SHOPPING & SERVICES

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They say that behind every great restaurant is a place that sells food and food-related services. You people don’t have any great restaurants (it makes me long for 21st century Saskatchewan), but you do sell food and so on. All you butchers and bakers, vendors and vintners, prepare for medals! /Chiron Batchlett

Best Bakery

Gold
Cobs Bread
4620 Gordon Rd. 306-522-2627 cobsbread.com

Silver Le Macaron Bronze Sinfully Sweet Honorable Mention Kneaded

Cobs’ specialty is  their bread. Traditional breads, specialty loaves, artisanal breads… the place smells wonderful, and it’s hard not to leave with an armful of fresh baked goods. Not just breads, but mini-focaccias and scones (try the cinnamon and apple pie ones if they have them). There’s a second location in north Regina (3959 Rochdale Blvd.) so there’s no excuse for not having fresh baking in your home! /Chris Scott

Best Butcher

Gold
Ukrainian Co-op 
1805 Winnipeg St.  306-569-9510 ukrainiancoop.com

Silver Butcher Boy (Robinson St.) Bronze Butcher’s Best Honorable Mention Fellinger’s Red Meat Wagon

My out-of-town friends and family marvel when I tell them about Ukrainian Co-op. Some don’t believe such a magical place exists. Oh, it does. Even when I show them the delicious evidence of my visits they’re skeptical. Maybe now that Prairie Dog voters have spoken they’ll be convinced it’s not a figment of my imagination. The Ukrainian Co-op’s meat section is a definite highlight. Whether you’re looking for something to throw on the BBQ, or want to choose just the right cut of meat for a special dinner, you’ll find what you need at this long-time Regina gem. And if you need ideas or advice on how to prepare an item, the knowledgeable butchers and staff are happy to help. Don’t forget to try the wide variety of famous homemade sausage, which comes out of the wood-fired outdoor smoker at 11 a.m. each day. They’re happy to fill custom orders and can supply you with fresh, single servings or larger meat packages for the freezer. The homemade burgers, smokies, sausages and deli meat trays (which include in-store made products) are perfect for your party needs. /Carolyn Rebeyka

Best Specialty Grocery

Gold
Italian Star Deli
1611 Victoria Ave. 306-757-6733 italianstardeli.com

Silver Dad’s Organic Market Bronze Local & Fresh Honorable Mention Lakeview Fine Foods, Nature’s Best Market

Everyone knows there’s nothing like the panini sandwiches at Italian Star Deli — Mama Gina La Bomba extra spicy is a personal favourite. I sometimes forget they’re a specialty grocery store, but not you Prairie Dog voters. You know where to find the best vinegars, Italian pasta and specialty olive oils in Regina. The next time you’re in a big grocery store, remember that just a short trip away is mozzarella and prosciutto that’s way better than what’s in the next aisle. So do yourself a favour the next time you stop in for a spicy panini at Italian Star and do some exploring. You’re bound to find a few tasty gems that you can’t find anywhere else. /Mike Shiplack

Best Asian Grocery

Gold
Ngoy Hoa
1580 Albert St.  306-757-4264

Silver India Food Centre Bronze Seoul Mart Honorable Mention T&D Filipino Sari-Sari Store

Bigger isn’t always better, but when it comes to Ngoy Hoa size does make a difference. They’re the largest Asian market in Saskatchewan and have groceries from a variety of Asian countries to keep your pantry stocked and ready to make stir-fries, bibimbap and other Asian favourites — they’ll even teach you how to make bubble tea. They’re the place to go if you’re looking for some challenging-to-find recipe ingredients like fresh jackfruit, which you can use to make a mean pulled pork substitute. Buyer beware: don’t be surprised if you go in for a few curry ingredients, and end up leaving with an extra $20 of Japanese candies. /Amy Couzens

Best Health Food

Gold
Old Fashion Foods
Five locations 1-800-667-3334 oldfashionfoods.com

Silver Dad’s Organic Market Bronze Nature’s Best Market Honorable Mention Eat Healthy Foods

My mom used to own a health food store when I was a kid. On top of vitamins and supplements we sold a variety of health food: tofu ice cream, gluten-free bread, carob chocolate, sugar-free candy and much more. And naturally, we ate healthy because of the store. My mom’s store didn’t last but one of our many competitors, who were around before we were, did. Whenever I go to Old Fashion Foods it reminds me of my mom’s store. I don’t eat as healthy as I used to, and can’t say I ever get a craving for carob chocolate or tofu ice cream, but it’s good to know there are still awesome stores like Old Fashion Foods that sell food that’s extra good for you. /Shane Hnetka

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Best Bulk Foods

Gold
Bulk Barn 
4143 Rochdale Blvd.  306-721-9116 4650 Gordon Rd.  306-522-5538 2142 Prince of Wales Dr.  306-352-3361 bulkbarn.ca

Silver Costco Bronze Old Fashion Foods Honorable Mention Superstore

Do you know how awesome Bulk Barn is? They recently saved the day when I was on a frantic search for an edible snake and mouse/rat to decorate a slither-friendly pal’s birthday cake. It was late Sunday afternoon when I started my search but Bulk Barn came to my rescue, and the birthday boy was delighted with his cake. Whether you go with a specific purpose in mind or just to browse, you’ll be sure to leave with something interesting and/or delicious. They carry baking supplies; pasta, rice and beans; vitamin supplements; beauty and household cleaning products; glassware and gadgets; snacks and candy; spices; cake decorating and candy making supplies; coffee and tea; pet food; and tons more. Walking in to the store, you can be overwhelmed by all the shelves, bins, tubs, boxes and bags of stuff. But the friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you find what you’re looking for. Bulk Barn rules! /Carolyn Rebeyka

Best Supermarket

Gold
Mike’s Independent
1341 Broadway Ave.  306-569-1059 yourindependentgrocer.ca

Silver Sobeys Bronze Superstore Honorable Mention Co-op

Prairie Dog voters agree with my choice for Regina’s Best Supermarket! There’s no shortage of grocery stores in our fair city, but more often than not I find myself at Mike’s Independent. Their regular hours (8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily) don’t keep you guessing if it’s too early or too late to pick up a few items. Their cashiers are efficient and some of the happiest, friendliest people I’ve met. The store aisles are always well-stocked, even with the screaming hot deals advertised in their weekly flyers. The deli is top-notch with a wide variety of standard and unique items, plus daily hot specials to grab for lunch or dinner. Their meat and produce sections glisten with freshness. And the bakery makes a mean birthday cake in addition to the regular array of tasty breads, buns and sweet treats. The floors and shelves are clean and tidy, and there are always plenty of shopping carts and baskets available. The organic and international food sections are a nice touch too. And the pharmacy and garden centre are an added bonus. /Carolyn Rebeyka

Best Farmers Market Food/Drink Vendor

Gold
Last Mountain Distillery
Lumsden 306-731-3930 lastmountaindistillery.com

Silver Heliotrope Farms Bronze Zee Bee Honey Honorable Mention 33 1/3 Roasters, The Flour Shoppe

Since 2010, Colin and Meredith Schmidt have been hard at work creating a taste of the prairies. Although the days of Saskatchewan bootlegging are far behind us, the Schmidts did start out in their garage, and still sell out of the back of their truck at local farmers’ markets. Not only did you vote them BFMF/DV, they’ve also won a few medals from the Canadian Whiskey Awards. Their Dill Pickle Vodka is the best-selling Saskatchewan-made spirit at SLGA, and they continue to experiment with other locally-sourced products like Prairie Cherry Whisky. Personally, I can’t wait to see what their single malt whisky will taste like in 10 years — it will be worth the wait. /Mike Shiplack

Best Food Truck

Gold
Mr. Spudds Poutinerie
306-596-7195

Silver Prairie Smoke & Spice Bronze Crave Kitchen + Bar Honorable Mention Nacho Fiesta, Beak’s Chicken

City Square Plaza has its fair share of detractors. And outside of the odd event such as the Regina Farmers’ Market, Cinema Under the Stars and Regina Folk Festival it’s hard not to see it as a failed experiment. One thing the plaza desperately needs is a full-time restaurant/bar with a courtyard patio. Certainly, food trucks help fill the vacuum during the warmer months. So we can be thankful for that. And as you can see from the five finalists here, there’s a nice mix of menu offerings. I’m going to play Captain Obvious here and note that Mr. Spudds Poutinerie specializes in the Quebecois delicacy of poutine — which they serve in a range of styles highlighted by “hickory smoked pork poutine”. According to their website, they also make a mean flame-broiled burger. Sounds like a winning combination to me. /Gregory Beatty

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Best Catering

Gold
Sprout Catering
3241 Saskatchewan Dr. 306-545-5505 sproutcatering.ca

Silver Valley Girls Catering Bronze Wallnuts Expressive Catering Honorable Mention Fireside Bistro

I forgot to mention in my Best Omelette blurb that Sprout Catering has a booth at the Regina Farmers’ Market that’s in full swing now on Saturday and Wednesday mornings at City Square Plaza. Services Sprout provides from its Sask. Dr. location include individual and family-size take-home meals and catering for business meetings/corporate parties. In addition to all the delicious edibles, Sprout can supply wait staff, bartenders, and even chefs for catered events. They also have a space on Saskatchewan Dr. you can rent for private functions. So yeah, they’ve pretty much got all the bases covered for reaching Regina food-lovers. And Prairie Dog voters approve. So congrats to the Blackmore sisters Jssel and Hayley. /Gregory Beatty

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