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2011ReadersServices

Best Appliance/TV Repair
Bond's

This West Lynn fixture has been in the TV biz since last midcentury was modern. Just to give you an idea: They opened here in Austin around the same time RCA, Admiral, and Westinghouse introduced the first color sets. Seasoned salesmen like Gary Hanna have been in the game since the days of cathode consoles, and he can still talk circles around any big-box hack explaining the distinctions between flat panels. While planned obsolescence is not a new concept in the audiovisual world, Bond's can service what it sells as well as that old set you keep around for show. In fact, original owner and octogenarian Bob Bond (the Bond in Bond's) is still making service calls.

Bond's, 1010 W. Lynn, 512/476-3551, www.bondstv.com

Best Auto Service/Repair
Yost Automotive

This is Yost's third time feeling the "BOA" love. Mike Yost himself was crowned 2004's "Most Honest Punk Rock Mechanic," and his shop won this very category in 2009. Vehicle inspections, electrical and computer diagnostics, tune-ups, air conditioner inspections, radiator services, and minor body work on pretty much all makes and models makes Yost a one-stop auto care shop – now with two convenient North Lamar locations.

Yost Automotive, 5415 N. Lamar, 512/374-9678, www.yostauto.com

Yost Automotive, 6517 N. Lamar, 512/452-9678, www.yostauto.com

Best Barbershop
Birds Barbershop

With a few years under its belt, Birds knows what Austinites like. Want to get in and out with your mane tamed? No problem. Want to sip a Lone Star and gab about Austin's music scene while your excess locks slowly fall away? Easy peas-y. With new locations going up all the time (including one right down the street from the Chronicle offices) and the addition of Verb – Birds' line of styling products – looking good rarely gets this convenient.

Birds Barbershop, 2110 S. Lamar, 512/442-8800, www.birdsbarbershop.com

Birds Barbershop, 6800 Burnet, 512/454-1200, www.birdsbarbershop.com

Birds Barbershop, 1107 E. Sixth, 512/457-0400, www.birdsbarbershop.com

4 more locations

Best Bicycle Repair
TIE: The Peddler Bike Shop; Bicycle Sport Shop

This is the 23rd time Bicycle Sport Shop has taken home a "BOA," so obviously it knows how to repair two-wheeled conveyances while keeping their two-legged companions happy. Newer kid on the podium, the Peddler (it got the nod in '09), might be dwarfed by the local chain, but it keeps Duval spinning with familiar faces and the knowledgeable brains behind them. What the two businesses have in common is a commitment to the cycling community with sponsored rides, events, and all-around bike goodness.

The Peddler Bike Shop, 5015 Duval, 512/220-6766, www.peddlerbike.com

Bicycle Sport Shop, 517 S. Lamar, 512/477-3472, www.bicyclesportshop.com

Bicycle Sport Shop, 10947 Research, 512/345-7460, www.bicyclesportshop.com

Bicycle Sport Shop, 9900 W. Parmer, 512/637-6890

Best Car Wash
Genie Car Wash

Genie’s professionals will whip, swish, swoosh, and buff your car into first-date shape inside and out, so fast and oh so furious. These perennial masters of the wax on, drive off are equipped to handle all your dirty driving habits without judging (yes, they see that old french fry under the seat) while showing your dusty, crusty bits no mercy.

Genie Car Wash, 1311 S. Lamar, 512/444-9274, www.geniecw.com

Genie Car Wash, 7320 Burnet, 512/451-9274, www.geniecw.com

Genie Car Wash, 1021 W. William Cannon, 512/416-9274, www.geniecw.com

Best Computer Repair
TIE: Discount Electronics; Happy Mac

Discount Electronics is legendary for its reliable service and parts selection for Dell repairs and upgrades, but one of the best parts of any visit is the wait. The store is a showroom of gadgets and doodads stocked in huge quantities, with low prices rivaling that of the big chains. Multiple-"BOA"-winning Happy Mac continues to please Apple devotees in need of service or advice, and a stop in the small shop on North Loop is a nice excuse to visit with pleasant proprietor Whitney Tracy. So whether you're a PC or a Mac, these Austin winners have got you logged in. Does that compute?

Discount Electronics, 1011 W. Anderson, 512/983-9989, www.discountelectronics.com

Happy Mac, 601-A E. 53rd, 512/420-9191, www.austinhappymac.com

Discount Electronics, 9711 Manchaca Rd., 512/458-8612, www.discountelectronics.com

Discount Electronics, 1001 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/637-7051, www.discountelectronics.com

Best Dry Cleaner
Rick's Cleaners

Founded in 1987 and with 15 locations in and around Austin, Rick's has plenty of good service to go around and plenty of testimonials to how great it is. Reasonable prices on dry cleaning and laundry are an added plus, as is the recycling of hangers and plastic. Most garment cleaning is $2.59 per piece, and you can always find coupons online for an even better deal.

Rick's Cleaners, 5324 Cameron, 512/452-2200, www.rickscleaners.com

Rick's Cleaners, 3652 Bee Caves Rd., 512/327-6846, www.rickscleaners.com

Rick's Cleaners, 7435 Burnet Rd., 512/454-7425, www.rickscleaners.com

12 more locations

Best Florist
Freytag's Florist

Our hometown Freytag's Florist (pronounced "fry," not "fray") has been helping Austinites congratulate and console one another for nearly 40 years, and for nearly 30 of those years, it has been recognized as one of the Top 100 florists in the nation by national wire service Teleflora. Whoa! That deserves a big bouquet of yellow roses, we'd say. The family-run business' long history of bringing a bit of beauty into our lives is the reason our readers have again named Freytag's No. 1. And if you do want to send some congratulations, we'd recommend flowers.

Freytag's Florist, 2211 W. Anderson, 512/371-5640, www.freytagsflorist.com

Best Hair Salon
Avant

Y'all love Avant. You just can't help yourselves. Owner Roy Fredericks is a true pioneer in Austin's beauty scene with decades of successful salons under his belt. Extraordinarily talented stylists go through Avant's meticulous training process, ensuring that when you see an Avant haircut, you know it's an Avant haircut. With his ever-growing empire in Central Texas, Fredericks and Avant will be remembered as the foundation upon which our current fashion scene was built.

Avant Salon Spa, 507 Pressler #800, 512/472-6357, www.avantsalon.com

Avant Salon Day Spa, 9901 Capital of TX Hwy. N. #240, 512/502-8268, www.avantsalon.com

Best Landscape Services
Fertile Ground Organic Gardens

With 2009 and 2010 "Best of Austin" wins, Fertile Ground Organic Gardens wins again in a three-“peat.” (Get it?) From landscape design to installation to maintenance, the team at Fertile Ground specializes in plants and ground cover that perform in Central Texas' demanding environment, and it's Green Garden-certified by the city of Austin as an eco-conscious company. With your Saint Augustine left in the dust, maybe it's time to move to more Fertile Ground?

Fertile Ground Organic Gardens, 3303 Breedlove, 512/340-0432, www.fertilegroundgardens.com

Best Laundromat
Wash Day Laundry

Forget everything you know about going to the laundromat: No creepy guys, no used chewing gum under the seat, no long waiting. Expect state-of-the-art, eco-friendly machines to do the dirtiest of deeds, and if time is short, the owners of Wash Day will take care of your needs with drop-off wash and fold, pickup and delivery, and even pressing services. No wonder it's expanded to a southwest location at Brodie and even as far south as Wimberley. Make sure to check its up-to-date, highly informative blog for extra cleanliness.

Wash Day Laundry, 7626 Hwy. 71 W., 512/906-2760, www.washdaylaundry.com

Wash Day Laundry (Brodie), 8213 Brodie, 512/614-6760, www.washdaylaundry.com

Wash Day Laundry, 14306 RR 12, Wimberley, 512/847-0292, www.washdaylaundry.com

Best Movers
Unicorn Moving & Storage

Unicorn does everything in the realm of residential and commercial packing and storage, even unpacking. It is spotlessly professional, it's local, and, let's get to the point: All of its trucks portray strapping, muscular unicorns. Le sigh.

Unicorn Moving & Storage, 102 Victor, 512/339-9922, www.unicornmoving.com

Best Pedicure/Manicure
Milk + Honey

We swear, the SpaRitual nail polish used at Milk + Honey does not chip! Are you a full-time bartender? Maybe a penny-pinching badass that changes your own oil and rotates your own tires? In our experience, even after a week of abuse, your nails will still be beautiful. And what about those tootsies? They'll feel like they died and went to extremity heaven. Down with the acrylic cuticle killers and hooray to all-natural, actually good-for-your-skin manicures and pedicures from Milk + Honey, featuring organic, vegan, eco-friendly products. What else do you expect in the land of … well, you know.

Milk + Honey, 100-A Guadalupe, 512/236-1115, www.milkandhoneyspa.com

Milk + Honey, 12901 Hill Country Blvd., Bldg. D-1-110, 512/236-1115, www.milkandhoneyspa.com

Best Pet Services
TIE: Dirty Dog; Mud Puppies

For those living in an efficiency or lacking a yard, the well-established Dirty Dog is a dog/godsend, with reasonably priced grooming and fun self-serve mutt-washing facilities. Mud Puppies is like Dirty Dog on steroids, taking it to another level, with full-service and self-serve grooming, training, "playcare," and boarding. Consider yourself and your hound lucky to live in a town with such high-quality pet care options.

Dirty Dog, 710 W. Fifth, 512/476-3647

Mud Puppies, 12233 FM 620 N. Ste. 110-A, 512/249-2498, www.mud-puppies.com

Dirty Dog, 8108 Mesa, 512/342-8399, www.dirty-dog.com

Dirty Dog, 2706 S. First, 512/443-0013, www.dirty-dog.com

Dirty Dog, 3016 Guadalupe, 512/453-3647

Dirty Dog, 1901 W. William Cannon, 512/383-0444

Mud Puppies, 2015 E. Riverside Bldg. 9, 512/912-0200, www.mud-puppies.com

Best Printer/Copies
FedEx Office

Our readers are pretty savvy. For a national chain to win over a local fave, it takes consistent service, an array of choices, and a slew of convenient locations. FedEx Office has all that. Fast, friendly service and plenty of technology on hand to do it yourself is what makes this the ultimate convenience, whether you're simply copying documents, having binders made up, duplicating photos, or shipping the entire project off to multiple destinations. Selections in paper stock, self- and full-serve options, and locations across Central Texas – our readers like options.

FedEx Office, 327 Congress #100, 512/472-4448, www.fedex.com/us/office

FedEx Office, 2901-C Medical Arts, 512/476-3242, www.fedex.com/us/office

FedEx Office, 327 Congress, 512/472-4448, www.fedex.com/us/office

5 more locations

Best Shoe Repair
Austin Shoe Hospital

Sole power! Go ahead and spend the extra money on that nice purse and those sexy shoes. When they get dinged up from constant use, these doctors will return your babies back to their initial awesomeness, and you won't even have to break them in again. The many locations and online mail-in system make it easier to get back to your loafer love affair in no time. Sniff that freshly glued Corinthian leather. It's totally normal.

Austin Shoe Hospital, 8211 Burnet, 512/453-1961, www.austinshoehospital.com

Austin Shoe Hospital, 3106 Windsor, 512/477-6515, www.austinshoehospital.com

Austin Shoe Hospital, 720 Congress, 512/477-5078, www.austinshoehospital.com

8 more locations

Best Spa
TIE: Viva Day Spa; Lake Austin Spa Resort

Is it really possible to pick just one favorite place to indulge and pamper? No, it isn't, that's why we've got a tie this year, with two spas that do their very best to remind you to take time out for yourself. Viva Day Spa, with two central locations, offers an impressive list of services and deals that can't be beat, delivered in an unpretentious setting – supremely accessible for folks on the go. Lake Austin Spa Resort, the internationally known lakeside haven, offers wellness retreats that wash away city stress, with amenities designed to remind you just how very special you are.

Viva Day Spa, 215 S. Lamar, 512/472-2256, www.vivadayspa.com

Lake Austin Spa Resort, 1705 S. Quinlan Park, 512/372-7300, www.lakeaustin.com

Best Tailor
Ace Custom Tailors

For almost two decades, our readers have declared Ace Custom Tailors aces. Sure, these folks are great at zippers, alterations, and repairs. But their sleeves show a distinctly warm heart, especially when it comes to kids. Check out their teddy bear hospital, where children can bring their gently worn stuffed animals, blankets, or any other beloved object and have them repaired for a suggested $10 donation, with 100% the proceeds benefiting the Austin Children’s Shelter. In addition, Ace commissions teddy bears from the local glitterati to be auctioned off every year for charity. Yep, aces all the way.

Ace Custom Tailors, 6001 Airport Blvd., 512/302-3142, www.acetailors.com

Ace Custom Tailors, 724-A N. Lamar, 512/478-9965, www.acetailors.com

Ace Custom Tailors, 3720 Far West #106, 512/345-7688, www.acetailors.com

2 more locations

Best Tattoo Shop
True Blue Tattoo

Known for its friendly Texas style, True Blue Tattoo has the tats on lockdown, reppin' our city on the Red River scene and catering to walk-ins and appointments alike. With nine artists varying in specialties and styles, the staff will make sure you get the exact ink you want in a well-lit, clean, professional environment. It's open late, but hey, that doesn't mean you can just stroll in all three-sheets-to-the-wind; these artists are professionals.

True Blue Tattoo, 607 Red River, 512/472-2783, www.truebluetattoo.com

True Blue Tattoo, 4507-B Airport, 512/363-5511, www.truebluetattoo.com

Best Veterinarian
Austin Veterinary Diagnostic Hospital

Whether they're up with the roosters or lying down with the lions and lambs, whether your pet is having a dog day or in need of a catnap, this Austin Zoo-trusted pet hospital flings the doors open early and stays late (even on Catur … uh, Saturdays), and our readers love 'em for it. In a city where most people have more than one four-legged family member, the ability to win the respect of serious animal lovers is a major coup. And hey, they can even take care of your major coops!

Austin Veterinary Diagnostic Hospital, 9324-C Hwy. 290 W., 512/288-1040, www.austinvet.net

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