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Best of the Inland Northwest Readers Poll 2016

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Best Gifts

BOO RADLEY'S

click to enlarge Boo Radley's owner Andy Dinnison - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Boo Radley's owner Andy Dinnison

It didn't take the success of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird and its mysterious namesake character to make Boo Radley's a Spokane institution. But it certainly didn't hurt, either. With its premium location downtown across from Riverfront Park, the quirky shop — with stock mostly for the 18+ crowd — is more than a gift store. It's a must-see for any out-of-town visitor. Pick up a "Spokanistan" or sasquatch-themed T-shirt for your family from Illinois so they really get the Inland Northwest experience. (SCOTT A. LEADINGHAM)

2nd PLACE: Atticus; 3rd PLACE: Simply Northwest; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Lucky Monkey


Best Mall

SPOKANE VALLEY MALL

With a conveniently accessible location off I-90, and located a few running steps or pedal turns from the Centennial Trail, the Valley Mall is attractive for residents from the Spokane's South Hill and east to Idaho. The location of other popular retail and dining options around its perimeter helps, too. Who wants to spend a busy weekend fighting for a parking spot? (SAL)

2nd PLACE: River Park Square; 3rd PLACE: NorthTown; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Silver Lake Mall


Best Organic/Natural Foods

HUCKLEBERRY'S

It's hard to pinpoint what makes Huckleberry's quaint. It's not particularly small. Its selection is comparable to bigger supermarkets. Its café/bistro is stellar and stuffed with choices. And the beer! Lots of global and hard-to-find beer. But even so, it's a go-to for the organic- and natural-foods-inclined, not to mention anyone with a hankering for made-to-order omelets. (SAL)

2nd PLACE: Trader Joe's; 3rd PLACE: Main Market; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Pilgrim's Market


Best Pawn Shop

PAWN 1

With seven locations in Spokane, Pawn 1 may be the most visible place around to get some money for your old TV or that now worthless (to you) wedding ring. For more than 35 years, it's been selling and reselling our items, and cutting good deals on music equipment with its well-stocked Music Corner. (SAL)

2nd PLACE: Double Eagle Pawn; 3rd PLACE: Axel's Pawnshop


Best Thrift Shop

GOODWILL

What Macklemore and Ryan Lewis made hip in their explosive hit "Thrift Shop" was already plainly known in the Spokane area: Thrift shops are definitely a thing. Goodwill stores are almost as ubiquitous as Macklemore on lists of successful modern rappers. Beyond secondhand items, though, the social-focused mission of Goodwill ensures its business success: Through retail, support employment and quality of life programs for thousands of people across the Northwest. (SAL)

2nd PLACE: Value Village; 3rd PLACE: Union Gospel Mission Thrift Store


Best Med Spa

SHAPE COSMETIC SURGERY & MEDSPA

Shape MedSpa offers facials and waxing, facial peels, microdermabrasion, laser hair removal, laser vein therapy and more, and clients rave about the staff's knowledge and professionalism. One reviewer writes, "I am very pleased with my experience at Shape... and will be back for more!" (CHELSEA BANNACH)

2nd PLACE: Glo Medical Spa; 3rd PLACE: Advanced Aesthetics


Best New Car Dealership

LARRY H. MILLER SPOKANE

The Larry H. Miller motto is "Driven By You" and the Spokane group of dealerships — Lexus, Honda, Toyota and Hyundai — have lived up to the company's continuing mission to "exceed the expectations of customers, employees, and the community as a whole." (CB)

2nd PLACE: Wendle Motors; 3rd PLACE: Gus Johnson; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Dave Smith Motors


Best Tattoo Parlor

ANCHORED ART TATTOO

Classy. Professional. Friendly. Pleasant. Comfortable. Clean. Experienced. Those are some of the words that clients of Anchored Art Tattoo & Gallery have used to describe the shop and the artists who work there. Other than creating the best possible tattoos, the No. 1 priority at Anchored Art is ensuring that the procedure is done in the most sterile way. (CB)

2nd PLACE: Mom's Custom Tattoos; 3rd PLACE: The Missing Piece Tattoo; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Inkworld Tattoo


Best Used Car Lot

JENNIFER'S AUTO SALES

Led by owner and operator Jennifer Johnson, the home of "Save your Green" is made up of a diverse group of men and women who comprise many years of automotive experience and strive to go the extra mile to ensure that their customers drive away happy — and return in the future for their automotive needs. (CB)

2nd PLACE: CarMax; 3rd PLACE: Consumer Auto Liquidators


Best Women's Boutique

FRINGE BOUTIQUE

Fringe Boutique prides itself as an inventory of trendy, carefully curated, and classy clothing and accessories, carrying exclusive lines that aren't found elsewhere in the Inland Northwest. It started as a small, upscale hair salon that sought to fill a need in Spokane for affordable but up-to-the minute fashion, and has since become one of Spokane's most celebrated boutiques. (CB)

2nd PLACE: Swank Boutique; 3rd PLACE: Lolo Boutique; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: T-Blue Boutique


Best Bank

WASHINGTON TRUST

Its local roots, customer focus and big-league financial expertise have made this major Bloomsday sponsor a regular favorite in previous polls, and this year is no exception. As a privately owned bank with more than a century of history to its name, Washington Trust says it distinguishes itself by being able to prioritize long-term institutional goals over chasing share prices. (E.J. IANNELLI)

2nd PLACE: Banner Bank; 3rd PLACE: US Bank


Best Barber Shop

THE MAN SHOP

Who knew getting a haircut could be so much fun? The Man Shop has a full lineup of pool, darts, putting greens and arcade games to keep you entertained before one of its sassy trained stylists works her magic on your coif. (EJI)

2nd PLACE: Porter's Barber Shop; 3rd PLACE (tie): Dan Dickau's The Barbers; Weldon Barber; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Bulwark Barber


Best Bookstore

AUNTIE'S

"Loyal customer support has sustained our independent, locally owned store since 1978," says Holly Doering, who edits the bookstore's popular newsletter, AuntieNotes. The store's regular events, which help readers discover new authors and connect with longtime favorites, are just one important reason why it holds a special place in local book lovers' hearts. (EJI)

2nd PLACE: Barnes & Noble; 3rd PLACE: Hastings; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: The Well-Read Moose


Best Credit Union

STCU

Few businesses can claim to be more community-oriented than STCU, which has built an enviable reputation on its support of individuals, businesses and nonprofits throughout the Inland Northwest. So it's not hard to see why this credit union has grown from a shoebox into an 18-branch, $2.2-billion operation — and why the community reciprocates its support with a Best Of win. (EJI)

2nd PLACE: Numerica; 3rd PLACE: Global Credit Union


Best Ethnic Grocery Store

DeLEON'S

In Spokane, DeLeon's has pretty much become synonymous with authentic Mexican food. That's no easy feat considering how many connoisseurs — self-styled or otherwise — this cuisine tends to attract. Even hard-to-please customers swear by their in-house tamales and menudo. Plus the grocery section offers all the necessary classic ingredients for your own Mexican recipes. (EJI)

2nd PLACE: Best Asian Market; 3rd PLACE: Asian Food World Market


Best Furniture

WALKER'S FURNITURE

Ask anyone about Walker's — even those who haven't yet shopped there — and you're likely to hear something about the store's first-rate customer service. That's no fluke. Since its founding in 1980, Walker's has worked hard to employ "exceptional people" whose goal is to exceed expectations through honest sales of high-quality, affordable furniture. (EJI)

2nd PLACE: The Tin Roof; 3rd PLACE: Dania; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Runge


Best Hair Salon

OASIS

For nearly 14 years, Oasis Hair Salon has provided haircuts, perms, highlights, coloring and plenty of VIP treatment to customers at its four area locations. The staff also receives ongoing training in the latest techniques and hairstyles, so you can be sure your 'do is keeping pace with fashion. (EJI)

2nd PLACE: Dimensions; 3rd PLACE: The House of POp; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Bombshell


Best Tree Service

RAY McELFISH TREE SPECIALISTS

"Why do you have to take advantage of people when they're already at their worst?" asks Shannon Sullivan, owner of Ray McElfish Tree Specialists. While some tree care companies reportedly jacked up prices after the November windstorm that tore through Spokane, her company, founded by her grandfather in 1948, resisted that temptation. All hands were on deck when the storm hit, and customers, many of whom were devastated by property damage to their home, were pleased with the tree service's integrity and hard work. (WILSON CRISCIONE)

2nd PLACE: Senske; 3rd PLACE: (tie) Grace Tree Service; Specialty Tree Services


Best Retail Marijuana Shop

CINDER

Its two locations belie the stereotype some might hold of a recreational marijuana shop. Sparsely and tastefully decorated, and more focused on showcasing various edibles, buds and oils than Bob Marley posters or houseplants, the Cinder stops in Spokane and the Valley actually feel like the legit businesses they are, rather than a super-sized dorm room. That helped make Cinder the readers' choice once again. (DAN NAILEN)

2nd PLACE: Satori; 3rd PLACE: Sativa Sisters


Best Pet Boutique

PRAIRIE DOG MERCANTILE

If your dog could choose where he'd want to go on a shopping spree, he might say the meat counter at the grocery store, but let's get real. The healthy, handpicked pet food and accessories at this upper South Hill shop are far more reasonable an option for both you and Fido. Owners Amy Barker and Dan Pringle are passionate about making sure all of our beloved pets not only don't go hungry, but have access to quality, nutritional food. Specializing in naturally made products and always considering the veterinary science behind anything on their shelves, local pet owners can trust that Prairie Dog has their well-being, and that of their pets, in mind. (CHEY SCOTT)

2nd PLACE: Urban Canine; 3rd PLACE: The Yuppy Puppy


Best Spa

SPA PARADISO

Spa Paradiso is an oasis located right in the heart of Kendall Yards, offering therapeutic massage and body treatments, complete spa and clinical skin care, eyelash extensions, Botox, full-service hair care and more. Whatever the choice, Spa Paradiso says its customers will leave with a renewed sense of peace and well-being. (CB)

2nd PLACE: La Rive at Northern Quest Resort & Casino; 3rd PLACE: BrickHouse Massage; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Spa Ssakwa'q'n at Coeur d'Alene Casino


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