Best Motel
Patrick Strickland

Conveniently located off U.S. 75 a few minutes north of Dallas, the Como Motel has been around for a long time, possibly forever. The rooms are about 10-by-10, but you can't beat the charm of an old motel around which countless numbers of affairs have surely been centered. In the suburban sprawl all around the motel are plenty of restaurants and bars you can hit up when you've had your fill of television or whatever else, and the Como's yellow-and-red block sign will make sure you don't miss the motel on your way back.

Books, DVDs, toys and sexy apparel, Paris Adult Book Store has everything you need to spice up your night. Open 24/7, Paris offers a variety of gear, lingerie and equipment to fulfill your needs. Need to sneak away for a bit? Their arcade room is available for only $10 per person, so you can catch an adult film at any time of the day. Plus, Paris is always having great sales and is LGBTQ+ friendly.

Rain or shine, day or night, this is the spot to get your XXX arcade on in Dallas. It's open 24 hours a day, and with a name like New Fine Arts, it's not your typical adult arcade perched off the side of the highway and full of road-weary truckers and the like. With three locations around Dallas, we recommend the one closest to the city, just a short drive from the Love Field Airport (maybe you want to pop by before a business trip, who knows?). When you're done doing whatever you do with the joystick, you can peruse the store and consider items such as Delta 8 lube or the wide selection of adult toys or lingerie.

Best Place to Have Your Old Home Movies Digitized

Action Video Service

Best Place to Have Your Old Home Movies Digitized
Courtesy of Action Video Service

Snugly set in a shopping strip next to a Tom Thumb, Action Video Service is a gem for those of us who have hours of home videos — family gatherings, birthday parties, high school sporting events of our glory days — we can't stand the thought of losing. Nowadays, a VCR can run you hundreds of dollars online, so your best bet for hanging onto all those memories is to get them digitized or transferred to DVD. Plus, if you're waiting around for a bit in the shop, they've got an old school Pac-Man and Galaga arcade game you can play for free.

Best Place to Buy Texan Apparel
Xochitl Gonzalez/KathyTran

AJ Vagabonds is a clothing and outdoors store tailor-made for all Texans and Dallasites desiring to better advertise their national and local identities. Here you will find T-shirts reading "Texas babe," "Dallas is wild," and "Hike the great Trinity Forest" — as well as the classic "Texas Chica" or "Texas Chico" tee printed in the Topo Chico logo's font. Here you will find Texas-, Dallas- and Oak Cliff-themed necklaces, stickers, pins, patches, posters and mugs, among every other kind of knickknack. Here you will find outdoorsy books, local food and merchant pop-ups, and boutique sports and camping gear. It's the perfect one-stop shop for anybody who takes pride in their city or state.

Wild Bill's Western Store
Michael Barera

Located in the West End, the appropriately named Wild Bill's Western Store is the spot to hit up if you have high hopes of refashioning yourself as a bona fide cowboy. Wild Bill's is a family-owned business that's been around for upwards of six decades, and they've got the necessary gear for aspiring cowboys, cowgirls and cowkids, whether you're looking for a saddle, new boots or just a good old fashioned cowboy hat. Better still, if you're looking for a souvenir to give your non-Texan friends or family, Wild Bill's has chef's aprons stamped with the Texas flag and guaranteed-to-make-you-sweat Ass Blaster Hot Sauce (which comes in a tiny outhouse-shaped container).

North Texas pet lovers are sure to salivate over Susie's Snack Shop in Denton. Located a few doors down from a 2020 Best of Dallas winner, Ten : One Artisanal Cheese Shop, Susie's offers dog owners North Texas-milled, quality kibble that's free of dairy, soy and grain. Their wide array of dog treats boasts a bevy of flavors and will satisfy the most finicky eaters. But the store's claims to fame are the smoked chicken feet, which are packed with glucosamine to help soothe your pet's achy joints.

Best Attorney
Steven Monacelli

For years, Dallas-area Democrat Lee Merritt has made a name for himself as one of the nation's top civil rights attorneys. His work for North Texas Black families whose loved ones died at the hands of law enforcement has helped to shine a light on the need for police reforms. This year, Merritt guided the family of Marvin Scott III in their quest to hold Collin County officials accountable for the homicide of the 26-year-old, who died in police custody. Merritt has since announced his candidacy for Texas attorney general, promising to safeguard voting rights if elected.

Best Public Health Expert
Erika Suarez / The University of Texas at Arlington

Since last year, journalists have been tasked with delivering readers reliable, accurate information about the novel coronavirus. To do that, of course, they've needed to hear from public health experts who have a knack for explaining science in a way that everyone can understand. Enter the University of Texas at Arlington's Dr. Erin Carlson, who emerged as a guiding light during a dark time. A gifted communicator, Carlson always delivers dire prognoses with a kind, gentle bedside manner. Be sure to thank the good doctor if you ever get a chance; she's working overtime to keep North Texans safe.

Best Music Delivery
Hannah Ridings

Before you order another record, boxset, protective sleeves or anti-static turntable mat from Jeffrey Bezos' website, consider buying your vinyl and record collecting supplies online while also supporting a local brick-and-mortar record store. During the early days of the pandemic, Good Records quickly sprang into action launching "Good Records to Go," a new website offering customers the freedom to browse their record bins online with free delivery within a 60-mile radius from the store with a $60 minimum purchase. After shoppers place an order online, the goods are delivered that evening or the following morning (as routes and schedules allow) to porch or patio just as a text with a photo of the order arrives to the customer's phone. Curbside pickup is also available, and several mail-order shipping options are offered.

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