Despite all the damage done by online shopping, malls still exist: a resolute symbol of an earlier time, when shopping was as utilitarian as an all-you-can-eat buffet. You can find anything you’re looking for at these stews of consumerism, and that’s the way it should be.
But, the best discoveries come from concentrated specialty shopping districts. You might not have one of the following in your hometown, but that’s kind of the point. Here are the best places to get the best of whatever you’re looking for. And, since shopping is a great way to work up an appetite, we’ve thrown in a restaurant to check out in each destination, too.
London is perhaps the best city in the world to drop loads of cash on whatever you fancy, be it a pair of Oxfords or a condo in Knightsbridge. For the watch enthusiast, there’s no better place to spend than on this quiet street in Mayfair. While the great Swiss brands — Rolex, Breitling and Patek Philippe, to name a few — all have storefronts here, you’ll also find smaller brands like Wempe and Piaget, plus a slew of high-end vintage dealers.
Come for the herringbone wood floors and orange banquettes, stay for the grilled bone marrow with parmesan and parsley salt. 45jermynst.com
There are a number of good reasons to visit this city, foremost among them new southern cuisine, spectacular colonial architecture, and mild winters. Add to that list the shops of King Street, the city’s antiques district. Charleston was founded in 1670, and this street’s shops reflect the richness of the town’s history with a huge array of high-end antiques, including pristine examples of 18th- and 19th-century Americana and gems from England and France.
New southern cuisine shines at chef Sean Brock’s lauded establishment. His kitchen’s motto: “If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door.” huskrestaurant.com
The best place to get in on the Danish design trend is, obviously, Denmark. Running through Copenhagen’s city centre past Amalienborg Palace and the Museum of Danish Design, Bredgade is the best place in town to get your fix of Danish modern furniture. Make a beeline to the Wegner chairs and other classics at Carl Hansen’s flagship store, then wander down toward nearby Hay to shop for pieces from Denmark’s top new designers.
If you can’t get into Noma, eat here. The food — new Scandinavian, strictly regional and expertly prepared — is among the best in the city, if not the world. kadeau.dk
You can find whatever you’re looking for in Tokyo, from perfect denim to the latest high-fashion menswear to rare vintage motorcycle jackets. Long a destination for the city’s fashion-obsessed youth, Harajuku remains a prime location for all kinds of clothing. For a slice of Tokyo at its best, head to this narrow, shop-lined street, where international brands like Ralph Lauren and Opening Ceremony mingle with weird and wonderful Japan-only labels.
This hidden restaurant earned its Michelin star on the back of carefully composed dishes featuring incredible seafood and produce from the chef’s own garden. 7-10-30 Roppongi, Minato-Ku, Tokyo