1. Designer Shoe Warehouse (Elmwood Shopping Center, 1126.
S. Clearview Pkwy.,
@dswshoelovers) — From Adidas to Zigi Soho, there's a bumper crop of discounted brand-name footwear for men, women and kids at this Harahan outpost of the Ohio-based national retailer, making it the unholy union of two guilty pleasures: chains (the convenience! The sales!) and shoes (because you can never have too many pairs).
2. SoPo (629 N. Carrollton Ave., 504-609-2429; www.soponola.com)
3. Bella & Harlow (4221 Magazine St., 504-324-4531; www.bellaandharlow.etsy.com; @bellaandharlow)
1. Swap (115 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-875-2206; 5530A Magazine St., 504-324-8143; 7716 Maple St., 504-304-6025; www.swapboutique.com) — This upscale consignment shop is where the well-to-do bring last season's designer duds — sometimes before the season technically ends. For the rest of us, this means Saks Fifth Avenue labels (Tibi, Theory, Jimmy Choo) at prices that won't max out your credit card.
2. Buffalo Exchange (3312 Magazine St., 504-891-7443; www.buffaloexchange.com;
3. Prima Donna's Closet (Old Metairie Village, 701 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-835-1120; 927 Royal St., 504-875-4437; 1206 St. Charles Ave., 504-525-3327; www.primadonnascloset.com; @primadonnanola)
Best locally owned bridal shop
1. Pearl's Place (3114 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-885-9213; www.pearlsplace.com) — Budding Bridezillas flock to Pearl's Place, where an experienced staff can cater to every histrionic whim thanks to an inventory of thousands of dresses and more than 40 years of experience. Budget-savvy brides rejoice in free alterations and steaming.
2. Wedding Belles
(3632 Magazine St.,
3. Yvonne LaFleur (8131 Hampson St., 504-866-9666; www.yvonnelafleur.com)
Best locally owned children's store
1. Pippen Lane (2930 Magazine St., 504-269-0106; www.pippenlane.com; @pippenlane) — Don't venture inside this store unless you want to hear the phrase "It's so cute!" deployed like BB-gun fire. And after viewing Pippen Lane's hand-sewn smocked dresses, playhouse, gifts and stuffed animals, don't be surprised if one of the utterances is your own.
2. Little Miss Muffin (244 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-833-6321; 766 Harrison Ave., 504-482-8200; www.shoplittlemissmuffin.com; @shopmissmuffin)
3. Magic Box Toys (5508 Magazine St., 504-899-0117; www.magicboxneworleans.com; @magicboxtoys)
Best locally owned jewelry store
1. Mignon Faget (Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-835-2244; 3801 Magazine St., 504-891-2005; www.mignonfaget.com; @mignonfaget) — Carpetbaggers, here's a tip: If you want to pass as a native, just wear one of Mignon Faget's NOLA-centric designs (think fleur de lis rings, snowball pendants and pelican pins). The pieces all reflect Faget's New Orleans roots, which can be traced back to the 1700s. You can't
get much more local
2. Aucoin Hart (1525 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-834-9999; www.aucoinhart.com)
3. Adler's (722 Canal St., 504-523-5292; Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-523-5292; www.adlersjewelry.com; @adlersjewelry)
locally owned lingerie shop
1. Basics Underneath (1281 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, 985-727-9521; 5513 Magazine St., 504-894-1000, @BasicUnderneath) — Gotta say, sometimes New Orleanians surprise me. Case in point: your top vote for lingerie goes to a boutique with nary a sequin pastie or marabou-trimmed corset in sight. Turns out you have a soft spot for elegant bra sets, comfy, seamless panties, shapewear and lace-trimmed nighties. Who knew?
2. Trashy Diva Corset & Lingerie (831 Chartres St., 504-522-8861; 2044 Magazine St., 504-522-5686; www.trashydiva.com; @trashydiva)
3. House of Lounge (Store closed in June)
locally owned maternity shop
1. Baby Bump (2917 Magazine St., Suite 102, 504-304-2737; www.nolababybump.com; @nolababybump) — Thought to ponder: Are skinny jeans still skinny if they include a maternity panel? The world may never know, but at least you don't have to wrack your brain thinking of ways to look stylish throughout your pregnancy. With its knit dresses, color-blocked tops and maxi dresses, this family-owned business has moms-to-be more than covered.
2. Zuka Baby (2122 Magazine St., 504-596-6540; www.zukababy.com; @zukababy)
3. Angelique Kids (5519 Magazine St., 504-899-8992; www.facebook.com/angeliquebaby)
Best men's clothing store
1. Perlis (600 Decatur St., Suite 103, 504-523-6681; 1281 N. Causeway Blvd., Suite 6, Mandeville, 985-674-1711; 6070 Magazine St., 504-895-8661; www.perlis.com; @perlisinc) — Polo-style shirts and khakis are the classic uniform for well-to-do gentlemen, but with its inventory of crawfish logo sports shirts and seersucker shorts,
Perlis lets you
add an addendum: You're a well-to-do New Orleanian gentleman.
2. Rubensteins (102 St. Charles Ave., 504-581-6666; www.rubensteinsneworleans.com; @rubensteinsnola)
3. Brinkman's Menswear (3020 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-455-8284)
to get a tuxedo
1. Perlis (600 Decatur St., Suite 103, 504-523-6681; 1281 N. Causeway Blvd., Suite 6, Mandeville, 985-674-1711; 6070 Magazine St., 504-895-8661; www.perlis.com;
@perlisinc) — As any jet-set Casanova can tell you, the key to a perfect suit is in its tailoring. Whether you need a James Bond-worthy silhouette for graduation, a wedding or espionage, Perlis has you covered with an inventory of tuxes and accessories for rent, plus in-house alterations.
2. John's Tuxedos (3200 Houma Blvd., Metairie, 504-455-5353; www.johnstuxedos.com; @johnstuxedos )
3. Men's Wearhouse (Citywide; www.menswearhouse.com;
Best shoe store
1. Feet First (526 Royal St., 504-569-0005; 4122 Magazine St., 504-899-6800; www.feetfirststores.com) — Feet First has kept New Orleans women well-heeled for 36 years, and the expansive, hot pink-decorated store also houses sparkly accessories and clutches, many by local designers. Want to bring the knowledgeable sales consultants to your closet? Now you can, with a just-launched accessories styling service.
2. Saks Fifth Avenue (The Shops at Canal Place, 301 Canal St., 504-524-2200;
3. DSW (Elmwood Shopping Center,1126 S. Clearview Pkwy., Harahan, 504-208-5310; www.dsw.com;
1. Academy Sports + Outdoors (Citywide, www.academy.com) — The coolest item at Academy is probably the highly realistic, 3-D boar target, but for the nonarchers among us, there's also a bounty of sportswear, fishing supplies, camping gear, golf accessories, boating essentials (and actual boats), camouflage onesies for babies and more. There are also tailgating accessories for people who'd rather watch sports than compete, but if the turkey-shaped archery target isn't enough to make you pick up a bow, nothing will.
2. Massey's Professional Outfitters (509 N. Carrollton Ave., 504-648-0292; 816 Hwy. 190, Covington, 985-809-7544; 3363 Severn Ave., Metairie,
3. Lululemon Athletica (333 Canal St., 504- 522-3264; www.lululemon.com; @lululemon)
Best T-shirt store
1. Dirty Coast (329 Julia St., 504- 324-6459; 5631 Magazine St.,
@dirtycoast) — Dirty Coast is a standout in the funny T-shirt game, thanks to a one-two punch of eye-catching graphic design and sly, if-you-live-here-you-get-it references. But business is more than just inside jokes: T-shirt sales generate proceeds for organizations ranging from WWOZ to the LA/SPCA — another reason you voted it number one for the third year in a row.
2. Fleurty Girl (citywide; www.fleurtygirl.net;
3. Storyville (3029 Magazine St., 504-304-6209; www.storyvilleapparel.com)
Best thrift store
1. Goodwill (Citywide; www.goodwillno.org, @goodwillnola) — Macklemore knows what's up: "Thank your grand-dad for donating that plaid button-up shirt ... I'm at the Goodwill," he raps in the ubiquitous Top 40 hit "Thrift Shop." Looks like plenty of New Orleanians are poppin' tags here, too; you voted Goodwill among the top three thrift stores in 2010 and 2011, and now it takes first place honors for the second consecutive year.
2. Bloomin' Deals (4645 Freret St., 504-891-1289; www.jlno.org)
3. Red, White & Blue (605 Lapalco Blvd., Marrero, 504-393-1072; 5728 Jefferson Hwy., 504-733-8066;
Best store for vintage clothing
1. Funky Monkey (3127 Magazine St., 504-899-5587) — Shop at Funky Monkey when you crave attention. Whether you don an oversized elephant pendant necklace, platform boots, a vintage floral dress or a fluorescent wig, you'll step out onto Magazine Street looking like a fashion blogger ready for a close-up. Tip: Sell unwanted clothes here or trade them for store credit.
2. Buffalo Exchange (3312 Magazine St., 504-891-7443; www.buffaloexchange.com;
3. Goodwill (citywide; www.goodwillno.org;
Best women's boutique
1. Hemline (605 Metairie Road, Suite B, Metairie, 504-309-8778; 609 Chartres St., 504-592-0242; 3308 Magazine St., 504-269-4005; www.shophemline.com; @hemlinefq; @hemline-
metairie; @hemline-magazine) — Now a regional chain spanning Louisiana, Texas and Alabama and Tennessee, Hemline was birthed in the French Quarter, and although each location is independently owned (meaning the merchandise fluctuates according to buyers' tastes), the fashions are wearable yet avant garde at every shop.
2. Trashy Diva (829 Chartres St., 504-581-4555; 2048 Magazine St., 504-299-8777;
3. Yvonne Lafleur (8131 Hampson St., 504-866-9666; www.yvonnelafleur.com)
Best antiques store
1. M.S. Rau (630 Royal St., 504-523-5660; www.rauantiques.com; @rauantiques) — If you can't afford museum admission, affect an upper-crust accent and duck into M.S. Rau's 30,000-square-foot showroom, where recent acquisitions run the gamut from early 17th-century Chinese porcelain jars to an autographed Muhammad Ali photograph. It's history you can own ... or just admire.
2. Greg's Antiques (1209 Decatur St.,
TIE: 3. Magazine Antique Mall
(3017 Magazine St.,
TIE: 3. Renaissance Interiors (2727 Edenborn Ave.,
Best art market
1. Arts Council of New Orleans at Palmer Park (South Carrollton at Claiborne Avenue, 504-523-1465; artscouncilofneworleans.org, @artsneworleans) — If you've passed the corner of South Carrollton and South Claiborne avenues on some Saturday mornings, you've probably seen the colorful tents, live bands and people shopping among oak trees. The arts market features ceramics, paintings, sculpture, jewelry, textiles and more. It's held the last Saturday of every month, which means there are only four markets left between now and the holiday season.
2. Frenchmen Art Market (619 Frenchment St., 504-941-1149; www.frenchmenartmarket.com; @FrenchmenMarket)
3. Freret Market (5030 S. Liberty St., www.freretmarket.org,
1. La Boulangerie (4600 Magazine St., 504-269-3777) — In what can be a contentious battle between old-school, bready king cakes and newer filled versions, this patisserie offers a third option: the French galette des rois: a cake-sized croissant with a porcelain baby baked inside. Quiche, eclairs, fresh breads, tarts, sandwiches and other delicious Paleo diet saboteurs are on the menu.
2. Haydel's Bakery (4037 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 504-837-0190; www.haydelbakery.com; @haydelsbakery)
3. Gambino's (300 Lapalco Blvd., Gretna, 504-391-0600; 4821 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-885-7500; www.gambinos.com;
1. Aidan Gill for Men (550 Fulton St., 504-566-4903; 2026 Magazine St., 504-587-9090;
www.aidangillformen.com; @aidan_gill) — When bearded gents tire of their bear faces and crave bare faces, they flock to the skilled barbers at these old-school shave emporia for the ultimate in hair removal luxury: hot-towel shaves. A shot of whiskey makes the follicular transformation go down easy, and an inventory of British toiletries, colognes, tortoiseshell razors and boar-bristle brushes let customers bring home the luxe experience.
2. Golden Shears (6008 Magazine St.,
3. Magazine Street Barbershop (4224 Magazine St., 504-267-7823; www.magazinestreetbarbershop.com;
1. GNO Cyclery (1426 S. Carrollton Ave., 504-861-0023; www.gnocyclery.com) — Whether you're looking to get fitted for a new bike or just want a flat changed by a mechanic who won't silently judge your lack of bike skills and homemade tattoos, our readers have chosen GNO Cyclery year after year as the spot to go.
2. Bayou Bicycles (3530 Toulouse St.,
3. Mike the Bike Guy (4411 Magazine St., 504- 899-1344; www.facebook.com/mikethebikeguy)
Best Car Dealership
1. Lexus of New Orleans (8811 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-207-3100; www.lexusneworleans.com) — Why buy a Lexus? Maybe you just scored a reality TV show and need to squire your trophy spouse around in style. Or maybe you found a steal at this Lexus-certified dealer, like the pre-owned 2001 Lexus RX 300 ($7,995 according to the website). Prestige has never been so budget-friendly.
2. Lakeside Toyota (3701 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 504-833-3311; www.lakesidetoyota.com)
3. Lamarque Ford (3101 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 504-443-2500; www.lamarque.com;
Best Dry Cleaner
1. Liberto's (4814 Prytania St., 504-897-2161; www.libertocleaners.com; @libertocleaners) — For 81 years and four generations, this family-owned dry cleaning business has done New Orleans' dirty work: laundering shirts, uniforms, formalwear and more. But thanks to modern practices like adopting eco-friendly, biodegradable detergents and maintaining a Twitter account, you'd never peg Liberto's for an octogenarian.
2. Young's Dry Cleaning (905 Harrison Ave., 504-872-0931; 6227 S. Claiborne Ave., 504-866-5371; www.youngsdrycleaning.com)
3. Classic Cleaners (1820 Dickory Ave., Harahan, 504-734-9111)
Best Farmers Market
1. Hollygrove Market and Farm (8301 Olive St., 504-483-7037; www.hollygrovemarket.com; @hgmf) — Louisiana-proud foodies put their money where their mouths are by supporting this urban farm, which also features a weekly produce market and community garden. For $25, you can pick up a box chock-full of seasonal fruits and veggies. For an extra fee, they'll deliver it to your door— making "the box" ideal for even the laziest locavores.
2. Crescent City Farmers Market on Saturday (700 Magazine St., 504-861-4488; www.crescentcityfarmersmarket.org;
3. Crescent City Farmers Market on Tuesday (Tulane University Square, 200 Broadway St., 504-861-4488; www.crescentcityfarmersmarket.org;
1. Villere's Florist (750 Martin Behrman Ave., Metairie, 504-833-3716; 1415 N. Hwy. 190, Covington, 985-809-9101; www.villeresflowers.com) — When clicking "like" on a momentous Facebook status isn't quite enough, New Orleanians turn to this family-owned florist, a mainstay since 1969 and a perennial Best of New Orleans poll winner. Villere's does custom flowers for weddings, funerals and every occasion in between — and its cash-and-carry deals are great for those "just because" moments.
2. Federico's Family Florist (815 Focis St., Metairie, 504-837-6400)
3. Nola Flora
(4536 Magazine St.,
Best Garden Store
1. Perino's (3100 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-834-7888; www.perinos.com; @perinos) — After 58 years in business this family-owned, full-service garden center has planted its roots deep into the community. You've voted Perino's best garden store in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 — seems unlikely it'll be leafing the top spots anytime soon.
2. Harold's Indoor/Outdoor Plants
(2900 St. Claude Ave.,
3. The Plant Gallery (9401 Airline Hwy.,
Best home electronics store
1. Best Buy (Citywide; www.bestbuy.com;
@bestbuy) — OK, Best Buy is a big-box chain, which everybody hates, but it offers the free shipping, low-price match guarantees and weekly deals on lust-worthy gadgets that everyone loves. That's why you've voted it No. 1 for more than five years. Best Buy, why can't we quit you?
2. H.H. Gregg (901 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 504-539-3838; 8851 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Kenner, 504-667-4138; www.hhgregg.com;
3. Radio Shack (Citywide; www.radioshack.com;
Best grocery store prepared-food-to-go section
1. Whole Foods Market (5600 Magazine St., 504-899-9119, 3420 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-888-8225; www.wholefoodsmarket.com; @wfm-louisiana) — You know you've made it when you can afford to make groceries at Whole Foods, but for shoppers whose budget is more generic than gluten- and GMO-free, the food-to-go section offers tasty deals like two for $5 lunch grabs: hello, small Caesar salad and blackened chicken salad sliders.
2. Rouses (Citywide; www.rouses.com;
2. Langenstein's (1330 Arabella St., 504-899 9283; 800 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-831-6682; www.langensteins.com; @langensteins)
Best Jefferson Neighborhood Grocery
1. Dorignac's (710 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-834-8216; www.dorignacs.com; @bestisbetter) — You don't have to "ax" twice if they have olive "erl" and alligator pears at Dorignac's. The motto is "Yeah, we got dat." Make sure to pick up some fresh "erstas" from the seafood section and a doberge cake from the bakery for ya mama 'n' dem.
2. Langenstein's (800 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-6682; www.langensteins.com;
3. Zuppardo's Family Supermarket (5010 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie, 504-887-1150; www.zuppardos.gourmetfoodmall.com)
Best New Orleans neighborhood grocery
1. Langenstein's (1330 Arabella St., 504-897-0869; www.langensteins.com; @langensteins) — Family-owned and –operated for five generations, Langenstein's is known for gourmet takeout foods that taste like yo' mama's (perhaps better) and its selections of fresh meats and seafood — the main staples on which the business was started in the 1920s.
2. Lakeview Grocery (801 Harrison Ave., 504-293-1201; www.lakeviewgrocery.com)
3. Canseco's Markets (3135 Esplanade Ave., 504-322-2595; 5217 Elysian Fields Ave., 504-218-8426; www.cansecosmarkets.com)
Best Northshore neighborhood grocery
1. Acquistapace's Covington Supermarket (125 E. 21st Ave., Covington, 985-893-0593; www.acquistapaces.com) — Customers visit the deli for changing daily plate-lunch specials, prepared meals, meats that are smoked, fried and rotisserie cooked in house, a full array of groceries — and a wine, beer and spirits department the size of a small liquor store.
2. Lishman's City Market (4020 Pontchartrain Drive, 985-649-2180; 39522 Hwy. 190 E, Slidell, 985-641-2142; www.lishmanscitymarket.com)
3. The Fresh Market (1816 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, 985-674-4105; www.thefreshmarket.com; @thefreshmarket)
1. Rouses (Citywide; www.rouses.com;
@rousesmarkets) — New Orleanians have had a love affair with Louisiana-born Rouses grocery store since the family-owned and -operated supermarket moved into the city in 2007. The store's focus on local products and tastes — and the opening of a chic store downtown — put a win in the bag.
2. Whole Foods Market (3420 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-888-8225; Arabella Station, 5600 Magazine St., 504-899-9119; www.wholefoodsmarket.com; @wfm_louisiana)
3. Winn-Dixie (Citywide; www.winndixie.com;
Best Liquor Store
1. Martin Wine Cellar (714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 504-896-7300; Village Shopping Center, 2895 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, 985-951-8081; 3500 Magazine St., 504-894-7420;
@martin_wine) — Though the name suggests otherwise, Martin Wine Cellar isn't strictly for oenophiles. There's an extensive selection of premium spirits, mixers, beer and snacks. If this isn't incentive enough to drink, the Metairie location offers three-course dinners with suggested wine pairings.
2. Dorignac's (710 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-834-8216; www.dorignacs.com; @bestisbetter)
3. Elio's Wine Warehouse (6205 S. Miro St., 504-866-1852; www.elios-winewarehouse.com;
Best Local Camera Shop
1. Lakeside Camera & Photoworks (3508 21st St., Metairie, 504-885-8660; www.lakesidecamera.com;
@lakesidecamera) — Could anyone have predicted that the photos taken in 1972, the year Lakeside Camera & Photoworks opened, would decades later be the inspiration for countless Instagram filters? Or that photography would explode so exponentially that nary a craft cocktail or graffiti-tagged garage goes undocumented? Truly, we are in a golden age for photos, and with its printing, custom design and video services, classes and cutting-edge camera inventory, Lakeside Camera is one of its driving forces.
2. Bennett's Camera (3230 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-885-9050; www.bennettscamera.com)
3. Moldaner's (7808 Maple St., Suite D, 504-886-6757;
Best locally owned bookstore
1. Maple Street Book Shop (7529 Maple St., 504-866-4916; www.maplestreetbookshop.com; @fightthestupids) — The adventure of reading is personified at this longtime New Orleans favorite, which has walls of shelves and lots of nooks and crannies filled with books for readers of all ages. It hosts author readings and signing events, as well as special events for children. It is a good place to find books by local authors and stories about the South.
2. Octavia Books (513 Octavia St., 504-899-7323; www.octaviabooks.com; @octaviabooks)
3. Garden District Book Shop (The Rink, 2727 Prytania St., 504-895-2266; www.gardendistrictbookshop.com; @gdkrewe)
1. Hurwitz-Mintz Furniture (1751 Airline Drive, Metairie, 504-378-1000; www.hurwitzmintz.com) — Hurwitz-Mintz is a perennial favorite in this poll, perhaps because there are so many choices in the megastore, which has three floors and 125,000 square feet to accommodate furniture styles ranging from traditional to contemporary.
2. Doerr Furniture
(914 Elysian Fields Ave., 504-947-0606;
3. Nadeau (2728 Magazine St.,
to buy a gift
1. Little Miss Muffin (244 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-833-6321; 766 Harrison Ave., 504-482-8200; www.shoplittlemissmuffin.com; @shopmissmuffin) — It's best not to rush through this mecca of eye candy, because the store is packed with gift items for everyone from infants to grandparents. The shop sells a variety of New Orleans- and Saints-themed items and works by local artists in mediums ranging from jewelry to home decor to books. Oh yeah, gift wrapping is free.
2. Fleurty Girl (632 St. Peter St., 504-304-5529; 1720 St. Charles Ave., 504-309-3944; 2885 Hwy. 190, Suite C, Mandeville, 985-778-0341; 3117 Magazine St., 504-301-2557; Lakeside Plaza, 3313 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-454-1433; www.fleurtygirl.net;
3. Hazelnut (2735 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, 985-626-8900; 5515 Magazine St., 504-891-2424; www.hazelnutneworleans.com)
to buy wine
1. Martin Wine Cellar (714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 504-896-7350; Village Shopping Center, 2895 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, 985-951-8081; 3500 Magazine St., 504-894-7420; www.martinwine.com; @martin_wine) — Once again the perennial favorite takes top spot for its vast selection of wines in a wide range of prices from wineries around the world.
2. Dorignac's Food Center (710 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-834-8216; www.dorignacs.com;
3. Rouses (Citywide; www.rouses.com;
1. Lakeside Shopping Center (3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-835-8000; www.lakesideshopping.com; @shopatlakeside) — You can do almost everything you need to do and find whatever you want in one sprawling location — transfer your car title and get a tune-up while you have lunch and find local shops like Earthsavers, Adlers and Jean Therapy alongside national retailers like the Disney Store, Apple, Abercrombie & Fitch and Steve Madden.
2. The Shops at Canal Place (333 Canal St., 504-522-9200; www.theshopsatcanalplace.com; @theshopsatcanal)
3. The Esplanade (1401 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 504-468-6116; www.simon.com/mall/the-esplanade;
1. Herb Import Company (711 St. Peter St., 504-525-4372; 712 Adams St., 504-861-4644; 5055 Canal St., 504-488-4889;
@theherbimport) — Each store has a special area that's an emporium of smoking accoutrements, including herbal vaporizers, hookahs, electronic cigarettes, American Spirit cigarettes, and a wide array of glass, wooden and ceramic pipes, one-hitters and more.
2. Up In Smoke (2101 Magazine St., 504-899-0005; www.upinsmokeneworleans.com; @upinsmokehq)
3. Ra Shop (Citywide; www.rashop.us;
1. Sucre (3025 Magazine St., 504-520-8311; Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-834-2277;
@sucreneworleans) — If you can imagine it as a confection, Sucre can make it real. Can you say gelato po-boy?
2. Angelo Brocato
(214 N. Carrollton Ave., 504-486-1465; www.angelobrocatoicecream.com)
3. Blue Frog Chocolates (5707 Magazine St., 504-269-5707; www.bluefrogchocolates.com; @bluefrogchoc)
1. Troy Broussard (701 Papworth Ave., Suite 210, Metairie, 888-DWI-DR79); http://www.dwidefensectr.com — Juris doctor Troy Broussard is the self-proclaimed "DWI Dr.," and voters have shown he has the cure for what nails you.
2. Morris Bart (909 Poydras St., Suite 2000, 504-525-8000;
3. Josh Mathews (2550 Belle Chasse Hwy., Suite 200, Gretna, 504-368-2700; www.roymbowesandassociates.com)
Best body piercing/
1. Electric Ladyland Tattoo (610 Frenchmen St., 504-947-8286; www.electriclandylandtattoo.com; @ladyland) — Rub the Buddha's belly as you choose your tattoo design, but not for luck: Electric Ladyland Tattoo has won this category 13 years in a row. You're unlikely to find any of these artists' designs featured on A&E's Bad Ink.
2. Downtown Tattoo (501 Frenchmen St., 504-266-2211; www.downtowntattoonola.com; @downtowntats)
3. Uptown Custom and Classic Tattoos (575 S. Carrollton Ave., 504-866-3859; www.uptowntattoos.net)
1. Swiss Confectionery (747 St. Charles Ave., 504-522-7788; www.swisscakes.net) — For almost 100 years, the bakery's creations have been honored guests at New Orleans weddings. At a recent engagement party, a casual poll showed that 16 of the 20 couples who were married in New Orleans got their wedding cakes from "Swiss Cakes."
2. Haydel's (4037 Jefferson Hwy., 504-837-0190; www.haydelbakery.com; @haydelsbakery)
3. New Orleans
Cake Cafe & Bakery (2440 Chartres St., 504-943-0010;
Best cosmetic surgeon
1. Kamran Khoobehi (3901 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-273-7267; www.khoobehi.com; @drkhoobehi) — It's the reconstructive and plastic surgeon's third year topping the poll. He gained national attention for a groundbreaking vascular reconstruction surgery to save the sight of a dog-bite victim, but he's equally well-known for results of his facial, breast and body enhancement procedures.
2. Calvin M. Johnson Jr. (Hedgewood Surgical Center, 2427 St. Charles Ave., 504-895-7642; www.drcalvinjohnson.com)
3. Michael H. Moses (1603 Second St.,
Best day spa
1. Belladonna Day Spa (2900 Magazine St., 504-891-4393; www.belladonnadayspa.com; @bebelladonna) — You already know about the massages, beauty treatments and products, home decor and gifts offered here — you've voted Belladonna Day Spa No. 1 in this category annually since 2002.
2. Earthsavers (Lakeside Shopping Center Annex, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-835-0225; 3414 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, 985-674-1133; 5501 Magazine St., 504-899-8555; www.earthsaversonline.com;
3. H2O Salon & Spa (441 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-835-4377; www.h2osalon-spa.com; @h2osalon-spa)
1. Dr. Kellie Axelrad (New Orleans Children's Dental Center, 3116 Sixth St., Suite 201, Metairie, 504-833-5528; www.neworleanschildrensdental.com) — If the kids are happy, everybody's happy — or so it seems for this pediatric dentist, a New Orleans native who hit the top spot for the first time. She's also on the faculty at Louisiana State University's School of Dentistry.
2. Dr. Susan Lebon (2633 Napoleon Ave., Suite 605,
3. Dr. Jorge Aguilar (Fleur de Lis Dental Care, 6000 Fleur de Lis Drive, 504-486-3339;
1. Dr. Mary Lupo (145 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Suite 302, 504-288-2381; www.drmarylupo.com; @drlupo) — Dr. Lupo climbed from second to first this year, but voters didn't indicate whether it was due to her line of beauty products or her cosmetic, medical and laser treatments.
2. Dr. Richard Sherman (The Skin Institute of
New Orleans, 2633 Napoleon Ave., Suite 815, 504-899-7159; www.tsiono.com)
3. Dr. Barbara Bopp (Bopp Dermatology & Facial Plastic Surgery, 3421 N. Causeway Blvd., Suite 102, 504-455-9933; www.boppskin.com; @boppskin)
Best financial institution
1. Capital One (Citywide; www.capitalone.com;
@capitalone) — I guess you told us what's in your wallet. But which do you prefer: Alec Baldwin with Tiffany DuPont or the Vikings?
2. Chase (Citywide; www.chase.com;
3. Whitney Bank (Citywide; www.whitneybank.com)
Best hair salon
1. H2O Salon & Spa (441 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-835-4377; www.h2osalon-spa.com; @h2osalon-spa) — It's hard to recapture the perfection of salon-fresh hair at home, but stylists at this full-service salon are closing the gap with their recently launched blow-dry bar. Ask for a "style with knowledge" and your stylist will share all the tips and tricks she's using to get your mane looking super-luxe.
2. Rocket Science Salon & Beauty Bar (640 Elysian Fields Ave., 504-218-8982; www.rocketsciencenola.com; @rocketsciencebb)
3. Paris Parker Salons and Spas (Citywide; www.parisparker.com;
1. Elmwood Fitness Center (Elmwood Plaza Shopping Center, 1200 S. Clearview Parkway, Suite 1200, Harahan, 504-733-1600; www.elmwoodfitness.com; @ochsnerhealth) — Whether you're a seasoned triathlete training for your next Ironman competition or a child learning to swim, you'll find the classes, equipment, nutrition advice and professional support you need to achieve your fitness goals at this 175,000-square-foot center, an outpost of Ochsner Health Center.
2. New Orleans Athletic Club (222 Rampart St., 504-525-2375; www.neworleansathleticclub.com; @thenoac)
3. Jewish Community Center (5342 St. Charles Ave., 504-897-0143; www.nojcc.org;
1. Ochsner Health System (1514 Jefferson Hwy., 504-832-3000; www.ochsner.org;
@ochsnerhealth) — U.S. News & World Report agrees with Gambit readers, ranking Ochsner No. 1 in the metro area and in Louisiana in its "Top Hospitals" issue and giving it high marks in several specialty areas.
2. East Jefferson General Hospital (4200 Houma Blvd., Metairie, 504-454-4000; www.ejgh.org; @ejhospital)
3. Touro Infirmary (1401 Foucher St., 504-897-7011; www.touro.com;
1. The Roosevelt New Orleans (123 Baronne St., 504-648-1200; www.rooseveltneworleans.com; @theroosevelt_no) — Walking through the blocklong gilded lobby of The Roosevelt New Orleans is like stepping back to the time of President Theodore Roosevelt, for whom it was named, and Gov. Huey Long, one of its most colorful guests. The Roosevelt is part of the Waldorf Astoria collection of Hilton Hotels.
2. Hotel Monteleone (214 Royal St., 504-523-3341; www.hotelmonteleone.com;
3. Windsor Court (300 Gravier St., 504-523-6000; www.windsorcourthotel.com; @windsorcourt)
Best manicure/ pedicure
1. Earthsavers (Lakeside Shopping Center Annex, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-835-0225; 3414 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, 985-674-1133; 5501 Magazine St., 504-899-8555; www.earthsaversonline.com; @earthsavers) — The signature manicure has 22 steps, including hand reflexology, and the signature pedicure includes a foot and leg massage. There's also a wide range of nail polish colors from which to choose.
2. Serenity Nails (5227 Tchoupitoulas St.,
TIE: 3. Belladonna Day Spa (2900 Magazine St.,
504-891-4393; www.belladonnadayspa.com; @bebelladonna)
TIE: 3. Star Nails (5300 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-895-1781)
Best personal trainer
1. Diane Manganello (Simply Fit Gym, 4825 Prytania St., 504-941-7083; firstname.lastname@example.org; This powerhouse of a trainer climbed up two spots from a third-place finish last year to the winner's podium in 2013. She's also the group fitness instructor at Simply Fit Gym.
2. Don Duke (New Orleans Athletic Club, 222 N. Rampart St.,
TIE: 3. Emile Tujague III (One To One, 735 Octavia St., 504-891-5121; www.onetoonepersonaltraining.com)
TIE: 3. Hiroshi Futagoishi (Supreme Exercise/One to One, 735 Octavia St.,
Best pet boarding/
day care business
1. Canine Connection (4920 Tchoupitoulas St.,
www.canineconnectionnola.com) — This pet boarding and spa business jumped up two spaces from last year to claim top honors. It could be the cat condos, pet suites (with patios), party rooms, dog swimming pool — or all of the above.
2. Zeus' Place (4601 Freret St., 504-304-4718; www.zeusplace.com; @zeusplace)
3. Camp Bow-Wow (2731 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-891-3647; www.campbowow.com/neworleans;
to get a massage
1. Earthsavers (Lakeside Shopping Center Annex, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-835-0225; 3414 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, 985-674-1133; 5501 Magazine St., 504-899-8555; www.earthsaversonline.com; @earthsavers) — It's difficult to pick the "best" part of a massage at Earthsavers — it's whatever part of the body the therapist is working on at the time — but the saddest part is when the massage therapist turns off the music and you know you have to leave the cathedral of serenity and rejoin the real world.
2. Belladonna Day Spa (2900 Magazine St.,
3. Massage Envy (Citywide; www.massagenvy.com)
to take a
1. Romney Pilates (5619 Magazine St., 504-895-1167; www.romneypilates.com; @romneypilates) — You can bend it like Beckham at this studio, which has a Cadillac Trapeze of the same style Victoria and David Beckham use to stay in shape. The studio also features full-body spinning workouts, Bosu, Pulse barre, gyrotonic training, yoga and more.
2. New Orleans Athletic Club
(222 Rampart St.,
3. Elmwood Fitness Center (Elwood Plaza Shopping Center (1200 S. Clearview Parkway, Suite 1200, Harahan, 504-733-1600; www.elmwoodfitness.com;
to take a
1. Wild Lotus Yoga (4842 Perrier St., 504-899-0047; www.wildlotusyoga.com;
@wildlotusyoga) — Situated off a bustling commercial area of Prytania Street, Wild Lotus has dominated this category since it opened 11 years ago. Maybe it's because it has so many potential voters: Wild Lotus offers baby yoga, kids yoga, tweens yoga and lots of classes for adults, some featuring live music. Besides, founder Sean Johnson leads The Wild Lotus Band, the first kirtan act to play the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
2. New Orleans Athletic Club (222 Rampart St., 504-525-2375; www.neworleansathleticclub.com; @thenoac)
3. Elmwood Fitness Center (Elmwood Plaza Shopping Center, 1200 S. Clearview Parkway, Suite 1200, Harahan,
1. L. Bryan Francher (Francher-Perrin Group, 1820 St. Charles Ave., 504-891-6400; www.francherperrin.com) — L. Bryan Francher and fellow Gardner Realtor Leslie Perrin joined forces more than a decade ago to form the Francher-Perrin Group, which specializes in historic buildings for residences or conversions to commercial uses.
TIE: 2. Judy Giglio (RE/Max Real Estate Partners, 4141 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 100, Metairie, 504-888-9900;
TIE: 2. Katie Witry (Gardner Realtors, 1820 St. Charles Ave., Suite 110, 504-891-6400; www.katiewitry.com;
3. Shannon Johnson (Coldwell Banker TEC Realtors, 3201 Gen. DeGaulle Drive, Suite 100; 504-361-8055)
Best tanning salon
1. Planet Beach (Citywide; www.planetbeach.com;
@planetbeach) — After operating gyms for years, Stephen Smith entered the tanning business in 1994 by purchasing Electric Beach, an old Uptown tanning salon. He changed one word on the neon sign outside, naming it Planet Beach. There are now Planet Beach franchises in 36 states and six foreign countries.
2. City Beach (3000 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-888-0017; www.citybeachtanning.com)
3. You-Ca-Tan (2401 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Kenner, 504-464-6888; www.youcatan.com;
Best veterinary/ animal clinic
1. Metairie Small Animal Hospital (Citywide, www.msah.com; @msah101) – Who said doctors don't make house calls anymore? The Metairie Small Animal Hospital staff not only makes house calls, but also offers round-trip transportation, boarding, grooming and laser therapy. And just as people say about kids, pets always seem to get sick on holidays and weekends, so the hospital has vets on call 24/7.
2. Prytania Veterinary Hospital (4907 Prytania St., 504-899-2828;
3. The Cat Practice (1809 Magazine St.,
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