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Downtown Akron Shopping Guide

Category Shop Local

Photos left to right, top to bottom: @sweet_modern_shop, @rubbercitycomics, @unknwn, @tinycloudceramics, @dirtyriverbikes, @akroncoffeeroasters

There are so many great places to shop in downtown Akron, whether you’re looking for a unique gift or are simply in need of some retail therapy. Downtown, which was once home to bustling department stores, is now teeming with one-of-a-kind retailers just begging to become your new favorite shop.

We know shopping small is important because it keeps dollars local and stimulates the local economy. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to find things for ourselves and others that are unique, handmade, and high in quality—from passionate entrepreneurs who care as much for the community as they do for their storefronts.

While you spend time shopping in downtown Akron, why not make a day of it? Click here to explore refreshment and entertainment options to make the most of your downtown shopping experience.

Artist-Made Goods 

For some of the most unique, beautiful items you can imagine, supporting local artists is the way to go. Stop by the Akron Soul Train store at the heart of Main Street for an assortment of creations from local artists, or Street Craftery for handmade goods you can make yourself. After, head to the Northside District to visit the expansive Zeber-Martell Clay Studio & Gallery, as well as the Northside Marketplace, where you can make purchases from Chris Klassen Art, and others in the group of 140+ vendors who call Northside home. It’s also worth visiting Summit Artspace to check out the zentangle masterpieces available for purchase at Totally Tangled Creations and other galleries in the space.

Photos left to right, top to bottom: @zebermartellgallery, @akron_soul_train, @zebermartellgallery, @totallytangledcreations, @akron_soul_train, @totallytangledcreations

Clothing & Accessories

If you think downtown Akron isn’t hopping with clothing and accessories, you’re missing out. The Northside District, in particular, is full of options. There's Northside Cellar, which is a sprawling shop full of women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories, as well as the Northside Marketplace, which is home to several clothing retailers. Check out Modern Traditions for a curated selection of vintage finds, 7th Floor Clothing for a distinctly Akron flavor, Global Threads Fair Trade for textiles and accessories made by “artrepreneurs” from around the world, Embrace Earthleta for comfy activewear made from recycled materials, We Care Tees for apparel that gives back by donating 10% of its profits to nonprofit organizations, and LiRo Apparel & Accessories for colorful high-quality pieces made from alpaca and cotton fibers sourced sustainably from local Peruvian farmers.

You won’t want to miss Bizzy Beads Boutique, either, for hyper-realistic, food-inspired jewelry made from polymer clay.

If you’re looking to sport the gear of your favorite minor league baseball team, peruse the Akron RubberDucks Team Shop, which is brimming with a wide selection of hats, T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, and RubberDucks souvenirs, too.

Photos left to right, top to bottom: @bizzy_beads_boutique, @7thfloorclothing, @unknwn, @northsidecellar, @embraceearthleta, @globalthreadsft

Food & Beverage Products

Buy a sweet or salty treat from one of downtown’s several shops that sells packaged food and beverage products.

Nuts and candies from The Peanut Shoppe make the perfect gift for a long-time Akronite, for a Peanut Shoppe newbie, or for yourself. Decadent chocolates from Chill Ice Cream & Indulge Chocolates are a great choice, as well—as are treats from Sweet Bean, Fat T’s Cookies, Akron Honey Company, and Chef Gina Giampietro, which can all be found inside the Northside Marketplace.

If you’re searching for something more beverage oriented, pick up some whole bean coffee, coffee mugs, travel tumblers, merch, coffee subscriptions, or gift cards from Akron Coffee Roasters; tea blends and accessories from The Tea Lady; or perhaps some beer glasses and a four-pack from Akronym Brewing.

For a well-stocked pantry, don’t miss out on Alpha Country Market, Guarino Olive Oil, and Juliabelle’s Seasonings, which are also located inside the Northside Marketplace.

Photos left to right, top to bottom: @sweetbeancandies, @fat_ts_cookies, @akronhoney, @akroncoffeeroasters @peanutshoppeakron, @chefginasbakeshop

Bike Gear

When you’re lucky enough to live near the Towpath Trail, bike gear is essential. Thankfully, the Northside District of downtown Akron is home to Dirty River Bicycle Works, ready to satisfy all your bike and bike accessory needs. They also do repairs and maintenance. The helpful employees provide exceptional service that is sincere, helpful, personal, and fun to help you find a bike that will make you want to ride mile after mile.

Photos: @dirtyriverbikes

Books, Books, Books!

Downtown! Akron! Has! Books! It may be a well-kept secret, but downtown Akron is a fantastic place to shop for books. Head to Trust Books and the Library Shop at Main for great selections of used books, and check out the University of Akron Press’s selection inside the Northside Marketplace for amazing contemporary poetry collections and local/regional interest books. Another new-ish addition to the local literary scene: Banned Books Box, which also has a space inside Northside Marketplace and sells, you guessed it, banned and challenged books. They even have a nifty monthly subscription service. For religious books, as well as statues and other religious items, stop by Grismer’s Christian Gifts, which has been open in Akron since 1934.

Photos left to right, top to bottom: @uakronpress, @libraryshopatmainakron, @libraryshopatmainakron, @trustbooks, @uakronpress, @trustbooks

Self-Care & Sustainability Products 

It’s the 21st century, and we’ve all agreed that caring for plants somehow falls into the self-care/sustainability category, so let’s roll with it. Head to Lepley & Co. for a vast array of plants for sale, or take advantage of their full-service florist shop for flowers for every occasion. Then, be sure to stop by Hope Soap Ohio , the Soap Rack, Blackrose Bubbles, Zinke Apiary & Apothecary, and Stephanies Remedies (all of which reside in Northside Marketplace) for high-quality bath and body products; Black Culture Candles for thoughtfully designed candles honoring Black Joy; My Eco Shop for reusable, sustainable personal care and household products; and Embrace Earthleta for comfy activewear that’s made from sustainable, recycled materials.

Photos left to right, top to bottom: @hopesoapohio, @_myecoshop, @lepleyandco, @lepleyandco, @hopesoapohio, @embraceearthleta

Vintage Finds

Thanks to Sweet Modern, old objects have the opportunity to live new lives—specifically, fantastically restored mid-century modern furniture. They specialize in refinishing and selling mid-century modern furniture, with stunning results. It’s definitely worth stopping by their showroom on Summit Street, even if only to browse. And, of course, for a great selection of vintage clothing, visit Modern Traditions inside Northside Marketplace.

Photos: @sweet_modern_shop

Comic Books, Gaming Supplies, and (Tiny) Electronics

If you’re a fan of comic books, board games, and strange novelties, we’ve got you covered. Check out Full Grip Games for all your Magic the Gathering, Pokémon, and tabletop gaming needs, and Rubber City Comics for all the graphic novels, action figures, and collectibles you could ask for. Bonus: Head to the Northside Marketplace to shop Tiny Circuits for open-source electronics that let you create your own miniature electronic projects.

Photos left to right, top to bottom: @fullgripgamesofficial, @tinycircuits, @fullgripgamesofficial, @tinycircuits, @rubbercitycomics, @rubbercitycomics

More Downtown Gift Shops to Consider

There are several other gift shops, mainly attached to downtown attractions, that you’ll definitely want to visit next time you’re here exploring. Next time you’re at the zoo, check out the Akron Zoo Gift Shop for a wide selection of items to commemorate your visit (or even to shop for birthday or holiday gifts for the kids in your life) like unique stuffed animals, clothing, jewelry, toys, and more. They’ve got stuff for adults, too.

The Akron Art Museum Shop is a great place to shop for the people in your life who appreciate the arts. They have prints and cards that correspond with works displayed in the museum, Akron-centric postcards, books, pins, apparel, mugs, and other fun little trinkets.

The Cellar Door Boutique is truly a hidden gem, as it’s located in the basement of the Hower House Museum, an 1871 Victorian Mansion on Fir Hill that’s open for tours of its stunning, artfully preserved interior. After you explore the house, take a trip down to the Cellar Door Boutique to peruse their stock of all sorts of special items like puzzles, jewelry, teacups, holiday decorations, and more.

Want more ways to shop local? See all retail businesses in downtown Akron.

See our updated traffic advisories and parking information to navigate and park downtown with ease.

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