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Best of Atlanta 2013 Index

 

2013 Best Of Atlanta Large


2013 Index of Winners

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 burritos

Bell Street Burritos

Best cupcakes

CamiCakes Cupcakes

Best French

Anis Bistro & Cafe Anis Cafe & Bistro

Best gluten-friendly

Yeah! Burger

Best Mixologist

Miles Macquarrie

Best pizza

Antico Pizza Napoletana Antico Pizza Napoletana

Best place to eat like you're in China

Hong Kong BBQ Hong Kong BBQ
Located in the Atlanta Chinatown Mall's food court, Hong Kong BBQ gets you in and out quickly. In fact, taking the food to go is a great way to enjoy the Chinese barbecue and Cantonese specialties. Whether sliced in clear soup with thin noodles or as a platter with steamed rice, watching the chefs carvemore...
Located in the Atlanta Chinatown Mall's food court, Hong Kong BBQ gets you in and out quickly. In fact, taking the food to go is a great way to enjoy the Chinese barbecue and Cantonese specialties. Whether sliced in clear soup with thin noodles or as a platter with steamed rice, watching the chefs carve the glossy ducks and barbecued pork with a menacing cleaver is always fun. The large menu also features addictive dishes such as the sour cabbage and sausage fried rice and a stellar version of Hainanese chicken rice. Cash only or you'll go hungry. less...

Best Thai

Little Bangkok Little Bangkok

Best vegan

Dough Bakery Dough Bakery

Best wine list

The Spence
In the age of industrialized food, experts recommend you stay away from anything made with ingredients you can't pronounce. But in the wine world, bizarre varietals you've never heard of are treasures waiting to be uncorked. At the Spence, Justin Amick, general manager, wine director, and advanced sommelier,more...
In the age of industrialized food, experts recommend you stay away from anything made with ingredients you can't pronounce. But in the wine world, bizarre varietals you've never heard of are treasures waiting to be uncorked. At the Spence, Justin Amick, general manager, wine director, and advanced sommelier, is obsessed with finding odd, obscure specimens for his list of 90-ish wines. Try the tight but juicy cinsault/syrah/cabernet sauvignon blend from Lebanon, just to say you've had a wine from Lebanon. Or the puzzling pelaverga piccolo from Piedmont because it's really fun to say and tastes like dried strawberries and white pepper. If you must, you'll find your California chard and Napa cab under the heading Tried and True. We'll be at the bar testing out the inky black vranec-kratosija from Macedonia and the herbally hondarribi beltza from Bizkaiko Txakolina, Spain. less...

Best actor

Andrew Benator
Versatility doesn't seem strong enough a word to describe Andrew Benator. He was so convincing as the meek and nebbishy Dollar Store manager in the Alliance's January production of Good People that it came as a complete shock to see him walk onto stage as the smug, vicious writer Leonard in Seminar atmore...
Versatility doesn't seem strong enough a word to describe Andrew Benator. He was so convincing as the meek and nebbishy Dollar Store manager in the Alliance's January production of Good People that it came as a complete shock to see him walk onto stage as the smug, vicious writer Leonard in Seminar at Actor's Express a few months later. As the protagonist's boss Stevie in Good People, he provided a complicated, troubled, almost haunted portrayal of the tension in the character's moral dilemma about being the cog in the machine that will crush his beleaguered employee. His Leonard in Seminar, on the other hand, was a messy haze of bad moods and solipsistic fits, as if he lived to crush others. Both performances were notable in their own right, but considered side by side they revealed Benator's impressive artistic agility. www.andrewbenator.com. less...

Best graphic novel

March: Book One
When we reached out to Congressman John Lewis about guest editing an issue of Creative Loafing this year, we had only heard a little about the forthcoming March: Book One, the first volume of Lewis' three-part graphic novel memoir. With the help of his aide (and self-described comic book nerd) Andrewmore...
When we reached out to Congressman John Lewis about guest editing an issue of Creative Loafing this year, we had only heard a little about the forthcoming March: Book One, the first volume of Lewis' three-part graphic novel memoir. With the help of his aide (and self-described comic book nerd) Andrew Aydin and the talents of illustrator Nate Powell, Lewis has crafted a story that blends the personal and political. Inspired by an influential comic about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. from 1956, the Congressman's coming-of-age story is eloquently woven into the historical context of the early days of the Civil Rights Movement. Powell's illustrations give a dynamic pacing and vivid impact to the scenes. Timed perfectly to the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the book shot immediately to New York Times best-seller status. www.topshelfcomix.com. less...

Best local female actor

Marlinda Phillips

Best new way to buy art

WonderRoot CSA WonderRoot
The simplicity of the WonderRoot CSA is what makes the idea so beautiful. Taking a cue from local farmers, the nonprofit sells seasonal subscriptions to work by local artists. Buy a subscription and three times during the season, you'll get two works of art produced by the likes of Ashley Anderson, Seanamore...
The simplicity of the WonderRoot CSA is what makes the idea so beautiful. Taking a cue from local farmers, the nonprofit sells seasonal subscriptions to work by local artists. Buy a subscription and three times during the season, you'll get two works of art produced by the likes of Ashley Anderson, Seana Reilly, and other upcoming Atlanta talent. As older patrons fade from Atlanta's art scene, a clever innovation like this could go a long way in encouraging a new generation of collectors. less...

Best play

Moby-Dick

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