* = Includes Audience Choice

CITY LIFE

Best of the Best: Andersonville (2002)
Best of the Best: Blommer Chocolate (2002)
Best of the Best: Boystown (2002)
Best of the Best: Chicago Federal Center(2002)
Best of the Best: Cicero (2002)
Best of the Best: The Daley machine(2002)
Best of the Best: Devon Avenue (2002)
Best of the Best: Grant Park (2002)
Best of the Best: Greektown (2002)
Best of the Best: Hilliard Homes and Marina City (2002)
Best of the Best: Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathedral (2002)
Best of the Best: The intersection of Damen, North and Milwaukee (2002)
Best of the Best: John Hancock Center (2002)
Best of the Best: The Lakefront (2002)
Best of the Best: Lincoln Park (2002)
Best of the Best: Little Italy (2002)
Best of the Best: The Market District(2002)
Best of the Best: Navy Pier(2002)
Best of the Best: Parakeets in Hyde Park (2002)
Best of the Best: Pullman (2002)
Best of the Best: Sears Tower (2002)
Best of the Best: The Sun-Times’ writers (2002)
Best abiding sorrow mistaken for performance art(2007)
*Best accomplishment not yet carved on Burris’ tombstone (2009)
*Best airport security story, post-9/11(2002)
Best architectural restoration (2007)
Best argument for automated speed-enforcement cameras (2013)
*Best baby name for the Pete Wentz-Ashlee Simpson offspring(2008)
*Best Barack Obama moment (2008)
*Best bet about where Groupon’s stock price will be in 2017 (2012)
*Best bet to be the “next Oprah” from Chicago (2010)

*Best big Chicago company to work for (2008)
Best bilingual community radio station (2012)
Best budding media mogul (2009)

*Best candidate for governor (2002)
*Best candidate for governor of Illinois (2009)
*Best candidate for mayor who is likely to run (2010)
*Best candidate for mayor who is unlikely to run (2010)
*Best candidate for president, regardless of whether he or she is from Chicago (2012)
Best celebrity sighting in the past year (2007)

Best chance of making Time’s 100 Most Influential List in 2012 (2011)
Best Chicago-accent diatribe by someone in public office in the last year (2013)
*Best Chicago holiday tradition (2010)
*Best Chicago Twitterer for news (2013)
*Best city of Chicago department head (2013)
Best city of Chicago sustainability initiative that is suffering the most push back (2013)
Best commercial Pinterest account (2012)
Best crosswalk update (2012)
Best CTA success story (2013)
*Best dating nightmare (2002)
Best day trip to Bedford Falls (2010)
*Best Democratic candidate for US president(2007)
Best desperate attempt to land the 2016 Olympics (2008)
Best-dressed artist (2013)
Best El ride for graffiti(2013)
*Best El station (2011)
*Best El station for an earache(2002)
Best El station to witness a free musical performance (2012)
Best European import
(2008)
*Best example of a memo that Tribune executives Lee Abrams or Randy Michaels might write, but haven’t (2008)
Best example of Chicago’s global footprint (2012)
Best example of fighting the man and winning (2011)
Best example of former mayor Richard M. Daley channeling Gertrude Stein (2013)
Best example of why some folks are oblivious to the real estate crash and financial meltdown (2008)
Best fusion of passion and commerce (2009)
Best future candidate for president, regardless of whether he or she is from Chicago (2012)
*Best future owner of the Chicago Tribune (2011)

Best global foresight (2012)
*
Best guess about why the CTA decided to implement the new Ventra card system (2013)
*Best haunted site (2013)
Best hidden park (2010)
*Best hotel lobby (2010)
*Best iconic Chicago personality now that Studs is gone (2009)
Best iconic transformation (2008)
*Best idea to fix the CTA (2007)
*Best idea to forget about from Chicago 2016 (2009)
*Best idea to salvage from Chicago 2016 (2009)
Best idea we’d like to really see catch fire (2008)
*Best imaginary Oprah moment that won’t likely actually happen but, well, might have (2010)
*Best imaginary Oprah moment that won’t likely actually happen but, well, no, it never would (2010)
*Best imaginary Sun-Times headline (2002)
*Best imaginary Twitter post by Patti Blagojevich (2009)
*Best imagined dialogue between Sun-Times editor Jim Kirk and Michael Ferro, parent company Wrapports chairman, in deciding to eliminate the entire photography staff (2013)
Best immobile street performer(2013)
Best impersonation of a true Chicago politician (2011)
Best indicator that America needs a new healthcare policy (2009)
Best indicator(s) that America still needs a new healthcare policy (2012)
Best indoor make-out spot (2010)

Best Kickstarter campaign (2012)
Best local digital controversy (2007)

Best local drug scare(2013)
*Best local general-interest blog (2009)
Best local internet muckraker (2012)
*
Best local nonprofit (2007)
*Best local podcast (2010)
*Best local radio station (2011)
*
Best local transit app (2013)
*Best local TV weatherman (2011)
Best local window on the world (2012)
*
Best-looking female local TV personality (2011)
*Best-looking male local TV personality (2011)
Best macrocosmic El stop (2010)
*Best mayoral campaign slogan for Rahm (2010)
*Best Mayor Daley accomplishment of the past year (2009)
Best Mayor Daley debacle of the past year (2009)
Best memorial to heroic animals and circus performers (2013)
*Best memory from the trial of Rod Blagojevich (2010)
Best missed but little-known local figure (2008)
Best moment that made us proud of our country (2008)
Best museum award that probably won’t make the corporate stationery (2011)
*Best name for the building formerly known as Sears Tower (2009)
*Best name for The 606, other than The 606 or the Bloomingdale Trail (2013)
*Best neighborhood in which to weather the possible decline in real estate values precipitated, among other things, by the mortgage crisis(2007)
*Best neighborhood in which to exploit the possible decline in real estate values precipitated, among other things, by the mortgage crisis (2007)
Best neon sign to evoke the good life (2002)
Best new bikeway (2013)
Best new building built in the last year or so (2009)
*Best new career for deposed Channel 5 news reporter Amy Jacobson (2007)
Best new CTA station (2012)
*
Best new feature of the newly redesigned Tribune (2008)
*Best new gig for the Reverend Jeremiah Wright (2008)
Best new idea for public transportation (2013)
*Best new name for Humboldt Park (2007)
*Best new nickname for Sam Zell (2008)
Best new perfume (2013)
*Best new piece of architecture (2008)
Best new tourist attraction (2009)
*Best new work of architecture finished in the last year or so (2013)
Best newish downtown attraction (2012)
*
Best newly minted Chicago celebrity (2008)
*Best newsroom street level fish bowl (2009)
*Best next career for failed gubernatorial candidate Scott Lee Cohen (2010)
*Best next career for Jesse Jackson, Jr. (2010)
Best next dubious mascot for Chicago after “Chalkie” (2009)
Best next media moguls (2011)
*Best next neighborhood to gentrify, now that Humboldt Park’s on its way (2007)
Best next next next Wicker Park (2013)
*Best next thing for the city to privatize after selling off Midway Airport and the parking meters (2008)
*Best next thing for the state to privatize after selling off the Illinois Lottery (2008)
*Best next Twitter subject for Dan Sinker of @MayorEmanuel fame (2011)
Best niche website (2010)
Best nickname for that really enormous snowstorm last February (2011)
*Best nickname for the cops on Segways that patrol the parks (2007)
*
Best nickname from the Joey Lombardo mob trial (2007)
Best non-corporate neighborhood (2013)
Best novelty Twitter account (2012)
*Best opening paragraph from the memoirs of Richard M. Daley (2010)

*Best opening paragraph of an imaginary staff memo from Mayor Rahm Emanuel (2012)
*Best outcome from the Chicago Public Schools teachers strike (2012)
Best outdoor make-out spot (2010)

*Best outing on Metra, CTA or other public transit lines (2007)
Best part of the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan (2012)
Best part of the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan most likely to actually happen
(2012)
Best path to take a romantic walk at night (2013)
*Best personal encounter with a Chicago cop, that may or may not have ended up with you getting beat down, and may or may not have been videotaped and shown on television(2007)
Best place for a romantic stroll(2002)
Best place for dummies (2011)
Best place for children of the nineties to reminisce (2012)
Best place to chill out (2011)
Best place to drink in the forest preserves(2002)
Best place to enjoy a bag lunch by the river (2012)
Best place to find a panhandler (2007)
Best place to find people who are not necessarily rich but dress well (2012)
Best place to flaunt your genderfuck style (2013)
Best place to get lost in a crowd (2007)
Best place to get on Lake Shore Drive northbound from downtown (2007)
Best place to get on Lake Shore Drive southbound from downtown (2007)
Best place to nonchalantly check out the opposite sex (2008)
Best place to not stand on the El (2012)
*
Best place to people watch (2013)
Best place to see grown Chicagoans acting like little kids (2014)
Best place to see tattoos, piercings, dreads and sweet rides (2012)
Best place to smell the chocolate cloud (2011)
Best place to spot an alligator (2008)

Best place to spot Walking Guy (2012)
*
Best potential buyer of Tribune Publishing, among those names bandied about (2013)
Best post-WWII motel sign still standing, though the motel is long gone (2011)
*Best prison name for Blago (2012)
Best proposal for Chicago’s next landmark (2010)

Best public restroom (2013)
Best Rahm policy reversal (2012)
Best reason for Chicagoans to boast to their lefty West Coast friends
(2012)
Best reason for the real estate market to turn around soon (2009)

Best reason for vexillologists to live in Chicago(2013)
Best reason not to diss Richard Roeper (2007)
Best reason to appreciate the CTA’s long-lingering “slow zones” on the Blue Line (2007)
Best reason to wonder if Mayor Daley is really in charge (2007)
Best refuge from drunken frat boys and other urban miseries (2011)
*Best relic of the “Devil in the White City” era still extant (2007)
Best reproduction of a Monopoly game square (2010)
*Best Republican candidate for US President (2007)
*Best Rod Blagojevich accomplishment of the past year and we’re being serious here (2009)

Best Russian orthodox church designed by an American architect (2012)
Best secret flower patch in Chicago
(2012)
Best shoutout to Chicago’s gun violence by a national late-night talk-show host (2013)
Best sign of the Armageddon in 2008 (2008)
*Best sign that Rahm is not Richie (2011)
*
Best sign that Rosie is not Oprah (2011)
Best single-purpose fake Twitter account (2013)
*Best slogan for Chicago to make the world forget about all those nasty murders they keep hearing about (2012)
Best smelling bike lane
(2011)
Best-smelling El stop (2013)
Best South Side intersection for old-school dining and jazz (2010)
Best spot for celeb sightings (2010)
Best story… period (2014)
Best street to drive down (2007)
*Best suggestion for a more appropriate location for the controversial TRUMP sign(2014)
Best ten reasons not to leave Chicago (2011)
*Best thing about Millennium Park besides the Bean (2009)
Best thing about Snowmageddon (2011)
*Best thing about that whole NATO Summit business (2012)
*Best thing about the new Divvy bike-sharing system (2013)
Best thing about the new parking meters (2009)
*Best thing about the return of Bill & Walter to Channel 2 (2010)
Best thing to happen to Chicago nonprofits (2009)
*Best thing to name after Richard M. Daley (2010)
Best thing to never do on the Blue Line(2013)
*Best thing we can expect from the Tribune sale (2007)
Best threesome (2011)
Best touch of Paris (2007)
Best transvestite watching (2010)
*Best tweeting by a local news or politics personality (2009)
Best under-the-radar local nonprofit (2007)
*
Best unexpected manifestation of the smoking ban (2008)
Best unhinged Twitter account linked to local public transit(2013)
Best university from which to be denied tenure (2007)
Best unrecognized historic tragedy (2012)
Best unrecognized landmark to Chicago’s gay community(2008)

Best use of $100 million (2012)
Best view from a parking garage (2007)
*Best view of the Lake (2009)

Best view of the skyline you never expect (2012)
Best view without the Lake (2009)

Best warrior against the hegemony of car culture (2009)
Best way to anger a long line of commuters (2013)
*Best way for Chicago’s Olympics to outdo the Beijing Olympics (2008)
Best way to cement your status as a Chicagoan (2013)
*Best way to describe Chicago weather (2012)
*Best way to end Chicago’s budget woes (2010)

*Best way to end the city’s budget crisis (2009)
Best way to feel like you’re helping the homeless without much effort
(2012)
Best way to keep your balance on the El (2013)
Best way to relive the terrors of your daily commute (2012)
Best way to squander $2.75 billion and defund public transportation (2013)
Best zoological additions to Chicago

CULTURE & NIGHTLIFE

Best of the Best: “The Adventures of Augie March”(2002)
Best of the Best: Art Institute of Chicago (2002)
Best of the Best: Berlin(2002)
Best of the Best: Brew and View at the Vic Theatre (2002)
Best of the Best: Buddy Guy’s Legends (2002)
Best of the Best: Chicago Botanic Gardens (2002)
Best of the Best: Chicago Cultural Center(2002)
Best of the Best: Chicago Symphony Orchestra (2002)
Best of the Best: Delilah’s(2002)
Best of the Best: Doc Films, University of Chicago (2002)
Best of the Best: Empty Bottle(2002)
Best of the Best: Field Museum(2002)
Best of the Best: Fireside Bowl(2002)
Best of the Best: Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio (2002)
Best of the Best: Garfield Park Conservatory(2002)
Best of the Best: The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute (2002)
Best of the Best: Goodman Theatre (2002)
Best of the Best: Green Mill(2002)
Best of the Best: The Hideout(2002)
Best of the Best: House Music (2002)
Best of the Best: International Museum of Surgical Science (2002)
Best of the Best: Jazz Showcase(2002)
Best of the Best: Jimmy’s Woodlawn Tap & Liquor Store (2002)
Best of the Best: Lyric Opera (2002)
Best of the Best: Matchbox(2002)
Best of the Best: The Metro(2002)
Best of the Best: Museum of Science and Industry (2002)
Best of the Best: Music Box(2002)
Best of the Best: Newberry Library(2002)
Best of the Best: Northalsted Market Days(2002)
Best of the Best: Old Town School of Folk Music(2002)
Best of the Best: Printers Row Book Fair (2002)
Best of the Best: The Second City(2002)
Best of the Best: Steppenwolf Theatre Company(2002)
Best of the Best: Studs Terkel(2002)
Best of the Best: Tuman’s Alcohol Abuse Center (2002)
Best 12×12 solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art (2010)
Best abiding sorrow mistaken for performance art (2007)
Best actor to make Chicago proud this year (2009)

Best African music night (2013)
Best album covers by a local label (2014)
Best alkie end-of-nighter nightspot that we’ll never forget, or remember for that matter (2013)
Best all-nude cast (2013)
Best alternative art-space fundraiser (2009)
Best alternative dance club (2007)
Best amateur-band regional touring nightspot (2013)
Best anniversary fest for a music empire now gone (2011)
Best anniversary fest for a music empire still living (2011)
Best annual music festival(2007)
Best annual public art event (2012)
Best apology for interrupting an opening-night performance (2013)
Best approximation of South Beach Miami(2007)

Best architectural restoration (2007)
Best art beer(2013)
Best art exhibit at a gallery (2013)
Best art comeback (2013)
Best art exhibit in Second Life (2007)
*Best art exhibit (in the last year or so)(2007)
*Best art exhibit (in the last year or so)(2008)
*Best art exhibit (in the last year or so) (2009)
*Best art exhibit (in the last year or so) (2010)
*Best art exhibit in the last year or so (2011)
*Best art exhibit in the last year or so (2012)
*
Best art exhibit in the last year or so (2013)
Best art exhibit (in the last year or so) held in the suburbs (2010)
Best art exhibition about architecture in an architecturally significant building (2011)
Best art-exhibition catalogue design (2011)
Best art exhibition catalogue design in the last year or so (2012)
*Best art gallery (2011)
Best art interview LP (2012)
Best art museum that is not an art museum (2012)
*
Best art-opening parties (2008)
Best art reading (2012)
Best art road trip (2013)
Best art school for hobbyists (2011)
*Best art show (in the last year or so)(2002)
Best artist bookstore (2009)
*Best artist who has yet to play Lollapalooza but should (2008)
Best artwork worth saving from destruction(2007)
Best authentic German pub interior (2013)
Best awkward silence(2013)
Best bar above Lawrence Avenue (2008)
Best bar for free popcorn and NES video gaming (2011)
Best bar standup comedy night (2013)
Best bar that emulates your father’s basement(2007)
Best bar to get a martini and manicure (2012)
*
Best bar to have a conversation in (2008)
Best bar to pick up a molecular biologist (with patents) (2002)
Best bar to pretend you’re someone else (2007)
Best bar to see a reading (2009)

Best bar to smoke on New Year’s Eve, before the non-smoking ban goes into effect (2007)
Best bar to time travel in (2010)

Best bar turned rock venue (2013)
Best bar-turned-rock venue (in the last year or so) (2007)
Best basement gallery (2011)
Best bathroom boot camp (2009)
*Best blues club (2011)
Best book-critic inspiration (2013)
Best book to get laid with(2014)
Best book written by a local author (in the last year or so) (2008)
Best booth at EXPO Chicago (2013)
*Best bowling alley(2008)
Best breakout booze and lit reading series (2013)
Best bridge to live under (2012)
Best brother/sister garage rock band (2010)

Best burgeoning Chicago film career (2007)
Best cabaret(2002)

*Best candidate for “One Book Chicago” still untapped (2007)
Best Chicago art boosters (2008)
*Best Chicago-as-Gotham moment in “The Dark Knight” (2008)
Best Chicago comic book convention (2011)
Best Chicago drinking blast from the past (2013)
*Best Chicago record label (2011)
Best Chicago-related TV series (2013)
*Best Chicago theater company (2013)
Best Chicago theater company not in Chicago (2013)
Best Chicago version of the Eurythmics (2011)
Best Christmas festival (2008)
Best collaborative accomplishment in the arts (2011)
Best college campus art gallery (2008)
*Best college campus art gallery or museum (2013)
*Best college radio station (2008)
*Best college radio station (2013)
Best combination of elasmobranchology and potty humor (2012)
Best combo of Chicago cultural traditions (2013)
Best comic-relief sidekick (2009)
Best concentration of employees who are also recording artists (2013)
Best conceptually complicated exhibition to be mounted in what is essentially an office (2012)
Best contemporary dance company you’ll never see again (2013)
Best controversy over a theatrical review (2013)
Best controversy where there was none (2011)
Best corner for public evangelizing (2012)
*
Best country album by a Chicago artist (in the last year or so)(2002)
Best country bar to belt Zac Brown Band without shame (2012)
Best creative use of an arboretum (2011)
Best critical art project in Chicago this year (2012)
Best crowd-sourced event in a museum
(2011)
Best current Chicago band that sounds like a post-punk group from 1982 (2013)
*Best dance club (2011)
Best date move (2013)
Best design slogan (2013)
Best digital tour through a museum’s collection (2011)
Best dinner party with fascists, anarchists and feminists (2012)
*
Best dive bar(2013)
Best dive bar featuring all-German beer (2010)
Best divey 4am LGBT bar without wood paneling (2013)
Best DJ masquerading as a lawyer (2014)
Best downtown dive bar you’ve never heard of (2013)
Best drag/art fusion (2013)
Best drag performer (2007)
Best drag queen pickup spot (2013)
Best drink with a view (2012)
Best eighties dance night (2010)

Best El station art installation (2013)
Best emerging art gallery (2011)
Best enigma of an exhibition (2013)
Best event to see (and swoon over) Ira Glass in person (2012)
Best example of overcoming secondcityitis (2007)
Best excuse to revisit the eighties
(2011)
Best exhibition design (2013)
Best expatriate turned international music community ambassador (2013)
Best facelift on a North Side bar (2012)
Best fact about Chicago wildlife (2013)
Best 50-cent beer night (2011)
Best first date (2010)

Best five dollars you can spend on a Thursday night(2008)
*Best foreign cultural center in Chicago (2012)
Best foreign film festival in Chicago
(2012)
Best foreshadowing of the smokers purgatory to come (2007)
Best 4am bar worth a cab ride (2007)

Best free art-exhibition catalogues (2011)
Best free indie parties sponsored by a corporation (2011)
Best free show (2013)
Best Friday night dance party no one knows about(2008)
Best funky theater venue (2012)
Best gallery show in the last year (2009)

Best gallery showing Chicago artists (2011)
Best gallery space located in a bathroom (2009)

Best gallery to people-watch(2014)
Best German heritage event (2012)
Best group booty call (2013)
*Best guess as to where Billy Dec is and what he’s doing right now (2009)
Best handmade book publisher we’re all really rooting for (2013)
Best high-school murals to get teenaged boys interested in art (2009)
Best hipster-free bar in Wicker Park/Ukrainian Village (2009)
Best hipster specialty dance night (non-Soul Night division) (2011)
*Best holiday-themed theatrical production (2010)
Best houseplant garden in an art gallery (2012)
*Best hypothetical story line for “Trapped in the Closet” chapter 23 (2007)
Best “I gotta go back there just to see her” bartender
(2011)
Best “I gotta go back there just to see her” hostess
(2011)
*Best idea for Desiree Rogers to use to revive Chicago icon Ebony/Jet (2010)

*Best idea for Hugh Hefner to use to revive Chicago icon Playboy (2010)
Best idea to improve the moviegoing experience (2013)
*Best imaginary Twitter post by Studs Terkel (2009)
Best improv club (2011)
Best independent comics event (2012)
Best independent curator (2013)
Best independent feminist bookstore you could own(2013)
Best individual accomplishment in the arts (2011)
Best insider’s view of Chicago’s underground art scene (2013)
Best institutional accomplishment in the arts (2011)
Best international showing of Chicago artists (2012)
Best Irish bar (2008)

Best irreplaceable loss for the culture (2011)
Best itinerary for creeps(2002)

Best Japanese-inspired garden (2007)
*
Best jazz album by a Chicago artist (in the last year or so) (2002)
*Best jazz club (2011)
Best jazz musician to make us proud in the near future(2002)
*Best John Hughes movie set in or around Chicago (2009)
*Best Kanye West lyric he’ll likely never write (2013)
Best kinky dance party(2013)
Best late-night holiday-themed theatrical production (2010)
Best lesbian karaoke (2013)
Best literary impulse (2012)
Best literary monument (2010)

*Best live music show (in the last year or so) (2009)
Best live rendition of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” onstage (2013)
*Best local actor (2010)
*Best local arts, culture or nightlife blog (2009)
Best local band to almost make the cover of Rolling Stone (2011)
Best local Barack Obama propaganda(2008)
*Best local dance company (2012)
*Best local DJ (2010)

Best local mainstream-comic-book creator (2007)
*Best local music festival (2010)

Best local publisher (2002)
Best local TED alternative (2012)
Best longest-running show in Chicago (2014)
Best-looking band (2007)
*Best-looking bartenders or wait staff (2007)
Best Lost Boys treehouse gallery(2014)
*Best mainstream movie theater (2010)

Best marching-band documentary by the best Chicago artist who is not a Chicago artist (2012)
*
Best martini selection (2008)
*Best memory shaken loose by the re-release of Liz Phair’s “Exile in Guyville”(2008)
Best merger of sports and art (2013)
Best microbrewery in a historic district (2012)
Best midweek jazz boite (2011)
Best missing attraction in Chicago(2002)
Best monthly queer dance party (2007)
Best mother/daughter directorial effort (2013)
Best museum exhibit with really really really ambiguous educational value (2009)
*Best name other than “Nothing Like the Holidays” for renaming the movie once known as “Humboldt Park” (2008)
Best neighborhood music fest (2010)
Best new album by a local artist (in the last year or so) (2007)
Best new art gallery (2012)
Best new art gallery on a car bumper (2013)
Best new art residency (2010)
Best new artist book artist (2012)
*Best new bar (opened in the last year or so) (2007)
*Best new bar or club (opened in the last year or so) (2009)
*Best new bar or club (opened in the last year or so) (2011)
*Best new bar or club opened in the last year or so (2012)
*
Best new bar or club opened in the last year or so (2013)
*Best new bar (opened in the last year or so)(2002)
*Best new bar (opened in the last year or so)(2008)
*Best new bar or nightclub (opened in the last year or so) (2010)
Best new book about Chicago’s sordid past (2007)
*Best new Boystown spot(2007)
*
Best new Chicago band(2002)
*Best new club (opened in the last year or so)(2007)
*
Best new dance club (opened in the last year or so) (2002)
Best new dance venue that was already a dance venue renamed after a still-physically-existing-but-no-longer-a-venue-for-dance venue (2013)
Best new DIY event space (2014)
Best new free event in Chicago (2007)
Best new gallery of the future
(2011)
*
Best new gay or lesbian club (opened in the last year or so) (2002)
Best new high-touch design venue (2014)
Best new literary event (2011)
Best new literary festival (2013)
*Best new live music club (opened in the last year or so)(2002)
Best new live music venue (2009)
Best new Monday night dance party (2008)
Best new mural (2011)
Best new music venue (2008)

*Best new nightclub (opened in the last year or so) (2008)
*Best new “nom de guerre” for Chief Keef to make everyone forget about the tragic Lil JoJo business (2012)
Best new podcast (2008)

Best new record-label mogul, workwear pioneer and proud owner of three chickens (2013)
Best new restaurant/lounge hybrid(2002)
Best new scene to be seen (2009)
Best new show by a MacArthur “genius” (2013)
Best new singles event (2007)
Best new theater company for intellectuals (2013)
Best new trend (2009)
Best new trend in free (or damn close) Chicago theater (2011)
Best new venue for experimental arts (2013)
Best new world record held by Chicagoans (2009)
*Best next foe for the rival film critic who smacked Roger Ebert at a screening (2008)
Best next local Twitter tracker after the “Tamale Guy tracker” (2009)
*Best next role for Jeremy Piven (2007)
Best night at the Music Box Theatre (2007)
*Best night ever at Smart Bar (2007)
Best non-senior, non-student discount (2008)

Best nonsense for your buck (2007)
Best nontraditional portrait(2013)
Best one-man show by a convicted rapist with a face tattoo (2013)
*Best ongoing event/night at a dance club(2002)
Best onstage birth (2013)
Best onstage mess-making (2008)
Best onstage rock band that never plays a song(2013)
Best onstage use of live rats (2013)
Best open mic (2010)
Best open-studio holiday art sale (2009)
Best opportunity for emerging artists (2013)
Best outdoor bar (2010)
Best painter under the age of 25 (2009)
Best painting show (in the last year or so) (2011)
*Best piano bar (2009)

Best ping-pong bar (2012)
*
Best place for a first date (2008)
*Best place for celeb sightings (2012)
Best place for Madonna madness (2010)

Best place to dance samba (2012)
Best place to drink champagne (2007)
Best place to eye a boy toy (2009)
Best place to fly your freakiest flag (2012)
Best place to get a Guinness float (2007)
Best place to get a one-dollar mug of Old Style (2009)

Best place to get drunk before 10am (2010)
Best place to get in touch with your inner Lemmy (2011)
Best place to get your pyromaniacal hippie on (2012)
Best place to get your stinkin’ wino on in greater Liquor Park (2007)
Best place to go when Lollapalooza rains out (2012)
*Best place to have a bachelor party (2010)

*Best place to have a bachelorette party (2010)
Best place to have Spring Break all summer (2007)
*Best place to hear world music year round (2012)
Best place to hook up with your future sugar baby or daddy (2013)
Best place to inhale Italian-American culture (2012)
*
Best place to play board games(2008)
Best place to play darts (2008)
Best place to pregame for a Stravinsky concert (2013)
Best place to pretend you’re on a tropical vacation (2007)
Best place to read Faulkner (2007)
Best place to see a film longer than most people get to sleep each night (2007)
*Best place to see an author reading (2010)

*Best place to see art films (2009)
*Best place to see art films(2014)
*Best place to see comedy (2013)
*Best place to see contemporary dance performances (2007)
Best place to see emerging artists at work (2008)
Best place to see live world music now that HotHouse is gone (2007)
Best place to see movies outdoors (2002)

Best place to tip the bartender (2007)
Best place to volunteer your time and have a good time while doing it(2008)

*Best place to watch soccer on TV (2008)
Best Polish pub with tiki ambiance (2010)
Best political art performance reenactment (2012)
Best polyamory meet-up (2013)
Best portrayal of hipsters(2013)
*Best post-Cubs-game bar (2008)
Best printmaking studio (2010)
Best production of a play you may have expected to be boring (2008)
Best proof that we’re not in Kansas anymore(2008)
Best public art failure (2011)
Best puppy art (2013)
Best quiet museum space with a striking collection of contemporary art (2010)
Best Reading Series at 9pm on a Tuesday(2013)
Best “Real World” cast member from Chicago (2002)
*Best reality-show contestant from Chicago (2009)
Best reason not to go to Lollapalooza (2007)
Best reason to cheat (2009)

Best reason to concede “Say Anything” is so twentieth century (2007)
Best reason to go to Lollapalooza (2007)
Best reason to learn how to pronounce Marisa Wegrzyn’s last name (2007)
Best reason to look up (2007)
Best reason to sit still for three-and-a-half hours (2007)
Best reason why we don’t deserve anything nice (2002)

Best reborn heritage event (2012)
*Best regular club night (2007)
Best regular magic show (2013)
Best regular trumpet gig (2010)
Best reminder of Chicago’s old Serbian community (2012)
Best revitalized old guard art space (2013)
*Best Riccardo Muti moment at the CSO (2010)
Best rise of the undead (2008)
*Best rock album by a Chicago artist in the last year or so (2002)
*Best rock club (2011)
*
Best rock or pop album by a Chicago artist (in the last year or so) (2008)
*Best rooftop bar (2009)
Best Russian literature class (2012)
Best sculpture by a painter (2013)
Best sculpture in a garden (2012)
*Best Second City personality of the last fifty years (2009)

Best second coming of HAL (2008)
Best shout-out to the Black Power poet Amiri Baraka at EXPO Chicago (2012)
*Best show ever at the Metro (2007)
Best simulacrum (2013)
Best smallest bar (2013)
Best SNL Chicago comedian grab (2012)
Best solo art show (in the last year or so)
(2011)
Best sound art (2013)
Best source for jazz concert listings(2013) 
Best splash made by a local press in the last year (2013)
Best sports bar named after an Irish playwright who wrote in English as well as French (2011)
Best stage reboot (2012)
Best street art delivery service (2010)

*Best theater production (in the last year or so)(2002)
*Best theater production (in the last year or so) (2007)
*
Best theater production (in the last year or so)(2008)
*Best theater production (in the last year or so) (2009)
*Best theater production (in the last year or so) (2010)
*Best theater production in the last year or so (2011)
*Best theater production in the last year or so (2012)
*
Best theater production in the last year or so (2013)
*Best new theater space (opened in the last year or so) (2002)
Best theatrical cameo (2012)
Best theatrical illness(2013)
*Best thing about the Art Institute’s new Modern Wing (2009)
*Best thing about Tony Tasset’s “Eye” sculpture (2010)
Best tied house (2008)
Best time to get into the Green Mill for free (2013)
*Best title for a future Fall Out Boy record (2007)
*Best title for a future Kanye West record (2007)
*
Best title for the next album by R. Kelly(2002)
Best tribute show that’s actually a play (2013)
Best Tumblr dedicated to semi-sarcastic Chicago-specific GIFs (2012)
*
Best TV series currently or recently set in Chicago (2011)
Best TV show set in Chicago that actually filmed here (2011)
Best tweeting by an art personality (2011)
*Best tweeting by local arts and culture personality (2009)
Best twenty-four-hour performing-arts event (2013)
Best under-the-radar-but-still-toiling-away playwright (2010)
Best underground gallery (2009)
Best underground press (2007)
Best underrated late-night dance party
(2008)
Best unexpected exhibition in an unexpected museum (2011)
Best unexpected piano soloist (2010)
Best unexpected place to see Chicago artists (2013)
Best unexpected place to see contemporary art (2010)
Best unexpectedly touching eulogy (2009)
Best unknown party space in a bar(2008)
Best use of a washboard(2008)
Best use of abandoned property (2009)
Best use of AstroTurf by a museum (2013)
Best use of Lil’ Wayne and Rick Ross in art (2012)
Best venue launch (in the last year or so) (2009)

Best venue to watch a mosh pit without having to be in one (2013)
Best vintage TV show filmed in Chicago (2010)
Best viral form of mad cow disease (2007)
Best water fountain (2012)
Best way to blow five bucks and laugh about it (2010)

Best way to disband a performance company(2008)
Best way to experience a band in person that you will most likely never, ever, ever, never get to see play live. Ever. (2011)
Best way to get trashed and see a show at the same time and have it be appropriate (2011)
Best way to see new movies cheap, even on a Saturday night (2012)
*
Best whiskey bar (2013)
Best windowless no-frills neighborhood bar with cheap Cosmopolitans (2010)
Best “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist” contestant from Chicago (2011)
Best zine scene (2011)

FOOD & DRINK

Best of the Best: Al’s #1 Italian Beef (2002)
Best of the Best: Aruns(2002)
Best of the Best: The Berghoff(2002)
Best of the Best: Billy Goat(2002)
Best of the Best: Blackbird (2002)
Best of the Best: Charlie Trotter (2002)
Best of the Best: Foodlife(2002)
Best of the Best: Frontera Grill(2002)
Best of the Best: Harold’s Chicken Shack (2002)
Best of the Best: Irazu(2002)
Best of the Best: La Pasadita (2002)
Best of the Best: Lem’s Bar-B-Q House (2002)
Best of the Best: Leo’s Lunchroom (2002)
Best of the Best: Lula Cafe(2002)
Best of the Best: Manny’s (2002)
Best of the Best: Margie’s Candies(2002)
Best of the Best: Mario’s Italian Lemonade(2002)
Best of the Best: Maxwell Street Polish (2002)
Best of the Best: Pizzerias Uno and Due(2002)
Best of the Best: Pompeii Bakery (2002)
Best of the Best: Superdawg (2002)
Best of the Best: Tru(2002)
Best of the Best: Vienna Beef(2002)
Best of the Best: Wiener Circle(2002)
Best after-work buffet (2009)
Best airport food(2002)
Best alcohol to trick your friends into drinking (2011)
*
Best al fresco dining(2013)
Best all-you-can-eat sushi buffet (2012)
Best Amaro cocktails menu
(2012)
Best American culinary discovery(2007)

Best Amerindian-African food (2009)
Best-anticipated German restaurant opening (2012)
Best argument that Chicago is a great food town(2007)

Best Argentinean food (2012)
*
Best authentic martini(2002)
Best award of Michelin stars (2010)
Best bakery tortes(2008)
Best ballpark dog (2002)
*Best banh mi (2010)
Best bar snack (2013)
*Best barbecue (2010)
Best beer festival (2011)
Best Beijing (formerly Peking) duck service (2008)
Best Berlin-style sour beer (2012)
Best birrieria (2008)
*Best Bloody Mary (2002)
*Best bloody mary (2007)
Best boozy dessert (2013)
Best borscht (2010)
Best bottled cocktail (2013)
Best brains in Chicago (2010)
Best breadsticks (2007)
Best breakfast alternative to the wait at Cozy Corner (2009)
Best breakfast/lunch spot in a flower shop (2009)
Best breakfast spot for late risers (2012)
Best broccoli rabe (2010)

*Best brunch(2002)
*Best brunch(2007)
*Best brunch (2012)
Best brunch (non-frou-frou division)
(2011)
*
Best bubble tea (2008)
*Best Buffalo wings (2009)
*Best burgers (2009)
Best café for coffee and respect (2008)
Best café for sprawling out(2008)
Best cafe to experience a scene out of “Portlandia” (They can pickle that!)(2013)
Best cafe with a deceptively Russian name (2012)
*
Best Cajun/New Orleans-style restaurant (2008)
Best Camarones a la Diabla (2012)
Best Caribbean-style fish (2012)
Best caviar and ice cream combo (2013)
Best chai (2012)
Best “changing of the guard” in the restaurant world
(2012)
Best cheap classy pizza and beer special (2014)
Best cheap Mexican food (2011)
Best cheese sandwich (2011)
Best chef blogger (2009)

Best “Chicago” tamales (2010)
Best Chicago-themed restaurant on the North Side (2011)
*Best chicken (2013)
Best chicken sandwich (2007)
*Best chicken Vesuvio(2008)
*Best chili (2009)
Best chili dog(2007)
Best cocktails for the indecisive (2013)
Best collegiate cookbook (2011)
Best contribution to the smell of Chicago (2013)
Best Costa Rican restaurant (2012)
Best crackers (2013)
Best cranberry borscht (2011)
*
Best croissant(2013)
Best crowd-sourced local brewery (2011)
*
Best Cuban sandwich (2008)
Best Cubano (2012)
Best culinary tours (2011)
Best cup of tea (2013)
Best cupcake from a vending machine (2012)
Best cupcake tours (2011)
*Best cupcakes (2011)
Best cured meat (2013)
*Best deli (2010)
Best designer cake shop(2008)
Best diner to take an uncomfortable suburbanite (2013)
Best dish that most closely resembles your grandma’s secret stuffing(2008)
Best dive-bar burger time capsule(2013)
Best dive bar with gourmet grub(2008)
Best downtown cafeteria (2010)
Best-dressed Irish bar owner (2012)
Best Earth Day celebration (2011)
*Best empanada (2009)
*Best Ethiopian restaurant(2007)
*Best Ethiopian restaurant (2012)
Best fake reason Laurent Gras left Lettuce Entertain You’s L20 after it was awarded three stars (2010)

*Best falafel(2007)
*Best falafel (2012)
Best Filipino breakfast (2010)

*Best fish & chips(2007)
*Best fish and chips
(2012)
*Best fish tacos (2010)

Best Flinstonian roast meat presentation (2012)
Best focaccia bread (2012)
*
Best foie gras, now that it’s legal again(2008)
*Best food at Taste of Chicago (2002)
Best food business move of the year (2010)
*Best food truck (2010)
Best 4am pizza delivery (2013)
*Best french fries (2011)
Best French toast (2009)

*Best fried chicken(2008)
Best fried meat (2013)
*Best fried shrimp (2008)
Best fried vegetables (2013)
*Best frozen cocktail(2008)
*Best gastropub, whether or not it calls itself a gastropub (2007)
Best gin & tonic (2013)
Best gourmet Asian (2012)
*Best gourmet carryout (2009)

*Best gourmet doughnut shop (2012)
Best granitas (2009)

*Best Greek restaurant (2011)
Best grilling rub recipe (2011)
Best grocery store (2007)
*Best guacamole(2002)
*Best guacamole (2007)
*Best guess on what next media stunt the artist formerly known as Graham Elliot Bowles will employ to promote his burgeoning TV and restaurant empire? (2010)

Best hamburger empire based in Chicago besides McDonalds (2009)
Best handcrafted non-alcoholic drinks (2011)
Best Hawaiian lunch spot (2011)
*Best high-end chef serving low-end food (2010)
Best high tea (2010)
Best holiday potluck dish (2011)
Best hotdog shack(2008)
*Best house-made charcuterie (2009)
Best house-made radler (2014)
Best hummus (2013)
Best hummus alternative (2013)
Best humungous margaritas (2011)
*Best imaginary Twitter post by Herman Joseph Berghoff (2009)
Best Indian buffet (2012)
*Best Indian restaurant (2009)

Best Indonesian food (2012)
Best Injera bread (2012)
*
Best Italian beef sandwich (2011)
Best Italian breakfast (2012)
Best juice (2013)
Best late-night industry darling (2013)
Best latte art (2010)
Best Lithuanian bakery (2011)
Best local bbq sauce (2010)

*Best local food blog (2009)
Best local jam (2012)
*Best local spirit/liquor (2010)

Best locally brewed beer(2008)
Best lunchtime fish special (2009)
*Best macaron (2010)
Best masochistic move by a local chef (2010)
*Best meatball sandwich (2010)
Best meatless tzimmes (2011)
Best meatloaf sandwich (2008)
*Best Mexican restaurant (2011)
*Best Middle Eastern restaurant (2010)

Best mignardise (2013)
*Best milkshake (2011)
Best mimosa deal for getting drunk before noon (2013)
Best mochi (2013)
*Best mojitos (2002)
*Best mojitos (2007)
Best Montreal-style poutine in Chicago (2009)

Best Moroccan (2012)
Best Moroccan recipe on a Chicago food website (2012)
Best museum-worthy cupcakes (2010)

Best mussels (2011)
Best never-before-revealed reasons why the Publican restaurant (from the Blackbird and Avec team) took so long to open(2008)
Best new Al Capone shrine (2007)
Best new brewery
(2011)
*Best new chef (2009)

Best new falafel sandwich bar (2009)
Best new fatty food trend (2011)
Best new Japanese fusion restaurant that’s not L20 (2008)

Best new Middle Eastern restaurant(2008)
Best new neighborhood brewery and restaurant (2012)
Best new pancake house(2008)

*Best new restaurant (opened in the last year or so)(2002)
*Best new restaurant (opened in the last year or so)(2007)
*
Best new restaurant (opened in the last year or so)(2008)
*Best new restaurant (opened in the last year or so) (2009)
*Best new restaurant (opened in the last year or so) (2010)
*Best new restaurant (opened in the last year or so) (2011)
*Best new restaurant opened in the last year or so (2012)
*
Best new restaurant opened in the last year or so (2013)
Best new South Side restaurant to earn a Michelin Bib Gourmand award (2010)
Best of the new steakhouses (2010)
Best nightclub trend we’d like to see catch on(2007)
Best $9 curry braised duck, pickled cauliflower and mint chutney yogurt on baguette at a BYOB
(2011)
Best non-bbq rib (2009)

Best non-traditional horchata (2012)
*Best noodles (2009)

Best outdoor lunch (2002)
*Best pancakes (2010)
Best panzanella salad twist(2008)
Best pasta dish (2009)
Best pastillas (2012)
*Best pastries (2009)

*Best pastry chef (2013)
Best peach cobbler (2010)
Best Persian restaurant (2010)
*Best Peruvian restaurant (2013)
Best Philly cheesesteak (2013)
*Best pizza (2011)
Best pizza place for ghastly late-night madness and existentialism (2012)
Best pizza served in a non-delivery/not strictly Italian restaurant
(2012)
Best place for an inexpensive lunch of unadulterated food in the North Michigan Avenue area if you are tired and hungry after gazing in the windows at Chanel or pondering the latest conundrums at the MCA but don’t want to go to a food court or an expensive restaurant (2010)

*Best place for craft cocktails (2007)
*Best place for craft cocktails (2012)
*
Best place for dessert(2008)
*Best place for dessert (2013)
Best place for fast food with a side order of social guilt (2013)
Best place for high-rise dwellers to emulate the backyard barbecue, any time of year (2007)
Best place for inexpensive French toast (2010)

Best place for Mayor McCheese to commandeer on Foursquare if McDonald’s fired him (2010)
Best place for wholesale tofu (2011)
Best place to buy Lechon in a trailer (2009)
Best place to buy Russian buckwheat, ginger cookies and kvass (2012)
Best place to eat brick (2007)
Best place to eat, drink, and party in a traditional-but-relaxed place with excellent food close to Chicago, thus immune to Hizzoner’s threatened smoking ban(2002)

*Best place to drink bourbon (2009)
Best place to drink caipirinha
(2012)
Best place to eat Brazilian appetizers (2012)
Best place to eat head cheese (2009
)
Best place to get a decent meal after midnight (2010)
Best place to get dripped on by an errant a/c unit (2013)
*Best place to get a salad(2008)
Best place to get red caviar (2012)
Best place to get your bag lunch
(2012)
*Best place to get your picnic (2007)
Best place to go after a gallery opening that’s not Perez (2013)
Best place to keep kosher for lunch (2007)
Best place to lose yourself (2013)
Best place to meet strangers over breakfast(2008)
Best place to sit outside and eat nachos (2007)
Best place to stock up on fruits and nuts (2008)
Best place to tip the barista by gratuitously exercising your First Amendment rights (2012)
Best place to try the most popular Russian cake named after a French Emperor (Napoleon)
(2012)
Best place to try the national food of the former Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic (now Kyrgyzstan) (2012)
Best place to try the national food of the former Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (now Uzbekistan)
(2012)
*
Best pork belly(2008)
Best prix fixé menu-quality dish not served in a prix fixé (2012)
Best prosciutto lollipop (2009)

Best putdown from one liquor to another (2013)
Best quote from a local chef (2010)
Best raw vegan pastries (2010)
Best reason Dominick’s won’t be missed too much(2013)
Best reason for breakfast (2011)
Best reason to avoid the long lines at Xoco (2009)
Best reason to choose tofu over pork (2009)
Best reason to employ a personal cardiologist (2012)
Best reason to indulge in a 1980s restaurant cliché (2009)

Best reason to stop teasing vegetarians and become one (2009)
Best reason to visit the Garfield Park Conservatory (2007)
Best regional dinner series (2009)

Best restaurant disaster and recovery (2009)
*Best restaurant for a holiday meal if mom’s on a cruise (2010)
Best restaurant in the back of a supermercado (2010)
Best restaurant named after an extinct animal (2007)
Best restaurant near the Art Institute (2002)

*Best restaurant to pop the question (2007)
Best restaurant to wait for your table (2007)
Best restaurant with a chalkboard menu(2008)

Best rock ‘n’ roll-inspired restaurant(2014)
Best Roman-style pizza (2012)
Best rotisserie chicken (2007)
Best salad (2013)
Best salad bar in a Brazilian steakhouse (2012)
Best salumeria (2012)
*Best sandwich shop
(2012)
Best sangria
(2002)
*Best sangria (2007)
Best sangria deal (2007)
Best savory waffle
(2011)
*
Best seafood restaurant (2008)
Best smelling food truck (2011)
Best South Side Mexican Restaurant with vegetarian options (2012)
Best spicy drink that’s not a Bloody Mary (2013)
Best spinach pie (2010)
Best Steve Dolinsky television moment proving he’s not just another pretty food journalist with a shiny 8” x 10” headshot (2008)
Best sticky toffee pudding (2012)
*
Best sub sandwiches (2002)
*Best sub sandwiches (2007)
Best Sunday comfort food (2010)

*Best sushi (2013)
Best sushi in an airport Champagne bar (2012)
Best sushi in the Loop (2007)
Best Swedish breakfast (2011)
*Best Swedish restaurant (2007)
Best sweet use of horseradish (2011)
*Best taco from a non-traditional taqueria (2010)
*Best tacos(2013)
Best tamale food truck (2012)
Best tamale not served from a red cooler
(2012)
Best-tasting bread for the Russian palate (2012)
*
Best tasting menu (2013)
Best Tex-Mex food, i.e. not Rick Bayless or organ-meat-serving, regional-taqueria-skewing Mexican food(2008)
Best Thai dish (2012)
Best Thai food and toy museum combo (2012)
*
Best Thai restaurant (2011)
Best time-tested pizza parlor (2010)
Best tiny birthday cakes sold at a Thai restaurant (2011)
Best traditional neighborhood bakery with a contemporary twist (2011)
Best trip to Algiers without leaving Andersonville (2011)
Best turkey club (2007)
Best Turkish restaurant (2010)

*Best tweeting by a local food personality (2009)
Best underground dinner (2013)
Best underground supper club (2011)
Best under-the-radar Italian restaurant (2010)
Best under-the-radar Mexican (2012)
Best unusual food item
(2002)
Best use of chicken skin (2012)
Best use of eighties kitsch (2010)

Best use of smoke (2013)
Best use of Speculoos (2012)
Best use of tofu (2010)

Best vegan cafe connected to a production space (2013)
Best vegan cookie (2013)
Best Vegan Korean restaurant (2012)
Best vegan restaurant (2011)
*
Best vegetarian restaurant (2011)
Best Wagyu steak salad (2009)

Best waiter in a pizzeria (2012)
Best way to deal with annual problems of persistently long lines and lack of food at Chicago Gourmet (2010)

Best way to deliver a restaurant check so the customer forgets it’s actually a bill (2011)
Best wine blog
(2011)
Best wine list few people know about (2010)

GOODS & SERVICES

Best of the Best: Dusty Groove America (2002)
Best of the Best: El train(2002)
Best of the Best: Facets Multimedia(2002)
Best of the Best: Marshall Field’s State Street(2002)
Best of the Best: Paulina Meat Market(2002)
Best of the Best: Prairie Avenue Bookstore (2002)
Best of the Best: Quimby’s (2002)
Best of the Best: Salvage One(2002)
Best of the Best: Sam’s Wine Warehouse(2002)
Best of the Best: Seminary Cooperative Bookstore(2002)
Best addition to Michigan Avenue (2011)
Best adult toys and novelties you won’t be tempted to put up an orifice (2007)

Best alternative to the post office(2007)
Best Amish market complete with walk-in refrigerator and fresh poultry (2011)
Best (and cheapest) way to see Chicago during the warmer months (2011)
*Best animal shelter (2011)
*Best antique shop (2009)

*Best art supply store (2011)
Best artisan design shop in Andersonville (2011)
*
Best artisan market (2013)
Best attempt to connect communities (2013)
Best attribute of the massive new 24-hour Dominick’s in West Town(2007)
Best bakery to buy your own pretzel buns (2010)
Best barbershop not in the movie “Barbershop”(2002)
Best BDSM-supply delivery service (2013)
Best bicycling revolution not fully espoused by a mayor who claims to be spot-welded to his own two-wheeler (2007)
*Best bike shop (2002)
*Best bike shop (2007)
*Best bike shop (2012)
Best bikini wax(2002)

Best birthday party accessories (2010)
Best boutique mascot (2010)
Best breadsticks(2007)
*Best butcher shop (2007)
*Best butcher shop (2012)
Best camera store(2008)

Best chair (2012)
Best chance to buy cheap books en masse (2013)
*Best cheap-chic chain in Chicago (2011)
Best cheap downtown bar (2010)
Best cheap haircut(2007)
Best Chinese herb shop (2009)
*Best chocolatier (2010)
Best Christian bookstore on the North Side (2010)
Best church for getting your pets blessed (2010)
*Best comic book shop (2012)
*
Best comics shop (2007)
Best counter-intuitive name for a dental practice (2010)
Best cultural combination in a neighborhood grocery store (2013)
Best custom bikes (2011)
Best custom-made designer boxes (2011)
*Best daily-deals site (2011)
Best discount shoe store (2008)

Best dollar store(2007)
Best dry cleaners with an antique museum inside (2011)
*Best eco-retailer (2008)
Best electronic-cigarette shopping (2013)
Best example of DIY creativity gone global (2008)
Best excuse to shop for shoes (2011)
Best facial moment you’ll be thinking about for a month (2011)
*Best farmers’ market (2010)
Best fashion future boutique (2010)
*Best flower shop(2008)
*Best flower shop (2013)
Best foreign coin exchange (2013)
*Best garden store (2008)
*Best garden store (2013)
Best gear for chicks who love kicks (2011)
Best gnarling dog restaurant t-shirt (2010)
*Best grocery store (2007)
*Best grocery store (2012)
Best hairstylist chat
(2012)
Best handmade soap(2014)
Best hotel with cool decor and affordable rates
(2012)
Best humanity-enriching use of a Yelp review (2013)
*Best IKEA feature(2002)
*Best imaginary Twitter post by Marshall Field (2009)
Best imported German dirndl dresses (2010)
*Best independent bookstore (2002)
*Best independent bookstore (2007)
*Best independent bookstore (2012)
Best independent bookstore often overlooked (2012)
Best independent escort(2013)
Best indie film rental store (2010)
*Best indie record store (2010)
*Best iPhone app with Chicago relevance (2009)
Best kids birthday party destination (2013)
Best kids shoe store (2013)
*Best lingerie shop (2013)
*Best liquor store (2010)
Best Lithuanian intellectual auto mechanic (2012)
Best living legend in the magic world who is Armenian and runs his own magic shop
(2011)
*Best local cemetery (2009)

Best local shopping or consumerist blog (2009)
*Best local shopping or consumerist twitterer (2009)
Best local soap company (2011)
Best local tattoo artist who probably will not ink you (2010)
*Best locally made bread (2010)
Best magic shop (2011)
Best marijuana strain (2013)
Best masseuse (2011)
*
Best menswear boutique(2008)
*Best menswear boutique (2013)
*Best mobile-phone-service provider (2010)
Best mode of transportation to other, less-interesting midwestern cities (2013)
*Best museum store for jewelry(2008)
Best neighborhood jeweler (2008)
Best new boutique or shop (opened in the last year or so) (2007)
*
Best new boutique (opened in the last year or so)(2008)
*Best new boutique (opened in the last year or so) (2009)
*Best new boutique or shop (opened in the last year or so) (2010)
*Best new boutique or shop opened in the last year or so (2011)
*Best new boutique or shop opened in the last year or so (2012)
*
Best new clothing store (opened in the last year or so)(2002)
*Best new boutique opened in the last year or so (2013)
Best new coffee shop to write a paper in while listening to good music (2009)
Best new loyalty rewards program (2013)
Best new Old World sauna (2010)
Best new Pilsen vintage store (2013)
Best new retail concept we hope catches on (2007)
Best new sex toy and where to get it (2013)
Best new tabletop RPG gaming shop(2013)
Best North Side dog rescue(2013)
Best ongoing vintage market (2012)
Best Paris Web site by a Chicagoan (2009)

*Best pet boutique (2002)
Best pet boutique (2010)
Best pet-pampering salon in Logan Square (2013)
Best place for discount home goods (2008)
Best place for fresh meat for pets (2010)
*
Best place for kitchen gadgets (2013)
Best place for matched, and mismatched, juice and drinking glasses (2011)
Best place to become an urban cowboy (2012)
Best place to buy beads (2007)
Best place to buy Brazilian music (2012)
*
Best place to buy cheese (2002)
*Best place to buy coffee beans (2010)
*Best place to buy denim (2009)
*Best place to buy DVDs (2010)
Best place to buy fashionable t-shirts (2010)
*Best place to buy fresh seafood(2008)
*Best place to buy fresh seafood (2013)
*Best place to buy furniture (2007)
Best place to buy geometric accessories made by local designers (2012)
*Best place to buy kitchen gadgets (2008)
*Best place to buy men’s shoes (2009)
*Best place to buy men’s underwear(2008)
*Best place to buy music (CD or vinyl) (2011)
*
Best place to buy new magazines (2011)
Best place to buy records on the South Side (2010)
Best place to buy replicas of classic Chicago posters (2007)
*Best place to buy a skateboard (2007)
*Best place to buy tea leaves (2010)
Best place to buy tea leaves in the suburbs (2010)
*Best place to buy a tie (2007)
Best place to buy toffee (2007)
Best place to buy a toy you can display as art (2012)
*Best place to buy a used bicycle (2009)

Best place to buy a wedding gift (2012)
*Best place to buy women’s jewelry (2009)

*Best place to buy women’s shoes (2009)
*Best place to buy women’s underwear(2008)
*Best place to buy yoga clothes (2013)
Best place to design your fantasy pad (2007)
Best place to design your own jewelry (2008)

Best place to donate a piano (2009)
Best place to get books on street art and graffiti (2010)
*Best place to get eyewear (2011)
Best place to get gas before you enter the city(2002)
Best place to get a handmade belt buckle (2009)
*Best place to get men’s hats(2008)
Best place to get ready for a night out (2013)
*Best place to get women’s hats (2008)
Best place to have your leather items cleaned(2013)
Best place to live out “A River Runs Through It” (2009)
Best place to make going to the dentist dreamy instead of dreadful (2010)
*Best place to open a checking account, now that the financial meltdown has wiped out a chunk of the banking system(2008)
Best place to rent films about things your parents warned you about (2010)
*Best place to rent a limo (2007)
Best place to rent a tux (2007)
*Best place to sell your used books (2009)

*Best place to sell your used cds (2009)
Best place to smell pretty(2002)
Best place to spend nothing on trendy duds(2008)
Best place to study Portuguese (2012)
Best place to sweat with a Russian (2012)
*Best place to take a music lesson (2007)
Best Polish store (2009)

Best popcorn company with a logo reminiscent of Julie Andrews (2011)
Best poster shop(2008)

Best proof positive that the Far East can manufacture practically anything cheaper than the USA (2002)
Best public restrooms for visiting senators (2007)
Best reason to have second thoughts about Bank of America (2007)
Best record store to dig for 45s (2013)
Best retail supply and display store (2010)
Best retro-fab barista fashion (2012)
Best retro luggage featured on a TV show about to get cancelled (2011)
Best retro lunch boxes (2010)
*Best running store (2007)
*Best running store (2012)
Best salon for a discount ‘do(2008)

Best salon for getting your Ramona Flowers on (2010)
Best selection of hanging Danish mobiles (2011)
Best seventies museum in a barbershop (2002)

*Best sex shop (2008)
*Best shoe repair(2002)
*Best shoe repair (2007)
*Best shoe repair (2012)
Best shop for affordable, poofy tulle debutante ball gowns like Scarlett O’Hara once wore (2011)
Best shop to get your bike fixed at 9am (2009)
Best sister stores with coordinating names (2010)
*Best sneaker boutique (2010)
Best specialty used bookstore (2010)
Best store for pink girlie stuff(2008)
Best store for vintage costume jewelry sorted by color (2010)
Best store to buy rehabbed hi-fidelity speakers (2013)
Best store to loiter in on the Mag Mile besides the Apple store (2010)
Best strike-one-for-the-little-guy moment (2007)
*Best tailor (2007)
Best taxicab experience (2010)
*Best thing about the Groupon craze (2010)
*Best thing you’d like to see the CTA spend your $3 fare on (2009)
Best thrift destination for brand-name clothes (2013)
*Best toy shop(2008)
*Best toy store (2013)
Best underappreciated junk store (2010)
Best unheralded sound-recording engineer(2013)
*Best used bookstore (2010)
Best used bookstore for wanderers (2013)
Best venue to record a studio-quality live album with your band for cheap (2013)
Best vintage-shop window display (2013)
*Best vintage store (2010)
Best voodoo shop (2010)
Best way to fight winter depression(2014)
Best way to profit from your giveaways(2008)
Best way to save money and still have fun (2009)

Best way to visit Spain without a plane (2009)
Best “we bring the spa to you” experience (2011)
Best weekend shopping development (2007)
Best wind-up tin robots (2011)
Best women’s-only workout space (2008)
*Best women’s shoe store (2011)

SPORTS & RECREATION

Best of the Best: Diversey River Bowl(2002)
Best of the Best: National anthem at Blackhawks games(2002)
Best of the Best: North Avenue Beach(2002)
Best of the Best: Sammy Sosa (2002)
Best of the Best: Sixteen-inch softball(2002)
Best of the Best: Soldier Field(2002)
Best of the Best: Southport Lanes(2002)
Best of the Best: Wrigley Field (2002)
*Best alternative name for the bean-bag game sometimes called cornhole(2007)
Best bar for fantasy-football dorks (2010)
*Best bar in Bridgeport to watch the White Sox (2011)
*Best bar in Wrigleyville to watch the Cubs (2011)
*Best bar outside of Bridgeport to watch the White Sox (2011)
*Best bar outside of Wrigleyville to watch the Cubs (2011)
Best basecamp for a running event (2013)
Best Bears bar (2012)
Best beer man at United Center (2010)

*Best bet as to which team gets to the World Series first (2013)
*Best Big Ten fans in Chicago (2012)
*
Best bowling alley(2008)
*Best bowling alley (2013)
Best boxing gym for beginners (2010)
Best brick-and-mortar place to seriously nerd out, old-school style (2011)
Best canoe or kayak launch on the Chicago River (2012)
*
Best chance to win a championship THIS season (2013)
Best character on the Lakefront Trail (2012)
*
Best Chicago baseball player this season (2008)
Best Chicago Cubs blog by a “chic”(2008)
*Best Chicago sports team owner (2013)
*Best city street to ride a bicycle on (2009)
Best classic neighborhood pool hall (2010)
*Best coach of a Chicago pro sports franchise (2010)
*Best coach or manager of a Chicago team (2009)
Best Cubs moment of joy in an otherwise sad season(2008)
Best ’85 Bear still making his living as an ’85 Bear(2002)
Best fantasy football team name with a Chicago Bear in it (2012)
*
Best feature of the planned Wrigley Field renovations(2013)
Best half marathon(2007)
Best half marathon (2009)
Best haven for Western New Yorkers (2012)
*Best imaginary Twitter post by Mike Ditka (2009)

Best indulgence where the penance comes first (2009)
*Best lesson to be learned from the Cubs season this year (2008)
Best local party game (2013)
*Best local sports blog (2009)
Best monthly fun run turned 5K (2012)
*Best name for the ballpark if the Rickettses decide to rename Wrigley Field (2009)
Best neighborhood 5K (2012)
*
Best new Bear (2002)
*Best new Bear (2007)
*Best new Bear (2008)
*Best new Bear (2009)
*Best new Bear (2010)
*
Best new Bear (2011)
*Best new Bear (2012)
*
Best new Blackhawk(2002)
*Best new Blackhawk(2008)
*Best new Blackhawk (2009)
*Best new Blackhawk (2010)
*Best new Blackhawk (2011)
*Best new Blackhawk (2012)
*
Best new Bull (2002)
*Best new Bull(2007)
*Best new Bull(2008)
*Best new Bull (2009)
*Best new Bull (2010)
*Best new Bull (2011)
*Best new Bull (2012)
*
Best new career for Tank Johnson(2007)
*Best new Chicago baseball manager (2011)
*Best new Cub (2002)
*Best new Cub (2007)
*Best new Cub (2008)
*Best new Cub (2009)
*Best new Cub (2010)
*Best new Cub (2011)
*Best new Cub (2012)
*
Best new gig for Jay Mariotti(2008)
*Best new gig for Rex Grossman (2008)
Best new park (2009)
*Best new Sox(2002)
*Best new White Sox(2007)
*Best new White Sox(2008)
*Best new White Sox (2009)
*Best new White Sox (2010)
*Best new White Sox (2011)
*Best new White Sox (2012)
Best new workout (2013)
Best news for Chicago bicycling (2010)
*Best next career for Ozzie Guillen(2007)
*Best next gig for Brian Urlacher (2013)
Best next move for the Baseball Hall of Fame after inducting Ron Santo (2011)
*Best nickname for Gordon Beckham (2009)
*Best nickname for Jay Cutler (2009)
Best noticeable absence (2009)
Best park to let your dog off-leash (2013)
*Best personal encounter with a sports celebrity (2009)
Best place for a quiet bike ride(2013)
*Best place for bird watching(2014)
*Best place the Stanley Cup might have visited during its Chicago tour, but likely did not, at least not publicly (2010)
*Best place the Stanley Cup visited during its Chicago “tour” (2010)
*Best place to buy Cubs tickets for sold-out games (2007)
Best place to go around in circles (2011)
Best place to picnic (2010)
*Best place to play board games(2008)
*Best place to play chess (2013)
Best place to play darts(2008)
*Best place to play kickball(2007)
Best place to run in Chicago (2012)
Best place to run where you aren’t supposed to run(2014)
*
Best place to see a live sporting event (2013)
*Best place to watch Nebraska football games, as fans prepare for its Big 10 era (2010)
*Best place to watch soccer on TV (2008)
*Best player that the Cubs could have spent $30 million on instead of Milton Bradley (2009)
*Best post-Cubs-game bar (2008)
*Best potential buyer for the Chicago Cubs(2007)
*Best public beach (2010)
*Best public park (2010)
Best public pool to go swimming (2009)
Best public pool to have held Olympic swimming trials (2010)
Best public tennis facilities (2013)
Best race fiasco (2012)
*
Best race other than the marathon(2007)
*Best race other than the Marathon (2012)
*
Best reason the Bears will go back to the Super Bowl(2007)
Best reason to believe Northwestern is for real (2013)
Best reason to hold out hope for the Cubs (2013)
*Best replacement for Illini mascot Chief Illiniwek(2007)
Best section in the United Center to watch a Bulls game (2013)
*Best soccer bar (2013)
*Best sports bar to avoid Cubs fans (2007)
*Best sports bar to watch the Cubs pennant chase since you can’t get tickets for wrigley(2007)
Best sports-radio jocks(2008)
Best spot to spend a day on deck (2013)
*Best still-playing former Chicago athlete we wish were still in town (2010)
Best themed run (2012)
*Best thing about Northerly Island (2010)

*Best thing about the Bears playing in Champaign-Urbana(2002)
*Best thing about the Cubs’ Ricketts era so far (2010)
*Best thing about the Cubs-Sox World Series fantasy(2008)
*Best thing about the new Blackhawks regime(2008)
Best tweeting by a local sports personality (2009)
Best underrated park (2010)
Best weekend bike trip (2012)
Best Windy City Roller that we already miss (2009)

Best women’s-only workout space(2008)
*Best Wrigley Field renovation not yet proposed(2013)
*Best Wrigley renovation, not yet proposed(2002)
*Best yacht club in Chicago (2010)
*Best yoga studio (2011)