January 3, 2012

Readers' Choice

Mainers pick favorites in more categories than ever in our annual poll.

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 3)

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Nemo Burian hoists a freshly baked potato, bacon and scallion pizza at Otto Pizza on Congress Street in Portland, the Readers Choice winner for best pizza.

Photos by John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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Stylist Jessica Parzych, right, takes care of Krista Wood of South Portland at Head Games Salon for Hair & Body in Portland, the readers favorite for best hair and nail salon.

Additional Photos Below

Related headlines

All karaoke, all the time. Well, not all the time, but Sunday through Thursday anyway. With DJ Don Corman and DJ Mike Mahoney.

Sea Dog Brewing Company

Various locations

seadogbrewing.com

A wide assortment of beer selections might make the karaoke sound even better. It couldn't hurt.

Second Place: Asylum, Portland

Honorable Mention: None 

BEST MOVIE THEATER

Nickelodeon

1 Temple St., Portland

772-9751; patriotcinemas.com/nickelodeon.html

In this day and age, there's something very cool about being able to see first-run films right downtown. They have a good selection of art-house films as well.

Second Place: Cinemagic, Westbrook

Honorable Mention: Cinemagic, Saco 

BEST DRIVE-IN

Saco Drive-In

969 Portland Road, Saco

284-1016

This venerable drive-in on Route 1 is run by a group of University of Southern Maine business students. Talk about a "reel" world education.

Second Place: Prides Corner Drive-In, Westbrook

Honorable Mention: Bridgton Twin Drive-In, Bridgton 

BEST PERFORMANCE ARTS THEATER

Maine State Music Theatre

Pickard Theatre, 1 Bath Road, Brunswick

725-8769; msmt.org

This theater traces its roots to the 1950s and the Brunswick Summer Playhouse. As Maine State Music Theatre, it puts on some of the greatest musicals of all time every year.

Second Place: Portland Stage, Portland

Honorable Mention: Merrill Auditorium, Portland 

BEST LIGHTHOUSE

Portland Head Light

1000 Shore Road, Cape Elizabeth

799-2661; portlandheadlight.com

The first time you see Portland Head Light, you say, "Oh yeah, I've seen this before." Its image is on postcards, calendars and all manner of trinkets. Basically, when photographers want a picture of the perfect lighthouse, this is where they go.

Second Place: Two Lights, Cape Elizabeth

Honorable Mention: Bug Light, South Portland 

BEST SUMMER FESTIVAL

Yarmouth Clam Festival

clamfestival.com

Over the past 46 years, this event has grown into one of Maine's signature summer moments. There's the parade, the clam shucking contest and the Diaper Derby. Oh yeah, and of course, boat-loads of clams to eat.

Second Place: Old Port Festival, Portland

Honorable Mention: Maine Lobster Festival, Rockland

BEST BOWLING ALLEY

Bayside Bowl

58 Alder St., Portland

791-2695; baysidebowl.com

This bowling alley has become the hip place in Portland during the past couple of years. Yes, there's bowling, but there's also a bar, pub food and a live music space. So you really never have to leave.

Second Place: Yankee Lanes, Portland

Honorable Mention: Big 20 Bowling Center, Scarborough 

BEST AMUSEMENT PARK

Funtown Splashtown USA

774 Portland Road (U.S. Route 1), Saco

284-5139; funtownusa.com

Two parks in one -- a traditional amusement park and a water park. Hard to beat that combo. Plus, it has one of the best radio jingles ever.

Second Place: Palace Playland, Old Orchard Beach

Honorable Mention: Aquaboggan, Saco 

BEST MUSEUM

Portland Museum of Art

7 Congress Square, Portland

775-6148; portlandmuseum.org

The Portland Museum of Art is consistently rated one of the best art museums around, and it's a big tourist draw as well. Check out the John Marin show on display through Oct. 10.

Second Place: Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine, Portland

Honorable Mention: Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland 

BEST ART GALLERY

Portland Museum of Art

7 Congress Square, Portland

775-6148; portlandmuseum.org

A great place to see art is a great place to see art. No matter what you call it.

Second Place (TIE): Greenhut Galleries, Portland; Space Gallery, Portland

Honorable Mention: None 

BEST BOOKSTORE

Borders

430 Gorham Road, South Portland

If you like Borders, you'd better hurry -- it's going out of business. For years, Borders was the "go-to" store for people looking for books and music. Lucky for Maine, there are great independent bookstores around to fill the void.

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Additional Photos

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Bayside Bowl in Portland is the Readers Choice winner for best bowling alley. It also has a bar, pub food and a performance space.

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The Lobster Shack at Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth wins the most votes from readers for the best lobster roll and for best outdoor dining.

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Novare Res Bier Cafe in Portland is the top vote-getter for best bar.

Staff file photo

20110430_DriveIn
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University of Southern Maine students Ry Russell, left, Tyler Wells and Patric Brophy run the Saco Drive-In, awinner with readers.

Staff file photo

  


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