Best Of 2014

Best Place Not to Bring Your Dog
Eric Snider

It’s loud. It’s poorly lit. You can barely wiggle yourself into the bartender’s line of vision at the packed dive bar’s counter, so how do you think your four-legged compatriot is making out? Even if the look on your pooch’s face didn’t give away the fact that she’s painfullly bored lying on the ground below you, we’re still givin’ you the stare-down. Three people have nearly tripped over her walking in. She’s barking like no other. Pups are, like, signs of a true neighborhood institution, we get it — nothing like those corporate, human-centric watering holes. But we promise there are countless recurring Yappy Hour events (with water bowls, treats and other hound amenities) around town better suited for furry BFF bonding.

Food & Drink

Food & Drink


Best Adult Playground
Todd Bates

Order a pint at the bar (there are 14 taps to choose from) and stroll into 3 Daughters Brewing’s warehouse, near the tasting room’s staircase, where drinking games are encouraged. The open floor plan allows craft brew enthusiasts and first-timers to imbibe and play while taking in the scenery — a 30-barrel brewhouse. Cornhole, life-sized Jenga and Connect Four, two ping-pong tables, darts, chess, checkers, tabletop shuffleboard and an 18-hole mini golf course make 3 Daughters a Toyland for grown-ups. It’s truly a boozy recreationalist’s paradise.

Best All-Around Restaurant
Chip Weiner

Best Arepa Sandwich

The arepa, for those of you who didn’t know, is a Colombian or Venezuelan cornmeal pancake. It can be sweet but it’s usually unsweetened, and it is often eaten hot with melted white cheese. El Chuzo’s Arepa Rellena (stuffed arepa) is a quintessential item on their menu (along with their famous hamburger) and a great rendition of authentic Colombian street food. You have the option of getting it with shredded beef (ropa vieja), shredded pork or chicken — the best part is the yummy pink sauce it comes with, which we suspect is a mix of ketchup and mayo. Then you get to choose from some amazing, very authentic sides.

Best Bagel Shop

Runners Up: Einstein Bros Bagels, Clearwater Bagels

Best Bakery
Chip Weiner

Runners Up: Jamison B. Breadhouse Bakes, Alessi Bakery

Best Bar Food

Best Bar Staff

The Hub is interesting in the daytime. It really shines at 2 a.m., though, as you and all of your closest booze-swilling friends collectively experience the sway that comes standard with your third or fourth Maker’s on the rocks. Standing firm behind that iconic horseshoe bar are the familiar faces of resilient bartenders (plus head barback Charles Fox) who put up with package requests, indecipherable orders for a “ffdkah, soooduh,” and the absolutely horrendous dancing by the girl and guy who are probably going to scrump after getting reacquainted at their 20-year high school reunion. The Hub staff deserves gold medals (or at least a weekend off from our debauchery), but we’re cheap, so we’ll give ’em a nice framed piece of paper to show our appreciation.

Best Barbecue Restaurant
Holy Hog Barbecue via Facebook

Runners Up: Urban Brew and BBQ, Sonny's BBQ