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Local Color: Readers Poll 

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Writers Picks

Best creepy abandoned castle

Best puppet theater (with apologies to Paperhand)

Best fancy-pants movie experience

Best palace of puzzles

Best place to dance on roller skates

Best place to pretend you're bowling in virtual reality

Best venue that isn't a venue

Best venue that doesn't exist

Best album we're still waiting for

Most confusing annual festival

Best unexpected public art

Best place to play bumper pool in shorts

Best place to look at weird art

Best place to hear poetry

Best place to look at art mid-bender

Best power-broker dining spot in Raleigh

Best power broker dining spot in Durham

Best restaurant bread service

Best place to live out your Drunktown fantasies

Best case for an exception to the smoking ban

Best place to get drunk with your dog

Best place to get excited about bread

Best place to get strange beer for cheap

Best Sunday morning traffic jam

Best downtown Durham standby

Best beverage district you've never heard of

Best broke sweet treat

Best place to eat with your hands

Best place to watch the sunset

Best place to meet a ghost

Best local tempeh

Best secret vegetarian junk food

Best place to eat cheese fries for dinner

Best cocktail with peanuts in it

Best free happy hour

Best place to make appetizers a meal

Best barbecue for vegetarians

Best bar you don't go to (and please don't start)

Best diner your trendy friends don't know about

Best not-complete-garbage drunk food

Best place to feel old

Best place to stop and smell the flowers in Raleigh

Best place to stop and smell the flowers in Durham

Best place to hike a mountain

Best park that is not technically a park

Best place to fly

Best place to disappear

Best local marathon

Best place to observe latest trends in exercise fashion

Best place to find every cosmetic product you'll ever need

Best place to shop for an embalmed two-headed turtle

Best place to ponder cultural appropriation

Best place to vape

Best place to find a rare record to brag about

Best place to buy church pews (or almost anything else)

Best place to find weird stuff to brag about

Best cheap mani/pedi

Best place to buy gifts for your parents

Best holdout in Durham

Best HB 2 fact-check

Best place to believe in the state's future

Best place to despair about the state's future

Best avant-garde bathrooms

Best place to die a fiery death

Best building that shouldn't be where it is

Best local politician keeping it real

Best boondoggle

Best thing Paul Stam is actually right about

Best place to find the worst people in the Triangle

Best place to learn the difference between a sousaphone and a euphonium

Best new liberal lion

Best DPD foil

Best place to get lost in local sci-fi and fantasy

Best place to smoke weed in public

Best local reporter we'd like to see interview Governor McCrory

Best pawn shop at which to buy an electric guitar

Best store that has a "holiday sale" on 4/20

Best vision for expansion

Best place to buy an Edgar Allan Poe prayer candle

Best place to get hitched

Best place to buy poetry books

Best place to buy a Mark Jacobson Toyota

Best reason to leave the Triangle


Finalists: Go to the beach, bad public transportation, road infrastructure and traffic

Best reason to love the Triangle


Finalists: The people, food scene, parks and trails

Best use of public money

Public schools

Finalists: Parks and greenways, Capital Area Greenway Trail System, bike infrastructure

Best waste of public money

General Assembly 2152

Finalists: Enforcing Raleigh's downtown drinking ordinance, light rail, closing in I-540

Best politician (Durham/Chapel Hill)

U.S. Representative David Price

Finalists: Mayor Bill Bell, Senator Mike Woodard, Councilman Steve Schewel

Best politician (Raleigh/Cary)

Attorney General Roy Cooper

Finalists: U.S. Representative David Price, former state senator Josh Stein, Mayor Nancy McFarlane

Best local politician in need of a reality check

Governor Pat McCrory

Finalists: All of them, Senator Thom Tillis, Mayor Bill Bell

Best local columnist

Barry Saunders

Finalists: Kirk Ross, Bob Geary, Josh Shaffer

Best local crank

Grayson Haver Currin

Finalists: Ross Grady, Larz Robinson, Andy Little

Best local do-gooder

Scott Holmes

Finalists: Van alston, Amber Smith, James Tripp

Best local Facebook page

New Raleigh


Finalists: SoDu Parents Posse, The Green Monkey, Piedmont Picnic Project

Best local Instagram account


Finalists: @NewRaleigh, @RaleighFoodPics, @thedurhamdoll

Best local Twitter feed


Finalists: @ncbeerguys, @WCPSS, @MajorTheBull

Best local-interest blog

Bull City Rising


Finalists: Triangle Food Guy, Triangle Foodie Adventures, The Raleigh Connoisseur

Best local-interest website


Finalists: Bull City Rising, Chapelboro, Open Durham

Best local radio personality

Frank Stasio (WUNC)

Finalists: Gene & Julie Gates, Bob Dumas, Mir.I.Am,

Best local radio station

WUNC 91.5 FM

Finalists: WKNC 88.1 FM, WQDR 94.7 FM, WHUP 104.7 FM

Best local TV newsperson

Bill Leslie (WRAL)

Finalists: Tisha Powell, Barbara Gibbs, Kevin Kaze Thomas

Best local TV weatherperson

Greg Fishel (WRAL)

Finalists: Elizabeth Gardner, Don Schwenneker, Chris Hohmann

Best charitable group


1820 James Street, Durham

Finalists: Table, 100 Women Who Give a Hoot, Activate Good

Best local activist group



Finalists: Durham People's Alliance, Saturday Chores, CHALT (Chapel Hill Allliance for a Livable Town)

Best neighborhood to live in (Durham)

Trinity Park

Finalists: Watts Hospital Hillandale, Duke Park, Northgate Park

Best neighborhood to live in (Raleigh)

Five Points

Finalists: Oakwood, Boylan Heights, Mordecai

Best people watching

N.C. State Fair

Finalists: Weaver Street Market, Durham Farmers Market, RDU Airport

Best place to take visitors from out of town (Durham/Chapel Hill)

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

420 Anderson Street, Durham

Finalists: American Tobacco Campus, Durham Bulls Athletic Park, UNC campus

Best place to take visitors from out of town (Wake)

N.C. Museum of Art

2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh

Finalists: N.C. State Farmers Market, N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, Pullen Park

Best-kept secret

Funny Girl Farm

Finalists: Crude Bitters and Sodas, Flash Chorus, UNC Cypher

Best place to pick up INDY Week

Whole Foods

Multiple locations

Finalists: Weaver Street Market, Elmo's Diner, Bean Traders

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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