2012 Readers Poll
2012 Critics Picks
Best Appliance/TV Repair

All the brave little toasters and televisions need a little fixing up after their long adventures, and Mr. Wizard's is their No. 1 choice for a spa day. Bring your old pals by for some good old-fashioned R&R, and before you know it, your little appliances that could, will.

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

Best Auto Service/Repair

Listen, you're bummed because your AC/radiator/oil tank/gear shift/transmission/fuel line/clutch is broken/damaged/on fire/leaking/grinding/pregnant. Plus, and you're not totally sure, but you think a possum died under your hood. While we can't vouch for Yost Automotive's dead swamp creature removal skills, we know that you love them. And that's enough for us. OK. Maybe not, but their "12 month/12,000 mile Nationwide warranty on anything we do," in black-and-white, right there on their website, totally is.

Yost Automotive
5415 N. Lamar, 512/374-9678
6517 N. Lamar, 512/452-9678

Todd V. Wolfson

Best Barbershop

These five rock & roll barbershops keep the cuts cheap and the beer free. No appointments necessary, Birds offers a solution for last-minute cleanups without sacrificing quality. Even wait times are made enjoyable with free arcade games and a playlist that pleases many a palate. Oh yeah, did we mention the beer?

Various locations

Best Bicycle Repair

This "Best of Austin" alum and bicycle connoisseur goes the extra mile to provide customers with speedy, high-quality service for most makes and models. (Safely) put the pedal to the metal with free bike estimates and professional fittings. Happy trails!

The Peddler Bike Shop
5015 Duval St.

Best Car Wash

What's with all the djinn on the list this year? Do you think the genie at Genie Car Wash is the same genie as the PC Genie? Both are good at making dirty, broken things shiny and more efficient. Both are expert in their field, easy on the wallet, and good at whisking our drudgery away. No need for amulets and charms, these squeaky clean genies are entirely beneficent and loaded to their lanterns with that new car smell and plenty of RAM.

Various locations

Best Computer Repair

What's with all the djinn on the list this year? Do you think the genie at Genie Car Wash is the same genie as the PC Genie? Both are good at making dirty, broken things shiny and more efficient. Both are expert in their field, easy on the wallet, and good at whisking our drudgery away. No need for amulets and charms, these squeaky clean genies are entirely beneficent and loaded to their lanterns with that new car smell and plenty of RAM.

PC Genie
715 W. 23rd

Todd V. Wolfson

Best Dry Cleaner

Calling EcoClean the best dry cleaner is a little misleading. They do something better. Instead of embalming clothes with toxic sludge, their gentle wet cleaning process leaves clothes cleaner, softer, and without that icky chemical smell. We like to use their free delivery service so we can remain au naturel while doing right by nature.

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

Best Florist

It's wise to keep a good florist on call for life's myriad flower occasions. Over the phone or in-person, Freytag's can offer recommendations based on color, occasion, or length of relationship and deliver exactly what you expect. Their long-lasting stems and bouquets will get you out of the doghouse, and their "Local Specials" will keep you out of the poorhouse. And no wonder they are our readers' favorites: Check out the arrangements cleverly named for Austin neighborhoods and local hot spots. Bloomin' brilliant, Freytag's; your roots become you!

Freytag's Florist
2211 W. Anderson

Best Hair Salon

For something that just grows out of your head all willy-nilly, hair can be incredibly fraught. Luckily, we have Jimmy Haddox and Eric Massey’s Wet Salon and Studio to make it beautiful. This SoCo landmark is known for brilliant stylists and great service. Oh, and free Shock Top. p.s.: Hot name, guys.

Wet Salon
1109 S. Congress

Best Landscape Services

Austin is no place for shrinking violets. Only the hardiest horticulture survives our often Saharan temperatures and frequent droughts and it's not always easy to corral our rambunctious mix of native plants. For more than a decade, Fertile Ground has coaxed sustainable showstoppers out of our finicky soil, and since 2009, our readers have been showing them the "Best of" love. We like to think of them as our horsetail whisperers.

Fertile Ground Organic Gardens
3303 Breedlove

Best Laundromat

In honor of your achievement in DIY laundry self-service as the largest locally owned and operated coin-op laundry chain in Austin, we offer you, dear SpinZone, the following opportunity to write your own blurb: Insert Bill O'Reilly joke here. Insert bra-warping, tiny tighty-whitey joke here. Insert missing sock joke here. Insert fluffy towel joke, and … rinse. Repeat. Our readers do love you. No joke.

SpinZone Laundry
1909 E. Willam Cannon, 512/326-2200
6307 Cameron, 512/454-6600
2424 S. Congress, 512/447-2700
1108 N. Mays, Round Rock, 512/580-0900

Best Manicure/Pedicure

Y'all wanna be pampered. We get it! With a pink and chocolate palette, comfy cushy seats, and drippy glass chandeliers for dayz, this nailería has clawed its way into your dark hearts. "Embellish" your mani/pedi with a vanilla cupcake paraffin wax treatment and you may want to eat your hand afterward. But that would, you know, ruin your nails.

Embellish Nails & Boutique
3010 W. Anderson, Ste. H,, 512/452-7465
3663 Bee Caves Rd. #3, 512/328-9898

Best Movers

The unicorn is the envy of the animal kingdom, and in our world, Unicorn Moving is once again the king of the forest. These mighty steeds know what it takes to run a top-notch business: exacting hiring process, consistency in customer care, and a wide variety of services from personal to commercial, local to long distance. The magic of the unicorn is myth no longer.

Unicorn Moving & Storage
102 Victor

Best Pet Services

"Groom and Board" doesn't give the right picture. This company is run by dog lovers for dog lovers. If you are less a dog owner and more a pack member of said canine, then this affordable pampering is right up your dog run. No chained fences, no cages, Mud Puppies offers climate-controlled bunks with music and activities. So enrolling your pup in "Playcare" not only assuages the guilt of having a full-time job but is essentially like sending your puppy-love to camp. Depending on your parenting style, groomers can pompadour your poodle or you can opt for the self-service wash. And when you need a vacation, give your pup a staycation.

Mud Puppies
12233 FM 620 N. Ste. 110-A, 512/249-2498
2015 E. Riverside Bldg. 9, 512/912-0200

Sandy Carson

Best Printer/Copier

Back when Ginny's was located nearer to UT, they doled out course readers to eager students (doe-eyed participants of classes like "Modernism and Its Discontents" and "Black Subjectivity") as though they were brain candy. Now, further afield, they concentrate on jobs big and small - industrial and homey. Fast, professional, and detail-oriented, Ginny's, we be bound to you! BTW: We don't care if you're coiled or saddle bound, you keep us in stitches.

Ginny's Printing
8410-B Tuscany Way, 512/454-6874

Best Shoe Repair

We admit we're a little hard on our shoes. But instead of fretting when we filet our soles, we take them to Austin Shoe Hospital. In no time flat, they buffer our uppers and heal our heels. And we love their online mail-in service. Simply put, they are the wind beneath our wing tips.

Various locations

John Leach

Best Spa

The last time we had a Fire & Ice Facial we were dared to put a piece of dry ice on our forehead. Things didn't work out so well - and we learned an important lesson about "dares." But we dare you to go get the Fire & Ice Facial at Viva; not only does it include a warming/cooling anti-aging facial treatment and massage, but you get schooled by an expert. It's enough to turn our dumb shayna punim smart again.

Viva Day Spa
215 S. Lamar, 512/361-2047
1811 W. 35th, 512/361-1786
11601 Rock Rose Ave., 512/361-2558

Best Tailor

Why wear David Byrne's oversized blazers when you can look like David Bowie? For decades, Ace Custom Tailors has kept your pretty things pretty. They can skinny your suit in just a few hours and let it out again when you're no longer a thin duke. Master tailor Vanessa Wilkerson at the 12th Street location can even do leather. Fa-fa-fa-fa fashion.

Various locations

John Leach

Best Tattoo Shop

Recently a biography on Samuel Steward came out and in addition to being one of Alfred Kinsey's more infamous research subjects, Steward was also a bang-up tattoo artist mentoring the likes of Cliff Raven, and yes, Ed Hardy. We mention this bit of tattoo history because of all the shops in Austin, Triple Crown keeps traditional tattoo designs at the fore. Tradition can be a nasty word, especially in cultures who are in the vanguard … like tattooists. Yet there's something to be said for tradition, its keeping, its relevance, and its meaning in all who get inked at this venerable institution. Sam Steward, in many ways was a progenitor of U.S. tattoo tradition, and the guy was a pervert, professor dropout, sexpot, and an erotic literary genius. Those are some big shoes, Triple Crown, and you … fill them nicely.

Triple Crown Tattoo
1157 Chicon

Best Veterinarian

Who else has a baby tiger being bottle-fed on their website splash page? If you say Siegfried & Roy, we'll punch you. It's Austin Veterinary Diagnostic Hospital … d'oy! Their website, like their vets and staff folks, is superinformative. (Although, just FYI, checking their über-graphic "Pet Cases" tab is like looking at WebMD when you've got the tummy-rumblies: surprise! It's meningitis!) Kidding aside, it's clear from this, Austin Vet's second "Best of," that our readers trust their furry besties with only the best.

Austin Veterinary Diagnostic Hospital
9324-C Hwy. 290 W.

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