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March 1, 2012
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Cityview readers smash new Best Of Des Moines record, casting more than 10,000 votes this year

By Jared Curtis and Amber Williams

Eats Shopping Culture &
of the


Best Local Men's Clothing Store


Bringing the finest in men’s clothing to Des Moines for more than 50 years, Badowers offers everything from exquisite suits to well-crafted denim. Our readers say this store caters to the man who loves to feel good, look good and who appreciates quality. 2817 Ingersoll Ave., 283-2121.

Runners-up: Mr. B, G& L Clothing

Best Women's Clothing Store

Bridal Elegance

Bridal Elegance took home a number of awards including “Best Woman’s Clothing Store,” “Best Local Bridal Shop,” Best New Store “ and “Best Locally Owned Store.” Special to Cityview

Apparently the women of Des Moines have matrimony on their minds, as they voted for Bridal Elegance as the metro’s best women’s clothing store over more traditional choices, such as last year’s winner, Von Maur. Well, here’s hoping, ladies. Good luck! 2791 100th St., Urbandale, 276-1374.

Runners-up: Mint LA, Aimee

Best Local Children's Clothing

Children’s Place

The Children’s Place has two key attributes that have apparently kept the loyalty of consumers for a second consecutive year — adorable clothing and awesome deals that make shopping fun. It is as it claims in the name — the Children’s Place for great get-ups. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: The Gap, Von Maur

Best Local Thrift Shop


Another win for the “good” guys, where one person’s trash is another’s treasure. It doesn’t take too much looking to uncover the nuggets to be found among the racks and shelves of a Goodwill Store. The old-fashioned barter system is alive and well, as a donation to the store often leads to be a purchase, too. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Salvation Army, Bargain Basket

Best Local Vintage Consignment

Get your vintage fix at Atomic Garage, voted “Best Local Vintage Consignment.” Photo by Jared Curtis

Atomic Garage

Playing tag in this category with Dorthea’s Closet, Valley Junction’s retro consignment shop, Atomic Garage, takes the title this year. It’s great for the retro trend-setter, the stubborn consumer who’s stuck in a past decade or for Halloween ideas.

Runners-up: Dorothea’s Closet, Bridal Elegance

Best Local Clothing Boutique

Mint Los Angeles Boutique

The ladies of the metro apparently appreciate being able to keep up with the contemporary styles afforded to them by Mint Los Angeles, founded by West Des Moines native, Rebekah Risbeck, who has spent the last nine years working in the Cali fashion world. 340 S.W. 5th St., No. 122, (949) 836-5598

Runners-up: Aimee, Raygun

Best Local Bridal Shop

Bridal Elegance

This shop earned two “Best Of” awards this year — one by Cityview readers and the other from The Knot, which is rated and voted for by local brides. Ideally, a wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event, which is why women want perfection. Many who’ve walked the aisle agree that Bridal Elegance’s hand-picked, high quality designer labels help make the big day sensational. 2791 100th St., Urbandale, 276-1374.

Runners-up: Weddings By Design and Schaffer’s Bridal

Best Purse Store

Lala Handbags

We all have baggage, but in this case, it’s a good thing, as Lala Handbags offers a variety of hot accessory items to match the outfit… and to keep your stuff in. Lala’s is a popular choice and a win by a long shot year after year among Cityview readers. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Von Maur and Coach

Best Local Shoe Store

Von Maur

Cityview readers care about selection and quality, which is why Von Maur gets voted the best local shoe store year after year, reminding us to never underestimate the importance of good, comfortable (and don’t forget stylish) shoes. It’s the fitting choice to feed the fetish. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: DSW, Fit to be Tied

Best New Store

Bridal Elegance

Did we mention that the ladies of Des Moines have matrimony on their minds? Bridal Elegance is an overall favorite among lady Cityview readers, proving this new establishment found a ravenous market to feed and will be serving the metro for years to come. 2791 100th St., Urbandale, 276-1374.

Runners-up: All Spice, Mint L.A.

Best Local Music Store

ZZZ Records

To all those naysayers out there who say vinyl is out and buying music online is in, meet ZZZ Records, which provides a library of timeless greats that are physically available in few other stores. When you walk in, the first question that comes to mind is, “Where to begin?” 2200 Ingersoll Ave., 284-1401.

Runners-up: Reimans, Professional Music Center

Best Place to Rent a Movie

Red Box

Third time’s a charm for Red Box. Although the $1 per movie rental price has increased by more than a quarter, Red Box still offers a deal and a convenience no others can match. Voters know it. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Family Video, Video Warehouse

Best Local Store for Gamers


The gamers have spoken, and GameStop takes the lead over all others yet again. Cityview readers say it’s one of the best stores of its kind for selection and deals on new and used games and gaming systems and accessories. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Gamers, Jay’s CD & Hobby

Best Local Electronics Store

Best Buy

Well, duh. It says it in the name — “Best” Buy is once again voted “Best Of” by metro voters. Over the years, it’s changed with the times, expanding the music and appliance departments, and keeping current on the ever-changing technological world — not an easy task, but well managed anyway. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Audio Labs, Traviss Audio Video

Best Local Book Store

Beaverdale Books

Looking for something new to read? Try Beaverdale Books, voted “Best Local Book Store.” Photo by Jared Curtis

It’s good to see Cityview readers are keeping it real by shopping local — and that they’re actually still buying books, too! That’s good for them, good for us and great for Beaverdale Books, which took the title from last year’s winner, Barnes & Noble. 2629 Beaver Ave., No. 1, 279-5400.

Runners-up: Half Price Books, Barnes & Noble


Best Local Car Wash

Mister Car Wash

Mister Car Wash cleans up again, outdoing the competition for the third consecutive year. Not only does the company treat people right, but it’s a steward of the environment — keeping more than just your car clean. Our readers say it’s fast, efficient and conveniently located. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Executive Car Wash, Soaks

Best Local Auto Shop

Westside Auto Pros

Having vehicle problems? The staff of Westside Auto Pros, named “Best Local Auto Shop,” has the solution. Special to Cityview

It’s important to know a good mechanic who cares about his work and customer satisfaction. Taking turns with the competition in this category, Westside Auto Pros comes out on top with Cityview readers this year. With 14 years of service to the community and a Top Shop Award presented by the AAA in 2002, these guys and gals truly are the best. 1901 N.W. 92nd Court, 225-9090.

Runners-up: Drake Garage, Beckley Automotive

Best Car Dealership (domestic)

Karl Chevrolet

Our readers have voted Karl Chevrolet as the best in Des Moines yet again this year. We’re not sure if it’s the vast selection of current models or the friendly and personable staff, but Karl’s has something Cityview readers like. 1101 S.E. Oralabor Road, Ankeny, 800-622-8264.

Runners-up: Willis Auto Campus, Bob Brown Chevrolet

Best Car Dealership (foreign)

Toyota of Des Moines

Toyotas win national crash test, safety and efficiency awards year after year, and in Des Moines, the dealership wins Best Of. Our readers apparently believe, if you’re going to drive foreign, Toyota is the way to go.

Runners-up: Smart Honda, Hummels Nissan

Best Motorcycle Shop

Big Barn Harley-Davidson

Head out on the highway with a new bike from Big Barn Harley-Davidson, named “Best Motorcycle Shop.” Special to Cityview

One of the most dreamed about mid-life crisis buys in America is the Harley-Davidson motorcycle. It’s fun just to go to the Big Barn and browse the showroom — see how well your ass fits into different Harley seats — and maybe even buy one. Our readers agree, because the Big Barn sits in the top slot again this year. 81 N.W. 49th Place, 265-4444.

Runners-up: Struthers Bros., Fenders Cycle


Best Bicycle Shop

Bike World

If you’ve never felt passionate about bicycling, stop into a Bike World and talk shop for a bit. Next thing you know you’ll be huffing uphill in yellow spandex, training for one of Iowa’s many biking events. When it comes to getting the motivation to ride, Cityview readers choose Bike World year after year. 5950 Village View Dr., West Des Moines, 222-1880.

Runners-up: Rasmussen, Ichi Bike

Best Liquor Store

Ingersoll Wine and Spirits

With 20 years in the business and several Best Of awards on the wall behind 2,500 different wine varieties, it’s no wonder our readers give Ingersoll Wine their votes. With new wines available daily and a knowledgeable staff, this wine store has an undeniable following, and that’s something to celebrate. Cheers! 1300 50th St., West Des Moines; 3500 Ingersoll Ave., 255-3191.

Runners-up: Hy-Vee, Central City Liquor

Best Wine Store


Considering Hy-Vee also won first place for best wine selection this year, it’s fitting that it would also be voted as the best wine store — after all, selection is key. But with a selection comes choices, which is where Hy-Vee shines, offering tags along the aisles that describe the wine and designate which bottles are on sale with staff recommendations. So even if you’re a novice wino, you feel like a pro. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Ingersoll Wine and Spirits, Gateway

Best Pharmacy


This grocery store chain takes home another win — this time for its drug store. Of course, it helps that the pharmacists who work at Hy-Vee are smart, friendly and discrete; the prescriptions are cheap enough to save patrons a drive to Canada; and the drive-thru makes it so convenient that Hy-Vee is a fair and obvious choice for voters. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Walgreens, Bauders

Best Health Food Store

Campbell’s Nutrition

Campbell’s Nutrition was named “Best Health Food Store.” Special to Cityview

Will any other health food store be able to take out the champ? Campbell’s wins this category every year, proving two things — it’s been a quality food store for more than 60 years in the metro, and its patrons are loyal… and they vote. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Hy-Vee, New City Market

Best Grocery Store


If you could legally marry a store in Iowa, our readers would walk down the aisle with Hy-Vee. It’s one of Cityview’s “great repeaters,” taking home awards for being the best pharmacy, wine store, Chinese food and meal under $10. Hy-Vee remains a local rock star with our readers. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Dahl’s, Fareway

Best Furniture Store


Once again, it says it in the name. Homemakers is the favorite among our readers again this year, because merely browsing the store gives one the feeling of home. It’s the furniture store our readers have turned to for 35 years and counting. 10215 Douglas Ave., 276-2772.

Runners-up: Slumberland, Redekers

Best Jewelry Store

Josephs Jewelers

Judging by how many women are voting with weddings in mind, it’s safe to say metro jewelry stores are doing alright this year — especially Josephs, which was voted the favorite by our readers again this year. For 141 years, Josephs has made Iowans bling. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Anglo International, 2AU

Best Antique Store

The Brass Armadillo Antique Mall

Among the many things to do in the metro, browsing The Brass Armadillo is one of them. Cityview readers have been doing it for years, as it takes yet another win over all the others. The store is an experience in itself, with vintage antiques, movie star memorabilia and a plethora of other collectibles. 701 N.E. 50th Ave., 282-0082.

Runners-up: Found Things, West End Arch Salvage

Best Art Gallery

Moberg Gallery

Ingersoll Avenue staple, Moberg Gallery, was named “Best Art Gallery.” Courtesy of Jacob Sharp Photo

The name Moberg Gallery appears in Cityview every week in the calendar or art sections. It’s always offering cool, new exhibits as well as a stage for our brilliant local artists, and our readers recognize that. It truly is one of our local “Art Pimps.” 2921 Ingersoll Ave., 279-9191.

Runners-up: Art Center, Olson-Larson

Best Hair Salon

Salon TEC

From last year’s runner-up category to this year’s favorite among voters, Salon TEC proves its prestige. Mostly, it’s because Cityview readers love them, (but partly it could be that their address and phone numbers are oddly easy to memorize). 1234 Grand Ave., West Des Moines, 222-0200.

Runners-up: Salon Utopia, Bombshell Betty’s

Best SPA

East Village Spa

Our readers love spending money in the East Village, named “Best Shopping District.” Photo by Jared Curtis

Ladies, if your upper lip looks like it belongs to a 15-year-old boy, it’s time for a wax. And when that time comes, Cityview readers say the East Village Spa is the place to go. It’s won several awards, including last year’s Best Spa. 4100 315 E. 5th St., 309-2904.

Runners-up: Spa @ West Glen, Sahar’s

Best Tanning Salon

Soleil Tan Spa

Cityview readers vote for it year after year, and this time Soleil takes the top spot. Voters like the expertise, tanning selections and acclaimed customer service at Soleil. Our readers know they’re in good hands there. 5435 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, 457-8267.

Runners-up: Classic Tan, Visual Impact

Best Place for Aesthetic Surgery

Heartland Plastic Surgery

Youth and beauty are two highly-valued things in this culture, and both can be captured at Heartland, according to our readers. With the mission to repair the injured, restore the disfigured and improve the self image, Heartland’s efforts are recognized by Cityview readers. 10611 Hickman Road, 254-2265.

Runners-up: Iowa Clinic, Koch Plastic Surgery

Best Outdoor/Sporting Goods Place

Scheels All Sport

Everything an athlete or outdoorsman of any kind might need can be found somewhere inside the walls of Scheels. Our readers know it, and that’s why they keep voting Scheels the best of the metro year after year. 101 Jordan Creek Parkway, Building 4000, West Des Moines, 727-4065.

Runners-up: Bass Pro Shop, Back Country Outfitters

Best Hardware Store

Ace Hardware

Ace is the one for the second year in a row among Best Of voters. It has everything anyone would need for almost any project — guaranteed to have a part that fits — and it’s conveniently located just down the street in many neighborhoods throughout the metro. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: True Value, Miller’s Hardware

Best Greenhouse/Nursery

Goode Greenhouses

For years, Goode has been voted the best by Cityview readers, and here it is again filling the top spot. This family-owned business has been in its same location for more than 100 years, making it a sure thing for any garden project. 1050 N.E. 50th Ave., 262-6504.

Runners-up: Earl May, Hy-Vee

Bet Locally Owned Store

Bridal Elegance

Cityview readers have officially proposed to Bridal Elegance this year by voting it the best place for women’s clothing and wedding apparel. Its marriage to the metro is still new, but the honeymoon continues. 10611 Hickman Road, 254-2265.

Runners-up: Raygun, All Spice

Best Shopping District

East Village

Despite the vast shopping options other neighborhoods offer, the East Village continues to reign supreme among Cityview readers, who say it’s the best year after year. The East Village is a village within a city, bustling with friendly shop-owners, happy shoppers and diversity on every block.

Runners-up: Jordan Creek, Valley Junction

Best Local Flower Shop

Boesen The Florist

When words can’t say it, flowers often can, and our readers realize that. When searching for the words, they continue to choose Boesen year after year. This is a local shop with national accolades, as well as a wall full of Best Of awards. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Hy-Vee, Daugherty’s Flowers

Best Pet Store

Pet Smart

Pet Smart snatched this win away from two-year champ, PetCo, like a dog with a bone. Whether you’re looking for a spike collar for your cat or a sweater for your dog, Pet Smart has it in the store or online, which is why its popularity has grown among our readers. 11101 University Ave., Suite B, Clive, 221-2295; 5050 S.E. 14th St., 256-0691.

Runners-up: Jett & Monkeys, PetCo

Best Adult Store


Romantix is making it nearly impossible for any other adult store to be voted Best Of, as it takes the win among Cityview readers yet again. But, that’s because it has all the things anyone (or two… or three?) might be looking for to add some spice to sex. Multiple locations.

Runners-up: Christal’s, The Gallery

Best Local Hotel/Motel

Suites of 800 Locust

What better way to experience downtown Des Moines than from the view of one of the finest suites the city has to offer? In the hub of the city’s culture and activities, Suites of 800 has proven to a hot spot among our readers this year. 800 Locust St., 288-5800.

Runners-up: Hotel Fort Des Moines, Renaissance Savory

Best Mom& Pop

With five generations in the business, it’s easy to see why B&B Grocery, Meat & Deli was named “Best Mom & Pop.” Photo by Amber Williams

B&B Grocery

B&B’s snatches the trophy back from last year’s winner, Uncle Wendell’s. This is a favorite spot to eat or shop for people from all walks of life — like John Brooks from behind the counter says, they see “everybody from the mayor to the town drunk.” That’s because “the home of the killer sandwiches” is home to all.

Runners-up: Uncle Wendell’s BBQ Catering and Bakery, Snookies Malt Shop

Best Iowa Product

Templeton Rye

Maytag is useful, and Raygun is cool, but whiskey gets you drunk, and a lot of our readers like to drink. When getting buzzed is your goal, whiskey does it quick. But if taste is also a criterion, Templeton delivers. It has become a perennial “best” among Cityview readers.

Runners-up: Maytag, Raygun

Best Gift Shop

Heart of Iowa, Raygun

It’s a two-way tie between Heart of Iowa, which offers choices that celebrate Iowa from food to souvenirs to gift baskets and snarky, witty and truly unique T-shirt desigers, Raygun. Hear of Iowa, 211 Fifth St., West Des Moines, 274-IOWA (4692). Raygun, 400 E. Locust St., 288-1323.

Runners-up: Tandem Brick, Leona Ruby

Best Body Piercing/Tattoo Shop

Color Works Tattoo and Body Piercing

People can become addicted to a lot of bad things, but when it’s ink, it can be beautiful, inspiring and distinguished. Color Works artists understand that, and Cityview readers have shown their appreciation by voting them as the best. 1551 Valley West Drive, No. 104B, West Des Moines, 457-3888.

Runners-up: Iron Heart, Skin Kitchen

Best Local Winery

Jasper Winery

Jasper Winery was named “Best Local Winery.” Special to Cityview

These growers have both the grapes and the diplomas that make what our readers consider Iowa’s best wine. Jasper has earned national recognition from publications such as The New York Times and Wine Spectator, and thanks to our readers, now Cityview, too. 2400 George Flagg Parkway, 282-9463.

Runners-up: Summerset Winery, SNUS Hill

Best Cell Phone Provider

Verizon Wireless

I think our readers can hear you now, as they named Verizon Wireless “Best Cellphone Provider.” Photo by Jared Crutis

Our readers apparently like to be heard, because the owner of the “Can you hear me now?” catch phrase was picked as Des Moines’ best cell phone provider. With hospitable deals, frequent upgrades to the latest available cellular technology and some really cool apps, Verizon keeps people connected, current and informed, according to voters.

Runners-up: US Cellular, Sprint

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