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Best of Columbia 2019: Shopping


Rosewood Market is voted Best Natural Food Store and Best Place to Buy CBD Products.


Best Shopping District

Harbison Boulevard

Runner-up: Devine Street

From the home improvement stores to the sprawling mall and strip malls inbetween, we can’t think of anything you can’t find in this mile and a half span. Honorable mentions: Five Points, Main Street

Best Alternative Clothing

Sid & Nancy

Runner-up: Loose Lucy’s

The grungier consignment-based sister of the chic Revente, Sid & Nancy is the best place to get a funky, distinctive look regardless of your particular alternative vibe. Get the perfect outfit to stand out at your next big concert or hip night on the town. Honorable mentions: Natural Vibrations, Pannerpete Vintage

Best Children’s Clothing

Duck Duck Goose

Runner-up: Carousel Kids Boutique

Duck Duck Goose can provide you with an array of unspeakably cute and fashionable threads for your young’un, and then two weeks later when they’ve completely outgrown every single thing you bought, you can go back and load up again. Honorable mention: Marigold Modern Kids

Best Men’s Clothing


Runner-up: Granger Owings Classic Clothiers

Belk is the place for a guy to go when he needs suits, slacks, shorts, ties, hanging-out clothes, unmentionables, belts, the whole deal. There are few names better known when it comes to dressing up your dude, basically from birth to old age. Honorable Mentions: Brittons Of Columbia, Tux On Trux

Best Women’s Clothing


Runner-up: The Auburn Mermaid Boutique

It’s hard to look original when you shop at the same places as everyone else, but when you shop at Revente, there’s only one of everything. The long-running high-end women’s consignment store looks good, smells good and has great prices on unique finds. Honorable mentions: Blossom Boutique, Charley’s Clothing

Best Consignment Store


Runner-up: Roundabouts Consignments

In a world where styles and sizes change constantly, a good consignment store can help you stay fashionable and in the right size clothing without breaking the bank. Revente’s selection of stylishly curated finds are truly the tops in this town, offerings enhanced by friendly service. Honorable mentions: Best Dressed Kids Consignments, Styled by Naida

Best Thrift Store


Runner-up: Palmetto Thrift

Goodwill remains the spot to find gently used items from clothes to dishes to furniture to just about anything else you can think of. With a lot of locations, budget-minded prices and friendly staff, it’s not hard to see why Goodwill is the first name on people’s minds when it’s time to go thrifting. Honorable Mentions: His House, Revente’s Second Chances

Best Bridal Store

London & Lace

Runner-up: David’s Bridal

Do yourself a favor and check out the “Our Brides” gallery on London & Lace’s website. The array of beautiful dresses on display will convince you pretty quickly that this is the place to go to get outfitted for your special day. Regardless of whatever lies ahead for a newly married couple, the bride will look great. Honorable Mentions: Evelyn’s Bridal, Jo-Lin’s Bridal & Formal Wear

Best Antique Store


Runner-up: Old Mill Antique Mall

The Elgin-based RE-FIND has become a destination for quality antiques and décor that can make a difference in your home, striking just the right balance between sturdy traditionalism and genuine conservation starter. Honorable mentions: The Little Green Door, The Red Lion Antiques & Interiors

Best Adult Store

Nancy’s Nook

Runner-up: Taboo

We’re not really sure we can fully describe what Nancy’s Nook has in stock, but we can probably tell you that lingerie and lubricants are a big part of it, along with other, perhaps battery-powered, items. And the atmosphere is top-notch. It’s a far more comfortable feel than the average adult store. Honorable mention: This Is It Video

Best Convenience Store

Circle K

Runner-up: Spinx

Circle K is not just a place where strange things are afoot. Need a tank of gas, a six-pack, some beef jerky, a lighter, some bottled water and a Five Hour Energy? Circle K has got all of that, and there’s probably one pretty close to you, hence the phrase “convenience store.” Honorable mention: Qwik Way

Best Cycle Shop

Outspokin’ Bicycles

Runner-up: Cycle Center

If you’re a dedicated bicycler, you know how important the right equipment — and dependable repair pros — are to keeping you on the road. The long-running Outspokin’ Bicycles shop has made a name for itself by providing top-of-the-line brands and support to cyclists of all stripes in Columbia. Honorable mention: Dialed Bicycles

Best Furniture Store

Whit-Ash Furnishings

Runner-up: Strobler Home Furnishings

Sometimes tradition is really the best, and Whit-Ash have made a point of sticking to their quality, timeless approach to home furnishings. With their spacious showroom and myriad delivery options, they know dedication to the fundamentals is how to maintain customer’s loyalty. Honorable mentions: Copper Barn Furniture, Nadeau — Furniture With a Soul

Best Gamecock Store

Addam’s University Bookstore at USC

Runner-up: Miss Cocky

Football is just around the corner, and you’ll want to get geared up before the Gamecocks kickoff their season. Addam’s has everything you need, from shirts and caps to jackets and bumper stickers, and plenty of stuff to help accessorize your tailgate scene. Sure, USC has the toughest schedule in the country this year, but at least you’ll look good at the game. Honorable mention: Barefoot Campus Outfitter, South Carolina Bookstore

Best Gaming Store


Runner-up: Firefly Toys & Games

It’s not just that you can pick up both new and used video games, not to mention accessories like POP vinyl figures and whatnot. GameStop as a rule has some of the most knowledgeable staff members around. Maybe they can get you past that weird puzzle game on Level 7 and your life will finally be complete. Honorable Mentions: Ready To Play Trading Cards, That Computer Store

Best Gift Shop

Uptown Gifts

Runner-up: Just the Thing

Need a gift? Trying to avoid the predictable last-minute airport purchase? Uptown Gifts has a nicely curated selection of personalized and monogrammed gift items as well as gift baskets for all occasions, with easy access on the action-packed and pedestrian-friendly 1200 block of Main Street. Honorable mentions: Non(e)Such, The Shoppes on Main

Best Gun Shop

Palmetto State Armory

Runner-up: Shooter’s Choice

If you need a gun, you’re not going to beat the selection at Palmetto State Armory. Started by veteran Jamin McCallum as an online retailer, it’s grown into a full-service company with multiple retail locations and its own personalized firearms brand. Honorable mentions: FN Pro Shop, The Gun Vault

Best Hardware Store

Lowe’s Home Improvement

Runner-up: Three Fountains Ace Hardware

When it’s time to get to that long-delayed to-do list of projects around the house, Lowe’s Home Improvement has just about everything you’ll need. We’re not 100 percent sure if you’ll be able to do the job well, but if the guest room doesn’t come out right, it won’t be because you didn’t find the right stuff to build it. Honorable Mentions: Boland’s Ace, South East Ace, Inc.

Best Jewelry Store

Sylvan’s Jewelers

Runner-up: Moseley’s Diamond Showcase

Jewelry-buying isn’t an everyday activity for most of us, and the people behind the gleaming counters of dazzling displays know that. Sylvan’s detailed customer service and selection of shiny objects keeps people coming back those special occasions they want to document with a little bling. Honorable mentions: Carolina Fine Jewelry, Unforgettable Fine Jewelry


Heroes & Dragons wins Best Place to Buy a Comic Book.


Best Place to Buy Comic Books

Heroes & Dragons

Runner-up: 2nd & Charles

There are a few places you can pick up comic books in Columbia, but Heroes & Dragons offers the quintessential experience. The dedicated pop culture collectibles emporium in the grungy Boozer Shopping Center is exactly the right place to find diamonds in the rough. Honorable mentions: Cosmic Rays, Scratch N Spin

Best Place to Buy Used Books

2nd & Charles

Runner-up: Ed’s Editions

2nd & Charles doesn’t specialize in books like the runner-ups here, but it’s difficult to deny that it’s bountiful selection and prime location on Harbison don’t make this used-everything retailer a go-to spot for grabbing a few spine-busted mysteries or sci-fi adventures. Honorable mention: The Book Dispensary

Best Pottery Studio

Mad Platter

Runner-up: The Pitter Platter

Mad Platter is the ideal pottery studio for those of any age looking for the interactive experience of picking out a piece and going through the fun, inclusive process of painting, firing and glazing. Mad Platter comes equipped with plenty of tools and ideas for how to fashion your own unique creation as well. Honorable mention: Southern Pottery Workcenter & Gallery

Best Sporting Goods Store

Academy Sports + Outdoors

Runner-up: Todd & Moore

The highly toned athlete can find just as much stuff at Academy Sports + Outdoors as the entirely unathletic schlub. From shoes to attire to workout gear to bats and balls, Academy is essentially a one-stop shop for sporting goods and exercise stuff. Consider it a sporty shopping mall in one building. Honorable Mentions: DICK’S Sporting Goods, Sportsman’s Warehouse

Best Bakery

Tiffany’s Bakery & Eatery

Runner-up: Silver Spoon Bake Shop

Free Times recently featured Tiffany’s Chocolate Chewy Cookies as a Bite of the Week. Per our Bach Pham, they feature “a soft and airy chocolate meringue filled with bits of walnuts for a nutty flavor.” Yum. Open since 1977, the bakery does a lot more than that. So go get you a tasty treat. Honorable mentions: Ally & Eloise Bakeshop, Blue Flour Bakery

Best Butcher Shop

Ole Timey Meats (Columbia)

Runner-up: Ole Timey Meat Market (Lexington)

Ole Timey Meats is a proudly family-owned butcher shop that slices only Carolina’s best chicken and pork, and they deal exclusively with Sterling Silver Beef. They’ve got a tanker’s worth of seafood, too, and they’ve even got sauces and marinades to douse your favorite meats in. So nice they made the list twice. Honorable mentions: New York Butcher Shoppe, Ole Timey Meat Market (St. Andrews/Irmo)

Best Natural Food Store

Rosewood Market & Deli

Runner-up: Whole Foods Market

Though its footprint is modest, Rosewood Market crams a lot of natural food and organic products into the store, and the staff is well-equipped with all of the natural food knowledge you ever wanted — and more. From leafy greens to einkorn grains, you can find it at Rosewood. Honorable mention: 14 Carrot Whole Foods, Earth Fare

Best Place for Fresh Produce

Soda City Market

Runner-up: Publix

Buying vegetables on the street is so cosmopolitan, and we have the opportunity to experience it every Saturday of the year thanks to Soda City Market and its veggie vendors. Honorable mentions: The Fresh Market, Trader Joe’s

Best Beer Store

Green’s Beverage Warehouse

Runner-up: Craft and Draft

There’s no larger beer store in Columbia than either of the Green’s warehouse locations, one downtown and one in the Irmo area. The knowledgeable staff can help you locate that obscure can of beer or guide you to a new style. Honorable mentions: Bottles Beverage Superstore, Morganelli’s

Best Liquor Store

Green’s Beverage Warehouse

Runner-Up: Morganelli’s

It’s not a party unless you invest in some serious liquor at Green’s. From high-priced whiskeys to every flavor of vodka on Earth, there’s the perfect liquor waiting for your next party in the Midlands. Honorable Mentions: Bottles Beverage Superstore, Total Wine & More

Best Wine Store

Total Wine & More

Runner-up: Morganelli’s

It’s right there in the name. Total Wine & More has a legitimate claim to the vino retail crown thanks to its massive selection, competitive pricing, attention to detail and knowledgeable staff. Honorable mentions: Bottles Beverage Superstore, Green’s Beverages

Best Smoke Shop

Natural Vibrations

Runner-up: Purple Haze Smoke Shop

Serious smokers care about the vibe as much as the top-of-the-line equipment and accessories. Fortunately, Five Points’ Natural Vibrations fits the bill on both counts as a “one-stop culture shop” specializing in reggae/rasta goods as well as select imported goods and crafts. Honorable mentions: Infusion 420, Seven Sense Intl

Best Vaping Store

Palmetto Vapors

Runner-up: Infusion 420

Yes, Palmetto Vapors everything the discerning vape connoisseur needs, but it also brings a real passion and expertise to vaping that sets it apart. Honorable mentions: Essential Vapors, Vaping Zone

Best Place to Buy CBD Products

Rosewood Market & Deli

Runner-up: Natural Vibrations

Rosewood Market was one of the first places in town to sell CBD oil, and it remains one of the most reputable sources. This is no fly-by-night operation, and the salespeople there all know their stuff on the different types of CBD and the best uses for each unique type. Honorable mentions: Fields Chiropractic, Infusion 420

Best Marine Store

West Marine

Runner-up: Mid-Carolina Marine Inc

West Marine is your dependable go-to for all manner of boating and sundry water supplies and equipment, with a local retail location in the Harbison area and a rep for technical boating information that dates back to the 1980s. Honorable mentions: Captain’s Choice Marine, Cove 2 Coast Marine

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