Best Charity Thrift Store 2019 | Genesis Benefit Thrift | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
Kathy Tran

This thrift benefits Genesis Women's Shelter and Support, a safe haven for female victims of domestic violence. Don't be surprised if the Lamborghini ahead of you in the parking lot of the little shop off Lemmon Avenue pulls up to the drop-off area to unload a piece of antique furniture, a framed art print or a pile of designer clothes. There's a steady daily turnover of items for sale, ranging from jewelry to high-quality, gently worn clothes and accessories from affluent owners.

Got a grass stain from the weekend skirmish with your neighbor? A splash of red wine on your sequined debutante gown from a tipsy escort at the ball? Yellowed collars on your dress shirts from perspiring in the satanic heat of Texas? Soiled linen napkins from messy eaters at your bar mitzvah? How about a leather jacket from Italy that you want to keep supple for posterity — or a wool sweater that you don't want shrunk to the size of your kid brother? How about comforters and rugs that deserve special care, lest they turn out like trimmings for a doll house? With free pick-up and delivery or drive-through service, Dee & Hattie Specialty Cleaners in Park Cities can meet all these needs. Their hospitable and experienced staff mollify the anxious clothes horse or fastidious housekeeper with attention for detail.

Plenty of camera stores sell cameras and camera bags, filters and camera straps. Some carry digital and analog cameras, while a few more also sell backdrops, backdrop stands and other studio supplies. A few more shops stock shelves with film, photo paper, photo albums and essential darkroom supplies from safe lights to chemistry. Don's carries all of the above. But no other camera shop in town carries the assortment and variety of films as the father-son team at Don's Photo Equipment. For more than 20 years, Don and Todd Puckett have stocked new and used photographic equipment for professionals and hobbyists alike, and as the analog industry transitioned to digital, Don's has managed to keep firmly grounded and well-versed in both worlds. And Don's buys used photography gear from individuals and estates.

Man shall not live by buttermilk sourdough bread alone — nor fig & honey goat cheese, nor Alaskan halibut, nor Jazz apples, nor jalapeño cilantro hummus, nor grass-fed ribeye steaks, nor Saigon cinnamon ice cream, nor blood orange cider. Instead, he should live by all these things, and so much more — available at Central Market. At this Texan temple for foodies, the acolytes observe annual "festivals" to Hatch chiles and chocolate, travel with their "passports" to sample the culinary wonders of Argentina and France, or take a cooking class to celebrate squash. Hard-pressed to do the slow cooking of chef Alice Waters? Not to worry. The chef-prepared food will fool any dinner guest, whether lobster mac 'n' cheese or citrus peppercorn rotisserie chicken. Eat healthy, eat decadently, and, yes, eat affordably — if you are a smart shopper. Find out why Central Market was rated the nation's top supermarket by Consumer Reports.

Named after the Cebolla Creek in Southwestern Colorado, Cebolla Fine Flowers has shrunk the American West into vibrant arrangements. To enter the shop is to step into a visual and olfactory diorama that tells the story of life and growth. With flowers for every occasion, Cebolla distills into arrangements various reasons for buying flowers, including guilt, love and the yearly cycle of high school dances. (No doubt, the ancient distinction between fine flowers and grocery-store flowers arises on balmy nights of late April when youths swish beneath sturdy Dallas live oaks and magnolias.) Nonetheless, all the flowers in the world constitute a grim flower shop when the employees are sour. Years of dedication to the art and exemplary service to customers confirms Cebolla as an exceptional flower-buying experience that serves the eyes, the nose and the soul.

Best Place to Buy Tomatoes & Watermelons

Cox Farms

These tomatoes aren't necessarily pretty. They have little flaws, and they're not preternaturally red like those horrendous hydroponic specimens you find in grocery stores everywhere. But they're locally sourced, and they taste like ... tomatoes. Ripe tomatoes. With a tangy-sweet taste profile you might not have experienced since Grandma's backyard garden. Same with the watermelons. We have never purchased a bad watermelon at family-owned Cox Farms. They clearly taste-test their produce, and while they're a little more expensive than some places, we buy watermelons nowhere else. Need ripe avocados or mangoes? Cox Farms is also your place. It consistently offers great produce — without the pretentiousness and high prices of ... that other place. We especially love the original Duncanville location, because it has the feel of a small-town grocery store.

If you're going to go big, go really big. Whether you're planning on having the most over-the-top party imaginable, or just looking for that accentuation piece that is sure to start conversation — Chiseled Perfections is the place to go. Located in the heart of the Design District, its storefront could easily be mistaken for any of the other dozen or so galleries that dot the area. It only takes one quick look though to dissolve any notions that it's anything like the others. Huge arching thrones are what Chiseled Perfections does best, and almost exclusively. With a variety of different types of seating, from individual, love chairs, and lounges that would make any royalty blush. Most of their pieces stand proudly at six foot tall, with plush seating, elegant trim, and in every color imaginable. Sometimes you have to give yourself the royal treatment, and Chiseled Perfections is the ultimate place to go satisfy that desire.

Unless you quit your job, it's impossible to keep up with the variety of wine and liquor available to the consumer. For almost three decades, Pogo's of Inwood Village has guided the neophyte and connoisseur to find the "just right" bottle for any occasion. Their expertly curated selections will satisfy the most bougie or brainy tastes. Their staff are knowledgeable without being hoity-toity, friendly without being annoying. Afraid of pairing Rosé with filet mignon or Mezcal with sea bass? Throw out the old rules here! When a Scotch-drinking friend confessed to abstaining from the beverage in the dog days of summer, the cashier laughed and advised, "Never take a vacation from Scotch."

In business more than three decades, Clothes Circuit is known for its bounty of luxury fashion, including shoes, handbags, furs and clothing with labels such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, David Yurman, Prada, Gucci and more. Dig through racks (nicely arranged by size) for the treasures priced to decline by the week.

Hannah Ridings
Royal Blue

With the tony address of 1 Highland Park Village, Austin-based Royal Blue Grocery is ground zero for the deep pockets who park their Bentley and sip their Chardonnay before noon. Conspicuous consumption becomes a competitive sport here. But fear not if you are a social worker or teacher on a shoestring budget. Wander the five aisles of products, comparing the price of Rice Krispies with chain grocery stores. Admire the hydrangeas. Play Solitaire while nursing a Nitro cold brew from Stumptown. Eat a veggie grilled cheese. Hobnob with the posh at a complimentary wine tasting. Impress coworkers with a lunch of freshly prepared foods. Before you return to your studio apartment, where your neighbor's bongo drumming reverberates through paper-thin walls, satisfy your hunter-and-gatherer instinct at the Chef's Case, featuring balsamic shiitake mushrooms, roasted broccoli and flank steak with chimichurri. Pretending was never so much fun.

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