Best of Houston®

Best Of 2014


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Map It

Arts & Entertainment

Food & Drink

Shopping & Services


Best Of :: Shopping & Services

Best Record Store
Sig's Lagoon

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 (where Sig's owner Tomas Escalante not only worked in his college days but also met his wife), increasing its stock by not only tens of thousands of LPs, but Sundance owner Bobby Barnard's vast archive of posters, flyers, newspaper clippings, magazine covers, cardboard cutouts and ticket stubs that now adorn the walls. Walk into Sig's today and you can read about late H-town rapper Big H.A.W.K. and notorious '70s lawyer/scenester Sanford Radinsky's untimely deaths as you shop for LPs, CDs, books, posters, action figures, T-shirts, tickets to Continental Club shows across the street and more. No other record store in town can say that, that's for sure.

3622 Main St., Houston, 77002
2110 Portsmouth, Houston, 77098
Best Rail Station

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 first rodeo, or music fans ready to sing their hearts out, you can feel the excitement as the train draws closer and closer to the station. You never know what will happen on the field or in the stadium or on stage, but in that moment when you step onto the platform at Reliant Park South, anything is possible and everyone is happy.

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 place has been around since 1948, so these folks have had plenty of time to hone their skills and become the best dry cleaners around. As if that weren't enough, Gorman's also offers preservation and alterations, which means your granny's dresses can be kept in pristine condition and you can wear that pair of slacks you love without dragging the cuffs on the ground. And did we mention they offer free pickup and delivery?

8901 Katy Freeway, Houston,
2683 Wilcrest, Houston, 77042
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, inks, clays, leather crafting, embossing, textiles — if it's a material you can use to express yourself, Texas Art Supply has it. Even if you don't have an artistic bone in your body, it's the perfect place to find a gift for that special artist in your life — the friendly, knowledgeable staff will help you find exactly what you need. And chances are, you'll wind up coming back for yourself.

2001 Montrose Blvd., Houston, 77006
Best 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 on a bike repair right now, or trying to find someone a cheap part deep within the Compound. The shop is usually open mid-afternoons to early evenings, Monday through Saturday. Stop by for details on the next group ride or to chew the fat about two wheels.

2305 Wheeler, Houston,
5339 Weslayan St., Houston, 77005
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 Fur, where we scored an Isaac Mizrahi designer bowtie and Dogs of Glamour Dapper Vest. Hound was a hit. Since then, we've returned for more casual fare, like athletic jerseys and hoodies. He even found a nice denim jumper for his girlfriend, Deborah Hairy. Sure, he has to restrain himself while all the cats try on their outfits — Funny Fur doesn't discriminate — but he always leaves with some stylish threads on his back and a smile on his furry face.

3268 Westheimer, Houston,

Best Record Store: Sig's Lagoon


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