Shopping & Services

  • Best Hidden Gems

    Four Peaks Amethyst Mine

    Four Peaks Amethyst Mine holds the distinction of being both the last commercial amethyst mine in North America and one of the most inaccessible. Surrounded by the Tonto National Forest, this mine sits on the southernmost peak of Four Peaks in the rugged Mazatzal Mountains, at an elevation of 7,200 feet. There are only two ways to get there: by… More >>
  • Best Wine Cellar

    Sun Devil Liquors Cellar & Pub

    Underground wine cellars are typically reserved for the ultra-wealthy with custom homes. Thankfully, Sun Devil Liquors makes their cellar and pub available to one and all to come and access one of the best wine selections (craft beers, too!) in the Valley. Sun Devil already has a crazy-great liquor store on ground level. Descend the stairs in the back of… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy a Chicken

    The Western Ranchman

    The Western Ranchman is supplied with freshly hatched baby chicks on a weekly basis. Warning: Once you see how cute they are, you'll be jumping on the urban chicken bandwagon faster than you can say "farm-fresh eggs." Luckily, the North Phoenix feed-and-tack has everything you will need to begin your journey into the world of backyard chickens. The family-owned and… More >>
  • Best Gold Mines in the Middle of Town

    South Mountain Park and Preserve

    In 1900, cries of "There be gold in them hills!" could be heard ringing through the streets of downtown Phoenix. But these miners were not referring to the Superstitions and legends of lost Dutchmen. These were claims for mining rights on South Mountain. Today, most of the mines have been filled and covered, but several holes are still visible and… More >>
  • Best Place to Rent a Jackhammer

    A to Z Equipment Rental and Sales

    Anybody who's ever tried to dig deep in Phoenix soil knows about caliche — hard deposits of calcium carbonate that take countless whacks with a shovel to break up and dig out. But for those who seriously want to break some ground (and turn that caliche to dust), nothing does the trick like a jackhammer. And there's no place like… More >>
  • Best Underground Shoppers

    Garage sale pickers

    "No, you can't take my picture!" Marcus Breen hollers. "I'm a picker! We are totally incognito."Apparently, in order for him to score the very best deals, Breen and all the other pickers who are prowling our garage sales and thrift stores, looking for nice things that they can mark up and sell to antique dealers and to their own clients,… More >>
  • Best Secret Word

    Savant Day Spa

    In the old days, places you frequented for years made you feel special with extra treats and freebies, but mostly with a kind of familiarity that only commitment and loyalty could buy. Today, every shop and service has some kind of "secret" deal, one that's broadcast far and wide via not-so-secret e-mailed coupons or Constant Contact campaigns. And, anyway, who… More >>
  • Best Secret Private Shopper

    "The Book" at Zinnias at Melrose

    We love you, Phoenix shoppers, and we're giving up our most closely held secret to prove it. In fact, it's not just our secret. Up 'til now, no one has known about The Book at Zinnias at Melrose. But now you do, because we're blabbing. You can thank us later.Here's how it works: At Zinnias — the city's latest and… More >>
  • Best Place to Stock Your Underground Bunker

    Allied Surplus

    When the apocalypse comes (or maybe just when the dust storms outside are particularly nasty) nothing beats an underground bunker for comfort — provided you have all the essentials. And Allied Surplus has them all. You'll need food, and this military supply store stocks a wide selection of emergency, ready-to-eat meals ranging from canned "scrambled eggs and bacon" and "seafood… More >>
  • Best Bargain Basement

    Last Chance

    Like many of the best things in life, Last Chance just isn't what it used to be. Back in the day (like, the mid-'90s) you could pick up a Kate Spade purse for under $20 ($19.97, to be exact), a Nicole Miller ballgown for under $40, five pairs of Hush Puppies for well under $100. But now Hush Puppies are… More >>
  • Best Coffee House, Central Phoenix

    Copper Star Coffee

    There are so many things that make this old gas station turned coffee shop cozy and charming, from the vintage pump out front and the exposed industrial piping in the ceiling to the comfy couches and red brick walls adorned with local art. This is a hangout place, where hip Phoenicians gather to gab over a cup o' joe or… More >>
  • Best Coffee House, Downtown Phoenix

    Jobot Coffee

    On average, we fill a minimum of three punch cards a month at this Fifth Street coffee house. Some might say we have a problem — and they might be right. But that's not going to stop us. Just over a year old, JoBot brews its own special blend of locally famed Cartel coffee and serves to-die-for homemade scones —… More >>
  • Best Coffee House, South Phoenix

    Cupz N' Crepes

    We're suckers for a good crêpe. Light and eggy, savory or sweet, the prospects of grabbing a cuppa joe with a crêpe on the side have us salivating just thinking about it. Lucky for us, at Cupz N' Crepes each part of that dynamic duo stands on its own. The drip coffee is rich and bold, and the fully stocked… More >>
  • Best Coffee House, North Phoenix

    Cave Creek Coffee Company - CLOSED

    You know those little leaf patterns that baristas create with cream or milk on top of your coffee? Well, the leaves at C4 (as Cave Creek Coffee Company's also known) are perfect — so beautiful that you almost don't want to ruin them by taking a drink. But then you'd miss out on the delicious house blend javas here. Whether… More >>
  • Best Coffee House, West Valley

    Ground Control

    Tucked away in the Southwest Valley, Ground Control serves up delicious coffee drinks from beans that are roasted and ground on site. Ground Control has the usual suspects — Americano, cappuccino, and iced mocha — and signature drinks such as Cafe Sisu (a white and dark chocolate drink); or Cafe Roma, a flavor that mixes dark chocolate, caramel, and praline.… More >>
  • Best Coffee House, Southeast Valley

    Coffee Rush

    One of the best things about Coffee Rush in Chandler is the view — where else in the Valley can you sip a hot, fresh cappuccino while cooling your heels next to a big blue man-made lake? And it's not just the cappuccino and lake that make this place awesome. Just walk in and get a whiff of all the… More >>
  • Best Coffee House, Tempe

    Cartel Coffee Lab

    There's a reason many other coffee shops in the Valley use beans from Cartel Coffee Lab: flavor, baby. Lots of it. Cartel's beans create rich and nutty espressos, smooth and sweet iced toddies, and chocolaty mochas. Baristas at Cartel roast their coffee beans on site, which means everything is super-fresh. And if you want to know every little detail of… More >>
  • Best Coffee House, Scottsdale

    Echo

    Yes, we have coffee in the Valley — and good coffee, at that —but, more important, we have a lot of great coffee shops with great neighborhood vibes. The very best of Scottsdale is found at the local neighborhood hangout Echo. It is totally okay with your setting up a laptop and camping for the day. Echo will make delicious… More >>
  • Best Coffee House with a Heart

    Cup O' Karma

    While the coffee at Cup O' Karma is decent, there are three things for which this place is better known. First, the iced teas are to die for. Patrons can choose from a wide variety of teas (hot, cold, or even blended like smoothies) and fruity flavors like tangerine. The place's green and chai teas are particularly delectable. Second, there's… More >>
  • Best Food Co-Op

    Bountiful Baskets Food Co-Op

    Bountiful Baskets is one of the largest volunteer-run co-ops in Arizona, with well over 100 locations from Sahuarita to Bullhead City and just about everywhere in between. In Phoenix alone, there are about 18 locations. It's entirely volunteer-run with no requirement to opt in every week. Decide on Tuesday whether you want a basket full of produce the coming weekend… More >>
  • Best CSA

    Desert Roots Farm

    Eating locally grown, fresh produce is nutritious, delicious, and good for the economy and environment, but sometimes acquiring the aforementioned produce is just so . . .  difficult. There are more farmers markets and local food outlets than ever before. Desert Roots Farm, a Community Supported Agriculture farm (CSA) in Queen Creek, makes getting farm-fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs super-easy. Twelve-week seasonal… More >>
  • Best Family Farm

    Schnepf Farms

    Out in what used to be a rural part of the Valley sits this wonderful 70-year-old farm, where the organic peaches are there for the picking (for a price), and so much more. Talk about agri-tourism. This hardworking family has a lot on its plate, running a country store and bakery, working a seven-acre vegetable "patch," giving grand tours, looking… More >>
  • Best Farmers Market

    Vincent on Camelback

    Baby artichokes the size of your thumb. Tiny carrots, in little bundles, that taste somehow like they've been dipped in brown sugar. Beets so fresh they still have dirt clods stuck to their roots. No gourmet repast is done right without fresh ingredients, and we always find them at Vincent's weekly farmers market during the cooler months. We sometimes have… More >>
  • Best Indoor Farmers Market

    SuperFarm Market

    Every Thursday, we make the journey out to Mesa (we're talking deep Mesa, as in Queen Creek Mesa) for Superstition Farms' weekly SuperFarm Market. Not only because the market's held inside a nice cool barn but because — it's on a real farm! Not in a parking lot. This is a real live dairy farm. Stock up on fresh meats… More >>
  • Best Farmers Market Samples

    Great Harvest Bread Company

    Ward Walston arises at about 2 on Saturday mornings to bake his delicious breads — the Black Forest rye, the multigrain sourdough, the salt-free sunflower wheat, and many others. Around the break of dawn, Ward's wife Leslie then drives over from Tempe up the 51 and sets up shop at the farmers market on East Cactus (one of the Valley's… More >>
  • Best Health Food Store

    Healthy Habit Health Foods

    The Valley is filled with health food stores offering food and vitamins. What makes Healthy Habit Health Foods in CenPho the best is the bonus offerings — including a knowledgeable staff, classes, and a live radio show filled with nutritional advice. The website is a superstore in and of itself; get a recommendation for a local practitioner, or browse… More >>
  • Best Little Asia

    Mekong Plaza

    Dirt-cheap produce and a truly impressive selection of seafood (parrot fish!) and meat and poultry (chicken feet!) are just the tip of the iceberg lettuce (one thing you might not find) at Mekong Plaza. This old Target-turned-awesome plaza holds much more than just your typical Asian market — it's home to a handful of great little eateries and, of course,… More >>
  • Best Little Japan

    Southeast corner of Priest and University drives, Tempe

    What's better than Japanese pastries? Almost nothing. Maybe that's why we spend so much time cramming curry and melon pan into our waiting gobs at Arai Pastry, at the corner of Priest and University drives in Tempe. When pastry doesn't suffice, we head right next door to Fujiya Market. Walk in the door and expect to be greeted with a… More >>
  • Best Mediterranean Market

    Haji Baba

    If you're into cooking at home and find yourself in need of anything from paprika to pita, look no further then Tempe-based Haji Baba. The marketplace section is small but packed, so take a chance, buy some, and figure out what to do with it once you are back home. The prices allow for an adventurous spirit. And while you're… More >>
  • Best Spice Shop

    Penzeys Spices - CLOSED

    Galangal, epazote, mace, mahlab. If you're used to buying your spices from your local grocery store, you probably have no idea what we're talking about. All those foreign words are actual spices — not "spice," spices. You know that stuff that makes food taste better, right? You can find exotic spices like these and more at Penzeys. High-quality whole seeds,… More >>
  • Best Oil and Vinegar

    Queen Creek Olive Mill

    It's no wonder Arizona's best olive oil comes from the happy trees at Queen Creek Olive Mill. For more a decade, the East Valley olive oil producers have been sustainably farming the best olive varieties for our arid climate. The pesticide-free olives are harvested at just the right time and then cold-pressed into extra virgin olive oil. The oils have… More >>
  • Best Candy Store

    Rocket Fizz

    Gone are the days when kids would pop by the local candy shop for penny candies and licorice whips on their way home from school. Now, they're more likely to be purchasing iPhone apps than Hershey bars. But we still can get our nostalgia fix at Rocket Fizz, where owners Brad and Kim Fry and their kids offer up Gobstoppers,… More >>
  • Best Custom Candy Buffets

    Couture Candy Co.

    Have you noticed how all the cool parties have those DIY candy buffets, where you can fill cute bags and cups with brightly colored confections? Feeling as if you may not have the skills to pull it all together? That is where Chandler-based Couture Candy Co. comes in. They have it down and will do all the work for you.… More >>
  • Best Cupcake Accessories

    Cake Hole Project

    Cupcake stands, you say? How very 2010 of you! The "it" way to serve up cupcakes is on floating, light-up, or suspended towers. Cake Hole Project is the combined brainchild of an architect and a surveyor. These funky contemporary designs come in all shapes and sizes, from tabletop models to twirling, ceiling-mounted numbers. Throwing a small tea for four? No… More >>
  • Best Baking Supplies

    ABC Cake Decorating

    If you like to decorate cakes and cupcakes or make homemade candy — or you've seen Ace of Cakes and you're curious — then ABC Cake Decorating is the place in town to stock up on the goods you'll need. If you are in the advanced category, you can buy your gel colors and frosting tips here, and if you… More >>
  • Best Place to Sell Your Cake (Plate) and Buy One, Too

    Kitchen Switchin' - CLOSED

    Kitchenware stores are toy stores in the eyes of any grownup who cooks or entertains. And just like toys — best loved when new and novel — appliances, gadgets and tabletop decor often end up collecting dust in our cupboards, hoarding premium storage and counter space. Say hello to Kitchen Switchin', a specialty kitchen consignment boutique. This is the place… More >>
  • Best Housewares on a Budget

    Tuesday Morning's monthly sales

    Every month, on a date sneaked to shoppers who've registered on Tuesday Morning's website, lines begin to form in the wee hours outside this cool clearance house. On these special days (and, yes, often they're Tuesdays), the store opens two whole hours early so that addicted shoppers can peruse the latest batch of discounted, high-end housewares and gift items. Cool… More >>
  • Best Knife Shop

    Phoenix Knife House

    Phoenix Knife House is a knife connoisseur's dream. This cutlery company specializes in Japanese knives and carries many blades that the layman probably can't even pronounce. PKH carries a variety of knives from Masahiro, the foremost manufacturer of primo kitchen knives in Japan, along with Fujiwara kanefusa (namesake kitchen knives made by a family known for sword-making for the past… More >>
  • Best Home Brewing Supplies

    Brewers Connection

    Operating since 1993, Brewers Connection has been the leader in home-brewing advocacy since before it was cool to brew your own brew. The knowledgeable staff makes the complex nuances of home fermentation easily digestible for even the novice brewmeister or wine maker. On top of that, Brewers Connection is the largest warehouse supplier of home fermentable ingredients in the state,… More >>
  • Best Beer for Liquor Lovers

    Sonoran 200

    You've probably seen the boxy, clear-glass bottles of Sonoran 200 sitting on the shelves of your local place's beer section before, and maybe you even thought about buying one. Then you saw the price tag. "$25 for a beer?" you thought. "Preposterous!" Which it may well be — for a beer. But Sonoran 200 — made with pure agave nectar… More >>
  • Best Bottled Beer Selection

    Whole Foods

    We'll say it: Phoenix has beer culture on tap. While there is no shortage of places to buy brew, one place has a selection that can't be beat: Whole Foods in Chandler. Whether you're looking for a Session six-pack or a 750-milliliter bottle of Dogfish Head Sah'tea, you'll find it fresh and reasonably chilled for instant imbibing. And if you… More >>
  • Best Drive-Thru Liquor Store, East Valley

    Jerry's Liquor

    Like a beacon in the night, Jerry's vintage sign lures us time and time again. Let's face it — when you're on a beer run, getting out of the car is a pain. You don't want to waste precious party moments. So next time you're in a hurry to get back to the action, or you just don't feel like… More >>
  • Best Drive-Thru Liquor Store, West Valley

    Mike's Market - CLOSED

    If you need to pick up some spirits, snacks, or sleek glass pipes perfect for smoking tobacco, but are pressed for time, swing through the drive-thru at Mike's Market in south Peoria. Clerks are friendly and happy to grab whatever you might need, whether it's a Playboy magazine, a case of beer, or a pint of Jägermeister.… More >>
  • Best Drive-Thru Cigarette Store

    On-Auk-Mor Indian Smoke Shop

    Need to grab your smokes quick and it is too hot (or you're too embarrassed) to get out of the car? Check out On-Auk-Mor Indian Smoke Shop, which has a convenient drive-thru. On-Auk-Mor even sells super-rare brands, all for cheaper than you can buy anywhere else. And, as a bonus, it is located on the rez, so your purchase is… More >>
  • Best Cigar Shop

    Tinder Box

    Tinder Box may be a chain, but there's a bit of local charm in the Mesa location that makes it feel as though Mom and Pop have been running the place forever. Local franchisee Jeff Clayton goes out of his way to make patrons feel welcome. The couches and chairs are big and comfy, there's tons of table space in… More >>
  • Best Head Shop, East Valley

    The Headquarters

    Since 1989, Headquarters has been supplying tobacco water pipe enthusiasts with the biggest and best equipment to support their, um, hobby. We were sorry to hear about the demise of Headquarters' longtime neighbor Eastside Records but happy when we heard that our favorite head shop would be taking over the space. The newly expanded store now houses a huge selection… More >>
  • Best Head Shop, West Valley

    Herb N' Legend 2

    The original Herb N' Legend location (at 5950 West McDowell Road) is cool enough, but with the opening of a second location on Greenway Parkway this year, Herb N' Legend went all out. They hired renowned Valley muralist Lalo Cota to paint a noir-ish cityscape mural that wraps around the interior walls of the store; they built a walk-in humidor… More >>
  • Best Place to Find Desert Plants

    Succulentia

    Tucked into a corner of The Farm at South Mountain sits the culmination of 37 years' worth of desert plant passion. Steve Martinez opened Succulentia on December 1, 2010. The greenhouse is stuffed with rare and hard-to-find cacti and succulents from Tucson, California, and Texas. Waxy leaf clusters, bonsai-esque plants, and spindly, spiny trees (ranging from $8 to over $1,000)… More >>
  • Best Nursery

    Baker Nursery

    As you drive through Arcadia, you can't help wondering how many trees and plants of the posh neighborhood started on the grounds of Baker Nursery. Established in 1968, the retro nursery keeps things tip-top with organized rows of lush vegetation just begging for a permanent home in your yard. Love and dedication is put into every flower, vine, and shrub… More >>
  • Best Garden Shop

    Relics Architectural Home and Garden

    The guys at Relics do all the work for you, poor souls: They travel to Europe to personally select cool old stuff for their shop — and, by association, you. At Relics, they specialize in antique architectural and garden features — think hand-carved fountains, shabby-chic pottery, and architectural ironwork. If you are doing some landscaping, Relics is a great place… More >>
  • Best Plantscapers

    Pearson & Company

    Love plants but have a black thumb? There is a business for that. Pearson & Company in Scottsdale leases you the plants, and its staff comes in to water and prune them, and, if they die on their watch, Pearson & Company will replace them. This is a perfect option for those who travel a lot. Or, if your Arizona… More >>
  • Best Movers and Packers

    Creative Moving and Packing

    There are countless skits on TV about getting friends to help you move across town. It really isn't funny, though, because friends shouldn't be swindled into moving for you. Hire some creative types who know how to be delicate with your fragile items, artwork, and precious goods. Unlike with your friends, if something is broken, Creative Moving and Packing carries… More >>
  • Best Car Wash

    Clean Freak Carwash

    Keep your ride clean for a freaky low price at Clean Freak Carwash on the corner of Seventh Avenue and Van Buren. Get in and out in three minutes with its $5 car wash, or sign up for a monthly plan and get unlimited car washes. Pay $12 a month for a Nice 'n' Clean wash, which includes scented soaps,… More >>
  • Best Spa

    Jurlique Spa

    Like many spas in the Valley, this Scottsdale spot offers a relaxing atmosphere and a tranquil feel, but we keep coming to Jurlique for the copper soaking tubs. Filled with salts, flower petals, and detox herbs, they'll let you soak your stress away. Jurlique grows its own herbs on site — that's only one of the ways this spa sets… More >>
  • Best Pet Groomer

    Wag 'n' Wash Healthy Pet Center

    We originally dropped in to this family-owned and -operated pet supply store because we'd heard about the pair of orange tabbies who live there and like to be petted by customers. We love a good store cat, and so we popped by to say hello to Chong and Quincy — both of whom were fast asleep when we arrived, and… More >>
  • Best Pet Boutique

    Mackie's Parlour

    The life of a tiny dog is rough: Jumping around trying to be cute and constantly having people pet and love you is exhausting! Pamper your hard-working pooch with a trip to Mackie's Parlour. The upscale pet boutique has a huge section of gorgeous collars and harnesses to make your prince or princess feel like a million bucks. Don't know… More >>
  • Best Boutique

    Frances Vintage

    If only there were an indie store in Phoenix where we could shop for everything from bamboo toothbrushes to locally made clothing and jewelry, the best bags, and even a pair of TOMS shoes. Oh, wait, there is! You'll have no problem finding cute and unique gifts for your best friend, her baby, your mom, boyfriend, and, of course,… More >>
  • Best New Boutique

    Saint 22 - CLOSED

    The neatest little shop in all of Phoenix offers a little bit of everything —including a pair of flight attendants, who recently opened their dream boutique on West Thomas Road — and it's fast become our dream boutique, as well. Wedged into a cozy space right across the street from Phoenix College, Saint 22 offers candles, handmade soap, jewelry, handbags,… More >>
  • Best Boutique Service

    Muse Apparel

    Muse stocks everything a chic label-whore would adore, from a $16 costume necklace adorned with funky, organic twig balls to $150 Design Studio jeans. Sure, the threads are killer, but the reason we flock back to Muse (despite its NoPho Safeway strip mall locale) is the one-on-one attention you'll get here. Not sure whether the lavender Idylle top you're crushing… More >>
  • Best Shopping on Roosevelt Row

    MADE

    MADE art boutique does just what a good little indie shop should do: It sells the work of our very best local artists and crafters, with a few mainstream treats thrown in for good measure (and sales volume). On recent trips, we found handmade vanilla ginger soaps by Emelmahae, subversive T-shirts by Sebastien Millon, and letterpressed cards by Seesaw Designs.… More >>
  • Best Shopping on Grand Avenue

    Devious Wigs & Things

    Where else can you attend a false eyelash application workshop/Save the Earth party? Or a belly-dancing garden fete? Even on a day when Devious Wigs isn't hosting a scheduled event, you can make your own party — with a crazy-bright wig or the sparkly accessories this crowded little shop sells. Step into the back for a gander at the low-priced,… More >>
  • Best Novelty Shop

    Smeeks

    You've got a birthday party to get to in half an hour, and an overpowering need for a potato gun. We know the feeling. And we've got the source: Smeeks. This "sweet little shop" is best known for its candy (and you can get sugared up here, for sure) but its selection of old-fashioned (harmonicas) and new-fangled (squirrel underpants?!) novelties… More >>
  • Best Vintage Couture

    Fashion by Robert Black

    When Phoenicians think of fashion, the name that comes to mind is Robert Black, who began his career as a model and talent agent in the '80s and went on to found the Ford Robert Black Agency. Today, instead of models, Black is offering the clothes off their backs. His Fashion by Robert Black, located in the landmark White Hogan… More >>
  • Best New Vintage Boutique

    Vintage by Misty - CLOSED

    "I make it easy to find a funky piece," says Misty Guerriero, the namesake of our favorite new downtown vintage spot, Vintage by Misty. Israel, London, Paris, Canada, Vegas — Guerriero's eclectic mix of cool clothing, jewelry, and housewares spans the globe. Her stock generally reflects whatever she likes at the moment — right now, that's Missoni prints, giant gold… More >>
  • Best Vintage Clothing

    Antique Sugar at Zinnias

    Our dad used to wear wool cardigans, which made us want to barf with embarrassment. Now, we collect them — and our lives would be lacking if it weren't for Antique Sugar, which not only offers the best in vintage off-the-rack fashion, but has a men's department, as well. That's rare in a vintage clothing store, but not at this… More >>
  • Best Bargain Vintage Clothing

    Butter Toast Boutique - CLOSED

    Butter Toast's new digs in a historic home off Roosevelt Row house one of the best selections of vintage threads around, with the kind of filmy tops, broomstick skirts, and cotton dresses that make up a sweet Bohemian-chic wardrobe. Prices are affordable: $15 for a floral romper, $40 for a red pleated party dress. Our favorite perk of shopping here… More >>
  • Best Antique Mall

    Zinnias on Melrose

    Is it the fact that we never leave this great treasure trove empty-handed? Is it that the friendly staff routinely tips us off to sales at other, nearby antique stores? Is it the fact that this place shares a parking lot with Flo's, one of the best thrift stores in town? When you're talking Zinnias on Melrose, the answer is… More >>
  • Best Antiques on a Budget

    Cherry Street Antiques

    Hidden in the shadow of the beautiful Wright House events space, you will find a little old house with a hand-painted sign that you have probably overlooked hundred of times while making the commute from Mesa to Tempe. Waiting inside is an eclectic collection of unique antiques with price tags that won't send you running back to the thrift stores.… More >>
  • Best High-End Antiques

    Willo Historic District Antiques

    It's true: People can live perfectly happily having only ever purchased dinged-up, scratched antique furniture. Nobody needs a perfectly preserved dining room suite from 1930 that one can just haul home, set up, and admire without all the fussing around with scratch cover or — worse! — stripper and refinisher. But just once, consider buying a piece of old furniture… More >>
  • Best Antique Rugs

    QCumberz

    We put it off for as long as we could: buying a runner for the downstairs hallway in our old, old house. It needed to be an antique, but not too worn-looking. A reproduction wouldn't do (too new-looking), and we knew what that meant: Pulling out a big wad of cash, because vintage rugs in decent shape are hard to… More >>
  • Best Antique Store to Buy Jewelry for Your Girlfriend

    Rare Lion Antiques & Jewelry

    As pop star Neil Sedaka stated in his 1962 hit, breaking up is hard to do. Especially when there are so many ways to win your way back into the affections of your paramour. There are flowers, expensive gifts, heartfelt apologies, and good old-fashioned begging. If you're hoping that jewelry will do the trick, definitely go talk to Michelle Francis… More >>
  • Best Place to Find Jadite

    Antique Marketplace

    We waited 'til the last minute to buy an Easter gift for a friend of ours who collects jadite, that pretty pale green glassware that was so popular in the 1930s (and has been co-opted by Martha Stewart in recent years). We figured, jadite is hot right now, and there's a ton of it out there and it'll be easy… More >>
  • Best Boutique Thrift Store

    Flo's on Seventh

    Why can't every thrift store in town be like Flo's? We have to keep reminding ourselves, when we shop here, that we're in a second-hand shop — because the merchandise is all so upscale and everything is so neatly displayed and organized. But the prices remind us, every time. Fine china for a fraction of what you'd pay new (or… More >>
  • Best Non-Boutique Thrift Store

    Goodwill

    People who hoard — whether it be inexpensive designer duds or cool old books and records — flock to this not-for-profit treasure trove way out on the west side. On our last trip, we found a first-edition John Irving novel, a pair of still-sealed Dean Martin record albums, and an honest-to-gosh Ralph Lauren dinner jacket, and paid less than 30… More >>
  • Best Thrift Store for Vintage Glassware

    Sun Health Resale Shop

    We shouldn't admit this, but we've lately become obsessed with vintage glassware. Pressed-glass punch bowls; gold-rimmed Jeannette Glass fruit bowls; Depression glass, and anything Anchor Hocking — we can't get enough. And we're blaming Sun Health Resale Shop for fueling our addiction, because we find more old hostess sets and 1950s foil-trimmed Chas Hall tumblers here than in most other… More >>
  • Best Thrift Store That Was Never Meant to Be a Thrift Store

    Eclectic Monkey Emporium (formally Good Thrift)

    Located on Main Street in Mesa, this thrift store not only offers funky cool finds, it does good for the local community. The store was never meant for the public. It was created as a place for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to shop, free of charge. But with so many donations and knocks on the door from… More >>
  • Best Places to Find Yard Sales

    Sun City and Sun City West

    Why? Because old people have cool stuff, dude. Do your research on www.craigslist.com and www.yardsalesearch.com and make your way out to Sun City and Sun City West for the treasure hunt of a lifetime. The Sun Cities are home to retirees from across the nation, and when they're ready to part with their wares, the finds can range from World… More >>
  • Best Used Clothing for Kids

    Hissyfits

    This place for pint-size shopping is packed but organized —by boys and girls and, then, by size. There is also room, somehow, for toys and gear. The store décor is cute and makes the shopping experience fun. The prices are a steal and, yes, the place is jam-packed. But if you are a picker and like to dig for a… More >>
  • Best Alternative to Last Chance

    Dillard's Clearance Center

    It took a while, but we finally grew tired of the frantic, often bitter crowds and the harried help at Last Chance, and have renewed our former fondness for Dillard's Clearance Center, which is now located at Metrocenter on the east side. Neatly arranged racks of clothing, some of it very current and season-appropriate, are the order of the day… More >>
  • Best Teen Girls Clothing Store Where Grown-Up Gals Can Shop

    Urban Angels

    If you want a trendy piece but don't want to have to venture into an indoor mall, visit the teen-style store Urban Angels at Tempe Marketplace. It carries a little bit of everything, including T-shirts, dresses, jammies, and accessories of all kinds. Find a small piece to add a trend to your wardrobe or go all out with a show-stopping… More >>
  • Best Costume Jewelry

    The M. Jeweler

    Once your eyeballs adjust, you'll realize this bounteous cavern contains more than just wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling rhinestone and crystal bibs, in every color that's ever graced a quinceañera or prom. Faux pearls, from believable to cocktail-onion size, share space with handbags drenched in satin roses, statement necklaces, and every kind of hat embellished with every kind of stud. Among the pathologically… More >>
  • Best Eyeglasses on a Budget

    Lesco

    This is the place to go for straightforward, sort of old-school glasses on the cheap. How does $29 sound? They don't do your vision test, so you'll have to head to your optometrist for that, but bring in your prescription and they'll hook you up with a non-fussy pair of spectacles for a song. We've even seen a funky (in… More >>
  • Best High-End Jewelry at Low-End Prices

    C & G Jewelers

    We got roped into helping a total stranger pick out an engagement ring for his wife-to-be — not the sort of thing we would normally find ourselves doing, but that's the kind of thing that happens at family-owned and -operated C & G Jewelers. The warm, pleasant atmosphere just sort of fosters this kind of down-home friendliness from staff and… More >>
  • Best Design-It- Yourself T-Shirts

    Brand X

    Brand X offers a 1-2-3 process to get your T-shirt made. Step one: Pick your shirt. Step two: Pick your words and images. Step three: They make it for you. All that is left to do is show off your funky style to your friends. Get what you want while not having to lift as much as a finger. Well,… More >>
  • Best Place to Blow a Paycheck on Toys

    Red Hot Robot - CLOSED

    Red Hot Robot's website has an entire page devoted to robots. We don't really have to say much more about them than that, but we will. The store's selection of metal mechanoids is second to none (in the known universe, that is), and Red Hot Robot also carries an artful array of vinyl toys in non-robot shapes. Do you need… More >>
  • Best Bookstore

    Changing Hands

    Best of Phoenix is a special occasion. Let's be honest: Fifty-one weeks a year, we're in a bad mood over here at New Times (if we're doing our jobs right) — bursting bubbles, dashing dreams, reminding you what a godforsaken, politically backward, culturally deprived hellhole you've chosen for a home. Ahem. Sorry, we got carried away there for a moment.… More >>
  • Best Specialty Bookstore

    The Poisoned Pen

    Some may consider us dinosaurs of the digital age, but we still love our bookstores, and we even mourned the loss of the Valley's Borders mega-stores. We especially love our handful of remaining independents, including this venerable (opened in 1989) and inviting little shop that sits one long block from the hustle and bustle of Scottsdale Road near Indian School… More >>
  • Best Used Bookstore

    Half Price Books and Records

    Our bookshelves were already groaning when we happened upon this well-lit, well-organized place, which offers new and used books, CDs, DVDs, and record albums for next-to-nothing prices. Recent bestsellers share space with grand titles you missed a few years ago, all neatly arranged by category and alphabetically by author. Our search for those few missing Anne Tyler hardcovers is over,… More >>
  • Best Collectible Bookstore

    Book Gallery

    Book Gallery owner Mike Riley is picky about the books that go on his shelves. While this doesn't bode well for people trying to sell him common paperbacks, it's a very good thing for his bibliophile customers, who don't have to dig through a bunch of secondhand Danielle Steele romance novels to find that rare first edition of John F.… More >>
  • Best Magazine Rack

    Bookmans Entertainment Exchange

    We admit it. We've got a serious magazine addiction. Why, just the other night, we picked up the latest copies of Bazaar, Country Living, and Martha Stewart Living. And it cost us next to nothing. No, we weren't pilfering in the dentist's office; we were at Bookmans. Better known for used books, movies, and music, the magazine rack at the… More >>
  • Best Comic Book Shop

    Ash Avenue Comics

    Pop quiz, comic geek: What do fossil records and comic shops have in common? Answer: Both are a window into a time and place that have long since passed. The glory days of comic stores with their boxes jammed full of meticulously plastic-sleeved, cardboard-backed wonders may be gone, but you can relive the memories of them at Ash Avenue Comics.… More >>
  • Best Porn Rentals for Regular Folks

    Fascinations

    Porn. Everyone watches it. Young, old, rich, poor. Your priest. Your rabbi. Your County Attorney. Your grandma. Okay, maybe not Grandma, but Grandpa sure does. That's how he stays married to Grandma. That and Jack Daniel's.Free porn on the Internet makes things so much easier, so civilized. But if you want to watch Tera Patrick do the nasty for more… More >>
  • Best Vinyl

    Revolver Records

    Vinyl nerds, music connoisseurs, and anyone who yearns for a fresh stack of 12-inch platters full of their favorite tunes have made this downtown record shop a local landmark. Collectors think of Revolver as the best place to score inexpensive upgrades of titles they already own, as well as a great place to fill out their collections with elusive musical… More >>
  • Best CD Store

    Bookmans Entertainment Exchange

    The Bookmans location in Mesa has the larger CD stock of the two Bookmans stores in the Valley, but it's not just the size that makes the Mesa location stand out — it's the selection. Of the thousands of used CDs that find their way onto Bookmans' shelves every year, about 30 percent are things you won't be able to… More >>
  • Best Skateboard Shop

    Cowtown

    Local skate shops have come and gone over the years — except for indie Cowtown. The "family"-owned and -operated skate shop had been slangin' the best boards and gear to Phoenix skate rats since 1996 (that's three years before the first Tony Hawk's Pro Skater video game). The owners credit their success to outstanding customer service and knowledge of the… More >>
  • Best Bike Shop

    Bike Barn

    Most of us are not what are known as "mountain bikers" or "road warriors" — or anything close. We prefer, every so often, to ride a few gentle miles to a local coffeehouse or bookstore or, on (rare) occasion, get some real exercise and try to take the edge off the guilt we feel after eating like idiots. But our… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Your Bike Fixed

    The Garage Bike Shop

    If you are looking for a big showroom with lots of new bikes, helmets, and wheels, this is not the place for you. But if you need a solid, honest wrench to fix up your clunker or tune up your speed machine, go see Rene at the Garage. A mechanic for 20-plus years, this guy is living his dream with… More >>
  • Best Bike Shop for Hard-to-Find Parts

    Try Me Bicycle Shop

    Tucked on the western edge of the Foothill Acres neighborhood in North Phoenix, Try Me Bicycle Shop is not exactly where one thinks to go for that rare part to get the old Schwinn or Raleigh up and running again. But this shop has been in business for nearly 40 years and has been collecting the odd part for every… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Vintage Craft Supplies

    Kooky Krafts

    If you never made it to Diane Ribbon and Notion, you have our condolences. Truly, the place was life-altering, if you have an affinity for nostalgia or a need for art supplies. If you like vintage crafts, well, like we said, we're sorry. The giant old warehouse was stuck in the '70s (in a good way), supplying everything from doll… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Teaching Supplies

    Treasures4Teachers

    We admit we're not so touchy-feely around here at New Times, but we aren't ashamed to tell you that we got all warm and fuzzy when we heard about Treasures4Teachers. Well, that's not exactly true. At first, we couldn't believe that someone had such an incredible idea and made it happen! Then we got warm all over. And excited. And… More >>
  • Best Art Supply Store

    Wet Paint - CLOSED

    Wet Paint has been supplying the urban subversive with a wide array of aerosol paints, markers, and drippy inks for more than a decade. But if taking your art to the streets isn't your gig, you can count on Wet Paint for such traditional fine-art supplies as oil paints, charcoal, and watercolors. Over the years, this family-run establishment has extended… More >>
  • Best Art Supplies on a Budget

    Aaron Bros. Clearance Aisle

    A friend of ours is an art teacher who's always scouting around for great deals, so we're deeply aware that sable hair brushes can't be had for less money than at Aaron Bros. The Camelback location of Aaron Bros. is the one to which the other stores in the chain ship last season's stuff, and anyone interested in a package… More >>
  • Best Bead Store

    D&I Beads

    This family-owned bead store offers an extensive selection of beads, from Bohemian glass to freshwater pearls, in a wide variety of colors and sizes. Prices are reasonable and employees are friendly, not to mention patient with artists-in-training who are just learning the craft. D&I's trained staff offers free beading classes, guides you on how to repair or make your own… More >>
  • Best Scrapbook Supplies

    Scrapbooks Etc.

    If you are a scrapbooking fool, then chances are you already know about Scrapbooks Etc. in Mesa. If you are a novice, then you need to see all the goodies at this East Valley shop. Beyond scrapbooking supplies, it carries fabric, ribbon, and loads of paper. It also offers sewing and scrapbooking classes as well as classes for kids. This… More >>
  • Best Stamp Supplies

    The Creative Quest

    The Creative Quest was born out of a love that four friends had for all things creative and crafty. While this place offers the best art rubber stamps in town, it also has a fabulous array of papers, book-arts supplies and embellishments. Love this stuff but not sure what to do with it? The gals of The Creative Quest also… More >>
  • Best Fabric Store

    Quiltz

    If you are a fabric junkie, then this is the spot for unique fabrics that you can't find at other places in town. The big-box fabric stores offer quantity, sure, but everything looks the same. At Quiltz, you'll find fabrics designed by artists, designers, and quilters who really know the wants and needs of crafty creatives who work with fabric.… More >>
  • Best Fabric Store on a Budget

    SAS Fabrics by the Pound

    It's not pretty, and, at first glance, it may look like an unorganized mess, but trust us, once you go SAS, you'll never go back. Prepare for a treasure hunt as you wade through a sea of fabrics from a bygone era, dig through barrels of patches and sift through boxes of buttons. Don't worry — you're going to find… More >>
  • Best Knitting Supplies

    Family Arts Needlework Shop

    This nonprofit needlepoint and knitting shop carries so many different threads and yarns that walking through the place feels like wandering a warehouse — or a big national crafts store (without, of course, the cranky employees who seem to not have time to chat about your project). At Family Arts, someone's always eager to hear about what you're stitching or… More >>

Search Best Of Awards

Best of Award Graphics

Loading...