Highlighting Northern Kentucky's finest, Best of NKY is just like the Taste of Cincinnati but also includes salons, non-profits, shops, and venues in addition to restaurants. Sponsored by Northern Kentucky Magazine, the event takes place annually at Receptions in Erlanger. With voting ballots cast by guests, the Top Three finalists compete for one of many coveted titles to be crowned the creme de la creme of Northern Kentucky businesses.

The most creative booth of the night was McHale's Catering, which let guests roast their own s'mores over a small planter of open coals. They also served up one of the tastiest dishes of the night, a bleu cheese crab salad.

The most popular booth of the night was easily Colonial Cottage, who was competing in the Best Fried Chicken category. The line wrapped around their table throughout the night, with shouts of "You must try the chicken booth over there, it's amazing!" carrying through the event space. At least three times during the evening, the booth ran out of chicken, but quickly replenished with a new batch brought in fresh from their restaurant.

Oriental Wok, another crowd favorite and Fort Mitchell staple since 1977, made personalized stir fry dishes for each guest.

One of the more creative venues was Velocity Bike & Bean, a combination coffeehouse and bike shop.

With so many quality businesses to choose from, it will be a pretty tight race as we wait for the winners to be announced in August. Here are some of my favorites, along with a few more photos from the event:


Best Bagel: Mammoth Cafe in Newport
Best Burger: Mad Mike's in Newport / Erlanger
Best Bourbon Selection: Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar in Covington
Best Catering: McHale's Catering
Best Chinese: KungFood Chu's Amerasia in Covington
Best Fresh Catch: Bayou Fish House in Newport
Best Fried Chicken: Colonial Cottage in Erlanger
Best Coffeehouse: Velocity Bike & Bean in Florence
Best Pizza: Mellow Mushroom in Wilder
Best Italian: Pompilios in Newport
Best Sandwich: Cobblestone Cafe in Fort Thomas
Best Healthy Menu: Elusive Cow Cafe in Bellevue

Mellow Mushroom mascot