Dan’s Best of the Best 2012 Is Underway

Welcome to the East End. Now, where should you go for the best bagel? Where can you get your drink on? Brunch, burgers, a butcher, the best bike shop?

Confused locals and baffled bourgeois, take note: Nominations for the most comprehensive and up-to-date list of the Best of the East End have officially begun—Dan’s Best of the Best is here! (After the nominations are compiled, voting will begin on September 14.)\

The annual Dan’s Best of the Best competition invites Dan’s Papers and DansHamptons.com readers to nominate businesses in more than 200 categories and then cast their votes for their favorites.


Dan’s Best of the Best began more than 25 years ago, and it highlights the ultimate in East End experiences. The categories are grouped into different sections that include Restaurants/Nightlife, Health/Wellness/Beauty, Wines, Home/Professional Services, Recreation/Travel/Tourism, Shopping, Arts/Entertainment, Food/Drink and Pets. The North Fork is also awarded their own set of Best of the Best winners, which not only highlights local establishments, but also honors the wineries that have proven to be tops in producing particular types of wines.

In addition to recognizing businesses, Dan’s Best of the Best has categories that laud East End personalities, such as the area’s best bartender, best local musician, best waiter, best waitress and best Pilates instructor. (For the 25th consecutive year, an obvious personality award, Best Editor, is omitted.)

This year, Dan’s Papers has decided to launch its Best of the Best campaign before Labor Day. In earlier years it had taken place after the summer season. This could affect the nominations, as businesses more geared toward summer activities will likely have a greater chance of being nominated and garnering votes.

The change comes on the heels of an addition to the voting process two years ago that allowed for platinum and gold level winners, and this year Dan’s has added a silver level. When voting in any given category is particularly robust, the top  three vote getters are recognized, with platinum winners edging out the gold and silver level winners. (And, last year there were, on occasion, two gold winners—in fact, there were three awards given for the Best Lobster Dinner last year.)

The nominations, which continue through Sept. 4, will all be done on www.danshamptons.com/bestofthebest. Check back online on Sept. 14 to cast your votes. Voting will continue through Oct. 2, and the winners will be announced in the Oct. 19 issue of Dan’s Papers.

Voters must create a login with their email so that Dan’s can accurately tabulate the votes and ensure that the winners are correctly tabulated. All Best of the Best honorees will be recognized at a celebratory fete later in the fall.

Step into your favorite East End establishment, and it’s not uncommon to find Dan’s Best of the Best certificates lining a wall. The prevalence of the award and the sheer number of categories proves that the East End provides a variety of top notch services. Now, it’s up to Dan’s readers to decide: Will a Southampton stalwart be unseated? Has your Wainscott eatery flown under the radar for far too long?

We anxiously anticipate the results. We know you do. So start nominating today!

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