Best Japanese Market 2021 | Mitsuwa Marketplace | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
Xochitl Gonzalez/KathyTran

If you're dying to visit Tokyo just for the shopping experience, this is as close as it gets. Mitsuwa is a grocery store that only carries Japanese products, from soda and candy to diapers. They also have an impressive assortment of toys by Sanrio and other brands, including a Studio Ghibli section. A visit to the market makes for a complete outing; you can get a matcha or prepared meal and sit at one of Mitsuwa's many tables, let kids ride in those awesome baby-sized shopping carts or try to catch a toy on the claw machines. If your knowledge of Japanese food is limited to ramen and sushi, it'll open your eyes to a new world of flavors — though they have plenty of those, too, if you want to stick to what you know.

Courtesy of British Emporium

There's a meritless old rumor that English food is as sad as that nation's weather. Sure, some of it seems barbaric and Sweeny Todd-ish (like blood sausage black pudding and those dumplings with chicken feet, talons and all), but these are countered by dishes like fish and chips (bathed in vinegar), bangers and mash, cakes with custard and whatever "pudding" made our mouths water during The Great British Bake Off. Since 1992, downtown Grapevine has held a treasure spot for expats and Anglophiles with the British Emporium, a store devoted to British foods and Harry Potter and Downton Abbey merchandise. Emporium will have you reconsidering your patriotism as soon as you try the candy (pardon, "the sweets"), such as anything Cadbury's or the classic Lion Bar. Other British-favored offerings are Twinings teas, Jaffa cakes, frozen foods such as sausage rolls, the questionable, acquired-taste food spread Marmite and the decidedly non-questionable pickled-flavored onion ring chips. We fancy a cuppa everything.

Kathy Tran

More than just a typical camera shop offering cameras and lenses, Garland Camera also offers service and repair for modern digital and vintage film cameras, and lenses and flashes along with experienced technicians who can do everything from complete simple sensor cleanings to major repairs. Their photo lab offers rock-bottom pricing for film developing and printing services with development only or develop and scan rates, as well as print enlargements from digital image files, 35mm negatives, and 120 and 220 film, slides and existing prints on a range of papers (matte, glossy, luster and fine art paper). Whether a seasoned shooter or a hobbyist just starting out, Garland Camera offers customers a one-stop shop that stocks digital and film cameras, film photography and darkroom supplies, studio lighting, lighting modifiers and other studio supplies, a fantastic selection of replacement quick release plates for tripods and monopods, and a wide selection of simple-use and single-use point-and-shoot film cameras, as well as instant film and new and used Polaroid cameras.

Patrick Strickland

Conveniently located off U.S. 75 a few minutes north of Dallas, the Como Motel has been around for a long time, possibly forever. The rooms are about 10-by-10, but you can't beat the charm of an old motel around which countless numbers of affairs have surely been centered. In the suburban sprawl all around the motel are plenty of restaurants and bars you can hit up when you've had your fill of television or whatever else, and the Como's yellow-and-red block sign will make sure you don't miss the motel on your way back.

Books, DVDs, toys and sexy apparel, Paris Adult Book Store has everything you need to spice up your night. Open 24/7, Paris offers a variety of gear, lingerie and equipment to fulfill your needs. Need to sneak away for a bit? Their arcade room is available for only $10 per person, so you can catch an adult film at any time of the day. Plus, Paris is always having great sales and is LGBTQ+ friendly.

Rain or shine, day or night, this is the spot to get your XXX arcade on in Dallas. It's open 24 hours a day, and with a name like New Fine Arts, it's not your typical adult arcade perched off the side of the highway and full of road-weary truckers and the like. With three locations around Dallas, we recommend the one closest to the city, just a short drive from the Love Field Airport (maybe you want to pop by before a business trip, who knows?). When you're done doing whatever you do with the joystick, you can peruse the store and consider items such as Delta 8 lube or the wide selection of adult toys or lingerie.

Best Place to Have Your Old Home Movies Digitized

Action Video Service

Courtesy of Action Video Service

Snugly set in a shopping strip next to a Tom Thumb, Action Video Service is a gem for those of us who have hours of home videos — family gatherings, birthday parties, high school sporting events of our glory days — we can't stand the thought of losing. Nowadays, a VCR can run you hundreds of dollars online, so your best bet for hanging onto all those memories is to get them digitized or transferred to DVD. Plus, if you're waiting around for a bit in the shop, they've got an old school Pac-Man and Galaga arcade game you can play for free.

Xochitl Gonzalez/KathyTran

AJ Vagabonds is a clothing and outdoors store tailor-made for all Texans and Dallasites desiring to better advertise their national and local identities. Here you will find T-shirts reading "Texas babe," "Dallas is wild," and "Hike the great Trinity Forest" — as well as the classic "Texas Chica" or "Texas Chico" tee printed in the Topo Chico logo's font. Here you will find Texas-, Dallas- and Oak Cliff-themed necklaces, stickers, pins, patches, posters and mugs, among every other kind of knickknack. Here you will find outdoorsy books, local food and merchant pop-ups, and boutique sports and camping gear. It's the perfect one-stop shop for anybody who takes pride in their city or state.

Michael Barera

Located in the West End, the appropriately named Wild Bill's Western Store is the spot to hit up if you have high hopes of refashioning yourself as a bona fide cowboy. Wild Bill's is a family-owned business that's been around for upwards of six decades, and they've got the necessary gear for aspiring cowboys, cowgirls and cowkids, whether you're looking for a saddle, new boots or just a good old fashioned cowboy hat. Better still, if you're looking for a souvenir to give your non-Texan friends or family, Wild Bill's has chef's aprons stamped with the Texas flag and guaranteed-to-make-you-sweat Ass Blaster Hot Sauce (which comes in a tiny outhouse-shaped container).

North Texas pet lovers are sure to salivate over Susie's Snack Shop in Denton. Located a few doors down from a 2020 Best of Dallas winner, Ten : One Artisanal Cheese Shop, Susie's offers dog owners North Texas-milled, quality kibble that's free of dairy, soy and grain. Their wide array of dog treats boasts a bevy of flavors and will satisfy the most finicky eaters. But the store's claims to fame are the smoked chicken feet, which are packed with glucosamine to help soothe your pet's achy joints.

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