Shopping small is a huge part of Louisville’s culture — just like horses, bourbon and basketball!
The Derby City offers a plethora of gift options. And who best to help you find the perfect gift than the Louisville experts, the Yelp Louisville Elite Squad, our most active and influential reviewers! These influencers and uber-consumers tell the story of this great city via their Yelp reviews, photos and videos, helping others adventure with purpose in their footsteps. Learn more about becoming Yelp Elite at yelp.com/elite.
We’ve pulled together a selection of their top shopping spots, which run the gamut from local favorites to under-the-radar spots. We have excerpts from Yelp Elite reviews as well as some extra Yelp Elite input on what to buy.
Cross loved ones off your Christmas list with the help of Yelp! And be sure to add your own reviews and pics to help others with their shopping quests.
(You can also follow a bookmark collection of these businesses via the Yelp app, so you have this info at your fingertips while on the go.)
1. Bourbon Barrel Foods (and here)
Perfect for: People who like to cook as much as they like to eat.
What to buy: Woodford Reserve Cherries. “I love to give them out like candy to friends as a host gift or when they stay with me. They are always a hit.” — Suzanne B.
Why shop here: “I couldn’t help buying some of the small batch soy sauce and sampling a sorghum cookie while I was there. My friend splurged on the Kentuckyaki sauce and Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt in order to take home a taste of Kentucky… I know that it won’t be long before I return for some more local flavor!” — Suzanne B.
Perfect for: The pal who revels in all things Louisville.
What to buy: Barrel of Cheers Bar Set, a set of bar tools in a mini bourbon barrel. “It makes a great gift either for a new bourbon drinker or a seasoned expert. It’s a practical gift. It’s authentic Kentucky.” – John R.
Why shop here: “I love being a tourist in my own city, and 5-0-Lou helps provide that experience with their Louisville-related goodies. They seem to have a little bit of everything, including custom-made T-shirts. The prices are fair, and they’ve got a wide range to look at, from kitchenware to clothing.” — Shelby Z.
3. Blōfish Clothing
Perfect for: Stylish friends who are on the look out for the new and different.
What to buy: Long sleeved T-shirt with hood. “It’s perfect for Kentucky’s in-between weather. Their hoodie is also impossibly soft.” — Christopher S.
Why shop here: “It’s gender neutral, and despite being a chunky monkey, I always find something I like and that I feel confident in — always, even when I’m not intending to. It’s nice to have a clothing line available to people — not men, women, whomever — but to people.” — Christopher S.
4. Red Tree
Perfect for: Someone with an eye for the unique.
What to buy: Teak wood and blown glass bowl and holder. “Unique and makes for a great fish bowl, centerpiece, flower arrangement.” — Dave P.
Why shop here: “You’ll find something at Red Tree you can’t live without; it’s one of those stores! This is a great place to go to find a gift, a unique Christmas ornament or a nice treat for yourself.” — Samantha R.
5. Carmichael’s Bookstore (and here)
Perfect for: Bibliophiles who relish a quiet moment with a good book.
What to buy: Books by the Louisville Story Program. “These are stories written by local high school students and community members, with unique insights about Louisville.” — Thao T.
Why shop here: “The selection that Carmichael’s keeps on their shelves is impressive. You can always find the big bestsellers that are being talked about as well as a good selection of lesser known books that you may find even without looking.” — Sarah C.
6. Cellar Door Chocolates (and here)
Perfect for: Sweets fiends who want treats that look as good as they taste.
What to buy: Box of truffles. “You can do an assorted box to fit any person’s palate.” — Mona T.
Why shop here: “Chocolate? Yes please!.. The creativity and taste profiles of their products are truly unique. They always have a plate of samples to taste.” — Janet V.
7. Flying Axes
Perfect for: Adventurers up for a new exciting skill.
What to buy: A gift card for an ax-throwing session. “It’s a unique, cool experience that’s uniquely Louisville. You could give people things — but an experience is way better, especially when it means they get to hurl sharp axes at a wall, lumberjack-style.” — Baylee P.
Why shop here: “Flying Axes is a big, open, warehouse space, with stalls along the sides where people throw hatchets… There’s a digital scoreboard between the lanes, so you can compete against your friend. It’s kind of like a bowling alley — but, like, with axes. To complete the bowling alley analogy, there’s also a bar with a pretty decent selection.” — Baylee P.
Perfect for: Friends who appreciate color, a sense of humor and beautiful objects.
What to buy: A pair of funny socks. “Since I often end up traveling for the holidays, these are easy to pack. And everyone needs socks — all the better when they are super cute and funny!” — Kathy V.
Why shop here: “Fun, quirky, weird stuff. One of the fun little shops on South Fourth Street… There is a small art gallery upstairs!.. Absolutely worth a visit!” — Kathy V.
9. Kizito Cookies
Perfect for: Kids and kids at heart who enjoy a sweet treat.
What to buy: Kizito Cookies, perhaps for stocking stuffers. “They are freshly made. They are individually wrapped in quality packaging that I’m sure helps with keeping them fresh and soft, and lastly, they are really delicious.” — Starzette G.
Why shop here: “Kizito’s store serves as the cookie bakery, and it’s the store front for African craft merchandise… There is plenty of crafts to browse through and purchase. I enjoy jewelry, so there was my enjoyment.” — Starzette G.
10. Revelry Boutique Gallery
Perfect for: Creatives who value handmade finds.
What to buy: Bourbon balance stave, which allows the user to store bourbon with flair via a bourbon barrel stave. “I have given it as a gift multiple times! I love it because it’s fairly inexpensive, yet it’s representative of Kentucky (bourbon!), and if you want to be extra nice, you can pair it with a favorite bourbon.” — Amanda J.
Why shop here: “Conveniently located in NuLu on Market Street, this boutique gallery is one of my favorite places to shop for myself and others. I’ve gotten some really cute Louisville-themed jewelry here, which I wear very frequently,” — Amanda J.
11. Shop Local Kentucky
Perfect for: UK fans, UofL fans, fans of all things Kentucky.
What to buy: Louisville neighborhoods T-shirt. “Should not need too much explanation.” — Jason L.
Why shop here: “The store is chock full of clothes that’ll help you rep your state and city… I was pleased to see quite a bit of Lou represented, and I’m sure they’ll continue to step up their game.” — Farrah D.
12. The Prickly Pear
Perfect for: Ladies who have a soft spot in their hearts for Kentucky and for what makes it beautiful.
What to buy: Pajamas. “I love the PJs because of how soft and comfy they are. The colors are also nice.” — Michele W.
Why shop here: “They have lots of great items, for gifts or yourself. From Derby to baby items to fun beach ideas, they cover a lot… The jewelry selection is large, with some unique items. Their baby items are very cute.” — Michele W.
13. Work the Metal
Perfect for: Almost anyone. Seriously, this store contains so much.
What to buy: Knick knacks and stocking stuffers, like funny soaps, candles, socks and more. “There is something for everyone, and they have a sense of humor about it.” — Kathy V.
Why shop here: “What a place! Sometimes the holidays can be tricky, and you aren’t sure just what you want to get that person you love. But look no further than Work the Metal. There is something for everyone! I was almost overwhelmed with all the goodness.” — Gabriella L.
14. Block Party Handmade Boutique (and here)
Perfect for: That quirky friend who enjoys a one-of-a-kind gift to brag about and put on display.
What to buy: Coloring books. “There is a wide, weird and wonderful selection, so it is great if you’ve got some nerdy friends.” — Marcia V.
Why shop here: “Always nice to buy local. If you are looking for gifts for family or friends out of town to show them some 502 love, this is a place you should stop in at!” — Shane V.
15. Little Loomhouse
Perfect for: People who love a handmade item with a story behind it.
What to buy: Handwoven dishtowels, washcloths and table runners. “They’re not only beautiful, eco-friendly and useful but also made on-site. These items are things that give back to the community as well as make your home lovely.” — Leslie W.
Why shop here: “One of my favorite places to visit and take out-of-town guests, I’ve made it one of my holiday shopping spots for the last few years. They also offer fun fiber classes at very reasonable prices… Run by volunteers, there’s a small but fantastic gift shop with handwoven items, all sorts of small gifts and weaving tools and accessories.” — Leslie W.
Perfect for: Adults with Louisville pride and a cheeky sense of humor.
What to buy: Quirky mugs or the St. Matthews hipster T-shirt. “Our city is celebrated in delightful and hilarious ways. And they have plenty of other shirts there you won’t find anywhere else.” — John R.
Why shop here: “They offer a wide range of gifts for kids to older kids like me! If you are looking for specific Louisville items, they have it. Looking for adult-themed gags? They have it.” — Tim V.
Perfect for: Green thumbs who enjoy greenery inside as well as outside.
What to buy: Air plants in holders. “Their products are earthy, green and will brighten your home.” — John R.
Why shop here: “This store is very inviting as it is located in an old home. They have a variety of items including the plants, soaps, jewelry, blankets and additional home decor items. I think I’ll be back when a gift item is needed for a friend as I saw a lot of items that I could potentially give as a nice gift.” — Megan A.
18. Art Eatables
Perfect for: Bourbon fans with a sweet tooth.
What to buy: Wild Turkey bourbon balls. “Art Eatables has delectable chocolates and truffles, and they make them with just about every kind of bourbon in Kentucky. You really can’t go wrong with boozy balls!” — Kathy V.
Why shop here: “The chocolate is so good! I haven’t tried one item at Art Eatables that I haven’t enjoyed. Everything from the truffles, chocolates, chocolate-dipped Oreos, caramels to chimeres is absolutely delectable.” — Kelly P.
19. The New Blak
Perfect for: Fashionable women who are environmentally conscious.
What to buy: Girl Boss tank top. “The owner empowers and supports female-owned small businesses.” — Megan M.
Why shop here: “I got a new vest that fits me perfectly! It was made locally, looks great with dresses and jeans and is environmentally friendly. I couldn’t be happier… The New Blak is trying to bring fashion back home while giving jobs to local folks while showing sensitivity to our ecosystem. Win-win!” — Leslie W.
20. Sunergos Coffee (and here and here)
Perfect for: Folks who value a cup of black in the morning.
What to buy: Gift set with coffee and mug. “I like the colors of the new mugs.” — Ngocuyen N.
Why shop here: “Best coffee! I come here at least once a week. I also buy their beans to make coffee at home. I enjoy their cappuccinos and specialty drinks too. The baristas are so friendly!” — Marissa S.
21. Evan Williams Bourbon Experience
Perfect for: Bourbon lovers who value the history behind the spirit.
What to buy: Tour voucher or Evan Williams Bourbon Candle. “They smell like baked goods made with delicious bourbon.” — Amy L.
Why shop here: “We also bought a few items from the gift shop including bourbon balls and a barbecue sauce. Both were delicious! This should definitely be added to your to-do list!” — Dimple P.
22. Stoneware & Co.
Perfect for: Loved ones who value a gift that will become an heirloom.
What to buy: Personalized clay business card holder. “I love the personalized business card holders from Louisville Stoneware. I’ve gotten them for young professionals, as well as for seasoned professionals. They’re pieces you can keep for a lifetime!” — Amanda J.
Why shop here: “I have bought many stoneware gifts for my friends and family over the years. To me, there is something special and unique about the stoneware. How could you go wrong with a Derby pie plate or a hot brown plate — both with the recipes on them? The answer is that you can’t.” — Elissa B.
23. Muth’s Candy
Perfect for: Chocoholics who enjoy some history with their sweets fix.
What to buy: Milk chocolate caramel pecans. “Handmade, local candy is epic. Why buy from a big-box store when you can support local businesses and get fantastic quality?” — Lisal F.
Why shop here: “Best candy I’ve found in the city… We purchased many different treats like peanut brittle, chocolate coffee beans, chocolate-covered peanuts and chocolate-covered marshmallows. This is by far a step back in time, which reminds me of being at my grandmother’s home making sweets.” — Kenny W.
24. Peace of the Earth
Perfect for: Gals and guys who geek out over great scents.
What to buy: Soap. “It’s very natural, and it’s something the company takes pride in because they make it by hand and it gives them knowledge of any ingredients that they source and put into the soap.” — Lorie L.
Why shop here: “The store smells delicious… They’ve also carried other items you would expect to see with soaps: lotions, candles and bath items… There are unique items for family and friend gifts or a splurge for yourself.” — Lorie L.
25. Just Creations
Perfect for: Friends who love celebrating different cultures.
What to buy: Baskets or a nativity set. “They are unique and cannot be found in chain stores. They also help provide a living wage for the artisans. So it is like giving someone a gift and making a worthy donation in their name.” — Monica U.
Why shop here: “It is a fair trade store, and the money goes to the artisans. They have food, clothing, accessories, toys, books and home decor. I especially love all of the international Christmas decor.” — Monica U.
26. Louisville Tea Co.
Perfect for: Folks who know the difference between oolong and assam.
What to buy: Bashford Bedtime Brew. “It is so relaxing and tastes really good. It’s not bitter and doesn’t leave an aftertaste like some teas can.” — Monica U.
Why shop here: “There’s something about the smell of tea that is, at once, exciting and relaxing. The walls are lined with canisters of loose tea and photographs taken by local photographers. The staff is very knowledgeable about their product and about tea in general.” — Jim F.
27. A Taste of Kentucky
Perfect for: Kentuckians who love to celebrate their state pride.
What to buy: Candleberry Kentucky Bourbon Candle. “They smell like home and last forever!” — Elissa B.
Why shop here: “I love shops like this that showcase what we represent. You will find all kinds of items from hats for the Derby, bow ties, bourbon-themed items, cookbooks, drink recipe books for our favorite Kentucky drink, bourbon, and much, much more.” — Tim V.
28. Taste Fine Wine & Bourbon
Perfect for: Connoisseurs who look forward to their drink as much as their meal.
What to buy: Maker’s Mark 46. “I have yet to find someone who doesn’t like it.” — Christopher S.
Why shop here: “They have a wonderful selection of wine and bourbon, and the owner is incredibly informative and pleasant. I found two wines here that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else, so that was a plus.” — Megan A.
29. Apex Massage
Perfect for: Friends and family who need to unwind and relax.
What to buy: Gift certificate for a massage. “It helps remove toxins from the body, especially at this time of year when we are having internal battles and start building stress bundles in our shoulders.” — Kelly O.
Why shop here: “This is the best, most relaxing massage in town. Everyone that comes here loves the treatment they get.” — Kelly O.
30. Fire Studio & Gallery
Perfect for: Anyone looking for a one-of-a-kind — literally one-of-a-kind — gift.
What to buy: Holiday ornament. “They are pretty affordable, and you can do the glass blowing as a family excursion.” — Bryan A.
Why shop here: “There are pieces of all shapes and kinds and colors to see. Some are available for purchase. There is glass incorporated into everything in the room. The reception desk is blown glass; the sitting area tables have pieces underneath them; there are glass pieces on the walls and hanging from the ceiling… You can also watch from the front room through a glass window as someone in the back is working in the hot shop. Love it!” — John R.