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Best of Eugene Readers Poll 2017-2018 - Crunch! Snacks

Best Burger

1. Killer Burger 50 W. Broadway. 541-636-4731. killerburger.biz.

2. Cornucopia 295 W. 17th Ave. 541-485-2300; 207 E. 5th Ave. 541-485-2300. cornucopiaeugene.com.

3. Little Big Burger 1404 Orchard St. 541-357-4771. littlebigburger.com.

 

Best Vegetarian/Vegan 

1. Cornbread Cafe 1290 W. 7th Ave. 541-505-9175. Cornbreadcafe.com.

2. Morning Glory Café 450 Willamette St. 541-687-0709. Morninggloryeugene.com.

3. Laughing Planet 760 Blair Blvd. 541-868-0668; 2864 Willamette St. 541-505-5399. Laughingplanetcafe.com.

The Southern-inspired vegan diner Cornbread Cafe offers a wide variety of comfort foods typically unavailable to vegans, such as fried chicken and gravy and a bacon ranch burger. Owner Sheree Walters uses ingredients such as tofu and tempeh to hold the place of meat in those recipes. Walters says she learned to cook from scratch from her grandmother, which led her to open the Cornbread Cafe food cart in 2010. The cart only stayed open for a year, quickly moving its way up to a full restaurant. Walters says the focus at Cornbread is on organic, local and fair-trade ingredients. 

After being featured on the Food Network show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” Cornbread Cafe saw a significant spike in popularity. “People from around the country travel to eat here after the Food Network show,” Walters says. “Some people make travel plans for years.” 

Not only is Cornbread Cafe the best vegan spot with the Eugene Weekly readership, but according to Walters, “a lot of people who come from the South give [Cornbread Cafe] a big thumbs up.” — Jordan Rich

 

Best Thai

1. Ta Ra Rin 1200 Oak St. 541-343-1230. tararin.com.

2. Tasty Thai 1308 Hilyard St. 541-343-0165. tastythaicampus.com.

3. Sabai 27 Oakway Center. 541-654-5424. sabaicafe.com.

 

Best Chinese

1. Kung Fu Bistro 2560 Willamette St. 541-968-9258. facebook.com/kungfubistroeugene.

2. Lok Yaun Restaurant 3000 W. 11th Ave. 541-345-7448. lokyaunrestaurant.com.

3. Twin Dragon Restaurant 919 River Rd. 541-688-5481. twin-dragon-restaurant.com.

 

Best Hangover Breakfast

1. Brails 1689 Willamette St. 541-343-1542. brailseugene.com.

2. Morning Glory 450 Willamette St. 541-687-0709.

3. Glenwood 1340 Alder St. 541-687-0355; 2588 Willamette St. 541-687-8201. glenwoodrestaurants.com.

Brails has extended its reign as Eugene’s Best Hangover Breakfast to 14 straight years and, let’s be honest, it’s hard to top a restaurant in the Best Hangover Breakfast category with an item called “The Hangover Special.”

Joy Knudtson, owner of Brails, says she’s proud of her restaurant’s reputation and the fact it brings people back time and again. She says she loves it when old students come back to town for football games or just to visit, because they always come in to say hi. 

And if the food isn’t enough, the service and atmosphere will convert any non-believer. “We have a ‘Cheers’ mentality,” server Nicole Kneisler says, cribbing the line from the classic sit-com: “Everyone here knows your name.” — Max Thornberry 

 

Best Bar grub

1. Horsehead 99 W. Broadway. 541-683-3154. horseheadbareugene.com.

2. Jackalope 453 Willamette St. 541-485-1519. jackalopelounge.com.

3. Bier Stein 1591 Willamette St. 541-485-2437. thebierstein.com.

 

Best Bakery

1. Sweet Life Patisserie 755 Monroe St.; 1609 E. 19th Ave. 541-683-5676. sweetlifedesserts.com.

2. Hideaway Bakery 3377 E. Amazon Drive. 541-868-1982. hideawaybakery.com.

3. Noisette Pastry Kitchen 200 W. Broadway. 541-654-5257. noisettepk.com.

Sweet Life Patisserie takes the cake again (and again and again), winning Best Desserts and Best Bakery in Eugene after another delicious year. Sweet Life’s countless handmade treats — from heavenly, chocolate-cheesecake cupcakes to citrusy, fresh-fruit filled tarts, and everything in between — follow traditional French and classic American recipes and are made with local ingredients whenever possible. The sister-owned shop has two ever-popular locations — “to make life even sweeter” — that also feature a range of gluten-, egg- and dairy-free options. As each dessert is individually placed with perfection on a simple plate, embellished with a dusting of powdered sugar, a drizzle of chocolate or a simple mint leaf, you can’t miss why Sweet Life always comes out on top. — Morgan Theophil

Photo: Athena Delene

 

Best Desserts

1. Sweet Life Patisserie 755 Monroe St.; 1609 E. 19th Ave. 541- 683-5676. sweetlifedesserts.com.

2. Noisette Pastry Kitchen 200 W. Broadway. 541-654-5257. noisettepk.com

3. (Tie) Market of Choice 1060 Green Acres Rd. 541-344-1901; 1960 Franklin Blvd. 541-687-1188; 67 W. 29th Ave. 541-338-8455; 2580 Willakenzie Rd. 541-345-3349. marketofchoice.com.

3. (Tie) Prince Puckler’s Ice Cream 1605 E. 19th Ave. 541-344-4418. princepucklers.com.

3. (Tie) Red Wagon Creamery 55 W. Broadway; 1395 University St. 541-345-8008. redwagoncreamery.com.

 

Best Kombucha

1. Townshend’s Brew Dr. Townshend’s Eugene, 41 W. Broadway 503-235-3656. brewdrkombucha.com

2. Elevate 541-968-5573. facebook.com/ElevateEugene.

3. A Billion New Friends (BNF) 225 W. Broadway. 541-590-5710. bnfkombucha.com.

If Eugene had an official drink, it would have to be kombucha, right? Although the idea of fermented tea might give some people the heebie jeebies, this tasty, fizzy drink is a Eugene — and Pacific Northwest — staple. And you voted that Townshend’s Brew Dr. Kombucha does it best! Brew Dr.’s flavors include the very autumnal “Spiced Apple,” pretty much apple pie in a bottle; “Love,” a jasmine and lavender brew; and “Happiness,” a white tea and rose petal brew, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. They also have notable seasonal flavors like “Vanilla Oak” and “Mango Habañero.” Townshend’s Tea Company started in 2006, according to its website, and began making kombucha in 2008. Now Brew Dr. is distributed across the U.S. and Canada, with Townshend’s shops here in Eugene and Portland, as well as Montana and Utah. So, whether you’re a kombucha aficionado or a first-time taster, Brew Dr. is a great option. (Also, full disclosure: We get some delivered to the EW office, and we love it!) — Meerah Powell

 

Best Latte

1. Dutch Bros 1633 Coburg Rd.; 2115 Franklin Blvd.; 311 E. 11th Ave. dutchbros.com.

2. Wandering Goat 268 Madison St. 541-344-5161. wanderinggoat.com.

3. Vero Espresso 205 E. 14th Ave. 541-654-0504. veroespressohouse.com.

Go ahead, mock Dutch Bros. It’s sugary milk coffee, you say. Well, you know what? Sometimes in the Northwest, a latté is comfort food, and there are mornings where the only thing keeping you going is swinging by the little white box with its cute little windmill and those relentlessly happy people inside dispensing caffeine and dog treats. For those of you who prefer your caffeine a little more hipster, Wandering Goat’s beans are truly epic, and we take out-of-town guests to the Whit just to sample them. Vero is last but not least in our Readers Poll, combining a hot latté with a cheery campus atmosphere. If you are doing a drive (walk or bike) by, then Dutch Bros. is your place, but for the laptop crowd on a rainy day, Vero and Wandering Goat have you covered. — Camilla Mortensen

 

Best Barbecue

1. Papa’s Soul Food Kitchen 400 Blair Blvd. 541-342-7500. papassoulfoodkitchen.com.

2. Bill & Tim’s Barbeque 201 E. 13th Ave. 541-654-0578. westrauntconcepts.com.

3. Hole in the Wall 200 W. 11th Ave. 541-683-7378; 1807 Olympic St., Spfd. 541-726-1200. holeinthewallbbq.com.  

Papa’s Soul Food Kitchen is closing this year, leaving behind a 15-year legacy of culture, music, and finger-lickin’ barbecue. Since Ted “Papa” Lee died in 2012, the restaurant stayed open under the leadership of his widow, Debra Lee. “It was awesome to have it, especially after he passed away, to have that support system. It felt like he was still here,” Lee says. “It helped me to heal from his passing.” She adds, “I miss doing it with him.” Lee says she’s not sure what she’ll do after closing the restaurant, but says she’s looking forward to taking a breather and turning off her electronics for a while.

 A juggernaut of Best of Eugene, Papa’s has won Best Barbeque repeatedly over the years, and this year tops the list for both Best Barbeque and Best Comfort Food. And why not? With its cute, homey menu and atmosphere and delectable Southern delights, Papa’s has been a staple of the Whiteaker for over a decade. It has some of the best cornbread in town, incredible hush puppies, and beef brisket that melts in your mouth — not to mention gumbo and Nawlins style jambalaya. It’s always a battle to pick the best sides on that robust menu. Lee says she’s grateful for the support she’s had from the community since Papa’s passing. “It’s been eight years since he passed away, and just having his memory still here and being able to share his dream with the community is really important to me.” On getting picked for Best of Eugene, she says, “It feels really good to go out with a bang.” Lee hopes the community will keep Papa’s memory alive “in their own way” now that the restaurant is closing — though she’s not sure when. She recommends filling your need for great BBQ at Tony’s, a food cart on River Road in Santa Clara.

Eugene is losing an institution, but we’re excited to see what fills that gap on the coveted corner of 4th and Blair. Best wishes to Lee and the entire staff as they take their next steps in life after Papa and Papa’s Soul Food. — Kelly Kenoyer

Photo: Todd Cooper

 

Best Comfort Food

1. Papa’s Soul Food Kitchen 400 Blair Blvd. 541-342-7500. papassoulfoodkitchen.com.

2. Cornbread Cafe 1290 W. 7th Ave. 541-505-9175. cornbreadcafe.com.

3. Cornucopia 295 W. 17th Ave. 541-485-2300; 207 E. 5th Ave. 541-485-2300. cornucopiaeugene.com.

 

Best Food Cart

1. Buck Buck 207 Madison St. @buckbuckeug.

2. Da Nang 488 Lincoln St. 541-915-0144. danangeatery.com.

3. Subo Sushi Burritos 1069 W. 3rd Ave. 541-735-1051. unamisushi.wixsite.com/unamisushi/subo.

When Buck Buck made its debut, it took this town by storm. Maybe it filled a vacuum in the department of excellent fried chicken, maybe people liked the simple menu. Regardless of the cause, the cart now has long lines from open till close most days. Owner Mikey Lawrence is so dedicated to the craft of delicious chicken that he has a meat cleaver tattooed next to his eye. And that chicken — usually paired with a fluffy biscuit — is melt-in-your-mouth tender, with a perfect crunchy coat on the outside. And if you’re feeling truly decadent, you can get the chicken and waffles — a soft, perfect waffle topped with crunchy fried chicken and doused in blackberry compote. You’ll never want to eat anything else ever again. — Kelly Kenoyer

photo: Trask Bedortha

 

Best Grub Under $8

1. Café Yumm Eugene: 730 E. Broadway. 541- 344-9866; 1801 Willamette St. 541- 686-9866; 130 Oakway Center. 541-465-9866; 1005 Green Acres Rd. 541-684-9866. Springfield: 3340 Gateway St., 541-747-9866. Corvallis: 2001 N.W. Monroe Ave. cafeyumm.com.

2. El Super Burrito 2566 Willamette St. 541-485-0619. elsupereugene.com.

3. Burrito Boy 510 E. Broadway. 541-344-8070. burritoboy.com.

For less than eight bucks, it doesn’t get any better for Eugene residents than eating a quick meal at one of myriad Café Yumm locations. Café Yumm offers a number of healthy bowls, wraps, bentos (Japanese-style lunch boxes usually served with rice and vegetables), sandwiches, soups and salads. 

Café Yumm caters not only to the price-conscious diner but to the health-minded as well, mixing in avocados, organic beans, salsa and greens with chicken, tempeh or tofu. Let’s be real here, though: Café Yumm’s primary draw is its Yumm sauce, an addicting mix of garbanzo and soy beans, lemon juice, garlic and basil — sort of a creamy, tangy hummus that true disciples can buy in separate bottles to bring home. Café Yumm’s Yumm bowls and Yumm sauce have been local favorites since 1993, and judging by the many Yelp adherents, crowded restaurants and EW staff who have addictions to it, it isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. — Matthew Denis

 

Best Meal Over $25

1. Marché Restaurant 296 E. 5th Ave. 541-342-3612. marcherestaurant.com.

2. Mame 541 Blair Blvd. 541-654-4378.

3. Cafe Soriah 384 W. 13th Ave. 541-342-4410. cafesoriah.com.

 

Best New Restaurant

1. Poke Stop 1044 Willamette St. 541-686-3504. eatpokestop.com.

2. (Tie) Kun Fusion 1239 Alder St. 541-232-9733. kunfusion.com.

2. (Tie) Novo Latin Table 105 Oakway Center. 541-654-8165. novolatintable.com.

3. Blu Mist 1400 Valley River Drive, Suite 130. 541-636-3306. blumistrb.com.

photo: Trask Bedortha

 

Best Restaurant

1. Izakaya Meiji 345 Van Buren St. 541-505-8804. izakayameiji.com.

2. Marché Restaurant 296 East 5th Ave. 541-342-3612. marcherestaurant.com.

3. Mame 541 Blair Blvd. 541-654-4378.

 

Best Taco

1. Tacovore 530 Blair Blvd. 541-735-3518. tacovorepnw.com.

2. Belly Taqueria (now closed)

3. Burrito Boy Eugene: 510 E. Broadway; 2511 W. 11th Ave.; 1060 River Rd.; 30 W. 10th Ave.; 1840 Chambers St. Spfd.: 1889 Olympic St. burritoboy.com.

Call them Pacific Northwest tacos. If you are looking for a “real” Mexican taco, then Tacovore’s Tex-Mex with a PNW spin may not be for you. That’s fine, taco purists, because there’s more for us. Even the plainest-sounding taco on the menu, the $3 bean and cheese, makes your taste buds sing, featuring coconut-braised organic Oregon black beans with queso Oaxaca, pickled onion and cilantro. And Tacovore earned our respect when it shut its doors on the national Day Without Immigrants this past February, calling attention to the importance of immigrants in our community — and in making Tacovore’s handmade tortillas. — Camilla Mortensen

Photo: Athena Delene

 

Best Sushi

1. Mame 541 Blair Blvd. 541-654-4378.

2. Sushi Pure 296 E. 5th Ave. 541-654-0608. pureeugene.com.

3. Sushi Domo 1020 Green Acres Rd. 541-343-0935; 2835 Oak St. 541-484-7008. sushidomoeugene.com.

Photo: Todd Cooper

 

Best Pizza

1. Mezza Luna 933 Pearl St. 541-684-8900; 2776 Shadow View Dr. 541-743-2999; 115 S. 5th St. Spfd. mezzalunapizzeria.com.

2. Sizzle Pie 910 Willamette St. 541-683-7437. Sizzlepie.com.

3. Pegasus Pizza 2864 Willamette St. 541-344-9931; 790 E. 14th Ave. 541-344-4471; 4 Oakway Center. 541-344-0844. pegasuspizza.net.

It’s easy to see why Mezza Luna, with Sizzle Pie hot on its heels, is a fan-favorite pizza joint. Both offer a variety of gourmet pizza by the slice at a fair price. And they up the fun when naming their creations, like the Boba Feta at Mezza Luna or the White Walker at Sizzle Pie. First-place winner Mezza Luna’s restaurant environment is very “Eugene,” with chill music and tons of natural lighting, perfect for date night. Second-place Sizzle Pie’s environment is grungy, often with metal or punk music playing and the motto “death to false pizza” written on their boxes. That might work for date night, too. — Jordan Rich

 

Best Brewery

1. Ninkasi 272 Van Buren St. 541-344-2739. ninkasibrewing.com.

2. Oakshire 207 Madison St. 541-654-5520. oakbrew.com.

3. Hop Valley 990 W. 1st Ave. 541-485-2337; 980 Kruse Way. 541-744-3330. hopvalleybrewing.com.

Microbrew-turned-national brand, Ninkasi has a corner on the brewery market in Eugene. The tasting room, brewery and administration building take up over a block in the Whiteaker district, but no one is complaining.

Besides quenching Eugene’s thirst, Ninkasi donates to nonprofits via its Beer is Love program. One recent push raised $50,000 to support McKenzie River Trust and its Homewaters Campaign. 

“Without our local community, Ninkasi wouldn’t be what it is today,” Ali Aasum, Ninkasi’s communications director, wrote in an email to EW. “Being named ‘Best Of’ is quite an honor. There are many fantastic breweries in our area, and we’re proud to be a part of a community that supports our craft!” — Max Thornberry

Photo: Rob Sydor

 

Best Cocktails

1. Izakaya Meiji 345 Van Buren St. 531-505-8804. izakayameiji.com.

2. Rye 444 E. 3rd Ave. 541-653-8509. ryeon3rd.com

3. The Vintage 837 Lincoln St. 541-349-9181. thevintageeugene.com.

Meiji has seasonal cocktails with anything from rum to gin, but let’s face it: Some of us are in it for the whiskey. And Izakaya Meiji does whiskey (and whisky) right. For those of you new to the spirit, a mint julep adds just enough sweetness to soften the bite. For those of us whose palates yearn for whiskey’s oaky warmth, you can order your drink neat or go with my favorite, a whiskey ginger. — Camilla Mortensen

photo: Trask Bedortha

 

Best Distillery

1. Heritage Distillery 110 Madison St. 541-357-4431. heritagedistilling.com.

2. Thinking Tree Spirits 88 Jackson St. 541-357-2211. thinkingtreespirits.com

3. Swallowtail Spirits 5250 Highbanks Rd., Suite 300, Spfd. 458-210-2907. swallowtailspirits.com.

Photo: Todd Cooper

 

Best Winery

1. Sweet Cheeks Winery 27007 Briggs Hill Rd. 541-349-9463; 248 E. 5th St. Suite 25. sweetcheekswinery.com.

2. King Estate Winery 80854 Territorial Hwy. 541-942-9874. kingestate.com.

3. Sarver Winery 25600 Mayola Ln. 541-935-2979. sarverwinery.com.

The Willamette Valley is wine country, and Sweet Cheeks offers plenty for sommeliers and novices alike. You can’t believe everything you read on the internet, but a slew of 4- and 5-star reviews makes a case for why Sweet Cheeks is a repeat winner for Best Winery in Eugene. The setting — both location and atmosphere — sets Sweet Cheeks apart from the rest of the hotly contested pack. — Max Thornberry

 

Best Bar

1. The Wayward Lamb 150 W. Broadway. 541-654-5106. thewaywardlamb.com.

2. Sam Bond’s 407 Blair Blvd. 541-431-6601. sambonds.com

3. Izakaya Meiji  345 Van Buren St. 541- 505-8804. izakayameiji.com.

After more than two years as Eugene’s go-to LGBTQIA bar, The Wayward Lamb shows no sign of slowing down. Not only considered the place to be in the queer community, The Wayward Lamb is the spot for anyone looking to let loose and shake down in a welcoming scene. There’s not much the gathering place doesn’t offer. A front bar supplies space to sip tasty drinks and to savor snacks, salads and sandwiches over good conversation. A backroom gives patrons a spot to catch drag cabaret, rock out in the lip sync contest as well as room to simply shake their tail feathers. On Wednesday, there’s even trivia night to test your inner nerd. 

University of Oregon journalism student Derek Maiolo (perhaps harkening to the most interesting man in the world) says that, “I don’t go to the bar very often, but when I do, I go to The Wayward Lamb.” Hear, hear, Derek. We’ll meetcha’ there. — Matthew Denis 

 

Best place to hang out

1. HOME

2. beergarden. 777 W 6th Ave 541-505-9432. beergardenme.com.

3. Hi-Fi Lounge/Music Hall 44 E. 7th Ave. 

541-636-3292. Hifimusichall.com. 

 

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