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Best of Atlanta 2013 Consumer Culture

 

Best Of Atlanta 2013 Consumer Culture (large)


Consumer Culture

Shallow though it may seem, in this westernized world we inhabit, where personal style is intrinsic to individuality, we're destined to shop till the casket drops.

The clothes we wear, the cravings to which we succumb, how we cultivate our minds and bodies, they're all telling details. Funny how the things we publicly consume tend to reveal more about us than the secrets we privately conceal. But there's no shame in that. In fact, it's all worthy of honor.

It's in that spirit that we spent time indulging ourselves in preparation for this year's Best of Atlanta. What we found were peculiar pockets of culture that go a long way in defining this city in the here and hitherto.

We stumbled upon some cool contradictions along the way, be it an out-of-print copy of a 20th-century classic from Atlanta Vintage Books in the midst of a thriving digital age or an innovative line of extreme sex toys at the tasteful and sophisticated Liberator sex shop. We honed in on the fashionable extremes, too, from modern prep chic on the Westside to the urban swag in Atlanta's up-to-the-minute streetwear boutiques. And to round it all out, we inducted four timeless selections into our inaugural Trophy Case of classic Atlanta picks.

So find yourself a spa - we suggested a few of those, too - kick back and take it all in. Maybe we'll see you there.

— Rodney Carmichael

Best doggie day care

Bark ATL Bark ATL
We try not to get our feelings hurt when we drop off "Luke" and "Lola" at Bark ATL on our way Downtown. As soon as we pull into the driveway, they do everything but shout "See ya!" as they leap toward the friendly attendants waiting at the back gate, completely forgetting to give us our goodbye kiss.more...
We try not to get our feelings hurt when we drop off "Luke" and "Lola" at Bark ATL on our way Downtown. As soon as we pull into the driveway, they do everything but shout "See ya!" as they leap toward the friendly attendants waiting at the back gate, completely forgetting to give us our goodbye kiss. Missing those pups, we can't help but sneak online a few hundred times a day to peek in on their activities, all captured on Bark ATL's Bark Cams, or check the Bark ATL Facebook page or Twitter feed for status updates and photos. Sunny out? They're no doubt splashing near the pool or sunning on the patio. Midday thunderstorms? They're likely snuggled indoors napping on their favorite blue cots. Time to play? There are plastic castles and bridges to explore, new friends to roughhouse, and tails to catch. Whenever we check in, things always appear tidy and under control, just the way we like it. For extras, we indulge in nail trims and holiday photo sessions, because nothing says Christmas like your dog sitting on a white cotton cloud wearing a red Santa hat or fuzzy brown antlers. less...

Best fashion designer to watch

Afriyie Poku
In Afriyie Poku's native homeland of Ghana, the word oberima is like saying "gentleman" or "you're the man." So it's fitting that Poku would name his new luxury collection Oberima Afriyie, considering the young designer's mission to redefine the modern gent. Though the look book is still under developmentmore...
In Afriyie Poku's native homeland of Ghana, the word oberima is like saying "gentleman" or "you're the man." So it's fitting that Poku would name his new luxury collection Oberima Afriyie, considering the young designer's mission to redefine the modern gent. Though the look book is still under development for a 2014 debut, his menswear designs have already earned top honors at Peroni Style Atlanta's 2012 show and Charleston, S.C.'s 2013 Fashion Week. His personal style skirts a fine line between effeminacy and masculinity, which carries over into his designs. Bearing a strong 19th-century influence, his line features such fancifully constructed items as high-waisted riding pants and double-breasted morning coats. But he keeps it edgy and contemporary with additions like shendyt pants, derived from Egyptian waist wraps. It's a progressive look for 21st century menswear, but surely you can pull it off if you're the man. www.facebook.com/afriyiepoku. less...

Best mart for cultural immersion

Super H Mart
Doraville's Super H Mart is part of a nationwide chain that originated in Korea and specializes in Asian foods. Of the four Georgia stores, the Doraville location is open 365 days a year, but the best time to visit is on the weekend for free food demos. There are entire aisles dedicated to soy saucemore...
Doraville's Super H Mart is part of a nationwide chain that originated in Korea and specializes in Asian foods. Of the four Georgia stores, the Doraville location is open 365 days a year, but the best time to visit is on the weekend for free food demos. There are entire aisles dedicated to soy sauce (more than 70 brands and varieties), sake (60 chilled, 26 non-chilled), Japanese and Korean snacks, teas, and seaweed. The rice section is practically a United Nations assembly, with dozens of different types originating from India, Japan, Thailand, Korea, and Jamaica. Even pressurized rice cookers run the gamut, from $29 to $500. Raw marinated Korean barbecue (otherwise known as bulgogi) is available to cook at home, along with sashimi for sushi and many types of the popular Korean condiment kimchi. In addition to Asian foods, Super H Mart also has fruits and vegetables from around the world. And don't forget to hit the food court on your way out to enjoy some great Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, or Chinese food, and sweets from the Korean bakery. It's cultural immersion without the expensive plane ticket. less...

Best place to wax-on wax-off

Remember that scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin when Andy's bootleg full-body waxing left him a bloody pulp of a mess? Not to worry at Wax. Owner Myka Barbato started the full-service studio as an alternative to places where waxing was either a total afterthought or too timely and costly. Formerly locatedmore...
Remember that scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin when Andy's bootleg full-body waxing left him a bloody pulp of a mess? Not to worry at Wax. Owner Myka Barbato started the full-service studio as an alternative to places where waxing was either a total afterthought or too timely and costly. Formerly located in Inman Park, Wax moved this year to Old Fourth Ward's Studioplex into a similarly sleek, modern space. Wax still covers hair removal from the rooter to the tooter, including the Brazilian ($55) for women and the Manzilian ($75) for men. The best part is the commitment to healthy, hygienic services, which means no double-dipping or re-using wax and no environmentally toxic products. That's good news for wax virgins and old pros, alike. less...

Best reinvention of a beloved neighborhood outpost

Young Blood Boutique Young Blood Boutique
When Young Blood Boutique owners Kelly Teasley and Maggie White announced last winter that they were putting their longtime Poncey-Highland art shop up for sale, Atlantans let out a collective, "NOOOOOOOOO!" For 15 years, Young Blood had supported local artists with a shop and gallery space and nurturedmore...
When Young Blood Boutique owners Kelly Teasley and Maggie White announced last winter that they were putting their longtime Poncey-Highland art shop up for sale, Atlantans let out a collective, "NOOOOOOOOO!" For 15 years, Young Blood had supported local artists with a shop and gallery space and nurtured a fresh generation of talent. But before you could say "Regretsy," local ladies Rebecca Hanna, Jessie White, and Erica Jamison stepped up to purchase the business and continue its DIY mission. (White and Teasley retain ownership of the gallery portion in name.) The new owners cleared out the store, gave it a modern face-lift with crisp white paint and dark wood accents, and streamlined the inventory. Where T-shirts and onesies once resided now hang suspended wood racks of prints by Methane Studios and Brainstorm. Local vendors Vouched Books and Dust-to-Digital records both have racks of curated goodies. Practically the entire left wall is adorned with jewelry by Erica Weiner, Sanctuary, Seaworthy, Crafts and Love, and more. There are sumptuous Neva Opet bags, rustic handmade frames by the Atlanta-based Blackrabbet, and yes, there's still gallery space. Jamison moved her MINT Gallery into the back of the building for regular exhibits. It's never fun to say goodbye to an old friend. Thankfully, Young Blood's spirit lives on in this fresh reinvention. less...

Best soul soothing music store

Moods Music Moods Music
Atlanta's internationally recognized soul scene wouldn't have a brick-and-mortar hub without Moods Music in Little Five Points. Owner Darryl Harris celebrates 13 years in business this month, which is practically a lifetime in independent-record-store years. From vintage to nu soul, Moods Music is allmore...
Atlanta's internationally recognized soul scene wouldn't have a brick-and-mortar hub without Moods Music in Little Five Points. Owner Darryl Harris celebrates 13 years in business this month, which is practically a lifetime in independent-record-store years. From vintage to nu soul, Moods Music is all about supporting the genre in all its glorious forms. Moods is also known for its special events, whether it's hosting in-store appearances for out-of-town artists such as Australia's Hiatus Kaiyote before a recently scheduled concert or throwing a listening party and meet-and-greet for Atlanta-based favorites like Anthony David. Besides carrying an extensive collection of CDs from hyperlocal to global acts, Moods has expanded its product line to include live performances and classic black films on DVD, a line of Moods Music T-shirts, and complimentary teas for regulars. And the couches provide a perfect place to lounge while vibing to the sounds. With nurturing like that, it's no wonder why the city's soul community continues to flourish. less...

Best use for a recycled skateboard

Deck Specks
If you need proof that Atlanta is a bona fide skate town, look no further than Deck Specks. The independent company makes handcrafted sunglasses (about $95/pair) out of used skateboard decks - hence the name. Started by co-owner Luke Bullard, Deck Specks is a bare-bones six-man operation run by realmore...
If you need proof that Atlanta is a bona fide skate town, look no further than Deck Specks. The independent company makes handcrafted sunglasses (about $95/pair) out of used skateboard decks - hence the name. Started by co-owner Luke Bullard, Deck Specks is a bare-bones six-man operation run by real skaters. They take used skateboards, donated by Atlanta skaters and such shops as Little Five Points' Stratosphere, and individually de-grip each board before cutting out the frames, planing, and sanding each pair down. The wood-grain finishes retain the skateboards graphics and stains. And though multiple glasses are cut from each board, every pair is unique. So in addition to authenticity points, wearers can take pride in knowing that there won't be any shady replicas within eyeshot. www.deckspecks.com. less...

Best gas station to fuel your face

Buddy's Buddy's
At nearly 50 years old, Buddy's has proven itself a neighborhood institution and a fitting rest stop for the weary. Besides being the launching point for Atlanta-favorite King of Pops, its contemporary claim-to-fame can be found in the recently added cooler of Frozen Pints, the local ice cream startupmore...
At nearly 50 years old, Buddy's has proven itself a neighborhood institution and a fitting rest stop for the weary. Besides being the launching point for Atlanta-favorite King of Pops, its contemporary claim-to-fame can be found in the recently added cooler of Frozen Pints, the local ice cream startup made with craft beer. Speaking of which, the pit stop's craft beer selection includes brews from 21st Amendment, Left Hand Brewing Co., Abita, SweetWater, and Red Hare. Buddy's is as serious about its alcohol selection as it is about octane. The wine supply features affordable mainstay Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais all the way up to fancy Veuve Clicquot. less...

Best bookstore to reignite your passion for the printed word

Atlanta Vintage Books Atlanta Vintage Books
The printed word might seem like a dead art in the 21st century, but that's what makes Atlanta Vintage Books' niche so sweet. Husband-and-wife team Bob Roarty and Jan Bolgla purchased the bookstore seven years ago as a passion project to take them well into retirement. Featuring approximately 70,000more...
The printed word might seem like a dead art in the 21st century, but that's what makes Atlanta Vintage Books' niche so sweet. Husband-and-wife team Bob Roarty and Jan Bolgla purchased the bookstore seven years ago as a passion project to take them well into retirement. Featuring approximately 70,000 books in 7,000 square feet of space, the store has broadened its customer base by specializing in hard-to-find and out-of-print editions of nonfiction and more than 3,000 books on horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. Other treasured finds include a first-edition copy of Gone With the Wind for $7,000, LIFE and National Geographic magazines dating back to 1936 and 1926, respectively, and an old tome printed on rag paper from the year 1632 on "The Historie of Great Britain." In the kind of lived-in space meant to while away a weekend afternoon - complete with five house cats - the store hosts literary salons on the third Saturday of every month for local author discussions and writer workshops. Local television productions such as "The Vampire Diaries" and "Devious Maids" have rented books here to complete their on-screen sets. The books, however, are the real stars. less...

Best boutique for bold fashion statements

Ginza Boutique Ginza Boutique
Before Trinidad Jame$ became a household name for popping mollies and sweating, he was popping tags in Ginza Boutique. The Atlanta rapper worked at the five-year-old Underground Atlanta boutique for three years. It still bears the imprint of his incomparable fashion sense: allover print tees from Crooksmore...
Before Trinidad Jame$ became a household name for popping mollies and sweating, he was popping tags in Ginza Boutique. The Atlanta rapper worked at the five-year-old Underground Atlanta boutique for three years. It still bears the imprint of his incomparable fashion sense: allover print tees from Crooks & Castles, chunky-lettered snapbacks from Paislee Ltd., and designer backpacks from Sprayground and Herschel Supply. At Ginza, it's all bold everything. less...

Best car wash for the VIP treatment

Auto Spa Bistro Auto Spa Bistro
It's almost hard to believe this city survived for so long without Auto Spa Bistro, a car wash and auto detailer that comes complete with a full bar, VIP area, and breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. On summer weekends, the modest lot transforms into a virtual auto show as Bentleys, Lambos, and Escaladesmore...
It's almost hard to believe this city survived for so long without Auto Spa Bistro, a car wash and auto detailer that comes complete with a full bar, VIP area, and breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. On summer weekends, the modest lot transforms into a virtual auto show as Bentleys, Lambos, and Escalades pull in for servicing. But the real scene happens inside, where flat screens encircle a VIP area complete with plush sofas and mirrored walls. The bistro, which regularly hosts parties and happy hour events, made for the perfect setup during a taping of "Love and Hip Hop Atlanta" last season - minus the drama, of course. If you don't have a high-end luxury mobile, don't worry; exterior hand washes only run $15. Just make sure you bring enough money to hose down your throat while you wait. 348 14th St. 678-974-8187. www.autospabistro.com. less...

Best luxury urban apparel

Moda404
For eight years, Moda404 has traded in luxe urban menswear with an exclusive inventory of street chic and international brands such as Blood Sweat & Tears, S.C.U.M. (Society Can't Understand Me), and +Fresh.i.Am+. Located in the Buckhead Village, Moda404 attracts a high-end customer base, including anmore...
For eight years, Moda404 has traded in luxe urban menswear with an exclusive inventory of street chic and international brands such as Blood Sweat & Tears, S.C.U.M. (Society Can't Understand Me), and +Fresh.i.Am+. Located in the Buckhead Village, Moda404 attracts a high-end customer base, including an endless list of entertainment industry stylists and celebrity clients such as Future, Rocko, and Lil Scrappy. With owner Kwassi Byll-Cataria's well-earned reputation as an Atlanta fashion icon, shopping at Moda404 is like getting the goods straight from the clotheshorse himself. less...

Best neighborhood shopping district

Westside
Let's face it, when it comes to shopping, Buckhead's a little too bougie and Little Five Points can get a little too trendy. But the Westside strikes just the right balance between the two. There's Sid Mashburn's classic haberdashery, the Southern dandy stylings of CFDA Award - winning designer Billymore...
Let's face it, when it comes to shopping, Buckhead's a little too bougie and Little Five Points can get a little too trendy. But the Westside strikes just the right balance between the two. There's Sid Mashburn's classic haberdashery, the Southern dandy stylings of CFDA Award - winning designer Billy Reid, the handcrafted quality at newly opened men's lifestyle store Tweeds near Octane Coffee, as well as popular women's boutiques such as the vintage-inspired Anthropologie and Free People. Westside Provisions District has an abundance of home decor shops with a modern bent, including Room & Board, Environment, Jonathan Adler, and more. And newcomer Atlanta MADE specializes in home accessories, jewelry and the like designed and crafted by Atlanta artisans. www.westsidepd.com. less...

Best tattoo studio to spark a cultural renaissance

City of Ink
Art isn't just skin deep at Castleberry Hill's City of Ink. The six-year-old tattoo and art gallery remains a hub for the city's urban arts, culture, and indie hip-hop scenes. With a staff that consists of such well-known influencers as Greedmont Park co-founder and one-half of local rap duo Mach 5,more...
Art isn't just skin deep at Castleberry Hill's City of Ink. The six-year-old tattoo and art gallery remains a hub for the city's urban arts, culture, and indie hip-hop scenes. With a staff that consists of such well-known influencers as Greedmont Park co-founder and one-half of local rap duo Mach 5, Corey Davis; locally celebrated acrylic painter Paper Frank; and 2013 "Best Ink" reality-show alum Melvin Todd; the shop is one of Atlanta's most high profile. The artists on staff take their custom-designed work seriously and have nurtured a cultured customer base as a result. People travel from across the country, and sometimes internationally, to get tatted up. It's all part of the vision put into play by co-founder Miya Bailey, who last year independently released his film Color Outside the Lines, about the 20-year legacy of black tattoo artists. Judging from the look of things, the next two decades should have City of Ink's imprint all over them. less...

Best boutique liquor store

H&F Bottle Shop H&F Bottle Shop
Simply put, a liquor store is a store that sells liquor. But if you're a passionate lover of spirit culture or even remotely interested in cultivating your inner, dare we say, mixologist, H&F Bottle Shop is the place to go. The cocktail masterminds behind the acclaimed Holeman & Finch Public Housemore...
Simply put, a liquor store is a store that sells liquor. But if you're a passionate lover of spirit culture or even remotely interested in cultivating your inner, dare we say, mixologist, H&F Bottle Shop is the place to go. The cocktail masterminds behind the acclaimed Holeman & Finch Public House chose a spot just one-quarter mile north on Peachtree Road, in the heart of Buckhead's Peachtree-Battle Shopping Center, to house their boozy boutique emporium. The shop's inventory is divided between fine wines, mostly small batch, esoteric spirits, a modest selection of craft beer, mixers, and an impressive collection of herbal liqueurs and cordials. But what sets the Bottle Shop apart is how every aspect of the place is designed to leave people informed and equipped to make awesome drinks at home. Spirits and bitters are conveniently arranged around recipe cards - the shop actually has a fully functional card catalog filled with cocktail recipes indexed by base spirit. An oversized dinner table is covered with assorted bartender paraphernalia: jiggers, shakers, swizzled bar spoons. If you're new and confounded by any of it, the Bottle Shop's helpful staff is happy to lead you in the right direction. less...

Best hotel spa for locals

Exhale Mindbody Spa
Hotel spas aren't just for business travelers anymore. Located within Midtown's luxurious Loews Hotel, Exhale Mindbody Spa offers city dwellers a temporary reprieve from the daily grind. Midtown residents get $10 off membership and service options, which range from yoga and core fusion studios to cycling,more...
Hotel spas aren't just for business travelers anymore. Located within Midtown's luxurious Loews Hotel, Exhale Mindbody Spa offers city dwellers a temporary reprieve from the daily grind. Midtown residents get $10 off membership and service options, which range from yoga and core fusion studios to cycling, cardio, and boot camp classes. This is a place to splurge on yourself. The gym is massive without the massive wait for workout equipment. And the spa services are mind-altering. The hammam therapy room features heated stone surfaces for full-body detoxing. Other services include eight different facial and body peels, 18 types of massages and acupuncture, body and brow waxing, manis and pedis. The treadmill view is the best: As people scurry like ants through the streets below, you'll feel like you're floating above the stress - if only for the moment. less...

Best local-startup incubator

Atlast Clothing
Since Atlast Clothing opened a brick-and-mortar shop eight months ago in East Atlanta Village, the two-year-old T-shirt brand has become an incubator for other small Atlanta-based labels it carries on consignment, including Lyfted, Leighterz, and Life Junkie. Though the space is shoebox small, Atlastmore...
Since Atlast Clothing opened a brick-and-mortar shop eight months ago in East Atlanta Village, the two-year-old T-shirt brand has become an incubator for other small Atlanta-based labels it carries on consignment, including Lyfted, Leighterz, and Life Junkie. Though the space is shoebox small, Atlast extends its community reach by hosting recurring pop-up shops for local DIY fashion brands, mixtape releases for local indie artists, and customer appreciation barbecues. And its own line of affordable tees and tanks swell with "I heart ATL" pride. less...

Best adult store to stoke your sexual healing

Liberator Liberator
While tempting in theory, most adult stores tend to traffic in pure tackiness. If discount bins of dildos and used porno flicks don't turn you on, you might want to try Liberator. Located in an industrial park just outside I-285, the five-year-old store is actually the showroom attached to Liberator'smore...
While tempting in theory, most adult stores tend to traffic in pure tackiness. If discount bins of dildos and used porno flicks don't turn you on, you might want to try Liberator. Located in an industrial park just outside I-285, the five-year-old store is actually the showroom attached to Liberator's 140,000 square feet of space from which the decade-old company manufactures and ships bedroom adventure gear to online customers and 1,000 adult retailers across the nation. Its high-end exhibition of erotic arts includes top-of-the-line LELO brand vibrators, hand-blown glass dildos, and butt plugs with detachable faux fox-fur tails. Furniture-grade foam wedges, like the Hipster, offer lumbar support for her and deeper penetration for him. With bright lighting, beds for fully clothed demonstrations, and a personal shopper on hand, it's easy to see why they call Liberator the Apple of sex stores. It's the kind of place where couples can come together - hint, hint - and increase their sexual wellness without feeling pressured to perform like a porn star. less...

Best boot camp

FitWit
A cold beer with friends after a long day of work is a fine thing, and certainly a more tempting way to unwind than a three-mile run and a few sets of jump lunges. Unless you're a member of FitWit, that is. Launched in Atlanta in 2006 by a pair of former teachers/coaches as an after-school fitness andmore...
A cold beer with friends after a long day of work is a fine thing, and certainly a more tempting way to unwind than a three-mile run and a few sets of jump lunges. Unless you're a member of FitWit, that is. Launched in Atlanta in 2006 by a pair of former teachers/coaches as an after-school fitness and tutoring program for local youth (get it - FitWit), the boot camp quickly caught on with adults because it turned out to be so damn fun. Ask any FitWitter why she keeps saying no to a frosty pint and yes to a harrowing kettlebell workout and the answer will undoubtedly be "the people." FitWit combines group exercise with individualized workouts by professional trainers so that campers can work toward personal goals with a support system, but without the pressure of unreasonable competition. Camps in Decatur, Grant Park, North Druid Hills, and Midtown make finding the time to exercise easy with multiple morning and evening sessions. A portion of each month's profits benefit the FitWit Foundation, a nonprofit sister organization that continues the program's original mission of youth health education. After all the calories burned with FitWit, we can drink to that, can't we? www.fitwit.com. less...

Best shop for meaty treats

The Spotted Trotter

Best sneaker collector's hot spot

Fly Kix
When you walk into a sneaker boutique and see a wall full of shrink-wrapped vintage Air Jordans and rare releases on the wall, you have arrived. Fly Kix in Castleberry Hill is the crack spot for sneaker fiends and collectors of hard-to-find originals. Looking for the Air Jordan 1s in black and red? Gotmore...
When you walk into a sneaker boutique and see a wall full of shrink-wrapped vintage Air Jordans and rare releases on the wall, you have arrived. Fly Kix in Castleberry Hill is the crack spot for sneaker fiends and collectors of hard-to-find originals. Looking for the Air Jordan 1s in black and red? Got 'em. How about the Fila Original Fitness in a rainbow of colors? Check. But its stash isn't limited to throwbacks, with an ample supply of current styles from Gourmet, New Balance, Puma, Adidas, HUF, and even Tretorn boots. Its denim, snapback, and printed T-shirt game is no sleeper, either. Plus, its in-store events, featuring the likes of national touring acts from Wale to Kendrick Lamar, serve as dope reminders that this is the place to be. less...

Best town car-style service on a taxicab budget

Uber
Ever try hailing a cab in Atlanta? You're bound to have better luck in hell. Which is why Uber's innovative car service is challenging old-school yellow cabs across the country. With such new-millennium advances as mobile technology - imagine that - transportation has taken a welcome step into themore...
Ever try hailing a cab in Atlanta? You're bound to have better luck in hell. Which is why Uber's innovative car service is challenging old-school yellow cabs across the country. With such new-millennium advances as mobile technology - imagine that - transportation has taken a welcome step into the present. Smartphone apps and text messaging make it easy to reserve rides with waits no longer than five to 10 minutes. And uber keeps customer credit card info on file so there's no need to fumble with paying or tipping drivers when you reach your destination. The low-cost Uber runs compact cars on rates comparable to taxicabs ($2.50 per mile or 75 cents per minute), while uberBLACK and uberSUV chauffeur you in upgraded style. www.uber.com. less...

Best bikini wax

Brazilian Wax by Andreia Brazilian Wax by Andreia
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best florist

Candler Park Flower Market

Best gym

LA Fitness LA Fitness
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best independent bookstore

Charis Books and More

Best jewelry

Worthmore Jewelers

Best laundromat

Midtown Cleaners & Laundry Midtown Cleaners & Laundry

Best shopping district

Little Five Points

Best wine shop

Perrine's Wine Shop Perrine's Wine Shop

Best barbershop

Roosters Men's Grooming Center

Best adult toy store

Inserection Inserection
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best art market

Young Blood Gallery & Boutique Young Blood Gallery

Best CDs

Criminal Records Criminal Records

Best chiropractic

Bob Dalton at Highlands Chiropractic Clinic Highlands Chiropractic

Best cooking classes

The Cook's Warehouse
And multiple metro Atlanta locations

Best doggy day care

Wag-A-Lot Wag-A-Lot
And multiple metro Atlanta locations

Best spa

Natural Body Spa
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best toy store

Richard's Variety Store Richards Variety Store

Best caterer

Bold American Catering AND Sun in My Belly

Best consignment store

Finders Keepers Finders Keepers Fashions
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best craft beer store

Ale Yeah!
And multiple metro Atlanta locations

Best lingerie

Victoria's Secret Victoria's Secret
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best musical instruments

Earthshaking Music

Best pet store

PetSmart
And multiple metro Atlanta locations

Best sporting goods

Dick's Sporting Goods

Best taxi cab service

Atlanta Checker Cab Company

www.atlantacheckercab.com


Editor's Note: This entry has been updated to reflect the accurate winner.

Best used bookstore

Book Nook Book Nook
And multiple metro Atlanta locations

Best vet clinic

Village Vets
And multiple metro Atlanta locations

Best antique store

Highland Row Antiques AND Kudzu Antiques
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Best bikini wax

Brazilian Wax by Andreia Brazilian Wax by Andreia
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best doggie day care

Bark ATL Bark ATL
We try not to get our feelings hurt when we drop off "Luke" and "Lola" at Bark ATL on our way Downtown. As soon as we pull into the driveway, they do everything but shout "See ya!" as they leap toward the friendly attendants waiting at the back gate, completely forgetting to give us our goodbye kiss.more...
We try not to get our feelings hurt when we drop off "Luke" and "Lola" at Bark ATL on our way Downtown. As soon as we pull into the driveway, they do everything but shout "See ya!" as they leap toward the friendly attendants waiting at the back gate, completely forgetting to give us our goodbye kiss. Missing those pups, we can't help but sneak online a few hundred times a day to peek in on their activities, all captured on Bark ATL's Bark Cams, or check the Bark ATL Facebook page or Twitter feed for status updates and photos. Sunny out? They're no doubt splashing near the pool or sunning on the patio. Midday thunderstorms? They're likely snuggled indoors napping on their favorite blue cots. Time to play? There are plastic castles and bridges to explore, new friends to roughhouse, and tails to catch. Whenever we check in, things always appear tidy and under control, just the way we like it. For extras, we indulge in nail trims and holiday photo sessions, because nothing says Christmas like your dog sitting on a white cotton cloud wearing a red Santa hat or fuzzy brown antlers. less...

Best fashion designer to watch

Afriyie Poku
In Afriyie Poku's native homeland of Ghana, the word oberima is like saying "gentleman" or "you're the man." So it's fitting that Poku would name his new luxury collection Oberima Afriyie, considering the young designer's mission to redefine the modern gent. Though the look book is still under developmentmore...
In Afriyie Poku's native homeland of Ghana, the word oberima is like saying "gentleman" or "you're the man." So it's fitting that Poku would name his new luxury collection Oberima Afriyie, considering the young designer's mission to redefine the modern gent. Though the look book is still under development for a 2014 debut, his menswear designs have already earned top honors at Peroni Style Atlanta's 2012 show and Charleston, S.C.'s 2013 Fashion Week. His personal style skirts a fine line between effeminacy and masculinity, which carries over into his designs. Bearing a strong 19th-century influence, his line features such fancifully constructed items as high-waisted riding pants and double-breasted morning coats. But he keeps it edgy and contemporary with additions like shendyt pants, derived from Egyptian waist wraps. It's a progressive look for 21st century menswear, but surely you can pull it off if you're the man. www.facebook.com/afriyiepoku. less...

Best florist

Candler Park Flower Market

Best gym

LA Fitness LA Fitness
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best independent bookstore

Charis Books and More

Best jewelry

Worthmore Jewelers

Best laundromat

Midtown Cleaners & Laundry Midtown Cleaners & Laundry

Best mart for cultural immersion

Super H Mart
Doraville's Super H Mart is part of a nationwide chain that originated in Korea and specializes in Asian foods. Of the four Georgia stores, the Doraville location is open 365 days a year, but the best time to visit is on the weekend for free food demos. There are entire aisles dedicated to soy saucemore...
Doraville's Super H Mart is part of a nationwide chain that originated in Korea and specializes in Asian foods. Of the four Georgia stores, the Doraville location is open 365 days a year, but the best time to visit is on the weekend for free food demos. There are entire aisles dedicated to soy sauce (more than 70 brands and varieties), sake (60 chilled, 26 non-chilled), Japanese and Korean snacks, teas, and seaweed. The rice section is practically a United Nations assembly, with dozens of different types originating from India, Japan, Thailand, Korea, and Jamaica. Even pressurized rice cookers run the gamut, from $29 to $500. Raw marinated Korean barbecue (otherwise known as bulgogi) is available to cook at home, along with sashimi for sushi and many types of the popular Korean condiment kimchi. In addition to Asian foods, Super H Mart also has fruits and vegetables from around the world. And don't forget to hit the food court on your way out to enjoy some great Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, or Chinese food, and sweets from the Korean bakery. It's cultural immersion without the expensive plane ticket. less...

Best place to wax-on wax-off

Remember that scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin when Andy's bootleg full-body waxing left him a bloody pulp of a mess? Not to worry at Wax. Owner Myka Barbato started the full-service studio as an alternative to places where waxing was either a total afterthought or too timely and costly. Formerly locatedmore...
Remember that scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin when Andy's bootleg full-body waxing left him a bloody pulp of a mess? Not to worry at Wax. Owner Myka Barbato started the full-service studio as an alternative to places where waxing was either a total afterthought or too timely and costly. Formerly located in Inman Park, Wax moved this year to Old Fourth Ward's Studioplex into a similarly sleek, modern space. Wax still covers hair removal from the rooter to the tooter, including the Brazilian ($55) for women and the Manzilian ($75) for men. The best part is the commitment to healthy, hygienic services, which means no double-dipping or re-using wax and no environmentally toxic products. That's good news for wax virgins and old pros, alike. less...

Best reinvention of a beloved neighborhood outpost

Young Blood Boutique Young Blood Boutique
When Young Blood Boutique owners Kelly Teasley and Maggie White announced last winter that they were putting their longtime Poncey-Highland art shop up for sale, Atlantans let out a collective, "NOOOOOOOOO!" For 15 years, Young Blood had supported local artists with a shop and gallery space and nurturedmore...
When Young Blood Boutique owners Kelly Teasley and Maggie White announced last winter that they were putting their longtime Poncey-Highland art shop up for sale, Atlantans let out a collective, "NOOOOOOOOO!" For 15 years, Young Blood had supported local artists with a shop and gallery space and nurtured a fresh generation of talent. But before you could say "Regretsy," local ladies Rebecca Hanna, Jessie White, and Erica Jamison stepped up to purchase the business and continue its DIY mission. (White and Teasley retain ownership of the gallery portion in name.) The new owners cleared out the store, gave it a modern face-lift with crisp white paint and dark wood accents, and streamlined the inventory. Where T-shirts and onesies once resided now hang suspended wood racks of prints by Methane Studios and Brainstorm. Local vendors Vouched Books and Dust-to-Digital records both have racks of curated goodies. Practically the entire left wall is adorned with jewelry by Erica Weiner, Sanctuary, Seaworthy, Crafts and Love, and more. There are sumptuous Neva Opet bags, rustic handmade frames by the Atlanta-based Blackrabbet, and yes, there's still gallery space. Jamison moved her MINT Gallery into the back of the building for regular exhibits. It's never fun to say goodbye to an old friend. Thankfully, Young Blood's spirit lives on in this fresh reinvention. less...

Best shopping district

Little Five Points

Best soul soothing music store

Moods Music Moods Music
Atlanta's internationally recognized soul scene wouldn't have a brick-and-mortar hub without Moods Music in Little Five Points. Owner Darryl Harris celebrates 13 years in business this month, which is practically a lifetime in independent-record-store years. From vintage to nu soul, Moods Music is allmore...
Atlanta's internationally recognized soul scene wouldn't have a brick-and-mortar hub without Moods Music in Little Five Points. Owner Darryl Harris celebrates 13 years in business this month, which is practically a lifetime in independent-record-store years. From vintage to nu soul, Moods Music is all about supporting the genre in all its glorious forms. Moods is also known for its special events, whether it's hosting in-store appearances for out-of-town artists such as Australia's Hiatus Kaiyote before a recently scheduled concert or throwing a listening party and meet-and-greet for Atlanta-based favorites like Anthony David. Besides carrying an extensive collection of CDs from hyperlocal to global acts, Moods has expanded its product line to include live performances and classic black films on DVD, a line of Moods Music T-shirts, and complimentary teas for regulars. And the couches provide a perfect place to lounge while vibing to the sounds. With nurturing like that, it's no wonder why the city's soul community continues to flourish. less...

Best use for a recycled skateboard

Deck Specks
If you need proof that Atlanta is a bona fide skate town, look no further than Deck Specks. The independent company makes handcrafted sunglasses (about $95/pair) out of used skateboard decks - hence the name. Started by co-owner Luke Bullard, Deck Specks is a bare-bones six-man operation run by realmore...
If you need proof that Atlanta is a bona fide skate town, look no further than Deck Specks. The independent company makes handcrafted sunglasses (about $95/pair) out of used skateboard decks - hence the name. Started by co-owner Luke Bullard, Deck Specks is a bare-bones six-man operation run by real skaters. They take used skateboards, donated by Atlanta skaters and such shops as Little Five Points' Stratosphere, and individually de-grip each board before cutting out the frames, planing, and sanding each pair down. The wood-grain finishes retain the skateboards graphics and stains. And though multiple glasses are cut from each board, every pair is unique. So in addition to authenticity points, wearers can take pride in knowing that there won't be any shady replicas within eyeshot. www.deckspecks.com. less...

Best wine shop

Perrine's Wine Shop Perrine's Wine Shop

Best barbershop

Roosters Men's Grooming Center

Best adult toy store

Inserection Inserection
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best art market

Young Blood Gallery & Boutique Young Blood Gallery

Best CDs

Criminal Records Criminal Records

Best chiropractic

Bob Dalton at Highlands Chiropractic Clinic Highlands Chiropractic

Best cooking classes

The Cook's Warehouse
And multiple metro Atlanta locations

Best doggy day care

Wag-A-Lot Wag-A-Lot
And multiple metro Atlanta locations

Best gas station to fuel your face

Buddy's Buddy's
At nearly 50 years old, Buddy's has proven itself a neighborhood institution and a fitting rest stop for the weary. Besides being the launching point for Atlanta-favorite King of Pops, its contemporary claim-to-fame can be found in the recently added cooler of Frozen Pints, the local ice cream startupmore...
At nearly 50 years old, Buddy's has proven itself a neighborhood institution and a fitting rest stop for the weary. Besides being the launching point for Atlanta-favorite King of Pops, its contemporary claim-to-fame can be found in the recently added cooler of Frozen Pints, the local ice cream startup made with craft beer. Speaking of which, the pit stop's craft beer selection includes brews from 21st Amendment, Left Hand Brewing Co., Abita, SweetWater, and Red Hare. Buddy's is as serious about its alcohol selection as it is about octane. The wine supply features affordable mainstay Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais all the way up to fancy Veuve Clicquot. less...

Best spa

Natural Body Spa
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best toy store

Richard's Variety Store Richards Variety Store

Best bookstore to reignite your passion for the printed word

Atlanta Vintage Books Atlanta Vintage Books
The printed word might seem like a dead art in the 21st century, but that's what makes Atlanta Vintage Books' niche so sweet. Husband-and-wife team Bob Roarty and Jan Bolgla purchased the bookstore seven years ago as a passion project to take them well into retirement. Featuring approximately 70,000more...
The printed word might seem like a dead art in the 21st century, but that's what makes Atlanta Vintage Books' niche so sweet. Husband-and-wife team Bob Roarty and Jan Bolgla purchased the bookstore seven years ago as a passion project to take them well into retirement. Featuring approximately 70,000 books in 7,000 square feet of space, the store has broadened its customer base by specializing in hard-to-find and out-of-print editions of nonfiction and more than 3,000 books on horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. Other treasured finds include a first-edition copy of Gone With the Wind for $7,000, LIFE and National Geographic magazines dating back to 1936 and 1926, respectively, and an old tome printed on rag paper from the year 1632 on "The Historie of Great Britain." In the kind of lived-in space meant to while away a weekend afternoon - complete with five house cats - the store hosts literary salons on the third Saturday of every month for local author discussions and writer workshops. Local television productions such as "The Vampire Diaries" and "Devious Maids" have rented books here to complete their on-screen sets. The books, however, are the real stars. less...

Best boutique for bold fashion statements

Ginza Boutique Ginza Boutique
Before Trinidad Jame$ became a household name for popping mollies and sweating, he was popping tags in Ginza Boutique. The Atlanta rapper worked at the five-year-old Underground Atlanta boutique for three years. It still bears the imprint of his incomparable fashion sense: allover print tees from Crooksmore...
Before Trinidad Jame$ became a household name for popping mollies and sweating, he was popping tags in Ginza Boutique. The Atlanta rapper worked at the five-year-old Underground Atlanta boutique for three years. It still bears the imprint of his incomparable fashion sense: allover print tees from Crooks & Castles, chunky-lettered snapbacks from Paislee Ltd., and designer backpacks from Sprayground and Herschel Supply. At Ginza, it's all bold everything. less...

Best car wash for the VIP treatment

Auto Spa Bistro Auto Spa Bistro
It's almost hard to believe this city survived for so long without Auto Spa Bistro, a car wash and auto detailer that comes complete with a full bar, VIP area, and breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. On summer weekends, the modest lot transforms into a virtual auto show as Bentleys, Lambos, and Escaladesmore...
It's almost hard to believe this city survived for so long without Auto Spa Bistro, a car wash and auto detailer that comes complete with a full bar, VIP area, and breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. On summer weekends, the modest lot transforms into a virtual auto show as Bentleys, Lambos, and Escalades pull in for servicing. But the real scene happens inside, where flat screens encircle a VIP area complete with plush sofas and mirrored walls. The bistro, which regularly hosts parties and happy hour events, made for the perfect setup during a taping of "Love and Hip Hop Atlanta" last season - minus the drama, of course. If you don't have a high-end luxury mobile, don't worry; exterior hand washes only run $15. Just make sure you bring enough money to hose down your throat while you wait. 348 14th St. 678-974-8187. www.autospabistro.com. less...

Best caterer

Bold American Catering AND Sun in My Belly

Best consignment store

Finders Keepers Finders Keepers Fashions
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best craft beer store

Ale Yeah!
And multiple metro Atlanta locations
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