BEST OF THE RIVER VALLEY 2021 RESULTS


Here we go

After a nearly two month long process, we want to formally welcome you to the results of the 1st Annual Best of the River Valley reader poll for the Spring Green area!

Drawing inspiration from cities like Eau Claire, Madison and Milwaukee, we were excited to facilitate this reader poll that showcases the community’s voice in sharing the best of what our area has to offer to our community and those who visit it.

Let’s get into the nitty gritty. Only the date range of June 2020 – May 2021 was considered for the poll. Exceptions were given to COVID-cancelled events that are annual and due to return. Residents could only vote once, popular write-ins were added to the poll, most of the categories were limited to the Valley (Arena, Lone Rock, Plain and Spring Green), with some exceptions. The greater area was included, more or less 15-20 miles around the Valley. There were questions that specifically stated they were regional, and others where all of Sauk, Iowa and Richland counties were included where otherwise the answers would be over-limiting.

Over nearly two months, through weeks of nominations and almost a month of polls being open, hundreds of you voted on your community favorites for 2021. There were upsets, there were certainties and there were ties. Online exclusive editorial content including editors’ picks, honorable mentions and more are available exclusively online below.

Best of the River Valley is not only a complement to existing guides that help community members and newcomers alike navigate our area, but also a place to share where you believe the area is headed, what the area needs to focus on, and also a place to brag about your business or your favorite Old Fashioned, with a healthy competitive spirit.

So we created categories and questions we felt represented a good cross section of the community, its services and where it’s going. We hope it is thought-provoking and leads to not only celebration, but also new experiences and constructive conversations about what’s next for the community.

Throughout the Best of the River Valley process we talked to dozens of businesses and residents, and a familiar sentiment kept coming up: if you know, you know.

So that’s our 2021 Best of the River Valley theme: if you know, you know. However, it’s not our goal to reinforce that, it’s our goal to break those walls down — hence the wrecking ball above. We can’t count the amount of times even many locals hadn’t heard of the cool stuff (it’s a technical term), events, things and places that exist in the Valley, but those that know, know.

But it’s time to share and we can’t thank all those that did enough! That sharing of cool stuff, events, things and places is why we’ll be listing not only the winners, but all of the nominations here, it’s why we’re doing some editors’ picks and honorable mentions — so everyone can go out and try new things — and maybe you’ll have a brand new favorite next year?

Ultimately, this is YOUR poll, YOU decided the winners.

And here they are —


OUTDOORS & LEISURE

Best Body of Water For Recreation

We’re called the Valley for a reason, and what better body of water to win than the body of water that created the Valley? As COVID drove people to the outdoors in record numbers in recent memory, people are looking for more and better ways to engage with our protected Lower Wisconsin Riverway. For now, we suggest a local canoe or kayak rental. The Valley has several great options.

Photo via Voice of the River Valley

Central Boat Launch Address: Peck’s Landing, S13608 WI-23, Spring Green, WI 53588
DNR Lower Wisconsin Riverway Phone Number: 608-588-7723
Website: www.dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/lands/lowerwisconsin/info


Address: S5975 Park Rd, Baraboo, WI 53913
Phone Number: 608-356-8301
Website: www.dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/parks/devilslake


Website: www.dnr.wi.gov/lakes/lakepages/LakeDetail.aspx?wbic=1260600


Other nominees: Goofy’s Mud Hole/Helena Slough/Goofy’s Slough, White Mound Lake, Bakken’s Pond, Blackhawk Lake (Highland), Cox Hollow Lake/Twin Valley Lake (Gov. Dodge State Park), Liza’s Lagoon (Wisconsin Riverside Resort), Pine River

Best Campground

Who doesn’t like sitting around a fire and making s’mores? We’re only surprised no one nominated the generic “a sandbar on the river” — well there’s always next year!

Photo via Wisconsin Riverside Resort

Address: S13220 Shifflet Rd, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2826
Website: www.wiriverside.com


Address: 2025 Co Hwy BH, Highland, WI 53543
Phone Number: 608-623-2707
Website: www.blackhawklake.com


Address: 4175 State Road 23 N, Dodgeville, WI 53533
Phone Number: 608-935-2315
Website: www.dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/parks/govdodge/recreation/camping


Other nominees: Trader’s Island Campground, Tower Hill State Park, White Mound Campground, Fireside Campground

Best Golf Course

Photo via House on the Rock Resort

Address: 400 Springs Dr, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7000
Website: www.thehouseontherock.com/visit-stay/golf/


Address: 7899 US-151, Barneveld, WI 53507
Phone Number: 608-924-3033
Website: www.deervalleylodgeandgolf.com


Address: Hwy 23 & Hoxie Street Spring Green, WI 53588
Website: www.vi.springgreen.wi.gov


Other nominees: Westbrook Hills Golf Course – Village of Plain, Quail Run (Richland Center)

Best Place to Get Fit

Photo via RV Lexington Fitness

Address: 136 N Lexington St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-0189
Website: www.rvlexfit.com


Address: Angelo Lane, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-266-0394
Website: https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Lands/naturalareas/index.asp?SNA=102


Central Boat Launch Address: Peck’s Landing, S13608 WI-23, Spring Green, WI 53588
DNR Lower Wisconsin Riverway Phone Number: 608-588-7723
Website: www.dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/lands/lowerwisconsin/info


Other nominees: Mix It Up Fitness (Mazomanie), The fitness center & pool at Spring Valley Inn, Prairie Fire Yoga (Prairie du Sac), Zefit Sauk Prairie, Emily Benz Yoga, Moxie Fit, Devils Lake, Anytime Fitness, Walking the beautiful back roads, Richland to Lone Rock Bike Path

Best Sledding Hill

Does anyone have a name for the nominee that got third place? That hill narrowly edged out Tom Limmex’s hill. Also, does Tom mind? Does Tom know everyone is using his hill? Someone tell him so he can start selling hot cocoa.

Photo via Mike McDermott

Address: Below the 4th and 5th hole, Hwy 23 & Hoxie Street, Spring Green, WI 53588
Website: www.vi.springgreen.wi.gov


Address: 1240 Nachreiner Ave, Plain WI 53577
Phone Number: 608-546-2482
Website: www.stlukecatholicchurchplain.com/


Address: Hudson Road, Beckman Road, Mazomanie, WI 53560


Other nominees: Tom Limmex’s hill, Bear Vale, Hunter Cabin

Best Trail – Hiking/Biking

We may have made a faux pas by combining hiking and biking, but it led to some great nominations. Check ahead at each to see if they allow bikes or only foot traffic. Perhaps next year we’ll split them into two categories? But you really can’t beat the climb up to the bluffs at the Spring Green Preserve.

Photo by Nicole Aimone, Editor-in-Chief

Address: Angelo Lane, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-266-0394
Website: https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Lands/naturalareas/index.asp?SNA=102


Address: 4175 WI-23, Dodgeville, WI 53533
Phone Number: 608-266-0394
Website: www.dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/govdodge/pdfs/govdparkmap.pdf


Headquarters Address: Cross Plains, WI  53528 
Website: www.iceagetrail.org


Other nominees: Walking Iron County Park (Mazomanie), White Mound County Park, Tower Hill State Park, Welsh Hills Trail (Taliesin), Military Ridge Trail, Ferry Bluff State Natural Area, Governor Dodge, Natural Bridge State Park, Richland Center to Lone Rock trail

ARTS & CULTURE

Best Free Entertainment Option

As the pandemic wanes, the great music scene is coming out in full force in the Spring Green area. It’s no surprise that the Thursday evening Local Nights are the winner here. Held at the Post House Garden and organized and fed by The Shed, they’re a must attend every warm season.

Photo via The Shed

Address: The Shed/Post House Garden, 123 N Lexington Street, 119 E Jefferson Street, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-9049
Website: www.facebook.com/TheShed2004


Address: S13220 Shifflet Rd, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2826
Website: www.wiriverside.com


Address: 137 South Albany St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7070
Website: www.springgreengeneralstore.com


Other nominees: Bakken’s Pond, Witwen Concerts

Best Holiday/Seasonal Event

Cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID, the Spring Green Arts and Crafts fair is a local favorite with enduring popularity that brings thousands to downtown Spring Green the last week of June each year. Narrowly missing the top three was Spring Green Country Christmas. We’re all missing the sleigh rides, community fires and s’mores. Christmas in July anyone?

Photo via Spring Green Arts and Craft Fair

Address: 101 E Jefferson St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7398
Website: www.springgreenartfair.com


Address: Lone Rock, WI
Website: www.facebook.com/Lone-Rock-4th-of-July-1584886141787064/about/?ref=page_internal


Address: 660 Daley St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2556
Website: www.rvschools.org


Not everyone sees the intersection of agriculture, art and fermentation — enter the Wormfarm Institute, a nonprofit organization in Sauk County, Wisconsin “working to build a sustainable future for agriculture and the arts by fostering links between people and the land.” In 2021 Plain is playing host to a Wormfarm Institute “Test Plot” as research for the 2022 Farm/Art DTour. Wormfarm says: “This experimentation leads to new discoveries, builds community friendships, and sparks conviviality & joy.”

Website: www.fermentationfest.com


Other nominees: BobFest, Mary Jones Fireworks, Strassenfest, Spring Green Country Christmas, Fermentation Fest, Spring Green Community Church Cookie Walk and Craft Fair, Fall Art Tour, Holidays in Highland, Smoke in the Valley/Prem Meats

Best Local Play/Musical (specific production)

A tough year for the arts, musicals still prevailed. After largely cancelling their regular season, APT came back fall and winter with Zoom productions and play readings ahead of a summer 2021 season. River Valley High School was able to hold their annual musical, wearing masks, performing for a limited audience and offering a recording for purchase.

A photo of the cast of Urinetown: The Musical, the fall musical performed by students at River Valley High School. The cast and crew include, Nicholas Daniel, Emily Ranum, Ryan Kane, Paige Prem, Natalie Larson, Arie Snow, Lars Anding, Devon Caputo, Kris Langrehr, Natalie Fortney, Anna Deibert, Isaac Daniel, Ryan Klein, Jacob Klein, Samuel Seguin, Emily Kane, Kennedy Kropp, Aaron Christensen, Ava Liegel, Spencer Mack, Claire Eveland, Melissa Ranum, Avery Wilson, Declan Daniel, Gigi Royko Maurer, Kelsey Olson, Leah Deibert, Sophia Rohe and Paula Hollenberger. The play was directed by Sara Young, choreographed by Michael Stanek and musical accompianist was Bob Willoughby. Music was directed by Becky Schinker. Photo via Becky Schinker, River Valley High School Music Director


Phone Number: 608-588-2556
Website: www.rvschools.org


Phone Number: 608-588-2361
Website: www.americanplayers.org


Phone Number: 608-588-2361
Website: www.americanplayers.org


Best Regional Music Festival

When envisioning this question, 4PeteSake’s Day in the Park wasn’t originally what we had in mind, but what better event is there than one that brings the community together for a good cause? The Spring Green area and Sauk, Richland and Iowa counties have a depth of musical events, but no other event brings the area together quite like 4PeteSake.

Photo via Voice In The River Valley

Address: Spring Green, WI 53588
Website: www.facebook.com/4petesakesg


Address: 137 South Albany Street Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7070
Website: www.springgreengeneralstore.com


Address: 137 South Albany St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7070
Website: www.springgreengeneralstore.com


Though technically out of our immediate coverage area, but still within Richland County, everything the Driftless Music Gardens in Yuba has been doing, and has done recently to provide music safely during a pandemic to those that seek it, is nothing short of amazing. Standing out is the Bonfire Music & Arts Festival, which very narrowly missed placing.

Website: www.driftlessmusicgardens.com


Other nominees: Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Bonfire Music & Arts Festival (Driftless Music Gardens – Yuba)

Best Mural

Despite healthy competition from E.LEE’s ‘Center Stage’ on the side of the Gard Theater downtown, the collaborative Nick Ringelstetter/various artists live art/graffiti/Atomic7 mural on the side of the Spring Green General Store wasn’t a surprise win. Now can anyone tell us if there’s a shorter name for it? Spring Green General Store, any nicknames for the wall?
We hear there’s going to be competition from Slowpoke Lounge next year on a jazz mural!

Photo via Spring Green General Store

Address: 137 South Albany Street Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7070
Website: www.springgreengeneralstore.com


Address: Lexington Street, Spring Green, WI 53588


Best Local Visual Artist (Illustration/Painting/Sculpture, etc.)

One of the most nominated questions, the amount of choices didn’t even begin to list all of the many amazing artists in the area. This question may grow and change as the years go on to showcase the various mediums of art. For now, the field was huge and Nick Ringelstetter, of Atomic 7 Studio, came out on top.

Photo via Nick Ringelstetter

Address: E3493 US HWY 14 and 60, Spring Green, WI 53588
Website: https://atomic7studio.com


Address: S12027 Co Rd C, Spring Green, WI 53588
Website: www.suejohnsonfineart.com


Address: 355 S Winsted St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7718
Website: www.galleryarton23.com


Other nominees: Jen Salt, Linda Kellen, Vicky Lilla, Paula Barta, Leah Griffith Boyce, Paula Schiller, Charles Munch, Ashley Pfannenstiel, Kim Russell, Hillary Patzner-Gratz, Wilson Creek Pottery

Best Art Gallery

Photo via Gallery Art on 23

Address: 355 S Winsted St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7718
Website: www.galleryarton23.com


Address: 120 South Albany St Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-358-5524
Website: www.facebook.com/gallerytea


Address: 159 N Lexington St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-239-5974
Website: www.alfredarttowear.com/index.html


Other nominees: Arts Lab, Paula C. Schiller Art Studio and Gallery, Sue Johnson, Red Door Richland Center

Best Local Musician/Band

Another huge field, many of these artists are regulars at The Shed’s Local Night at the Post House Garden and on the River Stage at Shifflets Bar & Riverside Grille at the Wisconsin Riverside Resort and more.

Photo via StayHappening

Address: Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-5683
Website: www.facebook.com/jannajohnson123/


Website: www.jakeomusic.com/


Address: Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2826
Website: www.facebook.com/groups/938769379802885


Other nominees: Middle West, Camela Widad, Better Daze, Charles Boheme/Boheme 66, Solstice Jazz, Don Greenwood, The Michael Mikrut Band, Hard Tellin’ Band, Hank Dedrick, Wurk, Screamin’ Gene and The Lake Louie Growlers, Ukulele Band at Beatlefest

Best Local Author
Best Music Venue

Photo via Sh*tty Barn

Address: 506 E Madison St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-520-0605
Website: https://shittybarnsessions.com/


Address: S13220 Shifflet Rd, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2826
Website: www.wiriverside.com


Address: 119 E Jefferson Street, Spring Green, WI 53588


Other nominees: Slowpoke Lounge & Cabaret, Hillside Theater (Taliesin)

NOMS & NIGHTLIFE

Best Food Event

Photo via Prem Meats & Catering

Address: E5028 US-14, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: (608) 588-2164
Website: www.premmeats.com


Address: 123 N Lexington St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-9049
Website: www.facebook.com/TheShed2004/


Address: 242 N Lexington St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-4226
Website: www.facebook.com/WhiteSchoolCollective/


Other nominees: Strassenfest, Taliesin Farm Dinner Series, Pizza on 14 – The Shoppe at Herbs Spices & More, Morel Mushroom Festival (Muscoda)

Best Appetizer (location and item)

A big upset in the Valley as extended-area restaurant Bob’s Bitchin’ BBQ in Dodgeville takes the top spot with their deep fried cheese curds. Take from this win what you will, shot across the bow duly noted Dodgeville. Let’s hope for a win from the Valley proper next year.

Photo via Bob’s Bitchn’ Barbecue

Address: 167 N Iowa St Dodgeville, WI 53533
Phone Number: 608-930-2227
Website: www.bobsbitchinbbq.com


Address: 234 S Oak St, Lone Rock, WI 53556
Phone Number: (608) 583-0112
Website: www.lonerockbistro.com


Address: 320 S Oak St, Lone Rock, WI 53556
Phone Number: (608) 583-2625
Website: www.facebook.com/thewoods6/?ref=page_internal


For a new restaurant, Lone Rock Bistro and Taproom is pulling punches and has quite the following already. Lone Rock Bistro appetizer choices alone received nearly 31% of the vote for Best Appetizer. We’ve had a chance to sample many of the appetizers from Lone Rock Bistro and the crab rangoon stands out among the others.

Website: www.lonerockbistro.com


Other nominees: Cheese Fries – Rumbleseats, Crab Rangoon & Cheesecurds – Lone Rock Bistro and Taproom, Fondue – 400 Springs Restaurant, Cozy Fries – Vickis Cozy Cafe, Deep Fried Pickles – Bob’s Bitchin’ BBQ

Best Bakery

Sidney bakes, what more can we say? Although the scuffins are a favorite at Paper Crane in Arcadia Books, don’t sleep on the purple ube cookies.

Photo via Sidney Bakes

Address: Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-5114
Website: www.sidneybakes.com


Address: 154 N Iowa St, Dodgeville, WI 53533
Phone Number: 608-935-3812
Website: qualitybakerydodgeville.com


Address: 102 E Jefferson St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-935-2315
Website: www.facebook.com/kitchenatArcadia/?ref=page_internal


Other nominees: Mazo Grind (Mazomanie), Nectar Bakery, The Shoppe at Herbs Spices & More, Fondue 400 Springs Restaurant

Best Place to Get Coffee

Butternut Road was fast to become a community and regional favorite and surprises no one with this much deserved win. Notable for Brewhaha Roaster’s number three spot: based on out most current understanding, both Butternut and The Paper Crane at Arcadia Books use Brewhaha coffee! So does Mazo Grind! So that certainly gives Brewhaha an honorable mention.
Now the real question is, where can we get a cup of coffee after 5pm in Spring Green?!

Photo via Butternut Road Coffee Truck

Address: Spring Green, WI 53588
Website: www.butternutroadcoffee.com


Address: 102 E Jefferson St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Website: www.facebook.com/kitchenatArcadia/?ref=page_internal


Address: 4175 State Road 23 N, Dodgeville, WI 53533
Phone Number: 608-616-9994
Website: www.brewhaharoasters.com


Other nominees: Convivio, Mazo Grind (Mazomanie), Spring Green General Store, Kwik Trip, Kelly’s Coffee (Richland Center)

Best Breakfast/Brunch Spot

Easily one of the most important questions on here. Sign us up for brunch, mimosas and bloody mary’s!

Photo via 400 Springs Restaurant

Address: 400 Springs Dr, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-0140
Website: www.400springs.business.site/


Address: 137 South Albany St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: (608) 588-7070
Website: www.springgreengeneralstore.com


Address: 214 US-14, Arena, WI 53503
Phone Number: 608-753-2025
Website: www.facebook.com/shaqirirestaurants


Other nominees: Grandma Mary’s, Traders Bar and Grill, The Woods, Lone Rock Bistro and Taproom, Vickis Cozy Cafe, Bestsys

Best Wings (restaurant/bar)

Photo via Wisconsin Riverside Resort

Address: S13220 Shifflet Rd, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2826
Website: www.wiriverside.com


Address: 10267 US-14, Mazomanie, WI 53560
Phone Number: 844-464-7942
Website: www.rookiesfood.com


Address: 320 S Oak St, Lone Rock, WI 53556
Phone Number: (608) 583-2625
Website: www.facebook.com/thewoods6/


Other nominees: Traders Bar and Grill, Lone Rock Bistro and Taproom

Best Food Truck/Food Pop-up

Another extended area upset, with Jose’s Authentic Mexican Restaurant’s food truck out of Baraboo taking the win. Jose’s is a welcome visiting staple to the area, always sure to work with local businesses and positively engage with the community. Honorable mention goes to new pop-up Rub-in the Bonez BBQ, started by a group of friends wanting to share their passion for BBQ and smoked meats.

Photo via Jose’s Authentic Mexican Restaurant

Address: 825 8th St, Baraboo, WI 53913
Phone Number: 608-448-2162
Website: josesauthenticmexicanrestaurant.com


Address: Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-623-2707
Website: www.butternutroadcoffee.com


Address: E4782 Kennedy Rd, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-459-5700
Website: www.enosfarms.com


Other nominees: Vesperman Farms ice cream truck, Rub’in the Bonez BBQ

Best Regional Beer (brewery/specific brew)

Not a surprise here, Spotted Cow is a statewide favorite. With Lake Louie now brewed in Verona, perhaps the Valley will be home to some local brews again to challenge Spotted Cow by this time next year?

Address: 2400 WI-69, New Glarus, WI 53574
Phone Number: 608-527-5850


Address: 7556 Pine Rd, Arena, WI 53503
Phone Number: 608-753-2675
Website: www.lakelouie.com


Address: 320 Pierce St., Black River Falls, WI 54615
Phone Number: 715-284-7553
Website: www.furthermorebeer.com/our-beer/fatty-boombalatty


Other nominees: Proper – Furthermore Beer, Pop. 834 – Lake Louie

Best New Restaurant

Another no surprise here, there were new pop-ups and new endeavors, but other than a scattering, Lone Rock Bistro was the only verifiably new restaurant in the Valley in a year shaped by COVID. But what an entry into the Valley it has been, becoming a fast favorite and lending itself to the revitalization of downtown Lone Rock. Anyone down for a Woods, Bistro, Keg & Kettle bar crawl?

Photo via Lone Rock Bistro and Taproom

Address: 234 S Oak St, Lone Rock, WI 53556
Phone Number: 608-583-0112
Website: www.lonerockbistro.com


Other nominees: Betsys in Highland

Best Outdoor Dining

Photo via TripAdvisor

Address: S13220 Shifflet Rd, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2826
Website: www.wiriverside.com


Address: 123 N Lexington St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-9049
Website: www.facebook.com/TheShed2004


Address: 242 N Lexington St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-4226
Website: www.facebook.com/WhiteSchoolCollective


Other nominees: Traders Bar and Grill

Best Pizza (restaurant/bar)

It’s shaping up to be a busy year in upscale pizza dining, with at least a couple new coming ready to challenge these staples in the next year. But for now, Tuesday nights are for Pizza on 14 at Herbs, Spices & More, Friday nights are for White School Collective pizza parties and The Woods is for every night in between!
(And Site 12 at Tower Hill is for when you want to make your own pizza in the woods.)

Photo via Herbs Spices & More

Address: 7352 US-14, Arena, WI 53503
Phone Number: 833-486-5160
Website: www.herbsspicesandmore.com


Address: 242 N Lexington St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-4226
Website: www.facebook.com/WhiteSchoolCollective


Address: 320 S Oak St, Lone Rock, WI 53556
Phone Number: 608-583-2625
Website: www.facebook.com/thewoods6/


Other nominees: Rookies (Mazomanie), Riviera Bowl & Pizzeria (Sauk City), Site 12 – Tower Hill (make your own), Hyde Store, Shifflet’s Bar & Riverside Grille, Wisconsin Riverside Resort, Traders Bar and Grill, Logan’s Heros Loganville, Tower Junction, Mazo Grind, The Shed

Best Place for Dancing

Are we allowed to call it Shitty Barn? Why not. The Shitty Barn Sessions are something special. Gone last year due to COVID, Shitty Barn is ready to make a comeback in 2021. Known for it’s intimate setting with good music and good drinks, all we can say is, “see you at the Barn!”

Photo via Sh*tty Barn

Address: 506 E Madison St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-520-0605
Website: www.shittybarnsessions.com


Address: 104 S Oak St, Lone Rock, WI 53556
Phone Number: 608-583-0107
Website: www.facebook.com/LoneRockBar


Address: E4885 US-14, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2521
Website: www.arthurssupperclub.com


Other nominees: Traders Bar and Grill, Local Night at The Shed

Best Bar

Photo via Wisconsin Riverside Resort

Address: S13220 Shifflet Rd, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2826
Website: www.wiriverside.com


Address: 400 Main, Plain, WI 53577
Phone Number: (608) 546-2323
Website: www.facebook.com/I-Diehl-Tap-LLC-140379049368109/


Address: 122 E Jefferson St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2882
Website: www.facebook.com/Baron-Brooks-111662665538318/


Other nominees: Pat’s Place, Spring Valley Inn, Slowpoke Lounge and Cabaret, Traders Bar and Grill, The Shed, Lone Rock Bistro and Taproom, Keg & Kettle, The Barstool, Highland, Mid Town Pub, The Gym

Best Old Fashioned

Arguably the most important question, Arthur’s comes out on top with a Wisconsin favorite. Not to be ignored is Slowpoke’s craft old fashioned, which could be a solid contender in the future. The real question is, brandy or whisky?
(There is a wrong answer, this is Wisconsin.)

Photo via Arthur’s Supper Club

Address: E4885 US-14, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2521
Website: www.arthurssupperclub.com


Address: 234 S Oak St, Lone Rock, WI 53556
Phone Number: 608-583-0112
Website: www.lonerockbistro.com


Address: S13220 Shifflet Rd, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2826
Website: www.wiriverside.com


Other nominees: Pat’s Place, Spring Valley Inn, Slowpoke Lounge and Cabaret, Ring’s Bar, Trader’s Bar & Grill, Dorf Hause, The Shed

Best Subs/Sandwiches (anything between 2 pieces of bread that’s not a burger)

Photo via Spring Green General Store

Address: 137 South Albany St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7070
Website: www.springgreengeneralstore.com


Address: 5006 E Hwy 14, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-9333
Website: www.subway.com


Address: 300 Dalogasa Dr, Arena, WI 53503
Phone Number: 608-753-2727
Website: www.crappieshoptogo.com


Other nominees: The Paper Crane, Arcadia Books, Traders Bar and Grill, The Woods, Baron Brooks, Lone Rock Bistro and Taproom, Shifflet’s Bar & Riverside Grille,Wisconsin Riverside Resort, The Shed, Rookies, The Mazo Grind

Best Restaurant

Another upset from outside the Valley proper, with Bob’s taking best restaurant — and it wasn’t even close. Valley residents had varied interests and a lot of nominees, but Bob’s was the clear winner.

Photo via Bob’s Bitchn’ Barbecue

Address: 167 N Iowa St, Dodgeville, WI 53533
Phone Number: 608-930-2227
Website: www.bobsbitchinbbq.com


Address: 234 S Oak St, Lone Rock, WI 53556
Phone Number: 608-583-0112
Website: www.lonerockbistro.com


Address: 320 S Oak St, Lone Rock, WI 53556
Phone Number: (608) 583-2625
Website: www.facebook.com/thewoods6/


Other nominees: Culver’s, Traders Bar and Grill, Arthur’s Supper Club, 400 Springs Restaurant, Rumbleseats, Riverview Terrace Cafe, The Shed, Spring Green General Store, Vickis Cozy Cafe, Shifflets Bar & Riverside Grille

Best Wedding Venue

Photo via Wedding Wire

Address: S13220 Shifflet Rd, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2826
Website: www.wiriverside.com


Address: 8637 Linley Rd, Arena, WI 53503
Phone Number: 608-795-4909
Website: www.sugarland-weddings.com


Address: E4350 Horseshoe Rd, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: (608) 459-8051
Website: www.theoctagonbarn.com


Other nominees: Hilltop, Trader’s Island, White Oak Savanna,

Best Regional Supper Club

The biggest upset of the poll, with two extended area supper clubs beating out the Valley’s own Arthur’s.

Photo via Green Acres

Address: 7487 WI-78 Trunk, Sauk City, WI 53583
Phone Number: 608-643-2305
Website: www.greenacressaukprairie.com


Address: 6900 Co Rd HHH, Ridgeway, WI 53582
Phone Number: 608-924-2819
Website: www.hipointsteakhouse.com


Address: E4885 US-14, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: (608) 588-2521
Website: www.arthurssupperclub.com


Other nominees: Driftless Glen Distillery, Dorf Haus Supper Club, Ishnala Supper Club

Best Steak (restaurant/bar)

Arthur’s comes roaring back with Best Steak, beating out even the Arena VFW Steak feed known to fill Willow Street up and down with eager patrons from around the Valley. “Excalibur?” “No, I take it medium rare.”

Photo via Arthur’s Supper Club

Address: E4885 US-14, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2521
Website: www.arthurssupperclub.com


Address: 320 S Oak St, Lone Rock, WI 53556
Phone Number: 608-583-2625
Website: www.facebook.com/thewoods6


Address: 514 Willow Street Arena, WI 53503
Phone Number: 608-753-2225
Website: www.vfw.org


Other nominees: Traders Bar and Grill, 400 Springs Restaurant, Lone Rock Bistro, Hi Point Steakhouse, The Shed, Green Acres

Best Regional Winery

No surprise here, Wollersheim is a regional favorite. The real question, is hard cider a wine? Federal law says yes, state law says yes if it’s boozy and science says basically yes. Brix Cider, other than delightful, what are you? So we’ll say yes, you are a wine in this poll.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Photo via Wollersheim Winery

Address: 7876 WI-188, Prairie Du Sac, WI 53578
Phone Number: 608-643-6515
Website: www.wollersheim.com


Address: 16008 Pine Tree Rd, Highland, WI 53543
Phone Number: (608) 929-7692
Website: www.spurgeonvineyards.com


Address: 1065 Walnut St, Baraboo, WI 53913
Phone Number: 608-448-2958
Website: www.balancedrockwinery.com


Other nominees: Wild Hills Winery (Muscoda), Brix Cider (Mt. Horeb), Botham Vineyards & Winery (Barneveld)

OOT & ABOOT

Best Hotel

Ironically, none of hotels that placed or were nominated have ‘hotel’ in their name.

Photo via Spring Green Motel

Address: E5296B US-14, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2141
Website: www.springgreenmotel.net


Address: 400 Springs Dr, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7000
Website: www.thehouseontherock.com


Address: E4830 US-14, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2568
Website: www.roundbarnlodge.com


Other nominees: Spring Valley Inn, Usonian Inn

Best Public Parkhttps://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/parks/govdodge

Address: 4175 WI-23, Dodgeville, WI 53533
Phone Number: 608-935-2315
Website: www.dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/parks/govdodge


Address: Daley Street, Spring Green, WI 53588


Address: 925 Park View Ave Plain, WI 53577


Other nominees: Arena Community Park, Rustic River Archery Club Park – Arena, Fireman’s Park – Lone Rock, Natural Bridge State Park, Tower Hill State Park, Kaul Park – Bear Valley, South Park – Spring Green, River Park – Muscoda

Best All-Ages Hangout

Photo via Voice of the River Valley

Central Boat Launch Address: Peck’s Landing, S13608 WI-23, Spring Green, WI 53588
DNR Lower Wisconsin Riverway Phone Number: 608-588-7723
Website: www.dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/lands/lowerwisconsin/info


Address: S13220 Shifflet Rd, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2826
Website: www.wiriverside.com


Address: Spring Green, WI 53588


Other nominees: High School Football Games, Paper Crane Coffee – Arcadia Books, Black Hawk Lake

Best Tourist Attraction

“Tourist attraction” doesn’t adequately sum up the amazing American Players Theatre (APT) and what they mean to this community. APT stands in a field all their own. In lieu of their own category, they earn this well-deserved award.

Photo via APT

Address: 5950 Golf Course Rd, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2361
Website: www.americanplayers.org


Address: 5754 State Road 23 Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-935-3639
Website: www.thehouseontherock.com


Central Boat Launch Address: Peck’s Landing, S13608 WI-23, Spring Green, WI 53588
DNR Lower Wisconsin Riverway Phone Number: 608-588-7723
Website: www.dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/lands/lowerwisconsin/info


Other nominees: Taliesin

Best/Most Beautiful Local Spot

SHOPPING

Best Area Bookstore

Photo via Arcadia Books

Address: 102 E Jefferson St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7638
Website: www.readinutopia.com


Address: 130 S Main St, Richland Center, WI 53581
Phone Number: 608-647-8826
Website: www.ocoochbooks.blogspot.com

Best Clothing Boutique

Photo via Nina’s Department Store

Address: 143 E Jefferson St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2366
Website: www.ninas-department-variety-store.business.site


Address: 941 Fountain St Mineral Point, WI 53565
Phone Number: 608-987-3336
Website: www.facebook.com/BargainNook/?ref=page_internal


Address: 137 South Albany St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7070
Website: www.springgreengeneralstore.com


Other nominees: Alfred Art to Wear, The Pink Spot, Muscoda, Bailey’s, L.A.F

Best Gas Station (specific location)

Photo via Kwik Trip

Address: 1110 State St, Black Earth, WI 53515
Phone Number: 608-767-2475
Website: www.kwiktrip.com/locator/store?id=596


Address: 4905 US-14, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2465
Website: www.facebook.com/RiteWayPlaza


Address: 995 Wachter Ave, Plain, WI 53577
Phone Number: 608-546-3900
Website: www.facebook.com/Plain-Kwik-Stop-153304251349793/?ref=page_internal


Other nominees: River Valley Mobil, Spring Green, Lone Stop Shell, Lone Rock, D&Z’s, Lone Rock, Arena Super Stop/BP, Arena, Jts highland, Gas N Go, Highland, Shell Gas Station – Plain, Insight fs spring green

Best Sporting Goods/Tackle Store

Photo via Crappie Shop

Address: 300 Dalogasa Dr, Arena, WI 53503
Phone Number: 608-753-2727
Website: www.crappieshoptogo.com


Address: 7345 US-14, Arena, WI 53503
Phone Number: 608-753-2022
Website: www.pappastradingpost.com


Other nominees: Kates Bait,Dodgeville, Driftless Angler

Best Place to get Groceries

Photo via Hometown Supermarket

Address: 171 S Worcester St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2155
Website: www.hometownspringgreen.com


Address: E5028 US-14, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: (608) 588-2164
Website: www.premmeats.com


Address: E5663 Co Rd B, Plain, WI 53577
Phone Number: 608-546-3308
Website: www.ederers.doitbest.com


Other nominees: Hollandale Grocery, Benders, Muscoda, Dollar General, SG Farmers Market, Piggly Wiggly

Best Hardware Store

Photo via Doerre Hardware

Address: 116 W Jefferson St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2166
Website: www.doerrehardware.com


Address: E5663 Co Rd B, Plain, WI 53577
Phone Number: 608-546-3308
Website: www.ederers.doitbest.com


Address: 17 W Commercial St, Mazomanie, WI 53560
Phone Number: 608-795-9919
Website: www.mazohardware.com


Other nominees: Tri County Building Supply

Best Place for Jewelry

Photo via Pamela’s Fine Jewelry

Address: 150 W Jefferson St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2134
Website: www.pamelasfinejewelry-sg.com


Address: 137 S Winsted St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-9317
Website: www.theopalman.com


Address: 101 E Jefferson St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-322-9237
Website: www.alikaussadornment.com


Other nominees: Stella & Dot – Keep, Amanda Nabbefeld, No Rules Jewelry, Jay Walsh Jewelry Richland Center,

Best Cheese Factory

Photo via Arena Cheese Factory

Address: 300 US-14, Arena, WI 53503
Phone Number: 608-753-2501
Website: www.arenacheese.com


Address: E5904 Mill Rd, Plain, WI 53577
Phone Number: 608-546-5284
Website: www.cedargrovecheese.com


Address: S3797 County Road G La Valle, WI 53941
Phone Number: 608-985-8200
Website: www.carrvalleycheese.com


Other nominees: Meister Cheese (Muscoda), Mill Creek Cheese

Best Place to Buy Meat

Photo via Prem Meats and Catering

Address: E5028 US-14, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2164
Website: www.premmeats.com


Address: 915 Alma Ave, Plain, WI 53577
Phone Number: 608-546-3301
Website: www.strakameats.com


Address: 590 S Main St, Richland Center, WI 53581
Phone Number: 608-647-4577
Website: www.richlandlocker.com


Other nominees: Hometown Supermarket, Hollandale Grocery, Vendors at the Farmers Market

Best Shop for Gifts

Photo via Spring Green General Store

Address: 137 South Albany St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7070
Website: www.springgreengeneralstore.com


Address: 143 E Jefferson St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2366
Website: www.ninas-department-variety-store.business.site


Address: 1030 Wachter Ave, Plain, WI 53577
Phone Number: 608-546-3500
Website: www.countrycrossroadsfloral.com


Other nominees: North Earth Gifts, Prairie Flowers & Gifts, Convivio, Arcadia Books, No Rules Gallery, Red Door Gallery Richland Center

SERVICES

Best Attorney
Photo via Curran & Pfeil, LLC

Address: 115 N Washington St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7100
Website: www.curranpfeillaw.com


Address: 150 E Jefferson St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7776
Website: www.tomkellylaw.com


Address: 33 E Main St Suite 400, Madison, WI 53701
Phone Number: 608-257-0945
Website: www.hurleyburish.com


Other nominees: Patricia McKinney-Lins

Best Autobody Shop/Automotive Repair

Photo via George’s Autobody

Address: 127 Wood St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2320
Website: www.facebook.com/Georges-Auto-Body-1632909126972320/


Address: 319 N Winsted St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2444


Address: E4829 Highway 14 & 60, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7399
Website: www.ringbrothers.com


Other nominees: Four Way Auto, Ehlert Repair, Specialty Auto, Loren’s Repair, Nachreiner Auto Care, Lone Wolf Auto Repair, R&J Auto Body PdS, Dan’s Auto, Shawns Auto, R&R Richland Center

Best Bank/Credit Union

Photo via Peoples Community Bank

Address: 166 S Lexington St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7959
Website: www.thepeoplescommunitybank.com


Address: 152 S Worcester St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7787
Website: www.royalbank-usa.com


Address: 430 W Union St Suite 1, Richland Center, WI 53581
Phone Number: (608) 647-8835
Website: www.wccucreditunion.coop


Other nominees: Heritage Credit Union (Sauk City), State Bank of Cross Plains, BMO Harris Bank, Heartland, Community First, Summit Credit Union

Best Place to Get a Haircut

Photo via Bowdatious Salon

Address: 550 Sunrise Dr Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-212-2534
Website: www.bowdatioussalon.com


Address: 150 E Jefferson St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7449
Website: www.facebook.com/Style-Station-158066234205384/


Address: 1025 Main St, Plain, WI 53577
Phone Number: 608-546-3400
Website: www.facebook.com/Changez-Salon-1313543025404056/?ref=page_internal


Other nominees: East 14 Salon (Black Earth), Infinity Salon (Cross Plains), Talullah Salon, Lucy’s Hair & Nail Salon, Top Notch (Muscoda), Inspired Innovations Salon, Rock Paper Shears, Shear Trendz Baraboo, A Touch Above. Dodgeville, Elite Hair and Wax Shop (Sauk City), Sally’s Hair Styling, Cost Cutters Richland Center, Simple Elegance, Richland Center, Laura’s House

Best Carpentry or Remodeling Company


Photo via Feiner Construction

Address: E5006 US-14 suite b Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-574-9555
Website: www.feinerconstruction.com


Address: 510 Main St, Plain, WI 53577
Phone Number: 608-574-3607
Website: www.jasonschluterconstruction.com


Address: E5726 Jones Rd Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2669


Other nominees: S&D Builders, RV Roofing and Siding, Nate’s Home Improvements, Nate Meixelsperger, CMH, Ent, Michael Heard, John Jensen

Best Construction Company

Photo via Feiner Construction

Address: E5006 US-14 suite b Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-574-9555
Website: www.feinerconstruction.com


Address: 925 Park Ave, Plain, WI 53577
Phone Number: 608-546-2411
Website: www.kraemerbrothers.com


Address: Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-574-4234


Other nominees: JF Building, LLC, CMH, Michael Heard, Radel

Best Dental Practice

Photo via Village Family Dental

Address: 240 W Jefferson St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-2122
Website: www.villagefamilydental.com


Address: 1260 Plainview Rd, Plain, WI 53577
Phone Number: 608-546-4441
Website: www.afdentalrv.com


Address: 1313 W Seminary St, Richland Center, WI 53581
Phone Number: 608-647-8868
Website: www.richlandfamilydds.com


Other nominees: Williams & Pearce Family Richland Center, Dodgeville Dental, EagleView Dental, Mineral Point Family Dentistry, Access Dental, Dodgeville,

Best Electrician

Photo via Alt Electric

Address: 30326 County Hwy JJ Lone Rock, WI 53556
Phone Number: 608-617-2057
Website: www.facebook.com/Alt-Electric-LLC-153521115311368/?ref=page_internal


Address: 455 W Hoxie St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-574-2499


Address: 850 Wachter Avenue Plain, WI 53577
Phone Number: 608-574-2222


Other nominees: Miller Electric, Superior Electric

Best Florist

Photo via Country Crossroads Floral

Address: 1030 Wachter Ave, Plain, WI 53577
Phone Number: 608-546-3500
Website: www.countrycrossroadsfloral.com


Address: 245 E Main St, Sun Prairie, WI 53590
Phone Number: 608-837-3830
Website: www.prairieflowersandgifts.com


Address: 10363 Hudson Rd, Mazomanie, WI 53560
Phone Number: 608-795-9824
Website: www.bstylefloral.com


Other nominees: White Rose Florist (Highland), The Cosmic Gardens (Cross Plains), Added Touch Floral, Richland Center, Robins Nest, Richland Center

Best Heating & Cooling Company

Photo via Nate Frank Heating & Cooling

Address: Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-5274
Website: www.facebook.com/Nate-Frank-Heating-and-Cooling-125310094754961/


Address: 530 Main St, Plain, WI 53577
Phone Number: 608-546-3093
Website: www.nachreinerplumbingandheating.com


Address: 112 N Lexington St #8006, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7079
Website: www.tdhvac.com


Other nominees: Complete Refrigeration Service (Ridgeway), ASAP Heating & Cooling, Dischler, Ford Appliance, Klingaman Heating and Cooling, Ben Dahlberg

Best Plumber

Address: E5270 County Road WC, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7567


Address: 530 Main St, Plain, WI 53577
Phone Number: 608-546-3093
Website: www.nachreinerplumbingandheating.com


Address: 269 W Hoxie St, Spring Green, WI 53588
Phone Number: 608-588-7183


Other nominees: Kraemer Plumbing, Wolfe Plumbing, Wertz Plumbing, Jonny Sins, Ben Dahlberg, Reese and Wolfe Inc

Best Senior Living Residence

Photo via Meadows Assisted Living and Memory Care