Tuesday Morning
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 chairs, swell bath towels and thousand-thread-count sheets, lovely oil paintings, and stacks of other another-man's-treasures make this a shopping staple among fans of a good deal. We hear that really familiar faces who don't have e-mail can leave their name and number with one of the friendly staff members, who will telephone to remind them when the next special sale is about to commence. Another reason to get up early, at least once a month!
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 500 years), and Kikuichi knives (made by another family known for sword-making — specifically, samurai swords). Phoenix Knife House also carries "Western-style" Japanese kitchen knives from Misono (many made of silver and nickel, with beautiful wooden handles) and Sugimoto knives, high-quality carbon steel and chromium pieces used by discerning chefs. If you're looking for something cheap, this isn't the place to go (knives run anywhere from $75 to several hundred dollars each), but if you're looking for kitchen knives that will impress your guests at dinner parties, Phoenix Knife House has what you need.
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, so you are guaranteed to find whatever you are looking for. Be on the lookout for owner Jeffery. He's always down to help and he has a pretty sweet 'stache, to boot.
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 and aged on oak for six months — is 40-proof and tastes like butterscotch tequila maple donuts. What it does not taste like is beer. Pour it into a snifter, drop in an ice cube or two and sip, cordially.
Whole Foods Market
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 like a nosh with your beer, you could do a lot worse than grabbing a BBQ sandwich or some sushi from Whole Foods. One wonders why you would ever need to leave.
Jerry's Liquors
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 getting out of your PJs, look for the giant arrow pointing you toward that thirst-quenching 12-pack of Coors or that sweet bottle of Boone's Farm you've been craving.
Mike's Market
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.
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 tax-free. The service is pleasant and friendly, and if the kids are in the backseat, a clerk will hand over your smokes with a couple of lollipops for the youngsters. Really.
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 the cigar lounge (the shop's a little more than 600 square feet, total), and there's a big-screen television airing numerous satellite channels. And chances are, Tinder Box has whatever type of pipe, tobacco, or cigar brand you're looking for. Tinder Box carries everything from popular stogie brands like Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta to high-end hookahs by Savinelli and La Rocca. And if you don't know what you're looking for, Clayton and company will gladly make suggestions and let you smell all their loose-leaf tobacco. Best of all, you don't need to go outside to smoke that stogie — this is a place that prides itself on the smell of fine-burning blends.
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 of pipes, bongs, and other smoking accessories, including a gorgeous supply of locally made goods, thanks to owner Ted Kaercher's dedicated support of local artisans. The friendly staff is enthusiastic about the goods and more than happy to answer any questions or help you decide whether you really need that four-footer when a pack of rolling papers will do.

Best Of Phoenix®

Best Of