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Rural Missouri Announces Readers’ Choice Awards

Rural Missouri announces annual Readers’ Choice awards
The ballots have been counted, and the readers of Rural Missouri magazine have once again selected their favorites in the publication’s annual Best of Rural Missouri Readers’ Choice Contest.
For the 13th consecutive year, the publication’s readers were asked to name their favorite eateries, destinations and activities across the Show-Me State. A winner, runner-up and editor’s choice were named in each of 20 categories. This year’s edition of the contest featured new categories – such as Best Chicken Wings and Best Sandwich – and brought back a few old favorites from past contests, including Best Golf Course.
“Whoever said that number 13 had to be unlucky?” asked Rural Missouri Editor Jim McCarty. “If you ask our 60 winners what they think, you may be hard-pressed to find anyone concerned about a mention in this year’s 13th annual contest. Our readers certainly weren’t nervous about participating, either. Voting this year was as strong as ever, and we thank them for participating.”
Those who completed ballots were entered for a chance to win a $500 Best of Missouri gift basket. This year’s winner was Cara Bowman, a Missouri Rural Electric Cooperative member from Hannibal. The basket included Missouri-made foods, locally crafted pottery, a gift certificate to a Missouri bed-and-breakfast of Bowman’s choice along with Rural Missouri merchandise.
Based in Jefferson City, Rural Missouri has been the voice of Missouri’s electric cooperatives since 1948. It has a circulation of more than 545,000, making it the largest paid-circulation monthly publication in Missouri.
All of this year’s winners are featured in the April issue of Rural Missouri. The digital edition of the magazine can be read online at
2014 Best of Rural Missouri Readers’ Choice Contest Winners
• Best Restaurant
1st Place: Catalpa, Arrow Rock
Runner-Up: Lambert’s Cafe, Sikeston
Editor’s Choice: Wabash Junction, Stanberry
• Best Barbecue
1st Place: Missouri Hick Bar-B-Q, Cuba
Runner-Up: Lutz’s BBQ, Jefferson City
Editor’s Choice: Wib’s Drive-In, Jackson
• Best Chicken Wings
1st Place: Wings A-Blazin’, Hermann
Runner-Up: CJ’s, Columbia
Editor’s Choice: Coyote’s Nixa Grill, Nixa
• Best Breakfast
1st Place: Billy Gail’s Cafe, Branson
Runner-Up: Country Bob’s, St. James
Editor’s Choice: Red Barn Cafe & Hen House Bakery, Mount Vernon
• Best Pizza
1st Place: Brooklyn Pizza, Fulton
Runner-Up: Shakespeare’s Pizza, Columbia Editor’s Choice: Yogi’s Pizza, Conway
• Best Winery
1st Place: St. James Winery, St. James
Runner-Up: River Ridge Winery, Commerce
Editor’s Choice: Cooper’s Oak Winery, Higbee
• Best AgriMissouri Product
1st Place: Burgers’ Smokehouse, California
Runner-Up: Vera Belle Soap, Co., Hannibal Editor’s Choice: Alewel’s Country Meats, Warrensburg
• Best Sandwich
1st Place: Cafe Blackadder, Warrensburg
Runner-Up: Piggy’s BarBQ, O’Fallon
Editor’s Choice: Lonnie Ray’s, Harrisburg
• Best Chili
1st Place: Casper’s, Springfield
Runner-Up: Booches, Columbia
Editor’s Choice: Dixon’s Famous Chili, Independence
• Best Ice Cream Shop
1st Place: Central Dairy, Jefferson City
Runner-Up: Beggs Berry World, Benton
Editor’s Choice: Dari-B Drive-In, Excelsior Springs
• Best Festival
1st Place: Oktoberfest, Hermann
Runner-Up: Fair Grove Heritage Reunion, Fair Grove Editor’s Choice: Festival of the Little Hills, St. Charles
• Best State Park
1st Place: Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Camdenton
Runner-Up: Arrow Rock State Historic Site, Arrow Rock Editor’s Choice: Thousand Hills State Park, Kirksville
• Best Trail
1st Place: Katy Trail State Park
Runner-Up: Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Camdenton Editor’s Choice: Ozark Trail
• Best Theater
1st Place: Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, Arrow Rock
Runner-Up: Maples Repertory Theatre, Macon Editor’s Choice: Ozark Actors Theatre, Rolla
• Best Antique Shop
1st Place: Antique Centre Mall, Benton
Runner-Up: St. Mary’s Antique Mall, St. Mary Editor’s Choice: Artichoke Annie’s, Columbia
• Most Beautiful Town
1st Place: Hermann
Runner-Up: Arrow Rock
Editor’s Choice: Ste. Genevieve
• Best Off-beat Attraction
1st Place: Tacony Vacuum Cleaner Museum, St. James
Runner-Up: Jim the Wonder Dog, Marshall
Editor’s Choice: Tower Rock, Wittenburg
• Best Golf Course
1st Place: Bent Creek Golf Course, Jackson
Runner-Up: Ste. Genevieve Golf Club, Ste. Genevieve Editor’s Choice: Mozingo Lake Recreation Park Golf Course, Maryville
• Best Romantic Getaway
1st Place: Big Cedar Lodge, Ridgedale
Runner-Up: Hermann Hill Vineyard Inn & Spa, Hermann Editor’s Choice: River of Life Farm, Dora
• Best Vacation Spot
1st Place: Branson
Runner-Up: Lake of the Ozarks
Editor’s Choice: Hannibal

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