Best of Erie 2014 Finalists

Categories:  Features    Community
Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at 8:00 PM

In case you missed how the process worked to get us here, here’s a quick run down: We announced Erie Reader’s first-ever Best Of Erie Aug. 5 at and in the issue that hit stands Wednesday, Aug. 6. From then until Sept. 2, the nomination forms were open across our four main categories: Good & Services, Culture & Nightlife, Food & Drink, and People & Places. As long as what you, the fine citizens of Erie,  nominated was accurate and applicable to each category, we then featured it on the ballot, which went live for voting on Sept. 3.

From then until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 10, you could vote on as many or as few categories as you wanted. But once the clock struck midnight, we gathered the lists, verified the votes and the voters, triple checked everything, and now present to you the Top Three vote-getters from each category. They’re arranged alphabetically so you can only guess who the winner is — for now. On Thursday, Oct. 16 at our first-ever Flavor Of Erie Party, we’ll announce those winners. We’ll also have several local vendors on hand providing some delicious local beer and local food. Local musicians DJ Salt, C. Brown, and Falling Hollywood will keep the party moving with music throughout. 

The process by which the winners were determined was a democratic one and at the hands of those who logged on to and made their voices heard. That is, these winners have been chosen by you. Every two weeks in print and every day online we get to share our thoughts and feelings on all things Erie; this Best Of Erie Awards has been — and will continue to be —one of the great ways you can make your voices heard. 

Thank you for nominating, thank you for voting, and thank you for reading. Here’s to the Top Three vote-getters and the inaugural class of the Best Of Erie. – The Editors


Best Place to Buy Meat

Bello’s Market

Urbaniak Brothers


Best Place to Buy Produce

Erie County Farms

Mason Farms


Best Farmers Market

Frankie & May Farmer’s Market

Mason Farms Country Market

Whole Foods Co-op

Best Place to Buy Music

The Exchange

Graham’s Records

World of Music

Best Place to Buy Instruments

Lynch Music

Presque Isle Brass & Woodwind

World of Music

Best Thrift Store

Thrifty Shopper

Thrifty Threads

Salvation Army

Best Vintage Clothing Shop

Pointe Foure Vintage Boutique

Salvation Army

The Sassy Peacock

Best Antique Shop

Antique Gallery

Oregon Antique Boutique

Second Hand Rose

Best Jewelry Store

Breakiron Jewelers

Dahlkemper's Jeweler's

Glass Grower’s Gallery

Best Place to Buy Furniture

Arthur F. Schultz

Fred’s Furniture

John V. Schultz

Best Consignment Shop

Once Upon a Child

Plato’s Closet

The Sassy Peacock

Best Boutique

All That Glitters

Glass Grower’s Gallery


Best Comics and Collectibles Shop

Above & Beyond Comics

Action Toyman

Books Galore

Best Book Store

Barnes & Noble

Books Galore

Werner Books

Best Smoke/Vapor Shop

Hippie and the Hound Vapor Lounge

Leaf Lover

Smoker Friendly

Best Chocolate/Candy Purveyor

Pulakos Chocolates

Romolo Chocolates

Stefanelli’s Candies

Best Bakery

Art's Bakery

Mighty Fine Donuts

Ye Olde Sweet Shoppe

Best Deli

Teresa's Italian Deli

Tickle’s Deli


Best Winery

Heritage Wine Cellars

Mazza Vineyards

Penn Shore Winery and Vineyards

Best Beer Store

Lavery Brewing Company

Six Pack House of Beer

U Pick 6

Best Health Food Store

Chicory Hill Herbs

Dietary Foods

Whole Foods Co-op

Best Tattoo Parlor

Buddha’s Body Art

Ink Assassins

Midtown Tattoo

Best Tattoo Artist

Eerie Eric Fargiorgio

Jen Minor

Corey Thompson

Best Place to Get Pierced

Buddha’s Body Art

Ink Assassins

Sacred Piercing

Best Person to Get Pierced By

Matty B.

Tim Crocoll

Missy Twohig

Best Fitness Club

Glennwood YMCA


Planet Fitness

Best Place to Adopt a Pet

The Erie Humane Society

The ANNA Shelter

Orphan Angels

Best Bank

Erie Federal Credit Union

Northwest Savings Bank

PNC Bank

Best Spa

Coventina Day Spa

LECOM Fitness and Wellness Center

Panache Salon & Spa

Best Beauty Salon

Charisma Salon

Panache Salon & Spa

Salon H20

Best Barbershop

Continental Barber Shop

Russo's Barbershop

Warner’s Downtown Barber Shop

Best Bike Shop

A R Adams Schwinn Bicycles

Competitive Gear

John Adams Cycling & Fitness

Best Place to Host a Wedding Reception

Erie Art Museum

The Riverside Inn

The Warner Theatre

Best Web Developer

Epic Web Studios


Lyons Den Productions

Best Animation/Video Production

Three Gloves Productions

Zack Orr


Best Locally Made Product

Erie Brewing Company Beer

Lavery Brewing Company Beer

Smith's Hotdogs

Best New Business (Within Last Two Years)

Cloud 9 Wine Bar

Cocktails & Color

Lavery Brewing Company

Best Place to Buy or Lease a Car

Bianchi Honda

Humes Chyrsler Jeep Dodge & Ram

New Motors

Best Auto Customer Service

Gerry Butts Auto & Truck Service

Humes Chyrsler Jeep Dodge & Ram

Mazda of Erie


Best Local Festival

Erie Art Museum's Blues and Jazz Festival


Roar on the Shore

Best Museum

Erie Art Museum

Erie Maritime Museum

ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum

Best Art Event

Arts & Drafts

The Blues and Jazz Festival

Gallery Night

Best Place to Catch a Flick

FILM at the Erie Art Museum

Sunset Drive-In


Best Performing Theater Space

Erie Playhouse


Warner Theatre

Best Performing Arts Space

Erie Playhouse


Warner Theatre

Best Event Space

Basement Transmissions

Erie Art Museum

Erie Insurance Arena

Best Local Act (Band/Musician)

Eric Brewer and Friends

Erie Philharmonic

Geek Army

Best Local Promoter

Ryan Bartosek

Gimp Guy Productions

Bob Jensen

Best Local Artist

Evan Everhart

Todd Scalise

Fran Schanz

Best Art Gallery

Glass Growers Gallery

The Kada Gallery

Urraro Gallery

Best Music Venue

Erie Insurance Arena

Frontier Park

King’s Rook Club

Best Local Sculptor

Evan Everhart

Sue Hunter

David Sietzinger

Best Local Photographer

Matt Kleck

Sarah Peach

Jessica Yochim

Best Up-and-Coming Band/Musician

Falling Hollywood

The Lower Eastside Connection


Best Local Singer

Katie Chriest

Brooke Surgener

Elly Vahey

Best Local Musician

Eric Brewer

Claire Stuczynski

Stephen Trohoske

Best Place for Free Fun

8 Great Tuesdays

Downtown Block Parties

Presque Isle

Best MC

C. Brown

Jonny Evans

Mad Mack

Best Jukebox

Calamari’s Squid Row

Jekyll & Hyde’s Gastropub

Lavery Brewing Company

Best Hip-Hop DJ

DJ Henry GQ

Mad Mack


Best House DJ

DJ Roach



Best Local Graphic Designer

Monster Mark Kosubucki

Todd Scalise

Liz Venuto

Best Local Illustrator

Eerie Eric Fargiorgo

Todd Scalise

Bryan Toy

Best Neighborhood Bar

Plymouth Tavern

Public House

Tap House

Best Place to Hear Live Rock

Basement Transmissions

The Brewerie at Union Station


Best Place to Hear Live Jazz

Basement Transmissions

Scotty's Cigar & Martini Lounge


Best Place to Hear Live Blues

Anchor Inn

Erie Art Museum Blues and Jazz Fest

Romolo Chocolates

Best Place to Hear Live Hip-hop

Basement Transmissions

Docksider Tavern


Best Lounge

The King’s Rook

Scotty's Cigar & Martini Lounge

Sheraton Bayfront Grille

Best Night Club

Coconut Joe's

Docksider Tavern

Sluggers Sports Bar

Best Bar for Dancing

Coconut Joe’s

Docksider Tavern

Rocco’s Tavern

Best Bar for Hooking Up


Docksider Tavern

Sluggers Sports Bar

Best Place to See Comedy

Erie Playhouse

Jr’s Last Laugh

Warner Theatre

Best Karaoke Bar

Andy’s Pub & Bullfrog’s Bar

Rack & Roll

Sullivan’s Pub & Eatery

Best New Bar/Club (Within Last Two Years)

Cloud 9 Wine Bar

Lavery Brewing Company

Public House

Best Place to Get a Martini

1201 Kitchen

Cloud 9 Wine Bar

Scotty's Cigar & Martini Lounge

Best Dive Bar


Rack n Roll

Sandbar Draft House

Best Happy Hour

Jekyll & Hyde’s Gastropub

The Sandbar

Tap House

Best Place to Be Seen on a Saturday Night

Docksider Tavern

The Plymouth Tavern


Best Dance Company

Erie Dance Conservatory

Lake Erie Ballet

Little’s Dance Studio

Best College Bar


The Edinboro Hotel

Plymouth Tavern

Best Sports Bar

Buffalo Wild Wings

Fox & Hound    

U Pick 6 Public House

Best Poet

Joe Gallagher

Monica Igras

Cee Williams

Best Place to Get Lectured to

Chautauqua Institution

Jefferson Educational Society

Ladyfest Erie 

Best Local Actor

Domenic Del Greco

Luis Pontillo

Mark Tanenbaum

Best Local Actress

Kate Amatuzzo

Kate Neubert-Lechner

Adele Stewart


Best Restaurant

1201 Kitchen

Pineapple Eddie Southern Bistro

Texas Roadhouse

Best Sandwich Shop


Teresa’s Italian Deli

Tickle’s Deli

Best New Restaurant (Within Last Two Years)

Cloud 9 Wine Bar

Lavery Brewing Pub

Public House

Best Place to Get Seafood


Red Lobster

Smuggler's Wharf

Best Seafood Shop

Lone Shark Seafood

Trawka’s Market


Best Romantic Restaurant

1201 Kitchen

Bertrand’s Bistro

Serafini’s Restaurant

Best Chef

Bertrand Artigues

Dan Kern

Amanda Kleckner

Best Upscale Restaurant

1201 Kitchen

Bertrand’s Bistro


Best Dinner Bargain

Imperial Chinese Buffet

Khao Thai Restaurant

Valerio’s Pizza

Best Bar Food

Calamari’s Squid Row

Plymouth Tavern

Tap House

Best Hot Dog Shop

Lucky Louie’s Beer & Wieners

Molly Brannigan’s

New York Lunch

Best Coffee Shop

Brew Haha!

Brick House Coffee Bar


Best Mobile Food Vendor

Ernie’s Food Truck

Lombardos Pitas Place

Mercyhurst Culinary Food Truck

Best Breakfast

The Breakfast Place

Summer House Cafe


Best Patio Drinking

Calamari’s Squid Row

Pymouth Tavern

Rum Runners

Best Brunch

The Breakfast Place

Peek n' Peak Resort


Best Buffet

Imperial Chinese Buffet

Peek n' Peak Resort

S&S Buffet

Best Place to Get Ice Cream



Whippy Dip

Best Sub Shop

Teresa’s Lakeshore Deli

Tickle’s Deli


Best Wine List

1201 Kitchen

Bertrand’s Bistro

Cloud 9

Best Beer List

Public House

Tap House

U Pick 6 Beer Store

Best Patio Dining

The Cove

Calamari’s Squid Row

Smuggler's Wharf

Best Local Brewery

The Brewerie at Union Station

Erie Brewing Company

Lavery Brewing Company

Best Locally Made Beer

Derailed - Erie Brewing Company

Dulachan - Lavery Brewing Company

Love Child - Voodoo Brewery

Best Place to Get Vegan / Vegetarian Food

Jekyll & Hyde’s Gastropub

Khao Thai

Whole Foods Co-op

Best Place to Order a Steak

1201 Kitchen

LongHorn Steakhouse

Texas Roadhouse

Best Place to Get Barbecue

Smokey Bones

Texas Road House

Three B Saloon

Best Burger

The Brewerie at Union Station

Five Guys Burgers and Fries


Best French Fries

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Freeport Inn


Best Soft Pretzel

The Brewerie at Union Station

Plymouth Tavern

Public House

Best Pizza

John's Wildwood Pizza



Best Wings

John’s Wildwood Pizza

Odis 12 Bar & Grille

One Way Inn

Best Sushi

1201 Kitchen



Best Mediterranean Restaurant

Casablanca Grill


Petra Restaurant

Best Place to Get Indian Food

Taste of India

Viva Wraps and Pitas


Best Asian Restaurant

Golden Wok

Imperial Chinese Buffet

Khao Thai

Best Italian Restaurant



Serafini's Restaurant

Best Mexican Restaurant

El Canelo

El Toro Loco


Best Middle Eastern Restaurant




Best Cheap Lunch

El Canelo

Teresa’s Lakeshore Deli

Tickle's Deli

Best Late-Nite Menu

Dominick’s 24-Hour Eatery


Plymouth Tavern

Best Bloody Mary

Calamari’s Squid Row

Jekyll & Hyde’s Gastropub

Plymouth Tavern

Best Dessert

Cloud 9

Pineapple Eddie's Southern Bistro

Sugar and Spice

Best Bartender

Melissa Bruno

Kayla Lavery

TJ Samol

Best Bagels

Jo's Brooklyn Bagels

Lakeside Bagel & Deli


Best Donuts

H&K Donut Shop

Jack Frost Doughnut Shop

Mighty Fine Donuts


Best Reason to Live in Erie

Cost of Living

Lake Erie

Presque Isle State Park

Best Reason to Come Downtown

Block Parties

People Watching

Plymouth Tavern

Best Radio Station

92.7 Happi

Rocket 101


Best Radio Show

Fazed Cookies

The Morning Show with Capt. Dan

Super Soul Saturday

Best Radio Personality

Captain Dan

Mojo McKay

Craig Warvel

Best TV Personality

David Belmondo

Sean Lafferty

Emily Welsh

Best TV News Team

JET 24



Best Yoga Studio

Art of Yoga

Plasha Yoga


Best Local Furniture Designer

Dovetail Gallery

Brian Millspaw

Brad Triana

Best Politician

David Brennan

Ryan Bizzarro

Sean Wiley

Best Non-Profit/Charity

The ANNA Shelter

Erie Make-A-Wish

Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation

Best Filmmaker

The Detisch Brothers

John C. Lyons

Tom Weber

Best Neighborhood




Best Place to Work

Erie Insurance



Best Tourist Attraction

Erie Zoo

Presque Isle

Waldameer Park

Best Over-Exposed Local Celebrity

Brett Fallon

Jesse & Ricardo

Tom Ridge

Best Park

Asbury Woods


Presque Isle

Best Spot for Wedding Photos

Dobbins Landing

Presque Isle beaches

Wintergreen Gorge

Best People Watching


Roar On The Shore


Best Landmark

Brig Niagara

Dobbins Landing

Perry Monument

Best Place for a Family Outing

Erie Zoo

Presque Isle

Waldameer Park

Best Place for a First Date

Colao’s Ristaurante

Erie Zoo

Lavery Brewing Company

Best University

Edinboro University of Pa.

Gannon University

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College

Best Bowling Alley

Greengarden Lanes

Lost Lanes

Rolling Meadow Lane

Best Team to Root for

Erie Otters

Eerie Roller Girls

Erie SeaWolves

Best Athlete

James Connor

Kayla McBride

Connor McDavid

Best Minor League Team

Erie BayHawks

Erie Otters

Erie SeaWolves

Best College Team

Behrend Baseball

Edinboro University Basketball

Gannon Basketball

Best High School Team

Cathedral Prep


Mercyhurst Prep

Best Beach



Presque Isle Unmarked Beaches

Best Place for Skiing

Holiday Valley

Mount Pleasant

Peek'n Peak

Best Place to Run

Bayfront Trail

Frontier Park

Presque Isle

Best Place to Hike

Asbury Woods

Presque Isle

Wintergreen Gorge

Best Athletic Competition

Beast on the Bay

Burger King Classic

Turkey Trot

Best Place to Shoot Pool

Andy's Gold Crown Billiards

Empty Keg

Fox and Hound

Best Golf Course

Kahkwa Club

Peek’n Peak Upper Course

Whispering Woods

Best Playground

Chesnut Hill Elementary

Frontier Park

Liberty Park

Best Fundraising Event

Erie Gives Day

Erie Micro Brew Fest


Best Author/Writer (Not Erie Reader)

Kevin Flowers

David Frew

Sean McGrath

Best Place to See a Sunset (Not Presque Isle)

8 Great Tuesdays/Liberty Amphitheater

Rum Runners

Walnut Creek Access


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