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Best of Atlanta 2007 Consumer Culture

 

Best Of Atlanta 2007 Consumer Culture Large


Consumer Culture

Best Excuse to Throw a Dinner Party BOA Award Winner

Covering 140,000 square feet of well-air-conditioned space, YOUR DEKALB FARMER’S MARKET isn’t a farmer’s market in the traditional sense. That is, it doesn’t carry goods that come solely from Georgia farmers — though it does have a ridiculously massive selectionmore...
Covering 140,000 square feet of well-air-conditioned space, YOUR DEKALB FARMER’S MARKET isn’t a farmer’s market in the traditional sense. That is, it doesn’t carry goods that come solely from Georgia farmers — though it does have a ridiculously massive selection of local and international produce, meats, seafood, cheeses, dry goods, wine and beer, and prepared foods, all at ridiculously low prices (even for the impressive selection of organic options). We recently found sushi-grade tuna for $10.99 per pound, 89-cent heads of escarole and hearty bundles of herbs for about a buck each. That’s about half the price of most competitors. Putting these values to the test, we’ve found that it’s possible to throw a four-course, 10-person dinner party for around $100. Why would you ever grocery-shop anywhere else? less...

Best Place for the Sexiest Skivvies BOA Award Winner

A few years back, French-born-and-raised Lamia Aouassi was in the business of importing vegetables. Though she’s still in the import industry, it’s taken a bit of a turn — to European lingerie. Her online and appointment-only boutique, O’CLAIR DE LUNE, is stocked withmore...
A few years back, French-born-and-raised Lamia Aouassi was in the business of importing vegetables. Though she’s still in the import industry, it’s taken a bit of a turn — to European lingerie. Her online and appointment-only boutique, O’CLAIR DE LUNE, is stocked with sultry unmentionables from prominent French and Italian lines. With lacy brassieres, satin undies, classy camis and frilly nighties, the collections are indulgent. Armed with champagne and gourmet chocolates, Aouassi hosts lingerie parties and will gladly assist men in selecting the perfect panties for their special lady, all out of the comfort of her live/work space in Castleberry Hill. less...

Best Place to Enjoy a Brew with Your New ’Do BOA Award Winner

Rooster's
If Ernest Hemingway’s reanimated corpse somehow found itself shambling down Powers Ferry Road in desperate need of a shave and haircut, it would surely stumble into ROOSTER’S, where old-school collides with new-school in an explosion of manly awesomeness. Decked out like some huntingmore...
If Ernest Hemingway’s reanimated corpse somehow found itself shambling down Powers Ferry Road in desperate need of a shave and haircut, it would surely stumble into ROOSTER’S, where old-school collides with new-school in an explosion of manly awesomeness. Decked out like some hunting lodge from the 1920s, this boy’s club oozes enough machismo to make Papa Hemingway plenty proud. Antique golf clubs, stuffed deer heads and ducks adorn the walls alongside flat-screen TVs, and there’s a table full of lad-mag reading material from Maxim to Details — and, fittingly, the forever-quotable screenplay of Caddyshack. If all that isn’t enough to get you there for your next trim, here are two important words: Free. Beer. less...

Timeless: Best Retail District to Maintain a Classic Vibe BOA Award Winner

Little Five Points
It’s more than 2,000 miles away from Haight-Ashbury, but on a good weekend, Finley Square is a gathering ground full of free spirits — some filled with the alcoholic variety — and an intoxicating variety of stores and vendors. “Go your own way” is the onlymore...
It’s more than 2,000 miles away from Haight-Ashbury, but on a good weekend, Finley Square is a gathering ground full of free spirits — some filled with the alcoholic variety — and an intoxicating variety of stores and vendors. “Go your own way” is the only direction in LITTLE FIVE POINTS, and that retro vibe shows up in a swirl of ways. L5P’s decades-long history reflects a consistent independent streak — one that’s now evident in the hottie wear of Cherry Bomb, the glam kitsch of Junkman’s Daughter, and the vintage digs at Psycho Sisters, Stefan’s, Rag-O-Rama and Tease. It’s a jumble of rebellious heart, “be yourself” attitude and sometimes freakish packaging that accepts both gawkers and neighborhood regulars. What could be more classic? less...

Best Place to Buy a Glass Tobacco Pipe BOA Award Winner

There are plenty of enticing and exotic wares in the front of the store to distract you, from handcrafted jewelry to billowing glass sculptures to primitive masks to a sleek waterfall. But the real treasures at 42 DEGREES SOUTH can be found inside the massive, U-shaped cases in the back. Swirling, blown-glassmore...
There are plenty of enticing and exotic wares in the front of the store to distract you, from handcrafted jewelry to billowing glass sculptures to primitive masks to a sleek waterfall. But the real treasures at 42 DEGREES SOUTH can be found inside the massive, U-shaped cases in the back. Swirling, blown-glass pipes of every size, shape and color create a rainbow of options, ranging from $10 for sleek and slender one-hitters to well more than $100 for tall, elegant water pipes. The laid-back and superfriendly staff is happy to guide you through the rather daunting process of wading through hundreds of options to find the pipe that’s right for you. less...

Best Place to Fill Your Tank BOA Award Winner

QuikTrip
It might only be a penny cheaper by the gallon compared with its closest competitor, but Atlanta’s four QUIKTRIP stations offer something more than cheap gas: consistent prices. When we compared gas-by-the-gallon rates at www.atlantagasprices.com, we found that QuikTrip was the only stationmore...
It might only be a penny cheaper by the gallon compared with its closest competitor, but Atlanta’s four QUIKTRIP stations offer something more than cheap gas: consistent prices. When we compared gas-by-the-gallon rates at www.atlantagasprices.com, we found that QuikTrip was the only station in the city that had the same regular-grade price at all of its locations: $2.79. Prices at five of Atlanta’s BP stations, on the other hand, ranged from $2.80 to a whopping $3.19. QuikTrip also has some of the lowest prices in the burbs, where gas prices can be significantly lower than in town. Here’s to QuikTrip, for keeping gas prices low no matter where in the city you fill ’er up. Multiple Atlanta locations. www.quiktrip.com less...

Best Store for Buying Shabby-Chic Decor BOA Award Winner

Merchandise spills out into the parking lot from MELROSE ON PONCE’s loaded front porch. Weathered benches, plant stands and peculiar lamp bases hint at what awaits inside the quirky bungalow-style home-decor store. The shop is a maze of hallways and rooms littered with new, antique and vintagemore...
Merchandise spills out into the parking lot from MELROSE ON PONCE’s loaded front porch. Weathered benches, plant stands and peculiar lamp bases hint at what awaits inside the quirky bungalow-style home-decor store. The shop is a maze of hallways and rooms littered with new, antique and vintage housewares, as well as local arts and crafts. Make grandma proud with a dainty wood bedside table, painted black with mismatched knobs and skinny legs, on sale for $20, or create a patchwork wall with worn wooden picture frames at $7 a pop. less...

Best Store Makeover BOA Award Winner

Putting a hipster clothing boutique in a stately old library building on Moreland Avenue was a stroke of genius when WISH opened a dozen or so years back. Now, several owners and inventory changes later, the shop has reached its full potential with a spectacular renovation that would feel like a SoHomore...
Putting a hipster clothing boutique in a stately old library building on Moreland Avenue was a stroke of genius when WISH opened a dozen or so years back. Now, several owners and inventory changes later, the shop has reached its full potential with a spectacular renovation that would feel like a SoHo art gallery — if you weren’t so consumed with browsing through its racks of Nice Collective, True Religion and Martin Margiela. The clean lines, black-and-white palette and stark furnishings of the main floor are made less imposing by the use of lowly materials such as bare plywood for wall paneling and construction nails for accessory hooks. Downstairs, the dim, book-lined shoe vault, where specialty kicks rest dramatically on glowing white boxes, is an equally captivating space. And the brilliant ad campaign — shots of local musicians wearing Wish’s wares — only complements the store’s hot new look. less...

Best Unpretentious Salon for Hipster Mops BOA Award Winner

Adore Hair Studio & Shoppe
It’s barely a year old, but Inman Park’s ADORE HAIR STUDIO & SHOPPE has attracted a — dare we say it? — adoring clientele, and deservedly so. The handsome, minimalist loft space, decorated in shades of chocolate with leather armchairs serving as the styling seats,more...
It’s barely a year old, but Inman Park’s ADORE HAIR STUDIO & SHOPPE has attracted a — dare we say it? — adoring clientele, and deservedly so. The handsome, minimalist loft space, decorated in shades of chocolate with leather armchairs serving as the styling seats, has drawn talent from some of the city’s most popular salons, Many former clients of those salons have followed suit. Adore carries the coveted Bumble and bumble product line — a sign of its chops — and several stylists trained at the prestigious Bb University in New York City. Stylist Brenton Anderson has been featured on two episodes of Fox’s “Ambush Makeover,” and he and others at Adore have styled the hair of actors, models and rock stars. More importantly, the salon’s website states, is the work it has done on “moms, dads, sisters, brothers, cousins and you!” As several beatific clients have pointed out, the only thing missing at Adore is the attitude. less...

Best Workout for Masochists BOA Award Winner

Move over, yoga and Pilates. A long-ignored form of Russian strength training is making a comeback, and disciples swear that two months of the exercise does more to lift the derriere (and improve balance and agility) than a year’s worth of sun salutations. KETTLEBELL TRAINING AT STUDIO LOTUSmore...
Move over, yoga and Pilates. A long-ignored form of Russian strength training is making a comeback, and disciples swear that two months of the exercise does more to lift the derriere (and improve balance and agility) than a year’s worth of sun salutations. KETTLEBELL TRAINING AT STUDIO LOTUS offers a departure from the mat classes and private instruction that are typically offered at the Morningside Pilates studio. Attendees of any of the seven weekly Kettlebell classes ($185 for a once-a-week, eight-week series) will be greeted with a cast-iron, bell-shaped weight with a handle on top, which is swung using both arms in various arcs and loops. In less than an hour, the low-impact exercise burns fat, sculpts muscles and offers a rigorous cardio workout. Expect to be sore — to the point of not being able to sit. less...

Best Boutique for Trendsetters BOA Award Winner

It’s unusual to stay relevant in fashion as long as BILL HALLMAN has, but somehow, this venerable store seems to have the freshest, cheekiest looks to help you stay ahead of the crowd. And now occupying an expansive 6,000-square-foot space, it has enough room to be twice as good. BH has alwaysmore...

It’s unusual to stay relevant in fashion as long as BILL HALLMAN has, but somehow, this venerable store seems to have the freshest, cheekiest looks to help you stay ahead of the crowd. And now occupying an expansive 6,000-square-foot space, it has enough room to be twice as good. BH has always been about more than trendy denim and hipster T-shirts, but the addition of such men’s brands as Paul Smith and John Varvatos has upped the sophistication quotient. The women’s side, meanwhile, is off the hook, with more bags, accessories and even a carefully selected vintage selection.


Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

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Best CD Shopping for Indie Snobs BOA Award Winner

The first thing you’ll notice when you walk into CRIMINAL RECORDS is that the high-set counters make the staff tower over you like gods of musical knowledge … either that, or tatted-up pharmacists. Instead of handing out Prozac, however, they’ll prescribe you the latest frommore...
The first thing you’ll notice when you walk into CRIMINAL RECORDS is that the high-set counters make the staff tower over you like gods of musical knowledge … either that, or tatted-up pharmacists. Instead of handing out Prozac, however, they’ll prescribe you the latest from Peter Bjorn and John or the Polyphonic Spree. Tucked between Junkman’s Daughter and Aurora Coffee, this L5P staple doubles as a comic-book shop, a magazine stand, a toy store and, sometimes, a concert venue. It’s got plenty of vinyl, material from local bands, concert DVDs and rare EPs from the likes of Death Cab and Kings of Leon. Plus, its ridiculously wide selection of graphic novels (it has more than most stores that just sell comics) means you can satisfy penchants for Brian Eno and Brian Michael Bendis simultaneously. less...

Best Not-so-bargain Bargain Shoppin’ BOA Award Winner

The coveted spring 2007 Stella McCartney dress — a silk, strapless A-line mini — still, months later, haunts our dreams. And those Sergio Rossi stilettos? Don’t even get us started. It’s hard being a broke girl with a rich girl’s wants. But at LUXE, let themore...
The coveted spring 2007 Stella McCartney dress — a silk, strapless A-line mini — still, months later, haunts our dreams. And those Sergio Rossi stilettos? Don’t even get us started. It’s hard being a broke girl with a rich girl’s wants. But at LUXE, let the nightmares be gone. The well-appointed boutique recently has reopened its doors, this time on Marietta Street in of-the-moment West Midtown. Owner Jenn Ripley scours the land in search of recent seasons’ hot designs and sells them for 50 percent to 70 percent off retail. The above-mentioned dress, at $649, might not be cheap — but compared with its original tag of $2,700, it’s a steal. And so be it if we’re a season off. We can rest easy knowing the fashion of our dreams really can come true. less...

Best Place to Furnish a Jetsons’ Pad BOA Award Winner

In addition to providing a new drooling venue for contemporary-furniture enthusiasts, CONTEXT has taken the pioneering step of opening its spacious downtown showroom in a historic 1930s building that originally housed a car dealership serving nearby Sweet Auburn. The store specializes in monochromaticmore...
In addition to providing a new drooling venue for contemporary-furniture enthusiasts, CONTEXT has taken the pioneering step of opening its spacious downtown showroom in a historic 1930s building that originally housed a car dealership serving nearby Sweet Auburn. The store specializes in monochromatic modernist pieces — such as a series of overlapping drawers that looks like a bright-red, free-standing spiral staircase — as well as designs that make innovative use of natural fibers and organic materials, as with floor fans fashioned from chrome and woven rattan. Just in is a line of exquisitely restored vintage chairs from such masters as Marcel Breuer and Eero Saarinen, proving everything old is new again. less...

Best Place to Get Waxed by a Lust Lister BOA Award Winner

Salon Red and Spa
Actually, SALON RED AND SPA in Candler Park is probably the only place to get waxed by a winner of CL’s annual Lust List. In addition to being nominated by readers earlier this year as one of the city’s hottest service-industry workers, Kristen Standish has the skills to match. Expertise,more...
Actually, SALON RED AND SPA in Candler Park is probably the only place to get waxed by a winner of CL’s annual Lust List. In addition to being nominated by readers earlier this year as one of the city’s hottest service-industry workers, Kristen Standish has the skills to match. Expertise, efficiency, a calm demeanor and steady handwork are wonders for novice spa-goers, and informed advice about avoiding ingrowns and cooling down that telltale redness is refreshing to the more experienced among us. You won’t feel pressured to buy any products, and the salon’s overall vibe is laid-back. So relax, sip some cool water, breathe and let Kristen and her colleagues Kaci Chandler and Anissa Jones do their thing — for a reasonable $30. We just hope the guy or gal who nominated Kristen won’t be too disappointed that she became officially committed to her lady love in August. less...

Best Place to Get Your Rear End Buffed BOA Award Winner

There are more than 115 car washes in the metro — not including the free-wash-with-fill-up gas stations that do little beyond taking the dust off. When it comes to the best car wash, a sudsy handjob is a given. What’s more, no amount of buffing can surpass a thorough inside job. DOmore...
There are more than 115 car washes in the metro — not including the free-wash-with-fill-up gas stations that do little beyond taking the dust off. When it comes to the best car wash, a sudsy handjob is a given. What’s more, no amount of buffing can surpass a thorough inside job. DO IT RIGHT does just that. It’s a small but hard-working crew that stays busy with regulars out on its checkered lot. There’s no fancy waiting room, but the Georgia Aquarium (and the mini one at Luckie Charm Lounge) are nearby. Or Do It Right will pick up your car from anywhere in Fulton. It always rains the day after you wash your car, right? Problem solved. If it rains within 48 hours of your visit, Do It Right will wash your car again for free. less...

Best Post-Lakewood Rummaging Spot BOA Award Winner

Scott Antique Market
Folks loved Lakewood because, in addition to the costly antiques, there was plenty of good junk and funky tchotchkes to be had at reasonable prices. Long known as Lakewood’s upmarket cousin, SCOTT ANTIQUE MARKET had higher-end collectibles at higher prices — and it still does. But manymore...
Folks loved Lakewood because, in addition to the costly antiques, there was plenty of good junk and funky tchotchkes to be had at reasonable prices. Long known as Lakewood’s upmarket cousin, SCOTT ANTIQUE MARKET had higher-end collectibles at higher prices — and it still does. But many former Lakewood merchants have set up shop at Scott, even spilling out onto the grass beside the convention hall. Sure, it still has Shaker furniture with laugh-out-loud price tags, but you can also find post cards, tea pots, old radios and tacky commemorative plates you didn’t even know you needed. less...

Best Reason to Stay Away from Blockbuster BOA Award Winner

Don’t let some nationwide chain — or your Netflix queue — dictate which films you check out next. If you really want to broaden your horizons, head to VIDEODROME. Like some kind of bizarro-world version of Blockbuster, here it’s the “mainstream” filmsmore...
Don’t let some nationwide chain — or your Netflix queue — dictate which films you check out next. If you really want to broaden your horizons, head to VIDEODROME. Like some kind of bizarro-world version of Blockbuster, here it’s the “mainstream” films that get pushed into the back corner. Tarantino himself would be impressed by its Shaw Brothers section, and nearby shelves are exclusively dedicated to the finest in Hong Kong, Korean, German and Russian cinema. It also has a stand-up comedy section with every special Eddie Izzard has ever recorded. That alone is reason to stop by. It’s also probably the only place in town you’ll find Dementia 13 (a cheapo, B-movie horror flick that happens to mark the directorial debut of one Francis Ford Coppola) sitting right next to The Godfather trilogy. less...

Best Resource for the Carless BOA Award Winner

Flexcar
For those who’d like to give up their cars full-time — with the option of having some wheels to borrow for grocery shopping, picking up furniture or making a quick day trip — FLEXCAR can make that dream a reality. For as little as $6 per hour, you can rent one of 100 fullymore...

For those who’d like to give up their cars full-time — with the option of having some wheels to borrow for grocery shopping, picking up furniture or making a quick day trip — FLEXCAR can make that dream a reality. For as little as $6 per hour, you can rent one of 100 fully insured vehicles (including hybrids, SUVs, pickup trucks and even a Mini convertible) from locations across the city and return it when you’re done. There’s none of the hassle that comes with the lines and paperwork at a traditional car-rental place. What’s more, Flexcar’s $35 annual membership fee is waived in subsequent years if you use the service just twice in 12 months. And because Flexcar’s fleet averages 30 miles per gallon, and because all of its cars are Ultra Low Emission Vehicles, borrowing from Flexcar is good for Atlanta’s crummy air, too.


Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the number of vehicles in Flexcar's fleet.

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Best Accessories for Pampered Pets BOA Award Winner

Whether you’re looking for a $170 dog bed, a $325 kitty jungle gym, $60 doggie booties or cat kibble labeled duck or salmon “a la veg,” HIGHLAND PET SUPPLY offers a fine collection of both high-end and semireasonably priced goods for the discerning pet owner. The selectionmore...
Whether you’re looking for a $170 dog bed, a $325 kitty jungle gym, $60 doggie booties or cat kibble labeled duck or salmon “a la veg,” HIGHLAND PET SUPPLY offers a fine collection of both high-end and semireasonably priced goods for the discerning pet owner. The selection of organic and natural pet foods and treats — including a $22 stack of sweet-potato chews — is almost enticing enough to give us humans hunger pangs. There are also fancy pet carriers, “party collars” and a wall filled with toys, many of them made from hemp and other natural products. The store also offers a five-week off-site training program and do-it-yourself in-store grooming stations, complete with elevated tubs, shampoo and conditioner, tools, towel, and blow dryer. What next, doggie pedicures and kitty facials? less...

Best Bakery for the Quaintest Cakes BOA Award Winner

The cakes at HIGHLAND BAKERY aren’t like the ones you might find at those fancy cake makers, where towering layers impose in their perfection. Instead, there’s something comfortably homey, with a fair dose of bohemian chic, in the rows of cakes dressed with orange and yellow daisiesmore...
The cakes at HIGHLAND BAKERY aren’t like the ones you might find at those fancy cake makers, where towering layers impose in their perfection. Instead, there’s something comfortably homey, with a fair dose of bohemian chic, in the rows of cakes dressed with orange and yellow daisies and other unpretentious adornments. From carrot and coconut to traditional chocolate or yellow, the cakes’ ingredients are organic and as wholesome as can be without compromising taste. Or, as one fan puts it, she’d like to bathe in Highland Bakery’s buttercream frosting. The bakery’s sweet-potato pancakes are nothing to scoff at, either — and serve as the perfect excuse to pick up a special-occasion cake during breakfast hours. less...

Best Excuse to Get Rid of Your Gut BOA Award Winner

Urban Body Fitness
Located right off Ponce in Va-Hi in a two-level loft, URBAN BODY FITNESS is out to give you a more personal fitness experience than you’ll find hanging around those muscle-bound meatheads and White Goodman wannabes at your local Gold’s. And if you doubt it, just ask any one of the fiercelymore...
Located right off Ponce in Va-Hi in a two-level loft, URBAN BODY FITNESS is out to give you a more personal fitness experience than you’ll find hanging around those muscle-bound meatheads and White Goodman wannabes at your local Gold’s. And if you doubt it, just ask any one of the fiercely loyal members. The gym has the newest machines for cardio and strength training; an extensive schedule of yoga, Pilates and spinning classes taught by some of the best and most experienced instructors in the city; fresh-brewed gourmet coffee and tea; and even an in-house chiropractor for all your cracking needs. Its “try before you buy” approach (an introductory two-week membership that won’t cost you a dime) extends to its two-dozen personal trainers, whose full bios you can check out online beforehand to find your best match. They (bravely) even post their own phone numbers. less...

Best Place for Timeless Threads BOA Award Winner

Stefan's
You could haunt Goodwill like a ghost and never find vintage items as choice as those at STEFAN’S. From ’50s bowling shirts and fur-trimmed swing coats to wool fedoras and over-the-top evening wear, this 30-year-old L5P shop stocks pristine items that look and wear like brand-new. Itmore...
You could haunt Goodwill like a ghost and never find vintage items as choice as those at STEFAN’S. From ’50s bowling shirts and fur-trimmed swing coats to wool fedoras and over-the-top evening wear, this 30-year-old L5P shop stocks pristine items that look and wear like brand-new. It also carries cuff links, eyeglasses and even space-age curtains in a store that’s meticulously organized despite being crammed with merchandise. The attention to detail extends to the elaborate window displays, which are among the most inventive and inviting in town. less...

Best Place to Dress Your Baby BOA Award Winner

Pack a lunch; we’re taking a road trip. Believe it or not, the most fashionable kids’ clothes are found OTP … in Duluth. CAYENNE carries such hip grown-up labels as Da Nang, Joe’s and Antik Denim — as well as haute lines that include Lola et Moi, Petit Bateaumore...
Pack a lunch; we’re taking a road trip. Believe it or not, the most fashionable kids’ clothes are found OTP … in Duluth. CAYENNE carries such hip grown-up labels as Da Nang, Joe’s and Antik Denim — as well as haute lines that include Lola et Moi, Petit Bateau and Nutmeg. Co-owner Kevin Payne gets inspiration from his own 4-year-old daughter, who we’re sure will continue to inspire him well into her teens. (The store stocks clothing for babies and children up to age 16.) Cayenne is a tad on the pricey side, with cashmere frocks and “rockstar jeans” upping the ante, but isn’t your child’s fashion reputation worth it? less...

Best Place to Drop a Wad on Skinny Jeans BOA Award Winner

Though we swore we’d never do it, we caved liked everyone else. We had no idea how many wildly expensive skinny choices we’d have: Chip & Pepper, Habitual, Hudson, J Brand, Joe’s, Rock and Republic, Seven — the list goes on. Lying on the dressing-room floor at BLUEmore...
Though we swore we’d never do it, we caved liked everyone else. We had no idea how many wildly expensive skinny choices we’d have: Chip & Pepper, Habitual, Hudson, J Brand, Joe’s, Rock and Republic, Seven — the list goes on. Lying on the dressing-room floor at BLUE GENES, trying to get the skinny zipper up, we got sucked into the long-running trend. And once we were finally able to stand up and get a glimpse of our skinny legs in the mirror, we were sold. Before we knew it, we were forking over $200 and shimmying our skinny self out the door, vowing never to eat again. less...

Best Reason to Play in the Dirt BOA Award Winner

The Urban Gardener
From the extensive line of organic and natural fertilizers and pest control to the earthy, knowledgeable and helpful staff to the sprawling community garden that supplanted an abandoned lot, THE URBAN GARDENER is obviously a labor of love. The grounds of the gardening shop and adjoining garden are asmore...
From the extensive line of organic and natural fertilizers and pest control to the earthy, knowledgeable and helpful staff to the sprawling community garden that supplanted an abandoned lot, THE URBAN GARDENER is obviously a labor of love. The grounds of the gardening shop and adjoining garden are as beautiful as any yard you could hope to create — which makes its location a block off Interstate 20 all the more encouraging. If they grow all that beauty in a smoke-choked city without the intervention of harmful chemicals, it gives us all hope. Just ask the staff about which perennials, shade trees, native plants and ground cover might work best for you (or have their landscaping team design a formal plan) and watch as your own grounds become an urban oasis. less...

Best Record Shop That Feels Like a Time Warp BOA Award Winner

Former Athens music staple LOW YO YO STUFF, well-known for its tight quarters and unwieldy selection, relocated two blocks ITP in April 2006. The shop didn’t set up camp in some hip intown neighborhood filled with artsy types and trendy bars. Instead, the Low Yo Yo dudes chose a tiny and deterioratingmore...
Former Athens music staple LOW YO YO STUFF, well-known for its tight quarters and unwieldy selection, relocated two blocks ITP in April 2006. The shop didn’t set up camp in some hip intown neighborhood filled with artsy types and trendy bars. Instead, the Low Yo Yo dudes chose a tiny and deteriorating strip mall behind a towering office building off Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. The cave of a store finally has enough space for both people and LPs. Records galore fill table after table and range in price from $5 to $100 or more, depending on how serious you are. The real fun is sitting on the floor searching through the old vinyl, priced from $1 to $2, and gawking at garish ’70s album covers. Be advised: The store is only open Fridays and Saturdays, from noon-6 p.m. less...

Best Resource for Cobbling Together a New Kitchen BOA Award Winner

Georgia nonprofit Habitat for Humanity does more than build homes for the needy. It also offers donated home-renovation supplies to the public — at a fraction of their retail cost — through a Grant Park outpost called RESTORE. ReStore, which recently expanded to 4,000 square feet ofmore...
Georgia nonprofit Habitat for Humanity does more than build homes for the needy. It also offers donated home-renovation supplies to the public — at a fraction of their retail cost — through a Grant Park outpost called RESTORE. ReStore, which recently expanded to 4,000 square feet of warehouse space, offers brand-new stainless-steel appliances, cabinets, sinks, countertops, flooring, windows and light fixtures. There’s even high-end dishes and silverware. If you’re looking beyond the kitchen, ReStore also offers indoor and outdoor furniture, Jacuzzi tubs, area rugs, and just about anything you might need to spruce up your home. The best part: All proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity, which means someone else gets the home they deserve, too. less...

Best Sample/Trunk/Clearance Sale BOA Award Winner

The Big Apple has the fabled semiannual Barney’s Warehouse Sale; we’ve got the locally renowned INTOWN BOUTIQUE WAREHOUSE SALE, where bargain hunters can score seriously marked-down duds from Bill Hallman, P. Valentine, Veruca, Laced Up, Mitzi & Romano, Wish and other merchants of edgymore...
The Big Apple has the fabled semiannual Barney’s Warehouse Sale; we’ve got the locally renowned INTOWN BOUTIQUE WAREHOUSE SALE, where bargain hunters can score seriously marked-down duds from Bill Hallman, P. Valentine, Veruca, Laced Up, Mitzi & Romano, Wish and other merchants of edgy attire. Deals are especially strong on jeans from such makers as Evisu, Acne and Seven, but there also are T-shirts, sweaters, dresses and shoes out the wazoo. The two-day fashion free-for-all takes place in a windowless, cement-floored stockroom a half-mile from the Carter Center. The only question is, can you wait until February (or July) for the next sale? less...

Best Old-School Bookstore BOA Award Winner

Traditional used bookstores — the kind with a mix of recent hardcovers, classic fiction and obscure old tomes with gotta-have titles such as I Was a Soviet Worker — are going the way of the 8-track, thanks to the Internet. That’s why BOOKS AGAIN is so refreshing. It carriesmore...
Traditional used bookstores — the kind with a mix of recent hardcovers, classic fiction and obscure old tomes with gotta-have titles such as I Was a Soviet Worker — are going the way of the 8-track, thanks to the Internet. That’s why BOOKS AGAIN is so refreshing. It carries Southern literature, mysteries, first editions, signed novels, children’s books and so forth, ranging in age from last year to the late 19th century. And its downtown Decatur location is appropriate, given that our most progressive suburb has become a literary center with its own annual book festival, an antiquarian book fair and more than its share of independent bookstores. Books Again reminds us of why we like used bookstores in the first place: You never know what you’ll find. less...

Best OTP Bargain Couture BOA Award Winner

Despite its location in a drab strip shopping center off the beaten path in the suburban jumble of Sandy Springs, FANTASTIC FINDS delivers the goods, fashion-wise. The modestly appointed consignment shop is filled with pre-owned jackets, skirts and little black dresses from such hot labels as Marc Jacobs,more...
Despite its location in a drab strip shopping center off the beaten path in the suburban jumble of Sandy Springs, FANTASTIC FINDS delivers the goods, fashion-wise. The modestly appointed consignment shop is filled with pre-owned jackets, skirts and little black dresses from such hot labels as Marc Jacobs, Manolo Blahnik, Bebe and Chloe, as well as samples and close-outs from top designers and high-end stores. On a good day, you might walk out with a Stella McCartney top or a Chanel bag, or find a gem on the $5 rack. Fantastic, yes? less...

Best Way to Impress a New Flame in the Kitchen BOA Award Winner

Star Provisions
So you want to invite your new beau to your place for dinner, but there’s just one teensy problem: You don’t know the difference between bouillon and bouillabaisse, a skillet and a grill pan, chardonnay and Viognier. Let STAR PROVISIONS come to the rescue. The upscale market flanksmore...
So you want to invite your new beau to your place for dinner, but there’s just one teensy problem: You don’t know the difference between bouillon and bouillabaisse, a skillet and a grill pan, chardonnay and Viognier. Let STAR PROVISIONS come to the rescue. The upscale market flanks Bacchanalia, one of the city’s finest restaurants, and offers plenty of options for piecing together the perfect, premade dinner-to-go. A meal of flank steak and arugula, with a side of risotto, a simple starter of French baguette and chevre, a dessert of Valrhona chocolate cake, and a heady cabernet to wash it down won’t come cheap, but all you have to do is follow the reheating instructions. You do know how to turn on the oven, right? less...

Best Wine Selection at a Grocery Store BOA Award Winner

Ansley Mall Kroger

Trendy: Best Shopping Destination for Chloe, Marc Jacobs and Zac Posen BOA Award Winner

It’s part of every guidebook to Atlanta. It’s heralded as the premiere shopping destination of the South. Gucci, Jimmy Choo and Versace all reside here. Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom are nothing to balk at, either. And let us not forget Jeffrey Kalinsky, who in 1994 introduced Atlantamore...
It’s part of every guidebook to Atlanta. It’s heralded as the premiere shopping destination of the South. Gucci, Jimmy Choo and Versace all reside here. Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom are nothing to balk at, either. And let us not forget Jeffrey Kalinsky, who in 1994 introduced Atlanta to high-end fashion by opening Jeffrey alongside his already successful shoe boutique Bob Ellis (now part of Jeffrey). Walking through PHIPPS PLAZA, one can imagine what life must be like for the rich and fabulous. With the addition of such boutiques as New York staple Barney’s Co-op, trendy chain Intermix and classic line Theory, we paupers are still breaking the bank — and perhaps considering a second mortgage. less...

Best Beer Selection at a Liquor Store BOA Award Winner

Green's
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Caterer BOA Award Winner

Affairs to Remember

Best East Asian Food Market BOA Award Winner

Super H Mart

Best Electronic Store BOA Award Winner

Best Buy
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Furniture on a Budget BOA Award Winner

Ikea Furniture

Best Gamers Shop BOA Award Winner

Game Stop
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Kitchen Tools BOA Award Winner

Cook's Warehouse
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Lingerie BOA Award Winner

Victoria's Secret
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Pawnshop BOA Award Winner

Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best shopping district BOA Award Winner

Little Five Points

Runner-up
Virginia-Highland

Best Adult Toy Store BOA Award Winner

Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Camera Shop BOA Award Winner

Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best CDs BOA Award Winner

Best Computer Store BOA Award Winner

Apple Store

Best Contemporary Furniture BOA Award Winner

Ikea

Best Cooking Classes BOA Award Winner

Cook's Warehouse
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Hair Salon BOA Award Winner

Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Hardware Store BOA Award Winner

Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Head Shop BOA Award Winner

other multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Jewelry Designer BOA Award Winner

Jill Massey

Best Men's Shoes BOA Award Winner

Abbadabba's
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Musical Instruments BOA Award Winner

Guitar Center
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Thrift Store BOA Award Winner

Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Toy Store BOA Award Winner

Toys "R" Us
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Wedding Store BOA Award Winner

David's Bridal
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Accessories BOA Award Winner

Claire's
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Art Supplies BOA Award Winner

Best Baby Store BOA Award Winner

Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Bookstore BOA Award Winner

Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Car Wash BOA Award Winner

Cactus Car Wash

Best Garden Shop BOA Award Winner

Urban Gardener

Best Hip Men's Clothing Store BOA Award Winner

Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Independent Clothing Boutique BOA Award Winner

Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Natural Hair Salon BOA Award Winner

Sweet Potato Pie

Best Sporting Goods BOA Award Winner

Dick's Sporting Goods
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.
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Best Beer Selection at a Liquor Store BOA Award Winner

Green's
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Caterer BOA Award Winner

Affairs to Remember

Best East Asian Food Market BOA Award Winner

Super H Mart

Best Electronic Store BOA Award Winner

Best Buy
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Excuse to Throw a Dinner Party BOA Award Winner

Covering 140,000 square feet of well-air-conditioned space, YOUR DEKALB FARMER’S MARKET isn’t a farmer’s market in the traditional sense. That is, it doesn’t carry goods that come solely from Georgia farmers — though it does have a ridiculously massive selectionmore...
Covering 140,000 square feet of well-air-conditioned space, YOUR DEKALB FARMER’S MARKET isn’t a farmer’s market in the traditional sense. That is, it doesn’t carry goods that come solely from Georgia farmers — though it does have a ridiculously massive selection of local and international produce, meats, seafood, cheeses, dry goods, wine and beer, and prepared foods, all at ridiculously low prices (even for the impressive selection of organic options). We recently found sushi-grade tuna for $10.99 per pound, 89-cent heads of escarole and hearty bundles of herbs for about a buck each. That’s about half the price of most competitors. Putting these values to the test, we’ve found that it’s possible to throw a four-course, 10-person dinner party for around $100. Why would you ever grocery-shop anywhere else? less...

Best Furniture on a Budget BOA Award Winner

Ikea Furniture

Best Gamers Shop BOA Award Winner

Game Stop
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Kitchen Tools BOA Award Winner

Cook's Warehouse
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Lingerie BOA Award Winner

Victoria's Secret
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Pawnshop BOA Award Winner

Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Place for the Sexiest Skivvies BOA Award Winner

A few years back, French-born-and-raised Lamia Aouassi was in the business of importing vegetables. Though she’s still in the import industry, it’s taken a bit of a turn — to European lingerie. Her online and appointment-only boutique, O’CLAIR DE LUNE, is stocked withmore...
A few years back, French-born-and-raised Lamia Aouassi was in the business of importing vegetables. Though she’s still in the import industry, it’s taken a bit of a turn — to European lingerie. Her online and appointment-only boutique, O’CLAIR DE LUNE, is stocked with sultry unmentionables from prominent French and Italian lines. With lacy brassieres, satin undies, classy camis and frilly nighties, the collections are indulgent. Armed with champagne and gourmet chocolates, Aouassi hosts lingerie parties and will gladly assist men in selecting the perfect panties for their special lady, all out of the comfort of her live/work space in Castleberry Hill. less...

Best Place to Enjoy a Brew with Your New ’Do BOA Award Winner

Rooster's
If Ernest Hemingway’s reanimated corpse somehow found itself shambling down Powers Ferry Road in desperate need of a shave and haircut, it would surely stumble into ROOSTER’S, where old-school collides with new-school in an explosion of manly awesomeness. Decked out like some huntingmore...
If Ernest Hemingway’s reanimated corpse somehow found itself shambling down Powers Ferry Road in desperate need of a shave and haircut, it would surely stumble into ROOSTER’S, where old-school collides with new-school in an explosion of manly awesomeness. Decked out like some hunting lodge from the 1920s, this boy’s club oozes enough machismo to make Papa Hemingway plenty proud. Antique golf clubs, stuffed deer heads and ducks adorn the walls alongside flat-screen TVs, and there’s a table full of lad-mag reading material from Maxim to Details — and, fittingly, the forever-quotable screenplay of Caddyshack. If all that isn’t enough to get you there for your next trim, here are two important words: Free. Beer. less...

Best shopping district BOA Award Winner

Little Five Points

Runner-up
Virginia-Highland

Timeless: Best Retail District to Maintain a Classic Vibe BOA Award Winner

Little Five Points
It’s more than 2,000 miles away from Haight-Ashbury, but on a good weekend, Finley Square is a gathering ground full of free spirits — some filled with the alcoholic variety — and an intoxicating variety of stores and vendors. “Go your own way” is the onlymore...
It’s more than 2,000 miles away from Haight-Ashbury, but on a good weekend, Finley Square is a gathering ground full of free spirits — some filled with the alcoholic variety — and an intoxicating variety of stores and vendors. “Go your own way” is the only direction in LITTLE FIVE POINTS, and that retro vibe shows up in a swirl of ways. L5P’s decades-long history reflects a consistent independent streak — one that’s now evident in the hottie wear of Cherry Bomb, the glam kitsch of Junkman’s Daughter, and the vintage digs at Psycho Sisters, Stefan’s, Rag-O-Rama and Tease. It’s a jumble of rebellious heart, “be yourself” attitude and sometimes freakish packaging that accepts both gawkers and neighborhood regulars. What could be more classic? less...

Best Adult Toy Store BOA Award Winner

Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Camera Shop BOA Award Winner

Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best CDs BOA Award Winner

Best Computer Store BOA Award Winner

Apple Store

Best Contemporary Furniture BOA Award Winner

Ikea

Best Cooking Classes BOA Award Winner

Cook's Warehouse
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Hair Salon BOA Award Winner

Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Hardware Store BOA Award Winner

Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Head Shop BOA Award Winner

other multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Jewelry Designer BOA Award Winner

Jill Massey

Best Men's Shoes BOA Award Winner

Abbadabba's
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Musical Instruments BOA Award Winner

Guitar Center
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Place to Buy a Glass Tobacco Pipe BOA Award Winner

There are plenty of enticing and exotic wares in the front of the store to distract you, from handcrafted jewelry to billowing glass sculptures to primitive masks to a sleek waterfall. But the real treasures at 42 DEGREES SOUTH can be found inside the massive, U-shaped cases in the back. Swirling, blown-glassmore...
There are plenty of enticing and exotic wares in the front of the store to distract you, from handcrafted jewelry to billowing glass sculptures to primitive masks to a sleek waterfall. But the real treasures at 42 DEGREES SOUTH can be found inside the massive, U-shaped cases in the back. Swirling, blown-glass pipes of every size, shape and color create a rainbow of options, ranging from $10 for sleek and slender one-hitters to well more than $100 for tall, elegant water pipes. The laid-back and superfriendly staff is happy to guide you through the rather daunting process of wading through hundreds of options to find the pipe that’s right for you. less...

Best Place to Fill Your Tank BOA Award Winner

QuikTrip
It might only be a penny cheaper by the gallon compared with its closest competitor, but Atlanta’s four QUIKTRIP stations offer something more than cheap gas: consistent prices. When we compared gas-by-the-gallon rates at www.atlantagasprices.com, we found that QuikTrip was the only stationmore...
It might only be a penny cheaper by the gallon compared with its closest competitor, but Atlanta’s four QUIKTRIP stations offer something more than cheap gas: consistent prices. When we compared gas-by-the-gallon rates at www.atlantagasprices.com, we found that QuikTrip was the only station in the city that had the same regular-grade price at all of its locations: $2.79. Prices at five of Atlanta’s BP stations, on the other hand, ranged from $2.80 to a whopping $3.19. QuikTrip also has some of the lowest prices in the burbs, where gas prices can be significantly lower than in town. Here’s to QuikTrip, for keeping gas prices low no matter where in the city you fill ’er up. Multiple Atlanta locations. www.quiktrip.com less...

Best Store for Buying Shabby-Chic Decor BOA Award Winner

Merchandise spills out into the parking lot from MELROSE ON PONCE’s loaded front porch. Weathered benches, plant stands and peculiar lamp bases hint at what awaits inside the quirky bungalow-style home-decor store. The shop is a maze of hallways and rooms littered with new, antique and vintagemore...
Merchandise spills out into the parking lot from MELROSE ON PONCE’s loaded front porch. Weathered benches, plant stands and peculiar lamp bases hint at what awaits inside the quirky bungalow-style home-decor store. The shop is a maze of hallways and rooms littered with new, antique and vintage housewares, as well as local arts and crafts. Make grandma proud with a dainty wood bedside table, painted black with mismatched knobs and skinny legs, on sale for $20, or create a patchwork wall with worn wooden picture frames at $7 a pop. less...

Best Store Makeover BOA Award Winner

Putting a hipster clothing boutique in a stately old library building on Moreland Avenue was a stroke of genius when WISH opened a dozen or so years back. Now, several owners and inventory changes later, the shop has reached its full potential with a spectacular renovation that would feel like a SoHomore...
Putting a hipster clothing boutique in a stately old library building on Moreland Avenue was a stroke of genius when WISH opened a dozen or so years back. Now, several owners and inventory changes later, the shop has reached its full potential with a spectacular renovation that would feel like a SoHo art gallery — if you weren’t so consumed with browsing through its racks of Nice Collective, True Religion and Martin Margiela. The clean lines, black-and-white palette and stark furnishings of the main floor are made less imposing by the use of lowly materials such as bare plywood for wall paneling and construction nails for accessory hooks. Downstairs, the dim, book-lined shoe vault, where specialty kicks rest dramatically on glowing white boxes, is an equally captivating space. And the brilliant ad campaign — shots of local musicians wearing Wish’s wares — only complements the store’s hot new look. less...

Best Thrift Store BOA Award Winner

Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Toy Store BOA Award Winner

Toys "R" Us
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Unpretentious Salon for Hipster Mops BOA Award Winner

Adore Hair Studio & Shoppe
It’s barely a year old, but Inman Park’s ADORE HAIR STUDIO & SHOPPE has attracted a — dare we say it? — adoring clientele, and deservedly so. The handsome, minimalist loft space, decorated in shades of chocolate with leather armchairs serving as the styling seats,more...
It’s barely a year old, but Inman Park’s ADORE HAIR STUDIO & SHOPPE has attracted a — dare we say it? — adoring clientele, and deservedly so. The handsome, minimalist loft space, decorated in shades of chocolate with leather armchairs serving as the styling seats, has drawn talent from some of the city’s most popular salons, Many former clients of those salons have followed suit. Adore carries the coveted Bumble and bumble product line — a sign of its chops — and several stylists trained at the prestigious Bb University in New York City. Stylist Brenton Anderson has been featured on two episodes of Fox’s “Ambush Makeover,” and he and others at Adore have styled the hair of actors, models and rock stars. More importantly, the salon’s website states, is the work it has done on “moms, dads, sisters, brothers, cousins and you!” As several beatific clients have pointed out, the only thing missing at Adore is the attitude. less...

Best Wedding Store BOA Award Winner

David's Bridal
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Workout for Masochists BOA Award Winner

Move over, yoga and Pilates. A long-ignored form of Russian strength training is making a comeback, and disciples swear that two months of the exercise does more to lift the derriere (and improve balance and agility) than a year’s worth of sun salutations. KETTLEBELL TRAINING AT STUDIO LOTUSmore...
Move over, yoga and Pilates. A long-ignored form of Russian strength training is making a comeback, and disciples swear that two months of the exercise does more to lift the derriere (and improve balance and agility) than a year’s worth of sun salutations. KETTLEBELL TRAINING AT STUDIO LOTUS offers a departure from the mat classes and private instruction that are typically offered at the Morningside Pilates studio. Attendees of any of the seven weekly Kettlebell classes ($185 for a once-a-week, eight-week series) will be greeted with a cast-iron, bell-shaped weight with a handle on top, which is swung using both arms in various arcs and loops. In less than an hour, the low-impact exercise burns fat, sculpts muscles and offers a rigorous cardio workout. Expect to be sore — to the point of not being able to sit. less...

Best Accessories BOA Award Winner

Claire's
Multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Art Supplies BOA Award Winner


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