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June 23, 2017 6:51 AM

Statesman readers pick the Best of the Treasure Valley

It is time, once again, to roll out the red carpet for the stars of the Treasure Valley. The Best of Treasure Valley was expanded to include 107 people, places and things that Idaho Statesman readers could vote for in our annual survey of all things Treasure Valley. [Click here to see all the winners.] The Best of Treasure Valley is broken into five categories. Here is a quick rundown.

This category showcases some familiar faces (Curtis Stigers, Best Musician) and some familiar places (Boise Art Museum, Best Art Gallery). But there were some breakthroughs this year, such as Jessica Tookey (Best Artist) and some selections that are getting more and more interesting. For example, Art in the Park held off Treefort as the Best Community Event, but Treefort moved up from third place last year to second place this year.

Melanie Fales is the executive director of the Boise Art Museum, which presents Art in the Park each year. Fales likes to point out the great community support Art in the Park has enjoyed for more than six decades. So, she also enjoys seeing the Treasure Valley community embrace other events.

"(Treefort) is another one of those grass-roots efforts that continues to grow and grow and grow," Fales said. "That's just another example of how our arts scene has grown and improved over the last 20, 30 years."


Looking for something old? You might try the Antique World Mall & The Annex (Best Antique Shop). Looking for something new? Consider Eyes of the World Imports (Best Local Jewelry Store, Best Local Gift Shop and Best Local Women's Clothing Store).

Regardless, if you're in the mood to shop, the Treasure Valley has you covered, from The Village at Meridian to Boise Towne Square to Downtown Boise.

"Downtown has kind of exploded," said David Graves, the owner of Alexander Davis (Best Local Men's Clothing Store). "It's a great environment. … I'm happy to be here."


Of course, there's plenty to celebrate here, from Best Running Event (Race to Robie Creek) to Best Idaho Ski Area (Bogus Basin).

Steve Stuebner, a local outdoors author, likes to call Boise the best base camp in America.

"I can back that up with all the wonderful things we have here, from hiking and biking in the Foothills to running the desert rivers like the Owyhee and the Bruneau," Stuebner said. "We just have all these world-class resources within an hour or two from home."


It's hard to beat the friendly, efficient customer service you will find in the Treasure Valley, from Best Auto Repair Shop (Bronco Motors) to Best Veterinarian Office (WestVet).

Hoping to be pampered a little? You might consider a pedicure at Two Rivers Salon & Spa (Best Spa Services) or a trim at The Beardsmith (Best Men's Haircut).

"We do all the old-school stuff, with a hot towel and everything," said Wendy Ross, the co-owner of The Beardsmith. "It's not about getting you in and out."


Idaho Pizza Company led the way in this category with five first place wins. But there was still plenty of love to spread around.

"I feel like there are a lot of options around here," said Craig Quintero, Idaho Pizza Company's vice president of marketing.

Indeed, there are - from Barbacoa (Best Local Fine Dining) to Zeppole Baking Company (Best Local Bakery).

Perhaps this section will inspire you to try a new restaurant - or meet a new bartender.

"When I came to Rice, it gave me a little more freedom to do what I wanted, creativity-wise," said Best Bartender Major Ludwig, who tends the bar at Rice Contemporary Asian Cuisine in Eagle (which was also honored for Best Bloody Mary). "I have an artistic side, and that kind of translates to my drinks."

Taken as a whole, the Best of Treasure Valley spotlights the many reasons we are lucky to live here.

"People are amazed when they come visit," said Jo Cassin, the co-owner of Idaho River Sports (Best Local Outfitter). "I almost get scared showing too many people."