Reader's Picks: Shops & Wares 

click to enlarge LESLIE MCKELLAR

The living dead aren't exactly known for their fashion sense. They couldn't care less if they were wearing Zac Posen or Baby Phat. For them, it's all rags, all the time. Bor-ring. We need to round up all the zombies and send them to the folks at What Not to Wear. Those guys can do wonders for folks who routinely commit crimes against fashion. Judging by this year's Readers' Picks, you're not that kind of person. Heck, you know exactly where to shop in this town. And your good sense isn't limited to clothes either. Musical instruments, gourmet groceries, hardware, comic books, and a lot more.

Best Mall/Shopping Area
Mt. Pleasant Towne Centre
1600 Palmetto Grande Drive.
Mt. Pleasant
www.mtpleasanttownecentre.com

Though it's actually quite far from the center of town(e), this outdoor mall is right in the center of your hearts.

Best Shopping District
King Street

From the pricey shops and vintage mom 'n' pops of the Design District on Upper King to the funky boutiques and popular chains lower down, King's got you covered.

Best Department Store
Belk
2046 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. West Ashley.
(843) 571-5420
1200 Belk Drive. Mt. Pleasant.
(843) 884-2841
2222 Northwoods Blvd. North Charleston.
(843) 797-2600
www.belk.com

No surprises here: With locations surrounding the peninsula, Belk (or Belk's, as we Southerners like to call it) is the go-to department store for the seventh year in a row.

Best Window Display
Saks Fifth Avenue
211 King St. Downtown.
(843) 853-9888
www.saksfifthavenue.com

From designer jeans and make-up to Juicy sweats, Saks displays eye candy for any shopper's sweet tooth.

Best Women's Clothing Store
Copper Penny
311 King St. Downtown.
(843) 723-2999
280 W. Coleman Blvd. Mt. Pleasant.
(843) 881-3449
1228 Belk Drive. Mt. Pleasant.
(843) 881-9889
www.shopcopperpenny.com

Prices in this boutique may send some penny pinchers running, but for many Charleston shoppers, cost don't mean a thing when it comes to fashion.

Best Men's Clothing Store
M. Dumas & Sons
294 King St. Downtown.
(843) 723-8600

You shop here to fulfill all your palmetto flag, Croakie, yacht club, and upscale southern fashion needs.

Best Children's Clothing Store
Southern Belles
280 W. Coleman Blvd. Mt. Pleasant.
(843) 881-1741

Though we can't see this shop without thinking of one of the city's more notorious strip clubs, there's no doubt it has some of the most adorable kids' clothes in town — fun to browse whether you've got rugrats or not.

Best Baby Store
Babies "R" Us
5900 Rivers Ave. North Charleston.
(843) 566-9092

This mega baby store has everything you'll need for your little bundles of joy.

Best Boutique
Hampden Clothing
357 King St. Downtown.
(843) 724-6373
www.hampdenclothing.com

Featured in magazines like Glamour and Elle, Hampden Clothing gives girls one more reason to spend a Saturday shopping downtown. And the dressing rooms are the best in town.

Best Local Clothing Designer
LulaKate
324 King St. Downtown.
(843) 805-7193
231 King St. Downtown.
(843) 723-5885
www.lulakate.com

LulaKate's fun floral prints and bright, innovative designs are so popular they've expanded into a second location.

Best Accessories Store
Handpicked
333 King St. Downtown.
(843) 723-7208
www.behandpicked.com

Silvery jewelry and monogram specialties to suit everyone from your best friend to your grandma.

Best Local Purse Designer
Mary Norton
318 King St. Downtown.
(843) 534-2233
www.marynortonstore.com

Mary Norton has become a household name for fashionistas from the big screen to the red carpet. And all over Chuck.

Best Jewelry Store
Croghan's Jewel Box
308 King St. Downtown.
(843) 723-3594
www.croghansjewelbox.com

With giant diamonds, silver platters, and crystal vases in the windows, this King Street institution attracts passing shoppers like bees to honey.

Best Local Jewelry Designer
Felice Killian, Felice Designs
424 King St. Downtown.
(843) 853-3354
www.felicedesigns.com

Felice Killian's King Street shop is filled with colorful, hand-blown glass beads in all kinds of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.

Best Shoe Store
Bob Ellis
332 King St. Downtown.
(843) 722-2515
www.bobellisshoes.com

Your favorite place to find Manolos, Jimmy Choos, and Stuart Weitzmans. And their sales are the bomb.

Best Vintage Clothing Store
Exchange Factor
5128 Rivers Ave. North Charleston.
(843) 747-9625
283 Meeting St. Downtown.
(843) 965-5559

You'll score some sweet vintage finds at the Exchange Factor, one of the few funky shops we have left in this town.

Best Thrift Store
Goodwill
Various locations throughout the Lowcountry
www.palmettogoodwill.org

Bargain shoppers in Charleston know where to go for dirt-cheap deals. Once the area's wealthy get tired of last season's wardrobe or living room set, you'll be there to snatch it right up.

Best Eyewear Boutique
Jackson Davenport Vision Center
379 King St. Downtown.
(843) 722-4416
612 Bacons Bridge Road. Summerville. (843) 871-9750
www.jacksondavenportvision.com

So good even Benjamin Franklin loves this eyewear paradise.

Best Antique Store
Page's Thieves Market
1460 Ben Sawyer Blvd. Mt. Pleasant. (843) 884-9672
www.pagesthievesmarket.net

Linda Page's big barn of treasures remains the best place to shop for antiques, junk, and secondhand stuff too.

Best Furniture Store
GDC Home
695 Coleman Blvd. Mt. Pleasant.
(843) 849-0711
420 Freshfield Drive. Kiawah Island.
(843) 768-4246
1290 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. West Ashley. (843) 571-5142
www.gdchome.com

A new space on Sam Rittenberg has made GDC an even better resource for home decorators.

Best Home Accessories Store
GDC Home
695 Coleman Blvd. Mt. Pleasant.
(843) 849-0711
420 Freshfield Drive. Kiawah Island.
(843) 768-4246
1290 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. West Ashley. (843) 571-5142
www.gdchome.com

GDC specializes in designer home accessories like Vietri tabletop goods, Julieska china, Jamie Young lamps, Chelsea Textiles, and Ankasa pillows.

Best Garden Store/Nursery
Hyam's
870 Folly Road. James Island.
(843) 795-4570

Whether you're starting an herb garden or just looking for some colorful flowers, Hyam's has everything gardeners need to feed their green thumbs — herbs, flowers, plants, bulbs, mulch, and a knowledgeable, friendly staff.

Best Landscaper
Yard Art
3261 Heathland Way. Mt. Pleasant.
(843) 224-8224

We think the yard artists say it best: Let your lawn be their canvas.

click to enlarge Best Pet Store: Dolittle's - BEN WILLIAMS

Best Pet Store
Dolittle's
22 Windermere Blvd. West Ashley.
(843) 852-5811
885 Houston Northcutt Blvd. Mt. Pleasant. (843) 971-8650
114 East Richardson Ave. Summerville. (843) 851-8173
www.dolittles.com

Remember the great pet food scare of 2007? If you had been shopping here you would've had no reason to worry. Holistic kibble, funny toys, and a self-serve dog wash.

Best Pet Groomer
PetSmart
676 Long Point Road. Mt. Pleasant.
(843) 884-1419
470 Azalea Square Blvd. Summerville. (843) 821-7043
www.petsmart.com

When Fluffy needs some fluffing, there's no better place than PetSmart.

Best Doggie Daycare
Dog Daze
307 Mill St. Mt. Pleasant.
(843) 884-7387
www.petvetdogdaze.com

These people love your dog as much as you do. Specializing in cageless doggie daycare, non-violent training, and veterinary care, you'll have no qualms leaving your pup with the Dog Daze folks.

Best Art Supply Store
Artist and Craftsman Supply
434 King St. Downtown.
(843) 579-0077
www.artistcraftsman.com

Two floors of quality supplies — canvases, acrylics, papers, pastels — brings out the artist in all of us.

Best Paint Store
Sherwin-Williams
Various locations
www.sherwin-williams.com

Cover the earth with color ... or at least your living room.

Best Frame Shop
Havens Fine Framing
1070 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Mt. Pleasant. (843) 881-1543
www.havensfineframing.com

This family-run shop, in business since 1968, is still the best framer in town.

Best Grocery Store
Publix
Various locations
www.publix.com

For the first year, Publix beat out the Teet'! Our favorite is the brand new one in Mt. P on the way out to Sullivan's.

Best Gourmet Grocery Store
Whole Foods Market
923 Houston Northcutt Blvd. Mt. Pleasant. (843) 971-7240
www.wholefoodsmarket.com

For food-lovers (and who isn't?), browsing the aisles of Whole Foods can turn into a day-long affair, with exotic fruits, wines, artisanal cheeses, baked goods, candies, and more just waiting to be discovered.

Best Health Food Store
Whole Foods Market
923 Houston Northcutt Blvd. Mt. Pleasant. (843) 971-7240
www.wholefoodsmarket.com

Whole Food's extensive selection of organic fruits and veggies, hard-to-find ingredients, fresh baked whole-wheat bread, and healthy snacks make it easy to eat well.

Best Corner Store
Burbage's Self Serve Grocery
157 Broad St. Downtown.
(843) 723-4054

Mr. Burbage's quaint corner store harkens back to the good old days. Stop by for homemade soups, sandwiches, and to grab some ingredients for dinner.

Best Wine Shop
Total Wine & More
1820 Ashley River Road. West Ashley. (843) 763-7034
www.totalwine.com

Looking for wine paradise? Total Wine's aisles of bottles should provide plenty of options to suit your sommelier fancy.

Best Liquor Store
Total Wine & More
1820 Ashley River Road. West Ashley. (843) 763-7034
www.totalwine.com

When it comes to drinkin', you like to have choices. You won't have trouble finding something tasty in Total Wine's extensive shelves.

Best Tobacco Shop
The Smoking Lamp
189 East Bay St. Downtown.
(843) 577-7339
www.smokinglamp.com

A smoky little haven for Lowcountry tobacco enthusiasts, where you'll find cloves, colored smokes, and big cigars. They'll be moving to Upper King Street very soon.

Best Hardware Store
Royall ACE Hardware
883 Ben Sawyer Blvd. Mt. Pleasant.
(843) 884-2551
www.royallhardware.com

These guys are your kings of the hammer and nail. The cute little barn facade not only keeps you supplied, but Johnny's Hotdogs is a convenient lunch stop.

Best Internet Service Provider
Comcast
Various locations
www.comcast.com

Since that whole Wi-Fi cloud idea has evaporated, looks like we'll still need cable access for awhile.

Best Cell Phone Provider
Verizon Wireless
Various locations
www.verizon.com

Yes, we can hear you now.

Best Lighting Store
Charleston Lighting and Interiors
1640 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. West Ashley. (843) 766-3055
www.charlestonlightingandinteriors.com

Let your light shine with hundreds of options at this bright spot.

Best Dry Cleaner
Smith Family Cleaners
336 Folly Road. James Island.
(843) 795-8857
640 Skylark Drive. West Ashley
(843) 763-6200
1015 Harbor View Road. James Island (843) 795-9002

The Smiths are your top pick for getting your garb so fresh and so clean.

click to enlarge Best Florist: Tiger Lilly Florist - BEN WILLIAMS

Best Florist
Tiger Lily Florist
131 Spring St. Downtown.
(843) 723-2808
www.tigerlilyflorist.com

The go-to florist for event planners, hoteliers, brides, and apologetic gestures. No mums here.

Best Pawn Shop
Money Man Pawn
450 Meeting St. Downtown.
(843) 577-9111
824 Folly Road. James Island.
(843) 762-7999
2097 Savannah Hwy. West Ashley.
(843) 769-7296
5251 Dorchester Road. North Charleston. (843) 552-3236

After she leaves you at the altar, you bring that ring here to salvage your dignity and a few bucks. Bam!

Best Musical Instrument Store
Guitar Center
7620 Rivers Ave. North Charleston.
(843) 572-9063
www.guitarcenter.com

A veritable superstore of instruments and gear, for serious players and those who quit playing a month later.

Best CD Store Staff
52.5 Records
561 King St. Downtown. (843) 722-3525
www.corporaterocksucks.com

Clay Scales' funky little shop on Upper King stands out for its unique selection, personable staff, and hipster happenings.

click to enlarge Best Place to Buy CDs: Millennium Music - LESLIE MCKELLAR

Best Place to Buy New CDs
Millennium Music
372 King St. Downtown. (843) 722-1000
www.feedyourplayer.com

Those of you who still buy those weird shiny little disks prefer to do it at Millennium — but they'll also rip and burn your entire collection for you.

Best Place to Buy Used CDs
Millennium Music
372 King St. Downtown. (843) 722-1000
www.feedyourplayer.com

Used CD prices keep dropping, and Millennium's got the best selection in town. So you might actually find something besides the Cranberries, Aqua, and the Spin Doctors.

Best Place to Rent Videos
Blockbuster
Various locations
www.blockbuster.com

We had a lot of votes for Netflix this time around, but reigning champ Blockbuster is still holding on after all these years.

Best Bookstore
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
1812 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. West Ashley. (843) 556-6561
7620 Rivers Ave. North Charleston.
(843) 572-2322
1716 Towne Centre Way. Mt. Pleasant. (843) 216-9756
www.barnesandnoble.com

B&N wins again for your favorite place to grab a latte and browse for books and cool magazines.

Best Comic Book Store
Captain's Comics & Toys
1209-D Sam Rittenberg Blvd. West Ashley. (843) 766-6611
www.captainscomics.com

Captain Lou beats out the late Atomic Comics for the first time since 2001. Ahoy. We love the neon Superman sign in the window.

Best Used Bookstore
Blue Bicycle Books
420 King St. Downtown. (843) 722-2666
www.bluebicyclebooks.com

Jonathan Sanchez took over Boomer's and continues to specialize in rare, used, and local books, albeit with a swell new name.

Best Place to Buy a Used Car
Mama's Used Cars
1940 Savannah Hwy. West Ashley.
(843) 556-6262
1020 N. Main St. Summerville.
(843) 821-8900

If you don't find an affordable car here, at least you'll get to see the next best attraction: the world's biggest blow-up doll.

Best Place to Buy a New Car
Hendrick Automotive Group
www.hendrickauto.com

With dealerships across the area specializing in Volvos, Saabs, Hondas, BMWs, Jeeps, and more, car buyers like it like that.

Best Car Wash
Cactus Car Wash
2080 Ashley Phosphate Road.
North Charleston.
(843) 824-6363
1522 Savannah Hwy. West Ashley.
(843) 571-7789

The next best thing to having hot girls in bikinis charge you five bucks a car.

Best Tire Store
Gerald's Tires & Brakes
1 Magnolia Road. West Ashley.
(843) 566-1910
3900 Dorchester Road. North Charleston. (843) 747-4011
5646 Rivers Ave. North Charleston.
(843) 747-2433
4900 Rivers Ave. North Charleston.
(843) 744-3285
9680 Dorchester Road. North Charleston. (843) 851-7931
1635 Hwy. 17 N. Mt. Pleasant.
(843) 971-1547
www.geraldstires.com

The guys in the bright orange building do a great job on tires and breaks.

Best Place to Get Your Car Fixed
Gerald's Tires & Brakes
See Above

It's always a great day at Gerald's.

Best Motorcycle Shop
Low Country Harley-Davidson
4707 Dorchester Road. North Charleston. (843) 554-1847
www.lowcountryharley.com

Low Country Harley is where you get what you need for your steel horse.

Best Cab Company
Charleston Black Cab Company
(843) 216-1206

The cool British-looking black cabs buzzing all over town no doubt add a dash of London flair to the Holy City's charm — and it's not too much more expensive than your boring ol' yellow.

Best Limo Company
Star Limousine Service
1934 Discher St. North Charleston.
(843) 889-8400
www.astarlimo.com

Your favorite place to rent that sick stretch Hummer for prom.

Best Law Firm/Lawyer
Akim Anastopoulo
Anastopoulo & Clore LLC.
706 Orleans Road. West Ashley.
(843) 722-8070

Armed with his signature bat, Extreme Akim continues to rule the best lawyer category, along with day-time TV courtrooms.

Best Realty Company
Prudential Carolina Real Estate
4390 Belle Oaks Drive. Ste. 100.
North Charleston.
(843) 202-2000
www.prudentialcarolina.com

When it's time to graduate from rent to a mortgage, these veteran realtors dominate the Charleston market.

Best Insurance Agency
State Farm Insurance
Various locations
www.statefarm.com

Like a good neighbor, State Farm stays the hell out of your business. Until you need them.

Best Bank
Wachovia
Various locations
www.wachovia.com

With a branch on just about every corner, you're pretty confident they'll watch ova ya money.

Best Costume Shop/Party Store
Hokus Pokus Entertainment
1015 St. Andrews Blvd. West Ashley.
(843) 556-6607

When you play dress up, Pokus is your choice to score the fake blood, costume jewelry, and spirit gum.


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