2013 Best of Truckee and North Tahoe Contest Winners

Below, you will find the 2013 Best of Truckee and North Tahoe Contest Winners, as reported by Truckee's awesome newspaper, the Sierra Sun.

Each year, the staff from the Sierra Sun and the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza conduct an online-only contest in 80 different categories. (up from 68 categories in previous years) Locals and visitors can vote during a three week period, and the results of the contest are announced in June.

This contest is great, because it allows people to recognize great businesses and individuals, and their great accomplishments. It also gives visitors or vacationers to Truckee and North Tahoe, who might not be familiar with the area, some great recommendations to start with.

Feel free to SHARE YOUR FAVORITES with the Truckee Travel Guide website, and become a part of the website!!!

Congratulations to ALL the winners!!


West End Beach at Donner Lake, in Truckee, California


Best Food and Drink

Best Asian Food:
Total submissions: 263

1. Dragonfly Restaurant (Truckee): 73
2. Drunken Monkey (Truckee): 48 
3. Thai Nakorn (Truckee): 32


Best Bakery:
Total submissions: 321

1. Treat Box (Truckee): 97
2. Tahoe House Bakery & Gourmet (Tahoe City): 93 
3. Sugar Pine Cakery (South Tahoe): 30


Best Bar:
Total submissions: 422

1. Cottonwood Restaurant & Bar (Truckee): 82
2. Bar of America (Truckee): 45
3. Moody's Bistro, Bar & Beats (Truckee): 39


Best Barbecue:
Total submissions: 178

1. Smokey's Kitchen (Truckee): 102
2. T's Mesquite Rotisserie (Incline Village): 16
3. Dockside 700 (Tahoe City): 8


Best Breakfast:
Total submissions: 511

1. Squeeze In (Truckee): 129
2. Fire Sign Cafe (Sunnyside) 97
3. Jax on the Tracks (Truckee): 62


Best Burger:
Total submissions: 436

1. Burger Me (Truckee): 159
2. Cottonwood Restaurant & Bar (Truckee): 51
3. The Bridgetender (Tahoe City): 41


Best Deli:
Total submissions: 399

1. Full Belly Deli (Truckee): 276
2. Tahoe House Bakery & Gourmet (Tahoe City): 16
3. New Moon Natural Foods (Truckee/Tahoe City): 14


Best Expresso/Coffee:
Total submissions: 452

1. Coffeebar (Truckee): 240
2. Wild Cherries Coffee House (Truckee) 46 
3. Tahoe House Bakery & Gourmet (Tahoe City): 44


Best Fast Food:
Total submissions: 298

1. Burger Me (Truckee): 57
2. Bill's Rotisserie (Truckee): 52
3. Full Belly Deli (Truckee): 19



Best Fine Dining:
Total submissions: 465

1. Cottonwood Restaurant & Bar (Truckee): 72
2. Stella (Truckee): 57
3. Trokay Cafe (Truckee): 52


Best Happy Hour:
Total submissions: 391

1. Cottonwood Restaurant & Bar (Truckee): 85
2. The River Grill (Tahoe City): 46
3. Blue Coyote Bar and Grill (Truckee): 30


Best Ice Cream Parlor:
Total submissions: 172

1. Susie Scoops (Incline Village): 37 
2. Bud's Ice Cream (multiple locations): 28
3. Cake Tahoe (Truckee): 23


Best Mexican Food:
Total submissions: 412

1. Tacos Jalisco (Truckee): 120
2. Casa Baeza (Truckee): 42
3. El Toro Bravo (Truckee): 40


Best Outdoor Dining:
Total submissions: 413

1. Cottonwood Restaurant & Bar (Truckee): 130
2. Sunnyside Restaurant & Lodge (Sunnyside): 59
3. River Grill (Tahoe City): 18


Best Overall Restaurant:
Total submissions: 423

1. Cottonwood Restaurant & Bar (Truckee): 67
2. Moody's Bistro, Bar & Beats (Truckee): 25
3. Pianeta Ristorante (Truckee): 22


Best Pizza:
Total submissions: 427

1. Best Pies Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant (Truckee): 110 
2. West Side Pizza (Tahoma): 54 
3. Zano's Family Italian & Pizzeria (Truckee): 37


Best Restaurant View:
Total submissions: 441

1. Cottonwood Restaurant & Bar (Truckee): 155
2. Sunnyside Restaurant & Lodge (Sunnyside): 82
3. Christy Hill (Tahoe City): 39


Best Steak:
Total submissions: 228

1. Old Range Steakhouse (Tahoe Vista): 46
2. Cottonwood Restaurant & Bar (Truckee): 45
3. Moody's Bistro, Bar & Beats (Truckee): 16


Best Sushi:
Total submissions: 432

1. Drunken Monkey (Truckee): 120
2. Java Sushi (Truckee): 55
3. Dragonfly Restaurant (Truckee): 54


Best Vegetarian/Natural Food:
Total submissions: 236

1. New Moon Natural Foods (Truckee/Tahoe City): 142
2. Uncommon Kitchen (Tahoe City): 47
3. Sprouts (South Tahoe): 6


Best Business

Best Auto Shop/Garage:
Total submissions: 245

t-1. Ward and Sons Automotive (Truckee): 46 
t-1. The Auto & Tire Doctor (Truckee): 46 
t-3. Moore Automotive (Truckee): 21 
t-3. Stone's Country Tire (Truckee): 21


Best Bank:
Total submissions: 279

1. Bank of the West (various locations): 71
2. Plumas Bank (various locations): 58
3. Wells Fargo (various locations): 48


Best Bike Shop:
Total submissions: 217

1. Paco's Truckee Bike and Ski (Truckee): 59
2. Olympic Bike Shop (Tahoe City): 41
3. The Backcountry (Truckee): 27


Best Casino:
Total submissions: 159

1. Crystal Bay Casino (Crystal Bay): 113
2. Grand Lodge Casino - Hyatt (Incline Village): 18
3. Tahoe Biltmore (Crystal Bay): 9


Best Catering:
Total submissions: 148

1. Full Belly Deli (Truckee): 32
2. D'Lish Catering (Tahoe City): 22
3. Crest Cafe and Catering (Alpine Meadows): 16


Best Clothing Store:
Total submissions: 215

1. Dressed Boutique (Truckee): 46
2. Mo, Jo & Zoe (Truckee): 38
3. Nox (Truckee): 13


Best Fishing Charter:
Total submissions: 45

1. Mickey's Big Mack Charters (Carnelian Bay): 21 
2. Captain Chris' Fishing Charters (Tahoe City): 5
3. Chuck's Charter Fishing (Carnelian Bay): 4


Best Fitness Club:
Total submissions: 327

1. Asante Lakeside Fitness (Tahoe City): 46 
2. Performance Fitness (Truckee): 43 
3. CrossFit Jibboom (Truckee): 40


Best Gallery:
Total submissions: 147

1. Gallery Keoki (Olympic Valley): 35
2. Riverside Studios (Truckee): 30 
3. Carmel Gallery (Truckee): 28


Best Garden Supply/Nursery:
Total submissions: 205

1. Villager Nursery (Truckee): 79 
2. Tahoe Tree Company (Tahoe City): 58
3. Perennial Nursery (Tahoe Vista): 14


Best Gift Shop:
Total submissions: 171

1. Bespoke (Truckee): 51
2. Riverside Studios (Truckee): 24 
3. Panache (Incline Village): 7


Best Hair Salon:
Total submissions: 262

1. Urban Angels Salon (Truckee): 80 
2. Bella Vita (Tahoe City): 24
3. Mane Attraction (Truckee): 23


Best Hardware Store:
Total submissions: 327

1. Mountain Ace Hardware (Truckee): 180 
2. Ace Hardware (Incline Village): 76 
3. Swigard's True Value Hardware (Tahoe City): 33


Best Jewelry:
Total submissions: 194

1. Lorien Powers Studio Jewelry (Truckee): 59 
2. Riverside Studios (Truckee): 30 
3. Bluestone Jewelry (Tahoe City/Truckee): 23


Best Landscape Company:
Total submissions: 148

1. Blide Landscape Construction (Truckee): 38 
2. Rock & Rose Landscape (Truckee): 18
3. Green Envy (Tahoe City): 16


Best Marina:
Total submissions: 100

1. Tahoe City Marina (Tahoe City): 40
2. Obexer's Boat Company (Homewood): 13 
3. Sunnyside Marina & Storage (Sunnyside): 10


Best Martial Arts:
Total submissions: 41

1. Tahoe Mountain Martial Arts & Yoga (Truckee): 16 
2. Revolution Athletics (Truckee): 7 
3. Charles Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy (Truckee): 4


Best Massage:
Total submissions: 205

1. Truckee Massage (Truckee): 24 
2. Zenergy Massage and Wellness (Truckee): 18
3. Clearwater Day Spa (Tahoe City): 15


Best Media Company/PR Firm/Newspaper:
Total submissions: 148

1. Sierra Sun: 48
2. Moonshine Ink: 45
3. North Lake Tahoe Bonanza: 8


Best Nail Salon:
Total submissions: 121

1. Sassy Nail Salon and Spa (Truckee): 44
2. T & T Nails (Truckee): 33 
3. Unique Nail Salon (Tahoe City): 9


Best Nonprofit:
Total submissions: 410

1. Humane Society of Truckee Tahoe: 158
2. High Fives Foundation: 114
3. Disabled Sports USA Far West: 8


Best Ski/Board Shop:
Total submissions: 295

1. Tahoe Dave's Skis and Boards (Kings Beach, Tahoe City, Olympic Valley): 83
2. Totally Board (Truckee): 36 
3. Porters Sports Lake Tahoe (Tahoe City, Truckee): 33


Best Sporting Goods:
Total submissions: 94

1. Mountain Ace Hardware (Truckee): 40
2. Truckee Sports Exchange (Truckee): 32
3. Alpenglow Sports (Tahoe City): 22


Best Tattoo:
Total submissions: 178

1. Lucky 7 Tattoo & Piercing (Kings Beach): 55
2. Truth Tattoo (Truckee): 23
3. Smiley's Tattoo (Truckee): 7


Best Taxi Company:
Total submissions: 116

t-1. High Sierra Taxi: 29 
t-1. Truckee River Taxi: 29
t-2. Bluebird Taxi: 13 
t-2. Fast Taxi: 13


Best Veterinary Clinic:
Total submissions: 209

1. Sierra Pet Clinic (Truckee): 41
2. Burton Creek Veterinary Clinic (Tahoe City): 40
3. Wendy Robinson Holistic Veterinarian Services (Tahoe City): 32



Best People

Best Auto Mechanic:
Total submissions: 149

1. Dave Ward, Ward and Sons Automotive (Truckee): 39 
2. Clint Borden, The Auto and Tire Doctor (Truckee): 21
3. Justin Moore, Moore Automotive (Truckee): 15


Best Bank Teller:
Total submissions: 89

1. Tyler Lightcap, Wells Fargo: 15
t-2. Patricia Ross, Plumas Bank: 12
t-2. Annie Hay, Bank of the West: 12
3. Jesee Whorton, Bank of the West: 9


Best Barista:
Total submissions: 112

1. Greg Bucheister, CoffeeBar (Truckee): 15
t-2. Beth Keech, Coffeebar (Truckee): 11
t-2. Casey Detweiler, Trokay Cafe (Truckee): 11
t-2. Raelynd Tamove, Coffeebar (Truckee): 11


Best Bartender:
Total submissions: 242

1. Christopher St. Martin, Cottonwood Restaurant & Bar (Truckee): 25 
2. Stacy Breen, Blue Coyote (Truckee): 23
3. Sara Sarrett, Moody's Bistro, Bar & Beats (Truckee): 13


Best Boss:
Total submissions: 220

1. Mike Blide, Cottonwood Restaurant & Bar (Truckee): 18
2. Johnny Ourand, Blue Coyote (Truckee): 15
3. Eric Gwiazdowski, Rubicon Pizza Co. (Northstar): 14


Best Chef:
Total submissions: 177

1. Billy McCullough, Dragonfly (Truckee): 21 
2. Dave Smith, Cottonwood (Truckee): 18
3. Douglas Dale, Wolfdale's (Tahoe City): 15


Best Dentist:
Total submissions: 157

1. Dr. Bob Colpitts (Truckee): 24 
2. Dr. Kyle Adams (Truckee): 15
3. Dr. Matthew Gustaffson (Truckee): 13


Best Doctor:
Total submissions: 142

1. Dr. Tim Lombard (Truckee): 10 
2. Dr. Greg Tirdel (Truckee): 7
3. Dr. Joanna Koch (Incline Village): 6


Best Hair Stylist: 
Total submissions: 215

1. Nicola Burns, Nicola B. Hair Studio (Truckee): 10
t-2. Diana Alouise, Shampoo Hair & Makeup Studio (Truckee): 9
t-2. Katy McClure, The Balcony Hair Salon (Tahoe City): 9
t-2. Nina Pivorotto, Urban Angels (Truckee): 9


Best Insurance Agent:
Total submissions: 81

1. Tony Commendatore, Aegis Insurance (Truckee): 10 
2. Roxanne Duffield, State Farm Insurance (Tahoe City): 9
3. Mike Menath, Mike Menath Insurance (Incline Village): 8


Best Local Artist:
Total submissions: 157

1. Lorien Powers: 13 
2. Sara Zimmerman: 9
3. Alanna Hughes: 8


Best Local Attorney:
Total submissions: 92

1. Richard Mosbly: 12 
2. Alison Bermant: 8
3. Jim Porter: 6


Best Local Musician:
Total submissions: 153

1. Brian Hess: 19 
2. Jenni Charles: 9
3. Dead Winter Carpenters: 8



Best Massage Therapist:
Total submissions: 167

1. Amber Defazio, Zenergy Wellness Spa (Truckee): 11
2. Richard Leversee, Deep Well Being (Truckee): 10
3. Jamie Gemme, Gem Mountain Massage (Truckee): 9


Best Nurse:
Total submissions: 94

1. Lindsey St. Martin: 5 
t-2. Colleen Wilford: 3
t-2. Kim Manning: 3


Best Ski Patroller:
Total submissions: 112

1. Vince Arthuer, Northstar: 9
2. Wes Schimmelfennig, Squaw Valley: 7
3. Jimmy Roberts, Sugar Bowl Ski Resort 6


Best Teacher:
Total submissions: 162

1. Vicki Isacowitz, Clever Minds Learning Center: 8
2. Diane Welch, Sierra Expeditionary Learning School: 5
3. Abbie Stewart, Kings Beach Elementary: 4


Best Volunteer:
Total submissions: 101

1. Emily Watt: 5
t-2. Cliff Costa: 3
t-2. Dick and Nileta Morton: 3


Best Wait Person:
Total submissions: 179

1. Cory Pevera, Blue Coyote (Truckee): 23 
2. Alicia McCann, Cottonwood (Truckee): 13
3. Craig Kimura, Moody's (Truckee): 12



Best Places / Events

Best Beach:
Total submissions: 264

1. Sand Harbor: 32
2. Moon Dunes Beach: 29 
3. Hidden Beach: 27


Best Concert Venue:
Total submissions: 242

1. Truckee Amphitheater: 88
t-2. Commons Beach, Tahoe City: 50
t-2. Crystal Bay Club: 50
3.  Squaw Valley: 13


Best Place to Bike:
Total submissions: 159

1. Northstar California: 18 
2. Flume Trail: 13
3. Truckee River Bike Trail: 10 


Best Place to Boat:
Total submissions: 161

1. Lake Tahoe: 78 
2. Donner Lake: 21
3. Boca Reservoir: 13


Best Place to Camp:
Total submissions: 126

1. Desolation Wilderness: 22
2. Boca Reservoir: 15 
3. D.L. Bliss State Park: 9 


Best Place to Fish:
Total submissions: 88

1. Truckee River: 46
2. Donner Lake: 14
3. Boca Reservoir: 6


Best Place to Golf:
Total submissions: 164

1. Coyote Moon Golf Course (Truckee): 26 
2. Northstar Golf Course (Truckee): 22 
3. Ponderosa Golf Course (Truckee): 17


Best Place to Hike:
Total submissions: 205

1. Tahoe Rim Trail: 32
2. Desolation Wilderness: 31
3. Donner Summit: 14


Best Place to People Watch:
Total submissions: 251

1. Truckee Thursdays: 45
2. Downtown Truckee: 25
3. Village at Squaw Valley: 22


Best Place to Picnic:
Total submissions: 126

1. Donner Lake Docks: 37 
2. Commons Beach in Tahoe City: 13
3. Burnt Cedar Beach: 5


Best Place to Ski/Ride:
Total submissions: 324

1. Squaw Valley: 100
2. Alpine Meadows: 82 
3. Northstar California: 59 


Best Place to Snowmobile:
Total submissions: 54

t-1. Blackwood Canyon: 8 
t-1. Jackson Meadows: 8 
2. Castle Peak: 6


Best Place to Take a Date:
Total submissions: 175 

1. Cottonwood Restaurant & Bar (Truckee): 32
2. The Soule Domain (Brockway): 13
3. Pianeta Ristorante (Truckee): 11


Best Summer Event:
Total submissions: 344

1. Truckee Thursdays (Truckee): 110
2. Concerts at Commons Beach (Tahoe City): 37
3. Concerts at the Park (Truckee): 30 


Best Winter Event:
Total submissions: 208

1. SnowFest!: 71
2. Rahlves Banzai Tour: 18
3. Pain McShlonkey: 13


Congratulations to All the Winners and Runners-Up!!

Many thanks to the staff of the Sierra Sun and the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza for conducting the 2013 Best of Truckee and North Lake Tahoe Contest!!


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