Sunshine Market & Deli2302 North 12th Street
The Sunshine Market is pure sunshine. A fixture in Phoenix's historic Coronado neighborhood, the building has gone through facelifts and ownership changes, but not much has changed in its 30-plus years. With everything from electrical tape to rolling pins, Coronado regulars stop in for fix-it and baking supplies in a pinch while neighborhood kids come in for candy and soda. They also have Press Roasters cold brew on tap, insane deals on craft beer (hello, a six-pack of local Nimbus pale ale for $5.99), and super friendly staff who know regulars by name.
Monsoon Market3508 North Seventh Street
Owners Michela Ricci and Koral Casillas did us all a favor with Monsoon Market. Like a corner store but way cooler, they combined all their favorite things, including stuff you’d find at the farmers market, local faves, fancy pantry essentials, and artisan gifts under one stylish roof. Grab a basket and fill it with Popped Artisan Popcorn, Peixoto Coffee, Noble bread, Simple Soda, Brightland olive oil, artsy magazines and swanky candles handmade in Tucson. “It’s all the stuff we’re craving so you don’t have to hunt around,” says Casillas.
UrBo Urban Bodega603 West Fillmore Street
Like a New York bodega, UrBo may be small, but it’s mighty stocked. The tiny shop on Fillmore Street packs in the essentials and more, with a mix of high (gelato and grass fed beef jerky), low (ramen and Twinkies), and local (Big Marble Ginger Beer and Four Peaks) stacked floor-to-ceiling. Yet despite the glut of goods, it doesn’t feel claustrophobic. Made-to-order food and frappuccinos are also on the menu, with all-day breakfast sandwiches and coffee by local roaster Xanada. Order up a nitro chai latte and get all the fixin's for breakfast: pancake mix, syrup, eggs, bacon, OJ and bubbly.
Air Guitar1566 South Higley Road, Gilbert
While most convenience stores aim to blend in, Air Guitar is all about standing out. If the name wasn’t a big enough giveaway, the impressive space is, taking up the corner of Ray and Higley roads in Gilbert with a 5,000-square-foot store flagged by floor-to-ceiling windows and a giant wraparound patio. Selling everything from cotton candy burritos to Dom Perignon, you’ll find grab-and-go sushi by Kaizen, beautiful bouquets by Camelback Flowers, pizza by the slice, a full coffee bar, and even an ice cream shoot on the patio.
Pop’s Exotic Sodas & Snacks423 North Country Club Drive, Mesa
Stocked with tough-to-find sodas and snacks – duck-flavored Lays, anyone? – Pop’s Exotic isn’t just a store, it’s a TikTok phenomenon. Customers take on food challenges, like eating the hottest gummy bear in the world or downing a fermented duck egg, and the more than 134,000 fans follow along. Owned by Michael Minnis, you’ll also catch glimpses of his miniature pitbull Cookie, plus closeups of imported snacks – think prosciutto and brie Cheetos from Japan, ketchup chips from Canada, and every iteration of Skittles you can imagine – backed by rap tracks.
Fujiya Market1335 West University Drive, Tempe
Just like a conbini in Japan, Fujiya Market starts with an “Irasshaimase!” greeting. From there, wind through aisles of Japanese beauty supplies, rice, ramen, tea, canned coffee, sake, dried seaweed, beer, and bento boxes. But the real standouts are the super selection of Japanese snacks, from chocolate Pocky and Hello Panda biscuits to dried squid and pizza-flavored chips. It’s like taking a trip to Tokyo by way of Tempe. Arigato!
El Paisano Market1035 East Lemon Street, Tempe
El Paisano Market has everything ASU students could need or want. Late night study sesh? Stock up on snacks and energy drinks. A night out to celebrate the end of exams? Cigars and high-end booze. A hangover to end all hangovers? Order up a hot Cheetos burrito or cheesy quesadilla from the market menu and hope it soaks up all the alcohol. Stocked neatly from floor to ceiling and open to the wee hours (4 a.m. on weekends), no wonder the steady stream of regulars call it El P’s.
Turney Village Market710 East Turney Avenue
Like the dive bar of convenience stores, Turney Village Market is more than meets the eye. Decidedly unglamorous, the outside is white with a red awning while the inside is slightly dingy with black walls and moderately stocked shelves. But there’s a familiarity when you walk in the door, a no-judgement vibe whether you’re buying a Pulparindo from the Mexican candy section or a bong from the smoke section. They also have a cooler section chock-full of beer, a case of sneakers and logo’d hats, and dried jumbo shrimp and $1 pickles by the cash.
Milk and Honey Market115 West Sixth Street, Tempe
A slice of a shop at the bottom of West Six Apartments in Tempe, Milk and Honey does indeed sell milk and honey, as well as all the convenience store basics from munchies to booze. But what really sets it apart are its coolers full of prepared foods where you can grab-and-go fresh fruit, yogurt parfaits, chicken wraps, and tiramisu, plus sliced-to-order pastrami, pepperoni, turkey, and ham sandwiches. Better yet, “Make it a Sparky” and get double meat. The only downside: Parking isn’t all that convenient.
D’s Market3640 North Miller Road, Scottsdale
It’s fun to play a do-they-have-it treasure hunt at D's Market, a south Scottsdale mainstay that has the usual suspects and way more. Marshmallows, check! Potato masher, check! Do-rags, check! Nag Champa incense, check! Raincoat, check! Not only do they have a huge selection of products, the mom-and-pop shop also gets points for its light and bright interior, friendly service, and ample parking.