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Rawette has been around for about 25 years, according to owner Mr. Paul Julèmont it was the first second hand clothing store in Leuven.
What to buy: Second hand men's/women's/children's clothing and jewelry. More recently, the focus is shifting more toward brand and designer clothes - most of which sell very fast. But there is quite a big selection to choose from in all price ranges.
What to pay: Most items are moderately priced, but not really "inexpensive".
Updated Jul 31, 2005
Address: Parijsstraat 53-55, B-3000 Leuven
Phone: (0032) (0)16 / 20 11 45
FNAC is somewhat of an entertainment-store institution in Belgium and can be found in the main cities. The stores are quite big and well organized. The Leuven location has only been around for a few years.
What to buy: The ground floor is all consumer electronics and related items - there's quite a selection but I do find them quite expensive in this department (more below) and would only recommend buying someting like a peripherial (cable, memory card, etc...) you can't find elsewhere immediately.
FNAC also specializes in ticket sales for various shows and events, check their ticketing desk if you need to get hold of some.
The books / music / movie department on the upper level is where the store really shines in terms of selection. I can't say too many things about the store clerks I've encountered so far, since I find them fairly uninterested / uninformed - which leads me to think that working at FNAC must be some sort of terrible punishment - but if you know what you're after and can do without bothering any of these disgruntled, lackluster individuals just when they're about to go on their coffee- or sanitary break - you'll love the store.
What to pay: I find FNAC to be a rather pricey store. I saw an item I wanted in the electronics department marked at EUR 225 and after shopping around I managed to get the exact same thing for EUR 180 a few days later ... do the math. I can only assume it must be terribly expensive to run this place if they charge an average of 15 to a whopping 25% more on electronics than most places. The price difference is less noticeable on books, music and movies, however - so don't let my whining put you off.
Updated Aug 1, 2005
Address: Bondgenotenlaan 32, B-3000 Leuven
Phone: (0032) (0)16 / 75 12 11
Essenza is a small chain of bath / beauty & health products with a dozen shops throughout Belgium, the Leuven location - a nice store in a beautiful row house - only opened recently.
What to buy: Delicatessen, health products such as food supplements and herbal teas, a wide range of cosmetics and bath & beauty products, and gifts.
Written Aug 2, 2005
Address: Bondgenotenlaan 72, B-3000 Leuven
Phone: (0032) (0)16 62 25 62
Ok so we belgians are know for our chocolate. We have different known brands. Leonidas being one of the most famous and relatively cheap. When we have people visiting from other countries we usually buy them some and they just can't stop eating them. A japanese visitor even managed to finish a whole box in between dinner courses! But NOTHING prepares you for chocolate from this little store, they are just out of this world good. They are all house made and come in many different flavours, raspberry truffles anyone? It should say "Heaven" on the window!
What to buy: I like the white truffles most.
What to pay: 8 euros for 250 grams
Updated Mar 15, 2004
For everyone who enjoys good cooking, good eating or just good living; you will always find just the right gift at Oil & Vinegar. They offer an extensive range of original, delicious culinary gifts, and many of these can be sampled in the shop. Almost all of their products can be specially wrapped, making a gift into a feast in itself.
Moreover, you can always have your special oil and vinegar containers (re-)filled at Oil & Vinegar with your favourite product.
What to buy: They have special olive oils (more than 25 varieties), different types of vinegar, dressings, olives, dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, various types of pesto, bruschetta, herbs and spices, chutneys, pasta in a wide range of colours, types and sizes, and so on. They also carry characteristic wines from South Africa.
As well as culinary products, you will find a range of associated articles at Oil & Vinegar. From authentic Spanish oil jars to handmade serviette rings, from decorative pasta dishes and inspirational cookbooks to candles and hand-decorated place-mats.
What to pay: Prices are moderate to expensive, but you get what you pay for.
Updated Jul 29, 2005
Address: Brusselsestraat 17, B-3000 Leuven
Phone: (0032) (0)16 23 95 50
This site used to be a renowned flower shop, "Amadeus". A few years ago, Nuances home decoration/furnishing moved in. It's a beautiful store.
What to buy: lamps, decoration, tableware, furniture
What to pay: moderate to expensive
Updated Jul 30, 2005
Address: Bondgenotenlaan 111, B-3000 Leuven
Phone: (0032) (0)16 / 22 24 48
Caroline Biss has stores throughout Europe, of which a dozen or so in Belgium. I haven't seen any stores other than the Leuven location so it can't say how it compares to others - it's a spacious store, though.
What to buy: Modern, prêt-a-porter ladies fashion.
What to pay: Prices are moderate to expensive.
Updated Jul 31, 2005
Address: Bondgenotenlaan 56A, B-3000 Leuven
Phone: (0032) (0)16 / 20 70 99
De Toekan (toucan) can best be descibed as an "ethnic gift shop" where you can buy mostly handmade products. While the store isn't that big, it takes a while to go through all the nooks and crannies - but it's fun.
What to buy: Men's / women's clothing / apparel (mainly from Asian countries), handmade jewelery, paper goods, incense, figurines, dolls, and all sorts of little nic nacs.
What to pay: inexpensive to moderate prices
Written Jul 29, 2005
Address: Bondgenotenlaan 99, B-3000 Leuven
Phone: (0032) (016) 23 81 94
One of the bigger "parfumeries" - if not the biggest - in Leuven. It used to be on the opposite side of the street but recently moved to a new location. Staff is knowledgeable and helpful.
What to buy: Very large selection of scent/beauty products.
What to pay: Prices are moderate, not exactly (in-)expensive, then again - this is not a discount store. You may find certain products cheaper when shopping around, then again the selection here is hard to beat for a store in a mid-size town like Leuven.
Updated Jul 29, 2005
Address: Bondgenotenlaan 8, B-3000 Leuven
Phone: (0032) (0)16 / 29 08 14
Out of the many bookstores in Leuven, this one is my personal favorite. Nice and relaxt atmosphere, and the staff is super friendly and helpfull. Not only do they have a great range of literature (in Dutch), they also have English books (art, novels, second-hand). They will start selling (more) books in French/Spanish/Italian very soon, so please stop by if that is what you are looking for.
What to buy: Books, from art to novels to second hand, but also pretty postcards, nice gadgets, and much more.
What to pay: Boekcargo is quite cheap: prices range from as little as 5E (for a real book, that is) up to max. 30E.
Updated May 6, 2010
Address: Tiensestraat 6
2 Reviews and 89 Opinions Facility was clean, service was excellent - the staff was very accomodating. Parking is not so good.