Shopping & Services

  • Market: Taking It to the Avenue!

    Web extra: Take a video tour of Henderson Avenue development with Marc and Roger Andres. It seems so damn Dallas: I'm with the Andres brothers, Marc and Roger, and they've agreed to give me a brief tour of their holdings on Henderson Avenue—one of the more walkable neighborhoods in the city—and we are driving. We have just finished a lengthy interview on… More >>
  • Best Organic Produce

    Tom ("Spice-Man") Spicer

    Organic is the least of it for Tom Spicer. He won't sell a tomato, an onion or a potato if it doesn't have the right terroir, a vintner's term for the flavor and quality imparted to the grape by the place where it is cultivated. Who knew potatoes could have terroir? "I taste things down at the farmers market, and… More >>
  • Best One-Stop Shop

    Etsy Dallas shows

    Sure etsy.com—the online boutique community for crafters, jewelry designers, knitters, tailors, bookbinders, vintage sellers and collectors of everything—is a surefire way to kill an afternoon and build up a wish list, but an Etsy Dallas event is even better. Prices are great, the craftsmanship is fantastic, it feels good to support local crafters and you'll still cover everyone on any… More >>
  • Best Low-Guilt Shoes

    TOMS Shoes

    Blake Mycoskie founded TOMS shoes after a visit to Argentina in 2006: For every pair of shoes sold to a customer in the United States, TOMS donates a pair to a needy kid somewhere in the world. So far TOMS has given away 140,000 pairs to shoeless kids. All of the Southwest Region Whole Foods stores are offering a line… More >>
  • Best Local Italian Wine Blog

    On the Wine Trail in Italy

    On the Wine Trail is local in the sense that blog-master, Alfonso Cevola, lives in Dallas and mentions local themes and places once in a while. But Cevola is also something of an international authority. A lifelong wine seller whose mom's mom came from Calabria at the toe of the Italian boot, just across from Sicily, Cevola can tell you… More >>
  • Best Backyard Farmer Store

    North Haven Gardens

    You can't get much more eat-local than growing your own food in your own backyard or in containers on your apartment balcony. But how? Northhaven Gardens, a long-tenured plant nursery next to the Jewish Community Center just off Central Expressway, has taken on a kind of second persona as a center for urban sustainable gardening. They sell everything from the… More >>
  • Best Curiosities

    Curiosities

    Jason Cohen, founder of Forbidden Books and Video and Forbidden Gallery, and his mother, longtime antiques dealer Terry Cohen, have conspired to create a store that somehow combines the best funkiness of South Congress Avenue in Austin, the punkness of Deep Ellum five years ago and the antiques treasure-hunting quality of Knox-Henderson 10 years ago. It's all there now plus… More >>
  • Best Salon

    The Johnny Rodriguez Salon

    If you're looking to save a few bucks on a haircut, stop reading right now. The Johnny Rodriguez Salon doesn't boast about providing low-cost styles and cuts, instead focusing on being the best while catering to the needs of its upscale Highland Park clientele. Before the snipping begins, a consultant assists in identifying a hairstyle that represents each person's lifestyle,… More >>
  • Best CD Store

    Good Records

    We're starting to feel like a broken record when we say it (Get it? Get it?), but there's a reason Good Records winds up winning this honor every year. Sure, the selection of vintage tunes at Arlington's Forever Young Records is incredible, and anyone who's ever combed the rack at CD Source can tell you how endearingly weird their staff… More >>
  • Best Do-It-Yourself Shop

    Splendor in the Grass

    When Diana Thatcher's garden art and gift store across from the Dallas Arboretum simply wasn't turning a profit, she did what anyone else would have done: relocate to the Lakewood Shopping Center and focus her efforts on selling jewelry-making accessories and teaching classes. OK, so her plan was hardly conventional, but thinking outside the box turned Thatcher's hobby and passion… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Stuck

    Hold Fast Tattoos & Body Piercing

    The folks at Hold Fast are simply the best skin pokers in town, developing a stellar reputation for offering a variety of kick-ass bling, a clean environment, a relaxing atmosphere and the always necessary steady hand. Getting your piercing in a naughty place? They have massage tables for your comfort. If you're putting it somewhere stupid, they're not shy about… More >>
  • Best Thrift Store

    Buffalo Exchange

    It's hard to believe that a simple concept like the Buffalo Exchange, where customers can buy, sell and trade clothing and accessories, needed to be imported from someplace else, but the city's best thrift store was born from Kerstin and Spencer Block, who opened their first store 35 years ago in Tucson, Arizona. Now with 35 stores and two franchises… More >>
  • Best Place to Lose Your Gut

    Private Workout

    Summer is over, and you no longer have to exercise to fit into that itty-bitty bikini or Speedo. Whoa, not so fast. This is Texas, remember? It's pretty much summer up until Thanksgiving, and you still need to look somewhat good in your revealing summer clothing. This is where the trainers at Private Workout come in. These pros are here… More >>
  • Best Place to Spend a Sunday Afternoon

    Half Price Books

    Sundays are usually the day of the week people pick to do around-the-house chores or just be lazy on the couch while watching Lifetime movies. Why not leave your home and stretch your legs before you are stuck in a cubicle for the next five days at work? The Half Price Books off Northwest Highway is the perfect solution for… More >>
  • Best Tanning Salon

    Park Cities Tan

    Any tanning salon site that grabs your attention by comparing you to that famous friendly ghost must be worth looking at. Park Cities Tan must know this, because the first thing you see on their site is "Hey Casper!" After that, you look at yourself in the mirror and start to notice you are quite pale, almost transparent. Then you… More >>
  • Best Stick Man

    Dr. Mark Currington

    Become a human pincushion to lose weight? Why not? Dr. Mark Currington, whose office is an oasis of calm, has a sure hand with those hair-thin needles, inserting each one quickly into energy points up and down the body. Acupuncture for weight loss is a painless (if controversial) procedure that involves wearing a tiny pin pierced through ear cartilage, plus… More >>
  • Best New Big Girl Shopping Destination

    Park Lane Place

    East of NorthPark is the easy-to-access, fun-to-shop collection of new stores that offer lots of fashion options for the non-petite woman. While the mall's biggest retailers have taken women's sizes 14-up off their selling floors, Nordstrom Rack has a huge selection of curvy-girl couture at markdown prices. The discount arm of the Seattle-based retailer also is the best place to… More >>
  • Best Florist

    Cebolla Fine Flowers

    Luit and Jamie Huizenga's Cebolla may have the accommodating staff of your basic neighborhood flower shop, but it's so much more than that. The husband- and wife-run flower emporium offers not only dynamic, elegant and artistic floral arrangements, but also a variety of living plants, succulents and, when the season is right, unique gifts like monarch butterfly chrysalises that will… More >>
  • Best Health Food Store

    NewFlower Farmers Market

    People drive in from Richardson and Oak Cliff just to come to the NewFlower Farmers Market that opened in a long-empty space on Henderson Avenue. Sure, it's popular because of "double ad Wednesdays" when the weekly sales overlap for twice as many deals. Of course people love saving money on many of the same food products that Whole Foods and… More >>
  • Best Movie Date

    Planetarium + IMAX at Museum of Nature & Science

    Any douche can ask, "Wanna go to the movies?" It takes a slightly more thoughtful guy (or gal) to change the old date routine into something a little more interesting—like a Saturday afternoon "movie" date at the Museum of Nature & Science. For just $7 apiece, you and your date can catch a short film in the museum's hemispherical IMAX… More >>
  • Best Doggy Style

    mine.

    Shopping got you down? It's hard sometimes—finding the right outfit, the right fit. Don't even mention accessories and shoes. Good thing Zoë La Rose's mine. has our back. The clean white boutique has flattering lighting, good mirrors and clothes that make a girl feel good. Flirty tops and feminine jackets pair oh-so chicly with dark denim. Strappy heels and a… More >>
  • Best New Artist

    Photographer Alex Remington

    Remington has been shooting pictures for a decade, but only in the past two years has he debuted as a professional, making a living showing and selling his unique brand of photography. Mostly surreal landscapes or urban scenes and close-ups of natural objects, his images are often manipulated through long exposures or digital techniques that bring out phantasmagorical colors. His… More >>
  • Best Bank

    Wells Fargo Tower in Lakewood

    Housed in a big old-school building with a broad, wide-open lobby, this branch actually has enough employees to make the lines few and short. Not only do you get to skip a long wait, which is a rare treat in and of itself, but once you arrive at a podium—or if your transaction is more involved, an office—you can count… More >>
  • Best Cheap Art

    Urban Outfitters at Mockingbird Station

    A piece of art large and bold enough to set the desired tone in the living room can be pricey indeed. That's why in these spare times we recommend checking out Urban Outfitters when you find yourself in a decorating pinch. There are large-scale paintings—granted, they're not original oils, but come on, don't be difficult—for $60 to $100, and they're… More >>
  • Best Greeting Card Selection

    Nuvo

    In addition to high-end bath soap and jewelry, this store has a huge array of greeting cards. There are walls of birthday and holiday cards and a wide selection of artistic, hand-made blank ones. Our favorites are from the "A Little Piece of Art" line by Constance Kay Inc., which include black ink zebras and Victorian portraits with famous quotes,… More >>
  • Best Toy Store

    Kidrobot - CLOSED

    Kidrobot—it's just a toy store, right? And a pretty lame one at that, considering that the store's flagship product, the Munny, is nothing but a blank, 7-inch-tall, white vinyl doll that will cost you $29.95 to customize on your own. Uh, not so much. If that's all Kidrobot was, there wouldn't have been a line 400 hipsters long waiting outside… More >>
  • Best Cheap Clothes

    Wednesdays at Salvation Army

    Secret confession: We hardly ever buy new clothes. Why would we when there are so many like-new castoffs on the racks at Salvation Army? OK, yes, you will have to sift through many stained gimme T-shirts to get to the good stuff, but if you have the stamina, you will be rewarded with top-notch designer items from Carmen Marc Valvo,… More >>
  • Best Affordable Jewelry

    Emeralds to Coconuts

    In addition to being affordable, the earrings, bracelets and necklaces here strike the perfect balance between boho and glam. There are always some pieces to go along with the store's incense, embroidered Mexican shirts and flowing skirts—think thick wooden bracelets and strands of chunky beads from Nepal, for example—but there's no shortage of glitzier options, either. You can count on… More >>
  • Best Cheese Shop

    Molto Formaggio - CLOSED

    Feeling a bit peckish, like John Cleese in the Monty Python cheese shop sketch? You won't go away hungry from Molto Formaggio, where the well-informed salesfolk are happy to provide nibbles of anything in the joint, even the expensive truffle-ribboned delicacies from France. With almost as many American artisanal cheeses as imports, the shop is tops, way beyond even the… More >>
  • Best Cheap Specs

    Pay-Rite Optical

    Like designer shoes and handbags, the price of fashionable eyeglass frames is out of sight. Except at this tiny shop, where 3,500 sample frames crowd the walls and counters. Don't waste time browsing. The owner, Arman, knows his products and people so well, he can pick out the three best choices for any face shape (and budget). Prices range from… More >>
  • Best Eye Guy

    Dr. R.B. Schpok, Optometrist

    For the uninsured, finding affordable eye exam docs is often like running up a blind alley. Then we found Dr. Rodney B. Schpok, a reasonably priced ($79 per exam) optometrist who is quick, efficient and surprisingly funny. Clicking through the lenses as you peer at the eye chart, the Woody Allen-esque doc never stops with the quips. "Let's try the… More >>
  • Best Women's Boot Camp

    HerStrength

    Having trained more than 300 women in his women-only boot camp fitness groups over the past few years, Dallas trainer and entrepreneur Scott Colby knows what works and what works quickly to get ladies in shape. Nicknamed "The Abs Expert," Colby has a no-nonsense but still decidedly laid-back approach. He lays out each day's one-hour routine (using kettlebells, medicine balls… More >>
  • Best Pool Guys

    The Ian Crocker Swim School

    Olympic gold medalist and UT-Austin swim star Ian Crocker and his partners, Olympic and National Champs Neil Walker and James Fike, opened their swim school at the swanky new indoor pool facility in Rockwall this summer. In the first week, they had 150 kids—second-graders to high school students—trying out for club teams and signing up for pre-competitive coaching and one-on-one… More >>
  • Best Place to Whine Like a Kid Again

    HobbyTown USA

    Pfft. The Mrs. just doesn't get it. Why would anyone want a ginormous, wooden scale model of HMS Surprise, the ship featured in novelist Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander series? she asks. That feather-light, radio-controlled indoor airplane? You'll just break it, she says. Doesn't she know by now that tin soldiers, RC helicopters, model rockets and superfast RC cars...these are… More >>
  • Best Hotel

    The Joule

    We're locals, so, really, who are we to judge? Last we heard the best hotel in town was the convention center hotel for which groundbreaking was held, oh, days ago. No, but seriously: Earlier this summer we actually spent a free Saturday exploring Dallas' hostelries just for kicks; took us all of 13 seconds in the lobby—what with that storybook-sized… More >>
  • Best Massage

    Spa Habitat

    From the reclaimed wood floors to the organic oils and balms, a massage at Spa Habitat is a luxurious way to go green. The spa uses recycled paper for paper products, organic cotton for linens, and Green Mountain Energy's wind power to fuel the operation. So it's easy to offset your guilt emissions at indulging in such a sybaritic pursuit—hey,… More >>
  • Best Cultural Relaxation

    King Sauna

    King Sauna is a trip to another country—but you don't have to bring a passport or sit on an airplane for hours. At this Korean jjim-jil-bang sauna, rooms ranging from cold (the ice room) to extremely hot (the fire sudatorium) help you sweat and relax. Americans may not normally equate sweating with relaxation, but if you just surrender to it,… More >>
  • Best Wool

    The Shabby Sheep

    The first time we tried to find this place, we gave up. But on our second attempt, we were glad we had persevered. For knitters, crocheters and other fiber crafters, welcome to heaven. This darling cottage is stuffed full of charming displays (such as an old mail sorter and a china cabinet) stacked with sumptuous yarns. If you've never purchased… More >>
  • Best Women's Clothing Store

    Archive Vintage - CLOSED

    We always admired (sometimes in shocked amazement) the bold fashion choices of Carrie Bradshaw. She taught us (along with Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field) the subtle art of combining vintage and contemporary styles. The show has been off the air for five years, fashion has moved on and we've found a new Kerry to admire—Kerry Bonnell of Archive… More >>
  • Best New Urban Landscape Mixer

    Neighborhood Night at Gardens

    First, you have to get Gardens. Since 1981 the original place on 35th Street in northwest Austin has been a destination in itself--a showcase for high-end outdoor architecture and new wave plants. The Dallas store, which opened only a year ago, is already a point of entry for people interested in modern garden design--the kind that flows easily in and… More >>
  • Best Hot Tot Stop

    Baby Bliss

    Even if you're a confirmed, old child-free couple, a stroll through Baby Bliss might make you want to have kids--just for the accessories. Seriously, we don't remember our families having any of this stuff 20 or 30 years ago: We had no crib that looked like it's right out of the Eames studio, no pneumatic high chair, no modern-art baby… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater

    Angelika Film Center

    Countless critically acclaimed films have made their debuts at the Angelika throughout the years, making it the favorite theater for movie buffs anxious to see the latest Oscar-caliber flick. And while it has the reputation for being more of a specialty and independent film house, it's not afraid to mix in a few movies for mass consumption like Bruno, which… More >>
  • Best Bottles 'n' Cans

    Soda Gallery - CLOSED

    There are plenty of joints in Dallas with a healthy beer selection, but soda drinkers are lucky to have more than five or six choices at any given establishment. Not so at Oak Cliff's Soda Gallery, where you'll find more than 150 different types of soda, from ginger ales to colas to root beers (which accounts for nearly 30 varieties… More >>
  • Other Winning Market Suggestions From Our Readers

    Best Menís Clothing Store Billy Reid 3720 Canton St. 214-821-1010 Best Bookstore (Used) Half Price Books Various locations Best Bookstore (New) Borders Bookstore Various locations Best Shoe Store DSW Shoe Warehouse 8335 Westchester Drive 214-696-2305 Best Bicycle Shop Richardson Bike Mart Various locations… More >>
  • Best Place for Some Ciao

    Vespa Dallas

    If we die and go to heaven—hey, it could happen—we don't want a harp, wings or an angelic choir singing hallelujah. Nope, our idea of bliss is a never-ending summer's day and us, 40 pounds lighter in tailored clothes. We're forever zipping about on a scooter around a gushing fountain with a gorgeous, black-haired, olive-skinned girl riding sidesaddle behind, the… More >>
  • Best Hardware Store

    Lakewood Hardware

    If there were a sliding scale for store clerk helpfulness, big-box stores would be at the bottom, of course. ("What? Me a sales person? Nah. I just wear this uniform because it's cool-looking.") And Lakewood Hardware would be at the top. The owner/proprietor, Khandoo Nagar, and his two top sales people, Scott and Kevin, have a century of hardware experience… More >>
  • Best Shoe Laces

    Cobblestone Shoe Repair

    What, do people not replace their laces any more? The lace breaks, so they throw the shoes away? Must be, because it's impossible to find a good selection of replacement laces. You wind up prowling the aisles of a Tom Thumb grocery store, where two out of three clerks don't even know what laces are. The answer to your shoe… More >>
  • Best Cheap Hair Cut (for Chicks)

    Floyd's 99 Barbershop

    If you're cool with using the men's bathroom at your favorite dive bar, then you're probably willing to shear your locks at a local barbershop. Floyd's 99 Barbershop isn't just some hole in the wall but part of a cool chain across the country with more than 40 locations. Magazine cutouts and music posters are standard wall decoration. And barbers… More >>
  • Best Return to Childhood

    Lego

    Some of the simplest toys are the most enduring. From the "Automatic Binding Brick" developed in 1949 to the sophisticated Technic and Mindstorms products available now, Lego has unleashed the imaginations of several generations of kids and adults. Likewise, the new Lego store at NorthPark entrances li'l ones and big ones. Pose with the store display (recently, a life-sized Indiana… More >>
  • Best Eyebrows

    Salon Pompeo

    Lisa Nguyen is a small woman of Native American and Asian descent obsessed with hair removal. She waxes her entire face because peach fuzz "is not cute," she says. Not that she's going to judge you if you decide to keep those tiny hairs that maybe serve a kind of evolutionary purpose. But if you want passion, then you should… More >>
  • Best New Bike Shop

    Fleetwood's Kit Kat - CLOSED

    When owner Fleetwood Hicks and operations director Harvey Herr opened Fleetwood's Kit Kat across the street from SMU in February, business was expectedly slow. But as spring came and word-of-mouth spread, the two knew the beginning of something special was afoot. Specializing only in cruiser bikes, which Herr calls "the ultimate urban bike," Fleetwood's made a breakthrough when they started… More >>
  • Best Grocery Store

    Central Market

    Central Market is a Texas conceit. It's huge and has a personality all its own. A regular grocery store is organized by aisles (dry pasta in aisle 10, anyone?) But here you have to wind around corners and mosey from the produce section to probably the best beer selection in Dallas. From the bulk sale of granola to coffee beans,… More >>
  • Best Pot Dealer

    Amigos Pottery Inc.

    Hundreds of rustic clay pots are stacked high into the sky at the Amigos Pottery outdoor lot near the farmers market. Owners Benito and Elsa Reyna have been selling pots, fountains, talavera (the colorful hand-painted ceramics), outdoor statues, mirrors and even margarita glasses for 12 years at that spot. They also have a location in Plano. Mostly they sell to… More >>
  • Best Distant Vintage With a Grudge

    Style Station

    Sure, the city of West isn't exactly a suburb, but if you're like us, you pass through at least a few times a year en route to Austin, San Antonio or beyond. A few miles past the world-famous Czech Stop you'll find the Style Station, located on the southbound side in an old building surrounded by rusty old gas pumps… More >>
  • Best Antique Jewelry Store

    Village Goldsmith

    Tucked away in the back of the Forestwood Antique Mall at the corner of Forest Lane and Inwood Road, there's a piece of antique jewelry you or your spouse surely can't live without. Whether it's something with a sapphire, ruby or emerald surrounded by platinum, gold or silver, Village Goldsmith has a unique piece to fit the bill. Does a… More >>
  • Best Flea Market

    Junkadoodle

    Discovering something uniquely cool or fun is exactly what the spirit of shopping at flea markets is all about, and the place with the hippest junk in town is easily Junkadoodle. Owners Bettyann Nugent and her brother Jimmy Henley are dedicated to cramming as many funky items under one roof as possible, with the overflow such as patio furniture pouring… More >>
  • Best Miniatures

    Through the Keyhole

    The allure of the dollhouse is apparent: A place where the dollhouse owner can carefully control the environment and actions of each doll, building an entire fantasy world with no outside influences or real-life repercussions. Also, tiny stuff just looks cool. Whether you're staging a complicated sociological drama with your dolls or simply creating your dream house, a visit to… More >>
  • Best Shop at Mockingbird Station

    Francesca's Collections

    Whether you're catching a movie at the Angelika Theater, grabbing a meal or visiting one of the other stores at Mockingbird Station, you're likely to have some spare time on your hands. This is where Francesca's Collections comes in handy. It's the perfect place for a gal to do some quick shopping or for a guy to buy his date… More >>
  • Best Way to Avoid the TABC Altogether

    Homebrew Headquarters

    We used to think TABC stood for Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, but now we're starting to wonder if it really means Thugs Against Beer Consumption. The state's insanely complex alcohol code favors big-business distributors at the expense of craft breweries—which is why the country's thirstiest beer-drinking state has so few of them. Thanks to Homebrew Headquarters, you don't have to… More >>
  • Best Furniture Store

    Again & Again

    We don't have to always buy new new things. We don't have to throw out perfectly good furniture just because it has a stain on it or some ugly piping. We can appreciate the good bones of an old sofa; see the potential in a ripped vinyl chair. Together with Leslie Pritchard, proprietor of Again & Again, we can do it.… More >>
  • Best Artistic Healing

    Art Restorations Inc.

    For a facility established in 1978, Art Restorations Inc. is as spry as ever. Owner Cher Goodson and her staff of conservators face each new project—whether restoring a painting centuries old, or a Lladro figurine—with energy and excitement that puts the client at ease and makes them feel like their piece is the most important one on the table. With… More >>
  • Best Way to Dress Like a Million Without Spending One

    Rethreads

    After losing 30 pounds, a friend found himself facing an entire wardrobe that no longer fit. How would he possibly replace his duds without spending a fortune? Someone told him about Rethreads and he hit the jackpot, returning with suits, dress shirts and a plethora of new pants. The place is full of pricey designer clothes that appear to have… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Briefs

    Skivvies

    This store is strictly for men, though we recommend it highly to any woman who has tired of her man's old, threadbare boxer briefs that, having been washed thousands of times, scream for a spicier set of replacements. There's everything from your basic navy and white briefs and boxers to Speedo-style designs covered in hotdogs, roosters or superheroes. You can… More >>
  • Best Outsider Art Gallery

    The Stewpot

    Don't take our word for it. Go to www.dannahscolors.com/Dannahscolors/Stewpot_Artists/Stewpot_Artists.html and take a look at some of the work being offered by artists in the Stewpot mission's Open Art Studio program for homeless artists. Some of the artists at the Stewpot, a feeding mission for the homeless downtown, produce very "outside" paintings and sculpture—primitive untrained work—but you will also find more… More >>

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