We heard that there was some sort of other election in 2012 but the one that was most far ranging in decision-making was when our readers were asked to pick the Tops of the Town.

A self-addressed postage paid ballot was published in our October 2012 issue. The ballot also appeared on our website. More than 150 were returned.

Winners listed had to receive a certain cluster of votes based on the overall number of votes cast. In categories where the votes were too dispersed to show a clear choice the category was eliminated. Second and third places were included whenever the vote totals fell within the cluster. Wherever there seemed to be an overt case at ballot stuffing the votes were eliminated. (Fortunately there was not much of that.) The end product is our annual list of readers’ picks. Some win every year; some are new to the list. All reflect what’s on the mind of our readers. To us they are all Tops of the Town.


New Orleanian of the Year

1) Tom Benson
2) Drew Brees

New Orleanian I Admire Most (male)
1) Drew Brees
2) Tom Benson

New Orleanian I admire most (female)
1) Stacy Head
2) Sally-Ann Roberts

Favorite Politician
1) Mitch Landrieu
2) Bobby Jindal

Favorite New Orleans Musician (living in the city)
1) Kermit Ruffins
2) Dr. John

Favorite New Orleans Musician (living outside the city)
1) Harry Connick Jr.

Favorite Local Band
1) Rebirth Brass Band

Favorite Local New Orleans Actor/Actress
1) Becky Allen
2) Bryan Batt

Favorite Saints Player
1) Drew Brees

Favorite Hornets Player
1) Anthony Davis

Favorite Local TV News Anchor
1) Angela Hill

Favorite TV Sports Reporter
1) Jim Henderson

Favorite TV Meterologist
1) Bob Breck
2) Carl Arredondo

Favorite Local Radio Personality
1) John “Spud” McConnell
2) Bobby Hebert

Favorite Local Writer
1) Chris Rose
2) Errol Laborde


Favorite Grocery Store/Deli

1) Rouses Supermarket
2) Whole Foods Market

Favorite Gym
1) Elmwood Fitness Center
2) Anytime Fitness

Favorite Day Spa
1) Belladonna Day Spa
2) H2O Salon & Spa

Favorite Boutique
1) Fleurty Girl

Favorite Antiques Store
1) M.S. Rau Antiques

Favorite Florist
1) Villere’s Florist

Favorite Lawn/Garden Supply
1) Perino’s Garden Center
2) Harold’s Indoor Outdoor Plants

Favorite movie theater
1) Prytania Theatre

2) AMC Elmwood Palace 20

Favorite place to hear live music
1) House of Blues New Orleans
2) Tipitina’s

Favorite happy hour
1) Columns Hotel

Favorite Jazz club
1) Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro

Favorite Museum
1) New Orleans Museum of Art
2) Ogden Museum of Southern Art

Favorite Historical Landmark
1) Jackson Square

Favorite Remolded/Renovated Building
1) Roosevelt New Orleans

Favorite Place to Spot Celebrities
1) French Quarter

Favorite Place to Play Hookey
1) French Quarter

Favorite Golf Course
1) Audubon Park Golf Course
2) English Turn Golf & Country Club

Favorite Weekend Getaway
1) Gulf Shores
2) Biloxi, Miss.

Favorite Up-and-Coming Neighborhood
1) Lakeview
2) Bywater

Favorite Neighborhood in Which to Raise a Family
1) Lakeview
2) Metairie

3) Tremé

Favorite Place to Buy a Wedding Dress
1) Town and Country Bridal Salon & Ladies Apparel
2) Yvonne LaFleur

Favorite Place to Place Your Bets
1) Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots

Favorite Hotel
1) Hotel Monteleone
2) Windsor Court Hotel

Favorite Bed & Breakfast
1) Cornstalk Hotel

Favorite Decision New Orleans Made This Year

1) To fix streets in the French Quarter

Least Favorite Decision New Orleans Made This Year
1) Cutting back The Times-Picayune
2) Raising property taxes

Favorite Local Event Open to the Public
1) French Quarter Festival
2) New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Favorite Work by a Charity, Organization or Group
1) Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana
2) Rau for Art Foundation

Favorite New Orleans Song
1) “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?”
2) “Walking to New Orleans”
3) “They All Asked For You”

Favorite Local Radio Station

Favorite Local TV Station
2) WWL-TV Channel 4

Favorite Festival
1) New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
2) Gretna Heritage Festival

Favorite Carnival Parade
1) Muses
2) Bacchus

Favorite Live Theater
1) Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré
2) Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre

Favorite New Book About New Orleans
1) The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans, by Lawrence N. Powell

Favorite “Treme” Character
1) Antoine Batiste, played by Wendell Pierce

Favorite Charter School
1) Lusher Charter New Orleans

Favorite Private Elementary School
1) St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School
2) Louise S. McGehee School

Favorite Private Secondary/High School
1) Jesuit High School
2) Mount Carmel Academy


Favorite Place to Buy King Cakes

1) Manny Randazzo King Cakes
2) Rouses Supermarket

Favorite Takeout
1) Five Happiness

Favorite Gourmet Takeout
1)Whole Foods Market

Favorite Fried Chicken
1) Popeyes
2) Willie Mae’s Scotch House

Favorite Poor Boys
1) Parkway Bakery & Tavern
2) Domilise’s Po-Boys

Favorite Tacos
1) Felipe’s Taqueria
2) Taqueria Corona

Favorite Sushi
1) Sake Café
2) Little Tokyo Japanese Restaurant

Favorite Wings
1) WOW Café & Wingery
2) Buffalo Wild Wings

Favorite Onion Rings
1) Ye Old College Inn
2) Mandina’s Restaurant

Favorite Snow Balls
1) Plum Street Snoball
2) Sal’s Sno-Ball Stand

3) Hansen’s Sno-Bliz

Favorite Place for Cajun Food

1) Cochon Restaurant
2) Jacque-Imo’s Café

Favorite Place for Creole Food
1) Galatoire’s Restaurant

Favorite Middle Eastern Restaurant
1) Byblos Restaurant
2) Lebanon’s Cafe

Favorite Italian Restaurant
1) Vincent’s Italian Cuisine

2) Irene’s Cuisine (tie)
2) The Italian Barrel (tie)

Favorite Asian Restaurant
1) Five Happiness

Favorite Indian Restaurant
1) Nirvana

Favorite Mexican/Southwest Restaurant
1) Superior Grill
2) Juan’s Flying Burrito

Favorite Seafood Restaurant

1) Drago’s Seafood Restaurant
2) Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill
3) GW Fins
4) The Galley Seafood Restaurant
5) Acme Oyster House

Favorite Place to Get Raw Oysters
1) Acme Oyster House
2) Casamento’s Restaurant

Favorite Place to Get Boiled Crawfish
1) Rouses Supermarket
2) Dennis’ Seafood

Favorite Pizza Restaurant

1) Reginelli’s
2) Slice


Favorite Pizza Topping
1) Pepperoni
2) Cheese

Favorite Restaurant for Steaks

1) Ruth’s Chris Steak House
2) Crescent City Steak House

Favorite Burger
1) Phil’s Grill

2) Yo Mama’s Bar & Grill

3) Cowbell

4) Tru Burger (tie)

4) Port of Call (tie)

Favorite Place for Gumbo

1) Gumbo Shop
2) Commander’s Palace

Favorite Place for Turtle Soup
1) Commander’s Palace
2) Ralph’s on the Park

Favorite Coffeehouse

1) PJ’s Coffee
2) Café Du Monde
Favorite Coffeehouse for Food
1) Caffe! Caffe!
2) Royal Blend Coffee and Tea House


Favorite Dessert Menu
1) Commander’s Palace
2) Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro (tie)
2) Angelo Brocato’s Italian Ice Cream Parlor (tie)

Favorite Bakery
1) Haydel’s Bakery
2) Maurice’s French Pastries
3) Manny Randazzo King Cakes

Favorite Sweet Shop
1) Sucré
2) Blue Frog Chocolates

Favorite Ice Cream/Gelato Shop
1) Angelo Brocato’s Italian Ice Cream Parlor
2) Sucré

Favorite Restaurant for Fine Dining
1) Galatoire’s

Favorite Casual Restaurant
1) Smashburger

Favorite Outdoor Dining
1) Martinique Bistro
2) The Court of Two Sisters

Favorite Restaurant for a Power Lunch
1) Mr. B’s Bistro
2) Ruth’s Chris Steak House (tie)
2) Galatoire’s (tie)

Favorite House Specialty Drink

1) Sazerac at Sazerac Bar
2) Pimm’s Cup at Napoleon House

Favorite place for a Margarita
1) Superior Grill
2) Felipe’s Taqueria
3) Juan’s Flying Burrito

Favorite Wine List
1) Antoine’s

Favorite Sports Bar
1) Walk-On’s
2) Cooter Brown’s Tavern, Grill & Oyster Bar

Favorite Hotel Bar
1) Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone
2) Columns Hotel

Favorite local beer
1) Abita Amber

Favorite French Bread

1) Leidenheimer  

Favorite Place for a Salad
1) Houston’s Restaurant

Favorite Place for Vegetarian Dishes
1) Green Goddess

Favorite Place for Breakfast or Brunch
1) Surrey’s Café & Juice Bar
2) The Court of Two Sisters

Favorite Place for Late-night Dining
1) Camellia Grill 

Cleanest Restaurant
1) Ralph’s on the Park

Favorite Caterer

1) Pigéon Catering


Favorite Chef
1) John Besh

Favorite Restaurant
1) Galatoire’s
2) Ralph’s on the Park

Favorite Restaurant Opened in 2012
1) R’evolution

Favorite Restaurant Worth the Drive
1) Middendorf’s