The annual Best of Bergen list is out and with it comes some of the best places in the county to eat, play, and shop. This list summarizes the reader's choices for the best from antiques to restaurants to salons. Below is just a quick sample of this list. I'm definitely going to be trying out some of these places! For the complete list visit http://www.201.net/bestofbergen2008results.html.
BEST ANTIQUE SHOP
In recent years, antiques lovers have gravitated to the streets of Ho-Ho-Kus in search of vintage treasures. Granny's Attic is tops in shops for antiques. What brings shoppers like Victoria Fernands of Ho-Ho-Kus to Granny's is the uniqueness of the inventory. "They have very unusual items in the shop," Fernands notes, "and it's so much fun to explore."
RUNNERS-UP: Brownstone Mill, Midland Park; The Antique Design Center, Upper Saddle River
(A TIED CATEGORY)
Ridgewood Hot Bagels
Ronnie's Hillsdale Bagels
In one of the most popular categories in the poll, the race "boiled" down to two standouts. By a healthy schmeer, last year's winner, Ronnie's Hillsdale Hot Bagels, and a newcomer among the voting responses, Ridgewood Hot Bagels, took top honors.
For Sue Wilhoit of Ridgewood, it's more than just delicious bagels at Ridgewood Hot Bagels. "The people are very friendly," she says. "I like it because you walk in there, and the people and the atmosphere make you feel really good."
Customer service drives Ilene Pakett of Woodcliff Lake to Ronnie's. "His bagels are always fresh; he listens to customers and tries to attend with their needs," she notes. "He has a great business going, he's very involved with the community, but his bagels just taste the best. Wherever we travel to, we always compare the bagels we buy with Ronnie's - and Ronnie's is the gold standard."
Butterflake Bake Shop
Nothing beats the sweet smell of fresh baked cakes and other confections. Butterflake Bake Shop, a classic along Cedar Lane in Teaneck, did anything but crumble against the competition.
"My family looks forward to their challah bread every Friday," says Stefanie Jacobowitz of Leonia. "If there is any left after we devour it at Friday night dinner, we make the most delicious French toast out of it the next day!"
RUNNERS-UP: 2007 Readers' Pick B&W Bakery, Hackensack
BEST BARBER SHOP
Larry and Phil's Barber Shop
Need a trim? Slide into the chair at Larry and Phil's for an old-fashioned shave and a haircut.
"The nicest guys in the world" is how Oakland's Joseph Pillari describes Larry and Phil. "I go there because of two men in particular: Joe and Phil," notes Pillari. "They do a terrific job, and cut my whole family's hair. My two boys and I have been going there for about five years."
(A TIED CATEGORY)
The Iron Horse
Here's the beef. It's a tossup between popular Westwood dining destination The Iron Horse, and poll newcomer Noah's Ark in Teaneck, for the best burger in Bergen.
Oradell's Pam Daly prefers to take a bite of a juicy burger at The Iron Horse, because "the burgers are so sumptuous - they're just so tasty and fresh." Miriam Finkel of Englewood praises the perfect size and preparation of the burgers at Noah's Ark: "There is a new burger menu with all these great samplings. Everything is amazing, and everyone I know goes there and loves it."
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