Shopping & Services

  • Best Mall

    Rosedale Center

    Sure, we're well aware of that tourist-drawing behemoth out in Bloomington. But after nearly two decades, it's hard not to appreciate the MOA's predecessors, the shopping centers that have not only survived but thrived and expanded since the colossal megalith opened its doors back in '92. Rosedale is the old-school shopping mall retrofitted for modern times, opening back in 1969… More >>
  • Best Clothing Store (Women)

    Opitz Outlet

    We bought an $800 Derek Lam cashmere sweater at Opitz recently for $5. Because it had a few flaws, a fancy department store tossed it from its pristine racks like a misfit toy and it made its way to the Opitz Annex across from Opitz headquarters (where most merch is 70 percent off and unflawed). This isn't an unusual occurrence… More >>
  • Best Clothing Store (Men)

    Heimie's Haberdashery

    Should you ever hear a lady inquire, "Whatever happened to all the gentlemen?" simply respond by tilting the brim of your cap toward the Hamm Building in downtown St. Paul. Therein lies Heimie's Haberdashery, the stately and otherworldly homage to a time when the sheen of a man's shoes actually meant something. It's no coincidence that proprietor Anthony Andler was… More >>
  • Best Boutique

    Cliché

    Never boring, Cliché specializes in hip, fashion-forward clothing that nonetheless has enough sticking power to hang around the closet for a few years. That's because the clothes, while innovative, are well-made—and also because the shop owners deliberately look for classic elements that prevent their offerings from going out of style the week after purchase. Husband-and-wife team Joshua and Delayna Sundberg… More >>
  • Best Maternity Store

    Bellies to Babies

    Women just aren't spending as much time knocked up as they used to. In fact, recent census data show that one-child families have become more common than two-child ones. So for many mothers-to-be, it just doesn't make sense to buy a brand-new wardrobe that will be worn for only a few months before being gleefully thrown aside. Crystal Pollard found… More >>
  • Best Used Clothing Store

    Everyday People

    Looking for a clothing store that radiates contemporary panache with a hint of technicolor nostalgia? Everyday People offers the best in a wide array of both women's and men's used clothing and accessories. Everyday People charms the senses with eclectic elegance. The assortment of alluring dresses and skirts, cozy cardigans, and tantalizing footwear presents countless ways to make your perfect… More >>
  • Best Tattoo Parlor

    Leviticus Tattoo

    You're in great hands with Leviticus Tattoo. Owner Kurt Melancon opened the shop in 1995, and he and his five artists have nearly a century of cumulative experience, with a heavy focus on Japanese, illustrative traditional tattoos, and intricate designs from world cultures. You can see that interest displayed on the 12-foot stone walls all around the newly remodeled, 4,000-square-foot… More >>
  • Best Haircut

    The Chair

    Getting a haircut often walks the line between a transformative and traumatizing experience. If a stylist isn't skilled at cutting your type of hair, results can be disastrous: bad bangs, flat styling, and weird sections that take forever to grow out. However, if a stylist is skilled in navigating scissors through the landmine of your mane, the final look can… More >>
  • Best CD Store (New)

    Electric Fetus

    The Electric Fetus is a musical gem, not just a music store but a Twin Cities institution. Founded in 1968, it has weathered time, a changing music industry, and even a tornado, and it is still the place to find that CD that no one else in the Twin Cities seems to have heard of. The Fetus boasts upward of… More >>
  • Best Vintage Jewelry

    Mall of St. Paul

    Packed in with the vinyl records, roll-top desks, and '60s dinette sets, several local vintage jewelry dealers make the Mall of St. Paul their storefront base. There is a thrill of the hunt to prowling through the crowded store, searching for a cameo necklace or a pair of pearl earrings to perfect a Betty Draper getup. For those seeking seriously… More >>
  • Best Garden Center

    Gertens

    Maybe you have a neighbor whose digging in the mud is a surer sign of spring than the first robin sighting. That neighbor, no matter where you live, has probably made a trek to Inver Grove Heights at one time or another, to the giant garden shopping mecca that is Gertens. The place has everything, from native prairie grasses to… More >>
  • Best Bookstore (New)

    Common Good Books

    Here's a short list of what you won't find at Garrison Keillor's modest bookstore beneath Nina's Café on the corner of Western and Selby: toys, e-reader kiosks, racks of DVDs, and smut hiding in the magazine racks. What you will find is a carefully curated collection of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, shelved alongside handwritten recommendations from employees, starting with the… More >>
  • Best Bookstore (Used)

    Midway Books

    When you're looking for the right used bookstore, the rules about finding the latest bestseller or today's daily pretty much go out the window. Sure, when you go to a place like Midway, you'll find that old hardcover copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls or whatever other classic piece of literature you might desire, but the true pleasure of… More >>
  • Best CD Store (Used)

    Cheapo

    Click click click. Ah, the unmistakable sound of hundreds of hard CD cases smacking against one another as shoppers pick through the recent arrivals, their fingers soiled with someone else's car dust or apartment scum as they search for that Goo Goo Dolls or Gin Blossoms album they've longed for ever since selling it for rent money in '03. The… More >>
  • Best Gift Shop

    Patina

    Walking into Patina can induce sensory overload—everywhere there are beautiful, sweet, and hilarious treasures that really want to go home with you instead of going to that special someone you're shopping for. You'll find gems like Awkward Family Photos, the bestselling coffee table book, "I [heart] Dad" mugs, and bacon gumballs. There's also jewelry, fun handbags and scarves, creatively decorated… More >>
  • Best Toy Store

    Peapods

    Independent toy stores are getting fewer and farther between: Essence of Nonsense in St. Paul and Wonderment in Minneapolis and St. Paul closed last year. But luckily things are going well for Peapods, which relocated in January from Snelling and St. Clair to bigger digs in the Saint Anthony Park neighborhood, a storybook-perfect area that fits this delightful shop to… More >>
  • Best Bike Shop

    One on One Bicycle Studio

    The Twin Cities is blessed with a vibrant bike culture, supported by a whole mess of great cycle shops, so choosing just one isn't easy. But One on One Cycle in the Warehouse District has a lot going for it. For one thing, we love their $1 per minute labor rate on repairs and tune-ups, which beats the hell out… More >>
  • Best Art Supplies

    Wet Paint

    When it comes to art supply stores, size does not matter. Although the Twin Cities is home to a couple of the much larger chain stores, itsy-bitsy Wet Paint gives them a run for their money. The shop's space is used up within an inch of its life, and it's easy to find oneself very much violating other people's personal… More >>
  • Best Pet Store

    Urbanimal

    Looking for the perfect, healthy food for your mature dog? Got a cat with litter problems? Looking for the perfect toy? Urbanimal specializes in high-quality pet food and supplies. A knowledgeable staff can answer any of your questions, whether it's recommending a cat food that offers good nutrition without a lot of filler or helping with the right supplements to… More >>
  • Best Animal Hospital

    Blue Cross Animal Hospital

    As anyone who has ever had a sick pet can tell you, animal hospitals can be pretty scary places. You want professionals who are thorough and well educated but who also genuinely care about the well-being of your pet. The crew at Blue Cross Animal Hospital are friendly, knowledgeable, and extremely sensitive to your concerns as a pet owner. Pricewise,… More >>
  • Best Natural Foods Grocery Store

    The Wedge Community Co-Op

    Packed in the aisles at the Wedge are goodies for any lover of high-quality food, but it is best, as in most grocery stores, to shop around the edges. There you can find perfectly grown produce—including items from its own farm, Gardens of Eagan—that is almost all certified organic. You'll find locally produced eggs and milk, a deli section for… More >>
  • Best Farmers' Market

    Kingfield Farmers Market

    Since 2001, the Kingfield Farmers Market has managed to pack an amazing amount of local culinary raw material into one small parking lot every Sunday, spring, summer, and fall. A testament to the endless energy and efforts of local ink-stained wretch David Brauer and his posse of die-hard volunteers, the collective effect at Kingfield is that you can't help but… More >>
  • Best Vintage Hair Styling

    Schmidty's Barbers

    Don't get us wrong: Whipping up a perfect pin-up girl's coiffure is no small feat, and a gal definitely needs a stylist who knows how to work a bobby pin. But there are more than a few places in town that can do a smashing up-do, and besides, ladies aren't the only ones hankering for a throwback look. The barbers… More >>
  • Best Tobacconist

    Perfect Ash

    Perfect Ash has plenty of cigars, pipe tobacco, and high-end accessories for your pursuit of the perfect puff. But what sets this shop a step above is the all-encompassing experience for the tobacco enthusiast. Once the space of the Smoke Shop, from 1973 to 2004, the Perfect Ash ownership invested heavily in remodeling and refreshing the rooms. Along with a… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Vinyl

    Hymie's Vintage Records

    For years—over two decades, in fact—Hymie's resided in the same spot on Lake Street, its facade distinctively graced by the iconic murals of Ray Charles and Billie Holiday, its rows of old records crammed into the building's undersized square footage. Finally, last year, Dave and Laura Hoenack decided to pack up and mosey a little farther down the block, where… More >>
  • Best Vintage Store

    Blacklist Vintage

    The Twin Cities is peppered with vintage shops, some of them hybrid with new or consignment items and most rather small and specialized. But no matter if you're looking for home decor, glassware, mod dresses, or records, Blacklist Vintage has plenty. Its racks are teeming with dresses, jumpsuits, skirts, and other clothing, sorted by type, then decade (1920s to 1980s).… More >>
  • Best Mexican Grocery Store

    Marissa's Supermarket

    The first step to making authentic Mexican cooking is a trip to Marissa's Supermarket, a one-stop shop for traditional Mexican foods. The store always carries plenty of ripe avocados; poblanos, serranos, and other chiles; tomatillos; and Mexican green onions (sweeter than scallions, with a bigger bulb). You'll also find nopales (cactus), Mexican spices, a huge variety of beans, spicy pickled… More >>
  • Best Cheese Shop

    St. Paul Cheese Shop

    So, yeah, St. Paul Cheese Shop is technically just another location of France 44. But this quaint little storefront on Grand Avenue has a personality all its own. Inside, after the rush of warm, earthy air hits the nose, things are just a little more casual than they are in its big-brother store in Minneapolis. The same sumptuous, palate-pleasing products… More >>
  • Best Wine Store

    Lake Wine and Spirits

    As folks in the area will attest, the Lyn-Lake and Carag neighborhoods were in dire need of a liquor store—one that doesn't have a parking lot the size of a dime, one where drunks don't stop to ask you for bus fare, one that actually accepts Visa. Dreams came true this summer when Lake Wine and Spirits opened. And while… More >>
  • Best Craft Beer Store

    Blue Max Liquors

    Located next to a nondescript strip mall just off Interstate 35W in Burnsville, Blue Max seems an unlikely place to house one of the Cities' greatest selections of craft and micro brews. The store carries roughly 1,100 kinds of beer, mind-boggling in its variety, organized by country and with strong regional representation. Much of the inventory is in coolers, important… More >>
  • Best Liquor Store

    Chicago Lake Liquors

    Chicago Lake Liquors isn't necessarily the kind of place you would take your beau for a tasting of organic Nero d'Avolas. For one thing, they don't even have tastings. If fancy-pants vintage one-upmanship is your game, this may not be your joint. What Chicago Lake Liquors is good for is beer, cheap liquor, and people-watching. It's Minnesota's largest retailer of… More >>
  • Best Discount Liquor Store

    Morelli's

    When it's time to restock the liquor cabinet or buy massive quantities of drinkables for that big fiesta, people drive from all over the Twin Cities to shop at the discount liquor paradise that is Morelli's on the East Side of St. Paul. With sales flyers and coupons emailed weekly, "Everyday Cheap Charlie" specials, awesome beer deals, and a selection… More >>
  • Best Sunday Beer Run

    Cassanova Liquor

    Many of us have had that "Oh, crap!" Sunday moment when we realize we have no brewskis for that BBQ, football game, Sunday dinner, or night on the couch. Just because we live in a state with laws reflecting 19th-century values doesn't mean a Minnesotan need resort to 3.2 on his day of rest. Just over the state line in… More >>
  • Best Head Shop

    The Hideaway

    No self-respecting Minnesota stoner doesn't know about the Hideaway, the Dinkytown head shop with a vast selection of pipes, vaporizers, one-hitters, and hookahs for "tobacco" use. There's something for every type of toker in the Hideaway, from gigantic bongs to very subtle pipes disguised as cigarettes to bulbous little pipes with glass frogs. If you need incense, detox kits, or… More >>
  • Best Adult Store

    Lickety Split

    With a tag line of "sexy not sleazy," Lickety Split has quietly cemented itself as the Twin Cities' most robust, cleanest, and best adult store. Located downtown on Third Avenue next door to Rick's Cabaret, Lickety Split features a wide variety of toys, outfits, videos, novelties, and more for sexy customers of all tastes. Eco-friendly glass dildos? It's got them.… More >>
  • Best Store for Sex Toys

    Smitten Kitten

    Smitten Kitten has been fighting the good fight against prudish Midwestern upbringings since 2003, and by now they've perfected the art of making dirty feel downright sensible. Stepping inside is like going to a beloved neighborhood coffee shop, where the baristas specialize in lube varietals instead of lattes. There's lots of tasty literature in front to tease your brain and… More >>

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