Raleigh's Hip Little Shopping District

This neighborhood, just north of downtown, offers a variety of specialty stores.
Tanner C. Latham

Parking can be scarce around lunchtime in Five Points. When the few lots are full, hungry shoppers queue their cars down the curbs and stroll back up the sidewalks, past quaint cottages. The line between residential and commercial is a little blurred here, and that's part of the charm. Here are a few of our favorite stops in this historic Raleigh neighborhood.

This Little Piggy Has a Market Part cafe, part food market, and part gift shop, NOFO at the Pig makes any visit entertaining. A mix of furniture, lamps, and gifts greets you on the walk-in level. "Almost everybody can walk out of NOFO with a little piece of it," says owner Jean Martin. "We have things from 15 cents to $5,000."

A flight of stairs leads down to the cafe, where around lunchtime, the shrimp BLT sandwich ($7.95) reigns supreme. 2014 Fairview Road; (919) 821-1240.

An Ocean of Orchids You could call Catherine Merriman an orchid sitter. Browse her shop, The White Cottage, and you'll likely find cute bags, belts, chandeliers, and lighting fixtures. The main attractions, though, are her beautiful plants. And one of her most popular services is the orchid lease program in which for $12.50 per month, you can keep a blooming orchid at your house year-round. 2015 Fairview Road; (919) 755-3377.

Acquiring Antiques One of our favorite antiques stores in Five Points is Acquisitions, Ltd., owned by Ben Everett and Ross Spain. They frequently take trips across the Atlantic to uncover formal English and French furniture, specifically from the 18th and 19th centuries. While the store specializes in these pieces, you'll also find paintings, porcelain, rugs, and other decorative accessories. 2003 Fairview Road; (919) 755-1110.

This article is from the December 2004 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.