Shopping & Services

  • Best CD Shop

    Half Price Books

    Do people even buy CDs anymore? They must, because Half Price Books keeps stocking them. The budget-media retailer may not have a Cactus-like variety, but it usually has a few titles by most major artists, especially if they weren't big blockbuster albums. It also seems to specialize in CDs by artists you had almost completely forgotten about but who had… More >>
  • Best Art Supplies

    Texas Art Supply

    Sure, you may have seen this one coming a mile away, but it's not without reason: Simply put, this place meets the needs of anyone from casual doodlers to professional painters. Brushes, pens, ink, clay, paper, stencils, mosaics, fabric — there's no way you can spend five minutes at Texas Art Supply and not feel your creative side getting goosed.… More >>
  • Best Perfumery

    Perfumania

    We like smelling good — and our significant others smelling good — without spending a fortune. And we learned the hard way that this isn't reasonably accomplished by buying knockoff brands at gas-station convenience stores. (We also learned that Drakkar Noir actually isn't the best man-scent out there, regardless of what that dude selling it out of the back of… More >>
  • Best Novelty Store

    Fantasy Gifts and Toys

    Because you just never know when you might want to buy a Pink Panther clock at 1:30 in the morning. Fantasy Gifts and Toys resembles an overstuffed, naughty museum, and has been outfitting Houstonians who are up to no good for more than 30 years. Conveniently located near most Lower West­heimer bars including neighboring Catbird's, Fantasy offers hundreds of glass… More >>
  • Best Vintage Store

    Replay on 19th

    Laura Levine and "Crazy" Mike Hildebrand curate their Heights-area store so carefully, they almost have an encyclopedic knowledge of every item and its location. Looking for embroidered cowboy boots, Polynesian mod or an old concert T-shirt? Just ask at the desk, and if they have it (they likely do), they'll take you right to it. Prices are super-reasonable considering you're… More >>
  • Best Junkyard

    Big LeRoy's Auto Parts

    Sometimes, just for fun, we'll browse through Big LeRoy's enormous online inventory, randomly picking a car, looking at the photo of it sitting there in the yard, and poring over the VIN breakdown. The other day, we clicked on a 1991 Accord at random, saw all the parts that were available, as well as what condition the car was in,… More >>
  • Best Used Furniture

    Reeves Antiques

    Though Reeves, located at the corner of Taft and Fairview, specializes in Mid-Century modern, that's not all the father-and-son team has to offer. Their selection of MCM is, however, one of the best in the city, especially when you factor in the prices, which are the lowest we've seen for good-condition vintage outside of garage sales and Craigslist.… More >>
  • Best Spice Shop

    Penzeys Spices

    Of course Penzeys Spices is the best spice shop in the Houston area, you say. It's the only spice shop. Not true: There are specialty shops and grocers all over, some catering to only one type of cuisine. There are Chinese stores, Vietnamese purveyors, a Russian general store...we've seen them all in our culinary pursuits through Houston. But any spice… More >>
  • Best Sporting Goods Store

    Finish Strong Sports

    Conveniently located just a few blocks away from Memorial Park, Finish Strong Sports is a runner's paradise. Staffers help fit you in the right running shoes, offering expert advice so you don't end up wearing a pair of fancy sneakers that will turn your feet into hamburger meat. When you finish your first marathon, be sure to send the staff… More >>
  • Best Fabric Store

    Calico Corners

    Want to spruce up your place but aren't sure where to start? Have no fear: The professionals at Calico Corners will help find the right look for you, whether you choose an in-store or in-home appointment. Oh, and did we mention that this wonderful consultation is free? Yeah, free guidance from experts who know their way around the 7,000 kinds… More >>
  • Best Hardware and Housing Materials

    Habitat for Humanity ReStore

    If you are smitten with the perfect set of sconces or French doors or bathroom vanity or just about anything in this warehouse, you'd better snap it up: "About one half of the donated inventory moves in about a month," says staffer Mark Goodson. When Habitat picks up donations from people's homes, ReStore is where it lands. But the inventory… More >>
  • Best Mexican Market

    Mi Tienda

    Score another one for H-E-B. Last year's winner was the South Houston/Pasadena location of their Mexican/Central American supermarket; this year's gran campeón is the Northside behemoth that opened last December and made the first one look like a mere bodega by comparison. Like its predecessor, the Northside Mi Tienda features a tortilleria, a carniceria and an aguas frescas bar, not… More >>
  • Best Cheese Shop

    Houston Dairymaids

    One of the best things about this not-so-hidden treasure is its support of Texas cheesemakers. The titular maids comb the state for the best home-grown cheeses (note: Cheese, we're told, isn't technically "grown") like Sand Creek Farm's gouda, farmhouse and brick varieties, or CKC Farms's baby caprino. Although we were disappointed to learn they don't sell our favorite artisan cheese… More >>
  • Best T-Shirt Store

    Cactus Music

    Besides, you know, music, Cactus Music is an excellent place to replenish your wardrobe. The Shepherd Plaza institution's T-shirt stock features bands from the Strokes to the Stooges and local landmarks like Saint Arnold's beer. And every self-respecting Houstonian should own a plain old Cactus shirt to go alongside their copy of Live at the Old Quarter. Cactus rotates its… More >>
  • Best European Auto Repair and Body Work

    K&H Autohaus

    Just because K&H Autohaus has a waiting room as beautifully appointed as a Bugatti Veyron and as comfortable as a Mercedes S550 doesn't mean you can't afford to take your VW Beetle there. But unfortunately, there's little excuse to stay and enjoy yourself, because not only is the shop a block from the light rail, they'll often ferry you back… More >>
  • Best Bookstore

    Books-a-Million

    The best-read member of the Houston Pavilions family, Books-a-Million is an ideal browsing stop before a meal at McCormick & Schmick's or Andalucia and/or some live music at Scott Gertner's or House of Blues. You can grab a quick cup of java at the in-store coffeehouse while you peruse something from its three walls of periodicals, or perhaps pick out… More >>
  • Best Laundromat

    Soap Suds Coin Laundry

    With a lot of Laundromats, we sometimes feel like our clothes come out even dirtier; it seems like the median age of washers and dryers in the city is a quarter-century, and owners never seem to want to splurge on amenities like air conditioning or asbestos abatement. In short, a typical trip to the Laundromat during a Houston summer can… More >>
  • Best Vinyl Shop

    Heights Vinyl

    It's not a bad problem to have. In the past few years, Houston's record scene has exploded. One of the newest kids on the block, Heights Vinyl, has already made an impression with its in-store shows, collection of old, refurbished turntables and clever record-pricing system based on the characters from the movie Reservoir Dogs. The shop cleans and evaluates every… More >>
  • Best Newsstand

    Issues

    Leave it to a store devoted to magazines actually printed on paper to not have an online presence. That's because Issues doesn't screw around. They claim to have more than 3,000 titles, and we believe it: The no-frills space is jam-packed with every magazine you've ever heard of, and a ton more that you never knew existed. There's nothing else… More >>
  • Best Pawn Shop

    Shaw's R&R

    The titular double-Rs are Rodney and Rhonda, part of this family-owned establishment that's been around since 1993. And Shaw's does it all: buying, trading and selling jewelry, electronics, firearms, musical instruments, sporting goods — you name it. They also offer check-cashing and payday advance services. Oh, did we forget to mention that they can repair your jewelry and watches, as… More >>
  • Best Cheap Massage

    Barbara Peschon, Massage Envy

    This low-cost but reputable massage chain allows its members to frequent any Massage Envy facility, no matter the franchise owner. So for $49 per month, you can get a one-hour massage all over the country. But why skip around when the best is in Houston's very own Meyerland? Barbara Peschon is trained in a number of types of massage —… More >>
  • Best Dive Shop

    Gigglin' Marlin

    Believe it or not, one of the best diving sites in the world is located just a few hundred miles south of the Texas/Louisiana border. The Flower Gardens, as they're known, are an oasis of coral only 60 feet below the surface of the water, surrounded by oil rigs and the much deeper waters of the Gulf. Plenty of dive… More >>
  • Best Boutique Hotel

    Magnolia Hotel

    Located in a 1920s-era building that formerly housed the precursor to The Houston Post, the Magnolia symbolizes sleek, understated elegance. From its rooftop pool to its hardwood-floored lobby to its modern-yet-cozy rooms in between, everything about the Magnolia was designed with a sharp eye for detail and dignity. There is no gaudiness, no feeling that — unlike some other boutiques… More >>
  • Best Toy Store

    Toys To Love

    Think of Toys To Love as the Sharper Image of toy stores, catering to brainy tykes and parents. Meaning, a lot of the items at TTL have an emphasis on fun and learning, and aren't geared to a marketing campaign or an awful movie. This shop has been locally owned for nearly 20 years, probably providing products for some of… More >>
  • Best Garden Center

    Wabash Antiques & Feed Store

    Wabash's motto couldn't be more apt: "A little bit of country in the heart of the city." In addition to organic plants of all genera and species (their fruit tree selection is especially diverse), Wabash also sells fauna: roosters, chickens, the biggest eggs you've ever seen, Cornish hens, bunnies and more. The store has a small-town feed-and-seed feel. You'll find… More >>
  • Best Car Wash

    Xtreme Custom Detail

    As various in-and-out places continue to pop up near main intersections throughout Houston, this little spot in the Fourth Ward has been quietly building a dedicated following of loyal customers for the past five or six years. Despite this, there's almost never a wait. They can do a hand-wash and wax in 30 minutes flat for less than a Grant,… More >>
  • Best Junk Store

    Texas Junk Company

    Whether you're looking for old-school cowboy boots to play up your Texanism (they got 'em) or a funky new lamp for the guest room (check), the Texas Junk Company has you more than covered. This is a Montrose institution through and through, and worth a visit if you have out-of-towners wanting to see weirdo Houston. You'll more than likely leave… More >>
  • Best Baby Store

    Baby's 1st Furniture

    Don't let the name fool you: Yes, they've got furniture, which we'll get to in a minute, but they also have books, toys, strollers, clothes, wall art and even something called a PeePee TeePee. Basically, if you've spawned a tiny human being, then your new best friend is now Baby's 1st Furniture. Which reminds us: furniture. We're talking cradles, cribs… More >>
  • Best Paint Store

    Southwestern Paint

    Houston is covered in paint, or it soon will be. With all the new dwellings going up in Montrose and Fourth Ward the past few years, the cans must be practically flying off the shelves at Southwestern Paint. Southwestern recently renovated its Montrose location, the one that's been there since 1940, and now has stores in West U, 1960, Katy… More >>
  • Best Boutique

    Hello Lucky

    An island of cool stuff made with love and by hand amid an ocean of crap cranked out by indifferent machines (or wage slaves in brutal sweatshops), Hello Lucky stands as an extension of owner Teresa O'Connor's nurturing philosophy. All of the locally handmade jewelry, clothing, accessories and knickknacks in Hello Lucky reflect her values, chief of which appears to… More >>
  • Best Bicycle Shop

    West End Bicycles

    Nestled just outside Memorial Park on a quiet neighborhood street, West End Bicycles is one of the city's oldest bike shops, and it's still the best. It started as a mountain-bike shop, and though it offers much more, including an impressive selection of Dutch-style cruiser bikes, the muddy buddy ethos remains. The staffers are patient and friendly, and accommodating to… More >>
  • Best Shoe Repair

    Tejas Custom Boots

    It's always been a dream of ours to have a pair of custom cowboy boots made. One day, when the riches roll in, we'll be heading to family-owned Tejas Boots in The Montrose to get those babies fitted. In the meantime, we can console ourselves by heading to Tejas to repair the shoes we do own. They can fix all… More >>
  • Best Psychic

    Marva Mason

    Marva, who runs the Psychic and Holistic Fair the first weekend of every month, has a wealth of quivers in her bow. If she doesn't feel "on" with a client, she'll turn to tarot, palmistry or astrology — or perhaps a blend of all three occult arts. She's taught hundreds over the years in all things metaphysical, but says she's… More >>
  • Best Plumber

    The Hot Water Guys

    The Hot Water Guys proudly proclaim that they "install more tankless water heaters in one week than most plumbers do in one year" — and they'll invade your home like a well-organized army in that pursuit. Going tankless is the right thing to do, as it saves water, a more precious resource than any fossil fuel. It also frees up… More >>
  • Best Asian Grocery

    Super H Mart

    The west side of Houston approximates Pacific geography. If you are looking for Southern Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino or Indonesian groceries, head for Bellaire Boulevard. If on the other hand you're in search of stuff from the colder reaches of the Pacific, head to Super H Mart, Houston's top purveyor of all things Korean and Japanese. The food court astounds with… More >>
  • Best Gun Shop

    Collectors Firearms

    For Houston fanatics, Collectors Firearms is to gun geeks as Cactus Music in Montrose is to record geeks, or something like that. New guns, old guns and collectible guns are all here and accounted for, and the store's staff is always on hand to help school you on each piece. Not all the weapons at Collectors are your usual sporting… More >>
  • Best Dollar Store

    Giant $

    Whether you are buying birthday party favors for the kids, stocking up on cleaning supplies for the house or just penny-pinching, you can't do much better than Giant $ and their ten Houston stores. Their clean locations and daily deals make this a valuable resource for families looking to make ends meet, plus they always have some quirky foodstuffs on… More >>
  • Best Bed and Breakfast

    Honey Farm Bed and Breakfast

    Wake up to the smell of a country breakfast at the Honey Farm Bed and Breakfast. Located far enough away from downtown Houston to have a country feel but close enough to allow for quick trips in to major attractions and entertainment districts, Honey Farm is a working family farm with penned miniature horses, goats, llamas, chickens, ducks and rabbits.… More >>
  • Best Kids’ Clothing

    Kid to Kid Clothing

    Who wants to buy brand-new clothes for their kid? It's wasteful, needlessly expensive and the little whippersnappers will outgrow them before you know it. Of course, you don't want to have your offspring looking like latter-day Dickensian ragamuffins, either, which is where Kid to Kid Clothing comes in. There, you can trade in your kids' own clothing for either cash… More >>
  • Best Candy Store

    Kegg's Candies

    Walk into the Kegg's Candies Meyerland-area store and you might think you see chocolate cupcakes among the offerings. Look a little closer — the yummy cupcake-looking treats are actually oversize peanut butter cups that have a big taste to match their size. Kegg's dates back to 1946, when Robert Kegg started experimenting in his mom's kitchen. That quickly led to… More >>
  • Best Dog Groomer

    Demi's Dog House

    Our dogs are not like our children — they are our children. And you only want the best for your kids, even if they periodically pee on the floor, hump random objects and beg for food. Demi's Dog House on West Gray is the local choice for grooming, with flexible hours and decent prices that won't make you reach for… More >>
  • Best Children’s Bookstore

    Blue Willow Bookshop

    It's more than just the selection of books that makes Blue Willow Bookshop the best children's bookstore — it's the knowledgeable staff that cinches the deal. Whether you have a seven-year-old girl fascinated by frogs or a 12-year-old boy who's reluctant to read about anything but space invaders, the Blue Willow staff knows just what to put in their hands… More >>
  • Best Antiques

    Thompson's Antique Center of Texas

    Usually, when an antique mall moves, it heralds bad news. But that's not the case with Thompson's Antique Center of Texas. The new place, in the former JC Penney's in Northwest Mall, is movin' on up, as the Jeffersons would say. The old venue was musty; now, it's cheerful, with better air-conditioning and lighting. They've attracted more dealers to fill… More >>
  • Best Mechanic

    Adolf Hoepfl & Son

    North Shepherd is an ugly, functional thoroughfare: Houston's undisputed Muffler Row, lined with one used car dealership, spare-parts peddler, tire barn and transmission barn after another. The immaculately white, bunting-adorned, vintage-neon-announced Hoepfl garage appears almost as a mirage amid this sea of asphalt, exhaust miasma and general automotive grunge. Once inside, you'll find that the TLC doesn't stop at creating… More >>
  • Best Chocolate Shop

    Expressions Fine Chocolate

    The almond-pecan florentines are deceptively innocent-looking at Expressions Fine Chocolate. They are, in fact, decadent, as are most of the concoctions owner Valerie Gamble creates. Gamble, a former stockbroker, started her shop in 2004. She makes everything by hand and uses only the finest ingredients with no preservatives, which means her chocolates have a very short shelf life. Consequently, her… More >>
  • Best Hobby Shop

    M&M Hobby Center

    Jam-packed with model kits and remote-controlled everything, M&M Hobby Shop would be overwhelming if it weren't so damned awesome. This place is a remote-control and model kit enthusiast's dream on steroids. And if you do get a little overcome by all the marvels inside, step outside and race a remote-controlled car on one of the mini tracks on the property.… More >>
  • Best Motorcycle Shop

    Stubbs Cycles

    Stubbs caters to the weekend road warrior and the grizzled, bug-crusted biker. Few shops are as synonymous with Houston motorcycle culture as Stubbs is. It's where most people buy their first helmets, gloves and other gear. Saturdays are the best time to go to Stubbs, because the looks of aggravation and fear on the wives of the husbands looking into… More >>
  • Best Party Supply Store

    Party Boy

    If you live in Houston and love Halloween, it's a good chance you have found yourself in line at Party Boy near I-10 battling for a last-minute costume at the end of October. When you aren't looking for just the right slutty nurse outfit, you can get all the theme-party supplies you need every month of the year. The walls… More >>
  • Best Flea Market

    Cole's Antique Village

    Long a must-see for people on the south side of Houston, Cole's is like a slice of Mexico in the middle of suburbia. Sprawling 145,000 square feet of air-conditioned space just inside Pearland city limits, this place has been in business for decades. On Sundays there is a traffic jam just to park. Families flock to Cole's on the weekends… More >>
  • Best Knitting Store

    Knitting in the Loop

    Since Yarns 2 Ewe closed its storefront on Shepherd last year, several smaller knitting shops have stepped in to fill the void. Our favorite is the cleverly named Knitting in the Loop (knitters will get it). Located in an off-the-beaten-path old house in River Oaks, this store is warm and welcoming from the moment you walk in. Most of the… More >>
  • Best Pet Adoption

    Barrio Dogs

    Barrio Dogs isn't exactly an adoption service — it's a nonprofit staffed entirely by volunteers dedicated to educating lower-income Houston neighborhoods about animal overpopulation, neglect, low-cost sterilization and state animal cruelty statutes. But through the Barrio Dogs Facebook page and Web site, the group often unites hardscrabble barrio strays with foster parents and, eventually, forever homes. If you follow Barrio… More >>
  • Best Jewelry Store

    J. Silver

    It's not the kind of jewelry store you'd go to for an engagement ring (though you might find one there, depending on how funky your style is), but local designer J. Landa brings together the best of well-crafted modern jewelry designed by indie jewelers throughout the country. The store's shelves are lined with the kind of stuff you might see… More >>
  • Best Chiropractor

    Jacqueline A. Doval, M.S., D.C., C.A.C.

    When Montrose-area chiropractor Jacqueline Doval says she serves patients from all walks of life, she means it literally. Along with serving human clients, she's also certified in animal chiropractic care (she was the first one in Texas to earn the distinction). In practice for a decade, Dr. Doval believes that the body has the power to heal itself. According to… More >>
  • Best Florist

    Lexis Florist

    Lexis's 2,900-square-foot cooler holds every kind of flower for every kind of occasion. They offer stunningly beautiful signature designs, same-day delivery and convenient online shopping. Sure, Lexis tends to be on the pricey side, but it's not like they're just jacking up the prices on run-of-the-mill roses; the flowers are exquisite and fresh, so you're paying extra for real quality.… More >>
  • Best Tobacconist

    Serious Cigars

    The staff here is so friendly that there's almost a club-like atmosphere. The owners often invite customers to bring in a bottle of alcohol to sip and stay awhile. In addition to a wide selection of loose tobacco which you can blend to your liking, they also have a great selection of pipes. The shop, which got its start online,… More >>
  • Best Furniture Store

    West Elm

    You may steer clear of the Highland Village shopping district strictly because of their rent-a-cop parking Nazis, but then you'd miss out on this chic store, which occasionally has good deals to boot. West Elm is not just trendy geegaws; it also provides stylish furniture upon which to rest said geegaws. We recently searched for months in vain for an… More >>
  • Best Veterinarian

    The Montrose Veterinary Clinic

    Kind, compassionate and cost-effective, the Montrose Veterinary Clinic has been in business since the Jimmy Carter administration, and the clinic has won several national awards, for both design and performance. Now home to six vets, the clinic offers not just the standard array of healthcare services for cats, dogs and small mammals — diagnostics, surgery, emergency treatment — but also… More >>
  • Best Library

    Heights Neighborhood Library

    The Heights Neighborhood Library takes the nod for Best Library on two counts: first as an architectural gem, and second as a center of culture and entertainment as well as education for the area. The original structure was built in 1925 by J. M. Glover. It has impressive Italian Renaissance details executed in cast stone and a tile roof. In… More >>
  • Best Carpet Cleaning

    Oops! Steam Cleaning

    Even though Oops! uses an all-natural pretreatment solution "made of citric acid or orange peels, so safe you can drink it," we recommend just enjoying an ice-cold lemonade while you watch the Oops! team bring your carpet back to life. One of the many things we like about Oops! is how the Web site explains the various ways unscrupulous cleaners… More >>
  • Best Used Bookstore

    Long-Lost Friends

    Old books are like old friends — they should be cared for and revisited often. With more than 65,000 titles in stock, Long Lost Friends is a treasure trove of used and rare books. New titles are added almost daily, and the shop often makes large bulk purchases, such as a recent 10,000-title science fiction buy, so just because they… More >>
  • Best Camera Store

    Camera Co-op

    While record stores have made a comeback, the opposite can be said about their analog brethren known as camera shops. That's why we hold onto the old Durham Drive standby a little tighter, especially since the longtime photography spot employs an eager-to-help staff that's hip to analog and digital hardware and accessories. If you're not buying a new digital rig… More >>
  • Best Mexican Candy Store

    Las Delicias Mexicanas

    If you're looking for tasty candy to fill a piñata, your first and only stop should be Las Delicias Mexicanas. But even if a piñata isn't involved, Las Delicias should be a regular stop for dulce lovers. The shop regularly imports candy directly from Mexico under the Las Delicias label. While the shop offers plenty of chocolate, nut-based candy and… More >>
  • Best Lighting/Lamp Store

    A & O Lamp Company

    Say you're digging through Grandma's attic and find a charming old lamp adorned with a chap holding a lantern, but the cord and plug are so old you'd scarcely risk plugging it in? Take the little guy to A & O Lamp Company, where they'll rig up new works for you, fearlessly. It's scandalously hard to find lamp stores that… More >>
  • Best Cheap Haircut

    Nu Cuts

    Lest you think, due to the name, that this is one of those cheap chain places, you'd be wrong. It is cheap — ahem, inexpensive — but the shop is owned by a talented stylist named Celina Arzola, who gives a good-quality haircut, and for men, will do a superb job on cleaning up beards, sideburns and facial hair. Walk-ins… More >>
  • Best Adult Video Store

    Executive Adult Video Superstore & Theatre

    Look, the fact of the matter is that Barely Legal #91 loses its luster on the small screen. Some porn deserves true silver-screen presentation, and that's where Executive comes in (so to speak). The theater is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 6 a.m., and students, members of our proud armed forces, and seniors get a discount.… More >>
  • Best Comic-Book Store

    Bedrock City Comic Company

    Always wanted to get your hands on a Superman #1, and just happen to have an extra $44,000 lying around? Visit Bedrock City Comic Company, and you're all set. Of course, if your budget isn't in that league, you can always pick up a set of Spider-Man playing cards for just under ten bucks. Founded by Houstonian Richard Evans in… More >>
  • Best Gas Station

    Ekko's Greek-American Deli

    Let's face it: Gas is gas, and who really cares if it's $3.25 a gallon at one place and $3.40 at another? Even if you have a mammoth tank to fill, you're saving what, $4 each time you fill up? Nope, what really sets the best gas stations apart is the food and amenities on offer, and none in Houston… More >>
  • Best Musical-Instrument Shop

    Lisle Violin Shop

    The inside of Lisle Violin Shop's Bissonnet location is a small space cluttered with instrument cases, a couple of bookshelves with beginning theory books, accessories from cakes of resin to shoulder rests, and a couple of racks of violins and violas. Another room has the cellos and double basses and one violin made to look like a flying V guitar;… More >>
  • Best Tea Shop

    Té House of Tea

    You don't have to sip your tea at Té House of Tea — you can eat it, too, with the shop's Green Tea White Chocolate Cookies (finger cookies topped with ground green tea and white chocolate icing). With more than 130 teas on the menu, the shop boasts robust blacks, earthy greens, subtle tisanes, delicate whites and more, all ready… More >>
  • Best Convenience Store

    D&Q Mini-Mart

    Not many Houston quickie-marts get a 95 ("world-class") rating from the brew snobs at Beeradvocate.com, but D&Q richly deserves that acclaim. The nondescript convenience store may look like any other on Lower Richmond, but step inside and you will quickly see that D&Q is to the art of malt and hops as the Hollywood chain is to cigars and porn:… More >>
  • Best Ski / Snowboard Shop

    M2 Sports

    For most Inner Loop dwellers, M2 Sports' location way down Westheimer is a hike, but if you are looking for great deals and greater gear for your excursion, then you can't do any better than the locally owned M2 Sports. They carry wakeboarding gear, snowboard stuff and even skateboarding supplies for those of you who never learned how to swim… More >>
  • Best Bead Store

    The Bead Shop

    Looking for pre-Columbian beads? Maybe vintage Chinese enamel? Or the latest trend in glass jewelry? The Bead Shop, in business since 1970, has you covered, offering baubles made from stone, glass, wood and precious metals. The beads come in every color and shape, spilling over their containers like colorful candy. The walls are lined with strands of beads — giant… More >>
  • Best Bargain Art Shop

    Las Manos Mágicas

    The hands that created the art seen at Las Manos Mágicas might very well have magic in them. The shop has been around since the early '70s and built a solid reputation for itself as the place in Houston for affordable artwork, especially by regional and Latin American artisans, as well as by self-taught and outsider talents. Owner Madeleine Crozat-Williams,… More >>
  • Best Mall

    Memorial City Mall

    Memorial City Mall off I-10 helps you kill two wallet-draining birds with one stone. All your favorite mall staples are here, including an Apple store, The Gap and a plethora of shops to keep you busy on a lazy weekend outing, including a Target. There's even an ice rink, a carousel, a movie theater and a play castle for the… More >>
  • Best Shoe Store

    Designer Shoe Warehouse

    Oh, DSW, what would we do without you? We'd run all over town, from store to store, looking for the best prices and a different style of shoe at each store, that's what we'd do. Fortunately, we don't have to endure such a nightmarish existence, because DSW (that's "Designer Shoe Warehouse," for the uninitiated) gives us selection, style and excellent… More >>
  • Best Strip Mall

    Braes Heights Shopping Center

    In many ways, Braes Heights seems more like Rice Village than Rice Village. First, there's the food: It's home to iconic and storied local eateries in Molina's Cantina, and two Village refugees in Fuzzy's Pizza and one of the last redoubts of the once-sprawling Antone's po-boy empire, not to mention Hunan's, an ­unpretentious time warp to the '80s Chinese-American place… More >>
  • Best Garden

    Bayou Bend

    Some 80 years of careful planning and pruning have gone into creating the Bayou Bend gardens we see today. Originally the home of Houston socialite and philanthropist Ima Hogg, the house and grounds were donated to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 1957. By that time, Miss Hogg and her troop of gardeners had carved an oasis out of… More >>
  • Best Gourmet Grocery

    Revival Market

    It's all local, all the time at this enormously popular market that also functions as a full-service butcher shop, coffee bar and bistro. The latter two take up half of the store's small footprint, while the other side is packed with everything from house-made soy sauce to lard-laced pizza crusts (frozen and ready to top) made with fat from owner… More >>
  • Best Tailor

    Mr. Santos Fashion Designs

    There must be this unwritten rule that tailor shops should look like buildings forgotten to time, with faded mannequins in the window and fabric scraps and ripped thread all over the floor. Think of your grandmother's junk room. This makes it hard to distinguish good tailors from bad tailors, so the work really ends up speaking for itself. At Mr.… More >>

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