Goods & Services

  • Best Business: Red Emma’s

    Best Business: Red Emma’s

    30 W. North Ave., (443) 602-7611, redemmas.org There are endless ways to praise Red Emma’s—their collectivist business model, their clear interest in diversity on the staff, their stellar book selection, their excellent events, or their fucking delicious falafel—but more than all of that, let’s...

  • Best Customer Service: Sugar

    Best Customer Service: Sugar

    1001 W. 36th St., (410) 467-2632, sugartheshop.com Yes, we’ve given Sugar Best Ofs before—and in our Readers’ Poll last year they beat out “the internet” for best sex shop—but this is our (last) Best Of and we do what we want. Plus, Sugar is consistently great at offering sex-positive toys, books,...

  • Best Comic Book Shop: Atomic Books

    Best Comic Book Shop: Atomic Books

    3620 Falls Road, (410) 662-4444, atomicbooks.com When you see a list of comic book shops in Baltimore, Atomic Books is usually left off the list;  we suspect it’s because they’re known more for their alternative book selection. But if you’re a comic fan or collector, Atomic is the best you’ve got...

  • Best Records: The Sound Garden

    Best Records: The Sound Garden

    1616 Thames St., (410) 563-9011, cdjoint.com The Sound Garden continued to serve listeners looking for 12-inches and noise-only releases even amid the CD boom and subsequent cratering of physical music sales—before “vinyl” became such a big deal again—but it has, over the past five or so years,...

  • Best Curated Records: Baby’s On Fire

    Best Curated Records: Baby’s On Fire

    1010 Morton St., (443) 885-9892, babysonfire.com Named after a Brian Eno song—which hey, points already—Baby’s On Fire is niche but never snobby, and with a brightly-colored interior, it’s inviting. The snobby record dick approach is dying thankfully anyways, but Baby’s On Fire—and we mean this...

  • Best URL and IRL Browsing: Normal’s Books & Records

    Best URL and IRL Browsing: Normal’s Books & Records

    425 E. 31st St., (410) 243-6888, normals.com Normal’s is an institution, the kind of book and record store you’d be wise to stop by every few days to see what they’ve got in lately. And there is a special energy to the place on, say, a Saturday, when it’s fairly full of people and the music’s playing...

  • Best Neighborhood Void: Charles Village Schnapp Shop

    Best Neighborhood Void: Charles Village Schnapp Shop

    2941 N. Calvert St. Since the Schnapp Shop closed in July, cleanup crews have crawled into the basement every day or so, breaking down the metal shelves and tearing down the glassed-in register counter and pegboard and wire racks, gutting the physical structures that helped keep our beloved neighborhood...

  • Best Selection: Bird In Hand

    Best Selection: Bird In Hand

    11 E. 33rd St., (410) 814-0373, birdinhandcharlesvillage.com Across the street from the JHU Barnes and Noble, which sometimes feels more like a bus terminal than a bookstore TBH, is Bird In Hand, a coffee shop and small-ish bookshop opened up by the people behind Mount Washington’s Ivy Bookshop...

  • Best Retromania: Pizza Party Printing

    Best Retromania: Pizza Party Printing

    1750 Union Ave., Suite F, (443) 714-4787, pizzapartyprinting.com Pizza Party Printing, a screen printing company founded by Daniel Petruccelli and Jimmy Giegerich, and perhaps best known for their punk rock and metal-informed sci-fi, horror, and action posters tied to the Pizza Party After Dark...

  • Best Hippie Stuff: Flourish - A Lifestyle Boutique

    Best Hippie Stuff: Flourish - A Lifestyle Boutique

    2445 St. Paul St., (443) 803-8103, flourishbaltimore.com The deeper we get into Donald Trump’s time in office, the more profound our instinct to take care of ourselves and our homes—to make them places of peace, despite the wars seemingly brewing all around us. Flourish, located in Charles Village,...

  • Best Hidden Gem: Crystals, Candles, & Cauldrons

    Best Hidden Gem: Crystals, Candles, & Cauldrons

    927 W. 36th St., (410) 467-4111, wiccancrystal.com In the midst of far too many personal crises and depressive episodes, we have trekked over to Hampden to the tucked away treasure trove of Crystals, Candles, & Cauldrons for all of those very things. We’ve stocked up on palo santo, essential oils,...

  • Best Splurge: Bottle of Bread

    Best Splurge: Bottle of Bread

    216 W. Read St., (443) 963-9388, shopbottleofbread.com We really need to pace ourselves or just generally avoid this stretch of Mount Vernon as often as possible because otherwise we’d indulge every retail-therapy whim (and those whims are more frequent than we can afford these days). Do we want...

  • Best Vintage: Keepers Vintage

    Best Vintage: Keepers Vintage

    229 W. Read St., (443) 421-3757, keepersvintage.com Walking into Keepers Vintage, a tiny shop tucked into the Midtown neighborhood, feels like walking onto the set of one of those meet-cute Hallmark Channel movies, where shops are all adorable, tasteful, and decorated just-so—except in this case,...

  • Best Salon: ZC Hair Loft

    Best Salon: ZC Hair Loft

    7 E. Franklin St., zchairloft.com Last year, we gave hairstylist Zarah Charm a Best Of for the way she weaves magic into the beautiful, intricately braided and twisted styles she creates. Since then, she’s expanded and now runs a whole salon, ZC Hair Loft, and that means customers have access to...

  • Best Versatile Salon: Fringe Baltimore

    Best Versatile Salon: Fringe Baltimore

    2801 Huntington Ave., (410) 646-8115, fringebaltimore.com Salons tend to be intimidating, like if you walk in there wearing drugstore hairspray and don’t know what a balayage is, you’ll be met by upturned, perfectly-contoured noses. You get none of that at Fringe Baltimore, a multicultural studio...

  • Best Barber Shop: Lucky 3 Studio

    Best Barber Shop: Lucky 3 Studio

    6414 Frederick Road, Catonsville, (410) 747-7823, lucky3barber.com Outside Lucky 3 Studio there’s a tattoo-style mural of their name painted large and bold that suggests that they’re too cool for school. But inside, they’re big softies. The staff is friendly and warm and they have a reputation...

  • Best Shea Butter Mixes: Be More Luxe

    Best Shea Butter Mixes: Be More Luxe

    bemoreluxe.com There are lots of places online where you can buy high-quality, sweet-smelling shea butter mixes to keep you smooth and supple. The problem is, when you order stuff online, you have to plan it out just right so that you have the new product in your hands before the old stuff runs...

  • Best For Us, By Us: Oyin Handmade

    Best For Us, By Us: Oyin Handmade

    2103 N. Charles St., (410) 601-3198, oyinhandmake.com Not long after we ran a profile of local hair and skincare company Oyin Handmade, there was a scandal in the natural hair community. A national brand released a new campaign geared toward white women, seeming to shift away from the black women...

  • Best Auto Garage: Classic Car Shop

    Best Auto Garage: Classic Car Shop

    1413 Shoemaker Road #1, (410) 828-5165, classiccarshopinc.com “Classic” is right there in the name, and it may feel a little intimidating when you pull up and see a ‘60s Mustang or a vintage Benz parked out front, as is often the case. But don’t worry, the Classic Car Shop is more than happy to...

  • Best Flood Prevention: The Gutter Guys

    Best Flood Prevention: The Gutter Guys

    7120 Golden Ring Road, Suite 118, 1 (800) 488-8371, thegutterguys.com/essex If you own a house, chances are you’ve had the nightmare of your whole place flooding out while you float away. Sometimes, the water pouring down your wall and into the basement isn’t always a roof issue; sometimes it’s...

  • Best HVAC: Bmore Heating and Cooling

    Best HVAC: Bmore Heating and Cooling

    4030 North Point Blvd., (410) 285-8888, bmoreheatingandcooling.com Now is the best time to get your heating system checked. Trust us. Don’t wait until it’s cold outside. Bmore Heating and Cooling got a Best Of a few years back and the service hasn’t changed, although they’ve grown. Owner Helgi...

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