If you want a comprehensive guide to Burlington's best shopping and services, check out the Seven Daysies readers' picks. Once a year, Vermonters vote on everything from best furniture store to best shoe shop. Those locals' favorites cover a lot of ground. But they don't tell you where to go if you need a lamp and a stiff drink at exactly the same time. That's the kind of explicit and eccentric craving we hope to satisfy with this list, which focuses on some unusual scenarios you might encounter. These quirky establishments are part of Burlington's charm.
Part of the hip Radio Bean compound, this bar (21+, please) has a distinctly bohemian-chic vibe and pretty decent adult beverages — all the better to convince you that you need that vintage lacy pendant lamp.
Also try: Goodwill, for lamp only, 1080 Shelburne Rd., South Burlington
This Onion City boutique is bursting with a carefully selected array of housewares, jewelry, toys and general whimsy — much of it by Vermont makers. Stationery geeks beware; this is a dangerous place.
Also try: Trinket, 32 ½ Church St., Burlington
This is a no-brainer. For what it's worth, socks by Northfield-based Darn Tough have a lifetime guarantee and will earn you local cred.
Also try: the annual "hunter's widow" sock sale that takes place in November, during deer-hunting season, at Cabot Hosiery Mills in Northfield.
This basement gem of a record store, in business since 1980, continues to be local favorite. Plus, they'll trade you cash or store credit for that Baha Men CD you don't want anyone to know you own.
Also try: Speaking Volumes, 377 Pine St., Burlington
Customers travel from all over Vermont and upstate N.Y. to have Jamaican stylist Jacqueline Gibson braid their hair. To get a bald fade, line up for barber Algenis Garcia.
Also try: Ebony Beauty Supply & Hair Boutique, 325 Main St., Winooski
This secondhand shop has a well-curated selection of pre-owned garments at great prices. Need to earn some cash? Put your old clothes up for consignment.
Also try: Battery Street Jeans, 7 Marble Ave., Burlington
For an essential oil diffuser and a hand-mixed scent customized just for you, head to this high-quality "aromatic apothecary."
Also try: City Market/Onion River Co-op, for calming scented candles, 82 S. Winooski Ave., Burlington
You could find it on eBay, but this is easier — and you'll feel like Don Draper as you roam past vintage bar carts and walnut credenzas.
Browse best-sellers and the most comprehensive selection of books by local authors. The staff picks will never steer you wrong.
Also try: Crow Bookshop, for great used reads on the cheap, 14 Church St., Burlington
The super-friendly staff will talk to you at length about which plants will do well in your shady backyard, and how you should definitely invest in that large terracotta pot, and, yes, you need that new trowel.
Also try: checking out gardening tools from the Fletcher Free Library. Really. 235 College St., Burlington
This locally owned shop features the best selection of pet goodies around — and a staff so aggressively helpful that you'll feel guilty for saying, "Uh, just browsing, thanks."
Also try: Play Dog Play, 'cause Fluffy probably needs a bath, too. 668 Pine St., Burlington
In addition to an impressive selection of personal timepieces, there's a small but delicious assortment of estate jewelry. Onyx Victorian ring with rose-cut diamonds, anyone?
Bros, this second-floor Main Street boutique is a hidden gem for your skate-style needs. Think premium hats, custom apparel and socks featuring cats giving you the middle finger.
Also try: Maven, 128 Church St., Burlington
Because leather dies in Vermont without love — damn you, winter! — take your beloved boots to this old-school shoe repair shop.
Also try: Onion River Cobbler, 7 West Canal St., Suite 2, Winooski, 655-2532
Tags: What's Good, Shopping, Cabot Hosiery Mills, Ebony Beauty Supply & Hair Boutique, The Sox Market, Darn Tough, Town Cobbler, Onion River Cobbler, Rackk + Ruin, Warren & Fenn, Diversity Hair Salon, Light Club Lamp Shop, Radio Bean, Goodwill (South Burlington), The Birdfolk Collective, Trinket, Pure Pop Records, Speaking Volumes, Dirt Chic, Battery Street Jeans, Lunaroma Aromatic Apothecary, City Market/Onion River Co-op, Barge Canal Market, ReSOURCE (Burlington), Junktiques Collective, Phoenix Books (Burlington), Crow Bookshop, Gardener’s Supply Company (Burlington), Fletcher Free Library, Pet Food Warehouse (South Burlington), Play Dog Play, Tick Tock Jewelers, WildLife Clothing, Maven