NEIGHBOURHOODS

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It turns out that the ancient Greeks don’t have neighbourhoods worth talking about, but they have lots of city-states. Seriously, you can’t go fifty klicks without hitting a fortress full of people in togas dipping their bread in wine.  And good luck getting one from one area to another. I tried to check out Sparta last week and I think I started a war or something. Why is it so hard to get good Spartan food in this timeframe? /Chiron Batchlett

Best Downtown/Central Restaurant

Gold (TIE)

Flip Eatery & Drink
1970 Hamilton St. 306-205-8345 fliprestaurant.ca.

Victoria’s Tavern
1965 Hamilton St. 306-352-8427 victoriastavern.ca.

Bronze Beer Bros. Gastropub & Deli Honorable Mention Copper Kettle, Crave Kitchen + Bar, Fireside Bistro

A tie? Remember this the next time you abstain from voting. However, it’s easy to see why. Regina’s downtown restaurant scene has exploded in the last few years, and it’s all thanks to places like Flip Eatery & Drink and Victoria’s Tavern. Both offer a unique experience that’s a world apart, despite being directly across the street from each other. Where Flip offers a modern food menu, atmosphere and cocktail menu, Victoria’s celebrates the Queen City’s heritage with classic pub-style food and an extensive beer menu. So the next time you and your friends decide to explore the best that the downtown has to offer, remember that half the charm of a vibrant downtown is being able to hop from place to place. /Mike Shiplack

Best East End Restaurant

Gold
Birmingham’s Vodka and Ale House
2635 E. Starlite St. 306-546-3647 birminghams.ca

Silver Rock Creek Bronze Table 10 Honorable Mention Enso, Breakfast Bistro

Being a non-driver, I get pretty excited when I can catch a ride to check out a business at the other end of town, so I was happy to be invited to Birmingham’s Vodka and Ale House for a birthday party. Previously, I’d agreed with Ron Swanson (Parks & Rec reference there) that clear alcohol was for rich ladies on diets. Then I tried one of Birmingham’s grape vodka cocktails. With a vodka and martini list that’s extensive and thorough (Swedish vodkas, French vodkas, flavored vodkas, even Newfoundland vodka), fantastic burgers (current menu features a Doughnut Burger), and good service, I’d happily eat there again. People: the food and drink menu is HUGE. It was difficult to decide what I wanted because I wanted everything, and isn’t that a sign of a good restaurant? /Chris Scott

Best South End Restaurant

Gold
Lancaster Taphouse
4529 Gordon Rd. 306-570-2323 thelancaster.ca

Silver The Keg Steakhouse & Bar Bronze Bonzzini’s Brew Pub Honorable Mention Chop Steakhouse & Bar

A relative newbie on the restaurant scene, Lancaster Taphouse is your pick for Best South End Restaurant. It’s little wonder. This is a sports bar, music venue, pub, restaurant and lounge/patio all in one. Lancaster’s claim to be the evolution of a pub holds true. It’s why they won both this category and Best South End Bar. A great pub needs to be more than just a place that slings pints and plays sports on TV. In this case, it’s the food that makes the difference. Joel Williams, chef and co-owner at Lancaster, works hard to deliver upscale pub food that pairs nicely with an extensive beer menu. The ale pretzels, lobster nachos, Satsuma chicken and rotating poutine de jour are all big hits. The cheesecakes are also made in-house, FYI. /Mike Shiplack

Best Northwest Restaurant

Gold
Browns Socialhouse
1065 Stockton St. 306-789-4505 brownssocialhouse.com

Silver Rock Creek Bronze Barley Mill

As the lone Prairie Dog writer who lives in northwest Regina I reckon it’s my duty to tackle this category. Despite the abundance of restaurants that swarm the city, there wasn’t a lot in the northwest (especially when I was growing up). Happily, that’s been changing. And out of the newer restaurants that have opened in the last five years, Browns Socialhouse stands as the best. I seem to remember an esteemed colleague of mine at Prairie Dog not liking the place a few years ago. But for me the only thing that matters is do they make a tasty burger? Yes, yes they do. In fact, the Hollywood burger is DAMN tasty. So congrats to Browns and the other winners in this category. /Shane Hnetka

Best Downtown/Central Bar

Gold
Bushwakker
2206 Dewdney Ave.  306-359-7276 bushwakker.com

Silver Victoria’s Tavern Bronze O’Hanlon’s Irish Pub Honorable Mention The Capitol, Leopold’s Tavern, The Fat Badger

Every December people line-up down the block in the wee hours of the morning in the (generally) freezing cold to be the first to get their hands on Bushwakker’s limited edition mead. Would people risk frostbite year after year for a bar that they didn’t consider to be the best in central Regina? It’s not just the mead that draws people to Bushwakker. It has a warm and inviting atmosphere, like a secular year-long Christmas. If you’re looking for music with your pint, head over on Monday for Blues and Jazz, or Wednesday for the finest Folk and Roots music. For something a little more ceremonial, knock off work early and head over for First Firkin Friday… just be aware that there’s a “splash zone”. /Amy Couzens

Best East End Bar

Gold
Leopold’s Tavern
3735 East Quance St. 306-559-5367 leopoldstavern.com

Silver Birmingham’s Vodka & Ale House Bronze Creekside Pub Honorable Mention Brewsters

Growing up in Regina’s north end, I’ve long had a bias against the east end. They were the new kid on the block, who got all the biggest stores. And now I’ve got another reason to envy them. Leopold’s Tavern is Regina’s best place for a pint in the east end. After starting in Cathedral in 2013, they now have three locations. Their business model works. They just want people to have a great time, enjoy some tasty comfort food and drink good beer. So the next time you’re in the east end, pull up a stool under your favourite sport team’s pennant, plug the juke box, and have fun. /Mike Shiplack

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Best South End Bar

Gold
Lancaster Taphouse
4529 Gordon Rd. 306-570-2323 thelancaster.ca

Silver The Canadian Brewhouse Bronze Bonzzini’s Brew Pub Honorable Mention Knotted Thistle, Earls Kitchen + Bar

This is what happens when passionate people work together as a team. Tim Rogers, Joel Williams and Judd Stachoski even signed a declaration of principles that has allowed them to become one of the best restaurant/bars in the city. Quality food, the best beer, a friendly atmosphere with knowledgeable staff, and competitive pricing. That’s how one becomes the bar and restaurant of choice in the south end. Lancaster Taphouse is all about versatility, and Prairie Dog voters agree. Beer enthusiasts love the rotating taps, foodies can dig into a lobster mac ’n’ cheese, and music lovers get their fill of bands every Friday night. They even sports harder than most places — teaming with CJME to host The Green Zone Game Day Party for every Rider away game. /Mike Shiplack

Best Northwest Bar

Gold
Browns Socialhouse
1065 Stockton Street 306-789-4505 brownssocialhouse.com

Silver Barley Mill Bronze The Tap Honorable Mention Rock Creek, Boston Pizza

And look esteemed Prairie Dog colleague who previously expressed misgivings about Browns Socialhouse: it also got voted Best Northwest Bar! I don’t drink (alcohol, that is) but all my friends do and they seem to enjoy Browns. And Prairie Dog voters obviously do too. Best Restaurant and Best Bar — sounds like a killer combo to me! /Shane Hnetka