Another year, another enormous voting turnout for the Southern Minn Scene Magazine Best of Southern Minnesota competition.
We continue to be amazed and grateful for the amount of interest shown by you, the readers, in our little (not so little, though) annual competition. But not just your interest – it’s also your participation.
In all honesty, it’s easier to do nothing. You don’t have to nominate businesses. You don’t have to vote for winners. You don’t have to share your businesses and ask your customers for support. And if you’re the customers, you don’t have to show that support.
But you do. And because of that, our writers and team members get to reach out to these Southern Minnesota artists, musicians, chefs, business owners and more to give them some good news. And that’s something special in an age when the good news seems sparse.
So here’s your list for 2018. Throughout theater, restaurants, bars, miscellaneous, arts, retail services, music, and even sports categories, we’ve got old winners and new. It’s your favorite places to see a show, to eat a cupcake, to get your car fixed. It’s the best actors, bands and radio stations. It’s anything and everything Southern Minnesota Scene.
You can see the individual winners with full blurbs on each one at www.southernminnscene.com/category/best-of, but here we have the whole list.
And the 101 winners are …
Just Mirlyn of Eagle Lake
Honorable Mention: The 8th Street Band of Northfield
Sheldon Theatre in Red Wing
BEST LARGE MUSIC VENUE
Grab tickets to this season’s upcoming shows at 443 West Third St., Red Wing.
For Best Small Music Venue, see the Bars category.
Honorable Mention: Vetter Stone Amphitheater
Smokin in Steele in Owatonna
BEST MUSIC FESTIVAL
Smokin’ in Steele will take place at the Steele County Fairgrounds, 1525 S Cedar Ave., Owatonna on Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1, 2019.
Honorable Mention: Mankato Ribfest
KOWZ & KRUE in Owatonna
BEST RADIO STATION
Listen to KOWZ 100.9 FM or KRUE 92.1.
Honorable Mention: KYMN 95.1 The One in Northfield
Brad Kubat at KOWZ & KRUE in Owatonna
BEST RADIO PERSONALITY
Listen to Kubat co-host the morning show on KRUE County 92.1 everyday 6 to 9 a.m. You can also hear him on the radio Saturday afternoons and MCing at many community events and fundraisers.
Honorable Mention: Jessica Paxton at KYMN 95.1 The One in Northfield
Sam Ryden of Northfield
BEST SOLO ACT
Honorable Mention: Pete Klug
Paradise Center for the Arts Recycled Arts Sale in Faribault
BEST ART EVENT
For more information, visit them at 321 Central Ave., Faribault.
Honorable Mention: Pleasant Grove Pizza Farm Mini Music and Art Fest in Waseca
Adam Grim of Savage
Honorable Mention: Julie Fakler of Faribault
Northfield Arts Guild
BEST ARTS ORGANIZATION
Honorable Mention: Crossings at Carnegie in Zumbrota
Crossings at Carnegie in Zumbrota
Start your holiday season with a fun-filled festival at their Holiday Art Fair on Nov. 16 at 320 East Ave., Zumbrota.
Honorable Mention: Northfield Arts Guild
Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota in Mankato
BEST MUSEUM/HISTORY CENTER
Unleash your little explorer at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota at 224 Lamm St., Mankato.
Honorable Mention: Northfield Historical Society
Images 4 Life Photography of Owatonna
Check out her studio, 103 W. Rose St., Owatonna,
Honorable Mention: Adam Grim of Savage
William Mcintyre of Merlin Players in Faribault and Little Theatre of Owatonna
Honorable Mention: Zach Opseth
Alison Haider of Northfield Arts Guild
Honorable Mention: Courtney Kryzer of Little Theatre of Owatonna
Rachel Haider of Northfield Arts Guild
Honorable Mention: Jeffrey Jackson of Little Theatre of Owatonna
Les Miserables by Northfield Arts Guild
Young thespians interested in performing or theatre geeks who want to catch a show can visit the Northfield Arts Guild at 304 S. Division St., Northfield.
Honorable Mention: SHREK by Little Theatre of Owatonna
Little Theatre of Owatonna
BEST THEATER, BEST THEATER TROUPE
See what shows are in store this season by visiting LTO, 560 Dunnell Dr., Owatonna.
Honorable Mention: Northfield Arts Guild
The Doublewide in New Market
Grab all your friends and experience it for yourself at 421 Saint Joseph St., New Market!
Honorable Mention: Froggy Bottoms in Northfield
Laurie Hoheislel at Froggy Bottoms in Northfield
Visit Hoheisel at Froggy Bottoms River Pub and Lily Padio at 307 S. Water St., Northfield.
Honorable Mention: Laura Resler
Lost Sanity Brewing in Madelia
Taste for yourself and support local at Lost Sanity Brewing on 12 West Main St., Madelia.
Honorable Mention: Imminent Brewing
Imminent Brewing in Northfield
BEST LOCAL BEER OR CIDER, BEST SMALL MUSIC VENUE
Share a drink with Imminent Brewing at 519 S. Division St. #2, Northfield.
Honorable Mention Best Local Beer or Cider: August Schell’s Brewery in New Ulm
Honorable Mention Best Small Music Venue: Tavern Lounge in Northfield
Froggy Bottoms River Pub & Lily PADio in Northfield
Check out the views from Froggy Bottoms’ lily padio at 307 S. Water St., Northfield.
Honorable Mention: Club 57 in Waseca
Tokyo Grill in Northfield
BEST ASIAN OR MIDDLE-EASTERN FOOD
Immerse yourself in Japanese culture without Minnesota, and visit Tokyo Grill at 1301 Bollenbacher Drive, Northfield.
Honorable Mention: Mizuki Fusion in Owatonna
Tandem Bagels in Northfield
BEST BAGEL SHOP
Snag a fresh bagel and check out local art at Tandem Bagels at 317 S. Division St., Northfield.
Honorable Mention: Old Town Bagels in Owatonna
Crack of Dawn Bakehouse and Market in Faribault
You can find them at 209 Central Ave. N., Faribault.
Honorable Mention: Cakewalk
Piggy Blue’s Bar-B-Que in Austin
Bring the family and head on down to 323 N. Main St., Austin.
Honorable Mention: Smoqehouse in Northfield
The Tavern of Northfield Restarant & Lounge
Start your day with The Tavern at 212 Division St., Northfield.
Honorable Mention: Jonnie Beans
King’s Place in Miesville
Check it all out at 14460 240th St E, Hastings.
Honorable Mention: Boonie’s Bar & Grill in Faribault
Starfire Event Center in Waseca
The Starfire Event Center is located at 206 2nd St. SW in Waseca.
Honorable Mention: El Tequila Mexican Restaurant in Owatonna
Angie Anderson at JB’s Tavern in Wanamingo
Find Chef Angie Anderson at JB’s Tavern, 112 Main Street in Wanamingo.
JB’s Tavern on Facebook
Honorable Mention: Daniel Hernandez at La Plaza Fiesta in Madelia
Jonnie Beans in Waseca
BEST COFFEE SHOP
Jonnie Beans is located at 204 2nd St. SW in Waseca.
Honorable Mention: Goodbye Blue Monday Coffeehouse in Northfield
Cakewalk in Northfield
If you’re now craving a sweet treat, visit CakeWalk at 303 S. Division St., Northfield.
Honorable Mention: Bluebird Cakery in Faribault
Perfect Day Cakes & Bakery in Owatonna
BEST DESSERT MENU
Stop drooling and cater to your sweet tooth at 324 N. Cedar Ave., Owatonna.
Honorable Mention: Cakewalk in Northfield
Hubbell House in Mantorville
BEST FINE DINING
Check out Hubbell at 502 N Main St, Mantorville.
Honorable Mention: Ole Store Restaurant in Northfield
Uncle B’s Last Chance BBQ in Faribault
BEST FOOD TRUCK
Honorable Mention: Maria’s Taco Hut in Northfield
Blast Soft Serve in Owatonna
BEST ICE CREAM
Blast Soft Serve is located at 206 West Rose Street in Owatonna.
Honorable Mention: Hogan Brothers in Northfield
George’s Vineyard in Northfield
BEST ITALIAN FOOD
Discover the family traditions of George’s Vineyard at 1160 Hwy. 3, Northfield, MN
Honorable Mention: Basil’s Pizza Palace in Northfield
Smoqehouse in Northfield
Get your BBQ fix by visiting Smoqehouse at 212 S. Division St., Northfield.
Honorable Mention: Quarterback Club in Northfield
El Tequila Mexican Restaurant in Owatonna
BEST MEXICAN FOOD
Find El Tequila at 1830 S. Cedar Ave. in Owatonna, or check out the site for other locations.
Honorable Mention: La Plaza Fiesta
Basil’s Pizza Palace in Northfield
Basil’s Pizza is located at 301 Water Street South in Northfield.
Honorable Mention: Pagliai’s Pizza in Mankato and Pleasant Grove Pizza Farm in Waseca
PORTERHOUSE Steak & Seafood Restaurant in Lakeville
BEST PLACE FOR A STEAK
See for yourself at 9828, 11211 205th St W, Lakeville.
Honorable Mention: Hubbell House in Mantorville
Hogan Brothers in Northfield
Hogan Brothers is located at 415 Division Street in Northfield.
Honorable Mention: Smoqehouse in Northfield
Ranchero Supper Club in Webster
BEST SUPPER CLUB
Take a seat at the supper club at 4452 40th St W, Webster.
Honorable Mention: Widerholt’s Supper Club in Miesville
Tanzenwald Brewing Company in Northfield
BEST VEGETARIAN FRIENDLY
Tanzenwald is located at 103 Hwy 3 North, Northfield.
Honorable Mention: Chapati in Northfield
Bullheads Bar and Grill in Waterville
Try the wings for yourself at 256 E Main St, Waterville.
Honorable Mention: Starfire Restaurant in Waseca
SIFT Thrift Shop in Kenyon
BEST ANTIQUE STORE, BEST SECOND HAND STORE
Honorable Mention: Urban Finds & Bistro in Medford
Content Bookstore in Northfield
BEST BOOK STORE
Content Bookstore is located at 314 Division Street in Northfield.
Honorable Mention: Little Professor Book Center in Owatonna
Zinnias in Waseca
Zinnias Boutique is located at 107 11th Ave. NW in Waseca.
Zinnias Boutique on Facebook and Instagram
Honorable Mention: Whimsy’s Closet in Red Wing
Chiropractic Care of Owatonna
Chiropractic Care of Owatonna is located at 605 Hillcrest Ave., Owatonna.
Honorable Mention: Complete Chiropractic Inc in Dundas
Northfield Clinic is located at 2000 North Avenue, Northfield.
Honorable Mention: Allina Health Faribault Clinic
Minnesota Orthodontics in Northfield
Minnesota Orthodontics’ Northfield office is located at 2019 Jefferson Road, Suite C.
Honorable Mention: Prairie Ridge Orthodontics in Owatonna
The Grand Events Center in Northfield
BEST EVENTS CENTER
The Grand Event Center is located at 316 Washington Street, Northfield.
Honorable Mention: Starfire Event Center in Waseca
BEST FITNESS CENTER
Get a work out at Owatonna Fitness, 130 E. Vine St., Owatonna.
Honorable Mention: Northfield YMCA
Mary’s Rustic Rose in Kenyon
Mary’s Rustic Rose on Facebook.
Honorable Mention: Forget-Me-Not Florist in Northfield
The Dork Den in Mankato
BEST GAMING STORE
Find your favorite games or a new passion at The Dork Den, 603 N. Riverfront Drive, Mankato.
Honorable Mention: Lucky Dice in Owatonna
Finally A Gift Store in Faribault
BEST GIFT SHOP
Learn more by stopping in at 18 2nd St. NE, Faribault.
Honorable Mention: The Sketchy Artist in Northfield
Donahue’s Greenhouses Inc. in Faribault
BEST GREENHOUSE/GARDEN CENTER
Check them out at 420 SW 10th St., Faribault, in the spring.
Honorable Mention: Eco Gardens in Northfield
Just Food Co-op in Northfield
BEST GROCERY STORE
You can find all of your local and organic produce at 516 Water St S # 101 in Northfield.
Honorable Mention: ALDI in Owatonna
Pure Elements Salon in Owatonna
BEST HAIR SALON/BARBER SHOP
Pure Elements Salon is located at 245 18th Street SE Suite 105 in Owatonna.
Honorable Mention: Sisters Salon and Day Spa in Owatonna
Faribault Ace Hardware
BEST HARDWARE STORE
Find your wide variety of hardware services at 421 2nd Ave. SW in Faribault.
Honorable Mention: Kenyon Ace Hardware
Zach Spinler Construction in Owatonna
BEST HOME BUILDER/REMODELER
If you have a need for an addition or completely new home you can find Zach Spinler Construction on Facebook or by calling 507-213-4443.
Honorable Mention: L&M Construction Company in Kenyon
The Design Element in Mankato
BEST HOME DÉCOR AND DESIGN
The Design Element is located at 1711 Premier Drive in Mankato.
Honorable Mention: Ashley HomeStore in Medford
Kottke Jewelers & Gifts in Owatonna
BEST JEWELRY STORE
Kottke Jewelers is located at 115 N Cedar Avenue in Downtown Owatonna.
Honorable Mention: Chappuis Jewelry in Faribault
Muddy Paws Resort in Faribault
BEST KENNEL/PET HOTEL/DOGGIE DAYCARE
You can find all of your doggy daycare fun with Muddy Paws Resort at 20225 Canby Ave. in Faribault.
Honorable Mention: Critter Comforts in Owatonna
Firehouse Liquor in Dundas
BEST LIQUOR STORE
You can find the best liquor around at 607 North Stafford Road in Dundas.
Honorable Mention: Cash Wise Liquor in New Ulm
La Nails in Northfield
Find all of your manicure and pedicure needs at 1500 Clinton Lane E in Northfield.
Honorable Mention: Sisters Salon and Days Spa in Owatonna
Sisters Salon and Day Spa in Owatonna
Sisters Salon and Day Spa is located at 1293 21st Ave NW in Owatonna.
Honorable Mention: Harvest Seed Acupuncture
Nerstrand Meats & Catering
BEST MEAT MARKET
Visit Nerstrands Meats at 231 Main St, Nerstrand.
Honorable Mention: Steve’s Meat Market in Ellendale
Tune Town in Mankato
BEST MUSIC STORE
Tune Town is located at 630 N Riverfront Drive, Mankato.
Tune Town on Facebook
Honorable Mention: Waseca Music Co.
Trumps Orchard in Faribault
BEST ORCHARD OR BERRY FARM
Head out for some fall fun this season at 1020 St. Paul Ave. in Faribault.
Honorable Mention: Fireside Orchard & Gardens
Harry Brown’s Family Automotive in Faribault
BEST PLACE TO BUY A CAR
You can find all of your car service needs at 1747 Grant St. in Faribault.
Honorable Mention: Cartime of Owatonna
Ron’s Repair in Owatonna
BEST PLACE TO SERVICE A CAR
Ron’s Repair Shop is located at 505 W North St. in Owatonna.
Honorable Mention: Mark’s Repair Inc. in Owatonna
Tri M Graphics in Owatonna
BEST PRINT SHOP/GRAPHICS
Tri M Graphics is located at 625 E Main Street in Owatonna.
Honorable Mention: Larson’s Printing in Northfield
Tim Freeland in Northfield
Buyers and sellers can find his office at 708 Eastridge Dr. in Northfield.
Honorable Mention: Darvin & Ann Laue in Kenyon
Craft My Party in Waseca
BEST SPECIALTY STORE
Craft My Party is located at 208 State Street North in Waseca.
Honorable Mention: Ruf Acres Market in Faribault
Rare Pair Inc. in Northfield
BEST STORE FRONT
Find you next look at 401 Division Street South #G in Northfield.
Honorable Mention: Corporate Recognition in Owatonna
Haute Skin Spa & Tanning in Owatonna
BEST TANNING SALON
Haute Tanning has locations in both Downtown Owatonna and Faribault.
Honorable Mention: Ultimate Tan in Faribault
Kinship Collective Tattoo in Northfield
BEST TATTOO PARLOR
Kinship Collective is located at 515 Division Street S. Find them online at
Honorable Mention: Three Dragon’s Lair LLC in Owatonna
Aldrich Technology Consulting, LLC in Northfield
BEST TECHNOLOGY REPAIR
You can find Aldrich Technology Consulting, LLC at 427 Division St. S.
Honorable Mention: Abraham Consulting Technologies in Owatonna
Cannon Valley Veterinary Clinic in Northfield
Visit them at 1200 South Highway 3, Northfield.
Honorable Mention: Kenyon Veterinary Clinic
Sollid Yoga in Owatonna
BEST YOGA STUDIO
Sollid Yoga is located at 685 W Bridge St. in Owatonna.
Honorable Mention: Heartwork Yoga Studio in Northfield
Hiller’s Last Call Liquor and Bait in Morristown
BEST BAIT AND TACKLE STORE
Reel in Hiller’s Last Call Liquor and Bait at 8890 Morristown, Blvd, Morristown.
Honorable Mention: John’s Bait and Tackle in Faribault
Sechler Park in Northfield
Sechler Athletic Complex is located at 1200 Armstrong Road.
Honorable Mention: Tink Larson Field in Waseca
Cannon Valley Trail
BEST BIKE TRAIL
Honorable Mention: Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail
Spare Time Entertainment in Owatonna
BEST BOWLING ALLEY
Spare Time Entertainment is located at 333 18th St SE in Owatonna.
Honorable Mention: Jesse James Lanes in Northfield
Kiesler’s Campground & RV Resort in Waseca
Kiesler’s Campground and RV Resort is located at 14360 Old Highway 14 in Waseca.
Honorable Mention: Kamp Dels in Waterville
Faribault Golf & Country Club
BEST GOLF COURSE
Hit a couple rounds of golf at the Faribault Golf & Country Club at 1700 NW 17th St.
Honorable Mention: Northfield Golf Club
Clear Lake Park in Waseca
BEST KAYAK/CANOE Rental
Clear Lake Park is located at 1000 8th Ave NE in Waseca.
Honorable Mention: The Gear ReSource Outfitters in Dundas
Faribault Family Aquatic Center
BEST PLACE TO SWIM
The Faribault Family Aquatic Center is located at 1830 Alexander Dr. in Faribault.
Honorable Mention: River Springs Water Park in Owatonna
BEST SKI SLOPE
Try out the slopes at 26685 County 7 Blvd, Welch.
Honorable Mention: Mount Kato
Historic Hutchinson House B&B in Faribault
BEST BED & BREAKFAST
The Historic Hutchinson Bed and Breakfast is located at 305 2nd St NW, Faribault.
Honorable Mention: Miller’s Bed and Breakfast in Waseca
Defeat of Jesse James Days in Northfield
BEST COMMUNITY EVENT
The Defeat of Jesse James Days is held annually in Northfield the weekend after Labor Day.
Honorable Mention: Steele County Fair
Honorable Mention: Red Wing
Riverwalk Market Fair in Northfield
BEST FARMERS MARKET
Honorable Mention: Owatonna Farmer’s Market
St. James Hotel in Red Wing
Stay a night at 406 Main St, Red Wing.
Honorable Mention: GrandStay Residential Hotel in Faribault
Berne Wood-Fired Pizza & Concert Series
BEST KEPT SECRET
Hit up the series during the summer at 5054, 23148 County Rd 24, West Concord.
Honorable Mention: LearningRX in Owatonna
Cannon Valley Cinema 10 in Dundas
BEST MOVIE THEATER
Go see a movie at 420 Schilling Drive North, Dundas.
Honorable Mention: Northwoods Cinema 10 in Owatonna