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Top 10 independent shops in Atlanta

Criminal Records

Nestled in the Little Five Points neighbourhood, Criminal Records is a favourite with locals. The staff are friendly and are big on new music – you can tweet them to hold a new release for you – but there are also boxes of old vinyl, CDs and $1 comics scattered around the store. With regular, free in-store performances, and weekly comics deliveries, Criminal Records is must for music lovers and comic nerds alike.
• 1154 Euclid Avenue NE, criminalatl.com. Open Mon-Sat 11am-9pm, Sun midday-7pm

Junkman’s Daughter

Junkman's Daughter, Atlanta

A staple on Moreland Avenue in the Little Five Points district for the past 30 years, Junkman’s Daughter has become famous for steampunk and Betsey Johnson-esque clothing, costumes and its full tobacco shop in the back. The eclectic store stocks everything from incense, accessories and props to art by local artists. You can’t miss the sign outside – a huge UFO-inspired mural created by local tattoo artist Watson Atkinson, who had his first parlour in what is now a storage closet in the store. The window displays have mannequins dressed in spikes, corsets and colourful wigs, attracting a host of celebrity shoppers including Steven Tyler (from Aerosmith) and Outkast.
• 464 Moreland Avenue, thejunkmansdaughter.com. Open Mon-Fri 11am-7pm, Sat 11am-8pm, Sun midday-7pm

Paris on Ponce

Paris on a Ponce shop, Atlanta

In Midtown Atlanta, Paris on Ponce encompasses three buildings with 30 independent boutiques, selling everything from antiques and chandeliers to modern terrariums, industrial furniture and pen-and-ink prints. Accessible via the Atlanta BeltLine, this French-themed boutique has been an Atlanta staple for more than 15 years and has its own cabaret-themed venue: Le Maison Rouge. A unique corner of this market place is Pop Marché, a curated collection of treasures from all over the world. Also, don’t miss the Eiffel Tower sculpture next to the building.
• 716 Ponce de Leon Place NE, parisonponce.com. Open Mon-Sat 11am-6pm, Sun midday-6pm

Young Blood Boutique

Young Blood Boutique, Atlanta

Recently revamped by new owners, Young Blood Boutique has always been a supporter of the indie craft movement and local, emerging designers and artists through its shop and now adjacent gallery, Mint. It’s in the Poncey-Highlands neighbourhood and sells beautiful handmade jewellery, home decor, handmade cards, prints and clothes by local and national artists. Visit during a gallery opening night and snap up some original art.
• 632 N Highland Ave, youngbloodboutique.com. Open Mon-Sat midday-8pm, Sun midday-6pm

Loose Nuts Cycles

Loose Nuts Cycles, Atlanta

A full-service bike shop in the Grant Park neighbourhood, Loose Nuts Cycles is one of the leaders in the growing local bike community. These guys will set you up with one a Salsa, Surly or Linus, a custom-made bike, or they can make your old ride look and feel brand new at an affordable price. The small space is a workshop, store and hangout spot for local cyclists. And if you want tips on the best routes around ATL, the staff will point you in the right direction.
• 452 Cherokee Avenue A, loosenutscyles.com. Open Tues-Fri 11am-7pm, Sat 11am-5pm, Sun 11am-3pm

A Cappella Books

A Capella Books, Atlanta
Photograph: Tate Street High Society

A Capella Books, in the historic Inman Park neighbourhood, has been the literary heartbeat of the city for a couple of decades. If you’re on the hunt for some counterculture or progressive political books, this is the place. However, it also offers a good choice of new, used and out-of-print titles, including classic literature, new releases and music biographies, most for less than retail price. Its weekly used-books event is a treat for locals, as well as its regular signing events with popular authors.
• 208 Haralson Avenue NE, acappellabooks.com. Open Mon-Sat 11am-7pm, Sun midday-6pm

Urban Cottage

Urban Cottage, Atlanta

This shop is in a small brick house in the buzzing Virginia Highland neighbourhood. The mother-daughter owners handpick items such as wooden coffee tables, sofas, crockery, kitchen accessories and cookery books, as well as a range of “boudoir” clothing. Everything you need for your country makeover.
• 998 North Highland Avenue, urbancottageatlanta.com. Open Tues-Thurs 11am-6pm, Fri-Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 11am-5pm

The Beehive ATL

The Beehive ATL, Atlanta

The Beehive, in the Edgewood Retail Centre off Caroline Street, focuses on modern clothing, with high-quality, handmade pieces by a variety of designers – and at affordable prices. It also carries houseware and jewellery ranges and runs small workshops. High ceilings, natural light and fun displays soften the industrial-looking space as you walk through the different sections.
• 1250 Caroline Street, thebeehiveatl.com. Open Mon-Sat 11am-7pm, Sun midday-5pm

The Clothing Warehouse

The Clothing Warehouse, Atlanta

The Clothing Warehouse was opened in 1992 by Jim Buckley. Unlike most vintage clothing stores, where the garments are stuffed in bins and cluttered on racks, Buckley’s shop has a high-end-boutique vibe. Retro wallpaper and neon-red graphics abound, and antique pictures line the walls. There are wonderful collections of western, evening, disco and T-shirts, tracksuits and sweats. The bright-blue boot room has a wall-to-wall display of 400 pairs of vintage leather boots. And the staff are smart, young and helpful.
• 420 Moreland Avenue NE, theclothingwarehouse.com. Open Mon-Thurs 11am-8.30pm, Fri-Sat 11am-9pm, Sun midday-7.30pm. Other stores in Midtown and Chapel Hill

Walter’s Clothing

Walter's Clothing, Atlanta

The legacy of Walter’s Clothing runs deep in Atlanta: over 60 years of history in the city’s downtown. Customers keep coming back to visit the shop, which is famous for its sneaker culture and casual athletic wear – brands range from Adidas, Nike and Fila to Reebok and Converse. Near Underground Atlanta, the store has a vintage-style exterior and, once inside, you’ll feel the energy of decades of history and fashion.
• 66 Decatur Street SE, waltersclothing.com. Open Mon-Sat 8.30am-6.30pm

Muriel Vega is a writer and editor based in Atlanta

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