It’s that time of year again, and we’re not talking “unofficial end of summer” or “back to school and the regular work grind” time. But rather Connecticut Magazine’s 17th annual “Best Of” issue, the one where editors (with some reader input) rate the best places to eat, play and shop.
If you are in the Hartford area or don’t mind a bit of drive, lucky you! You have lots of “best of” choices to savor.
Let’s start by shopping!
West Hartford’s Kimberly Boutique was voted “Best Casual Jewelry.”
In the “Fun and Leisure” category, Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park in Portland was judged “Best Action Park” and Crocodile Cove at Lake Compounce in Bristol “Best Water Park.”
“Best Beer Garden” went to East Side Restaurant in New Britain, with On20 in Hartford named the “Best Draft Cocktail” award. And speaking of drinks, City Steam in Hartford was deemed “Best Happy Hour” while Vinted in West Hartford was named “Best Wine Bar.”
Middletown’s Oddfellows Playhouse garnered the “Best Children’s Theater” award with “The Kate” in Old Saybook named best small concert venue. Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford was named “Best Large Concert Venue.”
In the “Food and Drink” category, Plan B with locations in West Hartford and beyond was named “Best Burger” and “Sweet Maria’s ” in Waterbury “Best Cake.” Rein’s in Vernon was named “Best Deli” and Dottie’s Diner in Waterbury and Woodbury “Best Doughnuts.” (watch for A La Carte online and in the Courant to read about those award-winning doughnuts and beyond!)
Wood ‘n Tap, with several locations including Hartford, was tapped as having the “Best Nachos” and Sixpence Pie company with locations in Southington and New Haven named, what else but “Best Pie.” Bartaco, with several locations including one in West Hartford, grabbed the “Best Tacos” award and as far as “Best Wings,” it was “J. Timothy’s in Plainville.
The “Best Consignment Furniture” went to Middlebury Consignment with RJ Julia Booksellers in Madison named as “Best Independent Bookstore.”
Over the Moon in Avon won “Best Kids Boutique” and when it came to “Best Toys,” the award went to Kiddly Winks in Canton.
Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods split awards in the “Casinos ” category with Foxwoods being named “Best Fine Dining” for its Paragon Restaurant.” Foxwoods Grand Theater was named “Best Large Entertainment Venue” and its Shrine named “Best Nightclub”
Mohegan Sun took the “Best Small Entertainment Venue” with its Cabaret Theater and “Best Shopping” at its The Shops at Mohegan Sun.
For the complete list go here.