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Polls Posts

Perfect Duluth Restaurant: Lake Avenue Restaurant and Bar

Though it’s been lauded in Twin Cities publications for years, surprisingly Lake Avenue Restaurant and Bar hasn’t won any local accolades for its cuisine. Until now.

In Perfect Duluth Day’s poll to name the Perfect Duluth Restaurant, Lake Avenue emerged as the clear winner with 48.3 percent of the vote among the top three.

Co-owner Derek Snyder says he was “super surprised and flattered” his restaurant won the poll.

“A lot of Duluthians still don’t know about us,” he said.

Poll: What is the best Duluth-area restaurant?

With help from readers, we compiled a list of 18 nominees for the best Duluth-area restaurant poll. The final three on the ballot: Duluth Grill, Lake Avenue Restaurant & Bar and Va Bene Caffe.

This poll is now closed. The results will be announced soon.

Perfect Duluth Restaurant Nominations – 2018

It’s been five years since we polled PDD readers to determine the perfect Duluth restaurant. Since then, the New Scenic Cafe has been the reigning champ.

Perfect Iron Range Restaurant: Vi’s Pizza

Competition was stiff in the Perfect Iron Range Restaurant poll. After a 36-hour, tie-breaking vote we can officially declare Vi’s Pizza in Biwabik the champion.

In the final poll, Vi’s Pizza had 70 percent of the vote, while BoomTown Woodfire Bar & Grill in Eveleth had 30 percent.

Clearly, no ordinary pizza joint could beat the likes of top contenders like BoomTown and Gilbert’s famous Jamaican restaurant, the Whistling Bird. But Vi’s Pizza is a veritable Iron Range institution.

The original pizza recipe was handed down from owner Kim Mattson’s Italian grandmother. Viola “Vi” and her husband Frank Urick started selling takeout pizzas out of the back of their Biwabik home in 1959.

Tie-breaking Poll for Perfect Iron Range Restaurant

The initial competition for Perfect Iron Range Restaurant was hot! The poll started with 25 nominees. With the help of your votes, we whittled it down to three contenders: BoomTown Woodfire Bar & Grill (Eveleth), Vi’s Pizza and the Whistling Bird.

BoomTown and Vi’s tied with 36 percent of the popular vote, while Whistling Bird was close behind at 28 percent.

Which brings us to the final poll to decide the winner.

This poll is now closed. The results were:

Vi’s Pizza, Biwabik – 70 percent
BoomTown Woodfire Bar & Grill, Eveleth – 30 percent

Poll: Perfect Iron Range-area Restaurant

We developed a list of contenders for the Perfect Iron Range-area Restaurant poll by using a carefully crafted methodology — we asked people to nominate their favorites.

We started with 25 nominees and whittled it down to the top three.

The poll is now closed. The results were:

BoomTown Woodfire Bar & Grill, Eveleth | 36 percent
Vi’s Pizza, Biwabik | 36 percent
The Whistling Bird, Gilbert | 28 percent

By virtue of the tie, there will be a new poll between BoomTown and Vi’s to determine a winner.

Poll: What is the best restaurant in the South Shore-area?

With your help, we’ve compiled a list of nominees for the perfect South Shore-area restaurant poll. Now it’s time to vote.

What type of restaurant is capable of earning the perfect restaurant title? Whether a pizza shop, tavern or a fine dining establishment, each nominee begins on equal footing. It’s a matter of personal taste and will be determined by good old-fashioned democracy.

Out of 24 nominees, 20 were eliminated in early voting and the four top restaurants remained: Delta Diner, Maggie’s Restaurant, the Rivers Eatery and Wild Rice Restaurant.

This poll is now closed. The results will be posted soon.

Nominees for Perfect South Shore-area Restaurant Poll

The South Shore of Lake Superior is shockingly underrated. Its scenic beauty rivals that of the more popular North Shore. Visitors to the South Shore can expect a more laidback experience, sandy beaches and an array of unique eateries running the gamut from traditional Wisconsin tavern to farm-to-table bistro.

In the interest of giving kudos to the eateries of our underappreciated neighboring region, Perfect Duluth Day is running the Perfect South Shore-area Restaurant poll.

Perfect New Restaurant: OMC Smokehouse

OMC Smokehouse is the winner of Perfect Duluth Day’s best new restaurant poll. The popular barbecue joint smoked the competition, garnering 82 percent of the vote among the two finalists. The Boat Club Restaurant and Bar was runner up with 18 percent; 14 other nominees were eliminated in early voting.

OMC (which stands for oink, moo, cluck) opened in February. For more than two years, area residents eagerly anticipated the restaurant’s arrival.

Poll: Best New Restaurant in Duluth Area

It’s time for the 2017 edition of Perfect Duluth Day’s “Perfect New Restaurant” poll. In 2016, Northern Waters Restaurant won by a landslide. Since then, a variety of new eating establishments have emerged. Which one is perfect? That will be determined by the good ol’ democratic process. Now is the chance to give your stomach a voice, whether your tastes are frugal or fancy.

It’s a runoff ballot, so if your favorite drops out of the running you can vote again from the remaining pool of contenders. At this stage in the voting, it’s down to the final two: Boat Club Restaurant and Bar and OMC Smokehouse.

What is the best new restaurant in the Duluth area?

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This poll is now closed. The results were:

OMC Smokehouse: 82 percent
Boat Club Restaurant and Bar: 18 percent

Perfect Bakery: Duluth’s Best Bread

pddperfectbakeryawardlogoThe business with the audacity to call itself Duluth’s Best Bread clearly is living up to its name. Not only does it have the best bread, it’s Duluth’s best general bakery according to Perfect Duluth Day’s poll. It took the title of Perfect Bakery with 38 percent of the vote among the final four.

The relative newcomer celebrated its one-year anniversary in September. Brothers Michael and Robert Lillegard, a trained mathematician and a writer, respectively, founded the nontraditional bakery.

Duluth’s Best Bread has limited storefront hours and a subscription service. It features a small menu of products carefully perfected by Michael, such as sourdough bread, croissants, cinnamon rolls and pretzels.

Poll: Best Bakery in the Duluth Area

get-bakedWith your help, we’ve compiled a list of swoon-worthy bakeries in the Duluth area.

It’s a highly subjective exercise. It may be that a fruit tart warms your heart or a cake donut pleases your gut. Whatever the case, it’s time to make a show of support for your favorite purveyor of sweet and glutenous treats.

The nominations are in. Now it’s time to vote and have a say. What’s the Perfect Duluth-area bakery?

This is a runoff poll, which means options will be whittled down over time. We started with 14 nominees; it’s now down to the Final Four: Duluth’s Best Bread, Johnson’s Bakery, Lake Superior Bakehouse and Zenith Bread Project.

This poll is now closed. The results were:

Duluth’s Best Bread – 38 percent
Zenith Bread Project – 27 percent
Johnson’s Bakery – 20 percent
Lake Superior Bakehouse – 15 percent

What is the best Duluth-area bakery?

baked-goodsThe decline of the corner bakery in modern America could be considered one of the greatest food-related tragedies of our time. An 85 percent decrease in standalone retail bakeries occurred in the United States over the past 40 years, according to Retail Bakers of America.

With this in mind, it seems important to show our local bakeries some love. That’s why our latest poll will decide the perfect Duluth bakery.

Nominate your favorite by commenting on this post. It will be a purely subjective poll, of course. Comparing an old-school institution stocked with traditional sweets like Long Johns and Bismarcks and a newfangled shop specializing in artisan breads and delicate pastries is a bit like comparing apples to oranges, but the idea is to choose an overall favorite.

Feel free to nominate bakeries that double as coffee shops and serve food or the supermarket variety, if you’re so inclined.

After much geographical consideration, we’ve determined any bakery within 16 miles of the Aerial Lift Bridge is eligible for nomination. That means establishments in Superior, Hermantown, Proctor and the many bordering townships qualify for nomination, but more distant places like Two Harbors and Cloquet do not.

Once we have a good pool of nominees, the poll will commence.

Poll: Best Drinking Establishment in the Duluth Area

best barAs we enjoy the last dregs of summer in all its boozy glory, we’re on a mission to determine Duluth’s “Perfect Drinking Establishment.” Last week we asked for nominations. The primary criteria (besides offering libations) was location. Bars had to be located within 10 miles of Duluth.

With your input, we compiled 23 nominees that run the gamut from dingy dive bars to sophisticated cocktail rooms. Now it’s time to vote for your favorite. This is a runoff poll. If the bar you initially voted for is eliminated, you can vote again among the remaining options. We’ll post the results in a few days.

At this time we are down to the Top Four: Bent Tap at Bent Paddle Brewing, Breeze Inn, Red Herring Lounge and Sir Benedict’s Tavern on the Lake.

This poll is now closed. The results were:

Sir Benedict’s Tavern on the Lake – 34.5 percent
Breeze Inn – 31 percent
Red Herring Lounge – 18.5 percent
Bent Tap at Bent Paddle Brewing – 16 percent

What is the perfect Duluth-area drinking establishment?

Danger - AlcoholThe time is almost upon us for a poll about something most Duluthians are practiced in: drinking.

We know Duluthians like to drink. In fact, St. Louis County rates among the top counties in the country for binge drinking, with a rate of 26.7 percent (though surely some Iron Rangers are skewing the percentage).

Though it’s not a statistic to be proud of, we certainly understand the inclination. And we’d like to pinpoint where the people prefer to imbibe. The poll isn’t scientific. How you choose the “perfect” drinking establishment is purely subjective. You can nominate a craft brewery, a swanky joint with handcrafted cocktails or a crusty dive bar with the cheapest swill and shots of whiskey. It’s up to you. Name your favorite bar, pub, saloon, nightclub, watering hole or whatever you call it in the comments to this post.

Once we compile an ample list of nominees, we’ll post the poll and the people will decide. It will be a runoff vote where the list of options will be whittled down during the voting process as favorites become apparent.

Any drinking establishment in Duluth or 10 miles of its border is eligible for nomination. Bars in Superior, Hermantown, Proctor and the many bordering townships qualify for nomination, but more distant places like Two Harbors and Cloquet do not.