A Bite … A Browse

A Bite … A Browse

By Barbara Anglin.

Looking for independent shops that include cafés? We’ve got you covered.

It’s all about the food here at edible, but sometimes, it’s also about shopping—for a gift, a book, a new pair of shoes (yes please!) or just for fun (I hear some people LOVE to shop). For someone like me who dreads a mall visit or feels like a complete sell-out to enter a big box store, the small, one-of-a-kind boutiques are the only way to go…especially if they serve food, good food! We’ve compiled a list of independent shops where you can stop for a bite to eat and then browse for gifts and goodies (books, jewelry, clothing, plants, etc). Menus are simple and uncluttered but full-range: an off the beaten path stop where you and a friend can enjoy a café bite followed by a leisurely browse of a one-of-a-kind shop. Here are a few independent retailers with robust in-store cafes well worth a visit.

If you have Fridays off this summer, are planning a staycation, or want a rainy weekend afternoon venture, leaving Amazon and the mall behind, take this list with you for a relaxed drive to check out a new-to-you, one-stop place to savor a bite of lunch and a leisurely browse of a unique boutique. You’ll avoid hangry shopping completely…and you may just find this bite-and-browse approach makes shopping a more gratifying experience.

Barbara Anglin works at 2 Friends Farm in Attleboro but readily admits she’d trade a warm dish of Indian pudding from a classic New England kitchen for a shot of wheatgrass juice or plate of microgreens, any day.

An Unlikely Story Bookstore and Café

Plan some time to linger here: there’s a lot to do and peruse! The solid old country store building in small-town Plainville has been proudly restored and now houses a vibrant and modern independent bookstore, café, and performance space. The title selection is one...

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Briggs Garden and Café

Calling all gardeners: this stop is for you! Perennials, annuals, tropicals, vegetables, roses, gardening books, a rainbow of planters, lots of garden-themed gifts, wreaths, and even local honey abound here. Briggs is a full-service garden center with a knowledgeable...

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Partners Village Store and Kitchen • Westport

A cheerful spot that has it all: cool, seasonal accessories for the home, eclectic clothing, distinctive jewelry, adult and children’s books, toys, and even a Saturday morning farm stand. Organic vegetables and eggs also are abundant in the kitchen where breakfast...

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Ansel S. Gurney House • Marion

On a country road in Marion, you might drive past the Ansel Gurney House thinking it’s a quaint museum, but quick, turn around and head back to the gravel parking lot! Pull in by the grape arbor and head inside the historic home where travelers and shoppers have...

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Tickles Shop and Tea Room

Not sure if Swansea gets many tourists, but the Tickles Shop and Tea Room feels like a shop you might discover while on vacation: a fun, seaside themed boutique packed with nautical gifts, jewelry, and European soaps and lotions. Women’s cotton clothing...

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