comScore

Best of

the Twin Cities

BEST BOOKSTORE (CHAIN)

Borders Books & Music

We want to reject Borders and its jack-of-all-trades, master-of-nothing MO. For one thing, Borders, like all of the big-biz bookstores, has become less and less bookish, steadily deemphasizing its stock-in-trade to make room for more cute diaries, MOR CDs, and Curb Your Enthusiasm DVDs. The store's less commercial sections—philosophy, for instance—have generally suffered as a result of diversification, but Borders stores still have a much smarter selection than Barnes & Noble, especially in fiction. Naturally, their shelves are full of holes, but if you're curious about a book you saw reviewed in the Times, Borders probably has one in stock, and the chain tends to be fairly complete with major writers. The Uptown location is the best in the Twin Cities, excelling in gay and lesbian lit and rating above average in poetry (but all good things, apparently come to an end; in early April, there was news that the Uptown store will close soon). And of course there's plenty of the practical stuff: car guides, SAT prep volumes, cookbooks, and the like. The downtown location has a particularly roomy and well-stocked kids' area, equipped with a table and chairs and useful for killing an hour or two with the budding, snot-nosed bookworm in your life.

BEST ADULT VIDEO STORE Adult Only Superstore

BEST ART SUPPLIES Wet Paint

BEST ASIAN GROCERY Shuang Hur Oriental Market

BEST BIKE SHOP One on One

BEST BOOKSTORE (INDIE) Magers and Quinn

BEST BOOKSTORE (USED) Majors and Quinn

BEST BOUTIQUE Design Collective

BEST CD STORE (NEW) Electric Fetus

BEST CD STORE (USED) Cheapo

BEST CLOTHING (MEN) Top Shelf

BEST COMIC BOOK SHOP Big Brain's Comics

BEST COMPUTER REPAIR General NanoSystems

BEST DOG TRAINING Obedience Training Club

BEST ELECTRONICS (AUDIOPHILE)

BEST ELECTRONICS (PROLETARIAN) radio shack

BEST FREE PARKING Hennepin Avenue at I-94

BEST GARDEN CENTER Lyndale Garden Center

BEST GAS STATION Pump and Munch

BEST GIFT STORE Patina

BEST GOLF SHOP Golf Club Hospital

BEST HAIRCUT Aveda Institute

BEST HARDWARE STORE Gardner Hardware

BEST LAUNDROMAT Rainbow Laundromat

BEST LINGERIE Fredrick's

BEST LOCALLY GENERATED WEBSITE cursor.org

BEST MUSIC STORE (CHAIN) Guitar Center

BEST MUSIC STORE (LOCAL YOKEL) Groth Music's

BEST PET ADOPTION Midwestern Avian Adoption and Rescue Services

BEST PLACE TO BUY STRIPPER CLOTHES Sex World

BEST PLACE TO BUY VINYL Fifth Element

BEST REASON NOT TO OVERHAUL YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT Star Tribune

BEST REASON TO READ THE PIONEER PRESS Tim Nelson

BEST REASONS TO READ THE STAR TRIBUNE

BEST SHOE STORE Bay Street Shoes

BEST SPIN CLASS The Firm

BEST THRIFT STORE Unique Thrift store

BEST TOBACCONIST Lewis Pipe & Tobacco

BEST TOY STORE Robot Love

BEST USED FURNITURE Succotash

BEST VIDEO RENTAL Nicollet Village Video

BEST YARN STORE The Yarnery

BEST YOGA