Mississippi Records Aaron Lee

Portland is also a great place to spend your travel allowance on the cool stuff that will make your friends back home drool with jealousy. Such as...


RECORD STORES

TOP PICK: Mississippi Records

This independent record store crams countless vinyl into its small confines, but given space and time to explore, one visit can yield rare oddities and treasure troves. It’s an expertly curated selection, right down to the tunes humming through the speakers. You can test drive records from its wide variety of genres—blues, jazz, soul, and so many more—at their handy listening station, and savvy, friendly clerks readily answer any questions. 5202 N Albina

ALSO DON’T MISS:

Little Axe Records (4142 NE Sandy). Little Axe has some of the choicest selection and best used vinyl prices in town.

Crossroads Music (3130 SE Hawthorne). Dozens of independent vendors make this the best used vinyl selection in Portland.

Clinton Street Record and Stereo (2510 SE Clinton). Great service, drool-worthy vintage audio gear, and a terrific selection—boogie, house, disco, film soundtracks, and more—make this cozy shop a must-stop.


COMICS

TOP PICK: Floating World Comics

Floating World’s got a dazzling array of weird indie and European titles, all nestled right alongside chapbooks, zines, and superheroic opera from Marvel and DC. Just a few steps away from shelves of collected editions (not to mention the wall of new comics), you’ll find well-curated selections of all-ages and YA books. And a few steps from those, feast your eyes on slick art books, retro trading cards, and more. 400 NW Couch, floatingworldcomics.com

ALSO DON’T MISS:

Bridge City Comics (3725 N Mississippi). With great deals on collected editions, a fantastic kids’ section, and some of the most passionate employees in town, Bridge City’s a required stop.

Cosmic Monkey Comics (5335 NE Sandy). The sprawling Cosmic Monkey has it all: Boxes of back issues, shelves of browse-worthy trades, enough new issues to lose yourself in for days, and a trusty staff that’s happy to offer recommendations.


SEX TOYS

TOP PICK: She Bop

Take one look at their products, and you’ll see this women-owned store caters to everyone, regardless of gender. They specialize in well-made, non-toxic toys for every possible interest and kink, and are very happy to answer any embarrassing question you have—don’t sweat it, they’ve heard it all. Plus they have monthly classes on need-to-know topics like BDSM, anal play, polyamory, oral gratification, and more. And they have books, DVDs, and sexy underpants, too, if you’re into that kind of thing. (And you are!) 909 N Beech & 3213 SE Division, sheboptheshop.com

ALSO DON’T MISS:

Spartacus (300 SW 12th). A great shop if you work in the exotic dance industry, or just love leather or a wicked hot pair of heels. (A respectable room of sex toys are in the back.)

Oh Baby (722 NW 23rd). Gorgeous lingerie is the focus here, but they also feature a healthy selection of toys from legit companies like LELO, We-Vibe, and Jimmyjane.

Fantasy for Adults Only (various locations, see fantasyforadultsonly.com). Kind of like a Costco for sex toys, Fantasy has a HUGE selection, a friendly staff, and lots of fetish wear as well.


TATTOOS

TOP PICK: Oddball Tattoo

Oddball will make you feel like you’re in capable hands: from their constant dedication to creating art for art’s sake, to employing artists with diverse techniques and approaches. They’ve also developed an atmosphere that’s very suitable for taking a needle to the skin 1,000 times per minute, for hours on end. 2716 SE 21stoddballstudios.com

ALSO DON’T MISS:

Scapegoat (1223 SE Stark). Specializing in techniques using all plant-based materials, the artists’ work here is nothing short of amazing.

Ever True Tattoo (213 SW Ash). Featuring longtime experienced artists, who execute large-scale custom work flawlessly.

Adorn (3941 SE Hawthorne). Women-owned, their approach is inherently more atypical and progressive than traditional Western style.


VINTAGE FURNITURE

TOP PICK: Lounge Lizard

This long-standing vintage furniture store specializes in reproduction ‘50s lamp shades, decorated with blanket stitches, starbursts, and funky patterns. All those glowing orbs also serve as excellent lighting for their vintage furniture collection, which is vast, reasonably priced, and spruced up. And the staff is friendly and helpful, to boot. It’s pretty much impossible to walk out of their stores without grasping something mod in your hot little paws.1310 SE Hawthorne & 1426 SE Hawthorne, pdxloungelizard.com

ALSO DON’T MISS:

Hawthorne Vintage (4722 SE Hawthorne). This wonderful vintage store has the furniture piece you’ve been searching for, like that perfect credenza, in tip-top shape, that magically fits into that one oddly shaped alcove.

Vintage Pink (2500 SE Hawthorne). Always brimming with furniture and retro accouterment.

Red Snapper (4726 SE Hawthorne). A hidey-hole of clean, restored, and well-curated mid-century pieces.

The Reclaimory (4720 SE Hawthorne). You’ll most likely wander in for the jewelry or doodads, but their tiny selection of furniture is excellent.


CANDY

TOP PICK: Candy Babel

While classic, old-fashioned candy stores have largely faded into sepia-toned nostalgia, Amani Greer’s Candy Babel carries the torch. The tiny shop on NE Alberta offers 75 varieties of bulk, imported candies, with little flag stickers alerting you to the sweets’ home country—the Swedish sour berry-flavored lips are our personal favorites. 1219 NE Alberta, candybabel.com

ALSO DON’T MISS:

Quin Candy (2805 SE Ankeny & 1025 SW Stark). It’s got odd experimental flavors (“Smoked Cola” gumdrops, for example), and Quin’s popcorn caramels and “Sniffle Slayer” lemon-ginger-cayenne lollipops are magical.

Cacao (414 SW 13th & at the Heathman, 712 SW Salmon). This highbrow chocolate library boasts an extensive and expensive variety of chocolate bars from around the globe, but Cacao’s real highlight is its house-made hot and drinking chocolates.


ODDS ‘N’ ENDS

TOP PICK: Flutter

Flutter is festooned with pretty vintage dresses, jewelry, tarot cards, zines about Prince, ribbons, perfume, postcards, art books, candy, and a store cat who likes to nest in silky scarves.

3948 N Mississippi, flutterpdx.com

ALSO DON’T MISS:

Presents of Mind (3633 SE Hawthorne). Your one-stop shop for unicorn T-shirts, roller-skating socks, local jewelry, and awesome knickknacks.

City Liquidators (823 SE 3rd). Expect something weird, wonderful, and vast. It’s great for furniture, Egyptian sarcophagi, Urkel dolls, office supplies, fabric, dishes, carpet, and so much more.

Tender Loving Empire (various locations, tenderlovingempire.com). It doesn’t get much more Portlandy than TLE when it comes to records, cards, and ephemera.

Cargo (81 SE Yamhill). This place is stuffed with stuff you’ll never need—textiles, carvings, paper lanterns, tin toys, baskets, vases—but everything’s so lovely you’ll want it all.

ZimZim (144 NE 28th). Do you like saint candles with Amy Schumer on them? Star Wars leggings? How about tote bags depicting pole-dancing sloths? This place is going to blow your mind.