Shopping & Services

  • Best Mob Scene

    Sam Moon Trading Co. on a Saturday

    Shopping at Sam Moon Trading Co. on a Saturday afternoon is kinda like walking down Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras--minus the naked breasts and 32-ounce hurricanes, of course. But this place is just that crowded. It's a shopping mob. And like Mardi Gras, Sam Moon is almost too much to take in at once. From the moment you walk through… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Stuff You Don't Need

    Mark & Larry's Stuff

    This eclectic Deep Ellum shop has nothing you need but just about anything you might want. From postcards and handbags to picture frames and decorated hairbrushes, Mark & Larry's has it all--which makes it an excellent place to find a gift for that person who has everything. They also offer the best selection of greeting cards in town. No matter… More >>
  • Best Place to Go If You've Got the Sewing Bug

    The Fabric Affair

    It's one of those dying arts that's now making a strong comeback. Women are getting back into the kind of sewing that Grandma did, says owner Judy Mack. Not only is she an authorized Pfaff dealer, but she offers a variety of fabrics, supplies, notions, books, patterns and--perhaps most important--instruction classes. Instructors will teach you everything from beginning quilting to… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Frenched

    Main Street Bread Baking Company

    Not only does Nice-born co-owner Yasmine Bohsali serve up the best baguettes and chocolate croissants this side of the Mediterranean, but his shop has become a social gathering spot for French transplants and Americans who speak the language. "Many of our French customers," Bohsali says, "tell us our place reminds them of home because we're authentic." L'Alliance Française, the local… More >>
  • Best CD store (New)

    Tower Records - CLOSED

    Frequently a readers' pick as the best music store in Dallas, what this chain does best is provide good prices on most of its offerings--and it provides huge offerings. Even somewhat obscure artists from the era when Tower Records carried actual records can be found (on digitally remastered CDs, of course). The store also has tapes, DVDs, posters, magazines and… More >>
  • Best CD Store (Used)

    CD World

    CD World must have a stack of these awards by now. But we'll gladly hand it over to someone new...just as soon as we can walk out of the store empty-handed or without at least three new stamps on our frequent shopper card. It's the place to go for cheap prices on all the new, popular stuff (The Vines, The… More >>
  • Best Toy Store

    Learning Express

    That learning can be fun is a good idea in theory, but it doesn't hold up when juxtaposed against a compulsory public school education. And there is something about the concept of an educational toy that seems less playful than a toy ought to be. But Learning Express does its best to dispel these notions, offering a wide array of… More >>
  • Best Place to Kick Some Balls

    Soccer Corner and More

    While the rest of the world seems to love soccer almost to the point of obsession, we doubt that many people in Dallas would be able to identify the name Pelé or tell you when to catch the next World Cup. (And if we valued our status as Texans, we wouldn't dare say that we stayed up till wee hours… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Fake Meat

    Veggie Garden

    Even the chain grocery stores are stocking Boca burgers, Gardenburgers and other fake meat now. But those who want the good stuff--the filet mignon and caviar of the vegetarian world, if you will--can find the largest selection at the Veggie Garden restaurant stacked in freezer cases at the back of the dining room by the buffet. There's Tuno (the fake… More >>
  • Best Wine/Liquor Store

    Goody Goody Liquor

    Of the five Dallas locations and three in Denton County, this Lower Greenville store is the flagship, offering the entire gamut of the hard stuff as well as 1,500 brands of wine, ranging from the best produced by Texas wineries to imports from all over the world. If it's beer you're stopping in for, reserve some time to look over… More >>
  • Best Chocolate Fix

    Super Target

    This category is about quantity. Of the rows of chocolate Super Target sells, which include your standard Halloween-sized bags of Almond Joys, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers bars and the like, there is one deal that will make your eyes pop out: Super Target, the bigger and more upscale version of regular Target, sells a Toblerone bar the size of… More >>
  • Best Place to Live Cheap

    Vikon Village

    Remember the scene in Mallrats where Brodie and T.S. head to the "dirt mall" for a little spiritual cleansing and wind up having their fortunes told by a three-nippled Priscilla Barnes? Well, this place is a little like that; we've never actually visited this flea market's fortunetellers, and there are several, but we're taking it on faith one's gotta have… More >>
  • Best Place to Turn Japanese

    Texas Sumo Game Rental

    Listen up, fatty, you've had a lifetime of hard work hefting longnecks and munching chicken-fried anything, so why not put that well-earned gut to a little use and try your hand at the Japanese art of sumo wrestling? (That is, if you can call two really big guys bumping bellies an art form. We would, at least to the wrestlers'… More >>
  • Best Geek Out

    Zeus Toys and Comics

    The folks at Zeus have taken issue with our fondness (OK, fetish) for Titan Comics; see only the short piece on its bossman, Jeremy Shorr, to confirm their suspicions. But, see, we love Titan for the comics; it's a fanboy's paradise, a wet dream for those whose erotic fantasies find Power Girl going at it with Black Cat, and meeeeee-ow.… More >>
  • Best Place to Earn the Wages of Sin

    The Vice Fund

    Remind us again: What exactly makes Dallas the "buckle" of the Bible Belt? Granted, when it comes to vice we're no New Orleans--our food isn't nearly that good--but when you consider the availability of nudie bars, porn shops and illicit slots here, it ain't exactly Vatican City either. Case in point: Dallas-based Mutuals.com Inc. this summer launched its Vice Fund… More >>
  • Best Last-Minute Party Groceries

    Whole Foods Market

    We begrudgingly part with our secret: When we're headed out to a party and don't have time to cook, we stop by Whole Foods, race to the deli, grab a large container of traditional hummus, book it over to the bakery, snatch a large loaf of rustic Italian bread and head for the checkout line. For $10, you get a… More >>
  • Best Place to Bead

    Beading Dreams

    If you've ever found the perfect bracelet, but it just wasn't the right color, or a pair of earrings that matched the new dress you bought, but they weren't the right style, then you know how frustrating jewelry-buying can be. But at Beading Dreams, no such problems exist. Here, you choose the color. You choose the style. You even choose… More >>
  • Best Pen Store

    Penwright

    The Internet has revolutionized the way we communicate, allowing us to keep in up-to-the-minute contact with friends, family and associates around the globe. The only downside to all the instant chatter is its lack of intimacy. For those who still enjoy the old-fashioned art of writing by hand, a good pen makes the experience all the more pleasurable. In Dallas,… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy an Accordion and, uh, Food

    Fiesta

    There are plenty of reasons to shop at this grocery store, not the least of which are the fresh tortillas for which regulars line up from dawn till dusk. But we come back here for all kinds of reasons: the fresh tomatillas (we make a superior home-cooked salsa; you can't have any), the various Mexican ingredients for which Stephen Pyles… More >>
  • Best High Fashion on a Low Budget

    Clothes Circuit

    While some big-name designers are finding it's now cool to shop--and be sold--at Target, don't expect to see fashions by folks like Judith Lieber, Stuart Weitzman, Cole Haan, Chanel, Gucci or Prada being racked up near the snack bar anytime soon. Yet you can still find great prices on classy clothing at this North Dallas consignment shop, which specializes in… More >>
  • Best Builder

    Jeff Fairey, Vintage Contemporaries

    "Our philosophy is to build a home that's going to age like a fine wine," says Vintage Contemporaries' Jeff Fairey, who recently spoke from the comfortable interior of his latest project: a gorgeous Spanish Eclectic home, complete with clay tile roof, that's located in the M Streets but could fit right in on Lakewood Boulevard, alongside the 1920s homes built… More >>
  • Best Gift Store

    Bishop Street Market

    Part of the Bishop Arts District's Renaissance, this pleasant shop carries a wide range of gift items and objects from local artists. Among the constants are personal care items from the Thymes Collection and scented candles from Ergo and Votivo. Co-owner Michael Harrity says he has "without a doubt the strongest candle collection in Dallas." About 70 percent of the… More >>
  • Best Bite

    Fangtastic Fangs

    As we anticipate Halloween, the fond memories of years past come flooding back--those days of pinning a black bath towel around our shoulders, wedging two pointy candy corn under our top lip and chasing our younger sibling with the forbidding chant, "I vant to suck your blood!" in the best Transylvanian accent we could muster. Now, as an adult, the… More >>
  • Best Place to Spend an Afternoon Indoors

    Grapevine Mills Mall

    This 1.5 million-square-foot mall near D-FW has everything anybody could possibly want in the way of escaping the weather and wasting time. The 5-year-old mall is one of the largest in Texas and offers a bunch of stuff to do besides shopping. The mall has a 30-screen theater, restaurants and a GameWorks that has a bar. If you get bored… More >>
  • Best Soaps and Toiletries

    Caswell-Massey

    If you thought Whole Foods had a unique selection of soap, you haven't seen anything. Established in 1752, Caswell-Massey is, as it claims, "America's oldest chemists and perfumers," and now Dallas residents can shop at one of its newest locations. Need soap? They've got a skin-tingling array of domestic and imported soaps made of everything from oatmeal to lavender and… More >>
  • Best Outboard Boat Motor Repair

    Barber Boats

    Let's say you've found a cherry 1946 Martin 6 horsepower boat motor in your grandfather's garage, but the rope-pull starter mechanism is broken. You know what most boat shops around Dallas are going to tell you? Tie a rope to it and use it for an anchor. But Barber Boats on Harry Hines is old-style, meaning they actually know how… More >>
  • Best Humiliation of Shoplifters

    Forbidden Media

    Perusing the racks, you may find the occasional space where a video once had a home but is now long gone. In its place stands a card berating the thief, with identification if possible. On their Web site, along with new arrivals and special event info, owner Ben Moore features a shoplifter of the week. Needless to say, in person… More >>
  • Best Bookstore (Used)

    Half Price Books

    Once again, the key ingredient to a good bookstore is its selection. And the selection of used books (not to mention software and music) at Half Price Books is far and wide. In fact, its store on East Northwest Highway in Dallas is so big, this book lover's companion recently made the mistake of taking a trip into the store's… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Piñatas

    Sarita's Imports

    This little blue house turned Mexican import store also consists of a neighboring garden shed full of hidden, hanging piñatas of many a color, shape and size. Sarita's fills custom orders when provided a photo and given at least two weeks' notice. So if you've been wondering how to get your hands on, say, a George W. Bush piñata for… More >>
  • Best Hardware Store

    Elliott's Hardware

    No matter how hard we bemoan the loss of the mom-and-pop hardware store, no matter how inept we are at handymanshipness ourselves, no matter how much we would like reality to be different, let's face it: Elliott's rules--certainly in this category, anyway, as it has for years. The big boys like Lowe's and Home Depot feel so, how shall we… More >>
  • Best Greeting Cards (Naughty)

    Nuvo

    You can find the same thrill you got by freeze-framing Mark Wahlberg's prosthetic reveal at the end of the Boogie Nights video along the card racks at Nuvo. Really. Such titillating schlong photography you have never seen, and even Nuvo's long-standing reputation as a happy bastion for gay men in Dallas' colorful Oak Lawn area can't keep the straight women… More >>
  • Best Friend to Man's Best Friends

    Hillside Veterinary Clinic

    There's nothing like coming home to that furry little child that's just fine with eating off the floor and relieving himself in public. That look of appreciation and little mew or woof of love is worth all the money in the world--and sometimes the loyal pet owner will pay just that to keep creatures great and small in good health.… More >>
  • Best Used Computer Store

    Tran Computer Service

    You want a TC bare-bones system, Amptron MB, AMD Duron 1.2 gig-hz processor, ATX case, 250-watt power system, 256 Mb of ram, Sis Video and Sis Sound, Sis Network 10/100 mhz plus Sis Modem 56K V90, serial, parallel, USB and PS2 ports with a 15-inch monitor for $520? No, wait. Maybe you want a Toshiba notebook with Intel P-120 mhz… More >>
  • Best Spa

    Aqua Spa

    This chic urban pampering asylum done up in shades of swimming-pool blue offers a full menu of delicious traditional treatments like stone therapy massage, anti-aging facials and skin-rejuvenation treatments, in a soothingly comfortable atmosphere. But it goes beyond the ordinary, with laser hair-removal procedures, and Botox treatments and collagen injections administered by a board-certified plastic surgeon. Aqua also offers massages,… More >>
  • Best Esoteric Bookstore

    Botanico Libreria Mundo Esoterico

    This place is much more esoteric than it is bookstore. All kinds of herbs and oils with healing and other powers abound. So do votive candles adorned with saints to pray to and things to wish for. Burning a dark green lucky candle adorned with dice, horseshoes and numbers could help a believer win the lottery, for example. Saying the… More >>
  • Best Greeting Cards (nice)

    Mark & Larry's Stuff

    Mark Sonna and Larry Groseclose opened their Deep Ellum hipster gift store seven years ago and just this summer opened a second location downtown. The new store is a lot like the old store, except there are posh neighbors like Neiman-Marcus and the Adolphus Hotel, and a vintage atmosphere in the restored 1913 Woolworth Building. Both locations feature kitsch, artist-designed… More >>
  • Best Alternative to Tweezers

    Bea Hunter, Remedies Clinical Skincare at the Alan Stone Salon

    America loves the hairless. Hair removal has taken the place of the manicure as a status symbol and has made its way onto many a Dallas woman's schedule. We think it might be a touch excessive and masochistic to use an Epilady, and Nad's has been road-tested by several staffers here, and we got no satisfaction. So we turn to… More >>
  • Best Lifestyle Accessories and etc.

    The Gas Pipe

    We would never, ever pick a best head shop. Drugs are bad, m'kay? What we come here for are the plentiful gag T-shirts, the comic bumper stickers, the incense. Not that we ever have a call to burn incense. What? You say they have water pipes, too? Hmmm. We thought all those fancy, colored glass sculptures were lamps. Sure are… More >>
  • Best Lube for the Ladies

    Zuhdi Texaco

    Unfortunately, there remains an assumption, in this world struggling toward equality for all, that the ladies aren't as schooled on the secret world beneath the hood of an automobile. Sometimes, a mechanic here and there will try to finagle an unnecessary repair or two based on such assumptions. We believe such practices are a crock. The Zuhdi folk are all… More >>
  • Best Pot

    Jackson's

    Gorgeous terra-cotta pots from Italy and Greece, beautiful fired earth pots from Vietnam: Lemmon Avenue Pottery has always been a kind of mecca for the most discriminating potheads, potophiles, pot fans, or whatever you call them, in the entire Southwest.… More >>
  • Best In-Store Greeting

    Harold's

    This purveyor of chic duds and accessories for ladies and gents doesn't just dress an AARP associate in a vest and cap to mumble a "howdy" when you walk to the door. They follow up their greetings by asking if you might like a refreshing beverage to go with your shopping experience: a choice of Coke, Sprite or sparkling water… More >>
  • Best Kid's Bookstore

    Enchanted Forest (in memoriam)

    This place closed recently, but we wanted to keep it in, because, well, quite honestly, no other bookstore in town so enchanted children. In addition to having a wonderful selection of books for the youngsters, owner Jennifer Anglin had the most customer-friendly place of business you're likely to ever encounter. The imaginative layout included a stage for such activities as… More >>
  • Best Women's Clothing Store

    Emeralds to Coconuts

    Emeralds to Coconuts, a hip little store with a funny name, offers women's fashions for young and old. While you won't necessarily find the latest trends here, you will find rack after rack of fun and stylish women's clothing, many of the items imported from faraway lands. Even the clearance rack at Emeralds to Coconuts has a lot to offer,… More >>
  • Best DVD Store, But Only For Purchase

    Movie Trading Company

    Used to be this place had the market cornered--back before Borders stocked its walls with DVDs, back before Fry's ordered imports and sold them for cutout prices (maybe they just don't know what they have, but we do). With Movie Trading Company on the verge of selling out to Blockbuster--haven't heard otherwise, at least since we ran a news item… More >>
  • Best Knock-offs

    Sam Moon Trading Co.

    We picked up an old friend at the airport recently. She married a high roller and moved from Dallas to Las Vegas. She's all tall and tan, strolling out of D-FW International Airport, sparkling with stunning silver jewelry, carrying a Louis Vuitton train case, with a Gucci bag hanging from her shoulder. "You look great!" we cried, then pointed to… More >>
  • Best Place to Pick Up a Hoe

    Pickerings

    Ask Robert anything. That's really all you need to know, but for the sake of being informative ourselves, we'll keep going. Pickerings will tell you what to plant and where, they'll design your flower bed and even plant it for you. They lay stones, landscape and guarantee their gorgeous assortment of plants. Need tools? Got 'em. Need decorative details? Got… More >>
  • Best Photographic Supplies

    Warehouse Photographic

    We'll never go digital; uploading JPGs to a hard drive is nowhere near as satisfying as going into a darkroom and losing yourself for hours in the magic of photo developing. Though Warehouse does offer prints and enlargements from digital files, the majority of products and services cater to film users. We can supply our 35mm, medium format and Polaroid… More >>
  • Best Cowboy/Cowgirl Boots

    Cavender's Boot City

    One might assume that calling a footwear store by a name like "Boot City" is a tall tale akin to the one about Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. But Cavender's has more pairs of boots than some Texas towns have feet to fill them. The stock ranges from basic leather ropers, work boots and lace-ups to the high-end… More >>
  • Best Men's Barber

    Rob's Chop Shop

    Hey, these hepcats win every year, so you should know the drill by now. Rob will grant all your rockabilly, pompadour and buzz-cut needs. If you're in a band, go here. If you're ugly, go here. If you're not sure if you're in a band or ugly, you are high, so go here. You won't know the difference, but the… More >>
  • Best Place to Give Pez a Chance

    Froggies 5 & 10

    Pez is no longer just that cheap toy with the stale candy you buy to keep the kids quiet in the supermarket. There are TV-show-character Pez, stuffed-animal Pez, automobile Pez, holiday Pez, mini-Pez and more. And at Froggie's, you can fill your Pez habit with Pez T-shirts, Pez magnets and Pez buttons, including a line of items sporting the phrase,… More >>
  • Best Leather Ever

    Shades of Grey

    Actually, "Best Pan-sexual Erotica (leather and gadgets)" would be a more accurate label for Shades of Grey, a fetishist's dream of a store even though it sacrifices snazzy décor in favor of clutter--the better to stock more stuff to titillate you with, my dear. Find racks and racks of sexy leather clothes--some vinyl, too--for men and women. The selection is… More >>
  • Best Men's Consignery

    Gent·ly Owned Men's Consignery

    Clothes confound us. We be husky, and it is not easy to find nice clothes that make a husky man look good, unless you pay ridiculous prices. Then a friend told us about Todd Shevlin, who, since 1995, has owned, in a gentle fashion, the fashion store known as Gently Owned Men's Consignery, in Far North Dallas. (He recently opened… More >>
  • Best Western Wear

    Western Warehouse

    Western Warehouse has everything you'd expect: boots, hats, belts and belt buckles, jeans, boots, those collarless shirts Garth Brooks favored for a while and the loud, starched-stiff shirts loved by Brooks and Dunn. But it also has tiny Wranglers for mini-cowboys and cowgirls, tank tops and slogan tees for teen rodeo queens, Western-style tuxedo jackets and those polyester pants the… More >>
  • Best Health-food Store

    Central Market

    OK, so it's more than "health food," but then that just shouldn't count against it. Our weekend ritual now consists of: Wake up at 8:30 (a.m., that is), throw on some shorts (our own, someone else's, whatever), get into the car and get to Central Market before the doors part at 9, thus allowing in the millions (OK, dozens) who… More >>
  • Best Culinary Vacation Spot

    Taiwan Supermarket

    If you can't afford that summer getaway you've been dreaming about and are weary of grilling chicken and burgers, plan something different after a visit to a grocery that takes you to another world. You can shop for everything from pork ears to chicken feet, pickled cabbage to duck eggs. The seafood selection is remarkable (tilapia, milkfish, China grouper and… More >>
  • Best Garden Supplies

    Smith & Hawken

    If you want to buy garden tools that will last, Smith & Hawken has what you need. Of course, you'll need to bring a lot of money, but the investment will provide perennial returns. The Uptown store carries everything a gardener needs, from hand rakes and soil scoops to bulb planters and precision weeders. Forget what you planted last spring?… More >>
  • Best Place to Pretend You're Martha Stewart on a Budget

    Garden Ridge

    With the holidays quickly approaching (by which we mean our birthday), you might wanna stop by the Ridge--the self-proclaimed "home décor and craft marketplace," which just sends a tingle up the spines of men everywhere--to load up on immortal wreaths and other flowers made of silk and synthetic material. From pottery to potpourri, from party goods to pictures and posters… More >>
  • Best Place to Fulfill a Rock-and-Roll Fantasy

    Spotlight on Karaoke

    Even drunk, we would never ever belt out a rendition of Tom Jones' "Delilah" in public. (What we do in the privacy of our own shower is none of your business.) But it's nice to know that if we wanted to (and to be honest, we sorta do), we could thrill--or induce vomiting among--the lovely birds in an audience. All… More >>
  • Best Furniture store

    Gabberts Furniture Outlet

    Rumor has it our couch came from the set of Good Morning, Texas, and, yeah, it took awhile to get those Sams stains out; someone really should Scotchguard that dude. But, nonetheless, it was one hell of a bargain--something like $300, when it would have cost us $1,000, more or less (more, likely). And we picked it, and the rest… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Your Mist-On

    Planet Tan

    We're scared of many things, such as mosquitoes (West Nile!), snakes (poison!) and monkeys (the Marburg monkey virus, which for some reason we fear more than its well-known sister virus, Ebola!). We're also queasy about the sun and its link to skin cancer, which is why we are pasty and have no luck with the ladies. That's why we plan… More >>
  • Best Point of Purchase

    Restoration Hardware

    You won't find batteries, phone cards and store-brand toothbrushes lining the counters of Restoration Hardware. The stuff you will find isn't that necessary, but it is cuter and much more expensive. Around the cash registers are tubs and hangers full of gadgets, widgets and other unneeded items you'll decide to take home while waiting to check out, such as magnets… More >>
  • Best Middle Eastern Grocery

    Worldwide Food Inc.

    The grocer carries all sorts of imported fresh and canned goods suited to the discerning cook of all sorts of Middle Eastern fare. That's right, all sorta good stuff for all sorta people. Which, admit it, is shocking. Not only is the bread the freshest, softest, tastiest Middle Eastern breadlike stuff you're likely to find (chain grocery store pita pocket… More >>
  • Best Place to Get That TV-Land Look

    Metro Retro

    This store in the Lakewood shopping area has everything one needs to get vintage looks for a multitude of eras. There are plates like June Cleaver would have used to serve fresh-baked cookies to Wally and the Beav, lace-up go-go boots like Laverne and Shirley might have tried and sofas like Richie Cunningham and the gang would have sat on… More >>
  • Best (Men's and Women's) Shoe Store

    Nordstrom at the Galleria

    Men shop for shoes the opposite of women: the most shoes possible from the fewest possible stores. To get it all done in one stop go straight to Nordstrom at the Galleria. The sandal selection alone is daunting--including Mephisto and Ecco--but the Oxfords go on forever: Nordstrom's store brand, Tommy Bahama, Kenneth Cole Reaction, Cole Haan, Allen-Edmonds and many more.… More >>
  • Best Place to Make Your Spider-Man-Crazy Wife's Spidey Sense Tingle

    Zeus Toys and Comics

    Say you're, oh, 28 years old, and you still love you some comic books. Your wife? She's never read them, but she likes Barbie dolls. That's how you get her into Zeus Comics, where even the straightest man will be fairly dazzled by the selection of Barbies at the back of the store. That's how we did it, at least.… More >>
  • Best Bookstore (New)

    Borders - CLOSED

    What with the competition of Amazon.com, peddling books out of retail outlets is becoming a risky business. That explains the arrival of pricey coffee drinks, greeting cards and various doodads that most bookstores now hawk. But for those literary types who still enjoy perusing the aisles in person, Borders offers the widest selection of books in town. That's it. End… More >>
  • Best Place to Purchase Curative Pyramids

    Botanica Y Joyeria El Cuarzo

    This small spiritual/jewelry store offers an affordable selection of therapeutic quartz pyramids. If feeling ill, soak a clear one in a glass of water overnight and drink the water in the morning. Do the same with a blue pyramid if feeling tense and a red pyramid if looking for love. For financial prosperity, pray or meditate in the presence of… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy a Spelt Muffin and Spot Celebrities

    Whole Foods Market

    There they were, back when they were still a headline-making couple. Gwyneth Paltrow, dressed in yoga-class togs, and Luke Wilson, squinty and gorgeous, pushing a shopping cart a deux around the aisles just like regular folk. What'd they buy? We peeked. Chips, cookies, imported beer. Real stuff. He paid. He carried the bags to the SUV. She beamed at him… More >>
  • Best Art Frames

    Southwest Gallery

    We keep trying out other shops, but we always find ourselves back at Southwest Gallery when we have an important framing project. The reason is simple: The work they do is impeccable. From your end, the most difficult thing about framing is deciding what frame to choose. That's the second area where Southwest Gallery shines: Its staff offers excellent direction… More >>
  • Best Computer Store

    Apple Store

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. You Linux users and hard-core Wintel folk are muttering obscenities about what a bunch of techno-idiots we are. You computer studs demand a store that sells the raw materials needed to etch your own circuit boards with your own hands. This store is in a mall for God's sake. You need raw computing power. So what if… More >>
  • Best Jasmine in a Jiffy

    Urban Flowers and Gift Market

    Say, for instance, you are on your way to visit someone in the hospital, you must get there before visiting hours are over and you need a gift. (Not that we've ever procrastinated in such a way.) Get thee to Urban Flowers. Not only are the arrangements absolutely stunning, but the arrangements can be created according to your budget and… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Cheap Books

    75% Off Books

    For discount shoppers, the sign on the front of 75% Off Books probably says all it needs to say: Nothing Over $5. And it's no lie, no come-on that's proved false once you get inside. Everything in this place is 75 to 90 percent off the original price, and nothing costs more than $5. The books are all new, too,… More >>
  • Best place to Go Wedding and Western Wear Shopping

    Marie's/La Zacatecaña

    These two family-run stores share the same small Oak Cliff space. Wedding and quinceañeras (15th-birthday celebration) dresses line one side, cowboy boots and hats the other. Needless to say, the quality of customer service is much higher here than in a giant, impersonal department store.… More >>
  • Best Place to Get a Pet

    Golden Retriever Rescue of North Texas Inc.

    So you think you want a purebred pup, something warm and snuggly that reminds you of Christmas. Well, think again. The majority of puppies are given away or abandoned within the first year of pet ownership. They require more time, effort, love and scooped poop than their new owners are willing to give. That's where rescue organizations like Golden Retriever… More >>
  • Best Salvage Yard

    Orr-Reed Wrecking Co.

    The last time somebody told us to "Bring gloves and a good attitude, be sweet and we'll help you," we were trying out a trendy sex therapist near Parkland hospital. When Orr-Reed CEO John Hargrove says it, he means something completely different. Since 1946, Orr-Reed has been in the demolition business, tearing away cabinets, moldings, mantel pieces and cornices from… More >>
  • Best Florist

    Village Garden & Gallery

    If you are just looking to brighten up the house, or a routine stay-at-home meal, there's nothing wrong with picking up flowers at your local supermarket. Nowadays, even Minyard sells some bouquets that'll bring a little sunshine indoors without breaking the pocketbook. But if you are throwing a dinner party or, more stressful yet, trying to impress a date, the… More >>
  • Best Antique Show

    Tower Antique Show

    Top-quality dealers all over the country ship their best wares to Ralph Willard's wonderfully eclectic Tower Antique Show. In its ninth year, the Tower show typically offers authentic antiques (no copies allowed) from 50 to 300 years old. Expect lots of decorative and garden stuff, maybe a fifth of the furniture primitive, a fifth ultra-sophisticated, the rest somewhere in between.… More >>
  • Best Spa for Those Not in Need of a Major Overhaul

    Seventeen Studio Spa and Salon

    Deep down, in some part of our aging brain, the old person we're rapidly becoming shakes his head and wonders, "What is this world coming to when teen-agers feel they need a spa?" Of course, in some other part not quite so deep, we're humming "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" and thinking this is just a fine idea. Apparently, so… More >>
  • Best Vintage Store

    Pandemonium Limited Vintage Clothing

    This tiny shop on the trendy Knox-Henderson strip is bursting with vintage and costume items (both old and new) at not-too-shabby prices. One staffer assembled an entire '80s outfit here--from Cyndi Lauper's tutu to Madonna-style fingerless gloves--in less than an hour. We were also impressed by a cap made entirely of flattened Coke cans and a glow-in-the-dark rosary. But they… More >>
  • Best Place to Get a Real Slinky

    Froggies 5 & 10

    It's depressing to note how the classic Slinky spring toy has degenerated into a column of plastic rings: Plastic just doesn't scale stairs or chase cats as well as shiny metal. Relive your Slinky jubilations at Froggie's. They stock a Slinky cornucopia including the original Slinky, the Super Slinky, Slinky Jr. and the Slinky Dog from Toy Story. Froggie's even… More >>
  • Best Place to Outfit a Bachelorette Party

    Just For Play

    When a friend is getting married, the hassles abound, especially for the women. First, there's the hideous bridesmaid dress that costs way too much. Then there are the dyeable shoes to match the hideous dress you will never wear again. And then it's bridal showers and engagement brunches and bridesmaids luncheons, and the list goes on. But there is one… More >>
  • Best Place for a Cinephile with Loose Change

    Premiere Video

    Aha! Thought we'd left 'em out, didn't you? We know, we know: No duh. This has long been Dallas', well, premier video store, known citywide among cinephiles for its awesome collection not only of new movies but foreign films, out-of-print classics and other gems you're unlikely to find anywhere else. But Heather, Sam and all the other kool kids at… More >>
  • Best Kid's Clothing Store

    Bebe Grande

    The best-dressed new-millennium baby is as likely to wear a solid black, Metallica-logo-emblazoned romper one day as he is to wear a Swedish jester's cap and clogs from chichi baby direct-mail retailer Hanna Anderson. Baby style is all over the place, and we like that. The best selection and fairly decent pricing of cool baby clothes and linens is at… More >>
  • Best Impression of Granny's Attic

    Metro Retro

    A pink stove? Sixties divan? Dukes of Hazzard lunch box? Vintage adult gag gifts? Watercolor painting of amputee friends? We found all of the above at Metro Retro. And you thought your grandmother had great stuff...if given the opportunity and the funds, we could furnish an entire abode with the random findings that are Metro Retro. A tip: Make several… More >>
  • Best Men's Clothing

    Dillard's at Northpark

    Suits? Who wears suits? Everyone we know is in something casual, and this venerable department store has one of the widest casual selections around. The Polo and Tommy sections are huge, and the hipper Guess and Lucky Brand areas are big enough to satisfy. Even the house brand, Daniel Cremieux, with its slightly European designs and quality fabrics, is worth… More >>
  • Best Super Worms

    World of Pets

    Contrary to what you might think, these critters don't fight crime, terrorize Tokyo in Godzilla movies or wreak havoc with computer networks. Instead, these large beetle larvae satisfy the cravings of pets, including large birds, small primates and reptiles such as the Texas box turtle. They also make swell fishing bait for those of us who cling to the dream… More >>
  • Best Video/DVD Store

    Blockbuster

    What? How can the Dallas Observer give Best Video Store to Blockbuster, that evil, excessive-late-fee-charging corporate Godzilla? Simple. For one thing, convenience counts, and we don't have to explain why this company edges out its competitors on that note. Sure, Premiere Video, which has owned this award since 1907, has a better, more eclectic selection. But not everyone lives off… More >>
  • Best Hair Salon

    P.J.'s Hair Salon

    Tucked away in a little shop next to the Hong Kong Market, P.J.'s Salon isn't hip or swanky, and it isn't expensive or pretentious, either. They won't offer you white wine and cheese, but they will give you a good haircut that's cheap and fast. And if you need more than a haircut, P.J.'s can also give you perms, colors… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Video Games

    GameStop

    Do they have the best prices, the best selection, the best trade-ins? We're too busy hunting down baddies in Max Payne to take the time for a survey. We just shop here. A lot. Why? Discounts and variety are part of the reason, but what we like best is the fact that the clerks are players, too. Want to know… More >>
  • Best Homo-erotica

    New Fine Arts East

    Not since Annie Sprinkle and Tim Miller graced the stage at Kitchen Dog Theater has there been such an outpouring of LOVE for the bedroom behaviors of all sorts of alternative lifestyles. New Fine Arts East has the best a big city can offer in gay-porn videos, DVDs, magazines, lubes, toys, costumes and games. Look carefully for single servings of… More >>
  • Best Cold-Drink Store

    Ifs Ands & Butts

    This cool little hole-in-the-wall in the Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff sells quality cigars, vintage smoking accoutrements and what has to be the most complete selection of rare and select drinkable (as opposed to collectible) soda pop on the planet. Their brand list of cold drinks is waaay too long to repeat here, but it includes A&W Root Beer… More >>

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