CHUG! SPUTTER! SPUT! CHUG! Is your Batmobile on the fritz? Does your Turtle Van need a tune up? Dave's Auto Repair can put the ZOOOM! back in your vehicle. Founded in 2008, this shop has the super powers to restore your mobile machine to optimal condition. Dave's focuses on boosting your fuel efficiency; offers EcoPower engine oil; and recycles all used fluid, parts and new-parts packaging. Their work will have you saying, "Cowabunga, dude!"
830 E. Charleston Road, Palo Alto, 650-376-6077; davesauto830.com
Runner-up: Barron Park Shell
The team at Stanford Chiropractic Center are the ultimate bone manipulators. 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 so you can go about your superhero business, the center can help you achieve your wellness goals.
489 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, 650-326-7000; stanfordchiropractic.com
Runner-up: Ideal Health Chiropractic
After hours of fighting crime, superheroes like to give their bodies a dose of TLC at LaBelle Day Spa & Salons, where they can unwind with a much-needed facial, massage, body exfoliation, among other services, to help rejuvenate their muscles to battle the next nemeses that cross their paths. If you're heading to an evening soiree with Bruce Wayne, LaBelle also offers hair styling, manicures, pedicures, grooming services and more. The top-notch service from experienced technicians has kept customers coming back for years.
36 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, 650-326-8522; Town & Country Village, 855 El Camino Real, Suite 95, Palo Alto, 650-327-6964; labelledayspas.com
Runners-up: Day Spa/Immersion Spa | Spa/Skin Spirit
Christine Hansen, DDS and Associates regularly fight villainous tooth ailments while pampering patients. This dental practice offers private consultation rooms, blankets, your favorite music, 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, 650-326-3290; christinehansendds.com
Runner-up: Dr. Douglas Arakawa
YIKES! Got a stain on your Spidey gloves? Need to alter your cat suit? Want to get rid of some wrinkles in your favorite crime-fighter's cape? WHOOSH over to Charleston Cleaners and Alterations in Palo Alto and let the staff unleash its dry-cleaning powers. If you want some extra cleaning 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 favorite year after year.
3900 Middlefield Road, Unit F, Palo Alto, 650-424-1113; charlestoncleaners.info
Runner-up: AJ's Green Cleaners
Jealous of Superman's abs of steel? Want a physique that resembles Wonder Woman's buff bod? Wish no longer! Run on over to The Bar Method to realize the potential of your superhuman strength. Their "signature method" predominantly involves using your own body weight, the ballet barre and a few basic props to attain firm, lean and sculpted muscles. Lauded by customers on Yelp as encouraging and "amazingly nice," instructors customize exercises for clients of all ages and body types and make modifications for pregnant women and people with injuries. From leg and seat work at the barre to core exercises on the floor, The Bar Method offers a killer full-body workout in a chic boutique fitness studio. Like He-Man, you'll be shouting "I have the power!" in no time.
Town & Country Village, 855 El Camino Real., Suite 151, Palo Alto, 650-329-8875; barmethod.com
Runner-up: Palo Alto Family YMCA, Ross Road
You've recently scored that rare 1951 "Superman and the Mole Men" original movie poster. You sure don't want to tack it to the wall. Great American Framing Company uses only museum-quality materials to display customers' fine artworks, vintage posters, photos, prized documents and family heirlooms. James Brady and Jamil Khayrulin, business partners at the shop since 2003, bring decades of skill as master craftsmen. From canvas to paper, needlepoint to three-dimensional art, they will construct the best quality frame to complement and preserve each piece. They also specialize in art installation, custom mirrors and table-top tranquility hearths. Special note: Great American Framing has moved to a new location and is now in Barron Park.
3866 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, 650-327-4521; greatamericanframing.com
Runner-up: Accent Arts
OK, so you have the body of a 98-pound weakling or The Blob. No worries. Palo Alto Family YMCA, Ross Road can help you attain your fitness goals. Whether seeking the physique of the Green Arrow or a cardio workout, this Y and its trainers can get you there. Yeah, we know it's hard taking the first step to fulfill that New Year's resolution you made back in January, but you don't need superhuman strength to open this gym's door. Swimming, youth sports, group exercise, recreational sports, personal training and camaraderie await.
3412 Ross Road, Palo Alto, 650-856-9622; ymcasv.org/paloalto/
Runner-up: CrossFit Palo Alto
The stylists at Hair International are a follicle force to be reckoned with. They have enough hair power to tame even Wolverine's beastly bangs. The staff at this Stanford salon is a diverse team of stylists from around the world experienced in working with all hair types: curly, coarse, silky, straight, blonde, black, brown or red. 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: LaBelle Day Spas & Salons
You don't have to be a Saudi prince or reserve the entire hotel to feel like a superhero at the Four Seasons Hotel in East Palo Alto. The five-star hotel provides every guest the highest standards of luxury and personalized service. From the rooftop pool and romantic dinners at its Quattro restaurant to private massages and facials at the spa, the hotel is the perfect escape for those who want to feel pampered.
2050 University Ave., East Palo Alto, 650-566-1200; fourseasons.com/siliconvalley
Runner-up: Creekside Inn
LaBelle Day Spas & Salons See Day Spa/Spa
Runner-up: La Jolie Nail Spa
After a tough day of crime fighting, scaling windows, flying, turning invisible, hulking out ... it's important to give your mind and body some relaxation and care. Watercourse Way has it covered, with its range of spa services, including deep-tissue, prenatal, hot-stone and couples massages. Combine that with a plunge into one of the soothing tubs or a luxurious facial and let all your world-saving worries drift away for the moment.
165 Channing Ave., Palo Alto, 650-462-2000; watercourseway.com
Runner-up: LaBelle Day Spas & Salons
Hair International See Hair Salon
Runner-up: Campus Barber Shop
Larry Morrill, DDS and Associates are always prepared to battle against misaligned teeth. Whether it's your 11-year-old's overbite, your daughter's crowded mouth or that crooked front tooth you've always wanted fixed, this team of orthodontists can take care of it. From retainers to full orthodontia, Dr. Morrill's expertise is incomparable. Patients call him a "magician" capable of giving virtually anyone a "Colgate smile." After this office's expert care and attention to specific needs, you will be ready to take on the world with a straight, beautiful smile — cape optional.
1000 Welch Road, Suite 201, Palo Alto, 650-322-2817; morrillorthodontics.com
Runner-up: Midpeninsula Orthodontics/Stacey Quo
Palo Alto Family YMCA, Ross Road See Gym
Your water pipe has gone KABOOM! and there's a flood all over the bathroom floor. Guests are coming for the weekend. Who ya gonna call? Palo Alto Plumbing Heating and Air/Dahl Plumbing. With wrench in hand and biceps of steel, they'll wrangle those rusty pipes and restore order to your universe. Unsung heroes, Palo Alto Plumbing will be there when you need them, come rain, shine, sleet or hail. They can attack those moldy villains in your air-conditioning filter or make your home feel safe, warm and cozy once again.
716 San Antonio Road, Unit F, Palo Alto, 650-856-3400; paloaltoplumbing.net
Runner-up: He-Man Plumbing
Some superheroes fly. For the rest, comfortable shoes are a must! Thankfully, The Cobblery on California Avenue is here to make sure your boots are intact, your heels don't wobble and your top butt-kicking loafers are perfectly polished and ready to do serious damage. The charming family-run shop has been serving the area since 1940 and is currently operated by fourth-generation owners Jessica Roth and Stephanee Oberhauser. In addition to being the city's top shoe repairer, the Cobblery also mends and finishes leather goods, belts and bags and sells men's and women's footwear.
410 California Ave., Palo Alto, 650-323-0409; thecobblery.com
Runner-up: Midtown Shoe Repair
Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital has been caring for furry guardians of our galaxy for more than five decades. The hospital — a known leader in modern medical technology and leading-edge care — offers emergency services, internal medicine, surgery, reproduction consultation, as well as concierge services ranging from house calls and medication delivery to taxi cab transport. It also facilitates adoptions of homeless cats who often hang out in the lobby to greet visitors. You're sure to be a hero if you bring one home!
1125 Merrill St., Menlo Park, 650-325-5671; midpen.com
Runner-up: Animal Hospital of Palo Alto
Trade in those capes and tights for a loose-fitted shirt and yoga pants — Turbo 26 Studio is going to give you a workout that'll have you posing in stretches that Spiderman would applaud. No need to book your spot in advance — anyone is welcome to drop in for a 26-minute class that starts every half-hour all day long, in addition to hourlong classes. The Stanford Shopping Center location opened last fall and plans are underway to expand the business into a fitness franchise operation.
240 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, 650-325-2626; turbo26studio.com
Runner-up: Blossom Birth