The Best Places to Shop in Philadelphia
There’s plenty to peruse — and clothing and shoes are tax-free!
Philadelphia — with that lovely, state-wide law that keeps clothing and shoes tax-free — is the perfect destination for those looking to spend the day shopping.
In neighborhoods all over the city, residents and visitors alike find a plethora of boutique shops, big-name brands, vintage vendors and more.
Plus, as a city of makers and shakers, Philly brings opportunities to meet up-and-coming designers and purchase finds that no one else will own.
Just outside of the city, numerous day-trip-worthy experiences exist as well, including charming and quaint towns lined with independent shops and mega-malls like the King of Prussia Mall, one of the largest malls in the country.
Read on for all of the best places to shop in and around Philadelphia.
Benjamin Franklin’s former ’hood — the heart of Philadelphia’s Historic District — is rich in both history and retail. The shopping heart of the area is found on Second and Third streets, from Market to Race streets, where converted industrial buildings cater to a fashion- and design-forward clientele.
Just north of Old City , Northern Liberties is home to art pioneers and young professionals, and the many shops that fit their needs. Visitors can find most of what they need along Second Street between Germantown Avenue and Spring Garden Street, including vintage furniture, handcrafted jewelry and charming gift shops — all scattered between the taprooms, BYOBs and cafes that fill the area.
The stretch of 13th Street from Chestnut to Locust streets in Midtown Village & The Gayborhood is home to some of the city’s best restaurants, nightspots and gift shops — many of which stay open late to accommodate last-minute purchases or post-dinner treats.
Small and local is the dominant theme along Baltimore Avenue , the leafy commercial corridor that connects Cedar Park, Spruce Hill and University City . After filling up at one of the many restaurants , shoppers can pop into stores for parenting needs, stationery supplies, novelty gifts and housewares, and visit avenue anchors like Curio Theatre Company, Dock Street Brewery and Firehouse Bicycles. The twice-yearly Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll draws businesses out onto the sidewalk offering major deals on food, crafts and more for just $1.
East Market Street connects Philadelphia’s Historic District with Center City, all within view of City Hall. The retail and food hub is centered near 11th and 12th streets, with national and regional brands offering affordable shopping. The 100,000-square-foot deal-centric department store Century 21 anchors the east end of the corridor at Eight Street, and Macy’s Center City at 13th Street Street serves as the western bookend.
Stretching diagonally between South Street and South Broad Street, East Passyunk Avenue is where the neighborhood’s Italian-American heritage, young professionals and immigrant communities from Latin America and Asian countries come together. Shopping, which also pairs old-school and brand-new, begins south of The South 9th Street Italian Market , where shops sell suits, made-in-Philly baby apparel, jewelry and more.
Fashion District Philadelphia made its highly anticipated debut in fall 2019, transforming the former Gallery mall on East Market Street into a light-filled fashion and entertainment hub. Stores in the revamped mall , accessible at street level and from SEPTA ’s Jefferson Station, include fast-fashion favorites, established brands and a one-stop-shop where visitors can pick up items from Philly makers.
The densely populated Delaware River waterfront neighborhood of Fishtown has an abundance of restaurants , as well as two bustling commercial corridors. Girard Avenue from Interstate 95 to Front Street is home to many established businesses and vintage shops, while the more recently developed Frankford Avenue offers local boutiques and independent galleries in addition to a popular outpost of the Philadelphia-based coffee roasting corporation La Colombe .
Cobblestone streets, old trolley tracks and looming trees add to the charm of Germantown Avenue, which winds through the neighborhoods of Germantown , Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill . Shoppers can tuck into a local cafe, browse bookstores small and large, get sweets at a bakeshop, and bring the kids to an indoor playhouse.
Just steps from The Liberty Bell Center and Independence Hall is the country’s oldest diamond district, Jewelers’ Row . Dozens of vendors populate the blocks around Seventh and Sansom streets, which has created a longstanding, gold-standard go-to for happy couples in search of rings.
Between the swanky high-rises, charming brownstones and Rittenhouse Square (one of Philly’s most popular parks), shoppers can find a reliable smattering of national and international retailers. Known as Rittenhouse Row , the area around Chestnut and Walnut streets near the park is one of the best places in Philly to wander around outdoors while stopping to pop in one store after the next, be it an independent retailer or a local outpost of a top brand.
Main Street in Manayunk is lined with a strip of quaint, canal-facing historic buildings. Over the years, many of these have been transformed into trendy boutiques, chic restaurants and happening bars, creating a fun spot to spend the afternoon shopping and walking around.
Formerly known as Franklin Mills, Philadelphia Mills is a bargain-hunter’s dream, offering top designer names at up to 60 percent off the normal ticketed price across 150 stores. Located in Northeast Philadelphia, the 1.7-million-square-foot space is just 15 miles from Center City .
Located in the middle of Center City’s shopping district, The Shops at Liberty Place feature more than 55 shops and restaurants in a chic, urban setting. With popular spots like Victoria’s Secret and The Body Shop, and outlets of LOFT and Bloomingdale’s, The Shops at Liberty Place offer some of the most sought-after mall brands in the heart of the city.
Along South Street , visitors and residents, teenagers and adults, preppies and punk rockers, artists and attorneys all mix seamlessly together. The collection of stores between Headhouse Square and the Graduate Hospital neighborhood is equally eclectic, offering clothing boutiques, vintage furniture, hat shops, small galleries and more.
Style-wise, most major cities are melting pots — and Philadelphia is no different. The city offers a wardrobe full of top-notch menswear shops with attire for every personality and occasion. Shoppers can get dapper at Boyds, scope out rare finds at Lapstone & Hammer, snag mint condition items at Briar Vintage, or head to the Mitchell & Ness flagship store for new and reissued team apparel.
Independent storefronts fit naturally into the city’s fabric; their size and spirit thrive amid similarly independent restaurants, bars and cafes in close-knit neighborhoods. When it comes to outfitting the ladies, Philadelphia’s indie shops offer some of the best finds and latest trends. Shoppers can browse the size-inclusive clothing at Alice Alexander in East Falls; check out luxury streetwear from Milano di Rouge, which has styled Cardi B, Meek Mill and other famous performers; and find limited-edition sneakers at Ubiq.
Malls and Main Streets of Philadelphia's Countryside
The tree-lined streets around West Chester University are for more than just the college crowd. A day-trip worthy destination , the area holds plenty of brewpubs and cafes, bistros and specialty fooderies, alongside not-to-be-missed boutiques and antique vendors.
As one of the largest shopping malls in the entire country (!), the King of Prussia Mall is home to a number of department stores as well as more than 400 retailers, boutiques and restaurants. Shoppers can enjoy a nice mix of luxury, budget-friendly, national and international brands, as well as stores that cannot be found elsewhere in the region — all located less than 20 miles from Center City .
Nestled along the Delaware River, New Hope is a quaint, creative community just an hour from Center City Philadelphia. Here, shoppers spend the day taking in the town’s charming riverside views and walking its streets, lined with local arts and crafts, boutique shops, and antique dealers.
Peddler’s Village offers small-town colonial charm with 60 independently owned and operated specialty shops that line winding brick walkways. A handful of restaurants, a quaint inn and an exciting festival lineup give shoppers a reason to visit year-round.
Located just 35 miles northwest of Center City, the Philadelphia Premium Outlets in Limerick feature more than 150 designer and brand-name outlet stores in an astounding 425,000-square-foot outdoor space.
Known as the “Mushroom Capital of the World,” Kennett Square offers plenty of shopping opportunities and fantastic dining experiences that go beyond portobellos and shiitakes. Wander down State Street for crafts, specialty shops and mushroom-related gifts before relaxing inside one of the area’s restaurants.
Ardmore ’s Suburban Square is a pedestrian-friendly, upscale outdoor shopping center that serves as one of the Main Line’s high-end shopping destinations. The open-air mall also sits next to the Ardmore Farmers’ Market and a curated lineup of eating options.