Shopping & Services

  • BEST CAR HEAVEN

    Arizona Vintage Parts

    Our car was a beauty in its day, a 1960 Cadillac. But it had been so long since we'd been able to find parts to take care of it, it had fallen into a quiet, dusty sleep of disrepair. Then, we found Arizona Vintage Parts, and our pretty car knew it had gone to heaven. The place is hard… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO THINK SMALL

    Auntie Em's Miniatures

    Bottom line: Size matters to miniature collectors, and the small-minded love this shop. At Auntie Em's, we can hold the whole world in our hands -- and decorate it. Doll houses feature furniture and every imaginable accessory, from place settings and appliances to minuscule trees and farm implements, even the teeniest cat food box. And those with big ambitions can… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO RENT A SNAKE

    Reptile Adventures

    Rich Ihle is known as the snake or reptile man. He has a large collection of scaly friends, with names like Freckles, Miss Piggy, Junior, Mrs. Square, T-Bo and Theresa. Freckles is a leopard gecko from India. Miss Piggy is a western hognose snake. Theresa is a tiger-phase reticulated python, the longest snake in the world, growing to 30 feet.… More >>
  • BEST REASON TO GROW A GREEN THUMB

    The Garden Party

    Thanks to the superb selection at this cool new shop, our garden now looks like an advertisement for antique dealer Michael Robertson's latest business venture. We dropped in to buy a couple of vintage earthenware pots, and left with a truckload of outdoor decor we couldn't live without. Our garden's gorgeous with Garden Party finds: a stupendous Virgin Mary fountain;… More >>
  • BEST DRAG QUEEN OUTFITTERS

    Boom Boom LaRue's

    Looking for glamour? Looking to shine? Are you a performer? A star? A man who dresses in women's clothing? Well, then . . . Boom Boom LaRue's is the place for you. Located within the shabby chic space of Vintage Interiors, sequined gowns are packed on the racks. Each piece of costume jewelry is hand-picked so there are… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO GO ON SHOPPING SAFARI

    Gold Coast Imports

    If it came out of Africa, chances are this place sells it. With walls of several rooms plastered with artworks -- copper reliefs, paintings, masks, woodcarvings -- Gold Coast is almost more museum than store. Imported from 26 African countries, loot ranges from CDs and sculpture to clothing and musical instruments (the bebo balafon xylophone is handcrafted from wood, gourds… More >>
  • BEST DEALS FOR DESIGNER DUDS

    Neiman Marcus Last Call

    It's easy for locals to lose sight of just how good the bargain shopping is in the Valley, but shopaholics who visit or move here from fashion meccas like Los Angeles or New York are stunned at the amazing markdowns to be found in this area. Other outlets win out on ultra-cheap prices, but without a doubt Last Call has… More >>
  • BEST WAY TO GROCERY SHOP FROM HOME

    Bashas' Grocery Delivery Service

    One day last summer we found ourselves lunching on stale pretzels dipped in months-old raspberry preserves because it was too hot out to drive to the market. This year, we're eating right and staying in, because we're hooked on Bashas' home delivery service. We'll never again have to risk UV burns just to bag some groceries, because Bashas' operators will… More >>
  • BEST USED BOOK STORE

    Bookman's Used Books, Music & Software

    There it was! The first edition we'd been looking for to complete our collection, its dust jacket hardly worn at all and showing almost none of its 33 years. We found this literary treasure at Bookman's, where the prices are always rock bottom. Sure, other stores cater to the hard-core bibliophile in search of rare first editions (and willing to… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO RENT A SINGING COWBOY AND DANCING HORSE

    Gary Sprague

    You've gotta love an entertainer who provides a résumé for his "trusty mount," Steel. Here's an excerpt: "Everyone loves Steel. He has been known to go up and down stairs and ride in elevators. He has even done the national anthem on ice for the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team. His ultra-soft coat and gentle personality make him a delightful and… More >>
  • BEST BONDAGE BOUTIQUE

    Tuff Stuff Custom Leatherware - CLOSED

    Tuff Stuff leather is one of the few remaining original custom leather stores in the country. Offering custom chaps, vests, jocks and more for 20 years, Tuff Stuff fabricates much of its inventory on the premises. Craftsmen make a sleek and affordable line of leather floggers, which helps maintain the store's philosophy of making bondage available to everyone. For less… More >>
  • BEST BREW-IT-YOURSELF SHOP

    What Ale's Ya?

    From pale ale to the ale pail, if beer production requires it, these "home fermentation specialists" have it. While beginning brewers may find the inventory overwhelming -- siphons, stopcocks, yeast, hops (whole and pellet), malt extract, blueberry flavoring -- liquid courage is easy to come by. Beer-brewing and wine-making kits pack all the necessary equipment (booklet, bucket, hydrometer, thermometer, etc.)… More >>
  • BEST MAKEUP SELECTION

    Sephora

    Many makeup junkies gladly made the pilgrimage to the Las Vegas Sephora until the European beauty chain finally set up shop at Scottsdale Fashion Square earlier this year. With a sleek, spotless black-and-white interior, no-pressure staff and aisle after aisle of high-end products, Sephora is laid out like the proverbial candy store. Best of all, the items aren't locked inside… More >>
  • BEST BOOKSTORE

    Changing Hands Bookstore

    Local bibliophiles have an almost cultlike affection for Changing Hands, and rightly so. From the carefully arranged tables of new books on display to employees' thoughtful comment tags for favorite titles, it's obvious that this place genuinely celebrates reading. It celebrates the authors, too, hosting top names such as Anthony Bourdain and Garrison Keillor, while also showcasing local and young… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO HOBNOB WITH KNOB EXPERTS

    Clyde Hardware Company Inc.

    We went looking for kitchen cupboard door handles and came up wanting. Finally, a contractor pal sent us to Clyde, an off-the-beaten-path treasure trove we'd always thought was only open to tradespeople. In fact, Clyde has been selling knobs and toilets and sinks and a hundred other household fixtures to do-it-yourselfers since 1967. Its gallery of things to screw onto… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO BUY FOG

    Arizona Fog Wizards

    We're so happy when it rains in the Valley -- those few and far between wet days make us feel like we're getting a taste of Seattle. And we get absolutely excited when we get fog. That usually only happens once or twice a year, but when it does, it transports us to sultry San Francisco. Not that we don't… More >>
  • BEST VINTAGE FURNITURE STORE

    Red

    Tucked away in midtown Phoenix, Red is a ruby for those looking for retro style. This is a small furniture boutique that has an eclectic selection of rare finds including Eames, Wakefield, Miller and Knoll. You will certainly find that exquisite piece of 20th-century furniture that you've been looking for. This jewel also offers on-site reupholstering with a wide range… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO RENT A MOVIE YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF

    Movies on Central

    You're looking for Wild on the Beach. Or Desperate Living. Or that little French film that you can never remember the name of -- the one about the girl who only eats empty cereal boxes. You won't find any of these delightfully obscure titles at local chain rental stores, with their stacks of just-released-to-DVD feature films and wall of dreadful… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO GET YOUR PET PAMPERED

    The Golden Paw Concierge

    Sometimes we think our pet has a better life than we do. We knew for sure we were getting a little nutso when we decided that our crazy schedule was putting too much stress on the pooch, so we hired a doggy concierge to keep him entertained. Golden Paw meets all our canine concerns when we're too busy, with services… More >>
  • BEST BOOTS

    De Leon

    Whether you're a real vaquero or just want to look like one, De Leon in Guadalupe can outfit you from head to toe, and there's no item more important than the perfect pair of boots. De Leon has a whole wall of boots in different skins, colors, and degrees of embroidery. De Leon also provides plastic shopping bags so there's… More >>
  • BEST PAPER SHOP

    M & Co. Papery

    M & Co. Papery is proof that the art of correspondence has not been lost in the computer age. Sure, e-mail is quick and cheap, but hard to adorn with just the right illustration, and impossible to emboss. This small shop is packed with cards, notes and paper for any occasion, from barbecue to baby shower, and party accouterment… More >>
  • BEST GAY BOOKSTORE

    Root Seller Gallery

    And the cheese stands alone. The locally owned Root Seller Gallery is the lone queso in this instance, and the only gay bookstore left in the Valley. An active participant in the gay community, Root Seller has been the place to find books by gay authors for the past year and a half. Venture upstairs and you will find books… More >>
  • BEST PLACE FOR CHEAP CHINOISERIE

    Oriental Factory Direct

    Department store racks have been overflowing with Asian-inspired clothes lately -- Mandarin collars, delicate, exotic prints and intricate ornamentation. But it's so much more satisfying to get the goods straight from the source. Short of a trip to China, Oriental Factory Direct is the Valley's best spot to seek out authentic Chinese apparel, at a fraction of the cost of… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO GET METAPHYSICAL

    The Astrology Store

    This den of metaphysical books and gifts boasts more star power than a Beverly Hills AA meeting. In addition to teaching classes on psychic development, tarot, reiki and feng shui, the store's resident astrologers/mediums/hypnotherapists/ministers guide clients through astrology charts, hypnotherapy sessions and past-life regressions; snap aura photographs; and perform weddings and handfastings. Psychic, tarot and medium services range from forensic… More >>
  • BEST WAITING ROOM

    Chester's Garage

    We're hoping something goes wrong with our old flivver soon just so we have an excuse to visit the waiting room at Chester's Garage. This is not your average repair shop. The owners specialize in restoration and repair of antique cars, even carrying Model A parts in stock. But what makes us notice Chester's is the picture window facing Seventh… More >>
  • BEST FABRIC STORE

    SAS Fabrics

    Ask any of the designers from the local fashion community where they prefer to spend their precious time (and money) away from the sewing machine. Chances are, it's SAS, a beloved Valley destination for creative, crafty types. If you've never stepped inside this material world, then it must seem strange that style hounds would bond over a shop crammed from… More >>
  • BEST VINTAGE SHOPPING ON A BUDGET

    Antique Market

    602-255-0212 If you love vintage, but can't afford the high prices of the shops in Scottsdale and don't feel like sorting through endless rows of sweatpants at the thrift store, we suggest the Antique Market. A huge store taking up most of the corner at Seventh Avenue and McDowell, Antique Market is open seven days a week, and is stuffed… More >>
  • BEST REMAINDER TABLE AT A CHAIN BOOKSTORE

    Borders Books & Music - CLOSED

    The heck with sightseeing! When we're out of town, wherever we happen to be, we always drop in at Borders Books & Music to check out the remainder table. That's because this chain always offers the best recently-out-of-print hardcovers and remaindered books on its bargain tables, which are wisely scattered throughout its large stores. But our all-time favorite remainder table… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO BUY BELLY DANCING SUPPLIES

    Belly Dancers Boutique & Bead Store

    We love to shake our booty -- and our belly. But where to find the goods to make our booty beautiful? Welcome to Belly Dancers Boutique. Everything we could ever need is in this store. There are belly dancing costumes (custom, Egyptian, Turkish and India imports, tribal and cabaret). There are beads, swords, music and jewelry. We can even sign… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO GET YOUR CAR FIXED WHILE EATING LUNCH

    Mercedes-Benz of Chandler

    Oh, it used to be such a hassle when we needed to get the Benz tuned up. We'd have to cancel lunch with our friends, miss a round of golf at the Club, even set the VCR to tape our favorite soap opera. It was such a stress, we always had to make sure the maid set us up with… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO ENHANCE YOUR SEXUAL CHEMISTRY

    Unique on Central Gay & Lesbian Boutique - CLOSED

    It's not called "animal attraction" for nothing. Creatures great and small (humans included) secrete pheromones, chemical substances that oh-so-subtly stimulate whoever happens to catch a whiff -- it was only a matter of time 'til somebody bottled it. At Unique on Central, N10Z -- "Undetectable . . . undeniable . . . the world's first gay… More >>
  • BEST PLACE FOR WINE-MAKING SUPPLIES

    Sorelli's From the Vine

    Okay, so we don't actually get to stomp the grapes here, but this is the closest experience we can imagine (and frankly, we're not averse to lying to our friends by saying we did). Because at Sorelli's, we can make our own wine, complete with our own label. It's true! This mini-winery provides kits with all the ingredients we need… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO BE SHABBY CHIC

    Domestic Bliss - CLOSED

    Domestic Bliss is just that for any aficionado of the rusty, flea-market, faded floral look coveted by the shabby chic crowd. The store even carries the hard-to-find fabric marketed through Rachel Ashwell, the woman who popularized the decorating trend in the 1990s. Alongside the poppy and rose-strewn linens, you'll find picture frames, flower pots, furniture -- even jewelry and body… More >>

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