* Best Festival
"VegFest. This one's right up my alley. Needless to say, I've been a part of a lot of the local festivals. Festival in the Park is the obvious, and is still one of the biggest and best festivals in the area, but my personal favorite is VegFest. I am by no means a vegetarian, but the folks that produce this Plaza Midwood festival know how to combine a good time, great food and drinks, live music and information about the lifestyle in a way that even meat eaters can enjoy."
* Best Local Band
"Matrimony. Matrimony is no longer flying under the radar and for a reason. Their unique sound, songwriting skills and strong stage presence make for an awesome live show experience. When the fire alarm sounded at their last show at the Neighborhood Theatre, they just took their instruments to the street."
* Best Place for a First Date
"Gallery Twenty-Two. The art is always interesting and can provide some colorful conversation to get the ball rolling. The beer and wine selection will help get rid of any lingering nerves and make that conversation just a little easier."
* Best Italian
"Portofino's. The past few years I've spent the majority of my Sunday nights at Portofino's on Park Road. My parents started this tradition and my stomach happily obliges on a weekly basis. The restaurant is family-owned and operated, has friendly staff that knows and remembers names, and makes some of the best chicken parmesan, arrabiata pasta and pizza in town."
* Best Yoga Studio
"Charlotte Yoga has a collection of some of my favorite yoga teachers in Charlotte, all under the same roof. Charlotte Yoga's Jennifer Busco got me hooked on yoga years ago, and her classes still have some of the best energy in a city that is full of fantastic yoga teachers."