comScore

Best of

the Twin Cities

BEST TOY STORE

Robot Love

The Japanese have this word, otaku. It's used to describe foreigners who get a little too excited about anime, manga, and action figures from video games that don't exist in the U.S. There's a good chance the Twin Cities otaku already know about Robot Love. After all, this is the store that introduced Uptown to characters like Gloomy, the adorable pink Japanese teddy bear with sharp claws and a thirst for blood. Though a good percentage of the store's wares come from American minds, everything gives off an outlandish vibe. And Robot Love is far from Geek Central. In fact, it's pretty hip. In addition to slightly scary figurines and plush critters, they carry T-shirts, posters, and other folderol designed by the sort of cartoons-on-crack artists often showcased at Ox-Op and Soo Vac. And if you're into geek chic, show up the third Thursday of every month: Vinyl toy collectors attend a monthly swap meet to show off their favorites and make trades.

Best Boutique (2009) Robot Love

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 (CHAIN) Borders Books & Music

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 USED FURNITURE Succotash

BEST VIDEO RENTAL Nicollet Village Video

BEST YARN STORE The Yarnery

BEST YOGA