Give me a free afternoon and I will gladly surrender it to Nostalgia. Its treasure troves in Homberg Place and on McCalla Avenue contain generations’ worth of furnishings and bric-a-brac that I am completely unaware I need until I see them: a ceramic hand model for whenever I take up palmistry; a starbust clock that tells time from another galaxy; a monster-sized Polaroid camera awaiting its cache of instant film, someday. And in the back of the Homberg Place location sits the mother lode: crates upon crates of LPs populated by lifetime jazz/R&B collector Bob Kirk as he slowly divests his holdings. Have you filled out your Funkadelic collection yet? Now’s your chance. (C.T.)
Popular Picks: Mid Mod Collective, Retrospect

Harper Auto Square
Taking your car to the dealer is usually not unlike going to get your taxes prepared—it has to be done, so let’s just try to get it over with as quickly as possible. At Harper, you’re tempted to hang out for a while and relax. The staff is cheerful, the accommodations comfy, and you can brew your own coffee. Even better, the service staff works with you instead of against you. And if you’re in the market for a new car, Harper’s brands (from Acura to VW) are superlative, and its dealers clearly love cars beyond just their profit margins. As hosts of Knoxville’s mega-huge Coffee and Cars meetup at West Town Mall (next one is Sunday, Oct. 23 at 8 a.m.), Harper celebrates all makes and models (and their owners) with equal passion. (C.T.)
Popular Picks: Grayson Auto Group, Rusty Wallace Honda

Tennessee Valley Bikes
Knoxville’s most urban of bike shops also just happens to be one of its most family friendly. Let’s say your kid yearns for that Kona Hula in blue—yet the thought of spending $450 on a bicycle that may be outgrown within a year could send you running to Walmart for one that will more likely fall apart in a year. But wait! TVB has your back: Buy a much higher-quality kids’ ride at TVB and you can trade it in for store credit once it gets too small, for up to half of what you paid for it. Now it’s a wise investment in your child’s future. (C.T.)
Popular Picks: Bike Zoo, Harper’s Bike Shop

cover_1020_mckaysHeather Duncan

It’s not a casbah or bazaar—and an armful of old Danielle Steele novels doesn’t carry much bargaining power—but sometimes the trading and selling get frenetic at McKay’s. Especially on Saturdays, the buzzing crowds make it abundantly apparent that this Knoxville institution (in business since 1985) is the city’s favorite used book store. But that’s not all! While you can certainly find the best in pulp fiction—and who doesn’t want to read a Tom Clancy novel a second time—you can also score some gems from the music and video game sections, as well as buy their associated electronic devices. Thankfully, this emporium of physical media shows that plenty of people still prefer paper to Kindle, and hisses and pops to Spotify. (Thomas Fraser)
Popular Picks: Union Ave Books, John Coleman Book Seller/Book Eddy

Luttrell’s Eyewear
Bobby Luttrell’s eponymous shop not only supplies an A to V collection of designer frames (from Adidas to Vuarnet) but it also shows a genuine concern for how your glasses make you feel and look. One trip to Luttrell’s and you’ll be walking out with a new view on things—and on yourself. (C.T.)
Popular Picks: Clancy Optical Co./Spex, Winston Eye & Vision Center

cover_1020_sunrisesupermarketTricia Bateman

Sunrise Supermarket
From the exotic (canned squid in ink or a giant catfish head) to the familiar (ramen and rice), Sunrise Grocery offers an international array of foods and flavors smack in the middle of West Knoxville suburbia. The Walker Springs store emphasizes Asian imports, though it has a healthy stock of Hispanic fare, as well as a limited assortment of imported beer and soft drinks. A customer can marvel at its vast assortment of tea and otherworldly vegetables—nama root, jackfruit, lemongrass, and green coconuts—to the audio backdrop of multiple languages. A full fish and meat counter is not for the squeamish. Carp and cow legs are simply and unapologetically displayed next to more standard American-friendly fare such as ground pork and ribs. Sunrise also seems to carry every variety of noodle and rice known to humankind, and can offer bulk bargains. And if you’d rather not cook yourself, check out its huge freezer section for Asian standards from multiple countries. (T.F.)
Popular Picks: Holy Land Market, La Esperanza

Bliss Home
Owners Lisa Sorensen and Scott Schimmel have impeccable taste when it comes to furniture, and they always manage to hit the sweet spot of style, sturdiness, and affordability. Unpretentious, comfortable, and attractive, this is furniture you’ll be happy to live with for many years to come. It’s a formula we’re proud to see exported from Market Square to Nashville—they could use some East Tennessee style sense. (C.T.)
Popular Picks: O.P. Jenkins, Mid Mod Collective

Women who love fringe, sidetail hems, funky layers, and fluffy vests find their Bliss on Market Square—not to mention unusual and stylish orange gear for UT games. The jewelry is especially unique, with lots of tasteful Tennessee- or sorority-inspired items but also lots of touches from the natural world, like pressed dandelion-puff necklaces and bracelets made of huge geode slices. But if you don’t get something there for yourself, you’ll be guaranteed to find a gift the recipient doesn’t have, for anyone. And I do mean anyone, from your beer/mountain bike/Star Wars-obsessed buddy to the teenage hipster (hedgehog earbuds!), pet lover (emory boards for cats), or expectant mom (cashmere baby socks and wine-scented candles). (S.H.D.)
Popular Picks—Top Gift Shop: Nothing Too Fancy, Rala
Popular Picks—Top Women’s Clothing: est8e; Folly, Bula Boutique, and Fizz (three-way tie)

Gypsy at White Fox Beads
Signs remind customers and visitors to White Fox Beads: Please mind the cat.
But Gypsy the cat won’t mind you, despite his celebrity.
The 8-year-old cat—rescued from a Maryville parking lot—netted the high honor of top in-store pet for the second straight year. Gypsy loves people (other cats, not so much) and will greet you with a lively step and meow when you walk through the door. Some people even patronize the shop just so they can get a loving hand on Gypsy, who patiently endures seasonal attire ranging from butterfly wings to Santa suits and a witches’ hat. He still maintains his dignity. And affection for people. Gypsy will make a cat lover out of you, yet. (T.F.)
Popular Picks: Oscar/Felix at Nostalgia, Scout at Union Ave Books

Harold and Ida Markman originally opened shop in 1976 with a simple plan: “best quality and best service at the best price.” This approach created a local institution. Despite Harold’s passing earlier this year, Markmans proudly continues his tradition of providing only the finest diamonds and gemstones, featuring the creations of top-name jewelry designers and watch makers. (C.T.)
Popular Picks: Lamon’s, Kimball’s

Three Rivers Market
This is not your standard urban “hippie” grocery store. Though it is well-stocked with granola and grains, the less-crunchy among us can still appreciate the largely local and organic fare at Three Rivers Co-op. You can skip the tofu and kombucha for grass-raised beef or bison and local beer. Notes describing the origin of locally and regionally sourced natural products abound throughout the store, and it also offers lines of nontoxic cleaning supplies, and birdseed and pet foods. The co-op welcomes the general public, but you can buy a patron membership for $25. It still boasts its traditional locally baked goods, bulk nuts, seasonings and grains, but pre-made foods, al fresco dining, and a hot bar lend a more on-the-go edge to the co-op. Hold on to your hats, hippies: The buffet even includes meat. (T.F.)
Popular Picks: Butler and Bailey, Pratt’s Country Store

cover_1020_msmcclellansScott Hamstead

M.S. McClellan
No matter how gnarly your Vans, or the number of tattoos displayed on your legs beneath your Costco shorts, you will be respectfully greeted as a guest when you walk through the Melrose Place door of upscale clothier and tailor M.S. McClellans. Customer service and individual attention has been a mainstay of the upscale shop throughout its 50-year history in Knoxville. It peddles all manner of high-cotton clothes, from formalwear to more casual (yet high-quality) sartorial fare that brings to mind polo grounds or fall in the Hamptons. The shop boasts European, British, and Irish brands such as Canali, Dubarry, Barbour, and Peter Millar that are hard to find in the Knoxville market. It also offers tailoring services, gifts, and shoes. Granted, you will pay for the quality, but a man could put together a high-caliber rough-hewn preppie ensemble for about $300. And it’ll work for both post-hunt cocktails and the club. (T.F.)
Popular Picks: Nothing Too Fancy, Mast General Store

Knoxville Harley-Davidson
Motorcycle dealerships are not always just places to buy two-wheeled vehicles. In the case of Harley-Davidson, they’re more of a lifestyle destination—and Knoxville Harley-Davidson on Clinton Highway has been drafting riders to the Harley way since 1968. Meanwhile, its West Knoxville sister store, Bootlegger Harley-Davidson, launched its own outdoor performance venue, Back Porch on the Creek, which featured none other than Dwight Yoakam this summer. (C.T.)
Popular Picks: Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson, Yamaha/Honda/Suzuki of Knoxville

Open Chord Music
The Open Chord isn’t just a music store—it’s also a performance venue, a cafe, a guitar repair shop, and a school. The shop’s motto is “all things music,” and they’re not exaggerating—it offers a full circle experience: You can buy a guitar, learn how to play it, and perform in front of audiences all in the same place. Or, if you’re content just being in the audience, you can attend a variety of performances, from the Tuesday night poetry slam to the Wednesday night open mic night or the Thursday night Brews and Blues Jam, plus national touring acts on the weekend. (C.T.)
Popular Picks: Rik’s, Rush’s

Maple Hall
Popular Picks: Kaizen, Sugar Mama’s
See Also: Top New Thing in Knoxville, in Community

River Sports Outfitters
You can safely test your vertical acumen at the Climbing Center at the main River Sports Outfitters store on Sutherland, talk with knowledgeable staff members who know their gear, and quaff a beer or a coffee—just some of the many advantages to prepping for your outdoor adventures at a local store instead of a faceless online retailer. Kayaking? Hiking? Climbing? Camping? They’ve been there and done that, and can tailor needs ranging from boots to backpacks. Inventory includes gear and clothing from Patagonia, Asolo, Marmot, and Kuhl. The 30-year-old outfitter rents kayaks, canoes, and other gear (also at outposts like Ijams Nature Center and the Cove), and offers lessons and time on the aforementioned climbing wall. With another location in Cedar Bluff, River Sports also offers a variety of special events and serves as a clearinghouse for information related to conservation causes and outdoor activities in East Tennessee. (T.F.)
Popular Picks: Little River Trading Co., Mast General Store

cover_1020_agrifeedMichael Tremoulis

Agri Feed Pet Supply
Open since 1976, Agri Feed is not just a fine pet shop to purchase kibble—it’s a place to adopt your new best friend. Every day, there are rescue kittens and guinea pigs; on the first Saturday of each month, there’s Tennessee Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (10 a.m.–1 p.m.); on the second Saturday, Greyhound Pets of America (noon–2 p.m.); and on the third Saturday, East Tennessee Border Collies (10:30 a.m.–1 p.m.). (C.T.)
Popular Picks: Citi-fid-o, Natural Pet Supply

Lost and Found Records
Shopping at Lost and Found Records is like hanging out at a friend’s house and digging through crates—and that’s not just because it’s located in a former house on North Broadway. The real reason is the staff. Owners Mike and Maria Armstrong and steadfast employee Nathan Moses treat their customers like family, and they provide a wealth of arcane music knowledge without the attitude—in fact, they’re the anti-snobs of music retail. Their stock is vast, their grooves are clean, and their prices are more than fair in a resurgent vinyl market. Forget eBay. This is what buying records is supposed to be like. (C.T.)
Popular Picks: McKay’s, Raven Records and Rarities
Honorable Mention (RIP): Disc Exchange

Planet Xchange
Thrift shopping can be hard work—it takes time, patience, and experience to dig through the racks and uncover that rare piece that’s worth taking home. At Planet Xchange, most of that work’s already been done. After nearly 20 years in business, the staff and management know what to look for, and what you’re looking for—whether that’s a vintage Christmas sweater, some shirts for the office, an ironic T-shirt, new jeans, or some snazzy sneakers. (M.E.)
Popular Picks: KARM, Repeat Boutique

Mid Mod Collective
Just last month, the New York Times ran a piece headlined, “Why Won’t Midcentury Design Die?”  A panel of design experts attempted to answer the question, but they seemed to miss the most obvious explanation: It’s still cool. And you won’t find any cooler pre-loved furniture and housewares than at Mid Mod Collective, located in the increasingly cool North Central Street corridor (alternately referred to as Downtown North or Happy Holler). They know what makes for great design and select their offerings accordingly—you’ll never fail to find something you’ve got to have for your house in the showroom. Throw in John Coleman’s equally well curated used books and records, and you have a whole afternoon of time travel ahead of you. (C.T.)
Popular Picks: KARM, Nostalgia

Chilhowee RV Center
Are you ready to hit the road? We certainly are—and Chilhowee RV Center has every kind of vehicle (or vehicular travel item) to aid you in your journeys. That silver Airstream you’ve been fantasizing about is available here—along with full-on Winnebago motorhomes, travel trailers, and toy haulers. If the open road beckons, make your first stop here. (C.T.)
Popular Picks: Buddy Gregg Motors, Tennessee RV Supercenter

Market Square
For several decades, there wasn’t much shopping on Market Square beyond the steadfast Watson’s department store. But after that shut down in the late ’90s, the Square’s retail future looked bleak—until the late Andie Ray took a leap of faith: She bought an old liquor store and converted it into Vagabondia, a cozy boutique that you couldn’t find anywhere else in town. Thankfully, the rest of Knoxville caught up with her vision of a vital retail district, and we now enjoy a place synonymous with the soul of the city itself. (C.T.)
Popular Picks: Bearden, Turkey Creek