59 Best Places to Shop in Metro Phoenix

Our favorite shopping event of the year? Easy.
Our favorite shopping event of the year? Easy.
Benjamin Leatherman

New Times' Best of Phoenix is out now. Here's our list of the best places to shop in the Valley.

Best Shopping Event of the Year: Crafeteria

We know it's officially winter when it's finally time to put on a scarf, park at the AJ's on Central Avenue and Camelback Road, buy a dirty chai from a Dutch Bros. associate who is so busy he doesn't have time to be annoying, and knock out holiday shopping at Crafeteria. Every December, the handmade marketplace brings together around 50 specially selected vendors who set up shop in the Medlock Plaza parking lot for an evening of perusing, live music, and food-truck snacks.

A look at Phoenix Flea at Heritage Square.EXPAND
A look at Phoenix Flea at Heritage Square.
Cheyanne Paredes

Best One-Stop Shop for Arizona-Made Goods: Phoenix Flea

When people imagine Phoenix, they don't really think of jewelers, carpenters, clothing designers, or leather workers. But, oh, are they wrong not to. Hidden within this desert valley are some incredibly talented crafters, and there's no better place to peruse and choose which maker is your favorite than Phoenix Flea.

Scottsdale Quarter.
Scottsdale Quarter.
Lynn Trimble

Best Mall: Scottsdale Quarter

Mall experts that we are, we know that a multi-level, multi-store day of shopping requires a, well, multitude of things. We also know that Scottsdale Quarter has all of 'em. Sustenance? The north Valley spot runs the gamut, with baked goods and caffeine by way of Press Coffee to easy lunches and light fare at True Food Kitchen and a full-blown fancy dinner at Dominick's Steakhouse. Shopping? There's your generic mall fare, including an Apple store, H&M, and Bath & Body Works; rarer finds like Warby Parker, Design Within Reach, and West Elm; and high-end offerings from Intermix and Suitsupply.

Desert Sky Mall.
Desert Sky Mall.
Evie Carpenter

Best Latino Mall: Desert Sky Mall

We are not exaggerating when we say this mall not only has just about everything you could need, but more importantly, everything you could want. In one visit, you could buy a bike, see a movie, plan a quinceañera, snack on delicious tosti elotes, be entertained by student folklorico dancers, make funeral arrangements, and get your sewing machine repaired. See what we mean? Desert Sky Mall has it all.

Best Place to Buy Mexican Tchotchkes: Mexican Arts Imports

Need a cool gift for that person who has everything? Mexican Arts Imports is the place. The cool (and very funky) store at the southeast corner of 24th and Polk streets, across from the Arizona State Hospital, is definitely a destination even if you didn't know you needed a cool bronze sun with a mirror in it. Or a small statue of a lucha libre star from years gone by. Talavera, Day of the Dead, religious items ... it's all there in the jam-packed store.

The store front of newly opened Phoenix General offering apparel, home, and gift for life in the desert.EXPAND
The store front of newly opened Phoenix General offering apparel, home, and gift for life in the desert.
Phoenix General

Best New Boutique: Phoenix General

Joshua Hahn and Kenny Barrett have, among other things, stellar taste. So when the duo behind downtown's community garden slash co-op vintage shop GROWop announced that they'd open a new store called Phoenix General, we counted down the days. And boy, we weren't disappointed. An aesthetic departure from its cozy sister shop, the General's scene is more streamlined, with clean lines, simple designs, and minimal frills.

Courtesy of Frances

Best Boutique: Frances

Georganne Bryant's Frances has fans, the kind of people who might not know what they want walking in but are confident they'll walk out with something they love. Stock your wardrobe with seasonal Toms, locally crafted jewelry by against the grain, and Free People's latest take on a flowy top. Nab home goods including Two Trees Botanicals terrariums and Standard Wax candles. We recommend repeating the exercise every few months, if not sooner.

For the People
For the People
Lynn Trimble

Best Gift Shop: For the People

We would've called it For the People with the Very Best Taste, but we get that brevity is fairly important when it comes to signage and marketing and other business-y affairs. And so we have For the People, formerly located at Biltmore Fashion Park's UNION. Now at home along the Central Corridor, the shop's increased square footage means more things to covet and, when we're feeling generous, buy for our nearest and dearest.

The Clinton and Trump candles at Standard Wax.
The Clinton and Trump candles at Standard Wax.
Courtesy of Standard Wax

Best Candles: Standard Wax

A candle that looks as good as it smells? That's the dream. And for those who like to have it all, there's Standard Wax. The local company specializes in candles that not only make your home smell divine, but can also be repurposed as decorative storage, pots for plants — you name it. Try the Whiskey and Fig for a smoky, floral aroma, or go for something light and clean like the Basil and Thyme. Either way, you won't be disappointed.

Best Nursery: Desert Horizon

Yeah, we're aware that Queen Creek is about three trillion miles away from most of you. But we also promise that the schlep to Desert Horizon Nursery will be worth it for the Instagram posts alone, though it would be pretty silly to make the trek without a few things to pick up — or a few questions for the experts on hand at the sprawling plant store. 

Best Yerberia: Yerberia Santa Fe

Yerberia Santa Fe is a beloved neighborhood yerberia on the east side specializing in natural Mexican and Latin American health products. Come here for the best and latest selection of health supplements, specialty teas, candles, plus a smattering of Spanish-language books covering everything from introductory tarot reading to dream interpretation.

Unconventional, Instagram-able creations are what you'll find at Arcadia's Camelback Flowershop (now on Indian School Road).EXPAND
Unconventional, Instagram-able creations are what you'll find at Arcadia's Camelback Flowershop (now on Indian School Road).
Janessa Hilliard

Best Florist: Camelback Flowershop

Pretty sure flowers work for any occasion, particularly when they're from Camelback Flowershop. From "sorry" and "thanks" to "I love you" and "I might be over it," the shop's got an option. Air plants, succulents, bundles of ranunculus, and towering clematis are just a few bloomers you'll spot (when they're in season, that is).

Sarah Waite, nail artist extraordinaire.
Sarah Waite, nail artist extraordinaire.
Lauren Cusamano

Best Nail Artist: Sarah Waite

Though the title of her nail art blog, Chalkboard Nails, gives us pinching chills just imagining that dry screech, what Sarah Waite does with a nail bed often leaves us asking the annoying question, "How does she do it?!" Thing is, you can see how she does it — both through her online tutorials and by making an appointment with Waite to take you on as a client at The Spa at Camelback Village.

Best Facial: Skin Laundry

Ninety minutes for a facial? In the immortal words of YouTube sensation Kimberly "Sweet Brown" Wilkins, ain't nobody got time for that. Ten minutes, on the other hand, is a practically perfect amount of time to spend on professional skincare. And at Skin Laundry, that's all the time you'll need for a laser and light facial treatment.

The perfect place for a spa day? Right here.EXPAND
The perfect place for a spa day? Right here.
Courtesy of JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa

Best Spa: The Spa at Camelback Inn

Try reading this without relaxing (and feeling just a twinge of longing): The Spa at Camelback Inn sits amid a desert scape with tranquil offerings revolving around such water treatments as whirlpools, a Turkish steam bath, Finnish saunas, and a heated outdoor pool. If you aren't already staying at the Inn, you gain access to all the aforementioned amenities with the purchase of a one-hour spa appointment. Your options there include massages, facials, and assorted salon services.

Leiah Scheibel at the Sparkle Bar.
Leiah Scheibel at the Sparkle Bar.
Lauren Cusimano

Upcoming Events

Best Place to Get Your Makeup Done: Sparkle Bar

The Sparkle Bar, a full-service makeup studio, is one of a kind here in Arizona and offers an array of services, ranging from quickie makeovers and false eyelash applications to in-depth master makeup lessons and glam-squad makeup at a location of your choosing for $65 (plus applicable travel fees). Packages and memberships are also available, too, should you need that sparkle in your life.

Best-Kept Shopping Secret: Sephora at Christown Spectrum Mall

If you've ever walked through Christown Spectrum Mall, then you know what it means to be simultaneously confused and disappointed. Imagine our surprise, then, when we discovered that, hidden inside this graveyard of godawful retail, there is (wait for it) a Sephora. Yes, an honest to God Sephora. Not a full-size one like you'd find in Scottsdale, but it gets the job done with a good selection of your favorite luxury cosmetics.

Best Eyewear: Framed Ewe

Looking for glasses that are anything but sheepish? Get your eyeballs to Framed Ewe. The eyewear boutique specializes in high-end brands with artsy cred such as Garrett Leight, Moscot, and Krewe. Framed Ewe is one of just a few shops to stick around at Biltmore Fashion Park after participating in the failed mini-store shopping experiment that was UNION. In June, the shop opened a second location at the newly developed Colony, where you'll find the likes of cartoonishly polarized lenses by Retrosuperfuture alongside See Concept's bendy Barbie-pink readers on the contemporary white shelving.

Make it a point to hit up MADE.
Make it a point to hit up MADE.
Becky Bartkowski

Best Shopping on Roosevelt Row: MADE art boutique

Whether you're new to Phoenix or just delving into the city's art world, MADE is the place to start. On the corner of Fifth and Roosevelt streets in a converted bungalow, the shop spotlights locally crafted functional art pieces that are lovely to look at and serve a purpose. The 700-square-foot space is packed with ceramic wares from Danielle Wood and Jeff May, jewelry by Alex Ozers, and delightfully plush animals from Sighfoo.

Unexpected Art Gallery
Unexpected Art Gallery
Lynn Trimble

Best Shopping on Grand Avenue: Unexpected Art Gallery

On a summertime First Friday, we stumbled into Unexpected Art Gallery just off Grand Avenue to find a fashion show with original dance choreography that was inspired by meditation, crystals, and lasers, which shot from projectors to create the rectangular runway. Turns out, such out-there fare is fairly standard for the open warehouse-style space, which does nothing if not live up to its name.

Best Piñata Shop: La Nueva Piñata

Don't be fooled by the sparse exterior of the building; La Nueva Piñata has the best hand-made piñatas around — and for totally reasonable prices. Need a three-foot-tall Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle piñata or one that looks like a Bud Light bottle? This place has you covered. The owners make everything on-site, and if you bring along a photograph of what you want, they'll make it for you.

The Bee's Knees is the, well, you know.
The Bee's Knees is the, well, you know.
Lynn Trimble

Best Shopping on 16th Street: The Bee’s Knees

For style with street-art sensibility, no shop delivers quite like the Bee's Knees. Located off 16th Street in the same complex as Julia Fournier's the Hive, the resale boutique stocks paper-thin tees and coveted band shirts along with day dresses, knick-knacks, small home goods, and locally crafted accessories — all with a side of art.

ASU Ceramics Research Center and Brickyard Gallery.
ASU Ceramics Research Center and Brickyard Gallery.
Lynn Trimble

Best Shopping on Mill Avenue: ASU Ceramics Research Center and Brickyard Gallery

Nothing screams lack of imagination more than a generic coffee mug. There's no such thing at the ASU Ceramics Research Center and Brickyard Gallery, which is part of ASU Art Museum but located in the heart of Mill Avenue's retail hub. The center has an ever-changing selection of functional and decorative ceramic works perfect for gift-giving or feathering your own nest, from rough-hewn vessels carved with deep textures by Patricia Sannit to polished, perfectly symmetrical, nature-infused works by Farraday Newsome.

Drumbeat Indian Arts
Drumbeat Indian Arts
Lynn Trimble

Best Place to Buy Native American Music/Craft Supplies/Ephemera: Drumbeat Indian Arts

Blink and you'll miss it. Glance and you'll think it's closed. Yet inside the low, brown, adobe complex beyond the sign declaring "DRUMBEAT" in all-black caps is a little look at the Valley's often-overlooked Native culture. A wooden door opens to a tight space packed with crafting materials ranging from bird feet behind glass and dyed canary-yellow feathers to a color wheel of tiny Japanese seed beads packed into tubes.

Best Bead Store: Bead World Phoenix

They've got beads up the wall at Bead World Phoenix, the colorful shop for beads and beading materials at the northwest corner of 16th Street and Bethany Home Road. With a motto like "She who dies with the most beads wins," we know these people take this bead thing seriously. Shoppers find beads ranging from Swarovski crystals and freshwater pearls to wood, copper, Czech glass, and African Trade beads. You'll also see beading materials for stringing, tools, and tubes, plus jewelry-making kits for Chimera and meditation bracelets, and TierraCast jewelry.

Best Knitting Supplies: Tempe Yarn & Fiber

More than simply a store with yards (and yards and, okay, still more yards) of yarn, Tempe Yarn & Fiber serves as a community hub for crafters. Tempe Yarn is home to classes for beginners new to the needle game and aspiring crochet pros, as well as courses on weaving with a loom, using crafting website Ravelry, and how to spin your own yarn on a freaking Sleeping Beauty-style spinning wheel.

Best Art Supply Store: Arizona Art Supply

For more than 60 years, Arizona Art Supply has been the Valley's go-to resource for everything from high-end drafting and drawing materials to kids' art easels and crayons. Founded by hardware store owners back in 1950, the shop offers up all sorts of tools an artist — whether aspiring, professional, or somewhere in between — might need for such projects as framing, oil pastel sketching, or simply organizing that growing collection of Prismacolor markers.

Hazel & Violet.
Hazel & Violet.
Lynn Trimble

Best Impression: Hazel & Violet

The small custom letterpress printing shop, located inside the historic Bragg's Pie Factory, has five letterpress printers — including two built during the 1920s. Hazel & Violet has mastered the fine art of mixing century-old technology with contemporary digital tools to create masterpieces ranging from humble coasters to super-slick posters — although the letterpress actually specializes in wedding invitations, announcements, and letterhead.

Palabras on Grand Avenue is making waves in the literary community.
Palabras on Grand Avenue is making waves in the literary community.
Sara Weber

Best Spanish-Language Bookstore: Palabras

About 20 percent of the Valley's population speaks Spanish, per 2010 census data. And that is why it's mind-blowing that until pretty recently, there was a dire lack of Spanish-language bookstores. But Palabras is changing that. Inside the seafoam green and bright yellow Easter egg of the La Melgosa building on Grand Avenue, the downtown librería will sell and lend books to its lit-loving patrons.

Best Dress Alterations: Danese Creations

For more than 40 years, owner Sylvia Danese has been helping brides-to-be make their must-have gowns fit like a glove — even going so far as to make them from scratch if she must. Come for quality alterations, stay for fairy godmother-esque words of wisdom for your big day, because at this point, Sylvia knows a thing or two about weddings.

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