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Best of New Orleans 2012: Goods and Services 

click to enlarge Le Boulangerie

Best New Orleans Neighborhood Grocery

1. Langenstein's (1330 Arabella St., 504-899-9283; — Since 1922, Langenstein's has provided New Orleanians with quality groceries and it now offers home cooking and catering that can be easily passed off as something you stood over the stove preparing for hours.

2. Zara's (2042 Prytania St., 504-523-3658; 4838 Prytania St., 504-895-0581;

3. Canseco's (3135 Esplanade Ave., 504-322-2595; 5217 Elysian Fields Ave., 504-218-8426;


Best New Retail Store

1. Free People (2001 Magazine St., 504-568-0223; — Secrecy — especially with media — is part of the schtick at Free People, which is why many locals didn't know it opened. Per its website, they want to reach "a 26-year-old girl ... who can't resist petting any dog that passes her by on the street." Our preemptive apologies to Fido, Maw Maw and Paw Paw.

2. A Girl Is a Gun (6010 Magazine St., 504-891-4475;

3. Hattie Sparks (714 Adams St., 504-304-5975;


Editor's Pick

Recently, Bywater's Burgundy Street has gone from sleepy residential enclave to bustling corridor, boasting yoga studios, restaurants and retail to rival Magazine Street's. Anchoring that trend is Bon Castor (3207 Burgundy St., 504-948-9987;, a cheerful little cubbyhole of a shop that offers whimsical, New Orleans-centric soaps, ceramics, dresses, paintings, stationery, jewelry and more — most of which is made by neighborhood residents. Owner Amy Knoll's inventory manages to be both unpredictable — there are creepy portraits of demon-tongued women by Molly Maguire — and reliable, filling any last-minute gift need in a pinch. — Missy Wilkinson


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; — Perlis is famous for its crawfish-emblazoned garments and Mardi Gras striped shirts, but the LSU and Saints gear, which even includes formal items, is not to be missed.

2. Rubensteins (102 St. Charles Ave., 504-581-6666;

3. Jos. A. Bank (230 Carondelet St., 504-528-9491; 2735 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, 985-624-4067; 3320 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 504-620-2265;


Best Place 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; — Unlike many national retailers, Perlis' formalwear inventory is housed onsite and the staff is trained to take accurate measurements, ensuring precise alterations. Also unlike national retailers, Perlis offers crawfish and fleur de lis cufflinks to jazz up plain formalwear.

2. John's Tuxedos (3200 Houma Blvd., Metairie, 504-455-5353;

3. Men's Wearhouse (Citywide;


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; — Hemline originated over a decade ago in the French Quarter and has since expanded throughout Louisiana, the South and Midwest, providing unique and on-trend designer fashions and participating in local style events.

2. Trashy Diva (829 Chartres St., 504-581-4555; 2048 Magazine St., 504-299-8777;

3. Yvonne LaFleur (8131 Hampson St., 504-866-9666;


Best Locally Owned Children's Store

1. Pippen Lane (2929 Magazine St., 504-269-0106; — Tot-top tall stuffed animals greet toddlers at the front of the store, a spacious playhouse occupies kids in the back of the store, while the clothing and gift inventory ranging from fun to formal satisfies grown-ups.

2. Little Miss Muffin (244 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-833-6321; 766 Harrison Ave., 504-482-8200;

3. TIE: Magic Box (5508 Magazine St., 504-899-0117; www.magicbox-

3. TIE: Haase's (8119 Oak St., 504-866-9944;


Best Shoe Store

1. Feet First (526 Royal St., 504-569-0005; 4122 Magazine St., 504-899-6800; — In addition to shoes and handbags from top name designers, Feet First provides fashion aids for concealing the unsightly and comforting the uncomfortable, menswear and products from local lines including NOYO, Nola Couture and Skip N' Whistle.

2. Saks Fifth Avenue (The Shops at Canal Place, 301 Canal St., 504-524-2200;

3. Shoe-Nami (3102 Magazine St., 504-895-1717; 3319 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-885-0805; 15 Westbank Expwy., Gretna, 504-366-0177)


Best Store for Evening Wear

1. Saks Fifth Avenue (The Shops at Canal Place, 301 Canal St., 504-524-2200; — Knowledgeable and friendly evening wear sales associates keep runway trends and customers' style in mind while combing through racks of haute couture from Ocsar de la Renta, Emilio Pucci, Alexander McQueen and more, directing shoppers to neighboring departments as needed.

2. Pearl's Place (3114 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-885-9213;

3. Macy's (The Esplanade, 1401 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 504-461-4800; Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-484-4600;


click to enlarge Langenstein’s

Best Locally Owned Lingerie Shop

1. House of Lounge (2044 Magazine St., 504-671-8300; — Lingerie here is either sweet like satin pajamas a la Clair Huxtable, sassy like lace-trimmed cami and thong sets or scandalous like marabou pasties. The store has an all-encompassing selection of sizes, with boudoir accessories, costumes and custom corsets being some of the most talked-about items.

2. Basics Underneath (1281 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, 985-727-9521; 5513 Magazine St., 504-894-1000)

3. Trashy Diva Lingerie Boutique (831 Chartres St., 504-522-8861;


Best Store for Sportswear

1. Academy Sports & Outdoors (Citywide; — It's convenient to find name-brand fashions for a range of activities from padded football pants to yoga and Pilates garb as well as casual sportswear for things like tailgating (there's a range of jerseys and T-shirts for the Saints, Hornets, LSU, Tulane and more), crawfish boils or playing a supporting role in the stands at sporting events.

2. Dick's Sporting Goods (Lakeside Shopping Center Annex, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 130, Metairie, 504-835-0091;

3. Massey's Professional Outfitters (509 N. Carrollton Ave., 504-648-0292; 816 Hwy. 190, Covington, 985-809-7544; 3363 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-885-1144;


Best T-Shirt Store

1. Dirty Coast (5631 Magazine St., 504-324-3745; www.dirtycoast.-com) — Artistically clever homages to all things New Orleans, including commemorative or trenchant treatments of localcentric headlines, are expressed on T-shirts and sold at this Uptown shop. Hubig's pie factory. The daily Times-Picayune. The New Orleans Saints' bounty and Superdome bugging scandals. There's a T-shirt for that.

2. Fleurty Girl (632 St. Peter St., 504-304-5529; 2885 Hwy. 190, Suite C, Mandeville, 985-778-0341; 3117 Magazine St., 504-301-2557; Lakeside Plaza, 3313 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-454-1433;

3. Storyville (3029 Magazine St., 504-304-6209;


Best Store for Vintage Clothing

1. Funky Monkey (3127 Magazine St., 504-899-5587) — There's always something new and interesting at this clothing exchange, which offers vintage, used and new men's and women's apparel, shoes, handbags and funky accessories. There also are hand- made costumes, custom T-shirts and local designers' fashions.

2. Buffalo Exchange (3312 Magazine St., 504-891-7443;

3. Miss Claudia's (4204 Magazine St., 504-897-6310;


Best Thrift Store

1. Goodwill (Citywide; — The clothing, electronics, housewares and tchotchkes are freshened often as donations roll in, and prices are consistently low (check for weekly half-price days). It's a popular place to find costume fodder, interview suits and home decor. Plus, 80 percent of sales revenues goes toward Goodwill workforce training and other programs for people with disabilities.

2. Bloomin' Deals (4645 Freret St., 504-897-9128;

3. Red, White & Blue (5050 Lapalco Blvd., Marrero, 504-347-1512; 5728 Jefferson Hwy., 504-733-8066;


Best Consignment Store

1. Swap (115 Metairie Road, Unit A, Metairie, 504-304-6025; 7716 Maple St., 504-304-6025; — Not your Maw Maw's consignment shop but not your teenage sister's either, Swap is full of like-new, Pinterest-popular garments and accessories from Vera Wang, Christian Louboutin, Badgely Mischka and more, and at more than half off retail.

2. Buffalo Exchange (3312 Magazine St., 504-891-7443;

3. Prima Donna's Closet (927 Royal St., 504-875-4437; 1206 St. Charles Ave., 504-522-3327; 3213 17th St., Metairie, 504-835-1120; www.primadonnas-


Best Shopping Mall

1. Lakeside Shopping Center (3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, — From early in the morning when senior citizens are making laps from Dillard's to Macy's for exercise until late in the evening when teenagers are flirting in the food court, Lakeside is buzzing with shoppers enjoying cruising this classic American mall.

2. The Shops at Canal Place (333 Canal St., 504-522-9200;

3. The Esplanade (1401 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 504-468-6116;


Best Place to Buy Furniture

1. Hurwitz-Mintz (1751 Airline Drive, Metairie, 504-378-1000; – Since 1923, Hurwitz-Mintz has provided New Orleanians with functional and fashionable furniture and decor, making it easy to see why Gambit readers have named it the best in furniture for over a decade.

2. Doerr Furniture (914 Elysian Fields Ave., 504-947-0606;

3. Rooms To Go (62 Westbank Expy., Gretna, 504-367-4100; 409 N. Hwy. 190, Covington, 985-809-3993; 5800 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-779-2688;


Best Place to Buy Lamps/Lighting

1. Lighting Inc. (8180 Earhart Blvd., 504-486-5761; — It's always sunny on Earhart Boulevard — at least it seems that way once you've visited the Lighting Inc. showroom, which has a dizzying array of chandeliers, light fixtures, sconces, lamps, outside lighting and fans all over its ceiling and walls. The locally owned Lighting Inc. has helped New Orleanians show their spaces in a good light for 53 years.

2. Home Depot (Citywide;

3. Armstrong's Supply Company (3600 Orleans Ave., 504-486-0094;


Best Antiques Store

1. M.S. Rau (630 Royal St., 504-523-5660; — Looking through an M.S. Rau catalog is like examining a book about art and furniture history. Visitors to the 30,000-square-foot French Quarter showroom might find a painting by Renoir alongside a rare pietre dure casket (read: hope chest) made of ebony, gold, 17th-century artworks and gemstones that sold for $36.7 million at a Christie's auction.

2. Greg's Antiques (1209 Decatur St., 504-202-8577;

3. TIE: Magazine Antique Mall (3017 Magazine St., 504-896-9994)

3. TIE: Renaissance Interiors (2727 Edenborn Ave., 504-454-3320;


Best Place To Buy a Gift

1. Little Miss Muffin (244 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-833-6321; 766 Harrison Ave., 504-482-8200; – Specializing in women's apparel and accessories, children's clothing and toys, home decor and furniture, Little Miss Muffin also stocks items from several local companies including New Orleans-themed baby books from Lil Squirts, toiletries from Niven Morgan and silver pieces from Christine Dusang.

2. Hazelnut (5515 Magazine St., 504-891-2424;

3. Fleurty Girl (632 St. Peter St., 504-304-5529; 2885 Hwy. 190, Suite C, Mandeville, 985-778-0341; 3117 Magazine St., 504-301-2557; Lakeside Plaza, 3313 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-454-1433;


Best Locally Owned Bridal Shop

1. Pearl's Place (3114 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-885-9213; — Family-owned and -operated Pearl's Place provides free alterations and steaming on gowns from top bridal designers including Vera Wang, Jessica McClintock and Monique Lhuillier. Pearl's Place knows local bridal style, which is why it's regularly voted top bridal shop by Gambit readers.

2. Wedding Belles (3632 Magazine St., 504-891-1005;

3. Yvonne LaFleur (8131 Hampson St., 504-866-9666;


Best Local Jewelry Designer

1. Mignon Faget ( — Mignon Faget's family has been in New Orleans since the 18th century and her jewelry is just as much an emblem of the city as the fleur-de-lis she fashions into necklaces, earrings, rings and cufflinks. No true New Orleanian's personal collection is complete without at least one of her classic designs.

2. Tom Mathis (

3. Dominique Giordano (


click to enlarge Zeus’s Place

Best Smoke Shop

1. Herb Import Company (Citywide; — Botanicals, bath products, herbal mood enhancers, hookahs, e-cigarettes and vitamins are the hot-sellers at the Herb Import Company. The staff here is more knowledgeable in homeopathic remedies than you might know, and there's an herbalist on staff for consultations and advice.

2. Up In Smoke (2101 Magazine St., 504-899-0005;

3. Ra Shop (Citywide;


Best Sweet Shop

1. Sucre (3025 Magazine St., 504-520-8311, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-834-2277; – Seasonal inventory like Tahitian marshmallows, signature treats like macaroons and tiny details like sprinkles of glitter make this sweet shop a dessert boutique. Offerings here are the subject of many drool-worthy Instagram pictures and the chocolate drinks and frozen treats can easily become habit-forming.

2. Blue Frog Chocolates (5707 Magazine St., 504-269-5707;

3. Angelo Brocato (214 N. Carrollton Ave., 504-486-1465;


Best Locally Owned Maternity Shop

1. Baby Bump (2917 Magazine St., Suite 102, 504-304-2737; — For high-fashion mommies-to-be who want the Mama Spanx and Storksaks that bump-bearing celebs love and for the y'ats who dream of raising little Who Dats starting in utero with Future Who Dat Fan tees, this social media-famous boutique reigns supreme.

2. Angelique Baby (5519 Magazine St., 504-899-8992;

3. Zuka Baby (2122 Magazine St., 504-596-6540;


Best Locally Owned Jewelry Store

1. Mignon Faget (The Shops at Canal Place, 333 Canal St., 504-524-2973; Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-835-2244; 3801 Magazine St., 504-891-2005; www.mignonfaget.-com) — Most of Mignon Faget's collections capture aspects of New Orleans living that locals cherish such as snoballs and wrought iron architecture, while some of them also let shoppers contribute to local causes such as the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and DashThirtyDash, The Times-Picayune employee and contractor assistance fund.

2. Aucoin Hart (1525 Metairie Road, Metairie, 834-9999;

3. TIE: Adler's (722 Canal St., 504-523-5292; Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-523-5292;

3. TIE: Symmetry (8138 Hampson St., 504-861-9925;


Best Dry Cleaner

1. Liberto's (4814 Prytania St., 504-897-2161, — Liberto's has been around for 79 years and has the kind of old-school attention to detail and genuine service you'd expect from a mom-and-pop, but with a mind toward greener practices. Services like next-morning pick-ups for chef jackets speak to its place as a New Orleanian community staple.

2. Young's (Citywide;

3. TIE: Classic Cleaners (1820 Dickory Ave., Harahan, 504-734-9111;

3. TIE: Deluxe (5325 Canal Blvd., 504-488-7733,


Best Hospital

1. Ochsner Health System (1514 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 504-842-4083; — Named for Dr. Alton Ochsner, one of its founders, this homegrown institution has been a leader in health care and research for patients of all ages since it opened in 1942. Its network of 50 hospitals and clinics serves more than 336,000 patients from southeast Louisiana and 26 foreign countries.

2. East Jefferson General Hospital (4200 Houma Blvd., Metairie, 504-454-4000;

3. Touro Infirmary (1401 Foucher St., 504-897-7011;


Best Dermatologist

1. Patricia Farris (Old Metairie Dermatology, 701 Metairie Road, Suite 2a, Metairie, 504-836-2050; — Dr. Patricia Farris helps patients find the youth that lies within using non-invasive, non-surgical skin rejuvenation techniques (laser resurfacing, Botox, fillers and more) and cosmeceutical skin care therapies. She also helps educate other profes-sionals through presentations, training programs and more.

2. Mary Lupo (Lupo Center for Aethetic and General Dermatology, 145 Robert E. Lee Blvd., 504-288-2381;

3. J. Coller Ochsner (2323 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-831-6633)


Best Cosmetic Surgeon

1. Kamran Khoobehi (3901 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-273-7267; — Featured on CNN for his skill in saving the sight of a patient bitten on the eyelid by a dog, Dr. Kamran Khoobehi also offers noninvasive techniques (Botox, laser rejuvenation, dermal fillers) and surgical cosmetic procedures including facelifts, breast augmentations and liposuction.

2. Calvin Johnson (Hedgewood Surgical Center, 2427 St. Charles Ave., 504-895-7642;

3. Michael Moses (1603 Second St., 504-895-7200;


click to enlarge Perlis

Best Chiropractor

1. Sylvi Beaumont (1138 S. Carrollton Ave., 504-864-1234) — Dr. Sylvi Beaumont has eased the aches, pains and misalignments of New Orleanians for years. She's a back specialist who uses her knowledge of yoga, the body's interactions and chiropractic manipulations to improve patients' health and provides tips for continuing their progress at home.

2. George Putnam (4902 Canal St., Suite 305, 504-482-1480;

3. Antoine Ky (2926 Canal St., 504-821-1500)


Best Podiatrist

1. Cyril Scully (3510 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-455-1777) — Like a house's foundation, good foot health supports overall physical well-being, and problems like bunions, diabetic ulcers or plantar fasciitis eventually affect the entire body. Cyril Scully, an American Board of Podiatric Surgery Fellow, can keep you on your toes.

2. Joseph Delucca (3101 Ridgelake Drive, Metairie, 504-831-2671)

3. Leon Watkins (Watkins Foot Center, 2520 Harvard Ave., Suite B, Metairie, 504-454-3004;


Best Dentist

1. Leslie Gottsegen (2633 Napoleon Ave., 504-891-5000) — Quick, thorough and friendly, Leslie Gottsegen's meticulous care would keep patients coming back, even if a cavity-friendly diet of snowballs, pralines and bread pudding didn't make regular trips to the dentist a New Orleans imperative.

2. John Moffatt (Moffatt & Walsh, 5809 Citrus Blvd., 504-733-8551)

3. Kellie Axelrad (previously of Bippo's Place, 3501 Behrman Place, 504-368-1990;


Best Health Club

1. Elmwood Fitness Center (1200 S. Clearview Pkwy., Suite 1200, 504-733-1600; www.elmwoodfitness.-com) – Elmwood is not just a gym but is a complete fitness center that offers kids' activities, senior classes, group exercise, personal training and aquatics, all with a 24-hour gym, athletic supply shop and cafe that sells more than smoothies.

2. New Orleans Athletic Club (222 N. Rampart St., 525-2375;

3. Jewish Community Center (3747 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 887-5158; 5342 St. Charles Ave., 897-0143;


Best Personal Trainer

1. Nolan Ferraro (Salire Fitness, 4209 Magazine St., 504-821-4896; — Founder of Salire Fitness and an active member of several exercise and health organizations, Nolan Ferraro has more than a decade of experience offering clients personal training, Pilates instruction, life coaching and wellness consulting rooted in his faith and tailored to each patron.

2. Mackie Shilstone

3. TIE: Bryan Melan (B.A.M. in Motion;

3. TIE: Diane Manganello (NOLA Fit, 2116 Magazine St., 504-941-7083;


Best Place to Take a Yoga Class

1. Wild Lotus Yoga (4842 Perrier St., 504-899-0047; New Orleans Healing Center, 2372 St. Claude Ave., 504-899-0047; – Wild Lotus Yoga has been in business for 10 years and has been voted No. 1 in this category by Gambit readers for all of them. The studio offers kids' yoga classes, Thai yoga, mom and baby yoga and more, with the Friday night Yoga Jam becoming a crowd favorite.

2. Life Boutique & Yoga Studio (5422 Magazine St., 504-267-0380;

3. Swan River Yoga, Canal Street (2940 Canal St., 504-267-4596;


Best Place to Take a Pilates Class

1. Romney Pilates (5619 Magazine St., 504-895-1167; — Soft-spoken receptionists, muted lighting and infused water greet patrons downstairs while ballet barres and wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling mirrors encourage clients to explore their bodies' full range of motion upstairs. Romney Pilates is also known for BOSU/PULSE classes and meditation and is the only studio in the city that offers Gyrotonic training.

2. Elmwood Fitness Center (1200 S. Clearview Pkwy., 504-733-1600;

3. New Orleans Athletic Club (222 N. Rampart St., 504-525-2375;


Best Dance Class and Where to Take It

1. Zumba at Elmwood Fitness Center (1200 S. Clearview Pkwy., Suite 1200, Harahan, 504-733-1600) — In a format designed to feel more like a dance party than a workout, Zumba combines classic Latin dance moves that contribute to body sculpting and fat-burning, making Zumba a fun but effective workout.

2. Ballet at New Orleans Dance Academy (5956 Magazine St., 504-899-3780;

3. Freestyle Cardio @ Nola Fit (2116 Magazine St., 504-941-7083;


Best New Workout Trend

1. Zumba — See above.

2. Ballet and Pilates Barre workouts

3. Bicycling


click image Domenica

Best Barbershop

1. Aidan Gill for Men (550 Fulton St., 504-566-4903; 2026 Magazine St., 504-587-9090; — In a world of unisex grooming, the dapper Mr. Gill is an unapologetic throwback to the days when men went to the barber, dammit, and got a haircut, not "styling." Sit back with a whisky (and perhaps a cigar) and let Aidan and his crew tend to your follicles, or indulge in his hot-towel "Shave at the End of the Galaxy," a bit of pampering as elaborate and relaxing as a great massage.

2. Golden Shears (6008 Magazine St., 504-895-9269)

3. Magazine Street Barbershop (4224 Magazine St., 504-267-7823;


Best Manicure/Pedicure

1. Earthsavers (Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 140, Metairie, 504-835-0225; 3414 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, 985-674-1133; 5501 Magazine St., 504-899-8555; — Manicures and pedicures at Earthsavers are relaxing, luxurious experiences and can make hands and feet look better for longer. The store also has ergonomic shoes to show off those toenails.

2. Belladonna (2900 Magazine St., 504-891-4393;

3. Serenity (JW Marriott Hotel, 614 Canal St., 504-525-5433;


Best Hair Salon

1. H2O (441 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-835-4377; 3908 Hwy. 22, Mandeville, 985-951-8166; – Though the salon is named after water, many a freshly done do's archenemy, H2O provides hair styling and cutting, kids' services and chemical treatments. It also offers hair repair and corrective coloring to remedy at-home snafus.

2. Rocket Science Beauty Bar (640 Elysian Fields Ave., 504-218-8982;

3. Keith Noonan Salon (Old Metairie Village Shopping Center, 800 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-482-1866;


Best Day Spa

1. Belladonna Day Spa (2900 Magazine St., 504-891-4393) — With so many different offerings, add-ons and packages, there's a service at Belladonna for everyone: In addition to massage, mani/pedis and waxing, there's aromatherapy, body buffing with either salt or sugar and treatment packages which use themes to engage all senses.

2. Earthsavers (Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 140, Metairie, 504-835-0225; 3414 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, 985-674-1133; 5501 Magazine St., 504-899-8555;

3. Ritz-Carlton Spa (921 Canal St., 504-524-1331;


Best Place to Get a Massage

1. Earthsavers (Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 140, Metairie, 504-835-0225; 3414 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, 985-674-1133; 5501 Magazine St., 504-899-8555; — Earthsavers offers deep tissue, full body, Thai, warm stone and pregnancy massages with several add-on options, including aromatherapy, Jacuzzi, sauna and bath. Individual and couple packages combine massages with other services, often in accordance with a theme.

2. Belladonna Day Spa (2900 Magazine St., 504-891-4393)

3. Ritz-Carlton Spa (921 Canal St., 504-524-1331;


Best Place to Get Makeup Applied

1. MAC at Saks Fifth Avenue (The Shops at Canal Place, 301 Canal St., 504-524-2200; – Getting a makeup application at the MAC counter can simplify preparation for a night on the town or help you nail the perfect shade of foundation and concealer.

2. H2O (441 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-835-4377; 3908 Hwy. 22, Mandeville, 985-951-8166;

3. Make Me Up (3426 Magazine St., 504-891-9688;


Best Place to Get Waxed

1. Earthsavers (Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 140, Metairie, 504-835-0225; 3414 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, 985-674-1133; 5501 Magazine St., 504-899-8555; — Earthsavers offers waxing for all areas where excess hair is unsightly, ranging from the traditional upper lip and bikini waxes to the rare forehead and neck hair removal treatments.

2. Belladonna Day Spa (2900 Magazine St., 504-891-4393)

3. Bombshell (3343 Metairie Road, Suite 7, Metairie, 504-667-6861;


click to enlarge Funky Monkey

Best Tanning Salon

1. Planet Beach (Citywide; — Planet Beach is a tanning salon par excellence with more than the typical UV beds. A high pressure UV therapy bed requires only two to four sessions a month to maintain a sun-kissed glow. Other spa services are available too, such as facial and massage treatments and the curious Slim Capsule, a tanning bed-like pod that combines heat, light, massage and aroma therapies.

2. City Beach (3000 Severn Ave., Suite 3, Metairie, 504-888-0017;

3. Solaris (7605 Maple St., 504-866-4826,


Best Body Piercing/Tattoo Parlor

1. Electric Ladyland (610 Frenchmen St., 504-947-8286, — Electric Ladyland's location on Frenchmen services late-night crowds as well as the discerning tattoo-aficiondo. A roster of talented, well-known artists, affordable prices, fast service, and a clean facility have made this a trusted establishment among Gambit readers.

2. Mid-City Voodoux Tattoo (140 N. Carrollton Ave., 504-278-1465,

3. Uptown Tattoos (575 S. Carrollton Ave., 504-866-3859,


Best Locally Owned Bookstore

1. Maple Street Books (Citywide; — In the face of a changing literary landscape, the oldest independent book store in New Orleans has not only adapted with online ebook sales and a strong social media presence, it has expanded to include four locations — now there's a happy story with no end in sight.

2. Octavia Books (513 Octavia St., 504-899-7323;

3. Garden District Books (The Rink, 2727 Prytania St., 504-895-2266;


Best Car Dealership

1. Lexus of New Orleans (8811 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-207-3100; — Whether your preference is for the extravagant performance models, which cost more than a quarter million dollars, or the moderately luxurious pre-owned versions, which start at $35,000, Lexus of New Orleans staff will help you find, finance and maintain the car of your dreams.

2. Lamarque Ford (3101 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 504-443-2500;

3. Lakeside Toyota (3701 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 504-833-3311;


Best Financial Institution

1. Whitney Bank (Citywide; — The New Orleans-based bank, founded in 1883, is the oldest continuously operating bank in the Gulf South and serves Louisiana and Texas, and it's the only "official" bank of the New Orleans Saints. Though it merged with Hancock Bank in 2010, it has kept its name and relationship to the city intact.

2. Chase (Citywide;

3. Capital One Bank (Citywide;


Best Home Electronics Store

1. Best Buy (Citywide; — This cavernous electronics mecca galvanizes the masses to shop by offering variety (there's everything from home appliances to smartphones), value (they'll match competitors' prices) and convenience (there are nine locations in the greater New Orleans area).

2. Radio Shack (Citywide;

3. A-1 Appliance (Citywide;


Best Local Camera Shop

1. Lakeside Camera & Photoworks (2121 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, 985-626-1776; 3508 21st St., Metairie, 504-885-8660; — Creatively present your images on photo puzzles or iPad cases, buy a better camera or take a photography class at Lakeside Camera, a popular stop for camera enthusiasts and photographers since 1972.

2. Bennett's Camera (3230 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-885-9050;

3. Moldaner's (7808 Maple St., Suite D, 504-886-6757;


Best Bicycle Store

1. GNO Cyclery (1426 South Carrollton Ave., 504-861-0023, — Cycling has become increasingly popular in New Orleans and GNO Cyclery continues to be a popular place for all things two-wheeled. For a contraption that can almost be as confusing as a car, readers trust GNO Cylcery to offer fair service assessments and advice.

2. Bayou Bicycles (3530 Toulouse St., 504-488-1946,

3. Bicycle Michael's (622 Frenchmen St., 504-945-9505,


Best Veterinary/Animal Clinic

1. Metairie Small Animal Hospital (101 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-835-4266, — The Metairie Small Animal Hospital has been in business for 65 years and has grown to include several branches around the city. Handling exotic pets, and the usual cats and dogs, this trusted clinic with knowledgeable, compassionate vets, also offers boarding, grooming, and adoptions, and also runs an accessories store.

2. Prytania Veterinary Clinic (4907 Prytania St., 504-899-2828,

3. VCA Causeway Animal Hospital (1315 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 504-828-2700,


Best Place to Board Your Pet

1. Zeus's Place (4601 Freret St., 504-304-4718; – All-inclusive or a la carte grooming, dog and cat boarding with videos and pictures for pet parents and adoptable critters are why Zeus' Place is "your pet's home away from home."

2. Metairie Small Animal Hospital (101 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-835-4266;

3. Canine Connection (617 S. Claiborne Ave., 504-304-3844; 4920 Tchoupitoulas St., 218-4098;


Best Place to Have Your Pet Groomed

1. Zeus's Place (4601 Freret St., 504-304-4718; – Getting a pet groomed at Zeus' Place is easy, and the a la carte services include nail trimming, flea dips and tooth brushing.

2. Petco (Citywide;

3. Metairie Small Animal Hospital (101 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-835-4266;


Best Hotel

1. Ritz-Carlton New Orleans (921 Canal St., 504-524-1331; — Authentic New Orleans decorative touches and neoclassical furnishings make a stay at the Ritz-Carlton anything but mundane. The Ritz-Carlton Club level has private access to the club lounge and its CD and DVD library. Even without staying the night, the spa, M Bistro and Davenport Lounge make it worth the trip.

2. Roosevelt Hotel (123 Baronne St., 504-648-1200;

3. Windsor Court (300 Gravier St., 504-523-6000;


Best Bed & Breakfast

1. Soniat House (1133 Chartres St., 504-522-0570; www.soniathouse.-com) — The Soniat House is more boutique hotel than bed and breakfast, and its period furnishings, lush courtyards and elegantly decorated rooms give guests the feeling of old New Orleans — ideal for romance.

2. Parkview Guest House (7004 St. Charles Ave., 504-861-7564;

3. La Maison Marigny (1421 Bourbon St., 504-948-3638;


Best Cheap Gas

1. Sam's Club (3900 Airline Drive, Metairie, 504-831-2911; — You don't have to be a member of Sam's Club to buy gas here, where it's usually a few cents cheaper than the competition's, but if you are, you'll save an extra five cents per gallon.

2. Discount Zone (2700 Magazine St., 504-895-2001)

3. Brothers (123 Terry Pkwy., Terrytown, 504-368-3800;


Best Florist

1. Villere's Florist (750 Martin Behrman Ave., Metairie, 504-833-3716; 1415 N. Hwy. 190, Covington, 985-809-9101; – When customers want something beautiful for an event or special occasion, they turn to this local florist, who will design custom arrangements. The shop also offers carry-out specials on flowers.

2. Federico's Family Florist (815 Focis St., Metairie, 504-837-6400)

3. Harkins, the Florist (1601 Magazine St., 504-529-1638;


Best Garden Store

1. Perino's (3100 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-834-7888; — A complete outdoor living supply for more than 60 years, Perino's grows its own plants, sells outdoor furniture and decor and will help customers masterfully design their landscapes.

2. The Plant Gallery (9401 Airline Hwy., 504-488-8887;

3. Harold's Indoor/Outdoor Plants (1135 Press St., 504-947-7554)


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Best Exterminator

1. Terminix (866-319-6528; www.terminix.con) — One of the country's most well-known and trusted exterminators, Terminix protects against pest and rodent infestations and has a user-friendly learning center online which helps customers identify and guard against pests.

2. Orkin (866-949-6097;

3. J&J Exterminating (888-510-4782;


Best Place to Buy Wine

1. Martin Wine Cellar (3500 Magazine St., 504-894-7420; 714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 504-896-7300; Village Shopping Center, 2895 Hwy. 190, Suite A-1, Mandeville, 985-951-8081; — A diverse selection of wines at a wide array of price points, sold by friendly and knowledgeable associates, makes Martin's an ideal place to pick up a house party gift.

2. Dorignac's Food Center (710 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-834-8216;

3. Rouses (Citywide;


Best Jefferson Neighborhood Grocery

1. Dorignac's Food Center (710 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-834-8216; — It could be the friendly greeting when you enter the store or hearing the staff address many customers by name. Maybe it's the butchers who offer custom cuts at no extra charge and make 11 varieties of ground meats daily. It could be the expansive beer, wine and liquor selection and low prices, or the store's focus on providing local and hard-to-find brands. Whatever the reason, shoppers love Dorignac's Food Center.

2. Langenstein's (800 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-831-6682;

3. Zuppardo's Family Supermarket (5010 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-887-1150;


Best Northshore Neighorhood Grocery

1. Acquistapace's Covington Supermarket (125 E. 21st Ave., Covington, 985-893-7554; — A vast selection of budget-friendly as well as premium wines, beers and liquor at discount prices bring customers from around the Northshore and even Mississippi. The deli is the Northshore's exclusive purveyor of Thumman's deli meats, and the store offers everything from freshly baked goods to fully prepared meals.

2. Fresh Market (1816 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, 985-674-4105;

3. Saia's Super Meat Market (2225 Florida Ave., Mandeville, 985-626-9724)


Best Liquor Store

1. Martin Wine Cellar (3500 Magazine St., 504-894-7420; 714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 504-896-7300; Village Shopping Center , 2895 Hwy. 190, Suite A-1, Mandeville, 985-951-8081; — New, trendy spirits are always in stock but old standbys are available too, and at competitive prices. Around the holidays, look out for gift sets from brands such as Disaronno and Vox.

2. Elio's Wine Warehouse (6205 S. Miro St., 504-866-1852;

3. Prytania Liquor Store (1300 Arabella St., 504-891-0448)


Best Art Market

1. New Orleans Arts Market at Palmer Park ( — The Arts Council of New Orleans organizes this wide-ranging arts market with a festival attitude on the last Saturday of every month. The market at Palmer Park, at the corner of Claiborne and Carrollton avenues, draws scores of local and regional artists offering ceramics, glassware, wood creations, oil paintings, photographs, fashion, jewelry, handmade novelties and more. The market is family-friendly, with kids' activities, local cuisine and beverages and free live music.

2. Frenchmen Street Art Market (617 Frenchmen St., 504-523-1465)

3. Spun Crossroads at the New Orleans Healing Center (2372 St. Claude Ave., 504-329-5621;


Best Supermarket

1. Rouses (Citywide; — Fresh produce, unique products, a high-quality store brand and tasty prepared foods are what makes this Thibodaux-founded chain feel like home to New Orleanians.

2. Whole Foods Market (5600 Magazine St., 504-899-9119, 3420 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-888-8225;

3. Winn-Dixie (Citywide;


Best Farmers Market

1. Hollygrove Market and Farm (8301 Olive St., 504-483-7037; — This urban farm grew from an ambitious idea with a small weekly market to offer a CSA-style co-op, community garden space, produce delivery and a market linking growers and farmers from across Louisiana to New Orleans neighborhoods that lack a store selling fresh produce.

2. Crescent City Farmers Market (Tuesdays at Tulane Square)

3. Crescent City Farmers Market (Thursdays at American Can)


Best Bakery

1. La Boulangerie (4600 Magazine St., 504-269-3777) — One of the only bakeries in New Orleans that still serves impregnated king cakes, La Boulangerie is known for its French-style pastries and breads.

2. Haydel's Bakery (4037 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 504-837-0190;

3. Gambino's (300 Lapalco Blvd., Gretna, 504-391-0600; 4821 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-885-7500;


Best Place to Get a Wedding Cake

1. Haydel's Bakery (4037 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 504-837-0190; — Haydel's wedding cakes are traditional with a few modern accents, but the groom's cakes can be designed to look like almost anything, including BMX tracks, bento boxes and pots of crawfish.

2. Swiss Confectionery (747 St. Charles Ave., 504-522-7788;

3. Sucre (3025 Magazine St., 504-520-8311, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-834-2277;


Best Real Estate Agent

1. Catherine "Katie" Witry (Gardner Realtors, 1820 St. Charles Ave., Suite 110, 504-891-6400; — Whether you're a first-time homebuyer looking to participate in a soft-second mortgage program or a landlord in search of a new property, Catherine "Katie" Witry can help fulfill your dream with a minimum of stress. Specializing in historic houses, Witry has been a licensed Realtor since 2005.

2. Sandra Green (Gardner Realtors, 132 Robert E. Lee Blvd., 504-259-8107;

3. Bryan Francher (The Francher-Perrin Group, Gardner Realtors, 1820 St. Charles Ave., 504-891-6400)


Best Attorney

1. Stephen Rue (4209 Canal St., 504-529-5000) — Hurt in an accident? Stephen Rue, a personal injury attorney and artist whose office doubles as a gallery space for his popular 3D depictions of roosters, takes to the courtroom like a bantam to a cockfight, aggressively arguing on behalf of his clients.

2. Morris Bart (909 Poydras St., 504-708-4593;

3. Allan Berger (4173 Canal St., 504-486-9481;


Best Place to Buy Music

1. Louisiana Music Factory (210 Decatur St., 504-586-1094; — Louisiana Music Factory specializes in Louisiana and New Orleans music, carrying everything from obscure Cajun folk to contemporary brass to new releases from across the musical landscape. It also hosts free in-store performances, intimate gigs with local favorites. Its website lists most of its eclectic and massive stock.

2. Mushroom Records (1037 Broadway St., 504-866-6065;

3. Best Buy (citywide;

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