Best Of Shopping & Services
Best Rail Station
Reliant Park South Bound
In life, sometimes the ride is more important than the destination, and sometimes it's both the journey and the place. The most exciting rides on the METRORail end at Reliant Park South. Whether it's rowdy Texans fans decked out in blue and red, little cowboys and cowgirls headed to their...
Best Dry Cleaner
No dry cleaner can be perfect all the time, but it seems like Gorman's comes pretty close. Whether you need coffee stains zapped from your favorite dress or have a hankering to get your shirts laundered and starched with just the right amount of snap, Gorman's has you covered. The...
Best Art Supply Store
Texas Art Supply
We keep waiting for someone to present a serious challenge to this perennial winner. But we can't even envision such a creature, since this Houston institution has it all. Whether you're already a Rembrandt, or a novice who can't tell a paintbrush from a hairbrush, this is your destination. Paints,...
Best Bike Shop
Third Ward Bike Shop
It's easy to pass by the junkyard-like visage of the Compound, as it's known in cyclist circles, and think nothing of it, but this is a haven for cyclists in Midtown and Third Ward. There's not much that bike fixer extraordinaire Dan Kan can't do. We bet he's busily working...
Best Clothes for Your Dog
So the other night, we and our adorable pooch, Hound Solo, were getting ready to attend a swanky affair when Hound threw up his paws in frustration: He couldn't find any suitable duds in his wardrobe. "Don't fear," we told him, as we scooped him up and dashed to Funny...
Best Watch Repair
Watches by Paulin
Time waits for no one. When your watch breaks, you want that timepiece back in working order as quickly as possible. That's where Watches by Paulin comes in. It's not a terribly impressive place, just a shop tucked in a bland Garden Oaks strip center, but the clerks know the...
Best Department Store
Remember in the great movie Mean Girls, when Rachel McAdams's character (who has unwittingly been fed a bunch of carb-packed fitness bars for weeks) is at one of those petite-clothes mall boutiques looking for a prom outfit? The shop girl tells her, "Sorry, we only carry sizes 1, 3 and...
Best Record Store
Houston has bigger record stores, and others that delve deeper into more obscure musical realms, but none that have quite as much off-the-wall local character as Sig's Lagoon. A couple of years ago, the cozy little shop on Midtown's "The Island" inherited the inventory of San Marcos's shuttered Sundance Records...
Best Shoe Store
If you're in the market for fashionable, sometimes limited sneakers to pair with a new snapback hat and Houston-centric shirt, you might like Premium Goods. Drake does. The Rice Village sneaker boutique was the site of Drizzy's Houston Appreciation Weekend pop-up shop. Why? Because the store is cool as hell...
Best Computer Store
Fry's South Houston
It's easier than ever to go online and purchase what you need, especially when it comes to electronics. Everyone knows that. Now consider the nightmare scenario: Your computer dies. Suddenly you can't just jump online and order the right part for the problem. If that dreaded day ever comes (or...
Best Place to Buy a Gun
Whether you're looking for a fancy new SIG Sauer or a pair of antique flintlock duelers, Collectors Firearms is your target. What began in 1975 as a 600-square-foot shop has grown into a major showcase boasting an inventory of more than 7,000 guns as well as a ton of ammo,...
Best Tree-Removal Service
Houston's weather extremes — heat, drought, flooding, hurricanes — can be stressful for even the hardiest of trees, weakening them and leaving them prone to breaking. It seems every big thunderstorm downs trees and leaves streets filled with fallen branches. Tree Climbers tree removal service, staffed with fast-working, smart and...
Best Cigar Seller
McCoy's Fine Cigars
It's hard to find a cigar shop that truly feels like the real deal these days. That's where McCoy's Fine Cigars comes in. We can't help loving a shop that's family-owned and located in downtown Houston, with the bonus of actually being all about good cigars. They have an excellent...
Best Amusement Center
Speedy's Fast Track
For those looking for a fun way to kill an afternoon without falling into bankruptcy, Speedy's gives one helluva return on investment. Speedy's has the best go-karts in Houston, but the off-track there is solid entertainment, too. The mini-golf course isn't bad, given the sorry state of Houston putt-putt. The...
Best Dog Trainer
Dogs are the best and we really love them, but sometimes we need a little help because, say, our furry friends have taken to getting into the trash or shredding books to ribbons or trying to attack other dogs on sight. That's where Donald Chambers comes in. Chambers is a...
Best Doggie Day Care
Lakeside Animal Clinic
Leaving your dogs with someone else isn't always easy, which is why it's important that you already feel comfortable with the people you're leaving them with before you drop them off. From the first phone call, the folks at Lakeside will make you feel as if you don't have a...
Best Place to Get Plants
Buchanan's Native Plants
There are plenty of plants that will grow in Texas, but not all of them belong here. That's where Buchanan's Native Plants comes in. As the name implies, this Heights nursery specializes in plants indigenous to the Lone Star State. We're talking about Texas Firecracker, Texas Kidneywood, Texas Olive, Texas...
Calling the Galleria a mall is like calling the Hope Diamond a piece of jewelry — it's technically accurate and a grotesque understatement at the same time. The Galleria is the mall of malls, filled with the best stores and the widest variety of people (including the famous types), and...
Best Hobby Store
8th Dimension Comics & Games
Finding the right hobby store means finding one that has reached the perfect ratio of games to game space. Some places have tremendous selection, while others have more tables than you can count, but rarely does a store have both. The folks of 8th Dimension understand the delicate balance, which...
Manicures are meant to look good, last long and — above all — be cheap. By our standards, CC Nails is the holy grail of nail places. Stationed in a boring strip center, the space is beautifully lit and impeccably clean, and there never seems to be a wait. We...
Carol's Alterations & Cleaners
When you've just torn your favorite vintage rayon dress, there's only one place to go: Carol's Alterations & Cleaners. The shop doesn't look like much from the outside, but when you walk in, it's clear these people know what they're doing. They can work miracles with clothes you thought were...
Best Wine Store
When you're looking for a good bottle of wine, it's best to head over to Spec's. Nowhere else in town can compete with the sheer breadth of selection offered at the Midtown location, the crown jewel of the Houston liquor-store empire. The store is huge, with the wine aisles making...
Best New Law
In late May, Houston got a HERO. No, not the Enrique Iglesias kind — the nondiscrimination kind. City Council passed the Equal Rights Ordinance 11-6, creating nondiscrimination protections not just for sexual orientation and gender identity but also for race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, military status, disability,...
Best Sporting Goods Store
There are running stores and then there's Luke's Locker. We love this place because the staff is a crew of super-fit and extremely helpful running experts. They have all the gear you could possibly imagine and a few things you never thought actually existed. Plus, the salespeople know their stuff...
Best Vintage Clothing Store
Walking into Retropolis the first time can be overwhelming. The store is packed to the gills with clothes, jewelry, hats and shoes that have somehow survived long enough from the '30s, '40s, '50s and on to end up in this gem of a place in the Heights. It's basically a...
Best Comic Book Store
8th Dimension Comics & Games
Ever since Jeremy and Annie Bulloch opened their shop off West and Highway 6 in 2011, it's been an exceptional hub of geek culture that gets bigger and better. Poised to have double the floor space in the very near future, 8th Dimension is not only chock-full of the best...
Best Adult Gift Store
One of the crown jewels of the Galleria area, this boutique has been serving Houstonians' naughtier sides for many years. It's truly one-stop shopping — you can get your traditional one and three-fourths-inch red ball gag, kiwi-strawberry lube, French maid's outfit and an Adam & Eve Easy Anal Buddy on...
Best Antiques Store
Carl Moore Antiques
One of the reasons we love this place so much is that everyone here is interested in antiques as fun, stylish pieces, as opposed to dusty, staid museum relics. As discussed on the store's website, some people immediately equate "antique" with hand-crocheted doilies and a "floral teacup and saucer." But...
Best Costume Shop
Party Boy Texas
We love this place so much, we can hardly wait for Halloween. A random Tuesday will do. With costumes ranging from superheroes to Jazz Age flappers, from theatrical garb to mascots, Party Boy has something for just about every occasion. The prices are right, and the staffers are courteous, knowledgeable...
Best Place to Buy Gaming Supplies
There may be no better place than Asgard to let out your inner geek. Or even your outer one, for that matter. That's because Asgard hosts weekly tournaments for games like Magic: The Gathering, with plenty of tables for you and your fellow knights, elves and wizards to enjoy an...
Best Web Comic
Jason Poland's Robbie and Bobby
Jason Poland got started cartooning playing Mario Paint on Super Nintendo, and from there graduated to doing Robbie and Bobby for The Daily Cougar. Now it's easily the most amusing web comic in the city. Call it a darker version of Calvin and Hobbes for the Cartoon Network generation. That's...
Best Car Wash
Splash Hand Car Wash
In a city where the car is king, there'd better be some good car washes. Fortunately, Houstonians have a healthy array of lathering options, even if it's just a quick-and-cheap gas station drive-through. But if you want a cut above without breaking the bank, we recommend Splash. For $16 to...
Best Head Shop
For 12 years, the dudes at this family-owned shop have been making your hazy dreamz come true. They carry some of the finest glass accessories, hookahs, shisha, vaporizers, e-cigs, kratom, tattoo supplies, premium lighters and even body jewelry. Some of the glass pieces, including stellar creations by Pure, HELIX, Sheldon...
Arthur's Auto Service
We recently towed an inoperable but sentimentally valuable 21-year-old Dodge truck that had been literally put out to pasture on a family farm north of Waco to a nearby dealership. The place demanded $5,000 just to replace the fuel pump. Two months later, after said fuel pump conked out, we...
Best Jewelry Store
Zadok Master Jewelers
For seven generations and 35 years, the Zadok family has brought Houstonians the finest shininess. Boasting several Gemological Institute of America graduates on staff, the Zadok crew knows just about all there is to know about jewelry. Whether you're looking for loose diamonds or watches, or you need your precious...
We've done the math, and we've spent a total of 10,475 hours perusing Big LeRoy's online parts finder. It's downright addictive. This junkyard has a huge inventory, and if for some reason the part isn't listed (we struck out on a rocker panel for a 1976 Peugeot 504), there's a...
Murder by the Book
One-click online shopping for books might be great for those3 a.m.impulse buys, but there's something missing from those transactions — an experienced, knowledgeable bookseller. That's where brick-and-mortar shops like Murder by the Book come in. Dedicated to mysteries and thrillers, it has a staff of dedicated, book-loving readers. Wondering if...
Best Vitamin Shop
Whether you're on the hunt for a particular type of protein shake or an obscure supplement to help you amp up those beefcake arms, the Nutrition Depot has the answer to all your nutritional queries. The universe threw in an extra dose of Muscle Milk when it brought Nutrition Depot...
Big Kat's Barbershop & Shave Parlor
Unless you're the type who wakes up early to get in line before the doors open, chances are good you're going to wait a bit to get your hair cut at Big Kat's. Service this good comes with a price, but when a place has this much character, you won't...
Best New Way to Get Around the City
We've got nothing against cab drivers, and frankly, people who do often wind up sounding a little racist once they elaborate. But sometimes you want to feel like a high-roller and order your own private driver, even though you don't have Mr. Big money to drop on the endeavor. That's...
Wunsche Family Cemetery
Thousands of people drive past the Wunsche Family Cemetery every day without ever noticing the handful of headstones that make up the tiny graveyard, and they're completely unaware of the mystery surrounding the murder of one of its residents. Located between the freeway and the feeder road, the cemetery holds...