12 Tonar
     

12 Tonar

Reykjavík, Iceland

It's not the biggest record store around, so don't expect to find a huge selection there. That said, what 12 Tónar lacks in size, it makes up for in excellent curation and charm. Located in the heart of the city, this unique little shop is set up for extended browsing, offering multiple places to sit down, listen to music, read magazines, enjoy a free espresso or tea, or just meet up with other interesting individuals — including regulars Björk and Sigur Rós. And thanks to their doubling as a record label, they frequently host concerts, too, with summer Fridays set aside for live music outside in their garden.

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Todd Snyder Townhouse
     

Todd Snyder Townhouse

Tokyo, Japan

We hesitate to call it a department store — it's way cooler than that — but the new flagship Todd Snyder Townhouse store is far more than just another clothing shop. Spread across three floors, this unique destination offers a tailor shop, whiskey bar serving Stumptown coffee, and a floor of carefully curated items. And while the store certainly carries co-branded products from Alden, Champion, Superior Labor, and Tricker's, it also stocks the latest and greatest from the likes of Aesop, Leica, and Moscot.

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Breakaway Records
     

Breakaway Records

Austin, Texas

Some record stores sell CDs. Some sell movies, too. Breakaway Records sells neither. Instead, like a true record store, it sells nothing but vinyl, with both new and used albums on offer. The selection covers virtually every genre and encompasses recordings from the 1920s all the way up through current day — with special attention payed to the sounds of the '50s, '60s, and '70s. And don't worry if you don't have anything to play them yet: the store also sells quality vintage turntables, receivers, and speakers.

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Pharmacie
     

Pharmacie

Minneapolis, Minnesota

You go to the pharmacy to get medicine and other stuff for your body. You head to Pharmacie to get stuff for your home. This Uptown shop is filled with interesting goods, including items like apothecary, lighting, pillows, jewelry and accessories, barware, and decorative pieces. A few pieces of furniture are available as well, but you can rest assured no matter what grabs your eye that it'll be a quality item with enough panache to not be boring, yet enough class that it won't be out of style anytime soon. [Scouted by Seth]

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All or Nothing Tattoo
     

All or Nothing Tattoo

Smyrna, Georgia

It might sit in a far-off suburb of Atlanta, but there's nothing small town about the work being done at All or Nothing Tattoo. Staffed by a huge roster of award-winning artists — including the legendary Brandon Bond, Dave Tedder, Mike McMahon, and many more. If you doubt their credibility, one look at the huge collections of awards and trophies should put your mind at ease, and while they do accept walk-ins, they are also super-popular — among tattoo aficionados, celebrities, and professional athletes alike — so you might want to book an appointment first.

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Andreas Murkudis
     

Andreas Murkudis

Berlin, Germany

The tagline states "Exclusive Goods - Rare Clothings", and that's a pretty good place to start when attempting to understand the awesomeness that is Andreas Murkudis. This massive, 10,000 square-foot-plus space was formerly home to a newspaper printing press, but now offers high-end, ultra-minimalist wares ranging from little-known clothing brands, accessories, various home wares, and even some select booze and food products, to a store-within-a-store for Mykita sunglasses and an entire level devoted to furniture from the German brand e15.

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Amoeba Music
     

Amoeba Music

Los Angeles, California

It might not be the original location, but for sheer selection, you can't beat the Hollywood outpost of Amoeba Music. Hailed by the owners as the "biggest, broadest, most diverse collection of music and movies ever seen on under one roof," this massive store occupies a full city block, and offers two floors of media goodness. Inside, you'll find row after row of CDs, movies, and, of course, plenty of vinyl, as well as one of the most knowledgeable staffs of any store anywhere. As you'd expect from a record shop this size, it also serves as a venue for live bands and release parties, having hosted The Flaming Lips, The Roots, The Raconteurs, and many other artists over its 10+ years of operation.

Photos: John L
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Friday Next
     

Friday Next

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Looking to do a little shopping on your lunch break? Take care of both with one stop into Friday Next. Located in the heart of the city, this unique shop combines a store with a great selection of furniture, housewares, and smaller items like bags, books, and knick knacks/gifts with a relaxing cafe and outdoor terrace with ideal Overtoom people watching. The cafe serves coffee, cappuccino, and lunches; and in the afternoon offers snacks and wine, which make hopping on the free Wi-Fi to check your email a little more relaxing.

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Pilgrim Surf + Supply
     

Pilgrim Surf + Supply

Brooklyn, New York

Okay, so it's not really close to any surfing — unless you're thinking of throwing your board in the East River — but that doesn't stop Pilgrim Surf + Supply from being worth a visit. This Williamsburg shop stocks a surprisingly robust selection of boards, as well as trunks, hoodies, shirts, pants, jackets, bags, and other essential gear. And should you feel like a bit of spontaneous shopping when you're closer to the shore, stop by their new shop in Amagansett, which offers just as impressive a selection with an even beach-ier vibe.

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Excelsior
     

Excelsior

Milan, Italy

Okay, so only four of its seven floors are of interest to guys, but when you consider that's more than half of the 43,000 square feet, we figure that's plenty. Excelsior is a must-see megastore near the Duomo, offering a third floor with an amazing sneaker selection, excellent suiting — this is Milan, after all, and outstanding leather goods, a ground floor overflowing with the latest gadgetry and fine fragrances, a mezzanine "food court" that will have you rethinking your concept of the term, and a bottom floor grocery store that puts your local Whole Foods to shame. Just don't forget to bring your wallet — odds are you won't be leaving empty-handed (or empty-stomached, for that matter).

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Groove Merchant Records
     

Groove Merchant Records

San Francisco, California

It's not the place to go buy the latest and greatest releases. Nor is it a place to go buy CDs, DVDs, or other hard plastic discs. But if you're looking for vinyl, Groove Merchant Records is the place to be. This collectors haven has been operating in the Lower Haight for over two decades, dedicating itself to finding the best rare and obscure vinyl from around the world, then tossing it onto the shelves for your amusement. As you might imagine, the staff — including owner Chris Veltri, aka Cool Chris — are highly knowledgeable and friendly, so even if you're new to record buying, you'll feel right at home.

Photos: Sean O'Sullivan
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Topo Designs Store
     

Topo Designs Store

Denver, Colorado

We've long been fans of Topo Designs' gear, and finally there's a place to browse their whole catalog at once. The new flagship Topo Designs Store gives you an opportunity to browse their range of bags, apparel, and accessories, from accessory pulls and wallets to klettersacks and duffel bags. Also on offer are some choice outdoorsy magazines, as well as a range of camping and outdoor equipment and a solid selection of sunglasses. And as you might expect from an outdoor-focused company, the store itself is easy on the environment, as it's built from two recycled shipping containers, giving it an appropriately rugged feel.

Photos: Dave Lehl, James Florio
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