illustration by julia rothman
the d*s city guide series is headed to florida today for a look at the city of tallahassee! brooklyn and zan of the other side vintage put together today’s guide to shopping, eating, and having fun in tallahassee. if you’re heading south to florida and are planning a visit to tallahassee i hope you’ll bring their guide with you. thanks, brooklyn and zan!
CLICK HERE for the full city guide after the jump!
Welcome to our guide to the beautiful capitol city of Tallahassee Florida! We are Brooklyn and Zan of The Other Side Vintage and we are so proud to call Tallahassee our home. Our business opened it’s doors in 2000 in a little area not too far from the Lake Ella and downtown districts, and has moved three times in our 10 years, finally settling down in Railroad Square Art Park where we finally feel comfortable and completely at home. Family owned and operated, The Other Side Vintage is also the hub for Locally Owned Tallahassee, or LOT, which is a volunteer-based organization bringing locally owned businesses in the Tallahassee area together to help promote shopping local and keeping our money recycled within our community. For a list of our current members, please visit the L.O.T. website!
Tallahassee became a city and capitol in 1824 and was the first city to celebrate Christmas. It is home to some of the most beautiful and historic plantations, houses and parks. Tallahassee hosts tons of festivals and events year round for just about everyone who’s looking for a good time! A good website to check out for dates and times of every downtown get-down, weekend market place and parade listings is Tallahassee Downtown. Here you’ll find restaurants and bars that are all within walking distance from downtown hotels and inns, as well as parking garages, walking routes and key areas and parks of interest to the history of Tallahassee.
Here are a few key websites to check out if you’re planning on visiting the city:
Railroad Square Art Park
Railroad Square Art Park – Hosting more than 80 studios, galleries, and small shops, Railroad Square Art Park is the creative haven of many Tallahassee artists and other small businesses. Most of the art galleries are open only by appointment, but on every First Friday of the month, all galleries open their doors and serve wine and cheese and exhibit their art for sale from 6pm to 9pm! This is a great way to meet and converse with some of the local artists around Tallahassee. The Other Side Vintage and Star Seas cafe feature music by all manner of artists, from Tallahassee Community College’s African Drum and Dance Ensemble to a folksy goth band like Sapphire Rebellion!
The Other Side Vintage – A family owned and operated vintage boutique located in an old warehouse in the art district. Your Funky Retro Bazaar! Entire warehouse filled with quirky used furniture, vintage clothing for guys and girls, costume jewelry and accessories, dazzling home décor, garden items, collectibles, and weird stuff! Eclectic gifts galore!
621 Art Gallery – Non-profit, donation funded art gallery featuring artists from all over the world. Most of the art that comes through this gallery is very abstract, colorful, and filled with emotion. They exhibit multi-media paintings, sculptures, interactive displays, videos, and tons more. Established in 1981
Prickly Pear Gallery – Specializing in local and regional art, crafts and gift items all handmade. Our charming Shoppe has just what you need for a gift giving occasion or a special item for yourself.
Really Knit Stuff – Highest Quality yarns from basic blends. We provide the instruction, materials and environment to guide individuals toward fulfilling their creative inclinations in color and stitched. Ready – made items also available.
LP’s Music & More – Area’s largest selection of vintage vinyl – rock, country, R&B, Jazz, Big Band, Christian, classical and more. Also carry new and used CDs, cassettes, used turntables and stereo equipment, vinyl care supplies, needles and belts.
Star Sea’s Café – Located inside the old red caboose in Railroad Square! The Star Seas Cafe serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday from 7am to 3pm and brunch every Saturday from 11am to 3pm.
Athena’s Garden – Simple herbal solutions for making the most of your life. Athena’s Garden offers more than 200 bulk herbs, both medicinal and culinary, custom tea blends and tea accessories, as well as a variety of aromatherapy products, incense, and fairy figures by artists such as Jody Bergsma, Amy Brown, and Jessica Galbreth. They also have a growing inventory of spiritual and meditation supplies.
Cosmic Cat Comics – Last year Cosmic Cat Comics held the annual national yo-yo competion right here in the square! They specialize in comic books, graphic novels, trade paperbacks and everything superhero. Locally owned and operated by the super-awesome Ned! Inside this old warehouse turned comic book haven is Renditions Art Gallery, which highlights a new artist every month, and has space availible to rent for workshops, classes, parties and art shows.
Rock Gym – Learn or practice rock climbing in the 3,300+ square feet of varied rock terrain inside of an Historic Railroad Warehouse! 600 holds and rocks cover about 3 stories of climbing space, including beginners and expert areas. There is no need to bring any gear, these guys provide you with everything you need, and can have novice’s climbing in no time at all!
Krank It Up – This is a great not-for-profit bicycle repair shop that works solely on donated bikes and tools. Their main goal is to promote the use of bikes as a sustainable means of transportation, as well as provide you with the knowledge to repair and prolong your bike’s life. Some of the bikes that these wonderful kids create are completely amazing; In the time that I’ve been in Railroad Square Art Park, I’ve seen 2-story bikes in wild colors, sometimes made of bunk bed rails among other random, but functional parts. Krank it Up is definitely something to check out while you’re visiting the Tallahassee area!
Class A Electronics/Diabolocal Devices – Professional musical equipment repairs and modification services, specializing in guitar/bass amplifiers and keyboards. Diabolical Devices builds handmade effects pedals and tube amplifiers slong with uniquely modified circuit bent creations from old Speak-n-Spells and other random instruments!
Bread and Roses Food Co-op – A member-owned and operated cooperative grocery store!
Buddhist Center – Yoga and meditation classes nearly every day of the week, and special seminars and classes listed on their website.
Peace on Earth – Free yoga classes every night at 7pm, with your host, Yogi G! Each night has a different, specific genre of yoga, including peace, inner bliss, compassion, and wisdom! Saturday and Sunday, the Peace on Earth center provide a meditation and enlightenment class at 11 am and is a wonderful way to relax and mellow out after a long, hard day at work.
GOTCHA Rides! – While you’re in Tallahassee, [as long as it's not raining!] why not take a ride in an eco friendly, open-air cab? The GOTCHA group offers free rides around town; a great way to see the scenery and get familiarized with the town and all the beauty it has to offer without hurting the environment.
All Saint’s/Gaines Street District
Avant Garb – Where retro and chic collide with vintage clothing, accessories, and an amazing array of jewelry, including vintage, costume, modern, and original designs by local jewelry artisans, functional art, gifts, decorative kitsch, rare vinyl and more!
Fat Sandwich – 825 Railroad Avenue is the home of Fat Sandwich featuring Joey, Luis, and Benson serving up fresh delicious subs, specialty sandwiches, quesadillas, and salads featuring bakery fresh breads, crisp veggies, fresh fruit sides, and awesome homemade sides. Wash it down with a cold beer and finish it off with the cake of the day. Fat Sandwich has great food, a fun atmosphere, and music as eclectic as the crowd. Tons of parking, easy to spot. 222-5505
Textures – We sell unique and affordable handmade items made by local artists. Our goal is to provide an affordable alternative to the standard mass-produced items in malls and other large retail stores. Help support independent creativity.
The Engine Room – Open daily from 5pm to 2am! This venue hosts a vast variety of bands and performers for everyone, from metal to ambient and also hosts special nights for DJ sets and gay friendly specific nights. Beer and lager only.
All Saint’s Café – Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Wi-fi is available, and you will always see someone sitting on the couch or one of the big comfy chairs doing some homework or working on some project. If you ride up on a bike, you can hang it up on the front of the building. All Saints also serves pastries and some food items during the week.
St Michael’s Pub – Amazing hole-in-the-wall pub with a punk vibe. Jukebox is always spinning a great mix of anything from punk, metal, 80s, even some 50s swing songs to dance to! Cheap beer, great ambiance, and amazing friends make this one of the best little pubs around.
The Warehouse – Great place to run into some locals having a great time playing pool and listening to some good old music on the vintage jukebox! Some local bands perform here in the back room, which is stocked with a yuengling tap with access to the back deck that connects to the front pool room. One of the neat things about this place is the bathroom, which has an old saloon style double swinging door like in those Western movies!
Quarter Moon Imports – Unique clothing and crafts from around the world. Exquisite sterling silver and gemstone jewelry. Cute purses, wallets, and accessories. Huge selection of tapestries, bead curtains, lamps, pillows and Japanese dishware. Candles, incense and great gifts!
Remember When – Remember When…a Shop of Memories has everything you loved at your Mom’s or Grandma’s house. Nifty fifties furniture and collectibles for the kitchen, bedroom and living room plus estate jewelry, vintage clothing and art.
Black Dog Café – Gourmet and specialty coffees, frappes, teas, chai, pastries, and assorted savories. Offering wine and beer after 6pm. Chess, Scrabble, art, music, and fascinating people. Open almost all the time. Carla Marie Reid, owner.
Barb’s Brittles – Over 25 varieties of homemade candy brittles ice cream. Barb’s has recently expanded to include new brittle products; namely, brittle cookies, brittle muffins, etc. Enjoy these brittle delicacies in our new ice cream parlor.
Farmer’s Market – Every Wednesday a handful of vendors selling their own all-natural and organic vegetables gathers in front of the Black Dog Cafe at Lake Ella. A little community has evolved here, and the market has become a social gathering. The produce sold here is undeniably the best in Tallahassee, and if that weren’t enough, there is a weekly cooking demonstration given by a prominent local chef or knowledgeable farmer. The growers and a handful of loyal patrons have committed themselves rain-or-shine to coming every week and have achieved something truly, truly special! Important Advice: GO EARLY! These small-scale growers harvest only what is ready to be picked, just hours before market.
Lofty Pursuits – A unique toy and gift store selling games, yoyos, darts, kites, juggling equipment and other toys that need skill of mind and body.
Glasswork By Susan – Stained glass gift items, custom and personalized glass art pieces, and handcrafted glass jewelry. Supplies for the glass hobbyist and glass bead makers, plus individual instruction. Tues – Fri 10am – 6pm SAT 10am – 4pm
Joe’s Bikes – Mountain bikes, road bikes, and comfort bikes by Raleigh and Jamis. Free lifetime adjustments on new bikes bought at Joe’s. Racks, clothes, and more. Good things come in small cottages.
Ribit’s Enchanted Cottage – Ceramic Studio: We offer paint your own pottery, workshops, classes in hand-building, birthdays & special events. We provide custom orders. Hop on over, unwind and have fun.
Good Finds – Good Finds is a shop of 23 vendors offering used/vintage/antique items, including furniture, jewelry, apparel, kitchenware, collectibles, art, books, linens, lamps, rugs, records, yard décor and more all at reasonable prices.
Browser’s – Browsers has 17 vendors and offers a great mix of antiques, vintage, jewelry, retro and second-hand furniture and other useful items – all at reasonable prices. Open 7 days a week for your shopping pleasure.
The Bookshelf – New and used books and comics! Located 2 seconds from the thriving downtown Tallahassee area!
Bahn Thai – Lamoi (Sue) Snyder and progeny have been serving the spicy cuisine of her native Thailand at this storefront since 1979. In deference to local Southerners, who may never have sampled anything spicier than cheese grits, much of her menu is devoted to mild Cantonese-style Chinese dishes. More adventurous diners, however, flock here to order such authentic tongue-burners as yon voon-sen, a combination of shrimp, chicken, bean threads, onions, lemon grass, ground peanuts, and the obligatory chili peppers. Sue’s specialty is a deliciously sweet, slightly gingered version of Penang curry. You can ask her to turn down the heat in her other Thai dishes. Come at lunch and sample everything from the all-you-can-eat buffet — a real bargain.
Dog-Et-All – Stop by to enjoy a mouthwatering hot dog. Regular customers include everyone from plumbers to business men. Conquer hunger with one of our many selections including standard steamed, turkey dogs, bratwurst, or Italian, Southern-smoked, or Polish sausage. Feeling thirsty? Wash one down with a cup of fresh-squeezed lemonade, and top it off with some fried apple pies.
Bandido’s – You have to love a cafe where after you’ve been a few times, the staff greets you by name when you walk in. They serve reasonably priced “Mexican” offerings including the usual standards; tacos, burritos, enchiladas, etc. but also display a bit of creativity with offerings like their “Faco”. A Faco is a taco made of fried grouper with a wasabi/mayo sauce. It’s delish. In the “Green Tallahassee” department, Bandito’s does a bit better than some other local fast food establishments by serving items on wax paper and in reusable plastic baskets. Every weekday, Bandito’s offers a taco happy hour from 4:20 PM until 7:20 PM. Taco’s are just a dollar and the place is usually rocking.
Cole Couture – A high fashion boutique collection for women of all ages…without the price tag shock! Cole Couture is a haven for the professional and professional party girl in need of timeless, chic style. CC is packed with style including premium denim, tops, tees, dresses, jewelry, underpinnings and more.
New Leaf Market – Cooperatively owned since 1974, we are Tallahassee’s largest natural foods grocery and deli offering fresh organic produce, natural and organic groceries, whole grain breads, supplements and body care, fresh sandwiches, salads and wholesome deli meals.
Crystal Connection – Books for conscious living, visionary and inspirational treasures to touch your heart, mind and spirit, gemstone jewelry, incense, beads, aromatherapy oils, clothing, runes, tarot, cool gifts and more.
Cabo’s Island Grill & Bar – Cabo’s has become known as Tallahassee’s home for the freshest seafood, best vegetarian dishes, and of course the most authentic handmade Mexican favorites. The salsa, chips, and guacamole are made fresh every day. The beans are always lard-free. And the fish is brought in fresh from the Gulf. Come experience dining the Cabo’s Way.
Country Dollar – This is one of my favorite stores! They carry a multitude of jewelry in a rainbow of colors and some cosmetics and accessory cases! And the best part is every thing is only one dollar! This is a must for anyone who loves a great deal!
Café Cabernet – Experience our European atmosphere, eclectic California cuisine, made from scratch desserts, and award-winning 700-label wine list. We also feature a selection of fine cigars, Tallahassee’s largest liquor selection and live entertainment. Cafe Cabernet’s sophisticated atmosphere make this fine dining and music club the perfect place to unwind at the end of the day or enjoy your weekends.
Rag Junkie – High fashion vintage reproduction clothing and accessories. I love the way the owners decorated this store, with a vintage dresser painted hot pink as their checkout counter!
Bali Hi – Are you one of those people who loves the beach and the island life? Bali Hi carries amazing imports from Bali, Indonesia and Hawaii. Beautifully handcrafted objects of home decor, furniture, exquisite jewelry and unique gifts that you will be proud to give or own. The owners, Bill and Elaine Grace are very personable and will be glad to help you find a gift for you and your loved ones! Aloha!
Textures This funky little shop sells unique and affordable handmade items by local artists. Their goal is to provide an affordable alternative to the standard mass-produced items in malls and other large retail stores, while helping support independent creativity!
Market Street Area
Hopkins Eatery –Great sandwiches and other dishes that are super healthy for you! Located in the Publix shopping center next to Club Rayn.
Tasty Pastry –Yummy cakes and pastries! Locally owned and operated.
Killearn Antiques – High end antiques and collectibles, furniture and jewelry.
The Cottage – Vintage Furniture, Fine Linens, Home Accessories and Rugs. Experience their commitment to providing you with unique merchandise that fits your style, Fine Living-Sophisticated Vintage.
Diva’s & Devil’s – Carrying the largest selection of designer clothing and premium denim. True Religion, Rock & Republic, 7 for all Mankind, J Brand, Citizens, Joes, Hudson, Chip & Pepper, Juicy Couture, Free People, Alice & Trixie and much more.
Velvet Vintage – Specializing in one of a kind pieces from the 20s thru the early 80s. Clothing, accessories, wigs, and glasses for men and women. Come experience the past.
Jim n Milts – Great locally owned and operated barbeque restaurant! They have a very basic but absolutely tasty breakfast plate for only 2 bucks!
Decent Pizza – You can get ANY kind of pizza you want, with whatever toppings you want and the slices are huge! Parking is kind of difficult to find and/or get out of, but the people are absolutely friendly and you may dine inside or out in the fresh air!
Momo’s Pizza – Slices as big as your head! Located right across the street from FSU campus and not too far from downtown Tallahassee!
Club Rayn – Tallahassee’s upscale nightclub with a different genre every night! Whether you like Latin music, 80s, goth or industrial, Rayn is the club for you! Great drink specials that change every night. Rayn just recently opened up a sushi bar inside which is open around 9, and serves some of the best you can get in town! Any night of the week is the perfect night to hop in the cab and go to a great, hip club for sushi, drinking and dancing!
Bullwinkle’s – Hip frat bar located downtown on the Tennessee strip. Has huge outdoor patio and dancing inside, always cheap drink specials, and always packed with lovely people!
Floyds – Historical music venue for Tallahassee’s Tennessee Strip! Many a number of bands with an extraordinary fan base have performed here, and come back often, including the Deftones, Gwar, The Wailers, Chevelle, Saliva, Kenny Chesney, & the Dueling Pianos. They support local rock music, and sponsor a Day-Glo night.
Bird’s Aphrodisiac Oyster Shack – Only the best oysters from Apalachicola! Beer, wine, and liquor are served here, and they always have something going on at night, whether it’s trivia, a band, or even karaoke!
Aladdin’s Shisha Café – Great locally owned and operated hookah bar! Open 7 days a week, 4pm till 2am, Aladdin’s serves some of the best Turkish and Arabian dishes, coffee and teas, as well as an enormous selection of Shisha tobaccos. There are 4 different rooms to sit and relax in, (my favorite being Jasmine’s room!) and it is outfitted with Arabian décor and furniture. They have Wi-Fi throughout the building so you can chill out with your hookah and coffee while getting some homework done! The owner, Nadal and all of the wonderful employees are extremely friendly, helpful, and will make sure you fully enjoy your visit to Aladdin’s Shisha café.