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Best of Memphis 2011: Goods + Services


The Avenue Carriage Crossing
1st place: "Best Shopping Mall"

Best Shopping Mall
1. The Avenue Carriage Crossing
2. Wolfchase Galleria
3. Oak Court Mall

Technically, it's not a mall since it's not enclosed, but that doesn't matter to our readers, who enjoy the pleasant, wide-open atmosphere at The Avenue Carriage Crossing — and the selection of more than 70 shops and restaurants — as much as we do.

Best Grocery Store
1. Kroger
2. Fresh Market
3. Whole Foods Market

Kroger actually won this poll long before the Schnucks buyout hit the news, but we doubt it would have changed anything. Step into any one of the newly revamped Krogers, and you realize that "grocery store" can't possibly do them justice. These are food emporiums, with an astonishing array of anything you could possibly want to eat or drink.

Best Liquor Store
1. Buster's Liquors
2. Joe's Wines & Liquors
3. Kirby Liquors

We know friends who don't even drink, but if they wander into Buster's with us, they can spend a half-hour there (and more), mesmerized by the immense selection.

Best Department Store
1. Macy's
2. Target
3. Dillard's

We've had a soft spot in our heart for Macy's ever since we first watched Miracle on 34th Street. It seemed like a mighty fine store then, and it's certainly a mighty fine store now, with a delightful selection of merchandise and enough locations so that finding a store isn't a bother. If only we had a 34th Street here, the picture would be complete.

Best Gift Shop
1. Babcock Gifts
2. Maggie's Pharm
3. More Than Words

Babcock Gifts offers stationery, bath and body products, baby and wedding gifts, work from local artists and potters, and a whole lot more. Looking for a gift for any occasion? If you can't find something super-special here, then we can't help you.

Best Farmers Market
1. Memphis Farmers Market
2. Agricenter Farmers Market
3. Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market

Not long ago, if you wanted absolutely fresh fruits and vegetables, you grew them yourself. Not any more. The locavore movement has spawned a new way of thinking about what — and how — we eat. Every Saturday from April to October, Memphians flock to Central Station, where more than 60 vendors at the Memphis Farmers Market offer fruits, veggies, flowers, soap, and crafts. Comfort food has been given a whole new meaning.

Best Bookstore (New)
1. The Booksellers at Laurelwood
2. Barnes & Noble Booksellers
3. Burke's Book Store

We were given quite a scare last spring when it looked like our favorite bookstore in East Memphis was closing. Sure, Davis-Kidd Booksellers is no more, but the Booksellers at Laurelwood has the same aura, and, boy, are we relieved.

Best Bookstore (Used)
BOM 1. Burke's Book Store
2. Tiger Bookstore
3. Book Traders

Corey and Cheryl Mesler do an amazing job maintaining Burke's presence in our community. Burke's is a book-lover's bookstore that's a bright point within the Cooper-Young district and beyond.

Best Bank
1. First Tennessee Bank
2. Regions
3. Bank of America

With so many easily accessible locations and ATMs around our fair town, it's plain to see why the Mid-South's best choice for personal and business banking is rooted in Tennessee.

Best Women's Clothing Store
1. Crazy Beautiful
2. Indigo
3. Oak Hall

This will make the fifth year in a row that this trendy boutique has taken the coveted Best Women's Clothing Store prize. Proprietors Erika and Wendi take good care of their ladies with funky, hip, party pieces you can't find anywhere else.

Best Women's Shoe Store
1. Joseph
2. Cook & Love
3. Peria

Women love shoes — it's just a fact of modern life. Joseph's list of high-end name brands like Valentino, Prada, Miu Miu, Manolo Blahnik, Pedro García, Jimmy Choo, and Gucci make the boutique an absolute favorite for the "well-heeled" fashionista.

Best Men's Clothing Store
1. Oak Hall
2. James Davis
3. Lansky's

Best Men's Shoe Store
1. Oak Hall
2. James Davis
3. Baer's Den

One of the oldest family-owned stores in the nation since opening downtown in 1859, Oak Hall has a long and esteemed history of outfitting Memphis' sharp-dressed men from head to toe.

Best Vintage/Secondhand Clothing
1. Flashback
2. Goodwill
3. Salvation Army

Best Antiques Store
1. Flashback
2. Toad Hall
3. Palladio

When you have the cash, there's no better place in town than Flashback to browse unearthed cultural artifacts. Since 1985, Flashback has offered classy, vintage goods, from clothing and accessories to well-kept and beautifully restored furniture and retro appliances.

Best Home Furnishings
1. Ashley Furniture HomeStore
2. Pottery Barn
3. Stash

Ashley, the top-selling brand in North America for furniture and accessories made to turn a house into a home, is also a Memphis favorite, thanks to their reliable service and quality selection of sets and pieces.

Best Pet Store
1. Hollywood Feed
2. Petco
3. PetSmart

Hollywood Feed's extremely personable, knowledgeable staff has been growing since the '50s, when the zoo, pound, and police force were house accounts at the original site on Hollywood Street. The focus turned to pets in the '80s, and the homegrown business has blossomed into 10 stores.

Best Day Spa
BOM 1. Gould's
2. Germantown Day Spa
3. Serenity Day Spa

Best Hair Salon
1. Gould's
2. Dabbles
3. Capelli — tie — Hi Gorgeous

Best Place To Get a Facial
1. Gould's
2. Germantown Day Spa
3. Mona Spa & Laser Center — tie — Serenity Day Spa

Best Place To Get a Manicure/Pedicure
1. Gould's
2. Nail Bar on the Island
3. Rose's Nails

Best Place To Get Waxed
1. Gould's
2. Hi Gorgeous
3. Serenity Day Spa

Ask any Memphian what's the best place for salon services, and they'll resoundingly say Gould's. Once again, the family-owned operation, in business since 1932, swept our five beauty categories. It's the go-to place for trustworthy indulgence.

Best Yoga Studio
1. Midtown Yoga
2. Better Bodies Yoga
3. Bikram

The folks at Midtown Yoga ask only that you come with an open mind — and a mostly empty stomach. It wouldn't be good form to lose your lunch as you stretch toward the great Om.

Best Health/Fitness Club
1. French Riviera
2. YMCA Fogelman (Downtown)
3. Germantown Athletic Club

With locations all around the city, French Riviera has everything for the fitness buff: personal trainers to guide you to your goals, kickboxing and spin classes to get the heart racing, and TVs to ease the tedium of the cardio-machine workout.

Best Fine Jewelry Store
1. Mednikow
2. Las Savell
3. Jack Yacoubian

They say diamonds are a girl's best friend, but that's not all you'll find at Mednikow. The store bills itself as a provider of all the "tools and resources you'll need to customize love, commitment, and creativity." Get ready to be dizzied and dazzled by the sheer variety.

Best Tattoo Parlor
1. No Regrets Tattoo Emporium
2. Underground Art
3. Trilogy

From the classic skull-and-crossbones to the extra-elaborate full-back tattoo — if it's ink you want, the artists at No Regrets have you covered. They do body piercings as well.

Best Smoke Shop
1. Tobacco Corner
2. Madison Avenue Tobacco
3. Oasis Hookah Lounge

For more than 40 years, Tobacco Corner has basked in its status as the Mid-South's premier smoke shop. As such, it's attracted a regular bevy of cronies and their cronies, who like to gossip or boast at the Round Table. King Arthur's got nothing on this place.

Best Alternative Smoke Shop
1. Wizard's
2. Whatever
3. Young Avenue Glassworks

Smokers have quite a selection of pipes, rolling machines, ashtrays, and more to choose from at Wizard's. And those looking for unique gifts will most definitely find them here.

Best Dry Cleaner
1. Bensinger's Fine Cleaners
2. Dryve Cleaners
3. Happy Day Cleaners

With 10 locations citywide, Bensinger's Fine Cleaners knows something about service with a smile. Free home pickup and delivery is one of the many reasons Flyer readers rated them best dry cleaner in town.

Best Florist
1. Pugh's
2. Holliday Flowers
3. Garden District

In the market for some make-up roses? If so, this place is a great way to get out of the doghouse, guys. For less than it takes to buy a new shirt, you can be back in her good graces.

Best Garden Center
1. Dan West Garden Center
2. Midtown Nursery
3. Stringer's

Says online commenter: "I like to think that I have a bit of a green thumb, but these people know what they're talking about. When I need some ornamental shrubbery, seed, or anything for my garden, I usually hit up Dan West." 'Nuf said.

Best Athletic-Goods Store
1. Outdoors Inc.
2. Breakaway Running
3. Fleet Feet

From foot gloves to kayaks, bike gear to hiking equipment, you're likely to find what you're after at Outdoors Inc. In business since 1974, the store started as an outgrowth of the interests of paddling enthusiasts Joe Royer and Lawrence Migliara.

Best Bicycle Shop
1. Peddler (Highland)
2. Midtown Bicycle
3. Outdoors Inc.

Dan Lamontagne started the Peddler in 1971 after graduating from Christian Brothers College. The business grew and eventually branched into two locations, the store on Highland and one in Germantown.

Best Record Store (New)
1. Spin Street
2. Goner Records
3. Best Buy

Best Record Store (Used)
1. Spin Street
2. Shangri-La Records
3. Goner Records

Local big-box store Spin Street wins for Best Record Store, new and used. It's also a great place to buy movies, pop-culture items, clothing, and lots more. Director Craig Brewer even recently held a first-come, first-served ticket giveaway to an early screening of his film Footloose at Spin Street.

Best Music-Equipment Store
1. Amro Music Stores
2. Memphis Drum Shop
3. Guitar Center

For 90 years, Amro has been outfitting musicians and school bands with instruments and sheet music. From rentals to repairs and harps to harmonicas, Amro is the Flyer readers' choice when they want to make sweet music.

Best New Car Dealer
1. Wolfchase Honda
2. Dobbs Honda
3. Gossett

Offering some of the most popular vehicles on the road, including the Fit, Civic, Accord, and CR-V, Wolfchase Honda just has that new car smell for Best of Memphis readers.

Best Used Car Dealer
1. Carmax
2. City Auto
3. Gossett

We suspect Carmax gets the readers' nod in the Best Used Car Dealer category not just for the car-buying experience but also for the car-selling one: placing an emphasis on ease and efficiency of the process.

Best Place To Buy A Motorcycle
BOM 1. Bumpus Harley-Davidson
2. Honda-Yamaha of Memphis
3. Southern Thunder — tie — DeSoto Honda

Years ago, visiting a bike shop was hardly a family experience, but stop by Bumpus and you'll see that times have changed. Even if you don't walk (or ride) out with a Sportster, it's hard to resist the displays of Harley-branded merchandise, which include everything from children's clothing to dog collars, gift cards, and bumper-pool tables.

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