Best Spa 2019 | Exhale | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

We can finally breathe easy — Exhale Spa gives us a one-stop shop for all our true beauty needs. The spa doesn't just service your outward appearance (waxing, facials, nails, scrubs and the like) but takes your absolute well-being into its capable masseur's hands, with acupuncture and yoga on the menu. The Dallas fixture is known for its barre classes and a fitness technique consisting of micro-movements that make you work every single muscle, even the ones that have yet to make the pages of Gray's Anatomy. The post-spa relaxation room is an affair fit for royalty, serving you tea and infused water in a luxe atmosphere of perfect lighting and soft music, all while you're sinking into a robe so plush you swear you'll never wear anything else. And we didn't even get to the big, luxurious sauna. Let's just say the place is one where Frasier and Niles Crane would fight to get in the door first.

Sometimes there's no one more qualified than an outsider to demonstrate what a city is all about. Take Michigan-born fashion designer Travis Austin. His custom leather and denim jackets, band tees and Stetson hats embody Dallas' flamboyance better than just about any clothing line we've seen. He finds the vintage pieces and then reconstructs them on a made-to-order basis, tailoring, distressing and adorning them with Basquiat-esque painted skulls, dried flowers, studs and any other items the buyer requests, with art-school punk results. Austin came up with this service in 2014, and when his custom wares started to catch on in California with EDM artists and rappers such as Tiesto and G-Eazy, he realized their power as a branding tool. In 2017, he relocated to Dallas with his wife and opened the first Travis Austin Customs showroom in Oak Cliff, where he started marketing his service to local, image-conscious creatives. Leon Bridges and Bobby Sessions are among the big names who can't get enough of it, proving Austin's business skills are every bit as honed as his fashion sense.

Kathy Tran
Pink Pedi

Nail treatments are supposed to be fun and luxurious, but too often they feel like just another chore on the hygiene checklist, somewhere between shaving and blackhead extraction. The manicurists at Pink Pedi are aware, and they're here to disrupt your sad after-work routine of rushing to the nearest salon that can fit you in and burying your head in an Us Weekly until it's over. Almost nothing about the experience at Pink Pedi will feel familiar to regular salon-goers. They don't do acrylics, and they don't do simultaneous treatments. But if you want a classic look well done, have a little time to spare and enjoy the idea of a build-your-own ice cream sandwich shop where you are the sandwich, this is the place. When you arrive for a pedicure after booking online (hallelujah), you'll need to do two things. The first is pick out your own eco-friendly, toxin-free combo of bath bomb, sugar scrub and body butter. The second is more difficult, but worth it: Allow yourself to register and enjoy that a human being is devoting their entire attention to your cuticle health for the better part of an hour.

Shamsy Roomiani
Shamsy Jewelry

Shamsy Roomiani is known primarily for her lush and whimsical work with plants; she's a multimedia artist who inherited all the best maternal genes from Mother Nature herself. Shamsy's jewelry is perfectly in line with the artist's fanciful signature and includes monumental rings and pendants that center around her star product — original, lit-up "Shamstones," as multicolored and cheerful as the rest of her offerings, such as "zen dust" and "unicorn" herbal bundles. Also, we're pretty sure they have magical properties. The artist's work is available at various boutiques around Dallas or at

Hollywood Feed's Lemmon Avenue at Knight Street location has everything even the most finicky pup needs: a wide variety of dog food for dogs at all stages of life, great natural treats and a floor-to-ceiling wall of toys. The best thing isn't the merchandise, though, it's the staff. Tell them a little about your dog, and they'll point you in the perfect direction.

Vape 'em while you got 'em, because vaping has become the cause du jour among the state nannies ever ready to protect us from our pleasures. Not that we're bitter, but some folks at the Observer have actually stopped smoking with the help of vapes, so we get a little testy at the notion that saving an adult from lung cancer is less important than keep a 17-year-old from sucking on a Juul ... but we're ranting. We're here to praise Je Vape while we still can. As pro-vaping as we are, we admit that among the 30 million or so vape shops that have sprung up across DFW, some are a little sketchy. OK, very sketchy when it comes to knowing what we're sucking into our lungs. There's nothing sketchy about Je Vape, a clean, bright, well-stocked shop with a huge variety of batteries, coils and vaping units. They also have the usual fancy glass smoking devices — please don't call them bongs, even if they look like bongs — alongside equipment from reputable manufacturers, plus their juices are legit products, not something cooked up in a back room from Chinese chemicals and candle scents. Best of all, the friendly staff is extremely patient and knowledgeable, ready to take the time to help ADULTS (ahem) find the right device and juice from countless options, without getting into discussions of milliamps, watts, etc., unless you want to.

The female characters on the popular TV shows we watched growing up fed us the illusion that we'd one day blossom into adulthood as designer-dressed, stiletto-strutting women while on a freelance writer or waitress salary. Thanks '90s, for your lies. But our faith in the fashion gods has been restored thanks to Clotheshorse Anonymous, a high-end consignment boutique that makes the Coco-est of Chanel dreams come true. While some items are on the (rightfully) pricey side, it's easy to find hardly worn designer-crafted dresses for $100 — which admittedly is far cheaper than the piece of crap dress you bought on a whim and wore to one wedding, just to watch it grow uglier every year in your closet. The North Dallas store's inventory is updated frequently and the selection stays consistently sophisticated, so even if you're more rogue than Vogue, you can trust that you'll walk out looking like the true fashionista you assumed you'd be by now.

Ken Weber and Greg Kelly opened Vintage Martini in 2007, bringing quality vintage clothing to Carrollton. Lucky for us in Dallas, a few years later they decided to move to the Knox-Henderson area, where we can find clothing from various eras. There's the expected men's and women's wear by decade, all in impressive condition. Prices reflect that, but they're not unreasonable considering the quality. We especially love the roped-off section of the really classic stuff (a recent visit had a small dress from 1890). Plus, there are occasional events at Martini themed around different styles: It's a good time to shop and people-watch.

Kathy Tran
The Joule

As far as hotels go, it doesn't get any sexier than The Joule. Headington Companies', well, crowning jewel, the neo-Gothic beauty serves up eye candy in every inch. Its world-class art collection boasts more than 70 mosaics by California artist Millard Sheets, a Roger Hiorns crystal-covered engine and mid-century mosaics that greet you at the Main Street entrance. Rooms are as luxurious as you would imagine. Completing the experience, there's an 11,500-square-foot subterranean spa and ample food and drink options, including Midnight Rambler, a stylish basement bar serving up creative craft cocktails prepared with house-made infusions.

Camp Bow Wow is perfect for anyone who treats their dogs like furry children. It offers private suites with 24/7 cameras for pups staying overnight, separate play areas for large and small dogs and an attentive staff capable of caring for dogs with a wide range of grooming and health needs. The Grapevine location is convenient to the airport, has tons of play space and has a grooming service if Fido needs a spa day. It's a dog owner's best friend.

Best Of Dallas®

Best Of