Photo by Carlos Bonilla

Antique & Vintage Finds

Readers’ Choice: Montgomery Street Antique Mall, 2601 Montgomery St, 817-735-9685

Critic’s Choice: Montgomery Street Antique Mall

Clocking in at 61,000 square feet, this warehouse has been a Fort Worth mainstay since 1994. With hundreds of vendors, the mall offers everything from extensive record collections to this critic’s personal favorite, vaults of old postcards. Does high-end antique furniture do it for you? You can find that, too. Weary from walking the aisles? The Secret Garden Tea Room serves lunch daily.




Readers’ Choice: Stir Crazy Baked Goods, 1251 W Magnolia Av, 817-862-9058

Critic’s Choice: Bluebonnet Bakery, 4705 Camp Bowie Blvd, 817-731-4233

What makes Bluebonnet different, and best, is not only its location inside a historic church but the fact that the 75-year-old bakery donates its unsold goods to the First Street Methodist Mission. With the holidays fast approaching, be sure to place your orders in advance.


Barbershop (Top 5)

Readers’ Choice: Cutting Room Barber Salon, 1306 May St, Ste 100, 682-250-4451

Critic’s Choices: Rudy Avitia and his barbers offer fresh cuts in old-school digs at The Barber (3015 Hemphill St, 817-336-7333). Barbers here really pride themselves on their artistry. In a growing, rapidly gentrifying area, The Barber serves up a slice of old Fort Worth. Avitia grew up on the South Side, giving the shop a real down-home feel. … Complimentary beer with every cut? Yeah, that will turn heads. The cut itself will catch them lookin’, too. The folks at District Barbershop (400 S Jennings Av, Ste 100, 817-420-9552, also Alliance and NRH) may be fun, but they take the craft seriously. All three locations are cool without betraying the timeless barbershop feeling. … Old-school never lets out for summer at Loso’s Barbershop (1549 N Main St, Ste 101B, 817-367-9009). Carlos Rubio set his sights on becoming a barber as a kid. He cut his buddies’ hair in his living room. Since then, he’s moved up to his own spot on the North Side. Rubio favors classic in everything, from decor (leather couches, old-school barber chairs) to cuts. … What the two-chair South Barbershop (129 E Daggett Av, 817-380-8117) lacks in size, it makes up for in everything else. Owner Laleh Rezaie took the leap into ownership after years working in salons and barbershops. She and barber Jorge Gonzalez have a real love for their Fort Worth community that shows in the sweet Southside shop. … The namesake of Straight Edge by Virginia (3720 Hemphill St, 817-926-3343) has cut hair on Hemphill since she was a teen. Thirteen years ago, she put her expertise into opening her own shop. She and her team of stylists and barbers have a dedicated base of regulars. The shop, from the atmosphere to the skills of the staff, does up old-school right. What really sets the place apart? Full salon, waxing, and nail services are also available here.


Beauty Services

Readers’ Choice: Novak Hair Studio, 250 W Lancaster Av, Ste 110, 817-592-4247

Critic’s Choice: Modern Nail Bar, 8653 N Beach St, 817-562-1570

Modern Nail Bar offers a full menu of services in a luxe salon at odds with the strip-mall exterior. A regular manicure clocks in at a very affordable $15. Full nail services are also available, from acrylics to gel. Many pick the nail bar for their line of luxury pedicures. Sangria sunset pedi? Yes, please. Add in the complimentary glass of wine or margarita, and you have a true “treat yourself” moment.



Readers’ Choice: (tie) Honeysuckle Rose Vintage, 113 White Settlement Rd, @HoneySuckleRoseVintage • Studio 74 Vintage, 5926 Curzon Av, 817-343-3013

Critic’s Choice: The Twisted Gypsy, 2914 Race St, 817-980-6109

Kathleen Garza has been in the boutique jewelry and clothing business for nearly two decades. Don’t let the humble, smallish space fool you. The owner of The Twisted Gypsy packs a lot into 200 square feet. Her Race Street store features fashion jewelry priced between $12-50 and a wide range of trendy accessories like scarves, hats, and other attire. Garza’s offerings are always trending, and she’s a wealth of useful fashion tips.


Car Wash

Readers’ Choice: University Car Wash, 3124 Collinsworth St, 817-714-5290

Critic’s Choice: Classic Auto Detail, 1633 Rogers Rd, 817-965-2626

Whether you have a classic ’Vette or an SUV maligned with sticky kiddos’ fingerprints and dried-up ice cream spills, the team at Classic Auto Detail Shop will transform your vehicle back to showroom form. The full-service shop has been in business for more than 30 years, and while you’re in the area, check out owner Larry O’Neal’s personal museum, Fort Worth Memories, which features historic relics, antique books, letters from Amon G. Carter, and thousands of photos.


Place to Buy CBD

Readers’ Choice: Thrive Apothecary, 212 Carroll St, Ste 120, 817- 480-7098


It’s chocolate overload at Salty Cow Charcuterie, winner of readers’ and critic’s choices for best charcuterie.

Charcuterie Boards

Readers’ Choice: The Salty Cow Charcuterie, 2607 Glendale Av, 817-235-0270

Critic’s Choice: The Salty Cow Charcuterie

You may think The Salty Cow is trying to kill you with decadence, but they’re just trying to make you happy. At our household, we actually have to hide most of our charcuterie boards from the Salty Cow to be able to keep some of us from overindulging in glorious chocolate (the “Oh My Ganache” features five ganache cakes over a bed of chocolate candy, garnished with fresh berries) or savory deli meats and cheeses (the “Guess I Can Share” is a blend of all that plus fresh fruit and jam). The price per board is about what you’d spend at a restaurant for the same thing, but for the joy you’ll be experiencing in the comfort of your own home (or office, or home office), it’s all worth it.


Place to Buy Cigars (Top 5)

Readers’ Top 5: Big Dave’s Cigars, 6501 Camp Bowie Blvd, 817-731-6433 • Good Karma Cigar Lounge, 704 E Weatherford St, 817-720-7222 • Lake Worth Cigars, 6654 Azle Av, 817-238-8877 • Silver Leaf Cigar Lounge, 426 Commerce St, 817-887-9535 • Underground Cigar Shop, 6409 E Lancaster Av, 817-507-3640

Critic’s Choice: Underground Cigar Shop

The motto of this long-time Eastside staple is: “We define boutique,” and it’s true — Underground specializes in boutique and small-batch cigars from vendors and representatives from all over. When you drop by, be sure to say hi to the Misfits of Cigars, Underground’s devoted regulars who buck at the mainstream cigar industry.


Place to Buy Coffee (Top 5) 

Readers’ Choice: Avoca Coffee Roasters (multiple locations)

Critic’s Choices: Avoca Coffee Roasters (multiple locations) is the granddaddy of the slow coffee movement in town. While they dabble in frou-frou flavor choices, the meticulously crafted pour over is what you really want to try here. … Black Coffee (1417 Vaughn Blvd, 817-782-9867) is part coffee house, part community gathering space. The only non-chain coffeehouse in the Polytechnic area remains a beacon. Try the Raspberry Beret latte — the homage to Prince is a raspberry-chocolate treat. … Inclusion Coffee (101 E Abram St, Arl, 817-629-2224) caters to its community. From late-night study hours during exams to discounts for health-care workers, the little shop near UTA with the soaring roof and floating stairs is a favorite. Look for the rotating menu of interesting drinks on a chalkboard –– if it’s available, the Mr. Tumnus latte with Speculoos Cookie Butter and warm spices will take you straight to Narnia. … Roots Coffeehouse (400 Bryan Av, Ste 101, 817-349-8059) is located on a street behind the burgeoning area on South Main. Try the lavender honey latte while you can — it’s a combination of local honey and the house-made lavender syrup in a latte. … Vaquero Coffee Co. (109 Houston St, 682-730-1335) was started by locals Jonathan Health and Christopher Rushing as an alternative to the pricey corporate coffee chains downtown. Located between Sundance Square and the courthouse, the tiny shop’s interesting drink is the horchata latte.


Customer Service

Readers’ Choice: Ordered Steps Learning Center, 7451 Chapel Av, Ste 7455, 817-349-8400

Critic’s Choice: Central Market, 4651 W Fwy, 817-989-4700

Those beaming smiles and hearty welcomes are as genuine as they come. Customers at Fort Worth’s Central Market are used to seeing the same familiar employees year after year, and those workers do what they can to answer questions or simply to ask how you’re doing. The help can really come in handy for newcomers to the well-organized but sometimes labyrinthine layout. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, ask. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the prompt and courteous help you receive from the eager workers.


Critic’s choice for best day spa, Milk + Honey will make you feel at home while also taking you far, far away. From home. Or work.
Courtesy Milk + Honey

Day Spa

Readers’ Choice: (tie) Perfect Touch Day Spa, 2525 Weisenberger St, 817-870-3610 • Woodhouse Day Spa, 1621 River Run, 817-338-1772

Critic’s Choice: Milk + Honey, 5160 Marathon Av, 682-235-2328

Milk & Honey specializes in an ecological take on a variety of services designed to improve your health, image, and overall well-being. Choose from facials (including treatments for that pesky back acne), massage (deep tissue, sports, lymphatic, and prenatal), waxing, haircuts, and styling. You’ll find all the products you’ll need to keep that pricey HydraFacial looking fresh, and most of them are organic and hypoallergenic. Milk & Honey also offers a safer alternative to gel manis and pedis, with a product that cures in seconds using LED lights.


Dry Cleaners

Readers’ Choice: (tie) Kites Custom Cleaners (multiple locations) • Ray’s Custom Cleaners, 4105 Camp Bowie Blvd, 817-737-3731

Critic’s Choice: Kites Custom Cleaners, 4839 Camp Bowie Blvd, 817-732-6031

Kites isn’t only reliable, it’s ecofriendly. This family-owned business uses biodegradable, nontoxic solvents and precision wet-cleaning machines for a more effective, healthier way to launder your drawers.


Farmers Market

Readers’ Choice: Lola’s Local Farmers Market, 2000 W Berry St, 817-759-9100

Critic’s Choice: Lola’s Local Farmers Market

What makes a good farmers market? Local fruits of the earth, of course. But let’s be real: The success of a farmers market has as much to do with vibes as it does the juiciness of the tomatoes and watermelons for sale. Luckily for us, Lola’s market offers both fresh produce and irie vibes in abundance. As 30-plus vendors sprawl out across the lawn, homegrown music and adult beverages flow every second Sunday of the month from 11am to 4pm.


Original artwork like this Marilyn Monroe portrait fills the walls surrounding all the furniture and other goods at Park + Eighth, critic’s choice for best furniture.
Courtesy Facebook

Furniture Store

Readers’ Choice: There’s No Place Like Home Furniture, 855 Foch St, 817-244-3371

Critic’s Choice: Park + Eighth, 4804 Camp Bowie Blvd, 682-708-3838

Interior designer Christina Phillips is a Horned Frog with an interior design degree and 25 years of expertise, and her shop’s collection of restored vintage furniture, funky treasures, and opulent classics is sure to have the chair, sofa, table, or accent piece to make your dwelling uniquely yours. Whether your style is bohemian or mid-century mod, maximalist or minimalist, contemporary or even “1970s grandma,” Park + Eighth has something to make your place feel complete.


Place to Buy Gifts

Readers’ Choice: Lawrence’s, 4601 W Fwy, 817-731-2772

Critic’s Choice: Rock ’n’ Roll Rummage Sale, Lola’s Fort Worth, 2000 W Berry St, 817-759-9100

On the third Sunday of every month from noon to 6pm, more than 40 local vendors pile into Lola’s to sell everything from antiques, art, books, and collectibles to jewelry, oddities, retro items, vintage finds, and more. Now that Mother Nature will be turning down the heat (a little) and with the holidays coming up, Lola’s Rock ’n’ Roll Rummage Sale is the (shopping) place to be.


Grocery Store

Readers’ Choice: Central Market, 4651 W Fwy, 817-989-4700


Local Grocer

Readers’ Choice: Roy Pope Grocery, 2300 Merrick St, 817-732-2863

Critic’s Choice: Roy Pope Grocery

Like a vestige from the past when mom-and-pop stores were the norm, Roy Pope Grocery stands as a quaint reminder that small neighborhood stores can offer invaluable service. After changing ownership and undergoing refurbishing, Roy Pope reopened in 2021 with a renewed commitment to offering scratch-made meals and a wide range of staples to keep your kitchen stocked with essentials, like lots and lots of wine.


Gun Store

Readers’ Choice: Defender Outdoors, 2900 Shotts St, 817-935-8377

Critic’s Choice: Defiant Arms, 5200 Denton Hwy, Ste 20, Haltom City, 817-393-7738

Defiant Arms just celebrated its one-year anniversary in May. Proprietor Dwayne Favors was led to open his first physical store because of high demand from his successful online and show-dealing operations which he maintained for more than a decade prior. Responsible firearms enthusiasts now have a sleek and clean storefront to browse a broad selection of quality pieces intended for safety, sporting, or collection.


Hair Salon (Top 5)

Readers’ Choice: Novak Hair Studio, 250 W Lancaster Av, Ste 110, 817-592-4247

Critic’s Choices: From its sweet red-brick exterior to the exposed brick walls inside, Collective Salon (618 S Jennings Av, 817-420-9034) has atmosphere on lock. Plus, the stylists offer all the usual and can come up with fun, bold colors guaranteed to wow. … A team of independent stylists operates out of Panther City Salon (1465 W Magnolia Av, Ste 251, 817-921-1700) a bright, airy retreat that serves up everything from simple cuts to balayages and blowouts. The new spot a few doors down from the original has an updated feel while keeping all of the charm. … Salon Purple (3124 E Belknap St, Ste 200, 817-834-4400) delivers on color. The East Belknap establishment can throw down wild shades of teal, vivid purples, and pinks — whatever you can imagine. The stylists are also proficient in curly and textured hair. Salon Purple wears its heart on its, er, building with its distinctive purple and teal paint job and bright sunflower mural. … Style abounds at this slick Southside spot. The curly-friendly South Main District Salon (207 S Main St, 682-385-9611) has a team of hair professionals ready for blowouts, bright color jobs, cuts, and basically anything else you could think to do to hair. … Every detail at Whistle & Sway Salon Company (701 Barden St, Ste 101, 817-882-6188), from the whimsical name to the chic interior, is so on point, the salon would be worth going to just to hang out for a bit. But the place houses a team of stylists ready to give haircuts and colors and blowouts that will make you want to, well, it’s in the name.


Place to Buy Jewelry

Readers’ Choice: Simmons Estate Jewelry, 5800 Camp Bowie Blvd, Ste 116, 817- 882-9085

Critic’s Choice: Sovereign Jewelry Company, 207 S Jennings Av, 817-885-7848

Nestled right smack in the ever-growing and irresistibly swank South Main Village, Sovereign houses a beautiful inventory of unique vintage and modern pieces sure to catch every eye. The turn-of-the-century shop makes for the perfect environment for selecting a one-of-a-kind Art Deco-style ring. Yet it’s the work of master jeweler Brandon Smith that brings a subtly contemporary rock ’n’ roll edge to his custom-made pieces — without sacrificing elegance — that make Sovereign a destination jeweler.


One of our Top 5 critic’s choices for best liquor store, Tricks of the Trade on South Main specializes in hard-to-find hooch.
Courtesy Facebook

Liquor Store (Top 5)

Readers’ Choice: Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods (multiple locations)

Critic’s Choices: It goes without saying that the three big-box stores — Goody Goody (6393 Camp Bowie Blvd, 817-289-1657), Spec’s (4720 Bryant Irvin Rd, 817-423-8400), and Total Wine (5200 S Hulen St, 817-292-2503) — have just about every liquor you can imagine, in quantities that stagger the imagination. Yet rounding out the Top 5 is a pair of small, local retailers. The Crockett Street Bottle Shop (2805 Crockett St, 817-585-5555) is a good stop for drinkers looking for Texas-made spirits, as you’ll find the latest from makers like Balcones, TX, and Blackland, and the store has a well-stocked wine cellar and beer cooler, friendly, knowledgeable staff, and a maze-like shelving system and ranch house-like decor that make browsing for beverages more fun than the average grab-and-go beer run. Tricks of the Trade (219 S Main St, 817-349-9266) features many Texas-distilled liquors as well, but what really sets this shop apart from the rest are the hard-to-find small-batch spirits — if you’re a rum or mezcal fan, you have to check TOTT out — and staffers who are happy to chat about the right booze for your palate.


Meat Market

Readers’ Choice: The Meat Board, 6314 Camp Bowie Blvd, 817-386-5966

Critic’s Choice: Roy Pope Grocery, 2300 Merrick St, 817-732-2863

Roy Pope was known back in the day for being a quick stop in the neighborhood on the way home if you needed dinner. And with the 2022 reboot courtesy of restaurateur Lou Lambert, owner/operator Chris Reale, and their real estate partners Rodger Chieffalo and Mark Harris, the meat market is now showcased in a way that hasn’t happened in decades.  It’s not the biggest selection in town, but it’s likely the freshest, with options like house-made sausage (traditional pork, blueberry breakfast, apple sage turkey, or beef-jalapeno hot links). If you need tips on cooking what you’re picking up, they have that, too. Wine suggestions come as an additional bonus. As ever, you can select the made-in-house sides to go with your prime Angus beef, chicken, or pork.


Metaphysical Shop (Top 5)

Readers’ Top 5: Embodii Crystals, 7410 Blvd 26, Ste D, Richland Hills, 817-455-6148 • Enchanted Forest, 6619 E Lancaster Av, 817-446-8385 • Hearth Wisdom, 2899 W Pioneer Pkwy, Pantego, 682-323-5085 • Higher Purpose Emporium, 505 W Northside Dr, 682-207-5351 • Maven’s Moon Apothecary, 1111 Roberts Cut Off Rd, River Oaks, 817-367-9235

Critic’s Choice: Maven’s Moon

From gems and herbs to reiki and massage therapy, Maven’s Moon will shine a light on whatever spiritual enhancements you’re looking for — even if your threshold for woo-woo only allows for mystic decor and/or Fleetwood Mac albums, you’re bound to find the right item to brighten your space. And for those for whom herbs and other homeopathic medicine ingredients are a way of life, Maven’s Moon is a great marketplace for finding that crucial component to your teas and tinctures.


Optical Shop

Readers’ Choice: (tie) Luck Optical, 7108 Camp Bowie Blvd, Ste 7121, 817-738-3191 • Patrick Optical, 2255 8th Av, 817-370-6118

Critic’s Choice: Patrick Optical

In an industry dominated by sterile corporate chains and faceless online discount retailers, it’s comforting to know there’s a comfy locally owned shop for your eyewear needs. Patrick Optical’s literal brick-and-mortar Ryan Place location boasts a warm and inviting showroom to browse the wide array of sleek and stylish frames which feels more like a feng shui-aligned artist’s loft rather than the typical competitor’s halogen-lighted, hospital-like environs. Run by friendly registered optician Mickey Bradley, the storefront offers on-site lens finishing as well as refurbishment and repair services.


Pet Services (Top 5)

Readers’ Top 5: Doggie Diggs, 221 E Broadway Av, 817-332-4364 • Fetch Pet Sitting, 6775 Camp Bowie Blvd, 817- 296-1769 • House of Wag, 2912 Race St, @HouseofWagDFW • My Dog Needs That, • Waggin Tails Pet Sitting, @WagginTailsPetSittingFW, 817-975-8875

Critic’s Choice: Doggie Diggs

Looking for the perfect place to park your pooch? Pet owners really dig Doggie Diggs. The convenient location near downtown offers day care and grooming for small breeds and long-term boarding for fur babies of all sizes. Your canine will live in luxury with air-conditioned boarding rooms, dog pools, a grass yard, and play equipment. Self-service and drop-off washes are available for affordable rates.


When a record store devotes an entire wall to Maiden, you know it’s legit. Meet you at Born Late, critic’s choice for best record store.
Courtesy Facebook

Record Store

Readers’ Choice: Doc’s Records & Vintage, 2628 Weisenberger St, 817-732-5455

Critic’s Choice: Born Late Records, 2920 Race St, 817-984-1255

If the 1972 Deep Purple lineup were a retail store, it would be Born Late Records. Long-haired white dudes everywhere you look, muscular classic rock pounding from the speakers, and psychedelic colors popping from all of the vinyl, cassettes, and collectibles — this Race Street staple is your one stop for all things heavy, smoky, and rockin’.


Smoke Shop

Readers’ Choice: The Gas Pipe, 6033 Camp Bowie Blvd, 817-763-8622

Critic’s Choice: The Gas Pipe

At the oldest shop of its kind in town, the pipes range from water, wood, and stone to ceramic and meerschaum while tobacco accessories and rolling gear abound. The Gas Pipe also carries a wide variety of e-cigs and vaporizers, plus lots of disc golf stuff. Maybe the best part? All the herbal remedies for maybe hittin’ the tobacco pipe a little too hard.


Tattoo Studio (Top 5)

Readers’ Choice: Dark Age Tattoo Studio, 2836 Bledsoe St, Ste 200, 682-499-5734

Critic’s Choices: The best tattoo shops are homes to artists proficient in a variety of styles, inking bodies in a clean, safe facility — you want a shop that offers more than the flash on the walls, in other words. While you’re bound to know a person who does great work at a different shop, we like the roster of artists at these places the best: Dark Age Tattoo Studio, Epic Tattoos (6627 N Beach St, 817-306-8500), Ink817 (3204 Camp Bowie Blvd, 682-273-4163), Panther City Tattoo (121 S Main St, 817-757-3813), and Sleepy Hollow (3023 Bledsoe St, 817-435-2960).


Thrift Store

Readers’ Choice: (tie) Goodwill (multiple locations) • McCart Family Thrift, 5203 Mc Cart Av, 817-921-9971

Critic’s Choice: Second Treasure Resale Store, 6620 Meadowbrook Dr, 817-470-2824

Larger thrift super centers might boast a glut of inventory, but they can often feel little different than gigantic, dusty warehouses filled with castoffs. For those in search of a cute and quiet (and a bit more refined) thrifting experience need look no further than Second Treasure Resale Store. Located on the East Side, this proudly Black woman-owned and -operated secondhand store offers high-end yet affordable fashions plus quality, budget-friendly pre-owned furniture and even a selection of collectible antiques. The cliche of “one person’s trash is another’s treasure” does not apply here as there is certainly no trash, simply treasures.


Vape Shop

Readers’ Choice: Lucky Vapor, 3024 Race St, 817-386-5439

Critic’s Choice: Violet Vapor, 2901 Alta Mere Dr, 817-984-1864

Keeping up with new vape releases is no small feat. The knowledgeable and patient team at Violet Vapor earns top marks — a solid 4.7 out of 5 on Google reviews — for going above and beyond when helping customers find the right vaporizer for their smoking pleasure. Violet Vapor’s customers rave about Botanika, a blend of herbs that boosts energy and reduces stress. On the hardware side, Violet Vapor offers a wide range of replacement coils, rechargeable vapes, batteries, and other accessories that keep their loyal fans fully charged and ready to puff.


Waxing Services

Readers’ Choice: Melted Wax Studio, 463 S Jennings Av, 817-798-4187


Place to Buy Wine

Readers’ Choice: The Holly, 305 W Daggett Av, Ste 101, 817-420-6446

Critic’s Choice: Roy Pope Grocery, 2300 Merrick St, 817-732-2863

The beloved institution has the selection of a well-stocked wine shop, but unlike Total Wine or Central Market, it gives you the option to buy the wares by the glass so that you know what you’re getting before you take home a bottle. That consideration for the space in your wine cellar is one reason why this store left over from World War II continues to have a following in the Instagram age.


To read about more winners, go to the Best Of People & PlacesArts & CultureNight & DayGood GrubOn The Town, and Sounds Of The City section articles on To see the Best Of 2022 special edition in a flipbook, page-by-page format, click here.