I W Marks

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 stones serviced (heh), Zadok can do it all. Jewelry brands include A & Furst, Bulgari, Tacori and Marco Moore. And the timepiece collection includes watches from Hublot, Michele, Breitling and Montblanc. With more than 12,000 square feet of first-class inventory, Zadok is the best. And you and yours certainly deserve the best, right?

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 nationwide locator that can have it delivered in a jiff. The hyper-specific seeker can also search for parts via VIN. It's all about customer service, which is especially welcome when you're dealing with car trouble.

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 you should pick up the latest Ace Atkins release? There's someone on the staff who has already read it — and everything else Atkins ever wrote — and can tell you how that title stacks up against the rest. Been thinking about the newest Daniel Silva novel? Chances are you can meet Silva — and dozens of other best-selling authors — at one of the frequent Murder by the Book readings. Mystery and thriller novelists from around the world make it a point to visit the shop when they're coming to Texas. So do smart readers.

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 to life in West U. The locally owned shop is one of a kind, with a knowledgeable staff that knows just abouteverything there is to know about nutrition in pill form. That little bit of vitamin-powered oomph keeps us going back, time and time again.

Big Kat's Tattoo and Barbershop

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 even mind the wait. These guys do things the traditional way, just with a few more tattoos than your grandfather's barber might have had. If you've ever been to a sweaty punk show, you'll feel right at home, and if you haven't, don't fret — these guys will treat you right no matter who you are. Go ahead and get the straight-razor shave, too. You deserve it.

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 where Uber comes in. All you have to do is download the app, create an account, tell it where you are and off you go. We took an Uber car all the way from Willowbrook Mall to Hobby Airport recently, and the grand total was $45. Not a bad way to cross the sprawl in style.

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 about a dozen graves of the German immigrant family whose patriarch, Carl Wunsche, left Saxony to settle in what's now Old Town Spring in the 1840s. The family built a cotton gin and became prosperous, and in 1902 they built the saloon and hotel that is now called the Wunsche Bros. Cafe & Saloon. The family's land was eventually sold to make way for area developments, but the cemetery remained intact, though awkwardly placed on the I-45 embankment. The dates on the tombstones range from 1885 to 1959. Among them is the grave of Olena Wunsche, who was murdered in 1929. The 21-year-old woman disappeared one day, and when her body was eventually found, it turned out she had been shot in the back. Her boyfriend's dead body was found on the opposite side of town.

Best Of Houston®

Best Of