SALZER’S, BEST RECORD STORE, BEST GIFT SHOP, BEST ADULT STORE AND BEST SMOKE SHOP 

The name belies what this Ventura institution has to offer, but the votes will clue you in. Best Record Store, Best Gift Shop, Best Adult Store and Best Smoke Shop. That’s a lot of bests . . . but not surprising. The store opened in 1972 by renowned concert promoter Jim Salzer (who passed away in March at 78) looks like a rock and roll museum and it some ways it is. Beyond the vintage music memorabilia on the walls and shelves, however, it boasts an enviable collection of new and used vinyl and CDs, videos and DVDs (including the NSFW kind), gifts that range from charming to cheeky, clothing and anything you might need for smoking and toking. Wife Nancy and son Brandon along with their staff continue to keep the everlasting flame of Salzer’s legacy burning, and despite a rough year, that light shines brighter than ever. Photo by Brandon Salzer. 


Adult Store

1ST PLACE

Salzer’s
5777 Valentine Road, Ventura
805-639-2160, www.salzers.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Aphrodite’s
477 E. Main St., Ventura
805-652-0082

Three Star Books & News
359 E. Main St., Ventura
805-653-9068

 

Antique Store

1ST PLACE

Times Remembered
467 E. Main St., Ventura
805-643-3137, times-remembered.business.site

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Vintage Ventura
2545 E. Main St., Ventura
805-667-8192

Antique Adventures
6587 Ventura Blvd., Ventura
805-815-2400

 

Art Gallery

1ST PLACE

Latitudes
401 E. Main St., Ventura
805-642-5257, www.latitudesgallery.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Bell Arts Factory
432 N. Ventura Ave., Ventura
805-836-2787, www.bellartsfactory.org 

Museum of Ventura County
100 E. Main St., Ventura
805-653-0323, www.venturamuseum.org 

BEST PLACE FOR ETHICAL UNDIES | Ojai Lingerie 805-619-9444 www.ojailingerie.com For many women, shopping for lingerie can involve more misses than hits. But this shop, opened in 2019 by Malory Taylor, began with a body-positive creed that aimed to change that. I was also drawn to the eco-conscious focus and, prior to the pandemic, planned to check out the store. A girl can always use a new bra or two. Then COVID-19 hit. And the lockdown. And the pandemic stayed. Online shopping and curbside delivery became the norm, and now I really needed some new skivvies and bras. I was scrolling the megastores online and then remembered Ojai Lingerie. When I checked the shop’s website, I was excited to see tha they offered a great line of bamboo-sourced basic bras and boy-short style underwear — exactly what I was looking for — at a price point that was comparable to the mega online stores. I would much rather support a locally owned business in my community. I ordered underwear and a bra to check the size and fit and was thrilled when a small, brown paper bag with a thank you note was delivered to my front porch in a few hours. Match that Amazon! (Hand delivery available now in Ojai. Free shipping for orders over $75). I loved them so much, I ordered several more of each in different colors. Ojai Lingerie offers the basics — underwear and bras, robes and wraps — along with some fun, unique pieces with flair. Lusciously soft kimonos in organic cotton and fun bralettes made from vintage lace. Several are made in the USA, and those made overseas are ethically sourced and manufactured. This month, the luxurious Jooley Robe, available through Ojai Lingerie and made in San Francisco, was featured in Oprah’s Favorite Things for 2020. As the weather cools, this makes a great and cozy piece for lounging on the weekend or the work- from-home look. If we’re spending more time inside, there’s really no excuse to not look and feel fabulous from your undergar- ments out, especially if you can shop from home and support local business. Photo by @willhouse_co, Model: @_emily_violet                        — Kimberly Rivers

Arts & Crafts Supplies

1ST PLACE

Firefly Ceramics
1580 Saratoga Ave., Unit C, Ventura
805-650-1468, www.fireflyceramics.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Ojai Creates!
606 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai
805-640-6558, ojaicreates.wordpress.com

Fabric Town USA
2686 E. Main St., Ventura
805-643-3434, www.fabrictownusa.net

Auto Dealer

1ST PLACE

DCH Lexus
1640 Auto Center Drive, Oxnard
855-834-6158, www.dchlexusofoxnard.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Paradise Chevrolet
6350 Leland St., Ventura
805-642-0111, www.paradisechevrolet.com

Ventura Toyota
6360 Auto Center Drive, Ventura
805-650-0510, www.venturatoyota.com

 

Bicycle Shop

1ST PLACE

Ventura Bike Depot
239 W. Main St., Ventura
805-652-1114, www.venturabikedepot.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Open Air Bicycles
2386 Main St., Ventura
805-653-1100, www.openairventura.com

The Mob Shop
110 W. Ojai Ave., Ojai
805-272-8102, www.themobshop.com

 

Bridal Shop

1ST PLACE

Bella Mucci’s
4221 E. Main St., Ventura
805-620-0604, www.bellamuccisbridalcouture.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Kay’s Bridal
4420 Alpine St., Simi Valley
805-522-3031, www.kaysbridal.com

Ever After Bridal Boutique
690 Walnut St., Moorpark
805-222-5112, www.ea-bridal.com

 

Dive Shop

1ST PLACE

Ventura Dive & Sport
1559 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura
805-650-6500, www.venturadive.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Blue Tuna Spearfishing
1302 Tower Square #4, Ventura
805-826-3483, www.bluetunaspearfishing.com

Channel Islands Scuba
1348 N. Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks
805-230-9995, www.cisdivers.com

 

Florist

1ST PLACE

Passion Flowers
920 E. Main St., Ventura
805-641-1076, www.passionflowersventura.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Yamaguchi Flowers
18814 E. Telegraph Road, Santa Paula
805-525-9268

Sweet Peas Flowers & Gifts
2855 Johnson Drive, Ventura
805-644-9992, www.sweetpeaflowersandgifts.net

 

Gift Shop

1ST PLACE

Salzer’s Records
5777 Valentine Road, Ventura
805-639-2160, www.salzers.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

B On Main
446 E. Main St., Ventura
805-643-9309, www.bonmain.com

Plum
466 E. Main St., Ventura
805-641-0113, www.shopplumgifts.com

Visit Ventura
101 S. California St., Ventura
805-641-1400, www.visitventuraca.com

 

Home Furnishings

1ST PLACE

For Your Home Furniture
443 E. Main St., Ventura
805-641-1919, www.fyhfurn.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Couch Potato
2304 E. Main St., Ventura
805-641-1612, www.coachpotatofutons.com

Passport Habits
642 E. Main St., Ventura
805-667-8560, www.passporthabits.com

 

Hot Tub/Swim Spa Dealership

1ST PLACE

Coastal Softub & Spa-Warehouse
6019 Olivas Park Dr. A, Ventura
805-654-9000, www.spa-warehouse.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

HotSpring Spa & Patio
2901 E. Main St., Ventura
805-650-7727, www.hotspringspaandpatio.com

Ojai Pool Store
510 W. El Roblar Dr., Ojai
805-640-1288, www.californianaturalpools.com

 

Jeweler

1ST PLACE

Fox Fine Jewelry
560 E. Main St., Ventura
805-652-1800, www.foxfinejewelry.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

George Thompson Diamond Co.
309 W. Ventura Blvd., Suite D, Camarillo
805-388-5750, www.georgethompson.com

Lynn’s Jewelry Studio
4572 Telephone Road, #906, Ventura
805-642-5500, www.lynnsjewelry.com

 

Lingerie

1ST PLACE

Aphrodite’s
477 E. Main St., Ventura
805-652-0082, www.aphroditesonline.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Trystology
588 E. Main St., Ventura
888-801-8952, www.trystology.com

Diva Passion Boutique (Permanently closed)
3431 Telegraph Road, Ventura
805-658-8011

 

Marijuana Dispensary

1ST PLACE

Wheelhouse
521 W. Channel Islands Blvd., Suite 1, Port Hueneme
805-382-0420, www.wheelhouseph.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

SafePort
353 W. Channel Islands Blvd., Oxnard
805-843-3131, www.safeportcannabis.com

Sespe Creek Collective
408 Bryant Circle, Unit C, Ojai
805-722-9333, www.sespe.org

 

Musical Instruments

1ST PLACE

Henson’s Music Center
301 S. A St., Oxnard
805-486-8742, www.hensonsmusic.net

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Guitar Planet
1822 E. Main St., Ventura
805-648-4633, www.guitarplanet.us

Guitar 48
600 E. Main St., Ventura
805-628-9540, www.guitar48.com

Music Freqs (Formerly Rock City Studios)
2258 Pickwick Drive, Camarillo
805-383-3555, www.musicfreqs.com

 

Nursery

1ST PLACE

Green Thumb
1899 S. Victoria Ave., Ventura
805-642-8517, www.greenthumb.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Yamaguchi Flowers
18814 E. Telegraph Road, Santa Paula
805-525-9268

Ventura Cactus & Succulents
1166 N. Ventura Ave., Ventura
805-755-5119

 

Pawn Shop

1ST PLACE

Saul’s Loan & Jewelry
532 S. Oxnard Blvd., Oxnard
805-483-7036, www.thepawnshopoxnard.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS 

Olde Town Jewelry And Loan
3980 Market St., Ventura
805-641-2274

Pawn Shop of Ventura 
2016 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
805-641-9445

 

Pet Store

1ST PLACE

The Wharf
980 E. Front St., Ventura
805-648-5037, www.store.thewharfonline.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Ventura Pet Barn
3203 E. Main St., Ventura
805-654-0345, www.venturapetbarn.com

Petropolis
5800 Santa Rosa Road, Suite 144, Camarillo
805-482-9121, www.petropoliscamarillo.com

 

Record Store

1ST PLACE

Salzer’s
5777 Valentine Road, Ventura
805-639-2160, www.salzers.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Jockamo
522 E. Santa Clara St., Ventura
805-667-8178, www.recordstoreday.com

Grady’s Record Refuge
2546 E. Main St., Ventura
805-648-5565, www.gradysrecordrefuge.com

 

Shoe Store

1ST PLACE

The Wharf
980 E. Front St., Ventura
805-648-5037, store.thewharfonline.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Birkenstock Footprints of Ventura
518 E. Santa Clara St., Ventura
805-643-7043

Inside Track
2437 E. Harbor Blvd., Ventura
805-644-5555, www.insidetrackventura.com

 

Shopping District

1ST PLACE

Downtown Ventura
www.downtownventura.org

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

The Collection
www.thecollectionrp.com

Ventura Harbor Village
www.venturaharborvillage.com

 

Skateboard Shop

1ST PLACE

Five Points Skate Shop
2787 E. Main St., Ventura
805-652-1432, five-points-skate-snowboards.business.site

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Revolution Board Company
805-383-1288, www.revosurf.com

Momemtum Ride Shop
461 W. Channel Islands Blvd., Port Hueneme
805-985-4929, www.momentumrideshop.com

 

Smoke Shop

1ST PLACE

Salzer’s
5777 Valentine Road, Ventura
805-639-2160, www.salzers.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Wild Side
608 E. Main St. and 2850 Johnson Dr. F, Ventura
805-652-0882; 805-644-4060; www.smokepipeshops.com/wild-side-ventura/

Sam’s Smoke Shop
881 E. Main St., Ventura
805-667-9262

 

Specialty Food Store

1ST PLACE

Rainbow Bridge
211 E. Matilija St., Ojai
805-646-4017, www.rainbowbridgeojai.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Lassen’s
3471 Saviers Road, Oxnard; 4071 E. Main St., Ventura
2955 Cochran St., Suite A4, Simi; 2150 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks
www.lassens.com

Paradise Pantry
222 E. Main St., Ventura
805-641-9440, www.paradisepantry.com

 

Surf Shop

1ST PLACE

Ventura Surf Shop
88 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
805-643-1062, www.shopvss.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Revolution Board Company
819 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
805-383-1288, www.revosurf.com

Anacapa Surf N Sport
1055 Harbor Blvd., Oxnard
805-382-1602

 

Thrift Shop

1ST PLACE

Goodwill
Ventura: 2710 E. Thompson Blvd., 805-650-9339; 404 E. Main St., 805-641-1101; 9388 Telephone Road, 805-671-5086
Oxnard: 130 Lombard St., 805-981-0130
www.gwvsb.org

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

ARC Foundation Thrift Store
265 E. Main St., Ventura
805-485-6690, www.arcfoundationvc.org

SPARC Second Chance Store
374 E. Main St., Ventura
805-648-8915, www.facebook.com/sparcsecondchance

 

Tire Store

1ST PLACE

Big Brand Tire
531 Ventura Blvd., Oxnard, 805-822-5555; 1313 S. Oxnard Blvd., Oxnard, 805-487-7883;
3650 E. Main St., Ventura, 805-650-3290
www.bigbrandtire.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

America’s Tire
4640 Telephone Road, Ventura
805-639-0166, www.americastire.com

Associated Tire
6353 Ventura Blvd., Ventura
805-826-3934, www.associatedtires.net

 

Women’s Clothing

1ST PLACE

Tiki Girl
434 E. Main St., Ventura
805-643-4800, www.shoptikigirl.com

READER RECOMMENDATIONS

Buffalo Exchange
532 E. Main St., Ventura
805-648-6873, www.buffaloexchange.com

Barefoot Boutique
1575 Spinnaker Drive, #106B, Ventura
805-300-6902, www.barefootboutique.shop