1997 Readers Poll
1997 Critics Picks
Best Adult Bookstore

Apparently, our readers have been doing a little dreaming....

3401 N. I-35

Best Antiques

Once again, readers choose the classiest antiques joint in town as their favorite.

1009 W. Sixth

Best Bookstore

It bills itself as the largest independent bookstore in Texas, but once you deposit yourself in a certain genre, you're certain to feel right at home.

603 N. Lamar

Best Cigars

Those who blow smoke in the face of the surgeon general prefer to do so at Ruta Maya, with Wiggy's and Cigar Palace placing as other dens of delight.

photograph by Kenny Braun   Kenny Braun

photograph by Kenny Braun   Kenny Braun

Best Comic Book Store

Last year, Austin Books tied for first with this year's second placer, Dragon's Lair. Booksource (winner in 1995) takes third.

Austin Books & Comics
5002 N. Lamar

Best Consignment Store

First time around winners! Buffalo Exchange took second, no bull. Second Looks took third. Go figure!

photograph by Kenny Braun   Kenny Braun

Best Costume Shop

You say Lucy's neat-o for incognito and find that second placer the Bazaar is bizarre enough to keep your identity well-masked. With regard to jewels: You say Lucy's fake jewels are so nice you'll want to pass them down through the family. You also love Eclectic and Emeralds enough to tie second.

Lucy in Disguise
1506 S. Congress

Best Cowboy Boots

Boots to make you feel like you could wrestle a bull blindfolded. Not that boots from runners-up Cavender's or Shepler's don't....

Allens Boots
1522 S. Congress

Best Gift Shop

Could something be French (at least in name) and not be high-end and charming?

The Cadeau
2316 Guadalupe

Best Gifts - Novelty

The bright, visual cacophony and smell of new plastic makes every kid's pulse race.

Toy Joy
403 W. Second

Best Hardware Store

We like our hardware stores a little on the soft side — cluttered with espresso machines, lilac lotions, and chocolate bonbons.

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

Best Imports

From around the world for around your house, Pier 1 is your first port of call. Local gateway to the corazón, Tesoros takes a close second.

Best Jewelry (fine)

The crown jewel of Austin's fine jewels, according to our readers, is Benold's, who beat out previous two-year winner Russell Korman.

Best Lingerie Shop

It's no secret that Vicky has once again swept this category. Not-too-shabby showings by the Bazaar, La Dolce, and Tabu.

Victoria's Secret
various locations

Best Liquor Store

From the wooden Indian standing sentinel to that little Elvis decanter in the window, everything — including a whole wall of Scotch — is a little wiggy here.

1130 W. Sixth, 512/474-9463
1104 N. Lamar, 512/479-0045

Best Music Business

Strait has swept this category for the last four years — quite an accomplishment in a town filled with greats like runners-ups South Austin Music, MusicMakers, and Musical Exchange.

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

Best Pawn Shop

Dropping off or picking up, readers run to Doc Holliday's.

Doc Holliday's Pawn Shop/Cash America
611 S. Lamar

Best Periodicals Rack

Austin's Book People once again beats the national Goliath, Barnes & Noble, for a simply staggering selection of magazines, etc.

603 N. Lamar

photograph by Kenny Braun   Kenny Braun

Best Pet Store (Local)

Bark n' Purr is still the favorite of those who woof & mew.

Best Record Store (Chain)

A Tower of tunes clinches the competition as this year's favorite chain.

photo by John Anderson

Best Record Store (Local)

A longtime readers' favorite, Waterloo carries all of your local (and not so local) music needs.

Waterloo Records
600-A N. Lamar

Best Shopping Center

Mallrats, unite. Highland is consumer Americana at its best and most air-conditioned.

Best Specialty Bookstore

Chronicle readers know their specialty bookstores well, it seems; so well, in fact, that not only was there a tie for first place but for third as well (Austin Books, Lobo) with Fringeware coming in second.

5501 N. Lamar Ste. 105-A

603 N. Lamar

Best Thrift Store

There is Goodwill in the hearts of Austinites when they are a-thrifting.

Main office: 1015 Norwood Park Blvd., 512/637-7100
2800 S. Lamar, 512/442-8802
836 Airport, 512/389-3277
Main office: 1015 Norwood Park Blvd., 512/637-7100
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

Best Vintage Clothing

Flipnotics regained first place, sending last year's winner Blue Velvet to second. New Bohemia shows well in third.

Readers: Services
Critics: Architecture & Lodging

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