The ‘Best Of’ Poll:
Here’s to You, Volume One Readers

the 8th annual Best of the Chippewa Valley Readers' Poll 
results are here, and they're all yours

For the last eight 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 secret spots, favorite dishes at favorite restaurants in our Best of the Chippewa Valley Reader Poll 2014 (or BOTCVRP2K14, if you like abbreviations).

And every year you guys show up. I mean you really show up. To give you an idea what that looks like, 3,040 of you voted, casting 83,567 votes (compared to last year’s 66,445 — a 26 percent increase) on 178 categories. That’s a lot! Especially if you know how numbers work!

And this thing keeps getting bigger and bigger: the print issue showcasing this year's results is the single largest issue of Volume One ever printed. However, in those 88 pages (88 pages!), we’ve eschewed the bulk of our regular editorial content, covering all the latest events, music, books, art, eats, and Chippewa Valley happenings (don’t worry – it’ll all be back in two weeks!) in order to get the poll results out there in print.

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.

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. There's something kinda beautiful in that.

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 3,000+ voters, 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 community. So without further ado, here are the best of best.


Say Hello to the
‘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 five or more straight years!

EIGHT YEAR WINNERS

Draganetti’s

Best Italian Food since 2007

Famous Dave’s

Best Barbecue since 2007

The Joynt

Best Bar for Talkin’ since 2007

Scooters

Best Dance Floor/Bar for Dancing since 2007

Michael Perry

Favorite Local Author since 2007

Savers

Best Place for Used Clothing/Thrift Store since 2007

Kohl’s

Best Men’s Clothing Store since 2007

Racy’s

Best Café/Coffeehouse since 2007

Buffalo Wild Wings

Best Place to Watch the Big Game since 2007

Coon Fork Lake County Park

Best Place to Camp since 2007

SEVEN YEAR WINNERS

McKay and Donuts (B95)

Best Radio Show since 2008

Cancun Mexican Grill

Best Mexican Food since 2008

Mojo Lemon

Best Blues Band since 2008

Eau Claire Dog Park

Best Place to Take a Pet since 2008

SIX YEAR WINNERS

Loopy’s

Best Bar for Outdoor Games/League Sports since 2009

The Livery

Best Restaurant for Outdoor Dining AND Most Inspired/Interesting Restaurant Atmosphere since 2009

Grand Illusion’s Delusion

Best Specialty Drink since 2009

Farmers Markets

Things the Valley is Good At since 2009

Irvine Park Zoo

Best Place to Take Your Kids since 2009

Big Falls County Park

Best Beach since 2009

FIVE YEAR WINNERS

Altoona Family Restaurant

Best Restaurant for Comfort Food AND Best Restaurant for Good Wait Staff since 2010

Texas Roadhouse

Best Restaurant for Steak since 2010

Girolamo’s Court’n House

Best Burger AND Best Restaurant for a Fish Fry AND Best Overall Bar Food since 2010

The Joynt

Best Happy Hour Spot since 2010

Happy Hollow

Best Bar for Indoor Games since 2010

Phoenix Park

Best Place for Live Music since 2010

Trader Joe’s

Structure We Want to See Locally Erected since 2010

UW-Eau Claire Jazz I

Best Jazz Band since 2010

Evergreen Grass Band

Best Bluegrass Band since 2010

Brent Douglas

Best Florist since 2010

Michaels

Best Arts and Crafts Store since 2010

Gordy’s Valley Spirits

Best Place to Buy Alcohol since 2010

Wagner’s Lanes

Best Bowling Alley since 2010

Leinie Lodge and brewery tour

Best Place to Impress Out-of-Town Guests since 2010

Forgot your password?  Reset it »

Don't have an account yet?  Create one »