For more photos, click gallery, above.
Whether you're talking coffee, beer or wine, Madison denizens know exactly what they want to imbibe and where they want to imbibe it, and, luckily for us, they're more than happy to share. This year's results include some familiar watering holes and a few surprises. We'll drink to that.
Madison's Favorite Coffee House
Everybody, it seems, has a favorite spot to get that morning jolt or evening pick-me-up. But your favorite spot for a cuppa is Barriques, no matter whether in the form of the Coffee Trader (on West Wash), the Market (in Fitchburg) or the Wine Cave (on Monroe Street). It's followed closely by the comfy confines of Mother Fool's Coffee House on Willy Street. You also love the java at Ancora Coffee Roasters.
Madison's Favorite Happy Hour
Work's over for the day and you need to unwind. When the 5 o'clock whistle blows, those in the know head for Genna's. Once again, the venerable (some might say well-worn) establishment captivates you with its mini-meatballs in barbecue sauce and cheese cubes teetering on toothpicks. You also like to get happy at the Orpheum Lobby Restaurant and the Great Dane Pub and Brewery.
Madison's Favorite Cocktail Lounge
1. Opus Lounge
3. Jade Monkey
What do Amanda Reckonwith, Natasha's Forbidden Fruit, Ryan's Baby, Gerry's Manpanion and Tatum's Blue Moon have in common? They're all cocktails available at your favorite den of iniquity, the ultra-cool Opus Lounge. Lounge lizards also gather at Genna's, followed by newcomer the Jade Monkey (a self-styled "Asian-Infused Retro Lounge"-who can resist?).
Madison's Favorite Wine Bar
1. Eno Vino
In vino veritas. Ain't it the truth! And many of you find the truth at Eno Vino, with its snaking wine list and sophisticated dining room. Others swear by Barriques. Sadly, the truth can no longer be found at Cafe Momo, which popped its last cork this summer.
Madison's Favorite Bar for Beer
1. Great Dane
3. Harmony Bar
The votes were hot and heavy in this category, but when the wheel stopped spinning, the big arrow pointed to the Great Dane Pub and Brewery. Whether downtown, in Fitchburg or Hilldale, its seasonal brews and well-loved standards - my current fave is the Devil's Lake Red Lager - keep you coming back for more. Another big winner is the Malt House, which serves its brewski straight up (no distracting TV or pool), and east-side institution the Harmony, characters nightly.
Madison's Favorite Gay Bar
1. Club 5
3. Shamrock Bar
Some have said that, compared to other cities, Madison gay bars are MIA, but our readers beg to differ. Coming in at the head of the pack is Club 5 (with its G-Bar for the ladies and Barracks for the gents), followed by the muscular Woof's (home of the St. Patrick's Day Parade After Party) and the cozy Shamrock Bar ("a bar for everyone").
Madison's Favorite Outdoor Bar Area
1. Great Dane
What could be more perfect than a warm summer night, good company and a tall, cool one? A warm summer night, good company and a tall, cool one on the Great Dane's outdoor patios. Runner-up the UW Memorial Union Terrace has sunsets, music and relaxing views of sailboats - and plenty of beer on tap. Mickey's Tavern rounds out the group; kick back on its outdoor patio with an order of Sexy Fries and a good beer, and you're in Madison heaven.
Madison's Favorite Local Microbrewery
1. Ale Asylum
2. Great Dane
When the dust settled, it was Ale Asylum by a nose, Great Dane to place and Middleton's Capital Brewery to show. All three have award-winning microbrews, but the Ale Asylum's flagship Hopalicious and wickedly good Ambergeddon, Contorter Porter and Madtown Nutbrown put it over the top.