You can’t just visit Uncommon Objects once. The shelves, floor, and ceiling are so crowded with vintage and antique items that you’ll miss something wonderful if you don’t keep going back. Where else can you find a photo tree, a hat-rack just for fezzes, or a bucket of chenille spiders? Less a store, more a foster home for amazing artifacts.
Again and again and again By George wins this award. They make it seem easy – how tough can it be to scour the world's fashion capitals for cool clothes? Well ... very tough. That's why owners Matthew and Katy Culmo are so successful at making it seem easy for you to breeze in feeling underprivileged and breeze out feeling glamorous. With extensive collections by Belgium's Dries Van Noten, Britain's Megan Park and Paul Smith, and Italy's Mario Mateo, we say, "Viva By George!"
When it comes to graphic novels, if Austin Books doesn’t have it, it probably doesn’t exist. A recent re-fit to expand the manga section has changed some priorities, but the enormous selection covers the comic spectrum, from the biggest Marvel titles to the smallest hand-stapled indie. A permanent 10% discount on trade paperbacks makes this a collector’s dream.
When PCers stroll by this store at Barton Creek, do they think it is forbidden fruit? The Apple, the source of all knowledge? Eh, probably not so biblical but a few branches higher than what snake charmer Gates has to offer. The Apple Store Genius Bar offers more wisdom in the form of workshops and one-on-one sessions with Mac consultants, and the store itself is a veritable Garden of Eden, with walls of software (yes, Mac's got software) and entire sections dedicated to every little widget your noble iPod could desire. We said desire. Take a bite.
Question: If all of the employees at Whip In know your name, does that mean you have a problem? Never mind. We challenge you to find a staff like Whip-In's anywhere else on the planet. Led by the Shiek of Shiraz, the wine and beer experts at the Whip know their stuff and then some. They're always willing to suggest something new or find a drink that will complement your dinner — all you gotta do is ask. And with their surprisingly fantastic selection of chocolate and cheese, you might be able to get your entire meal in one stop.
As corporate giants compete on every corner, it's hard to find a human-sized pharmacy that still cares these days. Our readers know to head over to Peoples, where someone who might even remember your name will guide you through the great selection of local products, natural foods, and alternative medicines. Most reassuringly, the pharmacists there are experts at cutting the red tape and translating the hieroglyphics of today's prescription drugs. Sign up for the excellent e-newsletter, and see for yourself.
Does it glimmer? Shimmer? Does it light up the night sky? Yes? No matter, chances are it probably still came from Emeralds. And chances are getting greater by the second with the launch of HelloEmeralds.com. An Austin favorite in this category for three years running, Emeralds is now making their fashion accessories fashion necessities to the rest of the world as well.
Receiving their fourth "Best of Austin" award in a row, Room Service continues to be one of the best places in town to find weird lamps, unusual wall clocks, vintage toys, and tiki statues. With their new location on South Lamar, it’s even easier to find that perfect piece to complement everything else in your hip habitat.
There’s no garden like a natural garden full of native Texas plant life, decomposing granite, and compost, compost, compost. The Natural Gardener is a haven for seasonal plants, organic remedies, and soil, as well as tips on when, what, and how to plant that mystery succulent. Go organic!
Gas prices are so ugly that we put our cars on a petroleum diet, shoving celery stalks and corncobs into them to make them go. That didn't work out so well, so, reluctantly, we are back on the gas habit. Thank you, HEB, for making our nasty addiction a bit easier on the pocketbook and also for being a place we both can fill up and go together.
7015 Village Center Dr., 512/502-8445
2400 S. Congress, 512/442-2354
2701 E. Seventh, 512/478-7328
10710 Research #200, 512/794-8221
6900 Brodie, 512/891-8900
11521 FM 620 N., 512/249-0558
2508 E. Riverside, 512/448-3544
201 FM 685 N., Pflugerville, 512/251-0002
1080 E. 290, Elgin, 512/285-4168
500 Canyon Ridge Dr., 512/973-8143
5808 Burnet, 512/453-8864
7112 Ed Bluestein #125, 512/926-1491
9414 N Lamar, 512/835-5400
600 W. William Cannon, 512/447-5544
6001 W. Parmer, 512/249-0400
5800 W. Slaughter, 512/301-9770
If there’s one down side to BookPeople, it’s that they have so many booksignings and readings that it’s hard to keep up with what author is coming to town next. Actually, there’s another problem. There’s only one BookPeople. Its model of educated staff, huge stock, regular events, and the warm approachability that book-lovers crave should be a global phenomenon.
Hardware doesn't begin to cover all the things Breed & Co. offers. Yes, you can buys nails and hoses there, but you can also buy Baccarat crystal, Kitchenaid electrics, Spode china, cookbooks, bird feeders, and more importantly, gift certificates. It would be hard to find someone who didn't covet something from Breed & Co.
Whether you have busting some capillaries or a more elegant evening in mind, one of Austin's many Twin Liquors locations can provide the necessities. Though known for specializing in wines and hard liquors, they also boast an unpredictable beer selection including German and Czech beers, Mexican beers, Belgian beers, and numerous domestic macros. So many options can be confusing, so count on the clerks' expertise.
Main office: 107 W. Stassney, 512/442-8395
1000 E. 41st, 512/451-7400
519 E. Seventh, 512/476-9982
8030 Mesa, 512/346-1861
3652 Bee Caves Rd., 512/327-0315
5505 Balcones, 512/323-2775
850 N. Bell Blvd., Cedar Park, 512/335-4244
12400 Hwy. 71 W., 512/402-0333
701 Capital of Tx. Hwy. S., 512/347-1299
Whether you dream of becoming the next Eddie Van Halen on guitar, John Bonham on the drums, or Jaco Pastorious on the fretless electric bass, it matters not. The fine folks at the Guitar Center have the gear you need to bring your fantasy to reality, and they'll keep your music room fully stocked with tuners, effects pedals, drum heads, microphones, percussive implements, and everything else your rock & roll desires demand.
Forbidden Fruit says it’s “dedicated to your body’s needs,” and for the umpteenth year in a row, you readers — and your naughty bits — concur. This fruit has ripened in Austin for 20 years, and with its constantly blooming assortment of erotic toys, edible underpants, and dirty books with titles as subtle as Blow Him, the garden offers hornys o' plenty.
"Because You Can." That is the motto of the boutique that will equip you to bewitch, anytime, anywhere. Bat those lashes on a moment's notice in labels like Beau Bois, Miss Me, Red Button Seven, and Triple Five Soul, while shoes from Dollhouse, Seychelles, Zinc, and BC provide a quick getaway. An attentive staff and lots of accessories (big bags!) guarantee the spell you cast.
The hum of a new engine. The smell of untouched leather interior. The click of new gadgets. The smoothness of the sales spiel as slick as the tie collection, except, this time it's as friendly as the name implies. Howdy. And hello. To the good ol' down-home folks selling practical cars at down-home prices.
It was odd. Most of the "Best of Austin" ballots were submitted with plainly written responses in ink or pencil. But a large portion came stained in paw prints. Far be it from us to question the mewling and growling of our animal companions, and so Bark ‘n Purr Pet Center carries home the best in this show again. Who can doubt the fine pedigree of B ‘n P’s employees who are somehow able to give a cat a bath and not end up in a hospital.
Notoriously Nordstrom, the shoe selection at this upscale national retailer is sheer heaven - not to mention that the service is legendary. From Birkenstocks to Betsey Johnson, Converse to Cole Haan, Mephisto to Michael Kors, and Stride Rite to Steve Madden, the Nordstrom shoe department has what you want ... as well as what you didn't know you wanted.
The Lake Austin location is known for its great clothes; the expanded North Lamar relocation is a veritable department store of treasures; and this time of year, all locations pull out the stops to ensure you can find a great Halloween getup. Goodwill engenders a lot of goodwill here in Austin. With everything from clothes, jewelry, and accessories to electronics, appliances, and housewares, Goodwill does a lot of good for a lot of people by helping with rehabilitation programs for its workers and great low-cost shopping for its customers.
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
Thanks to CarMax, long gone are the days of bow ties, greasy hair, and smooth talk from used car salesmen. The classy folks at CarMax won't bother you unless you ask, and they're more than willing to go out of their way to help you when you do ask. And not just with finding a car, but finding a way to pay for it, too. Every car for sale here has been thoroughly inspected to minimize your chances of buying a hunk o' junk.
If you're looking for the mainstream stuff that you know someone off-loaded for beer money yesterday, Waterloo is the place to find it, with the added bonus of an insanely healthy vinyl selection in the same room. But if you're looking for that Archers of Loaf EP that costs about a skadillion dollars and is nearly impossible to find, chances are it's hiding out at Cheapo-and you're going to have to really, really look for it.
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