The voters have spoken!

Thousands of readers took the time to tell us what they find best about the North Shore and Chicago. This year, over 90,000 verified votes were cast in over 11 categories in our annual Best of 2014 awards, and we couldn’t be prouder you responded in such numbers.

Here are our reader’s picks for the Best of 2014 in Dining:

PIZZA

Union Pizzeria

The scent of their wood-fire, oven-baked pizzas will transport you to Napoli. Inventive seasonal and locally focused toppings provide big flavor.

FINE DINING

Oceanique

Mark Grosz’ fish mecca never disappoints. A recent facelift brought the décor up to par with the French- influenced food.

best-of-2014-oceanique

MEXICAN/LATIN

Frontera Grill/Topolobampo (Chicago) 

Rick Bayless blazed the trail for fine Mexican cuisine in America. All we can do is follow—and eat. A lot.

Depot Nuevo (North Shore) 

The tequila selection here is deep, and the margaritas are damn tasty.

Libertad (Editor’s Choice) 

Latin-American fusion food at its best.

best-of-2014-libertad

GOURMET MARKET

Foodstuffs

Whether you’re grabbing a quick sandwich or bringing in dinner and dessert for 30, they have you covered.

NEIGHBORHOOD GEM

Campagnola

Evanstonians have flocked to this special and seasonal Italian place for years. Time for you to learn why!

Nick’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill (Runner-Up)

COFFEE (TIE) 

Peet’s Coffee & Tea

If you desire a perfect espresso, look no further. Peet’s nails it every time, and the service is terrific.

Rock House

The owners, all musicians, love coffee and music. No wonder their freshly roasted java rocks!

best-of-2014-rockhouse-coffee

BARBECUE 

Hecky’s

Our readers know “it’s the sauce!” that makes Hecky’s the go-to barbecue source on the North Shore.

DELI

Kaufman’s Deli

It’s all about tradition at this family-owned favorite. Fresh rye bread doesn’t get any better than this.

WINE STORE

Schaefer’s

Serving the North Shore since 1936, this venerated Skokie shop knows their grapes.

best-of-2014-schaefers-2

GROCERY STORE

Mariano’s

They’ve made a splash with new stores in Northfield, Glenview and Park Ridge.

best-of-2014-marianos

SPLURGE RESTAURANT

Alinea

You agree that Grant Achatz’ inventive cuisine is worth every penny.

ASIAN

Lao Sze Chuan

Perennially packed from the get go, the spice doesn’t quit at this Evanston hot spot.

best-of-2014-lao-sze-chuan

ITALIAN

Spiaggia

Recently renovated, this gorgeous longtime favorite deserves every accolade. Astounding.

JUICE BAR

Mariano’sTrue Juice (Editor’s Pick)

Everyone’s juicing these days, and Mariano’s and True Juice are doing it right, with über-fresh ingredients and lots of great options. Green juice, anyone?

ICE CREAM

Homer’s

Even Al Capone knew that Homer’s was the best. So you’ll try their famous Fresh Peach and the Cappuccino Chip if you know what’s good for you. Capisce?

BAKERIES

Three Tarts Bakery (Cupcakes)

As lovely as they are delicious. The Banana with Chocolate Ganache is a big winner!

Bennison’s (Sweets)

Plying Evanston with doughnuts, pastries, tarts and cakes since 1938.

Three Tarts Bakery (Sweets)

From cookies to wedding cakes, the Tarts do it all.

Hewn (Bread)

Every ingredient is carefully chosen for these crusty, hand-forged loaves. And the Almond Croissants… très bon!

daytripper-Evanston-Hewn

BRUNCH

Peninsula Hotel (Chicago) 

There’s nothing subtle about the size of this brunch. Both service and presentation are beautiful.

Walker Bros. Original Pancake House (North Shore) 

They’ll humor you with an egg-white omelet, but what you really want is the Apple Cinnamon Pancake as big as your head.

BURGER

Edzo’s Burger Shop

They’ve captured your votes—and your stomachs—for the past three years. Worth every calorie.

best-of-2014-edzos

STEAK HOUSE

Pete Miller’s (North Shore)

Gibson’s (Chicago)

One thing for sure: We never tire of red meat. It might not be what the doctor ordered, but eating it brings a primal thrill. Pete Miller’s and Gibson’s excel in the genre, and we keep going back for more.

COCKTAIL BAR

Ward 8

A speakeasy with real heart. Owner/mixologist Cody Modeer is a libation wizard.

best-of-2014-ward-8

Trifecta Grill (Runner-Up)

See and be seen at this Winnetka wine and cocktail bar. Great summer patio, too.

NEW RESTAURANT

Peckish Pig

South Evanston’s Howard Street is hopping with the opening of this brewpub.

best-of-2014-peckish-pig

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