Shopping
1994 Readers Poll
1994 Critics Picks
Best Adult Bookstore

Oh, naïve and fragile lovers, don't let the billboard fool ya -- this is no astrology supply store. But if you're gonna buy erotica, do it at a place where your shoes don't stick to the floor.

Dreamers
3401 N. I-35
512/469-0539
www.dreamersdvd.com

Best Antiques

Another '93 winner continues to maintain reader adoration, in this case for classy (not kitschy) antiques, incredible stuff, and old architectural wonders.

Whit Hanks Antiques
1009 W. Sixth
512/478-2101

Best Art Supplies

Chosen by those with discriminating palettes.

Asel Art Supply
218 W. MLK
512/477-1762
www.aselart.com

Best Audio Equipment

Our source says, "Go in knowing what you want and you will get a deal."

Best Bookstore

Okay, so the discount card saves you money -- but every time you go in the place you buy 40 books.

Best Card/Poster Shop

Neato, Unusual, Vivid, Objects. Whoa.

Best Coffee Store

Before there was Ruta Maya, before there was Trianon, long ago on a java bean far away...

Anderson's Coffee Co.
1601 W. 38th
512/453-1533
www.andersonscoffee.com

Best Comic Book Store

One reader's comic take on it: "It has really cool people -- both clients and employees." Well, Shazam, dude!

Dragon's Lair Comics & Fantasy
2438 W. Anderson Ste. 1-B
512/454-2399
www.dlair.net

Best Consignment Store

We're told the only pants that rival Truman's are the ones you create with your snuggle-buddy.

Truman's
121 E. Fifth
512/236-0901

Best Costume Shop

They can run a costume place, but they can't hide from the fact that their selection is dazzling and endless.

Lucy in Disguise
1506 S. Congress
512/444-2002
www.lucyindisguise.com

Best Factory Outlet

Yes, that's right, gentle readers. You named the city of San Marcos itself as your favorite outlet for shopping syndrome. Loads of stores and scads of bargains for the smart shopper.

Best Flea Market

Sundays are superb as shoppers stroll in their church finery with gigantic turkey legs hanging out of their mouths.

Austin Country Flea Mart
9500 Hwy. 290 E.
512/928-2795
www.austincountry.citymax.com

Best Gift Shop

A bead store by any other name... Actually it's so much more, including woodwork, pottery, and custom-crafted jewelry.

Originals Jewelry & Fine Gifts
10225 Research
512/343-2011

Best Hardware Store

It's not just the interesting variety (everything except brick stretchers) that makes Breed a winner, but the enthusiasm of employees like the one who told me, "We have a really cool ethnic rooster, and dirt-cheap cast iron wine racks!!"

Breed & Co.
718 W. 29th, 512/474-6679
3663 Bee Caves Rd., 512/328-3960
www.breedandco.com

Best Jewelry(costume)/Jewelry(real)

A bead store by any other name... Actually it's so much more, including woodwork, pottery, and custom-crafted jewelry.

Originals Jewelry & Fine Gifts
10225 Research
512/343-2011

Best Leather Works

These chaps will be glad to custom-make your cowboy leg covers, billfolds, belts, and mocs. For boots or saddles, though, you'll have to mosey elsewhere.

Tenderfoot Co.
2026 S. Lamar
512/441-3883

Best Lingerie Shop

Oh, yeah. Big secret, Victoria. No one ever pays attention to a woman who spends her life sashaying around in lace panties.

Victoria's Secret
various locations

Best Liquor Store

Absolut(e) ambience. Great wine offerings and a knowledgeable staff, and every kinda hooch you can imagine.

Wiggy's
1130 W. Sixth, 512/474-9463
1104 N. Lamar, 512/479-0045
www.wiggysliquor.com

Best Lumber

And, of course, every possible conceivable item with which to slice, dice, julienne, decorate, or construct said lumber.

Home Depot
1200 Home Depot Blvd., Sunset Valley, 512/892-3035
7211 N. I-35, 512/458-8012
10515 Mopac N., 512/338-1001
3600 S. I-35, 512/693-9811
13309 N. I-35, 512/989-6650
8801 S. I-35, 512/291-0153
7900 FM 620 N., 512/258-7914
2551 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/238-0820
11301 Lakeline Rd., 512/331-4436
www.homedepot.com

Best Music Business

Sure, great music and instrument selection, but just as impressive is the fact that, flood after flood, they stay put. Row, row, row your piano gently down Shoal Creek.

Strait Music Co.
2428 W. Ben White, 512/476-6927
13945 Hwy. 183 N., 512/918-3743
www.straitmusic.com

Best Pawn Shop

Yes, and the good doctor stocks knights and bishops as well. Not just a place for loans but also a place to shop.

Doc Holliday's Pawn Shop/Cash America
611 S. Lamar
512/443-7787

Best Periodicals Rack

Wouldn't it be the ultimate in thematic humor if they titled their mag section, "Slow, periodicals at play?" Ho, ho, ho. Big, big racks of books, magazines galore, and lots of sales and specials.

Best Pet Store (chain)

A reader suggests (and we invite you to interpret): "They have their priorities straight." Take Fido shopping there and find out why.

PetSmart
1628 Ohlen, 512/835-7221
5400 Brodie, 512/892-3297
2601 S. IH-35 Pad E, Round Rock, 512/218-1816
www.petsmart.com

Best Pharmacy/ Drugstore

Returning happily from '93, described by one reader as "the only piece of nostalgia left in Austin. You'll feel like you're in a time machine."

Nau's
Nau's Enfield Drug, 1115 W. Lynn, 512/476-1221

Best Record Store (chain)

Last year's winner, too. Does it sound like a broken record or a record breaking? Good selection of music books and periodicals.

photo by John Anderson

Best Record Store (Local)

Sage advice: never walk in here on your way to pay the landlord with cash and say, "Really, I'll just browse."

Waterloo Records
600-A N. Lamar
512/474-2500
www.waterloorecords.com

Best Record Store (vinyl)

Sage advice: never walk in here on your way to pay the landlord with cash and say, "Really, I'll just browse."

Waterloo Records
600-A N. Lamar
512/474-2500
www.waterloorecords.com

photo by John Anderson

Best Shopping Center

Featuring a delightful array of many Reader's Poll winners and set back from Lamar with buildings that respect the neighborhood's scale, it's a welcome addition to the center city shopping scene.

Best Specialty Bookstore

Twelve steps into this place and you just feel the healing vibes from the helpful books and helpful help. The selection of magazines and books is extensive and impressive. As well, they have crystals, new age music, and much more. They're moving into the new Whole Foods mega-plex at 6th & Lamar this fall.

BookPeople
603 N. Lamar
512/472-5050
www.bookpeople.com

Best Subculture Store

Our source says (yeah, right): "I only go there to buy American Spirits -- for my friends." An Austin institution, helping us move onward as the fog grows thicker.

Oat Willie's
617 W. 29th, 512/482-0630
1931 E. Oltorf, 512/448-3313
9505 Burnet Rd., 512/836-6287
www.oatwillies.com

Best Thrift Store

For the daring, the thrifty, the Cobain-worshippers (racks of flannel), and the one or two semi-employed citizens of this town. Their selection can keep you browsing for hours.

Goodwill
Main office: 1015 Norwood Park Blvd., 512/637-7100
2800 S. Lamar, 512/442-8802
836 Airport, 512/389-3277
Goodwill Computerworks, 1015 Norwood Park Blvd., 512/637-7502
13096 Hwy. 183 #104, 512/258-5898
8965 Research Blvd., 512/832-0004
5555 N. Lamar, 512/451-2306
9801 Brodie, 512/280-8037
701 Newman, 512/478-6711
7100-C W. US Hwy 290, 512/288-7700
3910 Far West, 512/795-6387
6505 Burleson, 512/681-3301
7727 Burnet, 512/374-0260
1819-B S. Pleasant Valley, 512/389-0547
1700 W. Parmer #101, 512/719-4119
9111 S. First, 512/280-2204
1420 Wells Branch Pkwy. #300, 512/251-2777
2814 Bee Caves Rd. Ste.2814-B, 512/329-8771
www.austingoodwill.org

Best Toy Store For Grown-ups

Readers simply Lava their lamps. Great jewelry, watches, and little Shriners, too.

Toy Joy
403 W. Second
512/320-0090
www.toyjoy.com

Best Used Book Store

Recycling isn't just for plastic, paper, and glass. Take those books you've read and trade them for more you want to read.

Half-Price Books
3110 Guadalupe
512/451-4463
www.halfpricebooks.com/

Best Vintage Clothing

Flying high above the categorical competition -- a place to get lost in the mysteries of retro-threads.

Amelia's Retro-Vogue & Relics
2213 South 1st
512/442-4446
www.ameliasretrovogue.com/

Best Western Wear Store

Even clothes sacks are bigger in Texas -- witness the acre upon acre o' cowpeople stuff here.

Shepler's Western Wear
6001 Middle Fiskville
512/454-3000

 
Readers: Services
Critics: Architecture & Lodging

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle