Best Local Daily Deal Website

1. Groupon — What do Creole cuisine, feather hair extensions and laser liposuction treatments have in common? They've all been featured in deals on Groupon, which Best of New Orleans voters say is their favorite daily deal service among the myriad others. How you all feel about the site's whimsical write-ups and talking cat, however, might be a different story.

2. Living Social

3. Fetch Puppy


Best Men's Clothing Store

1. Perlis (600 Decatur St., Suite 103, 523-6681; 1281 N. Causeway Blvd., Suite 6, Mandeville, 985-674-1711; 6070 Magazine St., 895-8661; From recent college grads seeking their first job-interview suit, to grooms in search of a tuxedo, to distinguished septuagenarians shopping for golf course attire, Perlis serves fashionable men at all stations in life, and it has done so for generations.

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

3. Jos. A. Bank (230 Carondelet St., 528-9491; 3320 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 620-2265;


Best Place to Get a Tuxedo

1. Perlis (600 Decatur St., Suite 103, 523-6681; 1281 N. Causeway Blvd., Suite 6, Mandeville, 985-674-1295; 6070 Magazine St., 895-8661; — Single- or double-breasted jacket? Pleated or slim slacks? Notched or peaked collar? The options are plentiful, but professionals at Perlis have been guiding New Orleanians through these and other tuxedo choices for more than 70 years — long enough to have outfitted a groom for both his wedding and his golden anniversary. For the commitment-phobic, Perlis also offers rental tuxes.

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

3. Men's Wearhouse (Citywide;


Best Women's Boutique

1. Hemline (605 Metairie Road, Suite B, Metairie, 309-8778; 609 Chartres St., 592-0242; 3308 Magazine St., 269-4005; Hemline is a regular feature in national publications ranging from Lucky to Nylon and boasts a roster of celebrity clients, but what really sets this boutique apart from the fray is its attention to local emerging designers. New Orleans labels like Jolie & Elizabeth, Autonomous Clothing and Loretta Jane are sold alongside established designer brands — now that's fashion-forward thinking.

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

3. TIE: Abeille (8438 Oak St., 324-3488;

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


Best Locally Owned Children's Store

1. Pippen Lane (2929 Magazine St., 269-0106; — Opened by Annabeth Goodman, wife of John Goodman, in 1998, this boutique offers everything from hand-embroidered christening gowns to whimsical rubber rain boots. If Treme writers ever pen a plotline chronicling the adorable underbelly of wee New Orleanian society, the costume department now knows where to turn.

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

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


Best Shoe Store

1. Feet First (526 Royal St., 569-0005; 4119 Magazine St., 899-6800; — With 20 to 30 brands in stock at any given time, Feet First's footwear inventory has doubtlessly inspired a legion of passersby to ask where you got them shoes. The 34-year-old retailer is also a great go-to spot for striking jewelry, handbags and accessories ranging from silk flower-embellished handbags to mother-of-pearl statement necklaces.

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

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


Best Store for Evening Wear

1. Saks Fifth Avenue (The Shops at Canal Place, 301 Canal St., 524-2200; www. — Whether the event calls for a skull-studded satin clutch by Alexander McQueen or a frothy, train-trailing confection by Zac Posen (or both), Saks is the place to shop for those who want to make a memorable entrance. Personal shopping consultants can help customers navigate Saks' extensive inventory of designer goods.

2. Dillard's (Oakwood Shopping Center, 197 Westbank Expy., Gretna, 362-4800; The Esplanade, 1401 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 468-6050; Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-1075;

3. Town & Country (1514 St. Charles Ave., 523-7027)


Best Locally Owned Lingerie Shop

1. House of Lounge (2044 Magazine St., 671-8300; — If you haven't made it out to one of House of Lounge's lingerie fashion shows, you're missing out. The vintage-inspired garter belts, corsets and camisoles are favorites of local pin-up models and burlesque dancers, but really, everybody's underwear drawer could use a set of pink marabou pasties.

2. Basics Underneath (12 St. Ann Drive, Suite 5, Mandeville, 985-727-9521; 5513 Magazine St., 894-1000)

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


Best Store for Sportswear

1. Academy Sports + Outdoors (50 Westside Shopping Center, Gretna, 263-6000; 800 S. Clearview Pkwy., Harahan, 729-4300; 1000 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 712-3320; 7205 Pinnacle Pkwy., Covington, 985-898-7920; — There's apparel for sports from golf to swimming and for casual outings and work as well, plus a large selection of shoes in all sizes.

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

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


Best T-Shirt Store

1. Dirty Coast (5631 Magazine St., 324-3745; — New Orleans T-shirts used to say things like "I Got Bourbon Faced on Shit Street" before Dirty Coast came along and elevated the genre. With a deep understanding of New Orleans, the shirt's eye-catching designs celebrate, comment on and poke fun at the city's life and culture. If you want to be a walking conversation piece while in another state, a Dirty Coast T-shirt is a stylish way to do it.

2. Fleurty Girl (3117 Magazine St., 301-2557, 632 St. Peter St., 304-5529, 3313 Severn Ave., Metairie, 454-1433;

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


Best Store for Vintage Clothing

1. Funky Monkey (3127 Magazine St., 899-5587) — On a street renowned for good shopping and eclectic style, Funky Monkey consistently sets the bar with its ever-shifting inventory of new and vintage garments, costumes, shoes, wigs and accessories. Where can you snag cheap, secondhand designer jeans, thigh-high fishnets, and a Marie Antoinette costume and coordinating wig under one roof?

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

3. Lili Vintage Boutique (4514 Magazine St., 891-9311)


Best Thrift Store

1. Bloomin' Deals (4645 Freret St., 897-9128; — When your wardrobe and your checking account are equally in need of attention, head to Bloomin' Deals, a thrift store where proceeds benefit programming for and charities associated with the Junior League of New Orleans. Since 1927, it has helped New Orleanians frugally navigate The Great Depression and numerous recessions. Fashion isn't the only thing that's cyclical.

2. Red, White & Blue (5278 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 733-8066;

3. Goodwill (citywide;


Best Consignment Shop

1. Swap (7716 Maple St., 304-6025; — Stocked with designer brands like Betsey Johnson, Diane von Furstenberg and Theory, this airy shop is virtually indistinguishable from any other chic, upscale boutique — except for its low prices. Money-conscious fashionistas flock to the upscale consignment shop for a well-curated selection of gently used garments, shoes, handbags and accessories.

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

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


Best Tailor

1. Thimbelina (5501 Tchoupitoulas St., 895-5700) — Looking your best is always a good business move (and date move), and a good tailor can make clothes fit like a glove, whether they are new purchases or popular vintage styles. Revamping your clothes also is a very "green" thing to do. Keep this number handy when you need a custom-made gown or tux for Mardi Gras.

2. Thu's Tailor (529 Jefferson Ave., 891-6820)

3. Lil Dave's Tailoring (8133 Oak St., 866-7029)


Best Shopping Mall

1. Lakeside Shopping Center (3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, — With more than 120 stores, boutiques and eateries, shoppers can find anything they need here from sporting goods to gourmet chocolates and, of course, fashions for everyone in the family. It's one-stop shopping, whether you're looking for an engagement ring or furniture, and it's all under one roof in a safe, air-conditioned environment.

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

3. TIE: Clearview Mall (4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 885-0202;

3. TIE: The Oakwood Center (197 Westbank Expwy., Suite 33, Gretna, 361-1550;


Best Place to Buy Furniture

1. Hurwitz Mintz (1751 Airline Drive, Metairie, 957-9555; — Like many other things in this poll, shopping at Hurwitz Mintz is a New Orleans tradition, although it now resides at a megastore in Metairie. It's been open since 1923 and has won this category 11 times in a row. Maybe it's because there's more than 126,000 feet of showrooms and the largest selection of furniture in the city.

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

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


Best Place to Buy Lamps/Lighting

1. Lighting Inc. (8180 Earhart Blvd., Suite B, 486-5761; — You'll feel like the sun came out from behind a cloud when you walk into the showroom at Lighting Inc. The store can light up your world inside and out with lamps, ceiling fixtures, art lighting, fans, outdoor lights, sconces, chandeliers and illumination fixtures for the kitchen and bath, as well as uncommon home decor items. The Ber family of New Orleans started the business in 1959 and has become the choice of generations of families (and commercial contractors) looking to make their homes and businesses brighter.

2. Armstrong's Supplies (3600 Orleans Ave., 486-0094;

3. Julie Neill Designs (3908 Magazine St., 899-4201;


Best Antiques Store

1. M.S. Rau Antiques (630 Royal St., 523-5660; — With a nearly 100-year history and praise from celebrities and collectors alike, M.S. Rau is a cherished antique in its own right. Whether seeking to purchase an early Gauguin painting or a set of yellow diamond earrings (or merely admire these and other treasures in the 30,000-square-foot showroom), New Orleanians turn to this French Quarter institution.

2. Magazine Antique Mall (3017 Magazine St., 896-9994;

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


Best Place to Buy a Gift

1. Little Miss Muffin (244 Metairie Road, Metairie, 833-6321; 766 Harrison Ave., 482-8200; — Part gift shop, part children's boutique, part jewelry store and part gallery of goods by local artists, Little Miss Muffin is ready to charm just about anybody deserving a gift. Shop with caution: Odds are high you'll leave with presents to stockpile for other people, including yourself.

2. Gentry (6047 Magazine St., 899-4223)

3. Judy at the Rink (The Rink, 2727 Prytania St., 891-7018;


Best Bridal Shop

1. Pearl's Place (3114 Severn Ave., Metairie, 885-9213; — Is it that the plosives in the name, so evocative of kisses, contribute to Pearl's Place's more than 40 years of success? Is it the vast inventory of brands and designer gowns ranging from budget to couture styles? Or is it the free steaming and alterations provided with purchase? Hard to say which is the most compelling reason Gambit readers chose Pearl's Place for best bridal boutique — but in shopping, as with marriage, when you know, you know.

2. Town & Country (1514 St. Charles Ave., 523-7027)

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


Best Maternity Shop

1. A Pea in the Pod (Destination Maternity, 3300 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 831-9551; — A slew of pregnant celebrities have helped breach the once-impenetrable gulf between fashion lines and maternity wear, and now moms-to-be can expect to remain chic while expecting. Best of all, much designer maternity wear can be worn post-childbirth, as A Pea in the Pod's tummy-flattering tunics, oversized T-shirts and empire-waist gowns are right on trend.

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

3. Motherhood Maternity (197 Westbank Expy., Suite 1343, Gretna, 365-0416;


Best Locally Owned Jewelry Store

1. Mignon Faget (The Shops at Canal Place, 333 Canal St., 524-2973; Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 835-2244; 3801 Magazine St., 891.2005; — The name Mignon Faget is known the world over, but the jewelry designs, like the designer, are New Orleans through and through. She knows what makes us tick and her stores are filled with jewelry, fashion and home decor graced with emblems of our culture: fleurs-de-lis, architectural accents, crawfish, red beans and rice and beautiful flora. For many in the city, major coming-of-age events and important celebrations are commemorated with a piece from one of Mignon Faget's lines.

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

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


Best Local Jewelry Designer

1. Mignon Faget ( — She depicts the city's iconography in her elegant jewelry, but Mignon Faget is sort of a New Orleans icon herself. Faget is a fifth generation New Orleanian who uses the city as her muse in all her designs, and she gives back to the city through charitable work with arts and historical preservation organizations.

2. Tom Mathis (

3. Dominique Giordano (www.


Best Smoke Shop

1. Herb Import Company (711 St. Peter St., 525-4372; 712 Adams St., 861-4644; 1331 Englewood Drive, Slidell, 985-643-8007; 5505 Canal St., 488-4889; — New Orleanians have headed to the Herb Import Company for smoking accoutrement and health supplements for more than 15 years. You'll not find a vast selection of cigars or typical cigarette tobacco here, but the shop does carry a wide selection of pipes, vaporizers, electronic cigarettes, rolling papers and all-natural (and legal) herbal smoking products.

2. Ra Shop (758M E. I-10 Service Road, Slidell, 985-649-7262; 2198 Florida St.,Mandeville, 985-674-1644; 3812 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-8436;

3. Up in Smoke HQ (2101 Magazine St., 899-0005;


Best Sweet Shop

1. Sucre (3025 Magazine St., 520-8311, 3301 Veterans Blvd., 834-2277; — Whether you want to pick up a box of chocolates for someone special (or yourself), or stay for a while to sip on a white chocolate-lavender drinking chocolate paired with a delectable pastry, Sucre is the closest thing New Orleanians have to Willy Wonka's factory. House-made marshmallows, deluxe chocolate bars and candied nuts are among the many other confections as the sweet boutique.

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

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


Best New Retail Store

1. Abeille (8438 Oak St., 324-3488; — Ever since Abeille opened in June, swarms of shoppers have made beelines for its inventory of affordably priced designer merchandise, which includes labels like BCBG Generation and Genetic Denim. It's the first boutique of its kind to grace the developing Oak Street shopping corridor, but if it keeps making this kind of buzz, it won't be the last.

2. Anthropologie (The Shops At Canal Place, 333 Canal St., 592-9972;

3. Two Sprouts (102 Metairie Heights, Metairie, 322-3838;


Best Dry Cleaner

1. Liberto Cleaners (4814 Prytania St., 897-2161; 8128 Willow St., 861-7812) — Liberto, a perennial favorite in these pages, is back at the top this year after last year's second-place finish. That's only natural, of course. The place is an institution in this town. A family-owned business for four generations, Liberto's prides itself on offering the type of personal service cleaners haven't had since the advent of one-hour chains and on constantly pursuing more eco-friendly ways to clean and press your shirts, making it both charmingly quaint and admirably forward-thinking.

2. Young's Dry Cleaning (905 Harrison Ave., 872-0931; 6227 S. Claiborne Ave., 866-5371;

3. Deluxe Laundry Cleaners Storage (5325 Canal Blvd., 488-7733)


Best Hospital

1. Ochsner Hospital (1514 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 842-4135; — This progressive medical and research center has been dedicated to the community's health since opening in 1942. It is a comprehensive health center, offering care from birth to geriatrics and all points in between. The medical center is named for Dr. Alton Ochsner — the first researcher to prove a link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer — who founded the hospital with four other doctors 69 years ago.

2. Touro (1401 Foucher St., 897-7011;

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


Best Dermatologist

1. Dr. J. Collier Ochsner (2323 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-6633) — Patients give Dr. Ochsner props for taking care of their skin problems quickly and efficiently and having an attentive and caring chairside manner. Her office and staff also received high marks based on patient reports to Healthgrades, an independent health care ratings organization. Isn't it time to get that mole checked?

2. Dr. Patricia Farris (Old Metairie Dermatology, 701 Metairie Road, Metairie, 836-2050;;

3. TIE: Dr. Sharon Meyer (Uptown Dermatology and Aesthetics, 3434 Prytania St., Suite 310, 897-5899; (

3. TIE: Dr. Mary Lupo (; 145 Robert E Lee Blvd., 288-2381;


Best Cosmetic Surgeon

1. Dr. Kamran Khoobehi (3901 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 779-5538; — He's known for using cutting-edge technology and honed skills to give his patients aesthetically pleasing results using surgery and noninvasive techniques. He offers breast augmentation, liposuction, laser skin resurfacing, facial reconstruction and more. He also is believed to be the first cosmetic surgeon to help save a patient's sight by reattaching the tiny blood vessels of the eyelid after they were severed by a dog bite.

2. Dr. Michael Moses (1603 Second St., 895-7200;

3. Dr. Felix Bopp (Bopp Dermatology and Facial Plastic Surgery, 3901 Houma Blvd., Suite 410, Metairie, 455-9933;


Best Chiropractor

1. Dr. Sylvi Beaumont (1138 S. Carrollton Ave., 864-1234) — Patients say Dr. Beaumont is a "healer," not just a doctor who performs manipulations on areas of your body that hurt. She is known for taking whatever time is necessary to learn about a patient's pain and health problems to determine the best treatment before she begins therapy on her patients. Got a nagging pain in your back? Dr. Beaumont can ease it.

2. Dr. Antoine Ky (Ky's Chiropractic Clinic, 2926 Canal St., 821-1500)

3. Dr. Craig Ledet (8422 Oak St., 861-8000)


Best Physical Therapist

1. Beth Winkler-Schmit (Magnolia Physical Therapy, 5606 Jefferson Hwy., Harahan, 733-0254; 839 Spain St., 943-8026; — A co-owner of Magnolia Physical Therapy, Beth Winkler-Schmit has helped people in the New Orleans area recuperate from injuries, improve their well-being and get rid of aches and pains. She bought the practice a month before Hurricane Katrina made us all need a little rehab. Her experienced hands (and professional knowledge) can ease stress, improve circulation and make you feel better all over.

2. Mo Crane (Crane Rehabilitation Center, 101 River Road, Suite 112, 828-7696)

3. Richard Baudry (Baudry Therapy Center, 2721 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 841-0150;


Best Health Club

1. Elmwood Fitness Center (1200 S. Clearview Pkwy., Suite 1200, 733-1600; — There's everything you need here to become svelte and healthy: a range of exercise machines for cardio workouts, personal trainers, aquatics, a range of adult exercise classes, kids' fitness classes, Ironman training, nutritional counseling, weight loss programs and more. Plus, it's run by Ochsner, so you know the focus in on being healthy.

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

3. Jewish Community Center Uptown (5342 St. Charles Ave., 897-0143;


Best Personal Trainer

1. Nolan Ferraro (Salire Fitness, 4209 Magazine St., 821-4896; — Ferraro is the owner of Salire Fitness, which he founded in June 2005 about two months before Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures put it under water. Clearly he bounced back. Ferraro believes in an individually focused, holistic approach to fitness — i.e. training for the body, mind and soul — using every approach available and tailored to his customers' needs. He a certified trainer, Pilates instructor, neurolinguistic programmer and life coach.

2. Mackie Shilstone (

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


Best Place to Take a Yoga Class

1. Wild Lotus Yoga (4842 Perrier St., 899-0047; 2372 St. Claude Ave.; — The yoga studio is top (downward) dog for the ninth year in a row. With Wild Lotus' exhaustive schedule at the Uptown location (the studio hosts almost 50 classes a week), a new location at the recently opened New Orleans Healing Center, and both locations' inclusion of by-donation community classes, yoga is accessible to almost everyone.

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

3. Life Yoga (5422 Magazine St., 267-0380;


Best Place To Take a Pilates Class

1. Romney Pilates (3701 Magazine St., 895-1167; — The airy Magazine Street studio offers not only a full schedule of Pilates classes utilizing state-of-the-art equipment, it takes a comprehensive approach to wellness with yoga, meditation, massage therapy and a boutique of eco-friendly and socially responsible goods. The studio's building itself is also green, and a second location on Magazine is currently under construction.

2. Nola Pilates (6268 Vicksburg St., 483-8880;

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


Best Dance Class and Where to Take It

1. Samba @ Fleur de Dance (6610 Fleur de Lis Drive, 324-7894) — For anyone wanting to emulate those lithe dancers on Dancing With the Stars, Fleur de Dance is the place to go. The studio offers private instruction in the kind of partner dancing you might see on the show, from the foxtrot to the sexy samba, which Best of New Orleans voters chose as their favorite. The studio also offers group fitness classes, including a boot camp.

2. Zumba @ Elmwood Fitness (1200 S. Clearview Pkwy., Suite 1200, Harahan, 733-1600)

3. Jazzercise (1625 1/2 Metairie Road, Metairie, 717-2281)


Best Fitness Boot Camp

1. Salire Fitness (4209 Magazine St., 821-4896; — "It's not boot camp in the military sense," Ferraro told Gambit in a 2009 article featuring his four-week boot camp program. True. First, it's only an hour a day. Second, it's designed to be only as difficult as any particular participant can handle. Third, it doesn't end with you being in the military.

2. Elmwood Fitness Center (701 Poydras St., Ste. 1300, 588-1600; 1200 S. Clearview Parkway, Ste. 1200, Harahan, 733-1600; 111 Veterans Blvd., Ste. 475, Metairie, 832-1600; 200 W. Esplanade, Ste. 112, Kenner, 739-1600;

3. New Orleans Adventure Boot Camp (Various locations, 292-1981;


Best Barbershop

1. Aidan Gill for Men (2026 Magazine St., 587-9090; 550 Fulton St., 566-4903; — The ultimate barbershop experience is right in your town. Sit back, have a drink, get a haircut, and while you're there, ask for the Shave at the End of the Galaxy, which the website describes as "a hot towel shave so luxurious that Irish poets fall to tears in describing it."

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

3. Magazine Street Barber Shop (4224 Magazine St., 267-7823;


Best Manicure/Pedicure

1. Earthsavers (Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 140, Metairie, 835-0225; 3414 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, 985-674-1133; 5501 Magazine St., 899-8555; — When does a mani-pedi rise above the expected grooming routine? When you combine the service with luxurious spa add-on treatments from Earthsavers, which include reflexology, exfoliation, aromatherapy and resurfacing peels, administered by an attentive, rigorously trained staff ready to wait on you hand and foot.

2. Serenity Spa (614 Canal St., 525-5433;

3. Belladonna (2900 Magazine St., 891-4393;


Best Hair Salon

1. Paris Parker (Citywide; — The transformative power of a great haircut can't be denied, and with locations throughout southern Louisiana (and three schools offering discounted cuts from fledgling stylists, who work under the direction of experienced professionals), Paris Parker's acclaimed creative team puts the chance for a transformation within almost everyone's grasp.

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

3. Stardust Salon & Day Spa (1904 Magazine St., 525-7777;


Best Place to Get Hair Extensions

1. Paris Parker (Citywide; — For long, luxurious locks, well-tressed Gambit readers flock to Paris Parker, where stylists bond meticulously color-matched (or, for a different effect, flamboyantly, vividly hued strands) human hair for clients. The extensions last up to six months — which isn't so bad, considering it takes most people two years to grow 12 inches of hair.

2. Salon Diversions (838 Royal St., 299-0040;

3. Twisted Hair Salon (4824 Prytania St., 309-7791;


Best Day Spa

1. Belladonna (2900 Magazine St., 891-4393; — Belladonna can refer to the Italian word for "beautiful lady" or the toxic plant women once ingested for cosmetic use, and though standards of beauty change with the years, methods of relaxation largely do not. Since 1989, Belladonna has offered healing modalities like massage, reflexology, hydrotherapy and salt scrubs. Treatments are organized by effect on the menu, and clients can choose what will leave them feeling restored.

2. Earthsavers Uptown (5501 Magazine St., 899-8555;

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


Best Place to Get a Massage

1. Earthsavers (Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 140, Metairie, 835-0225; 3414 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, 985-674-1133; 5501 Magazine St., 899-8555; — Though regular massage is often viewed as a luxury, the staff at Earthsavers knows it can serve as a palliative for maladies ranging from lower back pain to anxiety and depression. Earthsavers' massages are built around clients' needs and requests and incorporate techniques like reflexology, shiatsu or lymphatic drainage, so each massage is as individual as each customer.

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

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


Best Place to Get a Bikini Wax

1. Earthsavers (Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 140, Metairie, 835-0225; 3414 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, 985-674-1133; 5501 Magazine St., 899-8555; — Bikini waxes are not the most fun way to spend one's time sans underwear, but they are sometimes a necessary evil for women when swimsuit season rolls around. The professional staff and relaxing environment of Earthsavers makes what can be an uncomfortable experience as painless as possible. The spa's retail area is stocked with soothing skin products that help prevent ingrown hairs between appointments.

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

3. H2O Salon & Spa (441 Metairie Road, Metairie, 835-4377;


Best Tanning Salon

1. Planet Beach (citywide; — There are UV beds that tan customers the old-fashioned way, but at Planet Beach there are other ways to get a glow, including Mystic Spray Tans, detoxifying sauna treatments and facial therapy. These features, coupled with affordable membership packages, keep New Orleanians coming back.

2. Throwing Copper (8725 Oak St., 450-4992;

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


Best Body Piercing/Tattoo Parlor

1. Electric Ladyland (610 Frenchmen St., 947-8286; — Tucked away on funky Frenchmen Street, Electric Ladyland features a roster of talented tattoo artists like owner Annette LaRue and Henry Rhodes, both of whom have been featured in Inked magazine. Electric Ladyland has earned a spot on Gambit's Best of New Orleans list more than 10 years running, thanks to the caliber of its artists' work.

2. Mid-City Voodoux Tattoos (400 S.Jefferson Davis Pkwy., 278-1465;

3. TIE: Nola Tattoo (8120 Hampson St., 866-8471;

3. TIE: Uptown Tattoos (575 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-3859;


Best Place To Buy Local Music

1. Louisiana Music Factory (210 Decatur St., 586-1094; — It's still specializing in regional music, still booking lots of free in-store concerts, but moreover, it's still thriving in a business that was supposed to be obsolete 10 years ago. Well done.

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

3. Peaches Records (408 N. Peters St., 282-3322;


Best Locally Owned Bookstore

1. Maple Street Book Shop (New Orleans Healing Center, 2372 St. Claude Ave., 304-7115; 7529 Maple St., 861-2105; — Since it opened in 1965, The Maple Street Book Shop has been a source for the newest, brightest writers' works as well as classics and books about New Orleans. It hosts lots of events where customers can talk with their favorite authors, hear them read from their works and get autographed copies of their books. It's also a place for the literati to meet and discuss literature.

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

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


Best Car Dealership

1. Lakeside Toyota (3701 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 833-3311; — What's most important to you when you buy a car: a fair price, service after the sale, a good maintenance department, cute sales reps? All of these things are important, and our readers say they find them at Lakeside Toyota. You can get new or used (ahem, "pre-owned") cars, get yours repaired or look at the great deals for military personnel and college grads.

2. Royal Honda (5600 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-2277;

3. Ray Brandt Infiniti (3700 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 832-2005;


Best Financial Institution

1. Whitney Bank (Citywide; — This New Orleans institution has been setting up checking and savings accounts, mortgages, investments and more for individuals and businesses since 1883. It merged with Hancock Bank in December 2010, but plans to retain its name because of its long history with its customers in Louisiana. Need another reason to check it out? Well, it's the official bank of the New Orleans Saints.

2. Capital One (Citywide;

3. Chase (Citywide;


Best Home Electronics Store

1. Best Buy (Citywide; — New Orleanians like our small, local businesses, but when it comes to electronics and appliances, music and movies, it's hard to beat the variety or the prices at Best Buy. The store has refrigerators, home theaters, computers, cameras, games, TVs, phones, new releases of movies and music (many new releases are $9.99 when they first come out) — and the in-store stock is large so you usually can take home what you want without waiting for special orders.

2. A-1 Appliance & Electronics (Citywide;

3. Radio Shack (Citywide;


Best Local Camera Shop

1. Lakeside Camera Photoworks (3508 21st St., Metairie, 885-8660; 2121 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, 626-1776; — Opened in 1972 as Lakeside Camera Center, it became Lakeside Camera & Video in 1985, then Lakeside Camera & Imaging in 1993. Now it's Lakeside Camera Photoworks. You can see that in a constantly evolving field like photography, where new technology demands places like this completely change their business model every few years, the people at Lakeside aren't afraid to adapt.

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

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


Best Bicycle Store

1. GNO Cyclery (1426 S. Carrollton Ave., 861-0023; — With gas expensive and bike paths popping up all over the city, everyone is looking for their own set of wheels, and Gambit readers say year after year GNO Cyclery is the place to go. Readers love the store because of its excellent service, whether you're buying a new bike, looking for accessories or need some expert biking advice.

2. Bayou Bicycle (3530 Toulouse St., 488-1946;

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


Best Veterinary/ Animal Clinic

1. Metairie Small Animal Hospital (101 Metairie Road, Metairie, 835-4266; Outpatient clinics: 734 Robert E. Lee Blvd., 830-4080; 4041 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 443-4400; 5040 W. Esplanade Ave., Metairie, 455-2345; — This veterinary hospital has been around for more than 60 years (human time not dog years) and has cared for the four-legged family members of generations of New Orleanians. It's a full service practice, including surgery, boarding and grooming, diagnosis and treatment, and it has outpatient clinics around across the area for convenience.

2. Prytania Veterinary Hospital (4907 Prytania St., 899-2828;

3. TIE: Crescent City Veterinary Hospital (524 Jefferson Ave., 894-0752;

3. TIE: Lakeview Veterinary Hospital Inc. (6245 Memphis St., 482-2173;


Best Place to Board Your Pet

1. TIE: Camp Bow Wow (2731 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-891-3647;

1. TIE: Canine Connection (4920 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 218-4098; — If you're going out of town and need a place to store your dog, plus you prefer that he or she not be traumatized from the experience, either of this year's winners will do. Canine Connection offers large suites at reasonable prices, plus a doggie swimming pool, outdoor lounge area for the owners and even birthday parties. If your dog "prefers" something over-the-top, Camp Bow Wow has seven hotel room-sized, themed luxury suites including "Hollywood Hounds," "K-9 Caribbean," and the locally themed "Mardi Paws," decorated with beads, masks and a faux-balcony,

2. Zeus' Place (4601 Freret St., 304-4718;

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


Best Place to Have Your Pet Groomed

1. Zeus's Place (4601 Freret St., 304-4718; — Zeus' Place moved up a spot this year to grab the gold. Maybe it's the two full-time groomers with a dozen years of experience between them, or maybe it's because their slate of grooming services includes everything from dematting to brushing your dog's teeth. After Fideaux is all spruced up, you can let him stay and play with other dogs and strut his new 'do.

2. TIE: Petco (1629 Westbank Expwy., Suite E, Harvey, 362-6711; 3500 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 469-1880; 3520 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 454-0468; 5300 Tchoupitoulas St., 899-6122;

2. TIE: PetSmart (1000 S. Clearview Pkwy., Suite 105 733-2016; 1321 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 263-0879; 6851 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 455-2222;

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


Best Hotel

1. Roosevelt Hotel (123 Baronne St., 648-1200; — It's got everything you want in a hotel: glitz, glamour, fine dining at Domenica, music at the Blue Room, and the upscale Sazerac bar that bears the name of its most famous libation. The Roosevelt also has a storied past that includes hidden stairwells leading to special guest rooms and tales of Huey Long's trysts (er, business meetings).

2. Ritz-Carlton New Orleans (921 Canal St., 524-1331;

3. TIE: Windsor Court Hotel (300 Gravier St., 523-6000;

3. TIE: Hotel Monteleone (214 Royal St., 523-3341;


Best Oil Change

1. SpeeDee Oil Change (Citywide; — SpeeDee wins this category again, and it's easy to see why. The one-stop shop offers more than just oil changes. Upon visiting one of the store's many locations across the city, your car can get a full range of preventive and corrective services to keep things running smoothly. Plus, as the name indicates, the service is fast.

2. 5 Minute Oil Change (Citywide;

3. Uptown Car Wash and Xpress Lube (5500 Tchoupitoulas St., 895-9700)


Best Cheap Gas

1. Sam's Club (3900 Airline Drive, Metairie, 831-2911; — Just like Sam's Club members save money on the store's massive groceries, Gambit readers year after year save money at the discount warehouse's pumps (which aren't restricted to members only). Gas is expensive everywhere right now, but at Sam's you'll generally save a little bit — and you can buy toilet paper in bulk while you're there.

2. RaceTrac (2101 Airline Drive, Kenner, 472-6384;

3. Discount Zone (2700 Magazine St., )


Best Florist

1. Villere's Florist (750 Martin Behrman Ave., Metairie, 833-3716; 1415 N. Hwy. 190, Covington, 985-809-9101; — Like Cupid and his arrow, Villere's Florist is an old hand at helping love bloom. The business has been supplying flowers for special occasions — as well as the periodic "I'm sorry" bouquet — since 1969. It looks like the Metairie stalwart has spread the love among our readers, too.

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

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


Best Garden Store

1. Perino's (3100 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 834-7888; — Flora and fauna abound at this green-thumb haven that's Gambit readers' favorite year after year. Besides plants, you'll find a wide variety of gifts, as well as fountains and outdoor furniture to turn your backyard into an oasis.

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

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


Best Place to Buy Wine

1. Martin Wine Cellar (3500 Magazine St., 894.7420; 714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 896-7300; Village Shopping Center , 2895 Hwy. 190, Suite A-1, Mandeville, 985-951-8081; — Expanding from its original location in Uptown, Martin Wine Cellar has grown to include several stores around the area. The emporiums stock a wide array of varietals and vintages from old and new world wine regions around the globe.

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

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


Best Liquor Store

1. Martin Wine Cellar (3500 Magazine St., 894.7420; 714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 896-7300; Village Shopping Center , 2895 Hwy. 190, Suite A-1, Mandeville, 985-951-8081;;) Martin Wine Cellar, of course, started as a wine merchant, but the store has increased its offerings of premium spirits, including everything from flavored vodkas to small batch bourbons to aged whiskey and rum. Stores also hold tasting regular events.

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

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


Best New Orleans Neighborhood Grocery

1. Langenstein's (1330 Arabella St., 899-9283; — At Thanksgiving they come for turduckens, at Carnival time for catering trays, and on any normal, busy weeknight for daily groceries or a family-sized serving of crawfish etouffee they'd be proud to call their own. In business since 1922, Langenstein's has achieved the highest goals for any neighborhood grocery by becoming part of its customers' holiday traditions, special events and everyday kitchen rituals.

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

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


Best Jefferson Neighborhood Grocery

1. Dorignac's Food Center (710 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 834-8216; — Generations of families make this full-service grocery store a regular stop, some for the custom-cut meats, fresh seafood and lots of local products, others for great prices and recommendations of the knowledgeable staff in the liquor department. Open since 1947, Dorignac's staff is like family — some have worked there for decades — and treat their customers as such. You'll almost always hear a "How are ya, dawlin'?" in the checkout line.

2. Langenstein's (800 Metairie Road, Metairie, 831-6682; 1330 Arabella St., 899-9283;

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


Best Northshore Neighborhood Grocery

1. Acquistapace's Covington Supermarket (125 E. 21st Ave., Covington, 985-893-7554 — The liquor section is vast in this grocery store, and the 4,100 labels and low prices draw customers from across the region. The 27-year-old family-owned and -operated store is also favored for its quality meat selection and the team of butchers who cut it fresh to order. Acquistapace's is a full-service grocery store that stocks its customers' favorite brands of foods and cooking needs, and has a full-service deli with lots of prepared foods ready to go from the checkout to your table.

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

3. Lishman's City Market (39522 Hwy. 190 East, Slidell, 985-641-2142)


Best Supermarket

1. Rouses (Citywide; — Rouses is the best place to stop before a party — the store's large variety of party trays, cheeses and a huge walk-in cooler of beer and wine would make you the perfect guest. You'll also find local produce and other goods, as well as a section devoted to organic foods and products, as well as products for those with celiac disease and other food allergies. And all of these things are offered at great prices and the store's many locations around town.

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

3. Winn-Dixie (Citywide;


Best Farmers Market

1. Crescent City Farmers Market on Tuesdays (200 Broadway St.; — The Crescent City Farmers Market's Tuesday Uptown outpost gets top honors once again. The main draw here is the Green Plate special, where each month a guest chef creates an affordable menu for market-goers showcasing the market's seasonal offerings. You'll also find an array of fresh, local goods in a convivial environment near Audubon Park.

2. Crescent City Farmers Market on Saturday (700 Magazine St.;

3. Hollygrove Market & Farm (8301 Olive St., 483-7037;


Best Art Market

1. Arts Market of New Orleans (Palmer Park, corner of Claiborne and S. Carrollton Avenues; — The Arts Council of New Orleans organizes this vast arts market, which offers art, food and drinks from 80 visual artists and other vendors, including paintings, photographs, jewelry, clothing, crafts and more. The mood is always festive, complemented by live music performances and children's activities.

2. Bywater Arts Market (Markey Park, corner of Royal and Piety Streets;

3. Freret Market (4421 Freret St., 638-2589;


Best Bakery

1. Haydel's Bakery (4037 Jefferson Hwy., Jefferson, 837-0190; — The specialties at this third-generation full-service bakery include king cakes and its trademarked Cajun Kringle (a ring cake of flaky pastry with praline filling and caramel and pecan icing) and Cajunnoli (a crispy cannoli filled with praline cream cheese and rolled in pecans). In 2010, Haydel's won the Guinness world record for the largest king cake, making a confection that wrapped around the Superdome twice. Wonder who got the baby.

2. La Boulangerie (4600 Magazine St., 269-3777)

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


Best King Cake

1. Manny Randazzo (3515 N. Hullen St., Metairie; — Manny Randazzo makes it possible to always have a king cake, no matter your location or even if it's seasonally appropriate. Don't live in New Orleans? Randazzo's will gladly ship. Craving one of those moist, braided cakes before the Epiphany? Order one of the bakery's seasonal cakes, which come decorated for a number of non-Carnival occasions. Even if off-season king cakes are frowned upon by some, Randazzo's cakes are good enough to risk the bad ju-ju.

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

3. Tastee Donuts (Citywide)


Best Wedding Cake

1. Swiss Confectionery (747 Saint Charles Ave., 522-7788; — Though contemporary wedding cakes are sometimes baked to produce pastry pyrotechnics rather than please the palate, cakes from Swiss Confectionery are both visually stunning and delicious. Lavish, sculptural concoctions of fondant, icing and frosting taste as good as they look, thanks to family recipes handed down for more than 90 years.

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

3. Zoe's Bakery (118 W. 32nd Ave., Covington, 985-892-5570;


Best Real Estate Agent

1. Catherine Witry (Prudential Gardner Realtors, 1820 St. Charles Ave., 919-8585; — Catherine Witry sees real estate not only as a business, but something that supports the continued recovery and economic revitalization. To that end, Witry has helped many whose homes were damaged after Hurricane Katrina's flooding buy new properties in New Orleans. With a background in charity work, Witry takes a community minded approach to the real estate business.

2. Bryan Francher and Leslie Perrin (Prudential Gardner Realtors, The Francher Perrin Group, 1820 St. Charles Ave., 251-6400;

3. Jo Ann Broussard (Latter & Blum Realtors, 7039 Canal Blvd., 282-2611 ext. 105;


Best Attorney

1. Morris Bart (909 Poydras St., Suite 2000, 525-8000; — Say "Morris Bart" and New Orleanians reflexively think of "One Call, That's All," as the attorney promises in his ubiquitous ads. Got in a nasty car accident? Affected by the BP oil spill? Got Chinese drywall? The personal injury lawyer, Hornets enthusiast and sometime movie producer (he counts Kill Theory and Factory Girl among his credits) can handle it all.

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

3. Frank De Salvo (829 Baronne St., 524-4191)

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