Best Paper/Stationery Boutique 2018 | Missing Q Press Studio | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

Paper may be the most underrated substance known to man. But maybe not for the reasons you're thinking, because there's something soothing about good paper. Smooth, peaceful, solid and comforting — perhaps like the tree from which it came. All paper is not good paper, but good paper is always worth it. The folks at Missing Q get this because they are paper people. Paper people can spot each other in the greeting card aisle. We are not reading, we are rubbing. We are weighing. We are smelling. We are not just buying stationery for a friend or loved one; we aim to enrich their whole life with one small stack of quality stock. If you recognize yourself, this is your place. Missing Q's generous selection of custom cards, invitations and other paper goods are designed and produced in small batches with custom ink colors and finishes. The shop uses four old-school letterpress and engraving machines to create chic, luxury designs for all occasions. Studio visits are by appointment only, but we can assure you that if there is a heaven for paper people, it is Missing Q.

Best Place to Get a Beautiful Book You'll Never Read

Half Price Books

Having a shelf full of books in your parlor (or even having a place you call the parlor) can make you look pretty impressive, and nothing could ever be more attractive than looking good without having to pay much. Half Price Books on Northwest Highway offers a tremendous selection of literature, nonfiction, magazines and even CDs and movies, all for unbeatable prices. So even if you never, ever read that leather-bound collector's edition of Dante's Inferno, you can feel self-satisfied because you acquired it for next to nothing, and it looks so very intellectual sitting quietly on your shelf.

Of course you don't need your 13th gerbil, but at least you can wish for it on an aimless stroll through Dallas' very own Petland, which offers all the normal pets, along with fluffy chinchillas, oh-so-affectionate snakes, and those colorful birds that outlive their owners, squawking continuously as the coffin is lowered. Petland allows visitors to enjoy the company of any doggie for as long as they like, and its employees are notably helpful if you ever need pet-care advice. Further, they carry all the supplies you could ever wish to have for an animal. Just don't drop any hamsters on your visit (personal experience — those things run like the flames of hell are singeing their furry bums).

Kathy Tran
The Wild Detectives

Since its inception in 2014, The Wild Detectives has served as the perfect date spot. As a traditional bookstore, there are shelves surrounding the border of the store stacked full of books. Serving as a nontraditional bookstore, there's a bar in the middle, making the thrill of finding a new book or author even more exciting. On top of the books and booze, The Wild Detectives regularly hosts events, like book readings, panels about feminism and even stand-up comedy on the back patio. Located in Oak Cliff, it's just a few blocks away from restaurants and bars and makes the perfect low-key, Friday-night spot.

Roderick Pullum
Josey Records

A sprawling 15,000-square-foot space with an estimated inventory of 100,000 vinyls, Josey Records is a place where you and all your friends can morph into John Cusack a la High Fidelity, or pretend to anyway. The most ambitious record store in Dallas is a crate-digger's dream even by crate-digging standards. Patrons can browse the vinyls, listen to the vinyls, buy turntables or just lounge around and people-watch.

While Anthropologie looks like a clothing store when you first walk in, you'll quickly realize it's the candles that keep people coming back. You could easily spend hours wandering around the store smelling each style of candle and all of its different scents. Half the joy of buying a candle is how it looks on the outside. Once you've burned the candle down, it can still serve as a great part of your home decor. Anthropologie understands that, and that's why all of its candle holders are stunning. And they all smell amazing. Seriously amazing.

Those looking for their monthly dose of superheroes saving the world would be hard pressed to find a better spot than Madness Games & Comics. It's one of the largest comic book stores in DFW, and it needs to be to stock all the different objects of geek affection. On one aisle you'll find the action figure that defined your youth next to an aisle stuffed with glassware and home decor items, all surrounded by a wall of every comic book the industry dared to publish. You'll come to grab the latest Batman issue, but stay to look at the endless shelves of board games.

If you're inclined to drop $400 on a hotel room, there's no better place to do it than the Ritz. It's luxury in the heart of Uptown, and your friends will be jealous. Why? Because your tales of the tres elegante rooms with their flat-screen TVs, minifridges, coffeemakers and Wi-Fi are just that powerful? Well yes, but also your room wasn't ready upon check-in, so they upgraded you to Club Level, where you ate heavy hors d'oeuvres and drank wine on tap for the price of a single room. They felt bad for you, so they gave you a voucher for a free massage at the renowned spa. It was the best weekend ever. Also, it was just a dream.

With the ubiquity of high-quality cellphone cameras, selfie sticks and instant sharing on social media, you might think that old school photo booths would go the way of the dodo or daily newspapers. Wrong! First, Premiere Photo Booth offers a variety of non-old school booth styles for lease for your special event. They have green screens, animated GIFs, open booths, light-weight booths, traditional ones and possibly the coolest — a large mirror format that lets you pose carefully without being jammed shoulder to shoulder. Second, being jammed shoulder to shoulder in a photo booth and getting an instant strip of physical photos on paper is just freakin' fun. Be honest: How often has a sober person ever happily stood for a selfie? Plus, Premiere offers customized prints with info about your event that serve as wonderful mementos — perfect for capturing happy memories or witnesses in case your wedding didn't turn out exactly as you'd hoped.

Bestow Fifi the teacup poodle with peace and solace, and do it at Deep Ellum's Upper Paw. The local spot is rife with dozens of artisan treats for your fur baby and has an extensive selection of harnesses and high-end toys to keep him or her as satiated as any dog could hope to be. Frisbees? Costumes? Wine bottle chew toys? Yes on all accounts. Just don't eat the refrigerated dog food. It's for them, not you.

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