Best of the City: Shopping


Niche Market: Flaggs USA
You know someone just moved into their Oakley home when they have a new flag out front. That’s because a trip to Flaggs USA, a Madison Road storefront since 1986, is a homeowner rite of passage in the neighborhood. The shop is crammed with dozens of varieties of American flags alone, plus banners for sports teams and pretty much every holiday going. You wouldn’t think such a specific shop could stand the test of time, but the website does a brisk business—and Oakley real estate is hotter than ever. 3075 Madison Rd., Oakley, (513) 533-0330,
Local Group Sale: Weavers Guild Fiber Arts Sale
Weaving isn’t the only fiber art on offer at this annual fall sale (held in November). Handspun yarn, knitted and crocheted items, jewelry, rugs, felted decorations, and garments galore are all available. Use the sale as an excuse to finish your holiday shopping, but when you visit the Guild’s Spring Grove Village headquarters, learn more about the 70-year-old guild and its classes, workshops, extensive library, and equipment available to rent (for members). 4870 Gray Rd., Spring Grove Village, (513) 591-2500,

Office Furniture: Algin Office Furniture
This downtown shop is worth a walk-through, even if you aren’t shopping for a gently-used swivel chair. And if you are, they have literally hundreds of them, along with bookshelves, desks, cabinets, and more. You’ll need to walk up five flights of stairs, but you’ll be rewarded at each stop. Like with the in-house Urban Timber wood shop, where they turn out extremely cool custom live-edge tables from reclaimed wood. 810 Main St., downtown, (513) 621-1616,

Algin Office Furniture

Photograph: Staff

Photograph: Staff

Urban Timber wood shop

Photograph: Staff

Carnival and Party Supplier: Ace Toys & Festival Supplies

If you’ve been to a Catholic church festival in Cincinnati—who hasn’t?—it’s likely those Bars & Bells pull tabs and inflatable game prizes came from Ace. This Reading shop, the last of its kind in the city, is a treasure trove of prizes, party favors, and gaming goods—inflatable toys, stuffed animals, beads, balls, Bingo cards, and chips—and their warehouse has 90–100 festival games like Skee Ball and Spin & Win wheels available to rent. (They deliver!) Ace supplies carnivals, festivals, family reunions, and party-planning parents, and the owners provide a level of service you can’t get when you order on Amazon. 8611 Reading Rd., Reading, (513) 245-2237,

Vintage Clothing / Costume shop: Talk of the Town
It’s possible to spend hours here and still not see every costume and piece of vintage clothing they’ve got. From medieval king to ’50s housewife, flapper, Disney princess, ’80s prom king and Tasmanian Devil costumes, if you can imagine it, Talk of the Town has it. They especially excel at offering accessories that really make outfits authentic—hats, jewelry, shoes, and more. Got a costume party to attend? This is your go-to place. 9111 Reading Rd., Reading, (513) 563-8844,

Succulents: Gia and the Blooms
There is no denying succulents (including cacti) are all the rage right now. And for good reason: Plant parenting is hard! Not so with succulents. Gia and the Blooms has the all variety you need to create a swoon-worthy indoor succulent garden, from cutesy jades and spiky aloes to cartoonish prickly pear cacti and a seemingly plucked-from-the-desert 4-foot-tall cactus cereus. Planters are not included, but the shop displays a plethora of minimalist pots to inspire your next arrangement. 114 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 487-0915,

Holiday Pop-Up Market: Crafty Supermarket Holiday Show
There are bigger and smaller holiday pop-up markets in Cincinnati, but we think this one is just right. Held annually in the Music Hall ballroom, the event includes more than 100 local and Midwest-based makers of handmade goods and crafts and attracts roughly 6,000 shoppers. Other fun features include a live DJ, local food vendors, and demonstration tables for those who want to make a few crafty things of their own. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine,

Antique Mall: Riverside Center Antiques
Forget the musty old antique malls of yore; Riverside is a fun, funky 30,000-square-foot treasure trove. Selling everything from salvaged items (fireplace mantels, doors, and windows) to old bikes, Mid-Century Modern furniture, jewelry, and antique radios, it’s also a favored stop for movie set designers when they’re in town. Better yet—it’s connected to the Swampwater Grill, so while you’re waiting for a table, you can grab a libation and shop. 3742 Kellogg Ave., Columbia-Tusculum, (513) 321-1430,

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

Comic Book Store: Arcadian Comics & Games
If you’re a hobbyist, you might already know Monmouth Street is where it’s at, but if you’re especially into comic books (or board games), you’d really be doing yourself a disservice not to visit Arcadian. Its large collection of modern comics includes indies, as well as DC and Marvel standbys. Stuck in a rut? Owner Steve Struharik and other staff members are handy with fresh title recommendations. For the socially inclined, Arcadian actively engages its fans through frequent in-store events, posted regularly on its Facebook page. 627 Monmouth St., Newport, (859) 291-5071,

Neighborhood Shopping Events

Oakley Fancy Flea
Every second Saturday afternoon May through September, MadTree Brewing transforms into a neighborhood flea market, where 80-plus vendors sell baked goods, jewelry, decor, art, clothes, and more. Winter markets occur in February and November, too. Oakley,

Walk on Woodburn
Woodburn Avenue shows off its shops, restaurants, watering holes, and art galleries one Friday night each month between Madison Road and Myrtle Avenue. Pedestrians can connect with artists, musicians, and vendors from other neighborhoods here, too. East Walnut Hills,

Hamilton Flea
Local artisans, food trucks, craft beer, music, and free yoga fill Macrum Park every second Saturday afternoon May through September at this outdoor flea, where market-goers can even adopt a furry friend or donate to a local nonprofit. Hamilton,

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