comScore

Best of

the Twin Cities

BEST OPEN BAR/PATIO

The Liffey

The era of the smoking ban here in the Twin Cities produced an unlikely by-product: Can anyone remember a year that saw a bigger proliferation of patios at drinking establishments across the metro? Some, of course, were nothing but makeshift shanties, little awnings propped up above back doors that open to parking lots. Not to say these weren't welcome—a smoker's got to smoke when a smoker drinks. But others were more adventurous. The folks at the Monte Carlo in downtown Minneapolis, for instance, should get credit for building a lush, inviting patio in what was essentially a blocked-off alley just a year ago. But for a truly elegant patio experience, the Liffey, the Irish pub in downtown St. Paul by the Xcel Energy Center, wins hands-down. The rooftop patio has what is perhaps the best view of St. Paul just about anywhere in the city, offering glimpses of the downtown skyline, the Cathedral of St. Paul, and even the state Capitol. More than that, the rooftop is smartly laid-out with a spacious, oval-shaped stainless steel bar in the center, and high tables scattered throughout. Short concrete walls create sections within the patio's layout, making for an intimate setting that somehow never seems crowded. The end result is a place that seems far away from the regular patio fare in the Twin Towns, and the Liffey's generous selection of tap beer and underrated food make it a pleasure to linger. And, oh yeah, you can smoke there, too.

Best Irish Pub (2009) The Liffey

BEST ACOUSTIC PERFORMER House of Mercy

BEST ACTOR (FEMALE)

BEST ACTOR (MALE) Bob Malos

BEST AM RADIO PERSONALITY T.D. Mischke

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BEST ARCHITECTURAL RENOVATION OF AN OLD BUILDING Franklin Community Library

BEST ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE Art+Architecture

BEST AREA PREMIERE Take Me Out

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BEST BARISTA Espresso Royale

BEST BARTENDER Michel Bechara

BEST BEACH Lake Harriet

BEST BIKE TRAIL Elm Creek Park Reserve

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BEST BLOG (RIGHT-WING) Nihilist in Golf Pants

BEST BLOG (SPECIALTY) MN Beer

BEST BOONDOGGLE

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BEST BOXER Jason Litzau

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BEST CAREER MOVE Kirby Puckett

BEST CHARITY Minnesota AIDS Project

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BEST CHOREOGRAPHER Uri Sands

BEST CLUB DJ Karl Frankowski And Jeff Dubois

BEST COACH John Gagliardi

BEST COLLEGE ATHLETE Cole Konrad

BEST COLUMNIST Katherine Kersten

BEST COMMUNITY-BUILDING CAFE LoTo - CLOSED

BEST CORPORATE CITIZEN Kevin Garnett

BEST CRIMINAL Joshua Gardner

BEST DANCER Mary Ann Bradley

BEST DAY TRIP Winona Sugarloaf

BEST DIRECTOR Peter Rothstein

BEST FISHING HOLE Northeast Tip of Pike Island

BEST FM RADIO PERSONALITY Dan Donovan

BEST GADFLY Ed Morrissey

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BEST GOLF COURSE Inver Wood Golf Course

BEST GYM YWCA

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BEST HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE Tayler Hill

BEST HIP-HOP ARTIST I Self Devine

BEST HIP-HOP DJ Willy Lose

BEST JAZZ ARTIST Phil Hey

BEST LIBRARY Minneapolis Central Library

BEST LIVE ARTIST Birthday Suits

BEST LOCAL BOY GONE BAD Dean Zimmerman

BEST LOCAL BOY MADE GOOD Dante Culpepper

BEST LOCAL CHEF Tim McKee

BEST LOCAL GIRL GONE BAD Nicole Helget

BEST LOCAL GIRL MADE GOOD Nicole Helget

BEST LOFT OR CONDO PROJECT Le Parisien Flats and Marketplace

BEST LYNX PLAYER Nicole Ohlde

BEST MAKEOVER OF A TV PERSONALITY Cyndy Brucato

BEST MAYOR Randy Kelly

BEST NEW NAME FOR COON RAPIDS

BEST PICNIC SPOT Prospect Park Water Tower's observation deck

BEST PLACE FOR A FIRST DATE Bryant-Lake Bowl

BEST PLACE TO BIRD-WATCH Avery's Sandhill

BEST PLACE TO CANOE St. Croix River

BEST PLACE TO DROP OFF YOUR KID FOR A WHILE Ikea

BEST PLACE TO DUMP SOMEONE Movie Theatres

BEST PLACE TO GET DUMPED Mall of America

BEST PLACE TO GET LOST WHILE RUNNING ERRANDS Bauer Brothers Salvage

BEST PLACE TO HIKE Interstate State Park

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BEST PLACE TO JOG

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BEST PLACE TO TAKE OUT OF TOWN GUESTS Minnehaha Park and Falls

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BEST POLITICIAN Mike Hatch

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BEST R&B ARTIST Mick Sterling

BEST REASON NOT TO MOVE TO THE 'BURBS

BEST ROMANTIC BIKE RIDE Midtown Greenway

BEST SIGN OF SPRING

BEST SIGNAGE Murray's Restaurant And Cocktail Lounge

BEST SONGWRITER P.O.S.

BEST SPORTS TALK RADIO HOST Dan Barreiro

BEST STATE FAIR ATTRACTION 4-H Competition

BEST STRIP CLUB The Double Deuce

BEST SUBURBAN LAKE AREA Square Lake Park

BEST TENNIS COURTS Bassett Creek Park

BEST THUNDER PLAYER Brett Branan

BEST TIMBERWOLVES PLAYER Kevin Garnett

BEST TV NEWSCASTER Julie Nelson

BEST TV SPORTS ANCHOR Eric Perkins

BEST TV WEATHERPERSON Paul Douglas

BEST TWINS PLAYER Carlos Silva

BEST VILLAIN Tim Pawlenty

BEST VOCALIST (FEMALE)

BEST VOCALIST (MALE) Robert Robinson's

BEST WEEKEND GETAWAY Superior Hiking Trail