While it may seem that the old days of the trading card hobby are over (think: a handful of middle-schoolers bobbing around a memorabilia shop in the dying, late-afternoon sun) are over, the world still remains quilted with countless incredible card shops, and all of them are worth a visit for both their incredible, tangible selections, and also their one-of-a-kind culture.
Below, read about our 10 favorite card shops around the world, and start packing your bags for a tour.
Pastime Sports & Games — Langley City, British Columbia
Pastime Sports & Games will forever be the best collectible shop in Canada. The storefront has everything: Magic, Pokemon, sports cards, and even board games and RPGs. Even if you’re unable to make it up to the white north, hobbyists ought to tune into Pastime’s live breaks on their YouTube channel, so that everyone in the world can enjoy their wonderful Canadian hospitality.
Total Sports Enterprises — Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the most iconic franchises in the history of American sports, producing six Super Bowls, dozens of Hall of Famers, and a swathe of Terrible Towel-wielding diehards at every NFL stadium across the country. Anyone interested in collecting Steelers cards ought to drop by Total Sports Enterprises which has become the one-stop-shop for anyone invested in the Rooney estate. Come for the signed Hines Ward cards, and stay for the oddball curios. (Like, say, a Steelers-themed checkers set.)
Dave & Adams — Buffalo, New York
Dave & Adams is probably best known for its massive online library. Jump on the website, and purchase literally anything under the memorabilia umbrella, all of which will be delivered directly to your door. But don’t sleep on its humongous brick and mortar location in Buffalo, where customers wander convention-sized aisles and take home jerseys, booster packs, and boxes. It’s a crucial pilgrimage for any serious collector. Heck, if you’re bored of the card selection, go ahead and take a look at their robust comics or video game section. Dave & Adams has it all.
Phil Castinetti’s Sportsworld — Saugus, Massachusetts
Phil Castinetti has operated his Sportsworld emporium since the early ’80s, and since then he’s branded his business as the biggest memorabilia shop in New England. It’s not hard to see why. Sportsworld is tiled with autographed baseballs, framed posters, and of course, lots and lots of cards. Given the Bay State bias, expect to find a lot of gear oriented towards the Patriots, Bruins, Celtics, and Red Sox. But really, any memorabilia fan will feel right at home here.
Hareruya 2 — Tokyo, Japan
If it’s sheer size you’re after, venture out to Akhihabara in Tokyo, Japan and wander into the gilded halls of Hareruya 2. The shop’s owners claim that its the largest Pokemon emporium in the world, and given the five floors packed to the gills with laminated Charizards and Blastoises, it’s hard to argue with that assertion. Hareruya 2 is a must-stop for anyone planning a Japanese vacation. Who knows? Maybe what you find there will pay for the whole trip.
The Bullpen — Los Angeles, California
Like the name implies, The Bullpen is California’s home for all sorts of high-quality baseball singles, but don’t sleep on the rest of the offerings. This slender LA store is eclectic — in fact, one of their prized possessions is a signed, foil Diego Maradona. Have a few cards you want to submit to the PSA for grading? The Bullpen is happy to assist with that as well.
The Meelypops Shop — Gainesville, Florida
The Meelypops Shop represents a real success story. It opened in 2010 as an online-only buying-and-trading enterprise, before breaking ground on a physical location in 2018. Today, passersby in North Florida can explore through its stacks to find a diverse selection of baseball, basketball, and football boxes, as well as some Pokemon refugees to boot. It goes to show you that just because you start on the internet, doesn’t mean you need to stay on the internet.
Paula’s Sports Cards, Etc. — Honolulu, Hawaii
Once you’re bored of the surf, the sun, and the nectarine mai-tais on the Big Island of Hawaii, take a trip down to Paula’s and see if you can score some grails. This shop keeps the outer Pacific fully stocked with Topps and Paninis, but peruse for the Pokemon and Magic boxes as well. The beach might be fun, but we all know nothing can ever compare to snagging a rookie Luka Doncic.
1,000,000 Baseball Cards — St. Louis, Missouri
We’ve arrived at the best name on this list. 1,000,000 Baseball Cards operates exactly as you’d expect it would. The oldest memorabilia shop in Missouri keeps a trove of pitchers, catchers, and outfielders behind its glass panes, from the hometown Cardinals to everywhere beyond. This archive runs deep. You can absolutely expect to find wax dating back to the ’50s and ’60s. Forget modernity, embrace tradition and pick up some pristine Mickey Mantle cards.
Hoody’s Collectibles — Beaverton, Oregon
Hoody’s is the home of big ticket transactions. Are you tired of playing small ball? Walk in as they auction off an autographed Wilt Chamberlain throwback for nearly $200,000. The leisurely shopping experience can only take you so far. Why not try your hand at the heat of the bartering table, competing against everyone else in the room to take home a gem mint piece of paperboard?