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The votes have been tallied: See the 2018 Best of Syracuse winners

Best of Syracuse is a reader-generated poll trademarked by the Syracuse New Times. Since its 1997 inception we have asked our readers to nominate in a number of categories.

For the 22nd anniversary edition, the categories include: Sports and Recreation; Love and Romance; Family; Beauty and Pampering; Animal Lovers; Professional and Civic Services; Booze, Bars and Wine; Local Personalities; Food; Health and Wellness; Specialty Foods and Best Spots; and Arts, Music and Entertainment.

Your nominations are tallied, and the results bring out the top five in each category. We then turn it all over to you again for the final voting, and the Best of Syracuse emerges.

We are proud of the fact that Best of Syracuse is 100 percent reader-generated. If you have an award suggestion, email us at [email protected]. We want to hear from you.

Thanks to all the readers who took the time to nominate and vote for your favorite picks. We could not have done it without you! It was another record-breaking year for nominating and voting for Best of Syracuse, and we couldn’t be more excited about the responses. Congratulations to this year’s nominees and winners!

Arts, Music & Entertainment

  • Best Theater: Syracuse Stage
  • Best Movie Theater: The Movie Tavern
  • Best Drive-in: The Midway Drive-In
  • Best Ethnic Festival: Festa Italiana Syracuse
  • Best Food Festival: Taste of Syracuse
  • Best Band: Under the Gun
  • Best Female Vocalist: Jessica Novak
  • Best Male Vocalist: Just Joe
  • Best Music Festival: Taste of Syracuse
  • Best Radio Station: 93Q
  • Best Museum: The MOST
  • Best Dance Program: The Francis Academy of Irish Dance
  • Best Piercing/Tattoo Parlor: Tymeless Tattoo

Specialty Foods & Best Spots

  • Best Mexican Restaurant: Azteca
  • Best Polish Restaurant: Eva’s European Sweets
  • Best Asian/Hibachi Restaurant: Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse
  • Best Middle Eastern Restaurant: King David’s
  • Best Indian Restaurant: Dosa Grill
  • Best Thai Restaurant: Lemon Grass
  • Best Italian Restaurant: Francesca’s Cucina
  • Best Veggie/Vegan Restaurant: Hope Café
  • Best Locally Created Food: The Cider Mill
  • Best Bakery: Harrison Bakery
  • Best Steakhouse: Daniella’s
  • Best Breakfast Spot: Stella’s Diner
  • Best Sunday Brunch: Empire Brewing Company
  • Best Place for Lunch: Brooklyn Pickle
  • Best Food Truck/Food Stand: Toss ‘n’ Fire Wood-Fired Pizza
  • Best Sandwich: Brooklyn Pickle
  • Best New Restaurant: Hope Café
  • Best Local Caterer: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que


  • Best Burger: Blarney Stone
  • Best BBQ: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
  • Best Fish Fry/Seafood: Fish Cove
  • Best Wings: OIP - Original Italian Pizza
  • Best Hot Dogs: Heid’s of Liverpool
  • Best Pizza: Twin Trees
  • Best Sushi: Wegmans
  • Best Birthday Cake: Wegmans
  • Best Cupcakes: Crave Dessert Studio
  • Best Doughnuts: Glazed and Confused
  • Best Frozen Treats: Gannon’s Ice Cream
  • Best Bagel: Bruegger’s Bagels
  • Best Local Coffee: Café Kubal

Booze, Bars & Wine

  • Best Hard Cider: 1911 Spirits
  • Best Brewery: Empire Brewery
  • Best Beer Selection: World of Beer
  • Best Winery: Three Brothers Wineries & Estates
  • Best Liquor Store: Liquor City
  • Best Bar: The Wildcat Sports Pub
  • Best Late-night Munchies: B’Ville Diner
  • Best Happy Hour: Sharkey’s Bar & Grill
  • Best Dive Bar: Shifty’s Bar & Grill
  • Best Sports Bar: The Wildcat Sports Pub
  • Best Karaoke: Singers Karaoke Club
  • Best LGBT Bar: Rain Lounge
  • Best Dance Club: Lava Nightclub at Turning Stone Resort Casino

Love & Romance

  • Best Hotel: Marriott, Downtown Syracuse
  • Best Florist: Whistlestop Florist
  • Best Jeweler: Egon Ehrlinspiel Jewelers
  • Best Adult Club: Paradise Found
  • Best Wedding Venue: Marriott, Downtown Syracuse
  • Best Date Night Location: Francesca’s Cucina

Beauty & Pampering

  • Best Hair Salon: Aesthetica Salon & Spa
  • Best Barbershop: Nick’s Barbershop
  • Best Spa: La Fleur de Beaute
  • Best Massage: La Fleur de Beaute

Local Personalities

  • Best Local Reporter: Brandon Roth
  • Best Radio Personality: Ted & Amy, 93Q
  • Best TV Personality: Christie Casciano
  • Best Weatherperson: Wayne Mahar
  • Best Local Chef: Chef Brian, Bella Domani Catering & Banquets
  • Best Artist: Marcela Tobar, Makeup Artist
  • Best Local Ambassador: Carrie Lazarus

Health & Wellness

  • Best Family Doctor: CNY Family Care
  • Best Health Store: Wegmans
  • Best Hospital: St. Joseph’s Hospital
  • Best Pediatrician Group: Child Health Care Associates
  • Best Dentist: Revercomb Dental Group
  • Best Organized Walk/Run: Paige’s Butterfly Run
  • Best Health Club: Aspen Athletic Club
  • Best Yoga: Aspen Athletic Club

Sports & Recreation

  • Best Sports Venue: Carrier Dome
  • Best Gymnastics: Blaze Gymnastics
  • Best Outdoor Trails: Green Lakes State Park
  • Best Golf Course: Green Lakes State Park
  • Best Place to Ski: Labrador Mountain
  • Best Place to Bike: Onondaga Lake Park
  • Best Place to Ice Skate: Clinton Square Ice Rink
  • Best Bowling Alley: Flamingo Bowl


  • Best Haunted Attraction: Frightmare Farms & Fright Nights at the Fair
  • Best Pumpkin Patch: Tim’s Pumpkin Patch
  • Best Apple Picking: Beak & Skiff
  • Best Amusement or Water Park: Enchanted Forest Water Safari
  • Best Go-Karts: Thunder Island
  • Best Preschool: Jowonio School
  • Best After School Program: Learn As You Grow
  • Best Playground: Wegmans Playground at Onondaga Lake Park
  • Best Park: Green Lakes State Park
  • Best Library: Liverpool Public Library
  • Best Family Restaurant: Tully’s Good Times

Animal Lovers

  • Best Pet Daycare: Justin’s Canine Campus
  • Best Veterinarian Services: Liverpool Village Animal Hospital
  • Best Animal/Pet Rescue: Helping Hounds Dog Rescue
  • Best Animal Whisperer: Justin Bonn, Justin’s Canine Campus

Professional & Civic Services

  • Best Realtor: Nicole "Nikki" Bronner (Scripa Group LL)
  • Best Attorney: Anthony A. Marrone, II (Marrone Law Firm)
  • Best Not-for-Profit: Helping Hounds Dog Rescue
  • Best Car Dealership: Drivers Village
  • Best Auto Repair Shop: Mercury Speed
  • Best Psychic/Medium: Angela Richardson
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