Alibi V.28 No.17 • April 25-May 1, 2019 

Best of Burque 2019

Goods

Best Book Store

Bookworks

shopping bag

Bookworks does what a bookstore should. For 30 years, Bookworks has not simply been selling books (an increasingly rare thing), but welcoming authors, partnering with schools and even putting together a pretty decent storytime for the local preschool set. You can even call them on the phone with a vague idea about a book you are looking for—without either the title or the author—and they will try help you figure out what it is. Where else are you going to get service like that? (Clarke Condé)

2) Page 1 Books

3) Organic Books

Best Comic Book Store

Astro-Zombies

Back in the ’80s, bands of roaming bullies hunted for comic book nerds to let out their Oedipal frustrations on via massive beatings. Back then, comic shops were basically bunkers where nerds cowered in the dark and huddled for warmth. It was a terrible time for the industry. These days, you'll find even the coolest kids browsing through stacks of back issues and trades over at Astro-Zombies. That means you can stock up on toys, games and anime without worrying about whether Clark Peterson will destroy them on the bike ride home. That's progress. (Joshua Lee)

2) Age of Comics

3) Red Planet Books & Comics

Best Game Store

Empire Board Game Library

Isn’t it nice when you can try out a product before you buy it? For a modest fee ($3 an hour for adults, $2 an hour for kids, $1 an hour for seniors) you can play any of the hundreds of games on the shelves of Nob Hill’s Empire Board Game Library. Plus, there are sandwiches, coffees, drinks and desserts to keep your energy up as you slap cards down in Fluxx or move your choo-choo trains around the board in Ticket to Ride. And if you like what you’re playing, you can purchase a copy to enjoy in the privacy of your own home. (Devin D. O’Leary)

2) Gamers Anonymous

3) Ettin Games & Hobbies, Albuquerque

Best Vintage Clothing Store

Off Broadway Vintage Clothing and Costumes

Off Broadway is not just a quirky costume shop. Yes, it has everything you need to put together a smashing look for that masquerade ball, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. You will also find high quality, fairly priced vintage garments and accessories representing the history of fashion as we know it. For over three decades, this dynamic shop has kept Albuquerque in the style with the help of owner Susan Ricker. From tiaras and prosthetics to flapper dresses, Off Broadway has got it all! (Constance Moss)

2) Assistance League Albuquerque

3) Uneek Findings & Motique

Best Jewelry Store

Ooh! Aah! Jewelry

This local shop is a gem, but the jewelry isn't only about diamonds. No stranger to Best of Burque, this exceptional and eclectic store offers local and handcrafted pieces sure to make you feel like a New Mexican Kardashian. With over 25 years in business and a number of awards to their credit, Ooh! Aah! knows what Albuquerque likes and is a staple of Nob Hill. Drop by and, of course, ooh and aah over their stunning adornments. (Ashli Kesali)

2) Lilly Barrack Jewelry & Gifts

3) Two Stoned Betties

Best Antique Store

Antiques & Things

A local treasure that happens to be full of treasures, Antiques & Things has been part of the neighborhood business scene in east Nob Hill for so long that we can remember going back and forth between that place and Antique Specialty Mall when Andy the artist was selling vintage furniture at the one and the punk rock chick with the Giraf Beer T-shirt was working the other. In any case, you can find everything you want at this joint, from vintage studio headphones to WWII militaria, tools, appliances, art and more. But make sure you’ve put aside at least an hour to take it all in. (August March)

2) Antique Specialty Mall

3) Uneek Findings & Motique

Best Thrift Store

Thrift Town

If, like Macklemore, you’ve only got 20 dollars in your pocket, head over to Thrift Town—this year’s winner in our annual readers’ poll. Not only can you find amazing secondhand clothing, housewares and books at ridiculously affordable prices, but Thrift Town has a sale every day. (Those brightly colored tags mean something.) Do your part to reduce waste and cut down on fast fashion (which contributes to water pollution and uses toxic chemicals, but we digress) and become that age old adage by finding a treasure or several in someone else’s junk. (Taylor Grabowsky)

2) Thrift-A-Lot

3) Animal Humane Thrift Shop

Best Furniture Store

American Home Furniture Store Albuquerque

For more than 80 years, homes, American Home Furniture has been known to Burqueños as the premiere place to procure furniture, appliances and all the other interesting and attractive physical objects one needs to fill up a humble yet happy home. That means that your grandparents and parents probably bought something there; maybe it was a charcoal grill, maybe it was an entire oak bedroom set or maybe even a waterbed—when those things were popular, aye-yi-yi!—that came from “American.” With a huge store and an even bigger warehouse, they’ve got the town covered in wood and steel and leather. (August March)

2) Assistance League Albuquerque

3) Uneek Findings & Motique

Best Adult Toy Store

Self Serve

There's a reason why Self Serve stays on top amongst the local sex shops: education. It's not just about fuzzy handcuffs, Leg Avenue lingerie and batchelorette decorations. They aim to inform, educate and take sexual practices to a safer, higher level. Walking into the shop for a new sex toy is as easy and welcoming as walking into a bakery for a comforting pastry. A truly judgment-free zone, employees are approachable and knowledgeable and the store has a wealth of toys, tools, books and more to discover. Stop by their new location on Morningside to see what's new. (Ashli Kesali)

2) Seductions

Best Costumes

Off Broadway Vintage Clothing and Costumes

Off Broadway is virtually a museum of outrageous, vintage clothing. But this cherished Burque spot isn't just for Halloween. They offer Ben Nye cosmetics, decadent ostrich and turkey boas, vintage shoes, hats, and yeah, costumes. Walk past their storefront any given week and drool over their perfectly themed and coordinated mannequins that will no doubt draw you in. Once inside, prepare to be overwhelmed by color, glitz and glamour. If you haven't been in, go see why they've got yet another Best of Burque win under their belt. (Ashli Kesali)

2) Thrift Town

3) Just Cos Cosplay Supply

Best Bicycle Shop

Fat Tire Cycles

Fat Tire Cycles has done it again! Not only does this Duke City staple offer everything you need in terms of cycling and equipment, but the seasoned experts at the shop can repair anything you pedal with two wheels, customize your ride and even give you advice on proper riding position. Every employee at Fat Tire is an avid cyclist and can expand your knowledge of cycling, whether you're new to the activity or you compete annually in the Tour de France. With the largest bike selection in New Mexico, FTC will surely have what it takes to suit your cycling needs. Join them on their Sunday ride! (Constance Moss)

2) The Bike Coop

3) Routes Bicycle Tours & Rentals

Best Skate Shop

Silver Skate Shop

Albuquerque has a strong skater history, with many of us older (oh my god I’ve become my father) folks remembering the days of hanging out at Los Altos and scraping every inch of exposed skin learning how to drop in the bowl for the first time. Silver Skate Shop rose to the top this year to show us that skate culture is still going strong, and that they hold a special place in the heart of the community. Whether you’re getting ready to start learning, or you’ve been involved in the scene for a long time, everything you need can be found at Silver Skate Shop, who have the friendliest and most knowledgeable staff in the city. (Dan Pennington)

2) Skate City Supply

3) Filter Skateboard Shop

Best Gun Shop

Ron Peterson Firearms

It's getting tougher and tougher out there in this crazy world, and if Dirty Harry is anything to go by, arming yourself to the teeth, squinting your eyes and talking with a growl is the only sane answer. For looks, you'll need to spend some time in front of a mirror. For the armory, just head down to Ron Peterson Firearms. It's the best place for collectors, hunters and weapons enthusiasts to find the perfect peacemaker, be it a firearm, handgun, pistol, rifle, shotgun or tactical weapon. (Joshua Lee)

2) Calibers

3) Los Ranchos Gun Shop

Best Plant Nursery

Osuna Nursery

Osuna Nursery was started by an immigrant from Korea, Chang An, and from his small plant rental and maintenance business blossomed Albuquerque’s best nursery, according to our readers. Now owned by An’s wife, Myong, Osuna has one of the most extensive variety of plants that one could ask for. On top of the acres of plants and greenhouses, they offer a free garden club, free classes at Osuna University and landscaping including design, installation and maintenance. So whether you’re looking to completely redo your backyard or are looking for your first plant baby, Osuna’s friendly and extremely knowledgeable staff is ready to help. (Taylor Grabowsky)

2) Rehm's Nursery & Garden Center

3) Plants of the Southwest

Best Flower Shop/Florist

Peoples Flower Shops

They may not have Audrey II in stock, but Peoples Flower Shops have pretty much any other flower a person could ask for. Peoples has been serving the city artfully decorated bouquets for every occasion since 1944. Wet your plants over this: not only is every arrangement hand-picked, but the Freshness Care System ensures that your flowers will last long past the special occasion you ordered them for. Plus, with deliveries available anywhere in town and across the state, ordering flowers for someone “just because” has never been easier or more affordable. (Taylor Grabowsky)

2) Albuquerque Florist

3) Mauldin's Flowers

Best Bath and Body Store

Betty's Bath & Day Spa

A perennial favorite of loyal Alibi readers, Betty’s Bath & Day Spa in the heart of the North Valley, has won this category many times because of their blissful massages, succulent retreats and a combination of other elusively elegant mind and body treatments that relax, rejuvenate and restore reality in beautiful and healthful moments designed to nourish the physical and the eternal in a sensible down-to-earth setting. If you want to feel good, then here is the place to start the journey to sustainable self-care. (Samantha Carrillo)

2) Farm Shop at Los Poblanos

Best Growers' Market

Downtown Growers' Market

Was this even a question? For many, the Downtown Growers’ Market isn’t so much an activity as it is a tradition. Seeing Robinson Park bustling full of people from all walks of life every Saturday morning from spring to late fall is just what feels natural now. The readers agreed that their selection of local produce, mixed with live entertainment, amazing fresh eats, and selection of locally made goods couldn’t be topped. In a city so focused on the power of its community, it’s difficult to think of anyplace more community-oriented than the Downtown Growers’ Market. (Dan Pennington)

2) Los Ranchos Growers’ Market

3) Corrales Growers’ Market

Best Neighborhood Grocery Store

La Montañita Co-op Food Market

As a longtime Nob Hill resident, the idea of a fully functional market placed in the middle of Nob Hill, on Central no less, seems crazy when you consider everything that needs to work for such a place to function and grow. Yet, amazingly, La Montanita Co-op pulls it off flawlessly. With a rather large selection of just about anything you’d need to stock your pantry for the week ahead, reasonable prices and convenience of location made them a shoo-in for Best Neighborhood Grocery Store. La Montanita Co-op always seems to have exactly what you need, and always something you never knew you wanted until you accidentally laid eyes upon it. (Dan Pennington)

2) Talin Market World Food Fare

3) Keller's Meat Market

Best International/Specialty Food Store

Talin Market World Food Fare

There was a time in high school when my girlfriend at the time and I were sent to get cow tongue for a catering her mother was doing, which was my first time ever finding out about Talin Market. This almost perplexingly large store seems to have endless shelves of everything in existence and more. No matter what sector of the world you’re looking to shop within, they have an aisle or two dedicated to most any product you’ll ever need. Seriously, you could spend two hours in there and still not see everything they have to offer. They’re basically the Epcot of grocery stores, without all the long lines. (Dan Pennington)

2) Cafe Istanbul

3) TIE: Alquds Mediterranean Grill & Grocery/Eurozone Food Distributors

Best Liquor Store

Jubilation Wine & Spirits

Albuquerque alcohol connoisseurs, rejoice! Jubilation Wine & Spirits is still considered the best go to for all your drinking needs. Considering the size of their location, it is amazing just how many different variants of whiskeys, wines, vodkas, beers, chasers and more they can comfortably fit on their shelves. Featuring a knowledgeable staff, an easy to reach location and competitive pricing vs. large chains, there’s no question why they still hold the top spot in our Best of Burque voting. Don’t forget that they have the amazing clearance shelf up front, so if you’re feeling adventurous and want to save a few bucks, you could head home with a new bottle of your new favorite strangeness. (Dan Pennington)

2) Kelly Liquors

3) Quarters Discount Liquors

Best Wine Selection (Retail)

Jubilation Wine & Spirits

Albuquerque alcohol connoisseurs rej—wait hold on, this sounds familiar. Ah, that’s because Jubilation Wine & Spirits won first place twice this year. Best liquor store, sure, that’s clear. Best Wine Selection? That’s fierce competition, and they cinched the W without issue! With essentially a whole second building full of wine, sorted by region, prices and styles, Jubilation is able to sort out most any wine need you have, whether it’s a night in with your lover, catching up with old friends or a last-minute tasting and pairing party that you’re still not sure why you agreed to host. Jubilation is king; long may they reign! (Dan Pennington)

2) St. Clair Winery & Bistro

3) Kelly Liquors

Best Smoke Shop

Bud Stones Smoke Shop

You can usually tell a city's affinities by its business landscape. Some places boast a coffee shop on every corner. Some are bursting at the seams with exotic restaurants. In Albuquerque, we have smoke shops on smoke shops. You'd think it would be hard to stand out in such a happening market, but Bud Stones Smoke Shop really knows how to shine. Their stock of unique glass paraphernalia and smoking accessories is huge, but we keep coming back to continue talking to the interesting staff. They're never short on stimulating conversation. (Joshua Lee)

2) Just Urban Smoke Shop

3) The Zone Smoke Shop