In the Neighborhood: Downtown Hudson
1 | Flip Side: This side venture from chef/restaurateur Shawn Monday (who also runs the adjoining One Red Door restaurant) features Ohio-raised grass-fed beef, served in a tiny barroom. 49 Village Way, 330-655-3547, flipsideburger.com
2 | Heather's Heat and Flavor: The store is stocked floor to ceiling with shelves of sauces and marinades. Our favorite find was the Naughty Sauces section (with racy names you'll have to see for yourself) shielded by tiny plastic curtains. 94 First St., 330-653-5131, heatandflavor.com
3 | Epiphany: From mustaches for your beer bottle to a children's nook packed with sturdy wooden toys, this paean to whimsy and fun always manages to surprise. 105 First St., 330-655-0191, epiphanyhudson.com
4 | Main Street Cupcakes: At just $2.50 a pop, it's far too easy to indulge your sweet tooth. We had a hard time choosing between Wedding Day White and Pink Lemonade — so, of course, we got both. 238 N. Main St., 330-342-0833, mainstreetcupcakes.com
5 | The Learned Owl Book Shop: This bookstore earns high marks for the loads of events scheduled monthly, from author meet-and-greets to themed tea parties. 204 N. Main St., 330-653-2252, learnedowl.com
6 | The Land of Make Believe & The
Labyrinth: Kids rule downstairs, where one room is devoted to Playmobil sets, while upstairs offerings such as jasmine soap provide a calming respite. 190 N. Main St., 330-650-4438
7 | The Grey Colt: Every piece is thoughtfully beautiful, from the Marimekko skirt in red and blue swirls to the embroidered Coral & Tusk linen pillow at this 53-year-old store. 150 N. Main St., 330-653-6355, greycolt.com
8 | Western Reserve Cookery: Our favorite kitchen brands, from Le Creuset to Wusthof knives, are jumbled together comfortably in the front of the Western Reserve School of Cooking. 140 N. Main St., 330-650-1665, wrsoc.com
9 | Downtown 140: This basement restaurant is tricked out with brick walls, plush red-velvet couches and more than 300 bottles of wine, plus a menu of smaller plates perfect for sharing. 140 N. Main St., 330-655-2940, downtown140.com
10 | Vignettes: It's stocked with seasonal decorations and offbeat offerings such as a Julia Knight yin yang serving platter. The small selection of women's clothing was spot on, as evidenced by a breezy Tolani black silk dress. 140 N. Main St., 330-342-7017
11 | Janet Rhodes Fair Trade: Bracelets from Guatemala mingle with mirrors from Ghana, all of them produced by locals in their country of origin and purchased at a fair price. 134 N. Main St., 330-653-9006, janetrhodes.com
12 | Crazy But True: Who knew Granny Smith apples could translate to popcorn? The gourmet popcorn shop will make almost anything a popcorn flavor, from Buckeyes to White Chocolate Raspberry. 72 N. Main St., 330-342-0300, crazybuttruepopcorn.com
Here are some favorites we uncovered in downtown Hudson.
Triple-cooked fries with barbecued beef brisket ($7.50), Flip Side: The fries are blanched and given two doses of oil treatment, but it was the brisket that kept us heading back for more.
Shopping cart ($69.99), Epiphany: Teeny tiny metal shopping carts otherwise identical to their regular-size counterparts — so cute and somehow so chic.
Saraye purse ($54), Janet Rhodes Fair Trade: This sturdy purse was handcrafted from grass in Cambodia, but it was the hot-pink dye job that made us really take notice.
MORE INFO merchantsofhudson.com