BEST PET SUPPLY STORE 2013 | Pet Supplies Plus | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

You're the type of person who has no trouble dropping 40 bucks on fancy cheeses and organic mangoes, so why would you subject your four-legged child to generic food from the big-box pet supply stores? For the most extensive selection of specialty and hard-to-find pet foods around, head to this friendly store, where you'll find everything from freeze-dried raw food imported from New Zealand to a display case of elaborately decorated dog cookies. There's even a pet nutritionist on hand to help you figure out what Fido (or Fluffy) needs to look and feel his very best, plus an extensive selection of treats, toys, supplements and accessories from blinged-out collars to cushy dog beds.

The thrill of the hunt is what drives us to shop at thrift stores over, say, the mall, and this massive thrift emporium on Forest Lane is one place we rarely leave empty-handed. While items from well-known, mainstream brands are often way overpriced, there are plenty of designer and vintage gems to be had — think a brand-new with tags BCBG dress for $12, or perfectly worn-in cowboy boots for seven bucks. Different colored tags are discounted daily, so check back often to snag some killer deals. Be forewarned, though: This place has no actual dressing room, so come outfitted in minimal clothing you can slip that vintage beaded cocktail dress over.

Gallery owner Jason Cohen and his antiques dealer mother, Terry Cohen, teamed up several years ago to create a venue where all of the really cool stuff from junk and antique stores has already been eyeballed, culled and collected in one convenient location. The inventory ranges wildly from decapitated doll heads to religious icons. The bottom line is that an hour spent prowling these aisles will produce better finds than a whole day at an antiques mall.

You need a dresser. And maybe a sidebar, plus some glassware to stock it. And you've really, really been wanting a fancy, ornamental backgammon set for your coffee table. So you head to Lula B's because what you want is something with some character to it, and a little age and a little attitude. What you weren't looking for was the armchair made entirely out of steer horns. At least you didn't know you were looking for it until you saw it. And the same for that taxidermy fruit bat mounted in a shadow box, the one that looks like a weird mix of a toy and a still-living thing. And the silk-screened painting of Master Chief from Halo. Forget the dresser — just grab as many of those sugar skull-shaped goblets as you can.

WELD isn't for every freelance professional, which is precisely what makes it such a great co-working space. WELD caters to the creative community, and everything about the space is geared to give them what they need. Membership means access to ample desk and studio space, Wi-Fi, fresh Stumptown Coffee and local beer on tap no matter what time of day or night. Though it might seem like nothing could be better than beer on demand, WELD's greatest resource might be its members. If you have a question about a lighting technique or new editing software, chances are there is a member one table over who will gladly help you figure it out.

We take home decoration for granted. And in the hierarchy of needs we certainly view furniture, decor and other domestic niceties as luxuries. But just imagine the feeling of walking into a room of crates and mattresses on the floor verses a room with an actual bed, a lamp to read by and a blanket to comfort you. The first feels temporary, the latter feels safe, permanent and like something that you'd be proud of. That's why Dwell With Dignity works so diligently to turn apartments for families transitioning out of homelessness into actual homes. They gather gently damaged or donated wares from reputable designers and showrooms, paint the places and even fill the cupboards with food. Dwell With Dignity is more than an interior design nonprofit for those in need; it's a reminder that we all deserve a little supportive comfort.

If you are new in town and still looking around, this chicken coop tour, which takes place every year in early May, will show you exactly why you either do or do not want to live in East Dallas, where people keep backyard chickens under conditions ranging from absurd luxury to hillbilly hell. It's sort of like one big reality TV show spread out all over that part of town, with money raised going to an excellent cause, the student gardens at Stonewall Jackson Elementary School. Keep an eye on the website or watch for posters. It's a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.


Casey's Lawn Equipment

Casey's was always a great place to get a lawnmower tuned up or a blade sharpened when it was on Northwest Highway by West Lawther Drive at White Rock Lake, but it was, not to put too fine a point to it, a dump. It made the liquor stores around it look good. Now it has relocated to new quarters half a mile east on Northwest Highway, and it's fancy-schmancy, like walking into a fine men's clothing store. Only they fix lawnmowers. The best part: They're still good at it.

Buried somewhere in Carrollton is a magical place. It's a hotel. It's a spa. It's a pool with a bar in it. It's modeled after Korea's mondo giant spas, and $35 gets you into a series of saunas and pools both indoor and out. It's peaceful, and when you get hungry, you can don some comically ill-fitting house sweatpants and go to the café upstairs to dine on sushi or ramen or bubble tea. The most delightful conversations with strangers seem to happen here. It probably has something to do with that bar-pool.

It has its own smell. If you grew up in Dallas, the scent of NorthPark Center likely evokes childhood memories of staring in wonder at those huge robotic sculptures of men ceaselessly hammering, and running up and sliding down those smooth brick quarter-pipe-shaped planters. It could trigger happy nostalgia for picking out toys, wistful memories of ceaselessly trying on clothes as the start of another school year looms or that time your mother loudly asked a clerk if they have any husky-sized jeans to fit your fat ass. We try to avoid going to malls whenever possible, but we won't deny that eau de NorthPark makes things just a little more bearable when we are about to drop some coin on a pair of shoes, a Legos set or an IMAX blockbuster.

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