120 W. Maple Rd., Birmingham; 248-644-1651; Astreinjewelers.com
In 2014, the public chose Astrein's as the best jewelry store to purchase an engagement ring from. This year, readers expanded their understanding of what is so great about this fine jewelry store to include, well, all jewelry. Brothers Richard and Gary Astrein have been at this for a long time — more than 35 years — so it's no wonder their taste in quality, name brand jewelry and custom jewelry is viewed as not only unparalleled, but befitting for an engagement or any occasion.
441 W. Canfield St., Detroit; 313-285-2390; www.shinola.com
President Barack Obama has a Shinola watch. So does President Bill Clinton. Since coming on the scene in 2011, Shinola has become the most visible of Detroit brands. Fittingly for the Motor City, the brand is built on quality manufacturing done by Michigan workers — of watches, journals, bicycles, and leather goods. Midtown canines know Shinola, too, for the popular dog park they opened at Canfield Street and Cass Avenue.
3641 E. Davison St., Detroit; 313-891-5640
Four generations of Suchers have manned this Detroit tire store. "Honestly, I never planned on doing this," Jon Sucher, great-grandson of the store's original founder, Jacob, tells MT. While he may have fell into the job, one thing is for sure: This store cares about its customers. The fact that it's family-owned, and for year, we might add, is a real selling point.
6432 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-875-0838; detroithardwareco.com
How they pack everything you'd need for a home project into this cozy store is a mystery. How they find the right fittings so quickly is another. And if they don't have it, they'll tell you where you can get it; they're that honest. It all began when Albert Green started working here in 1926, right out of high school. He was joined by Jack Hocking in the 1930s. In the 1950s, the two teamed up and bought the business. Green's daughter, Emily Webster, still works here. And that family-run charm extends to the kind service. The small parking lot in the back doesn't hurt, either.
Walkable, charming, and clean, downtown Birmingham is a joy to meander around. But the real selling point is the shopping. With six antique and gallery spaces, nearly 50 clothing and accessory stores and 17 jewelers, this is a place to while away both an afternoon and a couple of bucks.
22801 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 810-441-0956; www.rustbeltmarket.com
Featuring 50 independent shops in a 4,000-square-foot event space, the Rust Belt Market in Ferndale has become something of a Metro Detroit institution, or at least a go-to spot when looking to find new artists and gifts for loved ones and yourself. While shopping is great, we're so excited for the market to get a bar in this spring! Now that's how to have a shopping experience.
See abcwarehouse.com for locations
It's often said that there's two things in life that are certain: death and taxes, and we think you could throw buying some sort of home appliance into that mix. Whether it's a toaster or a state-of-the-art smart appliance (you know, the fridges that like link up to the cloud or whatever), ABC Warehouse will have you covered. The Michigan-based retailer has been outfitting people's homes and businesses since 1963 and is unparalleled when it comes to selection and expertise. Plus, Gordy's awesome.
Where does one even begin? Faygo, the brightly colored pop, is a Michigan classic. From black cherry to the original red pop, Faygo has been staining lips for decades. We totally get why the Juggalos have adopted Faygo as their official family drink.
4120 2nd Ave., Detroit; 313-309-7892; willleathergoods.com
Have you seen this space? The high-end, Oregon-based retailer set up shop inside the old Tomboy Supermarket in Midtown and boy, is it gorgeous. Peddling $500 handbags, $640 rugs, $160 wallets, and $55 shoe horns, among other things, this is a trendy new addition to Midtown's burgeoning shopping district.
1500 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-437-8095; johnvarvatos.com
John Varvatos, the luxury designer and Allen Park native, launched his 4,000-square-foot Detroit store last year with a private Alice Cooper concert. In addition to the chic, rock 'n' roll apparel — T-shirts, boots, leather jackets — you can head upstairs to find a record and vintage audio equipment store. Even if you're only window-shopping, the store is worth a visit to see the dozens of prints of iconic rock photography that line the walls.
15 E. Kirby St., Detroit; 313-559-5500; shopparkshelton.com/The_Peacock_Room.html
Rachel Lutz's boutique offers new and vintage clothing and accessories, as well as antique furniture and eclectic artifacts. The Peacock Room occupies a gorgeous space in the historic Park Shelton. As we detailed in a 2014 profile of Lutz, she's been around Midtown since a very young age. "People work here, people live here, people play here. Too many people underestimate Detroit," she told us. Amen.