Best of the Chippewa Valley 2015

the 9th annual Best of the Chippewa Valley Readers' Poll results are here, and they're all yours

The 2015 Results Are In!

Select a category to see the winners:

For the last nine years, we’ve turned to our readers — you guys — to chime in and speak up about your favorite places to eat, favorite bands in the area, favorite places, and favorite dishes at favorite restaurants in our Best of the Chippewa Valley Reader Poll (or BOTCVRP2K, if you like abbreviations). And you keep showing up to make it happen. 

This year’s poll saw perennial winners continue to dominate (The Joynt, Girolamo’s Court’n House), plus some exciting newcomers shaking things up (Eaux Claires Festival, The Classic Garage). But like every year, we have no idea how this thing is gonna shake out. This poll is completely driven by Chippewa Valley folk who are passionate to support (and if not support, weigh in on) every tiny facet of this community they love. That makes this a very, very special thing.

It’s you guys. It’s you all getting into it and voicing your opinions about the place you live. If you think something’s great, this poll celebrates how great that thing is. If you wish something were better, this poll shines a light on that thing and gets us all thinking of ways to make it better.

To us, this poll is an incredible thing, and that’s not to pat ourselves on the back. It’s you guys. It’s you all getting into it and voicing your opinions about the place you live. If you think something’s great, this poll celebrates how great that thing is. If you wish something were better, this poll shines a light on that thing and gets us all thinking of ways to make it better.

That’s the goal here: To make the Chippewa Valley a better place to live through the voices and votes of those who live here. Because really, the best burger joints or the best parks aren’t going to be the reason this is a great place to live. It’s the people here who populate those places and try new things and genuinely care about making their home great. After all, this is your home. Your neighbors are your neighbors. It’s up to both of you — not one or the other — to make this place great. There’s something kinda beautiful in that.

So to the thousands of voters who took the time to give their opinions, thank you for letting us and your community know what you think. Because really what’s the use of having a best burger without anyone special to eat it?

As you peruse these results, keep in mind ways to take advantage of them. If you see a great thing you haven’t tried, go try it! If something you disagree with disappoints you, let people know! We should all be striving to celebrate the things we have, and work on the things we don’t. That’s how places and people grow in harmony together.

This is big deal to us and — we believe — to this community. It starts with being active and engaged, trying things, going places, interacting with both your neighbors and your friends. So without further ado, here are the best of best.


Best Of Hall of Fame

Year in and year out, Chippewa Valley voters rank these winners as the cream of the crop in our poll. Here are the people, places, and things that have won their categories SIX or more straight years!

9-year Winners since 2007

Draganetti’s - Best Italian Food
Famous Dave’s - Best Barbecue
The Joynt - Best Bar for Talkin’
Scooters - Best Dance Floor
Michael Perry - Favorite Local Author
Savers - Best Place for Used Clothing
Buffalo Wild Wings - Best Sports Bar
Coon Fork - Best Place to Camp

8-year Winners since 2008

McKay and Donuts - Best Radio Show
Cancun Mexican Grill - Best Mexican Food
MOJO Blues Band - Best Blues Band
Eau Claire Dog Park - Best Place to Take a Pet

7-year Winners since 2009

Loopy’s - Best Bar for Outdoor Games/ League Sports
The Livery - Best Restaurant for Outdoor Dining
The GI’s Delusion - Best Specialty Drink
Irvine Park Zoo - Best Place to Take Your Kids
Big Falls County Park - Best Beach

6-year Winners since 2010

Altoona Family Restaurant - Best Restaurant for Comfort Food, Best Restaurant for Good Wait Staff
Girolamo’s Court’n House - Best Burger, Best Fish Fry, Best Bar Food
The Joynt - Best Happy Hour Spot
Texas Roadhouse - Best Steak
Happy Hollow - Best Bar for Indoor Games
Phoenix Park - Best Place for Live Music
Trader Joe’s - Structure We Want to See Locally Erected
UW-Eau Claire Jazz I - Best Jazz Band
Evergreen Grass Band - Best Bluegrass Band
Brent Douglas - Best Florist
Michaels - Best Arts and Crafts Store
Gordy’s Valley Spirits - Best Place to Buy Alcohol
Wagner’s Lanes - Best Bowling Alley
Leinie Lodge - Best Place to Impress Out-of-Town Guests