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Executive chef Talia Diele tops a pizza with Calabrese salami and chilies at Sofia, which won Best new restaurant.

And the winners in the 2019 Best of New Orleans readers' poll in these categories are...

FOOD

Best new restaurant

1. Sofia (516 Julia St., 504-322-3216; www.sofianola.com)

It was a big year for Italian dining in the Warehouse District, but Sofia’s colorful atmosphere, wood-fired pizzas and vibrant happy hour helped it break away from the pack. Restaurateur Billy Blatty (who owns local spots Barcadia, Ohm Lounge and Belle’s Diner) opened Sofia in January in partnership with the Denver-based Culinary Creative group. The restaurant pays homage to actress Sophia Loren (a friend of Blatty’s parents) not only through its name but also the stylized images of Loren adorning the walls (we should all look that good eating spaghetti). Since opening, executive chef Thalia Diele and team have drawn crowds seeking not only pizzas (including the Signore Bianco with stracciatella, grana Padano and creamed leeks) but classic handmade pastas and small plates, including a variety of seasonal salads. The bar program also received recognition: In June, Travel+Leisure named Sofia one of the Best Places to Sip an Aperol Spritz in the U.S.

2. Gianna (700 Magazine St., 504-399-0816; www.giannarestaurant.com)

3. Gris-Gris (1800 Magazine St., 504-272-0241; www.grisgrisnola.com)

Best Kenner Restaurant

1. Kenner Seafood (3140 Loyola Drive, Kenner, 504-466-4701; www.kennerseafood.net)

2. La Chilanga Bar & Grill (3229 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 504-470-2056; www.facebook.com/lachilanganola)

3. Harbor Seafood & Oyster Bar Restaurant (3201 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 504-443-3474; www.fishermanscoveseafood.com)

Best Metairie Restaurant

1. Drago’s Seafood Restaurant (3232 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie, 504-888-9254; www.dragosrestaurant.com)

2. Chef Ron’s Gumbo Stop (2309 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 504-835-2022; www.gumbostop.com)

3. Zea Rotisserie & Bar (4450 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-780-9090; www.zearestaurants.com)

Best New Orleans Restaurant

1. Commander’s Palace (1403 Washington Ave., 504-899-8221; www.commanderspalace.com)

TIE 2. Clancy’s Restaurant (6100 Annunciation St., 504-895-1111; www.clancysneworleans.com)

TIE 2. GW Fins (808 Bienville St., 504-581-3467; www.gwfins.com)

3. Peche (800 Magazine St., 504-522-1744; www.pecherestaurant.com)

Best Northshore restaurant

1. Abita Brew Pub (72011 Holly St., Abita Springs, 985-892-5837; www.abitabrewpub.com)

2. Sal & Judy’s Restaurant (27491 Highway 190, Lacombe, 985-882-9443; www.salandjudys.net)

3. The Chimes (19130 W. Front St., Covington, 985-892-5396; www.thechimes.com)

Best St. Bernard Parish restaurant

1. Rocky & Carlo’s Restaurant and Bar (613 W. St. Bernard Highway, Chalmette, 504-279-8323; www.rockyandcarlosrestaurant.com)

2. Crave (3201 E. Judge Perez Drive, Meraux, 504-676-3697; www.facebook.com/cravestb)

3. MeMe’s Bar & Grille (712 W. Judge Perez Drive, Chalmette, 504-644-4992; www.memesbarandgrille.com)

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Tan Dinh racked up a double win, topping the categories for Best West Bank restaurant and Best Vietnamese restaurant.

Best West Bank restaurant

1. Tan Dinh (1705 Lafayette St., Gretna, 504-361-8008)

It would take a while for a diner to eat his or her way through the menu at Tan Dinh, but the voluminous list of Vietnamese dishes keeps diners coming back to its casual space in Gretna. Tan Dinh also is one of our readers' top choices in the city for Vietnamese cuisine. It was tied for first place with Lily’s Cafe and Pho Tau Bay.

Tan Dinh’s menu has pages of categories divided by meat, seafood, vegetarian and rice and noodle dishes. There are local favorites such as rice paper-wrapped or fried spring rolls filled with shrimp or pork; banh mi sandwiches dressed with pickled carrots, cucumber and cilantro; and bowls of pho or spicy bun bo Hue served with a side dish of sprouts, herbs and lime wedges. Diners also can find duck dishes, catfish served in a clay pot, fried squid with jalapeno, lemon grass tofu, curried goat, large stuffed crepes, jasmine or sweet rice dishes or vermicelli or udon bowls. It also offers Korean-style barbecued ribs served with kimchi. The bar stocks Vietnamese beers, and colorful fruit-flavored boba teas and smoothies are available with tapioca pearls.

2. Banana Blossom (500 Ninth St., Gretna, 504-500-0997; www.bananablossom504.com)

3. Mosca’s (4137 W. Highway 90, Westwego, 504-436-8950; www.moscasrestaurant.com)

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Cakes and cookies and pastries line the case at Haydel's, voted Best bakery.

Best bakery

1. Haydel’s Bakery (3117 Magazine St., 504-267-3165; 4037 Jefferson Highway, 800-442-1342; www.haydelbakery.com)

It’s hard to find a New Orleans celebration that isn’t routinely sweetened by Haydel’s Bakery. Its king cakes grace Carnival parade buffets, the black and gold cupcakes rally Saints fans, and who can resist the fudgy blob atop a Haydel’s turtle? This year, the bakery celebrates its 60th year in business. Since its inception, three generations of the Haydel family have helped the shop grow from neighborhood bakery to local icon (and beyond, through their online shipping operation). Last November, Haydel’s began reaching a new in-person audience with the opening of Haydel’s Bake Shop on Magazine Street in the Garden District, allowing visitors to enjoy its most popular goodies without trekking to Metairie. Earlier this year, the Uptown location also began carrying a selection of flavors from Piccola Gelateria, combining them with a Haydel’s eclair to create the Gelato Po-Boy, a delectable take on the local classic.

2. La Boulangerie (4600 Magazine St., 504-269-3777; www.laboulangerienola.com)

3. Gracious Bakery (NOCHI Cafe by Gracious, 725 Howard Ave., Suite 102, 504-635-0033; 1000 S. Jefferson Davis Parkway, 504-321-6233; 2854 St. Charles Ave., 504-301-9949; 4930 Prytania St., 504-300-8135; www.graciousbakery.com)

Best barbecue restaurant

1. Blue Oak BBQ (900 N. Carrollton Ave., 504-822-2583; www.blueoakbbq.com)

2. Central City BBQ (1201 S. Rampart St., 504-558-4276; wwww.centralcitybbq.com)

3. The Joint (701 Mazant St., 504-949-3232; www.alwayssmokin.com)

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The signature burger at The Company Burger, which won Best burger restaurant.

Best burger restaurant

1. Company Burger (611 O’Keefe Ave., 504-309-9422; 4600 Freret St., 504-267-0320; www.thecompanyburger.com)

There’s more than meets the eye at chef/owner Adam Biderman’s Company Burger restaurants, where customers order at the counter and wait for burgers and fries on butcher paper-lined metal trays to arrive at tables set with rolls of paper towels. The namesake burger features two thin patties of Creekstone Farms black Angus beef topped with American cheese and house-made bread-and-butter pickles on a soft bun. Though the restaurant specializes in burgers, there are just a few to choose from, including a single-patty version and lamb and turkey patty options. Diners can go to the “mayo bar” for ramekins of plain, basil or chipotle mayonnaise or honey mustard dressing. There are craft beers and a small list of cocktails available on tap, including an Old Fashioned and recently introduced Paloma and Aperol Spritz cocktails. Nothing is too plain or too fancy, and the burgers hit the spot for our readers.

2. Port of Call (838 Esplanade Ave., 504-523-0120; www.portofcallnola.com)

TIE 3. Five Guys (Citywide; www.fiveguys.com)

TIE 3. Desi Vega’s Prime Burgers and Shakes (1640 Hickory Ave., Harahan, 504-575-3581; www.desivegaburgers.com)

Best Chinese restaurant

1. Five Happiness (3605 S. Carrollton Ave., 504-482-3935; www.fivehappiness.com)

2. Red’s Chinese (3048 St. Claude Ave., 504-304-6030; www.redschinese.com)

3. China Doll (830 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, 504-366-8822; www.chinadoll.restaurant)

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District: Donuts.Sliders.Brew won Best doughnut.

Best doughnut

1. District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew. (527 Harrison Ave., 504-827-1152; Elmwood Shopping Center, 1126 S. Clearview Parkway, Jefferson, 504-605-7944; 2209 Magazine St., 504-570-6945; 5637 Magazine St., 504-313-1316; www.districtdonuts.com)

Since District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew. opened in the Lower Garden District in 2013, it has expanded to a second Uptown location, Jefferson, Lakeview, Baton Rouge and Las Vegas. As the name spells out, these eateries serve doughnuts, coffee drinks (including cappuccinos and cold brew on tap) and an array of sliders, waffle fries and more. But the fancy flavor combinations, toppings and fillings make the signature light and airy doughnuts stand out in this beignet capital. Recent creative concoctions have included chocolate-raspberry, turtle cheesecake, cookies and cream, chocolate blackout, lemon-blueberry, pumpkin-spiced latte and a doughnut filled with Nutella mousse. For those with traditional tastes, there are doughnuts topped with cinnamon sugar or chocolate glaze. Display cases typically showcase a dozen items in the constantly changing selection of doughnuts. At the Lower Garden District location, customers interested in the upcoming creations can watch the doughnuts being made at the open kitchen space at the end of the coffee bar.

2. Bakers Dozen (3305 Jefferson Highway, Jefferson, 504-828-2811; www.lovebakersdozen.com)

3. Blue Dot Donuts (4301 Canal St., 504-218-4866; www.bluedotdonuts.com)

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Little Fig's bulk nuts, dried fruit and candy are available at the Pythian Market, which won Best food hall.

Best food hall

1. Pythian Market (234 Loyola Ave., 481-9599; www.pythianmarket.com)

The Pythian Market food hall has helped make the Pythian Building a hub of activity again. The Pythian Building originally was constructed in 1908 for the Colored Knights of Pythias and became home to many black organizations, including the NAACP. Its rooftop garden was a meeting space for social gatherings, music and more.

Following a renovation of the building, the ground-floor Pythian Market opened last year. A mural by Brandan “B Mike” Odums pays homage to the building’s history, with civil rights leader A.P. Tureaud and wife Lucille painted in cool blue tones.

The food hall occupies much of the ground floor, with food vendors, a cocktail bar and tables winding through the space. A diverse array of cuisines includes Jamaican-style oxtail stew, jerk chicken from 14 Parishes and falafel platters and Mediterranean fare from 1000 Figs’ satellite location, Little Fig. Kais serves poke, sushi and seafood items while Fete au Fete offers creative takes on Creole and Cajun dishes. The food trucks Frencheeze and La Cocinita both have expanded with stalls at the market. There also is pizza from Meribo, sandwiches from the Dirty South Sammich Co. and Vietnamese dishes from Eat Well. The Treme landmark Willie Mae’s Scotch House also recently opened a new location here.

2. St. Roch Market (2381 St. Claude Ave., 504-609-3813; www.strochmarket.com)

3. Auction House Market (801 Magazine St., 504-372-4321; www.auctionhousemarket.com)

Best French restaurant

1. Cafe Degas (3127 Esplanade Ave., 504-945-5635; www.cafedegas.com)

2. La Crepe Nanou (1410 Robert St., 504-899-2670; www.lacrepenanou.com)

3. Lilette (3637 Magazine St., 504-895-1636; www.liletterestaurant.com)

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Saffron NOLA won Best Indian restaurant.

Best Indian restaurant

1. Saffron NOLA (4128 Magazine St., 504-323-2626; www.saffronnola.com)

Saffron may have been one of the Gretna dining scene’s best kept secrets. The offshoot of a catering business, it served dinner on Friday nights only for roughly six years. But Saffron NOLA is no secret. Founder and chef Arvinder Vilkhu and his family’s stylish Uptown incarnation has attracted diners to Magazine Street and made it our readers’ favorite spot for Indian cuisine.

The menu is firmly rooted in Indian cuisine, and chef Vilkhu offers his versions of many classic dishes alongside familiar side items such as daals and raita and bread choices including roti and naan. Chicken biriyani is served with saffron rice, and rum-soaked Khyber lamb chops are served with a spicy rogan josh sauce. Gulf seafood also is well-represented on the menu, and some dishes meld Indian, Creole and other flavors. Shrimp are prepared tandoori-style or with tamarind black pepper sauce. A platter of roasted oysters includes caramelized onions, garlic and curry leaf and is served with naan. A seafood gumbo filled with shrimp, crabmeat and okra gets a curry treatment and is served with basmati rice. For dessert, saffron-cardamom ice cream is served with pistachios, vermicelli and rose syrup.

The cocktail list also is full of spices and exotic flavor combinations. Tea & Biscuits combines cognac, chai, ginger, almond and lemon. An Indian Firing Squad features Indian and Oaxacan rums, sugar cane, lime and red chili oil.

2. Nirvana (4308 Magazine St., 504-894-9797; www.insidenirvana.com)

3. Taj Mahal (923 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-836-6859; www.tajnola.com)

Best Italian restaurant

1. Vincent’s Italian Cuisine (4411 Chastant St., Metairie, 504-885-2984; 7839 St. Charles Ave., 504-866-9313; www.vincentsitaliancuisine.com)

2. Avo (5908 Magazine St., 504-509-6550; www.restaurantavo.com)

3. Venezia (134 N. Carrollton Ave., 504-488-7991; www.venezianeworleans.net)

Best Japanese/sushi restaurant

1. Shogun Japanese Restaurant and Steak House (2325 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-833-7477)

2. Mikimoto (3301 S. Carrollton Ave., 504-488-1881; www.mikimotosushi.com)

3. Sake Cafe Uptown (2830 Magazine St., 504-894-0033; www.sakecafeonmagazine.com)

Best Latin American restaurant

1. Mais Arepas (1200 Carondelet St., 504-523-6247; www.facebook.com/maisarepas)

2. Baru Bistro and Tapas (3700 Magazine St., 504-895-2225; www.barutapasnola.com)

3. El Pavo Real (4401 S. Broad St., 504-266-2022; www.elpavorealnola.com)

Best locally owned coffee house

1. PJ’s (Citywide; www.pjscoffee.com)

2. French Truck (217 Chartres St., 504-605-2899; 1200 Magazine St., 504-298-1115; 4536 Dryades St., 504-702-1900; www.frenchtruckcoffee.com)

3. CC’s (Citywide; www.ccscoffee.com)

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Tabasco sauce won Best Louisiana-made food product.

Best Louisiana-made food product

1. Tabasco Brand Pepper Sauce (www.tabasco.com)

The true test of a product is its longevity, and Tabasco hot pepper sauce has been a staple of Louisiana restaurants and home dinner tables for 150 years, since shortly after Edmund McIlhenny developed the recipe of peppers, vinegar and salt and planted his first commercial crop of capsicum frutescens peppers on Avery Island in 1868. By the 1870s, the sauce was a staple all over the U.S. and was gaining popularity in Europe.

The McIlhenny family still produces the sauce on Avery Island using the original recipe, and has added seven other varieties, including green jalapeno, cayenne garlic, habanero, sriracha, sweet and spicy, chipotle and buffalo. It remains a Louisiana company but is distributed in 195 countries.

2. Crystal Hot Sauce (www.baumerfoods.com)

3. Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning (www.tonychachere.com)

Best Mexican restaurant

1. El Gato Negro (81 French Market Place, 504-525-9752; 300 Harrison Ave., 504-488-0107; 800 S. Peters St., 504-309-8864; www.elgatonegronola.com)

2. Juan’s Flying Burrito (515 Baronne St., 504-529-5825; 2018 Magazine St., 504-569-0000; 4724 S. Carrollton Ave., 504-486-9950; 5538 Magazine St., 504-897-4800; www.juansflyingburrito.com)

3. Casa Garcia (8814 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-464-0354; www.casa-garcia.com)

Best Middle Eastern/Mediterranean restaurant

1. Lebanon’s Cafe (1500 S. Carrollton Ave., 504-862-6200; www.lebanonscafe.com)

TIE 2. Mona’s Cafe (504 Frenchmen St., 504-949-4115; 3901 Banks St., 504-482-7743; 4126 Magazine St., 504-894-9800; www.monascafeanddeli.com)

TIE 2. Saba (5757 Magazine St., Suite A, 504-324-7770; www.eatwithsaba.com)

3. Byblos Mediterranean Grill (1501 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-834-9773; 2020 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-837-9777; 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-830-7333; www.byblosrestaurants.com)

Best pizza restaurant

1. Theo’s Neighborhood Pizza (Citywide; www.theospizza.com)

2. Pizza Delicious (617 Piety St., 504-676-8482; www.pizzadelicious.com)

3. Reginelli’s (Citywide; www.reginellis.com)

Best restaurant for vegetarians/vegans

1. Seed (1330 Prytania St., 504-302-2599; www.seedyourhealth.com)

2. Carmo (527 Julia St., 504-875-4132; www.cafecarmo.com)

3. Sweet Soulfood (1025 N. Broad St., 504-821-2669; www.sweetvegansoulfood.com)

Best seafood restaurant

1. Peche (800 Magazine St., 504-522-1744; www.pecherestaurant.com)

2. GW Fins (808 Bienville St., 504-581-3467; www.gwfins.com)

3. Deanie’s (841 Iberville St., 504-581-1316; 1713 Lake Ave., Metairie, 504-831-4141; 2200 Magazine St., 504-962-7760; www.deanies.com)

Best sno-ball stand

1. Hansen’s Sno-Bliz (4801 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-891-9788; www.snobliz.com)

2. William’s Plum Street Snowballs (1300 Burdette St., 504-866-7996)

3. Sal’s Sno-Balls (1823 Metairie Ave., Metairie, 504-666-1823)

Best steakhouse

1. Ruth’s Chris Steak House (Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel, 525 Fulton St., 504-587-7099; 3633 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-888-3600; www.ruthschris.com)

2. Mr. John’s Steakhouse (2111 St. Charles Ave., 504-679-7697; www.mrjohnssteakhouse.com)

3. Crescent City Steaks (1001 N. Broad St., 504-821-3271; www.crescentcitysteaks.com)

Best Thai restaurant

1. SukhoThai (2200 Royal St., 504-948-9309; 4519 Magazine St., 504-373-6471; www.sukhothai-nola.com)

2. Banana Blossom (500 Ninth St., Gretna, 504-500-0997; www.bananablossom504.com)

3. Cafe Equator (2920 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-888-4772; www.cafeequator.com)

Best traditional Louisiana restaurant

1. Commander’s Palace (1403 Washington Ave., 504-899-8221; www.commanderspalace.com)

2. Mandina’s Restaurant (3800 Canal St., 504-482-9179; Azalea Shopping Center, 4240 Highway 22, Mandeville, 985-674-9883; www.mandinasrestaurant.com)

3. Galatoire’s Restaurant (209 Bourbon St., 504-525-2021; www.galatoires.com)

Best Vietnamese restaurant

TIE 1. Tan Dinh (1705 Lafayette St., Gretna, 504-361-8008)

TIE 1. Lilly’s Cafe (1813 Magazine St., 504-599-9999; www.facebook.com/lillyscafe)

TIE 2. Pho Tau Bay (1565 Tulane Ave., 504-368-9846; www.photaubayrestaurant.com)

TIE 2. Namese (4077 Tulane Ave., 504-483-8899; www.namese.net)

3. Pho Orchid (1401 Airline Drive, Metairie, 504-301-3368; 3117 Houma Blvd., 504-457-4188; www.pho-orchid.com)

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Gambit readers voted Susan Spicer as Best chef.

Best chef

1. Susan Spicer

It’s been almost 30 years since Susan Spicer became a household name in New Orleans with the opening of acclaimed restaurant Bayona. That was in 1990, and she’s as relevant today as she was then (the famed Gulf shrimp with black bean cakes is still on Bayona’s menu). In the interim, Spicer won a James Beard Award (Best Chef Southeast Region in 1993) and opened two additional restaurants — Lakeview’s Mondo in 2010 (which just announced its closing) and Rosedale in 2016. In a news release, Spicer described the decision not to renew the lease on Mondo’s Harrison Avenue space as “bittersweet” but a move that “just makes sense.” We haven’t seen the end of Mondo, however, as Mondo MSY is slated to open in the new Louis Armstrong International Airport terminal. That will allow more hungry travelers to experience Spicer’s uniquely New Orleans take on global cuisine.

2. Nina Compton

3. Donald Link

Best food truck

1. Taceaux Loceaux (Twitter: @TLNola; Instagram: @tlnola)

2. Bonafried (www.facebook.com/BonafriedTruck; Twitter: @bonafriedTruck; Instagram @bonafriedtruck)

3. Rollin’ Fatties (Twitter: @Rollinfattiesnola; Instagram: @rollinfattiesnola)

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When it comes to fried chicken, Gambit readers say Popeyes is best.

Best fried chicken

1. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (Citywide; www.popeyes.com)

The fast food mega chain is no longer locally owned (it was sold to Burger King parent company Restaurant Brands International in 2017) — but its ability to top the category proves it’s still a local favorite. Face it, it just isn’t Mardi Gras unless you have a giant box of Popeyes fried chicken and biscuits for snacking. Also a requirement: endless Cajun fries. The chain released its latest addition to the menu earlier this month — a fried chicken sandwich that comes in both classic and spicy options — that is garnering rave reviews. Now, if Popeyes would just bring back the loaded chicken wrap…

2. Willie Mae’s Scotch House (2401 St. Ann St., 504-822-9503; www.williemaesnola.com)

3. Dooky Chase’s Restaurant (2301 Orleans Ave., 504-821-0600; www.dookychaserestaurant.com)

Best gumbo

1. Chef Ron’s Gumbo Stop (2309 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, 504-835-2022; www.gumbostop.com)

2. Mr. B’s Bistro (201 Royal St., 504-523-2078; www.mrbsbistro.com)

3. Gumbo Shop (630 St. Peter St., 504-525-1486; www.gumboshop.com)

Best king cake

1. Manny Randazzo Original King Cakes (3515 N. Hullen St., Metairie, 504-456-1476; www.randazzokingcake.com)

2. Dong Phuong Bakeshop (14207 Chef Menteur Highway, 504-254-0214; www.dpbakeshop.com)

3. Haydel’s Bakery (3117 Magazine St., 504-267-3165; 4037 Jefferson Highway, 504-837-0190; www.haydelsbakery.com)

Best late-night dining

1. Camellia Grill (626 S. Carrollton Ave., 504-309-2679)

2. Clover Grill (900 Bourbon St., 504-598-1010; www.clovergrill.com)

TIE 3. Mimi’s in the Marigny (2601 Royal St., 504-872-9868; www.mimismarigny.com)

TIE 3. Melba’s (1525 Elysian Fields Ave., 504-267-7765; www.melbas.com)

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Bacchanal won Best outdoor dining.

Best outdoor dining

1. Bacchanal Wine (600 Poland Ave., 504-948-9111; www.bacchanalwine.com)

The best advice to diners heading to Bacchanal has nothing to do with its selection of wine, cocktails, cheeses or its menu. It’s: Get there early. Even though there are many tables in the courtyard behind the Bywater wine shop, they can fill up quickly, even early in the week. But even when the place is packed, it’s the laissez-faire vibe that keeps diners lingering under strings of lights and the canopy of tree branches over the courtyard.

Diners enter through the original wine shop’s corner store door. Wine bottles fill racks, cases and a couple of coolers, and diners must browse because there’s no written list. Our readers don’t seem to mind, because they also voted Bacchanal as having the best wine selection.

Settling in for an evening is an exercise in assembly. Wine, cheese and charcuterie come from the wine shop, and guests must grab their own glasses and ice buckets. There’s a cocktail bar with a menu of original drinks as well as craft beers at the upstairs bar. To order food from the creative list of large and small plates, there’s another line at the kitchen window, but servers deliver food to diners’ tables. There’s also live music every day, mostly featuring jazz groups. However they make it all come together, Bacchanal is our readers’ favorite spot for outdoor dining.

2. Cafe Amelie (912 Royal St., 504-412-8965; www.cafeamelie.com)

3. Velvet Cactus (6300 Argonne Blvd., 504-301-2083; www.thevelvetcactus.com)

Best place for desserts

1. Angelo Brocato (214 N. Carrollton Ave., 504-486-1465; www.angelobrocatoicecream.com)

2. Bakery Bar (1179 Annunciation St., 504-513-8664; www.bakery.bar)

3. Creole Creamery (4924 Prytania St., 504-894-8680; 6260 Vicksburg St., 504-482-2924; www.creolecreamery.com)

Creole Creamery 2019

Creole Creamery was voted Best place to get frozen desserts.

Best place to get frozen desserts

1. Creole Creamery (4924 Prytania St., 504-894-8680; 6260 Vicksburg St., 504-482-2924; www.creolecreamery.com)

At the Uptown location of Creole Creamery, the Tchoupitoulas Challenge lays down a gauntlet of finishing eight scoops of ice cream with eight toppings, cherries, wafers and whipped cream. According to the ice cream parlor’s website, more than 700 people have succeeded. But even those with more modest ambitions have flocked to Creole Creamery for its original ice cream and sorbet flavors in cups, waffle cones and sundaes.

At the Uptown shop, one freezer is like a chocolate vault, stocked with tubs of bittersweet chocolate, peanut butter fudge pie, salty and smoky chocolate almonds, Mexican hot chocolate with chilies and more. A sorbet freezer holds Meyer lemon, cantaloupe, raspberry and grapefruit shandy. Ice cream flavors include cotton candy, cookie monster, Creole cream cheese, lavender honey, golden summer fig and cornbread sorghum streusel. The menu features banana splits, ice cream floats, shakes, malts and brownies a la mode. Those working their way up to larger indulgences can get a Sky Scraper featuring vanilla, chocolate and cookies and cream ice cream topped with hot fudge, caramel and Oreo cookies.

The original location occupies a former McKenzie’s bakery shop, and the former business’ red neon sign is easy to spot on Prytania Street. Perhaps it’s one reason the new sweet stop has caught on with locals.

2. Angelo Brocato (214 N. Carrollton Ave., 504-486-1465; www.angelobrocatoicecream.com)

3. Piccola Gelateria (4525 Freret St., 504-493-5999; www.piccolagelateria.com)

Best place to get a po-boy

1. Parkway Bakery & Tavern (538 Hagan Ave., 504-482-3047; www.parkwaypoorboys.com)

2. Short Stop Poboys (119 Transcontinental Drive, Metairie, 504-885-4572; www.shortstoppoboysno.com)

3. Domilise’s Po-boys and Bar (5240 Annunciation St., 504-899-9126; www.domilisespoboys.com)

Best place to get poke

1. Poke Loa (Citywide; www.eatpokeloa.com)

2. Lemonshark Poke (2901 Magazine St., 504-518-6665; www.lemonsharkpoke.com)

3. Poke-Chan (2809 St. Claude Ave., 504-571-5446; www.poke-chan.com)

Best place to get a sandwich

1. Stein’s Market and Deli (2207 Magazine St., 504-527-0771; www.steinsdeli.com)

2. Turkey and the Wolf (739 Jackson Ave., 504-218-7428; www.turkeyandthewolf.com)

TIE 3. Martin Wine Cellar (714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 504-896-7300; Village Shopping Center, 2895 Highway 190, Mandeville, 985-951-8081; 3827 Baronne St., 504-899-7411; www.martinwine.com)

TIE 3. St. James Cheese Co. (641 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-304-1485; 5004 Prytania St., 504-899-4737; www.stjamescheese.com)

Best place to get boiled seafood

1. Bevi Seafood Co. (236 Carrollton Ave., 504-488-7503; 4701 Airline Drive, Metairie, 504-885-5003; www.beviseafoodco.com)

2. Deanie’s Seafood (841 Iberville St., 504-581-1316; 1713 Lake Ave., Metairie, 504-831-4141; 2200 Magazine St., 504-962-7760; www.deanies.com)

3. Salvo’s Seafood (7742 Highway 23, Belle Chasse, 504-393-7303; www.salvosseafood.com)

Best place to get breakfast/brunch

1. Ruby Slipper Cafe (Citywide; www.therubyslippercafe.net)

2. Toast (1035 Decatur St., 504-300-5518; 1845 Gentilly Blvd., 504-351-3664; 5433 Laurel St., 504-267-3260; www.toastneworleans.com)

3. Surrey’s Cafe & Juice Bar (1418 Magazine St., 504-524-3828; 4807 Magazine St., 504-895-5757; www.surreysnola.com)

Best restaurant for romantic dining

1. Commander’s Palace (1403 Washington Ave., 504-899-8221; www.commanderspalace.com)

2. N7 (1117 Montegut St.; www.n7nola.com)

3. La Crepe Nanou (1410 Robert St., 504-899-2670; www.lacrepenanou.com)

Best Wine List

1. Bacchanal Wine (600 Poland Ave., 504-948-9111; www.bacchanalwine.com)

2. Commander’s Palace (1403 Washington Ave., 504-899-8221; www.commanderspalace.com)

3. Martin Wine Cellar (714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 504-896-7300; Village Shopping Center, 2895 Highway 190, Mandeville, 985-951-8081; 3827 Baronne St., 504-899-7411; www.martinwine.com)

Follow Kevin Allman on Twitter: @kevinallman

Email Gambit editor Kevin Allman at: kevina@gambitweekly.com.