Best of Eugene 2016-2017

Filching a page from one of the most baffling political campaigns of the modern era, we asked you to help us Make Eugene Great Again by voting in our annual Best of Eugene readers’ poll. The trouble with governing Eugene by consensus is getting a city of punks, losers, college kids, transients, misfits, strays, normals, hillbillies, skippers, artists, techies and hippies to agree on one definition of greatness. Maybe you prefer Eugene to be a dingy crater with reasonable rents. Could be you’d like to see Eugene clean up its act once and for all. Rather than doing much research or studying trends or even lifting a finger to determine the will of the people, we printed (again for the 20th time, or so) a ballot in the pages of our newspaper and waited. And a few thousand of you responded. Some of you maybe even voted your consciences.


Best desserts

1. Sweet Life Patisserie 755 Monroe St., 1609 E. 19th Ave. 683-5676.

2. Noisette Pastry Kitchen 200 W. Broadway. 654-5257.

3. (tie) Market of Choice and Metropol 1060 Green Acres Rd., 344-1901; 1960 Franklin Blvd., 687-1188; 67 W. 29th Ave., 338-8455; 2580 Willakenzie Rd., 345-3349,; 2538 Willamette St., 465-4730,


Best food cart

1. Da Nang Vietnamese Eatery 488 Lincoln St. 915-0144. 

2. Sammitch 591 Willamette. 408-309-2074.

3. Kun Fusion 232-9733.


Best barbecue

1. Papa’s Soul Food Kitchen 400 Blair Blvd. 342-7500.

2. Hole in the Wall 3200 W. 11th Ave., 683-7378; 1807 Olympic St., Spfd., 726-1200.

3. Bill & Tim’s Barbecue 201 E. 13th Ave. 654-0578.


Best burger

1. Cornucopia 295 W. 17th Ave. 485-2300; 207 E. 5th Ave. 485-2300.

2. Killer Burger 50 W. Broadway. 636-4731.

3. Dickie Jo’s 1079-C Valley River. 743-4106.


Best Mexican/Latin American

1. Tacovore 530 Blair Blvd. 735-3518.

2. Chapala Mexican Restaurant 136 Oakway Center. 434-6113; 68 W. 29th Ave. 683-5458.

3. (tie) Membrillo and Belly Taqueria 1530 Willamette St., 458-205-8470; 454 Willamette St., 687-8226,


Best bar grub

1. The Bier Stein 1591 Willamette St. 485-2437.

2. Horsehead 99 W. Broadway. 683-3154.

3. Jackalope 453 Willamette St. 485-1519.

The Bier Stein sports 25 beers on tap and about 1,000 in bottles, with a menu highlighting soups and panini sandwiches, and lately, beer pairings. “We just keep doing what we do,” co-owner Kristina Measells says. “We always thought beer was a very approachable thing so, what’s the best thing to pair with that?” Turns out, hot, pressed sandwiches and soups are what everyone wants. Even though moving to a new space three years ago expanded its space from a small storefront with a few tables to 12,000 square feet, the Stein is still overflowing just about any time of day or night. “We have great employees who work really hard and care about all our customers,” Measells says. “For as busy as we are, there’s a lot of love that goes into each plate because it’s our customers that keep us in business.”

Photo: Trask Bedortha



Best Thai

1. Ta Ra Rin 1200 Oak St. 343-1230.

2. Sabai 27 Oakway Center. 654-5424.

3. Tasty Thai 1308 Hilyard St. 343-0165.


Best Chinese

1. Kung Fu Bistro 2560 Willamette St. 968-9258.

2. Lok Yaun Restaurant 3000 W. 11th Ave. 345-7448.

3. Twin Dragon Restaurant 919 River Rd. 688-5481.


Best new restaurant

1. Sundial Cafe 2435 Hilyard St. 636-3838.

2. Rain Northwest 1190 City View St. 246-8070.

3. (tie) Board and Novo Latin Table 394 Blair Blvd., 343-3023,; 105 Oakway Center, 654-8165,

Eugene’s new gluten-free restaurant won out among restaurant newcomers this year. A project of Eugene chef Alex Moon, Sundial hit the Eugene dining scene in May, and Moon says it’s been doing great ever since. “I couldn’t be happier,” she says. Don’t let the “gluten-free” part worry you: Sundial’s food is anything but restrictive. “The Emerald City” dish boasts a Cajun-spiced chicken breast with Swiss cheese and bacon, while the “Crater Lake” is a gooey vegan macaroni and cheese. But definitely save room for dessert — a generous pile of sweet potato fries, oozing with coconut whipped cream, chocolate sauce and peanut butter. Who needs gluten, anyways?

Photo: Todd Cooper


Best restaurant

1. (tie) Izakaya Meiji and Marché 345 Van Buren St., 505-8804,; 296 E. 5th Ave. #226, 342-3612,

2. Café Soriah 384 W. 13th Ave. 342-4410.

3. Sabai 27 Oakway Center. 654-5424.

French-inspired, farm-to-table cuisine and tapas-style, Japanese dishes — you love them both. Marché has provided Eugene with a reliable up-scale dining experience for more than 15 years, tucked into the Fifth Street Public Market, and it’s always trying something new. While Izakaya Meiji is not only popular for its comfy atmosphere and amazingly satisfying menu, but it also won best mixed drinks. We’re glad to have both in Eugene.

Photo: Trask Bedortha



Best hangover breakfast

1. Brails 1689 Willamette St. 343-1542.

2. Glenwood Restaurant 1340 Alder St., 687-0355; 2588 Willamette St., 687-8201,

3. Morning Glory 450 Willamette St. 687-0709.



Best cheap eats

1. Burrito Boy 2511 W. 11th Ave., 338-4219; 510 E. Broadway, 344-8070; 1060 River Rd., 689-7970; 30 W. 10th Ave., 344-5856; 1071 Valley River Dr., 343-8089; 1840 Chambers, 246-8775,

2. Café Yumm! 730 E. Broadway, 344-9866; 1801 Willamette St., 686-9866; 130 Oakway Center, 465-9866,

3. Laughing Planet 760 Blair Blvd., 868-0668; 2864 Willamette St., 505-5399,


Best pizza

1. Mezza Luna 933 Pearl St., 684-8900; 2776 Shadow View Dr., 743-2999; 115 S. 5th St., Spfd.

2. Sizzle Pie 910 Willamette St. 683-7437.

3. Pegasus 2864 Willamette St., 344-9931; 790 E. 14th Ave., 344-4471; 4 Oakway Center, 344-0844.

Photo: Todd Cooper


Best sushi

1. Mame 541 Blair Blvd. 654-4378.

2. PURE 296 E. 5th Ave. 654-0608.

3. Sushi Domo 1020 Green Acres Rd., 343-0935; 2835 Oak St., 484-7008.

If Mame is closed or booked up, fans of this restaurant prefer to skip sushi night entirely rather than go somewhere else. Dropping in for a quick bite at this small spot is not usually an option, as it holds only 17 people and reservations are recommended days in advance. Once you get a seat, give the chef’s choice a try (available at different spending levels) and let chef Taro give you whatever he wants, which might include deep fried squid and steak wrapped in bacon with roe and red bean cheesecake for dessert. Great non-sushi food, too. Sit at the bar; chef Taro is always ready for a conversation and will cheerfully accommodate any dietary restrictions.

Photo: Todd Cooper


Best comfort food

1. Papa’s Soul Food Kitchen 400 Blair Blvd. 342-7500.

2. Cornbread Café 1290 W. 7th Ave. 505-9175.

3. Cornucopia 295 W. 17th Ave., 485-2300; 207 E. 5th Ave., 485-2300,

Photo: Athena Delene


Best bakery

1. Sweet Life Patisserie 755 Monroe St.; 1609 E. 19th Ave., 683-5676,

2. Hideaway Bakery 3377 E. Amazon Dr. 868-1982.

3. Metropol 2538 Willamette St. 465-4730. 



Best local winery

1. Sweet Cheeks Winery 27007 Briggs Hill Rd. 349-9463.

2. King Estate 80854 Territorial Hwy. 942-9874.

3. Sarver Winery 25600 Mayola Ln. 935-2979.



Best bar

1. The Wayward Lamb 150 W. Broadway. 654-5106.

2. Sam Bond’s Garage 407 Blair Blvd. 343-2635.

3. Izakaya Meiji 345 Van Buren St. 505-8804.


Best local brewery

1. Ninkasi 272 Van Buren St. 344-2739.

2. Oakshire 207 Madison St. 654-5520.

3. Hop Valley 980 Kruse Way, Spfd., 744-3330; 990 W. 1st Ave., 585-2337,

Photo: Todd Cooper


Best tea house

1. Townshend’s 41 W. Broadway. 654-4284.

2. J-Tea 2778 Friendly St. 357-5492.

3. (tie) Oolong Bar and The Rabbit Hole 1607 E. 19th Ave., 541-972-3832,; 240 E. 17th Ave., 654-0425,

Even on rainy afternoons when downtown Eugene clears out, Townshend’s Tea is always full of cozied-up tea drinkers immersed in their books and laptops. With vintage couches scored from local thrift shops and local art always on display, Townshend’s provides a welcoming nook for Eugene’s tea-loving crowd. For the University of Oregon community, Townshend’s now has a location in the newly remodeled Erb Memorial Union, where students can guzzle kombucha, bubble tea or a traditional Earl grey to their hearts’ content.

Photo: Athena Delene



Best coffee house

1. Wandering Goat 268 Madison St. 344-5161.

2. Vero Espresso 205 E. 14th Ave. 654-0504.

3. Dutch Bros. 1633 Coburg Rd.; 2115 Franklin Blvd.; 311 E. 11th Ave.,


Best drinks on tap

1. The Bier Stein 1591 Willamette St. 485-2437.

2. beergarden. 777 W. 6th Ave. 505-9432.

3. Tap & Growler 207 E. 5th Ave. 505-9751.


Best mixed drinks

1. Izakaya Meiji 345 Van Buren St. 505-8804. 

2. Rye 444 E. 3rd Ave., 653-8509, 

3. The Vintage 837 Lincoln St. 349-9181. 

Izakaya Meiji does it again, winning Eugene hearts with its undeniably tasty bourbon and gingers and masterfully concocted Meiji mules. Combined with a cozy ambiance and bountiful tapas, Meiji’s drink menu constantly delights.




Best artist

1. Shanna Trumbly

2. Ila Rose

3. Sarah Sedwick


Best live music venue

1. Hi-Fi Music Hall 44 E. 7th Ave. 636-3292.

2. Cuthbert Amphitheater 2300 Leo Harris Pkwy. 762-8099.

3. WOW Hall 291 W. 8th Ave. 687-2746.

It’s a first-time win for Hi-Fi owners Danny Kime and Mike Hergenreter, who opened the music hall in 2015. The 700-capacity venue basks in popularity because it filled a niche at the perfect moment, according to publicist Doug Fuchs. “The economy and the community can support two venues in one, Hi-Fi Main Hall and Hi-Fi Lounge,” he says. “It’s a combination that allows for a wide variety of concerts and events every week. The owners understand the community and have a lot of experience booking bands into this market and running a bar in this market.” From indie rock to metal to Grateful Dead jams, the concert schedule is varied enough to appeal to all music enthusiasts.


Best photographer

1. Tracy Sydor

2. Athena Delene

3. Katherine Gaffney


Best local musician(s)

1. Sol Seed

2. Soul Vibrator

3. Medium Troy



Best vestige of Eugene art

1. New Zone Gallery

2. Karin Clarke Gallery 760 Willamette St. 684-7963.

3. Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art 1430 Johnson Ln., UO Campus. 346-3027.

A staple gallery during the First Friday ArtWalk is now homeless, but missed enough to be voted the best “vestige” of Eugene’s art scene. New Zone has been around for 30 years and has been homeless before, says curator Steve La Riccia, but with rising rents downtown and more occupied storefronts, finding a new space is difficult. (They were shut out of their previous space when the property owner raised the rent from $250 to $3,000, he says.) With no more Mayor’s Art Show or a Salon de Refusés, and one less spot on the First Friday ArtWalk, art patrons are noticing the absence. “The spaces that used to be available aren’t available anymore,” La Riccia laments. “We are the city of the arts and outdoors and I don’t know where that is anymore. We have the First Friday ArtWalk but if there’s no galleries, where are they going to go? There are galleries, but nothing like the space we had.”


Best indie bookstore

1. Tsunami Books 2585 Willamette St. 345-8986.

2. Smith Family Bookstore 525 Willamette St., 343-4717; 768 E. 13th Ave., 345-1651.

3. J. Michaels Books 160 E. Broadway. 342-2002. 

Tsunami Books has been number two for the past 12 years, and now, in what might be their last year in existence, they’ve finally nabbed the top spot. “Sometimes it takes a long time to be fully recognized,” says owner Scott Landfield, with his characteristic dry humor. “The past year we’ve had quite a remarkable staff. I’ve been real happy with the clerks, and if I’m happy I know the customers are very happy too.” Tsunami customers appreciate the bookstore as a venue as well, hosting poetry slams and music of all sorts. Its future is uncertain, though. Its 22nd year might be its last, as their lease is up in July 2017 and Landfield doesn’t know what will happen then. “We’re about to begin a community process to see what’s next,” he says. “Look on Facebook or our website for info on the future of Tsunami Books.”

Photo: Trask Bedortha


Best dispensary

1. Twenty After Four 420 Blair Blvd. 393-6820.

2. Moss Crossing 2751 Friendly St. 636-3724.

3. Eugene OG 2045 Franklin Blvd. 505-7575.


Best boutique

1. Passionflower 128 E. Broadway. 344-3857.

2. Kitsch-22 1022 Willamette Street. 343-2411.

3. Velvet Edge 187 E. Broadway. 632-3284.

Ever-enticing Passionflower knocks it out of the park in the boutique arena. We can hardly walk by without getting drawn into this magical fairyland shop of art, trinkets, jewelry and clothing. From the perfectly quirky birthday gift to the most stylish statement necklace, Passionflower will inevitably impress.

Photo: Athena Delene


Best place to get fit

1. Jazzercise 825 Monroe St. #4. 344-2700.

2. YMCA 2055 Patterson St. 686-9622.

3. Outdoors

Photo: todd cooper


Best local food market

1. The Kiva 125 W. 11th Ave. 342-8666. 

2Market of Choice 1060 Green Acres Rd., 344-1901; 1960 Franklin Blvd., 687-1188; 67 W. 29th Ave., 338-8455; 2580 Willakenzie Rd., 345-3349.

3. Sundance 748 E. 24th Ave. 343-9142.

Photo: todd cooper



Best secondhand shop

1. St. Vincent de Paul 555 High St., 344-2115; 100 E. 11th Ave., 868-0200.

2. Buffalo Exchange 131 E. 5th Ave. 687-2805.

3. Goodwill 685 E. Broadway, 344-1029; 855 Seneca Rd., 984-8812. 



Best salon

1. Gervais 248 E. 5th Ave. #18. 334-6533.

2. Imagine 784 Blair Blvd. 431-1717.

3. Lussaria Salon 160 Oakway Rd. #100. 505-9699.


Best bike shop

1. Paul’s Bicycle Way of Life 556 Charnelton St. 344-4105.

2. Arriving by Bike 2705 Willamette St. 484-5410.

3. Hutch’s Bicycles 960 Charnelton St. 345-7521.


Best new business

1. (tie) ColdFire Brewing and Moss Crossing 263 Mill St., 636-3889,; 2751 Friendly St., 636-3724,

2. Sundial Café 2435 Hilyard St. 636-3838.

3. Oolong Bar 1607 E. 19th Ave. 972-3832.

What could possibly be more Eugenean than this winning combo of beer and weed? Voters, you really nailed it. ColdFire Brewing serves up “traditional German and Belgian styles of beer with a Northwest flair,” according to brothers Stephen and Dan Hughes, who launched the brewery in January. Avid home brewers, the brothers use their experience to whip up delicious brews like their “Farmhouse Saison” and “Berliner Weisse.” It’s a fantastic place to grab dinner, a tasty microbrew and play board games with friends. Moss Crossing, on the other hand, bills itself as “the friendliest joint in town.” With its cute, apothecary ambiance and fern-lined shelves, Moss Crossing charismatically dispenses all your green needs.

Photo: Todd Cooper & Trask Bedortha


Best yoga

1. Eugene Yoga 3575 Donald St. (458) 205-8378.

2. Everyday People Yoga 352 W. 12th Ave. 513-0180.

3. ZenSpot 1615 Oak St. (855) 936-7768.

Photo: todd cooper



Best veterinarian

1. Animal Health Associates 2835 Willamette St. 345-1544.

2. Amazon Park Animal Clinic 725 E. 25th Ave. 485-0161.

3. Eugene Animal Hospital 1432 Orchard St. 342-1178.


Best alternative health care

1. Acupuncture for the People 2833 Willamette St. 521-6285.

2. White Bird 171 Lawrence St. 343-1887.

3. A Healing Space 171 Lawrence St. 343-1887.



Best alternative sports team

1. Emerald City Roller Girls

2. Lane United Football Club

3. Eugene Reign Women’s Rugby


Best dance company

1. Work Dance Company

2. King’s Krew Dance Company

3. Eugene Ballet 1590 Willamette St. 686-9342.

Nathan Boozer, director and choreographer, started Work Dance Company 10 years ago with only four female dancers. He now has more than 20 and has even welcomed in another male dancer who auditioned this year. Boozer has had nine sell-out shows at the Hult Center and plans a performance in April there called “Vicious So Delicious” that will likely sell out, too. Boozer doesn’t just do dance. “I’m about hitting all of your senses,” he says. “If we’re doing Candyland I want video projections, I want the lighting to be super colorful and delicious and we want to throw candy at the audience. We make it a production so the audience is going to be entertained from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave.”

Photo: Trask Bedortha


Best nonprofit

1. Greenhill Humane Society 88530 Green Hill Rd. 689-1503.

2. FOOD for Lane County 770 Bailey Hill Rd. 343-2822. 

3. St. Vincent de Paul 555 High St., 344-2115; 100 E. 11th Ave., 868-0200.

See best animal advocates.


Best local theater company

1. Oregon Contemporary Theatre 194 W. Broadway. 465-1506.

2. Very Little Theatre 2350 Hilyard St. 344-7751.

3. Actor’s Cabaret of Eugene 996 Willamette St. 683-4368.  



Best annual event

1. Oregon Country Fair

2. Whiteaker Block Party

3. Bark in the Park


Best park

1. Alton Baker Park 200 Day Island Rd.

2. Hendricks Park Summit Ave. & Skyline Blvd.

3. Skinner Butte Park 248 Cheshire Ave.

Alton Baker Park is a pretty great place. Few parks anywhere have a BMX track, a boat launch, disc golf, dog park, electrical outlets, fishing, public art, a large natural area and sports fields and a running trail inspired by one of the best track athletes ever. It’s Eugene’s largest park, at 373 acres, owned by the city, established in 1959. Parking is free, and so are the river views.


Best animal advocates

1. Greenhill Humane Society 88530 Green Hill Rd. 689-1503.

2. Luvable Dog Rescue P.O. Box 50367.

3. SARA’s Treasures 871 River Rd. 607-8892.

Greenhill takes some flack from people who are focused on its use of ever-dwindling funds and its euthanasia policy. Haters gonna hate. Other organizations in town try, but none come close to Greenhill’s numbers: In fiscal year 2015-16, Greenhill took in 3,062 animals and adopted 2,783. 100 percent of animals are spayed/neutered before being adopted out. In 2015, the veterinary staff performed 2,350 of these surgeries, including nearly 1,000 for free. Also that year, nearly 400 animals were given a second chance when they were transferred to Greenhill from overcrowded shelters in Oregon and California.

Photo: todd cooper



Best tattoo shop

1. The Parlour 1097 Willamette St. 345-6465.

2. High Priestess 210 W. 6th Ave., 342-6585; 525 E. 13th Ave., 343-3311,

3. Northwest Tattoo 142 E. 13th Ave. 393-6570.

Jerry Wagner Jr., one of six tattooists at The Parlour, says they make for a traditional shop, not in the sense of the art they’re inking, but how they think about what the art will look like 10 years down the road, rather than having it look good long enough to take a picture. “We have quality art,” he says. “We’ve been around for 22 years now so I feel like we’re a Eugene institution at this point. It’s the go-to place.” With more tattoo parlors in Eugene than ever, it’s experience and customer service that counts. “We try to relate to the client as someone who wants a specific style of art done and less like a customer,” Wagner Jr. says. “We’re trying to avoid that corporate mentality and treat the person as an individual.”


Best drag queen

1. Daphne Storm (Bill Sullivan)

2. Karress Ann Slaughter (Cornel Hardiman)

3. Angelica D’Vil (Morgan Andersen)

Bill Sullivan, aka Daphne Storm, has been out in the community and doing his thing for 36 years now, going back to the days of drag nights at Perry’s and, after that, Neighbors. “I host Pride every year, I’m on the board of Eugene Pride, I do Glamazons every Friday at the Wayward Lamb,” Sullivan says. “I’m very visible.” Sullivan’s Glamazons co-star, Karress Ann Slaughter, won this award last year. A good drag queen knows her audience and works to entertain them, not using her stage time for personal egos, Sullivan says. “Yes, you’re doing your number, but you’re entertaining them,” he says, “so if you’re not doing a good job they’re not going to be happy.” His routine uses the ’80s classics everyone knows and loves, especially hits by Cher. “With all the gender equality now, I think everyone should just enjoy being who you are,” he says. “Don’t be afraid of who you are. Get out there, express yourself, have fun with it. Life’s too short not to.”

Photo: Trask Bedortha


Best actor/actress

1. Storm Kennedy

2. Rebecca Nachison 

3. Evynne Hollens

Eugene doesn’t have many household names but Storm Kennedy is one — and could there be a better name for a local actor, model and all-around performer in this rain-drenched valley? Born Lisa Wilken in Vancouver, Washington, Kennedy has been entertaining Oregon audiences on screens, airwaves and stages for decades, from filling in as a “weather girl” on KMGE-FM radio in the late ’80s to critically acclaimed performances in Love, Loss and What I Wore (2013) at Corvallis’ Majestic Theatre, as well as Becky’s New Car (2014) and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (2016) at Oregon Contemporary Theatre. Brava, Kennedy — here’s to all the performances to come.

Photo: Athena Delene



Best Eugenean

1. Kitty Piercy

2. Frog

3. Wayde Love

Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy, now in her early 70s, isn’t running for reelection after 12 years on the job. Her election as mayor in 2004 marked a period of liberal dominance on the City Council, and she’s since been re-elected twice. She saw us through a deep recession, helped bring downtown back to life, fixed more roads than anyone, expanded access to libraries, implemented a paid sick-leave ordinance and tried to deal with the complex issue of homelessness and vagrancy. Her tenure will be second-longest among Eugene mayors; you have to go back to Elisha Large, who served from 1932–1945, to find a mayor who served longer.



Best thing about Eugene

1. The people

2. Rain/the weather

3. Diversity



Best Eugene vista

1. Spencer Butte 85385 S. Willamette St.

2. Skinner Butte 248 Cheshire Ave.

3. Mount Pisgah 34901 Frank Parrish Rd.

Following a short, 20- or 30-minute hike through a forest that’s right in town, you get to the top and the whole valley opens up before you. The rewarding vista only greets you if you make that push to get to its craggy top. Once there, you’ll enjoy 360-degree views of Eugene and Springfield, and the Three Sisters on a clear day. The last part of the hike is hardscrabbling over a rocky outcrop, but it’s not as rugged as it once was with the addition of natural basalt stairs that were put in last year. What’s not to love? Watch out for the dog poop landmines. Other than that, you’re golden.


Best thing about

Eugene Weekly

1. Free

2. What’s Happening calendar

3. (tie) Free Will Astrology and Savage Love


Worst thing about

Eugene Weekly

1. Dispensary and pot ads

2. Nothing

3. Liberal bias


Author: admin