The results are in! Our readers have voted on their favorite businesses, services, restaurants, stores, spas and more, from Blaine to Anacortes. Looking for the go-to places to get the perfect haircut or find the best dentist? Look no further.

Arts & Entertainment

BEST CASINO- Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa

Silver: Skagit Valley Casino

Bronze: Swinomish Casino and Lodge

From casual to fine dining, from slot machines and one-armed bandits to blackjack tables, the Silver Reef is the favorite gaming and resort destination for a reason—the gaming areas are staffed with friendly folks, the bar serves up some of the best drinks in Whatcom County, and the Events Center keeps it hopping with great live acts and sporting events. The Cigar Lounge is a great place to unwind at the end of the evening before heading to your room—the luxury accommodations are a great place to unwind after a long night of carousing.

BEST LIVE THEATRE- Mount Baker Theatre

Silver: The Neighborhood Playhouse

 Bronze: Spectrum Dance Theatre

With nationally important live acts like Joni Mitchell and Penn & Teller as well as locally relevant concerts like the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, the Mount Baker is more than just a concert hall—it’s the heart of the Bellingham Arts District, and a landmark building that defines downtown culture. Constructed in 1927, the MBT also houses the Harold and Irene Walton Theatre, a more intimate space for productions and meetings, and the Encore Room for small performances and private parties.


Silver: Allied Arts

Bronze: Jansen Art Center

What began as a place for musicians to affordably record and perform, Make.Shift is now home to the greatest archive of local music known to the planet, some amazing shows of local art and photography, and the best block party in town. When KVWV went looking for a home, Make.Shift was there. Every year, Make.Shift grows and adapts to the needs of local artists and musicians, nurturing our lively arts community.

BEST FESTIVAL- Northwest Washington Fair

Silver: Ski to Sea

Bronze: Northwest Raspberry Festival

The camels, Demolition Derby, wild rides, and fried butter are practically family traditions in Whatcom County. Combining the best of good old fashioned family fun and new acts, show-worthy livestock and high-flying rides, the Fair is the place to be in late August. Great for kids, fun for adults, the Fair is the most-anticipated event in our area every year.

  • Northwest Washington Fair 1775 Front St., Lynden 360.354.1315,

BEST MUSEUM- Spark Museum

Silver: Whatcom Museum

 Bronze: The Lightcatcher

A great place to explore the underpinnings of modern science, the Spark houses a Tesla Coil, a Theramin, and lots of hands-on activities that explore early technology, sound waves, and communication. The museum’s centerpiece is the MegaZapper, a 100-volt machine that shoots arcs of purple lightning through the air. Participants that are 18 and older can be “zapped” in the lightning cage after the show. Spark also hosts educational programs, seminars on robotics, and is home to KMRE radio.


Silver: The Green Frog

Bronze: Boundary Bay Brewery

With a nice big dance floor, great drinks, fun local events like 90s Night and Funk Mondays, and national acts that are well worth the admission, the Wild Buffalo keeps everyone hoppin’. A great place to kick off your week or dance away the weekend, the Buff has something for everyone, every night of the week.

  • The Wild Buffalo 208 W. Holly St., Bellingham 360.746.8733,


Silver: Lara Carter

 Bronze: Spaceband

Atmospheric and spare, Vacationeer is a mix of indie and electronica with a mellow, minimalist sensibility. Their EP Chances is released on vinyl, and has the open, watery feeling of an afternoon in a garden. Appropriate, as they recorded a live set for Bellingham SoundCheck at the Zen Living Cooperative in September, 2014. You can watch the duo grooving among the bamboo and koi on YouTube. Or, better yet, go see them live. You won’t regret it.

Food & Drink


Silver: Asian 1

Bronze: Mykonos

Tony and Angie Nguyen have brought the flavors of their native Saigon to Bellingham, and aren’t we lucky for that? Soy House offers fresh, delicious appetizers and entrees with carefully prepared ingredients. The Pho, spring rolls, and stirfried noodles are amazing, and our readers agree. The downtown location has ample space for large parties and lots of free parking—a rarity for Bellingham.

  • Soy House 414 West Bakerview Rd. #112, 360.393.3585 400 W. Holly, Bellingham, 360.393.4857,

BEST BAKERY- Mount Bakery

Silver: Dutch Mothers Family Restaurant

Bronze: Great Harvest Bread

Whether you’re in for a cup of tea or coffee or enjoying a full breakfast, the European feel of Mount Bakery is always welcoming and delightful. From buttery, flaky, perfect croissants to delicious quiches and crepes, Mount Bakery creates some of the best baked goods in town. Mount Bakery has added a location in Fairhaven for extra convenience.

  • Mount Bakery 308 W. Champion St., 1217 Harris Ave., Bellingham, 360.715.2195,

BEST COFFEE- The Black Drop

 Silver: Woods

 Bronze: Cruisin’ Coffee

The Black Drop is a family affair. Owners Stephanie and John Oppelaar have been part of the Drop for years, and they have retained several longterm employees—a testament to their commitment to doing the right thing. Their coffee and espresso are made from beans roasted by Maniac Roasting, owned by former Black Drop owners, Teri Bryant and Alexarc Mastema. The Level 10 Fireball will solve any crisis in your soul. Stephanie has taken to baking all of the treats (gluten-free and vegan options) for the shop, a huge and inspiring task at which she has succeeded so beautifully.

BEST ITALIAN- D’Anna’s Café Italiano

Silver: Mambo Italiano

Bronze: Guiseppe’s Al Porto

Fresh pasta is just a different beast from whatever comes out of a bright blue box, and D’Anna’s is proof. But quality at D’Anna’s doesn’t stop with the perfect al dente noodles—the sauces are rich and aromatic, the entrees like pan-seared Ahi tuna are perfectly prepared, and even the little side salads are incredible. The atmosphere is the perfect balance of intimate and casual, and the service is quick and friendly. D’Anna’s is a great place to gather with friends and mangia.

BEST STEAK- The Steak House at Silver Reef

Silver: Dirty Dan’s Steakhouse

 Bronze: Cliff House

Executive Chef Tom Hull and his team at The Steak House create the perfect dinners, from mouthwatering appetizers to, yes, the most amazing steaks. The dinner begins with Hull’s team sourcing the best aged beef they can find, then carefully preparing them with just the right temperature, taste, and texture. The results are amazing. The atmosphere is elegant and intimate, the wine list is deep, and the service is some of the best in Whatcom County.

BEST BURGER- Boomers Drive-In

Silver: Fiamma Burger

Bronze: Bob’s Burgers and Brew

Offering more than a dozen innovative and amazing styles of burger (pizza burger, anyone?) Boomers has been a favorite of Bellingham families for decades. It’s not hard to see why—great burgers piled high with fresh ingredients all for a great price. Their shakes and waffle fries are amazing, too, just so you know. Whether you dine-in or have charming carhop service, Boomers has your burger.

BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT-  Jalapeños Family Mexican Restaurant

Silver: Lorenzo’s

Bronze: El Gitano

Whether you choose to dine by the water at the original Jalapeños at the head of the Whatcom Waterway, or the rooftop deck in Fairhaven, or the bright, spacious dining room at Barkley, a meal at Jalapeños is always a feast, and always delicious. And if you aren’t accompanying your meal with one of their signature margaritas—the Big Mama or the Big Papa—you are missing out.

  • Jalapeños Family Mexican Restaurant Various locations in Bellingham, 360.671.3099,

BEST BAR & LOUNGE- The Temple Bar

Silver: Daphne’s

 Bronze: Uisce Irish Pub

A favorite place to settle in with a happy hour special and a good friend (or companion), Temple Bar has the perfect atmosphere for lingering over drinks. Their craft cocktails and seasonal dishes are incredible, and the staff is knowledgeable about just the right drink and food pairings. It’s also a versatile space—if you want a lively bar, a quiet corner, or a table for ten of your best friends, there is a place for you. Owner Chelsea Farmer does an amazing job keeping the Temple classic and inviting.


Silver: Anthony’s HomePort

Bronze: Keenan’s at the Pier

With ample parking, gluten-free options, an extensive menu, and great deals, NYP won the hearts of our readers this year. There are several food options available for less than you normally spend on a drink. And the drink specials are great, too. With a comfortable, casual atmosphere, NYP is a great place to gather with friends and blow off some steam.

BEST COCKTAIL- Poppe’s 360

Silver: Temple Bar

 Bronze: Daphne’s

Poppe’s 360 is crafting some stellar cocktails, from a classic martini, to a great old fashioned, to amazing creations of their own. Always inventive and tasty, Poppe’s works with fresh ingredients, including bitters and juices made there at the bar. This great team simply can’t make a bad drink, and our readers think that’s a great thing.

BEST TAKEOUT- Best Chopsticks

Silver: Busara

Bronze: Lakeway Teriyaki

Delicious, fresh Chinese takeout can be tough to find in Bellingham, where Thai and sushi reign supreme. But Best Chopsticks is always there, a reliable standby when going out feels too much like work and there’s no food at home. With a comprehensive menu that includes all the favorites, Best Chopsticks has something for everyone.

BEST BREWERY- Kulshan Brewing Company

Silver: Boundary Bay

Bronze: Wander Brewing

Not being a pugnacious town, Bellingham doesn’t engage in brawls over which beer is the best—rather, we celebrate all the breweries. With new breweries opening all the time, the Bellingham Tap Trail cheering them on, we are pretty beer-crazy in this town. And hopheads love Kulshan. Stop by K2, their new additional taproom.Complex beers with lots of depth and gravity, Kulshan really seems to understand what makes a great beer. And our readers agree.

  • Kulshan Brewing Company 2238 James St.; 1538 Kentucky St., Bellingham, 360.389.5348,

BEST DESSERT- Pure Bliss Desserts

Silver: Cupcakes Like it Sweet

Bronze: Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt

The name kind of says it all at Pure Bliss. Rich, creamy cakes, amazing cookies, and beautiful confections, Pure Bliss corners the market on all things baked. The shop itself is a beautiful Parisianinspired café, and it’s a great place for a date night or a girls’ night out. Chef Andi Vann ensures that every bite at Pure Bliss lives up to its name, and our readers agree. She also creates artful and delicious wedding and special occasion cakes.


Silver: Old World Deli

 Bronze: Café Rumba

Maybe it’s the delicious crisp-tangy Bahn Mi, or the dripping, delicious reuben, or one of their amazing eggenue breakfast sandwiches, but whatever brings us all back over-and-over, we’re grateful. Avenue added burgers to their repertoire recently, and they are brilliant.

  • Avenue Bread 2301 James St. 1919 Railroad Ave.; 1135 11th St., Bellingham, 360.715.3354,

BEST FISH & CHIPS-  Anthony’s at Squalicum Harbor

Silver: Web Locker

Bronze: Fairhaven Fish & Chips

The Anthony’s chain has been going strong throughout our area, and it’s not difficult to see why. Their restaurants are open, airy, and the food is of consistent quality. The fish and chips are no exception: crispy, tender filets of your choice of halibut or cod served with a side of delicious golden fries. Anthony’s mission is to bring fresh, sustainably caught fish from the ocean to your table, and their fish and chips reflect that kind of quality. The excellent service, extensive drink menu, and gorgeous waterside views are a bonus.

  • Anthony’s at Squalicum Harbor 25 Bellwether Way, Bellingham, 360.647.5588,


Silver: Goat Mountain Pizza

Bronze: Tino’s Pizza and Pasta

Wood-fired and flamekissed, Fiamma’s pizzas are topped with amazing sauces and farm-fresh ingredients. Their lunch special is a real deal: a personal pizza and salad for under $10. Favorites include the Sophia, the Fiona, and the Finn, not to mention their amazing seasonal specials that are as delicious as they are creative. La Fiamma is a fun, family-friendly place. The outdoor seating is perfect for a warm evening.

  • La Fiamma 200 E. Chestnut St., Bellingham, 360.647.0060,

BEST SUSHI- Blue Fin Sushi

Silver: Wasabee Sushi

 Bronze: Zen Sushi

Sushi is one of the pricier meals out, so it has to be good. It has to be absolutely fresh, tantalizingly plated, and perfectly delicious. Lucky for us, Bellingham has a great selection of sushi bars and restaurants for those who love their fish fix. For our readers, the delicious and beautiful, jewel-like food at Blue Fin wins the gold. This is not a terrible category to try to judge—who doesn’t want to eat all the best sushi all the time?

BEST WINERY- Dynasty Cellars

Silver: Coach House Cellars

Bronze: Vartanyan Estate Winery

Quiet, unassuming Dynasty Cellars hides among the warehouses and light industrial manufacturers of Iron Gate, but what an amazing wine. Deep, complex, and exceptionally crafted, this is a local you must get to know. Owner Peter Osvaldik came to the U.S. from the former Czechoslovakia, and he and his family work the unpretentious and newly expanded tasting room. Each tasting features their current wines and a cheese plate.

BEST DISTILLERY- Bellewood Acres’ Bellewood Distilling

Silver: Chuckanut Bay Distillery

Bronze: Mt. Baker Distillery

Owners Dorie and John Belisle are the first farm-to-table distillers in Washington State, using the bounty of their orchard, locally grown berries, and Washington grains. They craft their spirits in small batches in hand-made Vendome distilling equipment from Kentucky. A trip the distillery is more than just a visit to a tasting room—the orchards, café, and farm store make this a worthwhile destination. Bellewood also hosts lots of events throughout the year, including live music and farm-to-table fare.


Silver: The Fork at Agate Bay

Bronze: Keenan’s at the Pier

The artful presentation at 13moons reflects the time and attention Chef Daniel Van Norman and his team spend on each dish. That attention extends beyond presentation, as the food at 13moons is some of the finest in the area. Not only is the food beautifully prepared, Swinomish Casino and Lodge has its own fishing boat, so the seafood is always perfect. We’ve invited these folks for two Meet the Chef evenings for a reason—they are exceptional at what they do. And our readers agree.

BEST FOOD TRUCK- Deli’cious Mischief

Silver: Hot Mess

Bronze: JT’s Smokin’ BBQ

Bellingham is low on deli offerings, so an operation like Deli’cious Mischief is more than just another food truck—it’s a staple. Serving up classics like corned beef sandwiches, thick cut ham and Swiss, and bratwurst, Deli’cious Mischief is always a welcome sight around town. Pair with a nice beer at one of the many breweries who invite them to park, or hunt them down—you won’t be sorry. Friendly, clean, and delicious, Deli’cious Mischief is our readers’ favorite for good reason.

  • Deli’cious Mischief Various locations, 360.220.3662

Health & Beauty

BEST HEALTH FOOD SHOP- Bellingham Community Food Co-Op

 Silver: Terra Organic and Natural Foods

Bronze: Super Supplements

With two locations and a new downtown bakery, the Bellingham Food Co-op is the center for food-conscious shoppers. Whole products, organic produce, great natural supplements, excellent wine selection, artisan cheeses, and diet-inclusive options like vegan and gluten-free items make this one-stop shopping for all things healthy, a favorite for our readers. The deli serves up freshly prepared salads and entrees, and the new bakery is a wonderland of fresh baked goods. The Co-op is owned by its active, engaged members, who ensure its continued excellence.

  • Bellingham Community Food Co-Op 1220 N. Forest Ave., 315 Westerly Rd., 360.734.8158,

BEST SPA- The Chrysalis Inn and Spa

Silver: Bella Body & Sol

Bronze: Zazen Salon & Spa

Bellingham has no shortage of spas, and it can be difficult to sort among them to find the very best. Our readers choose The Chrysalis regularly, and it’s easy to see why—The Chrysalis offers professional service and an excellent range of treatments in a warm, soothing setting. Whether you’re up for a warm stone massage or a mani-pedi, or a full-on day of wraps, mud, and massage, The Chrysalis has everything you need.


Silver: Jimmy’s Personal Care

Bronze: The Chrysalis Inn & Spa

For our readers, Happy Nails is the place for picture-perfect fingers and toes. Need to update your look? Happy Nails can help. They also offer a wide array of nail services like filling, coating, overlay, removal, and more. Not only do they do a great mani-pedi, they also provide waxing services at a very reasonable rate.


Silver: Bellingham Fitness

Bronze: Bellingham MMA

Dedicated to the emotional and physical health of Whatcom’s citizens, the YMCA offers classes, youth programs, a huge climbing wall, lots of recreation, sports leagues, and much, much more. Compared to most gyms, the membership rates are reasonable, and the options for a good workout are many—a pool, a weight room, lots of equipment, and an excellent range of classes. The YMCA has lots of youth enrichment, including Girls on the Run, Adventure Camp, and the YMCA childcare center.

  • YMCA Bellingham 1256 N. State Street, Bellingham, 360.733.8630,


Silver: Yoga Northwest

 Bronze: Flow Motion

Classes at 3 OMS start at any level, at convenient times. The professional team at 3 OMS teaches several different levels, in many different practices, with one goal—to meet your yoga needs. As their website states, “Come as you are. Let yoga meet you there.” If you’re a hesitant beginner, don’t be—the staff will make sure you feel at home, getting the greatest benefit for your level of ability. If you’re a long-time practitioner who wants to push a bit more, they have you covered. With options for private lessons or group classes, you can tailor your routine to fit your needs. They also offer a discount to newbies—an eight-day trial with unlimited classes for $20. What a steal!

  • 3 OMS 1210 Bay St., Bellingham, 360.671.3510,

BEST PERSONAL TRAINER- Lenny Olson, Bellingham Fitness

Silver: Hunter Clagett, Bellingham MMA

Bronze: Katie Hillmon, Joy of Pilates

Lenny is a pro wrestler who has traveled the world. As head personal trainer at Bellingham Fitness, he’s a favorite among our readers. According to his followers, the “The Godfather” of Bellingham Fitness, ensuring that whatever your fitness goals, Lenny will get you there.

BEST MEN’S SALON- Jake’s Barbershop

Silver: V’s Barbershop

 Bronze: Wally’s Barbershop

Edgy, cool, and offering a Pabst tall boy for every customer over 21 years old while they wait, Jake’s is the go-to for the folks of downtown Bellingham. The edgy vibe doesn’t mean they aren’t professional—Jake’s is an affordable shop with stylists who have decades of experience working the clippers and doing magic. Walk-ins are welcome, which is great, because their location is so central to downtown, and so very convenient.

  • Jake’s Barbershop 121 Magnolia St., Bellingham, 360.715.3698,

BEST EYE CARE- Northwest Eye Clinic

Silver: Vision Plus

 Bronze: Fairhaven Vision Clinic

In operation since 1952, Northwest Eye Clinic is a trusted source for eye care for Bellingham. Whether screening for diabetes, seeking treatment for glaucoma, or just getting a new pair of specs, the team at Northwest will take excellent care of you. Not only are they eye professionals, they also have a full on-site optical shop with all the latest styles.

BEST OB/GYN- Bellingham OB/GYN

 Silver: Diane Arvin, PeaceHealth

Bronze: Julianne Snell, Barkley Women’s Health

Affectionately referred to as BOGA in Bellingham, Bellingham OB/GYN offers respectful, patient-centered care. They provide a full range of obstetrics and gynecological care, including fertility, pregnancy, and routine exams. The doctors of BOGA make a great team, and our readers agree.

BEST PHARAMACY- Healthy Living Center

 Silver: Hoagland Pharmacy

 Bronze: Haggen

The Healthy Living Center has been an important part of the pharmaceutical landscape in Bellingham for years. While you need a med card to participate in their services, the HLC is friendly and professional. They offer appropriate treatment for many ailments, from anxiety to the side effects of cancer treatment. Their medical menu includes flowers, edibles, concentrates, vapes, and more.


Silver: Dr. Joseph Wessels

 Bronze: Bellingham Natural Family Medicine

Though Doctor Sharpe can treat most patients, she specializes in menopause, PMS, gynecology, fatigue, and gastrointestinal difficulties. In areas where some doctors are limited—like vague symptoms—Dr. Sharpe is focused and determined, putting the patient at the center of the care, not the illness. Her practice often includes lifestyle and nutritional counseling in addition to medical treatment, creating a holistic approach to women’s health.


Silver: Scott Clough, DDS

 Bronze: Catherine Smith, DDS

Dr. Bult has a welcoming practice and she offers a commitment to excellence in care. Her staff is professional and friendly, and her patients are thrilled with the service they receive. Dr. Bult lives in Whatcom County along with most of her extended family and her (famous) dog, Boca. She isn’t just a great dentist—she’s also a generous supporter of many nonprofits in the area.

BEST ORTHODONTICS- Cummins Orthodontics

Silver: Yeh Orthodontics

Bronze: Dr. Michael Schoff

 Dr. Cummins has been giving Bellinghamsters something to smile about for more than a decade. He provides a range of services, from standard braces for kids to complicated oral treatments for adults. A former Navy dentist, Dr. Cummins is very accomplished in his field, having published six articles on orthodontics for peer-reviewed journals. His friendly team put patients at ease.

  • Cummins Orthodontics 2550 James St., Bellingham, 360.676.1900,

BEST MEDI SPA- RejuvenationMD

Silver: Hecht Aesthetic Center

Bronze: Kucumber Skin Lounge

Dr. Tianna Tsitsis and her team at RejuvenationMD provide excellence in physicianprovided treatments. Staying apace of the latest trends in aesthetic care, Dr. Tsitsis provides laser treatments, sclerotherapy, CoolSculpting, fillers, hydrofacials, and more.


Silver: Salon Belissima

Bronze: Argyle Salon

The experienced team at Kaur can take care of all your salon needs, from standard haircuts to lash extensions and facials to blow outs and hair removal. Located in the sweet Sunnyland neighborhood, Kaur has a loyal clientele and a big following among our readers. Friendly and professional, Kaur is a great place to get your beauty needs met.

  • Kaur Lounge 2125 James St., Bellingham, 360.306.5317,


Silver: The Willows

Bronze: Parkway Chateau

Centrally located in downtown Bellingham, within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and movie theaters, the Leopold is a locally owned and lovingly run facility. The building is formerly a hotel where Clark Gable and many other celebrities have spent time there. They offer services from independent retirement living to assisted care. The ballroom is a classic.

BEST FAMILY PRACTITITONER- Bellingham Bay Family Medicine

 Silver: Dr. Craig Moore, PeaceHealth

Bronze: Dr. John Hiemstra, Lynden Family Medicine

As part of the Family Care Network, Bellingham Bay Family Medicine offers a positive healthcare experience by ensuring the best healthcare possible for their patients. Trust is important when choosing a family practitioner, and our readers certainly trust the doctors of Bellingham Bay Family Medicine.

BEST CHIROPRACTOR- Natural Way Chiropractic

Silver: Olson Family Chiropractic

 Bronze: Performance Health NW

When your neck or back needs attention, you can’t waste time shopping for just the right chiropractic provider. Luckily, you don’t have to. With convenient locations from Lynden to Everett and a friendly, professional staff, Natural Way can take care of all your aches and pains.

  • Natural Way Chiropractic 2000 North State St., Bellingham, 360.671.1710; 1943 Main St., Ferndale, 360.384.1396, 102 Grover St., Lynden, 360.354.9900,


Silver: Bob Peeples, PT

Bronze: Lynden Family Physical Therapy

Specializing in sports, spine, pelvic health, and upper core rehabilitation, CorePhysio works with you to ensure that your treatment is adequate and appropriate. They use manual therapy, testing your joints and range of motion to get just the right treatment for your needs. They also host workshops and demonstrations to help patients with ongoing issues.

Home & Garden


 Silver: Kent’s Garden and Nursery

Bronze: Joe’s Gardens

Whether you’re planting a beautiful arrangement of containers or going full-on beds, Garden Spot can help you with all your ornamental and edible plants and vegetables. They also offer classes, field trips, and other programs as part of their community outreach. The helpful and professional team at Garden Spot is always on hand to help you with your questions, and their selection is unbeatable.

BEST LANDSCAPE DESIGN- Private Gardens Design

Silver: Cascade Design

Bronze: Molly Maguire Landscape

Architecture Experts in both contemporary landscaping and blending in with historical structures, Private Gardens Design is a great place to start your next big project. From redoing a little section of your yard to a major overhaul, PGD has the tools and expertise to design a perfect paradise for you. The designers at Private Gardens Design specialize in permaculture, a system of design that incorporates sustainable, long-term, environmentally sound practices.

BEST LANDSCAPER- GlacierScapes Landscaping

Silver: Windwood Landscape

Bronze: Pacific Lawns

GlacierScapes specializes in complete landscape packages, including hardscape, softscape, lawn, wetland mitigation, water features, and more. Their process is centered around you—the customer—as they create a vision with many options to match your budget and time frame. They offer a one-hour free consultation to get you going, and most of their landscaping services are in-house.

  • GlacierScapes Landscaping 104 Ohio St., Bellingham, 360.305.4470,

BEST ARCHITECT- Zervas Architects

Silver: Carpenter Architects

Bronze: Dave Christensen

Architectural leaders in our area since 1961, Zervas Architects has designed many signature buildings in our area, including the remodel of the Bellingham International Airport, the Pickford Film Center, and the Lynden City Hall. Their work blends traditional and modern sensibilities into a unique, Northwestern aesthetic. They work on private residential projects as well as large-scale public buildings.

  • Zervas Architects 209 Prospect St., Bellingham, 360.734.4744,


Silver: Wilson’s Furniture

Bronze: Ashley’s

Couches, kitchen dining sets, bedroom suites, the perfect lounge, the ideal lamp, Samuel’s has it all. The friendly and helpful staff are quick to help you find just the right piece at just the right price. Samuel’s specializes in more traditional pieces, but they carry some contemporary styles as well.


Silver: Grandiflora Home and Garden

Bronze: Hobby Lobby

 Whether you’re shopping for the perfect wedding gift, a dinner table for eight, or just the right plates for holiday entertaining, Greenhouse has you covered. Browsing among their top-quality home a items, you’ll find brands like Le Creuset, BODUM, and Wusthof. On their website, Greenhouse describes themselves as “A spirited collection for the home” and that’s an apt description—this is not a sterile housewares store, this is a warm, inviting space with loads of options for creating a special place of your own. As a bonus, friendly associates on hand to help you with anything you might need.

BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT- Jason Loeb, Windermere

 Silver: Kathy Stauffer, Windermere

Bronze: Tony Strong, Windermere

Jason’s patient, generous with his time, and energetic without being overbearing. Always treating homebuyers with his personal attention, he’s a favorite among our readers. Whether you’re a seasoned homebuyer or a first-timer, Jason can take care of all your needs.

  • Jason Loeb, Windermere 515 W. Bakerview, Bellingham, 360.305.6917,

BEST BUILDER- Moceri Construction

Silver: Franklin Corporation

Bronze: Chuckanut Builders

Moceri specializes in custom residential, renovations, and commercial projects. They also work on nonprofit projects, including the Pickford Film Center, the Boys and Girls Club, and Northwest Youth Services. Not only are they popular among clients in the home construction business, they are also cherished colleagues, working with some of the best architects in the area. Owner Paul Moceri has been building in Whatcom County since 1975. He and his wife, Susan Porter, make a great team.


Silver: Tanna By Design

Bronze: Legacy Kitchen and Bath

Jan Hayes, principal designer at Domistyle, has spent more than 25 years designing for customers who need beautifully functional spaces. A member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association, Hayes adheres to the highest standard of design and customer service. Her interest in design began with her passion for cooking. Thea Stephens, designer at Domistyle, is also a cooking enthusiast. Her interest in design comes from a desire to shape color, light, and space into special places in the home. Together, these two make great design possible.


Silver: Domistyle

 Bronze: FishTrap Creek

Tanna Edler of Tanna By Design is a K & L house favorite for her fresh, innovating interiors. She is also a hit with our readers, who vote her Best of the Northwest on a regular basis. Her work is in both residential and commercial interior design, and she is most noted for being fun and easy to work with, bubbling with great ideas, and dedicated to the customer’s vision. Each of her interiors involves plenty of personal details and touches.


Silver: Ace Hardware

 Bronze: WFC/True Value

With more than 50 years in the hardware business, Hardware Sales has absolutely everything you need for a home project, no matter what the size. Known for their incredible selection and personal service, the staff at Hardware sales will always take the time to help you figure out how to expand your dormer or hang your gutters. Centrally located, staffed with great people, and chock full of tools and sundries, Hardware Sales is our readers’ favorite.


BEST TOY STORE- Fairhaven Toy Garden

 Silver: Yeager’s Sporting Goods

 Bronze: Launching Success Learning & Toy Store

Marble races, gear puzzles, wooden blocks, and costumes, oh my! Fairhaven Toy Garden has an incredible selection of beautiful, handcrafted toys. Designed to engage kids’ sense of wonder and creativity, as well as to spur intellectual development, the offerings here are exceptional. Whether your little one is 2 months old or 12 years old, there is something for them here.


Silver: Perch and Play

Bronze: Trampoline Zone

Lizanne Schader and her husband Jerry McGarity came to Bellingham in 2001, and realized there wasn’t a theater specifically for young people. Together, they created The Neighborhood Playhouse, which holds a summer drama camp, produces plays like A Year With Frog and Toad, Charlotte’s Web, and Go, Dog, Go!. Children in grades K-12 can participate in both stagecraft and acting.

BEST CHILDCARE- Generations Early Learning and Family Center

Silver: Bellingham Childcare & Learning

Bronze: Boys & Girls Club

Located in the ground floor of Mount Baker Care Center and Summit Assisted Living, Generations is unique to Bellingham—a childcare center that integrates senior residents into the daily lives of preschool children. Even without the intergenerational component, this program is staffed with gifted teachers, a top-flight staff, and administrators who work hard to support the families involved with the school. But the intergenerational program is no doubt what makes this center very special. And it’s clear, with their years of winning this category, that our readers agree.

  • Generations Early Learning and Family Center 2901 Connelly Ave. B101, Bellingham, 360.752.6336,

BEST PRESCHOOL- Loving Space School

Silver: Generations Early Learning and Family Center

Bronze: Gabriel’s Art Kids

Abby Franklin started Loving Space in 1993 to create a fun, healthy, and positive place for kids to learn and play. Their preschool is for ages 3-5, and works on a half-day schedule. They encourage curiosity, exploration through play, and social development. With a caring staff and a supportive family community, Loving Space also hosts the separate but complementary Programs to Lighten the Lives of Adults and Youth (PLLAY). PLLAY offers parental enrichment programs and seminars inspired by the Loving Space curriculum.

BEST AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM- Boys & Girls Club of Whatcom County

 Silver: YMCA

Bronze: Gabriel’s Art Kids

The school day ends at 3:00, but most parents in a dual-paycheck household don’t get home until at least 5. Enter the after-school program, a place where kids can learn, play, socialize, and relax with safe adult supervision until mom and dad get home. The Boys and Girls Club of Whatcom has activities for all age groups and areas of interest.

  • Boys& Girls Club of Whatcom 1715 Kentucky St., Bellingham, 360.527.9777 2015 Cherry St., Ferndale, 360.384.0753 8800 Bender Rd., Lynden, 360.354.9959,


Silver: Trampoline Zone

Bronze: Bellingham Sportsplex Indoor playspace and café

Perch & Play has several spaces for making a kid’s birthday very special. Their staff will help with face-painting, leading a craft activity, and serving food, so you don’t have to shoulder the stress yourself. With different packages at approachable prices and a playground that can’t ever get rained out, Perch & Play is our readers’ favorite for the third year in a row.


BEST PET STORE- Clark Feed & Seed

Silver: The Pet Stop

 Bronze: Bow Wow & Woofs

Stuffed to the gills (hah!) with fish, tanks, supplies, dog food, cat treats, and whatever else your pet may need, Clark is a Bellingham institution. Located centrally on Railroad Avenue in downtown Bellingham, Clark is the go-to store for natural pet care products. Whether you’re stocking a koi pond or getting Rover a month’s supply of food, Clark is our readers’ recommendation.

  • Clark Feed & Seed 1326 Railroad Ave., Bellingham, 360.733.8330

BEST DOGGIE DAYCARE- 3 Schips and A Girl

 Silver: Tails-a-Wagging

Bronze: Hyline Hotel and Training for Dogs

Pronounced “skip” as in a schipperke (a lovely dog breed), 3 Schips is a convenient doggy hotel. The overnight Canine Lodge offers pups 24-hour care, including ample play time, one-on-one attention, and plenty of space, so doggies don’t get stressed. 3 Schips takes canines that are 25 pounds or lighter for overnight stays. They also offer (as room allows) doggie daycare, and package deals with prepaid options. 3 Schips is conveniently near the Bellingham Airport, so you can drop off Fido on your way out of town.

BEST BOARDING KENNEL- Hyline Hotel and Training for Dogs

Silver: Northwest Kennels

 Bronze: Three Schips and a Girl

Hyline has spacious condos and an experienced team to keep your pup happy and free from stress while you vacation. They offer a range of services, from grooming to obedience. For an additional fee, they can tailor their hours to your needs, and they provide loads of socialization and playtime. Dogs are taken out 5-6 times a day, sometimes more.

  • Hyline Hotel and Training for Dogs 1014 E. Hemmi Rd., Everson, 360.398.0174,


 Silver: Thinking Dog, Laura Berger

 Bronze: Hyline, Kathi Seaman

The trainers at Cedarwoods are experienced in the world of dog obedience. Offering classes for different levels of obedience, off-leash classes, doggie daycare, and more, they can educate you on how to handle your dog. Whether you start with basic obedience, or you’re going in for a tune-up, Cedarwoods can help you communicate with your pup.

BEST VETERINARIAN- Fountain Veterinary Hospital

Silver: Maplewood Animal Hospital

 Bronze: Fairhaven Veterinary Hospital

The doctors at Fountain Vet are deeply caring and kind. They take their time in examining their four-legged patients, and they speak to the puppy and kitty parents in plain language so they know what to expect without having to cut through medical terminology. A friendly office that is deeply pet-centered, Fountain Vet is one of the best around.

  • Fountain Veterinary Hospital 2430 Meridian St., 360.733.2660


Silver: Happy Pooch

Bronze: Dog Gone Gorgeous

Full grooming, bathing, shaving, whatever your pup needs to look fabulous, City Dogs can handle it. They are experts in keeping pooches calm while clipping and dipping, and they offer a self-wash on Sundays. Not only will your doggy be handled with loving care, City Dogs also offers luxury shampoos, clippers, tooth-brushing supplies, and more for rent or purchase, so you can maintain that freshfrom-the-salon look. Stress-free grooming is a big deal for dogs and owners alike, and City Dogs gets it right.

Romance & Outings

BEST DATE NIGHT- The Upfront Theatre

Silver: Uisce Irish Pub

 Bronze: Fairhaven Outdoor Theater

 Honorable Mention: Saturday (ha!)

They say that one of the sexiest traits in a partner is their sense of humor, making the Upfront date night central. The atmosphere is dark, intimate, candlelit, and super romantic. Or as romantic as pratfalls and physical comedy can get. Which is pretty damn romantic, if you think about it. Not only is it a great place to see improv, luminaries like owner Ryan Stiles frequent the stage.

  • The Upfront Theatre 1208 Bay St., Bellingham, 360.733.8855,


Silver: Evergreen Gardens

Bronze: Hotel Bellwether

Beautiful and historic Lairmont Manor has a gorgeous indoor space for at least a hundred guests, seasonal tents for the perfect outdoor reception, a gorgeous garden, and plenty of staging and prep areas (including a kitchen) to make your special day perfect. The staff is very friendly and accommodating, and the photo opportunities are numerous. The only hitch in your plans is that it books quickly during wedding season, so hurry up. But you won’t be disappointed if you book here.

BEST PARK- Boulevard Park

Silver: Whatcom Falls Park

Bronze: Lake Padden Park

Home to some of the loveliest water and island views in town, Boulevard is a favorite among joggers, walkers, strollers, and bicyclists. The playground was refurbished in recent years, making it a popular destination for the under-ten set. Woods Coffee makes a nice place to watch storms wash over the shore, and nearby Taylor Dock and the surrounding trails make for a lovely day. A great place for whatever park activities you enjoy.

  • Boulevard Park 470 Bayview Dr., Bellingham,

BEST HIKE- Oyster Dome

Silver: Fragrance Lake

Bronze: Skyline Divide

Local efforts to save Blanchard from private development have been largely successful, and lucky for us, we get to reap the reward by hiking to Oyster Dome without having to side-step bulldozers. The view from Oyster Dome is one of the classic panoramas of our area, and not to be missed. Oyster Dome can be a pretty stiff climb for the uninitiated, but so worth the views, you might not even feel it.

  • Oyster Dome Milepost 10, Chuckanut Dr., Bellingham


Silver: The San Juan Islands

Bronze: Deception Pass

Originally known as Komo Kulshan, Mount Baker is our own neighborhood volcano. A relatively new mountain (only about 100,000 years old), Baker is the third-highest peak in Washington State. Mount Baker also has a ski area, and lots of backcountry for hiking, camping, and trekking. Though it has not erupted much in its recent history, there is the occasional off-gas from Sherman Crater, suggesting that something major this way comes. Until then, enjoy!


Silver: Sudden Valley

Bronze: Bellingham Golf & Country Club

Set along the rolling hills around Ten Mile Creek, Shuksan is a golfer’s paradise. The terrain varies from steep ridges to gentle meadows. The course is challenging, with breathtaking views from all eighteen holes. A course that is perfect for all playing levels, Shuksan never disappoints.


BEST FINANCIAL ADVISOR- Frank Ellars, Edward Jones

 Silver: Matt Nichols, Edward Jones

Bronze: Nicole Burdick, Waddell and Reed

Those who plan weather economic storms and sudden squalls better than those who don’t. For those who want to plan well, Frank Ellars is our readers’ choice. Thoughtful, steady, and caring, Ellars will determine how much risk you want to absorb, and create a financial plan that works for you.

  • Frank Ellars, Edward Jones 1633 Birchwood Ave, suite 101., Bellingham 360.527.1414,

BEST BANK- Whatcom Educational Credit Union (WECU)

 Silver: People’s Bank

Bronze: Bank of the Pacific

Technically not a bank, WECU is a community-oriented nonprofit financial institution offering low or no fees on most banking activities, and excellent rates of return on savings and other interest-bearing accounts. Credit unions are also noted for excellent customer service, and WECU is no exception—the personal care is top-notch. The big downside to a lot of credit unions is the hurdle of getting a membership—but in Bellingham, WECU is open to new members all the time.

  • Whatcom Educational Credit Union (WECU) 600 E. Holly St., Bellingham 360.676.1168,

BEST HOUSE CLEANER- Chickadee House & Garden Helpers

 Silver: Ecofriendzy Cleaners

Bronze: Victoria’s Cleaning Service

 Chickadee does way more than clean houses, though if you need it, they do that, too. But they will do meals, party prep, baking, gardening, clerical work, pet sitting, animal care, and much more. Trustworthy and friendly, Chickadee can do a little for you—or a lot.

BEST TAILOR- Tommy the Tailor

Silver: Sew & Sew

 Bronze: Amy’s Alterations

Tommy is a legend in Bellingham for a reason—he is precise, careful, fast, and respectful of your needs. Whether you’re going in for a quick nip or a major overhaul, Tommy is experienced and professional—he can handle any size job.

  • Tommy the Tailor 1307 Railroad Ave., Bellingham 360.650.9196

BEST MECHANIC- Bellingham Automotive

Silver: Harmony Motorworks

 Bronze: Joe’s Automotive

Getting the right mechanic for your car takes a good amount of research and a big investment of trust. Luckily, our readers have sussed out the best for you, so you don’t have a painful trial-and-error experience. And our readers really like Bellingham Automotive. They receive rave reviews all over town for their excellent customer service and integrity.

BEST PLACE TO WORK- Western Washington University

Silver: Barlean’s

Bronze: Transition Bikes

 Academics, administrators, and staff are treated well at the school on the hill. Good salaries, a distinguished working environment, views of the bay and islands from most of the campus, great access to public transportation, and a great benefits package make Western a great place to work.

  • Western Washington University 516 High St., Bellingham 360.650.3000,

Fashion & Retail


Silver: Macy’s

Bronze: Men’s Wearhouse

It’s a challenge for men in Bellingham to find elegant menswear, but thanks to Gary’s, it’s not impossible. Gary’s provides area men the right shoes, sport coats, jeans, pants, and ties with brands like Tommy Bahama, 7 for All Mankind, and Agave. The friendly staff is very skilled in demystifying shopping for area men and helping them create just the right look. Gary’s has been bringing fashion to Bellingham since 1978, and they are going strong.

BEST WOMEN’S CLOTHING- Labels Consignment

Silver: Sojourn

Bronze: Buffalo Exchange

It has happened that maybe sometimes people spill coffee all over their clothes at lunch. Panic sets in until such people remember that Labels is right nearby. Serving up excellent women’s fashions that are carefully curated by the staff, Labels is the go-to store for name-brand clothing that won’t bust up your wallet. They also have lots of options for occasion clothing, jewelry, shoes, and other accessories, so you can build an outfit—or a wardrobe—in a single visit.

  • Labels Consignment 2332 James St.; 3927 Northwest Ave., Bellingham, 360.676.1210,


Silver: Consign Northwest

 Bronze: Wee Ones Reruns

As other consignment shops come and go, Labels remains a force in the local shopping scene. They only accept wearable clothing (no gross stains allowed) and gently worn items, ensuring customer satisfaction. With cute vintage housewares and great bargains, Labels is the best place to get designer goods at bargain prices. Labels reigns supreme.

  • Labels Consignment 2332 James St.; 3927 Northwest Ave., Bellingham, 360.676.1210,

BEST JEWELRY- Fairhaven Gold

Silver: Megan Lee Designs

Bronze: Jewelry Affair

Designer Goldsmith Bill Lynch began his career in 1972, and has kept a shop in Fairhaven since 1989. He creates dazzling handcrafted jewelry using old world techniques and the finest stones and materials. From custom work to his own designs, Lynch crafts each piece with utmost care and artistry. He also offers a full range of services, including repair and restoration.

BEST ANTIQUES- Penny Lane Antique Mall

Silver: Aladdin’s Antiques and Records

Bronze: Fairhaven Antiques

Siblings Lyndsey and Matt Berglund grew up around antiques, and they know their business. Dizzying shelves are lined with figurines, plates, lunchboxes, and all the toys you played with as a kid. All of them. More than just a place to find tchotchkes, Penny Lane also is a great source for mid-century furniture, valuable collectibles, and rare antiques. And it’s a huge hunting ground, too—perfect for the antique enthusiast who likes to search for, dig up, and uncover treasures.

BEST SPORTING GOODS STORE- Yeager’s Sporting Goods

Silver: REI

 Bronze Dave’s Sports Shop

With an extensive—one could say exhaustive—collection of outdoor products, hunting and fishing gear, kayaks, camping equipment, skis, snowboards, marine equipment, and apparel for each of these activities, it’s kind of surprising that Yeager’s also has an excellent kitchen section and a great toy area. The kitchen section is dedicated to canning, preserving, cast iron cooking, mason jars, and other traditional cookware, as well as some modern items. And Toyland carries Calico Critters, Melissa and Doug, Lego, and Playmobil. So whether you’re planning to duck hunt or get a rubber ducky for the bath, Yeager’s is your place.


Silver: Henderson’s Books

 Bronze: Michael’s Books

A great day in Bellingham starts with a few hours at Village Books. Owned by Chuck and Dee Robinson (though Dee has retired from day-to-day operations), Village Books is the literary locus of our area. The store is host to writing groups, book discussion groups, and live readings. The shelves are lined with recommendations from the very knowledgeable staff, who are also on-hand to aid in your bookish needs. The separately owned Book Fare Café is a nice place to curl up with your new purchases and spy on local writers hammering out their masterpieces. Or you can just enjoy the view. Either way, Village Books is a vital part of Bellingham, and our readers agree.

BEST CRAFT STORE- Dakota Art Stores

Silver: Michael’s

Bronze: Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store

Fine purveyors of art and craft supplies for area artists, Dakota carries paints, canvasses, brushes, paper, and more. Dakota also has a classroom for workshops, demonstrations, and their open figure drawing classes. They’ve been in Bellingham since 1994, and have some additional locations in Mount Vernon and Seattle. Dakota also has a great selection of children’s art and craft supplies for your budding Rembrandt.


Silver: Hilton’s Shoes

 Bronze: 12th Street Shoes

Chic and stylish, Mi Shoes is a great place to pick up a distinctive pair of shoes. Michelle Bouma opened Mi Shoes in 2005, bringing designer brands like Miz Mooz, Bed Stu, Seychelles, Sixty Seven, and Blowfish to Bellingham shoppers. In addition to great shoes, Mi Shoes also has excellent accessories to complement your beautiful new shoes.

  • Mi Shoes 1315 Railroad Ave., Bellingham 360.715.2046,

BEST GROCERY STORE- Community Food Co-op

 Silver: Haggen

Bronze: Safeway

For the freshest in organic produce, the finest whole foods, and the best shiny new deli in town, our readers awarded the Community Food Co-op with first place this year. The Co-op is more than just a grocery store—the membership-owned store is also a community center, hosting meetings, classes, and events.

  • Community Food Co-op 1220 N. Forest St.; 315 Westerly Road, Bellingham, 360.734.8158,

BEST PRODUCE- Joe’s Gardens

Silver: Youngstock’s

Bronze: Bellingham Farmers Market

Joe Bertero brought seeds from Genoa, Italy and started Joe’s Gardens in Bellingham in 1933. Since then, Joe’s has provided our area grocers, chefs, and consumers organic produce that is picked at peak ripeness. Spring, summer, and fall are the high seasons, with veggie starts and fruit trees available for sale in early spring, a bounty of produce for sale throughout the summer, and a giant fall harvest. In Bellingham, Joe’s has become synonymous with quality, local, organic produce.

  • Joe’s Gardens 3110 Taylor Ave., Bellingham 360.671.7639,


Silver: Judd & Black

Bronze: Best Buy

Shopping for new appliances is exciting—all those features and styles to choose from, all those different functions to explore. The experienced team at DeWaard and Bode can help immensely with knowledge about what appliances and mattress best match your needs and budget. Carrying name brands like Kitchen Aid, Maytag, Frigidaire, and Bosch, DeWaard and Bode has everything you need.

  • DeWaard & Bode 3944 Meridian St.; 4175 Hannegan Rd., Bellingham, 360.733.5900,


Silver: Roger Jobs

Bronze: Northwest Honda

When it comes to buying a car, our readers choose Wilson Motors over all other dealerships. Excellent service, honest salespeople, and a friendly team of mechanics and staff make Wilson a standout. Winner of the 2014 Large Business of the Year award from the Whatcom Chamber of Commerce, Wilson specializes in Nissan, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, and Scion.

  • Wilson Mercedes-Benz 1100 Iowa St., Bellingham, 888.676.0600 Wilson Nissan: 1516 Iowa St., Bellingham 888.865.6614,


 Silver: TD Curran

Bronze: Reference Media

Best Buy offers a huge selection of appliances and electronics and plenty of inventory, so they rarely sell out of your most-needed iPhone. With services like Geek Squad and free in-store pickups for online purchases, Best Buy is a convenient, no-frills way to buy electronics. Regular low prices and frequent sales also make it a budget-conscious choice for consumers.

  • Best Buy 4281 Meridian St., Bellingham 360.715.0008,

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