Best Of 2023

Best Flea Market

Winner: Traders Village

9333 SW Loop 410

(210) 623-8383

The concept of the "flea market" is commonly attributed to the French term marché aux puces — a spot where shoppers might unwittingly purchase an actual flea snuggled up in a pre-loved item. While shoppers are much more likely to pick up a flea, puce or pulga from the two runners-up in this category — both of which we can highly recommended — Traders Village offers a modern-day market experience sure to enliven your weekend with family-friendly fun. Encompassing a staggering 100 acres populated by more than 1,000 vendors, the sprawling grounds pack in everything from clothing and electronics to tools and home decor — not to mention festival fare and a mini-amusement park featuring classic rides and games.

2. Bussey's Flea Market

18738 I-35 N., Schertz

(210) 651-6830

3. Mission Open Air Market

707 Moursund Blvd.

(210) 923-8131



Winner: Sexology Institute

707 S. St. Mary's St.

(210) 487-0371

Paddles, nighties and lube — oh, my. This Southtown spot has all most folks need for a naughty evening and then some. And we're not just talking adult toys and sexy attire but instructional classes on subjects such as fellatio and sexy selfie-taking. Locally owned and operated, the Sexology Institute is a haven for all, from those completely comfortable in their sexy skin to those still getting acquainted with their erotic identities. If you're a bit shy, don't worry: the entire staff is trained on how to help even the most demure San Antonian get their freak on in the safest, most satisfying way.

2. Shades of Love

300 W. Bitters Road, Suite 150

(210) 494-3006

3. Love Shack Boutique

Multiple locations

Winner: Karolina's Antiques

1709 Blanco Road

(210) 731-9787

2. Grey Moon Vintage

2202 Broadway

3. The Junction Antiques

1704 Blanco Road

(210) 273-3439

Winner: Brick at Blue Star

108 Blue Star

(210) 262-8653

We are your blank canvas — where your ideas and vision will come alive," the management of Brick at Blue Star promises on the space's website. And that's a pretty good summation of the gathering space's appeal. Thanks to its Blue Star location, Brick's Sunday Art Market offers an artisan shopping experience that gives a variety of local artist and craftspeople a chance to show wares in an environment accessible to both visitors and residents. Periodic Saturday markets introduce themes, ranging from pop-up pulgas to showcases for artisans who specialize in spooky items. Throw in a bar offering wine and a surprisingly deep selection of craft beer, and you've got a perfect excuse to browse away a weekend afternoon while supporting local creators.

2. The Eagle's Nest of San Antonio

1235 Basse Road

(210) 354-7343

3. SA Local Market

115 N. Main Ave.

Winner: Bike World (Purchased by Trek since voting)

Multiple locations

2. Blue Star Bike Shop

1414 S. Alamo St.

(210) 858-0331

3. Level Up Bike Shop

1802 E. Commerce St. #101

(210) 505-7686

Winner: Half Price Books

Multiple locations

Although this year's runners up certainly have a leg up when it comes to signings and author events, it's clear San Antonio readers love a bargain — and the Half Price Books chain has delivered just that for more than half a century. In addition to the expected well-thumbed genre paperbacks, each of the Dallas-based chain's stores includes an array of other selections ranging from cookbooks to history to art. A wide selection of comics, music and gifts augments the offerings. Despite the chain's continued expansion — now at more than 120 shops in 17 states — Half Price's outlets still maintain a funky, homespun appeal that makes it feel like one is shopping at a family-owned business. As part of the company's commitment to education, teachers and librarians get a year-round 10% discount and each store holds an annual drive to collect children's books to create "Half Pint Libraries" at nonprofit organizations and schools in the communities where it operates.

2. Nowhere Bookshop

5154 Broadway

(210) 640-7260

3. The Twig Book Shop

306 Pearl Parkway, Suite 106

(210) 826-6411

Winner: Red McCombs Ford West

7111 NW Loop 410

(833) 711-9378

2. North Park Lexus of San Antonio

611 Lockhill Selma Road

(210) 308-8900

3. Ancira Winton Chevrolet

6111 Bandera Road

(210) 681-4900

Winner: Bee's Wellness Cafe

3030 Thousand Oaks Drive, Suite 102

(210) 836-8141

There's no shortage of CBD retailers eager to evangelize for the hemp derivative. Owner Brook "Blazey Bee" Richie prides herself in being a CBD evangelist who's done her research. While combating health issues with various forms of CBD, she discovered that the products' quality varied greatly and that many retailers were unable to recommend appropriate dosages. As a result, her business samples CBD and hemp products from across the country to ensure quality, according to an online statement. What's more, she and her family put the products they carry through rigorous testing. In addition to informed opinions on CBD, the cozy retail spot prides itself in offering a wide array of wellness options, including cold-pressed juices made daily and classes in breath work, reiki and yoga.

2. Natural Goods

1802 E. Commerce St.

(210) 257-8546

3. CBD Pros

19179 Blanco Road #111

(210) 462-1434

Winner: Crib & Kids

1309 N. Loop 1604 W. #106

(210) 764-2742

2. Fox & Tots

502 Embassy Oaks, Suite 109

(210) 502-0004

3. Bambinos

4940 Broadway, Suite 120

(210) 824-7676

Winner: Defiant Boutique

11858 Wurzbach Road

(512) 710-9099

Navigating brick-and-mortar retail amid the e-tail landscape can be an unrewarding and risky prospect — especially if your concept doesn't have a point of view. Billed as a "women's clothing and accessory boutique for the trendy young adult," Defiant goes beyond offering a smartly curated assortment of casual yet stylish day and evening wear by offering shoppers a sense of community. In addition to being a key member of Elysia Collective Co. — which comprises 20 women-owned San Antonio businesses — Defiant builds community through Sip & Shop events with discounts, snacks and libations. Plus it even donates a portion of its proceeds to area nonprofits. In keeping with the Barbie fashion fever leading up to one of this summer's most anticipated movies, Defiant has assembled a pretty-in-pink collection inspired by the American icon — complete with ribbed tanks, crop tops, minidresses and platform slides.

2. Fox & Tots

502 Embassy Oaks, Suite 109

(210) 502-0004

3. Beauty Blvd Boutique

8811 Adams Hill Drive

(210) 685-4724