The World's Best Specialty Shops

Your local retail chain definitely doesn't have anything like this.

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The Shop: The Meadow in New York City and Portland, Oregon

Specialty: Salt and Chocolate

The Scoop: It's pretty hard to pass up the pairing of salt and chocolate, and luckily there's a shop dedicated to just those two things. The Meadow, which was started by James Beard-award winning entrepreneur Mark Bitterman, specializes in craft salt, and the shops are known for their spice-infused and smoked varieties, as well as chocolate bars sourced from countries including Vietnam, Mexico, and Italy.

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The Shop: Tres Rosas Amarillas in Madrid, Spain

Specialty: Pop-Up Books

The Scoop: Tres Rosas Amarillas is taking literature from 2-D Kindle screens and turning it into 3-D experiences by specializing in pop-up books and pop-up books only. This spirited concept has captured locals and tourists alike. Popular titles include Star Wars and The Little Prince, but the shop also carries books by local artists whose pop-up craftsmanship is truly unparalleled.

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The Shop: Mario Bemer in Florence, Italy

Specialty: Bespoke men's footwear

The Scoop: This atelier, which makes its home in the heart of Florence, is founded on the principles of the late Stefano Bemer's unprecedented shoemaking company. His brother Mario carries out his legacy at his newer footwear shop, where customers come for high-quality styles in everything from classic brown leather to burgundy suede. Even if you opt for one of his ready-to-wear pairs, you can trust your shoes have been personally inspected by Mario himself.

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The Shop: Tender Buttons in New York City

Specialty: Buttons

The Scoop: This narrow shop of shelves upon shelves of buttons has the feel of a library of sorts (and how fitting as it has a literary namesake in a book by Gertrude Stein). Offering antique buttons, there are options from across decades in materials including wood, woven leather, and gold.

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The Shop: Daphnis and Chloe in Athens, Greece

Specialty: Herbs

The Scoop: Situated right on Acropolis hill, this charming herb shop is best known for sourcing its herbs from the wild, in places where they grow naturally. Owner Evangelia Koutsovoulou's herbs have worldwide culinary renown, and she regularly fills orders for local Michelin-starred restaurant Hytra, as well as New York City shop ABC Home.

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The Shop: Kado in Berlin, Germany

Specialty: Licorice

The Scoop: People who love licorice, really love licorice. That's why Ilse Böge opened Kado, to fulfill all licorice-lovers' wildest dreams. The shop imports licorice goods including gummies, tea, syrup, and even toothpaste from 10 different countries, all with the aim of taking people back to the tastes of their childhood.

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The Shop: Empire Mayonnaise Co. in Brooklyn, New York

Specialty: Mayonnaise

The Scoop: With unique flavors like lemon ginger and red chili, this quirky mayonnaise shop has drawn enough attention to earn itself a Saturday Night Live parody. But beyond fitting a sketch-worthy, Brooklyn stereotype, Empire's non-GMO recipe using only pasture-raised eggs is, most importantly, the first of its kind.

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The Shop: Ganterie Boon in Antwerp, Belgium

Specialty: Gloves

The Scoop: First established in 1884, Ganterie Boon is the only remaining glove store in Antwerp. The shop retains its original glove boxes, as well as Art Deco countertops and cabinetry, which makes the experience of shopping for beautiful handcrafted, leather gloves like stepping back in time.

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The Shop: Parasolerie Heurtault in Paris, France

Specialty: Umbrellas

The Scoop: If you're going to trust anyone to construct a made-to-measure umbrella for you, it should be a former corset maker. Expert artisan Michel Heurtault is just the guy: Formerly working in film, fashion, and theater, he opened up his Paris shop in 2008 and is now lauded for his custom UV-protected silk, taffeta, linen, and cotton styles that are sturdier than any drugstore umbrella.

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The Shop: KitKat Chocolatery in Japan

Specialty: KitKats

The Scoop: Visit all eight locations of this KitKat-only shop in cities across Japan, including Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nagoya, to load up on the beloved candy bar in classic chocolate and other novelty flavors, such as butter, orange cocktail noir, sakura green tea, and strawberry maple.

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