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Best of Tacoma 2015

Our readers have spoken. After a very long night of three quadruple-shot espressos and five Red Bulls, the votes have been tallied. Congratulations to all the winners in Best of Tacoma 2015. Here is a list of the winners:

Best politician: Marilyn Strickland

Best politician you love to hate: Mark Lindquist

Biggest nuisance: Pot holes

Best Pierce County nonprofit organization: Ted Brown Music Outreach

Best local hero: Sonic Guy

Best Pierce County based website: Exit 133

Best Pierce County-based Twitter to follow: Exit 133

Best Pierce County-based Instagram: MetroParks Tacoma

Best street fair: Art on the Ave

Best local celebrity: Vicci Martinez

Best hidden gem: Point Defiance

Best trail/hike: 5 Mile Drive at Point Defiance

Best bus stop: Lakewood Transit

Best place to take out of towners: Chamber's Bay

Best bail bonds: Aladdin

Best restaurant: Pacific Grill

Best restaurant server (waiter/waitress): Kate Jaeger

Best bartender: Greg Rodriguez

Best happy hour: The Matador

Best pizza: Puget Sound Pizza

Best sushi: Trapper's Sushi

Best pho: Pho King

Best taco: Memos

Best burger: Frisko Freeze

Best sandwich: MSM Deli

Best Thai food: Galanga

Best Chinese food: North China Garden

Best Mexican restaurant: Vuelva La Vida

Best Indian food: India Mahal

Best Middle Eastern: Ammar's

Best lunch: MSM Deli

Best soup: Infinite Soups

Best buffet: Gateway to India

Best Italian restaurant: Marzanos

Best selection of beers: Pint Defiance

Best brewery in Pierce County: Wingman Brewers

Best creative cocktails: Hilltop Kitchen

Best Bloody Mary: Smoke + Cedar

Best wine selection: Cork!

Best seafood: Duke's Chowder House

Best barbecue: Warthog

Best bar food: Dirty Oscar's Annex

Best steak: Asado

Best doughnut: House of Donuts

Best coffee: Valhalla Coffee

Best barista: Amy Hiibel

Best tea house: Mad Hat Tea

Best breakfast: Old Milwaukee

Best dessert: Corina Bakery

Best bakery: Corina Bakery

Best late-night food: Memos

Best all around bar: Hilltop Kitchen

Best dive bar: Java Jive

Best sports bar: Loose Wheel

Best overall queer party: The Mix

Best vegan: Quickie Too

Best local filmmaker: Isaac Olsen

Best movie theater: Lakewood 15

Most creative person: Jeremy Gregory

Best theater company: Tacoma Little Theatre

Best dance company: Barefoot Collective

Best performance space: Pantages Theater

Best local actress: Pamela Reed

Best visual artist: Beautiful Angle

Best photographer: Scott Haydon

Best mural/graffiti artist: Shuckface

Best gallery: Fulcrum Gallery

Best local author/writer: Erik Hanberg

Best shoe store: Nordstrom

Best record store: Hi Voltage Records

Best grocery store: Metropolitan Market

Best tattoo shop: Flaming Dragon

Best hair salon: Embellish

Best yoga: Expand Yoga

Best book store: King's Books

Best gift shop: Compass Rose

Best furniture store: Harkness Furniture

Best head shop:
Hippie House

Best bike shop: Old Towne Cycle

Best auto repair: Lloyd and Wilson Auto Service

Best clothing store: Satori Boutique

Best vintage clothing: Retrospect

Best thrift store: Goodwill

Best new business: Smoke + Cedar / Mary Mart

Best music gear store: Guitar Maniacs

Best comic book store: Destiny City Comics

Best outdoor gear store: Bass Pro Shops

Best band: The F*&@$*# Eagles

Best indie rock band: Mirrorgloss

Best new band: Mirrorgloss

Best metal band: Lozen

Best punk band: Hill Top Rats

Best jazz band: Kareem Kandi

Best DJ: Eddie Sumlin

Best cover band: KRY

Best hip-hop artist/group: ILLFIGHTYOU

Best new record: I am Vicci Martinez

Best live music venue: New Frontier Lounge

Best all-ages venue: Louie G's

Best music scenester: Elijah Moore

Best open mic: Northern Pacific Coffee Company

Best blues band: Randy Oxford Band

Best experimental music: Fang Chia

Best karaoke: The Mix

Best dance club: Silverstone

Best bookings: Jazzbones

Best music scene MVP: Brian Skiffington

Best radio station: KUPS

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Brewery in Pierce County

Bars & Clubs

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Brewery in Pierce County

This is a taproom, with workaday simplicity and honesty befitting the Gritty City.

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Local Writer

Arts

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Local Writer

Marketing consultant. Husband and father. Metro Parks Commissioner. Writer. Playing any partial combination of these roles would be a challenge for many, but Erik Hanberg seems to shrug off the implication that juggling these tasks might be tough.

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Nonprofit Organization

Music

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Nonprofit Organization

Fixing up, and then matching instruments to potential musicians who can't afford to rent or buy them, is only one part of the South Puget Sound music store's outreach program.

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Restaurant

Features

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Restaurant

Pacific Grill is one of Tacoma's stand-out culinary gems - a hub that combines a revamped urban space, the arts, romantic atmosphere and (most importantly) delicious food.

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Metal Band

Music

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Metal Band

For roughly a decade, one of the most compelling live acts in Washington has been a two-piece alt-metal band called Lozen.

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Local Celebrity

Music

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Local Celebrity

What more is there to be said about Vicci Martinez? After years of performing here and around the world, I think it's reasonable to say that she's established herself as an iconic Tacoma figure.

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Sandwich

Features

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Sandwich

Don't be fooled by the exterior of the MSM Deli. Tourists and casual passersbys might mistake it for a gas station.

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Creative Cocktails

Features

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Creative Cocktails

Tucked away on MLK Jr. Way in Tacoma, Hilltop Kitchen is easy to miss.

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Dessert/Best Bakery

Features

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Dessert/Best Bakery

Known for its hand-crafted, baked-from-scratch cakes, pies and desserts, Corina Bakery continues to garner accolades.

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Overall Queer Party and Best Karaoke

Bars & Clubs

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Overall Queer Party and Best Karaoke

The Mix still proudly identifies as a gay bar, but these days it'd be just as accurate to call it ... a bar.

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Local Hero

Music

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Local Hero

Diehard champion for the Green and Gold, Brannon makes frequent appearances in vintage Supersonics gear, a sweet set of muttonchops, and an Afro that'd give Lucas Nogueira jealous fits.

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Hip-Hop Band

Music

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Hip-Hop Band

ILLFIGHTYOU's 2013 debut was greeted with giddy reviews, ending up on year-end roundups and getting the group a shoutout from Vice after just six performances.

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Hidden Gem

Attractions

Best of Tacoma 2015: Best Hidden Gem

Point Defiance Park is often said to be the Nation's second-largest urban park. While that's just a myth, it is - at about 760 acres - among the Nation's biggest.

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