Best Biker With a Law Degree
Lenore Shefman

If we're ever in need of a personal injury lawyer, we know who we're rolling with. Lenore Shefman of Cyclistlaw not only talks the talk, but walks the walk as an "unapologetic beast of a litigator," a fixture and friend of the Austin bike scene, and a fierce advocate for countless victims of bike/pedestrian/vehicle collisions. Then she goes the extra mile, helping her clients recover emotionally as well as financially. Accidents are the unfortunate reality of being on the road with two legs or two wheels, but we feel much better knowing Shefman has a shoulder to the wheel.

Best Community Healing
Neighborhood Acupuncture Project

We tried everything to rid ourselves of chronic insomnia, from prescription drugs to not-so-prescription drugs, but nothing ever seemed to work for the long run. But after a few sessions at the Neighborhood Acupuncture Project, we were sleeping like a baby. It seems the ancient practice still works for present-age anxieties. And with a sliding cost scale, there's no added stress about how you're going to pay.

Neighborhood Acupuncture Project, 1909 E. 38th 1/2, 512/473-8884,

Best Farmers' Market Photo Booth
VARU Photography at HOPE Farmers Market

Photo booths have evolved from private two-person boxes to open-air decorated sets able to accommodate even the most sizable of groups. So when HOPE Farmers Market added all the fixtures to capture you, your family, and your furry friends, it seemed only natural. Happy moments aren't meant to be captured in secrecy behind a curtain; they should be shared. And let's face it, there might not be a better prop out there than a bundle of carrots.

Best French Hairstylist
Thibault de Monterno at the Waterstone Salon

Ever seen a French woman with a bad haircut? Probably not, and there’s a reason: The French know best how to style hair to flatter the face (and bone structure) beneath it. French native and -trained Thibault de Monterno moved to NYC two decades ago, working there with the bold-face stylists featured in the glossies. But 15 years ago, he started visiting Austin and realized that here was the life he was missing. So now Tbo’s happily embedded at the wonderful, warm, and unpretentious Waterstone Salon. It’s a perfect fit, or a bon mariage, as they say over there.

Best Furry Friend Finders
Austin Lost & Found Pets

Almost all of Austin is animal-friendly, but Austin Lost & Found Pets goes above and beyond. Stephanie Martens and her street team do extraordinary work to reunite lost pets with their families and educate the community about resources for your furry ones. Whether you're panicking about your missing Mastiff or you've found a wandering Weimaraner and don't have a clue what to do, ALFP is your first step for support, advice, and assistance.

Best Gurus for Your Garden
Seedlings Gardening

From makrut limes to flourishing flowers, Seedlings knows how to plant the plants that thrive in Austin's 325 days of summer. That surely has something to with the owner – native Austinite Liz Baloutine – who has seen Austin during both floods and drought. Sustainability isn't just a buzzword for the small staff at Seedlings, it's a raison d'être. We wouldn't trust anyone else with our landscape.

Best Integrative Medicine Physician
Julie Reardon, MD

Please give us more of Dr. Julie Reardon’s newfangled medical practice! If you yearn for a family physician who offers more than four-and-a-half minutes and a script for antibiotics or steroids, this enlightened medical model is for you. An initial consultation with Dr. Reardon, Harvard-educated and a Fellow of Dr. Andrew Weil’s University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, might last 90 unrushed minutes. Nothing New Age-y here; the goal is a well-rounded health plan that combines the best of conventional medicine with the best complementary practices. And she returns calls and emails – promptly. Just try to imagine it.

Best Lifesaver

You know you've done it – drank that last whiskey & whisky because you thought the boy sitting in the corner might be giving you eyes. Even though you are giving a presentation the next day and your boss gave you side-eye when you said you had it covered. But they'll never suspect a thing if you get one of Hydrelief's IV infusion packages, full of medicine to help you with headaches, nausea, and heartburn, that erase your hangover in minutes. They may not be the cheapest hangover remedy, but they are surely the most effective. Now go get 'em, tiger!

Best Motorcycle Repair Shop
Flash Motorbikes

Paying for a new clutch is never a cause to pop open the champagne, but we'd still like to share a beer with Flash Motorbikes owners Jeremy and Tiffany Wolf. Every time we visit, we learn something new about our bike. And their fair pricing and friendly conversation make you feel like you’re a regular – even if it’s your first time in the store.

Best No Sweat No A/C Eco House
The Main Stay by Matt Fajkus Architecture

Mixing indoor and outdoor elements – the entire living room opens up on a bright blue lap pool – MF Architecture's Main Stay House is certainly easy on the eyes. But it's also easy on the environment. The six-year-old firm's design embraces nature in a way that makes us wanna be outdoorsy from the moment we walk in the front door.

Best Old Friends
Classic Canines and Cats/Seniors Helping Seniors/PALS

Two legs or four, getting old is tough. Through Classic Canines and Cats, the Friends of Austin Animal Center make sure senior fuzzy buddies have somewhere and someone to cuddle in their golden years. Sometimes that forever home comes from an older human, so the AARP helps animal re-housings through Seniors Helping Seniors, while Meals on Wheels Austin provides free meals and vet care assistance for the pets of over 350 seniors through PALS (Pets Assisting the Lives of Seniors). Who are good buddies? All of you!

Best Pet Bonding Experience
Bobbi Colorado's Canine Camp

Colorado made a name for herself by training cinematic creatures of all shapes and sizes for major movies including Secondhand Lions and Spy Kids. Then in 2003, she and husband Ken Beggs started Bobbi Colorado's Canine Camp, quickly becoming an Austin pet owner's Mecca. More than a decade later, it still has few peers in its dedication to obedience training and luxury boarding. Colorado and Beggs work miracles with the grumpiest greyhounds and the most spastic schnauzers, graduating star pupil after star pupil – even when the cameras are not rolling.

Bobbi Colorado's Canine Camp, 8929 Hwy. 290 W., 512/288-6928,

Best Replacement for Uber and Lyft
Ride Austin

When Uber and Lyft severed their ties with the city, plenty of transportation network companies came out of the woodwork, but only one was built specifically for locals by locals. Nonprofit Ride Austin operates with the community in mind, allowing its users to round up their fare to support Central Texas charities and recently adding a new "female-only mode." Paying attention to the rider as much as the driver, Ride Austin is the reason why the big guys packing up their wagons barely made a dent in our lives.

Best Time Warp
Marvelous Vintage Tea Party Co.

With a year filled with so many horrors, it's hard not to long for a more elegant time. Luckily, Sophie and her mad hatters are housed here and they're serving up more than just tea. Borrowing from the more classy (and sassy) decades of the Twenties through Fifties, these vintage-style soirees are absolutely marvelous.

Best Toy $ Saver
Austin Toybrary

Ever wonder where exactly Buzz Lightyear's infinity and beyond was? We think the Space Ranger most likely meant Austin's Toybrary. This lending library houses the most spectacular array of dolls, Legos, games, and trinkets most adults don't realize exist – and the best part is it's all for rent! Take the toys home and bring them back before they end up lost under a bed and covered in dust.

Best Unexpected Beauty
Scrap Pile at Austin Metal & Iron Co., L.P.

If you've spent much time on the Eastside, you have probably noticed the extensive murals along the longstanding Austin Metal & Iron Co. If you've been lucky, you've seen the gates opened to the visual cacophony of glittering spikes and tumbling refuse of their scrap pile, lifted in massive, threatening heaps. It's thrilling and industrial, dramatic and, frankly, badass.

Austin Metal and Iron Co., L.P., 1000 E. Fourth, 512/477-4640,

Best Way to Mind Your Own Beeswax
Tara Chapman, Two Hives Honey

Austin didn’t know how much we needed micro-apiaries until Tara Chapman set up shop and started her beekeeping training courses and tours. Specializing in bees’ foraging patterns and Austinites’ curiosities, Two Hives provides a chance to build a sustainable skill set, and maybe even score some honey along the way.

Best Way to Raise Eyebrows
Leslie Sazon, Body Tonic Medical Spa

Science says eyebrows are the most important facial feature, so if you're working with 1995 Drew Barrymore arches, permanent makeup via microblading might just bring those window-to-the-soul treatments up to speed. This guru's superpower is mimicking individual hairs with precision, but she's got an arsenal of other techniques to enhance your natural you.

Best Apartment Locator
A+ Apartment Locators

These people helped me in the worst time of my life. I owe them a lot. An agent named Ingrid was an angel in disguise. – Natalie Killian

Best Auto Repair/Service
Flamingo Automotive

They have saved me and my Honda countless times! Great service with a fair price every time … And, they care. – Rachel Yeager

Flamingo Automotive, 3512 Guadalupe, 512/459-9917

Best Barbershop
Birds Barbershop

Their haircuts get you laid! – Vivian Rusk

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

Birds Barbershop, 6800 Burnet, 512/454-1200,

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

4 more locations

Best Bike Shop/Repair
The Peddler Bike Shop

These guys know bikes and are quick, easy to work with, and very detail-oriented. A true neighborhood bike shop for sure! – Andy Jones

The Peddler Bike Shop, 5015 Duval, 512/220-6766,

Best Computer/Appliance Repair
Discount Electronics

Always fixed on the spot. – Mike MacKenna

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

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

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

Best DWI Lawyer
TIE: Rick Flores; Mary Ann Espiritu

Rick Flores: Rick is not only experienced, effective, and professional, but he's not hard to look at either. – Zooey Cuilla Mary Ann Espiritu: She's like an attorney you'd see in a movie – beautiful, demure, perfectly coiffed, and deadly as hell in the courtroom. – Bronwen Butler

Best Home Maintenance/Services
ABC Home and Commercial Services

ABC restored my faith in handyman services. Fast, affordable, and reliable. But mainly fast. – Kaci Beeler

ABC Home and Commercial Services, 9475 Hwy. 290 E., 512/837-9500,

ABC Home and Commercial Services, 202 S. Austin Ave., Georgetown, 512/819-9140,

ABC Home and Commercial Services, 208 S. Guadalupe, San Marcos, 512/392-9500,

ABC Home and Commercial Services, 1010 College, Bastrop, 512/308-1274,

Best Hotel/Motel
The Driskill Hotel

I hear it's haunted, but isn't that half the fun? – Brittney Cassel

The Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos, 512/439-1234,

Best Laundromat/Dry Cleaner

An ecological must! What a difference it makes to pick up clothes that don't smell of gasoline! – Pamela Ferguson

EcoClean, 2915 Guadalupe, 512/236-8645,

EcoClean, 2438 W. Anderson Ste. 3-C, 512/236-8645

EcoClean, 4012 N. Lamar, 512/236-8645

EcoClean, 2149 S. Lamar, 512/236-8645

Best Mani/Pedi
Great Nails & Spa

You get the best service and prices here, and Lord knows we all need a 30-minute leg massage. – Anastacia Uriegas

Great Nails & Spa, 2911-B S. First, 512/804-5228

Best Movers
Einstein Moving Co.

These guys moved us last year and simply amazed us. I don't ever want to move again, but if I do I have found my guys! – James Tessmann

Best Music Services/Equipment
Strait Music Co.

Strait does and has it all, from classical to rock to school band. Family-owned, knowledgeable and friendly staff – what more could you want? – Rebecca Raphael

Strait Music Co., 2428 W. Ben White, 512/476-6927,

Strait Music Co., 13945 Hwy 183 N., 512/918-3743,

Best Pet Services
Mud Puppies

The best pet service ever! Our dogs go here twice a week and have for many years. With Mud Puppies, I have no reason to even think about worrying about my dogs. They love my dogs and my dogs love them. – Glynda Cox

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

Mud Puppies, 2015 E. Riverside Bldg. 9, 512/912-0200,

Best Psychic/Tarot
Sister Temperance

Angeliska is a magical being. She's guided me through many chapters of my life by being an empath to her core, with a wild intuition and deep wisdom. – Ashley Halligan

Sister Temperance Tarot, 512/466-5124,

Best Realtor
Samantha Soletti Adler

The most personable, honest Realtor around. No detail left undone. Goes beyond what is expected and watches out for the good of her clients always. – Elaine Carty

Best Salon
Salon by Milk + Honey

Heaven on Earth. – Mercedes Madiedo

Milk + Honey, 100-A Guadalupe, 512/236-1115,

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

Best Spa
Milk + Honey

Heaven on Earth. – Mercedes Madiedo

Milk + Honey, 100-A Guadalupe, 512/236-1115,

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

Best Tailor/Alteration
Ace Custom Tailors

Nicest ladies in town, honest about when I should repair vs. call it quits on something. – Karlene Berger

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

Ace Custom Tailors, 3720 Far West #106, 512/345-7688,

Ace Custom Tailors, 2707 Walsh Tarlton, 512/329-0523,

Ace Custom Tailors, 700-A S. Lamar, 512/732-2231,

Best Tattoo
Atomic Tattoo

The staff at Atomic Tattoo went above and beyond to make my first ink something special. They spent hours getting the design just right, understood my pain tolerance, and went out of their way to make me comfortable. – Gwen Sanger

Atomic Tattoo, 5533 Burnet, 512/458-9693,

Atomic Tattoo, 13686 Highway 183 North, 512/249-7319,

Atomic Tattoo, 15301 IH-35 North, Ste. F, Pflugerville, 512/252-8537,

Atomic Tattoo, 309 W. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., 512/476-1161,

Best Veterinarian

One of the best nonprofits around and their mission is amazing! Much like education, they attack the issue of animal overpopulation from the inside out, which results in exponential lives being saved! – David Reimherr

Emancipet, 601 E. Airport, 512/587-7729,

Emancipet, 7201 Levander Loop, Bldgs. I & K, 512/587-7729,

Best Artsy Dentist's Office
Alpine Dental, Dr. Merrill & Linda Russell

The waiting room of Alpine Dental near the University of Texas is full to the rafters with paintings and jewelry designed by Linda Russell. Peruse it while you wait for dental hygienist Linda to clean your teeth. Then her husband Dr. Merrill Russell will be ready to advise you on the future of your chompers. Did we mention that he doesn't have perfect teeth? Somehow that's reassuring, as is the ever-friendly atmosphere. At least once a year the office turns into an official art show with wine, cheese, and laughter. Ask to be put on the invite list.

Alpine Dental, 2915 Medical Arts, 512/477-9282,

Best Brows to Max Throwing Shade
Brow Bird Austin

Without the right browline, you’ve got nothing in the art of throwing shade. Our Lady of Brow Game, Jax, has been waxing, plucking, and tweezing the masters of Austin’s shade team for years. Bring to her your overplucked, your drawn-on, your filled-in, your mono, and your bushy, and walk out with a look that can be thrown across a room with panache … and the most subtle arch.

Brow Bird Austin, 1107 E. 11th,

Best DIY Construction & Design
Krista Ernst, One Handy Mutha

Krista Ernst is a petite person, a single mom who can wield a saw as easily as Julia Child with a spatula. Her DIY attitude developed into a business called One Handy Mutha. Her popularity started with projects in Travis Heights and is now spreading throughout the city. She's an expert cabinet maker, landscaper, house painter, and plumber. Want to learn from her while she works on your project? No problem, she's got you covered. From your yard to your home, little projects to huge ones, Ersnt is your gal.

One Handy Mutha, 512/585-2107,

Best Eye Gym
The Optometry Center for Vision Therapy

Looking at computer screens and reading tiny type strains our eyes and can lead to fatigue and headaches. In children especially, learning problems can be the result of undetected vision problems. That’s where the team at the Optometry Center for Vision Therapy offers a real eye opener. Go in for a complimentary consultation and see what trouble your eyes could be causing you. The doctors oversee an individualized in-office program with a vision therapist who sends you home with exercises to help with lazy eye, dyslexia, autism spectrum disorders, and much more. Their program vastly improved the quality of life for one of our visual artists who was unknowingly suffering from eight different eye disorders. Bonus: The staff is incredibly attentive and friendly. Here’s (to) looking at you, Austin!

Optometry Center for Vision Therapy, 6836 Bee Caves Rd. #100, 512/614-1640,

Optometry Center for Vision Therapy, 10601 Pecan Park #201, 512/401-0400,

Best Guitar Teacher to the Stars
David Pulkingham

Robert Plant, Patty Griffin, Alejandro Escovedo: The common thread is David Pulkingham. He’s become Austin’s favorite guitar teacher – if you can get him. When he’s not on the road, he’s a warm, patient, and inspiring guitar teacher to students of all ages. Flamenco to rock & roll, from the Continental Club to Carnegie Hall, Pulkingham’s what famed producer Tony Visconti calls “the complete guitarist.” Griffin says, “He scares me, he amazes me, he moves me to tears. Doesn’t get better [than Pulkingham] in my book.”

David Pulkingham, 512/913-4262,

Best Haircut & Barber
R Salon

When Roxana Wise was growing up in Mexico, she would sneak into her dad's car to go to the barbershop with her brothers. Now, many consider Wise Austin's best-kept secret barber/stylist. R Salon offers fantastic hair services in a quiet, intimate, and chic atmosphere in a small historic house off of South Lamar and Mary. Wise's business partner and sweetheart, Kristina Baker, is the house colorist. Part-time stylist Monika Bohm flies in every few weeks from England to take care of customers. The trio can wrangle your tangles and make you the best coiffed in town.

R Salon, 1706 Evergreen, 512/447-7467,

Best HydroFrolic
Organic Spa

The poet/philosopher Lao Tzu may have put it best: "Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it." If you'd like for your skin to be as soft, flexible, and irresistible, may we recommend putting your face in the good hands of the folks at Organic Spa for one of their relaxing and reviving Hydrafacials? The treatment involves hydradermabrasion: a tiny scrubby at the end of a long, vacuum cleaner-like apparatus that utilizes water and potions and is run all over the face, back and forth, to gently clean the skin – and oh, dear lord, does it feel sooooo good! In addition, this full-service spa offers a variety of skin-care, hair-removal, and massage options to round out a full day of pampering.

Organic Spa, 12850 Research, 512/627-7243,

Best Medical Expansion
Clark-Brown Family Care Clinic

Not to get political – people's lives are at stake after all – but independent health care is about as rare as a certain political party supporting the affordable variety. Dr. Cheryl Clark-Brown is the rare independent, and her practice is expanding. Her clinic includes and collaborates with acupuncturist Anne Cusick; patients here get the benefit of both western and eastern medical philosophies as well as the warm and genuine bedside manners of both practitioners. This year, they've expanded into the next-door offices and added necessary staff to meet growing needs. With neighboring pharmacy East Austin Medicine Shop opening this fall, the area's options for independent health care are looking good.

Clark Brown Family Care Clinic, 2113 E. MLK #101, 512/391-9700,

Best No. 1 Most Knowledgeable
Monica at Wheatsville

Like little rays of sunshine, the front desk folks (don't call ’em "greeters") at Wheatsville Co-op are bright, warm, and ready to help you find your way. All day they answer questions that range from deep ("Where do you keep the Ox Bile?") to desperate ("What's on today's hot bar???"), always on point and always with a smile. We're sure all of these Helpful Hannahs (and Henrys) on staff are as amazing as the one we seem to encounter the most: Monica, at the original location on Guad. You can count on this shining beacon of brilliance to be exactly what that award title says – likely due to the fact that she's really smart and enthusiastic, but definitely because there is a sign hanging over her head that says so.

Wheatsville Food Co-op, 3101 Guadalupe, 512/478-2667,

Wheatsville Food Co-op, 4001 S. Lamar, 512/814-2888

Best Pharmacy Expansion News
Vina Pharmacy and East Austin Medicine Shop

The rumors are true. A real-life, fully functioning pharmacy is finally moving back into the space left vacant by Hospital Pharmacy on MLK in East Austin. A huge vacancy was left in the hearts of neighbors at the passing of longtime owner and pharmacist O.C. Houston. After the shop closed, a certain chain drugstore finagled a deal to keep competing pharms out for two years. Well, two years is up. Bye, blockade. Vina Pharmacy, a totally independent local shop owned by pharmacist Debbie Huynh, whose flagship is located near the mammoth Chinatown shopping center on North Lamar, is going to bring their great, personalized service, medication compounding and flavoring, and (get this) free delivery to some folks who need it very much.

Vina Pharmacy, 11207-A N. Lamar, 512/977-8844,

Best Place to Keep an Eye Out
Blue Moon Optical

Blue Moon Optical provides a clear path to style and, well, whatever's in front of you with eye exams and a mixture of refurbished and never-before-worn eyeglasses; most frames in the small shop are unworn deadstock from the Forties, Fifties, and Sixties that was never sold by retailers. The shop's owner, Patrick, also repairs, restores, and adjusts eyewear.

Blue Moon Optical, 121 W. San Antonio St., San Marcos, 512/982-9242,

Best Pooch Professors
The Canine Center for Training & Behavior

After the untimely passing of renowned dog behaviorist Lee Mannix in 2010, his former staff picked up the torch to continue helping dogs and people find inner peace. From basic obedience to behavior consultations, canine sports, and even camping trips, these experts will help you build a stronger bond with your canine buddy. A recent move means the team has 14 acres of space to accomplish their plans for growth and expansion, and offer more classes and seminars to give you the tools and training you need, as they say, to be more fun than dirt.

The Canine Center for Training & Behavior, 11400 Hwy. 290 W., 512/721-8496,

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