Best of Houston®

Best Of 2008


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Map It

Arts & Entertainment

Food & Drink

People & Places

Shopping & Services


Best Of :: Shopping & Services

Best Asian Supermarket
Viet Hoa

Viet Hoa is the Fiesta of Asian supermarkets and a pure delight for seekers of groceries and colorful oddities alike. It's big, it's clean and on any given day, you can find silk flowers, flip-flops and thousand-year-old eggs within a few steps of each other. The back wall is covered with tanks full of unusual sea creatures and case after case of fresh fish. If seafood isn't your thing, the array of roasted and barbecued meats could turn a vegetarian carnivorous. On the way out, a dizzying and attractive selection of jellied products is tempting enough to make you want to eat white fungus and mung bean...and like it.

8300 W. Sam Houston Parkway, Houston, 77072
Best Antique Store
Kuehnert's Auction ­Gallery, Inc.

Kuenhert's Auction house is not quite a store, but there's not a more exciting way in town to shop for fabulous French antiques, plush Persian rugs or even a palette full of kooky knick-knacks, old toys, or strange hats. Every Thursday night, the hearty souls who are game enough pick up a number, sit down in the audience and wait for the auctioneer to start the bidding. Everything goes and there's no minimum bid, so stunning deals are to be had by all. Designers have been going there for years; now it's your chance to get in on the action. All it takes is a quick hand and a strong heart — once that arty armoire is yours, there's no returning it.

8719 Katy Freeway, Houston, 77024
Best Architectural Antiques
Adkins Architectural Antiques & Treasures

Want to add a distinct look to your bedroom furniture? You could always pick up one of the many tree-killing catalogues from your recycling pile, or head to Adkins in Midtown for antique glass drawer pulls. Try those great Grecian urns to flank your apartment's porch, or Art Deco tiles for a kitchen backsplash. But if you like something, buy it. Part of the charm at this rambling, sprawling old house festooned with old lawn furniture is the fact that once an item is gone, you may never see another like it again.

3515 Fannin St., Houston, 77004
Best Auto Parts Store

Space City Wheels is what you might call a high-end auto parts store. Not a lot of air filters and brake fluid, but a helluva lot of chrome. Space City Wheels strictly sells rims and tires, and the shop's showroom alone is worth a visit. It looks like a strip club or casino filled with a lot of rims. Anything in the showroom is in stock — from the 22-inch Giovannas to the 30-inch Dubs — at Space City's huge warehouse. Full-service installation is included with purchase, and the store can almost guarantee same-day service. Space City is family owned and operated and has been for 15 years. Be sure to check out the yellow and black ATV decked out with ridiculously large rims. Bonus for the store's motto: "We open Sundays."

6973 E. Freeway, Houston, 77020
Best Bait & Tackle
Fishing Tackle Unlimited

A beginning fisherman (or woman) could get lost in this sprawling tackle store in south Houston. But the staff can hook you up with all the equipment and knowledge you need to be on your way. Unlike other big-box outdoor stores, Fishing Tackle Unlimited is straight fishing. There's plenty of gear for any kind of angling — in-shore, offshore or fly. The shop hosts a couple instructional classes and demos throughout the year, but on any day a staffer will take you to the parking lot and teach the technique with a casting or fly reel. Fishing Tackle Unlimited also has a nice variety of kayaks, which it rents for $50 a day. If you get serious about kayaking, the rental fee can be applied to the purchase price. You can also try out a kayak in the store's big outdoor pool.

12800 Gulf Freeway, Houston, 77034
Best Bakery
CRAVE Cupcakes

Elizabeth Harrison and Peter Cooper may have gone Hollywood — the couple moved to L.A. to make films — but when it came time to open a bakery, they did it back home in H-Town. Their last flick, Love and Mary, was shot in Houston, and about a baker; also, Harrison has had a sweet tooth for years. So the swanky little shop in Uptown Park is just a natural extension of their creative juices. If gluttony is a vice, so be it. But one bite of her granny's Nutella cupcake and you'll be hooked and craving (yeah, we said it) more cupcakes.

1151 Uptown Park Blvd., Houston, 77056

Best Asian Supermarket: Viet Hoa


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