2007 Readers Poll
2007 Critics Picks
Best Auto Inspection Station

They’re fast, they’re polite, they’re thorough, and they open early. The ambitious soul can whip in to attend to their annual obligation and out before heading to work, but if you can’t make that, they’ll make it fast whenever you arrive.

Sticker Store
2915 S. First

Best Auto Service/Repair

Specializing in Hondas and Toyotas, employees at the Auto Depot limit themselves to nothing when it comes to cars. They sell 'em, service 'em, warranty 'em, and give 'em some good lovin'. Known for being straight-up, consistent, and on the consumer's side, they have many a loyal customer and continue to draw more every year, making them the best at what they do, according to our readers.

Auto Depot
909 Prairie Trail

Best Barber Shop

Also winning Best Haircut for Kids, Birds has made a big splash on the Austin style scene. With national coverage in publications like Newsweek and Elle, Birds proves itself to be so much more than just a salon. Live music, Wi-Fi, visual art, and a disco ball (interiors by local star designer Joel Mozersky) make Birds a favorite hangout.

Birds Barbershop
Birds Barbershop South Lamar, 2110 S. Lamar, 512/442-8800
Birds Barbershop Burnet, 6800 Burnet Rd., 512/454-1200
Birds Barbershop East Sixth, 1107 E. Sixth, 512/457-0400
Birds Barbershop South Congress, 1902 S. Congress, 512/445-0500
Birds Barbershop 41st/Red River, 905 E. 41st, 512/492-8400
Birds Barbershop Slaughter, 5000 W. Slaughter, 512/758-7800
Birds Barbershop 183/Anderson Mill, 13219 Hwy. 183 N., 512/879-4700
Birds Barbershop Rock Rose, 11420 Rock Rose #114, 512/610-7600
Birds Barbershop William Cannon, 3601 W. William Cannon, 512/795-4600

Best Bicycle Repair

We all have that friend who always wants to talk about bikes. Chances are, they work at Bicycle Sport Shop, because the kids who work here not only tune up bike after bike with bike-Yoda intelligence and awareness; they love biking. Biking is their way of life. The only way of life. Good thing they get to hang out in a bike shop.

Bicycle Sport Shop

Best Car Wash

With an emphasis on detail, variety, and customer service, the Genie is the best – and has been for the last 11 years – at granting your car-wash wishes. Three locations throughout Austin offer affordable and quick cleaning magic with a money-back guarantee. Car aficionados follow the neon Genie in the sky; it is still the best path for a clean ride.

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

Best Computer Repair

All praise the gods of Geekdom. Give unto them your blue screens of death and jammed drives, and have mercy on our pocketbooks. For theirs are the bargain-price reconditioned and surplus parts, the new custom-built machines, and the worldwide shipping. Let the Dell specialists upgrade the powerless and streamline the convoluted until we're all singing along to the humming of a well machine. In 001000101111000101s we pray. Amen.

Logic Approach
2500 S. Lamar

Best Dry Cleaner

We heard that during a sudden downpour this summer, a Reid’s employee suggested a customer drive her car around to the back door, where he would be waiting to hand her things to her. Thoughtful, yes? Granted, this is not standard with their fine service, but this attention to detail and kindness is what we've come to expect at Reid's. Friendly and efficient, the staff creates quality results – you needn’t worry that your favorite shirt will come back without its buttons.

Reid's Cleaners & Laundry
3317 N. Lamar, 512/302-1870
9222 W. Parmer, 512/219-9340
1700 W. Parmer #240, 512/821-4211
3616 Far West #102, 512/343-9654
11907 FM 2244, Bee Cave, 512/263-8705
3720 RR 2222, 512/420-8320
13450 Research #237, 512/219-9770
13450 Research #237, 512/219-9770
6317 Bee Caves Rd. #310, 512/306-0635
2814 Bee Caves Rd. Ste. C, 512/330-0565
7010 Hwy. 71 W. #20, 512/288-3713
6600 MoPac S. #2140, 512/891-9262
9901 Brodie #150, 512/291-0101

Best Florist

The Flower Bucket's reasonably modest headquarters deliver simple charm, as well as staggering magnificence, in the form of cut flowers, arrangements, and beautiful gifts. Their design brilliance will keep their legion of fans blossoming for years to come.

The Flower Bucket
3100 N. Lamar

Bret Brookshire

Best Hair Salon

Aziz has practically everything to treat your body and soul and for nearly 35 years has been a salon to be reckoned with. Noted for their hospitality and complete haircare services (including deep-conditioning, styling, extensions, and chemical restructuring), the creative and diversely talented staff at Aziz assures that your cut and color exceed your expectations.

Aziz Salon & Day Spa
710 W. Seventh

Best Laundromat

Chlorofluorosulphurwhat? Not here. Never worry again about that chemical smell (or what went in the water) when you get your laundry back from these enviro-preserving wash-and-fold experts. It may look like the by-the-pound cleaners your grandma knew, but their low-pollution detergents provide an eco-friendly way to get your clothing sparkling.

2438 W. Anderson Ste. C-3, 512/236-8645
4012 N. Lamar, 512/236-8645
3005 S. Lamar Ste. D-114A, 512/236-8645
3600 Capital of Texas Hwy. N. #120, 512/263-8645

Bret Brookshire

Best Pedicure/Manicure

Oh, your neglected feet. With you through thick and thin, supporting your side steps, double-steps, missteps. So, when you want a pedicure, you want to open up the vulnerability of your feet, touching places that go unnoticed for so long. That's what Polish Nail Spa does best. Spoiling. It's the perfect environment to allow a massage and coat of paint to refresh your feet (or hardworking hands). And if you want the rest of you shiny, there's waxing, too.

Polish Nail Salon
1002 S. First

Best Public Health Care

If an apple a day did keep the doctor away, this place would polish it for you. One of the longest-running independent primary-care facilities in the country making more than 75,000 appointments for uninsured Austinites, People's Community Clinic is one of the factors that makes Austin so livable. Primary care is complemented by preventative programs such as free vaccinations, dietary advice, and self-examination tips. If only the rest of our country's health-care "system" could function so humanely.

People's Community Clinic
1101 Camino La Costa

Best Shoe Repair

Part of the world's largest shoe-repair company, Austin Shoe Hospital replaces soles and restores the leather's original shine; makes heel tips nonslip and durable; reconditions boots; repairs luggage, handbags, and briefcases; and even has a mail-in service. With nine Austin-area locations there's plenty of that famous Texan hospitality to go around.

Various locations

Best Spa

The bonding opportunities of Lake Austin Spa's mother/daughter package and girlfriend getaways are a globe-trotter's destination on your doorstep – so much so, the American Cancer Society holds its Gathering of Wise Women there. In addition to international kudos from the likes of Condé Nast, Travel & Leisure, and Destinations magazines, the readers of this very paper have voted them tops yet again. The Crossings, too, has gathered international recognition from USA Today and AARP's magazine, among others. Our readers love that it is as much an educational experience as it is relaxing, with workshops and leadership retreats. Both luxurious locations feel remote but are convenient, and as far as amenities, both offer everything your little heart could desire.

Lake Austin Spa Resort
1705 S. Quinlan Park

The Crossings
13500 FM 2769

The Crossings (left) and Lake Austin Spa Resort   Bret Brookshire

Best Tailor

It just feels like it's family-run. With four different locations, success has come from a simple formula: Provide custom alterations and tailoring at affordable prices, always remain courteous and customer-oriented, and have your work speak for itself. Just try it on. If it isn't perfect when they hand it back to you, they'll keep working – until it fits the exact way you want it. Every time. And when it's your favorite pants you wear every day … that really means something.

Various locations

Best Recycler

Nothing's more communal than sorting trash with strangers. With forklifts backing in and out and people parked at odd angles as they haul bottles, cans, and cardboard (corrugated!) to their rightful bins and Dumpsters, Ecology Action is a beehive of civic action. Savior to those of us without curbside recycling – and anyone else with a bit of foil, an ink-jet cartridge, or a phone book to get rid of – it’s an integral part of our community.

Ecology Action Recycling Depot
707 E. Ninth

Bret Brookshire

Best Appliance/TV Repair

A popular readers' choice for good reason, these local magicians have been throwing fix-it mojo on all manner of electronics here since 1978. Diagnostics will run you $25, a fee that can be applied to the cost of the repair. Be patient; repairs take about three weeks, but they'll give you a date and stick to it.

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

Best Landscaping

What did Austin look like before Big Red Sun? Who cares - all we know is that they revolutionized the landscape. Experts in outdoor design and construction, owners Selena and Dylan Souders worked wonders on San José Hotel, Austin City Lofts, and the Pedernales Lofts, as well as the homes of Shawn Colvin, Anne Elizabeth Wynn, and hundreds of others.

Big Red Sun
1102 E. Cesar Chavez

Best Movers

Keeping Austinites on the move since 1988, veteran "BOA" winner Blue Whale do more than just pack 'em up and move 'em out. In addition to residential and commercial moving services, they also offer cleaning and make-ready specials, as well as space in their 23,000-square-foot storage facility. New to the poll this year, Heavenly Care Moving Services has impressed our readers with their specialty: tending to the needs of elderly folks and their families transitioning between homes and care facilities. They operate out of a larger, local, family-owned senior-services company Heavenly Caregiver Services. Both companies choose to hire and train their own movers over contracting out temporary workers.

Blue Whale Moving & Storage
8291 Springdale #100

Heavenly Care Moving Services
13266 Pond Springs

Best Printer/Copies

Once again beating the chain stores, No. 1 for copies and printing in Austin is the locally owned and operated Ginny's Printing. Whether it's digital printing services, offset printing, color or black-and-white copies, faxing, or even T-shirt printing, the very green Ginny's can also cut, perforate, score, number, fold, laminate, collate, saddle stitch, bind, or coil your work, assemble your kits, or design the entire package for you.

Ginny's Printing
8410-B Tuscany Way

Best Veterinarian

Why would you trust your beloved but banged-up four-legged buddy to someone if you weren't sure they loved animals? With vet Mark Cotnam and his staff, every day is bring-your-pet-to-work day. Their love of animals as well as their quality of personal service and medical experience make these dog-and-cat experts the clinic of choice for our readers' furry extended family. And the best part? They only take walkies … errr, walk-ins.

University Animal Clinic
3701 Guadalupe #102

Best Recording Studio

They've only been on the scene for four years, but what a four years. The music industry went digital, and the Brain Machine is on that tip. The latest technology, with three isolated recording studios, a fully automated digital mixing console, and all the latest recording suites. They even master tracks online, so the music can go where you do.

The Brain Machine
9705 Burnet Rd. #112

Best Tattoo Artist

Reputations precede. Such is the case at Resurrection Tattoo, where former Southside Tattoo artist Karen's loaded schedule speaks volumes. Even after all these years behind the needle (more than 16 years), her art form advances with every client, putting a personal touch into her work. It isn't about ego for her, nor about who's wearing whom on their sleeve. And it's not just about the skin, since she works in pens, charcoal, and even does signs. It's about good work, solid lines, and representing herself, above all else. Integrity should be saluted. And here, it is. Congrats.

Karen Slafter

Best Graphic Artist

Graphic design is a two-handed deal. On one, there's the design itself. The craft of creating art out of concepts, molding visuals to meet ideas and lending left-brain talent to right-brain analytics. The other, the listening factor. Knowing how to hear and deliver. Both our winners, Full Moon Design Group and Dat Boi Drew, encompass the total spectrum of these qualities. Full Moon Design has garnered a solid reputation for consistency in their client relationships, with a growing portfolio of raving customers. Andrew Augustin, aka Dat Boi Drew, the face of Single Shot Studios, is gaining a following for his animated urban edge. Hip-hop artists and comic artists alike: keep an eye on this up-and-comer, and keep him in mind for your next project.

Full Moon Design Group
3355 Bee Caves Rd. #501

Dat Boi Drew

Dat Boi Drew (top) and Full Moon Design Group   Bret Brookshire

Robin Callan of Room Fu   Bret Brookshire

Best Contractor/Home Service

Affordable, stylish, and able to handle tasks large and small, Room Fu is perfect for the DIYer looking for direction or the home owner desperate for a design pro to (re)create their environment. Design guru Robin Callan demystifies the process, dispelling the myth of "if you have to ask, you can't afford" by listing her rates on her website. Book her for an hour and see what she can do for you.

Room Fu

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