Congratulations to all

2021 TOP OF THE TOWN Winners!

Posted

After 32,000 nominations and almost 84,000 votes by 9,339 voters, the 14th annual Top of the Town contest is behind us. This contest serves as a reminder every single year of the great things we have here in Lansing — whether it’s the brand new stuff we’ve yet to try out, or our old reliable favorites we’ve been enjoying seemingly forever.

We’ve broken up each of the winners and runners-up by the 9 main categories and highlighted some of the interesting results we’ve gathered from the contest’s conclusion. Every individual person, place and thing listed in the following pages experienced a hard-fought battle in the digital trenches of the Lansingcitypulse.com voting portal, and they all rightfully earned their spot. 

If you casted even a single nomination or vote, we salute you for helping grow Top of the Town into what it is today — none of this is possible with you. And without further ado, here is the best of the best Lansing has to offer:

BARS

American Fifth
American Fifth
The results of this year’s Top of the Town contest also serve as the ultimate guidebook for a great night out in Greater Lansing. Perhaps you could start out with dinner at El Azteco West, which voters decided serves up the best margaritas in the region. From there, you could keep on drinking Lansing’s best cocktails at Lansing’s best distillery, American Fifth Spirits, or venture east to dance the night away at the best jam night and best dance bar, Green Door Bar & Grill. 

The smokey barbecue flavors at MEAT Southern BBQ best bar food, a close race with the Art’s Pub on E. Kalamazoo Street. One of the oldest watering holes in Lansing, Stober’s Bar,  also took home the title of a new award: the region’s best dive bar. In East Lansing, Crunchy’s also took gold for best karaoke and place to watch MSU play sports.

The boozy tour of Greater Lansing could also include a stop at Zoobie’s Tavern in Old Town, which voters decided is the best tavern with the best happy hour specials for a discount buzz. And we know our readers will have a fabulous time at The Avenue, which not only won out for best mic night but took the title for the most LGBTQ-friendly bar in the Lansing region. 

Other winners included Lansing Brewing Co., Harry’s Place and One North Kitchen & Bar.

COCKTAILS

American Fifth Spirits - Winner
Avenue Cafe - Second Place
Dagwood’s Tavern & Grill - Runner Up

Green Door Bar & Grill
Green Door Bar & Grill
DANCE BAR

Green Door Bar & Grill - Winner
Avenue Cafe - Second Place
Exchange - Runner Up

DIVE BAR

Stober’s Bar - Winner
Dagwood’s Tavern & Grill - Second Place
Avenue - Runner Up

FOOD

Stober’s Bar - Winner
Dagwood’s Tavern & Grill - Second Place
Avenue - Runner Up

HAPPY HOUR

Avenue Cafe - Winner
Esquire Bar - Second Place
Reo Town Pub - Runner Up

JAM NIGHT

Green Door Bar & Grill - Winner
Avenue Cafe - Second Place
Moriarty’s Pub - Runner Up

KARAOKE

Crunchy’s East Lansing - Winner
Avenue Cafe - Second Place
LeRoy’s Classic Bar & Grill - Runner Up

LANSING AREA BREWERY

Lansing Brewing Co. - Winner
Ozone’s Brewhouse - Second Place
BAD Brewing Co. - Runner Up

LANSING AREA DISTILLERY

American Fifth Spirits - Winner
Sanctuary - Distillery, Brewery & Winery - Second Place
Michigrain Distillery - Runner Up

LGBTQ-FRIENDLY BAR

Avenue Cafe - Winner
Esquire Bar - Second Place
Reo Town Pub - Runner Up

MARGARITA

El Azteco - West - Winner
Barrio East Lansing - Second Place
Cancun Mexican Grill - Runner Up

NEIGHBORHOOD BAR

Harry’s Place - Winner
Avenue Cafe - Second Place
Dagwood’s Tavern & Grill - Runner Up

OPEN MIC NIGHT

Avenue Café - Winner
Crunchy’s East Lansing - Second Place
Moriarty’s Pub - Runner Up

PUB/TAVERN

Zoobie’s Old Town Tavern - Winner
Dagwood’s Tavern and Grill - Second Place
Moriarty’s - Runner Up

SPARTAN SPORTS HANGOUT

Crunchy’s East Lansing - Winner
Dagwood’s Tavern & Grill - Second Place
Reno’s East - Runner Up

SPORTS BAR

One North Kitchen & Bar - Winner
Nuthouse Sports Grill - Second Place
Art’s Pub - Runner Up

CANNABIS

We made cannabis a separate category in 2020 as Greater Lansing’s budding recreational marijuana industry was just planting its roots. And this year, it’s in full bloom with more than two dozen pot shops (and even more growing operations) within an hour’s drive of the Capital City.

And voters decided the trip to Laingsburg was well worth the extra gas money, selecting Local Roots Cannabis Co. by landslide margins this year as the top provisioning center in the region. Ronda Liskey and her son Roy opened the shop in April and have made a name for themselves with some of the most potent and affordable weed available on the Greater Lansing market. More than 200 votes went to Local Roots; - Second Place was decided by only 60 votes.

Pure Options’ newest pot shop near the Frandor Shopping Center took home Best CBD Store/Boutique. The 10,000-square-foot store opened in August. It’s easily the largest shop in the area. 

Top quality customer service from Jen Shallman at Pure Options makes her this year’s favorite for best budtender, narrowly beating out Kira Dagostino at Skymint. Skymint was also neck-and-neck with Pure Options across many categories, but it swept best growing brand, best concentrates and best edibles.

This year’s most popular strains — two from Skymint and one from Pure Options — are detailed in this week’s Lansterdam in Review column by managing editor Kyle Kaminski. See page 38.

BUDTENDER

Jen Shallman - Pure Options - Winner
Kira Dagostino - Skymint East Lansing - Second Place
Spencer Donley - Pincanna - Runner Up

CANNABIS FLOWER - HYBRID

Gelato 33 - Skymint - Winner
Moonbow 112 - Pure Options/Pro Gro - Second Place
Pink cookies - Franklin Fields - Runner Up

CANNABIS FLOWER - INDICA

Garlic Breath - Pure Options - Winner
Platinum OG Kush- Skymint - Second Place
Deathwalker OG - Radicle Genetics - Runner Up

CANNABIS FLOWER - SATIVA

Clementine- SkymintxDNA Genetics - Winner
Citrus Farmer - Pure Options - Second Place
Tangie Diesel - Radicle Genetics - Runner Up

CANNABIS GROWING BRAND

Skymint - Winner
Pure Options (Pure Flower Co.) - Second Place
Pincanna - Runner Up

CANNABIS - CONCENTRATE

Skymint - Winner
Full Spectrum Extracts - Second Place
North Coast Extracts - Runner Up

CANNABIS - EDIBLE

Skymint - Winner
Pure Options - Second Place
Pincanna - Runner Up

CBD STORE/BOUTIQUE

Pure Options - Frandor - Winner
Sweetheart Essentials - Second Place
Pincanna - East Lansing - Runner Up

INDOOR GROW SHOP

Skymint Brands - Winner
Pure Options - ProGrow - Second Place
Pincanna - Runner Up

Local Roots
Local Roots

MARIJUANA PROVISIONING CENTER

Local Roots - Winner
Skymint Lansing - Saginaw St - Second Place
Botanical Co. - Lansing - Runner Up

MARIJUANA PROVISIONING CENTER - EAST LANSING

Pincanna - East Lansing - Winner
Pleasantrees - Second Place
Skymint - Runner Up

DINING

One North
One North

One of the best parts of Top of the Town is how it creates the ultimate de facto guide to the best restaurants in town. The competition in this category gets more heated as years go by and more eateries serving delicious food crop up. If you’re on the hunt for a new place to take your friends for a great bite to eat, just consult these contest winners for a truly safe bet. 

Several newcomers to the scene made big splashes, including Social Sloth Café, which snatched up the Best Bakery award. Mr. Corned Beef, another new joint, took home Best Reuben. But One North Kitchen & Bar received some seriously high recognition by capturing the Best New Restaurant award. Lansing’s culinary scene continues to grow even more tasty.

It was a relief to see a distinct lack of massive corporate chains within the winners. Past years of Top of the Town has seen award recipients like Taco Bell or P.F. Chang’s. So, good on you, the voters, for keeping it local. 

But some things never change. Eastside Fish Fry and MEAT Southern BBQ continue their dominance in their respective categories, as did Horrocks. Hey, can’t go wrong with classics, right? For the best individual dishes — if you haven’t had any of these, you should probably check them out — Fleetwood’s iconic Hippie Hash took top prize, followed by Zaytoon’s chicken shawarma and MEAT Southern BBQ’s signature Meat Mountain combo. Stay hungry Lansing, there’s plenty for you to eat.

BAGELS

Flour Child Bakery - Winner
GoodFellas Bagel Deli - Second Place
New Daily Bagel - Runner Up

BAKERY

Social Sloth | Cafe & Bakery - Winner
Flour Child Bakery - Second Place
Mitten Raised - Runner Up

BBQ

MEAT Southern BBQ - Winner
Saddleback BBQ - REO Town - Second Place
Smoke N’ Pig BBQ - Runner Up

BREAKFAST

Good Truckin’ Diner - Winner
Fleetwood Diner - Second Place
Soup Spoon - Runner Up

BRUNCH

Soup Spoon Cafe - Winner
People’s Kitchen - Second Place
Good Truckin’ Diner - Runner Up

BURGER

Dagwood’s Tavern and Grill - Winner
Olympic Broil - Second Place
Crunchy’s East Lansing - Runner Up

CHICKEN STRIPS/TENDERS

Olympic Broil - Winner
Eastside Fish Fry & Grill - Second Place
Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen - Runner Up

CHINESE

Charlie Kang’s Restaurant - Winner
Chen’s Restaurant - Second Place
House of Hsu - Runner Up

CIDER

Uncle Johns Cider Mill - Winner
Phillips Orchards & Cider Mill - Second Place
Quality Dairy - Runner Up

CONEY DOG

Sparty’s Coney Island - Winner
Nip N Sip Drive In - Second Place
Cheezy D’s Deli & Dogs - Runner Up

DELI

Horrocks Farm Market - Winner
Monticello’s Market & Butcher Block - Second Place
McAlister’s Deli - Runner Up

DESSERT

MSU Dairy Store - Winner
Flour Child Bakery - Second Place
Everything is Cheesecake - Runner Up

DINER

Good Truckin’ Diner - Winner
Fleetwood Diner - Second Place
Dagwood’s Tavern & Grill - Runner Up

DONUTS

Quality Dairy (all locations) - Winner
Groovy Donuts - Second Place
Strange Matter Coffee - Runner Up

FAMILY FRIENDLY RESTAURANT

DeLuca’s Restaurant - Winner
Cugino’s - Second Place
Kewpee Sandwich Shoppe - Runner Up

FAST FOOD

Zaytoon - Winner
El Oasis - Second Place
Olympic Broil - Runner Up

FISH FRY

Eastside Fish Fry - Winner
Crack Chicken - Second Place
Harry’s Place - Runner Up

FOOD TRUCK

El Oasis - Winner
Pancho’s Taqueria - Second Place
Bangos Food Truck - Runner Up

FRENCH FRIES

HopCat - Winner
Five Guys Burgers & Fries - Second Place
Cosmos   - Runner Up

FRIED CHICKEN

Eastside Fish Fry - Winner
Fresh Fish & Fry - Crack Chicken - Second Place
Fidler’s on the Grand - Runner Up

GREEN RESTAURANT

Zaytoon Mediterranean - Winner
Woody’s Oasis - Second Place
Zeus’ Coney Island - Runner Up

HIBACHI

Ukai Hibachi Grill & Sushi Bar - Winner
Maru Sushi & Grill - Second Place
Hibachi Grill Sushi Buffet - Runner Up

ICE CREAM

MSU Dairy Store - Winner
MOO-Ville Creamery - Second Place
Babe’s Corner - Runner Up

INDIAN RESTAURANT

Swagath Indian Cuisine - Winner
Ozzy’s Kabob - Second Place
Sindhu Indian Cuisine - Runner Up

IRISH RESTAURANT

Moriarty’s Pub - Winner
Kelly’s Downtown - Second Place
Dublin Square - Runner Up

ITALIAN RESTAURANT

Cugino’s - Winner
DeLuca’s - Second Place
Tannin - Runner Up

KIDS EAT FREE RESTAURANT

Cosmos/Zoobies Tavern - Winner
Texas Roadhouse - Second Place
Buddies Grill - Runner Up

LATE NIGHT FOOD

Fleetwood Diner - Winner
Pizza House - Second Place
Conrad’s Grill - Runner Up

MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT

Zaytoon Mediterranean - Winner
Woody’s Oasis - Second Place
Aladdin’s - Runner Up

MEXICAN RESTAURANT - CHAIN

Cancun Mexican Grill - Winner
Fiesta Charra - East Lansing - Second Place
Fiesta Charra Mexican Restaurant - DeWitt - Runner Up

MEXICAN RESTAURANT - NON CHAIN

Pablo’s Old Town - Winner
El Oasis - Second Place
El Azteco - West - Runner Up

NACHOS

MEAT Southern BBQ - Winner
El Azteco - Second Place
Lansing Brewing Co. - Runner Up

NEW RESTAURANT

One North Kitchen & Bar - Winner
Good Truckin Food - Second Place
Babe’s Corner - Runner Up

OLIVE BURGER

Kewpee Sandwich Shop - Winner
Olympic Broil - Second Place
Dagwood’s Tavern & Grill - Runner Up

PANCAKES

Sophia’s House of Pancakes - Winner
People’s Kitchen - Second Place
Blondie’s Barn - Runner Up

PHO

Nola Bistro - Winner
Capital City BBQ - Second Place
Asia’s Finest - Runner Up

PIZZA

Klavon’s Pizzeria & Pub - Winner
Art’s Pub - Second Place
Buddy’s Pizza - Runner Up

PRIME RIB

Airport Tavern - Winner
Capital Prime - Second Place
Texas Roadhouse - Runner Up

RAMEN

Ruckus Ramen - Winner
Sapporo Ramen - Second Place
Bento Kitchen Cravings - Runner Up

RANCH DRESSING

DeLuca’s Restaurant - Winner
Crunchy’s - Second Place
Cugino’s - Runner Up 

RESTAURANT BEER LIST

HopCat - Winner
Lansing Brewing Co. - Second Place\
Zoobie’s Old Town Tavern - Runner Up

RESTAURANT FOR SENIORS

Coral Gables - Winner
Spud’s Family Restaurant - Second Place
Flap Jack Shack - Runner Up

RESTAURANT WINE LIST

Dusty’s Cellar - Winner
Soup Spoon Café - Second Place
Bridge Street Social - Runner Up

REUBEN

Mr. Corned Beef - Winner
Stateside Deli & Restaurant - Second Place
Soup Spoon Cafe - Runner Up

SALAD/SALAD BAR

Horrocks Farm Market - Winner
Leaf Salad Bar - Second Place
El Azteco - Runner Up

SEAFOOD

Sansu Sushi and Cocktails - Winner
Tangy Crab - Cajun Seafood and Bar - Second Place
Mitchell’s Fish Market - Runner Up

SIGNATURE DISH

Fleetwood Diner - Hippie Hash - Winner
Zaytoon Mediterranean - Chicken Shwarma - Second Place
MEAT Southern BBQ - Meat Mountain - Runner Up

SLIDERS

Green Dot Stables - Winner
Dagwood’s Tavern & Grill - Second Place
Art’s Pub - Runner Up

SOUP

Soup Spoon Cafe - Winner
Horrocks Farm Market - Second Place
Zoup! - Runner Up

STEAK

Bowdie’s Chophouse - Winner
Capital Prime - Second Place
Texas Roadhouse - E. Edgewood - Runner Up

SUB SANDWICH

Jersey Giant - E. Saginaw - Winner
Mancino’s - Second Place
Babe’s Corner - Runner Up

SUSHI

Maru Sushi & Grill - Winner
Sansu Sushi - Second Place
Sushi Moto - Runner Up

TACOS

El Oasis - Winner
Pablo’s Old Town - Second Place
Pancho’s Taqueria - Runner Up

THAI

Niang Myanmar Family Restaurant - Winner
Taste of Thai - Second Place
Bangkok House - Runner Up

UPSCALE DINING

English Inn - Winner
Bowdie’s Chophouse - Second Place
Red Haven Farm to Table Restaurant - Runner Up

VEGETARIAN/VEGAN/GLUTEN FREE RESTAURANT

Altu’s Ethiopian Cuisine - Winner
VEG-N - Second Place
Soup Spoon Cafe - Runner Up

WINGS

MEAT Southern BBQ & Carnivore Cuisine - Winner
Eastside Fish Fry - Second Place
Art’s Pub - Runner Up

HANGOUTS

Looking for something more than a bar or a restaurant? Voters decided there are plenty of other entertaining hangouts — something for all ages — across the Greater Lansing region this year.

Constellation Cat Café seems to have universal appeal this year — and not just for cat lovers. It won top honors as best coffee shop, best hangout for seniors and students and best trivia night.

And if you can manage to avoid a traffic jam in the produce section, Horrocks Farm Market won as the best place for a date night outside of a bar or restaurant, as well as the best solo hangout. It also won first place this year for the best patio hangout space in Greater Lansing.

While getting lost in the grocery store, perhaps you’ll also want to consider hiring a babysitter to take the kids over to the Fenner Nature Center or the Impression 5 Science Center, which were named as the best nature center and the best local attraction for kids in this year’s contest. Hawk Island Park was another local favorite, earning two titles for best park and best sled hill.

The best Biggby was on Saginaw Street. The best local library was in downtown Lansing. And gamers needn’t look farther than Pinball Pete’s in East Lansing for best-in-class pinball machines and other video games. The Avenue also won this year’s title for best pool tables.

Other coveted hangouts included NCG Cinema, Riverview Church and Su Casa Smoke Shop. And don’t forget to take Bailey, Mitzi or Mimi for a run at Soldan Dog Park, which won best dog park this year.

BIGGBY

2002 W. Saginaw - Winner
2546 E Jolly - Second Place
1602 Haslett Road, Haslett - Runner Up

BOWLING ALLEY

Spare Time Entertainment Center - Winner
Royal Scot - Second Place
City Limits - Mason - Runner Up

CAPITAL AREA DISTRICT LIBRARY BRANCH

CADL - Downtown Lansing - Winner
CADL - Holt-Delhi Library - Second Place
CADL - South Lansing Library - Runner Up

COFFEE SHOP (NON-BIGGBY)

Constellation Cat Cafe - Winner
Strange Matter - Second Place
Blue Owl Coffee - Runner Up

COMEDY NIGHT

BAD Brewing Co. - Winner
Crunchy’s East Lansing - Second Place (tie)
Robin Theatre - Second Place (tie)

CORN MAZE

Uncle John’s Cider Mill - Winner
Best Maze - Second Place
Shawhaven Farm - Runner Up

DOG PARK

Hawk Island - Soldan Dog Park - Winner
Valhalla Park - Second Place
Meridian Township Large Dog Park - Runner Up

ESCAPE ROOM VENUE

Breakout Escape Rooms - Winner
Challenges East Lansing Escape Room - Second Place
Escapology Escape Rooms - Runner Up

GOLF COURSE

Hawk Hollow Golf Course - Winner
Groesbeck Golf Course - Second Place
Eagle Eye Golf Course - Runner Up

HANGOUT FOR SENIORS

Constellation Cat Cafe - Winner
Coral Gables - Second Place
Spud’s Family Restaurant Runner Upr

HANGOUT FOR STUDENTS

Constellation Cat Cafe - Winner
Crunchy’s East Lansing - Second Place
Demented Mitten Tours, LLC - Runner Up

HANGOUT SOLO

Horrocks Farm Market - Winner
Constellation Cat Cafe - Second Place
Deadtime Stories: True Crime and Other Books - Runner Up

HAUNTED ATTRACTION

Demented Mitten Tour - Winner
Jackson’s Underworld - Second Place
Shawhaven Farm - Runner Up

LOCAL ATTRACTION FOR KIDS

Impression 5 Science Center - Winner
Constellation Cat Cafe - Second Place
Potter Park Zoo - Runner Up

MOVIE THEATRE

NCG Cinema - Winner
Celebration Cinema - Second Place
Studio C! - Runner Up

MUSIC VENUE

Green Door - Winner
Avenue Cafe - Second Place
Robin Theatre - Runner Up

NATURE CENTER

Fenner Nature Center - Winner
Woldumar Nature Center - Second Place
MSU Horticulture Gardens - Runner Up

NON-BAR OR RESTAURANT DATE 

Horrocks Farm Market - Winner
Old Town Lansing - Second Place
Constellation Cat Cafe - Runner Up

PATIO

Horrocks Beer Garden - Winner
One North Kitchen & Bar - Second Place
Lansing Brewing Co. - Runner Up

PLACE OF WORSHIP

Riverview Church - Winner
St. Gerard Catholic Church - Second Place
Peoples Church - Runner Up

PLACE TO PLAY PINBALL

Pinball Pete’s - Winner
Avenue Cafe - Second Place (tie)
Grid Arcade & Bar - Second Place (tie)

PLACE TO PLAY VIDEO GAMES

Pinball Pete’s - Winner
Grid Arcade & Bar - Second Place
Avenue Cafe - Runner Up

PLACE TO SHOOT POOL

Avenue Cafe - Winner
LeRoy’s Classic Bar & Grill - Second Place
Pinball Pete’s - Runner Up

PLACE TO SLED

Hawk Island Park - Winner
Fitzgerald Park - Second Place
John Taylor Memorial Park (formerly Dead Man’s Hill) - Runner Up

PUBLIC PARK

Hawk Island Park - Winner
Fitzgerald Park - Second Place
MSU Horticulture Gardens - Runner Up

SMOKE SHOP/HOOKAH LOUNGE 

Su Casa - Winner
Wild Bill’s - Second Place
Campbell’s Smoke Shop - Runner Up

TABLE TOP GAMING

Grid Arcade & Bar - Winner
Summit Comics & Games - Second Place
Avenue Cafe - Runner Up

TRVIA NIGHT

Constellation Cat Cafe - Winner
Avenue - Second Place
Crunchy’s - Runner Up

LOCAL ARTS

Lansing is a hotbed of creativity that doesn’t receive the recognition it deserves. Hopefully when you read through these winners, you find a new favorite band, artist or author. Seriously, give your local creatives a shot you just might discover a beautiful diamond in the rough. Besides, do you how cool you sound at parties when you tell people you knew a big star before they were famous?

Starfarm received the Best Cover Band honors, thanks to their high energy performances of hit songs from the ’80s. We had a tie for the Best Punk/Metal Band category — a two-way split between Rodeo Boys and Let it Rot. Maybe we should split that category up, considering that Rodeo Boys are distinctly punk and Let it Rot is metal. There’s always next year!

Root Doctor, a Lansing stalwart that is retiring after this year, received the Best Jazz Musician/Group award, a well deserved sendoff for one of our city’s longtime favorites. Meanwhile, Best Hip-Hop went to Ozay Moore, a highly creative, soulful M.C. and youth educator. 

So, do yourself a favor and check out any of these above winners. You’re bound to find something you can dig on.

ARTIST

Stephanie Hogan - Winner
Autumn Hopkins - Second Place
Ryan Holmes - Runner Up

CHORAL GROUP

Sistrum Lansing Women’s Chorus - Winner
Lansing Children’s Choir - Second Place
Steiner Chorale - Runner Up

CLASSICAL MUSICAN

Gretchen Morse - Winner
Darin Larner Jr. - Second Place
Sarah Wallace - Runner Up

CLUB DJ

DJ Ruckus - Steve Swart - Winner
DJ Mary X - Second Place
DJ Fudgie - Runner Up

COUNTRY ARTIST/BAND

Shelby & Jake - Winner
Whiskey Charmers - Second Place
Rachel Curtis - Runner Up
Swift Brothers - Runner Up

COVER BAND

Starfarm - Winner
Darin Larner Band - Second Place
Global Village - Runner Up

EXPERIMENTAL MUSICAL ACT

Atomic Boogaloo - Winner
Mr. Denton on Doomsday - Second Place
Cavalcade - Runner Up

FOLK ARTIST/BAND

Sally Potter - Winner
Jen Sygit - Second Place
Creature of One - Runner Up

HIP-HOP ARTIST GROUP

Ozay Moore - Winner
Mikeyy Austin - Second Place
James Gardin - Runner Up

JAZZ MUSICIAN/GROUP

Root Doctor - Winner
MSU Professors of Jazz - Second Place
Sunny Wilkinson - Runner Up

LOCAL THEATRE GROUP

Riverwalk Theatre - Winner
Artist’s Umbrella - Second Place
Peppermint Creek - Runner Up

POTTERY STUDIO

Wheel House Pottery - Winner
Greater Lansing Pottery Guild - Second Place
Playing Picasso - Runner Up

PUBLIC ART/SCULPUTURE

ART Path - Winner
Old Town mural by Nanibah Chacon - Second Place
Sparty - Runner Up

PUNK/METAL GROUP

Let It Rot - Winner (tie)
Rodeo Boys - Winner (tie)
She/Her/Hers - Runner Up

ROCK ARTIST/GROUP

Starfarm - Winner
Frog & The Beeftones - Second Place
Rodeo Boys - Runner Up

PEOPLE

This contest isn’t just a time for the best local businesses to shine. It’s also a nod to some of the key movers and shakers who are making it all happen. And from dedicated bus drivers and savvy politicians to world-class hair stylists and all-star educators — Lansing truly has ‘em all.

Progressive politics took the cake this year. State Rep. Sarah Anthony was a clear favorite for the best local politician; Gov. Gretchen Whitmer won as best state politician and best advocate. Local activists Jerry Norris and Mike Karl were nearly tied for a second-place finish.

Former President Donald Trump was named the worst national politician for a second year. And despite being reelected in a landslide victory this month, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor managed to tie with State Sen. Mike Shirkey for the title of worst local politician. 

Everett High School teacher Ben Billings won this year’s title for best high school coach, ranking in this year among other top local educators like best high school teacher Stacie Forbes at Holt High School, top college instructor Jeana-Dee Allen at MSU, Grand Ledge dance instructor Sierra Erskine, personal trainer Abdullah Muhamad and yoga instructor Belinda Thurston. 

New to this year’s contest was the best handyman category, which went to Larry Feldpausch. Other top professionals included attorney Andrew Abood, Ozone’s Brewhouse bartender KaLyn Wilder, Lansing Brewing Co. brewer Brian Wilson, CATA driver Ron DeLeon, MEAT BBQ chef Sean Johnson, cosmetic surgeon Dr. Rick Smith, cosmetologist Holly Roth at Pure Skincare, Ulta Beauty hair stylist Seth Ortega, insurance agent Ben Rathbun and real estate agent Kristen Clisch. 

In the media world, Melik Brown at Stacks 92.1 won as the best local DJ and WLNS’ Sheri Jones won best TV news personality. Lansing also picked a favorite comedian: Nicole Melnyk.

And Lansing’s favorite cop is a dog. K9 Aiko at the Bath Township Police Department won first place in that category by more than 150 votes. Woof.

ADVOCATE/ACTIVIST

Gretchen Whitmer - Winner
Jerry Norris - Second Place
Mike Karl - Runner Up

ATTORNEY

Andrew Abood - Winner
Jamie White - Second Place
Dustyn Coontz - Runner Up

BARTENDER

KaLyn Wilder - Ozone’s Brewhouse - Winner (tie)
Ralphie - The Avenue Cafe - Winner (tie)
Sam Hutting - Watershed Tavern & Grill - Second Place
Kyrie Higgins - Front 43 - Runner Up

BREWER

Brian Wilson - Lansing Brewing Co. - Winner
Dan Buonodono - EagleMonk Pub and Brewery - Second Place
Dan Malone - Ozone’s Brewhouse - Runner Up

CATA BUS DRIVER

Ron DeLeon - Winner
Karen Williams - Second Place
Aaron Aikman - Runner Up

CHEF

Sean Johnson - MEAT BBQ - Winner
Steve Swart - Ruckus Ramen - Second Place
Colin Davidoski - One North Kitchen & Bar - Runner Up

COLLEGE INSTRUCTOR

Jeana-Dee Allen - MSU - Winner
Mark Stevens - LCC - Second Place
Ava Ordman - MSU College of Music - Runner Up

COMEDIAN

Nicole Melnyk - Winner
Dwayne Gill - Second Place
Pat Sievert - Runner Up

COSMETIC SURGEON

Dr. Rick Smith - Winner
Dr. George Poletes - Second Place
Dr. Andrew Zwyghuizen - Runner Up

DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Sierra Erskine - The Hive Grand Ledge - Winner
Clara Martinez - Everett High School - Second Place
Chloe Gonzales - Happendance - Runner Up

DEVELOPER

Capital Area Housing Partnership - Winner
Gillespie Group - Second Place
Joe Gentilozzi - Runner Up

ESTHETICIAN

Holly Roth- Pure Skincare and Acne Spa - Winner
Lorin Cumberbatch - Second Place
Bea Taylor - Gemini Waxing Co - Runner Up

FOOD DELIVERY PERSON

Khailea Pond- Shopping with Khai - Winner
Jeremy Hurt-Red Bike Delivery - Second Place
April Horton - Shipt - Runner Up

HAIR STYLIST

Seth Ortega - The Salon at Ulta Beauty - Winner
Ellie Wong - Holiday Lansing Parlor - Second Place
Erika Lowe - Eastside Barbershop - Runner Up

HANDYMAN

Larry Feldpausch - Grossbeck Painting & Handyman Service - Winner
Gary Mugnolo, Honey-Do Handyman Service, LLC - Second Place
Shawn Lettau- Chip off the Block Construction - Runner Up

HIGH SCHOOL COACH

Ben Billings - Everett High School - Winner
Jaleel Canty - Everett High School - Second Place
Chris Tyler - Waverly High School - Runner Up

HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER

Stacie Forbes - Holt High School - Winner
Danelle Hovenkamp - Everett High School - Second Place
Ben Billings - Everett High School - Runner Up

 INSURANCE AGENT

Ben Rathbun - Rathbun Insurance - Winner
Tom DeVries-State Farm - Second Place
Pam Lambropoulos Great Lakes State Agency - Runner Up

LOCAL TV NEWS PERSONALITY

Sheri Jones - WLNS - Winner
David Young - WLNS - Second Place
Ann Emmerich - WILX - Runner Up

MASSAGE THERAPIST

Anna Faye, Creative Wellness - Winner
Amanda Tollstam - Holistic Therapy Massage & Bodywork - Second Place
Flor De Maria - Holistic Health & Massage - Runner Up 

PERSONAL TRAINER

Abdullah Muhammad - AFitnessApp - Winner
Ronica Rodriguez - Redemption Fitness - Second Place
Brian Daniels - EmPOWer Lansing - Runner Up

PIERCER

Aaron Wood (Malibu) REO Town Tattoo Co. - Winner
Alix Mercer - Ink Therapy Lansing - Second Place
Renee McKeith - Splash of Color - Runner Up

POLICE OFFICER 

Aiko - K9 - Bath Twp. - Winner
Anthony Rodriguez - Lansing Police Dept. - Second Place
Kara Freeman, Lansing Police Dept - Runner Up

RADIO DJ

Melik Brown - Stacks 92.1 - Winner
Monica Harris - 99.1 WFMK - Second Place
Terry Stevens - Q106 WJXQ - Runner Up

REALTOR

Kristen Clisch - Keller Williams - Winner
Dani Fairman - Community Real Estate - Second Place
Brecken Terry, Coldwell Banker Hubbell Briarwood - Runner Up

RESTAURANT WAITSTAFF

Alisa “Cheese” Kowalski - Mitchell’s  Fish Market - Winner
Steve Parmalee - Harry’s Place - Second Place
Angie Miller - Art’s Pub - Runner Up

TATTOO ARTIST 

Shawn Farr, Ink Therapy - Winner
Alex Martinez, Ink Therapy - Second Place
Shaun Friday, Ministry Ink - Runner Up

YOGA INSTRUCTOR

Belinda Thurston - Just B Yoga - Winner
Deb Hart - Hilltop Yoga - Second Place
Toni Thomas - Salt Yoga - Runner Up

BEST LOCAL POLITICIAN

Sarah Anthony - Winner
Chris Swope - Second Place
Curtis Hertel Jr. - Runner Up

WORST LOCAL POLITICIAN

Andy Schor - Winner (tie)
Mike Shirkey - Winner (tie)
Brandon Betz - Second Place

BEST STATE/NATIONAL POLITICIAN

Gretchen Whitmer - Winner
Elissa Slotkin - Second Place
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) - Runner Up

WORST STATE/NATIONAL POLITICIAN

Donald Trump - Winner
Gretchen Whitmer - Second Place
Mitch McConnell - Runner Up

SERVICES

This category might wind up doing you a real solid. After all, sometimes you need deep insider knowledge to find the best deals on services such as oil and tire changes, or where to get a great haircut. When it comes to these things, the locals always know best. Luckily for anybody not in the know, our Top of the Town voters are supplying some valuable cheat codes. These winners represent a handy guide to the most reliable services here in Lansing.

In these stressful times, we could all use a relaxing time at the spa. If you’re so inclined, Skin Studio 211 was deemed the Best Day Spa. Or maybe you need to hit the gym? Your best bet according to our voters is The Barre Code Gym. And if you want to follow all of that up with a nice massage, you might want to direct yourself to Creative Wellness. 

If you’re looking for help with home improvement, Top of the Town has you covered there too. Our voters recommend you hit up Guy with a Mullet Landscaping, recipient of Best Landscaping Company, to handle your dirty work. And can we just say, that’s a wonderful name for a business?

In need of a root canal? McNiel Family Dentistry, declared this year’s Best Dentist Office, has the fix. Looking to fulfill your dreams as the beautiful dancer you were meant to be? Perhaps you should begin your journey at Hive Dance Studio, - Winner of Best Dance Studio.

Whatever it is you might need or desire, it’s more than likely that these winners have the solution you’ve been after.

ACCOUNTANT/CPA

Simplified Tax Service - Winner
Maner Costerisan - Second Place
McQuaid & Associates PC - Runner Up

APARTMENTS

Motor Wheel Lofts - Winner
REO Town Apartments - Second Place
Quarry Apartments of DeWitt - Runner Up

AUDIOLOGIST/HEARING FIRM

Mid-Michigan Ear Nose & Throat - Winner
Hearing Health Center - Second Place
Fluke Hearing Instruments - Runner Up

AUTO BODY REPAIR SHOP

Jim’s Auto Body - Winner
Liskeys Auto Truck Service - Second Place
Tripps Collision - Second Place

AUTO REPAIR SHOP

Two Sons Automotive - Winner
Shaheen Chevrolet - Second Place
Randall Automotive - Runner Up

BANK

Dart Bank - Winner
PNC Bank - Second Place
Independent Bank - Runner Up

BARBER SHOP

East Side Barbershop - Winner
Jerry’s Hairport - Second Place
Frandor Barbershop - Runner Up

BICYCLE SHOP

Spin Bicycle Shop - Winner
Riverfront Cycle - Second Place
Denny’s Central Park Bikes - Runner Up

BUILDING DEVElOPMENT

The Hive - Winner
600 Block Michigan Avenue - Second Place
Cottage Lane - Leslie Street, Lansing - Runner Up

CAR WASH/DETAILING SERVICES

Kwik Car Wash - Winner
Fast Eddie’s Oil Change & Car Wash - Second Place
Mister Car Wash - Runner Up

CATERER/CATERING SERVICE

Saddleback BBQ - Winner
MEAT Southern BBQ - Second Place
Smoke N’ Pig - Runner Up

CEMETERY

Mt. Hope Cemetery - Winner
Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens - Second Place
St. Joseph Cemetery - Runner Up

CHIROPRACTIC OFFICE

Creative Wellness - Winner
Rassel-Daigneault Holistic Health Center - Second Place
Craft Chiropractic Creating Wellness Centers in Lansing - Runner Up

CLEANING SERVICE

Domestic Divas - Winner
Len’s Carpet Cleaning - Second Place
Molly Maid - Runner Up

CREDIT UNION

MSU Federal Credit Union - Winner
Lake Trust Credit Union - Second Place
CASE Credit Union - Runner Up

COVID - CURBSIDE PICKUP

Naing Myanmar Family Restaurant - Winner
Odd Nodd Art Supply - Second Place
Curvaceous Lingerie - Runner Up

COVID - ONLINE ORDERING

Sleepwalker - Winner
Bad Annie - Second Place
Curvaceous Lingerie - Runner Up

DANCE STUDIO

Hive Dance Studio - Winner
Happendance - Second Place
Everett Dance Program - Runner Up

DAY SPA

Skin Studio 211 - Winner
Creative Wellness - Second Place
Douglas J Salon - Runner Up

DENTIST OFFICE

McNiel Family Dentistry - Winner
Scott T. Stevenson, DDS - Second Place
Dr. Susan S. Maples, DDS - Runner Up

DRY CLEANERS

Baryames Cleaners - Winner
Maurer’s - Second Place
S & Sue Cleaners & Tailors - Runner Up

FINANCIAL PLANNER/COMPANY

Financial Strategies Group - Winner
Morrison Nordmann Wealth Management - Second Place
Maner Costerisan - Runner Up

FUNERAL HOME

Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes - Winner
Estes-Leadley Funeral Homes - Second Place
Palmer Bush & Jensen Funeral Home - Runner Up

GYM/FITNESS STUDIO

Barre Code - East Lansing - Winner
Westside Community YMCA - Second Place
Tri Fitness - Runner Up

HEATING/COOLING/PLUMBING CO.

Hedlund Plumbing - Winner (tie)
North Winds Heating & Cooling Inc - Winner (tie)
Allstar Mechanical - Runner Up

HOME HEALTH CARE CO.

Hospice of Lansing - Winner
Sparrow Home Care - Second Place
Mid-Michigan Home Care & Hospice - Runner Up

INSURANCE AGENCY

Rathbun Agency Inc - Winner
Bye Insurance - Second Place
David Chapman Agency - Runner Up

LANDSCAPE COMPANY

Guy With a Mullet Landscaping - Winner
Hammond Farms Landscape Supply - Second Place
Stiles Lawn, Landscaping & Snow Removal - Runner Up

LASER HAIR REMOVAL

Skin Boss Med Spa - Winner
MSU Aesthetic & Laser Treatment Center - Second Place
Milan Laser Hair Removal - Runner Up

LAW FIRM

Coontz Law - Winner
Willingham & Cote PC - Second Place
Kronzek Firm - Runner Up

MASSAGE STUDIO

Creative Wellness - Winner
Patient Relaxation, LLC - Second Place
Bee Queener Massage Therapy - Runner Up

MOST TRUSTWORTHY BUSINESS

Constellation Cat Cafe - Winner
Deadtime Stories: True Crime and  Other Books - Second Place
Playmakers - Runner Up

MUSIC LESSIONS

Elderly Instruments - Winner
School of Rock - Second Place
Okemos Music Academy - Runner Up

NAIL SALON

Lynny Nails - Grand Ledge - Winner
Polished Nail Salon - Second Place
Jenny Nails - Runner Up

NEWS SOURCE

City Pulse - Winner
Lansing Facts - Second Place
WILX - Runner Up

NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION (LOCAL)

Ele’s Place - Winner
Capital Area Humane Society - Second Place
Salus Center - Runner Up

OIL CHANGE SHOP

Fast Eddie’s Car Wash & Oil - Winner
Valvoline Instant Oil Change - East Lansing - Second Place
Big Rays Express Lube - Holmes Road - Runner Up

OPTOMETRIST

L.O. Eyecare - Winner
Holt Eye Care - Second Place
Rule Eye Care - Runner Up

PEST CONTROL COMPANY

Bug Man Inc. - Winner
Rose Pest Control - Second Place
Orkin Pest & Termite Control - Runner Up

PET GROOMING

Kelly’s Pet Boutique - Winner
Amanda’s Grooming - Second Place
Old Town Tails - Runner Up

PHARMACY (LOCALLY OWNED)

Central Pharmacy - Winner
Ware’s Pharmacy - Second Place
MSU Health Care Pharmacy - Runner Up

PHOTOGRAPHY

Erica Jo Photography - Winner
Natasha D Photography - Second Place
Lost Girl Vision - Runner Up

POST OFFICE

Grand Ledge - Winner
East Lansing - Second Place
Delta Township - Runner Up

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CO.

Gillespie Group - Winner
Lansing Housing LLC - Second Place
DTN Management Co. - Runner Up

PUBLIC RELATIONS FIRM

Martin Waymire - Winner
Redhead Design Studio - Second Place
M3 Group - Runner Up

RADIO STATION

92.1 Stacks - Winner
90.5 WKAR - Second Place
100.7 WITL - Runner Up

RESIDENTIAL REMODELING CO

Odd Fellows Contracting, Inc. - Winner
JJE Builder - Second Place
Exteriors of Lansing - Runner Up

SALON

Holiday Lansing Parlor - Winner
Bliss Salon Spa Boutique - Second Place
Hair and Company - Runner Up

SENIOR LIVING

The Willows at East Lansing - Winner
Burcham Hills - Second Place
Independence Village Grand Ledge - Second Place

TAILOR/SEAMSTRESS COMPANY

Nu the Tailor - Winner
Silver Thread - Second Place
Liz’s Alteration’s & Gifts Runner Ups

TANNING

Uptown Sun Company - Winner
J2 Tanning - Second Place
Planet Fitness - Runner Up

TATTOO PARLOR

Fish Ladder Tattoo Co. - Winner
Splash of Color - Second Place
Ink Therapy - Runner Up

THERAPY/THERAPIST SERVICES

Orthopedic Rehab Specialists - Winner
Creative Wellness - Second Place
Spring Forest Counseling - Runner Up

TOWING COMPANY

Northside Towing - Winner
PJ’s Towing - Second Place
Okemos Marathon - Runner Up

VETERINARIAN

Waverly Animal Hospital Boarding  & Grooming - Winner
Patterson Veterinary Hospital - Mason - Second Place
Haslett Animal Hospital - Runner Up

WEDDING SERVICES

HotBeats Entertainment - Winner
Capitol City DJs - Second Place
Beckers Bridal - Runner Up

WIFI/INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDOR

MetroNet East Lansing - Winner
Xfinity Lansing MI - Second Place
AT&T Store - Runner Up 

YOGA STUDIO

Just B Yoga - Winner
Firefly Hot Yoga Bar - Second Place
Hilltop Yoga - Runner Up

SHOPPING

Where can you find awesome antiques? Original art? Books? Or perhaps some kitschy knick-knacks? If you want the best of the best shopping spots, why look no further than the hallowed halls of our Top of the Town winners. If you’re looking for some new places to shake up your routine on your next outing for some much-needed retail therapy, you’re in the right place. 

Lansing has a handful of great locally owned book shops and they duked it out hard, but Schuler Books & Music rose victorious against a fierce newcome and an old local favorite. Summit Comic & Games underwent a massive renovation this year, doubling in size, so it’s fitting it fetched the Best Comic Shop award. Thrift Witch, which recently moved to Old Town from REO Town, continues to make a splash with its Best Consignment Shop victory.

The skirmish for Best Farmers Market is almost always neck and neck, and this year was no different. In a tight contest, Meridian Farmers Market ran away with the top prize. Meanwhile, Horrocks swept up several shopping awards, including Best Grocery Store (Local) and Best Cheese Department. Yes, the Best Cheese Department award is very necessary. We love our cheese, and we need to recognize who supplies the cream of the crop. 

Best New Business went to Clean Refillery, a service that allows you to recycle your liquid products such as laundry detergent and dish soap. You can never go wrong by pitching in to become more environmentally friendly. 

ANTIQUE SHOP

Vintage Junkies - Winner
Thrift Witch - Second Place
St Vincent de Paul Society and Thrift Store - Runner Up

ART GALLERY

Lansing Art Gallery - Winner
Absolute Gallery - Second Place
REO Town Marketplace - Runner Up

ASIAN MARKET

Fresh International Market - Winner
Oriental Mart - Second Place
LLB Asian Market - Runner Up

BEER SELECTION AT RETAIL STORE

Horrocks Farm Market - Winner
Mega Bev - Second Place
Oades Big Ten - Runner Up

BOOKSTORE (LOCALLY OWNED)

Schuler Books - Winner
Deadtime Stories: True Crime and Other Books - Second Place
Curious Book Shop - Runner Up

BUTCHER

Monticello’s Market & Butcher Block - Winner
Merindorf Meats - Second Place
Mert’s Meats - Runner Up

CANDY STORE

Fabianos Candies - Winner
Peanut Shop - Second Place
Kean’s - Runner Up

CHEESE DEPARTMENT

Horrocks Farm Market - Winner
MSU Dairy Store - Second Place
Monticello’s Market & Butcher Shop - Runner Up

CLOTHING STORE (LOCALLY OWNED)

Sweetlee’s Boutique - Winner
Curvaceous Lingerie - Second Place
Metro Retro - Runner Up

COMIC SHOP

Summit Comics & Games - Winner
Cards in the Corner - Second Place
Creating Heroes Stephens Way - Runner Up

CONSIGNMENT SHOP

Thrift Witch - Winner
Metro Retro - Second Place
Kellie’s Consignments - Runner Up

FARMERS MARKET

Meridian Farmers Market - Winner
Allen Farmers Market - Second Place
Holt Farmers Market - Runner Up

FLORIST

Van Atta’s Greenhouse & Flower Shop - Winner
Where the Wild Things Bloom - Second Place
Horrocks Farm Market - Runner Up

FURNITURE STORE

Michigan Barn Wood & Salvage LLC - Winner
Vintage Junkies - Second Place
Pilgrim House Furniture - Runner Up

GARDENING CENTER

Horrocks Farm Market - Winner
VanAtta’s Greenhouse & Flower Shop - Second Place
Lansing Gardens - Runner Up

GAS STATION

Speedway (all locations) - Winner
Costco - Second Place
Sam’s Club - Runner Up

GIFT SHOP

Old Town General Store - Winner
Kean’s - Second Place
Bad Annie’s Sweary Goods - Runner Up

GROCERY STORE (LOCALLY OWNED)

Horrocks Farm Market - Winner
Westlund’s Apple Market - Second Place
Monticello’s Market & Butcher Block - Runner Up

HARDWARE STORE

Vet’s Ace Hardware - Winner
Great Lakes Ace Hardware - Frandor - Second Place
Menards - South Lansing - Runner Up

HOT TUB/POOL/SAUNA STORE

Heat & Sweep - Winner
Cannonball Pools - Second Place
Classic Pool & Spa Inc. - Runner Up

JEWELRY STORE

Sweet Custom Jewelry - Winner
Wheat Jewelers - Second Place
Becky Beauchine Kulka Diamonds & Fine Jewelry - Runner Up

LIQUOR STORE

Mega Bev - Winner
Oades) Big Ten Party Store West - Second Place
ABC Liquor - Runner Up

MUSICAL INSTRUMENT STORE

Elderly Instruments - Winner
Marshall Music - Second Place
Music Instrument Swap - Runner Up

NEW BUSINESS

Clean Refillery - Winner
Chrysalis Reflexology Hypnosis &  Enrichment Center LLC - Second Place
Hive Hair Studio - Runner Up

ORGANIC/NATURAL MARKET

Horrocks Farm Market - Winner
Allen Farmers Market - Second Place
Fresh Thyme - Runner Up

OUTDOOR/CAMPING STORE

Moosejaw - Winner
Cabela’s - Lansing - Second Place
Sportsman’s Warehouse - Runner Up

PET STORE

Preuss Pets - Winner
Soldan’s Pet Supplies - Second Place
PetSmart - Runner Up

PLACE TO BUY MUMS

Horrock’s Farmers Market - Winner
Van Atta’s Greenhouse & Flower Shop - Second Place
Hyacinth House - Runner Up

QUALITY DAIRY

2233 Cedar Street, Holt - Winner
2400 E Michigan Avenue - Second Place
1412 W Mt Hope Ave, Lansing - Runner Up

RECORD/CD STORE

Flat, Black & Circular - Winner
Record Lounge - Second Place
Schuler Books - Runner Up

SECONDHAND SHOP

Metro Retro - Winner
Thrift Witch - Second Place
Vintage Junkies - Runner Up

SEX SHOP

Cirilla’s - Winner
Deja Vu Love Boutique - Second Place
Lion’s Den - Runner Up

THRIFT STORE

St. Vincent De Paul - Winner
Thrift Witch - Second Place
Metro Retro - Runner Up

TIRE STORE

Discount Tire - Winner
Belle Tire - Second Place
Discount Store - W. Saginaw - Runner Up

USED CAR DEALERSHIP

Shaheen Chevrolet - Winner
Feldman Chevrolet - Second Place
Sundance Chevrolet - Runner Up

VAPE SHOP

Wild Bills’ Tobacco - Winner
Haven Smoke Shop - Second Place
Mr. Vapor - Runner Up

VIDEO GAME STORE

Disc Traders - Winner
Replay Entertainment Exchange - Second Place
Swap Meet - Runner Up

WINE SHOP

Horrocks Farm Market - Winner
Dusty’s Cellar - Second Place
Burgdorf’s Winery - Runner Up

WHATEVER

The Best Whatever category is always solid gold. This is where all the out of order stuff that we couldn’t fit anywhere else belongs. Best Whatever is always a good opportunity for Lansing to deliver a healthy dose of snark. Right off the bat, we’d like to draw your attention to the Worst Eyesore Award, which was given to the garish house on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Lathrop Street that is draped in tacky Donald Trump memorabilia. Another dirty award is Worst pothole. The damn near sinkhole that took that prize can be found on Kalamazoo Avenue in front of Eastside Fish Fry.

But it’s not all bad. We honored the Best Urban Farm – this year our readers declared it to be the Hunter Park Gardenhouse. Best Podcast, a new award for Top of the Town, went to “So Dead,” a true crime podcast ran by local author, paranormal tour guide and bookstore owner Jenn Carpenter. Best Twitter Account went to Lansing Facts, the sardonic satire factory that lampoons the absurdity of living in Lansing. Though that account has given us a fair number of hard jabs to our proverbial ribcage, we can’t help loving it. 

On a more serious note, we cannot forget to mention another one of our new categories, In Memoriam: Business we Lost to COVID. Top of the Town voters used this category to give a loving tribute to Roma Bakery, a beloved local eatery that has unfortunately closed its doors. You must always remember to love what you’ve got while it’s there. No matter how hard you try, you can’t put your arms around a memory. 

BUSINESS WITH A PET

Winnie - Clean Refillery - Winner
Deadtime Stories: True Crime and  Other Books - Karen & Georgia - Second Place
Preuss Pets - Fred & Ginger - Runner Up

CASINO

Firekeepers Casino - Winner
Soaring Eagle Casino - Second Place
Gun Lake Casino - Runner Up

CATEGORY WE DIDN'T THINK OF

Best Sober Hangout - Winner
Best customer service worker - Second Place|
Best Drag Queen! - Runner Up

CLEANEST PUBLIC RESTROOM

BAD Brewing - Winner
Horrocks Farm Market - Second Place
Macs Bar - Runner Up

DAY TRIP

Anywhere on Lake Michigan - Winner
Frankenmuth - Second Place
Grand Rapids - Runner Up

EYE CANDY BUILDING

Preuss Pets - Winner
Turner-Dodge House - Second Place
Deadtime Stories - Runner Up

FACEBOOK GROUP (LOCAL)

Lansing Facts - Winner
Lansing Foodies - Second Place
Not Your Mother’s Networking Group - Runner Up

HIGH SCHOOL

Grand Ledge High School - Winner
Everett High School - Second Place
Holt High School - Runner Up

HISTORICAL PLACE

Moores Park Swimming Pool - Winner
The Ledges - Second Place
Michigan State Capitol - Runner Up

INSTAGRAM (LOCAL)

Constellation Cat Cafe - Winner
Lansing Facts - Second Place
Make Lansing Classy Again - Runner Up

LOCAL ART FESTIVAL

East Lansing Art Festival - Winner
Festival of Oddities - Second Place
ScrapFest - Runner Up

LOCAL/EVENT FESTIVAL

Festival of Oddities - Winner
Be A Tourist in Your Own Town - Second Place
East Lansing Art Festival - Runner Up

OUTDOOR ADVENTURE

Ledges Trail at Fitzgerald Park - Winner
Potter Park Zoo - Second Place
Dimondale Canoe & Kayak - Runner Up

PLACE TO WORK

Constellation Cat Cafe - Winner
Michigan State University - Second Place
MSU Federal Credit Union - Runner Up

PODCAST (LOCAL)

So Dead Podcast - Winner
Every Damn Day, the Fledge, Jerry Norris - Second Place
Juxtaposed Journeys - Runner Up

SCIENCE EVENT

Girls Math and Science Day with MSU/GWIS - Winner
MSU Science Festival - Second Place
Astronomy on Tap - Runner Up

TWITTER (LOCAL)

Lansing Facts - Winner
How Intensive (Mitch on the web) - Second Place
Mr. Taco watcher - Runner Up

URBAN FARM

Hunter Park Gardenhouse - Winner
Ham Sweet Farm - Second Place
Half Barn Farm - Runner Up

WIFI SPOT

Blue Owl Coffee - Winner
Biggby - all locations - Second Place
Avenue Cafe - Runner Up

WORS EYESORE

Trump House - corner Michigan/Lathrop - Winner
Any Garno properties - Second Place
SkyVue Apartments - Runner Up

WORST POTHOLE

Kalamazoo in front of Eastside Fish Fry - Winner
North on Capitol between Saginaw and Cesar Chavez - Second Place
500 block of Regent St. - Runner Up

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