Best Of 2010

Best Team

Cleveland Browns

Newcomers to Cleveland learn what the rest of us know from birth: This is a football town through and through. Two other big-league teams have sniffed more recent success, but Browns Town always votes the party line.

clevelandbrowns.com

Best Coach

Eric Mangini

The Browns' second-year man looks much more comfortable under the guidance of new President Mike Holmgren. The next few weeks could determine Mangini's long-term future here.

Best Athlete

Joshua Cribbs

No other athlete so electrifies a stadium every time he touches the ball. Not just the best athlete, he's the best reason to watch any sport in Cleveland.

Best Browns Player

Joshua Cribbs

In only his fifth NFL season, Cribbs already owns the NFL's all-time record for kickoff returns for touchdowns. Now that the Browns are finding new uses for him, his value might only increase.

Best Indians Player

Shin-Soo Choo

On a team that can be a painful sight to watch, this blossoming South Korean superstar deserves more acclaim than he gets. Let's hope Choo's Tribe teammates mature along with him next year.

Best Cavaliers Player

Mo Williams

As a seven-year reign of greatness is broken, Cavalier fans hope this once-burgeoning star prospers anew outside of LeBron's shadow.

Best Minor League Team

Lake County Captains

Say hello to your 2010 Midwest League Champions. Yes, the best baseball in town happens east of downtown. Of course, a gorgeous field and family-friendly vibe are two more very good reasons the Captains are deserving farm-system kings.

lakecounty.captains.milb.com

Best Sports Executive

Mike Holmgren

In his first offseason in Berea, the NFL great took hold of his new franchise in a way no nouveau Browns regime has. Holmgren restored a sense of purpose and a connection with the community Browns fans hadn't seen in a generation. Just as refreshing: Now that the season is under way, Holmgren has receded to a background role. But rest assured, his presence will be felt whenever necessary.

Best Reason Next Year Will Be Our Year

Mike Holmgren

The Browns' new president is too football-smart to let mediocrity fester for much longer. Happily, encouraging signs of a turnaround are already all around us.

Best Place for Outdoor Exercise

Cleveland Metroparks

Just around the corner from almost every Northeast Ohio burg, the Cleveland Metroparks are Mother Nature's complimentary health club membership. And Mother Nature keeps her place spotless.

clemetparks.com

Best High School Team

St. Ignatius

A rare down year for Ignatius football can't deflate the local love for this perennial multi-sport powerhouse. Even the debate team is a killer.

ignatius.edu

Best Place to See a Game

Progressive Field

The ballpark was broken in with a string of magical seasons. Now it's overdue to field a team that's the equal of its amenities.

Best Place for a Sweaty Date

Cleveland Metroparks

Whether you're into biking or jogging or activities we cannot condone within the pages of a family newspaper, the Emerald Necklace is a jewel of a place to spark romance with your workout.

clemetparks.com

Best Place to Hike

Cleveland Metroparks

Nowhere else could you get so lost in nature this close to the heart of the city. Visitors to Cleveland are quick to praise what we so quickly take for granted.

clemetparks.com

Best Fitness Club

Fitworks

The national chain has done more than its share to get Northeast Ohio in shape. Locations throughout the area make it easier to commit to your welness.

fitworks.com

Best Festival

Feast of the Assumption

With its abundance of otherworldly food and traditional music, Murray Hill's annual August celebration of all things Catholic and Italian is just as much fun for Protestant Irishmen.

Best Place to Swim

Mentor Headlands

Here's an Erie shore oasis and nature sanctuary with a beach that's unequaled in the region. You haven't experienced the wonders of our Great Lake till you've experienced Mentor Headlands.

dnr.state.oh.us/parks

Best Place to Bike

The Towpath Trail

Part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the vaunted Towpath Trail along the old Ohio and Erie Canal is a biker's paradise and a welcome nod to our region's industrial roots.

nps.gov/cuva/ohio-and-erie-canal-towpath-trail.htm

Best Bar for Hooking Up

Velvet Dog

If four floors of dancing, DJs, and drinking don't improve your chances of finding that Saturday-night special someone, you've got problems even the Velvet Dog can't fix.

1280 West Sixth St., Cleveland, 216-664-1116, velvetdogcleveland.com

Best Movie Theater

Cedar Lee Theatre

This venerable Cleveland Heights art house mixes up the best mainstream offerings with the most sought-after independent films. It's clean, it's welcoming — and its concession stand is beyond reproach.

2163 Lee Rd., Cleveland Heights, 440-564-2030, clevelandcinemas.com

Best Blog

Cleveland Foodie

The Cleveland Foodie is Michelle V, an amateur cook, enthusiastically eclectic eater, and prolific writer who pens unapologetically engaging entries about her encounters with food all over the city, as well as recipes, chef interviews, and reports on her vacation food adventures.

clevelandfoodie.com

Best Dance Club

Velvet Dog

The world was made for platonic booty-shaking too. If that's your calling, then the Dog of the Warehouse District is still your best bet for quality music and a packed dance floor every weekend.

1280 West Sixth St., Cleveland, 216-664-1116, velvetdogcleveland.com

Best Place to Drink Cheap

Now That's Class

Every day from 6 to 9 p.m., Now That's Class offers $1 cans of Rolling Rock and Miller High Life. Show up early for a show or leave before it gets loud. The place isn't fancy, and that's precisely the point.

11213 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216- 221-8576, nowthatsclass.net

Best Local Theater Company

Cleveland Public Theatre

If your theatrical tastes are 180 degrees from community-theater interpretations of Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, catch one of CPT's boundary-breaking productions, which grapple with important issues in offbeat ways.

6415 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216-631-2727, cptonline.org

Best Hip-Hop Club

B-Side Liquor Lounge

The sleek but comfortable lounge under the Grog Shop serves up a menu of dance music that includes electro, soul, and indie rock as well as hip-hop. Its Tuesday-night spoken-word event attracts a chic adult crowd.

2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-932-1966, bsideliquorlounge.com

Best Radio Station

100.7-FM WMMS

In the rock & roll capital, nothing sells quite like straight-up rock & roll. The Thundering Buzzard still reigns supreme.

Best Art Gallery

Cleveland Museum of Art

Not a "gallery" in the classic sense, Cleveland's world-class museum is a classic in every other sense, so who are we to argue here.

11150 East Blvd., Cleveland, 216-421-7340, clevelandart.org

Best Concert Club

Beachland

Formerly a polka hall, the Beachland offers great sight lines, crisp acoustics, reasonably priced drinks, and most important: reasonably priced tickets for just about every type of show you can imagine.

15711 Waterloo Rd., Cleveland, 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com

Best Club for Underground Sounds

Now That's Class

Rocking seven nights a week, Now That's Class has some of the aura of a D.I.Y. punk club, but with a liquor license and a packed calendar of loud underground bands — some local, some from around the world — booked well in advance. And it serves vegan food.

11213 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216- 221-8576, nowthatsclass.net

Best Drag Performer

Shari Turner

Already crowned Miss Gay Black Ohio, this stunning beauty from Cleveland's West Side is a cosmetology student when the lights of the stage don't beckon.

Best Bar for Smokers

Spitfire Saloon

In a world gone smoke-free, this refuge on the Lakewood-Cleveland border gets the nod for best place to park your butts.

1539 W 117th St., Cleveland, 216-226-7748

Best Gay-Lesbian Bar

Bounce

Nestled between Detroit Ave. and the Shoreway on Cleveland's near West Side, Bounce is the epicenter of Cleveland's gay nightlife.

2814 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216-357-2997

Best Karaoke Bar

Tina's Nightclub

An anchor of the burgeoning Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood, Tina's is the place to loosen the belt and belt out the hits.

5400 Herman Ave., Cleveland, 216-651-8057

Best Gentlemen's Club

Christie's Cabaret

With three locations in the region, Christie's has Northeast Ohio's adult entertainment needs covered like no one else.

1180 Main Ave., Cleveland, 216-574-6222, 1246 Pearl Rd., Brunswick, 330-220-1888; 4465 Everhard Rd. NW, Canton 330-305-0555; christiescabaret.com

Best Club DJ

DJ Kishka

You'll find this turntable dynamo holding court during the Happy Dog Saloon's Polka Happy Hour. You were expecting hip-hop, perhaps?

Best Club Theme Night

Cleveland Trivia Nights at Melt Bar & Grilled

Not sure what it says about our party scene that grilled cheese and U.S. Military History are our idea of a hot night on the town, but consider it further proof that Melt's twin locations ooze everything Clevelanders desire these days.

14718 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-226-3699; 13463 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Hts., 216-965-0988; meltbarandgrilled.com, http://www.clevelandtrivia.net/

Best Selection of Microbrews

Buckeye Beer Engine

With great beers of their own plus a phone-book sized list of offerings from around the world, there's no reason to come here seeking the ordinary.

15315 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-226-2337, buckeyebeerengine.com

Best Neighborhood Bar

Happy Dog Saloon

It's become the latest hot venue for Cleveland's indie rockers, but the Happy Dog's informal atmosphere and inexpensive, simple yet diverse menu — hot dogs with a huge variety of custom toppings — make it an ideal neighborhood hangout for the Gordon Square district.

5801 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216-651-9474, happydogcleveland.com

Best Wine Bar

La Cave du Vin

This spacious cellar's dusky romantic atmosphere enhances its large stock of American and international wines and specialty beers. With a plate of craft cheeses and local artisan bread from On the Rise, you can have an evening out that's both simple and sophisticated.

2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-932-6411, lacaveduvin.com

Best Martini Bar

Velvet Tango Room

Food and drink trends may come and go, but the Tango Room continues to be Clevelanders' top place to be shaken and stirred.

2095 Columbus Rd., Cleveland, 216-241-8869, velvettangoroom.com

Best Dive Bar

Now That's Class

Only a martini would be in poor taste at this West Side clubhouse, where punks and metalheads wash down vegan food with cheap beer and listen to thrash on the jukebox.

11213 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216- 221-8576, nowthatsclass.net

Best Sports Bar

Winking Lizard

With a dozen local locations and counting, the Lizard has tapped into Clevelanders' top passions like no other place around.

winkinglizard.com

Best Hipster Bar

Happy Dog Saloon

The Happy Dog has it all: a cool crowd spanning college kids to scene lifers, gloriously overgarnished hot dogs, hot local bands like HotChaCha, visiting stars like Hüsker Dü's Grant Hart, and a polka happy hour every other Friday.

5801 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216-651-9474, happydogcleveland.com

Best Museum

Cleveland Museum of Art

Already a world-class institution, Cleveland's glorious art museum is finally emerging from a years-long expansion and renovation that further cements its formidable reputation.

11150 East Blvd., Cleveland, 216-421-7340, clevelandart.org

Best Original Musician

Hal Walker

This Kent-based folkie plays an array of instruments from all over the world to enhance his songs celebrating Ohio's natural beauty. Walker belts them out in area clubs, coffeehouses, and even schools, for which he is often asked to perform.

http://www.halwalkermusic.com/

Best Original Band

Forged in Flame

The metal quartet's brand of dense, precise stoner rock is dusted with prog influences and dovetails perfectly with the region's musical sensibilities.

Best Cover Band

Tricky Dick and the Cover Ups

With an arsenal ranging from Kings of Leon to kings of '80s cheese metal, Tricky Dick keeps parties rocking from East Side to West — and all the way to Put-in-Bay.

Best Restaurant

Melt Bar & Grilled

Seemingly nonstop national TV coverage sure hasn't hurt the rep of this two-headed grilled-cheese beast, but the real appeal is in the endless slabs of gooey goodness that is their stock-in-trade.

14718 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-226-3699; 13463 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Hts., 216-965-0988; meltbarandgrilled.com

Best Restaurant for Romance

Pier W

Great wine and seafood, sure. But unparalleled lakefront views of Cleveland will always be the top draw here.

12700 Lake Ave. (Winton Place), Lakewood, 216-228-2250, selectrestaurants.com

Best Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurant

Tommy's

A longtime leader in Cleveland's meatless eats scene, Tommy's remains a venerable outpost when it comes to tasty vegetarian alternatives.

1824 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Hts., 216-321-7757, tommyscoventry.com

Best Deli

Slyman's

What else to say? Once the king, always the king. Raise a corned beef sandwich in praise of everyone's favorite purveyor of corned beef.

3106 St Clair Ave. NE, Cleveland, 216-621-3760, slymans.com

Best New Restaurant

Amp 150

Chef Ellis Cooley's stronghold isn't just outstanding hotel food; it's outstanding food, period.

4277 West 150th St. at the Airport Marriott, Cleveland, 216-252-5333, amp150.com

Best Ice Cream Parlor

Mitchell's

You have not eaten ice cream till you've savored the concoctions churned out by brothers Mike and Pete Mitchell. Make ours a key lime pie or, actually, anything at all.

19700 Detroit Rd., Rocky River, 440-333-4563; 2101 Richmond Rd. at LaPlace, Beachwood, 216-831-2722; 26161 Detroit Rd., Westlake, 440-250-0952 mitchellshomemade.com

Best Patio Dining

Reddstone

The party always spills out onto the patio at this Detroit Shoreway neighborhood haunt that overlooks the exclusive new Battery Park townhouses.

1261 West 76th St., Cleveland, 216-651-6969, reddstonecleveland.com

Best Chef

Michael Symon

With about as many TV shows as he has restaurants — and more of both every day — Symon has outgrown his peerless Cleveland reputation. He's now among the best in America. Taste his magic at Lola, Lolita, Bar Symon, or any of his growing number of B Spots.

Best Nightclub

Happy Dog

The Happy Dog has it all: a cool crowd spanning college kids to scene lifers, gloriously overgarnished hot dogs, hot local bands and a polka happy hour.

5801 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216-651-9474, happydogcleveland.com

Best Chinese

King Wah

Turns out Cleveland's Chinatown is in the West Side suburb of Rocky River, where King Wah has been a fixture since 1973.

20668 Center Ridge Rd., Rocky River, 440-331-0330, kingwahrestaurant.biz

Best Brunch

Lucky's Café

Lucky's and chef Heather Haviland are among the lucky few to be courted by the Food Network's Guy Fieri — but with or without the celeb-chef nod, this place deserves its accolades.

777 Starkweather Ave., Cleveland, 216-622-7773, luckyscafe.com

Best Taste of Cleveland

Great Lakes Beer

Whether you're toasting year-round with Burning River or celebrating with a seasonal variety, Great Lakes is the undisputed king of handcrafted beer.

Available at retail stores everywhere and at the brewery: 2516 Market Ave., Cleveland, 216-771-2085, greatlakesbrewing.com

Best Place to Eat on a Budget

The Happy Dog

Five bucks for a dog topped with as many of their 50 offerings as you'd like? Now that's dining of the highest order.

5801 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216-651-9474, happydogcleveland.com

Best Sandwich Shop

Melt Bar & Grilled

Even if their menu consisted solely of the infamous pierogi sandwich called the "Parmageddon," this place would win on style points alone.

14718 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-226-3699; 13463 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Hts., 216-965-0988 meltbarandgrilled.com

Best Beer

Great Lakes

Little wonder Great Lakes would earn Best Beer in town — it also swept the category Best Taste of Cleveland. Who are we to argue with beer this good?

Available at retail stores everywhere and at the brewery: 2516 Market Ave., Cleveland, 216-771-2085, greatlakesbrewing.com

Best Upscale Restaurant

Lola

The flagship of Michael Symon's restaurant empire is also the keystone of Cleveland's thriving East Fourth Street entertainment district.

2058 East Fourth St., Cleveland, 216-621-5652, lolabistro.com

Best Place to Cure

2 a.m. Munchies

Panini's

Panini's famous overstuffed sandwiches are just one way this venerable 18-location chain helps us soak up the booze after hours.

paninisgrill.com

Best Bakery

Blackbird Baking Company

Even if you don't know Tom and Adria Clark's fantastic little bakery, you probably know their high-profile clients, including Bar Symon.

1391 Sloane Ave., Lakewood, 216-712-6599, blackbirdbaking.com

Best Barbecue

Famous Dave's

Part of a national chain that's 36 states strong, Famous Dave's here is known for its North Olmsted location. If your adventures take you toward Cedar Point or the Erie Islands, look up Dave's in Sandusky too.

26410 Great Northern Shopping Center, 440-777-0200

1 Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky, 419-609-2054

famousdaves.com

Best Mexican

Momocho

A far cry from tacos and chips, Momocho in the heart of Ohio City will reinvent your notion of what Mexican food can be.

1835 Fulton Rd., Cleveland, 216-694-2122, momocho.com

Best Japanese

Pacific East

This Cleveland Heights legend has a reputation for using only the highest-quality ingredients.

1763 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Heights, 216-320-2302, pacificeastcoventry.com

Best Coffee

Phoenix

A local chain now five cafés strong, Phoenix reminds us that delicious coffee in a relaxed and inviting setting wasn't invented in Seattle.

phoenixcoffee.com.

Best Thai

Ty Fun Bistro

Little Ty Fun offers an elegant setting and tasty, artful dishes — including a host of vegetarian options — for way less than most of its neighbors.

815 Jefferson Ave., Cleveland, 216-664-1000, tyfunthaibistro.com

Best Sushi

Sushi Rock

Fabulous sushi and sashimi are the main hooks for this hip little Warehouse District hideaway. It's a fun, more refined alternative to the other action that's all around on West Sixth.

1276 West Sixth St., Cleveland, 216-623-1212, sushirockohio.com

Best Middle Eastern

Aladdin's

The rest of the world is learning what Clevelanders have known for years: The local chain now boasts outposts as far-flung as North Carolina and Virginia.

11 area locations; aladdinseatery.com

Best Irish

The Harp

There's no bad night to visit the Harp, but our favorite time is when the warm crackling fire meets the falling snow out on the lake.

4408 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216-939-0200, the-harp.com

Best Local Landmark

The West Side Market

On the verge of its 100th anniversary, the West Side Market remains as culturally relevant today as it was when we were parking our horse there.

1995 West 25th St., Cleveland, 216-579-6800, westsidemarket.org

Best TV Personality

Dick Goddard

In a job custom-made for vacuous hunks and beauties, Goddard trumps them all with actual knowledge of what's going on with the weather and a warm way of breaking the news that cold is on the way.

On WJW-TV Fox 8

Best Sportscaster

Tony Rizzo

With twin gigs at Fox 8 and 850-AM WKNR, Rizzo is most amazing for his seemingly unflagging energy. A Clevelander through and through, Rizzo feels our pain but doesn't let us dwell on it.

Best Famous Clevelander

Drew Carey

No matter how big he gets, Carey never forgets his hometown. Good for you for not forgetting him either.

Best Park

Cleveland Metroparks

When it comes time to get away from it all, there's simply no better — or easier — way to do it.

clemetparks.com

Best Place to Be Seen

East Fourth Street

From bowling and brews to rock & roll and fine dining, the new heart of downtown has it all. Little wonder that Cleveland's beautiful people make this the top stop on their itinerary.

Between Euclid and Prospect Aves., Cleveland,east4thstreet.com

Best Radio Personality

Alan Cox

Whether he's riffing on the thong of the day or the latest Mel Gibson tapes, WMMS' afternoon drive-time host is the perfect radio personality for Cleveland: He comes off on-air as being just like you and your friends, only funnier.

On 100.7-FM WMMS

Best Reason to Love Cleveland

Lake Erie

The hectic pace of life can make it easy to overlook our Great Lake. But when we stop to count our blessings, it's simply impossible to forget.

Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Visitors

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

We fought for the right to build it here and we remain proud to show it off to others. Any trip to the birthplace of rock & roll should include a reverent afternoon on the lakeshore.

1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., Cleveland, 216-781-ROCK, rockhall.com

Best Neighborhood

Tremont

Arts, dining, bars, parks, churches, and an eclectic mix of residents — Tremont boasts everything you could need, plus the charm of one of the city's most historic neighborhoods.

restoretremont.com

Best Area You'd Like to See Revitalized

The Flats

Those too young to remember the Flats' entertainment heyday stare now in disbelief at the ruins of a lost civilization, while those who took part in the waterfront fun still ache for its eventual return.

Best Suburb

Lakewood

Ethnically diverse, culturally rich, and decidedly unpretentious, Lakewood is the charming college town that happens not to have a college.

onelakewood.com

Best Day Trip

Put-in-Bay

Just a short drive and boat ride across Lake Erie, Put-in-Bay will make you feel like you've escaped to another world.

putinbay.com

Best Politician

Dennis Kucinich

No one's better than Dennis at firing up followers for his litany of peace and social justice issues. He's got a small army of devoted grassroots supporters in his district who virtually assure he'll be a congressman as long as he wants.

Best Troublemaker

Dennis Kucinich

Kucinich gets the nod here for the activist trouble he stirs up so well. The U.S. congressman has long been known as a feisty champion of the underdog. And underdogs play well here in God's country.

Best Photographer/Photo Studio

Posh Portraits

Sarah Kraus' Strongsville studio is dedicated to "making women feel beautiful in their own skin," and her long list of clients always winds up empowered by her results.

21530 Drake Rd., Strongsville, 440-785-0035, poshportraits.com

Best Place to Take the Kids

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

A zoo to rival the best in America is also one of Cleveland's best deals. Buy a one-year family admission and discover new wonders with every visit.

3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland, 216-661-6500,clemetparks.com

Best Place to Spend a Day Shopping

Crocker Park

From Trader Joe's to Anthropologie, and for countless reasons in between, the Westlake lifestyle center is brimming with life. Its diversity of offerings makes it a welcome stomping ground for singles, couples, and families alike.

189 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake, 440-871-6880,crockerpark.com

Best Place to Buy Music

Music Saves

Whether it's old or new, you'll find every era's hippest acts here, with an emphasis on contemporary indie rock and those who influenced it.

15801 Waterloo Rd., Cleveland, 216-481-1875, musicsaves.com

Best Place to Buy Unique Gifts

Big Fun

The Coventry Rd. fixture now has a companion shop on Cleveland's western edge. Both locations open the door to all the long-lost toys and forgotten treasure you never needed but wish you still had.

1814 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Hts., 216-371-4386; 11512 Clifton Blvd., Cleveland, 216-631-4386;bigfunbigfun.com

Best Place to Buy Vinyl

My Mind's Eye

If you're looking for a slab of classic rock, punk, or metal vinyl and My Mind's Eye doesn't have it, you're probably out of luck. But you'll find seven other things you'd forgotten that you wanted.

3727 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-521-6660; mymindseyerecords.com

Best Adult Store

Adult Mart

This multi-state chain specializes in clean, spacious, and plentiful stores that make filling your adult needs easier than ever.

Numerous locations throughout Northeast Ohio; adultmart.com

Best Liquor Store

Minotti's

With five locations, Minotti's is a West Side institution. Best known for their fabulous wine selection, they also host regular wine-related events.

minottis.com

Best Thrift Store

Unique Thrift

Part of a 17-store chain that spans Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, Unique is best known here for its Ohio City location. Unpredictable in its treasures throughout the year, it's a godsend come Halloween time.

Four area locations, including: 3333 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, 216-631-0205; uniquethriftstore.com

Best Place to Buy Groceries

West Side Market

For the best prices and the freshest food, the West Side Market can't be beat. Grocery stores will come and go, but this Market is here to stay.

1995 W. 25th St., Cleveland, 216-579-6800, westsidemarket.org

Best Place to Furnish Your Place

Arhaus

This multi-state chain is as good as it gets with high-end furnishings and design consultation.

Multiple locations throughout Northeast Ohio, arhaus.com

Best Locally Owned Bookstore

Mac's Backs

Three floors of new and used books make us love Mac's Backs; the Coventry shop's devotion to hosting book-signings, writing groups, and other literary events keeps us coming back.

1820 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Heights, 216-321-2665, booksite.com/mback

Best Hair Salon or Barbershop

Crazy Mullets

The name, of course, is a self-aware nod to what can happen to your hair in the wrong hands. No such concerns at either outpost of Crazy Mullets, where a hip vibe meets a talented staff.

14807 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-712-7733; 1830 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Hts. ;216-320-9891 crazymullets.com

Best Boutique

Banyan Tree

Owners Christie and Dale Murdoch hunt and peck for rare and stylish pieces to fill their lovely Tremont boutique. Thanks to them, you don't have to do the hunting yourself.

2242 Professor Ave., Cleveland, 216-241-1209, shopbanyantree.com

Best Animal Hospital

Gateway Animal Clinic

This walk-in clinic in Tremont specializes in care for animals that too often get woefully little of it in the outside world.

1502 Abbey Ave., Cleveland, 216-771-4414

Best Tattoo Parlor

Eclectic Tattoo

With its bright shop beaming with natural light and its artwork so detailed that it pops like 3-D, there's little wonder Eclectic earns the nod.

7054 Avon Belden Rd., North Ridgeville, 440-327-4465, myspace.com/eclectictattoocompany

Best Spa

Sacred Hour Masssage

Their services vary from therapeutic treatments to energy work and facials, and their results are positively immeasurable.

15217 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-228-9750, sacredhour.com

Best Eco-Friendly Business

Greenhouse Tavern

Chef Jonathon Sawyer is a leader in the local-food movement, sourcing most of his ingredients from area farms and making plans for his own on-site rooftop garden.

2038 East Fourth St., Cleveland, 216-443-0511, thegreenhousetavern.com

Best Recreational Tobacco Supply Shop

Daystar Boutique

Daystar has served the head-shop crowd for decades, offering papers, pipes, bongs, and other accessories essential for smoking legal substances. And we'll assume that's what you had in mind.

17102 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-228-4522; 15798 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, 216-941-4144; shopdaystar.com

Best Locally Owned Clothing Store

Banyan Tree

Nestled in the heart of Tremont, Banyan Tree is to local shopping as all those fantastic restaurants are to local dining, by which we mean: essential.

2242 Professor Ave., Cleveland, 216-241-1209,