Best of Phoenix®

Best Of 2001

Neighborhoods

  • + Ahwatukee
  • + Anthem
  • + Apache Junction
  • + Avondale
  • + Buckeye
  • + California
  • + Carefree
  • + Cave Creek
  • + Central Phoenix
  • + Central Scottsdale
  • + Chandler
  • + East Phoenix
  • + El Mirage
  • + Fountain Hills
  • + Gilbert
  • + Glendale
  • + Goodyear
  • + Higley
  • + Laveen
  • + Litchfield Park
  • + Mesa
  • + Nevada
  • + New River
  • + North Phoenix
  • + North Scottsdale
  • + Out of Town
  • + Outside the Valley
  • + Palo Verde
  • + Paradise Valley
  • + Peoria
  • + Queen Creek
  • + South Phoenix
  • + South Scottsdale
  • + Sun City
  • + Surprise
  • + Tempe
  • + Tolleson
  • + Unknown
  • + Waddell
  • + West Phoenix
  • + Youngtown
Map It

Arts & Entertainment

Food & Drink

Megalopolitan Life

People & Places

Shopping & Services

MORE

Best Of :: Shopping & Services

Best Audiotape Repair

We were bereaved when our favorite cassette tape, an irreplaceable treasure, finally snapped. When we found no listings in the Yellow Pages for audiotape repair, we panicked. Our home repair job (which employed an old pencil and some Scotch tape) was a disaster and, just as we were about to cry, someone suggested Tom Brightwell. This one-man wonder, a retiree with a flair for fixing busted audiotapes, is a best-kept secret if we've ever overheard one. Tom's word-of-mouth, home-based business employs secret but sophisticated technology, and his fair-minded pricing includes the repair to your original plus a tidy back-up copy, just in case.

Readers' Choices

Best Bike Shop
Tempe Bicycle
330 West University, Tempe
480-966-6896

Best Bookstore -- New Title
Borders Books & Music
several Valley locations

Best Bookstore -- Used
Bookman's Used Books, Music and Software
1056 South Country Club, Mesa
480-835-0505

Best Secondhand Store
Buffalo Exchange
227 West University, Tempe
480-968-2557
730 East Missouri
602-532-0144

Best Video Rental Store
Blockbuster
several Valley locations

Best Haberdashery/Music Store

A few years ago, Charles Nolan quietly opened his shop in the basement of the venerable Luhrs Central Building across from Patriots Square downtown. He had a concept -- the hippest men's shop in town, and that was about it. Advertising budget? Hardly. Neon signs? Not in this lifetime. Word of mouth? You betcha. These days, Charles -- who doesn't even have a phone in his downtown haberdashery -- counts several Phoenix Suns as regular customers, and his clientele is growing by the month, eager to buy his primo Italian suits, his slick shirts, his excellent selection of ties. But Charles isn't just a clotheshorse. A major league jazz fan, he collects CDs, then sells them to his customers for a mere 10 bucks apiece. Finding this gem of a store isn't easy. But once you find Charles in Suite M, around the bend from Tony's Barber Shop, you're in for quite a sartorial treat.

Best Place to Get Lit

The aromatic world that exists behind the plain-looking façades of this local chain stimulates all five senses, and possibly even your sixth. In what's best described as organized chaos, bins of exquisitely scented candles beckon you to dig and sniff and explore. The on-premises craftspeople work endlessly to turn out high-quality candles with new and unusual fragrances to suit every taste. Explore the nooks and crannies for an eclectic selection of candleholders and treasures brought back from the owner's frequent buying trips. And check out the shop's "container fill" program, which allows you to design your own creation for the price of the wax. Plan to shop early during the holidays, as lines have been known to form at the door of these popular gift-buying destinations.

Best Swimwear

Although lots of ladies only shop for a new swimsuit once a year, foxy Phoenician women consider bikinis a year-round wardrobe staple. This shop on North Scottsdale Road has the most fun, edgiest collection in town, ranging from modern-day Gidget florals to the barest Brazilian string bikinis, from brands like Body Glove and Bebe. It's hard to pick just one style when you have to choose among satiny blue leopard, neon flames or sparkly camouflage prints. The prices are reasonable enough to leave you with cash to buy a Hawaiian-pattern wrap and some sequined flip-flops, too. If you're feeling exhibitionist, you can even find something suitable for prancing around like one of the babes next door at Babes Cabaret -- a lace and rhinestone g-string with a pair of black patent platform stiletto mules, the classic frilly maid's costume or the naughty plaid schoolgirl mini-kilt, complete with matching plaid thong.

Best Fabric Store
SAS Fabrics by the Pound

Who gets a rush out of visiting a fabric store? At SAS, the answer is anybody looking for the thrill of a good bargain, the delight of an unexpected find or simply to supercharge the creative juices. Stocked to the rafters with discounted merchandise, this labyrinthine shop is like a candy store for aspiring fashion designers. Dig through bolts of satins and silks, twills and tweeds of every hue. Let your mind wander as you consider 50 different types of lace. Then ogle the incredible assortment of trimmings. Boxes of vintage-look buttons, rolls of shiny ribbons and mesh, barrels full of straight-outta-the-'70s embroidered patches, and various zippers and snaps are there to hook you. We dare you to walk out of the store without a single new idea for a project.

1111 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, 85014
MAP
602-279-2171
X

Best Audiotape Repair: BCC2000 Tom Brightwell

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >