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Victoria News unveils 2013 Best of the City

The readers have spoken and determined this year's Best of the City winners in dozens of different categories.

Representatives from voters' No. 1 choices for such things as best restaurant for Thai food (Baan Thai) and Japanese food (Japanese Village), best used book store (Russell Books), best flower shop (Brown's the Florist), best wine store (Everything Wine) were among those welcomed at The Wellesley retirement community on Thursday (June 27), as Black Press unveiled the annual community awards.

A number of businesses, community service providers and even an individual – morning man Ed Bain of 100.3 The Q radio, who doubles as weather man on CHEK-TV – took top spot in multiple categories.

Some merchants added to longstanding titles atop their respective categories, such as Thrifty Foods for best grocery store, and Ming's Restaurant, which captured a 10th straight win for best Chinese food.

For these Greater Victoria icons and all of the top three finishers in this year's Best of the City awards, the results proved they are among the best reasons to live in the Capital Region.

Best of the City was delivered in select copies of the June 28 Victoria News.

Find feature stories from the 2013 Best of the City soon at vicnews.com/lifestyles/tourism/.

The list of top three finishers by category and topic is as follows:

LEISURE & ENTERTAINMENT

Best Place to take a tourist

1st     BUTCHART GARDENS

2nd     INNER HARBOUR

3rd    DALLAS ROAD

Best Place to take a parent

1st    BUTCHART GARDENS

2nd     BEACON HILL PARK

3rd    THE FAIRMONT EMPRESS

Best place for afternoon tea

1st     THE FAIRMONT EMPRESS

2nd     THE WHITE HEATHER TEA ROOM

3rd    MURCHIE'S

Best Place to escape urban stress in the city

1st     BEACON HILL PARK

2nd     MOUNT DOUG PARK

3rd    WILLOWS BEACH

Best place to walk your dog

1st     DALLAS ROAD

2nd     THETIS LAKE

3rd    ELK LAKE

Best place to meet a mate

1st    STARBUCKS

2nd     THRIFTY FOODS

3rd    UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA

Best free fun

1st    BEACON HILL PARK

2nd    INNER HARBOUR

3rd    DALLAS ROAD

Best Place to worship

1st     CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL

2nd    ST. ANDREWS CATHEDRAL

3rd    GLAD TIDINGS CHURCH

Best Museum

1st     ROYAL BC MUSEUM

2nd    MARITIME MUSEUM

3rd    ART GALLERY OF GREATER VICTORIA

Best adventure tourism

1st    WILD PLAY ELEMENT PARKS

2nd    PRINCE OF WHALES

3rd    EAGLE WING TOURS

Best outdoor art

1st    MOSS STREET PAINT- IN

2nd    GOVERNMENT STREET CHALK ART

3rd    INNER HARBOUR

Best place to spot a celebrity

1st     FARIMONT EMPRESS

2nd    INNER HARBOUR

3rd    GOVERNMENT STREET

Local celebrity you'd like to invite to dinner

1st    ED BAIN

2nd    DAVID FOSTER

3rd    HUDSON MACK

Best Place to spot a ghost

1st    ROSS BAY CEMETERY

2nd    BASTION SQUARE

3rd    VICTORIA GOLF COURSE

Best urban hiking trail

1st    MOUNT DOUG

2nd    GALLOPING GOOSE

3rd    THETIS LAKE

Best romantic beach

1st    WILLOWS BEACH

2nd    DALLAS ROAD

3rd    GONZALES BAY BEACH

Best worst kept secret in Victoria

1st    RED FISH, BLUE FISH

2nd    THE BLUE FOX CAFÉ

3rd    BRASSERIE L'ECOLE

 

SHOPPING

Best shop for vitamins & nutrition

1st    THE VITAMIN SHOP

2nd    LIFESTYLES MARKET

3rd    POPEYES

Best Bookstore

1st    MUNRO'S BOOKS

2nd    BOLEN BOOKS

3rd    CHAPTERS

Best used Bookstore

1st    RUSSELL BOOKS

2nd    SMART BOOK SHOP

3rd    CHRONICLES OF CRIME

Best Flower Shop

1st    BROWN'S THE FLORIST

2nd    POPPIES FLORAL ART

3rd    THRIFTY FOODS

Best Garden Shop

1st    GARDENWORKS

2nd    DIG THIS

3rd    MARIGOLD NURSERY

Best Thrift Shop

1st     VALUE VILLAGE

2nd    VICTORIA WOMEN IN NEED COMMUNITY COOPERATIVE

3rd    THE SALVATION ARMY

Best Consignment Shop

1st    BAJA ROSI'S CONSIGNMENT CABANA

2nd    MY SISTER'S CLOSET

3rd    THE PATCH

Best new car dealership

1st    METRO LEXUS TOYOTA

2nd    CAMPUS HONDA

3rd    BMW VICTORIA

Best used car dealership

1st    GALAXY MOTORS

2nd    HOWIES CAR CORRAL

3rd    METRO LEXUS TOYOTA

Best for motorcycles/scooters

1st    STEVE DRANE HARLEY DAVIDSON

2nd    ACTION MOTORCYLES

3rd    SG POWER

Best bicycle shop

1st    OAK BAY BICYCLES

2nd    FORT STREET BICYCLES

3rd    RUSS HAYS BICYCLE SHOP

Best for your pets

1st    PETCETERA

2nd    BOSLEY'S PET FOOD PLUS

3rd    PETS WEST

Best for appliances

1st    SEARS

2nd    TRAIL APPLIANCES

3rd    WEST COAST APPLIANCES

Best for hardware

1st    THE HOME DEPOT

2nd    HOME HARDWARE

3rd    RONA

Best kitchen shop

1st    COOK CULTURE

2nd    CAPITAL IRON

3rd    PENNA

Best independent shoe store

1st    THE COBBLER

2nd    FOOTLOOSE

3rd    SHE SHE SHOES

Best fashion boutique

1st    STILL LIFE

2nd    MANGO

3rd    BLISS

Best farmers market

1st    RED BARN MARKET

2nd    MOSS STREET COMMUNITY MARKET

3rd    THE ROOT CELLAR VILLAGE GREEN GROCER

Best for window coverings

1st    RUFFELL & BROWN

2nd    SEARS

3rd    HOME DEPOT

Best for flooring

1st    END OF THE ROLL

2nd    THE FINISHING STORE

3rd    HOME DEPOT

Best for lighting

1st    MCLAREN LIGHTING

2nd    ILLUMINATIONS LIGHTING SOLUTIONS

3rd    THE HOME DEPOT

Best Department Store

1st    THE BAY

2nd    SEARS

3rd    WALMART

Best furniture store (independent)

1st    DODDS FURNITURE & MATTRESS

2nd    SAGER'S HOME LIVING

3rd    LUXE HOME INTERIORS

Best furniture store (chain)

1st    THE BRICK

2nd    SEARS

3rd    URBAN BARN     3rd: ASHLEY FURNITURE

Best for pool/spa

1st    CAPITAL IRON

2nd    VINTAGE HOT TUBS

3rd    TWILIGHT HOT TUBS & BILLIARDS

Best for barbeques

1st    THE HOME DEPOT

2nd    CAPITAL IRON

3rd    CANADIAN TIRE

Best for musical instruments

1st    LONG and MCQUADE

2nd    TOM LEE MUSIC

3rd    LARSEN MUSIC

 

RESTAURANTS/FOOD & DRINK

Best new restaurant

1st    BIN 4 BURGER LOUNGE

2nd    JAM CAFÉ

3rd    TARTAN TOQUE

Best old school diner

1st    FLOYD'S DINER

2nd    JOHN'S PLACE

3rd    ROSIE'S DINER

Best for first date

1st    MILESTONES

2nd    IL TERRAZZO

3rd    FIRESIDE GRILL

Best seafood

1st    PESCATORES SEAFOOD & GRILL

2nd    RED FISH, BLUE FISH

3rd    NAUGHTICAL NELLIES

Best for steak

1st    THE KEG STEAKHOUSE & BAR

2nd    BRASSERIE L'ECOLE

3rd    PRIME STEAKHOUSE

Best Chinese

1st    MING'S

2nd    DON MEES

3rd    JJ WONTON NOODLE HOUSE

Best Greek

1st    SAN REMO

2nd    IL GRECO

3rd    OPA SOUVLAKI

Best Italian

1st    IL TERRAZZO

2nd    ZAMBRI'S

3rd    PAGLIACCI'S

Best Japanese

1st    JAPANIESE VILLAGE RESTAURANT

2nd    AZUMA SUSHI

3rd    EBIZO JAPANESE RESTAURANT

Best Mexican

1st    CAFÉ MEXICO

2nd    HERNANDE`Z

3rd    LA TAQUISA

Best Vietnamese

1st    PHO VY

2nd    GREEN LEAF BISTRO

3rd    SAIGON NIGHT

Best Indian

1st    SIZZLING TANDOOR

2nd    THE SPICE JAMMER

3rd    SABRI INDIAN CUISINE

Best Thai

1st    BAAN THAI

2nd    LITTLE THAI PLACE

3rd    SABHAI THAI

Best for Breakfast

1st    BLUE FOX CAFÉ

2nd    JAM CAFÉ

3rd    JOHN'S PLACE

Best vegetarian/vegan

1st    REBAR

2nd    GREEN CUISINE

3rd    THE LOTUS POND

Best "all you can eat"

1st    Brunch at THE MARINA RESTAURANT

2nd    RAYMONDS

3rd    PURPLE GARDEN

Best business lunch

1st    CACTUS CLUB CAFÉ

2nd    MOXIE'S CLASSIC GRILL

3rd    LURE RESTAURANT & LOUNGE

Best for your sweet tooth

1st    THE DUTCH BAKERY

2nd    ROGERS CHOCOLATES

3rd    OOH LA LA CUPCAKES

Best coffee/latte/cappuccino(independent)

1st    HABIT

2nd    DISCOVERY COFFEE

3rd    CAFÉ FANTASTICO

Best ice cream

1st    BEACON DRIVE IN

2nd    QOOLA FROZEN YOGURT BAR

3rd    MARBLE SLAB CREAMERY

Best wings

1st    TARTAN TOQUE

2nd    HECKLERS BAR & GRILL

3rd    1550'S

Best fish & chips

1st    BARB'S FISH & CHIPS

2nd    RED FISH, BLUE FISH

3rd    HAULTAIN FISH & CHIPS

Best burger

1st    BIN 4 BURGER LOUNGE

2nd    THE PINK BICYCLE

3rd    BIG WHEEL BURGER

Best Pizza

1st    PIZZERIA PRIMA STRADA

2nd    ROMEO'S

3rd    ALI BABA PIZZA

Best patio bar

1st    CANOE CLUB

2nd    GLO RESTAURANT & LOUNGE

3rd    THE LOCAL KITCHEN

Best sports bar

1st    SHARK CLUB

2nd    THE PODIUM SPORTS GRILL

3rd    THE STICKY WICKET PUB

Best for a martini

1st    VENETO

2nd    CLIVES CLASSIC LOUNGE

3rd    THE BENGAL LOUNGE

Best pub

1st    IRISH TIMES PUB

2nd    BARD & BANKER SCOTTISH PUB

3rd    THE FERNWOOD INN

Best for scotch

1st    BARD & BANKER SCOTTISH PUB

2nd    CLIVES CLASSIC LOUNGE

3rd    ARGYLE ATTIC 3rd: THE BENGAL LOUNGE

 

FOOD SERVICE

Best Grocery Store

1st    Thrifty Foods

2nd    Market on Yates

3rd    Fairway Market

Best bulk food store

1st    Costco

2nd    Thrifty Foods

3rd    For Good Measure

Best for produce

1st    The Root Cellar

2nd    Red Barn Market

3rd    Fairway Market

Best organic grocer

1st    The Root Cellar

2nd    Red Barn Market

3rd    Planet Organic

Best bakery

1st    Cobb's Bakery

2nd    Dutch Bakery

3rd    Wildfire Bakery

Best specialty deli

1st    Italian Food Imports

2nd    Ottavio Italian Deli

3rd    Red Barn Market

Best local brewery/winery

1st    Phillips Brewery

2nd    Hoyne Brewery

3rd    Spinnakers

Best wine store

1st    Everything Wine

2nd    BC Liqouor Store

3rd    Liquor Plus

Best for making your own wine

1st    The Wine Maker

2nd    Cook Street Village Wineworks

3rd    Wine Kitz

Best U-Brew

1st    Brew Works - U Brew Victoria

2nd    Bedford Brewing

3rd    West Coast Brew Shop

 

SERVICE

Best Hotel

1st     The Empress Hotel

2nd    Delta Ocean Pointe Resort

3rd    Hotel Grand Pacific

Best barbershop

1st     Victory Barbershop

2nd    Jimmy's

3rd    Status Barber Shop

Best spa

1st    Willow Stream Spa at the Empress

2nd    The Spa at Delta Victoria - Ocean Pointe

3rd    Spa Magnolia

Best manicure/pedicure

1st    Willow Stream Spa at the Empress

2nd    Alchemy Hair Design & Spa

3rd    The Spa at Delta Victoria - Ocean Pointe

Best hair salon

1st    Lab Hair Salon

2nd    Alchemy Hair Design & Spa

3rd    Fish Hair Salon

Best shoe repair

1st    Stevenson's Shoe Clinic

2nd    Oak Bay Cobbler

3rd    Arcadia Shoe Repair

Best optical/eyewear

1st    Goo Goo Goggles

2nd    Maycock Eyecare

3rd    Costco

Best pharmacy

1st    London Drugs

2nd    Pharmasave

3rd    Shoppers Drug Mart

Best for photo finishing

1st    London Drugs

2nd    Costco

3rd    Walmart

Best place for picture framing

1st    Michaels

2nd    Island Blue

3rd    Opus

Best custom home builder

1st    Abstract Developments

2nd    Terry Johal Developments

3rd    Coastal Construction & Maximillian Huxley Construction

Best condo development

1st    Dockside Green

2nd    Abstract

3rd    The Hudso

Best retirement residence

1st    The Wellesley

2nd    Berwick House

3rd    Carlton Hous

Best tattoo/piercing parlour

1st    Urge Tattoos

2nd    Tattoo Zoo

3rd    Empire Tattoo

Best tire store

1st    Kal Tire

2nd    Canadian Tire

3rd    Big O Tire

Best automotive service (chain)

1st    Canadian Tire

2nd    Midas

3rd    Kal Tire

Best automotive service (independent)

1st    Searles Auto Repair

2nd    Rand Automotive

3rd    Speedy Aut

Best place to improve your smile

1st    Academy Dental

2nd    Saanich Dental

3rd    Mayfair Denta

Best public washroom

1st    The Bay Centre

2nd    Cactus Club

3rd    Empress Hote

Best pet clinic

1st    Hillside Veterinary Hospital

2nd    McKenzie Vet Services

3rd    Kindred Spirits

Best weight loss cente

1st    Weight Watchers

2nd    Jenny Craig

3rd    Curves

Best bank/financial institution

1st    Coast Capital Savings

2nd    TD Canada Trust

3rd    RBC

Best for insurance

1st    Coast Capital Savings

2nd    Megson Fitzpatrick

3rd    BCAA

 

RECREATION

Favorite local sports team

1st    Victoria Royals

2nd    Victoria Grizzlies

3rd    Victoria Shamrocks

Best yoga studio

1st    Moksha Yoga Victoria

2nd    Moksana Yoga Center

3rd    Feel Good Yoga & Pilates

Best rec centre

1st    Oak Bay Recreation Centre

2nd    Saanich Commonwealth Place

3rd    Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre

Best gym/fitness studio

1st    YMCA-YWCA of Greater Victoria

2nd    VI Fitness Centres

3rd    Oak Bay Recreation Centre

Best running store

1st    Frontrunners

2nd    Running room

3rd    Peninsula Runners

Best 18-hole golf course

1st    Olympic View Golf Club

2nd    Highland Pacific Golf

3rd    Royal Colwood Golf Club

Best 9-hole or par-3 golf course

1st    The Ridge Course at Cordova Bay

2nd    Henderson Park Golf Course

3rd    Juan de Fuca Golf Course

Best swimming pool

1st    Saanich Commonwealth Place

2nd    Oak Bay Recreation Centre

3rd    Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre

Best dance lessons

1st    de Pfyffer Dance Victoria

2nd    Karen Clark Dance Studio

3rd    Lynda Raino Dance

Best for martial arts

1st    Fierce Studio

2nd    Zuma

3rd    Olson's Gym Martial Arts and Boxing

 

KIDS

Best kids' attraction

1st    Beacon Hill Children’s Farm

2nd    Victoria Bug zoo

3rd    Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre

Best kids clothing store

1st    Gap kids

2nd    The Children’s Place

3rd    Abra-Kid-Abra

Best camp for kids

1st    Y Camp Thunderbird

2nd    Camp Imadene

3rd    Camp Pringle

 

MEDIA

Best local blog

1st    Victoria Mom & Victoria Burger Blog & Lip Smacking by Chef Heidi Fink

2nd    Mamma Kärlek & GoVegan.net

3rd    Style Feed Victoria & The Morning After

Best local radio personality

1st    Ed Bain – The Q! Morning Show

2nd    KOOL Mornings with Robin & Brian

3rd    Dylan and Jason in The Morning Zone

Best local TV personality

1st    Hudson Mack – CTV News Vancouver Island

2nd    Ed Bain – Chek News

3rd    Astrid Braunschmidt – CTV News Vancouver Island

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