Best of Independent Toronto

Last week NOW Magazine's annual Best of Toronto issue hit the streets. Although they did a better job than past years uncovering some of what makes Toronto great; we were also subjected to some questionable choices like Blockbuster (as Best DVD/Video Store) and the Mandarin (Best Chinese Restaurant).

It was enough to tear us away from our computer monitors (if only momentarily) and floss, only then to return to the blog and announce the launch of a poll of our own that we've decided to call The Best of Independent Toronto.

After all, why let the free weeklies have all the fun? And what better way to recognize the efforts of some of the finest entrepreneurs, artists, chefs and other talent Toronto has to offer.

We'll unveil the online voting in a few weeks, but for now we're opening it up to nominations. Just post a comment below or send an email to us at with your nominees for any of the following categories.

Note: We know this isn't an exhaustive list, but for now we've decided to limit this poll to the following 50 categories, in the areas of Eat&Drink, Arts, Film, Music and Fashion&Style.

Eat & Drink
1. Best Roti
2. Best Pad Thai
3. Best Sushi
4. Best Korean Restaurant
5. Best Burrito
6. Best Late-Night Chinese Food
7. Best Pizza
8. Best Burger
9. Best Falafel
10. Best Latin-American Food
11. Best Indian Restaurant
12. Best Pho
13. Best Salad
14. Best Baked Goods
15. Best Take-Out
16. Best New Restaurant (new in 2005)
17. Best Brunch Spot
18. Best Cafe
19. Best Health Food Store
20. Best Bulk Food
21. Best Fish Store
22. Best Place to Take Cooking Classes
23. Best New Bar (new in 2005)
24. Best Karaoke Bar

25. Best Local DJ
26. Best Live Music Venue
27. Best Place to Go Dancing
28. Best After-Hours Club
29. Best Local Band (Unsigned)
30. Best CD/Record Store (New)
31. Best CD/Record Store (Used)

Art & Film
32. Best Rep Cinema
33. Best Video Rental Store
34. Best Art Gallery
35. Best Art Supply Store
36. Best Bookstore
37. Best Place to See a Play

Fashion & Style
38. Best Men's Clothing Store
39. Best Women's Clothing Store
40. Best Vintage Clothing Store
41. Best T-shirt Store
42. Best Shoe Store
43. Best Bike Store
44. Best Skate/Snowboard Shop
45. Best Place to Buy an iPod
46. Best Furniture Store (New)
47. Best Furniture Store (Used)
48. Best Fitness Club
49. Best Yoga Studio
50. Best Hair Salon

The nomination period will remain open until 11:59 PM on November 14th.

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