March 15, 2007


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Concord Publisher's Note: Simply the best
By Dan Szczesny

This week, for the first time, Hippo’s annual readers’ Best of Everything survey has expanded into Concord, and with some interesting and surprising results.

First, a little background. Since 2001, Hippo has opened its pages once a year to our readers, and asked all of you to tell us what you like the most, from restaurants, to entertainment, to salons and everything in between. It’s a great opportunity for readers to participate in the kind of reporting we are honored to do every day.

There are no editors’ choices here. Votes are cast by the readers — consumers all — who actively use, participate, eat at and listen to all the wonderful establishments southern New Hampshire has to offer. This year, for example, thousands of you wrote to us or signed on to to vote.

The readers’ poll is a lot of work — just ask the folks who pored over all the ballots and tallied up the numbers. But it’s worth it. Each year, it’s fascinating to see what businesses, galleries and people are having the most impact, and making the most difference in the lives of those who use them.

What do the winners win? Well, they will get a certificate of course, but more important than that is the knowledge that what they are doing and the way they are doing it works. Keep it up!

There were quite a few mainstays that seem to win every year, that just keep on pleasing people. The Red Arrow in Manchester just keeps winning best breakfast and the Puritan, also in Manchester, always seems to have the favorite chicken tenders.

This year, though, we opened the voting up a bit, making it a regional contest, and we were pleased to see just how many votes came rolling in for Concord businesses. It speaks well of the continued revitalization of Concord that so many people took the time to tout the city’s many accomplishments.

Some stand-outs include:
• The Draft. The new sports bar topped many Concord favorite lists, including beer selection, cocktails, french fries, pizza, best overall new eatery and best restaurant overall. Not bad for the new kid on the block. Apparently, despite the sports bar’s rocky start, many, many of you love the place. By the way, The Draft also won best place to take a date and best make-out place, which when you think about it makes sense.
• The Yellow Sub. This tiny, look-close-or-you’ll-miss-it drive-by is one of my favorites. The unique North Street food shack certainly has earned this honor.
• Kaleidoscope Children’s Museum. Another new business topped the list of your favorites as the best place to take your kids.
• 55 Degrees. Speaking of new places, 55 Degrees’ wine list was voted the best Concord has to offer.

The fact that there are so many new places on this year’s Best Of list bodes well for Concord. It’s a changing city, but changing for the better. Congratulations to all our winners, and thank you to all our readers for telling us what you like the best