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  • Best Clothing Store (Women)

    Nordstrom Rack

    Building a decent women's wardrobe in Minneapolis/St.Paul has its challenges. We're rich with thrift, vintage, and boutique stores, but finding a one-stop shop for women that's moderately priced is a bit harder. We do have one option that falls between a major department store and an on-sale retail outlet: Nordstrom Rack at Mall of America. It's conveniently located at an… More >>
  • Best Clothing Store (Men)

    Mills Fleet Farm

    Though economists, politicians, and pundits alike swear our nation is on the upswing, with each month's again-overdrawn checking account and increasingly fraying pair of jeans, it's abundantly clear: Many of us are still in recession mode. So while some might consider the "best clothing store" to mean fine men's attire, this year we advise you to set your sights on… More >>
  • Best Boutique

    Cliché

    What other boutique in town acts as an epicenter (or catalyst, really) for an entire fashion scene? Cliché's "Avoid the Grey" annual event was especially creative this year, featuring models in peep-show-style booths, and the boutique is always the highlight at the Envision Artopia art and fashion showcase. Owners DeLayna and Josh Sundberg also support local clothing and jewelry designers… More >>
  • Best Used Clothing Store

    b. (a resale shop)

    It's always gratifying to know that a business cares about its customers and has its ear to the street. According to owners Allison Bross-White and Rahsaan White, b.'s mission is to fill the void of hip-hop-centered businesses. They have outfitted both men and women for nearly two years, but the shop has also helped the local scene thrive by supporting… More >>
  • Best Outlet Store

    Len Mall of America

    Len Druskin's value-oriented subsidiary brand, Len (which is different from its City Center Outlet and Southdale Clearance stores), opened a fourth location in the Mall of America last August, on the third floor next to Nordstrom. The company's newest concept store, which also has locations at City Center, Southdale, and Rosedale, offers designer merchandise and brands from Len Druskin, from… More >>
  • Best Thrift Store

    Arc's Value Village

    The best-kept secret of vintage lovers and deal seekers, Arc's in Richfield is a well-oiled machine that benefits developmentally disabled adults and children with every donation. The store is roomy and filled with quality clothing and home goods, and it's organized in an easy-to-navigate way by friendly staff (some of whom are volunteers). Sure, it's in Richfield, which is probably… More >>
  • Best Designer Deals

    Opitz Outlet

    For a society that drools over designer labels but is often too money-conscious to splurge on them, Opitz outlet is a haute couture holy land in the Twin Cities. The St. Louis Park complex is made up of two buildings, one main shopping area featuring perfect or near-perfect shoes, clothing, bags, and jewelry for both men and women, and an… More >>
  • Best Mall

    Mall of America

    If it seems like the obvious choice, it's only because it's clearly the best mall. It doesn't really matter what you're in the market for, if you need instant gratification and can't wait for next-day shipping, you're probably on your way to MOA already. In fact, now that the mall is nearing its 20th birthday (would we even bother to… More >>
  • Best Salon

    Hairpolice

    A hub of Lyn-Lake since it moved from downtown in 1988 to its current location in what founder Sonia Peterson christened the "Orbit Mall," Hairpolice is tightly woven into Minneapolis history. Peterson singlehandedly launched a hair revolution that spit alternative culture out into burgeoning Uptown's streets one shockingly colorful head at a time. She was the first in the city… More >>
  • Best Haircut

    Salon Stella

    You don't need to get your hair cut in an art gallery. You couldn't care less about complimentary herbal tea and an essential oil scalp massage. You just want a damn haircut. But you won't settle for just any damn haircut — you still want a damn good haircut. If this sounds familiar, look no further than Salon Stella. Now… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood for Shopping

    Selby and Snelling

    Merriam Park's Selby and Snelling intersection has really stepped up its game in the past few years. Once little more than a quiet spot to grab coffee and browse vintage clothing, it's quickly becoming a full-fledged shopping district that just might give nearby Grand Avenue a run for its money. Aside from a Starbucks sitting on the corner, nearly every… More >>
  • Best Antiquing

    Stillwater

    Want to see how the other 1 percent lives? Plan a shopping excursion to the well-to-do river burg of Stillwater, but focus your attention instead on the secondhand: the old, the used, the antique. If antiquing in Stillwater has you thinking of your grandma or of bed-and-breakfasting newlyweds, think again. This 1850s-era lumber town is a spot ripe for old,… More >>
  • Best Bookstore (New)

    Common Good Books

    As independent, brick-and-mortar bookstores become more and more rare in today's internet world, it's heartening to hear that Garrison Keillor's little St. Paul bookshop is not just thriving but will be open in its new location at Macalester College by the time you read this. What has helped the store thrive? Well, it cuts a deep swath through the current… More >>
  • Best Bookstore (Used)

    Magers & Quinn

    Year after year, Magers & Quinn defies the long odds facing print media and continues to thrive in Uptown. The bookstore stays alive not just because of its bountiful selection — nearly a quarter of a million new and used books — but because it's a valuable part of the Uptown community and a one-of-a-kind, immersive resource for book lovers… More >>
  • Best Toy Store

    Creative Kidstuff

    Sure, it's easy to find bright and sparkly toys for the kids, as many shelves of Barbie dolls and rereleased Star Wars merchandise will attest. If you want to push off the beaten path a bit and find toys that are both entertaining (the name of the game for the kids) and offer a chance for growth (one thing the… More >>
  • Best Garden Center

    Tangletown Gardens

    It's easy to get lost at Tangletown Gardens, and that's a good thing. The center seems to stretch on and on, with new garden wonders around every corner. The goal of any great store is to fuel the imagination, and just a few minutes at Tangletown spurs fresh plans for the back garden or the front yard. The vast majority… More >>
  • Best Art Supply Store

    Penco Artists' Supply Warehouse

    Artists have been getting their art on with Penco for over 30 years. It all began with two high school buddies selling pens door-to-door and has evolved into a retail store with a diverse selection of supplies and the intention "to be the artist's toolbox." Wander into the expansive storefront in the Soho building and enjoy over 14,000 square feet… More >>
  • Best Natural Foods Grocery

    Seward Co-op Grocery and Deli

    Since 1972, Seward Co-op has been an example of a passionate business committed to serving the needs of, and keeping resources in, the community. The new green facilities have an open, farmer's market feel, offering organic and earth-friendly options. The 8,000-member co-op stocks culturally specific foods that represent the neighborhood, such as the Ethiopian bread injera, and features diverse live… More >>
  • Best Meat Shop

    Everett's Food & Meats

    This charming grocery in south Minneapolis is a throwback to a time when every item from bananas to sardines received its own individual price sticker and an employee insisted on carrying your bags to the car for you. That's right, Dorothy, you're not in Rainbow anymore. And you're also not at an upscale chain in Eden Prairie. You're in the… More >>
  • Best Home Brewing Supplies

    Midwest Supplies

    Minnesotans may not drink quite as much as our neighbors to the east, but we do drink a lot. In fact, we're so into it that for many of us, alcohol is not just an idle pastime but a hobby. Home brewing is growing fast, and so too are the suppliers to help us learn the craft. St. Louis Park's… More >>
  • Best Liquor Store

    Zipp's Liquors

    When it comes to liquor stores, you don't need much. In fact, all you really need is booze, and the folks at Zipp's realize this. There's nothing fancy about the place, which has been in Seward since before your dad scrounged up his first fake ID, but that's not to say it's lacking class. Quite the contrary: You can find… More >>
  • Best Wine Store

    The Wine Thief

    Could St. Paul be edging into hipsterdom? If the town of a-beer-and-a-bump is creeping toward cool, the Wine Thief is carrying the torch. Tucked into a tiny bit of food-and-wine heaven (Scusi and the Groveland Tap are each a bottle toss away), the Wine Thief has taken an approach to wine-selling that presumes people want to drink wines that taste… More >>
  • Best Car Repair

    Great Brakes

    Worku Moges, owner of University Avenue's Great Brakes, is something of a local celebrity. No, he doesn't pour drinks at the hot new bar, and he's never played with Prince. He's a one-of-a-kind mechanic, and that has gained him the accolades of drivers throughout the metro. He's been described as friendly, affordable, trustworthy, honest, efficient, ethical, helpful, and communicative. And… More >>
  • Best Shoe Repair

    Lee's Shoe & Leather Repair

    There are folks who will talk your ear off about Lee's, the shoe and leather repair shop across from the Bryant-Lake Bowl in Uptown. "Oh, they fixed the Doc Martens I've had since I was a kid, so I took them the Lucchese boots that needed to be resoled. I thought those were a lost cause, but...." And after Lee's… More >>
  • Best Furniture Repair

    Miller Upholstering

    Imagine the furniture upholsterer, an old man toiling away in a dungeon of a shop, working long hours, squinting under the din of an archaic sewing machine. Then consider Helen Miller of Miller Upholstering, who since 2001 has been challenging that stereotype. Miller's enthusiasm for the art of upholstery, as well as for furniture history and textile design, is one… More >>
  • Best Surplus Store

    Ax-Man Surplus

    Gas masks and googly eyes. Bowling pins and beakers. Ax-Man Surplus has it all and then some, and it should be your first stop whether you're a do-it-yourselfer, you've been assigned to procure props for a local indie film, or your first-grader has come home and announced, "Teacher says I have to bring a hundred of something to class tomorrow."… More >>
  • Best Dog Training

    The Canine Coach

    So you say your schnauzer has a squirrel fixation? Your husky hates your hubby? Your springer spaniel won't sit, your St. Bernard won't stay, and your collie won't come when he's called? Sounds like the makings of a bad blues song. But before you cue the harmonica licks, call the Canine Coach. These training gurus will put your mind at… More >>
  • Best Sporting Goods

    Midwest Mountaineering

    Big-box stores have taken over the commerce of everything from guitars to organic foods, and sporting goods are not exempt from the trend. That just seems...wrong. When you're outfitting for a weekend of boating in the Boundary Waters or biking in the boonies, you want a shopping experience that doesn't feel like a trip to buy toilet paper at Walmart.… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Vinyl

    Yeti Records

    Owning a record store these days is, almost by definition, a mom-and-pop endeavor, all the more so when it's a record store that sells only vinyl. But there's something a little different about Yeti Records. This south Nicollet shop, which opened less than two years ago, employs only a few people, but they're people with deep ties to the local… More >>
  • Best Gift Shop

    Goodthings

    If we could, we'd give this award to downtown White Bear Lake as a whole. This charming little district has a variety of gift-shopping opportunities, within steps of one another, to rival Uptown and Grand Avenue. There's the Enchanted Tree House for adorable kids' stuff, Truly for handmade items by local artists, the Floral Trunk and Gifts for whimsical garden… More >>
  • Best Adult Store

    The Smitten Kitten

    Ever wanted to make your own custom dildo? Need to find a good selection of porn but don't want to creep around some seedy back room of a video store? The Smitten Kitten has been soaring past the competition since it opened in 2003. TSK serves all genders and experience levels, from newbies to veterans in the BDSM/kink community, in… More >>

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