March 22 2017 02:31 PM

Welcome to the 10th annual Top of the Town awards, presented by City Pulse and Fox 47. When we announced the winners of our first-ever best of Lansing contest on May 7, 2008, Hillary Clinton was locked in a fierce Democratic presidential primary with a young upstart named Barack Obama and America was just beginning to feel the effects of the Great Recession. The first installment of Marvel’s “Iron Man” film franchise dominated box offices. Hits by Flo Rida, Lil Wayne and Mariah Carey topped the charts.

The big winner in our inaugural contest, then called the Best of Greater Lansing, was Bonnie’s Place (rest in grease), which took home 13 awards, including wins in Best Place To Be Seen, Best Burger and our short-lived Best Looking Bartenders/Waitstaff category.

Scattered throughout this section are breakouts that look back on the history of our contest. After you’ve checked out the categories in this issue, head over to and get started. If you’d prefer a paper mail-in ballot, contact Suzi Smith at (517) 999-6704 or suzi@

The rules

Like previous years, the contest is broken up into two rounds. In the first round, which runs from now through April 11, you can write in your own choices or choose people/places/ businesses that have already been submitted. We started the contest this year by automatically adding the Top Five from the 2016 contest — or the Top Four where some have gone out of business.

IMPORTANT: If the business you are nominating has more than one location, be sure to indicate as specifically as possible which location, such as “Cedar Street” or “West Lansing.” In categories like Best Bartender or Best Hairstylist, be sure to list the person and the business he/she works for.

On May 10, we whittle the list down to the top five in each category, and those five battle it out in a Final Five runoff contest through May 23. Votes totals start at zero for the Final Five round, so be sure to support your favorite businesses, people and place through both rounds!

There are seven main categories and 126 subcategories. You must vote in at least 15 subcategories to have your votes count. You may spread your 15 votes through multiple main categories. You can only submit one entry per email address, so don’t hit that submit button until you’ve voted in all the categories you wanted to.

Winners are announced in the June 7 issue of City Pulse. Winning a Top of the Town award means major bragging rights for local businesses, people and places, so grab your computer or smartphone and start voting!

Best Dining

• Asian Buffet
• Bakery

• Breakfast
• Brunch New!
• Burger
• Chinese
• Cocktails
• Craft Beer Selection
• Dessert
• Diner
• Family Friendly Restaurant
• Fish Fry
• Fries
• Greek
• Ice Cream Shop
• Italian
• Late Night Food
• Margarita
• Mediterranean
• Mexican
• New Restaurant
• Pizza
• Restaurant Wine List
• Sandwich/Deli
• Seafood
• Steak
• Sushi
• Thai
• Upscale Dining
• Vegetarian/Vegan/Gluten
Free Options

Best Hangouts

• Biggby
• Coffee Shop (non-Biggby)

• Dance Bar
• For Students
• Gay/Lesbian Bar
• Happy Hour
• Karaoke
• Lansing-area Brewery
• Lansing-area Distillery
• Local Outing with Friends
• Movie Theater
• Music Venue
• Patio
• Place to Take Kids
• Bar
• Spartan Sports Hangout
• Sports Bar

Best Local Arts & Music

• Cover Band
• Classical Musician

• Club DJ
• Event/Wedding DJ
• Folk Band/Artist
• Hip-Hop Group/Artist
• Jazz Group/Artist
• Theatre Group (local)
• Radio Station
• Rock Band/Artist
• Visual Artist

Best People

• Bartender
• Budtender
• CATA Bus Driver
• Hairstylist
• High School Coach
• Local Advocate/Activist
• Local Comedian
• Local AM/FM Radio Personality
• Local TV News Personality
• Massage Therapist
• Nail Tech
• Personal Trainer
• Realtor
• Restaurant Wait Staff
• Best Local/State Politician
• Worst Local/State Politician

Best Services

• Auto Repair
• Bank

• Cab Company
• Credit Union
• Bicycle Shop
• Car Wash/Detailing
• Chiropractor
• Dance Studio
• Dental Practice
• Gym/Fitness Studio
• Heating/Cooling/Plumbing/Electrical
• Bed & Breakfast
• Lawyer/Law Firm
• Cleaning Service (changed from Maid Service)
• Marijuana Dispensary
• Men’s Barbershop
• Nail Salon
• Non-profit Organization
• Pet Care/Vet Services
• Photographer/Photography Studio
• Real Estate Company
• Salon/Spa
• Tattoo Parlor
• Yoga Studio

Best Shopping

• Antique Shop
• Art Gallery

• Beer Selection (Retail Store)
• Bookstore
• Butcher
• Candy Shop
• Clothing Store (Local)
• Consignment Shop
• Farmers Market
• Florist
• Gift Shop
• Grocery Store (Local)
• Indoor Grow Shop
• Jewelry Store
• Musical Instruments Store
• Organic/Natural Market
• Pawn/Secondhand Shop
• Pet Store
• Record/CD Store
• Wine Selection

Best Whatever

• Eye Candy Place
• Local Instagram Account
• Local Twitter Account
• Most Unique Public Bathroom
• Worst Eyesore Place
• Worst Pothole - specific location

Nov. 15 2018
Nov. 8 2018