Best of Detroit 2005

Your ballots have been counted, local celebs have added their picks, and even the ‘Hour Detroit’ staff weighed in on several categories. Following is an alphabet soup of the finest that metro Detroit has to offer. From A – Z, we’ve got the top places and people covered for 2005
Carmen Harlan
Carmen Harlan: Best local TV anchor, best TV hairdo (female) and best-looking TV personality (female), Photograph by Roy Ritchie

Adventures in Toys: Best place to buy toys (independent) • Agave: Best margarita • Ahee: Best custom jeweler • Al Sobotka: Best Zamboni driver • Alex Emilio: Best hair salon (tie) • Ambassador Bridge: Best cash machine we still can’t believe one man owns • Andiamo: Best Italian restaurant • Ann Arbor Art Fair: Best art fair • Annam: Best Vietnamese restaurant • Arthur Mur­ray Dance Studio: Best place to learn to dance • Autometric Collision: Best place for car repair • Autorama: Best place to see hot rods and big hair • Avalon: Best bakery • Awrey’s:  Best products to get a sugar rush

Baker’s Keyboard Lounge: Best jazz club • Beans & Cornbread: Best soul-food restaurant • Benihana: Best Japanese restaurant • Berkley Front: Best beer selection • Bernie Smilovitz: Best local sportscaster • Best Buy: Best new CD store and best place to buy electronics • Better Made potato chips: Best snack we can call our own • Beverly Hills Grill: Best Sunday brunch and best breakfast restaurant (tie) • Bill Bonds: Best local TV hairdo (male) • Birmingham Drugs: Best independent pharmacy • Blockbuster: Best movie rental selection • Blossoms: Best florist • Blue Martini: Best bar, best martini and best alcoholic drinks (creative) • Bob Guiney: Best bet to replace Bill Bonds on Gardner-White commercials • Boneyard: Best barbecue ribs • Boogie Fever: Best dance club • Book Beat: Best new book selection (independent) • Borders: Best new book selection (chain) and best magazine selection • Buddy’s: Best pizza • Butzel Long: Best company to work for

Café Cortina: Best romantic restaurant • Campus Martius: Best meeting place downtown • City of Detroit Parking Department enforcement officers: Best people not to meet downtown • Capital Grille: Best steakhouse and best place for a business lunch • Carl’s Golfland: Best outdoor driving range • Carmen Harlan: Best local TV anchor, best TV hairdo (female) and best-looking TV personality (female) • Caruso Caruso: Best place to buy jeans (independent) • Center for Yoga: Best yoga studio (tie) • Champps: Best place for karaoke • Cherry Creek: Best public golf course • Chuck Gaidica: Best local weather forecaster and best-look­ing TV personality (male) • The Clique: Best breakfast place to eavesdrop on Detroit power brokers • Coach Insignia: Best view from a restaurant • Compuware Corp.: Best workplace ambience • Crate & Barrel: Best home décor store • Cranbrook: Best place for public art

DTE Energy Music Theater: Best concert venue • Dally in the Alley: Best place to mix art and alcohol • Damman Hardware: Best independent hardware store • Dan Gilbert: Best young local mogul (Rock Financial) • David Hall: Best bet to battle Bob Guiney for Bill Bonds’ job • Deporre Veterinary Hospital: Best veterinarian service • Detroit City Council: Best place to get a ringside seat • Detroit Free Press: Best local newspaper • Detroit Institute of Arts: Best museum • Detroit Mayor: Best or most coveted job •  Detroit Synergy: Best group for young overachievers to get involved • Dick O’Dows: Best nightspot in Bir­mingham to wear jeans • Dick Pur­tan: Best local radio deejay (WOMC) • Dick’s Sporting Goods: Best place to buy sports equipment • Dollar Tree: Best place to spend $1 • Drew & Mike: Best talk-radio duo (WRIF) • DuMouchelles: Best antique store

Eastern Market: Best place to buy everything fresh • Eddie’s Altera­tions: Best tailor • Elwood: Best place to eat and drink before the game • Elmore Leonard: Best author • Eminem: Best rap star • Eight Mile: Best road to name-drop in other cities when trying to sound cool • English Gardens: Best nursery

Fash Bash: Best place to see style on parade • Faygo: Best Detroit drink • Feather Bowling: Best drinking game (Cadieux Café) • Fifth Avenue: Best pool hall • Firehouse: Best auto show party • Fisher Building: Best architecturally significant building • Floods Bar & Grill: Best bar to rub elbows with Detroit power brokers • Ford Motor Co.: Best corporate logo • Forte Belanger: Best caterer • Frank’s Shoe Service: Best place for shoe repair • Franklin Athletic Club: Best indoor tennis court • Frank Taylor: Best Detroit restaurant visionary

Gap: Best place to buy jeans (chain) • Gap Kids: Best place to buy kids’ clothes • Garden Bowl: Best bowling alley • Geoffrey Fieger: Best publicity hound • Gov. Jennifer Granholm: Best choice for a political dinner companion • Greektown: Best casino • Greens: Best place to buy art supplies • Gusoline Alley: Best jukebox

Hallmark: Best place to buy a greeting card • Harp’s Lingerie: Best lingerie store (independent) • Henry Baskin: Best divorce lawyer • Henry the Hatter: Best place to buy a hat • Hoedown: Best party that, despite its 22-year run, we’re always surprised is happening in downtown Detroit

Inn Season Café: Best vegetarian restaurant


Jackie Paige: Best traffic reporter (Fox 2) • Java Hutt: Best independent coffeehouse • Jax: Best car wash • Jefferson and Wood­ward: Best street corner (downtown) • Jerry Hodak: Best example of calm in the storm (WXYZ) • Jim Lark: Best maitre d’ (The Lark) • Joe Dumars: Best local president • Joe Dumars Fieldhouse: Best place for pickup basketball • John K. King: Best used bookstore • John Mason: Best sports announcer you should try to imitate only while at The Palace •

Kensington Metropark: Best west-side workout escape • Kid Rock: Best choice for celebrity dinner companion (tie) • Kyle Ketchum: Best chef (The Lark)

La Shish: Best authentic international cuisine and best Middle Eastern restaurant • Lafayette Coney Island: Best coney island and best place for late-night dining • Landmark Main Art Theatre: Best place to see an art film • Lane Bryant: Best plus-size clothing store • The Lark: Best restaurant for general excellence (tie), best restaurant ambience, best wine list, best service (attentive) and best French restaurant • Leo’s Coney Island: Best place for fast service • Life Time Fitness: Best place to work out • Little Tree: Best sushi restaurant • Live Strong bracelets: Best trend we pretend to understand

M220 (Merrill): Best pickup bar • Mac & Ray’s: Best place to dock your boat • Mackinac Con­ference: Best place for political gossip • Madeline Triffon: Best sommelier • Magic Bag: Best stage for local music acts • Marshall Field’s: Best gift registry and best gift-wrapping service • Mary Jo Sanders: Best local boxer • Merchant’s Fine Wine: Best wine store and best fine spirits shop • Metro Cars: Best limo service • Michael’s: Best place to shop for local crafts • Mitch Albom: Best local newspaper columnist, best local talk-radio host and best local sportswriter • Mitchell’s: Best seafood restaurant

NAIAS Charity Preview: Best charity event • Namaste Yoga: Best yoga studio (tie) • Neiman Marcus: Best place for cutting-edge fashion (tie) • Noir Leather: Best window display • Nordstrom: Best women’s clothing store, best men’s clothing store, best shoe selection and best personalized service • North American International Auto Show: Best highly anticipated event
Oasis: Best indoor driving range • Old Woodward and Maple: Best street corner (suburbs) • Opa!: Best restaurant shout-out • Opening day: Best reason to play hooky • Original Pancake House: Best breakfast restaurant (tie)

P.F. Chang’s: Best Chinese restaurant & best carry-out • Paczkis: Best reason to stand in line at a local bakery • Papa Joe’s: Best gourmet market • Paris: Best vintage clothing store • Park West Gallery: Best art gallery and best place to buy original art • Paul W. Smith: Best sexiest male radio voice (WJR) • Pegasus: Best Greek restaurant • Petsmart: Best pet-grooming service • Pewabic Pottery: Best local home décor • Pine Lake: Best place to water-ski (West Bloomfield) • Priya: Best Indian restaurant • Pronto!: Best male gay bar • Pure Detroit: Best place to buy all things Detroit

Quality Cleaners: Best dry cleaner


Race for the Cure: Best charity event to attend in sweats • Rachael Hunter: Best sexiest female radio voice (the station formerly known as 93.1 WDRQ) • Rainbow Room: Best lesbian bar • Ray’s: Best ice cream • Record Time: Best used vinyl/CD store • Red Coat Tavern: Best burger • Renaissance Center: Best elevator • Rosa Parks: Best hero • Royal Oak: Best neighborhood for bar-hopping and best place for a condo or loft • Royal Oak Brewery: Best microbrewery • Royal Oak lofts: Best residential developments • Rugby Grille: Best restaurant to see a star

Saks Fifth Avenue: Best one-of-a-kind dresses (tie) • Saks Fifth Ave­nue Club: Best personal shopper • Sala Thai: Best Thai res­taurant • Salon XL: Best hair salon (tie) • Sanders hot fudge: Best local food product • Scott Lewis: Best reporter you hope to never meet at your front door • Second Season: Best resale/consignment store • SEE: Best optical shop • Seldom Blues: Best blend of smooth music and fine food • Small Plates: Best appetizers and best place to have dinner before a show • Somerset Collection: Best place to play hooky year-round • Spirit of Detroit: Best place to see a sports jersey • Stagecrafters: Best community theater • Starbucks: Best coffeehouse chain • Steve’s Deli: Best deli • Steve Yzerman: Best choice for celebrity dinner companion (tie) • Stony Creek Metropark: Best east-side workout escape • Super Bowl XL: Best catalyst for regional cooperation • Superior: Best fish market • Sweet Georgia Brown’s: Best place to eat lunch while eavesdropping on Detroit power brokers

Tamara’s Spa & Well­ness: Best place for a massage, best manicure and best day spa • Tapper’s: Best jeweler • TasteFest: Best excuse to eat even more than you did on Thanksgiving Day • Technofest or Movement or what­ever it’s called this year: Best place to shake your head and tap your toes • Tender: Best one-of-a-kind dresses (tie) and best place for cutting-edge fashions (tie) • Thanks­giving Day Parade: Best holiday tradition to do with the kids • Tiffany & Co.: Best place to buy a wedding ring • Town Pump: Best bar to see a star after the show • Toys R Us: Best place to buy toys (chain) • Tribute: Best restaurant for general excellence (tie) • Turkey Trot: Best excuse to eat more on Thanksgiving Day

Uggs: Best trend we actually do understand, for now • Uptown Palladium 12: Best place to see a first-run movie


Vernors: Best drink we still think is our own • Victoria’s Secret: Best lingerie store (chain)


WDET: Best radio station and best local source for international news • WDFN: Best sports radio station • WDIV: Best local TV news • WWJ: Best local radio news and best local traffic report • W.F. BiBimBab: Best Korean restaurant • Warren City Council: Best reality TV stars who don’t seem embarrassed — but should be • White Stripes: Best established local band • Woodward Dream Cruise: Best place to feel like a kid again • The Whitney: Best place for nightcaps after the show and best dessert presentation • Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons: Best funeral home

Xochilmilco: Best Mexican restaurant


YMCA: Best new place to sweat downtown


Zoup!: Best soup • Zug Island: Best name for a local landmark