Best Of Shopping & Services
Best Coffee House
Altitude Coffee Lab
In just a year, Altitude Coffee Lab has become known for its roasts, but this cafe is more than that. The low-key interior is homey and relaxed, the perfect spot to spend an afternoon getting work done on the ivy-covered patio. Should you get hungry, Altitude offers full breakfast, lunch,...
Best Coffee Roaster
Cartel Coffee Lab
When we say Phoenix coffee, you say Cartel. Phoenix coffee, Cartel. Seriously, though, you might have your favorite spot to relax or get work done, but this is about the roast. All ambiance arguments aside, there's a reason that celebrities hit up the roaster when they're in town. With a...
In the morning, French Grocery makes a perfect coffee stop, complete with locally roasted espresso from Tempe's Cortez Coffee. And for more filling fare, there's the weekly menu of cuisine from chef and owner Kevin Lentz. He's spent most of his adult life living and eating in the Big Easy...
Best Farmers Market
Old Town Farmers Market
Though we're happy to see farmers markets popping up in just about every Valley neighborhood, we have to admit our favorite Saturday morning stop is still the Old Town Farmers Market. Because as much as we want to eat local and healthy, we don't have the time — or energy...
Best Cocktail Class
Jade Bar at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain
When it comes to cocktail classes in Phoenix, Jade Bar has something for everybody. With a weekly rotating course focusing on gin, whiskey, rum, Prohibition-era cocktails, Tiki cocktails, and more, you certainly can pick your poison. Thirty dollars gets you about four cocktails per class, plus a wealth of information...
Best Hangover Cure
The Drip Room
For the mornings when aspirin seems asinine and drip coffee just doesn't do the trick, hangover sufferers of Old Town Scottsdale don their sunglasses and head directly to The Drip Room. This Valley vitamin bar brings its customers everything from B12 to botox, flavored oxygen to fillers. Although The Drip...
Best Place to Buy Wine
Wedge and Bottle
So Wedge and Bottle might not have the largest wine selection in the Valley. It also might lack the insanely low Trader Joe's prices you're used to from your wine-buying experience. However, what this Ahwatukee wine, cheese, beer, and more store does have is a knowledgeable, friendly staff who knows...
Arizona Distilling Co.
It's been a wild year or so for Arizona craft liquor lovers, with the first tastes of locally made bourbon, gin, rye, and Durum wheat whiskey coming from Tempe's Arizona Distilling Co. Not since before Prohibition has anyone even tasted a Valley-made spirit. Turns out, it's really good — so...
Best Liquor Store
BevMo and Total Wine might be able to best Tops' selection, but when it comes to personalized suggestions from a knowledgeable and friendly staff, those big-box booze chains don't even come close. If you think that's not important, try staring at the library-like selection of local and international craft beer...
Best Head Shop
Bud's Glass Joint
Bud's Glass Joint brings a unique, artistic dimension to First Fridays, often hosting live glass-blowing competitions and demonstrations for spectators to enjoy. It features many pieces by local artists and even sells locally made incense, among other things. Bud's modest location has plenty of products on display without becoming an...
Best Place for a Complete Medical Marijuana Experience
Medical Marijuana Farmers Market
This twice-monthly farmers market is an oasis for medical marijuana patients seeking just about any form of MMJ, be it a concentrate, extract, salve, or edible of nearly any kind. And it carries more strain varieties of good old-fashioned buds than you can count. This place is a smorgasbord like...
Best Medical Marijuana Edibles
Aunt Effie's Mini Snickerdoodles at Phoenix Relief Center
Aunt Effie sets a high bar for "medibles," cramming a potent dose into a tiny cookie about the size of a quarter. Both affordable and accurately dosed, the buttery and nutty flavor of the cannabis cooked into these treats makes them a far cry from the snickerdoodles your grandma used...
Best Medical Marijuana Concentrates
Encanto Green Cross
Keeping up with the newest craze in methods of self-treating with medical marijuana, Encanto Green Cross stocks MMJ concentrates, which it carefully concocts in its in-house marijuana laboratory by marijuana-mad scientists hell-bent on making the best, safest, and most potent concentrates it can — with plenty of variety to choose...
Best MMJ Hybrid Strain
Blue Dream at Harvest of Tempe
Bravo to Blue Dream! Time and time again, this strain proves that it is a perfectly blended hybrid that is good for just about anyone, anytime. These buds vary from medium to light in color, tend to have a lot of orange hairs, and are abundant with frosty tricomes. The...
Best MMJ Sativa Strain
Durban Poison at Horizon the Health Center
Durban Poison is a strain that wake-and-bakers may rejoice in. The buds of this plant are dense and a beautiful light green with a few orange hairs, all of which is coated with a nice, frosty sheen. The aroma is spicy, with only a slightly skunky tinge. This pure sativa...
Best Customer Perks at a Medical Marijuana Dispensary
AZ Natural Selections
On the quest to get the best new-patient perks in the Valley, AZ Natural Selections has taken the lead. Not only does it have a new patient special that rocks (as of this writing, five free pre-rolls that weigh just shy of a gram each with purchase of an eighth),...
Roll up to Harper's Nursery and the first thing you may think is, "Wow, this place is small." But bigger isn't always better, especially when you're looking for desert-friendly plants. Harper's has a solid stock of native Arizona plants, vegetables, succulents, trees, and cacti — not the tropical stuff shipped...
Best Free Wilderness Classes
Maybe you're one of those types who's not intimidated by REI's massive selection of gear, weatherproof pants, tents, gadgets, lanterns that can charge your iPhone, and what have you, but if you're leaning more toward the beginner side of outdoor lifestyle, REI offers killer classes in Leave No Trace ethics,...
Best Floral Class
Pith and Marrow
No matter how many DIY bloggers you follow and YouTube tutorials you watch, sometimes it's just better to learn a new craft in person. Lucky for Valley floral fanatics, a few local pros are here to help. Wedding planner Katherine Thornhill, stylist Misha West, and florist Teresa Wilson founded Pith...
Camelback Flower Shop
Nothing brings a room to life quite like fresh flowers. And if we're springing for a professional arrangement instead of whatever sad potted thing is sitting at Trader Joe's, then we are headed to Camelback Flowershop. Owned and operated by Teresa Wilson, who's exactly the kind of impossibly beautiful and...
Best Beauty Supply Store
Citrine Natural Beauty Bar
Have you looked at the ingredients in your skincare products lately? How about the makeup? Between the lead, the coal tar, the animal testing, and the hard-to-pronounce chemicals, most skin-deep beauty rituals are enough to make your skin crawl. Fortunately, there's a place that caters to eco-friendly cosmetics. Citrine Natural...
VH Spa at Hotel Valley Ho
Bright blue, white, and green tiles greet the eye of Valley Ho visitors who venture to the second-floor VH Spa for Vitality and Health. This downtown Scottsdale retreat offers a variety of state-of-the-art treatments. With whatever facial, massage, or beauty package you choose, access to the steam rooms, fitness center,...
Best Pet Groomer
Villa La Paws Unleashed
If you're the type of person who treats your dog as you would a spoiled child, this is where you go for grooming, daycare, and boarding. Formerly known as Hillside Unleashed, it was bought by the owners of Villa La Paws, hence the new name. It's still our favorite under...
Best DIY Pet Groomer
Wag N' Wash
Our pup, he's very particular. Us? We are, too. A shop we can agree on is Wag N' Wash in Scottsdale. Whether we're popping in for a nail trim and a freshly baked liver bite or to hunt for a new fluffy bed and a leash, we never seem to...
In case you haven't heard, green is the new black and Tesla is the talk of the town. Ever since Arizona entered the running alongside Nevada, Texas, and New Mexico for the rising company's future 10 million-square-foot gigafactory, this luxury electric car has been receiving accolades from big-spending auto connoisseurs...
Best Bike Shop
Slippery Pig Bicycles
We'll fess up to a smidgen of bias on this one — Slippery Pig, our favorite bike shop, is right next to one of our favorite hangouts, Lux. But the Pig's a superstar in its own right — it's no customer hog, mooching off walk-over traffic from the busy cafe...
Best Running Store
Road Runner Sports Scottsdale
The first thing you need to do before taking up running is get yourself a good pair of shoes fitted to your running style. At Road Runner Sports, the staff will put you on a treadmill and observe how your feet hit the ground to diagnose whether you overpronate, underpronate,...
Best Audiophile Equipment
Lots of ink has been spilled about the "vinyl renaissance," but the truth is, if you're playing your wax on a cheap all-in-one turntable/stereo combo, you might as well be listening on your laptop speakers. That's where Arizona Hi-Fi comes in, offering primo turntables, tube-driven amplifiers, headphones, and more. It's...
Best Record Store for CDs
Everything about Stinkweeds reeks — get it? — of professionalism. The tidy store fits thousands of mostly indie and hard-to-find treasures into a tiny space that packs an astounding number of albums per square foot without feeling particularly crowded. Indie music mags, books, and 'zines fill the store's back wall,...
Best Record Store for Vinyl
The best record stores have something beyond albums in their bins. The music playing on the speakers, the posters and albums chosen to decorate the walls, the person behind the counter — when you enter a great record store, the sum is greater than the parts, and it's immediately apparent...
Best Dollar Store
Dollar Tree is to dollar stores what Saks Fifth Avenue is to department stores. You won't find any seconds here; no discontinued crap from full-price shops or expired lunch meat or unidentifiable things tossed randomly into torn-open boxes set on the floor. Dollar Tree is the cleanest, best-organized place in...
Best Shopping Co-op
Double Nickels Collective
Double Nickels Collective is a one-stop shop for things you had no idea you needed. And that makes the record store/vintage boutique/comic book shop/stereo equipment emporium one of our favorite places to swing by on a mellow weekend afternoon. Not just a destination for browse-happy shoppers, it's also home to...
Best Multimedia Resale
Zia Record Exchange
Open less than a year, the spacious Zia on Mill Avenue and Southern — one of four locations in the Phoenix area, including a new one in the East Valley — is our favorite purveyor of new and used games, DVDs, books, magazines, toys, CDs, and vinyl. With thousands of...
Changing Hands Bookstore
Call us shallow or impossibly snotty — we always judge a book by its cover and a city by its bookstore. Portland has Powell's, New York's got The Strand, even Venice Beach has an amazing independent bookstore, Small World Books, right on the main drag between the T-shirt shops and...
Best Used Bookstore
Tucked into a sweet little strip mall at 16th Street and Bethany Home, this charming shop is our idea of old-school bookstore. Open seven days a week, The Bookshop is a great place for collectors of rare books and those of us just looking for our next good read. (We...
Best Comic Book Shop
All About Books and Comics
Forgive us for how nerdy this is going to sound, but the employees of this place are like matchmakers. Tell them you want something really gory and, in a few seconds, you'll be looking at a two-page color illustration of human intestines and other innards strewn across the pages. Sold...
Best Magazine Rack
Bookmans Entertainment Exchange
You've come a long way, Phoenix. Except when it comes to that urban mainstay, the magazine rack. A few spots around town have a decent selection, but, really, this is one of the few Best of Phoenix categories that punts. Unless you find yourself at Bookmans. Technically speaking, Bookmans' magazine...
Best Adult Clothing Resale
Whether it's "vintage," "used," or "resale," there are three qualities common to great secondhand clothing stores, all on display here. First is interesting stuff on the racks, thanks to buyers who aren't just going for labels and trends. You'll find a range of options, from club festive to period pieces...
Best Kid Clothing Resale
Love Child Style Exchange
It seems we can barely get new clothes home before the kids have outgrown them. Luckily, we found Love Child. The staff is friendly, the prices are super-reasonable, and the selection is amazing and always changing. You can outfit kids for ski season, find just the right dress for the...
Best Kids' Clothing
That designer Tiffe Fermaint recently had a daughter is a style blessing for babies everywhere. Known for her club-ready wearables, Fermaint has shifted her focus to dressing her kid in cool duds. We're talking onesies bedecked with Morrissey's face, T-shirts that read "I am the future," headbands, bandanna bibs, and...
Mother of Gideon
Charis Elliott and Seth Fainkujen approach jewelry differently than your average bauble-makers. Instead of creating one ring to rule all, the duo specializes in designing and creating bespoke pieces with ethically sourced stones. Named for the Biblical warrior, the company's intricate pieces of jewelry look not unlike pieces of armor...
A dead giveaway you've spotted a shirt by Hello Apparel? Well, a lot of them have "hello" in a loopy cursive font emblazoned across the chest. Those T-shirts, tank tops, and sweatshirts are manufactured in Arizona by Sam Means' Hello Merch, which works with touring bands to create quality merchandise...
Best Leather Goods
Simplicity and quality are the first words that come to mind to describe Phoenix-based leather goods purveyor Bison Made. Manufactured by hand in a studio space at Roosevelt Row's MonOrchid, the iPhone cases, wallets, and straight razors look timeless. And that's the idea. Meant to last a lifetime and beyond,...
Lawless Denim Co.
Think nothing can get between you and your Levi's? Check out the Lawless Denim's setup at CityScape and get back to us. Roman Acevedo's boutique specializes in creating custom jeans in-house and by hand — and with the help of a brigade of vintage sewing machines. Here's how it works:...
Best Men's Boutique
Gentlemen, take note. HUB owner Jennifer Mumford has quite the eye for style. And she curates her Central Phoenix boutique with pieces that'll have you turning heads — in a good way. Mumford seeks out up-and-coming designers from around the globe to feature in the light-filled shop, where you'll find...
Best New Boutique
We want to be the kind of girl who's perpetually dressed in finds from Pepper. She's stylish but not trying too hard; put together but not a perfectionist. The Old Town Scottsdale shop specializes in laid-back California cool that looks effortless. Owned by the oh-so appropriately named Cathy Beach, the...
Stuck in a fashion rut? Head to Frances. Each time we swing by the CenPho boutique we find something — whether it's a purse, a pair of teensy stud earrings, or a lovely summer dress — that recharges our style mojo. Which isn't to say the shop's full of wacky...
Best Homegrown Boutique
If loving Anthropologie's a crime, then lock us up. We're suckers for its candles, housewares, and impeccably styled boho-chic clothing. Guilty as charged. But what if you had a locally owned and operated alternative? You do. With local artisans contributing goods such as jewelry, succulent planters, and buttons, new and...
Best Online Vintage Boutique
Cory Martinez takes fashion risks we wouldn't dare try in our wildest sartorial dreams. Patterned leggings, floor-length hippie dresses, and punky acid-wash jeans are all on the table — and a little scary to the all-black-clad set. And more power to her. The Tempe fashion maven, who runs online boutique...
Best Place to Buy Vintage Clothing
Vintage by Misty
When Misty Guerriero-Navon announced plans to move her vintage boutique from downtown Phoenix to Scottsdale, we were a little bummed. But we understood. The upscale boutique, which specializes in high-end fashion from decades past, seemed out of place next to a shuttered CD store and a Greek restaurant. Vintage by...
Best Vintage Market
Junk in the Trunk at WestWorld of Scottsdale
Nowadays, one man's trash is pretty much everyone else's treasure. But with retro, rustic, and recycled home décor on the rise, flea markets, swap meets, and Saturday morning garage sales simply aren't enough to satisfy the hungry junk fiend. Lucky for us, professional pickers Lindsey Holt and Coley Arnold have...
Best Antiques Mall
Antiques on Central
A great antique store is a place we can enter, lose track of time, walk around for hours, and totally enjoy. And that's why we heart Antiques on Central. With 65 dealers and 16,000 square feet, the store's beautifully organized and varied. Browsing the Native American pottery and French antiques...
Best Place to Buy High-End Antiques
More than three decades after it opened, Rare Lion remains a superb shop full of fine antiques and exceptional vintage jewelry. Carefully displayed furniture and dinnerware share space with ancient, pristine tapestries and fine art from the late 19th century. Looking for a better bookcase or a set of fine...
Best Place to Buy Antiques on a Budget
Zinnias at Melrose
Everyone on your holiday shopping list wants something old for Chanukkah, right? And you've only got time to holiday shop on your lunch hour — and a tiny budget, besides. So head to Zinnias, a giant antique dealer mall where you'll find great mid-century stuff (Hey, look! An Eames chair!...
Best Midcentury Antiques
Modern on Melrose
We wanted a vintage Herman Miller/George Nelson slat bench — not a knockoff. Instead of putting it on our Holy Grail list, we just hopped in our car and headed over to Modern on Melrose, a half-acre of interior and exterior commercial space located not in Southern California but here,...
Best Midcentury Modern Furniture
Just because Mad Men is ending doesn't mean your Midcentury Modern obsession has to. And a lovely place to explore said obsession is Red Modern. Note: This ain't no thrift shop. That's true when it comes to the furniture emporium's stock and its according (sometimes eye-popping) prices. Walking through the...
Best Home Goods
If you're ready to translate those stacks of Elle Decor into reality, it's time to head to Bungalow. The North Scottsdale shop is more than a place to pick up a throw pillow. Yes, you can swing through the 12,000-square-foot showroom to pick and choose items that stand out, like...
Best Art Supply Store
Arizona Art Supply
Arizona Art Supply has been a staple in the Phoenix art community since the '50s, and that's no accident. Besides their high quality products, it's their consideration for their community that sets this locally owned art supply destination apart. Not only do they support local artist groups, but they also...
Best Place to Buy Wallpaper
Wallpaper and Border Store
We wanted to paper the walls in our mom's midcentury powder room, and despaired of finding anything avocado-and-orange enough to be considered period-correct. Then we wandered into the Wallpaper and Border Store and our fears vanished. Not only did we find a neat design — garish, geometric, and pre-pasted, too!...
Best Knitting Supplies
Tempe Yarn and Fiber
Any store can sell you needles in different gauges and yarn in different colors and materials. At Tempe Yarn and Fiber, you get much more than the top-quality merch it sells. You also get the wealth of knowledge and handy advice from the staff of avid knitters and crocheters. Whether...
Best Costume Store
Easley's Fun Shop
We can't be the only ones who start plotting our Halloween costumes come November 1. And we're sure this makes the good folks at Easley's very happy. The bright yellow building off McDowell is home to rooms and rooms of costuming goodies from full-on Maleficent and Captain America costumes to...
Best Shopping on Mill Avenue
Graphic T-shirts are back in style. And what better way to embrace a trend than by putting your own spin on it? The folks at Brand X specialize in just that. The Mill mainstay offers a variety of shirt styles, colors, fonts, and graphics that'll help make your dream top...
Best Shopping on Roosevelt Row
Don't be frightened. Curious Nature beautifully blends creepy and cool. The shop deals in oddities. And if taxidermy gives you the heebie-jeebies, then you're not going to love it. But if you have a flair for the freaky or an appreciation for scientific pursuits, then you'll likely find entrancing the...
Best Shopping on Grand Avenue
Hazel & Violet
The Bragg's Pie Factory building continues upping the artsy ante. Only helping things is the recent relocation of Hazel & Violet from Roosevelt Row. With white and orange walls and industrial furnishings, the letterpress printing shop offers a line of ready-made coasters, greeting cards, and posters, as well as custom...
Best Gift Shop
There's just one problem with Design Lab: We want all of it. The Mesa shop stocks everything from delicate apothecary jars and industrial lettering to plush accent pillows and seasonal decorations. With all those odds and ends, it's the perfect spot to load up on go-to gifts like candles, novelty...
Scottsdale Fashion Square
Unless you're a teenager with nothing better to do or a pyromaniac with money to burn, heading to the mall can be a chore. But heading to Scottsdale Fashion Square is anything but. With world-class stores at a variety of price points, shoppers can splurge at Barneys New York and...