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click to enlarge Best Day Spa Sewickley Spa gives Rick Sebak the royal treatment
  • Photo by Heather Mull
  • Best Day Spa Sewickley Spa gives Rick Sebak the royal treatment

Best Local Bookstore

Amazing Books

929 Liberty Ave., Downtown (412-471-1899) and 2030 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill

(412-436-5535)

www.amazingbookspgh.com

A bookstore named "Amazing" is giving itself a lot to live up to, but owner Eric Ackland has been delivering to otherwise under-served shoppers in Downtown and Squirrel Hill. Local writers get upfront display — Amazing also carries locally made greeting cards — and just behind is a dazzling array of titles in every genre. And brace yourselves: A third location may be in the offing.

2nd: East End Book Exchange, Bloomfield

3rd: Caliban Books, Oakland

Best Local Store to Buy Music

Dave's Music Mine

1210 E. Carson St., South Side

412-488-8800 or www.davesmusicmine.com

Pittsburgh is known for its old vinyl shops, but Dave's, in the heart of the South Side, sells new records alongside the gently used. If you're still thrilled by Tuesday release days, this is the place to find indie rock, pop and all manner of other music as it hits the shelves.

2nd: Jerry's Records, Squirrel Hill

3rd: The Exchange, multiple locations

Best Place to Buy Musical Instruments

Pittsburgh Guitars

1305 E. Carson St., South Side

412-431-0700 or www.pittsburghguitars.com

Looking for a new Strat? How about a vintage Martin acoustic? Chances are the friendly folks at this musician-owned and -staffed storefront can help you out — with cherry six-strings, basses, amps and more, even the odd uke or banjo. Whether for sales, repairs or lessons, this indie shop's lasted 35 years for a reason.

2nd: Pianos N Stuff Music, Blawnox

3rd: Backstage Guitars, Lawrenceville

Best Local Store to Buy Furniture

Levin Furniture

Multiple locations

800-262-5200 or www.levinfurniture.com

Whether you're in the market for a classy table lamp or a comfy new recliner, this perennial "Best Of" winner is the place to go for no-nonsense furniture shopping. Sam Levin founded the first store in rural Mount Pleasant in 1920. Nowadays, there are 24 locations, including several specializing in mattresses.

2nd: Perlora, South Side

3rd: IKEA, Robinson Township

Best Local Place to Buy Vintage Clothing

Eons Fashion Antique

5850 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside

412-361-3368

You never know what might be on the racks at Eons. Merchandise at this longtime Shadyside retailer covers decades of fashion history, with wares dating back to the 1800s. The selection includes both functional and fabulous clothing and accessories for men and women, making it the perfect spot to find either a new outfit or this year's Halloween costume.

2nd: Avalon Exchange, Squirrel Hill

3rd: Clothes Minded, Bloomfield


Best Local Shoe Store

Littles Shoes

5850 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill

412-521-3530 or www.littlesshoes.com

A landmark on Forbes Avenue, Littles has been around for decades and helped generations of Pittsburghers find the right fit. In a world of Zappos and DSWs, it's nice to sit back and let a real shoe professional take care of you now and then.

2nd: Gordon Shoes, Homestead

3rd: Ten Toes, Shadyside


Best Local Fashion Boutique

Pavement

3629 Butler St., Lawrenceville

412-621-6400 or pavementpittsburgh.com

Though celebrated for its well-curated shoe selection, this boutique packs big variety into its storefront. The dresses, coats, sweaters, hats, scarves, jewelry and more range from cute and fun to elegant (or all three at once). The quirkily rustic d├ęcor complements wares by both national brands and local designers, leaning toward the indie and the U.S.-made.

2nd: Figleaf, South Side

3rd: Jupe Boutique, Lawrenceville

Best Local Jewelry Store

Orr's Jewelers

5857 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill (412-421-6777) and 532 Beaver St., Sewickley (412-741-8080)

www.orrsrocks.com

A lot has changed since its founding by Bill Orr in 1952. The store has more than tripled in size since moving from its original Midland, Pa. location. And while you'll still see classics like diamond stud earrings, engagement rings and diamond bracelets, you'll also find trendier yellow-gold pieces, ear climbers and statement rings.

2nd: Henne Jewelers, Shadyside

3rd: South Hills Jewelers, Bethel Park

Best Hair Salon

Salon Ivy

1213 E. Carson St., South Side

412-488-4489 or www.salonivy.net

Finding a trustworthy hairstylist can be daunting, but the stylists at Salon Ivy are up to the task. Since opening in 2012, popular demand has already necessitated a move to a larger space. Offering a wide range of services for men and women at affordable prices, the Ivy team aims to help you look and feel your best.

2nd: Studio Booth, Shadyside

3rd: Pageboy Salon & Boutique, Lawrenceville

Best Day Spa

Sewickley Spa

337 Beaver St, Sewickley

412-741-4240 or www.sewickleyspa.com

More than 40 treatments — massages, seaweed wraps, facials, and more — await customers at this long-established readers' favorite. It's all housed in a Victorian-era home amid the finery of Sewickley, long a getaway community for Pittsburgh's elite. Here's your chance to be treated like one of them, at least for a little while.

2nd: Esspa Kozmetika, Aspinwall

3rd: Metamorphosis, Lawrenceville

Best Bicycle Shop

Thick Bikes

1408 Bingham St., South Side

412-390-3590 or www.thickbikes.com

Its modest repair garage has grown over the years into a full-service bike shop with an urban edge, with new and used cycles (and parts) of all types and gear, from U-locks to messenger bags. But you'll really love the service at this bike-centric joint: Whether it's a tune-up or an overhaul, the Thick Bikes crew just wants you out riding.

2nd: Iron City Bikes, Oakland and Lawrenceville

3rd: Kindred Cycles, Strip District

Best Yoga Studio

Amazing Yoga

Multiple locations

www.amazingyoga.net

With locations in Shadyside, Wexford and South Side, Amazing Yoga offers heated power vinyasa in a peaceful, supportive environment. Its first-timer deal — 7 days for $7 — is a great opportunity to see if this yoga stuff is for you. Grab a mat and prepare to get a little sweaty. You're sure to leave feeling — well — amazing.

2nd: South Hills Power Yoga, Dormont and Peters Township

3rd: Yoga Flow, multiple locations

Best Tattoo Artist

Byron Lee, Neverending Ink Tattoos

1100 Muldowney Ave., Lincoln Place

412-721-0166 or www.neverendingink.biz

Quiet Lincoln Place doesn't have the concentration of tattoo shops you'll find in, say, Lawrenceville or South Side. But City Paper readers are willing to make the trip to Neverending Ink, where Byron Lee inks lettering and luminously colored graphic work with equal mastery.

2nd: Jason Angst, Artisan Tattoo

3rd: Justun Palenscar, In the Blood

Best Body Piercing Shop

Hot Rod Body Piercing Company

95 S. 16th St., South Side (412-431-6077) and 115 Oakland Ave., Oakland (412-687-4320)

www.hotrodpiercingcompany.com

If you've got a body part crying out for a piece of jewelry, there's a good chance the crew at Hot Rod Body Piercing Company can help. They offer body jewelry in many styles and a variety of materials, including stainless steel, 18-karat gold, titanium and even Pyrex glass. Whether it's a nose ring or something a little more personal, they'll get you pierced.

2nd: Tattoo Noir, Bloomfield

3rd: Artisan Piercing Boutique, Garfield

Best Place to Buy Smokes or Vape

Smoker Friendly

Multiple locations

www.smokerfriendly.com

There's no question the trend toward "vaping" is reflected at Smoker Friendly: Every store now has a vape tasting station. But you can still find traditional products like pipe or rolling tobacco, plus a wide variety of cigarettes. If you're into cigars, check out the Downtown location, which has over 500 varieties and its own cigar lounge.

2nd: Steel City Vapors, Castle Shannon and Monroeville

3rd: Leaf & Bean, Strip District

Best Place to Buy Health Food

Whole Foods

5880 Centre Ave., East Liberty (412-441-7960) and 10576 Perry Hwy., Wexford (724-940-6100)

www.wholefoodsmarket.com

When you're looking to fill your fridge with organic, gluten- or GMO-free ingredients, Whole Foods is the place to do it. Even though it's a national chain, you'll still find plenty of locally-sourced produce. And if your culinary skills leave something to be desired, the store's prepared foods section is always handy.

2nd: East End Food Co-Op, Point Breeze

3rd: Trader Joe's, East Liberty and Upper St. Clair

Best Place to Adopt a Pet

Animal Friends

562 Camp Horne Road, Avonworth

412-847-7000 or www.thinkingoutsidethecage.org

If you'd like to stop looking at the billions of cute animal pictures online, and take a furry friend home, Animal Friends can help. It houses homeless cats, dogs and rabbits, while providing future owners with the tools they need to be successful parents. At Animal Friends' facility, there is even a veterinary clinic and pet-therapy suite.

2nd: Animal Rescue League, Larimer

3rd: Western Pa. Humane Society, North Side

Best Thrift Shop

Goodwill Industries

Multiple locations

www.goodwillswpa.org

Pittsburgh is lucky to have a pretty active market for thrift stores, and this year City Paper readers chose Goodwill as their favorite. The inventory is as varied and diverse as the people who shop there. Two things are certain: You'll always find a bargain, and your money and your donated items are going toward a good cause.

2nd: Red, White and Blue Thrift Store, Brookline and Bellevue

3rd: Salvation Army, multiple locations

Best Car Dealer

Rohrich Automotive

Multiple locations

412-344-6012 or www.rohrich.com

Bentley, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Honda, Lexus, Mazda, Scion, Toyota — Rohrich carries them all. For the past 75 years, this family-owned car dealership has been providing reliable service to the Pittsburgh community with a stress-free car-buying experience. With locations throughout the Pittsburgh area, Rohrich sells new and pre-owned vehicles and likely has something for every consumer.

2nd: Day Automotive Group, multiple locations

3rd: #1 Cochran, multiple locations

Best Place to Take the Kids for the Afternoon

Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, Highland Park

One Wild Place, Highland Park

412-665-3640 or www.pittsburghzoo.org

Lions and tigers and bears aren't just sports teams — show the kids the real, living deal at the Pittsburgh Zoo. The Highland Park facility has all the kids' favorite animals, plus more exotic creatures such as the Komodo dragon, African springbok, naked mole rat and a giant Pacific octopus. Plus penguins — the waddling, non-skating sort.

2nd: Children's Museum, North Side

3rd: Carnegie Science Center, North Side

Best City Tour

Just Ducky Tours

125 W. Station Square Drive, Station Square

412-402-3825 or www.justduckytours.com

See Pittsburgh — by land and by river — while riding in a World War II-era amphibious vehicle known as a DUKW, a.k.a. duck. This fun and informative tour navigates Downtown, the North Side and a river or two, as lively guides keep up a steady stream of history, factoids, Pittsburgh pride and groan-inducing bird puns.

2nd: Gateway Clipper, Station Square

3rd: Segway in Paradise, Station Square

Best Local Fundraiser

B*tches Ball, Animal Rescue League

www.animalrescue.org

It sounds like the worst party invite ever — help dogs and cats get neutered while you enjoy cocktails — but Animal Rescue League's annual B*tches Ball is both a great time and a great cause. Held to coincide with World Spay Day, it features a drag show, music and nibbles. Mark your calendar for next year's ball in February.

2nd: The Dirty Ball, Attack Theatre

3rd: Urban Garden Party, Mattress Factory

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