Is your car a bummer? Don't freak out. Dave's Auto Repair will help you keep your rod rad. This boss shop doesn't want you to just be a customer — it wants you to be its partner — maybe even a soul mate. Founded in 2008, this shop has the chops to keep your machine lean, mean and green. Dave's focuses on boosting your fuel efficiency; offers EcoPower engine oil; and recycles all used fluid, parts and new-parts packaging.
830 E. Charleston Road, Palo Alto, 650-376-6077; davesauto830.com
Runner-up: Palo Alto Bimmer
Dr. Gavin Carr and his team at Stanford Chiropractic Center will keep your back, neck and body feeling so good that you might just find yourself groovin' at a dance party every night of the week to Sly and the Family Stone. The center uses a whole-body approach to help with pain relief, pain prevention and overall health. So whether you need pain relief due to injury or a specific condition or just want to improve your daily health, the center can help you achieve your wellness goals.
489 Middlefield Road Palo Alto, 650-326-7000; stanfordchiropractic.com
Runner-up: Palo Alto Chiropractic Offices
Forget about packing up your VW bus for a road trip in search of some relaxation. LaBelle Day Spas & Salons provides a relaxing getaway right here in Palo Alto. Customers can escape for facials, messages, manicures, pedicures and makeovers as well as a trip to the spa's hair salon. The spa's skin treatments include exotic ingredients such Dead Sea salts, anti-aging serums, peptides, fruit extracts and even gold (24 carats) that founder Bella Schneider discovered while traveling the world. Schneider also sells her own line of skin care products, so the pampering can continue at home, too.
36 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, 650-326-8522; 855 El Camino Real #95, Palo Alto, 650-327-6964; labelledayspas.com
Runner-up: The Spa, Four Seasons
Hall of Fame: Watercourse Way (inducted 2016)
Going to Christine Hansen, DDS & Associates is like going to a spa for your teeth. This dental practice led by Dr. Hansen offers private consultation rooms, blankets, your favorite music (maybe some Creedence Clearwater), as well as expert advice on how to solve your dental problems and what preventative or corrective procedures they can perform to ensure a healthy smile. Even dental-phobes say they enjoy going here and actually look forward to their next visit.
416 Waverley St. Suite A, Palo Alto, 650-830-7884
Runner-up: Palo Alto Dental Group
Got a stain on your favorite bell bottoms? Need to alter those hip huggers? Want to get rid of some pesky wrinkles in that peasant blouse? Head over to Charleston Cleaners in Palo Alto and let the staff work its dry-cleaning magic. If you want some extra flower power, know Charleston Cleaners uses an environmentally friendly hydrocarbon solvent. Since 1985, this family-owned business has starched, altered, pressed and dry cleaned garments for generations of loyal customers who have recognized it as a Best Of winner year after year.
3900 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, 650-424-1113; charlestoncleaners.info
Runner-up: Town & Country Cleaners
The Palo Alto Family YMCA is what other YMCA's aspire to be. It's truly a place to free your mind and body and where the community gathers to live life to its fullest potential (literally, as this place regards health and wellness, the cornerstones of well being). You'll find old folks, young folks, toddlers, parents and everyone in between in this family-friendly neighborhood gym, part of which went through a remodel this past year. It has all the amenities and classes one would want in a gym and even includes a pool.
3412 Ross Road, Palo Alto, 650-856-9622; ymcasv.org/paloalto
Runner-up: Oshman Family JCC
In a world of Instagram, iPhoto slideshows and mobile everything, sometimes one wants to go analog with their art and put something tangible up on the wall — like that vintage collection of psychedelic concert posters from the Fillmore that's been tucked away in the closet. Accent Arts, which left its longtime California Avenue location a few months back and is now poised to return (to the former location of Keeble & Shuchat Photography on the corner of Cal Ave and Birch), has all the materials to turn a ho-hum room into a gorgeous gallery, offering frames, mats and art supplies of all kinds.
421 Jacaranda Lane, Palo Alto (soon to move to 290B California Ave.), 650-424-1044; accentarts.com
Runner-up: Great American Framing Company
Palo Alto Family YMCA
See complete listing under Best Fitness Classes.
Runner-up: Equinox Palo Alto
Hall of Fame: Oshman Family JCC (inducted 2016)
Mop tops, hippie hair, Afros, the bombshell and pixie cuts — no matter the style, Hair International will have you looking righteous. As its name reflects, the staff at this Stanford salon is a diverse group of stylists from around the world (Vietnam, Iran, Nicaragua, Mexico, Europe) experienced in working with all hair types: blonde, black, brown, red, curly, coarse, silky, straight. The salon carefully matches each client with the most appropriate stylist who will provide the best cut, color and style for a particular hair type. The salon's focus on quality and diversity has garnered top praises year after year.
232 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, 650-324-2007; hairintl.com
Runner-up: Halo Blow Dry Bar
Taking a trip and experiencing an alternate reality at the Garden Court Hotel has a whole different meaning today than 50 years ago during the Summer of Love. For more than three decades, the 62-room boutique hotel has served as a local shangri-la, providing modern luxury and a peaceful escape for visitors looking for a different way to experience the downtown scene. The Spanish-inspired hotel offers plenty of spaces to tune out the urban bustle, including a lush courtyard and private balconies. A variety of other personal details — a fresh gardenia beside each bed, overhead rain showers, port and cookie service, complimentary morning pastries, and yes, even turn-down service — will keep you feeling relaxed and pampered.
520 Cowper St., Palo Alto, 650-322-9000; gardencourt.com
Runner-up: Four Seasons Silicon Valley
Hall of Fame: Creekside Inn (inducted 2016)
If you're looking to pamper yourself with a fresh coat of nail polish, look no further than La Jolie Nail Spa. Buffalo Springfield would say the services are "For What It's Worth," with a range of services from an express manicure to a Zents pedi, which includes an Earth concreta balm massaged into the the heels and balls of your feet. You'll feel fab while soaking your hands in a rich warm milk with rose petals and dipping your feet into fresh mint leaf and peppermint oil. Customers walk away feeling refreshed, renewed and righteous.
364 S. California Ave., Palo Alto, 650-322-8882; lajolienailspa.com
Runner-up: LaBelle Day Spas & Salons
Watercourse Way's massages, spa treatments, facials, private tub rooms and other services offer welcome respite for weary bodies and minds. Inspired by the natural hot springs of Tassajara, a Zen retreat center established in Carmel Valley during the Summer of Love, this bathhouse spa has operated in Palo Alto for more than three decades. The staff is friendly, professional and talented, the space itself clean and inviting and the treatments ( hot-stone massages, Zen harmony facials, green tea mud wraps and more) unfailingly relaxing.
165 Channing Ave., Palo Alto, 650-462-2000; watercourseway.com
Runner-up: Happy Feet Foot Spa
Hall of Fame: Massage Therapy Center (inducted 2016)
See complete listing under Best Hair Salon.
Runner-up: The President Barbershop
Whether it's your 11-year-old's overbite, your daughter's crowded mouth or that crooked front tooth you've always wanted fixed, orthodontist Dr. Larry Morrill can take care of it. Braces aren't for the faint of heart, but whether you're wearing tie dye or orange stripes, a straight white smile can win everyone over. From retainers to full orthodontia, Dr. Morrill's expertise is incomparable. Patients call him a "magician" capable of giving virtually anyone a "Colgate smile."
1000 Welch Road, Suite 201, Palo Alto, 650-322-2817; morrillorthodontics.com
Runner-up: Palo Alto Orthodontics
Hall of Fame: Midpeninsula Orthodontics / Stacey Quo (inducted 2015)
Looking for that summer bod that's bad to the bone? Book on over to Oshman Family JCC to get in shape. Oshman's certified personal trainers design individual plans to help every client meet their fitness goals based on mindset, nutrition, movement and "recovery." From sport-specific athletic training to small-group programs that focus on summer slim downs and more intensive boot camps, Oshman offers a range of killer fitness programs for anyone ages 10 to 100.
3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto, 650 223-8700; paloaltojcc.org
Runner-up: Palo Alto Family YMCA
You're likely to meet the crew from Palo Alto Plumbing, Heating & Air / Dahl Plumbing when something's gone wrong and you need an urgent pick-me-up. For 17 years, the business has provided 24-hour emergency response to residents with dysfunctional sump pumps, sewer breaches, disposal jams, water heater mishaps and a slew of other potentially disastrous HVAC issues. Customers say they appreciate the company's quick response, professional demeanor and reliable service. The company's EPA-Universal-Certified technicians also provide installation and maintenance services.
716 San Antonio Road, Unit F, Palo Alto, 650-856-3400; paloaltoplumbing.net
Runner-up: He-Man Plumbing
Whether on your way to a peace march, a protest or Human Be-in, Midtown Shoe Repair will keep your go-go boots, Birkenstocks and platforms in tip-top shape so you can keep on truckin'. A Palo Alto fixture for more than 37 years, Midtown is the place where customers go for emergency repairs and to bring their favorite worn-out shoes back to life for new adventures. Since 1979, owner Robert Babekian has meticulously restored shoes, suitcases, purses and zippers — and practically anything made out of leather — in his quaint Midtown workshop, where he is known as much for his superior craftsmanship as for "making unhappy souls — and soles — happy."
2796 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, 650-329-8171
Runner-up: The Cobblery
They can make your skin gleam like Iggy Pop's and your lips more voluptuous than Mick Jagger's. Led by Dr. M. Dean Vistnes and Dr. Richard Baxter, the team of experts at SkinSpirit Skincare Clinic and Spa provide the newest techniques in non-surgical treatments for the face and body, including injectables, chemical peels, fillers, laser resurfacing and CoolSculpting. The clinic's cutting-edge products, personalized treatments and luxurious spa-like setting have made it a reader favorite ever since Lynn Heublein founded it in Palo Alto in 2003.
701 Emerson St., Palo Alto, 650-324-9600; skinspirit.com
Runner-up: LaBelle Day Spas & Salons
If you live locally and you have pets, chances are that at some point, someone's recommended Adobe Animal Hospital. The veterinary hospital has been around since the Beatles wore bowl cuts. It is equipped with high-tech services, stays open 24/7 to handle any off-hours emergencies and treats nearly every kind of animal, from cats and dogs to exotic and pocket pets, to birds, to barnyard beasts. And though it's a large operation (with a new branch now open in Los Gatos), the staff works hard to provide responsive, personalized care that will make your chinchilla, sheepdog or bearded dragon feel better as soon as possible.
4470 El Camino Real, Los Altos, 650-948-9661; adobe-animal.com
Runner-up: Animal Hospital of Palo Alto
With its eucalyptus steam room, scented towels, spa-like locker rooms and polished marble interior complete with chandeliers, this industrial-chic warehouse is the place to go for your high-end yoga experience. Equinox offers an array of yoga classes as well as pilates, spinning, Zumba and other high-intensity cardio classes. After your workout, mellow out with a deep-tissue massage, a brows wax, a dip in the rooftop pool or a smoothie at the bar.
440 Portage Ave., Palo Alto, 650-319-1700; equinox.com/clubs/northern-california/paloalto
Runner-up: Palo Alto Family YMCA
Hall of Fame: Yoga Source (inducted 2017)