All Breed Care is the best! When I leave town and my animals—Spock, Sulu and Kirk—are left in their care, I feel like I am leaving them with family. They are all so relaxed and happy when I return that I feel like I have left them with loving friends.
Apple crisp at Revolution, duck fries at Bull City Burger and sweet potato pie at Scratch are truly extraordinary!
Aradia Fitness is an incredible, local secret! This women's only fitness studio features unique & sexy dance classes that make working out FUN again! You can try pole dancing, aerial acrobatics, belly dance, burlesque and more.
Arrichion Hot Yoga is challenging and non-judgmental.
Autobahn Automotive—the best customer service and the best auto care hands down. Our relationship lasted longer than my marriage! Inis Cairde not only offers the best Irish dance lessons in the Triangle but offers a community for Irish dancers.
Best bartender = Bobby at Raleigh Times... I have been in the Times when it was wall to wall and Bobby was the only person behind the bar. No sweat ... he was fast, on point, and still had a great attitude about him.
Best Computer Shop ... Cyber Exchange! Joe Gunter is the owner and he has been able to help me every time my brother has crashed my computer. He also built a new one and I was able to get exactly what I wanted for less $ with excellent customer service!
Best Neighborhood Bar in Durham County: "That lawless, smoky land that is Whiskey."
Bettye's Flower Design is owner by Bettye Jenkins, the daughter of one of the original flower ladies on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. Bettye works so hard, is so kind and genuine, and deserves this more than anyone I know.
Billy Buckley at Orange County Social Club is the finest bartender in the stratosphere. There has never been a finer Lemon Drop to pass these lips.
Blue Note Grill features great music and awesome food. Whether you're dancing, listening, eating, drinking or just chillin', Bill And Andrea Whittington make you feel welcome. It's a great place for your tummy and your dancing feet.
Bobby Covais at Raleigh Times moves like water behind the bar. Best Bartender in Wake County!
Boer Brothers Heating & Cooling were super nice, helped us out on the weekend and were reasonably priced. Had the best meal of my life at Cypress (watch out Magnolia Grill).
Brian Webb at The Morning Times makes the best dang iced mocha ever. It's been scientifically proven. Foundation packs the most awesome per square foot (and there aren't many) into a bar.
Greg Bashor at Excel Physical Therapy makes pain tolerable & fun.
Can't beat the make your own cupcake that comes with every kids meal at Mad Hatter!
Cantina 18 is a great place to go for brunch and just great service all around. Every time we've made a request they took care of us. They go beyond what is asked.
Carolina Ale House Creekside location is the best lunch deal in the Triangle. Five punches and you get a free lunch, and they double punch on Mondays, so you can get a free meal almost every third Monday.
Carrboro Plaza Vet Clinic. Staff is incredible—perfect blend of personal interest and professionalism. They feel like family. We joke that our dog has an expensive girlfriend, Dr. Jenny Marin, but she is terrific.
Carrburritos—consistent high quality and great service. Quick Moves—moved us conscientiously, carefully and with biofuels! Bonus!
Cath Kline and Karen Huckabay with Keller Williams in Raleigh go the extra mile when it comes to helping you find the home you really want. Their patience was unending, and their wealth of knowledge about everything from the surrounding counties to home improvement were unmatched.
Chapel Hill Comics continues to be the best, most welcoming, and most accommodating of any book store, geek-focused or otherwise, in the Triangle.
Cherry Pie is the place to shop, man.
Combustion Cycles: Honesty—getting the real story rather than the official "salesman" spiel.
Creech Import Repair is the only auto repair shop that I have every trusted completely. Their integrity is refreshing!!
Dain's has great burgers and great staff. Vin Rouge is the place to go for an AMAZING meal where you can hear the person you are having a meal with. Vert and Vogue is the place to try looks you didn't think you could rock. Kellie at Posh is THE BEST.
The Oxford burger is amazing ... it's basically a steak shaped like a burger.
David's Dumpling & Noodle Bar deserves best new restaurant in Wake hands-down. They've finally put a viable business in the historic old Darryl's spot. And they are contributing to the renewal and revitalization of Hillsborough Street.
Dear Open Heart Yoga School ... thank you for donation based yoga. I heart you!
Dr. Jeff Kennedy is the most ethical, meticulous and kind dentist I've ever had!
DJ FM and Revolution Raleigh brought the Triangle's EDM scene back to life! With integration of 333 Lighting, Cirque style performers, burners, and his signature house music, it changed our small community to over 500+ strong. Thanks for the hard work!
Doggy Spa & Day Care is the ONLY place I will board my pet! If they're full, we change our vacation!!
Dr. Huin at Duke University Medical Center listens to his patients, and he makes it clear that the decision-making is a team effort - he is not going to just tell you what to do and send you on your way with an RX. He doesn't rush you and he's funny! What a great doctor.
Dr. Rosa Messer at North Wake Internal Medicine found my husband's cancer after 19 previous doctors gave up on him. When our daughter plays doctor, she's Dr. Messer. Conspiracy Ink Tattoo is a new shop- opened in July—all women artists, no flash.
Eno River Eatery is the best kid-friendly restaurant. It has kid's meals on Friday nights for $.99. It also has a art contest on Fridays for the kids. It also supports the local schools and gives teachers a discount.
Flyleaf: Book I pined for was out of print. They found it for me—at the UNC's Art Library ... Horace Williams House if that magical magnolia tree doesn't bliss out your afternoon, seek therapy ... with David K. Donlon. He's got serious therapy mojo.
Franklin Street Yoga Center makes grad school bearable. It's not just a yoga studio, it's a community.
Fullsteam Brewery, they allow dogs AND tricycles.
Fullsteam, Motorco, and King's Sandwich Shop form the best three-anythings in the Triangle. And they're all within a block of each other.
Game Theory is the best game store, with friendly non-creepy staff and loads of scheduled events. Ornamentea is awesome—their selection and friendly staff make the store fun to visit, and their weekly online tutorials teach you tons of cool skills!
Glasshalfull is the best all around restaurant; consistently good food and service; regularly changing menu; relaxed atmosphere; no I don't own stock in it.
Going to Marigold Parlour is like going to heaven. An awesome interior, a glass of wine, and a stellar hair color. What more could you want?
Gourmet Kingdom changed to an actual authentic southern Chinese restaurant. Not for everyone, but certainly for me. Great food, helpful and friendly service, an artistic success.
Green Room: Where else can a professor, a landscaper, a drug dealer, and a judge have a civil and informed conversation about drug, health care, and energy policies, the existence of God, and the works of Faulkner over a beer and a game of straight pool?
Hamilton Hill made both of us feel like the beautiful brides, which we were! and Lucky Dogs—where our girl bounds in every morning as if she is going to Grandma's!
Hammer No More the Fingers is one of the best indie bands to come out of the Triangle in years. Sit up and take notice cuz the shark is indeed black.
Heritage Cleaners does not press wrinkles into shirts—staff friendly and helpful and they do a great job and even sew on lost buttons on shirts.
I can't drive past Guglhupf without stopping—I adore the bretzel rolls!!
I could sit outside at Boylan Bridge Brewpub for hours staring at that Raleigh skyline with a cold beer in my hand.
I don't think you quite have an appropriate category for The Nightlight in Chapel Hill. There are some other fine music clubs in the area, but Nightlight tends to be ahead of the curve making this area more like a NYC or SF than one would expect.
I had breakfast by myself on a freezing winter morning at Old Havana Sandwich Shop, and it was heavenly. The staff was so nice and thoughtful, and I felt like I was in Europe, having my cafe cubano and guava toast. May they live long and prosper!
I love Durham because 90% of my favorite places were created by and for locals.
I love Suwannee, Furbish, and all things Jamie Meares. Poole's has an amazing menu, amazing service, and the best ladies' room around.
I love my community, those unsung heroes who bake the best bread, make fabulous coffee, help me look after my kids and animals! Yeah for the Triangle.
I love WCOM's diversity—as a DJ and an organizer there, I have met dozens of talented people from dozens of different backgrounds, all interested in contributing to the community in some way. It's kind of what Carrboro's all about.
I mainly want to just vote for downtown Raleigh and how it's growing into something awesome.
I thought Aviator Brewery's beers were amazing. Especially Devil's Tramping Ground, but then I tried their food at the smokehouse. I'm determined Aviator's creators were geniuses! Aviator, ALL THE WAY!
I voted for Sadlack's at least 10 times, including best place to buy a scooter. That's at least where I'd start. I'd hope it would come with sweet potato tots.
I was sadly not able to vote for my favorite new business, which is All Day Records in Carrboro, as my favorite shop remains CD Alley. I hope All Day gets a shout out somehow!
I wish there were a slot for overall favorite business, because Parker and Otis would win my vote hands down. Best cookbook selection anywhere (and I mean anywhere) and so much more.
I wish you had more options under media. Like "Best local coverage in Wake County." That would be Raleigh Public Record!
Fishmonger's Restaurant & Oyster Bar has been serving good food at a great value since 1986.
Josh Hutchins at Core Results makes you enjoy a near death experience.
Laurabelle at Watts is the best bartender! Not only does she create all the signature cocktails to reflect local seasonal ingredients, but she is hilarious! You get dinner and a show!
Malachy Noone of Bull McCabes is one of the best local business owners in the Triangle. Much love for him and his establishment.
Marilyn's Pizza in Saltbox Village in Cary - First of all, the guys that own AND OPERATE IT are fantastic, honest, hardworking and knowledgeable people. Ken certainly does not skimp when it comes to his ingredients. Best Pizza in Cary.
Mediterranean Deli rocks. Check it out night or day, summer or winter and its full of happy people eating good food and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere, all thanks to Jamil's expertise at customer service.
Miles Murray of Open Eye Cafe brightens my day no matter how dark his wardrobe is. He is an espresso wizard.
Most of my favorite things, places, and people are in Zebulon. I wanted to make sure Zebulon was represented in this popularity contest. This has been big because the new Eclectic Intellectual is the first in Zebulon to distribute the Independent.
Motorco's Bloody Mary with bacon and okra is the best way to repay your body for the punishment you gave it the night before!
Ninth Street Dance: After I have gone to my Nia dance class I feel youthful and full of energy even though I am 77 years old! One goes up those decorated stairs into another world.
Noah's Ark is the only place I board. The staff knows me, my dogs, and responds accordingly. Chapel Hill is a serious pet city. The people at Noah's Ark take my dogs seriously.
Phydeaux saved my relationship with my crazy dog when I first adopted her. They have toys to stimulate a dog's mind, and ease the owner's mind.
Players' Retreat: Great location and attracts everyone from state legislators to the hippy kid from down the street. The food is good, the prices are reasonable and they've got a great outdoor seating area just made for saying goodbye to the weekend.
Posh the Salon makes my heart flutter ... A LOT.
Pronto Pasta: One taste of the Bleu Cheese Mac n Cheese will make anyone run an extra mile just so they can afford to eat it daily!
Quail Ridge Books & Music is so enjoyable. The staff are incredibly well read, knowledgeable, and approachable. They get the best authors, famous and newbies. The children's department there is without compare in the Triangle.
Raleigh Little Theatre has been around for 75 years and is a community organization with great volunteers and intelligent and devastatingly beautiful staff.
Regulator Bookstore because they represent what an independently owned business should be in a community. They are supportive by giving back through book fairs for local schools, and featuring local musicians and authors.
Sam's Quik Shop is, was, and always will be the best place to buy beer in the Triangle. From limited releases to small breweries, if anyone can get it, Sam's can.
Savory Bakery in Apex made a delicious cake for my 29th birthday—and I'll be getting another cake from them when I turn 29 next year!
Scratch in downtown Durham can't do anything wrong.
Seriously, Homewood Nursery feels like a plant-filled escape from the every day!
Showing my love and support for WKNC 88.1 FM. It's the sound of the Triangle.
The Little School of Hillsborough is such a unique center for young children. This is a school that sees each child as its own loving being.
Stephanie Bogue is quick on the draft at The Pour House, always serving up tasty suds from local breweries. Then you remember there's a killer band on-stage and you're set for the evening.
Stick Boy Bakery in downtown Fuquay is both delicious and the kind of place you want to while a morning away. Their 'Magic Cookies' and cinnamon rolls are out of this world!
Sugarland is an small shop with a huge personality.
The best guy jeans are at Vert & Vogue. Very professional workers and owners.
The BLTs at Merritt's Grill could effectively bring world peace. Everyone would be too busy wiping the tomato juice from their elbows to argue, fight or threaten. Best sandwich in the Triangle—hands down.
The Bookshop in Chapel Hill has a great selection of used books, great ambiance, and cats! What more could you ask for?
The Borough is the friendliest, most welcoming, most inclusive downtown neighborhood pub in the solar system. Bob Gault did wonders for my 1963 Mercury twice.
The Borough's staff is a menagerie of flavorful characters! They're a hoot! Burke Brothers Hardware has consistently given me the best customer service for the entirety of my Raleigh living. The Pinhook offers vegan brunch monthly, and it's amazing!
The Garden Salon is the best place to get an amazing salon experience. Erin is my favorite stylist.
The Pig is not only delicious, but they provide a criminally amazing vegan dish that means my husband & I can get barbecue together!
The Pit is one of the best places in Raleigh, period. One of my greatest pleasures is taking people there for their first time.
The Red Hen has everything— baby and toddler clothes, gear and equipment, books, gifts (jewelry and lotions and locally made pottery). I love shopping there, knowing I'm supporting a local business and being eco-friendly by buying resale kids clothing.
There isn't, never has been, and never will be any place as wonderful as Bahn's.
Tim Lyons with Blu Seafood. The best food around from the Tuna Tartar to the fish of the day. Tim could make cardboard taste like steak! SyncStudio, the best yoga and spin around. I have never wanted to wake up at 5:45 am to exercise! Now, I can't wait.
Toast, Toast, Toast! Can't get enough!!!
Triangle Acupuncture Clinic in Chapel Hill has made a huge difference in my overall health and well being. Wish I'd come to them sooner!
Triangle Brewing Co: Not only is the Golden Ale solid, the brew master gives the best brewery tours. He is very gracious and will answer any question you throw at him with true brewing passion! Best local tour by far.
TROSA Moving and Lawn Care are A+ for service quality and have an important social purpose.
Wasp Automotive will not hurt your pockets.
Vimala's Curryblossom Café has redefined the way to open and run a business, based on love, respect, friends, community and local farmers. With great faith she has arrived!
WCOM IS Carrboro Chapel Hill.
When you walk in Dain's you might see a student, a Duke professor, a starving artist, Republicans, Democrats, people who burned their voter's registration in the 60s. Everyone is welcomed and somehow the eclectic group makes everyone feel comfortable.
Whooo! No better place than IP3 for soccer.
Wine Authorities gives me a warm, happy feeling (even when I'm not drinking wine). Tracy at Joe Van Gogh is the best barista and the best person ever. Scratch does things with chocolate I didn't know were possible.
Wine Authorities is not just the best wine store in the Triangle, it is the best wine store I have been to in the US!
Wooden Nickel is totally unique and offers so much more than great food and service. It offers friendship too!
WXYC: Consistently weird, consistently awesome.
You know a place is good when you hesitate to tell people about how much you love it, for fear you'll never get a seat at the bar again, but Foundation has really hit all the right notes for Fayetteville Street's atmosphere.
Thank you Indy—you are the Best!
Thanks for making Best of the Triangle such a success. Looking forward to 2012!