By Courtney Foster & Geoffrey Plant
Illo by Rob M
Best New Book Store
Stories shape our lives and enable us to time travel, adventure or learn new skills. Operating now for over 30 years, Bookworks is the favored place to find our next story. They're well known for their author hosting events, unique book clubs and community charity work.
2) Page One
3) Treasure House Books & Gifts
Best Used Book Store
We think Page 1 is a magical place. Their cool layout and wide selection of new and used books always fascinates us and standing in the rare book room makes us feel like Mickey Mouse in Fantasia’s “Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” Taking second place is the quaint Downtown Books, where you can find neat old books and other rare gems.
2) Downtown Books
3) Don's Paperback Books
Best Comic Book Store
Not only do they boast the coolest mural ever, Astro-Zombies is also the best place to pick up graphic novels, collectible toys and floppy comics. They're gearing up to celebrate their 15 year operating anniversary and are the main sellers of locally produced comic books and artwork.
2) Lobo Anime & Comics
Best Jewelry Store
Ooh! Ahh! Jewelry
Monkey minds like shiny things and just as their name implies, the nifty treasures at Ooh! Aah! have made our readers swoon. They’ve been supplying us Burqueños with unique and contemporary jewelery and accessories since 1988. They've recently expanded to have a Denver location and are a Nob Hill staple.
2) Gertrude Zachary
3) Butterfield Jewelers
Best Men’s Clothing Store
There's nothing more appealing than a well dressed man. And locally-owned menswear store, Izzy Martin makes it possible for us to see more of them. The store is filled with independent brands such as Hill-Side or Gitman Vintage, and their fun yet casual clothing can turn any dude into a gentleman.
2) Free Radicals
3) Toad Road
Best Women’s Clothing
If you're looking for “Clothes and Crap,” look no further! Free Radicals, founded in 2002, is our reader's favorite place to find alternative clothing, specifically adorable pin-up style dresses, rad corsets and all the accessories you could imagine. It's no wonder this unique local business is the preferred place for Albuquerque women to find their newest look.
2) Buffalo Exchange
3) Toad Road
Best Vintage Clothing Store
Whether it's Halloween and time to find something weird for the evening out or spring is in the air, and the search for interesting new looks is on, Buffalo Exchange has what you need. A longtime Alibi reader's favorite, this kick-ass clothing exchange store has the broadest selection of unique vintage clothing, jewelry and shoes (OMG the shoes!).
2) Off Broadway Vintage Clothing and Costumes
3) Pink Rhino
Best Antique Store
Looking for that weird old chest or ornate mirror that could possibly be haunted? Look no further for the Alibi’s readers have found the place to acquire the most interesting antiques around. Morningside Antiques has been supplying us Burqueño's with beautiful and rare furnishings and home décor for the last 29 years from it's eastern Nob Hill location.
2) Past Present & In Between Indoor Flea Market
Best Thrift Store
If we're anything, us Burqueños are some stylish mo-fos and most of our sense of fashion comes from creatively worn hand-me-downs and our artistic eye. As a result, thrift stores are one of the most popular places to pick up new threads. With their endless selection and wallet-friendly prices, it's no wonder Thrift Town is this year’s reader's favorite.
3) Assistance League Thrift Shop
Best Home Furnishings and Décor
American Home Furnishings
American Home Furnishings wins Alibi readers' hearts for a few solid reasons. Just won that executive position at the company of your dreams? Your salary now affords you the luxury of buying a bedroom set. Head on down to American Home Furnishings and not only will you find a variety of bedroom sets on display, but Alibi readers know that Burque's local chesterfield and bed frame store also stocks original, local artwork as well as imported knickknacks, textiles and one of a kind items to improve your décor.
2) Past Present & In Between
3) Assistance League Thrift Shop
Best Bicycle Shop
Fixed and Free Bike Shop
Fixed and Free has held on to their niche through the fixie fad because they have great customer service. No snotty hipster attitude gets in the way of honest and knowledgeable help with whatever sort of bike you bring these folks; be it an old Schwinn, a dirt bike or an Italian racing bike, these folks treat your machine as if it were their own. Friendly service and honest sales are something that Alibi readers cherish, which is why former winners in this category, Bike Coop and Two Wheel drive come in a close 2nd and 3rd place this year.
2) Bike Coop
3) Two Wheel Drive
Best Skate Shop
Silver Skate Shop
Albuquerque is one of the nation's premier unheard of skate towns. From the Indian School ditch to our famous—and, thanks to APD, now infamous—Los Altos Skate Park, optimal weather and a still relatively chill attitude from the normals, there is demand for decks, bearings and all the other shit that breaks and needs to be replaced. Where do you go? Silver Skate Shop, that's where. Girl owned and girl throned, Silver is the champ.
2) Skate City Supply
3) Beach Zone Skateshop
Best Ski/Snowboard Shop
Sport Systems' stock of winter sports gear is unparalleled in Albuquerque. Furthermore, experts agree that Sport Systems employees know when to hang back and when to ask if you need help with a particular purchase. A fast turnaround on ski and snowboard waxing and sharpening also puts Sport Systems ahead of the pack when it's time to hit the slopes.
2) Skate City Supply
3) Beach Zone Skate Shop
Best Adult Toy Store
After your breakup at Frontier it's time to ditch the old toys and start anew. The buttons were falling off that budget price toy you found online and it was stuck on one setting anyway. This time around, remember that you get what you pay for, and there is no finer place for Alibi readers to invest in durable, functional toys than Self Serve. The helpful staff never make customers feel awkward while exploring the functions on a guaranteed-to-last, allergen-free vibrator.
2) Castle Megastore
Best Plant Nursery
When springtime catches you by surprise and it’s time for planting the seedlings that you never got around to starting, Alibi readers head over to Osuna Nursery to pick up their tomato plants, peppers and watermelon starters. Any time of the year, a capable and plant-loving staff will help you select the right and always healthy fern, spider plant or outdoor hanging geranium at a reasonable price. At the right time of year you may also find fresh local produce for sale.
2) Rehm's Nursery & Garden Center
3) Plants of the Southwest
Best Flower Shop
Fellas, you'd be surprised how much love the simple act of bringing a gal a handpicked bouquet can generate. Burqueños in the know order up their Valentine’s Day roses, lilies for grandma and entire funeral arrangements from Peoples Flowers. This is sorta letting the cat out of the bag but hey, Best of Burque is a public service. The reason so many girls get flowers on Friday is … well, stop by your nearby Peoples and say it with flowers (at half price for 10 stems on Fridays).
2) Agave Florist at Nob Hill
3) Melba's Flowers
Best Electronic/Gadget Store
When it comes to electronics and gadgets, whether it's freezing outside all night waiting for Black Friday or a simple impulse buy, why not go to the biggest game in town with the cheapest prices this side of the internet. House burn down? Best Buy will help you replace just about every appliance and electronic device lost in the blaze. Go big or go home. Right, readers?
2) Apple Store
3) Gamers Anonymous
Best Art Supplies
In a town, nay, a country where local art supply stores are becoming an endangered species, kudos to Alibi folks for choosing a locally owned and operated source for canvas, charcoal, fancy push pins and sketch pads. Artisan is a stalwart of the university community and continues to faithfully provide items necessary for an art school education as well as those endeavors outside of the academy.
2) Hobby Lobby
Best Bath and Body Store
For your cosmetic needs, Alibi readers, you have sophisticated and discerning taste. Lush, in the equally sophisticated Uptown Plaza, has what your hands, feet, face, eyes, ears and mouth need to stay an even 28 years old. On the outside anyway. Imagine if you stayed that age inside. There's no treatment for age stasis except the onset of alcoholism or some other addiction contributing to arrested development. So, in summation, for those products that pamper, Lush is your reader-recommended clear destination.
2) Betty's Bath & Day Spa
3) IV the Bath
Best Alternative Health Store
Natural Grocers has come a long way during the past decade. From a slightly stuck, plain Jane, old-school vitamin and supplements store to a full fledged health food store, Alibi readers have learned to seek out their Bach remedies, aromatherapy supplies and other alternative medicines at the new and improved Natural Grocers.
2) The Herb Store
3) La Montañita Co-op
Best Board Game Store
Empire Board Game Library
Empire Board Game Library has the most extensive collection of games one could hope to find in one place. It's a library, so the games are available for loan by the hour, kind of like reference materials at a library. Also, Empire keeps your munchies at bay with a selection of coffee house type goods including coffee.
2) Active Imagination: Family and Arena
Best Gun Shop
Ron Peterson Firearms
The one. The only. Ron Peterson, Albuquerque's gold standard in firearms. From new and used weapons to the ammunition of your choice, repair, antique appraisal, personal protection items such as mace and air horns, Ron Peterson is Albuquerque's centrally located source for personal protection and specialty hunting equipment. Remember there's no front door, one enters this establishment using their discreet rear entrance.
Best Camera Shop
Kurt’s Camera Corral
Woebegone are we who still buy film. For now we are without Best of Burque's perennial winner in this category, Kurt's Camera Corral. Loyal patrons still voted this Central landmark—neon sign and all—the best place to find both digital and 35mm cameras and accessories. Heck, you could still find 3,000 speed B&W film for your Polaroid Land camera at Kurt's. After a quick-fire sale, Kurt's packed it in late last year. Wonder what happened to the cat in the window?
2) Camera & Darkroom
3) Field & Frame
Best Car Dealership
Larry H. Miller
What!? Larry H. Miller, that's what. Alibi readers are MOPAR people. Chrysler. Dodge. Jeep. New and used. Larry H. Miller is 2016's trusted car dealership.
Best Used Car Dealership
For those who choose to avoid the pitfalls of Craigslist and need assurance that their new-to-them vehicle isn't a lemon, readers recommend CarMax. They will deliver from any of their locations across the country the vehicle you desire without the indignity of haggling over a fair price.
2) Garcia Auto Group
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Inaugural D.H. Lawrence Lecture at UNM Continuing Education Building
Award-winning author Mark Doty reads and discusses his work.
Eat Pizza and Support the Corrales Library at Village Pizza
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