One of the lovely ladies I lived with my senior year in undergrad moved up to the Twin Cities for grad school (masters in cello performance; let's just say she's amazing). She asked me for a list of thrift stores and other fabulous shopping here in the Twin Cities, and I am all too happy to put something together!
Dress for Less (White Bear Avenue, near Hillcrest): a resale shop which has slightly higher end prices
Valu Thrift (Sunray on Hwy 94): ...and it's right next to a Culvers!
Goodwill (White Bear Avenue and Highway 36): redone a couple of years ago, I found some of my best linen napkins here.
Savers (Beam Avenue next to Maplewood Mall): pretty typical, clean for a thrift store
Thrift Store (Little Canada Avenue and Hwy 35E): Yes, it's called just that. It opened while I was in high school and this one and I found some pretty epic deals here. You never know what you'll find...
Unique Thrift Store (Rice Street and Larpenteur): No dressing rooms - but I've found great cheap pyrex, a tags on Ralph Lauren gown (clean and beautiful!) for $30, and all manner of other wonderful items. It's not the cleanest, but you can bet you'll find something great.
Rosedale Mall (Highway 36 between Snelling and Fairview): yeah, yeah, it's a mall. I hate malls. I usually wear scrubby clothes and look like I'm picking my nose just to avoid all of the people trying to get me to buy perfume. It's just not my scene. Yet, there are sometimes some great deals hiding inside Macy's (aka Marshall Fields aka Daytons), Ann Taylor Loft, DSW, Gap, Herbergers, JC Penney, and New York and Company).
Turnstyle and Turnstyle Home (Fairview Avenue on the Frontage road): I love these stores. My mom does, too...you can find great shoes and clothing, as well as some great dishware and housewares.
Garment Mentor (behind Rosedale): Brand new, but my peek looked promising!
Goodwill (County Road B and Snelling Avenue): lots of good deals to be had! I found my mermaid Halloween costume here my junior year of high school. Thank you, 80s prom dresses.
Tuesday Morning (behind Rosedale Mall): homegoods store that is fairly cheap and full of all sorts of interesting things
Things to eat on the way: Good Earth is a sustainability-friend store right near Turnstyle, and there's also Snuffy's Malt Shop (a personal childhood favorite) on Lexington and Larpenteur.
Everyday People Clothing Exchange (Hennepin and Lagoon): things are in very good shape here, and the price reflects it.
Ragstock (Lake and Hennepin): hit or miss. But sometimes you find good stuff!
Urban Outfitters (Lake and Hennepin): I'm a complete sucker for their dresses on clearance. They sometimes get on my nerves (their policy to shred all returned merchandise and the poser-y staff that sometimes works there) - but my love of dresses keeps me coming back.
American Apparel (Lake and Hennepin): I love me some cotton jersey! (and U of M kids, if you want bright gold tights, they're here!)
Tatters (Lyndale and 29th): never been there, but it's supposed to be good!
Buffalo Exchange (Lyndale and 27th): My favorite designer pieces (two shirts by BCBG) have been purchased in Buffalo Exchange. Some of the vintage is also exceptional!
Cheapos: if you're a CD or LP buyer, go here. There is an amazing selection (especially of classical or local stuff)
Via's Vintage (Hennepin and 24th): Haven't been here either, but it looks great!
Places to eat on the way: Pizza Luce is delicious, as is. Also, just parking somewhere and walking around Lake Calhoun is highly reccomended. There's also La Société du Thé, a tea shop that sells the most amazing loose teas right on Lyndale (the shop owner is absolutely wonderful!). Also, there are two movie theaters absolutely worth checking out: The Lagoon, and The Uptown Theater.
Goodwill (University Avenue): a newly-renovated store
Lula's (Snelling and Selby): the vintage women's clothing here is fantastic!
Elite Repeat (Randolph and Hamline): a consignment store
Swank (University and Fairview): 1950's - 1970's furniture and clothing. = Amazing.
Up Six (Snelling and Selby): great vintage.
(click here for the website "St. Paul Retro Loop" - a consortium of vintage stores in St. Paul. Can you tell I love vintage? Really? Well...let me tell you. I love vintage!)
Turnstyle (Ford Parkway and Cleaveland): lovely store in a small strip mall
Hopechest (Snelling and University): a fairly high end consignment shop
My Sister's Closet (Grand and Lexington): I found my prom dress here for $28. It's amazing. Arlene (the owner) and I - we go way back.
Foraging on the way: Chocolate Celeste on University Avenue, Cafe Latte on Grand Ave, pizza at Punch Neopolitan Pizza (Cleaveland), or Turkish at Black Sea Restaurant on Snelling Avenue.
Down South and way far west
I profess to knowing the least about this area, as it is far from where I live.
Mall of America (Bloomington): SO overrated. But - they do have Nordstrom Rack, Rybecki Cheese shop (free samples!), H&M, pretty much whatever you'd need...and then there's the whole amusement park + Ikea + aquarium in the basement thing.
Value Village (Richfield, Brooklyn Center, and New Hope): I love Value Village. Always a bargain, always great stuff.
Brides of France (Edina): I've never been here, but if you're in need of that sort of thing, this is the place to go.
Nu Look (Minneapolis): Haven't been here, but I've heard good things about it.
Food to eat: Fat Lorzeno's Pizza on Cedar Ave near Lake Nokomis is GREAT. And you can't beat Ikea meatballs.