Best of Edina 2011

by | Jun 2011

Edina Creamery's homemade cherry nut, chocolate and mint chip ice cream in a waffle cup, winner of Best Place to Go Out for Dessert.

Edina Creamery’s homemade cherry nut, chocolate and mint chip ice cream in a waffle cup, winner of Best Place to Go Out for Dessert. Photo: Engler Skogmo

The winners of the 2011 Best of Edina Contest!

Lucky us, Edina. Within our borders, we’ve got an enviable wealth of amazing restaurants, service providers, shops and stops. And with the mass of new openings in the last year, there are even more options to choose from. But, you know what? Only a handful can truly be the best of the best. And thanks to your votes in our online survey last spring, we know who they are. Behold, this year’s blue ribbon winners.

Best Place to Go Out for Dessert
Edina Creamery
I scream, you scream, heck, we’re all screaming for ice cream. The homemade variety from Edina Creamery, to be specific. The shop boasts some 50 different rotating, rich and creamy flavors, ranging from Kahlua chip to coconut to green tea to bubblegum, so feel free to pony up to the counter and try a few before making the big decision. And, did we mention the intoxicating scent of the homemade waffle cones that fills their old school, 50’s-style parlor? Now, that’s sweet. 5055 France Ave. S.; 612.920.2169
Runner-up: The Cheesecake Factory; Third place: Salut Bar Americain

Best New Shop
STEELE Lifestyle Boutique
There’s something really appealing about the idea of getting in an amazing workout, and then rewarding yourself with a little retail therapy. Enter, the STEELE Lifestyle Boutique, which re-opened in a brand new, much larger space at 50th & France last fall. Even if you don’t workout there, this shop is a must stop, with its handsome selection of high-fashion active wear displayed in a chic, high-energy environment. Favorite brands include lululemon athletica (flattering and high performance workout wear), Chaser LA (vintage-inspired patterned tees) and George, Gina & Lucy (super stylish and functional totes). Better yet? All the items in this shop seem to transition perfectly from gym to street wear. 3908 W. 50th St.; 952.285.8009
Runner-up: Eileen Fisher; Third place: Louis Vuitton

Best Pizza
Mozza Mia

This rookie restaurant knocked it out of the park, due in large part to the eatery’s recipes and behind-the-scenes talent that are anything but amateur. Their pizza features a tender, chewy crust that’s made with Italian flour, yeast and sea salt (for a sourdough flavor), then wood-fired and slightly blackened. It’s topped with a mix of high-quality ingredients, including San Marzano tomatoes and their signature, fresh-daily homemade mozzarella—the creation of which is something of an art form. Favorites include selections like the salumi (tomato, fennel salami, aged provolone and pepperoncini), and the fig and prosciutto (La Quercia prosciutto, gorgonzola and carmelized onion). Eat in or take it out, but be warned, your pizza cravings will reach a whole new level. 3910 W. 50th St.; 952.288.2882
Runner-up: Davanni’s; Third place: TJ’s of Edina

Best Carwash
Mister Car Wash
Think fast. Could your car use a wash right now? Given our ever-changing Minnesota weather, the answer is likely “yes.” Thanks to Mister’s Unlimited Wash programs, you can have your car cleaned as often as you like for a reasonable monthly fee, which varies according to whether you simply want express services, or the whole interior/exterior detailing kit and caboodle. Of course, you’re also more than welcome to go a la carte for your washes, featuring special extras like their trademark HotShine Carnauba Shield, a waterfall wax that coats your car for a luscious, lasting shine. 7711 Normandale Rd.; 952.835.2363
Runner-up: Edina Car Wash; Third place: Grandview Tire & Auto

Best Dance Studio
Arthur Murray Dance Studio
When localites want to learn to cut a rug the right way, they head to Arthur Murray. The studio offers a wide selection of classes in styles ranging from merengue and Argentine tango to the foxtrot and west coast swing, and happily welcomes folks of all skill levels, be they two-left-footed novices or Fred Astaire doppelgängers. And while the studio has a wealth of adult-centered classes, they also host quarterly kids programs to teach tots and teens the basics of classic dances. 5041 France Ave. S.; 612.920.1900
Runner-up: Victoria Dance Productions; Third place: the DanceXchange

Best Place to take Out-Of-Town Guests
50th & France
When you’ve got family and friends coming into town and you need to show them a good time, you know there’s no better place to turn than 50th and France. This downtown Edina intersection, though a mere handful of blocks, packs over 175 retailers, service providers and restaurants—which means you can eat, shop, get pampered, catch a flick and eat again at some of the Twin Cities’ highest quality establishments, all without having to move the car. Color us, and your guests, impressed. W. 50th St. & France Ave. S.;
Runner-up: Centennial Lakes; Third place: Galleria

Best Burger
Convention Grill
Maybe it has something to do with the retro cool atmosphere of this Sunnyside diner. Perhaps it’s because they’ve been perfecting their burger recipe over the restaurant’s 75-plus-year history. Or it could have something to do with perfectly blended malts and the positively addictive hand-cut fries that customers have taken to ordering on the side. For these reasons and many more, Convention Grill has this year’s best burger. Thick and juicy, their burgers start with a hand-formed, lean ground beef patty grilled to perfection on a buttery bun; top it with your choice of smoky cheddar, Swiss, American or muenster cheeses (melted to the point of ideal gooiness); then add on grilled onions, bacon, mushrooms, or the lettuce/tomato/ mayo California options. The result? A classic, flawlessly executed burger. If ever a food truly deserved its cult following, it’s this one. 3912 Sunnyside Rd.; 952.920.6881
Runner-up: Edina Grill; Third place: Salut Bar Americain

Best Summer Camp
YMCA Camp Kici Yapi
Beginning June 13, campers ages 4 years old through 6th grades will take part in YMCA’s day camp Kici Yapi, located in nearby Prior Lake. Campers will get the chance to explore the world and a variety of other cultures by participating in games and interesting activities, sampling foods, trying their tongues at other languages and more. It’s an eye-opening and entertaining way to keep their minds engaged while they’re on summer vacation! Camp held at 13220 Pike Trl. NE, Prior Lake; Southdale YMCA, 7355 York Ave. S.; 952.835.2567
Runner-up: Edina Parks & Rec Programs; Third place: Camp Lincoln/Camp Lake Hubert

Best Place to Meet Other Moms and Dads
Edina Family Center Programs
Busy moms and dads know it’s tough to meet other parents when you’re swept up in driving the kids to soccer practice, ballet class and trumpet lessons. Perhaps that’s why Edina Family Center, which organizes numerous programs for families like Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) and workplace parent seminars, was voted the best place to meet other moms and dads.  5701 Normandale Rd.; 952.848.3952
Runner-up: Blooma Yoga Studio; Third place: Braemar Arena

Best Place to Work Out
CorePower Yoga
Feeling good is looking good, and Edina’s CorePower Yoga is happy to help on both ends of that mantra. Clients get their zen on at any of the studio’s 60-plus classes, like yoga sculpt, hot yoga express or yoga/pilates fushion, all offered nonstop during the day to accommodate busy schedules. The Centennial Lakes location provides the perfect soothing backdrop, and when the weather turns fair, classes might even head outside. Round out your CorePower visit with a calming, yoga-inspired spa service, and your mind, body and soul will thank you. 7495 France Ave. S.; 952.835.9642
Runner-up: CrossFitMN; Third Place: STEELE Fitness

Best Place for Jewelry
Tiffany & Co.
There’s an undeniable allure to that iconic blue box. Inside it lurks any number of desirable treasures; perhaps a Return to Tiffany toggle necklace, a set of stacked “1837” bracelets, a pendant from the Key collection, or a round solitaire diamond ring. All of these items are among the Galleria boutique’s most popular, and it’s thanks to Tiffany’s prestigious legacy and commitment to the highest quality that Edina clients keep coming back. 3624 Galleria; 952.922.0066
Runner-up: R.F. Moeller Jeweler; Third place (tie): Scheherazade Jewelers and Fringe

Best Pet Grooming
Bone Adventure
You wouldn’t leave your precious pooch or cherished cat in the hands of just anyone. With 20 years of experience in their 50th and France shop, Bone Adventure knows how best to groom your beloved pet and keep them calm and relaxed throughout the process. They pride themselves on earning the animal’s trust, and are well familiar with all the classic breed trims (but if you’d like to keep your westie a bit fluffier, they’re happy to oblige). 5045 France Ave. S.; 612.920.2201
Runner-up: LuLu & Luigi; Third place: Pet Clips

Best Happy Hour
Tavern on France
Hard day at work? You deserve a reward. Luckily, Tavern on France has a happy hour menu that will soothe your tired mind. Every day from 3 to 6 p.m., check out appetizer specials such as tavern blue chips for $1.99, sliders for $2.99, chicken nachos for $3.99, and half-off pizzas—and then wash it down with a tavern margarita or a Summit on tap. As a bonus, late night happy hour runs from 9 p.m. to close, to meet your late night, budget friendly cravings. 6740 France Ave. S.; 952.358.6100
Runner-up: Crave; Third place: Cocina del Barrio

Best Landscaper
JLM Design Build
Since the mid-90s, JLM Design Build has been a leading power in outdoor design and interior remodeling. The company, founded in Edina nearly 20 years ago, is divided into two parts: landscaping and remodeling. Besides doing residential upgrades on the remodeling side, the landscaping business is booming this time of year. Some of JLM’s specialties include installing pavers, water features and retaining walls. Tom Miller joined the company in 2004 and says they’ve seen crossover between remodeling and landscaping in the last few years due to the increased popularity of the “outdoor room.” These patio-style spaces can include freestanding walls, a variety of plants and more. With most of their business coming from referrals in Edina and the west Metro, the company hires 16 seasonal employees to add to their fulltime team of eight so that they’re able to complete roughly 150 landscaping projects annually. With dedication like that, it’s no wonder you voted them best landscaper in 2011. 7141 Amundson Ave.; 952.941.9818
Runners-up (tie): Sunnyside Gardens and Yardscapes

Best Interior Designer
Engler Skogmo
When it came to choosing the location for their business, Linda Engler says it was a no-brainer; she’s an EHS alum, has lived in Edina most of her life (including presently) and Talla Skogmo lives nearby in Bloomington. Engler Skogmo Interior Design’s staff of just eight (including administrative personnel) are able to complete about 35 to 40 projects each year, some lasting six months, others lasting over a year depending on the amount of construction required. They focus on every step of the design process, from construction to furniture selection to the final hardware installations. “We guide the client through an efficient and thorough decision-making process that culminates in beautiful, livable and well-edited interiors,” says Engler, ASID accredited interior designer for 27 years. Skogmo, the other half of the power design duo, has been designing for just under 35 years. The pair opened their business in January 2004 and hope for many more years in Edina. 5100 Edina Industrial Blvd., Ste. 200; 952.746.2007
Runner-up: Michelle Lohrding Interiors; Third place (tie): Gabberts and Katie Bassett Interiors

Best Florist
Flowers of Edina
Flowers of Edina, celebrating 20 years in business this November, must be doing something right, because you’ve voted them Best Florist nearly every year. The florist is known for their fresh, premium flowers that come from all over the world, including places like Ecuador and Mexico. They also support locally grown flowers and purchase from wholesalers in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Owner Janine Krieter says there was no doubt in her mind where she’d open up shop. “I have five brothers and sisters. We all grew up here and are raising our own kids here,” she says. Knowing the client base, three-quarters of which comes from Edina, certainly helps when arranging flowers for special events like weddings and prom to the “just because” bouquets. 7029 Amundson Ave.; 952.944.5770
Runner-up: Garden Gate; Third place: Bachman’s

Best Preschool Program
Edina Family Center
What better way to set your child up for educational success than to send them to an enriching preschool, where their days will be filled with large muscle play, field trips, healthy snack time and more? Edina Family Center has multiple class offerings for little ones, including an Early Childhood Special Education program, so it’s no wonder they took home the honor of Best Preschool Program. 5701 Normandale Rd.; 952.848.3942
Runner-up: Creekside Children’s Place; Third place: Step By Step Montessori

Best Park
Centennial Lakes
There’s no better way to spend a sunny summer afternoon than at Centennial Lakes Park, your pick for the best park in the city. Edinans enjoy fishing in the ponds, playing a rousing game of croquet or renting a paddleboat and cruising around the 10-acre lake. The amphitheater is the perfect venue for summer entertainment, and the winter lovers glide along the perfectly maintained skating rink. 7499 France Ave. S.; 952.833.9580
Runner-up: Lewis Park; Third place: Bredesen Park

Best Tailor
The Tailors of Edina
Sisters Lee Ta and Noi Haung often see many generations of loyal customers in their shop; grandmothers, mothers and daughters alike have continually sought out their spot-on services since 1986. The duo works six days a week to ensure all of the sewing is completed in a timely manner. One of the biggest aspects of their business is bridesmaid alterations, and they have keen eyes for style and detail. “We’re good at styling, and we know what looks good on different body types,” says Ta. We don’t know about you, but we know where we’ll be taking our cast-off bridesmaid dresses for modern alterations! 5031 Vernon Ave. S.; 952.920.8785
Runner-up: Oh Sew Special; Third place: Tailors on Blake

Best New Restaurant
Cocina del Barrio
A massive selection of margaritas and Latin street food-inspired cuisine. Need we say more? Local diners have given a warm and welcoming reception to the Twin Cities’ third Barrio location, the menu of which takes a deep dive into gourmet Latin cuisine. Head chef Bill Fairbanks offers up everything from the multiple ceviches to jicama-citrus salad to skirt steak tacos to achiote chicken with plaintains—not to mention their seemingly endless varieties of aged tequilas—all in sultry and gothic Spanish-inspired digs. Open until 1 a.m. or later seven days a week, this restaurant is proving to be a hot spot even after most other area eateries have gone to bed. 5036 France Ave. S.; 952.920.1860
Runner-up: Mozza Mia; Third place (tie): Raku and Seven Stars Coffee House

Best Hair Salon
Spalon Montage
Owned by Mitchell Wherley and Shelly Engelsma, Spalon Montage has been offering top-notch salon and spa services in Edina since 1989. In June 2009, the duo revealed new plans for their Edina location (they’re also in Woodbury and Chanhassen), which included taking over what is now the Elizabeth House, home to 3 floors of talented stylists. The salon offers myriad beauty treatments, ranging from the typical hair, makeup and nail services, to more advanced options like Botox and Juvederm completed by the certified RN staff. They also offer specialty processes like Latisse and Keraspa’s smoothing system, which straightens hair physically rather than chemically. Why would you need to go anywhere else? 3909 West 49 1/2 St.; 952.915.2900
Runner-up: Juut SalonSpa; Third place: Charlie’s Barbers/Haircuts of Distinction

Best Place to Walk the Dog
Van Valkenburg Park
When Fluffy and Fido are begging for a walk, your top choice is Van Valkenburg Park, a 42-acre park on Lincoln Drive in northwest Edina. The park, while it’s the perfect location for sporting events and tournaments, is also home to the city’s first off-leash dog area that’s open from 6 a.m.–10 p.m. daily. Permits and green collars are required ($25 for residents, $50 for nonresidents), and discounts are available for those with multiple dogs. Lincoln Drive in NW Edina
Runner-up: Bredesen Park; Third place: Centennial Lakes Park

Best Auto Repair
Grandview Tire & Auto
If you’ve never been to Grandview Tire & Auto, you’re either missing out on the most personal and efficient car care in town, or you’ve simply never had troubles with your vehicles. Family-owned and operated in Edina since 1977, the folks at Grandview have it covered when it comes to repairs, maintenance and customer satisfaction. They base their business on values like trust, integrity and philanthropy, and post motivational and uplifting sayings on their websites weekly. With 110 employees spread between five shops (four in Edina and one in Lakeville), they also boast some of the cleanest facilities in the entire Metro area. 5100 Vernon Ave., 952.929.3115; 5415 70th St., 952.944.1119
Runner-up: Edina Tire & Auto; Third place: Bobby & Steve’s Auto World

Best Neighborhood
Country Club District
Colonial revival, English tudor, Italian Renaissance, French eclectic…the list goes on and on. What are we talking about? The styles of 550 or so houses you’ll find in the Country Club district, of course! The 14-block area is bound by Minnehaha Creek to the west, Sunnyside Road to the north, Arden Avenue to the east and 50th St. to the south, and was one of the first planned communities in the country.
Runner-up: 50th and France; Third place: Morningside


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