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Best Of Atlanta Main Photo (large)


2012 Index of Winners

Best fancy pants for men BOA Award Winner

You ever wonder where that well-dressed mixologist at the trendy bar - the guy with his sleeves rolled up to reveal forearms covered in tattoos, maybe a circa-1870 mustache perched upon his liquor-drenched lip - got his Southern-gentleman-with-an-edge outfit? No? Well, should it ever occur to youmore...

You ever wonder where that well-dressed mixologist at the trendy bar - the guy with his sleeves rolled up to reveal forearms covered in tattoos, maybe a circa-1870 mustache perched upon his liquor-drenched lip - got his Southern-gentleman-with-an-edge outfit? No? Well, should it ever occur to you to wonder, and he happens to work at a bar where the tips are good, there's a decent chance some of his look was picked up at Billy Reid's new Westside store. Open as of May, Reid's Atlanta store is a homey, masculine affair that a local fashion site described as a "retired Army colonel's antique-outfitted study" (we were thinking 19th-century farmhouse with a pop of color for a modern twist). As for the clothes, Louisiana-born-and-bred Reid's designs for men and women are tailored and refined, but in a distinctly Southern way - crisp and rugged. His sense of style has gone over well in the fashion world well beyond our muggy, swampy slice of the U.S.A. (Reid was named GQ's Best New Designer in America and won the Vogue Fashion Fund Award.) Located a stone's throw from fellow high-end and eponymously named men's boutique Sid Mashburn, Billy Reid is helping Atlanta's Southern gentleman (and hot bartenders) look their best.


1170 Howell Mill Road. 404-994-3144. www.billyreid.com.

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Best fashion on the fly (literally) BOA Award Winner

Bijoux Terner
When you're at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, whether you have an hour to kill before a flight or a several-hour layover, it's like they have you right where they want you. You want a burger and a beer? That'll be 20 bucks, thanks s'much. Gonna buy a book to read? Be prepared to pay full pricemore...
When you're at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, whether you have an hour to kill before a flight or a several-hour layover, it's like they have you right where they want you. You want a burger and a beer? That'll be 20 bucks, thanks s'much. Gonna buy a book to read? Be prepared to pay full price for that paperback. Perhaps a less likely way to waste some time: Do some shopping. Better known as the "everything is $10 store," Bijoux Terner in the T and C terminals is a great place to lose track of time and come perilously close to missing your flight. A wonderful mix of ghetto-gold costume earrings, cute sunglasses, watches, floppy straw hats, and every color pashmina you could ever imagine, Bijoux Terner is so fun to browse and even to buy a last-minute gift for the friend you'll be crashing with during your time out of town. Now if only it sold burgers and beer. less...

Best fitness-related peer pressure BOA Award Winner

The Body Firm Atlanta
If your friend jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you jump, too? What a dumb question our parents used to ask us. Of course we wouldn't. We don't live in New York. BUT, if your friend (or, say, 20 of them - and a big, strong trainer dude) did a gazillion lunges in a public park on a hot afternoon,more...
If your friend jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you jump, too? What a dumb question our parents used to ask us. Of course we wouldn't. We don't live in New York. BUT, if your friend (or, say, 20 of them - and a big, strong trainer dude) did a gazillion lunges in a public park on a hot afternoon, would you lunge, too? The answer is yes, at least if you invested in a four-week boot camp in Piedmont Park led by the Body Firm Atlanta. Lead trainer Dez White, a former wide receiver for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, the Chicago Bears, and our own Atlanta Falcons, says his plan is to push people to reach their personal fitness goals by figuring out where they're starting - whether they're fitness beginners or advanced exercisers. His rates are reasonable, too: $75 for four weeks of training. (There are other locations, mostly OTP, and programs that vary in price.) "Peer pressure" has a negative connotation, but when you feel like giving up, it sure is helpful to have people beside you urging you on. Not as painful as jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge, but you'll feel the burn. www.thebodyfirmatl.com. less...

Best haircut with history BOA Award Winner

Silver Moon Barber Shop
Opened in 1904, Silver Moon Barber Shop has laid claim to being the "Oldest Black Shop in Atlanta." While the once-bustling street has seen hard times, with most of the historic buildings losing their luster, the inside of the barbershop has held up over the years. The ambiance radiates the past, frommore...
Opened in 1904, Silver Moon Barber Shop has laid claim to being the "Oldest Black Shop in Atlanta." While the once-bustling street has seen hard times, with most of the historic buildings losing their luster, the inside of the barbershop has held up over the years. The ambiance radiates the past, from the old-school barber chairs to the mirrors that line the walls. Silver Moon is noisy at the moment due to streetcar construction right outside its door - but it's noise that's accompanied by the promise of good things (hopeful) to come for embattled Sweet Auburn. The past heroes of the avenue might not recognize anything were they to walk along the corridor, but they would remember Silver Moon. During the 107 years that a barber's pole has hung outside Silver Moon Barber Shop many things have changed, but inside Sweet Auburn still thrives. less...

Best local boutique BOA Award Winner

And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best natural hair salon BOA Award Winner

Sweetgrass

Best pet pampering BOA Award Winner

There are several good things about dog clothes. For one thing, they're impossibly small and often feature pet-related puns written in rhinestones. For another thing, they go on dogs. Adorable, fur-covered, small dogs that smell like perfumes instead of dog stink! Glamour Paws was already a great placemore...
There are several good things about dog clothes. For one thing, they're impossibly small and often feature pet-related puns written in rhinestones. For another thing, they go on dogs. Adorable, fur-covered, small dogs that smell like perfumes instead of dog stink! Glamour Paws was already a great place to get dogs clean and then get them dressed, then this year it moved to an even larger location just a few doors down from its old space on North Highland Avenue in Virginia-Highland. Besides full-service fancy dog grooming, dog attire, treats, leashes, and collars, it now sells premium pet foods, too, so it really is an upscale one-stop pet shop. And as potentially disastrous as it sounds, it also offers paw primping and prettying for cats. If you're looking to save some money on grooming (so you have more to spend on dog costumes) Glamour Paws offers self-doggy washes for only $10 on Sundays. less...

Best sneaker store BOA Award Winner

Abbadabba's

Best thrift store BOA Award Winner

Goodwill on Northside Drive
The opening of a new thrift store is cause for celebration. If you're a weekly or even every-other-weekly thrifter, your old tried-and-true spots tend to get to a point where you can flip through the racks and recognize the very same clothes you saw last time. It's a bummer. The Goodwill on Northsidemore...
The opening of a new thrift store is cause for celebration. If you're a weekly or even every-other-weekly thrifter, your old tried-and-true spots tend to get to a point where you can flip through the racks and recognize the very same clothes you saw last time. It's a bummer. The Goodwill on Northside Drive (just west of Atlantic Station) has been a welcome - and spankin' new - addition to our thrift rotation. Opened in March, the familiar chain of charity shops' new location is huge and has Goodwill's standard flat pricing. (Men's shirts are a flat price, dresses are a flat price, etc.) So, you can occasionally find high-end, designer pieces hidden on a rack next to a bunch of Fruit of the Loom "Spring Break '98" T-shirts - and for the same exact price. Shoes are the exception to the rule, so designer pairs in good condition will likely end up on the fancy rack with individual prices based on their fanciness. Also cause for celebration: By simply spending money, you're helping people with employment issues get their lives back on track. Used clothes. New store. New lives. less...

Best vet BOA Award Winner

If you're in a veterinarian's office, there are a couple things that are pretty much guaranteed. One, you have a pet who you care about at least a little bit. Two, said pet is upset, either because he's got the runs or some skin thing, or because going to the vet is a thing dogs and cats aren't generallymore...
If you're in a veterinarian's office, there are a couple things that are pretty much guaranteed. One, you have a pet who you care about at least a little bit. Two, said pet is upset, either because he's got the runs or some skin thing, or because going to the vet is a thing dogs and cats aren't generally huge fans of. There's only so much you can do to ease your pet's mind - reasoning with them works for shit - but the doctors and nurses at East Atlanta Animal Clinic are awfully good at easing an owner's mind. You know when you can just tell people love their job? Besides being friendly, knowledgeable, and reasonably priced, it's obvious that all who work there love their job. If they don't, they're great actors and it has the same palliative effect, so oh well. Besides the usual check-ups, shots, and lab work (which is nice and quick because they have their own in-house lab), East Atlanta's vets offer preventative care, behavioral help, and alternative therapies like acupuncture and Tui Na massage. less...

Best wine shop BOA Award Winner

Best Caribbean BOA Award Winner

Best culinary time machine BOA Award Winner

In 1982, one food critic described La Grotta as "simply the finest Italian restaurant in Atlanta and one of the city's best restaurants of any kind." The beef carpaccio and any dish made with veal were the restaurants specialties. For dessert, fresh berries and cream. Thirty years later, the veal, themore...
In 1982, one food critic described La Grotta as "simply the finest Italian restaurant in Atlanta and one of the city's best restaurants of any kind." The beef carpaccio and any dish made with veal were the restaurants specialties. For dessert, fresh berries and cream. Thirty years later, the veal, the carpaccio, and even the berries - although now they're served with vanilla gelato - are still the restaurant's mainstays. Sergio Favalli, along with chef Antonio Abizanda, opened La Grotta in 1978, and to this day, La Grotta is where they both remain. Longevity and consistency over the years set this time capsule of a restaurant apart from every other restaurant in the city. Where else can you find a chef on a 34-year run at the same restaurant? less...

Best dim sum BOA Award Winner

Canton House

Best farm on wheels BOA Award Winner

Farm Mobile
We feel a little nostalgic whenever we see the bright green Farm Mobile truck pull up to our Main Street or local park. It reminds us of a simpler time when neighborhood moms would run out with a handful of change to meet the bread trucks that wandered down our block each week. Just as friendly, themore...
We feel a little nostalgic whenever we see the bright green Farm Mobile truck pull up to our Main Street or local park. It reminds us of a simpler time when neighborhood moms would run out with a handful of change to meet the bread trucks that wandered down our block each week. Just as friendly, the Farm Mobile folks post daily specials on a chalkboard. Skim it before climbing the steps into the back of the truck, making your way past bins stocked with organic and seasonal produce. Other offerings include: H&F breads, free-range eggs, and sustainable meats (grass-fed beef, Berkshire pork, and chicken from White Oak Pastures), which you'll find once you gently squeeze by your neighbor and make your way to the freezer near the front. They also carry their own line of grits, polenta, and cornmeal, plus artisanal cheeses and pesto. Basically, you'll find all the fixings for a great meal in one stop. The mobile grocer, based out of Riverview Farms in Northwest Georgia, is constantly making the rounds in metro Atlanta, keeping customers up-to-date on its whereabouts via Facebook and Twitter. It's a lot easier than chasing after that old bread truck. www.grassfedcow.com/farmmobile. less...

Best frozen yogurt BOA Award Winner

And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best hot dog BOA Award Winner

HD1

Best Indian BOA Award Winner

Best Middle Eastern BOA Award Winner

Mediterranean Grill

Best patio for hoisting a brew BOA Award Winner

It's huge. Like, more than 25 tables and booths of varying sizes huge. So huge, that you'll almost never have to wait for a spot to sit down, though you may end up at opposite ends of a long table with a pair of strangers. But that's also one of the many charms of the Midway Pub patio - lots of smilingmore...
It's huge. Like, more than 25 tables and booths of varying sizes huge. So huge, that you'll almost never have to wait for a spot to sit down, though you may end up at opposite ends of a long table with a pair of strangers. But that's also one of the many charms of the Midway Pub patio - lots of smiling faces there to enjoy a beer (or three), just like you. More than just dog-friendly, Midway's staff and patio are downright dog-enthusiastic, all warm smiles, water bowls, and welcoming words of admiration. A wooden overhang protects from sun and precipitation, and it's adorned with assorted greenery. In fact, Midway boasts some of the finest bar plants around: succulents, evergreens, herbs (that are used in Midway's food), and various viney, flowering specimens that are going to be a joy to watch develop in the years to come. With 32 rotating drafts, more than 100 bottles, and a food selection that goes beyond standard pub grub, you might want to bring a sleeping bag - it's a little too easy to make yourself at home on this concrete slab. less...

Best chapter in Atlanta's LGBTQ story BOA Award Winner

Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse
The final chapter closed on Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse on January 28, 2012, ending the bookstore's 18-year reign as a crucial focal point and gathering spot for Atlanta's LGBTQ communities and their supporters. Phillip Rafshoon opened Outwrite in 1993 in the Midtown Promenade shopping centermore...
The final chapter closed on Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse on January 28, 2012, ending the bookstore's 18-year reign as a crucial focal point and gathering spot for Atlanta's LGBTQ communities and their supporters. Phillip Rafshoon opened Outwrite in 1993 in the Midtown Promenade shopping center before moving it to its larger and final location at 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue in 1996, helping transform that corner from dreary intersection to bustling destination. The shop, its porch, and even the sidewalk outside became memorable gathering spots for readings, meetings, vigils, celebrations, and protests. Outwrite drew a steady stream of visitors, neighborhood regulars, and gay youth looking for a safe place to meet, have coffee, and chat. There were book-signings by celebrities including RuPaul, Star Jones, Greg Louganis, Chelsea Handler, Roseanne Barr, and Chastity Bono. Outwrite also hosted a steady stream of literary giants such as Armistead Maupin, David Sedaris, Edmund White, and Alan Hollinghurst. Despite its popularity, Outwrite faced the challenges shared by many independent bookstores in recent years. Rising rents, the economic downturn, and changes in the way people buy and read books eventually forced the shop to close for good. Outwrite acted as a crucial hub for the LGBQT community and helped the city earn its title as the Gay Capital of the South. less...

Best emerging visual artist BOA Award Winner

Micah Stansell
It's kind of a big deal when the High Museum decides to show a local artist's work. It's an even bigger deal when it decides to blanket the museum's exterior with it. In August, 350 feet of wall space surrounding Sifly Piazza was illuminated by Micah Stansell's five-channel sound and video installationmore...
It's kind of a big deal when the High Museum decides to show a local artist's work. It's an even bigger deal when it decides to blanket the museum's exterior with it. In August, 350 feet of wall space surrounding Sifly Piazza was illuminated by Micah Stansell's five-channel sound and video installation The Water and the Blood, the result of his 2011 Working Artist Project award that also showed at MOCA GA last fall. Like 2010's Between You and Me and the search for the exceptional, his 2012 collaboration with gloATL, The Water and the Blood was a beautifully mellow pondering of memory. Stansell, who often collaborates with his wife Whitney, shows a particularly Southern knack for visual storytelling steeped in nostalgia that we haven't been able to forget. www.micahstansell.com. less...

Best film festival BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

Best opening BOA Award Winner

The Glass Ceiling Shattered

Best Atlanta-based music blog BOA Award Winner

Maurice Garland
Name-dropping Southern hip-hop has become something of a hipster commodity on a national level in recent years, but nobody covers the music and the scene as thoroughly as Atlanta's own Maurice Garland. With his self-titled blog, Garland is not only the undisputed authority on rap south of the Mason-Dixon,more...
Name-dropping Southern hip-hop has become something of a hipster commodity on a national level in recent years, but nobody covers the music and the scene as thoroughly as Atlanta's own Maurice Garland. With his self-titled blog, Garland is not only the undisputed authority on rap south of the Mason-Dixon, his well-curated mix of new music, interviews, commentary, and music criticism has elevated him a level above tastemaker to cultural guardian. When Killer Mike decided to title his new album R.A.P. Music, it was in reaction to Garland Tweeting his thoughts about the state of "Rebellious African People's" music. Has anyone ever named an album after one of your Tweets? www.mauricegarland.com. less...

Best country music club BOA Award Winner

Wild Bill's

Best creepy new band BOA Award Winner

deadCAT

Best dopegirl on the wheels of steel BOA Award Winner

Speakerfoxxx


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