Best Adult Store — Nancy’s Nook
Runner-up: This Is It
Adult stores can range from the sleazy to the self-affirming, and there’s definitely something to be said for the neighborhood-friendly attitude of Nancy’s Nook, a local, independent store committed to satisfying all of your carnal needs, regardless of the specifics. That they’ve persevered through multiple municipal attempts to close is just a fun little rebellious bonus.
Honorable Mention: “The Glo Room”
Best Alternative Clothing — Sid & Nancy
Runner-up: Loose Lucy’s
In the 2000s, the thrift era of clothing was a boom era. It lasted only a short time. Now it’s back more popular than ever, with a particular emphasis on alternative and hip crowds. Sid & Nancy are the best spot for affordable cool in Columbia (in a counterculture fashion). It fits like a glove on Saluda Avenue in Five Points’ mercantile-vibe, which is just right.
Honorable Mention: NOMA Warehouse & Acidic Apparel
Best Antique Store — Old Mill Antique Mall
Runner-up: Little Mountain Antiques
In West Columbia’s very bustling State Street, Old Mill Antique Mall has rested for over three decades. The shop offers ware from over 75 dealers, ranging from furniture, collectibles and genuine antique items you can’t find anywhere else. The shop proudly offers antique wares and offers modern viewing options including an online catalog, app and mobile website.
Red Lion and The Little Green Door are worthy recipients of honor
Best Bakery — Tiffany’s Bakery & Eatery
Ally and Eloise are runners up
One of the city’s longest-running bakeries, Tiffany’s opened its doors in 1977. Their popularity has grown so fast that they’ve expanded twice to match their business. It’s still one of the most popular in the area and will always have something to grab your attention, whether it’s cookies, brownies cheesecakes, pies, or any other variety of pastries.
Honorable Mention: smallSUGAR, Kudzu Bakery
Best Beer Store — Green’s Beverage Warehouse
Runner-up: Craft & Draft
This large liquor store has expanded to multiple locations in the Midlands. They offer a wide selection of top-quality, regional beer brands at a fair rate. Basically, if there’s a beer, wine, cider or liquor that you’re looking for, one of their three Columbia locations is bound to have it.
WECO Bottle and Biergarten bottles, Honorable Mention
Best Bridal Store — Evelyn’s
Runner-up: Jo-Lin’s Bridal
Evelyn’s can outfit everyone from the bride to the best man in a variety of collections, not to mention providing wedding accessories, and they can do it all for a great price thanks to their Budget Brides service. It’s a one-stop for your wedding needs.
Honorable Mention: David’s Bridal, New York Bride & Groom
Best Butcher Shop — Ole Timey Meat Market
New York Butcher Shop is the runner-up
Our Columbia readers voted Ole Timey Meat Market the best butcher. It offers the same quality and value at each of its three locations. Ole Timey Meat Market will be your first choice for a Tbone steak or a rack filled with pork ribs.
Honorable Mention: Caughman’s Meat Market, The Royal Butcher
Best Children’s Clothing — Once Upon a Child
Runner-up: Duck Duck Goose
Children are messy — between falling down in the mud to spilling their bowl of SpaghettiOs across their newly purchased white shirt, it’s inevitable that they’ll either destroy their clothing or soon grow out of them. That’s when shopping at consignment stores becomes the logical solution — this national chain is known for its collection of gently used children’s clothes that won’t break the bank.
Honorable Mention: Marigold Modern
Best Consignment Shop — Revente Luxury Resale
NoMa Warehouse is the runner up
Revente, located in Five Points’ merchant district, offers some of the finest resale items in town. With a focus on high-end or boutique brands like Prada, Chanel or Talbots, you’re sure to find something to wear to that snazzy cocktail party and be the admiration of everyone there.
Honorable Mention Clothes Mentor Roundabouts consignments
Best Convenience Store — QuikTrip
Runner-up: Circle K
The ubiquitous QT logo in white on a red square background is our readers’ pick for the top convenience store in the area. QuikTrip is more than a convenience shop. You will find a large hot bar, snack bars, and coolers with beverages. Here you can get your anytime snack or munchie fix.
Best Cycle Shop — Outspokin’ Bicycles
Runner-up: Dialed Bicycles
With locations on Devine Street and in Irmo, Outspokin’ Bicycles, known as OSB lovingly around town, has got your bike needs covered. They have everything you need, from bike service to accessories. Maybe you’re looking for a new bike. They have many.
Honorable Mention: Cycle Center
Best Furniture Store — Whit-Ash Furnishings
Runner-up: Strobler Home Furnishings
There are many big-box stores where you can buy a sofa or a table. But Columbians still love the solid, reliable products from Whit-Ash Furnishings.
Honorable Mention: Studio 221 Interiors, Sugar Creek Amish Furniture
Best Gamecock Store — Miss Cocky
Runner-up: Addam’s University Bookstore
Get ready for gameday in style with Miss Cocky’s large selection of Gamecock-related tops, bottoms, jumpsuits, rompers, activewear, outerwear, intimates and more. They’ve even got kids clothing to get your children started on the right path to Gamecock fandom.
Honorable Mention: Barefoot Campus Outfitter, Palmetto Shirt Company
Best Gaming Store — Firefly Toys & Games
On any given Saturday, you’ll see a wide range of folks at this spot — from those who love Dungeons and Dragons who sprawl out to play at one of the game store’s many gaming tables to families with kids who come for a board game day — and you’ll also be able to pick from a wide variety of games. Customers can borrow boardgames for use in the store. It also offers an indoor arcade.
Scratch N Spin is a Honorable Mention
Best Gift Shop — Uptown Gifts
Runner-up: A Little Happy
This is something everyone knows. However, gift-giving can be difficult. What gift can you give them that is meaningful and personal? Or what if you don’t know them that well? We’d be happy to refer you to Uptown Gifts. They are the best shop to buy gifts.
Honorable Mention: Gibson’s, Just the Thing
Best Gun Shop — Palmetto State Armory
Runner-up: Shooters Choice
If you’re going to own a firearm, you need to make sure you have the right training and that you have the skills to handle it. Palmetto Armory is here to help you with both.
Honorable Mention: Barrons & Sandhill Shooting Sports
Best Hardware Store — Boland’s Ace
Are you looking to make home repairs? Are you looking to do a few DIY projects? Boland’s Ace, which has been around since 1982, has all the tools you need to make your next project an easy task.
Honorable Mention: Home Depot
Best Jewelry Store – Carolina Fine Jewelry
Runner-Up: Sylvan’s Jewelers
Carolina Fine Jewelry was founded in 1974. They are proud of their high-quality inventory and excellent customer service. That’s probably why they took top honors in the Best Jewelry Store category.
Honorable Mention: Dems jewelers, Unforgettable
Best Liquor Store — Green’s
Shopping in Green’s is a gloriously no-nonsense endeavor, with a wide selection at rock-bottom prices available in their warehouse shopping environs. Beneath the barebones exterior, though, you’ll find a knowledgeable staff and occasional tasting experiences that offers a more experiential value to your shopping experience.
Honorable Mention: Bottles, Total Wine
Best Marine Store — West Marine
Runner-up: Mid-Carolina Marine
West Marine has everything you need to enjoy a day on water. West Marine offers the best quality and most affordable prices, whether you’re looking for finishing gear, sailing or watersports equipment. The shop is located at Harbison, and is open seven days a week.
Honorable Mention: Cove 2 Coast Marine, Mountain Top Marine
Best Men’s Clothing — Granger Owings
If you’re looking for the best in custom suits, business attire, sportswear, weekend wear, collegiate apparel or accessories, you’re looking for Granger Owings. They’ll outfit you in style from head to toe at one of their two Columbia locations.
Honorable Mention: Belk, Tux On Trux
Best Natural Food Store — Rosewood Market
Runner-up Whole Foods
A longtime provider of natural goods in both its wares and at its hot bar, Rosewood Market is the readers’ pick for Best Natural Food Store. Rosewood Drive was established on April 1, 1971. It is now open seven day a week. Friendly staff will assist you in finding natural goods.
Honorable Mention: 14 Carrot, Earth Fare
Best Place for Fresh Produce — South Carolina State Farmer’s Market
Runner-up – Soda CityMarketplace
The sprawling South Carolina State Farmer’s Market is truly a sight to beheld when it’s bustling. Local farmers set up shop in the numerous sheds to sell fresh produce directly. To avoid missing the peak season between April and October, you should arrive early.
Honorable Mention: Publix, Rosewood Market
Best Place to Buy CBD Products — Crowntown Cannabis
Runner-up: Kure CBD & Vape
Sure, Crowntown Cannabis sells Delta 8 and all the other oils, vapes, capsules and concentrates you’d expect, but their customer service is what really makes them shine. With personalized service and expertise like Crowntown offers, it’s no wonder they took the top spot.
Honorable Mention: Garner’s Natural Life, Charleston Hemp Collective
Best Place To Buy Comic Books — Heroes and Dragons
Runner-up: Scratch N’ Spin
Heroes & Dragons houses over 50,000 comics, thousands of new and vintage toys, used books, and pop culture. They also have a wide variety of collecting supplies, including books and collectibles. They also trade, buy, and sell used comics and books. Heroes & Dragons has everything you need to geek out.
Honorable Mention: Charles & 2nd Cosmic Rays
Best Place to Buy Used Books — 2nd & Charles
Runner-up: Ed’s Editions
When buying used books, CDs or DVDs, selection is key. 2nd & Charles believes in this concept and offers affordable prices and a wide range of offerings, no matter where they are located. They may not have the same charm and quirkiness as a local shop but they still offer a wide range.
Honorable Mention: Odd Bird Books
Best Place to Buy Used/Vintage Musical Instruments — 2nd & Charles
The Music Store is the runner up
2nd & Charles is a great place to find books and games. They also sell quality used musical instrument. 2nd & Charles can help you find the right product at a fair price.
Honorable Mention: Star Music
Best Pottery Studio — Mad Platter
Southern Pottery Studio was named Runner-up
The charming Mad Platter pottery studio is located on Millwood Avenue. You go there and pick a piece to paint (a mug, plate, or shotglass). Then you paint it. You return to the shop and the helpful and attentive staff will fire it. You now have beautiful, hand-painted pottery that you can take home.
Honorable Mention: SOTA Gallery
Best Shopping District — Devine Street
Runner-up: Trenholm Plaza
This area is just outside of the Five Points neighborhood. It offers a variety fancy spots like several boutiques and nail shops, as well as a few beauty treatments and spas. After the day’s all done, you can finish up with a drink from Craft and Draft.
Honorable Mention: Five Points, Main Street District
Best Smoke Shop — Planet Vapor
Runner-up: Seventh Sense
On planet Earth’s little abode called Columbia, there’s no better smoke shop than Planet Vapor. The shop has nine Midlands locations and offers all the eliquids and hookahs that you need.
Honorable Mention: Crowntown Cannabis, Sam’s Tobacco & Vape
Best Sporting Goods Store — Academy Sports + Outdoors
Runner up: Todd & Moore
Academy Sports + Outdoors is a Columbia-based business that stocks all kinds sporting goods. This is a lot of products, but Academy Sports + Outdoors has a solution. They offer both outdoor and athletic sporting goods.
Honorable Mention: Dick’s, REI
Best Thrift Store — Goodwill
Runner-up Revente Luxury Resale
Oh Goodwill, how you’ve clothed many hip youngsters and adults alike or offered cost-effective housing wares and furniture to many. The de facto thrift store around the country, it’s no different here in Cola.
Honorable Mention: Sunshine Thrift Stores, Mission Lexington Stores and Donation Center.
Best Vaping Store — Planet Vapor
Runner-up: Jay’s Vape and Wellness Center
Vape Nation baby. The ever-popular smoking style that comes in many flavors may be under scrutiny from the feds, but you won’t get any of that at Planet Vapor. Planet Vapor’s professionals will help you choose the right oil and rig for making delicious smoke.
Honorable Mention: Kure CBE & Vape, Sam’s Tobacco & Vape
Best Wine Store — Total Wine & More
Runner-up: Vino Garage
Harbison Center’s Total Wine & More is a big ole store filled with, you guessed it, wine. There’s beer and liquor too, along with a helpful website that lets you see what’s in store before you go. It’s a great way to find out if that 2006 chardonnay is in stock before you make the trek over. The shop has a wider selection than other shops in town, and that’s not all.
Honorable Mention: Bottles
Best Women’s Clothing — Scout & Molly’s
Runner-up: Just The Thing
Scout & Molly’s provides a friendly, personal boutique experience that is all about making sure everyone that comes in feels at home. The stylists at Scout & Molly’s are a highlight of the store. They are available to give honest feedback and help you create your look.
Honorable Mention: Miss Cocky, Tall Oaks Boutique
Source: Free Times| Free Times