FeaturesGayest & Greatest 2021

OutSmart’s 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards Winners

This year’s winners contribute to Houston’s diverse culture.

OutSmart’s 24th annual Gayest & Greatest Readers’ Choice Awards are a celebration of Houston’s best and brightest. Throughout the summer, readers voted for their local LGBTQ and ally favorites in dozens of categories—from the arts and philanthropy to restaurants and nightlife.


Favorite Wine Bar

Max’s Wine Dive
Finalists: 13 Celsius, Bar Boheme, Postino Montrose

Best Drag-Show Bar

Hamburger Mary’s (tie), ReBar (tie)
Finalists: JR’s Bar & Grill, Michael’s Outpost, Pearl Bar, Rumors Beach Bar

Favorite Bar to Shoot Pool

Finalists: Barcode Houston, BUDDY’S, Ripcord, Tony’s Corner Pocket

Favorite Bar to Two-Step

Neon Boots Dancehall & Saloon

Favorite Club For Dancing

Numbers Night Club
Finalists: Eagle Houston, Neon Boots Dancehall & Saloon, Pearl Bar, ReBar

Favorite Community Bar

Finalists: Eagle Houston, George, JR’s Bar & Grill, Pearl Bar, Tony’s Corner Pocket

Favorite Men’s Bar

Eagle Houston
Finalists: BUDDY’S, George, JR’s Bar & Grill, Michael’s Outpost, Tony’s Corner Pocket

Favorite Women’s Bar

Pearl Bar Houston
Finalists: Buddy’s, Neon Boots Dancehall & Saloon, ReBar

Favorite Straight Bar

Bar Boheme
Finalists: Belle Station, Griff’s, Max’s Wine Dive, The Flat 

Favorite Place to Show Off Your Leather

Finalists: BUDDY’S, Eagle Houston

Favorite Place to Watch Male Dancers

Tony’s Corner Pocket
Finalists: Eagle Houston, Papi’s

Favorite Live-Music Venue

White Oak Music Hall
Finalists: Dan Electro’s Bar, House of Blues, Numbers Night Club, Warehouse Live

Most Divine Drag Queen

Queen Persephone 
Finalists: Blackberri, Chloe Crawford-Ross, Angelina DM Trailz, Nyx Laraye, Dessie Love-Blake, Alexye’us Paris, Violet S’Arbleu

Favorite Drag King

Hugh Dandy
Finalists: Damien, Preston Steamed, Ian Syder-Blake  

Favorite Drag-Show Host/Emcee

Finalists: Kofi, Dessie Love-Blake, Violet S’Arbleu, Ian Syder-Blake, Muffy Vanderbilt

Best New Rising-Star Drag King or Queen

Brixlee Coven
Finalists: Kale A’Lily, Sir Debon Aire, Jewel, Preston Steamed 

Favorite Local (Non-Drag) Female Entertainer

Wendy Taylor
Finalists: Brie Kinsey, Morena Roas, Lauren Salazar, Christina Wells

Favorite Local (Non-Drag) Male Entertainer

Wesley Whitson
Finalists: Michael Chiavone, Ty Frazier, Sebastian Gutierrez, Travis Webb

Favorite Local (Non-Drag) Nonbinary Entertainer

Nina Lombardo
Finalists: Attxla, Stoo

Favorite Local Band/Music Producers

Dirty Disco
Finalists: Attxla, Gndrbndr, Morena Roas, Space Kiddettes

Favorite Male DJ

Jimmy Skinner
Finalists: DJ Eddie E, GNDRBNDR, DJ Joe Ross, DJ Easton Santos, DJ Alex T 

Favorite Female DJ

DJ Athenz 
Finalists: DJ Drea, DJ Krazzy Kris, DJ Tina

Favorite Drag Queen DJ

DJ Aracely
Finalist: Lady Bunny

Favorite Nonbinary DJ

DJ Melle Mel
Finalist: Hustle Cry


Favorite Female Local Politician

Lina Hidalgo
Finalists: Ann Johnson, Abbie Kamin, Kim Ogg

Favorite Male Local Politician

Sylvester Turner
Finalists: Garnet Coleman, Alan Rosen, John Whitmire, Gene Wu

Best Female LGBTQ Business Person

Julie Mabry
Finalists: Kym Adams, Caryn Craig, Heather J. Taylor, Tammi Wallace

Best Male LGBTQ Business Person

Mark DeLange (tie), Doug Smith (tie)
Finalists: Christopher Barry, John Donato, Greg Ramos, Mark Sparks

Best Nonbinary Business Person

Robin Mack
Finalists: Marley Morningstar, Chip Ware

Best LGBTQ Social-Media Account

JD Doyle (Facebook)
Finalists: Contrapoints, The Mahogany Project, Rainbow Community

Favorite Local LGBTQ Blogger

Travis Webb
Finalists: Sam Byrd, Joelle Bayya Uzuri

Favorite National LGBTQ Blogger/Vlogger

Barrett White
Finalists: Sam Byrd, Charlotte Clymer, Joelle Bayaa Uzuri

Favorite Male (Commercial) Radio Personality

Amir Diamond
Finalist: Kevin “Special K” England

Favorite Female (Commercial) Radio Personality

Sarah Pepper
Finalists: Karah Leigh, Roula

Favorite Male (Community) Radio Personality

Easton Santos
Finalists: Bryan Hlavinka, Jack Valinski

Favorite Male (Community) TV Personality

Ernie Manouse

Favorite Female (Community) Radio Personality

Tiffany Scales
Finalists: Judy Reeves, Chelsea Lerner

Favorite Male (Commercial) TV Personality

Frank Billingsley
Finalists: Eric Barajas, Blake Matthews, Derrick Shore

Favorite Female (Commercial) TV Personality

Miya Shay
Finalists: Deborah Duncan, Dominique Sachse, Courtney Zavala

Favorite Male LGBTQ Educator/Teacher

Brian Riedel
Finalists: Joan Cotton, Paul Fox Gonzales, Bryant Johnson-Wood, Sean Saunders

Favorite Female LGBTQ Educator/Teacher

Pam Straker (tie), Samantha Pisarski-May (tie)
Finalists: Kay Crayton, Michelle Palmer

Favorite Male Community Photographer

Dalton DeHart
Finalists: Gavin Calais, Sebastian Gutierrez, Steven Tilotta

Favorite Female Community Photographer

Wendy Taylor
Finalists: Andrea Simonton, Yvonne Tran

Favorite Female Community Hero

Tammi Wallace
Finalists: Katharine Ligon, Julie Mabry, Toni Mascione, Heather J. Taylor, Fran Watson

Favorite Male Community Hero

JD Doyle
Finalists: Christopher Barry, Kennedy Loftin, Brandon Mack, Jason Rocha, Jovon Alfon B. Tyler

Favorite Nonbinary Community Hero

Verniss McFarland
Finalist: Mike Webb

Favorite Trans Male Community Hero

Emmett Schelling
Finalists: Dylan Forbis, Sebastian Gutierrez, Landon Richie, Lou Weaver

Favorite Trans Female Community Hero

Dee Dee Watters
Finalists: Kymber Devine, Phyllis Frye, Atlantis Narcisse, Alexis Nicole Whitney

Leading Female Fundraiser

Chree Boydstun
Finalists: Lisa Madry, Sarah Tompkins-Gutierrez, Sallie Woodell

Leading Trans Female Fundraiser

Atlantis Narcisse

Leading Male Fundraiser

Derrick Brown (tie), Kennedy Loftin (tie)
Finalists: Mario Castillo, Don Gill, Sebastian Gutierrez

Leading Trans Male Fundraiser

Emmett Schelling
Finalists: Sebastian Gutierrez, Ian Syder-Blake

Leading Female Entertainer Fundraiser

An’ Marie Gill
Finalists: Jessica Fox, Violet S’Arbleu

Leading Male Entertainer Fundraiser

Sebastian Gutierrez
Finalists: Michael Clayton, Travis Webb

Most Prominent Female Activist

Tammi Wallace
Finalists: Katharine Ligon, Julie Mabry, Lisa Madry, Fran Watson

Most Prominent Trans Female Activist

Dee Dee Watters
Finalists: Joelle Bayaa Uzuri, Atlantis Narcisse

Most Prominent Nonbinary Activist

Mike Webb
Finalists: Joelle Bayaa Uzuri, Verniss McFarland

Most Prominent Male Activist

Brad Pritchett
Finalists: Randall Hance, Brandon Mack, Ashton P. Woods

Most Prominent Trans Male Activist

Landon Richie
Finalists: Dylan Forbis, Emmett Schelling

Most Valuable Female Volunteer

Januari Fox
Finalists: Augie Cahee, Donna Junker, Christyna Lewis, Angie Tate, Heather J. Taylor

Most Valuable Male Volunteer

Jim Taylor
Finalists: Don Gill, Randall Hance, Tom Seymour, Tim Tate

Most Valuable Trans Volunteer

Landon Richie
Finalist: Emmett Schelling

Most Valuable Nonbinary Volunteer

Kevin Nguyen
Finalist: Darrien Dyrell


Best Male Real-Estate Agent

Brooks Ballard
Finalists: Bryan Cotton, Jeremy Fain, Thomas Phillips, Danny Pleaseon, Chris Schmidt, Colby Wulf

Best Female Real-Estate Agent

Karen Derr (tie), Debbie Levine (tie)
Finalists: Melissa Murray, LaToya Phillips, Shan Randle

Best Mortgage Company

AmCap Home Loans (Cari Middaugh)
Finalists: Amegy Mortgage, John Frels, Cody Grizzoffi 

Best Title Company

Alamo Title Co. (Lyn Sullivan)
Finalists: Chicago Title Inner Loop, Texas American Title 

Best Home Builder

Sabo Custom Builders
Finalists: Jose Ocque, Sandcastle Homes, ROC Homes, Loyd Russel Homes

Best Home Remodeling Company

Heels 2 Hammer
Finalists: Juancho Jimenez, Luria Construction, Odd Job Fence Co.

Favorite Rental Community

Durham Heights
Finalists: Elan Heights, Elan Memorial Park, Law Harrington Senior Living Center


Best Political Advocacy Group

Houston LGBTQ+ Political Caucus
Finalists: Equality Texas, Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Human Rights Campaign, Transgender Education Network

Favorite LGBTQ Philanthropic Organization

The Montrose Center
Finalists: Bunnies on the Bayou, Out for Education, Save Our Sisters

Favorite LGBTQ Benefit Event of the Year

AIDS Walk Houston
Finalists: Houston LGBTQ+ Political Caucus Equality Brunch, Houston Transgender Unity Banquet, Mint Julep, Out for Good

Favorite LGBTQ Social Organization

Houston Gaymers
Finalists: Diana Foundation, Executive & Professional Association of Houston (EPAH), Hatch Youth, The LGBT Marriage Club

Favorite Local LGBTQ Community Organization

Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce 
Finalists: Pride Houston, Pride Pantry, Trans Ally Collective

Best Local Corporate LGBTQ Diversity Group

Chevron PRIDE
Finalists: Accenture, Amegy Bank, MD Anderson, Shell

Favorite LGBTQ Sports Club

Montrose Softball League Association
Finalists: Houston Hurricanes, Houston Tennis Club, Lone Star Volleyball

Favorite HIV/AIDS Support Organization

AIDS Foundation Houston
Finalists: Avenue 360 Health & Wellness, Legacy Community Health, The Montrose Center, PWA Holiday Charities, Positive Women’s Network

Favorite National LGBTQ Organization

Lambda Legal
Finalists: Human Rights Campaign, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Victory Fund

Favorite Local College or University

University of Houston
Finalists: Houston Community College, Lone Star College, Rice University, Texas Southern University

Favorite Place to Take Your Out-of-Town Visitors

The Menil Collection
Finalists: Discovery Green, Eagle Houston, The Galleria, Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo

Favorite Place to Worship

Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church
Finalists: Bering Church, St. John’s UMC, St. Peter United UCC, Unity of Houston

Favorite Professional Sports Team

Houston Astros (tie), Houston Rockets (tie)
Finalists: Houston Dash, Houston Dynamo, Houston Texans

Local Business Most Supportive of the LGBTQ Community

Finalists: Amegy Bank, Eagle Houston, Mad Hat Maven, Pearl Bar, Silver Eagle Distributors, Tony’s Corner Pocket 

National Business Most Supportive of the LGBTQ Community

Finalists: Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, Zions Bancorporation 

Best Local LGBTQ Website

JD Doyle Archives
Finalists: The Mahogany Project, OutSmart Magazine

Best National LGBTQ Website

JD Doyle Archives
Finalists: Huffington Post, Queerty, TransGriot


Best New Restaurant or Food Concept

ACME Oyster House
Finalists: Eighteen36, King Ranch Texas

Best 24-Hour Restaurant

Chapultepec Lupita
Finalists: House of Pies, Whataburger

Best Bakery

Dessert Gallery
Finalists: Common Bond, Leona’s Bakeshop, Three Brothers Bakery

Best Barbecue

The Pit Room
Finalists: Goode Co., Killen’s, Spring Creek, Truth BBQ

Best Deli

Katz’s Deli (tie), Kenny & Ziggy’s (tie)
Finalists: Nielsen’s, Urban Eats

Best Food Truck

Eagle Eats
Finalists: Fusion Taco, Tasty Arepa, The Waffle Bus

Best Dumplings

Dumpling Dudez
Finalist: Auntie Chang’s

Best Hamburger

The Burger Joint
Finalists: Barnaby’s Cafe, Goode Co., Harold’s in the Heights, Lankford’s  

Best Hot Dog

Good Dog Houston
Finalists: JCI, Minute Maid Park, Love Dog

Best Pizza

Pizza Birra Vino 
Finalists: Bollo, BUDDY’S, Pepperoni’s, Star Pizza

Best Seafood

ACME Oyster House
Finalists: Eugene’s, M&S, The Rouxpour, Truluck’s 

Best Steak House

B&B Butchers & Restaurant
Finalists: Morton’s Steakhouse, Perry’s Steakhouse, Steak 48

Best Steak Night at a Bar

Free Grillin’ at George 
Finalists: BUDDY’S, Pearl Bar 

Best Sushi

AKA Sushi
Finalists: Oishii, Osaka

Best Vegetarian/Vegan

Finalists: Korny Vibes, Soul Food Vegan, Sinfull Bakery

Best Breakfast

Baby Barnaby’s
Finalists: Breakfast Klub, Chilosos Taco House, Lankford’s, Snooze a.m.

Best Brunch

Gloria’s Latin Cuisine
Finalists: Bar Boheme, Eighteen36, Piggy’s Kitchen, Traveler’s Table

Best Lunch Spot

Urban Eats
Finalists: Barnaby’s Cafe, Gloria’s, Tacos Doña Lena

Best Dessert

Dessert Gallery
Finalists: Chocolate Bar, Leona’s Bakeshop, Urban Eats

Best British

Red Lion Pub

Best Cajun

BB’s Tex-Orleans
Finalists: Acme Oyster House, Ragin’ Cajun

Best Central/South American

Gloria’s Latin Cuisine
Finalist: Casa do Brasil

Best Cuban

El Rey
Finalist: Cafe Piquet

Best Chinese

Cafe Ginger
Finalists: Ambassador, China Garden, P. King

Best Japanese

Roka Akor
Finalists: Aka Sushi House, Osaka, Nippon, Uchi

Best Thai

Nidda Thai Cuisine
Finalists: Khun Kay, Thai Spice, Thai Village

Best Vietnamese

PHO 518 of Silverlake
Finalists: Kim Son, Mai’s, Pho Saigon

Best Greek

Niko Niko’s
Finalists: Eighteen36, Helen Greek Food and Wine

Best Indian

Tarka Indian Kitchen
Finalists: Himalaya, Pondicheri, Surya India

Best Italian

Giacomo’s Cibo e Vino (tie), Riva’s (tie)
Finalists: Maggiano’s, North Italia

Best Mediterranean/Middle Eastern

Finalists: Aladdin, Zoë’s Kitchen

Best Mexican

Tacos Doña Lena
Finalists: El Tiempo Cantina, Gloria’s, Hugo’s, Teotihuacan

Best Place for a Romantic Date

Finalists: Bludorn, Giacomo’s Cibo e Vino, Traveler’s Table

Best Cooking Experience (Virtual or In-Person)

Dumpling Dudez
Finalist: 210 Fusion (Chef NaTosha Barber)

Best Restaurant for Cheap Eats

Jenni’s Noodle House
Finalists: Barnaby’s, La Tapatia, Raising Cane’s, Tacos Doña Lena 

Best Restaurant for Elegant Dining

Finalists: B&B Butchers & Restaurant, Brennan’s, Eddie V’s, Morton’s, Traveler’s Table

Best Restaurant for Outdoor Dining

Finalists: Backstreet Café, Eighteen36, Postino Heights

Favorite Food Delivery

Finalists: Favor, Uber Eats

Friendliest Restaurant Staff

Barnaby’s Cafe
Finalists: Gloria’s, Tacos Doña Lena, Urban Eats


Club or Restaurant with The Best Happy Hour

Eagle Houston
Finalists: BUDDY’S, JR’s Bar & Grill, Max’s Wine Dive, ReBar

Club or Restaurant with the Best Margarita

Gloria’s Latin Cuisine
Finalists: El Tiempo Cantina, Eagle Houston, La Tapatia

Club or Restaurant with the Best Martini

Finalists: BUDDY’S, Eagle Houston, JR’s Bar & Grill, Michael’s Outpost, ReBar

Favorite Local Brand of Craft Beer, Cider, or Seltzer

Eureka Heights
Finalists: Houston Cider Co., Karbach Brewing, St. Arnold’s Brewing Co.

Favorite National Brand of Beer, Cider, or Seltzer

Bud Light
Finalists: Dos Equis, Guinness, Heineken, Miller Lite, Modelo

Favorite Female Bartender

Sarah Tompkins-Gutierrez
Finalists: Kristina Prats, Lareyna Rodriguez

Favorite Male Bartender

Matthew Friar
Finalists: Michael Booth, Eric Ervin, Charles Garibay, Bryan Wade, Travis Webb

Favorite Nonbinary Bartender

Crystal Murley
Finalists: Piero Arevalo, Andrew Nagler, Charlotte Shottgun

Favorite Brand of Liquor

FIX Vodka
Finalists: Buffalo Trace, Deep Eddy Vodka, Dripping Springs Vodka, NEFT Vodka, Tito’s Vodka


Best Chiropractor

Alexia McClerkin
Finalist: Airrosti Washington

Best Cosmetic Skin-Care Center

SkinCeuticals SkinLab at West Ave.
Finalists: Skin Renaissance, Skin Renewal Center

Best Male Aesthetic Physician

Patrick McNamara 

Best Cosmetic Surgeon

Forrest S. Roth
Finalists: Fred Aguilar, Franklin Rose, Scott Yarish

Best Female Dentist

Cynthia Corral
Finalist: Daniella Farias

Best Male Dentist

Sam Carrell (tie), Marcus de Guzman (tie)
Finalists: Alex Barrera, Austin Faulk, Cory Logan, Randy Mitchmore 

Best Female Eye Doctor

Nancy Lo
Finalists: Juliet Farmer, Michelle Hung, Christine Tyler

Best Male Eye Doctor

Paul Lovero
Finalists: Bimal Patel, Scott Sawyer, Stewart Zuckerbrod

Best Community Health-Services Provider

Legacy Community Health 
Finalist: Avenue 360 Health & Wellness, St. Hope Foundation

Best Fertility Clinic

Aspire Fertility
Finalist: Houston Fertility Institute

Best Foot Doctor

Vanessa Barrow
Finalist: Neda Mehmandoost

Best Female Physician

M. Sandra Scurria
Finalists: Jennifer Feldman, Julia Kovacs, Natalie Vanek

Best Male Physician

Gordon Crofoot
Finalists: James Carroll, Abel Flores, R. Todd O’Neal

Best Female Physician’s Assistant/Nurse Practitioner

Maggie White
Finalist: Christine Wysong

Best Male Physician’s Assistant/Nurse Practitioner

Derek Smith 
Finalist: Donnie Harvey

Favorite Female Nurse

Christina Wells
Finalist: Kandice Webber

Favorite Male Nurse

Adam Sirico
Finalists: AJ Sarabia, Robert Vasquez 

Best Male Psychiatrist

Daniel Garza
Finalists: Barry Gritz, Chad Lemaire, Jim Simon, ks Stanley

Best Male Mental-Health Therapist

Ty David Lerman 
Finalists: Tony Aucoin, Daniel Garces, Jeffrey Myles, Ryan Viviano

Best Nonbinary Mental-Health Therapist

Nakita Bowman
Finalist: Thomas Oswley

Best Female Mental-Health Therapist

Tara Bates (tie), Denise O’Doherty (tie)
Finalists: Jessica Eisaman, Megan Mooney

Best Male Mental-Health Therapist/Psychologist

Denis “Woodja” Flanigan

Best Female Massage Therapist

Robin Mack
Finalist: Veronica Triplett

Best Male Massage Therapist

Ryan Fugate
Finalists: Tom Zeppelin, John Aaron Villareal

Best Female Personal Trainer

Danielle Sampey
Finalists: Melanie Jackson, Felicia Lee-Sexton

Best Male Personal Trainer

Gian Quiteno
Finalists: Andrew Hayes, Cody Soutar

Best Male Physical Therapist

Roy Rivera Jr.

Best Gym/Place to Work Out

FIT Athletic
Finalists: Body E Fitness, Club Houston, LA Fitness, Lifetime Fitness

Best Yoga Studio

BIG Power Yoga
Finalist: Black Swan Yoga

Best Emergency or Urgent-Care Center

SignatureCare Emergency Center
Finalists: Montrose ER 24-Hour, UTMB Health Urgent Care

Best Pharmacy

Avita Pharmacy (tie), Legacy Pharmacy (tie)
Finalists: Scott Read Pharmacy, Walgreens Pharmacy at CrofootMD, Walgreens

Best Female Hair Stylist

Celina Arzola (tie), Jacky Madrid (tie)
Finalists: Darcy Eaves, Patty Gooch, Alanna Hardcastle

Best Male Hair Stylist

Reza Nouri
Finalists: Mikey Nold, Cabe Nowlan, Adrian Santos, Anthony Skoogie, Christopher Michael Stribling

Best Tattoo Parlor

Electric Chair
Finalists: Arts by Meg, Corazones Tattoo, Scorpion


Best Female Insurance Agent

Shenice Brown
Finalist: Jennifer Majors Baca

Best Male Insurance Agent

Lane Lewis 
Finalists: Dustin Harwell, Jeremy Henry, Jason Rocha, Patrick Torman

Best Air Conditioning & Heating Company

Village Plumbing & Air
Finalist: Newport Air Conditioning & Heating

Best Architectural Design Firm

Morningside Architects

Best Florist

Perfect Petals by Geo
Finalists: Gaye Jackson, Webwood Flowers

Best Furniture Store

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
Finalists: Cantoni, Donna’s Home Furnishings, Nadeau

Best Furniture Store on a Budget

Alabama Furniture
Finalist: Gallery Furniture, IKEA

Best Gardening/Nursery Supply

Joshua’s Native Plants & Garden Antiques
Finalists: Another Place in Time, Buchanan’s Native Plants, Fountains and Statuary

Best Interior Designer

Jacob Medina (tie), Jean Quila (tie)
Finalist: Donna Dorrell

Best Architect

Morningside Architects

Best Landscaping Company

AJ’s Landscaping
Finalist: Suzanne Longley

Best Pest-Control Company

Natural Care Pest Control
Finalists: Amrid Pest Control, Bulwark Exterminating

Best Plumber

In the Loop Plumbing
Finalist: Village Plumbing

Best Pool Company

Venture Pool Co.
Finalist: Ultima Pool Service

Best Home Security Company

Fortress Shield Security
Finalists: Alert 360, ADT


Best Bank

Amegy Bank 
Finalists: BB&T, Regions Bank, Wells Fargo

Best Credit Union

Houston Federal Credit Union
Finalist: People’s Trust Federal Credit Union

Best Male Accountant/Bookkeeper

Joseph Werle (Crunch Consulting)
Finalists: Gary Gritz, Brian Kapchinskie, Donald Simon

Best Female Attorney

Deborah Lawson (tie), Jessica Rodriguez-Wahlquist (tie)
Finalists: Joanne Ericksen, Lena Laurenzo, Dawn Renken

Best Male Attorney

Raed Gonzalez (tie), John Nechman (tie), Jeff Watters (tie)
Finalists: Mitchell Katine, Adam Miller

Best Female Financial Planner/Advisor

Grace Yung
Finalists: Berkely Arrents, Britt Kormann, Christyna Lewis, Lona McManus

Best Male Financial Planner/Advisor 

Richard Dickson
Finalists: Elias Contreras, Shane Theriot

Best LGBTQ Fund Manager

Doug Smith (Hawthorne Capital)


Best Female Veterinarian

Kristy Kyle
Finalists: Daniele Rosser, Abigail Watkins

Best Male Veterinarian

Eric Cagle
Finalists: Jeff Chalkey, Richard Clive, James Longoria

Best Place to Adopt a Pet

BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions
Finalists: Friends For Life, Houston SPCA, Juno’s Hope

Best Doggie Day Care

Wag’n World
Finalists: Best Little Doghouse in Texas, The Dog House Pet Salon, Happy Puppy, Jackson’s Place

Best Pet Emergency-Care Center

Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists
Finalists: Urban Animal Veterinary Hospital, Vergi 24/7

Best Pet Grooming Service

Aussie Pet Mobile
Finalists: Dog House Pet Salon,
Table of Love, Wag’n World

Best Pet Walking and Pet Sitting Service

Erin Kidwell
Finalists: Robert Carrasco, Over to Rovers

Best Pet Food

Finalists: FreshPet, Science Diet, Nutro, Stella & Chewy

Best Pet Treats

Finalist: Three Dog Bakery

Best Place to Buy Pet Supplies

Finalists: PetSmart, Quality Feed & Garden


Best Art Gallery/Place to Buy Artwork

Archway Gallery
Finalists: Bill Arning Exhibitions, Hardy & Nance Studios, John Palmer Art 

Best Community Dance Company

Houston Ballet
Finalists: Hope Stone Inc., Pilot Dance Program

Best Regional Equity Theater

Alley Theatre (tie), Theatre Under The Stars (tie)

Best Community Theater

Catastrophic Theatre
Finalists: Art Factory, Ensemble Theatre, Main Street Theatre

Best Local Equity Theater 

Stages Repertory Theatre

Best Performing-Arts Company

Houston Ballet
Finalists: Catastrophic Theatre, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, Pilot Dance Project, Theatre Under The Stars 

Favorite Houston Museum

The Menil Collection (tie), Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (tie)
Finalists: Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Holocaust Museum Houston, Houston Museum of Natural Science, National Museum of Funeral History

Favorite Local Female Actor

Tamarie Cooper
Finalists: Lydia Meadows, Amanda Marie Parker, Holland Vavra, Christina Wells

Favorite Local Male Actor

Mark Ivy
Finalists: Kyle Sturdivant, Don Jeans, Wesley Whitson

Favorite Local Nonbinary Actor


Favorite Local Female Fine Artist

Katharine Ligon
Finalists: Liz Castellanos, Sherry Tseng Hill, Kiki Neumann, Heather J. Taylor

Favorite Local Male Fine Artist

Robin Baker
Finalists: Ryan Fugate, Joe Hale Haden, Edgar Medina, John Palmer, Hugo Perez, John Slaby

Favorite Local Nonbinary Fine Artist

Crystal Murley
Finalist: L’Quesha K. Monet


Best Auto Body Shop

RMS Auto Care
Finalist: Ryan Automotive

Best Auto Mechanic

Tech Auto Maintenance
Finalists: RMS Auto Care, Ryan Automotive

Best Car Wash/Auto Detailing

Car Spa
Finalists: Aqua Hand Car Wash, CARisma Wash, Soap Hand Car Wash

Best Domestic Auto Dealership

Central Houston Cadillac
Finalists: Planet Ford, Planet Lincoln, Tommie Vaughn Ford

Best Import Auto Dealership

Team Gillman Subaru (tie), Fred Haas Toyota World (tie)
Finalists: Advantage BMW, Mercedes Benz of Houston


Best Astrologer

Lilly Roddy
Finalists: Kevin Casey, Varina Rush

Best Women’s Clothing Store

Donna’s Boutique
Finalists: Macy’s, Tootsie’s

Best Men’s Clothing Store

OG 713
Finalists: King Underwear, Macy’s

Best Online Clothing Store

Finalists: King Underwear, OG 713

Best Copy/Print Shop


Best Place to Buy Erotic Playthings

The Montrose Forge
Finalists: Discount Video, Eagle Trading Co., Erotic Cabaret, Megaflixx

Best Place to Buy Eyewear

The Eye Gallery 
Finalists: Eye Contact, Eye to Eye, Montrose Eye Care, Spectacles On Montrose

Best Face-Mask Designs

Davis Duo Design
Finalist: OG 713

Best Specialty Food Store

Phoenicia Specialty Foods
Finalists: Central Market, Spec’s, Trader Joe’s

Best Grocery Store

Finalists: Central Market, Kroger,  Whole Foods

Best Place to Buy/Rent a Costume

Finalist: Erotic Cabaret

Best Jewelry Store

Tenenbaum Jewelers 
Finalists: Diamonds Direct, Silverlust, Zadok Jewelers

Best Liquor Store

Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods
Finalist: Total Wine & More

Best Creative Agency

Mad Hat Maven Creative
Finalists: Connect the Dots, Refuge Marketing

Best Funeral Professional

Jovon Alfon B. Tyler
Finalist: Leslie Bonnie

Best Medical Billing Service

EZee Therapy Solutions

Best Thrift Store

Out of the Closet
Finalists: Blue Bird Circle, The Cottage Shop, The Guild Shop, 1735 Resale


Best Place to Pop the Question

Discovery Green
Finalists: Avant Garden, Gerald D. Hines Water Wall

Best Place to Rent/Buy Formal Wear

Men’s Wearhouse
Finalist: Al’s Formal Wear

Best Wedding Officiant

Tiffany Scales
Finalists: Robert Hahn, Johnny Peden, Wendy Taylor

Best Wedding/Cake Bakery

David Alcorta Catering & Custom Bakery
Finalists: Cake Fine Pastry, Leona’s Bakeshop, Who Made The Cake!

Best Wedding/Event Catering Firm

David Alcorta Catering & Custom Bakery
Finalists: A Fare Extraordinaire, 210 Fusion Cuisine

Best Wedding/Event DJ

Darker Side DJs
Finalists: B&B Entertainment, Peyton Dolan, PB&DJ Productions 

Best Wedding/Event Florist

Rexberry Luxury Events
Finalists: Scott Michael Designs, Alex Torres

Best Wedding/Event Live-Music String Quartets & Bands

Harmony Strings
Finalist: Divisi Strings

Best Wedding/Event Photographer

Sebastian Gutierrez
Finalists: David Troung, D. Jones Photography, His & Hers Photographers

Best Wedding/Event Planner

Rexberry Luxury Events
Finalists: A Day to Remember, Lauren Burnham, Wedding Bliss Events

Best Wedding/Event Venue

The Ballroom at Bayou Place
Finalists: Avant Garden, Bell Tower on 34th, Crystal Ballroom at the Rice Hotel, The Parador

Best Wedding/Event Videographer

J&D Productions
Finalists: Jay Clarke Films, Kirk Surber Photography


Best Airline

Southwest Airlines
Finalists: JSX, Spirit, United Airlines

Best LGBTQ Cruise or Tour Company

Aquafest Cruises
Finalists: Concierge Travel, Olivia Cruises, Vacaya

Best Local LGBTQ Travel Agency

Concierge Travel (tie), Cruise Planners (Peter & John) (tie)

Best LGBTQ Honeymoon Destination

Puerto Vallarta
Finalists: Las Vegas, New Orleans

Best LGBTQ Travel Destination

Puerto Vallarta
Finalists: Costa Rica, Palm Springs, Provincetown

Best Local Hotel

Le Méridien Downtown
Finalists: Hotel ZaZa, Hyatt Regency, Sam Houston Hotel

Thank you to all of our readers, advertisers, and sponsors—as well as everyone who voted—for making our 24th annual Readers’ Choice Awards possible!

This list appears in the October 2021 edition of OutSmart magazine.

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