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2012ReadersServices

Best Appliance/TV Repair
Mr. Wizard's

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, 512/454-1137

Best Auto Service/Repair
Yost Automotive

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, www.yostauto.com

Yost Automotive, 6517 N. Lamar, 512/452-9678, www.yostauto.com

Best Barbershop
Birds

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?

Birds Barbershop, 2110 S. Lamar, 512/442-8800, www.birdsbarbershop.com

Birds Barbershop, 6800 Burnet, 512/454-1200, www.birdsbarbershop.com

Birds Barbershop, 1107 E. Sixth, 512/457-0400, www.birdsbarbershop.com

4 more locations

Best Bicycle Repair
The Peddler Bike Shop

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, 512/220-6766, www.peddlerbike.com

Best Car Wash
Genie

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.

Genie Car Wash, 1311 S. Lamar, 512/444-9274, www.geniecw.com

Genie Car Wash, 7320 Burnet, 512/451-9274, www.geniecw.com

Genie Car Wash, 1021 W. William Cannon, 512/416-9274, www.geniecw.com

Best Computer Repair
PC Genie

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, 512/785-5254, www.pcgeniecomputerrepair.com

Best Dry Cleaner
EcoClean

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.

EcoClean, 2915 Guadalupe, 512/236-8645, www.ecocleanaustin.com

EcoClean, 2438 W. Anderson Ste. 3-C, 512/236-8645

EcoClean, 4012 N. Lamar, 512/236-8645

EcoClean, 2149 S. Lamar, 512/236-8645

Best Florist
Freytag's

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, 512/371-5640, www.freytagsflorist.com

Best Hair Salon
Wet 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, 512/444-7375, www.wetsalonatx.com

Best Landscape Services
Fertile Ground Organic Gardens

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, 512/340-0432, www.fertilegroundgardens.com

Best Laundromat
SpinZone

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, 1909 E. Willam Cannon, 512/326-2200, www.spinzonewash.com

SpinZone, 6307 Cameron, 512/454-6600, www.spinzonewash.com

SpinZone, 2424 S. Congress, 512/447-2700, www.spinzonewash.com

Best Manicure/Pedicure
Embellish Nails & Boutique

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, www.embellishnails.com

Embellish Nails & Boutique, 3663 Bee Caves Rd. #3, 512/328-9898, www.embellishnails.com/

Best Movers
Unicorn Moving & Storage

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, 512/339-9922, www.unicornmoving.com

Best Pet Services
Mud Puppies

"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, www.mud-puppies.com

Mud Puppies, 2015 E. Riverside Bldg. 9, 512/912-0200, www.mud-puppies.com

Best Printer/Copier
Ginny's

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, 2401 Rio Grande

Ginny's Printing, 8410-B Tuscany Way, 512/454-6874, www.ginnysprinting.com

Best Shoe Repair
Austin Shoe Hospital

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.

Austin Shoe Hospital, 720 Congress, 512/477-5078, www.austinshoehospital.com

Austin Shoe Hospital, 3106 Windsor, 512/477-6515, www.austinshoehospital.com

Austin Shoe Hospital, 3300 Bee Caves Rd., 512/329-8104, www.austinshoehospital.com

8 more locations

Best Spa
Viva Day 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, 512/472-2256, www.vivadayspa.com

Viva Day Spa, 1811 W. 35th, 512/300-2256, www.vivadayspa.com

Best Tailor
Ace Custom Tailors

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.

Ace Custom Tailors, 2707 Walsh Tarlton, 512/329-0523, www.acetailors.com

Ace Custom Tailors, 724-A N. Lamar, 512/478-9965, www.acetailors.com

Ace Custom Tailors, 3720 Far West #106, 512/345-7688, www.acetailors.com

Ace Custom Tailors, 700-A S. Lamar, 512/732-2231, www.acetailors.com

Best Tattoo Shop
Triple Crown Tattoo

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, 512/524-1447, www.triplecrowntattoo.com

Best Veterinarian
Austin Veterinary Diagnostic Hospital

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., 512/288-1040, www.austinvet.net

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