Staff picks: Best store in Knoxville

Fall is now upon us and that means chilly weather which tends to drive people indoors. Before winter comes, head out around town to explore while the cold is still tolerable. Many of us teens enjoy chain stores and hitting up the mall, but if you’re looking to support Knoxville businesses, this list is for you. Here are the staff’s favorite Knoxville stores.

You don’t have to break oplatki every Christmas Eve or eat żurek on Easter to fall in love with International Delicacies, which specializes in Eastern European groceries along with some Western European, Central Asian, and Middle Eastern foods. International Delicacies is the go-to for the Polish side of my family’s holidays, with an assortment of foreign sausages and cheeses as well as some of the best herbal teas. If you go, I would suggest Prince Polos, which are a Polish wafer candy bar, and a soda from Germany, Russia, or Slovenia. There are loads of candies (krowki are amazing) and foods to discover, often at a much cheaper price than their American equivalents. It’s the type of store that’ll give you a real sense of wanderlust. [Allie Gruszkiewicz]

Fellow book worms will appreciate my favorite Knoxville store. Union Avenue Books downtown near Market Square is a dream because you can get lost in all of the books for hours (like I have many, many times). The best parts of the shop are that it features local authors, and the workers are friendly. If reading local authors and socializing with great people is your thing, Union Avenue Books is the place to be. [Katie Matthews]

The only things I really shop for are clothes from sports teams, or I completely “nerd out” on buying old historical items. Some of my favorite items that I nerd out on are postcards and maps from different countries and different time periods. Coldstream Market in Market Square has many rustic items as well as a plethora of maps. I actually have a map of Europe from 1949 hung in my bedroom at home from Coldstream Market, so if you are a nerd as much as I am, then I would definitely recommend stopping by. [Tyler Hotz]

The Mast General Store not only swells with history but also with an array of things ranging from candy to hiking gear. I love how when I walk in and take in the old timey atmosphere, I get a familiar sensation as if I were chilling at home or with my grandparents. Not only are the candy picks excellent but the people are always so nice. The Mast General is definitely one of the coolest places downtown. [Madison Tenney]

Jerry’s Artarama is every Knoxville artist’s haven. They offer the most and best quality art supplies around. Teachers, students, and professional artists flock here for supplies. If you are a teacher or student, you can get a discount so you can buy even more stuff and have even less money. I love this Knoxville store and visit it often. [Cassidy Bailey]

My favorite Knoxville store is definitely Wild Honey Records. It’s tucked away in the Sequoyah Hills neighborhood, right next to the Plaid Apron. Not that there are a lot of records stores in Knoxville, but this has to be the best one. It’s got this really organized, streamlined look that is just extremely aesthetically pleasing – to the point that it gives me happy chills. They also have great tent sales where you can buy records for as little as 50 cents, so that’s pretty awesome. [Maggie Kimber]

There is no doubt what my favorite Knoxville based store is – it’s the Vol Shop, the official apparel shop of University of Tennessee athletics. I have spent more money at the Vol Shop than I have spent anywhere else in Knoxville by far, especially since the new Nike gear was released this summer. If you’re on campus on a gameday, the scene of literally hundreds of Tennessee fans in the store at the same time is something to see. [Wyeth Wilson]