Shopping & Services

  • 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… More >>
  • Best OB-GYN

    Steven D. Meltzer, M.D.

    Dr. Meltzer has a wonderful bedside manner. He respects patients' wishes, treating them like humans in charge of their own bodies, which is an amazing thing for a doctor to do. And he does it well, providing emotional and educational support, whether during a time of ladybit crisis or on a joyous occasion, such as birthing a child. While some… More >>
  • Best Metaphysical Bookstore

    Body, Mind & Soul Books Inc.

    At Body, Mind & Soul you'll find prayer bowls, plush unicorns, aromatherapy products and elegant gewgaws for the home. Check out their psychic fairs, held regularly. Metaphysicians and lay people both rave about some of the readers, such as Kevin Casey, who works in the bookstore and casts a mean astrological chart. Another of the shop's employees, astrologer Katherine Keene,… More >>
  • Best Printer

    Service Inc.

    This full-service printing shop, housed in the first floor of the Millie Esperson Building, is a downtown business with a hometown attitude toward its clients. They treat every customer like a big ol' corporate client, keeping customers' proofs on file for future jobs. Service Inc. has also been known to stay open till the job gets done.… More >>
  • Best Convenience Store

    Pak's

    The residents of Montrose have had a deep rivalry for years. Like Republicans and Democrats, they hold arguments at bars that evoke the silliness of Dr. Seuss's The Butter Battle Book. All the fuss is over which is the better convenience store, Hollywood or Pak's. Well, the final answer is Pak's. The colorful clerks' personalities are as varied as the… More >>
  • Best Reflexologist

    Annette Baker at ­Metaphysical Matrix - CLOSED

    Annette Baker, the house reflexologist at Metaphysical Matrix, wants to work on infants and babies, but neither is great at paying for services rendered, so she's stuck with the rest of us — whiny adults with grimy, gnarly feet. The Minnesota transplant is not daunted by the hellish Houston weather that forces most of us to wear sandals. "People are… More >>
  • Best Flea Market

    Sunny Flea Market

    Flea Markets are always a fun way to kill your Saturday, if you find the right one. There are the wrong ones with nothing but bootleg CDs, guys selling car stereos and, inexplicably, that weird D&D dude hocking all the swords and knives. Sunny Flea Market isn't that. This place is a bargain hunter's paradise; it's doubtful there's anything here… More >>
  • Best Liquor Store

    Spec's Liquor ­Warehouse

    Spec's Liquor Warehouse is a booze mecca for Houston beer swillers and wine sippers alike. A drinker's dream come true, the libation emporium is as large as most grocery stores in the city and has more selections than about anywhere we've ever been. The sheer amount of options is downright staggering to think about, but luckily, the staff is well… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy a Gun

    Collectors Firearms

    It's a well-known fact around the world that we Texans love our guns. Actually, "love" may be putting it lightly; we not only use our right under the Second Amendment, we celebrate it as much as possible by buying, owning, talking about and, most importantly, shooting guns. That's why it's so important to have that special go-to man or place… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Music

    Cactus Music

    When Cactus Music closed a few years ago, it was one of the saddest days Houston music has seen or ever will see. Cactus fostered quality local and international music across genres for generations, and carried albums by musicians available almost nowhere else. It was one of the last examples of a music store done right in this city. So… More >>
  • Best Resale Shop

    The Guild Shop

    While you're not too likely to find that vintage Van Halen T-shirt at The Guild Shop, it has plenty of other treasures within its walls. It's a great place to find higher-end clothing and retro goods that you typically won't find in the majority of thrift stores. The place is also Montrose's well-kept secret place to score nice furniture on… More >>
  • Best Hip, Fun or Nostalgic Gifts

    Hendley Market in Galveston

    Hendley Market is the perfect place to buy '60s-era toys and wax lips for kids, knitted catnip-filled toys for cats, old coins for house-sitting neighbors and embroidered linens for co-workers. There are antique oddities such as medical instruments, quirky old books, gift items that hark back to the Victorian Age (in a good way, not a chastity-belt way) and Mexican… More >>
  • Best Shoe Store

    Premium Goods

    You ever see someone wearing the most ­incredible pair of sneakers you've ever seen and wonder where in the world they got them? The answer is, most likely, Premium Goods. The sleepy sneaker boutique in the heart of Rice Village specializes in incredible limited-edition and custom-made sneakers. You won't find a new pair of running shoes here — well, you… More >>
  • Best Novelty Store

    Sig's Lagoon

    No, Sig's didn't win Best Novelty Store because it proudly sells vinyl — the entire upstairs balcony is devoted to that processed plastic — which is less and less a novelty every year in any case. It was more the book of illustrations that conveniently leaves a hole for the reader's penis where, for example, someone's head or a banana… More >>
  • Best Chocolatier

    Richard Kaplan at Brown Paper Chocolates

    Packaged in a simple brown paper box, this chocolate cube may not look groundbreaking, but when it comes to chocolate, it's taste that counts. Richard Kaplan, a former chef at trendy New York and Key West spots, hit the Houston chocolate scene in 2004 with a burst of flavor combos seldom if ever seen before. His recipes range from mixing… More >>
  • Best Candy Store

    The Chocolate Bar

    All right, so, "Best Candy Store," let's see...mmm...chocolate-covered popcorn...Whoops, sorry. Got distracted. Anyway, Chocolate Bar has served delicious homemade goodies for years now...mmm...chocolate cream truffles and s'mores chocolate cheesecake...Whoa — did it again! Sorry about that. Now where were we? Oh yes, Chocolate Bar has excellent ice cream, cakes and coffees to go along with their chocolate specialties like chocolate… More >>
  • Best Hardware Store

    Southland Hardware

    The thing about this store is that it seems so out-of-place, sandwiched between the oh-so-hip Montrose bars/tat parlors/dildo-supply outlets and the posh River Oaks boutiques. But there it is: a freakin' hardware store. Established in 1953, this maze-like mother is crammed floor-to-ceiling with tools, lawn ­supplies, paint, fertilizer, propane...and they cut glass, keys, pipes, you name it. In these days,… More >>
  • Best Toy Store

    Fundamentally Toys

    Are you a parent who feels like you're going to snap if you see that freaking Geoffrey the Giraffe one more time? Well, there is a surefire way to avoid stepping into that developmentally delayed mutant of a mammal's lair ever again: Fundamentally Toys. First of all, they have a "toy philosophy," which sounds pretty darn cool, and what parent… More >>
  • Best Hobby Shop

    Rick's Darts & Games

    Whether you're a kid or just a kid at heart, we're pretty sure you're going to like Rick's. For 34 years, the shop has provided a plethora of games and toys to keep just about every hobbyist smiling. Besides the eponymous darts, Rick's has kites, cards, dominoes, go, chess, billiards accessories, murder mystery sets, puzzles, yo-yos — you name it.… More >>
  • Best Newsstand

    Issues

    Half the fun of this place is just taking stock of all the bizarre and esoteric titles out there. Seems like there's a magazine for just about every lifestyle, interest, hobby, career, country and sport you can come up with, and then some. Issues boasts more than 3,000 titles. Of course, your standard stuff is here, too, but sometimes it's… More >>
  • Best Pawnshop

    The Wright Pawn & ­Jewelry Co.

    Selling your personal property to stall an eviction or buy that extra rock of crack can be a depressing, bewildering decision. There are a million pawnshops in Houston, and most of them emanate an aura of bleakness that makes your whole transaction feel hopeless, whether you're buying or pawning. But Jack and Pamela Wright want everyone to feel confident and… More >>
  • Best Chiropractor

    Brian Cesak of Cesak Chiropractic

    This category really should be "Best Chiropractor and Former Movie Actor." Brian Cesak was one of the stars of Kevin Reynolds's first feature film, the 1985 road movie cult classic ­Fandango, with one spoken line (hilarious though it may be). A poster from the movie hangs in his Memorial-area office. You wonder if he's the lush he portrays in the… More >>
  • Best Psychic

    Kim O'Neill

    Clairvoyants come in all forms and fashions. You've got your palm-reading, spell-weaving mystical madams; your potion-brewing, crystal-gazing priestesses; and your all-out crazies. And that's just a slight sampling. Kim O'Neill doesn't fall into any of those categories, though. For one thing, she comes from a corporate background and says she didn't tap into her clairvoyant wavelength until later in life.… More >>
  • Best Used Furniture

    Blodgett Street Store

    If you're looking to give the ol' pad a modern makeover, then be sure you're free on Saturday. That's the only day this little shop near Texas Southern University is open. Luckily, it's stocked with plenty of modern-design sofas, chairs, bed frames, lamps, dishware, artwork and other furnishings. In other words, it's a one-stop shop. The selection does outweigh the… More >>
  • Best Vintage Clothing

    Retropolis

    Retropolis is a little overstuffed with goods from the '30s to the '80s, but any true vintage buyer knows it's all about the hunt. The place is known for its well-stocked (and fairly priced) selection of vintage dresses, pearl-snap cowboy shirts and jewelry, but there's always a wide range of wares from every era. We recommend giving yourself a couple… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy a Squeezebox and Catholic Bling

    Gabbanelli Accordions and Imports

    Ever wake up with twin hankerings for a new top-of-the-line accordion and a St. Christopher medallion? Or maybe you just need a replacement bellows for your squeezebox and some rosary beads. Either way, Gabbannelli has you covered. This Westbury store offers world-famous accordions, multicolored, finely detailed creations fresh from their Italian factory and much-coveted by Tejano, Norteño and zydeco/Cajun musicians,… More >>
  • Best Video Store

    Movies! The Store - CLOSED

    When you enter this neighborhood spot, owner and manager Rob Arcos greets you with a smile and a wave. You can walk in totally clueless about what to rent, and Rob will happily offer recommendations on anything from TV shows to indie and foreign flicks. He has a lot of stuff you haven't heard of and, since he's seen all… More >>
  • 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… More >>
  • Best Doggy Day Care

    Jester Plaza Veterinary Clinic

    The Fido-friendly folks at Jester Plaza ­Veterinary Clinic will treat your best pal like he's family. At their doggy day care, pooches of every size and shape hang around the place getting pets, pats and even occasional kisses. And if they need a round of shots, dear Dr. Stephen Burda is right there — the day care is inside his… More >>
  • Best Hairdresser

    Jeff Parker at Hot Tops

    Getting one's hair cut can be a very dicey affair. In the first place, a decent cut is going to cost you, and after you've forked it over, you have to watch to make sure you get what you want. And then there's all that attitude at some of the swankier spots. Thank goodness for Jeff Parker at Hot Tops.… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Sexy Lingerie

    Erotic Cabaret Boutique

    If you're like us, buying sexy lingerie isn't an everyday deal, which is why Erotic Cabaret is so appealing. The employees are well versed in the merchandise, but realize it's a taboo experience for some shoppers. Want to know where that thing goes and how, and why your partner will appreciate it? Just ask. But if you're there just to… More >>
  • 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… More >>
  • Best Dry Cleaner

    Drive Thru Cleaners

    Rosalind Campbell and Blanca Aguirre, ­intrepid employees of Drive Thru Cleaners (owned by Michael Kaufman), have seen it all. If you inadvertently leave a thong (okay, in our case, granny panties) in your slacks, they ­discreetly hand it back. Need a fast fix for soiled clothing after a careless barista puts a cracked lid on your pumpkin spice latte, and… More >>
  • Best Dentist

    Dr. John Barras

    Forget about that scene in Marathon Man — Dr. John Barras is a cutie pie with a sugar-sweet staff, high-tech tools and an ubër-cool office of hardwoods and distressed walls. If a dentist's office can look like a boutique, this is the one. He specializes in "sedation dentistry" — as in, we'll relax you and even put you to sleep… More >>
  • Best Bookstore

    Murder by the Book

    There are sometimes as many as six author appearances a week at Murder by the Book. That's reason enough to love it. Add that the store specializing in mysteries has an ­extensive range of titles and an incredibly knowledgeable staff, and it's easy to see why it wins our Best Bookstore award. Authors ­routinely alter their tour plans to stop… More >>
  • Best Florist

    Fannin Flowers, Inc.

    The family-owned Fannin Flowers, Inc. is open 24 hours a day, just in case you need chrysanthemums at three in the morning or a hibiscus at dawn. They have rows and rows of cut flowers in bulk or arrangements, along with tropical and bedding pants. There's so much on display that it creates a steamy jungle effect; the green just… More >>
  • Best Grocery Store

    Central Market

    At Central Market, the grocery store that's more a lifestyle than a retailer, there's "all-natural" everything. Meats have "no antibiotics or hormones ever," fish selections are farm-raised and flown in for the freshest taste, and the vegetables are hand-selected. But there's more than just great food and a friendly staff at Central Market, there's also a wealth of knowledge that… More >>
  • Best Jewelry Store

    I W Marks

    When you want diamonds, you want I W Marks. The largest independent jeweler in Houston, this family-run business generates more than $10 million a year in sales. But while great service and an unbeatable selection earned I W Marks our Best Jewelry Store nod, the company's also high on our list of socially responsible corporations. In addition to selling jewelry (which it… More >>
  • Best Specialty Boutique

    Green by Adeline

    Really into all things organic? Well, don't forget about your clothes. At Green by Adeline, we're not talking just cotton. No, no. We mean bamboo, beach wood tree and wood pulp. Of course, the trees have been beaten and processed into thread, which is then woven into soft, scrumptious fabrics. Safe, chemical-free, organic dyes are used to produce a variety… More >>
  • Best Therapist

    Denise O'Doherty, L.P.C.

    Psychotherapist Denise O'Doherty has all the right credentials: She's a licensed marriage and family therapist, a licensed drug and alcohol counselor. Oh, and she's also a registered psychiatric nurse. She has a supportive, empowering approach. Have a problem with boundaries? Or maybe your self-esteem is low. No worries. O'Doherty has practical exercises for you that will take you from feeling… More >>
  • Best Hispanic Supermarket

    Mi Tienda

    Visiting Mi Tienda is like taking a quick trip to Mexico. When H-E-B decided to open the store, they wanted to create the most authentic Mexican grocery in Houston. They surpassed this goal. If you make it past the self-selection bakery, where you'll find tons of Mexican sweetbreads, you'll stumble across the fresh juice and aguas frescas bar with a… More >>
  • Best Middle Eastern Grocery Store

    Phoenicia

    To call this place a mere grocery store would be to do it a severe injustice. It's a 60,000-square-foot food emporium that sells products you simply cannot find elsewhere. There are fresh dates and fresh almonds, as well as dried nuts and fruits of all kinds. The deli has many different kinds of prepared foods, including traditional tabouleh and hummus,… More >>
  • Best Auto Parts Store

    Space City Wheels

    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… More >>
  • Best Garden Goodies

    Brookwood Store on Westheimer

    The Brookwood Community sits on a massive patch of farmland near Brookshire, and it serves more than 100 people with disabilities who produce high-quality home items and foods that are sold at three stores and online. It's hard to visit the Westheimer location without loading up on inspirational gifts and lovely knickknacks. You can feel good vibes emanating from, say,… More >>
  • 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… More >>
  • Best Vet

    West Alabama Animal Clinic

    Dr. Danielle Rosser brings her golden ­retriever to work every day. Lucky dog. The homey atmosphere, friendly staff and fat cats lounging on the counter create an old-time ambience, but the new two-story, state-of-the-art, $1.5 million building next to the original clinic is nothing but high-tech animal health care. Need a DNA test to determine your mutt's ­heritage? Done. Doggie needs… More >>
  • Best Mechanic

    David Dodd, scooter ­mechanic, Apollo ­Scooters

    Scooters are the rage. The little buggers get 85 to 100 miles per gallon and may even be a little hip. Matthew Creed, owner of Apollo Scooters, sold about 100 of them last year. He sold 85 last month. But if you buy, you'll need a good scooter mechanic. Apollo Scooters has an entire garage, which looks like a NASCAR… More >>
  • Best Oil Change

    CarSpa

    CarSpa is a big lube shop/car wash in Midtown, but unlike similar places, CarSpa doesn't have the mall-on-Christmas-Eve parking-lot atmosphere that might make you change your mind before pulling in for a quick oil change. The shop doesn't do appointments, so it's a first-come deal. But the wait shouldn't be longer than an hour. A straight oil change costs $25,… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Cigars

    Briar Shoppe

    The Briar Shoppe is a Houston institution. The place, originally opened by the current owner's mother, has been around for about 45 years. The store is an all-woman enterprise, but macho aficionados keep coming back. The walk-in humidor is great, with an easy-to-browse selection. All the favorites in the $5-to-$10 range — Cohiba, Macanudo, Romeo y Julieta — are there.… More >>
  • Best Storage Facility

    BullsEye Storage

    If you're an enterprising thief and want an easy score, look for a storage facility. Find one's that open 24 hours, and then rent the cheapest unit available for access. Show up around midnight with a pair of bolt cutters and have your way. However, you won't want to choose a storage facility that has surveillance cameras or infrared laser… More >>
  • Best Tobacco Shop

    Tobacco Habana

    This store could win on name alone. Genius. But Tobacco Habana is a serious smoke shop. There's a good selection of pipe and rolling tobacco and papers and pipes and lighters and cutters. There's also those cigarette brands you can't find at the typical corner store. The cigar selection stands out, with a humidor that's huge for the store's size.… More >>
  • Best Farmers Market

    Bayou City Farmers ­Market

    If you go to 3000 Richmond, you won't see much besides an ordinary office building. But if you go behind that building — on a weekend morning, of course — you'll find a thriving, eclectic, Green-with-a-capital-G farmers market. Everything from grass-fed meat to coffee to veggies is there; local gardeners are welcome to bring their produce and try to sell… More >>
  • Best Pool Service

    David's Pools & Spas

    You pay enough for a pool these days, you don't want to get ripped off on the upkeep of it. So you should turn to David's Pools & Spas, on the corner of Hillcroft and South Braeswood. These guys know their stuff and are eager to help you solve all those nasty little problems that keep cropping up over a… More >>
  • Best Vintage Record Store

    Sound Exchange

    Sound Exchange has been slanging rare and collectible records to Houston's stone-cold junkies for years now. And those junkies have good reason to be repeat customers; the incredibly fresh selection and well-priced bins of '60s psychedelic music and soul are hard to beat. And the two owners are courteous enough — or fiendish enough — to regularly slip you some… More >>
  • 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… More >>
  • Best Bike Shop

    Workshop Houston

    Can't fix your bike? Yes, you can. Workshop Houston gives you the tools and the knowledge to mend clicking cranks, hard-to-handle handlebars, flat tires and more — all for free (unless you need new parts, but those are practically free). They'll even teach you how to build your own bike. Sure, you could just leave your ride with a mechanic,… More >>
  • Best Glass Company

    Bobbitt Glass Co.

    So, you need to replace a pane of glass from a cheap but cute little Zen lantern from an out-of-the-way shop in Carlsbad, or maybe you want a glass top for a birdbath you mosaicked to make a unique patio table. Bobbitt Glass is happy to custom-cut whichever size, thickness or tint you need — they treat the little guys… More >>
  • Best Goodies for the House

    Ja-Vi Boutique

    This converted house in the Heights is full of richly renovated Mexican furniture and accoutrements. And an adjacent building on the same lot has even more decorative items, such as tasteful disco balls (is that an oxymoron?) that feature crystals, hold candles and come in five different colors. While those stick out visually, it's tough to choose from the broad… More >>
  • Best Plumber

    LEA Plumbing

    People have been raving about LEA Plumbing, so when a plumbing emergency hit one of our Best of Houston® correspondents, she called them right away and was crushed to learn LEA only serves Northeast Houston. But Sue Riddle, who handles the company's dispatch, helpfully offered a couple reasons for the correspondent's current water woes. And her husband, master plumber Billy… More >>
  • Best Spice Shop

    Penzeys Spices

    Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama would surely weep tears of joy upon walking through the door to Penzeys spice shop. Located on the fringe of the Height's über-hip West 19th Street, this cute boutique is a sumptuous ode to the senses. Cinnamons, curries and chilies galore — this place has them all, and more variety than even the most… More >>
  • Best Maid Service

    Two Girls and a Broom

    You go to all the trouble of coming up with a catchy business name like "Two Girls and a Broom," and the next thing you know everyone's talking about some hideous YouTube video that sounds very, very similar. You could change, or you could take to heart the words of cubicle-slave Michael Bolton in Office Space: "Why should I change… More >>
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