2012 Readers Poll
2012 Critics Picks
Best Breast-is-Best Advocates

Special Addition has welcomed new mothers into the fold since 1994 with international board certified lactation consultants, nursing classes, breast pumps and fashion-forward racks of maternity clothes. There's even a nursing room on-site perfect for little ones to soak in the motherly vibes. All warm smiles and welcome advice, the experienced staff there know just how to calm nerves and encourage instincts. For a new mom, that's no ordinary store, that's magic — making it the best mammary-friendly, one-stop shop for new moms.

Special Addition
3800 N. Lamar #550

Best Canine Dental Office Receptionist

Dr. Root (yes, his real name) has been successfully curing campus-area toothaches for 29 years. The atmosphere is friendly and casual, and the staff always seems to be having fun. If you can schedule your root canal for the end of October, do it, because their Halloween costumes are the bomb. Last but not least, we guarantee it’s the only joint in town where you are greeted at the front desk by resident dog, Toby, who will trade a handshake for a treat. Toby is undoubtedly the best canine dental receptionist we've ever met.

The Dental Office of Dr. Jim Root
3701 Guadalupe #104

Sandy Carson

Best Fashion Production Incubator

Austin's fashion scene is bursting at the seams. But where can a designer go once the gown is shown or the suit has made it down the runway? With over a hundred machines of virtually every function, this new apparel manufacturing facility has the ability to design and manufacture your product, be it a prototype or sales sample, a short run or mass production. With a number of available studio spaces and skilled onsite staff at their fingertips, designers may have patterns and samples developed for them, or may come in and share the main cutting and patterning facilities and see the job through from start to finish.

WhiteStar Manufacturing
11900 FM 812
Del Valle

Best Fender Bender Emergency Room

Would you send your body to a hospital you didn't trust? Well, you wouldn't send your car body to one either, which is why we treasure the Body Shop. Founded in 1970 by the grandfatherly Bill Mitchell on North St., it was eventually pushed out by encroaching development, and made the move to north Austin a few years ago. The service remains honest, fast, and they'll work with your insurance company to have a rental waiting when you drop off. Mitchell's tradition of no surprises and a fair price now continues with Bill's son Mitch. One note: If you don't crawl under the office bench where a large rabbit resides, you'll be fine.

Bill Mitchell's The Body Shop
13704 Thermal

Best Mobile Auto Mechanic

Years ago, back when Austin was a little weirder, the city had its fair share of mobile auto mechanics. Then cars became all complicated with computers and such. The city grew and chain service centers began to dust the automotive landscape. Donny Whitehead got his experience working at a big box dealership, but decided to go mobile some years ago. Armed with the latest tools and technology, Donny provides such reliable and reasonably priced car care, you'll feel like you have a friend in the field.

Whitehead Automotive

Best Photo Printing

In the digital age, it's easy to keep your pics on your phone or computer, and just upload them to Facebook. But sometimes you need actual prints. The quality of a giclee, machine, or Chromira print beats drugstore prints every time. Holland has the fancy machines to do it, with reasonable pricing. Make yourself feel like Ansel Adams and have the pros touch them up, change them into black-and-whites, or print them out on canvas. Holland Photo has been around since the darkroom (which they now have for rent), but has progressed nicely into the modern age. Online uploading and ordering available.

Holland Photo Imaging
2125 Goodrich

John Anderson

Best Proponents of the Placenta

Placenta encapsulation – harvesting the afterbirth into "beat the baby blues" pills for mental health, speedy recovery, and increased lactation – isn't a practice for the faint of heart. Luckily the heart-of-gold doulas at Get Babied have the precision and know-how to gift mothers a nourishing lifeline back to their own postpartum bodies, one irreplaceable capsule at a time.

Get Babied Doula Collective
1825 E. 38 1/2

Best Satanic Mechanic

Juke’s Eastside shop has everything you’re looking for in a mechanic. They are reasonable, established, and trustworthy. The shop is well ordered; the service is awesome. Moreover, the mechanics are a bunch of dreamboats with rockabilly sideburns playing heavy metal on the jukebox (pun intended). Finally, a mechanic with a sense of style.

Juke Auto
924 Shady

Todd V. Wolfson

Best Screen Savers

You break it, they fix it. How many times have we broken the glass or the LCD displays of our wireless contraptions? Years ago, the folks in this shop were there to speedily replace the display on our cell phone when it needed an out-of-warranty fix. Considering how clumsy we are, it’s a good thing they’ve branched out into screen repair for tablets, too, because our newest gadget recently needed a visit, as well.

All Wireless Repair
9029 Research, #300

Best Teeth Straightener

Would you believe us if we told you that we actually like going to the orthodontist? Our teeth might disagree, but not after they see how pretty and straight they'll be. With over 45 years of experience, Dr. Jeran Hooten has a passion for his profession that is apparent in his calming and happy disposition.

Dr. Jeran Hooten, DDS
7960 Shoal Creek

Best Tree Whisperer

Stan Noblett talks fast, and speaks volumes. A stroll though your yard is a personal Arboriculture 101 seminar. Armed with a degree in molecular biology from the University of Texas, Noblett set up shop in his native Austin in 1988, and has been holding the hands of nervous tree owners ever since. His recent advice about aphid spray? Spend the money on water. Arbortech charges by the hour, and will custom tree-trim down to the leaf, so you always get what you ask for, at a reasonable price.

Arbortech Tree Service
9700 Westward Dr.

Best Way To Get Your Books In Order

If you're one of Austin's many entrepreneurs, then you know that one of the most daunting tasks in getting your business up and running is balancing the books and getting your taxes squared away. In fact, many of us put that part off – hey, maybe it'll just figure itself out, right? Wrong. But don't worry, there's a way to get the financial house in order while still focusing on getting your business off the ground. Enter Yolanda Gobert, tax maven extraordinaire, who works with her mother's longtime Eastside business, Juanita Ross Income Tax Service. She knows that you've got more on your mind than tallying the numbers and applying deductions – and, man, is she good at it. She'll keep you on time, up-to-date and so organized that you'll never again fret about keeping your bottom line in the black. Reasonable rates and friendly faces only sweeten the deal.

Juanita Ross Income Tax Service
2710 Manor

Todd V. Wolfson

Best Way To Lay a Loved One to Rest

We all die; that is inevitable. But how we spend our eternal years is completely up to us – ashes to ashes, casket to casket, or, perhaps, back to earth and marked by a newly planted Texas Live Oak? Janice King, a funeral director at East Austin's family-owned King-Tears Mortuary is here to give you an option, a green option: a home service, no embalming, and a chance to lay at rest in a green cemetery surrounded by native plants. King's Solace Eco-Friendly Funeral Services provides just one more way to naturally honor your loved ones and your Mother Earth.

Solace Eco-Friendly Funeral Services

Best Way To Shore Things Up

Have a sloping slab? Maybe a pocking pier? Have no fear, call Douglas Plauche at Douglas Foundation Repair. With a life's worth of experience in construction and foundation repair, Douglas brings to the table a wealth of knowledge about the best way to level your home. He's honest and forthright – and won't even try to up-sell you! How very refreshing. Indeed, Douglas comes to the table with quality work for a reasonable price.

Douglas Foundation Repair
12510 Edwards Hollow Run

Most Valuable Catering Player

At 67, consummate-professional Frank Halm runs circles around his 20-year-old counterparts. This ol' fella doesn't mess around when it comes to working private events. His back may ache but you'll never know it, as he works double and triple shifts for employers like A Love of Food, Word of Mouth, and Austin Catering. This detail-oriented workaholic is so good, clients will fly him out of state and across the country to put him in charge of their most special moments. A Vietnam veteran and retired mechanic, Austin's catering MVP prides himself on making sure every last item is aligned perfectly for the occasion, leaving his car packed with emergency tools, pitchers, table cloth clips, even extra uniforms in case a fellow employee forgets their pants (a surprisingly common occurrence in the industry).

Critics: Politics & Personalities
Critics: Shopping

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