Souvenir Shops to Show Off Your Raleigh Pride

From candles and coffee mugs to snacks and hot sauce, here where to find North Carolina goods for your guests — or yourself!
by Rachel Simon | photography by Bryan Regan

If you love living in Raleigh, then you likely also love getting to show it off to visitors and new residents. Once you’ve taken your guests on a tour of the city and filled their stomachs with pimento cheese, send them home with a Raleigh-themed trinket from one of the many boutique souvenir shops located around town. From oak-tree-scented candles to mugs that show the city skyline, the gift options are endless.


Founded by the creators of the popular Triangle Pop-Up (which still operates at various locations across Raleigh), Curate offers an eclectic selection of Raleigh-themed goods in its two permanent shops. All of its products, from fun “City of Oaks” stickers to tongue-burning hot sauces, are made by North Carolina vendors, so “every purchase is supporting a local, small business in the Raleigh area,” says business manager Abby Moody, who runs the company alongside her sisters, owner Sarah and manager Julia.

Both of Curate’s cozy shops are decorated with its signature “groovy, retro branding,” says Moody, which is reflected in the fun, brightly colored products themselves. The average item price is around $20, and the 60 vendors chosen each quarter regularly change up their selections, so there’s always something new to discover.

Standout items: “Crochet flowers, gemstone rings and upcycled vintage clothes,” says Moody.
15 W. Hargett Street; 4325 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 2079;

Photograph courtesy Edge of Urge

Edge of Urge

Nestled into Mordecai’s Person Street Plaza, Edge of Urge is filled to the brim with one-of-a-kind items made largely by independent North Carolina designers, including plenty of Raleigh-themed products. The store’s vibe is “maximalist, colorful and playful,” says founder Jessie Williams, and the quirky wares (which vary widely in price) range from wine glasses etched with Raleigh maps to t-shirts listing local eateries. The sheer number of options can be overwhelming, but if you tell an employee about the person the gift is for, they’ll put together a Mystery Box filled with items they think the recipient will love.

When you’re done shopping, hop across the street to Unlikely Professionals, another gift boutique run by Williams, which has a “more masculine vibe” and features camping gear, beer accessories, hats and more.

Standout items: Ceramics made by Raleigh artist Liz Kelly, who “makes timeless gifts and home keepsakes,” says Williams.
215 E. Franklin Street, #110;

NOFO @ the Pig

A Five Points staple since 2001, NOFO is loved by Raleighites for its delicious food, old-school vibe and extensive gift shop. The spacious store (which opens to a cafe below) is full of “rustic wooden tables and display cases showcasing curated collections of unique finds,” says Mary McKinney, NOFO’s director of marketing, with prices for the products ranging from $5 to $150.

In addition to all the house-made meals and snacks for sale, you can find tea towels emblazoned with Raleigh imagery, colorful art prints depicting local landmarks and many more options — almost entirely made by city residents. “We have a dedicated staff member who recruits local artists to sell their wares in our store,” McKinney says.

Standout items: Candles with scents inspired by North Carolina towns, made by Raleigh’s South Street Candle Company. “The scents are mesmerizing and the vessels are simple and elegant, complementing any decor,” says McKinney.
2014 Fairview Road;


In the 12 years since DECO opened its doors downtown, the colorful shop has become a must-stop for residents looking to stock up on thoughtful items like skyline-decorated glassware and Raleigh-themed jigsaw puzzles. “At any given time, we will have the work of 80 to 100 North Carolina makers, artisans and brands,” says owner Pam Blondin, “including many product exclusives.” 

Don’t be intimidated by the store’s organized chaos; employees can help curate gift bags in specific Raleigh themes, such as a cooking-centric box featuring cookbooks from local chefs, hand-printed kitchen towels and North Carolina-made spices, Blondin says. Prices for local items range from $10 to $60.

Standout items: Blondin loves the DECO X Canes exclusive “large, frameable prints” from local artists Autumn Cobeland and Adam Cohen; 5% of the proceeds are donated to The Carolina Hurricanes Foundation.
207 S. Salisbury Street;

Image courtesy NC Museum of History

North Carolina Museum of History

Visitors to the Museum of History don’t only get to learn about the state’s past; they can also shop a unique, curated collection of items tied to current exhibits: locally made wooden toys to coincide with a showcase of North Carolina furniture or tea towels depicting dogwoods (the state flower) during an exhibit on plant life. Prices for small souvenirs like magnets and mugs can start at just a few dollars, and larger specialty items like pillows showing Raleigh landmarks and pottery made by local artists can cost $100 or more.

The money you spend at the store has an important purpose. “When you buy here, you’re supporting this museum and the state of North Carolina,” says Lynn Brower, the shop’s director of retail operations. “It’s kind of like the gift that gives twice.”

Standout items: Each year, the museum adds a new North Carolina-themed ornament to its Museum Ornament Series, which started in 1982. The collection includes beautiful artwork depicting sites like lighthouses of the Outer Banks and the State Capitol in springtime. “We carry 10 to 15 different ornament styles on a regular basis,” says Brower.  
5 E. Edenton Street;

This article originally appeared in the July 2024 issue of WALTER magazine.