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5,217 of you voted, and after multiple re-counts, Supreme Court challenges, and no small amount of gerrymandering, the results are in. Here are your favourite spaces, places, and people. Congratulations!

Don’t like what you see? Weigh in with #BestofWR.

And, thanks to you fine folks who voted, and who submitted #BestofWR nominations. This place would not be the same without you—see you next year! (Can’t get enough #BestofWR? Check out last year’s winners here.)

To jump to a section, click on the relevant link.

Food and Drink
Live, Work and Play
Notable Folks and Groups
Shopping and Business

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Food and Drink

Best Sandwich:

  1. Vincenzo’s
  2. Princess Café
  3. The Yeti

Best grilled cheese:

  1. Cheeses Murphy
  2. Jane Bond
  3. Fo’ Cheezy

Best frozen treat:

  1. R’Chyees
  2. Marble Slab
  3. Ambrosia Pastry

Best bakery:

  1. City Café
  2. Honey Bakeshop
  3. Ambrosia Pastry

Best coffee shop:

  1. DVLB
  2. Matter of Taste
  3. Café Pyrus

Best candy shop:

  1. Sugar Mountain
  2. Candy, Candy, Candy
  3. Bo Dees

Best pizza:

  1. Famoso
  2. City Café
  3. Breadheads

Best Chinese food:

  1. Cameron’s
  2. Lai Lai
  3. Crystal Palace

Best Thai food (and a first-place Thai!):

  1. Northern Thai & My Thai
  2. Thai Sun

Best Shawarma:

  1. Shawerma Plus
  2. Mozy’s
  3. Ace Shawarma

Best beer selection:

  1. Beer Town
  2. The Bent Elbow
  3. Jane Bond

Best cheap drink:

  1. Ethel’s
  2. Phil’s
  3. Jack Burger

Best new restaurant:

  1. Abe Erb
  2. White Rabbit
  3. Proof
  4. TWH Social

Best wine list:

  1. Gilt
  2. Sole
  3. Proof
  4. MPC Public

Best Mexican food:

  1. Holy Guacamole
  2. Taco Farm
  3. La Guanaquita

Best vegetarian:

  1. Jane Bond
  2. Café Pyrus
  3. Empress of India

Best pulled pork:

  1. Lancaster Smokehouse
  2. Ethel’s
  3. Hogtails

Best family restaurant:

  1. Jack’s
  2. Taco Farm
  3. Fireside
  4. Empress of India

Best tea shop:

  1. David’s Tea
  2. All Things Tea
  3. X Tea

Best burger:

  1. The Works
  2. Frat Burger
  3. Harmony Lunch

Best breakfast:

  1. Mel’s
  2. The Yeti
  3. Angie’s

Best patio:

  1. Boathouse
  2. Huether Hotel
  3. Ethel’s

Best cheap eats:

  1. Ethel’s
  2. Queen Street Commons
  3. Homestyle Diner

Best food truck:

  1. West of Seoul
  2. Ish n’ Chips
  3. The Schmuck Truck

Best local beer:

  1. King Street Saison (Block 3)
  2. Waterloo Dark (Waterloo Brewing Co.)
  3. SPA (Wellington)

Best local brewery:

  1. Block 3
  2. Abe Erb
  3. Innocente

Best cookie:

  1. Honey Bakeshop
  2. Sabletine

Best donut:

  1. City Café
  2. Debrodnik’s
  3. Jimmy’s Minis

Best cocktail:

  1. Jane Bond
  2. White Rabbit
  3. Proof

Live, Work and Play

Best party of the year:

  1. Oktoberfest
  2. Summer Lights Festival
  3. Steel Rails

Best place for a second date (a seven vote difference, between first and third!):

  1. Apollo Cinema
  2. Princess Cinema
  3. Jane Bond

Best place to meet people:

  1. DVLB
  2. Ethel’s
  3. Kitchener Waterloo Little Theatre

Best LGBTQ bar:

  1. The Order
  2. Jane Bond

Best community event:

  1. Summer Lights Festival
  2. Multicultural Festival
  3. Oktoberfest

Best place to dance:

  1. Starlight
  2. King Street during festivals
  3. The Order

Best live music:

  1. Boathouse
  2. Starlight
  3. Maxwell’s

Best arts event:

  1. Night\Shift
  2. Summer Lights Festival
  3. The Brush Off

Best gallery or museum:

  1. THEMUSEUM
  2. Waterloo Region Museum
  3. KWAG

Best theatre company:

  1. Kitchener Waterloo Little Theatre
  2. Registry Theatre

Best karaoke:

  1. Chainsaw (unanimous)

Best trivia night:

  1. Princess Café
  2. Nerd Nite
  3. The Bomber

Best weekend fun:

  1. Kitchener Farmer’s Market
  2. Tri-City Roller Derby
  3. Summer Lights Festival

Best gym/fitness:

  1. Limitless
  2. Movati
  3. Depth Training

Best yoga:

  1. Queen Street Yoga
  2. Moksha
  3. Bikram Yoga

Best sports venue:

  1. The Aud
  2. Waterloo Recreation Complex
  3. Tri-City Roller Derby

Best place of worship/spirituality:

  1. Creekside Church
  2. Matthew’s Lutheran
  3. Temple Shalom

Best bike trail:

  1. Iron Horse
  2. Breslau Trail

Best place to read:

  1. Victoria Park
  2. Waterloo Park

Best public space:

  1. Victoria Park
  2. Waterloo Park
  3. Carl Zehr Square

Best park:

  1. Victoria Park
  2. Waterloo Park
  3. Kiwanis Park

Best building:

  1. The Tannery
  2. Perimeter Institute
  3. CIGI

Best space to work:

  1. Kitchener Public Library
  2. The Tannery
  3. Velocity

Best place for meditation:

  1. Victoria Park
  2. Waterloo Park
  3. Top of Chicopee

Best housing or condo community:

  1. Bread and Roses
  2. Barrel Yards
  3. 100 Victoria

Best grade school:

  1. Westmount
  2. Elizabeth Ziegler

Best secondary school:

  1. KCI
  2. Forest Heights
  3. Rockway Mennonite Collegiate

Best post-secondary school:

  1. UW
  2. Laurier
  3. Conestoga College

Best community centre:

  1. Downtown Community Centre
  2. The Family Centre

Best festhallen:

  1. Concordia
  2. Schwaben
  3. Alpine

Best view or vista:

  1. McLennan Park
  2. Kitchener City Hall Balcony
  3. Homer Watson Park

Notable Folks and Groups

Best local author/writer:

  1. Carrie Snyder
  2. Erin Bow
  3. Tasneem Jamal

Best local musician/band:

  1. Alysha Brilla
  2. Safe as Houses
  3. Dan Howler

Best local artist:

  1. Jennifer Gough
  2. Janice Lee
  3. Jon Johnson

Best bus driver:

  1. Guy with giant beard
  2. Joe
  3. Donna

Best mover and shaker:

  1. Fauzia Mazhar
  2. Melissa Durrell
  3. Charlene LeDuc

Best local blog or blogger:

  1. Waterloo Honk
  2. Red Leather Booth
  3. AQ’s Blog and Grill

Best city councillor:

  1. Diane Freeman
  2. Sarah Marsh
  3. Melissa Durrell

Best local politician:

  1. Catherine Fife
  2. Berry Vrbanovic
  3. Melissa Durrell

Best sports team/organization:

  1. Kitchener Rangers
  2. Tri-City Roller Derby
  3. KW United

Best social profit:

  1. The Working Centre
  2. Facile Waterloo Region
  3. Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support

Best inspiration group:

  1. KW Humane Society
  2. Neruda Arts
  3. ACCKWA

Best local reporter:

  1. Amanda Grant
  2. Allison Leonard & Terry Pender (tie)

Best employer:

  1. Bill McTavish
  2. Melissa Durrell
  3. Tim Sloss

Best front desk:

  1. Julia Heyens (The Working Centre)
  2. Rita Mabermehl (Insight Eyecare)
  3. Penny Harvey (KWCF)

Best non-TCE publication:

  1. Kitchener Post
  2. Alternatives Journal
  3. High Brau

Best development project:

  1. The ION
  2. Barrel Yards

Best local ad campaign:

  1. Live Local KW
  2. Insight Eyecare

Best designer:

  1. Jon Johnson (unanimous)

Best server:

  1. Caroline Wesley (Jane Bond)
  2. Renee Lees (Jane Bond)
  3. Kristyn Hanbidge (Proof)

Best radio station:

  1. CBC KW
  2. 570 News
  3. CKWR

Best craftsperson or maker:

  1. Jon Johnson
  2. Alistair MacLellan
  3. Agnes Niewiadomski

Best social media account:

  1. @peopleofkw
  2. @theCommunityEd
  3. @bear4mayor

Best high-school teacher:

  1. Tom O’Connor
  2. Jason Vander Meulen

Best post-secondary professional:

  1. Shannon Dea (UW)
  2. Aimee Morrison (UW)

Best new musician or band:

  1. Dan Howler
  2. Paradox
  3. Acquaintance

Best photographer:

  1. Matt Smith
  2. Hilary Hould Camilleri
  3. Chris Kufske

Best beard:

  1. DJ Charles
  2. Jon Johnson
  3. Bryn Ossington

Best music instructor:

  1. Charlena Russell
  2. Dave Mansell
  3. Amanda Kind

Shopping and Business

Best butcher:

  1. Bauer butcher
  2. Brady’s
  3. Charles Quality Meats

Best grocery store:

  1. Vincenzo’s
  2. Central Fresh
  3. Dutchie’s

Best hardware store:

  1. Home Hardware (Park Street)
  2. Home Hardware (Uptown)

Best bike shop:

  1. King Street Cycles
  2. Black Arrow
  3. Recycle Cycles

Best record store (by five votes!):

  1. Orange Monkey
  2. Encore Records

Best art store:

  1. Curry’s
  2. The Art Store
  3. State of the Art

Best place to buy a sexy gift:

  1. The Stag Shop
  2. The Love Shop

Best consignment store:

  1. Styl Frugal
  2. Carousel
  3. Lustre & Oak

Best tattoo parlour:

  1. Tora Tattoo
  2. Berlin Tattoo
  3. Way Cool

Best hair salon:

  1. Brown Salon
  2. Element
  3. Oiseau

Best car dealership:

  1. Grand River BMW
  2. Kitchener Nissan
  3. Bustard Chrysler

Best autobody/mechanic:

  1. Gary’s Automotive
  2. Hillcrest Services
  3. Glenco Automotive

Best bookstore:

  1. Words Worth Books
  2. Second Look Books
  3. Old Goat

Best company/organization to work at:

  1. Insight Eyecare
  2. Durrell Communications

Best insurance:

  1. Erb & Erb
  2. The Cooperators
  3. Josslin Insurance

Best legal firm:

  1. Gowlings
  2. Kay Law

Best splurge:

  1. Bhima’s
  2. Red House
  3. Gilt

Best local product:

  1. Block 3 beer
  2. Cocoon Apothecary natural skincare products
  3. MB Publishing House notebooks

Best wedding shop or service:

  1. Living Fresh Flowers
  2. Charmed Flowers
  3. Valentina Bridal

Best start-up:

  1. Vidyard
  2. Videostream
  3. Grocera

Best web development:

  1. Him & Her
  2. 10am Creative
  3. Ultimate Vision Web & IT

Best doctor/practice:

  1. The Boardwalk Medical Centre
  2. Northfield Medical
  3. Tim Sloss

Best dentist/practice:

  1. Toothworks
  2. Parker at Laurelwood
  3. Twin City Dental

Best eyecare:

  1. Insight Eyecare
  2. 20/20 Vision
  3. University Vision