1999 Readers Poll
1999 Critics Picks
Best Appliance/Tv Repair

So you say no one can fix that old typewriter in the garage? Afraid of being finagled by some high-tech mullet when all you needed was a new tube for your stereo? Leave your fears on the doormat and bring it all to the helpful staff at Mr. Wizard's. They've been doing it forever, they have got a backlog of about two weeks (which makes the cost seem so intangible), and they'll call you with easy-to-digest details before installing new parts.

Mr. Wizard's Electronics Service
1507 W. North Loop

Best Auto Mechanic

Finding a good mechanic is one of the top 10 secrets to living a happy and meaningful life. This might be a clue as to why Flamingo's customers keep voting them Number One with such purpose. A garage this meticulously maintained gives you an idea of the kind of care both client and car will receive.

Flamingo Automotive
3512 Guadalupe

Best Barber Shop

Step right up, boyo, and set yerself into one of the four oldschool barber chairs presided over by Pete Perales and his tonsorial technicians. These guys have been in the same location for 31 years, nestled amongst shops hawking turquoise jewelry, custom-made caskets, and scuba gear. Pete's knows just what it takes to lower your ears in a way so sharp and fierce so as to make GQ models squeal with envy. Located in Northwest Center at the corner of Burnet & Koenig, Pete's is the place, as their bumper stickers say, "Where looking good is understood."

Pete's Flattop Shop
6011 Burnet

Best Car Wash

Genie waved a magic wand again to triumph for its fourth straight year. Is it something in the water? Nope. Is it the 48-hour rain check? Sorta. Is it the comfy viewing gallery? Kinda. But mostly, it's the clean, convenient facility and the fast, friendly service, things too many businesses overlook these days.

Genie Car Wash
1311 S. Lamar, 512/444-9274
7320 Burnet, 512/451-9274
1021 W. William Cannon, 512/416-9274

Best Dry Cleaner

At only $1.59 per item, Rick's takes the terror out of those fiendish Dry Clean Only labels. No longer will we be shackled to the greenbacked ball-and-chain that keeps us from sartorial splendor! Jump back, rayon! Step aside, Monsanto! You might think that, with such meager prices, Rick's wouldn't be fast, reliable, and even friendly, too. Oh, but they are.

Rick's Cleaners
3652-D Bee Cave Rd., 512/327-6846
7435 Burnet Rd., 512/454-7425
110 N. I-35 #250, Round Rock, 512/244-4363
5324 Cameron, 512/452-2200
13492 Research #100, 512/258-8181
850 N. Bell Blvd. #304, Cedar Park, 512/258-4990
11126 Jollyville, 512/346-8845
900 N. Austin Ave. #603, Georgetown, 512/930-0666
500 W. William Cannon #404, 512/462-3868
12218 RR 620 N., 512/257-0057
8400 Brodie #101, 512/291-1588
3810 Gattis School #102, Round Rock, 512/244-3733
13011 Shops Pkwy. #200, Bee Cave, 512/263-1588
3411 N. Lamar, 512/323-0188
2614 S. Lamar, 512/433-6666

Best Fitness Club

Muscle in on the action with state-of-the-art equipment and classes in this perennial Best of Austin winner, this gleaming (from all those abs and buns of steel, no doubt) bastion of physical exertion, this fitnessorium where Austinites go for the sort of definition the less-built will never see in a million dictionaries. If Atlas had trained here, he wouldn't have had to shrug.

World Gym
115 E. Sixth

Best Florist

This European-inspired market-within-a-market makes what once was a rare splurge an everyday necessity thanks to its proximity, affordability, and the able assistance of those manning the buckets. When $10 can get you a combination of three varieties beautifully assembled by the staff, readers know this is the florist for them. The more elaborate occasions (weddings, banquets, etc.) are exquisitely executed as well.

Central Market North
4001 N. Lamar, 512/206-1000
4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-4300

Best Hair Salon

Bad hair day? Well, get yourself on over to Avant and those days will become a thing of the past. Let them pamper, primp, and preen you; it's like therapy for the head and the soul. Oh, and did we mention the post-cut massage?

Avant Garde Studio Salon Spa
318 Colorado St.

Best Laundromat

It took a pretty special laundromat to fill the slot of previous decade leader (but sadly, now defunct) Clean & Lean. Dry cleaning and environmentally sensitive in the same sentence? Oxymoronic? Not at EcoMat, where they use nontoxic chemicals on all your dry-cleaned duds. Clean & Green, anyone?

2915-B Guadalupe

Best Pharmacy

This is the second year running for Peoples, in a hotly contested category. HEB, Nau's, and Walgreen's all pulled in close behind, but Peoples reigned supreme. With five locations in Austin, they still manage to keep it real. Their hometown neighborhood feel isn't hurt in the least by their friendly pharmacists and the lunch-counter cafes (at three of the locations).

Peoples Rx
4018 N. Lamar, 512/459-0845
3801 S. Lamar, 512/444-8866
13860 Hwy. 183 N. Ste. C, 512/219-9499
4201 Westbank, 512/327-8868

Best Photo Lab

You can't miss Holland Photo Lab for their big tulip logo, and you can't miss the HEB for their locations all over town. Holland not only serves the average shutter bug but carries all the high tech paraphernalia for serious photographers, as well. Most of the HEB stores have in-house developing and - the cool thing about it - if you don't like the shot for whatever reason, you don't have to pay for it.

7015 Village Center Dr.

Holland Photo Imaging
2125 Goodrich

Best Printer/Copies

That 24-hour thing is hard to beat, and with the new downtown location offering easier parking, this is one tough category in which to compete. But they're good too - high standards and top quality from a ubiquitous corporate chain that people don't love to hate. Must be something about that name.

FedEx Office
327 Congress #100, 512/472-4448
2901-C Medical Arts, 512/476-3242
327 Congress, 512/472-4448
330 Bee Caves Rd. #715, 512/314-2300
6406 N. I-35 Ste. 1210, 512/452-3600
5601 Brodie #1210, 512/892-1992
9222 Burnet #101 & 102, 512/339-1191
13729 Research, 512/331-0800

Best Shoe Repair

Best way to keep them dogs from barkin' is to keep those shoes in topnotch condition. Maybe they need another notch in the top, maybe their tongues are tied, maybe they're down at the heel and their soles have gone straight to hell. Well, brethren and sistren, the hour of salvation is at hand at any Austin Shoe Hospital. Skilled professionals, next-day service in most cases: just what you need to get yourself comfortably back on Shank's Mare.

Austin Shoe Hospital
3106 Windsor, 512/477-6515
720 Congress, 512/477-5078
3300 Bee Caves Rd., 512/329-8104
1911 W. Ben White, 512/440-8788
8211 Burnet, 512/453-1961
5114 Balcones Woods Dr. Ste. 301-B, 512/345-8663
6781 Hwy. 290 W., 512/288-6386
1316 Round Rock Ave., Round Rock, 512/244-9124
306 S. Bell, Cedar Park, 512/219-8387
3932 RR 620 S., Lakeway, 512/263-4630
12119 Hwy. 290 W., 512/827-3398

Best Tailor

The times aren't the only things a-changin', you may have noticed. And when you need your clothing to reflect those, um, changes, you need to hie yourself to the good craftspeople at Ace Custom Tailors. They'll make what no longer fits fit again. They'll repair and reshape and resize to your permutable specifications, making sure that that favorite jacket or cummerbund or dirndl, say, will still make the kind of impression it did back when you first wore it. Don't trash it, re-flash it!

Express Alterations by Ace Custom Tailors
916 W. 12th

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