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Best of Chicago 2010 »

Best of Chicago 2010 Winners 

->Chicago Reader Best of Chicago 2010: issue home  (cover art by Ray Noland) ->Best of Chicago: Goods and Services ->Best of Chicago: Food and Drink ->Best of Chicago: Arts and Entertainment ->Best of Chicago: Sports and Recreation ->Best of Chicago: Civics

Ray Noland

We didn’t actually go into our third annual Best of Chicago issue with a theme in mind, but as themes are wont to do, one emerged: street smarts. Our cover artist, Ray Noland, is perhaps best known for his “independent political propaganda campaign” for Obama, GoTellMama!, and his instantly recognizable depictions of former governor Rod Blagojevich, which have become a street-art phenomenon. And the “bests” our staff and contributors came up with—from the best neighborhood garage sale to the best use of a pernicious weed as food to the best place to corner an alderman who’s been ducking your calls—exhibit an unsurpassed street-level savvy about how to live well (often for less) in Chicago.

As for your smarts, dear readers: we decided this year to publish not just the winners of our readers’ poll but the top three vote getters in most categories. We especially enjoyed your responses to the sole question on our Civics poll—best person to run against Mayor Daley in 2011—so much so that we’ve published almost all of them. Thanks for participating.

Browse by section (Goods & Services, Food & Drink, Arts & Entertainment, Sports & Recreation, or Civics), or browse all readers' poll results or all Reader's picks.

Critics' Picks

Best of Chicago 2010 Winners

Best of Chicago 2010 readers' poll vote winners and the Reader's Picks, "bests" from Reader staff and contributors -- street-level savvy about how to live well in Chicago. Goods & Services, Food & Drink, Arts & Entertainment, Sports & Recreation, and Civics. continue

Goods & Services

Guide to Chicago's best in Goods & Services: 2010 Best of Chicago readers' poll vote winners and the Reader's picks. continue

Best Dance Party

Chances Dances continue

Food & Drink

Guide to Chicago's best in Food & Drink: 2010 Best of Chicago readers' poll vote winners and the Reader's picks. continue

Arts & Entertainment

Guide to Chicago's best in Arts & Entertainment: 2010 Best of Chicago readers' poll vote winners and the Reader's picks. continue

Sports & Recreation

Guide to Chicago's best in Sports & Recreation: 2010 Best of Chicago readers' poll vote winners and the Reader's picks. continue

Best Fashion Watching

School of the Art Institute, Columbia College continue

Civics

Guide to Chicago's Civics-related "bests": 2010 Best of Chicago readers' poll vote winners and the Reader's picks continue

Best New Musical Group

Bin Laden Blowin' Up continue

Best Michael Jackson Cover

"Billie Jean" by Robbie Fulks continue

Best Mustache in a Local Band

Stavros "Steve" Giannopoulos of the Atlas Moth continue

Best Lawn Seat at Ravinia

Green Bay & Lake Cook 847-266-5100
The little hill that faces the main entrance to the Ravinia pavilion, Highland Park, Illinois continue

Best Microscene

No Coast Collective continue

Best Free Movie Series

Cinema/Chicago at the Chicago Cultural Center continue

Best Moonlighting Witch

Jackie Hoffman in Whining in the Windy City: Holiday Edition continue

Best Theatrical Hat Trick

Chris Sullivan in The Hairy Ape, The Mystery of Irma Vep, and The Illusion continue

Best New Play

Agon Trilogy continue

Best New Theatrical Form

One Thing, and Everything Else continue

Best Theater History Collection

Chicago Theater Collection at the Harold Washington Library Center continue

Best Puppeteer

Michael Montenegro continue

Best Place to See a Seven-Man Pyramid Cross the High Wire

Hephaestus: A Greek Mythology Circus Tale continue

Best Variety Show

Impress These Apes continue

Best Improv Group

Cook County Social Club continue

Best Stand-up Comedian

A tie between Beth Stelling and Junior Stopka continue

Best Sketch Show

The Best Church of God continue

Best Commentary on Modern Technology by a Choreographer

Julia Rhoads at Lucky Plush Productions continue

Best Under­appreciated Chicago Novel

Bertram Cope's Year by Henry Blake Fuller continue

Best Place for a New El Stop

On the Pink Line at Madison and Paulina continue

Best Place to Find Information About Your Local TIF District

Municipal Reference Collection at the Harold Washington Library Center continue

Best Diner for Politician Watching

160 N. LaSalle St. 312-357-2700
Petro’s Restaurant and Bakery continue

Best Place to Corner an Alderman Who’s Ducking Your Calls

Between the council chamber and the restrooms continue

Best T-shirt Spotted on an Adult Picking Up a Child From Kindergarten

"I May Not Be Mr. Right But I'll Fuck You Till He Shows Up." continue

Best Honorary Street

Honorary Sophie Madej Street continue

Best Local Blog

A tie beteen A Chicago Sojourn and One Story Up continue

Best Twitterer

Rick Bayless @Rick_Bayless continue

Best Middle Eastern Restaurant

3129 S. Morgan St. 773-254-6300
Zaytune Mediterranean Grill continue

Best Manti

Cafe Orchid continue

Best Use of a Pernicious Weed

Kimpira at Masu Izakaya continue

Best New Neighborhood Restaurant

1119 W. Webster Ave. 773-472-7070
Kith & Kin continue

Best Hand Food

Mystery corn dawg at Franks 'n' Dawgs continue

Best New Burger

Charburger at Edzo's Burger Shop, Evanston, Illinois continue

Best New Veggie Burger

505 N. State St. 312-755-9704
Wild mushroom-brown rice burger at Sable Kitchen & Bar continue

Best Fries

Foie Gras Fries at Big & Littles continue

Best Theoretical Food Truck

Tamale Space Charros continue

Best Squid Balls

Sweet Station continue

Best Place to Sup Like Henry VIII

Benny's Chop House on a Wednesday evening continue

Best Location for a Clandestine Tryst, With Dinner

Pescatore Palace, Franklin Park, Illinois continue

Best Unorthodox Pizza Topping

1927 W. North Ave. 773-772-4422
Spinach and Mashed Potato at Piece Brewery & Pizzeria continue

Best Way to Stuff Your Face With Thai Food for Under $5

Two-for-one coupons at Cozy Noodles & Rice continue

Best Coffee Roaster

1432 W. Irving Park Rd. 773-661-6530
Asado Coffee Company continue

Best Restaurant Name

Cheogajip/Chicken and Pizza Love Letter, Niles, Illinois continue

Best Breakfast Cocktail

The Easy Virtue at The Drawing Room continue

Best Beer Cocktail

The Michelada at Big Star continue

Best Canned Beer Made in Chicago

4257 N. Lincoln Ave. 773-248-4038
Half Acre continue

Best Use of Wild Midwestern Persimmons

Persimmon Solera from Purgatory Cellars continue

Best Place to Try Palm Wine

Bolat African Cuisine continue

Best Macarons

Macaron Chicago continue

Best Chocolates

Mayana Chocolate continue

Best Use of Leftover Cake

Cake balls at Bleeding Heart Bakery, Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois continue

Best Window Seat

Hoosier Mama Pie Company continue

Best Regional Cheese

Otter Creek Spring Cheddar continue

Best Food Co-op

Dill Pickle Food Co-op continue

Best Chef's Blog

Paul Fehribach of Big Jones continue

Best Pop-Up Vintage Shop

2132 W. Fulton St. 312-226-2221
Tie between Revision Home and An Orange Moon continue

Best Neighborhood Garage Sale

Newgard Ave. between Devon Ave. and Pratt Blvd.
Newgard Neighbors Sale continue

Best Thrift Store

610 E. North Ave. 630-337-1467
Jubilee Furniture Co. in Carol Stream, Illinois continue

Best Rock 'n' Roll Garden Designer

Julia Adams, SummerSweet Garden Design continue

Best Place to Get a Vintage Hairstyle

4755 N. Lincoln Ave. 773-506-7870
Tigerlilie Salon continue

Best Place to Buy Size 16 Jeans

2048 N. Damen Ave. 773-772-7429
Vive la Femme continue

Best Place to Swap Black T-shirts With Dudes

2221 N. Western Ave. 773-486-8888
Dudes Black T-Shirt Swap continue

Best Mall

900 N. Michigan Ave. 312-423-1568
900 Shops, 900 N. Michigan, Chicago continue

Best Place to Buy 78 RPM Records

3126 N. Broadway 773-404-5080
Jazz Record Mart continue

Best Art Sale

1957 Sheridan Rd. 847-432-1888
Recycled Art Sale at the Art Center, Highland Park, Illinois continue

Best Cheap Tickets for Great Seats for Broadway in Chicago

24 W. Randolph St. 800-775-2000
Ford Center for the Performing Arts/Oriental Theatre continue

Best Last-Minute Theater Tickets

205 E. Randolph St. 312-334-7777
Harris Theater for Music and Dance continue

Best Film School

28 N. Clark 312-332-0707
Columbia College continue

Best Dance School Everyone Thinks of as a Music School

4544 N. Lincoln Ave. 773-728-6000
Old Town School of Folk Music continue

Best Dance Class

1439 W. Wellington Ave. 773-512-7384
House Dance at Breakdance Chicago continue

Best Place to Buy a Restored Schwinn Cruiser

Mike Mitchell restores Chicago-made Schwinn models from the 1960s and ’70s and resells them at Randolph Street’s Chicago Antique Market and out of his garage in Oak Park, Illinois. continue

Best Pharmacy

845 N. Michigan Ave. 312-280-1220
Carnegie Sargent's Pharmacy & Health Center continue

Best Mini-Golf Course

21711 Milwaukee Ave. 847-634-0333
Par-King Skill Golf, Lincolnshire, Illinois continue

Best Way to Spend a Summer Afternoon on the South Side

Snackville Junction in Evergreen Park, Illinois, Haunted Trails in Burbank, Illinois, and Original Rainbow Cone, Chicago continue

Best Free Workout

Walking dogs at Chicago Animal Care and Control continue

Best Place to Set Up a Moth Light

North Park Village Nature Center continue

Best Sports Talk Team

Terry Boers and Dan Bernstein continue

All The Reader's Picks

Chicago's best as chosen by Chicago Reader staff and contributors: street-level savvy about how to live well (often for less) in Chicago. continue