D.C. Holiday Shopping Made Simple — In Just One Day

Unless you've been living under a rock (or at least your laptop has), you know there are a gazillion gift guides floating around out there. But here's something a little different: We've documented one full day (or two, if you like to savor your shopping) of browsing our favorite stores in town, stopping for amazing treats at the must-visit cafes and coffee shops along the way. In the spirit of making your life a little bit easier, we've got loads of eye-candy to share with you from our jaunts in Georgetown and along 14th and U streets, plus the very best ideas for those still-to-buy gifts on your list. So, settle in, take some notes, and start planning your own perfect purchasing adventure.
Lost Boys
The marriage of a heavy-duty fabric and an old-school silhouette make these Band of Outsiders bow ties, $135, feel thoroughly modern.
The classic Moleskin notebook, $45, gets the Shipley & Halmos treatment — a great gift for the thinking man on your list.
Lost Boys, 1033 31st Street NW; 202-333-0093.
These luxuriously wrapped, triple-milled MOR Emorium White Collection Soaps, $7 each, smell of fresh meadows and pink grapefruit. Inspired by stories of 17th-century decadence, they are almost too pretty to unwrap.
Designed by a former model, these 18-karat gold-plated Gorjana Reversible Alphabet Necklaces, $85, are chic simplicity at its best.
The stunning Sharya Stone and Wood Ring, $70, boasts an irresistible combination of banded purple agate against an ebonized wooden band.
Charm, 2910 M Street NW; 202-298-0420.
Café Bonaparte
The creamy, dairy-free carrot soup is bursting with fresh veggie flavor and is topped with crunchy croutons and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Irresistible!
Step into the Last Tango Crêpe, a local favorite, and be transported into a charming Parisian café. Warm up with a bowl of delicious soup, and delight in one of the most luscious crêpes on the menu, filled with strawberries and Nutella (and we suggest adding bananas, too).
Café Bonaparte, 1522 Wisconsin Avenue NW; 202-333-8830.
Not only is this vintage gold tassel necklace, $75, guaranteed to be a gift your bestie won’t get from anyone else, this unique find is a statement piece any stylish gal would love to add to her accessory arsenal.
This ideally sized vintage snakeskin-print shoulder bag, $70, has a lustrous sheen and glitzy hardware — perfect for the holiday season.
Tari, 1525 Wisconsin Ave NW; 202-621-7500.
Addictive and delicious, the Alfajor cookies are made of sweet biscuits joined by a luscious dulce de leche spread, topped with coconut shavings dusted in powdered sugar. Dip them in your coffee or tea for the perfect afternoon snack.
Speaking of coffee, enjoy an expertly prepared cappuccino featuring Streetlevel beans from one of the country’s best coffee roasters. The heady notes of amaretto, almond, and dark chocolate are the ideal pick-me-up after a day of shopping.
Dolcezza, 1560 Wisconsin Ave NW; 202-333-4646.
Nectar Skin Bar
Festively packaged, these Paul & Joe Ornamental Eyeshadow kits, $20, contain a limited-edition range of vibrant shades perfect for adding holiday flair. Plus, they can double as Christmas-tree decorations!
Pamper the special person on your list with a Nectar Classic Manicure, $25, at one of the city’s chicest spas.
Nectar Skin Bar, 1633 Wisconsin Avenue NW; 202-333-4332.
Rue 14
These clever Mister Vintage bandanna scarves, $65, are made here in D.C., crafted from a selection of vintage cotton neckerchiefs.
Oh, the stories this vintage leather and sterling-silver belt, $70, could tell. This old-school-cool accessory is perfect for the guy or gal who already has everything.
Rue 14, 1803 14th Street NW; 202-462-6200.
Designed by two sisters and inspired by surf cities, these gold-plated Lizzie Fortunato bracelets, $115 to $125, are woven with colorful silk threads. The handmade aspect gives these baubles a nostalgic quality that will be loved by any DIYer on your list.
These adorable gold fox-head pins by Phillip Lim, $95, will add whimsy and style to anyone’s lapel.
Muléh, 1831 14th Street NW; 202-667-3440.
Owned by a former Regional Barista Competition champion, the coffee at this bustling shop is smooth and perfectly brewed. Grab a perfect cappuccino and pair it with a buttery croissant to perk you up, because you've still got a lot of shopping ahead.
Peregrine Espresso, 1718 14th Street NW; 202-525-5127.
Made from salvaged vintage molds, Treasury's line of Lithics rings, priced from $95 to $130, is gorgeously raw and rare.
Treasury, 1843 14th Street NW; 202-506-6908.
This extra-large 1940s collection of Gazettes, $115, is a fantastic home accessory and unusual conversation piece.
Incredibly versatile and stylish, these vintage military trunks, priced from $70 to $150, bring with them history and storage. They can be used as nightstands, coffee tables, or closet accessories.
Foundry,1522 U Street NW; 571-277-5245.
Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
The oysters served here are some of the freshest in the city. Order half a dozen of the rare and exquisite Belons or try a mix of local varieties.
Nothing goes better with shopping than freshly fried dough. This trio of chocolate, sugar, and lemon donuts are perfectly sweet and intensely delicious.
Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, 1612 14th Street NW; 202-986-8778.
These unique “Bonne Fête” glass tumblers, $12 each, couldn’t be more perfect for the holidays. Buy a set as tableware, or fill one with holiday candy, for a sweet gift.
These antique candlesticks, $48 for a pair, are beautifully intricate home accessories with a vintage flare and have the potential to light up any coffee table or nightstand (literally and figuratively!).
GoodWood, 1428 U Street NW; 202-986-3640.