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  • Best Men's Clothing Store

    Jos. A. Bank

    Look, we know what you're thinking. Jos. A. Bank's a pretty square choice for the Dallas Observer, right? Yeah, well, listen up, sunshine. You want a T-shirt with the logo of your favorite band or some retro consignment-shop duds, keep reading. We got plenty of those. But in the current reality, the name of the game is dress for success… More >>
  • Best Place for Peacocking

    f. is for frank

    Stepping foot in this retail shop-meets-workspace is instantly calming. It soothes that ache in your brain, that tiny region in the back that fears everything's already been done. The designs range from organic-inspired and architectural shapes to highly detailed visual stories, and all are refreshingly inventive. You see the pride of ownership that is taken at each step of frank's… More >>
  • Best Pin-Up Shop

    Dallas PinUp

    For as long as we can remember, it's been just too damn difficult for a girl (or boy) to find quality nipple pasties, fascinators, corsets, garters and enormous flowered hair ornaments in this town. All that changed with the opening last fall of Dallas PinUp, a Deep Ellum spot catering to the burlesque-oriented and the people who love them. In… More >>
  • Best Place To Arm Oneself For the Coming Zombie Apocalypse

    Dick's Sporting Goods

    All the discussion in the news of face-eating earlier this year had us giving some thought to disaster preparedness, namely how we can prepare ourselves to kill the ever-living shit out of some zombies. After some intensive intra-staff discussion, we've determined that Dick's is the finest anti-zombie outfitter there is. "Just go to a gun store, idiot!" you say, to… More >>
  • Best Kink Outfitter

    Leather Masters

    So you need a leather jock strap. Or maybe it's a nice, well-made harness you're after, or possibly a collar for the special submissive in your life. Leather Masters has all things leather and latex for the discerning BDSM-er, plus all the rings, stretchers, straps, sheaths and toys your love life has been crying out for. The Deep Ellum shop… More >>
  • Best Convenience Store

    6-Twelve Food Store

    You can go to a 7-Eleven, we guess, if you like harsh lighting and stale, corporate snack cakes. Or you can hit Oak Cliff's 6-Twelve, which has exactly the same stuff (beer, gum, dodgy-looking packets of caffeine pills). We're not going to lie to you: We're basing this one entirely on the name. Plus, the neighborhood is a little low… More >>
  • Best Computer Repair Center (Non-Genius Bar Division)

    Micro Center

    When your laptop starts emitting black smoke and making agonized dying-cat noises, people like to helpfully chirp, "Just go to the Genius Bar!" like they've just solved world hunger or something. When you have a PC, the temptation to punch those people in the eyeball is rather fierce. Luckily, Micro Center's there for you, located in Richardson's outer edges, just… More >>
  • Best Makeup Counter

    Neiman Marcus

    The women of Neiman Marcus are here to help with your face. They know that some of it's dry and the rest of it's greasy. They know you need a red lipstick that doesn't make your teeth pop out like yellow Chiclets. They know all of that in the kindest way, and they will happily — and patiently — show… More >>
  • Best Body Jewelry

    Obscurities

    Yes, you can try to pierce your nose yourself, if you want to end up with an extra nostril. And you can use crappy, nickel-plated jewelry from the mall if you enjoy unsightly rashes, green tinges and possible infections. Or you can do the grown-up thing and get yourself over to Obscurities for the high-quality stuff: implant grade stainless steel,… More >>
  • Best Tipsy Treasure Hunt

    Lula B's East

    Whether in Deep Ellum for brunch, lunch, an early dinner or just a round of drinks, Lula B's is always a great place for some primo tipsy treasure hunting. After entering the two-story secondhand store, no matter which way you stumble you'll discover every nook and cranny is filled with amazing out-of-date finds, from old books and vinyl records to… More >>
  • Best Secondhand Store

    Garland Road Thrift

    While it's been frequented by East Dallas hipsters and Lake Highland grandmas for years, Garland Road Thrift has managed to stay out of the thrift-store limelight (which is why we're so hesitant to tell you about it). The enormous florescent-lit warehouse is filled with bargains, and has everything from furniture and electronics to shoes and clothes, puzzles, games, baby items,… More >>
  • Best Place to Develop Film

    BWC

    Since 1975, Dallas photographers have had a reliable place to get their film developed, printed, scanned or mounted. BWC covers digital and analog photographers from pros to hobbyists, whether the film the photographer shoots is 35mm, 120mm, 220mm or 4-by-5, or whether the film needs to be processed in C-41, E-6 or traditional black and white chemistry — don't even… More >>
  • Best Women's Clothing Store

    Milk & Honey Boutique

    This trendy boutique, located on Henderson just a few doors down from The Pearl Cup and chic knickknack shop We Are 1976, exclusively carries women's clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories. The store's aesthetic is charming and warm; it has a similar vibe to Anthropologie, but without the corporate feel. The merchandise is fresh and true to current trends without costing… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy an Old Camera

    Don's Photo Equipment

    Need an affordable vintage camera strap to replace the awful stock strap that came with your first D-SLR? Or maybe that old 35mm camera that someone found in the attic needs a lens cap? Still need 35mm film or some photo paper to develop in the darkroom? Don's Photo Equipment started selling new and used photographic equipment to Dallas professionals… More >>
  • Best Vintage Clothes

    Dolly Python

    This 3,800-square-foot warehouse space located on one-way Haskell is home to some of Dallas' most uncommon clothing items. Owner Gretchen Bell opened the space in 2005 and has since hand-selected a large collection of women's and men's clothes ranging from the 1940s through the 1980s. From mid-century prom dresses to Western wear, fur coats, costume jewelry and a massive boot… More >>
  • Best Gift Bags

    World Market

    Walk into any drugstore and sure, you'll find a dozen or so gift bags. And while they'll sufficiently wrap whatever it is that needs wrapping, chances are they're overpriced and look downright drab, cliché or otherwise tacky. A quick trip to World Market will open your eyes to a whole new world of gift-wrapping possibilities. The store is heaping with… More >>
  • Best Butcher

    Rudolph's Market

    Forget the prepackaged grocery store cuts of meat. The best steaks in town are cut right in front of you by the expert butchers at Rudolph's Market. When you walk in the door, you're likely to see one of the butchers shaving the top layer off of a massive century-old cutting board, where your steak will be carved. The long,… More >>
  • Best Motorcycle Training School

    Motorcycle Training Center Texas

    Driving a motorcycle is a freeing experience. Connecting with the elements at 60 mph is certainly a thrill. But it also comes with many dangers, the greatest of which is not being seen by other motorists. Motorcycle Training Center Texas, which offers a two-day course held in various locations around the area, does a fantastic job teaching future bikers how… More >>
  • Best Scooter Shop

    Blitz Moped

    There's a reason Deep Ellum is teeming with mopeds and Vespas. It's because of Blitz Moped, the scooter shop located on Main Street near Malcolm X Boulevard. It's hard to miss the shop. Every day five or six new scooters for sale are out front, and inside there's a good mix of Italian Vespas and their less expensive Chinese counterparts.… More >>
  • Best Mascot

    The Good Records Chicken

    At Good Records' many events, namely its massive annual Record Store Day celebration, you know the party has reached its apex when the Good Records Chicken starts making the rounds and posing for photographs. "Basically, we've had the chicken suit for 12 years in various incarnations," says Good Records part-owner Chris Penn. According to Penn, the store's original chicken suit… More >>
  • Best Auto Shop

    North Texas Performance

    The most important product an auto shop can offer is honesty. At North Texas Performance in far West Dallas, that's the way they do business. You'll never be sold something that your car doesn't need. In fact, owner Tony Huerta will even let you look under the hood as he and his mechanics work, something most other auto shops wouldn't… More >>
  • Best Flower Shop

    Dirt Design Studio

    There's something whimsical about Oak Cliff's Bishop Arts District, and at the center of it all is Dirt, a flower shop that shares the artistic atmosphere of the neighborhood. The smell of seasonal flowers and the dark colors of the rustic walls and distressed wooden tables have a calming effect. They have the basics covered: roses, peonies and succulents, and… More >>
  • Best Cobbler

    Shoe Pro - CLOSED

    Nice pairs of shoes get worn out. City sidewalks can chew up the soles of boots and shoes long before they've taken their last step. In that case, hidden in the downtown Dallas tunnels, Shoe Pro has set up shop. Whether your entire shoe collection needs repair or you just need a shine, they do a good job for a… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Children's Clothing

    The Cozy Cottage Boutique

    How many children's clothes, toys and ephemera can you can squeeze into the first floor of a renovated Victorian house? If you've been to The Cozy Cottage Boutique, you'll know that it's a surprising amount. The shop, on 8th Street in the Bishop Arts District, is cozy, as its name implies, but without being cluttered. The selection of clothing, which… More >>
  • Best Record Maker

    A&R Record and Tape Manufacturing Co.

    Stan "No, Not That Stan Getz" Getz is approaching the 30th anniversary of his employment at the record plant, a business he liked so much he bought the company. Yet he still exudes a youthful enthusiasm for vinyl, the format that seemed to be facing an all but certain death just a few years ago. We're glad he stuck with… More >>
  • Best Salon

    Sweet 200

    The stylists at Sweet 200, which moved from Deep Ellum to the Bishop Arts area in 2008, have cut and colored for some of the city's prettiest of pretty people for modeling shoots and fashion shoots. Some of them, including owner Annette Jensen, have salon education and training that make our own schooling pale by comparison. We also think it's… More >>
  • Best Eyebrow Wax

    Avalon Salon and Spa at the West Village

    Eyebrows can make or break a person's face. Too thick and you look like Groucho Max, too thin and your forehead will transform into a fivehead. That's why it's important to see an aesthetician who knows what she's doing. And when it comes to eyebrow knowledge, nobody knows how to shape, groom and color brows quite like the Avalon Salon… More >>
  • Best Barber Shop

    Floyd's 99 Barbershop

    We're generally happy with a barber-shop experience as long as the tonsorial artist is semi-competent with the scissors and clippers and the haircut is cheap. Both are the case in our experiences at Floyd's 99. The extras are nice, too, as any cut includes a straight-razor neck shave and a quick neck and shoulder massage. Buzz cuts are less than… More >>
  • Best New Purveyors of Poster Art

    Rigor Mortis

    As an extension of Napkin Art's poster pop confections, Rigor Mortis has taken on the more musical elements of the scene, efficiently wiping down album art for the likes of the Polyphonic Spree, and even getting into the skateboard and T-shirt biz. More good poster art is good for the city and its many nooks and crannies.… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Your Hair Did While Listening to Rap

    Studio 410

    Earlier in the summer, Studio 410 hosted a Cinco de Mayo afterparty in its back parking lot. It was one of those nights where everything converged just so: good hip-hop, people dancing and the chance to roam around in Studio 410's salon/art space. During the day, Miriam Ortega and her team of stylists let the good vibes of that space… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Back at Your Dad

    The Anger Room

    The Anger Room is just that: a space where you (or you and a friend) pay a fee and are set loose in a room to smash someone else's property with a bat — or use your hands, if you're more tactile. This alternative to therapy (or prison) offers everything from a 15-minute Office Space package to 25-minute extended jams… More >>
  • Best Place to Take a Bachelorette Party

    DFW Gun Range's Tuesday Ladies Night

    If you're not really into the hands-on throttling of a place like the Anger Room, DFW Gun Range's Tuesday night is the perfect place to take your lady, or have a ladies night. It's open to any experience level, and the firearm and range fees are waived on Tuesdays, so you can totally take your best friend who's about to… More >>
  • Best Cabinet Maker

    R Triplett Construction

    Rick Triplett was close to a Ph.D. in cell biology when he decided cabinet-making would be a happier path. Now he's proprietor of a family-run business combining fine craftsmanship with high-tech production methods to produce quality cabinets at reasonable costs. Triplett Construction comes at the challenge from both ends, with highly skilled woodworkers on the job and sophisticated joinery equipment… More >>
  • Best Tailor

    Unique Tailor

    What's unique about Unique Tailor? They're cheap. They're fast. They do great work. And they don't talk to you with pins in their teeth. A lot of people have very difficult childhood associations with tailors because when their parents were getting them fitted for their first communions, they never thought to explain why the man with his sleeves rolled up… More >>
  • Best Wine/Liquor Store

    Sigel's Epicurean Market Deli

    Don't let Spec's attempted takeover of the fine spirits world distract you from this gem in Addison. Aside from a great selection of booze, wine and whatever else you need to wet your whistle, the deli in the back has a great variety of cheeses, house-made duck pot pies and gourmet sandwiches. Irish lass and cheesemonger Theresa Magee rarely forgets… More >>
  • Best Men's Umbrella

    The Davek Solo at Ken's Man Shop

    The Davek Solo, built with the patented "WindFibre" nine-rib frame, solid steel shaft, zinc alloy clip and genuine leather hand strap, protects you beneath a canopy 43 inches in diameter made of 190 thread-count micro-weave fabric, yet folds to an elegant 11.75 inches length at just more than a pound in weight. It is the North Texas urban man's ultimate… More >>
  • Best Socks

    Nordstrom

    Let's agree, first off, that you're going to pay between five and 10 bucks for one pair of socks. That is the price spectrum within which anything is possible, probably anywhere on earth but especially at the two main Nordstrom locations at NorthPark Center and the Galleria. Just for instance: Our own favorite Nordstrom sock for men is the Calvin… More >>
  • Best Plumber

    Eric Chapman, CSInc. Plumbing

    So the truth is there are lots and lots of good, honest, competent plumbers in Dallas who will get the job done and not take you to the cleaners. But then there's the other kind. So at least you can use Eric Chapman as a benchmark for what to look for. Chapman advertises that he is a "licensed master plumber."… More >>
  • Best Plumbing Supply for Regular People

    Teter's Faucet Supply Center

    Ever get the feeling plumbers have secret sources they can go to and get way better plumbing stuff than what we regular people are allowed to purchase at the big-box stores? It's true. The good news is that Teter's also makes a point of dealing with us mere retail schlubs as well as the professionals. The name is a little… More >>
  • Best Chicken Vet

    Dr. Jim Ahumada, A&B Animal Clinic

    We've got a chicken now, have we? Had to get in on the chicken trend? And have we named our little chicken yet? Because once our chicken has a name, we can no longer go to the feed store for help when she gets sick. The feed store will tell us to cut our chicken's head off and get a… More >>
  • Best Dog Rescue

    Straydog Inc. Gun Barrel City

    Sad to say, there's sort of a running chicken-and-egg debate among vets and people who deal with orphaned animals: Does animal rescue activity attract people who are already a little off or does the stress of doing it take normal people and make them that way? The grim reality is that you, the would-be adopter of a rescue animal, can… More >>
  • Best Salvage Yard

    Orr-Reed Wrecking

    Watch out! Hannah Hargrove, the owner's daughter, is home on leave from college, and she's on a mission to turn this venerable treasure yard of architectural artifacts into a whole new 21st century antique salvage yard. We would say she's going to turn Orr-Reed upside down, but, of course, the charm of the place has always been that it looks… More >>
  • Best Dirt Additive

    Minerals Plus

    So you want to plant some posies in the dirt. Well, may we ask something first? What dirt? Because it makes a big difference, especially in the city, especially in this city, where you can get dirt that's way too hard, like concrete, or dirt in which previous occupants have poisoned off all the creepy-crawlies you need to make your… More >>
  • Best Worm Doo-Doo Pee-Pee

    Worm Wine Texas Worm Ranch

    The art of using worm doo-doo pee-pee to make your garden grow is called vermiculture, and one of the nation's best outlets for both worms and their culture happens to be right here in our midst, at Texas Worm Ranch. Heather Rinaldi is the big ranch boss, ridin' around ropin' worms all day. A farm girl from Oklahoma, Rinaldi has… More >>
  • Best Texas Sun Protection After Sunblock

    UV clothing at REI

    OK, a few caveats here. First, UV-protective clothing is what you do AFTER you do sunblock. Sunblock protects the skin that isn't protected by clothing, and that's where you have the greater risk for cancer. Second, all clothing helps, and people with darker skin or people who just don't burn very easily probably don't need special clothes. Just don't be… More >>
  • Best Grocery Store

    Sprouts

    It was Newflower, and then it was Sunflower, and then at some point recently their bags suddenly read "Sprouts," featuring a bucolic little outdoor scene replete with frolicking cows. The grocery store on North Henderson Avenue has apparently changed opaque corporate owners once again (Sprouts is an Arizona-based natural foods chain), but honestly, we don't much care. It remains one… More >>
  • Best Bizarre Garden Ornaments

    Big Mango Trading Company

    Do you need something for your yard or balcony that just stops people dead in their tracks and makes their eyes go googly? The garden ornaments (and indoor ornaments, for that matter) at Big Mango Trading Company are just the right combination of drama and taste, all imported from Bali and Java, all made of natural elements. Bowls, urns and… More >>
  • Best Toy Store

    Toys Unique

    The building that used to house the Toys 'R' Us on Central Expressway is now a liquor store. The old tenant just moved down the street, but it's a symbol of what's happened to the specialty toy store in the age of Walmart and Target: They've disappeared. Not Toys Unique. The family owned retailer has been holding down the corner… More >>
  • Best Grocery Store for Creepers

    Highland Park Whole Foods Market

    Any upscale grocery store is bound to have a higher ratio of beautiful women than the city as a whole. And grocery stores in affluent areas also seem to draw a lot of good-looking ladies as well. So this Whole Foods location, with its pricey produce and absurd health products (we once espied gluten-free plates — plates!), tends to draw… More >>
  • Best Shoe Store

    DSW

    For some members of the human species — not that we're gender stereotyping here — the selection of footwear is a pretty simple choice: black, brown or sneakers. Others pore over the slightest variations in color, heel height and style like a diamond merchant. In other words, picking the "best" shoe store for all sexes and tastes is impossible, so… More >>
  • Best Car Wash

    Vintage Car Wash

    You hand the man some money and your car keys. You shop among the scented air fresheners, license-plate holders and humorous greeting cards while workers clean the accumulated crud off your car. It's a car wash. There is not, truthfully, a lot of variety in the experience. So, why this one? The staff's pretty friendly. They're pretty quick. The prices… More >>
  • Best Furniture Store

    The Luxury of Leather

    So much furniture in the world, so many styles, prices and functions, so let's limit the scope here a bit and talk about what really matters to us when it comes to furniture: a big, soft, comfy place to plop our butts while we watch our ridiculously large flat-screen TV. Ah, Luxury of Leather, how we bless your name at… More >>

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