local First DC is sponsoring a campaign from Nov. 30 through Dec. 8 to boost traffic at locally owned businesses. Shop Local Week 2013 includes a kick-off weekend of “charity cash mob” events in which proceeds from participating businesses will be donated to 501(c)(3) organizations of the customer’s choice.
Looking for “Mad Men”-era decor? Hunted House specializes in eclectic furniture including mid-century bar stools, outlandish lamps and groovy coffee tables.
510 H St. NE; 202-549-7493; huntedhousedc.com.
The Fridge DC
While you may know The Fridge for events ranging from poetry slams to exhibit receptions, its Barracks Row location features a retail store. Consider a piece of statement art from the graffiti-style “Hello my name is…” collection ($250-$600).
516 1/2 Eighth St. SE, rear alley; 202-664-4151; thefridgedc.com
Eastern Market Pottery
This studio and retail shop is hidden in the basement of Eastern Market’s south hall. Whether you are looking to spend $4 on a chopstick rest or $75 on a beautifully finished vase, the options in-between are mostly kitchen items. Or you can give a gift that keeps on giving: Eight-week pottery classes cost $227 to $268.
225 Seventh St. SE; 202-544-6669; easternmarketpottery.com
The gourmet kitchenware store has rolled out its Hanukkah items and will debut Christmas products after Thanksgiving. For $20 to $25, you can purchase a cutting board in the shape of the Dome or District of Columbia. Or pick up retro-looking, state-specific embroidered dish towels for $14.99.
713 D St. SE; 202-543-1997; hillskitchen.com
Woven History & Silk Road
This storefront is known for its expansive selection of imported items, particularly hundreds of vegetable-dyed, hand-spun wool rugs from 15 countries. Depending on the age and intricacy of the design, expect to pay $90 to $1,200.
311-315 Seventh St. SE; 202-543-1705; wovenhistory.com
The bookstore claims to house the city’s largest collection of Washington-themed books. Located in a yellow row house, any lover of the written word will find something worth reading. Riverby specializes in signed autobiographies and poetry, including offerings from Robert Frost and Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey.
417 East Capitol St. SE; 202-543-4342; riverbybooks.com
Capitol Hill Books
Capitol Hill Books is a cozy, or crowded, space, depending on your perspective. It’s so packed that they store foreign language books in the bathroom, cookbooks on the kitchen sink and other topics in various closets. Here, unlike at Riverby, you will need to do a little more digging for that rare find. But if you can handle the clutter, your search could pay off.
657 C St. SE; 202-544-1621; capitolhillbooks-dc.com
In its 29 years of business, this mom-and-pop (actually grandma-and-grandpop) children’s book and toy shop has offered a range of interesting books for infants to teens. The large nonfiction wall includes historical biographies and books such as “Madeline at the White House” bring a piece of the District home.
319 Seventh St. SE; 202-547-5474
Groovy DC Cards & Gifts
Pick up a greeting card, balloons, candles, picture frames, coasters — or go with a more personalized item like an antique-looking postcard of a famous Washington site or best-seller “Stop Tweeting Boring Sh*t” by Division of Labor.
323 Seventh St. SE; 202-544-6633; www.groovydc.com
While locals rely on the award-winning pet shop’s two Hill locations for cat litter and dog food, the store also stocks animal-themed ornaments, toys, outerwear for pets and even seasonal dog cookies, perfect for the animal lover on your list.
508 H St. NE; 202-450-5661; metromuttsdc.com
Boutique on the Hill
This little boutique is the place to shop for the fashionista in your life. The sales associates are style experts and know most of their clients by name, but they can help any husband, son or boyfriend put together a trendy look.
225 Pennsylvania Ave. SE; 202-491-4406; theboutiqueonthehill.com
Forecast thrives on empowering women through fashionable outfitting and indulging the five senses with stocking stuffers. The Anthropologie-style setting offers a variety of products — including Pre de Provence soaps and lotions, St. Coletta dishware, Thymes candles, Ineke perfumes and Manuel Canovas bedding — all ranging from a few dollars to hundreds.
218 Seventh St. SE; 202-547-7337; forecaststore.com