The holidays are a time to come together with family and friends and celebrate the meaning of the season. The holiday season is also one of the top shopping periods of the year as we look for special and meaningful gifts for everyone on our list.

From your favorite department and mall stores, to outlets, small businesses and boutiques and more – Rochester, N.Y., has something for everyone on your holiday shopping list.

According to our friends at Yelp, this year more and more Americans are planning to shop local this holiday season. A recent Yelp-commissioned survey, found that 64% of Americans are likely to shop at local independent businesses this holiday season. Knowing this, Yelp sifted through millions of reviews to discover the best cities in the U.S. for finding great gifts at local businesses.

It’s no secret that Rochester is a top spot for shopping local this holiday season. Rochester ranked 19 on the list of the top 20 cities to shop local. Even more, Rochester was the only city in New York State to make the list and just one of two in the entire northeast region to receive this recognition!

For your holiday shopping needs, we have compiled your guide on how to shop local when you #VisitROC this year and gift your loved ones with unique gifts from local businesses and artisans here in Rochester.

Holiday Shopping Events

4th Annual Brainery Holiday Bazaar Presented by Yelp Rochester

December 10-11, 2016

11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Rochester Brainery

Join the Rochester Brainery and Yelp Rochester for the 4th Annual Brainery Holiday Bazaar. Join in on the fun both days because vendors will be different each day!

The annual event features more than 40 local vendors, DIY gift wrapping stations, and the raffling of locally-curated gift baskets to raise money for Rochester Youth Culinary Experience (RYCE), a not-for-profit organization that brings experienced-based entrepreneurship skills to youth in the city of Rochester, so they may positively impact their communities.

Hart’s Holiday Vendor Market

December 10, 2016

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Hart’s Local Grocers

Join Hart’s Local Grocers on Saturday, December 10, for their annual Hart’s Holiday Vendor Market. This one-day event will feature samples from several local businesses including:

- Popcorn Charlie's Gourmet Popcorn

- Black Button Distilling

- School 58 selling fresh herbs

- BlackBird Cider Works

- Three Heads Brewing

- East Hill Creamery

- Union Place Coffee Roasters

- Stuarts Spices

- Nedloh Brewing Company

- Swiftwater Brewing

...and more samples from the Hart's team!

The Holidays at the Hungerford

December 10 & 17, 2016

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The Hungerford

Extended hours for your shopping and gift giving pleasure! Enjoy original works by the Hungerford Artists- give the gift of originality and beauty.

Shop the ROC This Holiday Season

Yelp Rochester recommends the following 10 spots to shop local this holiday season. These locations are all recommended by local yelpers as being great for gifts for everyone on your list. #YelpShopsLocal

1.    Peppermint

2.    Craft Company No. 6

3.    Archimage

4.    Thread

5.    Abode

6.    Parkleigh

7.    Fahsye

8.    Zak's Avenue

9.    Little Button Craft and Press

10. Stacy K Floral


A few of our other favorite spots for shopping local this holiday season include:

  • The Gallery Store at Memorial Art Gallery
  • Rochester Public Market (check out Holidays at the Market!)
  • Hedonist Artisan Chocolates
  • ReHouse Architectural Salvage
  • Record Archive


So make your list and check it twice – you’re sure to find something nice when you shop in Rochester this holiday season!