Best Austin Stores for Last-Minute Gifts

Where to Find a Good Gift Now

Toy Joy
Robert Macias

Whether you need to buy something for that coworker who steals your yogurt or a lifelong friend, these locally owned shops make it easy to find a high-quality gift in a hurry.

1. Take Heart

If you’re looking for a picture frame, a small plant or what might be called “noncommittal” gifts, Take Heart helps you tastefully send the message of “I like you, but let’s not go overboard.” You’ll find a nice selection of pottery, candles, stationery, greeting cards, Japanese vases and wall art. 1111 East 11th Street; (512) 520-9664

2. Monkey See Monkey Do

When you really have no clue what kind of gift you want to buy, head to Monkey See Monkey Do for instant inspiration. With everything from gag gifts to vintage toys, the shop provides an abundance of fun options. Be warned: some of the toys and books are not suitable for kids. This is an ideal place to find humorous stocking stuffers for all ages. 1712 South Congress Avenue; (512) 443-4999

3. Austin Gift Company

With everything from predictable Texas souvenirs to handcrafted jewelry by local designers, Austin Gift Company has one of the most extensive selections of gifts in Austin. Within the store, local vendors have their own booths or mini-stores. The vendors change regularly, so it’s a good idea to stop by frequently to see the latest additions. 4211 South Lamar Boulevard; (512) 326-9460

4. Atown

Another store that’s seriously committed to supporting local artisans, Atown sells T-shirts emblazoned with clever sayings, locally made jewelry, coasters, pet products, clothing and beauty accessories. Looking for a low-priced gift? Check out the wall of $5 earrings. Need a leather bracelet decorated with guitar picks? Atown has you covered. 5502 Burnet Road; (512) 323-2533

5. The Burlap Bag

The shop is known for its locally made soy candles with funny names like Unicorn Puke and Puppy Farts. The candles actually smell like gingerbread, not farts, but they’re perfect gifts for those annoying coworkers or grumpy uncles. You’ll also find creative earrings, handmade necklaces, goat soap, and infinity scarves. 502 West 30th Street; (512) 677-9825

6. Toy Joy

Prepare to be assaulted by every color in the rainbow and a cacophony of bleeps and blorps. Toy Joy is a little overwhelming at first, with floor-to-ceiling toys of every imaginable kind. Even if you’re here to shop for your kids, you’ll soon get lost in nostalgia as you encounter retro toys from your youth. Many of the toys are educational too. Where else would you find a selection of stuffed toys in the shape of microbes? And if you have a Hello Kitty fan in the family, well, plan on spending a couple of hours here. The store offers two free hours of parking, with validation, at the garage at City Hall (301 W. 2nd Street) or AMLI apartments (421 West 3rd Street). Toy Joy, 403 West 2nd Street; (512) 320-0090

7. Parts & Labour

Featuring only Texas-made gifts, clothing and jewelry, Parts & Labour is the ideal spot to go when you’re shopping for a good friend but you really have no idea what you’re looking for. The helpful staff can point you to locally crafted necklaces at reasonable prices, whimsical T-shirts or decorative art. If your friends’ tastes tend toward the eccentric, check out the racks featuring “upcycled” clothing for a truly one-of-a-kind gift. 1704 South Congress Avenue; (512) 326-1648

8. Forbidden Fruit

If you’re looking to spice up your sex life, but you’re not really sure how some of these gadgets work, don't be afraid to ask. The staff at Forbidden Fruit knows how to supply the answers you need without asking too many prying questionsThe shop carries everything from vibrators and feather boas to leather collars and whips. If you’re still a little nervous about getting into the nitty-gritty, it’s also a good place to buy gag gifts (or an actual gag). 108 East North Loop; (512) 453-8090

9. Q Toys

Just as the name implies, the emphasis here is on high-quality sex toys. At some sex toy shops, they may explain how to use it, but the staff at Q Toys can also explain what it’s made of and why the materials are the safest option for the activity at hand (or at, er, never mind). The store even has floor models of many of the toys so you can get a better idea of how they work. The shop also holds workshops on everything from anal sex to finding the elusive g-spot. 6800 Burnet Road; (512) 772-1614

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