Best Of Shopping & Services
Best Clothing Store (Women)
Looking for the perfect interview outfit, but don't want to pay designer prices for that Theory blazer? Need some good running shoes, but don't want to shell out at the Puma store? Want to stock up on basics or statement pieces, or find your new favorite outfit? Nordstrom Rack has...
Best Clothing Store (Men)
Shopping locally can be tough for guys who care about fashion. Thrift stores can be a time-suck, and there's no guarantee that you'll find what you're looking for. Meanwhile, many men's clothing stores sell items with price tags way beyond what the average dude can afford. Enter Atmosfere, a shop...
Best Clothing Store (Children)
Nu Look Consignment
High-end style trends usually last about a season. Meanwhile, kids go through clothing faster than a fashionista. Fortunately, there's a consignment store where you can cycle through designer clothing as your little ones continually grow out of their duds. In recent years, Nu Look Consignment has expanded its offerings to...
Best Clothing Store (Vintage)
A handful of mannequins clad in the chicest retro wear will draw you in to Via's Vintage from Hennepin Avenue. Once you're inside, the shop will take you back in time with its gorgeous stock: pillbox hats, crinolines, kimonos, winter coats, Hermes scarves. The savvy staff know their stuff at...
Back in the dark ages, visiting multiple stores required a shopper to navigate (shudder) the outdoors. Here in the frozen tundra, that just wouldn't do. Luckily, Minnesota is a state of innovators, a land where brilliant minds can spitball ideas like "how about a giant building filled with different retailers...
There's something about that old Hollywood boudoir look, all lace and silk robes, that has remained certifiably sultry for more than half a century. Flirt Boutique, with its charming pink walls and chandelier sparkling in the sunlight, creates a fun, bubbly atmosphere in which to find something worthy of smoldering...
Proper & Prim
Last year, sisters Teresa and Ashlie O'Day decided to expand their Fargo business to the Twin Cities, opening Proper & Prim in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood. The store offers clothing that's both stylish and affordable: sparkly statement necklaces, flowing summertime dresses, cozy sweaters, cute tops, and eye-catching clutches. Inventory changes quickly,...
Best Thrift Store
When exploring a thrift store, you never know what you will find. With Steeple People, the chances that you will discover something awesome are pretty high. The Wedge neighborhood shop has a little bit of everything on any given day. For the home, there's plenty of furniture — often name-brand...
Best Place to Buy Jewelry
Jewelry Artist Mart at Walker Art Center
Held twice a year, Jewelry Artist Mart at the Walker offers pieces in a variety of styles and price points from two dozen or so designers. Much like the museum itself, the pop-up market features works that may beguile and inspire you. There are delicate bracelets with tiny details, heavy...
Moxie Hair Salon
Trust is always a major factor when choosing a stylist for a haircut. Sure, hair grows back, but no one wants to spend six months dealing with a dud of a look. Thankfully, you can put your trust in Moxie Hair Salon. Whether you just need a little trim or...
Honeycomb Salon has folks buzzing, and the busy bees there have earned the hype. Honeycomb does just about everything: facials, brow waxing, cuts, and colors. If you're looking to get adventurous with, say, a rose-gold ombre and some blunt bangs, the stylists at Honeycomb are game. Going for a wince-inducing...
Get ready for the sublime. Step beyond the spa door at Sanctuary in downtown Minneapolis, and snuggle under the blankets on your heated massage table. Your massage therapist will ease you into the perfect treatment for whatever ails you. Need deep-tissue work? Want to try out hot stones? Aching for...
Best Place to Buy Makeup
When was the last time you washed your makeup brushes? Don't answer that. We know it's probably high time you get some spiffy new ones, and Sigma Beauty's flagship boutique at the Mall of America is a good place to start your search. Sigma Beauty was initially founded as an...
Best Bookstore (New)
Common Good Books
They keep saying that brick-and-mortar bookstores are dying, but the fine folks at Common Good Books seem to be staving that off, one customer at a time. Garrison Keillor's day job, Common Good offers a bevy of books — local and beyond, fiction and non, usual and off-the-beaten-path — for...
Best Bookstore (Used)
Uncle Hugo's and Uncle Edgar's Bookstores
If you have even a passing interest in genre fiction, these connected stores should be a regular stop. Packed to the gills with used and new books, the shops stock a wide range of science fiction and fantasy (Hugo's) and mysteries (Edgar's), from the most recent hardcovers to nearly forgotten...
Best Comic Book Shop
The Source Comics & Games
The Source Comics & Games is where all roads of geekery intersect. The huge space carries a variety of items to sate your fandom needs, be they miniatures, board games, gaming guides, or collectibles. An influx of new comics arrives weekly, and the store is more than happy to order...
Best Gaming Shop
Fantasy Flight Games Center
The Twin Cities is a paradise for gamers, especially those of the tabletop, miniature, and card varieties. Fantasy Flight has risen to be one of the best creators of these games in the United States, and their own space is a perfect home. There are dozens of selections available to...
Best Toy Store
Duck underneath a giant cartoon leopard to enter a world of original tinkering gadgets and doodads. Shelves are stocked with mad-scientist accoutrements, art supplies, surgery kits, puppet theater sets, play kitchenware, and costumes. There are developmental toys for special-needs sweethearts and an open quarry of Legos for the future engineer...
Best Gift Store
Paper Hat, a newish gift shop in the Lake Harriet area, is so very Minnesotan. Its inventory is mostly locally made, and if you want to show off neighborhood pride, there's a T-shirt here for you. The store features a range of goods both practical and whimsical, cute and sophisticated:...
Best Place to Buy Vinyl
Treehouse Records doesn't have the cavernous capacity of, say, the Electric Fetus or Cheapo, but it trumps any Twin Cities locale in quality. Manager/owner Mark Trehus curates his store's selection with aplomb, ordering in bundles of good indie finds and re-releases. It's a great store for beginning collectors to nab...
Best Art Supplies
MCAD Art Cellar
The problem with art supply stores is that most of them give short shrift to everything outside of oil paints and craft supplies. But when you're looking for sculpture materials, Michael's just isn't gonna cut it. Thankfully, there's at least one general-purpose art supply store left in Minneapolis. The Art...
Best Smoke Shop
Golden Leaf Tobacco
Remember when smoking was glamorous and sophisticated? Neither do we, but that doesn't stop us from occasionally pretending otherwise. A great place to do so is at Golden Leaf, where premium tobacco can be sampled and purchased. That's right, sampled: Smoke shops are one of very few places where lighting...
Best Head Shop
The best smoke shops double as glass-art galleries. Hideaway is a creative conquest of tobacco culture. With stacks of shelves packed with pipes, hookahs, bowls, and beakers, there's something here to help you imbibe just about anything you'd like no matter how you fancy doing it. Choose an intricately painted...
Best Adult Store
The Smitten Kitten
We've all stumbled giggling drunk into sex shops with cheap coconut bras and cookie cutters shaped like penises. The Smitten Kitten isn't one of those stores. Here's a clean, mature boutique with high-end vibrators and fruity lube tubes organized in a rainbow bouquet of orgiastic possibility. Using toys isn't just...
Best Place to Buy Local
Midtown Global Market
As far as community successes go, Midtown Global Market is a colossal case study in the powers of aggregated creativity. Award-winning independent restaurants, musicians, and artisans have set up a rainbow bazaar of locally produced treats and handmade crafts by Minneapolis's immigrant entrepreneurs. Every weekend, live music takes center stage,...
Best Place to Buy Furniture
IKEA display rooms are snappy and stylish, but interior designers looking for more control over their own feng shui would be better served at a thoughtfully curated shop. At Northeast's FindFurnish, where the owners pluck rare mid-century furniture from throughout the Midwest, then refurbish and resell it in mint condition,...
The Twin Cities is full of places to crash for the weekend, but Hotel 340 is an attraction in its own right. Located in the heart of downtown St. Paul, this ancient boarding house has the same trappings of historic glamour as other iconic hotels, only on a smaller scale...
Best Garden Center
Minnesota gardeners can get pretty ambitious. Faced with a short growing season, we start seeds indoors while the ground is frozen, lug huge pots of tropical foliage into our homes for the winter, and plan our every inch of yard space for maximum efficiency. Leitner's can meet all the needs...
Best Pet Store
Urban Tails Pet Supply
The best pet stores are neighborhood fixtures, family-owned and -operated, where pets come before profit and you can catch the kid behind the counter playing with his own puppy. Customer service is what sets Urban Tails apart from other pet stores in the Twin Cities. The owners are pet lovers...
Best Outdoors Store
The competition was heated in this category. If there's one thing the Twin Cities does right, it's supplying those who love the outdoors with the best gear. But Midwest Mountaineering wins by a nose, with full-service offerings that include clothes, canoes, and kayaks. The staff is enthusiastic and experienced, and...
Best Dog Daycare
Metro Dogs Daycare and Boarding
Nothing quite breaks a working parent's heart like watching the fur baby whimper at the window as you pull away. Short of hiring a live-in nanny, the best you can do is head to Metro Dogs downtown, which promises to raise your pet with you. Owner Amy Rosenthal is a...