Last updated: July 26. 2014 10:09AM - 7570 Views

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The Lima News’ 2014 Best of the Region is back, marking 19 years of asking residents of the area their opinions on their favorite places to shop, relax and eat. Almost 1,400 paper or online ballots were received at the newspaper, so it’s clear residents love sharing their opinions.

For the 2014 edition, The Lima News presented a ballot with 45 categories on which to vote. There were 21 food categories, 14 service and shopping categories, five recreation categories and five children’s categories. The children’s ballots were open to those ages 12 and younger.

The notable rules: Residents needed to fill out at least half a ballot in order to be counted, the businesses or locations needed to be within the nine-county region — Allen, Auglaize, Logan, Mercer, Hancock, Hardin, Putnam, Shelby and Van Wert counties — and the businesses needed to be open to the public or membership be easily obtainable without a vetting process.

This special section is your guide to the winning businesses in each category. We profile the top three places in each category and also name a few honorable mentions when numbers were close.

Voting started Memorial Day weekend and continued through 9 a.m. July 7. Votes were received from people who live throughout the nine-county Lima region.

Click on a category name to learn about the winners.


Best Asian restaurant

Best doughnuts

Best Italian restuarant

Best Mexican restaurant

Best place for barbecue

Best place for breakfast

Best place for dinner

Best place for fish

Best place for hamburgers

Best place for ice cream

Best place for lunch

Best place for pizza

Best place for steaks

Best place for subs

Best place for wings

Best place to have a beer

Best place with a low-calorie menu

Best restaurant for new menu items

Best specialty cake baker


Best auto shop

Best customer service

Best dry cleaner/laundry service

Best fitness facility

Best flea market/antique store

Best florist

Best furniture store

Best hair salon

Best home improvement store

Best jeweler

Best lawn and garden store

Best place to buy a purse

Best place to buy wine

Best place to go fishing


Best community festival

Best community fireworks

Best golf course

Best place to get in touch with nature

Best place to impress out of town guests


Best brand of headphone

Best flavor of pop

Best place for a birthday party

Best place to swim

Favorite color


First prize: $100 — Theresa Rieger, Ottoville

Second prize: $75 — Cassie Bicknell, Lima

Third price: $50 — Janelle Dull, Celina


First prize: $75 — Brady Johnston, Delphos

Second prize: $50 — Hailey Bartels, Lima

Third prize: $25 — Jrayden Griffin, Lima
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