Best of the Valley Shopping in 2022

Editorial StaffJuly 1, 2022
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Vintage Shop

Modern on Melrose

Staff vintage shop favorites were like their fingerprints – no two were alike. But the loudest endorsement was registered for this Midcentury furniture shop in CenPho. Instagram: @modernonmelrosephx

Men’s Clothing

Phoenix General

Bright button-downs and a sinister collection of bucket hats make this Phoenix haberdashery a great spot for hipster hommes.

Women’s Clothing


Also receiving staff votes: Bunky Boutique, Rare Scarf Glam Vintage, Local Nomad.

Auto Shop

Precision Imports

Don’t be dissuaded, Ford owners – these old pros on Seventh Street will do domestics, too.


Cactus Flower Florists

High quality floral fulfillment with five locations Valleywide. 

Hair Salon

Salon RO5

The hot spot in RoRo. Does guys, ladies, everyone.


Sunday Goods

Clean, pleasant aesthetic at our gummy go-to. 

Best Head Shop

Bud’s Glass Joint

This tidy, neatly appointed shop is overseen by knowledgeable and warmhearted folks who know their way around a blown glass pipe or two. They’ll help you navigate a pile of concentrates, dabbers, vaping pens and torches, as well as an impressive supply of oils, teas and tinctures. Local art and artists are featured, too. Two locations, 602-293-3777,

Photo courtesy Bud's Glass Joint
Photo courtesy Bud's Glass Joint

Best Vintage Furniture

Michael Todd’s Treasures

Whether it’s a genuine potato chip chair or a kicky 1950s sofa you’re after, you’ll likely find it at this swell vintage shop. Each room offers an eclectic mix of styles and eras, so you’re likely to see a 1940s laundry hamper next to a 1950s Bassett side table alongside an avocado green recliner from the 1970s – all at great prices. 4701 N. Seventh Ave., Phoenix, 602-459-5949

Best Place to Chase a Song

Central Music

The guys at this Central Avenue perennial cater to both music teachers and anyone who needs a copy of, say, a guitar arrangement for Leon Russell’s “A Song for You.” The savvy proprietors carry an impressive variety of sheet music from rock to opera, blues to classical – and they’re likely to remember your name next time you’re in. 5038 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-274-6532,

Best Used Bookstore

Book Gallery 

A good bookstore should make you feel like you’re on a treasure hunt. Sure, it should stock the thing you came for. But what’s better than browsing till you find that obscure Maurice Sendak you never knew existed or Arizona history books that take you right down the rabbit hole? You can literally get lost. Two locations. 

Prettiest Way to Remember What Page You Were On

Bookmarks from Page Petal

Each handmade bookmark from local maker Page Petal is named after a literary character – Nancy Drew, Beth March, Daisy Buchanan, to name a few – and features real flowers pressed into tiny, delicate forms. Artist Gloria White made her first bookmark for her book club; now you can find her creations at Local Nomad.; Local Nomad, 100 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, 602-441-4378, 

Best Record Store 

Record High

Here in the Valley, a “record high” is usually a disagreeable thing. But this pleasant, neat-as-a-pin shop, an oasis in West University’s industrial wasteland, is the place to look for vinyl, old and new. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday; come in to browse or call ahead to check the stock. 4242 E. University Dr., Phoenix, 602-292-5761,

Best Local Toy Shop

Arcadia Toys 

The search for a hand-knitted, smiley-faced saguaro ends at this ticklish toy shop where one can also buy a onesie printed with the slogan “Cutest Baby in Arizona” as well as a brightly colored butterfly feeder and a slew of educational toys for kids and toddlers. 5027 N. 44th St., Phoenix, 602-957-5066,

Photo courtesy Arcadia Toys
Photo courtesy Arcadia Toys

Best Book Sale


Volunteers spend an entire year prepping for the largest used book sale in the Southwest – or, as fans like to call it, Christmas. (Or Valentine’s Day – it’s always scheduled in mid-ish February.) Located at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, it offers something for everyone who loves (or even likes) to read. The Arizona section is our favorite, or maybe it’s the rare books. No, it’s definitely the kids’ section. Don’t worry, you won’t have to choose. 1826 W. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, 602-265-6805,

Best Pleasure Shop 


You might be familiar with popular Seventh Avenue watering hole Gracie’s Tax Bar, but did you know its owner, Grace Perry, also has three start-ups? Last year, she and business partner Kristin Humphrey opened Moiselle, a wine-forward Parisian street café. With Lisa Duffield of Fried Fest fame, she also launched Goods PHX, a catch-all home-and-fashion shop. Her latest jam: Peaches, an upscale “sex-positive” pleasure shop, curated with high-end products including lingerie by Tempe-based Solstice Intimates. All three shops are located at the Pemberton PHX business collective on Roosevelt Row. 1121 N. Second St., Phoenix,

Photo courtesy Kindness Photo Co.
Photo courtesy Kindness Photo Co.

Best Non-Fan-Specific Baseball Swag


A T-shirt devoted to Major League’s voodoo deity, Jobu. Field of Dreams wall art. Ballplayers of Legend boxer brief four-packs emblazoned with the likes of Roberto Clemente or The Bambino so you can have your own personal brush with greatness. Just try finding this stuff at the Chase Field Team Shop. 3961 N. Brown Ave., Scottsdale, 480-947-2130,

Best Flea Market

Thieves Market 

Thrifting is all the rage – Goodwill, antique malls, estate sales. We’ve hit ’em all. But our favorite is a flea market. And there’s no competition in town: Thieves Market is the very best. We love to wander the aisles early on a Saturday morning, admiring Pyrex, sifting through toys, buttons and someone else’s old photos from dozens of sellers. Once located in the Big Surf parking lot, the market is now up in the air due to the water park’s recent sale. Keep an eye on the website. Thieves is closed for summer, but we know we’ll find everything old in a new spot come fall. 

Best Luminarias  

Prickly Pear Luminarias by Lisa Harnish

Desert Botanical Garden is still our destination for holiday luminarias, but for year-round illumination, we love these ceramic versions shaped like prickly pear cactus. Ceramicist Lisa Harnish crafts them in various colorways, from muted pastels to saturated jewel tones. Available at Practical Art, 5070 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-264-1414,

Photo courtesy Lisa Harnish
Photo courtesy Lisa Harnish

Best Mexican Boutique  


Popping into this colorful boutique in The Churchill complex is like taking a cross-country trip to Mexico. You’ll find travel bags from Chiapas, hand-painted plastic flowers from Tapalpa and leather earrings from Guadalajara. Everything is responsibly sourced from the motherland, and a portion of proceeds benefits social service projects in Mexico.
901 N. First St., Phoenix, 602-688-2727,

Best Comic Book Shop

Drawn to Comics

Anything from the latest Moon Knight to a Classics Illustrated from when you were 8 years old can turn up in this well-stocked, spacious and welcoming emporium. Along with comics and graphic novels, you’ll find the usual plethora of toys, action figures, posters and more, spread over two floors. 5801 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale, 623-847-9090,

Best Needlepoint Shop

Family Arts Needlework Shop

The ancient art of needlepoint not only results in gorgeous pillows and ornaments, but also purportedly lowers blood pressure. Family Arts Needlework offers yarns, canvases and classes while giving back to the community. A nonprofit organization once associated with the Family Service Agency, it now supports A Stepping Stone Foundation. 5555 N. Seventh St., Phoenix, 602-277-0694,

Best Tea Towels  

Lynn Town  

You know what makes doing dishes a little less soul-crushing? Having a beautiful towel with which to dry your hands when you’re done. Artist Lynn Town hand-carves stamps with cute designs like apples, bicycles and sunflowers, dips them in food-safe textile inks and presses them onto towels. We have our eye on the version festooned with oranges, which screams “Arizona.” Available at Practical Art, 5070 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-264-1414,

Photo courtesy Lynn Town
Photo courtesy Lynn Town

Best Jewish Gifts  

Starts at Sundown  

As Gabrielle Hawkes started her own family, creating a Jewish home became paramount. When she couldn’t find Judaica that matched her aesthetic, she set out to create and curate her own. Now her online store is a one-stop shop for shabbat candles, challah boards, seder plates, mezuzot, evil eye bracelets and more.

Best Place to Get Lured

Phoenix Fishing Supply

Fans of freshwater-, saltwater- or fly-fishing head here for shiny plastic things with hooks in them. In addition to locally made and nationally admired lures, this longtime local favorite also offers rods and reels and friendly service. The guys will even spool up your spinner for you before you go. 4810 N. 16th St., Phoenix, 602-266-2624,

Cutest Shopping Plaza You Didn’t Know Was There

The Frederick on Missouri

One of our town’s most anticipated Midtown redevelopment projects, launched by Vida Moulin boutique owner Chantell Nighswonger, is a former office complex that’s now home to a restaurant, a cafe and eight small businesses – most of them independent, local and female-owned. Here’s hoping its 1960s Biltmore vibe and cozy atmosphere catch on and set a trend. 1215 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix,

Photo courtesy The Frederick on Missouri
Photo courtesy The Frederick on Missouri

Best Fertilizer

Tony’s Magic Mix 

Gardening’s all the rage these days, and we brown thumbs need all the help we can get. The not-so-secret ingredient in Tony’s Magic Mix is bat guano – and it works. Watch your tomato plants grow out of control in the best way, then pick up a bag devoted to flowers and tackle zinnias next. 

Best Greeting Cards  

Seriously Shannon  

Mesa artist Shannon Slocum merged her passions for hand-lettering, whimsical illustrations and abundant color to create a humorous and heartfelt line of greeting cards and art prints. Some of our favorites are in her pandemic collection, with messages like, “This Was Not on the Vision Board” and “F**k Everything.”

Photo courtesy Seriously Shannon
Photo courtesy Seriously Shannon

Best Teaching Tools

The Art Resource Center 

How do you picture heaven? For us, it’s a giant warehouse packed with art supplies – all free for the taking. Local artist and activist Sherrie Zeitlin began the nonprofit specifically for schoolteachers, who have permission to take anything they like. The rest of us can make a donation. Oh, and the ARC accepts donated goods, anything from empty pill bottles to shredded paper to frames, fabric, paints, sequins and glitter. You get the idea. Heaven. 910 S. Hohokam Dr., Tempe, 602-828-1987

Best Sustainable Straws  

Blown-Glass Straws by Jason Chakravarty

Paper straws disintegrate in five minutes. Stainless steel ones are great, but utilitarian. If you want something sturdy and pretty, pick up these colorful blown-glass straws by glass artist Jason Chakravarty. They’re microwave- and dishwasher-safe, too! Available at Practical Art, 5070 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-264-1414,

Best Rolling Pin  

French-Style Rolling Pin by Paul Porter

Nothing makes us feel more like Ina Garten than rolling out a tart crust with this elegant tool. Artist Paul Porter crafts them solely from local mesquite from trees that collapsed during storms or are being cleared from properties, so they’re an eco-friendly choice as well. Available at Practical Art, 5070 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-264-1414,

Photo courtesy Ractical Art
Photo courtesy Ractical Art

Best Inclusive Market

All Abilities Marketplace   

Phoenix nonprofit Something So Worth It, whose main initiative is “creating uplifting events for children with disabilities that empower them for their strengths,” hosts this annual event (typically in January) where children are the vendors. Kids with and without disabilities get the chance to socialize, share their talents and crafts, and learn skills like counting money and thanking customers.


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