Appetizers


    Houlihan’s


    Runners-up: Tavern on the Square and Beggar’s Banquet


    The Houlihan’s chain location inside the Lansing Mall was
    voted Best Appetizers, after winning last year for Best Happy Hour. Most likely
    it’s for the same reason: The Houlihan’s happy hour features select gourmet
    starters for $6, including the lettuce wraps, the calamari and the sushi-ish
    tuna wontons. There are also a variety of small plates selections and
    half-sized salads that allow you to make a meal out of nothing but appetizers.
    5732 West Saginaw Highway, Lansing. (517) 323-3550



    Asian food


    Sansu Sushi & Cocktails


    Runners-up: P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and Thai Food From
    Lamai’s Kitchen


    The Best Asian Food winner, Sansu Sushi & Cocktails, is
    an event dining experience. When you visit, make sure to request the room in
    which you can sit in the shoeless section, which is basically an elevated area
    with leg holes that give you the appearance of sitting on the floor. Daily
    specials allow newbies to gingerly work their way through the menu, and their 40-foot
    long sushi bar puts it in the running for the longest in town. Sushi not your
    thing? They have a full menu of traditional cooked Asian food as well. 4750 S.
    Hagadorn Rd,, East Lansing. (517) 333-1933




    Atmosphere


    Golden Harvest


    Runners-up: Dusty’s and Enso


    Lansing loves it some Golden Harvest. The badass
    breakfast/lunch place won in four categories, the most out of any other
    restaurant: Best Atmosphere, Best Bang for Your Buck, Best Diner, and Best
    Breakfast. Owner/pirate-at-heart Zane Vicknair and his band of cooks and
    wenches (ahem, waitstaff) have navigated the tchotchke-packed eatery into a
    Lansing weekend mainstay. The line out the door of patient, friendly people
    seven days a week tells the rest of the story. And giving directions to a
    first-timer couldn’t be easier: Just look for the Jolly Roger flag flying out
    front.1625 Turner Street,
    Lansing. (517) 485-3663




    Bang for your buck:

    Golden Harvest


    Runners-up: Dagwood's, Nip n' Sip



    Bar food


    The Peanut Barrel


    Runners-up: Dagwood’s and Irish Pub


    The Peanut Barrel won for both Best Bar Food and Best Patio
    for the second straight year. While the famous Rodeo Burger and chicken dishes
    are a cut above the rest of the late-night bar food fare, that patio is
    practically a mid-Michigan institution. Seeing people on the patio has become as
    ubiquitous a symbol of spring as the first robin—but earthworms have nothing on
    a cold draft beer.521 East Grand
    River Ave., East Lansing.

    (517) 351-0608




    BBQ


    Smokey Bones BBQ and Grille


    Runners-up: Turkeyman and BYBQQ Downtown


    For Best BBQ, our readers went with Eastwood Towne Center’s
    Smokey Bones BBQ and Grille, a chain restaurant owned by the Darden Restaurants
    (Red Lobster, Olive Garden). One cool service feature is its two sauces — the
    brown-sugar-and-chili-tasting Original and corndog-like Carolina Mustard — that
    arrive warm in syrup jars. And if you’re not a barbecue aficionado, there’s a
    swell combo platter that gives you a little of everything. 2401 Lake Lansing
    Rd., Lansing. (517) 316-9973




    Bread/bakery


    Roma Bakery


    Runners-up: Great Harvest and Panera


    Featuring everything from paczkis to pasta, Roma Bakery was
    voted for Best Bread/Bakery. For 35 years, Roma has specialized in a huge
    selection of gourmet and European foods, groceries and bakery goods — and some
    of the best smells in town. Want something that will spice up dinner a little
    bit tonight? Need a specialty cake? Just looking for a doughnut? Roma is the
    place to get it. 428 North Cedar St., Lansing. (517) 485-9466




    Breakfast


    Golden Harvest


    Runners-up: Sawyer's Pancakes, Fleetwood Diner




    Burger


    Bonnie’s Place


    Runners-up: Peanut Barrel and Red Robin


    Bonnie’s Place believes in putting the ham back into
    hamburger: Their half-pound burger is topped with a quarter-pound of finely
    shaved ham, plus American cheese, Swiss cheese and whatever condiments you
    like. (Spend the extra 50 cents to make it deluxe, and you get crisp lettuce
    and thick slices of tomato.) If the burger doesn’t fill you up, the generous
    portions of french fries and/or crisp onion rings will ensure you don’t leave
    with an empty tummy. One more bonus: The waitstaff is exceptionally friendly.
    If you think bar food is synonymous with bad food, check out Bonnie’s Place and
    you’ll think twice. 415 E. Saginaw St., Lansing. (517) 482-4404.




    Causal dining


    Deluca’s


    Runners-up: Soup Spoon Cafe and Golden Harvest


    Even though Deluca’s Restaurant has a full menu, this
    Italian restaurant in north Lansing is synonymous with the word “pizza.” For
    the second year in a row, Deluca’s took top prize for Best Pizza, supplementing
    that honor this year with Best Causal Dining as well. A Deluca’s pie is loaded
    with toppings so thick you can sometimes barely see the cheese, and the
    relaxed, friendly waitstaff make this a pleasant night out any night of the
    week (except Sunday, when they’re not open). 2006 W. Willow, Lansing. (517) 487-6087.




    Chili


    Beggar’s Banquet


    Runners-up: Mayfair and Harrison Roadhouse


    Remember in “Fried Green Tomatoes” how the secret of life
    was “in the sauce”? The secret of the chili at Beggar’s Banquet is in the
    spices: not just the chili powder, but the liberal sprinkling of cayenne pepper
    that gives the dish a little something special. While many chefs toss ground
    beef into their chili, Beggar’s Banquet uses shredded beef. The result is
    satisfyingly spicy without being so scorchingly hot that your tongue dials
    9-1-1. 218 Abbott Road, East Lansing. (517) 351-4540.




    Cocktails


    The Exchange


    Runners-up: Tavern on the Square and Chrome Cat


    The Exchange has 23 types of red, white and sparkling wine
    to choose from, eight single malt scotches, 20 specialty martinis, and a host
    of high-end liqueurs that’ll buzz you up 10 ways ‘til Tuesday. No wonder they
    were voted Best Cocktails. Oh yeah, there’s always live entertainment to keep
    you moving and there’s never a cover. The chillaxing lounge upstairs is a
    low-key seating in which to share a bottle of bubbly with your friends or just
    people-watch the crowd below. 314 East Michigan Ave., Lansing. (517) 319-4500




    Cup of Coffee


    Biggby


    Runners-up: Gone Wired Cafe and Mama Bear’s


    With nearly two dozen locations in mid-Michigan and over 100
    franchises in the United States, Biggby — not Beaner’s, ya damned
    reactionaries! — could have also been voted Most Prevalent Cafe in addition to
    Best Cup of Coffee. Biggby has kept many a caffeine habit alive and kicking,
    and led many mid-Michiganders to ask “Star-whats?” Its easy-to-navigate
    beverage board and uber-friendly baristas make ordering a Skinny Skinny Mocha
    Mocha as easy easy as pie pie. 270 W Grand River Ave., East Lansing. (517)
    332-1471




    Desserts


    Grand Traverse Pie Company


    Runners-up: Roma and Sugar Shack


    Sure, Grand Traverse Pie Company has a whole menu of
    sandwiches and soups, but our readers voted the Traverse City-based chain for
    Best Desserts. It’s all about, in a word, pie. Six types of cherry pie, five
    kinds of apple pie, and different types of berry, peach, lemon meringue, cream
    pies, and a revolving selection of seasonal pies enable you to go into Grand
    Traverse every day for a month and not get the same dessert twice. Go on — we
    dare you. 1403 East Grand River Ave., East Lansing. (517) 203-3304




    Diner


    Golden Harvest
    Runners-up: Fleetwood Diner, Old Town Diner



    Fries


    Dagwood’s


    Runners-up: McDonald's, Peanut Barrel


    Gourmet Restaurant

    Dusty’s Cellar


    Runners-up: Knight Cap and Troppo


    Dusty’s Cellar, voted Best Gourmet Restaurant, has slowly
    made the transition over the years from a trendy restaurant to an
    all-encompassing, one-stop-shop upscale dining adventure. Dusty’s features an
    array of seasonal dishes, along with special tasting events that allow you to
    pair food with wine or beer. They offer private dining rooms and catering as
    well, allowing you to create a unique dining experience for you and several
    dozen of your closest friends. The in-house wine cellar and French bakery add
    to this restaurant’s European charm. 1839 West Grand River Ave., Okemos. (517)
    349-5150.




    Italian:

    Emil's


    Runners-up: DeLuca's, Bravo!




    Mexican:

    Los Tres Amigos


    Runners-up: El Azteco, Pablo's



    Middle Eastern Food


    Woody’s Oasis


    Runners-up: Sultans and Aladdin’s Frandor


    This year Woody’s Oasis won for both Best Middle Eastern and
    Best Vegetarian/Vegan Food. Woody’s has four locations in the Greater Lansing
    area: on Grand River in East Lansing (which includes a full bar); in Okemos;
    the original location on Trowbridge; and the newest location, inside the
    International Center on MSU’s campus. If you somehow find you still can’t make
    it to any of these, Woody’s products are also featured in a number of other
    locations around town, including Gone Wired Cafe and Better Health Foods. 970
    Trowbridge Rd., East Lansing. (517) 351-2280



    New Restaurant


    Michigan Brewing Co.


    Runners-up: Enso, Downtown Doghouse and Maru Sushi


    After keeping most of us on the edge of our seats for over a
    year and a half, MBC finally opened last year. Apparently it was worth the
    wait. With a menu heavily leaning on fish and things that go well with their
    locally handcrafted beer, this satellite location of the Michigan Brewing
    Company in Webberville has been slowly tweaking both beer and food menus since
    opening. Kudos to Maru Sushi, Downtown Dog House and Enso, which our readers
    also welcomed to the scene. 402 S. Washington Sq., Lansing. (517) 977-1349.




    Patio:

    Peanut Barrel


    Runners-up: Dublin Square, El Azteco




    Pizza:

    DeLuca's


    Runners-up: Pizza House, Cottage Inn



    Sandwich shop


    Jersey Giant Subs


    Runners-up: Jimmy Johns and Soup Spoon Cafe


    You won’t need a lot of money to get a lot of food at one
    of the many Jersey Giant Subs locations around town. The subs are piled high
    with the meats and vegetables of your choice. For example, the Jersey Devil
    includes roast beef, ham, turkey breast, salami, pepperoni, cheeses, capicola
    (Italian ham), prosciuttini (more spicy ham) and the additional fixings of your
    choice. Fifteen inches of that ought to tide over even the heartiest appetites
    for a while. Locations at 3019 E Saginaw St, Lansing (517) 351-1616; 529 E
    Grand River Ave, East Lansing (517) 332-2969;3700 W Saginaw St # 2, Lansing (517) 323-6800; 2546 E Jolly
    Rd, Lansing (517) 327-1843; 3525 S Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Lansing
    (517) 882-2300;1866 W Grand River
    Ave, Okemos (517) 347-8400; 13157 Schavey Rd, Dewitt (517) 669-5452;516 S Clinton St, Grand Ledge (517)
    622-4855; 2900 N Williamston Rd, Williamston (517) 655-9303; 23112 Allen Rd,
    Trenton, (734) 362-0575.




    Seafood


    Mitchell’s Fish Market


    Runners-up: Red Lobster and San Su


    If you like your fish to spend a couple weeks in the
    deep-freeze before it makes it to your table, steer clear of Mitchell’s Fish
    Market. “We get deliveries six times a week,” says dining room manager John
    O’Meara, “so all the fish is fresh.” Top sellers include the ginger crusted
    Atlantic salmon, the hoisin-glazed yellowfin tuna and the Shang Hai seafood
    sampler. Shang Hai is Mitchell’s signature way of preparing fish: First, it’s
    steamed with fresh ginger and scallions, then it’s served with sticky rice,
    spinach and ponzu (rice wine soy sauce). You can even take home some seafood
    from the restaurant’s Catch and Carry counter — although if you’ve got a
    craving for Asian carp, you’re out of luck. 2975 Preyde Boulevard, Lansing.
    (517) 482-3474.




    Sports bar


    Tripper’s


    Runners-up: The Nuthouse, Champps and Buffalo Wild Wings


    Billiards, arcade games, jerseys framed on the wall,
    photographs of stadiums, big-screen TVs — lots of them — conspire to make
    Tripper’s a favorite hangout for the big game. Beyond televised spectacles
    though, there’s plenty to do at Tripper’s, including games for those without
    much athletic ambition. The charity poker room gives couch-potato warriors a
    venue in which they can compete without breaking a sweat while contributing to
    a good cause. Plus, the bar is large and fun, the food is delicious, and with
    great-looking and friendly staff who make innovative and colorful drinks,
    Tripper’s is the perfect complement to a game (or an evening out) that has gone
    into overtime.350 Frandor Ave.,
    Lansing. (517) 336-0717.




    Steak


    The Knight Cap


    Runners-up: Texas Roadhouse and Outback Steak House


    There is no doubt that our voters think The Knight Cap has
    the Best Steak in Lansing — it received nearly three times as many votes as the
    second-place finisher. All beef is growth hormone- and antibiotic-free, is cut
    daily in-house, and seasoned with a special blend of spices dubbed “black
    magic.” Every day there is a choice of six cuts, including the phenomenal Steak
    Medici, with additional steak specials to mix things up. 320 East Michigan
    Ave., Lansing. (517) 484-7676.




    Sushi:

    Sansu


    Runners-up:Ukai, Ai Fusion




    Takeout


    Bangkok House


    Runners-up: Famous Taco and Rice Kitchen


    City Pulse readers must have a yen for Thai food, because
    Bangkok House was voted this year’s Best Takeout. Cheap, fast, and consistent
    with the spiciness level, Bangkok House is a popular favorite call-in for
    downtown workers who want something on the go besides cheeseburgers and chili
    dogs. And once you know your way around the menu, it’s easy to find items that will
    help you if you’re staying on the healthy side of things (Pad Thai, the
    vegetarian dishes) or if you don’t care about your calories (anything with
    coconut milk). 420 East Saginaw St., Lansing. (517) 487-6900.




    Vegan/vegetarian:

    Woody's Oasis


    Runners-up: Mama Bear's, Better Health Food Store

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