Best of 2011: Goods and Services | Pittsburgh City Paper

Best of 2011: Goods and Services

Best Local Bookstore

Caliban Books, Oakland
2nd:  tie: Half-Price Books, multiple locations / Eljay's Used Books, Dormont
3rd: Beyond Bedtime, Dormont

Best Store to Buy Comics

Phantom of the Attic, Oakland and Monroeville
2nd: Eide's Entertainment, Strip District
3rd: Copacetic Comics, Polish Hill

Best Local Store to Buy Music

The Exchange, multiple locations
2nd: Dave's Music Mine, South Side
3rd: Jerry's Records, Squirrel Hill

Best Local Store to Buy Musical Instruments

Piano's N' Stuff, Blawnox
2nd: Backstage Guitars, Lawrenceville and Wexford
3rd: Pittsburgh Guitars, South Side

Best Local Store to Buy Furniture

Levin Furniture, multiple locations
2nd: Perlora, South Side
3rd: IKEA, Robinson

Best Place to Buy Vintage Clothing

Avalon Exchange, Squirrel Hill and Mount Lebanon
2nd: Goodwill, multiple locations 
3rd: Eons Fashion Antique, Shadyside

Best Local Shoe Store

Littles Shoes, Squirrel Hill
2nd: Pavement, Lawrenceville
3rd: Ten Toes, Shadyside

Best Local Fashion Boutique

Pavement, Lawrenceville
2nd: Fig Leaf, South Side
3rd: Pageboy Salon & Boutique, Lawrenceville

Best Local Jewelry Store

Orr's Jewelers, Squirrel Hill and Sewickley
2nd: Henne Jewelers, Shadyside
3rd: Culture Shop, South Side

Best Local Salon

Pageboy Salon & Boutique, Lawrenceville
2nd: MCN Salon, East Liberty
3rd: Uzori Salon, South Side

Best Day Spa

Sewickley Spa, Sewickley
2nd: Esspa Kozmetika, Aspinwall
3rd (tie): Judit European Day Spa, South Side  / La Pomponnee, Mount Lebanon

Best Bicycle Shop

Thick Bikes, South Side
2nd: Kraynick's Bike Shop, Garfield
3rd: Trek of Pittsburgh, multiple locations

Best Health Club

Urban Active, Larimer
2nd: LA Fitness, multiple locations
3rd: YMCA, multiple locations

Best Yoga Studio

Amazing Yoga, Shadyside 
2nd: Schoolhouse Yoga, multiple locations
3rd: Breathe Yoga, South Side 

Best Bowling Alley

Arsenal Lanes, Lawrenceville
2nd: Forward Lanes, Squirrel Hill
3rd: Dormont Lanes, Dormont

Best Skate Shop

One Up Skate Shop, South Side
2nd: Plank Eye Board Shop, Bellevue
3rd: Headboard Shop, South Side

Best Tattoo Shop

In the Blood Tattoo, South Side
2nd: Jester's Court, multiple locations
3rd: South Side Tattoos, South Side

Best Body-Piercing Shop

Hot Rod Body Piercing, Oakland and South Side
2nd: In the Blood Tattoo, South Side
3rd: South Side Tattoos, South Side

Best Smoke Shop

Leaf and Bean, Strip District
2nd: Bloom Cigar, South Side
3rd: Puffs-N-Stuff Cigars, multiple locations

Best Car Dealer

#1 Cochran, multiple locations
2nd: Day Automotive, multiple locations
3rd: Baierl, multiple locations

Best Golf Course

Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont
2nd: Schenley Park Golf Course, Squirrel Hill
3rd (tie): Fox Chapel Golf Course, Fox Chapel / Scally's Golf Center, Coraopolis

Best Place to Buy Health Food

Whole Foods, East Liberty
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, Ohio Township
2nd: Western PA Humane Society, North Side and Elizabeth
3rd: Animal Rescue League, Larimer

Best Hotel

Omni William Penn, Downtown
2nd: Fairmont Pittsburgh, Downtown
3rd: Pittsburgh Renaissance Hotel, Downtown

Best Thrift Shop

Red White and Blue, Brookline and Bellevue
2nd: Goodwill, multiple locations
3rd: Salvation Army, multiple locations

Best Place to Take the Kids for an Afternoon

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Highland Park
2nd: Pittsburgh Children's Museum, North Side
3rd: Carnegie Science Center, North Side

Best Place for a Wedding Reception

Phipps Conservatory, Oakland
2nd: The Priory Hotel, North Side
3rd: Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, Highland Park

Best Place to Buy/Sell Gold

Treasure Hunt, multiple locations
2nd: Southside Jewelers & More, South Side
3rd: South Hills Jewelers, Bethel Park

Best One-of-a-Kind Gift Store

Wildcard, Lawrenceville
2nd: Kards Unlimited, Shadyside
3rd: Ten Thousand Villages, Squirrel Hill

State of the Art

Are you one of those avant-garde types not content with majority rule? Check out these recommendations from our editorial staff.

Best Impression Made by a Big-Box Retailer Before You Even Walk Inside

Target. 6231 Penn Ave., East Liberty

Sometimes it takes a big-box retailer to make streets more small-town friendly. To facilitate Target's arrival, two-way traffic was restored to Penn Circle South; turning lanes were better organized along Penn Avenue. Pedestrians — who suffered mightily during construction — were rewarded with new crosswalks and countdown "walk" signals. Target threw in sheltered bike racks, and the bus turnabout across the street (which is still being rehabbed) got benches and trees.

Best Job of Cashing in on Dark Knight hype

S.W. Randall Toys & Gifts. 630 Smithfield St., Downtown. 412-562-9252

For those who grew up in the age of Toys R Us, S.W. Randall is the childhood toy store we never had ... and its window displays are part of the reason. The store earned widespread attention during the filming of Dark Knight, thanks to a Batman-themed display of vintage action figures and other paraphernalia — complete with campy 1960s-era theme music on loudspeaker. TV news cameras and film-production staffers alike came to visit.  

Best Pop-Up Store

Fleeting Pages. 5986 Penn Circle South, East Liberty, May 7-June 4, 2011

This past spring, the shuttered Borders Eastside was revivified — as a bookstore, no less. With no advertising budget, founder and Braddock resident Jodi Morrison and a volunteer staff kept Fleeting Pages running seven days a week. The store, a showcase for indie publishers, zine-makers and artists, also hosted daily events including readings, workshops, film screenings and a poetry slam. Though the store lost money, it drew crowds and enlivened Pittsburgh's lit scene.

Best Way to Get Your Hands Dirty

Tree Pittsburgh's "Tree Tender" program. 412-362-6360 or

Tree Tenders are the National Guard of the arborist world: a civilian group dedicated to taking care of what the pros can't quite get to. Tree Pittsburgh trains volunteers in the science of trees so that they can take part in planting, pruning and otherwise maintaining trees in public places citywide. 

Best Local Mobile App

Park PGH.

Created by tech gurus at Deep Local, Park PGH is designed to navigate the treacherous Cultural District parking landscape. Both the iPhone app and the mobile site feature a color-coded map which lets you know whether a nearby garage is available, reaching capacity or full up. It's just the thing to keep you from abandoning your vehicle in the middle of Penn Avenue.


Best of 2011 - Home Goods and Services