BEST HAIR SALON
When you get your hair cut, you expect your personal space to be invaded. People touching your head and rubbing up against your shoulders is par for the course when a trim is in order. Tight Cuts has tried to make it as pleasant an experience as possible with hot chicks in form-fitting clothes. We say sit back, go for the shoulder and scalp massage and flirt like hell.
2. Graeber & Company
Body Essence is one of the largest day spas in town, complete with showers, tubs, sauna and steam room. Adding to the facilities are a whole gamut of treatments-from aromatherapy facials to hot rock massages to ear candling (say what?) to hair cuts, waxing, tanning and tinting. The prices are reasonable, the staff is well-trained, the package deals make superb gifts and the vibe is pure relaxation and pampering.
2. Two Rivers
3. Floating Feather
(Interesting tidbit: Nature's own spa-Skinny Dipper Hot Springs-placed 4th)
BEST CLOTHING STORE
The Bon Marché (now called Bon Macy's and soon to be called Macy's)
Many a moon ago, before the advent of Boise Towne Square, The Bon Marché offered the closest thing to 20th century shopping in this then 19th century berg. Today, The Bon continues to please, offering a big-city selection of clothing, shoes, accessories, lotions, potions, baubles and accoutrements for the home. From famous maker names to its popular housebrand, Boiseans love their Bon.
2. (TIE) Dillard's/Ross
3. Old Navy
BEST VINTAGE/USED CLOTHING
Bargain hunting is called "hunting" for a reason. You seek out the rare and unique and try to nab it before the nightgown wearing cat lady with that threatening look in her eye bops you with her purse. Shopping at Savers is like going to a wild animal preserve. You know there are great things to see and animals you can bag, but you seek out the best one-the one with the biggest stripes or spots. Occasionally you find an endangered species and have to take it home. And with a price tag of fifty cents, why not?
2. Buffalo Exchange (RIP)
3. Idaho Youth Ranch
BEST SHOE STORE
Sometimes, the best things do come in big packages. While independent shops and smaller chains have funkier styles and cheaper prices, nobody can beat the incredible selection at Dillard's. Whether you're a teenage girl looking for Steve Madden chunky-heeled sandals or a sleek professional hoping to find loafers in hand-tooled Italian leather, Dillard's has the perfect shoe in every color for every size, sex, occasion and price range. And in the spirit of old-fashioned service, they have a large staff of well-trained shoe salesmen and saleswomen who never push and are always willing to un-box and re-box as many shoes as you can stand to try.
3. The Bon Marché
BEST CAR WASH
Mister Car Wash
Got to keep your trusty ride looking fine. Call it a car spa, Mister Car Wash offers everything from a drive-yourself-thru quickie to a daylong detailing package.
2. Like Nu on State
3. Dirty Harry's
There must be some kind of weird cultural vortex that sucks people into Hannifans. Whether you peruse the periodicals in front or back, saunter by the humidor and select a stogie, choose a pack of some exotic tobacco brand, or just hang out looking cool there's something about the place that makes you a better person after you walk out the door. It's important to participate in all aspects of sin in life, and Hannifans allows you to check a few items off the list.
3. Big Smoke
When it comes to doing the real shopping (we're not talking about the one-of-a-kind, gourmet items or that one ingredient you need to finish a recipe), that deep-down, fill-up-your-fridge kind of shopping, it's got to be the big daddy of grocery stores--Winco. Bulk items, cheap prices, inexpensive beer-Winco's got it all.
2. Boise Co-op
BEST TATTOO PARLOR
Erik Payne keeps skillfully inking skin, and people keep coming from all over the country to go under his needle. Where else can you walk in and say "do me" and know you will have a great experience? Erik too busy for you? There are other artists on site to darken your epidermis who are just as crafty and cool.
2. Black Cat Tattoo
3. New Moon
BEST GARDENING STORE
We like to spend Saturday mornings soaking up Mother Nature in Edwards Greenhouses. With the foothills backdrop and the quiet charm of the neighborhood, it's the perfect place to find flora or dream where to put that cactus or heirloom tomato. The wandering is the fun part, but we always buy something in the end. And next Saturday, we're back to get more.
3. Greenhurst Nursery
BEST NEW OR USED COMIC BOOK STORE
We might have botched this category, but we went with it anyway. What we meant was best bookstore, new or used or comic book heavy. Due to bad punctuation on our part, people thought we were asking only for best comic book store. That's OK, we're glad people chose Captain Comics because several BW staffers are closet geeks who know that nowhere else can we find back issues of Moon Knight.
2. Paperback Place
BEST NAUGHTY STORE
There are a surprising number of "naughty" shops in Boise, but only one is known for being naughty and classy. The Pleasure Boutique is filled with sexy lingerie ranging from romantic to full-on dominatrix, but somehow, even the stuff with spikes and handcuffs seems like good clean fun. There are toys and "aids" and novelties in addition to all the wispy knickers, and the staff understands both the experienced shopper and the newbie.
3. Victoria's Secret
BEST THRIFT STORE/PAWNSHOP
Idaho Youth Ranch
Thrift stores, unlike pawnshops, resell any old stuff. This makes them exciting, and nowhere is more exciting than the Idaho Youth Ranch for everything from shoes to vacuums to '70s wall hangings. We're still kicking ourselves for not buying that 13-pound translucent bowling ball.
3. St. Vincent's
It's not just the western-themed checks we love, it's the way a Wells Fargo stagecoach shows up in our favorite old western movies and Lone Ranger episodes. It's also the way they kept two branches open on the same block (9th and Idaho and 9th and Main!) to better serve our fickle financial fancy.
2. US Bank
3. Washington Mutual