When we've got a yen for some unusual old stuff, we head straight for AG Antiques to get our fix. Nestled on West 19th Street in the Heights, AG Antiques offers way more than the usual array of doilies and ugly 1970s furniture that turn up at so many "antiques" stores. Now, don't get us wrong, AG Antiques offers that stuff, too, because the place has a little bit of everything packed into the various antique-dealer booths. You can spend hours strolling through the aisles or pawing over bins of ancient records, 1800s-era furniture covered in real velvet, ornate mirrors from the 1920s and 1950s-era dishes just like the ones at your grandmother's house. Even better, the selection is always changing and while there are some high-priced items, this is still the kind of antiques store where those with patience to look can hunt up real bargains. It's antiquing as it should be.


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 Persimmon, Texas Sage and Texas Star Hibiscus, and there are even more without the word "Texas" in their name. If you're looking to grow something green that won't turn into an invasive species that subsequently overtakes all the native plants, this is the place to go.

Rarely can a person say a store has everything one needs for a special occasion, but Arne's might be the exception. Quinceañera tiaras? Check. Kids' birthday balloons? Check. Penis-shaped bachelorette party favors? Double check. It's bustling on most days and packed to the gills leading up to national holidays, so if you're having a party, Arne's has the decor, all organized by holiday, color (imagine an entire aisle of green...everything) and need.

READERS' CHOICE: Arne's Texas Size Party Store

Now this is what we call a no-brainer: Not only is this gigantic store filled with every kind of electronic thingamajig and watchamacallit imaginable, it's got it all for incredible prices and even better service. If you're not the super-geek type who likes to wander the aisles staring in awe at all the laptops, desktops and tablets you can imagine, then you can just shop online and pick up your purchase at the store. Fry's has excellent prices and even better customer service, plus the store has Tech Teams available in case you need to install, repair, recover, upgrade or diagnose any hardware- or software-related issue.

A good nail place offers a manicure that is the holy trinity — nice to look at, long-lasting and cheap. That's where Neon Nails comes in. It's got a quiet, relaxed feel and the most comfortable spa chairs around. Once you've settled in and tucked your feet into a vat of warm water (for those who are going full mani-pedi), all you have to do is sit back and relax while your nails are transformed into temporary art for a reasonable price: A manicure is $12 and a mani-pedi is just $30.

READERS' CHOICE: River Oaks Nails & Spa

If you're driving along Washington and all of a sudden find yourself stuck behind a parade of cars all trying to turn in to one little parking lot, chances are you've found yourself in the Keep It Clean zone. There's a reason for this: This hand-wash mecca has built up such an extremely loyal customer base and sterling reputation that drivers are willing to wait a little longer at peak times because they know that the employees here will tend to every little detail and make their cars shine like new. Whether you're going for the higher-end luxury detail package or the basic wash (which includes hand-drying with fancy-schmancy microfiber towels), you can rest assured that your vehicle will get the royal treatment it deserves.

READERS' CHOICE: Mister Car Wash

Not many businesses — of any kind — can boast the staying power of this charming little house on the corner of South Shepherd and Welch, which has quietly and professionally tended to Houstonians' watches and clocks since 1947. The staff is downright incredible, both in friendliness and expertise — there's an extra layer of awesomeness that you get from a staff who love the work they do and who take pride in their craft. No matter how intricate and delicate your timepiece is, no matter how complex the problem, these folks can probably fix it — and in much less time, and at a much better price, than most other stores in town. There's a reason this place has lasted, and will continue to last. Go once, and you'll be a customer for life.

The word "bartender" doesn't do Lainey Collum justice. She's more of a Mixology Mastermind; a Tincture Titan; a Cocktail Queen. With ninja-like skills and a seriously impressive résumé — including stints at The Hay Merchant, Double Trouble and Provisions — her knowledge of all things beverage is unparalleled. Today, you'll find Collum as the beverage director at Prohibition Supperclub & Bar, where she's crafted a head-turning lineup that manages to stand out in downtown's burgeoning cocktail scene. That's all thanks to her thoughtful balance of sophisticated classics like the Barrel-Aged Old Fashioned alongside inspired originals like the Fred Astaire — made with bourbon and tequila and coffee bitters, to boot. Drink away.

We like to buy all our major holiday gifts here, be it a foxtail butt-plug (faux fur, of course — we wouldn't want to feel guilty) for Uncle Walt, a satin-and-lace bustier for Grandma or a hot pink silicone vibrating dong dildo for the office Secret Santa exchange. Point is, if it's delightfully naughty you're going for, then you won't have to look any further than this Montrose mainstay, which has been keeping relationships (and one-night stands) fresh and exciting since 1982. They have an impressive selection of classic sexy garb, fetish outfits, masks, shoes, toys, makeup and a bunch of other stuff we'll let you discover on your own. You won't be disappointed.


Carol's doesn't look like much on the outside, but it's a place where clothing miracles are worked. You walk in with a dress your granny wore in the 1940s, 97 percent sure that there's no way to fix it, and then the good tailors at Carol's take over and with newly sewn hems and seams the dress looks like new. They'll repair and revive a coat that you were certain was a lost cause and make sure through thorough fittings that your vintage rayon swing dress is not only fixed but that it also fits like a glove.

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