Congratulations to this year's winners and finalists! And thank you to everyone who voted (and shared a few words about their favorites). More than 10,000 of you took the poll this year. Tallying the ballots took 10 interns two weeks! To spotlight these worthy businesses, we're throwing a party on June 15.
Special appreciation for assistance with this year's project:
David Lorimer, Project Manager
It's Wednesday morning, and throughout the Triangle people are reading INDY Week while drinking their coffee. Suddenly, a round of spit-takes, followed by tweets:
"Hey @indyweek who the hell voted for [insert name of business here]?"
"Why didn't [insert name of overlooked/ignored business here] win?"
The Best of the Triangle issue is always one of our most-read, most-discussed and most-argued-over editions of the year.
A few explanatory remarks: The Readers' Poll is run by the advertising department, which writes the categories, tallies the votes and organizes the party—slated for June 15 at the Durham Athletic Park, where the Bulls of yore used to play.
We in the editorial department supplement the Readers' Poll with other "bests."
This year we've drummed up some Best Ideas of the Triangle—a vision for what would make our region more culturally vibrant and politically progressive: a full-service grocery in downtown Raleigh; food trucks in Chapel Hill; a diner in central Durham; anarchists in Cary; affordable housing everywhere.
We reached out via social media to take our readers' pulses on Best Ideas as well. Among the suggestions: public transit, pedestrian-friendly cities and a greater emphasis on the arts, especially public art.
Whether you agree or disagree with the results and choices, chime in on any of this week's online stories. —Lisa Sorg
We ran a Top Dog contest during December 2012. Your votes produced two winners for our 2013 Best of the Triangle campaign. We've enjoyed getting to know Indy and Russell!
Indy was adopted from Southern Siberian Rescue Group by Aimee Bridges and her daughter Savannah in fall 2012.
Indy's favorite places are Oakwood Dog Park, Raleigh Times and the beach. Some of her favorite things are drinking unattended coconut water, biting the air, and giving hugs and kisses. Her favorite bands are The Cure and Radiohead. Indy also enjoys going to her "manny" Drew McKenzie's house. Her favorite toys are squeaky tennis balls and Mr. Bill.
Indy is a fun-loving dog full of energy. She knows no stranger and looks forward to meeting everyone in the Downtown Raleigh area! —Aimee Bridges, Raleigh
The Hound has spent nearly 11 years as my best friend. His stubby little legs have carried him to the highest peak east of the Mississippi and near the top of an 11,000-foot mountain, among other outdoor locations.
Besides his good looks, Russell has a social conscience and a taste for the arts. He was featured in nonprofit group Together NC's campaign for public investments. He also has a brief cameo in a music video by Durham rapper Toon.
Russell enjoys hugs, food, sleeping and sniffing things, not necessarily in that order. —Jeff Shaw, Durham