United House Wrecking, 535 Hope St. (tel. 203/348-5371; www.unitedhousewrecking.com), is a find for dedicated antiques hounds, who will want to make time for this sprawling emporium of oddments. The name may not sound promising, but the company got its start selling architectural remnants salvaged from building demolitions. For years, it featured such items as 1930s gas pumps, stone pigs, and pagodas. Now it showcases far less bizarre imported antiques and reproductions, and has recently added new furnishings to the mix. (It's also rolling out a new name -- UHW -- as part of the new identity.) It's open Monday through Saturday from 9:30am to 5:30pm, Sunday from noon to 5pm. It's tough to find, though. From exit 9 of I-95, pick up Route 1, then Route 106 north; make a left on Glenbrook Road, which becomes Church Street, and then turn right on Hope Street. Be sure you have a map.
Serious shoppers have several choices, primarily among the boutiques and galleries along Washington and Main streets. One shop that may produce a bargain, or at least a surprise, is Saga, 119 Washington St. (tel. 203/855-1900). It specializes in folk arts and crafts, as well as jewelry and furnishings from the southwestern United States, Mexico, and points south. Nearby is A Taste of Holland, 83 Washington St. (tel. 203/838-6161; www.kaasnco.com), run by Dutch expatriates, which sells herring, cheese, wooden shoes, candies, and Dutch girl dolls. The original And Company, Inc., 127 Washington St. (tel. 203/831-8855), offers bedding, bath products, lamps, tabletop fashions, and soaps. Its success spawned additional stores across the street, at nos. 104 and 108, which sell stylish clothing for men and women.
Apart from the usual antiques shops and the strip malls north of town on Route 35, Balducci's, 21 Governor St. (tel. 203/431-4400), formerly Hay Day Market, is a good stop for devoted food lovers and for anyone contemplating a picnic. Hidden in a shopping center behind Main Street, it is about as fancy a food market as exists outside Manhattan. Sections are devoted to produce, prepared foods, baked goods, charcuterie, cheeses, and fresh flowers. There are also branches in Westport, 1385 Post Rd. (tel. 293/254-5400), and Greenwich, 1050 E. Putnam Ave. (tel. 203/637-7600).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.