Capital Region Living Magazine

Capital Region “Bestie” Awards

By Vikki Moran & Beth Krueger


antiques (Tie)
Coxsackie Antique Center
12400 Route 9W, West Coxsackie
www.coxsackie.comExpect to find this great antique center holding JUST what you were looking for.  It never fails when I am there. It is like antique Disneyland; just keep walking and enjoying.

Hudson Antiques Dealers 
Warren Street, Hudson 
A real gem for those downstate to spend a great weekend shopping and toting their finds back to the big city. Why does it need to be just for them?  Our readers scream that they, too, love this antique mecca.

Dennis Holzman, 
111 Remsen Street, Cohoes

Stone Soup Antique Gallery  
19 Low Street, Ballston Spa

Apple orchard (tie)
Bowman’s Orchard 
141 Sugar Hill Road, Rexford

Indian Ladder Farm
342 Altamont Road, Altamont
When the first snap of cool air hits our region, it is off to the orchard for the finest in NYS apples and other produce. The favorite spots in the Region that won this year have for many years grown and harvested the finest apples and provide a fun day for the whole family.  There is pick-your-own if you choose and many scheduled activities.

Goold Orchard, 
1297 Brookview Station Road, Castleton

Riverview Orchards, 
660 Riverview Road, Rexford; 
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Car/Auto dealer
Lia Auto Group
Various locations
Our readers chose Lia Auto Group as the best auto dealer in a very competitive field. Lia rose to the top based upon its service, selection and perhaps community involvement, which is extensive. With over 20 locations in the Capital Region, Massachusetts and Connecticut, there is a location near you. Honda, Hyundai, Scion, Nissan, Volkswagen, Infiniti and Toyota are the brands featured. For a complete list of locations, go to:

Keeler Motor Car Company
1111 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham

Mangino Buick-GMC
1484 Saratoga Road, Ballston Spa

Bargain Shopping
Finders Keepers Consignments
1603 Route 9, Clifton Park
If you go to Yelp, you will find people commenting, “Finally – a decent consignment shop in Clifton Park … awesome place …” and more. Built on a foundation of providing a diversified product line and innovative services and listening to their customers, they have obviously developed a loyal following of customers with upscale merchandise at affordable prices. 

Something Olde Something New, 
1969 New Scotland Road # 4, Slingerlands

Bike shop
Steiner’s Sports, Ski, Bike & Kayak 
301 Warren Street, Hudson • 329 Glenmont Road, Glenmont • 3455 Route 9, Valatie
A three-time winner, Steiner’s is the go-to place for quality bicycles and other sporting goods for every season. They feature leading brands in each category and are known for their selection of bicycles for every level of rider, from beginner to hard-core racer. Their staff is knowledgeable and can help you select the best product for your needs and their trained service professionals are there for tuning and repairs, with three locations to serve you.

Ck Cycles, LLC. 
1370 Central Avenue, Albany, 
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Mad Dog Bicycles
561 Delaware Avenue, Delmar 

Northshire Bookstore
4869 Main Street, Manchester Center, VT • 424 Broadway, Saratoga Spring
Here is something you don’t see much these days and it is so refreshing. Northshire is still family-owned and independent bookstore. They offer children’s reading programs, special events and the hallmark of their store, a trained, knowledgeable staff, many who have been there for years. Worth a visit for sure! 

The Bookhouse 
1475 Western Avenue, Albany

Tied with:
Market Block Books 
290 River Street, Troy

The Open Door Bookstore, 

128 Jay Street, Schenectady

Bridal shop
Bridal Gallery by Yvonne
895 New Loudon Road, Latham
For that special day, there is the place to go based on our readers’ choice and that is Bridal Gallery by Yvonne. Here, it is all about weddings and making this special day perfect. The gallery is beautiful with a huge selection and, of course, custom ordering and design from the finest labels available. Appointments are suggested but not always required. Leave it to the specialists here to make your wedding a day to cherish. 

Angela’s Bridal, 
126 State Street, Albany

3991 NY-43, West Sand Lake

Clothing boutique
Truly Rhe
1 Broadway  Troy, NY 12180
Truly Rhe is the premier women’s boutique in Troy, also serving customers throughout the area who come to this boutique for the selection, service and quality. Rhe prides herself on constantly changing her selection and keeping inventory in stock. She has an eye for fashion and trends and this is reflected in her store. A trip to Troy would be unfulfilled without a stop by Truly Rhe. (PS: You can shop online, too!)

Fancy Schmancy,  
641 Loudon Road, Latham

3991 NY-43, West Sand Lake

Consignment shop
Finders Keepers Consignments
1603 Route 9, Clifton Park
Finders Keepers was named by our readers not only as the place for bargain shopping but also the go-to consignment shop.

A New Beginning Consignment/Resale Shop, 476 N Greenbush Road, Rensselaer
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H & I Upscale Resale, 
180 Delaware Avenue, Delmar 

CSA/community co-op
Honest Weight Food Co-op
100 Watervliet Avenue, Albany

For over 35 years, Honest Weight Food Co-op has served New York’s Capital Region as a cooperatively owned and operated natural foods grocery store, always open to the public.  The Co-op is owned by members who are deeply committed to providing high quality, affordable natural foods and other product for healthy living. Having outgrown the previous two buildings, the Co-op is now are located in a beautiful environmentally sustaining location. Visit soon!

Niskayuna Co-op, Inc , 
2227 Nott Street, Schenectady

Roxbury Farm, 
2501 NY-9H, Kinderhook

Farmers market
Troy Waterfront Farmers Market Monument Square, Troy 
(late spring, summer, fall) nTroy Atrium, Troy (winter).

Featuring over 70 vendors bringing locally produced goods direct to the public, the Troy Farmers Market makes downtown Troy bustle with activity in the summer months and also in the winter, in the Atrium, which is its winter home. Selections change by season but you can be assured–if you buy it there, it was harvested just a few days prior–now that is fresh!

Schenectady Greenmarket, 
105 Jay Street, Schenectady

Saratoga Farmer’s Market, 
High Rock Avenue, Saratoga Springs 

Garden nursery
Various locations
When planting time comes, you have a choice – go to one of the chains or go to Hewitt’s, locally owned and operated in the Capital region and also the fifth largest independent retail garden center in the country. As the seasons change, so do the products and they are open year round. Not only will you find the best selection, but also a very knowledgeable staff with a combined over 250 years experience! For over 50 years, Hewitt’s has been proud to offer the finest quality and service. There are eight locations in the region. Visit their web site for the one closest to you.

Faddegon’s Nursery, Inc., 
1140 Troy Schenectady Rd, Latham

Becker’s Farm, 
420 Columbia Turnpike, Rensselaer

Gift shop
The Cross Eyed Owl
3143 US Highway 9, Suite 8, Valatie
Looking for a unique gift? Need that just something for a special occasion? Something for you or your home? This shop is known as one of the best places to go when someone wants something special. They feature items for the home and garden for each season, toys and many other products sure to grab your attention as it does those of our readers who love The Crossed Eyed Owl.

Wit’s End Giftique, 
1762 U.S. 9, Clifton Park 

Maggie’s Gift Shop, 
521 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham  

Hardware store
Phillips Hardware
Various locations

Since 1886, Phillips Hardware has been serving Capital Region customers from seven locations. Old-fashioned service, selection and a knowledgeable staff. That’s what we all want when we visit a hardware store (especially with a problem) and that’s what makes Phillips the go-to place for many. If you like to roam hardware stores (like this writer), you will love Phillips hardware. Visit the web site for locations and hours.

Pfeil Hardware & Paint, 
63 3rd Street, Troy 

Mario’s Home Center, 
1057 Kinderhook Street, Valatie 

Precious at Normanside Veterinary Clinic
700 Delaware Avenue, Albany

This furry feline has won the votes of our readers this year. Precious is just that and hands out tender loving to all who enter for healing.

Hunter at Enchanted Gardens
243 Delaware Avenue, Delmar 

Huey at Bensons Pet Centers
Various locations

Frank Adams Jewelers
1475 Western Avenue, Albany

It all started as a watch repair business in Albany in 1922 and has become the region’s premier jewelry retailer, designer and place for timepiece brands. Still family owned and operated, this business is focused on family–their family and yours. They feature so many selections from the world’s leading designers that no matter what your desire, you will find it here with the guidance of a professional staff to help you with your selection. 

Hannoush Jewelers, 
Albany, Clifton Park

Glennpeter Jewelers, 
Various locations

Liquor/wine Store
Empire Wine & Spirits
1440 Central Avenue, Albany

When you first walk into this store, you are taken by the huge inventory and selection. It can be daunting, until you meet one of the many professionals who know every inch of the store, the brands stocked and more. They are more than willing to provide a recommendation to you for that special wine or other spirit. For those in a hurry, you can order on line and pick up at the store. It is fun to just roam!

All Star Wine and Spirits, 
579 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham

Exit 9 Wine and Liquor, 
9 Halfmoon Crossing, Clifton Park

Menswear store
Mark Thomas Men’s Apparel
5 Metro Park Road, Albany

There are apparel stores–and then there is Mark Thomas Men’s Apparel. Nowhere else will that discriminating gentleman find the finest in quality, expertly matched with a staff who understand fashion. A repeat winner from our readers’ votes, this store is very popular for men of all ages. The lines carried represent the best of the world and you would have to travel far and wide to find a better selection and service by a staff of professionals.

Amore Clothing, 
123 State Street, Albany; 
595 Loudon Road, Latham

Music store
17 N. Fourth Street, Hudson

Started in 1997 when Hudson was just getting “back on the map,” this center for all things musical has flourished. The staff and owners are compulsively dedicated to expanding music on many horizons and giving anything one will need to start playing music–no matter what style. Musica features repairs as well as lessons. It is hard to describe–you must visit to experience this for yourself. 

Parkway Music, 
1777 Rt 9, Clifton Park

Natural food store
Honest Weight Food Co-op
100 Watervliet Avenue, Albany

Honest Weight is named by our readers as a winner in two categories— best co-op and best natural food store. Naturally, natural food is one of the specialties of the Co-op.

Green Grocer, 
1505 U.S. 9 #8, Clifton Park 

Delmar Health Hut, Inc., 
282 Delaware Avenue #5, Delmar
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Shopping Center/Mall
1 Crossgates Mall Road, Albany

What more can you say about Crossgates Mall? One of the largest in the nation, it has become the area’s premier shopping, entertainment and dining locations. It is hard to think of a store that doesn’t have a location in this mall, which features plenty of parking, helpful staff to direct you, free Wi-Fi and more. You can shop, dine, be entertained and have fun – and never step outside!

Colonie Center, 
131 Colonie Center, Albany

Stuyvesant Plaza, 
1475 Western Avenue, Albany

Sporting goods
Goldstock’s Sporting Goods
98 Freemans Bridge Road, Scotia

Goldstock's was established in Schenectady in 1896 and you probably didn’t know that Goldstock’s is the oldest ski shop in the nation!  The store has products for every sport and every season and its focus changes seasonally. In this 5,000-plus-square-foot store, the business has the leading brands for viewing and selection. The staff members are sports enthusiasts, as well, and know the lines they carry. Goldstock’s motto is “Where people just know about sports.” So true.

Plaine and Son, 
1816 State Street, Schenectady

Steiners Ski and Bike, Various locations

Various locations
The grocery wars are so competitive and this year’s winner (and before as well) is Hannaford. With 14 area locations, our readers felt that this market ranked higher than all the others.  The stores are not all the same; there are features in some that are unique, which make the market special. Hannaford is dedicated to the community, as well, and goes out of its way to help local organizations raise funds and provide community support. The commitment of Hannaford: "The right way, every day." Visit the web site for store locations and hours.

Price Chopper Supermarkets, 
Various locations 

Honest Weight Food Co-op

Travel agency/Tour Company
AAA Hudson Valley

There when you need it for emergency roadside assistance, AAA is also known for travel services. AAA can help you plan and book a trip to anywhere in the world. Many count on its ratings of hotels, motels and other travel venues. AAA has relationships with leaders in the travel industry and can provide better pricing and availability due to its size and industry connections.  Planning a trip can be stressful and confusing; the professionals at AAA can take that off your shoulders! For a listing of offices, contacts and hours, go to the web site.

Celtic Tours
1860 Western Avenue, Albany

Yankee Trails World Travel, 
569 3rd Avenue Extension, Rensselaer


Animal hospital
Latham Animal Hospital - Capital Vets  
326 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham

Our readers give thumbs up and their pets raise their paws to the Latham Animal Hospital. They like the knowledgeable and caring staff, services, and the efforts they go to be partners in our pets’ health.

Guilderland Veterinary Hospital
4963 Western Turnpike, Altamont 

 Burnt Hills Veterinary Hospital
145 Goode Street, Burnt Hills 

Appliance store
Marcella’s Appliance Center
560 Broadway, Schenectady

Consistently named best of, this family-owned business has been open for almost 70 years but keeps current while providing the constant of customer service by knowledgeable staff. Its state-of-the-art showroom has over 17,000-square feet of the latest appliances and displays. Whether aiding individuals, families, builders or large commercial operations, Marcella is ready to help customers generate and bring ideas to actuality.

Earl B. Feiden Appliances
785 New Loudon Road, Latham

Adirondack Appliance

67 West Avenue, Saratoga Springs 

Auto service

Gochee's Garage
329 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
As Gochee’s notes - and our readers agree – “the cars we work on may have changed over the years, but our attention to detail and focus on doing great work have remained the same.” This family owned and operated business, which provides repairs and inspections and also sells tires and used vehicles, has been in operation since 1929.  The technicians are National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence—certified. Customers regularly refer Gochee’s to their family members and friends.

Gil’s Garage
Burnt Hills and Clifton Park 

 New Scotland Auto
1958 New Scotland Road Slingerlands 

Kinderhook Bank
Various locations
A community-owned bank since 1853, Kinderhook Bank provides a relaxed atmosphere where the staff builds one-on-one relationships with customers, whether personal, business, or lending products and conveniences services. And our readers give thumbs up to that customer attention and service. 

Pioneer Bank
Various locations

Berkshire Bank
Various locations

Elegant Touch Catering and Special Events
6787 Route 158, Altamont
Elegant Touch received our readers’ applause for innovative and delicious food, attention to detail and personal involvement. The caterer brings more than 30 years of experience in culinary creation and event planning to bring concept to reality at its facility or elsewhere. They also have collaborations with local farmers/businesses for farm-to-table cuisine and prepare homemade selections, such as salsa and spice blends.

Old Daley  Catering
2 Northern Drive, Troy

2 Shea Catering
Glenmont and Loudonville 

Credit union
Various locations

SEFCU is among the 50 largest federal credit unions in the United States and its members are shareholders as well as customers. Tops with our readers. SECFU offers an array of checking, savings, mortgage loan and other services available for their financial needs, with in-person, on line/phone options, and a member solutions center. SEFCU also is an active community citizen, assisting area service organizations.

CAP COM Federal Credit Union
Various  locations 

Hudson River Community Credit Union
Various locations 

Customer service
CAP COM Federal Credit Union
Various locations 
In our poll, CAP COM or Capital Communications Federal Credit Union was named as tops in customer service. CAP COM’s stated purpose is “to benefit every member, every time, every day.” The focus on superior service, convenient products, financial services and competitive rates, our readers say, does make life just a little easier. And they applaud CAP COM’s community service.

American Home & Bath Center
51 Broad Street, Waterford 

Various locations

Cutting edge (Original business)
Speakeasy 518  
42 Howard Street, Albany

“Tell ‘em, Joe sent you.” That’s always the advice when people in the movies are going to a speakeasy. Our readers enjoy that atmosphere recreated today by Speakeasy 518, located below City Beer Hall on the Lodge Street side. Look for the red light over the entrance way; ring the doorbell; hear the conversation and jazz as the door is unlocked and opens. Step back to another era. No cell phones and photos inside. 

Cider Belly Donuts
25 N Pearl Street, Albany  

Troy Cloth & Paper
291 River Street, Troy 

Day spa
Kimberley’s: A Day Spa  
982 New Loudon Road, Latham

Our readers tell us that they know where to go when the pace of life takes them out of balance or to avoid getting out of sync—Kimberley’s, offering body treatments and massages, hydrotherapy, dry float, and other services. With spa packages such as Stress Away, Rest and Renew, and Heaven on Earth, Kimberley’s is all about transporting and transforming.

Complexions Spa for Beauty & Wellness
Albany and Saratoga

Saratoga Botanicals Organic Spa 

80 Henry Street, Saratoga Springs 

Dry cleaner
Silvestri Dry Cleaners and Shirt Service
69 Fuller Road, Albany
145 Vly Road, Schenectady

Attention to detail and excellent service are among reasons Silvestri is tops in dry cleaning for our readers. For more than half a century, this family owned business has provided dry cleaning, shirt service, and stain removal, including specialty items, such as UGG boots, purses, wedding gowns, drapes, tablecloths.

Rainbow Cleaners
10 Ford Avenue, Troy

Best Cleaners
Various locations

Complexions Spa for Beauty & Wellness
221 Wolf Road, Albany
268 Broadway, Saratoga Springs

Readers say Complexions Spa is their place to relax, refresh and rejuvenate. Serving men and women, the spa offers body massage, skin care, hair design, including use of sauna, steam room, deluge cold plunge, relaxation lounges, and organic tea bar. With more than 25 years in operation, Complexions combines a focus on beauty and health with a medical perspective, working with dermatologists in skin care for age management, acne care and more. The Albany location has a gold-certified rating from the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® for new construction.

Breathe Massage Therapy

48 Hudson Avenue, Delmar



Spa Broadway at White Sands

453 Broadway, Troy 

Fitness Center   

Delmar Health & Fitness

28 Hudson Avenue, Delmar

“Welcoming.” “Individualized attention.” “The latest equipment.” “Comfortable feeling in working out.” “Knowledgeable staff.” That’s some of the praise given by those exercising at Delmar Health & Fitness. And that’s the blend of program and service that owner Mike Mashuta had in mind for this 11,000-square-foot club, based on his 30 years of experience in creating a practical, effective and easy-to-access fitness programs.

YMCA Guilderland

250 Winding Brook Drive, Guilderland 

Rudy A. Ciccotti Family Recreation Center

30 Aviation Road, Colonie 


Florist (Tie)

Enchanted Garden

243 Delaware Avenue. Delmar

“She loved it,” an Enchanted Garden customer says simply. Other customers add their praise, describing how the shop goes above and beyond to ensure that the customer is more than satisfied. Another sums up: “Really nice people. Great customer service. Beautiful arrangements.” Owner and designer Clorece Weir knows how to say it with flowers.


Fleurtacious Designs

492 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham

Whether you are stopping by or planning for that very special occasion, Fleurtacious is there for you, our readers have found. They exclaim about the beautiful shop, great selection and excellent service, wedding floral designs like a fairy tale come true, and how owner and head designer, Kris Ann Elario and the Fleurts team work with customers to create just the right floral piece.

Surroundings Floral Studio

145 Vly Road #3, Niskayuna 

Worthington Flowers & Greenhouse

125 W. Sand Lake Road 

Furniture store

Mooradians Furniture

800 Central Avenue, Albany

1758A Route 9, Clifton Park

Founder Mihran Mooradian told his sons that if you work hard to provide the best value and treat people fairly, your customers will reward you with their patronage. Our readers say yes to Mooradians. The business offers the finest quality furniture in a wide variety of styles and prices at its two locations. The large inventory on site allows customers to see the furniture directly, with knowledgeable staff on hand to discuss options.

Old Brick Furniture Co.

2 River Street, Troy

The Furniture House

Saratoga Springs and Queensbury 

Hair salon

Christopher Brian Salon  

90 Fourth Street, 

Suite 100, Troy

A repeat winner, Christopher Brian Salon is ready to create your look, whether it’s a high-fashion runway style, something special for a wedding or other occasion or a more personalized design. Owner Christopher Feml has worked backstage for New York Fashion Week; he’s also a certified Framesi master colorist and S.O.CAP hair extension artist. You’re in good hands with the Christopher and his colleagues at the salon.

Jean Paul Salons and Spa

Guilderland and Latham

High Maintenance Hair Salon

1700 Central Avenue, Colonie 


St. Peter’s Hospital

315 S. Manning Boulevard, Albany

St. Peter’s Hospital, part of St. Peters Health Partners, has grown its hospital facilities, medical services and community programs, screenings, and convenience of accessing the services, and our readers applaud. There’s another element that gets a resounding “yes”: Plans for the construction expansion were shown to staff and patients who shared suggestions on what would be helpful, such as more digital access, placement of certain equipment, waiting room set up, and more.

Albany Medical Center

43 New Scotland Avenue, Albany 

Ellis Medicine

1101 Nott Street, Schenectady 


Kimberley’s: A Day Spa  

982 New Loudon Road, Latham

Our readers honored Kimberley’s for day spa, too. And on a visit, they say, make sure that you include a mani/pedi, among services. Treatments for hands and feet are available for men and women, offering something for everyone.

Complexions Spa for Beauty & Wellness

Albany and Saratoga

Massage (TIE)

Laberge Massage Therapy

204 Delaware Avenue, Delmar

Laberge is the place for therapeutic massage, our readers tell us. Owner Lauren M. Laberge, a NYS Licensed Massage Therapist, serves those seeking relaxation as well as persons with injury or pain, using the appropriate techniques. Her background in special education provides help for adults and children with autism spectrum disorders. In addition to knowledge of therapies, patients appreciate Laberge’s practice of taking the time to listen and providing instruction on home care between appointments.


Breathe Massage Therapy

48 Hudson Avenue, Delmar

Massage reduces stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins (the feel-good hormones) and seratonin (the calming hormones), as well as increasing your blood circulation and lowering your blood pressure. These four things combined only add to the numerous other benefits massage can have on your life and Breathe does it VERY well in the eyes of our readers.

Spa Broadway at White Sands

453 Broadway, Troy


Complexions Spa for Beauty & Wellness

Albany and Saratoga

Pilates studio

Pilates Principle

578 New Loudon Road, Latham

Knowledgeable instructors who give lots of attention and care about their students and make them feel comfortable. Those are some of the plaudits given to Pilates Principle, our readers’ choice for pilates studio. Owner Nuhar Jaleel is a licensed physical therapist, and Pilates and Gyrotonic® exercise instructor. Staff members are educated in anatomy and biomechanics and know how to modify classical exercises to meet the students’ needs or conditions.

Free Movement Pilates

50 Kenwood Avenue

Firedance Fitness 

Route 50 , Glenville

Real estate company

Hunt Real Estate 

Various locations

Selling or buying a home is a major life event for most people. Knowledgeable and experienced real estate guidance is critical to make this a smooth and positive milestone. Our readers point the way to Hunt Real Estate. Hunt offers integrated home ownership services, including the multiple parts of a sales transaction but also aiding with relocation, financing, gaining insurance and maintaining your home. Hunt’s experienced agents and this one-stop service resulted in top honors in our “best of” survey.

Yoga studio

Heartspace Yoga & Healing Arts (Troy location)

10 Second Street, Troy

Set stress aside; concentrate on your health. Our readers embrace this community-oriented studio that is geared to teaching and guiding a range of traditions in a safe, supportive and tranquil setting. The studio serves beginners and the advanced and offers classes, workshops, private lessons, and daily drop-in yoga including family, baby and me, for better sleep, meditation, community classes, and more. Ah-h-h.

Hot Yoga Spot

Various locations

Poise Studios

5 Vista Boulevard, Slingerlands