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Best of Memphis 2013


Welcome to The Memphis Flyer's Best of Memphis 2013; stay tuned for our Best of Memphis 2014 issue,
which will hit the streets on Wednesday morning, October 1st, 20

Memphis makes plenty of lists. We're among the fattest, most affordable, whatever. But if any of these folks bothered to measure the city's sexier side, we'd be off the charts in Hot to Trot.

Memphis is a city of lovers. There's a ton to do and see and eat here, and everybody's got an opinion. And we here at the Flyer couldn't appreciate it more. For the annual Best of Memphis issue, we counted on you and we counted your votes. Flyer readers weighed in on 124 categories, ranging from Best Pick-Up Joint to Best Florist.

Two dozen-plus of those businesses and people earned a "BOM," meaning they took that category by an overwhelming majority. That is love. (Categories designated "Readers' Choice" means the vote was too close to call.)

We thank our readers for their continued support, and our advertisers deserve a nod as well for their part in keeping the Flyer free and on the streets.

The Best Of issue was written by Greg Akers, Shara Clark, Anna Cox, Chris Davis, Susan Ellis, Michael Finger, Louis Goggans, Chris Herrington, Bianca Phillips, Alexandra Pusateri, Chris Shaw, and Bruce VanWyngarden. Design is by Carrie Beasley, images by Justin Fox Burks, and illustration by Mike McCarthy.

Congrats to all the winners.



Best New Restaurant
1. Hog & Hominy
2. Aldo's Pizza Pies
3. Chiwawa

Well, of course, it's Hog & Hominy. Seldom has a new eatery burst upon the Memphis dining scene with more good press — and good word of mouth. Michael Hudman and Andrew Ticer's pork-centric restaurant has everybody going hog-wild.

Best Lunch
Readers' Choice 

Central BBQ
The Elegant Farmer
Fino's From the Hill
Trolley Stop Market

Judging from the broad enthusiasm for a number of lunch options and the lack of a definitive winner, Memphis is a mighty good town for lunch, whether it's Midtown, downtown, or East Memphis.

Best Breakfast
1. Brother Juniper's
2. Bryant's Breakfast
3. Blue Plate Café

Brother Juniper's hearty home-style cooking and extraordinary breads kept the University of Memphis-area staple on top for another year. That line out the door on weekend mornings is there for a reason.

Best Brunch
1. Owen Brennan's Restaurant
2. Majestic Grille
3. Beauty Shop

Owen Brennan's New Orleans-style cuisine takes the top brunch prize again this year. This place's omelets, waffles, Cajun seafood dishes, and Bananas Foster will cure whatever ails you on Sunday morning.


Best New American Cuisine
1. Local Gastropub
2. Sweet Grass
3. The Elegant Farmer — tie — Majestic Grille

Local Gastropub has expanded from its original downtown restaurant to a large and snazzy new place in Overton Square. Flyer readers love both places, obviously. And even if they're not quite sure what "New American" cuisine is, they know it tastes good. Real good.

Best Wine List
1. Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar
2. Le Chardonnay
3. Bari Ristorante e Enoteca

Flight's innovative presentations, featuring three dishes and three two-ounce samples of wines, wins over Flyer readers again this year. The elegant two-level downtown eatery has an expansive and well-considered wine list, with something for all tastes and budgets.

Best Steak
1. Folk's Folly Prime Steak House
2. Ruth's Chris Steak House
3. The Butcher Shop

It's folly, pure folly, to imagine that any other restaurant in Memphis will beat out the venerable Folk's Folly for Best Steak. The formula for success is simple: Pair well-prepared side-dish staples with thick, juicy, and tender prime beef. The dark and intimate atmosphere is another plus.

Best Burger
BOM 1. Huey's
2. Earnestine & Hazel's
3. Alex's Tavern — tie — Tops Bar-B-Q

The lights dim. A drumroll. The envelope, please. A hush falls over the crowd as, GASP, Huey's wins Best Burger in Memphis this year, proving once again, when it comes to hamburgers, you can't beat Huey's. Literally.

Best Service
1. Huey's
2. Restaurant Iris
3. Folk's Folly Prime Steak House

Not only can you get the best burger in town at Huey's, they'll be real nice about making you feel welcome, bringing you water, taking your order, and giving you extra toothpicks so you can blow 'em at the ceiling. They won't even complain when one lands in their hair. They're that nice.

Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant
1. Huey's
2. Memphis Pizza Café
3. Central BBQ — tie — Mellow Mushroom

Wait. Didn't we just write nice things about Huey's? Yes. Yes, we did. Well, it turns out that in addition to having good service and a great burger, those darn kids love Huey's. Having that built-in toothpick-filled ceiling for target practice doesn't hurt, but the menu is also filled with good, kid-friendly fare.

Best Late-Night Dining
1. Huey's
2. Alex's Tavern
3. Earnestine & Hazel's

We're noticing a pattern here ... Yep, Huey's wins again, this time topping the Best Late-Night Dining category. The comfortable atmosphere, great service, and outstanding eats make Huey's an ideal spot to wind down after a night out.

Best Fried Chicken
BOM 1. Gus's Fried Chicken
2. Jack Pirtle's Chicken
3. Uncle Lou's Fried Chicken

Gus's Fried Chicken is a Memphis institution, and it's named the home of the best-tasting fowl in these parts, year after year. Not convinced? Just check out the line of folks standing outside the downtown eatery's front door around lunchtime. Gus's isn't fancy, but it's the best around.

Best Cajun/Creole
1. Bayou Bar & Grill
2. Owen Brennan's Restaurant
3. DeJaVu

This Overton Square institution moved from one side of Madison Avenue to the other a few years back, but it hasn't lost a step. Memphians love the Cajun cuisine, the beer, the pool table, and that cool, little see-and-be-seen patio with the spritzers that kick on when the heat kicks up.


Best Mediterranean
1. Casablanca
2. Petra Café
3. Kwik Chek

Casablanca features Middle Eastern and Moroccan food, including kibbeh, baba ghanoush, falafel, hummus, shawarma, and other traditional foods of the region. Take a magic carpet ride to the exotic lands of Casablanca. Flyer readers do.

Best Dessert

1. Muddy's Bake Shop
2. Cheesecake Corner
3. YoLo Frozen Yogurt

Best Bakery
1. Muddy's Bake Shop
2. La Baguette
3. Gigi's Cupcakes

Muddy's has taken the (cup)cake again in both the dessert and bakery categories. Using only the good stuff — organic milk and eggs from cage-free hens — and leaving out the bad stuff (no preservatives!) help rank their sweet treats among Memphis' favorites. What's more: They don't accept tips; instead, all the money dropped in their "refill our community with positive change" jar goes to a different local nonprofit each month.

Best Frozen Dessert
1. YoLo Frozen Yogurt
2. Jerry's Sno Cone
3. La Michoacana

As if the assortment of delicious flavors of yogurt and handmade gelato weren't enough to make our mouths water, YoLo has more toppings than a person could dream of to pile on top, including a variety of locally sourced treats like Makeda's cookies, Delta Pecan Orchard pecans, and Jones Orchard fruits.

Best Italian
1. Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen — tie — Pete & Sam's
2. Bari Ristorante e Enoteca
3. Ciao Bella

Mamma mia! Flyer readers came to a draw this year in choosing the restaurant that's offering the best Italian fare. First-time winner Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen has been making its mark with traditional and family recipes like Maw Maw's Ravioli since 2008. The family-owned institution, Pete & Sam's, has been serving up Italian favorites for more than 60 years. The two share the title of "best" in 2013.

Best Mexican
1. Las Delicias Mexican Bar & Grill
2. Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana
3. Molly's La Casita

Serving quite possibly the best chunky, spicy, citrusy guacamole in the world, in addition to authentic tacos and house-made tortilla chips, it's no wonder Las Delicias has stolen the hearts of Mexican-food-loving Memphians. Their chips and dips are available in several local grocery stores, and they've even been spotted at the farmer's market. Muy bueno!

Best Chinese
1. Wang's Mandarin House
2. A-Tan
3. Mulan Asian Bistro

Wang's offers an extensive menu of traditional and contemporary Chinese staples, including go-to's, like fried rice and egg rolls, and chef specialties, like the Triple Harvest (shrimp, chicken, and beef sautéed with baby corn, broccoli, and carrots in Wang's gourmet hot pepper sauce).

Best Thai
1. Bhan Thai
2. Bangkok Alley
3. Jasmine Thai & Vegetarian

Since 2002, Bhan Thai has served Memphians authentic Thai cuisine in a cozy atmosphere. You can enjoy one of their spicy curries or a big plate of pad thai inside or on their spacious, shaded patio, complete with an outside bar.

Best Vietnamese
1. Pho Saigon
2. Saigon Le
3. Pho Binh

Serving classic noodle bowls and soups, Pho Saigon has been satisfying hungry tummies in Memphis for years. From Banh Xeo (Vietnamese pancakes) to Nem Nuong (skewered pork) and all the noodle soups a person could dream of, they're sure to cure a craving for authentic Vietnamese cuisine with their extensive menu and fresh ingredients.

Best Japanese
1. Sekisui
2. Bluefin — tie — Osaka
3. Sakura Japanese Restaurant — tie — Sekisui Pacific Rim

With several Memphis-area locations, Sekisui has been voted a Flyer reader favorite once again. They offer classic options, like shumai, udon, teriyaki, and sashimi and sushi rolls. Several Memphis-themed rolls can be found on the menu, such as the Redbirds roll (crunchy crab with mayo and sweet chili sauce, topped with shrimp).

Best Indian
1. India Palace
2. Golden India
3. Bombay House

The exotic smell wafting from India Palace makes Memphians' mouths water before they even reach the door. The lunch buffet, filled with creamy, spicy sauces and authentic entrées, is made complete with endless baskets of fresh, hot naan. Finish off the meal with a serving of delectable basmati rice pudding or sweet, juicy balls of Gulab Jamun.

Best Home Cooking/Soul Food
1. Soul Fish
2. Cupboard
3. Blue Plate Café

Soul Fish boasts a bona fide Southern menu, complete with their famous catfish — served fried or blackened, in nuggets or whole, on a po' boy or in a basket. Pair it with one of their delicious sides, like hushpuppies, pickled green tomatoes, or Cajun cabbage, and you've got yourself a home-cooked plate with a dash of heart and soul.

BEST VEGETARIAN: Trolley Stop Market
  • BEST VEGETARIAN: Trolley Stop Market

Best Vegetarian
1. Trolley Stop Market
2. The Elegant Farmer
3. Café Eclectic

Trolley Stop Market, a new winner in this category, has a special "Veggie & Vegan Yums" section on its menu that includes a hummus wrap, a garden burger made with local veggies, quesadillas, and more. They also have a variety of vegetarian pizzas — including the Margherita and the Garden Delight, both topped with locally sourced, seasonal vegetables. Don't feel like leaving the house? They deliver to Harbor Town, downtown, and Midtown.


Best Barbecue
BOM 1. Central BBQ
2. Germantown Commissary
3. The Bar-B-Q Shop

Best Ribs
1. Central BBQ
2. Charles Vergos' Rendezvous
3. Corky's

Best Hot Wings
1. Central BBQ
2. Ching's Hot Wings
3. D'Bo's Wings n' More

Once an upstart and now a stalwart, Central BBQ has expanded their local smoked-meat empire both in terms of geography — adding a spacious downtown location to go with their Central and Summer shops — and variety, claiming the Best Ribs title this year to go with their stronghold on Best Barbecue and Best Hot Wings. Sandwiches and ribs are the 'cue classics, but, oh my, those dry-rub wings ...

  • BEST SEAFOOD: Half Shell

Best Seafood
1. Half Shell
2. Bonefish Grill
3. Tsunami

This cozy, festive local institution has been serving all varieties of seafood for decades, providing a little oasis of the coastal South — with grilled oysters and Cajun fish tacos among the highlights.

Best Pizza
1. Memphis Pizza Café
2. Aldo's Pizza Pies
3. Rock 'n' Dough Pizza Co.

The pizza scene in Memphis is getting increasingly crowded, but with five locations and favorites such as the sauce-free Alternative and the Cajun Chicken Supreme, Memphis Pizza Café remains our readers' favorite.

Best Sandwiches
1. Young Avenue Deli
2. Fino's From the Hill
3. Lenny's Sub Shop

This Cooper-Young anchor offers something for everyone. Here you don't just order a turkey sandwich. You want it curried? Marinated in hot sauce? In Reuben form? Vegetarian? You're covered: California Pita, Cosmic Cucumber, Deathrow Pimento Cheese. Whatever you order, be sure to top it off with the Deli's beloved hand-cut fries.

Best Place for People-Watching
1. Flying Saucer (Downtown)
2. Peabody Lobby Bar
3. Young Avenue Deli

Not only can it get crowded and lively inside this downtown beer emporium, especially after Grizzlies and Tiger basketball games, but the big open windows also allow patrons to keep an eye on the downtown street scene. (Just a guess, but were some of our readers thinking about the Saucer's attractive young staff in terms of "people-watching"?)

  • BEST PATIO: Chiwawa

Best Patio
1. Chiwawa
2. Boscos Squared
3. Celtic Crossing

Food and drink best consumed outside? Tacos, hot dogs, agua frescas, and cold adult beverages: Check. Quality people-watching? The doorstep of a revived Overton Square: Check. Low-key entertainment? A soul/hip-hop late-night DJ, film screenings, and television-watch parties: Check. A comfortable and interesting space? A handsome two-level deck under a wrought-iron "Midtown is Memphis" sign: Check. Is it any wonder Chiwawa immediately became the favorite restaurant patio of our readers?

  • BEST FOOD TRUCK: Fuel Cafe

Best Food Truck
1. Fuel Café
2. Central BBQ
3. Rock 'n' Dough Pizza Co.

How to rise to the top of the growing ranks of Memphis food trucks? Gourmet tacos and grilled cheeses and fresh-brewed hibiscus iced tea is a darn good start. Also helpful: Fuel Café's ubiquitous presence at some of the city's most popular outdoor gathering spots, such as the downtown Memphis Farmers Market and shows at the Levitt Shell.

Best Delivery
1. Garibaldi's Pizza
2. Trolley Stop Market
3. Young Avenue Deli

With its signature University of Memphis location, Garibaldi's fuels students with pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, and salads that have been local faves for years. And with two locations out East, these good eats are only a dial away for most of Memphis.

Best Donut Shop
BOM 1. Gibson's Donuts
2. Howard's Donuts
3. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

This East Memphis gathering spot serves a dazzling array of donuts and pastries early in the morning and deep into the night. They've got your glazed, frosted, and sprinkled basics covered, but look out for specialties like red velvet, maple bacon, and buttermilk drops.

Best Coffeehouse
1. Otherlands — tie — Republic Coffee
2. Café Eclectic
3. Poplar Perk'n

It's a Midtown vs. East Memphis battle on the coffeehouse front, and this year Otherlands on Cooper and Republic Coffee on Walnut Grove share the title. Both serve a great cup of joe, good eats, and free Wi-Fi in a comfortable atmosphere.

BEST CHEF: Kelly English, Restaurant Iris
  • BEST CHEF: Kelly English, Restaurant Iris

Best Chef
1. Kelly English, Restaurant Iris
2. Michael Hudman and Andrew Ticer, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen/Hog & Hominy
3. Patrick Reilly, Majestic Grille

Best Server
1. Jeff Frisby, Restaurant Iris
2. Jean Pruett, Aldo's Pizza Pies/Bardog Tavern/Slider Inn
3. Matt Cantrell, Newby's — tie — Skye "Walker" White, Celtic Crossing

Best Restaurant
BOM 1. Restaurant Iris
2. Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar
3. Hog & Hominy

Best Romantic Restaurant
1. Restaurant Iris
2. Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar
3. Folk's Folly Prime Steak House

If the city's Best Chef — according to our readers — is setting the menu and running the kitchen and the city's Best Server is making the dining room run smoothly, then why wouldn't Restaurant Iris also be tapped as the city's Best Restaurant? Add in an elegant, intimate atmosphere in a converted house just off Overton Square, and it's perfect for a romantic night out as well. Kelly English is justly famous for his opulent "surf and turf," his lobster Knuckle Sandwich, and other trademark creations. But with so much going well, why not try Iris' five-course "degustation" and put yourself in their hands for the night?



Best Place To See Live Music
1. Levitt Shell
2. Minglewood Hall
3. B.B. King's

The Levitt Shell remains at the top of the Best Place To See Live Music category. That comes as no surprise after a summer concert series that featured regional greats like the Memphis Dawls and the North Mississippi Allstars, plus an unforgettable surprise performance in August by Grammy winner Norah Jones.

Best Local Band
1. North Mississippi Allstars
2. Lucero
3. Star & Micey

The North Mississippi Allstars were recently dubbed "Americana music luminaries" by National Public Radio, something that their dedicated fans have known for years. The Dickinson brothers have just begun touring in support of their seventh studio album, World Boogie Is Coming, taking their brand of Mid-South roots rock all over the United States and Europe.

  • BEST SINGER: Amy Lavere

Best Local Singer
1. Amy LaVere
2. Patrick Dodd
3. Grace Askew

Amy LaVere seems to have a new record coming out every time we turn around. Earlier this month she released the excellent debut from Motel Mirrors, a collaboration with local guitar genius John Paul Keith. LaVere also just announced an EP titled Chasing the Ghost featuring the songs she wrote with Wandering band member Shannon McNally, to be released on Archer Records next month.

Best Karaoke
1. Windjammer Restaurant & Lounge
2. P&H Café
3. Blue Monkey

Karaoke and cold beer seem to go hand-in-hand, and the Windjammer in East Memphis has been serving up both for years. As any karaoke enthusiast knows, you haven't really spent the weekend right until you've heard Meatloaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" drunkenly sung into a karaoke mic.

Best College Hangout
1. Newby's
2. RP Tracks
3. Celtic Crossing

Newby's has been THE college bar for years, and with its prime location on the Highland Strip, it's easy to see why. An incredible atmosphere makes this college bar the go-to place for undergrads looking to unwind after class.

Best Bartender
1. Brian "Skinny" McCabe, Newby's — tie — Allan Creasy, Celtic Crossing
2. Evan Potts, The Cove
3. Brad Pitts, Bari Ristorante e Enoteca

After landing first and second place, respectively, in last year's Best Of, McCabe and Creasy now officially share the honor of being the city's Best Bartender. Whether it's a college bar or an Irish pub that you're looking for, these two can guarantee a memorable time sitting at the bar.

Best After-Hours Club
1. Paula & Raiford's Disco
2. Earnestine & Hazel's
3. Alex's Tavern

Best Dance Club
1. Paula & Raiford's Disco
2. Club 152 Beale
3. Rumba Room

The night doesn't ever have to end at Paula & Raiford's, and at this disco, no one really knows what time it is anyway. Famous for big beers, great funk music, and a light-up dance floor, it's easy to see why the party never stops.

Best Pick-Up Joint
1. Peabody Rooftop
2. Paula & Raiford's Disco
3. Flying Saucer

The view at the Peabody Rooftop isn't limited to the downtown landscape, as some of the city's most eligible can often be found mingling at the downtown hotel rooftop.

Best Beer Selection
BOM 1. Flying Saucer
2. Boscos Squared
3. Young Avenue Deli

While more and more restaurants are offering a plethora of draft beers of the high- and low-gravity variety, the Flying Saucer still holds the crown for the most brews in one place. With over 240 beers and specials like the amazing $3 Monday night pint night, the Saucer continues to fly high above the competition.

  • BEST MARTINI: Alchemy

Best Martini
1. Alchemy
2. Peabody Lobby Bar
3. Side Street Grill

Alchemy has quickly become the place for an expertly made martini and continues to set the standard for custom cocktails in Memphis.

Best Margarita
1. Molly's La Casita
2. Happy Mexican
3. Café Ole

There's something about the sweet and tangy margaritas at Molly's that cures all that ails you. Maybe it's the perfect amount of chunky salt across the rim of your glass, or maybe it's the blend of tart sweet-and-sour mix and top-shelf tequila. Maybe it's the extra-special sangria swirl available by request in frozen margaritas. Whatever it is, our readers agree that a margarita from Molly's is exceptional.

Best Happy Hour
1. Bardog Tavern
2. Flying Saucer
3. Local Gastropub

Every day from 5 to 7 p.m., it's happy hour at Bardog. And that means discounts on draft beers, wine, well drinks, and even sliders. The Famous Original Memphis Slider (ground chuck with ketchup and mayo on a white bun) is available for only $1.50. And that makes it even easier to eat your fill of tiny burgers.

Best JukeBox
1. Earnestine & Hazel's
2. Alex's Tavern
3. Young Avenue Deli

Best Hole in the Wall
1. Earnestine & Hazel's
2. Alex's Tavern
3. The Cove

From the old-time piano bar upstairs to the haunted jukebox, there's no place quite like Earnestine & Hazel's. Locals and tourists alike find comfort at the Memphis institution, where cheap bottled beer and the famous Soul Burger reign supreme. Let's raise one to the late owner Russell George who created such a singular spot.

BEST PLACE TO SHOOT POOL: Fox & Hound English Bar & Grill
  • BEST PLACE TO SHOOT POOL: Fox & Hound English Bar & Grill

Best Place To Shoot Pool
1. Fox & Hound English Bar & Grill
2. Young Avenue Deli
3. RP Billiards

Best Sports Bar
1. Fox & Hound English Bar & Grill
2. Buffalo Wild Wings
3. Jack Magoo's Sports Bar & Grill

Whether you're into basketball, football, baseball, or shooting pool, the Fox & Hound is the place to go. Games are broadcast on big-screen TVs all over the bar, and they screen pay-per-view UFC fights on occasion. As for pool, patrons can play by the hour on professional billiard tables.

Best Gay Bar
1. The Pumping Station
2. Spectrum
3. Dru's Place

Once known as the city's only leather bar, the Pumping Station has branched out to serve a larger LGBT clientele. Everyone is welcome (with or without ass-less chaps). The Pump, as it's affectionately dubbed, boasts a full bar, a spacious patio, and a treehouse out back.

Best Bar
Readers' Choice
Bardog Tavern
Celtic Crossing
The Cove
Local Gastropub

Downtown and Midtown both have happening bar scenes, and our readers couldn't narrow it down to a favorite. But the best bars do have at least one thing in common: They all serve not only a wide selection of cocktails and high-end craft brews, but each has an impressive menu to boot.

  • BEST NEW BAR: Bar Louie

Best New Bar
1. Bar Louie
2. Hog & Hominy
3. Aldo's Pizza Pie

Chicago-based franchise Bar Louie moved into the long-vacant corner building in Overton Square earlier this spring, another step forward toward an increasingly vibrant area. The spot is perfectly sited for some prime people-watching, and the Effen Good Martini (Effen Cucumber vodka, mint leaves, lime juice, fresh-cut cucumber, and agave nectar) is not to be missed.


BEST MUSEUM: Pink Palace
  • BEST MUSEUM: Pink Palace

Best Museum
1. Memphis Pink Palace Museum
2. Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
3. Children's Museum of Memphis

Where else can you find a shrunken head, an exhibit of African-American history, dioramas depicting health-care methods in the 1800s, and a mini version of the country's first grocery store, Piggly Wiggly?

Best Gallery
1. David Lusk Gallery
2. Crosstown Arts
3. Gallery Fifty Six

David Lusk displays and sells work created by artists from across the country with plenty of pieces by Memphis and regional artists. The gallery has monthly shows and openings, including the annual and hugely popular "Price Is Right" show where the art is priced at less than $1,000.

Best College Gallery
1. Main Gallery, Memphis College of Art
2. Art Museum at the University of Memphis
3. Hyde Gallery, Memphis College of Art Nesin Graduate School

It makes sense that the Best College Gallery belongs to the only higher-learning institution in Memphis dedicated solely to the visual arts. See the work of Memphis College of Art students in the main gallery located inside the school at Overton Park.

Best Live Theater
1. The Orpheum
2. Playhouse on the Square
3. Theatre Memphis

The Great White Way may be miles away, but Memphians can catch a glimpse of Broadway with the stellar seasons at the Orpheum. Touring shows, ranging from classic musicals like Les Misérables to campier, modern shows such as Flashdance, stop by for up to a week at a time.

Best Movie Theater
1. Paradiso
2. Studio on the Square
3. Ridgeway Cinema Grill

Who doesn't like watching the latest movies in plush, stadium-style seats while enjoying a slice of pizza or some buttered popcorn? The Paradiso is the perfect venue for doing just that. For the "grown folks," you can even have a glass of wine or bottle of beer to sip while viewing your film. Cheers!

BEST CASINO: Horseshoe Casino
  • BEST CASINO: Horseshoe Casino

Best Casino
1. Horseshoe Casino
2. Harrah's Tunica
3. Gold Strike Casino Resort

When people get in the mood for a little poker or slot machine fun, they travel down to Horseshoe Casino in Tunica. The best place to gamble, watch one-of-a-kind entertainment, and fill your tummy with delicious grub, it's a no-brainer why Horseshoe is nominated as the area's best casino.

Best Golf Course
1. Mirimichi
2. The Links at Galloway
3. TPC Southwind

The award-winning, eco-friendly golf course co-owned by Justin Timberlake beats out its competitors another year as the best place to play a game of 18 holes. The beautiful view, outside patio, and dining area are additional pleasures at the facility. Grab a golf club and enjoy!

Best Family Entertainment
BOM 1. Memphis Zoo
2. Concerts at Levitt Shell
3. Memphis Redbirds Game

The 70-acre zoo is home to more than 3,000 animals and a variety of cool exhibits that will surely leave the entire family in awe.

Best Sports Team
BOM 1. Memphis Grizzlies
2. Memphis Tigers Men's Basketball
3. Memphis Redbirds

The Grizzlies had a heart-pounding season. Superstar power forward Rudy Gay was traded. NBA championship winner Tayshaun Prince was acquired. And the team made it to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. The Grizzlies displayed great resilience and sportsmanship through it all. Why else would they be selected as the city's 2013 Best Sports Team? Go, Griz!


Best Grizzlies Player
1. Marc Gasol
2. Zach Randolph
3. Tony Allen

Best Local Athlete
1. Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies
2. Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies
3. Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies

Since 2008, Marc Gasol's been making his presence felt on the basketball court as the Grizzlies' standout center. His sweet mid-range jumper, smooth assists, defensive blocks and steals, and desire to be a team player all contribute to him being named the Best Grizzlies Player and Best Local Athlete for 2013.


Best FM Station
1. WEVL-FM 89.9 Volunteer Supported Radio
2. WMFS-FM 92.9 ESPN
3. WXMX-FM 98.1 The Max

For decades, WEVL-FM 89.9 has been providing Memphians with an earful of everything from blues to bluegrass and rock to rap. From the time you're heading to work until you're ready to call it a day, turn the dial to WEVL-FM 89.9 to hear great tunes played by station volunteers.

Best AM Station
1. WHBQ-AM Sports 56
2. WREC-AM 600 News Radio
3. ESPN 680 AM

How many radio stations can say they were the first to spin an Elvis Presley record? Only one and that happens to be WHBQ-AM. Now focused on sports talk, the station is known for its in-depth local sports coverage and programming and that gets them the vote for Best AM Station.

Best Drive-Time Show
1. Drake & Zeke in the Morning, 98.1 The Max
2. The Gary Parrish Show with Geoff Calkins, 680 AM/92.9 ESPN
3. Q Morning Show with CJ, Liz, and Alexis, Q107.5

Best Radio Talk Show
1. Drake & Zeke in the Morning, 98.1 The Max
2. The Chris Vernon Show, 680 AM/92.9 ESPN
3. The Gary Parrish Show with Geoff Calkins, 680 AM/92.9 ESPN

Drake & Zeke continue to be the best selection for Memphians to listen to while they're making their way through rush-hour traffic. The duo's entertaining conversations about everything from sports to entertainment, cool on-air interviews, and rock-and-roll playlist separate them from the bunch and make Drake & Zeke the top-rated morning show in Memphis.

Best Radio Personality
1. Drake Hall, 98.1 The Max
2. Chris Vernon, 680 AM/92.9 ESPN
3. Ron Olson, FM 100

Drake Hall is a valuable asset to Memphis radio — equipped with humor, knowledge, and a one-of-a-kind personality.

Best Sports Radio Show
1. The Chris Vernon Show, 680 AM/92.9 ESPN
2. The Gary Parrish Show with Geoff Calkins, 680 AM/92.9 ESPN
3. Sportstime with George Lapides and Dave Woloshin, 560 AM Sports

Looking for the latest on the Memphis Tigers or the Grizzlies? Look no further than The Chris Vernon Show. Airing every day of the week from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Vernon does an excellent job of dishing out the latest sports-related info.

Best Newspaper Columnist
BOM 1. Geoff Calkins, The Commercial Appeal
2. Chris Herrington, The Memphis Flyer
3. Michael Donahue, The Commercial Appeal

The Commercial Appeal's award-winning columnist remains among the elite when it comes to producing well-written articles with valuable insight. Whether it's sports or other topics, Calkins outshines the rest no matter what topic he decides to tackle.


Best TV Weatherperson
BOM 1. Dave Brown, WMC-TV Channel 5
2. Ron Childers, WMC-TV Channel 5
3. Joey Sulipeck, WHBQ-TV Fox 13

A weathercaster since the '70s, Dave Brown has earned our trust when it comes to weather-related matters. The fact that he was known as "Dave Brown the Weather Clown" during his days as a Memphis Wrestling announcer only endears him to us more.

Best TV Sportscaster
BOM 1. Jarvis Greer, WMC-TV Channel 5
2. Glenn Carver, WREG-TV Channel 3
3. Carrie Anderson, WMC-TV Channel 5

Jarvis Greer, or "Jarvo," as he's more popularly known, is a leg of the triumvirate of Channel 5 broadcast folk heroes, which include BOM winner Dave Brown (above) and Joe Birch (below). Jarvo holds aloft the local sports flag. He doesn't need a megaphone to be heard.

Best TV Anchor
BOM 1. Joe Birch, WMC-TV Channel 5
2. Claudia Barr, WREC-TV Channel 3
3. Andrew Douglas, WMC-TV Channel 5

Joe Birch's Channel 5 bio runs more than 1,300 words long. It's not that it's padded with the kind of resume-fillers we mere mortals have to include. Nope, Birch's accomplishments are just that profound. It starts with his 35 years at WMC-TV and has its last-but-not-least info that MIFA, for whom he's delivered meals since 1997, introduced the Joe Birch Media Award in his honor. Swoon.


Best Website


BEST BLOG: I Love Memphis
  • BEST BLOG: I Love Memphis

Best Blog
BOM 1. I Love Memphis Blog,
2. Eat Local Memphis,
3. Dining with Monkeys,

When Kerry Crawford, aka I Love Memphis, recently announced her "retirement," the news was met with incredulity and, in some instances, weeping. And while I Love Memphis will continue with a new author, it's a testament to Crawford's personality as the local cheerleader extraordinaire that a blogger of all things could have such an impact on the community.

Best Twitter
1. I Love Memphis, @ilovememphis — tie — Tony Allen, @aa000G9
2. The Memphis Flyer, @MemphisFlyer
3. The Chris Vernon Show, @ChrisVernonShow

I Love Memphis gets props in our previous category, so let's focus on Tony Allen, the Memphis Grizzlies guard who is our city's collective spirit animal. It says a lot about Allen's chops with a mobile device that he might be as good a Twitter-er as he is a defensive stopper on the court.


BEST FARMERS MARKET: Memphis Farmers Market
  • BEST FARMERS MARKET: Memphis Farmers Market

Best Farmers Market
1. Memphis Farmers Market
2. Agricenter Farmers Market
3. Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market

The rise in the prominence of locally sourced foods on Memphis tables has been one of the biggest trends in the last decade. At the fore is the Memphis Farmers Market, downtown at Central Station. It's a great venue, an ideal place to hunt for the perfect fruit, vegetable, bouquet of flowers, cut of meat, loaf of bread, and/or handmade apron.

Best Grocery Store
1. Kroger
2. Fresh Market
3. Whole Foods Market

Some sociologist should study what it is about Memphis and Kroger that compels people to give nicknames to the different local stores in the grocery chain. Whatever it is, it implies nothing so much as how dominant Kroger has become as a food giant in the Memphis consumer consciousness. Let's go Krogering!

Best Liquor Store
1. Buster's Liquors
2. Joe's Wines & Liquors
3. Kirby Wines & Liquors

Overheard once: A little girl sees the grapes on the sign at Buster's Liquors and asks her parent what that place is. The answer: "They sell Mommy juice." For more than half a century, Buster's has been selling Mommies and Daddies all kinds of "juices" and other grown-up what-nots and what-have-yous. Cheers!

Best Department Store
1. Target
2. Macy's
3. Dillard's

Does your shopping list include jumper cables, a musical birthday card, dog treats, coffee, a bath rug, and a purple sweater printed with blue unicorns? Then you're headed to Target.

  • BEST SHOPPING CENTER: Carriage Crossing

Best Shopping Center
1. Carriage Crossing
2. The Shops at Saddle Creek
3. Wolfchase Galleria

For years, Carriage Crossing, a lovely open-air mall in Collierville, has been a destination-shopping locale. Shops include New York & Co., I.O. Metro, Barnes & Noble, Sephora, and many, many more. Plus, Carriage Crossing hosts a series of family-friendly nights, featuring movie screenings and dance parties, when the weather's warm.

Best Bank
1. First Tennessee Bank
2. Regions
3. Bank of America — tie — SunTrust

Celebrating its 150th anniversary next year, First Tennessee Bank is a staple in the business community as well as our city's skyline. Its downtown headquarters is also known for making the holiday season merrier by displaying giant Christmas trees and holiday bells in the windows.

Best Pet Store
1. Hollywood Feed
2. Petco
3. PetSmart

Eat local still applies when it comes to Memphis' furry friends. Hollywood offers a choice selection of pet food in addition to handy services like vaccinations, training classes, and affordable grooming.

Best Fine Jewelry Store
1. Mednikow
2. Las Savell
3. Robert Irwin Jewelers

Mednikow is a gem of a jewelry store, and it's been making Memphis sparkle for more than 100 years. A helpful staff and exclusive brands like David Yurman and John Hardy are just a few of the reasons why Flyer readers associate Mednikow with the Bluff City's blingiest bling.

Best Antiques Store
1. Sheffield Antiques Mall
2. Flashback
3. Toad Hall

From furniture to figurines, Sheffield Antiques Mall has it all. It's also home to Ronnie Grisanti's Italian Restaurant.

BEST GIFT SHOP: Maggie's Pharm
  • BEST GIFT SHOP: Maggie's Pharm

Best Gift Shop
1. Maggie's Pharm
2. Babcock Gifts
3. More Than Words

Maggie's Pharm has been an anchor in Overton Square for more than 30 years, a calming influence back in the square's heyday, a remedy during the lean years, and, once again, an essential oil as boom times have returned.

Best Women's Clothing
1. Crazy Beautiful
2. Indigo
3. Hoot + Louise

This boutique's name fits — it's Crazy Beautiful. Playful patterns and avant-garde designs keep ladies looking fashionable, fresh, and unique.

Best Women's Shoes
1. Joseph
2. Cook & Love
3. Outdoors Inc.

The premier place to treat your feet to a little glamour, Joseph has been a local favorite for years. Ladies of all ages count down the days to their semi-annual sale to score everything from Stuart Weitzman booties and Tory Burch flats to red-bottomed Louboutins and classic Manolos.

Best Men's Clothing
1. Oak Hall
2. Outdoors Inc.
3. James Davis

Since 1859, Oak Hall has specialized in bringing outstanding style to the Mid-South. The fine retailer offers the likes of Hugo Boss suits and Ermenegildo Zegna ties to ensure fellas are always dressed to the nines.

Best Men's Shoes
1. Oak Hall
2. Outdoors Inc.
3. James Davis

Likewise, Oak Hall has got gentlemen covered from head to toe, with fine footwear that has our menfolk putting their best foot forward.

Best Vintage/Used Clothing
1. Goodwill
2. Flashback
3. Hoot + Louise

Memphians prove that you really can look incredible wearing granddad's clothes by voting Goodwill the best place for vintage finds. So, whether you've got 99 cents or $20 in your pocket, you'll be able to find something stylish.

Best Bookstore (new)
1. The Booksellers at Laurelwood
2. Barnes & Noble Booksellers
3. Burke's Book Store

Known for its friendly staff, a café with delicious fare, and an enormous selection of books, the Booksellers at Laurelwood is a family-friendly oasis to escape the stress of the hectic day-to-day schedule.

Best Bookstore (used)
BOM 1. Burke's Book Store
2. Tiger Bookstore
3. Book Traders

An oldie, but a goodie (and clearly a Memphis classic). Burke's Book Store is a Midtown staple and houses numerous hidden and not-so-hidden treasures. Iconic for many reasons, Burke's has dominated this category for many years.

Best Hair Salon
1. Gould's
2. Dabbles
3. Hi Gorgeous

Best Day Spa
BOM 1. Gould's
2. Germantown Day Spa
3. Serenity Day Spa

Best Place To Get a Facial
BOM 1. Gould's
2. Germantown Day Spa
3. Serenity Day Spa

Best Manicure/Pedicure
1. Gould's
2. Nail Bar on the Island
3. Nail & Skin Bar – Midtown

Best Place To Get Waxed
1. Gould's
2. European Wax Center
3. Hi Gorgeous

With 11 locations in the Memphis area, it's not surprising Gould's is a favorite. For those who want to look their best, Gould's offers a dazzling array of services to keep you well-groomed. Whether you're looking for a relaxing massage or nail and skin care or you need help taming your hair (on your head and other body parts), you'll be in good hands at Gould's.


Best Health/Fitness Center
1. Kroc Center of Memphis
2. French Riviera
3. Fogelman YMCA (Downtown)

The Kroc Center in Midtown healthily takes the top spot after being open less than a year. A wonderland of fitness, the Kroc has an array of weights and cardio machines as well as an aquatics center with a two-story slide and an indoor splash park, basketball courts and soccer fields, a Challenge Center with a zip line and rope course, a theater, and a café.

Best Yoga Studio
1. Midtown Yoga
2. Bikram
3. Better Bodies Yoga

Midtown Yoga has been honoring that place in you where the whole universe resides since 2001. With more than 20 experienced instructors, the studio offers classes in a wide variety of styles, with something to suit every skill level and schedule. Namaste.

Best Tattoo Parlor
1. No Regrets Tattoo Emporium
2. Underground Art
3. Trilogy

So you're not 100 percent sure if you want a tiger on your back or bombs on your biceps, but there's one thing you certainly don't want: regrets. Michael, Brent, Joe, Paul, Tony, and Ben, the talented ink-slingers at No Regrets Tattoo Emporium, can help.

Best Tobacco/Smoke Shop
1. Tobacco Corner
2. Wizard's
3. Whatever

Tobacco Corner is a Memphis institution. The store hasn't only provided Mid-South smokers with a wide variety of cigars, tobaccos, pipes, and pens since 1969, a community of enthusiasts has grown up around the shop's famous "Round Table."

Best Dry Cleaner
1. Bensinger's Fine Cleaners
2. Dryve Cleaners
3. Happy Day Cleaners

Bensinger's was founded in 1954 by Alfred Bensinger and quickly became one of Memphis' most trusted names in cleaning and laundry services. With 10 locations, there's one near everybody.

Best Florist
1. Pugh's Flowers
2. Holliday Flowers
3. Garden District

How can you not love a flower shop with a skunk logo? Family-owned since 1976, this full-service florist has three locations and delivers seven days a week. Whether you're looking for corsages, roses, fancy arrangements, gift baskets, or green plants, no worries, Pugh's has got this.

Best Garden Center
1. Dan West Garden Center
2. Midtown Nursery
3. Stringer's Poplar Pointe Garden Center

The text on Dan West's great old neon sign says it all: "FOR THE BEST ... GO WEST." And it's not just a garden center. It's a Christmas store offering a unique selection of wreaths, garlands, nutcrackers, and artificial Christmas trees.

Best Home Furnishings
1. Stash
2. Ashley Furniture HomeStore
3. Pottery Barn Outlet

Is your style bungalow or European manor? What about bohemian abode or trendy studio? Whatever the answer, Stash supplies all your home-furnishing wants and needs. One-of-a-kind pieces help set your living space apart and express your own unique taste.


Best Athletic-Goods Store
1. Outdoors Inc.
2. Breakaway Running
3. Fleet Feet

Flyer readers seem to spend so much time eating, drinking, smoking, shopping, and getting tattooed, we're not sure how they find time to bike, hike, ski, canoe, climb, or kayak, but they do. But before they go outdoors, they go to Outdoors Inc. to check out the best gear from North Face, Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear, Arc'teryx, and Columbia Sportswear Co.

Best Bicycle Shop
1. Peddler
2. Midtown Bicycle
3. Outdoors Inc.

Between the Greenline, downtown's pedestrian mall, and bike lanes, bike lanes, bike lanes, there has never been a better time to be a cycling enthusiast in Memphis. And whether you're an extreme racer, an urban commuter, or just like to ride your cruiser from coffee shop to coffee shop, the Peddler has got the bike, helmet, basket, bell, or lock you're looking for. It's been a Memphis favorite since 1971 BS (Before Sharrows).

Best Record Store (new)
1. Spin Street
2. Goner Records
3. Shangri-La Records

Spin Street isn't just a sprawling old-school record store with new music for sale. It also features an extensive selection of DVDs, pop-culture collectibles, T-shirts, and novelties. It stocks enough previously owned CDs and vinyl to make it a contender for best used record store too.

  • BEST RECORD STORE (USED): Goner Records

Best Record Store (used)
1. Goner Records
2. Spin Street
3. Shangri-La Records

Tucked into a storefront in Cooper-Young, Goner is both a label and a store, but it's the record shop that brought home the gold in this category. Looking for the very first release from Australia's Eddy Current Suppression Ring? How about that They Came From the Sky CD in the "Kraut Rock" category? If that's not for you, then there's always something available in the international, new wave, no wave, post punk, proto punk, and — sort of a catch-all — "weird" bins at Goner Records. It's one of those places where it's impossible to leave the store empty-handed.

Best Music
Equipment Store
1. Amro Music Stores
2. Guitar Center
3. Gibson Guitar — tie — Memphis Drum Shop

Okay, if you're the lead guitar in a rock band, then Amro's probably not for you, for the simple reason that they don't sell guitars. Just everything else. They've got a huge showroom on Poplar lined wall to wall with pianos (Steinways!), organs, saxophones, trombones, violins, and drums, and they're the leading supplier of band instruments to just about every school and church in the Mid-South. Plus lessons, sheet music, instrument repairs, and a friendly and extremely knowledgeable staff. They've been in business since 1921; it's easy to see (and hear) why.

Best New Car Dealership
Readers' Choice
AutoNation Honda
Jim Keras
Lexus of Memphis
Wolfchase Honda
Wolfchase Toyota

With the economy in such a funk, it's nice to know that our readers are so happy with so many new car dealerships. Great selection of models, good prices, and a friendly sales and service staff will make you a winner every time.

Best Used Car Dealership
1. Carmax
2. City Auto
3. Gossett

It's almost impossible to drive around town without seeing a Carmax sticker on the car ahead of you, and there's a reason for that. Customers obviously like the almost unlimited online selection and, when it comes to making that purchase, the professional and courteous sales staff.

Best Motorcycle Dealership
BOM 1. Bumpus Harley-Davidson
2. Honda-Yamaha of Memphis
3. Southern Thunder

Not too many years ago, the general notion was that a motorcycle dealership — especially one selling Harleys — was staffed by guys who made the stars of Sons of Anarchy look like choir boys. That's changed, thanks to clean and modern establishments like Bumpus, which has so much stuff on display that it seems like you've entered a Wonders exhibit on motorcycling. Bikes are just part of it. They've got shirts, caps, jackets, helmets, boots, belts, decals, patches — even a collar for your dog! — all emblazoned with the H-D logo. Pick yourself out a new Sportster on your next visit.

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