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About the 2020 "Best of Connecticut"® Readers Survey

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See the winners and finalists for the Best of Connecticut 2020 in Food & DrinkFun & Leisure and Shopping, and check out our writers' picks for "More Stuff We Love"

This year we’ve taken “Best of Connecticut”® to the next level through a two-round voting process. For the first time we are saluting a slew of finalists as well as the overall winners. 

The first, open-nomination voting round took place from late March through late April. Readers could vote up to once per day per email address for their favorites in dozens of categories.

We took the top vote-getters from the first round — adding a few of our own staff picks — to come up with the finalists. In May we turned things back over to our readers, who picked the winners in a multiple-choice final round. This round was limited to one vote per email address.

Submissions were screened for ballot stuffing, unverified emails and other shenanigans, and, if necessary, discarded. Nominations which, in the judgment of the editorial staff, did not fit their category were also disqualified. In cases in which too few reader nominees met the eligibility threshold, either the category was dropped or the finalists were selected entirely by the editorial staff. Nominees which scored a significant portion of the write-in vote in the second round were also added to the finalists. In certain categories there are only a very few potential nominees, and in those cases a winner only (with no finalists) has been declared.

 Also, in a handful of cases, winners went out of business before our deadline, and the award went to the next highest vote-getter in that category. (Closed businesses are still listed among the finalists.)

The final result is in many ways the biggest “Best of Connecticut”® yet. But even so, we still felt like we’d only scratched the surface. So we’ve gone even further, and our writers have expounded on some of their own, very personal favorite things about the state. (Look for “More Stuff We Love.”)

It's back and better than ever! To create this year’s “Best of Connecticut”® list we debuted a new, souped-up reader survey, and we were blown away by your response! Here now are the winners — and the finalists from which they were chosen — in over 125 categories of food, fun and shopping. It’s our biggest list ever of the best the state has to offer — and we couldn’t have done it without YOU!

See the winners and finalists for the Best of Connecticut 2020 in Food & DrinkFun & Leisure and Shopping, and check out our writers' picks for "More Stuff We Love"

The senior writer at Connecticut Magazine, Erik is the co-author of Penguin Random House’s “The Good Vices” and author of “Buzzed” and “Gillette Castle.” He is also an adjunct professor at WCSU’s MFA Program and Quinnipiac University

Mike Wollschlager, editor and writer for Connecticut Magazine, was born and raised in Bristol and has lived in Farmington, Milford, Shelton and Wallingford. He was previously an assistant sports editor at the New Haven Register.

Albie Yuravich is the editor in chief of Connecticut Magazine. A product of the Naugatuck River Valley, he's also been a newspaper editor and writer at the New Haven Register, Greenwich Time, The Register Citizen and the Republican-American.