The Winners Of The 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards

…And the winners are?

All of you.

All of us.

LEO’s Readers’ Choice Awards once again have proven that we live in a community rife with choices, great places to eat, great places to visit and great people to read and follow. The voting this year was tighter and heavier than usual, perhaps because so many people, alas, have had more time to think about life and more time to vote.

Some of the perennial winners earned the title perennial winner, and some new winners burst forth. This year we call 20-Plenty also called for new categories, such as Best Place to Social Distance Outdoors, Best Virtual Entertainment Series and Best and Worst Parts of the Pandemic.

But, enough chitchat — and the winners are!


A&E

Best Livestream Local Event
1. Carl’s Stuck on the Couch
2. Tie: 502 Livestreamers and Louisville Protests
3. Tie: Big Howell and Possum, Kentucky Derby and Late for Dinner

Best Virtual Entertainment Series
1. Carl’s Stuck on the Couch
2. Big Howell & Possum
3. Actors Theatre Direct

Best Art Gallery (that is not a museum)
1. Tim Faulkner Gallery
2. Revelry Boutique Gallery
3. Quappi Projects

Best Local Album in 2020
1. Like You More by Kiriko Kills
2. Sweet Action by Jack Harlow
3. The Waterfall II by My Morning Jacket

Best Local Song in 2020
1. “What’s Poppin’” – Jack Harlow
2. “Like You More” – Kiriko Kills
3. “Lift Up Louisville” – Various Artists

Best Band/Musician Performing Original Music
1. Katie Toupin
2. White Reaper
3. Howell Dawdy

Best Cover Band
1. Juice Box Heroes
2. Cover Me Badd
3. The Rumors

Best Local Comedian
1. Tom Mabe
2. Keith McGill
3. Tie: Chris Vititoe, Howell Dawdy and Sean Smith

Best Place to See Comedy
1. The Caravan Comedy Club
2. Planet of the Tapes
3. The Bard’s Town

Best Drag Queen
1. Jade Jolie
2. Leah Halston
3. Gilda Wabbit

Best Drag King
1. Rocky Valentino
2. TB Sparrow
3. Joey Payge

Best Jukebox
1. Magnolia Bar
2. Nachbar
3. Please & Thank You

Best Karaoke Bar
1. Akiko’s Karaoke Club
2. Noraebar
3. Patrick’s

Best Live Music Venue (Whose reopening you’re most anticipating)
1. Headliners Music Hall
2. The Louisville Palace
3. Zanzabar

Best Live Theater Venue (Whose reopening you’re most anticipating)
1. Actors Theatre of Louisville
2. The Kentucky Center
3. The Louisville Palace

Best Improv Troupe (Whose Return to the stage you’re most anticipating)
1. Project Improv
2. Louisville Improvisors
3. The Indicators

Best Movie Theater
1. Baxter Avenue Theatres Filmworks
2. Cinemark Tinseltown
3. Xscape Theatres

Best Museum (that is not a gallery)
1. Speed Art Museum
2. Frazier History Museum
3. Kentucky Science Center

Best Performing Arts Group  (Whose return to the stage you’re most anticipating)
1. Louisville Ballet
2. Kentucky Shakespeare
3. Actors Theatre of Louisville

Best Theater Production (between September and March 2020)
1. “Dracula” — Actors Theatre of Louisville
2. “The Nutcracker” — Louisville Ballet
3. “La Cage Aux Folles” — Pandora Productions

Best Visual Artist
1. John Brooks
2. Marc Murphy
3. Tie: Matthew Fulks and Sydney Ewerth

ATTRACTIONS

Best Place to Social Distance Indoors
1. Oxmoor Center
2. Logan Street Market
3. Home

Best Place to Social Distance Outdoors
1. Cherokee Park
2. Waterfront Park
3. The Parklands of Floyds Fork

Best Reuse of a Historic Building
1. Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery
2. Noche Mexican BBQ
3. Old Forester Distilling Co.

Best Place for Free Entertainment
1. Waterfront Park/Waterfront Wednesdays
2. Kentucky Shakespeare at Central Park
3. Jeffersonville Riverstage

Best Neighborhood
1. The Highlands
2. Clifton/Crescent Hill
3. Germantown/Schnitzelburg

Best Place to Take your Dog
1. Cherokee Park
2. E. P. Tom Sawyer State Park
3. The Parklands of Floyds Fork

Best Place to Take Kids in the Summer
1. Louisville Zoo
2. Kentucky Kingdom
3. The Parklands of Floyds Fork

Best Place to Swim
1. Lakeside Swim Club
2. Jewish Community Center
3. Kentucky Kingdom

Best Place to Play Soccer
1. Mockingbird Valley Sports Complex
2. Seneca Park
3. Lynn Family Stadium

RETAIL

Best Retail Curbside Service
1. Mahonia
2. Work the Metal
3. Carmichael’s Bookstore

Best Adult/Erotic Store
1. Cirilla’s
2. Adam & Eve
3. Love Boutique

Best Antique Store
1. Fleur de Flea
2. Mellwood Antiques & Interiors
3. Green Collar Studio

Best Bicycle Shop
1. Scheller’s Fitness & Cycling
2. Parkside Bikes
3. On Your Left Cycles

Best Chocolate/Candy Shop
1. Muth’s Candies
2. Cellar Door Chocolates
3. Schimpff’s Confectionery

Best Car Dealer
1. Neil Huffman Automotive Group
2. Bachman Auto Group
3. Oxmoor Auto Group

Best Clothing Boutique
1. Dot Fox Clothing Culture
2. Collections Boutique
3. Darling State of Mind

Best Comic Book Shop
1. The Great Escape
2. The Destination
3. Heroes Comics and Gaming

Best Consignment Shop
1. Sassy Fox
2. Margaret’s Fine Consignments
3. Eyedia

Best Flea Market
1. The Flea Off Market
2. Fleur de Flea
3. Awesome Flea Market

Best Instrument Shop
1. Doo Wop Shop
2. Guitar Emporium
3. Mom’s Music

Best Jewelry Store
1. Koerber’s Fine Jewelry
2. Shane Co.
3. Davis Jewelers

Best Liquor Store
1. Old Town Wine & Spirits
2. Total Wine & More
3. Liquor Barn

Best Store for Bourbon
1. Westport Whiskey & Wine
2. Old Town Wine & Spirits
3. Total Wine & More

Best Local Bookstore
1. Carmichael’s Bookstore
2. Barnes & Noble
3. Half Price Books

Best Local Hardware Store
1. Oscar’s Hardware
2. Bownsboro Hardware
3. Keith’s Hardware

Best Local Health Food Store
1. Rainbow Blossom Natural Food Markets
2. Whole Foods
3. Paul’s Fruit Market

Best Local Record Store
1. Guestroom Records
2. Better Days Records
3. Matt Anthony’s Record Shop

Best Local Wine Shop
1. The Wine Rack
2. Westport Whiskey & Wine
3. Commonwealth Tap

Best New Store/Business
1. Teaz Salon
2. Yogast8
3. ShopBar

Best Outdoor Sporting Goods Store
1. Quest Outdoors
2. Dick’s Sporting Goods
3. Cabela’s

Best Pet Shop
1. Feeders Supply
2. Sandy’s Pet Shop
3. Poe’s Pet Depot

Best Head Shop
1. Electric LadyLand
2. Puff Puff Pass
3. Natural Mystic

Best Tobacco Store
1. Cox’s Smokers Outlet
2. Leaf and Cedar
3. J Shepherd Cigars

Best Vape Shop
1. Puff Puff Pass
2. Derb E Cigs
3. Vapor Lab

Best Vintage Clothing Store
1. The Nitty Gritty
2. Vintage Banana
3. Acorn Apparel

Best Place to Buy a Unique Gift
1. Work the Metal
2. LOUaBULL
3. Regalo

Best Place to Buy CBD Products
1. 502 Hemp
2. One Love Hemp Dispensary
3. Rainbow Blossom Natural Food Markets

Best CDB Oil
1. 502 Hemp
2. Cornbread Hemp
3. Bluegrass Hemp oil

SERVICES

Best Advertising Agency
1. Mightily
2. Doe-Anderson
3. Scoppechio

Best Apartment Complex
1. Amp Apartments
2. Germantown Mill Lofts
3. Main & Clay

Best Barbershop
1. Derby City Chop Shop
2. Teaz Salon
3. Props Barber Shop

Best Local Bank
1. Republic Bank
2. Stock Yards Bank and Trust
3. PNC 

Best Caterer
1. Wiltshire Pantry
2. Ladyfingers Catering Inc.
3. Masterson’s Catering

Best Credit Union
1. Park Community Credit Union
2. L&N Federal Credit Union
3. Commonwealth Credit Union

Best Furniture Store
1. Bliss Home
2. Green Collar Studio
3. Schmitt Furniture

Best Dry Cleaner
1. Highland Cleaners
2. Nu-Yale Cleaners
3.Parrot Cleaners

Best Grocery Store
1. Kroger
2. Aldi
3. Trader Joe’s

Best Gym/Fitness Club
1. Louisville Athletic Club
2. YMCA of Greater Louisville
3. Milestone 

Best Hair Salon
1. Under the Dryer
2. Teaz Salon
3. Southern Comforts Salon & Spa

Best Hotel
1. 21c Museum Hotel
2. Omni Louisville Hotel
3. The Galt House Hotel

Best Lawyer
1. Nick Neumann
2. Georgia Connally
3. Sam Aguiar

Best Local Pet Grooming
1. Bark Avenue
2. See Spot Grooming & Daycare
3. The Pet Station Salon and Boutique

Best Mechanic
1. David Gates — Gates Automotive Service
2. Matt McCormick — McCormick MotorSports
3. Dallas Roberts — Lexus of Louisville

Best PR Firm
1. Debra Locker Group
2. Lemonade PR
3. Tandem

Best Travel Agenc
1. AAA
2. My World Travel
3. Knights Travel

Best Skate Shop
1. Home Skateshop
2. Tiny Sk8Shop — Riot Skate Park

Best Tattoo Studio
1. Tattoo Charlie’s
2. Acme Ink
3. Mama Tried

Best Yoga Studio
1. Bend and Zen Hot Yoga
2. YogaSt8
3. 502 Power Yoga

Best Roofer
1. 2HKC Roofing & Construction
2. Urgent Care Roofing and Home Repair
3. Tie: Mr. Roof and Bone Dry Roofing

Best Plumber
1. 2BC Plumbing
2. H2O Plumbing
3. Tom Drexler Plumbing, Air and Electric

Best Vet Clinic
1. VCA Fairleigh Animal Hospital
2. Shively Animal Clinic & Hospital
3. Seneca Animal Hospital

Best Doggie Day Care
1. The Pet Station Country Club
2. Almost Home Boarding & Training
3. The Paw Zone

FOOD & DINING

Best Curbside Service
1. Royals Hot Chicken
2. The Post
3. Texas Roadhouse

Best Appetizers
1. Gold Bar
2. Bristol Bar & Grill
3. LouVino

Best Bakery
1. Plehn’s Bakery
2. Nord’s Bakery
3. Blue Dog Bakery and Café

Best BBQ
1. Feast BBQ
2. Momma’s Mustard, Pickles & BBQ
3. Mark’s Feed Store

Best Breakfast
1. Wild Eggs
2. Con Huevos
3. Highland Morning

Best Boozy Brunch
1. Le Moo
2. Wild Eggs
3. Louvino

Best Burger
1. Mussel & Burger Bar
2. Grind Burger Kitchen
3. Bambi Bar

Best Burrito
1. New Wave Burritos
2. Bandido Taqueria Mexicana
3. El Nopal

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Best Cajun
1. Couvillion
2. J. Gumbo’s
3. Selena’s at Willow Lake Tavern

Best Chef
1. Edward Lee
2. Adam Kirby, Gold Bar
3. Anthony Lamas, Seviche

Best Chili
1. Check’s Cafe
2. Skyline Chili
3. Silver Dollar

Best Chinese Restaurant
1. August Moon
2. The Joy Luck
3. Double Dragon

Best Coffee Shop
1. Heine Brothers
2. Please & Thank You
3. Sunergos Coffee

Best Cuban Restaurant
1. Havana Rumba
2. Mojito in Havana
3. La Bodeguita De Mima

Best Deli/Sandwich Shop
1. Morris Deli
2. Stevens & Stevens Deli
3. Frank’s Meat & Produce

Best Delivery
1. New Wave Burritos
2. Asian Wok
3. Domino’s

Best Fine Dining
1. Jack Fry’s
2. Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse
3. Volare Italian ristorante

Best Fish Sandwich
1. The Fish House
2. Mike Linnig’s Restaurant
3. The Fishery

Best Fried Chicken
1. Royals Hot Chicken
2. The Eagle
3. Joella’s Hot Chicken

Best Food Truck/Cart
1. Traveling Kitchen
2. La Chandeleur Food Truck
3. Hot Buns Food Truck

Best Guacamole
1. Guaca Mole
2. El Mundo
3. El Taco Luchador

Best Hot Dog
1. Red Top Gourmet Hotdogs
2. Lonnie’s Best Taste of Chicago
3. Gold Bar

Best Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt
1. Louisville Cream
2. Graeter’s
3. The Comfy Cow

Best Indian Restaurant
1. Shalimar Restaurant
2. Kashmir Indian Restaurant
3. Dakshin South Indian Restaurant

Best Italian Restaurant
1. Volare Italian Ristorante
2. Grassa Gramma
3. Come Back Inn

Best Korean Restaurant
1. Lee’s Korean Restaurant
2. Gogi 1055 Korean BBQ
3. Sarang

Best Late-Night Bite
1.The Back Door
2. Spinelli’s Pizzeria
3. White Castle

Best Latin Restaurant
1. Seviche, A Latin Restaurant
2. Havana Rumba
3. Mayan Cafe

Best Lunch Spot
1. The Café
2. Blue Dog Bakery and Café
3. Check’s Cafe

Best Mexican Restaurant
1. El Mundo
2. El Nopal
3. El Taco Luchador

Best Middle Eastern Restaurant
1. Safier Mediterranean Deli
2. The Grape leaf
3. Shiraz

Best New Restaurant
1. Gold Bar
2. Toasty’s Tavern
3. La Bodeguita De Mima

Best Outdoor Dining
1. River House Restaurant Raw Bar
2. Captain’s Quarters
3. Chik’n & Mi

Best Patio for Pets
1. Gravely Brewing Co.
2. Double Dogs
3. ShopBar

Best Pho
1. Pho Ba Luu
2. NamNam Cafe
3. Vietnam Kitchen

Best Pizza
1. The Post
2. Pizza Lupo
3. Bearno’s

Best Place for a Romantic Dinner
1. Jack Fry’s
2. Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse
3. Tie: Seviche, A Latin Restaurant and Decca

Best Ramen
1. Ramen House
2. Chik’n & Mi
3. Hiko-A-Man

Best Raw Bar (that is not sushi)
1. River House Restaurant Raw Bar
2. Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse
3. Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse and Raw Bar

Best Restaurant: Butchertown
1. Butchertown Grocery
2. Gold Bar
3. Pizza Lupo

Best Restaurant: Downtown
1. Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse
2. Proof on Main
3. 1Tie: Vincenzo’s and Repeal Oak-fired Steakhouse

Best Restaurant: East Louisville
1. The Village Anchor
2. Anoosh Bistro
3. Brasserie Provence

Best Restaurant: Germantown/Schnitzelburg
1. The Post
2. Monnik Beer Co.
3. Check’s Cafe

Best Restaurant: Clifton/Crescent Hill
1. El Mundo
2. Red Hog
3. Volare Italian Ristorante

Best Restaurant: Highlands
1. Seviche, A Latin Restaurant
2. Sapporo Japanese Grill & Sushi
3. Ramsi’s Cafe On the World

Best Restaurant: NuLu
1. Mayan Cafe
2. Decca
3. Feast BBQ

Best Restaurant: South Louisville
1. Vietnam Kitchen
2. Rubbies Southside Grill & Bar
3. Mike Linnig’s Restaurant

Best Restaurant: St. Matthews
1. Simply Thai
2. Havana Rumba
3. District 6

Best Restaurant: West Louisville
1. The Table
2. Big Momma’s Soul Kitchen
3. Lucretia’s Kitchen

Best Salad
1. Green District
2. bar Vetti
3. Vinaigrette Salad Kitchen

Best Steakhouse
1. Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse
2. Le Moo
3. Pat’s Steakhouse

Best Sushi
1. Sapporo Japanese Grill & Sushi
2. Dragon King’s Daughter
3. Oishii Sushi

Best Taco
1. El Taco Luchador
2. Agave & Rye
3. Taco City Louisville

Best Takeout
1. Gold Bar
2. Simply Thai
3. Rubbies Southside Grill & Bar

Best Thai Restaurant
1. Simply Thai
2. Time 4 Thai
3. Thai Cafe

Best Vegetarian Restaurant
1. V-Grits
2. Heart & Soy
3. Naive

Best Vietnamese Restaurant
1. Vietnam Kitchen
2. NamNam Cafe
3. Eatz Vietnamese Restaurant

Best Wings
1. Momma’s Mustard, Pickles & BBQ
2. The Back Door
3. Rubbies Southside Grill & Bar

DRINKS

Best Bartender
1. Eron Plevan, Gold Bar
2. Kenny Andreozzi, Commonwealth Tap
3. Tie: Travis Phelps, Play and Dante Wheat, The 502 Bar & Bistro

Best Bar: Butchertown
1. Gold Bar
2. High Horse
3. Odeon

Best Bar: Downtown
1. Proof on Main
2. Meta
3. Expo

Best Bar: East Louisville
1. Commonwealth Tap
2. Blind Squirrel
3. Joe’s Older than Dirt

Best Bar: Germantown/Schnitzelburg
1. The Pearl of Germantown
2. Monnik Beer Co.
3. Nachbar

Best Bar: Clifton/Crescent Hill
1. Hilltop Tavern
2. The Silver Dollar
3. Tie: The Hub and Bourbons Bistro

Best Bar: Highlands
1. Big Bar
2. The Back Door
3. O’Shea’s 

Best Bar: NuLu
1. Taj Louisville
2. Galaxie
3. Decca

Best Bar: South Louisville
1. Rubbies Southside Grill & Bar
2. Spectators Sports Bar & Grill
3. Hoops Grill & Sports Bar

Best Bar: St. Matthews
1. Gerstle’s Place
2. Saint’s Pizza and Pub
3. Diamond Pub & Billiards

Best Bar: West End
1. Syl’s Lounge
2. Tie: Cavaliers Inn, Club Cedar and The Palm Room

Best Hotel Bar
1. Pin + Proof — Omni Louisville Hotel
2. Proof on Main — 21c Museum Hotel
3. Lobby Bar — The Brown Hotel

Best Beer List
1. Sergio’s World Beers
2. Holy Grale
3. World of Beer

Best Bourbon List
1. Silver Dollar
2. Bourbons Bistro
3. Commonwealth Tap

Best Local Brewery
1. Gravely Brewing Co.
2. Monnik Beer Co.
3. Mile Wide Beer Co.

Best Local Craft Beer
1. Monnik Beer Co. IPA
2. Citra Ass Down — Against the Grain
3. Debaser — Gravely Brewing Co.

Best Cocktail
1. After the Gold rush — Gold Bar
2. Anything from Hell or High Water
3. Acid Cat — Expo Bar

Best Local Distillery
1. Angel’s Envy
2. Old Forester Distillery
3. Copper & Kings American Brandy Co.

Best Dive Bar
1. The Back Door
2. Nachbar
3. The Pearl of Germantown

Best Wine List
1. Louvino
2. Commonwealth Tap
3.Nouvelle Bar & Bottle

Best Margarita
1. El Mundo
2. Galaxie
3. Havana Rumba

NIGHTLIFE

Best Bar
1. Gold Bar
2. Play
3. Hilltop Tavern

Best Club DJ
1. DJ Sam Sneed
2. Glittertitz DJZ
3. DJ S.y.i.m.o.n.e

Best Gay Bar/Club
1. Play
2. Big Bar
3. Chill Bar

Best Happy Hour
1. Gold Bar
2. Big Bar
3. Chik’n & Mi

Best Neighborhood Bar/Pub
1. Hilltop Tavern
2. Commonwealth Tap
3. Gold Bar

Best New Bar/Club
1. Gold Bar
2. Planet of the Tapes
3. Tie: Noraebar and Toasty’s Tavern

Best Place to Dance
1. Play
2. Barbarella
3. Tie: Seidenfaden’s and Zanzabar

Best Place to Shoot Pool
1. Diamond Pub & Billiards
2. The Back Door
3. Barret Bar

Best Strip Club
1. PT’s Showclub Louisville
2. The Godfather
3. Tie: Trixie’s Entertainment Complex and Deja Vu

MEDIA

Best Local Instagram
1. Teaz Salon, @teazsalonlouisvilleky
2. JCP Eats, @jcpeats
3. Louisville’s IG Community, @igerslouisville

Best Local Blog
1. Raw Pineapples
2. Card Chronicle
3. JCP Eats

Best Local Podcast
1. Crazy Zen Life
2. Bardstown
3.Bourbon and Bloodshed

Best Local Publication
1. LEO Weekly
2. The Courier Journal
3. The Voice-Tribune

Best Local Radio Personality
1. Terry Meiners
2. Ben Davis & Kelly K.
3. Matt Jones

Best Local Radio Station
1. 91.9 WFPK
2. 89.3 WFPL
3. 99.7 DJX

Best Local TV Personality
1. Dawne Gee
2. Marc Weinberg
3. Doug Proffitt

Best Local TV Station
1. WDRB 41
2. WAVE 3
3. WHAS 11

Best Local Website
1. Card Chronicle
2. LEO Weekly
3. WDRB

Best Place to Pick up a LEO Weekly
1. Heine Brothers’ Coffee
2. Safai Coffee
3. Rainbow Blossom Natural Food Markets


Best Twitter Feed
1. Mike Rutherford, @CardChronicle
2. @LydiaBurrell
3. Tie: 502 Hemp Wellness Center, @502hemp and Joe Sonka,@joesonka

Best Local Writer
1. Dante Wheat
2. Joe Gerth
3. Taylor Riley

Other

Best Local Activist
1. Charles Booker
2. Hannah Drake
3. Jecorey Arthur

Best Local Athlete
1. Lamar Jackson
2. Rajon Rondo
3. Tie: Justin Thomas and Donovan Mitchell

Best Place to Worship
1. Southeast Christian Church
2. Highland Baptist Church
3. Nature

Best Place You Wish had Never Gone out of Business
1. ear X-tacy
2. North End Cafe
3. Rye on Market

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