Ten quirky must-see shops in Vegas

Photo courtesy of Corner Store

Photo by Corner Store

Las Vegas is famous for its all of its glitz and glamour — but did you know the city has its fair share of fun, one-of-a-kind shops? From zombie survival tools and ’80s toys to vintage furniture pieces and exotic beef jerky, you may trade gambling at the tables for snagging a bizarre treasure that’ll have your friends asking, “Where’d you get that?”

Here are 10 stores in Vegas that you’ll have to add to your itinerary. While there are plenty of other hole-in-the-wall spots, we thought this would be a great start. Happy shopping!

1. Zombie Apocalypse  (3420 Spring Mountain Road): You may have your cupboards stocked with food and a full tool rack in the garage, but do you really have what it takes to survive, let’s say, a zombie apocalypse? If you’re a fan of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and movies like “Zombieland” and “Resident Evil,” you’ll have a true appreciation for this store. Here you’ll find tons of functional items for survival.

The store carries merchandise like a tub of 200 servings of dry food with a 20-year shelf life. Only $100, it comes out to 50 cents a meal. Flavors include cheesy broccoli rice, Tuscan butter noodles and potato soup, to name a few. If I were to buy a tub of oatmeal today, that means I’ll be 50 years old when it expires! Other fun items include weapons like stun guns, zombie machetes and hunting knives, T-shirts sporting a zombie Hello Kitty (Hello Zombie) or with witty logos like “Not Infected,” gas masks, zombie survival guide books and posters.

2. Las Vegas Toy Shack (450 Fremont St.): Located at Fremont Street Experience, Las Vegas Toy Shack will definitely take you back to your sandbox days. Growing up as an ’80s baby, I truly believe our generation had the coolest toys. In fact, I still have my Fisher Price Little People figures and Dana, my doll from the Barbie and the Rockers band. If you grew up in the same era as I did, this store will be like toy heaven. Las Vegas Toy Shack carries tons of rare antique items, with emphasis on Hot Wheels cars and old-school GI Joes. We’re sure you’ll find something that “more than meets the eye.”

3. Beef Jerky Store (112 N. 3rd St.): Also located at Fremont Street Experience is the Beef Jerky Store, the one-stop shop for snacks.  If you think all you’ll find are shelves full of Oberto and Slim Jim sticks, then you really need to pay this place a visit. Shop a variety of beef jerky flavors ranging from teriyaki, adobo, cracked pepper and barbecue to a full line of vegan-friendly beef jerky (yay for me!). Meat-free flavors include pepperoni, spicy chicken and wild mushroom, to name a few. You can even satisfy your sweet tooth with a wide assortment of gummy candy, hard candy and tons of chocolates. Beef Jerky Store also carries a wall full of Li Hing-flavored snacks (popular in the Hawaiian culture), as well as Asian goodies like mochi and nori.

Brushed metal sculptural wall by C. Jere (photo by Retro Vegas)

4. Retro Vegas (1131 S. Main St.): Speaking of vintage, Retro Vegas shop is full of art and antiques, great for every budget. Retro Vegas also has modern art and a lot of products (especially props) are available for short-term rent. How cool is that? In addition, Retro Vegas has a great selection of chairs, some of which actually resemble my grandma’s furniture (which she still keeps in pristine condition). You’ll also find a large variety of lamps from the ’70s and some of the most random wall pieces, ranging from metal sculptures to Asian art. Retro Vegas is open late during First Friday, a downtown arts festival held at the beginning of each month.

5. Corner Store (1201 S. Main St.): While you’re on a home décor kick, make sure to check out Corner Store, located just a few steps from Retro Vegas. When I imagine  a corner store, the first couple of things that come to mind are a 40-ounce bottle or a bag of Hot Cheetos. But Corner Store in downtown is far from cheap beer and snacks. Here you’ll find everything from bookcases and vases to home accessories and wall art. If you’re looking to really spruce up your home, you can browse through a collection of bed frames, dressers, mirrors, dining tables and cabinets. The style is unique too. While I’m sad we don’t have an IKEA in town yet, the eclectic selection in here is easily comparable.

6. Tokyo Discount (9890 S. Maryland Pkwy.): If you’re a fan of Japanese pop culture, Tokyo Discount has it all. Not only will you find an assortment of Sanrio items with popular characters like Hello Kitty, Chococat, Keroppi, Bad Badtz Maru and Pochacco, you’ll also stumble upon a wide selection of dining ware. These include bento boxes (perfect for those who don’t like different foods touching), sushi plates, tea cup sets, tea pots, chopsticks, china sets and much more. You’ll also find face and beauty care, unique trinkets and other Japanese characters like Pokemon and Dragonball Z. The store may be really small, but I’ve spent my entire lunch break here browsing through all the random doodads.

Choose from hundreds of different shot glasses (and much more) at Bonanza Gifts World's Largest Gift Shop.

7. Bonanza Gifts World’s Largest Gift Shop (2440 S. Las Vegas Blvd): If you’re ever stumped on what to get your loved ones back home, then take a trip to Bonanza Gifts World’s Largest Gift Shop. Located on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue (near the Stratosphere Tower), the 50,000-square-foot facility has everything from Vegas-themed shot glasses (200 to 300 different kinds) and bedazzled flasks to kitchenware and piggy banks. If you really want to draw attention while walking down the Strip, look no further than the store’s 100-ounce drink container. This item is so popular, it was even featured in Steve Aoki and Afrojack’s “No Beef” video. Non-related Vegas items include Native American jewelry and toys like unicorns and teddy bears. I plan on returning to buy the Jesus action figure.

8. Fruition (4139 S. Maryland Pkwy.): If you want to wear something unique and don’t care too much for outfits seen in mall displays, Fruition marks the spot. Located in midtown, Fruition carries a diverse collection of clothing ranging from different designer labels, time periods (think ’80s and ’90s) and anything out of the ordinary. You’ll also find the same vintage and street wear pieces that musicians like M.I.A., Katy Perry, Lupe Fiasco and Kanye West wear. Fruition carries brands like Jeremy Scott, Nike, Adidas, Dr. Romanelli, Northface and vintage Ralph Lauren and Chanel, to name a few.

9. Undefeated (4480 Paradise Road): How would you like to rock some shoes to go along with that fly outfit? If you’re a die-hard sneaker head and are looking for a colorful pair of kicks, then this store is for you. Located across the street from Hard Rock Hotel, Undefeated carries the spunkiest collection of Nikes, Vans and Converse. Neon colors and funky prints are common here: Those typically shy and modest with their style can easily find a way to turn it up a notch. While you’re here, check out Stussy next door, offering its signature urban-inspired apparel.

10. Cat’s Curiosities (560 S. Decatur): Located within the Charleston Antique Mall near Arizona Charlie’s, this vintage and used book store has something for everyone. The store carries a wide selection of ladies’ vintage clothing from the Victorian era through the early ’80s. Men will come across unique ties. In addition to vintage apparel, Cat’s Curiosities also sells vintage patterns, fabrics, accessories, used books and records (mainly rock and jazz). We’re sure your finds will be the cat’s meow.


Most folks take their Vegas jackpot winnings back home, but my dad decided to stay here instead. That’s how I left Seattle almost 20 years ago. I moved from greenery and rainy days to hot summers, palm trees and desert. As much as I love my hometown, I decided to stick around Vegas. This city just has so much to offer. You don’t even have to be a gambler, bar hopper or an all-night partier. I love Vegas for its awesome vegan-friendly spots, concerts, swanky hotel suites and spas so big, they’re like castles. The pool scene is not too shabby either, which is why I love taking stay-cations. Besides living it up -- Vegas style -- I’m hanging out with my handsome hubby, adorable baby girl, two cats and super-fluffy Shih-Tzu. I’m also a huge fan of '90s music, shows and movies. You can find me on Google+ and Twitter.