Best of the City

Eclectic restaurants, stylish shops, and the most interesting people you should know — in a city like ours, it’s hard to pick favorites. Yet every year, our readers cast their ballots, and we, the editors of Evansville Living, share some of their favorite go-to spots. Thanks for helping us present the 2014 Best of Evansville. (*Note: the Best of Evansville awards are not presented in rank or category order. We love all our winners equally.)

Yoga 101

Best Yoga Studio   Readers’ Pick

Get your sweat on at Yoga 101, the area’s best yoga studio, according to readers. Yoga 101’s heated workout protects the muscles to allow for deeper stretching, helps to detox the body, and increases the heart rate for a cardiovascular workout. Yoga 101 warns: Hot yoga is life changing, so be prepared. 2800 Lincoln Ave., 812-893-1320.

Nikki Pritchett

Best Artist   Readers’ Pick

See Evansville through the eyes of local artist Nikki Pritchett and you won’t want to stop. Pritchett, the artist behind the cover of this issue of Evansville Living, works in watercolor and ink, but is currently focusing on creating colorful acrylic paintings. An alumna of the University of Evansville and Indiana University, she uses colorful imagery to transform the city into a new world.


Best Musician or Band From Evansville   Readers’ Pick

Don’t try to pigeonhole Calabash into one genre — it won’t work. The Evansville band says that trying to classify its music is an impossible feat, making it something for everyone. These tunes are a flowing mix of folk, rock, blues, and reggae with heartfelt lyrics. The duo of Paul Wiemeier and Jarod Heim began as singer/songwriters in Nashville before returning to their hometown of Evansville.

Los Bravos

Best Taco   Readers’ Pick

Los Bravos was voted the readers’ choice for “Best Burrito” in the January/February 2011 Evansville Living, and now it’s back to claim this year’s “Best Taco” honors. With three locations in Evansville and three more around the state, Los Bravos knows Mexican food.

Marcia Dowell

Best Comeback   Editors’ Pick

For five years, Marcia Dowell was away from what she calls home. That was five years too long. The 53-year-old, who holds two degrees from the University of Evansville, left her position as executive director of university relations at Butler University in Indianapolis to return to Evansville in March 2013. “It was time to come back home,” Dowell says of becoming president and executive director of Keep Evansville Beautiful, an organization focused on improving the appearance of the community. Welcome home.

The Winetree

Best Place to Buy Wine   Readers’ Pick

Last year, The Winetree celebrated 30 years in Evansville since its first store opened at the corner of Washington and Weinbach. Over the years, The Winetree has expanded to three locations. Whether you’re looking for a bottle for a special occasion or something to complement tonight’s dinner, its knowledgeable staff will have the right bottle for you.

Downtown Evansville Vanderburgh County Farm Bureau Farmers Market

Best Place to Catch a Food Truck   Editors’ Pick

The Downtown Evansville Vanderburgh County Farm Bureau Farmers Market offers ingredients for a lunch or dinner waiting to happen, but why wait to prepare a meal yourself? Take your choice of food trucks on the corner of Second and Sycamore streets from May through September.

Eva Nails & Spa

Best Place to Get a Mani/Pedi   Readers’ Pick

Feel fancy with a manicure and pedicure at Eva Nails & Spa, a full service salon for men, women, and children. Sit back in a friendly atmosphere while Eva Nails & Spa work to turn your nails fabulous or massage your worries away. Plan ahead or walk in — they’re happy to help.

Stacey Godbold

Most Revealing Woman   Editors’ Pick

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen,” according to Project Reveal. The website was created as a forum to prevent women from feeling alone. Stacey Godbold created the outlet while she was struggling with fertility complications for nearly two years. Her pain was reduced when she reached out to women who had similar experiences. “I found that when other women validate my feelings and say, ‘I’ve felt that way’ or ‘I’ve been there,’ I can breathe easier,” Godbold says. Now she has triplets and a son.


Best Pizza   Readers’ Pick

You just can’t beat a good slice of pizza with a cold craft beer. With three locations in the Evansville/Newburgh area, Turoni’s offers just that as the readers’ choice for “Best Pizza.” Turoni’s has served the city for more than three decades, and features a recipe that has never before been reproduced by commercial establishments because of the difficulties involved in preparation.

Hobby Lobby

Best Place to Get Crafty   Readers’ Pick

Have you been busy pinning and are ready to begin crafting? Hobby Lobby is a great place to start your projects, a place where you can find arts and crafts supplies, fabrics, baskets, silk flowers, picture frames, and more. Let your creativity run wild! 5300 E. Indiana St., 812-476-3266,

Golf Plus

Best Place to Buy Golf Gear   Readers’ Pick

You’ve hit a hole-in-one with Golf Plus. With locations in Evansville and Owensboro, Ky., Golf Plus offers its customers top quality golf, baseball, and softball equipment, an indoor range, launch monitor, and an expert staff to help you get the most out of your game.

Mayor Lloyd Winnecke

Best Evansville Advocate   Readers’ Pick

“It’s a true pleasure to come to work every day trying to make the city better,” Mayor Lloyd Winnecke told us in the December/January 2013 issue of Evansville Business. Winnecke, who took office on Jan. 1, 2012, says he would like people to think of him as a mayor who is approachable, down to earth, and likable — even if their politics differ.

Kanpai Sushi and Asian Bistro

Best Sushi   Readers’ Pick

A big-city feel without big-city prices — that’s what Kanpai Sushi and Asian Bistro promises and delivers. Featured in the September/October 2010 Evansville Living story “A New Import,” Kanpai owner and chef Jayson Munoz revamped the restaurant, making chic changes to the interior and the menu. 4593 Washington Ave., 812-471-7076,

Bob’s Gym

Best Gym   Readers’ Pick

Time to hit the gym and pump up the iron. Bob’s Gym was voted “Best Place to Get Fit” in the January/February 2013 issue of Evansville Living, and it’s back. Bob’s Gym has four locations around Evansville and Newburgh. Members have access to swimming pools, a day spa, 24-hour facilities, and more than 100 group exercise classes per week. New this year is the introduction of Perfectly Fresh, chef-prepared carryout dinners offering optimal nutrition and locally sourced ingredients.

Old Town Ladies and Gents

Best Hair Salon   Readers’ Pick

Go back in time for your next hair cut. Featured in the April/May 2013 Evansville Business story “Going Old School,” Old Town Ladies and Gents offers a vintage barber and beauty salon in Downtown Evansville. Sit back in antique barber chairs or use a chrome hair dryer from the 1950s. 400 SE Second St., 812-449-0706

Olive Garden

Best Spaghetti   Readers’ Pick

Spaghetti, breadsticks, and wine. What more can you ask for? Olive Garden’s authentic Italian cuisine has charmed the taste buds of Evansville with its unlimited soups, salads, and delicious hearty portions. Enjoy lunch with co-workers or dinner with the whole family. 1100 N. Green River Road, 812-473-2903,

Let’s Sew

Best Sewing Store   Editors’ Pick

Let’s Sew calls its business the “Midwest’s best kept secret.” Its 7,000-square-foot showroom offers a hand-selected collection of unique fashion fabrics, thousands of buttons, exquisite trims, and other sewing notions. Let’s Sew also offers instructional courses for every sewing level. 4406 E. Morgan Ave., 812-471-7945.

Jagoe Homes

Best Home Builder   Readers’ Pick

Jagoe Homes has been building homes in the Tri-State area for more than 70 years. “Building Hope,” a story in the January/February 2013 issue of Evansville Living, Jagoe — in conjunction with the nonprofit organization Homes for Hope — teamed up with trade partners to construct a home for free and then donate all profits and any additional contributions to charities that fight local poverty. “For many years, we’ve been raising the bar on the quality of our construction and materials, and on lean building practices that allow us to build homes that have greater value on the dollar,” says Scott Jagoe, who co-owns the business with his brother, Bill. “It’s very satisfying when the results of your efforts really begin to peak.” 3624 Wathens Crossing, Owensboro, Ky., 270-684-0639,

Greyhound Bus Terminal

Best Hope for Restoring a Landmark   Editors’ Pick

It has taken some time to get the title to the Greyhound Bus Terminal on the west corner of Third and Sycamore streets into the hands of Indiana Landmarks, the statewide preservation organization that promises to preserve significant places. We’re rooting for 2014 to be the year that a development plan is presented for the local icon. The terminal, which closed in 2007, likely will serve as an outreach field office for Indiana Landmarks, as well as the site of a public space such as a Downtown market, restaurant, or brewpub.

Cheddar’s Casual Café

Best New Restaurant   Readers’ Pick

Although Cheddar’s Casual Café opened in 2012, it’s still very new in the minds of readers and was voted “Best New Restaurant” for the second year in a row. A chain of more than 130 restaurants in 23 states, it offers flavors that people can’t seem to get enough of. 2100 N. Green River Road, 812-491-9976,

Colonial Classics

Best Landscape Designer, Best Garden Shop
Readers’ Pick – Double Win!

For nearly five decades, Colonial Classics (formerly Colonial Garden Center) has catered to Tri-State lawns and gardens. The retail garden center provides the best quality and value of landscape materials, including trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, vegetables, and more. Colonial will also fit your yard with the perfect plant or tree and then help you take care of it with a maintenance division that offers weed and landscape pest control services, tree and shrub pruning, mulching, and mowing services for large and small lawns. 3633 Epworth Road, Newburgh, Ind., 812-853-6622,

I-164 to I-69

Best Name Change   Editors’ Pick

It’s time for I-69. The 21-mile loop around Evansville known as Interstate 164 will become part of I-69 this year, and updates are already taking place. About 70 large, green interstate signs are being swapped at or near exits, and smaller, blue signs are being posted at bridges and every two-tenths of a mile. Construction on the 27-mile stretch of I-69, between Crane, Ind., and Bloomington, Ind., is to be completed later this year or in 2015.

Wolf’s Bar-B-Q Restaurant

Best BBQ   Editors’ Pick

Founded in 1925, Wolf’s Bar-B-Q knows a thing or two about good barbecue. The restaurant offers dine-in and carryout options, and promises you’ll love its extensive selection of barbecue. All dinners come with bread, pickle, onion, and choice of two side dishes. 6600 N. First Ave., 812-424-8891,

House of Bluez

Best Women’s Clothing Store   Readers’ Pick

The winner of “Best Sexy Jeans” in the January/February 2011 issue of Evansville Living, House of Bluez is back to take the title of “Best Women’s Clothing Store.” Owned by Jodi Merrick, House of Bluez calls itself the ultimate denim destination and brings the hottest fashions to Evansville. 333 Metro Ave., 812-401-2583,

The Riverfront

Best Reason to Come Downtown   Readers’ Pick

Visit Downtown Evansville’s scenic Riverfront and you’ll know why it’s a winner. From its brick-paved walkway, runners, bikers, and strollers can view the Ohio River while perhaps making their way to the Tropicana Evansville Casino and Hotel, the Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science, numerous summer concerts, and festivals.

Lowe’s Home Improvement

Best Lighting Store   Readers’ Pick

Brighten a room or your day by shopping at Lowe’s Home Improvement. Choose a look or choose a mood, and then explore countless decorative and functional options to illuminate your home. With two stores in Evansville, and many others surrounding the Tri-State area, Lowe’s makes improving easy.

Gerst Haus

Best Place for a Beer   Readers’ Pick

An editors’ pick winner of “Best Reason to Go to Franklin Street” in our January/February 2013 issue of Evansville Living, the Gerst Haus returns as the readers’ choice for “Best Place for a Beer.” There’s no better destination on your bar hop than this Franklin Street institution and its worldwide selection of beer. The Nashville favorite came to Evansville in 1999 and has since provided German and American food in an authentic beer hall atmosphere. 2100 W. Franklin St., 812-424-1420,

Mike Whicker

Best Local Author   Readers’ Pick

Add some thrills to your bookshelf with the World War II spy trilogy based in Evansville written by local author Mike Whicker. The trilogy includes “Invitation to Valhalla,” “Blood of the Reich,” and “Return to Valhalla.” “A lot of the “Invitation to Valhalla’ takes place in Evansville,” Whicker says. “I think it’s fun for readers to read about places they’ve been or lived.” The Colorado native is a former teacher and football coach at F.J. Reitz High School. He also wrote the novel “Proper Suda.”

iPhone Todd

Best Cell Phone Repair Store   Readers’ Pick

Featured in the December/January 2013 Evansville Business story “Speed Dial,” iPhone Todd opened its East Side location in January 2012. Since then, it has added employees and stores, and seen its customer base grow. “I drop my phone a lot, like anyone else,” owner Todd Veech says. “So I would go in somewhere to get my screen fixed and they’d charge an arm and a leg. Finally I decided to fix it myself, and I was good at that, so that’s what I wanted to do.”

Cielo Luxury Shoe Boutique

Best New Shoe Boutique   Editors’ Pick

Your closet will thank you after a trip to Cielo, which means “sky” or “heaven” in Spanish. Cielo Luxury Shoe Boutique offers a variety of shoes, handbags, jewelry, scarves, and other accessories. Owner Stephanie Gerhardt wanted a business of her own and discovered her niche. Many of the items carried by Cielo can’t be found at other retailers in Evansville. 328 W. Jennings St., Suite B, Newburgh.

Dr. Glenn Norton

Best Dentist   Readers’ Pick

Show off those pearly whites after a visit with Dr. Glenn Norton. His practice specializes in a wide range of cosmetic, restorative, and implant procedures, and he is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest advances in dental technology. He’s also a member of the medical/dental staff at St. Mary’s Medical Center. 2343 Washington Ave., 812-479-0229

Riverside Antique Mall

Best Antique Store   Readers’ Pick

Fur coats, license plates, head vases, or vintage books — what do you collect? Riverside Antique Mall offers a vast array of collectibles, vintage items, and other hidden treasures worth hunting for. Open seven days a week, the mall has more than 50 dealers. 1205 E. Riverside Drive, 812-469-2255

Lic’s Deli & Ice Cream Shoppe

Best Place for a Milkshake   Readers’ Pick

Ice creamy goodness! Established in 1950, Lic’s originally made its ice cream in the back room of a small retail store. The sweet delight caught on, so Lic’s now churns out ice cream for nine retail stores in the Tri-State area. Lic’s is an abbreviation for Lloyd’s Ice Cream Shoppes.

Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve

Best Park   Readers’ Pick

Evansville has its city and its parks, too. The Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve offers hands-on educational exhibits and a wildlife observation area. No other city in the United States with a population exceeding 100,000 has within its corporate limits the woodland acreage or quality. 551 N. Boeke Road, 812-479-0771,

Brinker’s Jewelers

Best Jeweler   Readers’ Pick

If you’re looking for the perfect engagement ring or wedding band, or for fine jewelry and watches, the readers have spoken — Brinker’s Jewelers is the place to go in Evansville. This third-generation, family-owned business has been part of the Evansville community and the Tri-State area for 41 years. 111 S. Green River Road, 812-476-0651,

Hilltop Inn

Best Tavern Food   Readers’ Pick

They’ve got brains — to eat! Don and Lanette Snyder, owners of the Hilltop Inn, have received several awards for their fried chicken, Icelandic cod, and brain sandwiches. Built in 1839, the Hilltop Inn served as a stagecoach stop for weary travelers and businessmen on their way from the Wabash River area to the banks of the Ohio River. 1100 Harmony Way, 812-422-1757,

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