Alibi V.27 No.17 • April 26-May 2, 2018 

Best of Burque 2018

Goods

Best Book Store

TIE: Bookworks/Page 1 Books

Burque’s Finest Moustache Wax

It really is hard to choose a favorite between these two of Albuquerque's best loved and best stocked bookstores, each of which support the thriving literary community here in enduring ways. Whether you're shopping for a bestseller, looking for a local title, or hoping to catch a writer on a national tour, both of these local establishments have got you covered. Cruising the aisles of each will allow you to discover new titles, meanwhile, if you're looking for a recommendation, the beyond-knowledgable bookworms behind the counters will have you cracking the spine on your new favorite book in no time. Thank god for ties, because Bookworks and Page 1 are truly both the best in the city.

2) Treasure House Books & Gifts

Best Comic Book Store

Astro-Zombies

Located in the heart of Nob Hill, this venerable destination for all things pop cultural features toys, action figures, posters, games, records and—of course—a heck of a lot of comic books. The store’s towering wall of graphic novels is a sight for sequential art lovers’ sore eyes, earning this shop the top spot to argue the age-old question of whether Superman or the Incredible Hulk would win in a fight.

2) Lobo Comics

3) Twin Suns Comics and Games

Best Game Store

Empire Board Game Library

No question here: Empire’s “try it before you buy it” model is tops. Pay a modest hourly fee and you can hang out in this welcoming coffee-house-cum-game-store testing out any of the store’s hundreds of board/table games (Galaxy Trucker? Time’s Up? Castle Panic? Zombie Dice? Shadow Hunters? Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre?) Friendly staff members will teach you how to play. And if you find a favorite, you can buy it off the shelves and take it home!

2) Gamers Anonymous

3) Ettin Games and Hobbies

Best Men's Clothing Store

Free Radicals

Free Radicals has vended wares out of their storefront on Yale and Lead Avenues since 2002, in that time gaining a legion of devoted fashion fans. The space itself is just as vintage as the pin-up clothes and greaser gear it sells. The store aims to be equitable—providing fairly made fashion by small manufacturers for prices that will fit into most budgets. Free Radicals is just as committed to giving back to the community as they are to being purveyors of fine men's garb—that's why they consistently earn accolades as a place to thread up in Albuquerque.

2) Toad Road

3) Izzy Martin

Best Women's Clothing Store

Free Radicals

Free Radicals has been winning Best of Burque in multiple categories since 2004. Ask anyone where to shop in Albuquerque and anyone with some sense is going to say, “go to Free Rads.” Pinup clothing? Free Rads. Goth clothing? Free Rads. Fancy, quirky clothing? Free Rads. Punk? Free Rads. If a visit to this leopard printed building hasn't happened yet, put it on this weekend's to-do list and figure out why Burqueños have been buying their 'clothes and crap' there since 2002.

2) Buffalo Exchange

3) Assistance League Thrift Store

Best Vintage Clothing Store

Off Broadway Vintage Clothing and Costumes

For more than 30 years, Off Broadway has had a museum-quality selection of clothing to offer. With items ranging from bawdy costumes to quirky everyday wear, the vintage store voted number one for 2018 has garments and accoutrements from every era. Pick up Ben Nye cosmetics, boas, shoes, hats, wigs, vintage lingerie, rental costumes or just something cool to wear for the weekend at the Nob Hill shop owner Susan Ricker has been curating over the years.

2) Free Radicals

3) Paradise Club Vintage

Best Jewelry Store

Two Stoned Betties

Kayla Mansfield and Sara Roman weren't just lifelong friends, the two women both shared an enduring passion for all things glittering, painted, handmade and wearable. That was the inspiration for their shop, Two Stoned Betties. In their online boutique (squareup.com/store/two-stoned-betties) the two artisans offer adornments in a variety of styles, handcrafted from a variety of materials—repurposed bike tubes, hand painted trading cards and delicate citrine hanging from slender chains—are just some of what you can expect to find in this, Albuquerque's finest jewelry store.

2) Ooh! Aah! Jewelry

3) IMEC Jewelry & Gallery

Best Antique Store

Antiques & Things

We love Antiques & Things, and here's why: it is 15,000 square feet of stuff, but it's not just any stuff, it is good and reasonably priced stuff. Items one adoring writer has purchased from Antiques & Things include: an ivory colored wool rug, a small corner table, a leather mini backpack (yes!), a silver ring and probably a whole lot of other stuff used on a daily basis that is difficult to recall. In a city that boasts a lot of really great antique stores, it is really something for the whole of the city to type Antiques & Things in specifically. It really is just that memorably great.

2) Found on 4th

3) Past Present & In-Between

Best Thrift Store

Thrift Town

Every time you go to Thrift Town, you see someone you know. That's because everyone shops here, because everyone knows that hiding beneath piles of Barbie parts and Jansport backpacks (or hey, maybe that's what you're looking for!) is treasure. Part of the joy of thrifting is the hunt. For the most part, Thrift Town makes that process easy by sorting their wares into navigable sections and weeding out a lot of the junk before they unleash the stuff on the floor. There's not a lot of guess work here—great finds at reasonable prices take the stress out of shopping. God bless Thrift Town.

2) PAWS Thrift Store

3) Assistance League Thrift Store

Best Bicycle Shop

Fat Tire Cycles

Whether you’re the weekend cruising type or the daily grinder, keeping your bike properly maintained is essential. You need someone whose equipment and services you can trust. Fat Tire Cycles has become one of the most highly-decorated bicycle shops in the city. Alongside your basic needs, they provide rare parts and accessories as well as performing repairs and custom fittings. Most employees have been working with the company for over seven years, and all employees are hired based on their first-hand knowledge. That means they'll know what the hell they're doing and how best to fulfill your needs.

2) Bikeworks Albuquerque

3) The Bike Coop

Best Skate Shop

Haven Skate Shop

Haven Skate Shop is your one-stop-shop not only for skateboards and skate accessories, but also for snowboarding gear, swimsuits, backpacks, shoes, frisbees, apparel … and a whole lot of other stuff. Stop by if you need new trucks or griptape, or, if you don’t know what either of those things are, stop by to get the clothes that will make it look like you do know what either of those things are.

2) Silver Skate Shop

3) Skate City Supply

Best Adult Toy Store

Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center

Providing education in adult play, sexual consent and pleasure for both self and couple, Self Serve continues to be an incredible resource for the city. Offering a healthy selection of adult toys in-store and online, the remarkable and well-rounded staff at Self Serve is always on-hand and prepared to assist with questions and decisions for all of your kinks and fascinations, making themselves the obvious choice for your most intimate needs.

2) Seductions

3) Castle Megastore

Best Plant Nursery

TIE: Osuna Nursery/Rehm's Nursery & Garden Center

There’s no easier way to brighten up your home than with some happy little plants, and the folks at both Osuna Nursery and Rehm’s Nursery and Garden Center know that. There was a tie straight down the middle for which one y’all liked more, and we understand why: Both places are filled with seeds, starts and plants of every variety imagineable, all the accountremont you could desire for cultivating your garden, as well as friendly and helpful staff to offer advice. Time to start planting.

2) Plants of the Southwest

Best Flower Shop/Florist

Peoples Flower Shops

It seems old-fashioned, but it’s absolutely true: Nothing brightens up a room quite like a bouquet of flowers. Peoples Flower Shops provide single variety bouquets, mixed arrangements and living plants that are perfect for bringing to a celebration or showing sympathy to a loved one. They’re also great for buying for yourself, though, because you really don’t need an excuse to get flowers.

2) Skarsgard Farms

3) Albuquerque Florist

Best Art Supplies Store

Artisan

An artist is only as good as their tools. Luckily, Artisan supplies tools that are top-of-the-line, and offers up workshops, classes, talks and informal instruction from their friendly staff, making us all a little better at our chosen craft. They've been doing the work of supplying the creatives of both Albuquerque and Santa Fe for the past 40 years, which means they have the art of business fine-tuned—making the honor of “best art supplies store” a natural fit for the illustrious local institution.

2) Pen & Pad

3) New Mexico Clay

Best Bath and Body Store

Donovan Discovers

Local celebrity Donovan Smith is a visionary who has been featured in People Magazine, as well as on MSNBC, PBS and more. Despite being a teenager, Donovan has many years of experience in soap making under his belt, and he brings this expertise to his social enterprise retail space, Donovan Discovers. Each unique handmade soap purchased offers a meaningful return to the community—14 percent of all sales are donated to local charities that support the homeless throughout the city. Donovan Discovers is more than just the best at making soap—this business is a meaningful example of what it means to invest in the community.

2) LUSH

3) Yes Organic Boutique and Spa

Best Gun Shop

Ron Peterson Firearms

Love ’em or hate ’em, you can't deny that New Mexicans love their guns. From Super Soakers to AK-47s, we can't get enough, and the best place to get them is Ron Peterson Firearms. This store has everything you need, whether you’re a collector, hunter or enthusiast. Ron Peterson offers the best selection in weapons—including antique, collectible firearms, handguns, pistols, rifles, shotguns and tactical weapons. They'll also supply you with the very best in accessories and parts. Ron Peterson has been nationally recognized as a leading expert in antique weapons, earning him a spot on PBS's “Antiques Roadshow” as a gun appraiser.

2) Calibers

3) Omni Arms

Best Growers' Market

Rail Yards Market

In addition to being the best setting for your band to record their first music video, the old rail yards depot at 1st and Hazeldine hosts the biggest and best growers’ market in the city. Farmers, chefs, bakers, food trucks and artisans gather to sell their best at this market every Sunday May through October, from 10am to 2pm. Whether you’re going to pick up some farm-fresh produce or just to grab some food truck grub and listen to the live music, the Rail Yards Market is a prime weekend hangout spot.

2) Downtown Growers' Market

3) Nob Hill Growers' Market

Best Local Produce (Retail)

La Montañita Co-op Food Market

Outside of a weekend farmers’ market, La Montanita Co-op has hands-down the best selection of locally-grown produce around. They clearly label everything that’s New Mexico-grown at each location, and it’s all guaranteed to be as fresh as humanly possible. Ask your cashier what farm each fruit or veggie is from and they’ll likely know; ask them how best to cook it and they’ll probably know that too. Don’t forget that your EBT dollars count for double on local fresh produce through the Double Up Food Bucks program!

2) Skarsgard Farms

3) MoGro

Best Costumes

Off Broadway Vintage Clothing and Costumes

All the world’s a stage, and nobody knows that better than the folks at Off Broadway Vintage Clothing and Costumes. Whether you’re on the hunt for a Halloween costume, an outfit for your next burlesque number or you just have a flair for the dramatic in your everyday apparel, you’ll find something unique in the racks at Off Broadway. Go on, you know you need some more sequins in your life.

2) Assistance League Thrift Shop

3) New Mexico Dancewear

Best Furniture Store

American Home Furniture Store

Couches, rugs, tables, mattresses, patio furniture, armchairs—whatever big purchase you have been saving up for, American Home has got you covered. The large, well-curated Albuquerque branch of the store is a great place to shop for home décor of all stripes, including framed art. It's like wandering through a mansion, each corner turned and new display entered being its own comfortable little world. Except you can take the wares of that world home with you. The folks at American Home will even pack it up for you and deliver it, just to make life a little easier.

2) The Amish Connection

3) Assistance League Furniture Store

Best Neighborhood Grocery Store

La Montañita Co-op

La Montañita Co-op took home the gold in two different categories—you guys must really like them. In addition to their awesome fresh produce, La Montañita is committed to stocking locally-crafted and organic goods, from the freezer aisle to the beauty products. The bulk section will help you save a few dollars and cut down on packaging: all good things. And don’t forget to pick something up from the deli, where they make tasty soups, salads and other dishes perfect for an easy dinner at home or a carry-out business lunch.

2) Keller's Farm Stores

3) The Fruit Basket

Best International/Specialty Food Store

Talin Market World Food Fare

When that new recipe you’re trying out calls for pomegranate molasses or black sesame seeds, your usual grocery store just isn’t going ot cut it. And that’s a good thing, because we’ll take any excuse we can get to visit Talin Market and browse the aisles upon aisles of international treats, their generous wine selection and the deli where you can get crawfish, oysters and cuts of meat from any animal you could imagine eating, and some you couldn’t. Don’t miss their pop-up dumpling restaurant on Fridays and Saturdays.

2) Eurozone Food Distributors

3) Red Rock Deli

Best Liquor Store

Total Wine & More

Walking into a good liquor store can sometimes be a little overwhelming—especially if you don’t really know that much about liquor. Thankfully, the good people who staff Total Wine & Spirits are knowledgeable and friendly, and they’re more than happy to help you navigate the vast and perilous seas of locally-produced and imported booze that they stock. They’ve got regular promotions and special classes and tasting events to introduce customers to spirits they might never hear of otherwise. Next time you’re going to a dinner party and want to bring a bottle of something more interesting than drug store wine, stop by Total Wine & Spirits.

2) Jubilation Wine & Spirits

3) Quarters Discount Liquors

Best Wine Selection (Retail)

Total Wine & More

Whether you’re a wine expert yourself or just want to pick up a reasonably-priced bottle to bring to the potluck, Total Wine & Spirits has you covered. Their selection of wine is truly staggering in size and quality, and there’s always somebody on staff who can tell you what wine to pair with what dish and that, yes, you can drink white wine before Labor Day. They stock plenty of New Mexico wines if you want to stay local, as well as some more exotic drinks like sake and plum wine.

2) Jubilation Wine & Spirits

3) Quarters Discount Liquors

Best Smoke Shop

Just Urban Smoke Shop

Here's the thing: Some smoke shops can be downright depressing—creepy hole-in-the-wall shacks filled with the smell of cheap incense and operated by cagey social failures who seem to be trying to run you off. Which makes places like Just Urban feel like a desert oasis. Friendly staff, kind prices and a bright atmosphere make it a great place to find the perfect piece of paraphernalia. The only trouble will be making up your mind while choosing from their massive selection of the dankest pipes, bongs and rigs. You'll see some unique glass work that probably shouldn't even exist in this dimension. Whoa, dude.

2) Oasis Smoke Shop

3) HoneyComb 1 Smoke Shop

Best Cigar Shop

Monte's Cigars, Tobacco And Gifts

Not into the whole “vape” thing? Like your smokes big, bold and decidedly old-school? Then take the hint and head to Monte’s for an exceptional selection of cigars, pipes, cigarillos, tobaccos and other smoke-based accessories. Trust that the staff here knows the difference between a Corona and a Churchill, a Belicoso and a Perfecto.

2) Imbibe Nob Hill