Shopping & Services

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Shopping & Services


Best Soap
Soap By Jana

Jana Hester makes soap bars “lovingly crafted from scratch, hand-cut and cured for four to eight weeks,” to help you scrub up in style, in fragrances ranging from Blackberry Gin Martini to Cool Cucumber to Milk & Honey. She even offers some soaps made from beer, and when you can combine personal hygiene with beer, you’re on to something. 623-628-8963,


Best Resort Spa
Aji Spa at Wild Horse Pass
Resort and Spa
Step into this Native American-themed womb of wellness, and feel the outside world recede into a vague, barely remembered fog. Impeccable gym facilities and an elegant warren of steam rooms, saunas and cool baths elevate Aji to alpha status among the Valley’s many fine resort spas, coupled with innovative services like the Thoachta Pima healing session. It’s a sweetgrass-scented dream. 5594 W. Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler, 602-385-5759,


Best Barber
The Local Barber & Shop

The cross-town fades. The high-and-tights. Beard trims beyond your wildest grooming dreams. The Local Barber & Shop guys can do it all, bringing back some yesteryear, good-ol’-days charm while they work. It helps that they look the perfectly trimmed part — cutting the cut, snipping the snip, and combing the comb before they ever lay a hand on your own precious chops and locks. 5813 N. Seventh St., Phoenix, 602-710-1749


Most Unusual Spa Treatment
Tarot Reading and Lip Reading at Joya Spa

When retreating to the spa for a relaxing day, you’re probably in search of a soothing massage or facial. At Joya Spa, you can also enhance your well-being with a tarot card reading to uncover wisdom and provide guidance for your life’s journey; or a lip print reading, to reveal information about your moods, personality and energy levels. Curious? Each 60-minute reading costs $159. Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia. 4949 E. Lincoln Dr., Scottsdale, 480-627-3200,


Best Men’s Haircuts
Keep It Cut

Subscriptions are slowly taking over the manner in which we as consumers go about our, well, consumption. There are subscription grocery services, launderers, work spaces — and, now, haircuts as well. It works like this: For one monthly price, you get unlimited haircuts. For a slightly higher price: unlimited added washes. A little higher: unlimited grooming. Perfect for the prim and proper modern man. 2824 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, 602-952-5587; 5118 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, 480-831-3879; 4025 E. Chandler Blvd., Ahwatukee, 480-584-3628,


Best Boutique
Vida Moulin
Vida Moulin describes itself as the premier place for Phoenician women to escape into a “modern Bohemian, beach lifestyle.” Sounds good to us. Who wouldn’t want to feel like they’re a little closer to the beach? The boutique Uptown Phoenix store carries only independent brands — and offers not only apparel, but accessories, home decorations and gifts as well. 1568 E. Bethany Home Rd., Phoenix, 602-265-1644,


Best Under-the-Radar Record Store
Eastside Records

Located next to popular punk venue FiftyoneWest, Tempe’s Eastside Records has a collection of alternative, punk and indie records and CDs unlike any other record shop in the Valley – rare Flaming Lips EP? yes, please! – along with a decent collection of popular music. It’s also a good place to pick up stereo equipment, concert T-shirts and even comic books. 45 W. Southern Ave., Tempe, 480-829-3741,


Best Bilingual Bookstore
Palabras Libreria/Bookstore

“¿Donde está la librería?” If you’re looking for Palabras Librería/Bookstore, just keep an eye out for the candy-colored La Melgosa building on lower Grand Avenue. The bilingual shop is open on weekends from 3-8 p.m. and accepts book donations. 1023 Grand Ave., Studio B, Phoenix, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,


Best Food Gift

After years of being surrounded by the finest artisanal food and drink in her role as a wine specialist and buyer at Whole Foods Chandler, Mahfam Moeeni-Alarcon decided to toss her hat into the foodie ring with Mahfam Artisanal Handcrafted Foods (M.A.H.F.). The results have been winning, with her OLOVE marinated olives selling out at farmers’ markets and disappearing off dinner party tables around the Valley. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Best Place to Buy a Bullet Bra
Kitten Retro Glamour

Mix two parts Betty Grable with one part Bettie Page and you have Kitten Retro, a Scottsdale-based online store where hep kats can score classic A-lines and wiggle dresses in fun, vintage-inspired prints. We’ve even spotted leopard print garters and cone-shaped “bullet bras” that were the predecessor of Madonna’s famously spiky boobs. The icing on top? Every purchase is dished up in an adorable pink cake box.


Best Jewelry for Vampires
Torture Couture

If you’re a delicate flower, skip this one. Torture Couture’s design diva Graciela Martell employs an artistic intensity befitting her line’s name: “I want to create things that excite you to wear them – makes you wanna slay your enemies and paint with their blood,” she writes on her website. Even squares will be tempted by her fascinators, chopping block ring, Bride of Frankenstein brooch and R.I.P. Lolita sunglasses.


Best Bargain Shopping
Wholesale Fashion Shoes

As addictions go, shoe shopping is pretty tame. At least until you spot those $1,250 leopard print Jimmy Choos. Drool! When funds are low, Wholesale Fashion Shoes has enough trendy platforms, wedges and sky-high peep-toe stilettos to feed your Cinderella fetish. Sit down and strap ‘em on, gals, because here’s the kicker: Every pair is just $10.88 (a bit more for boots), leaving leftover funds to put in your Christian Louboutin jar. 4041 E. Thomas Rd., Phoenix, 602-267-6477,


Best Camera Shop
Tempe Camera

When your next photo or film project calls for a little specialized equipment — be it that telephoto lens, lighting kit, fleet of heavy-duty tripods, microphones, or maybe even an extra camera — it’d be a wise idea to get all of the renting done in one place. At Tempe Camera, it’s kind of their thing – a thing they’ve been doing well for more than 40 years. 606 W. University Dr., Tempe, 480-966-6954,


Best Shop for Old Curios
Yesterday Once More
Collectibles Store
Need a reproduction saber-tooth tiger skull, or a model of the Gotham City skyline, or a life-size figure of Spider-Man, or a framed poster of Nastassja Kinski and a snake? You’re in the right place. Electric train sets, action figures, stuffed animals, holiday decorations, toys, paperbacks, bobbleheads and metal signs fill every corner of the sprawling, dizzying rummage sale. 10640 N. 28th Dr., Ste. A-100, Phoenix, 480-430-7062,


Best Bike Shop
Freeride Bike Co.

Pump up the jams. And while you’re at it, pump up your tires and enjoy a nice weekend ride. Pedal-heads are familiar with stalwart Valley bike shops like Landis Cyclery, Sun Cyclery and Rage Cycles, and they’re all great, but for extreme East Valley biking, this Gilbert shop is geared to please. It has fully customizable beach cruisers for the pickiest among us, in addition to a great selection of BMX, mountain, and lifestyle bikes. 3143 E. Williams Field Rd., Gilbert, 480-988-2121,


Best Shipping Store As Far As Your Kids Are Concerned
Postal Plus More/Cubbiehole Collectibles

As Postal Plus More, the place offers a wide range of USPS, FedEx, DHL and UPS shipping services. But as Cubbiehole Collectibles, it offers rack upon rack of Hot Wheels, vintage and current, everything from the ’60s-era Batmobile to the Fuji Blimp to the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. It’s surely the cheapest and most fun car-buying experience in town. 1810 W. Northern Ave., Phoenix, 602-870-3284,


Best Place to Buy Kitsch
Luci’s Healthy Marketplace/Luci’s at the Orchard

If you’re looking for a toddler-size apron, a honeysuckle candle, locally made hot sauce and/or some tongue-in-cheek lip balm (“Lip Shit”), Luci’s Healthy Marketplace and the newer Luci’s at the Orchard have you covered. Both boast a funky but appealing collection of tchotchkes curated by owner Lucia Schnitzer, whose favorite line at the more family-friendly Orchard is a pay-it-forward outfit called “The Giving Keys,” featuring jewelry meant to be given away “to someone who needs it more than you.” Things are a little more crass at the Marketplace – get your whoopee cushions here. 1590 E. Bethany Home Rd., Phoenix, 602-773-1339,; 7100 N. 12th St., Phoenix, 602-633-2442,


Best Small Business Mascot
Albino Peafowl at A Tropical Concept Plant Nursery

South Phoenix’s A Tropical Concept Plant Nursery has made its name selling an unimaginably large array of weird and wonderful exotic plants and fruits, but it is also worth checking out for its animal collection. Among the most interesting of the nursery’s fauna are its albino peacocks, a pair of large, shock-white birds, austere where their peers would be incandescent, but still beautiful and impressive. 4302 S. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-315-1966,


Best Girl Power Gear
Stephanie Nault’s
“Strong Beautiful Woman” Line
It started with a hashtag. Phoenix makeup artist Stephanie Nault started social media series #TshirtTuesday, where she spotlights women wearing their favorite T-shirts and discussing beauty and strength. Now the “Strong Beautiful Woman” movement has its own T-shirt (plus a tank and a tote), which she hopes will inspire every woman to be “strong in body, strong in mind, strong in convictions – beautiful to your own standards and living a life true to yourself.”


Best Comic Book Store
All About Books and Comics

All About Books and Comics is filled with so many colorful comic books and toys, walking through the store feels a bit like being in a comic book – minus the speech bubbles and flesh-eating zombies, of course. The massive store displays hundreds of new comic releases, and houses thousands of back issues (a ladder is required to reach some of them), along with a wide array of hardbound graphic novels, trade paperbacks, and collectibles like statues, T-shirts and figurines. From The Avengers to Zorro, there’s probably not a title you won’t find here. 24 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, 602-277-0757,



Best Tattoo Shop
Golden Rule Tattoo

You’d be hard-pressed to find a hipper ink spot than Golden Rule – its team of artists includes three first-name-only skin scribes (Kat, Cerny, Paulski) and its clientele includes Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner. It’s also located on thriving Roosevelt Row, right across the street from Revolver Records and a few doors down from Carly’s Bistro. As we said – very hip. But the real reason their tattoo guns are always buzzing: The work is wonderful, from Honest Bob Gibson’s colorful animals and portraiture to Bree Lin’s intricate mandalas and black and white desert scenes. 120 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, 602-374-7533,


Best Canine Service
The Dog Party

For the dog-obsessed among us (you know who you are), sisters Breezie Gindlesperger and Hailey Frances (CW6 TV personality) have founded The Dog Party to provide in-home trunk shows for dogs and their favorite humans. Host a party and you can purchase “fashion-forward” pooch apparel. The sisters also stage canine birthday parties with dog-inspired decorations and treats from local dog biscuit bakeries.


Best Pet Waste Removal
Poopy Do Services, LLC

Scooby and Simba already think they’re royalty – might as well treat them (and yourself) that way. Put your scooping days behind you and hire the Valley’s premier poop professionals to tidy up your yards and litter boxes alike. What makes them the best? They care. 602-956-1048 (Central), 623-435-1301 (West Valley), 480-920-1877 (East Valley),


Best Shoe Designer
Becki Coakley

Local footwear designers don’t grow on shoe trees. So when South Carolina-born shoe designer Becki Coakley relocated to Scottsdale from Denver in 2015, local-first shoe fiends kicked up their heels with glee. Her sky-high pumps, sandals and booties are elegant, sexy and fun, and look anything but homespun. Though they are manufactured in Italy, they’re all designed right here in the Valley. Take that, Jimmy Choo.


Best AC Repairmen
Donley Service Center

Come summertime, the crew of this family-owned Valley HVAC institution (they celebrated their 40th anniversary this year) plays good Samaritan to a host of Valley nonprofits, schools and summer camps, donating its services with no questions asked to rescue kids in crisis nurseries and shelters from sweltering summer AC malfunctions. Pretty cool, if you ask us. 11062 N. 24th Ave., Phoenix, 602-483-6868,