Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Eyewear

Spectacle Shoppe

While a number of online vendors offer a wide selection of vintage-looking frames on the cheap, nothing beats going into an actual shop, getting your hands on a pair of sturdy black plastics worn by a Korean War-era Army recruit, a spiffy aqua-colored cat-eye shape worn by a housewife of the same era, or a colorfully fab frame that looks like it just fell off a character in a John Waters film. For your comfort's sake, nothing beats having a person adjust your new favorite frames so they don't pinch your ears and slide down your nose. And for the sake of your mug's integrity, nothing beats a helpful staff person not afraid to say, "You know, those glasses do make you look like a character in a John Waters film. And if that's what you're looking for, great. You do look fab. But here — try these instead, because they complement the shape of your face just a wee bit better." There are additional locations in downtown St. Paul, West St. Paul, Burnsville, and Rogers, but the Spectacle Shoppe's original location on Silver Lake Road in New Brighton offers not only an impressive collection of new frames, but in the back of the shop features an utterly gobsmacking selection of one-of-a-kind vintage specs. Since starting the area's first one-hour optical service in 1969, optician, eyewear historian, collector, and designer David Ullrich has been attracting customers to his shops with fast and helpful service, as well as an array of options that serve as testament to his passion for distinctive eyewear.

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