Best of 2004 | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Best of 2004

Our readers pick the finest things in Pittsburgh

Entertainment & Nightlife

Best new bar/club
Level Club Lounge
Strip District
2nd: Deja Vu Lounge
3rd: True

Best dance club
Station Square
2nd: Sanctuary
3rd: (Tie) Chemistry Night Club & The Upstage

Best jazz club
Dowe's on Ninth
2nd: James Street Tavern
3rd: Crawford Grill

Best shot-n-beer bar
Denny's Bar
South Oakland
2nd: (Tie) Gooski's & Jack's Bar
3rd: Dee's Café

Best sports bar
Sports Rock Café
Strip District
2nd: Hightops
3rd: Buffalo Blues

Best gay/lesbian bar
Pegasus Lounge
2nd: New York, New York
3rd: Pittsburgh Eagle

Best indoor venue to see a live band
Club Café
South Side
2nd: Mr. Small's Funhouse
3rd: Rex Theatre

Best outdoor venue to see a live band
Hartwood Acres
2nd: Post-Gazette Pavilion
3rd: Chevrolet Amphitheatre at Station Square

Best local acoustic artist(s)
Brad Yoder
2nd: Jay Hitt
3rd: Ceann na Caca

Best local blues band
Blues Orphans
2nd: Jill West & the Blues Attack
3rd: Chizmo Charles

Best local alt-country band
Soda Jerk
2nd: Tucker Mason
3rd: Povertyneck Hillbillies

Best local hip-hop performers
Grand Buffet
2nd: Beam

Best local jazz band
Al Dowe & Etta Cox
2nd: Boilermaker Jazz Band
3rd: Kenny Blake Trio

Best local rock band
The Clarks
2nd: This Band Is Called the You
3rd: Submachine

Best local club deejay
2nd: DJ Nick Nice

Best commercial art gallery
Gallerie Chiz
2nd: Boxheart
3rd: Blue Ruin

Best museum
Carnegie Museum of Art & Natural History
2nd: The Andy Warhol Museum
3rd: The Mattress Factory

Best movie theater (independent)
Pittsburgh Filmmakers
Multiple locations
2nd: The Oaks Theater
3rd: Denis Theater

Best place to see live theater
City Theater
South Side
2nd: Benedum Center for Performing Arts
3rd: Pittsburgh Public Theater

Best place to see comedy
The Pittsburgh Improv
2nd: The Funny Bone
3rd: Friday Nite Improvs

Best place to see strippers
Club Erotica
2nd: Club Elite
3rd: Cricket Lounge

Food & Drink

Best new restaurant
Nakama Japanese
South Side
2nd: Eleven
3rd: Gypsy Café

Best beer selection at a local restaurant/bar
Sharp Edge Beer Emporium
2nd: Fathead's
3rd: Smokin' Joe's

Best brew pub/microbrewery
The Church Brew Works
2nd: Penn Brewery
3rd: Rock Bottom

Best local family-friendly restaurant
Eat'n Park
Multiple locations
2nd: Max & Erma's
3rd: Tom's Diner

Best Chinese restaurant
Sesame Inn
Multiple locations
2nd: China Palace
3rd: Yum Wok Pan-Asian Diner

Best French restaurant
Le Pommier
South Side
2nd: Simply French
3rd: Laforet

Best German restaurant
Max's Allegheny Tavern
North Side
2nd: Penn Brewery
3rd: Kleiner Deutschmann

Best Greek restaurant
Baldwin Township
2nd: Christos Mediterranean Grille
3rd: Mike & Tony's

Best Indian restaurant
India Garden
2nd: People's Indian Restaurant
3rd: (Tie) Taj Mahal, Inc. & Taste of India

Best Irish restaurant
Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle
Strip District
2nd: Piper's Pub
3rd: Finnegan's Wake

Best local Italian restaurant
Del's Restaurant
2nd: Pleasure Bar
3rd: Bruschetta's

Best Japanese restaurant
Nakama Japanese
South Side
2nd: Kiku
3rd: Sushi Kim

Best local Mexican restaurant
Mad Mex
Multiple locations
2nd: El Campesino
3rd: Taco Loco

Best Middle-Eastern restaurant
Ali Baba
2nd: Kassab's
3rd: Aladdin's Eatery

Best Polish restaurant
Bloomfield Bridge Tavern
2nd: Gooski's
3rd: Clara's Pittsburgh Pierogies

Best Spanish restaurant
Mallorca Restaurant
South Side

Best Thai restaurant
Thai Me Up
South Side
2nd: Thai Place Café
3rd: Thai Cuisine Restaurant

Best Vietnamese restaurant
Tram's Kitchen
2nd: Pho Minh
3rd: My Ngoc

Best patio at a local restaurant
Café du Jour
South Side
2nd: The Elbow Room
3rd: (Tie) Mallorca & Roland's Iron Landing

Best local seafood restaurant
Monterey Bay Fish Grotto
Mt. Washington/Monroeville
2nd: The Original Fish Market
3rd: Poli's

Best soul food restaurant
Crawford Grill on the Square
Station Square
2nd: Mr. Ribbs
3rd: Soul Food Connection

Best sushi bar
Sushi Kim
2nd: Nakama Japanese
3rd: Sushi Too/Sushi Two

Best steakhouse
Pittsburgh Steak Company
South Side
2nd: Ruth's Chris Steakhouse
3rd: Morton's of Chicago

Best local vegetarian selection
East End Food Co-op
Point Breeze
2nd: Zenith Tea Room
3rd: Maggie's Mercantile

Best local bakery (bread)
North Side
2nd: Mancini's Bakery
3rd: Allegro Hearth Bakery

Best local bakery (sweet stuff)
Prantl's Bakery
2nd: Oakmont Bakery
3rd: Paddy Cake Bakery

Best barbecue
Multiple locations
2nd: Pittsburgh Beef Sandwich Company
3rd: Wilson's Ribs

Best breakfast
Multiple locations
2nd: Eat'n Park
3rd: Tom's Diner

Best chocolates
Sarris Candies
2nd: (Tie) Betsy Ann Chocolates & Mon Amiee Chocolate
3rd: Chocolate Mousse

Best local coffeehouse
South Side
2nd: Kiva Han
3rd: (Tie) Crazy Mocha Coffee Company & Tuscany Café

Best deli
Carson Street Deli
South Side
2nd: Pittsburgh Deli Company
3rd: Kazansky's Delicatessen

Best desserts
Squirrel Hill
2nd: (Tie) Crazy Mocha Coffee Company & Grecianland

Best fish sandwich
Wholey'sFish Market
Strip District
2nd: Benkovitz Seafoods
3rd: Armand's

Best hamburger
2nd: Fathead's
3rd: Max & Erma's

Best ice cream
Dave & Andy's
Oakland/Station Square
2nd: Bruster's
3rd: Klavon's Twenty-Eight Ice Cream

Best pizza
Mineo's Pizza House
Squirrel Hill
2nd: Pizza Vesuvio
3rd: Vincent's Pizza Park

Best wings
South Side
2nd: Quaker Steak & Lube
3rd: Buffalo Blues

Best happy hour
Mad Mex
Multiple locations
2nd: Deja Vu Lounge
3rd: Smiling Moose

Best late-night bite
Primanti Bros.
Multiple locations
2nd: Tom's Diner
3rd: Ritter's Diner

Goods & Services

Best local bookstore
Jay's Book Stall
2nd: (Tie) Caliban Book Shop & Eljay's Used Books
3rd: Threepenny Books

Best used bookstore
Half Price Books
Multiple locations
2nd: Threepenny Books
3rd: Eljay's Used Books

Best adult bookstore
Adult Mart
North Hills
2nd: Eide's Entertainment
3rd: Condom Nation

Best comic bookstore
Eide's Entertainment
2nd: Phantom of the Attic
3rd: Duncan Comics, Books & Accessories

Best local health food store
East End Food Co-op
Point Breeze
2nd: Whole Foods Market
3rd: General Nutrition Center (GNC)

Best car dealership
#1 Cochran Automotive
2nd: Day
3rd: (Tie) Bowser & McKean Auto Group

Best bicycle shop
Gatto Cycle
Multiple locations
2nd: Kraynick's Bike Shop Inc.
3rd: West Liberty Cycles

Best furniture store
South Side
2nd: Ikea
3rd: Levin Furniture

Best clothing store (women's)
Multiple locations
2nd: (Tie) Carabella, EB Pepper & Pittsburgh Jeans Co.
3rd: Avalon Exchange

Best clothing store (men's)
Multiple locations
2nd: Moda
3rd: Larrimor's

Best clothing store (resale)
Red, White & Blue Thrift Store
Multiple locations
2nd: Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh
3rd: Avalon Exchange

Best local jewelry store
(Tie) Henne Jewelers (Shadyside) & Orr's (Squirrel Hill/Beaver)
2nd: Culture Shop
3rd: Jared: The Galleria of Jewelry

Best place to buy eyeglasses
Multiple locations
2nd: Good Looks
3rd: Dalmo Optical

Best hair salon
Philip Pelusi
Multiple locations
2nd: Izzazu Salon
3rd: Spa Uptown

Best day spa
Sewickley Spa
2nd: Spa Uptown
3rd: Tutta Bella Spa

Best tanning salon
Hollywood Tans
Multiple locations
2nd: Yolanda's Hair Design
3rd: (Tie) East Coast Tanning, Tantastic & X Shadyside

Best tattoo parlor
Jester's Court
South Side/Shaler
2nd: South Side Tattoo
3rd: Tattoo You

Best body piercing shop
Hot Rod
South Side/Oakland
2nd: South Side Tattoo
3rd: Z-Spot

Best dating service
It's Just Lunch
2nd: The Right Relationship
3rd: Together

Best overnight accommodations
The Inn on Mexican War Streets
North Side
2nd: (Tie) Omni William Penn & Sheraton Station Square
3rd: Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel

Best local music store
Dave's Music Mine
South Side
2nd: Paul's Compact Discs
3rd: The Record Exchange

Best place to still buy vinyl
Jerry's Records
Squirrel Hill
2nd: Eide's Entertainment
3rd: Brave New World

Best local video/DVD rental store
Dreaming Ant
2nd: Heads Together
3rd: Incredibly Strange Video

Sports & Recreation
Best bowling alley
Arsenal Lanes
2nd: Wissman's Forward Lanes
3rd: Princess Bowling Lanes

Best golf course
Schenley Park Golf Course
Squirrel Hill
2nd: Oakmont Country Club
3rd: (Tie) Nevillewood Club & South Park Golf Course

Best local health club
Club One
East Liberty
2nd: X Shadyside
3rd: Alexander's Athletic Club

Best martial arts studio
CS Kim
Multiple locations
2nd: Rothrock's Kung-Fu & Tai Chi Studio
3rd: Shorin No Toro Dojo

Best miniature golf
Cool Springs Golf Center
Bethel Park
2nd: Putt-Putt Golf Course
3rd: Wildwood Golf Club

Best place to skateboard
Mr. Small's Skate Park
2nd: Market Square
3rd: South Park

Best ski resort
Seven Springs Mountain Resort
2nd: Hidden Valley
3rd: Boyce Park Ski Resort

Best trail to break a sweat
Montour Trail
2nd: Schenley Park
3rd: Frick Park

People, Places & Propaganda

Best candidate for mayor in 2005
Anyone but Tom Murphy
2nd: Mario Lemieux
3rd: None of the above

Best old rich person
Teresa Heinz-Kerry
2nd: Elsie Hillman
3rd: The Rooney family

Best young rich person
Christopher Heinz
2nd: Mario Lemieux
3rd: Kevin McClatchy

Local performer most likely to become the Wayne Newton of Pittsburgh's casino
Phat Man Dee
2nd: Donnie Iris
3rd: Frankie Capri

Best newscaster hairdo
Don Cannon, KDKA
2nd: Julie Bologna, WPXI
3rd: Ken Rice, KDKA

Best newscaster to see perform an emergency tracheotomy
Sally Wiggin, WTAE
2nd: David Johnston, WPXI
3rd: Joe DiNardo, WTAE

Hottest local personality (male)
Jeff Verszyla, KDKA
2nd: Alan Cox, 105.9 FM the X
3rd: (Tie) Mario Lemieux & Ken Rice, KDKA

Hottest local personality (female)
Julie Bologna, WPXI
2nd: Phat Man Dee
3rd: Sonni Abatta

Best Pittsburgh-themed pick-up line
"How yinz doing?"
2nd: "Wanna make aht?"
3rd: "Wanna try my kielbasa?"

Best place to build a new bridge
31st Street
2nd: South Side
3rd: The Waterfront

Best Pittsburgh smell
Primanti Bros.
Multiple locations
2nd: The Original Hot Dog Shop
3rd: Kennywood

Best neighborhood to offer gay marriage
2nd: South Side
3rd: North Side/Mexican War Streets

Best place to breathe secondhand smoke
Dee's Café
South Side
2nd: Any Pittsburgh bar
3rd: Beehive

Best elevator
The Cathedral of Learning
2nd: The USX Tower
3rd: The Monterey Bay Fish Grotto

Best sign on a local business
Heinz Ketchup
2nd: Tiki Bar
3rd: Joe Mama's

Best use for Pittsburgh International Airport
Automobile race track
2nd: Giant shopping mall
3rd: Skate park

Best landmark for Pitt to devour next
Carnegie Mellon University
2nd: Mellon Arena
3rd: The Original Hot Dog Shop

Best reason for the Penguins to stay in town
For the fans
2nd: Mario Lemieux
3rd: We love them

Best reason for the Penguins to leave town
There's no economic future here
2nd: No new arena
3rd: They suck!

Best city service or amenity that's been cut
City pools
2nd: Pittsburgh Police
3rd: Bus service

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