The Best of the Berkshires 2015 The Best in the Berkshires 2015 - Find the Best the Berkshires has to offer. • Community Editors | Readers • Shopping Editors | Readers • Dining Editors | Readers • Arts & Culture Editors | Readers • Nightlife Editors | Readers • Home & Design Clients
 
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The Best 2015

 
The Best 2013
THE BERKSHIRE RECORD MAGAZINE
Finding the Best of what the Berkshires has to offer was certainly no easy task. We asked you, the Berkshire Record, Berkshire Courier and The Berkshire View readers to help us and... you came through in a very big way.
  • Community Editors | Readers
• Shopping Editors | Readers
• Dining Editors | Readers
• Arts & Culture Editors | Readers
• Nightlife Editors | Readers
• Home & Design Clients

After tallying thousands of votes (from as far north as Florida, Mass. as far as south as Litchfield County, Conn. and as far west as Albany, NY), we bring you The Berkshire Record Magazine's The Best 2015.

The Best 2015
is our comprehensive, Berkshire County annual magazine featuring the best parts about living, working and playing in the Berkshires. Welcome to The Best 2015 - enjoy!

Best 2014

The Best 2015: The Best Berkshire Record Magazine

Pick-up your copy of the Berkshire Record Magazine's Best 2015 at locations throughout Berkshire County OR you may download a digital (PDF) version of South County's hottest and most anticipated magazine of the year - The Best 2015.

At 116 pages and 25% larger than Best 2014, we've added even more awards this year- submitted by our readers both in paper and electroinc submissions and, of course, even more editors awards. The Berkshire Record Magazine (TBRM).

Take a tour of the Best 2015 with this year's Berkshire County tour guide, Gigi.

Download and read all about the Best in the Berkshires 2015:

Community, Dining, Shopping, Nightlife, Arts & Culture and Home & Design

Best in Berkshires Magazine Download The Best 2015 (PDF)


OR Click on any of the links below to read the Best Berkshire Record Magazine awards in text format:
• Community Editors | Readers
• Shopping Editors | Readers
• Dining Editors | Readers
• Arts & Culture Editors | Readers
• Nightlife Editors | Readers
• Home & Design Clients


INTRODUCTION:
My name’s Gigi — Ms., Mrs., I’m done with all that—just Gigi.

Over the past three months, I’ve been traipsing all over this great big sprawling hunk of a country, seeking out adventure, camaraderie, and all the Berkshire town doppelgangers I could find.

And let me tell you—I am glad to be HOME. New Lenox, Illinois? After the Cute Baby contest, the cultural landscape was pretty much exhausted. Sheffield, Texas? You think 10 miles to a jazz trio is a long way? Try 200 miles.

But I won’t bore you by repeating myself. If you’ve been reading my postcards to the Record
these past three months, you know all this. And if you haven’t? Frankly, my dear, I’ll just quote
Rhett Butler. (For those of you too green to remember, it has something to do about giving
a damn. Google it.)

You see, that’s the thing about being a “woman of a certain age,” as they say. I’ve passed
the point of caring what other people think. I call it like I see it. And if I see something good, I’m gonna go after it. Which is precisely why the Berkshire Record has asked me to be your guide for the Best of 2015.

What did I miss about home? Berkshire Gin, neat; my feet up on an old ottoman, my hand on the knee of a youngish-man; looking out at my mountain view, listening to Tanglewood live on the radio… before we head out on the town for a night of merengue and whatever else the serendipitous Berkshire breezes bring our way.

Adventure requires the well-practiced condition of being open to the moment—and for this, we have our favorite local yoga and wellness centers. But you’ve also got to know how to separate the wheat from the chaff. Which brings me back to the Best of.

So, here’s how it works. We’ve got six main categories: Community, Shopping, Dining, Nightlife, Arts & Culture, and Home & Design. In each category, you’ll find both the Reader’s Choice awards—that’s where you’ve written in with your faves from all around the county—and the Editor’s Choice awards, where the BR staff does some wheat husking of its own. On top of all this, keep your eyes peeled for our Client’s Choice awards, where you’ll get a bonus glimpse at some of our advertisers’ favorite specialties.

And, of course, I’ll be there with you every step of the way: sampling, tasting, and giving you some straight talk on how to wring the best out of life, wares, culture, food, and services in our inimitable Berkshires.

Follow me, if you’re game! But you’d better don some snazzy comfort shoes if you want to keep up.

COMMUNITY: Editors' Choice
(Return to The Best top)
Best Managed Town
Great Barrington
From its Department of Public Works to the Fire Department to its award-winning master plan, Great Barrington is the closest thing to a well oiled machine you can find in the Berkshires. There is nary an empty storefront downtown and on weekends it can be hard to find a parking space. Some might see that as a drawback, but searching for a parking spot also means you’re in a town that other people want to be in. And for good reason. Now if town officials could just find something to do with those two abandoned schools. But they’re working on it.

Best County Tweeter

State Sen. Ben Downing
State Sen. Ben Downing, who represents the Berkshires on Beacon Hill, seems to be everywhere. But on social media is actually IS everywhere. Downing is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even has his own YouTube channel. And in contrast to a lot of politicians, Downing’s posts are a mix of business and personal. He is just as likely to post about a bill he sponsored as he is about the basketball team at Providence College, his alma mater. A prolific social media user, Downing is especially skilled at using hashtags. #GoFriars

Best Town Hire
Chris Ketchen
Lenox
The board of select¬men unanimously chose Christopher J. Ketchen as Lenox’s next town manager at a special public hearing last year. Ketchen served previously as Deputy Director of the Town of Wellesley from 2008 to 2012. He also was previously project director for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Since his hire he has been hailed in the town for his leadership and knowledge.

Best New Elected Official

Ed Abrahams
Great Barrington
Agree or disagree with him, but first-term Selectman Ed Abrahams is all over the place. Since his election this past spring, Abrahams has been a tireless attendee at virtually every public meeting you could find. He is on social media and the blogs at every turn, answering questions from constituents and challenging them when he thinks they’re wrong. And on top of that, he is available to the news media. The man is off to a great start in a great town.

Best Local Philanthropist

Jane Iredale
Great Barrington
In addition to founding and directing a world-renowned cosmetics company, Jane Iredale has always found time to make the world and her community a better place through her philanthropic efforts for a number of nonprofit organizations. Jane Iredale’s organization supports Greenpeace, The Nature Conservancy, The Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and has been in partnership with Living Beyond Breast Cancer for seven years. Iredale also believes in being a meaningful supporter of the community, regularly contributing to Construct, Berkshire Humane Society, Berkshire Grown, Women’s Cancer Wellness Fund, Berkshire Creative, Berkshire Botanical Gardens and Fairview Hospital. Iredale and her staff also remain active participating and serving on the boards of a number of local organizations including the Literacy Network, IS 183 art school, Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, the Elizabeth Freeman Domestic Violence center, ReStore, Shakespeare and Company, and The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. She was also instrumental in the design and construction of the Giggle Park, a playground behind Town Hall in Great Barrington.

Best Local Historian
Gary Leveille
Gary Leveille is one of the top historians in his field. He is also a photographer, corporate copywriter, freelance writer, editor, and educator. He serves as a board member of the Great Barrington Historical Society and has written several definitive books, including “Old Route 7: Along the Berkshire Highway,” “Eye of Shawenon,” “Around Great Barrington” and “Legendary Locals of the Southern Berkshires.” Gary is also a valued columnist for The Record, where he produces the popular “Then and Now” photo-history column.

Best Judge of Patriotism
Alan Chartock
In advance of the vote last November on the $51 million renovation of Monument Mountain Regional High School, Berkshire Eagle columnist Alan Chartock called a no vote on the project “un-American,” creating a backlash some have credited with helping to defeat the project. In his next column, Chartock denied having said a no-vote was un-American and went on to write that those who would vote against the project were also “selfish.” As far as we can tell, the no-voters are still flying the flag.

Best Big Government Law
Plastic Bag Ban
Great Barrington
Town officials and food retailers were all smiles as they held a press conference at Town Hall celebrating Great Barrington’s ban on single-use plastic grocery bags with handles. Called the “Plastic Bag Reduction” law, the ban is designed to reduce plastic waste and therefore help improve the environment.

Best Town Audit
Egremont Water Dept.
Egremont
Town officials are reeling after a preliminary reading of an audit of the water department. The findings in the report are damning. One of the most glaring findings in the report is the section devoted to the percentage of water that is billed in the town. According to the audit report, since 2009 only a low of seven percent to a high of 22 percent of the water pumped was ever billed.

Best Hike
Bash Bish Falls
Mount Washington
A hike to these lovely falls is a study in contrasts. For an easy stroll, Take Route 22 to Route 344 into Copake Falls, N.Y. From there you can take a gentle hiking path a mile and half over the state line to these phenomenal falls in the town of Mount Washington, Mass. But for the daring among us, travel to Falls Road in Mount Washington and stop at the entrance to the Mount Washington State Forest. Climb to top of the rocky outcrop and the path to the falls is so steep that it requires wired guardrails to assist you in your descent. Oh, and one more thing: watch out for the rattlesnakes.

Best Close Election
Sheffield BOS
Sheffield
David Smith Jr. lost one election in May of 2013 and only won the seat back 11 votes in 2014. By a tally of 489-to-478, he defeated Martin Mitsoff to return to the board, one blank ballot was also submitted.

Best Get Out of Jail Free

New Marlborough Robbers
New Marlborough
Two Connecticut men broke in and stole more than $6,000 worth of equipment from the New Marlborough Highway Department garage and a local business and then they got away virtually scot-free after a plea deal.

Best Lawsuit
Lynn Hutchinson vs. Town of Great Barrington
A Long Pond Road couple who illegally clear-cut trees on their property and trespassed on their neighbors’ land appealed the building inspector’s cease-and-desist order to the Zoning Board of Appeals. But Brian Schwab and Lynn Hutchinson were already suing the ZBA over its denial their of appeal of the town’s original enforcement order months earlier. Which means they were seeking relief from a board that they were also suing. Go figure.

Best Failed Heist
Lee Bank Robbery
Stockbridge
A 34- year- old Hillsdale , NY heroin addict who decided to rob the Elm Street branch of the Lee Bank, was sent scurrying by a middle-aged female teller who stood up to him, shoved him and yelled at him, “Get out of here.” Less than 10 hours after the robbery, Christopher G. Blair of 75 Upper Hollow Road, was arraigned in Livingston, N.Y. Town Court in neighboring Columbia County in connection with the crime.

Best School
Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School
Great Barrington
The foundation of a successful and fulfilling life starts with education, and the best place to help your child live up to their full potential is the Rudolf Steiner school. Their programs help instill a love of learning and sense of wonder vital to a successful education and their curriculum is specially catered to work in concert with the developmental stages of human beings. Their staff of exceptional educators are committed to their own personal and professional development and are given the freedom to work creatively. As part of the tradition of Waldorf Education, The Rudolf Steiner School teaches nursery school through eighth grade as well as offering parent child courses, after school music programs and summer programs to enrich and complement the in class curriculum that has prepared thousands of students to be future leaders in their communities.

Best Sour Grapes
Reena Bucknell
Egremont
In a lawsuit, seeking “an amount to be requested at trial…including attorneys’ fees, interests and costs,” ousted Police Chief Reena Bucknell has kept the battle over her firing front and center. Bucknell, who served as the town’s police chief for 15 years, claims that she was wrongfully terminated and therefore is owed damages under the Massachusetts Wage Act.

Best Community College
BCC
Pittsfield
Founded in 1960, BCC was the first community college established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. BCC helps students overcome financial, physical, and/or social barriers and welcomes them into a college environment of academic excellence.

Best Community Potluck
Alford United Methodist Church
Great Barrington
This church’s periodical potluck dinners are a hit with residents and tourists in the area. Homemade, family-style chicken and mashed potatoes with gravy, close slaw, and corn is just one of the many meals that Alford United Methodist Church has to offer. These cozy, comforting meals are affordable and a great way to get involved with the local community.

Best Way to Smooth Over a Political Fight
Dollar General
Sheffield
After the long and painful fight over the new Dollar General store in town, the company stepped up in a major way and gave the SBRSD a check for $50,000 to be used by the school library. Now that is how you get back in the good graces.

Best Historic Museum
Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum
Lenox
This Jacobean Revival-style mansion, built in 1893, is home to the Museum of the Gilded Age — an in-depth look at American life, industry, and society during the Nineteenth Century. The museum hosts many lectures, exhibits, theatrical performances, and other events. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and declared an official project of the “Save America’s Treasures” program.

Best Garden
Berkshire Botanical Garden
Stockbridge
Envelop yourself in the beauty of the natural world at Berkshire Botanical Garden. Its public display gardens are some of the oldest in the United States, and offer a variety of plant species with collections that highlight those found in Berkshires. Operating under the theory to provide the community with information, education and inspiration for both the art and science of gardening, the Garden offers classes, workshops, lectures and special events year-round as well as a broad variety of educational programs to school children from the surrounding area. The space is truly one of the gems of the region.

Best Student Art Gallery
Good Purpose Gallery
Lee
Helping to connect art and education in a meaningful way, the Good Purpose Gallery works closely with students from founder Michael McManmon’s College Internship Program to showcase the importance both visual and performing arts. The “campus” provides opportunities to mingle with locals, tourists, artists, and others and exhibit art in a professional gallery space.

Best North County Venue
The Colonial Theatre
Pittsfield
This gorgeous venue was built in 1903 and later named a National Historic Treasure by Hillary Clinton in 1998. A $22 million restoration project spearheaded by the Allegrone Companies was completed in 2006, allowing for this beautiful space to reopen to the public. Since then, the Berkshire Theatre Group has arranged a special blend of theater, music, and comedy for guests of the Colonial.

Best South County Venue
The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Great Barrington
With a reputation as one of the region’s best theaters and a long history of bringing the top names in theater, dance and music the Mahaiwe is the top venue in South County. The theater also is host to a number of community based programs and events.

Best Hospital

Fairview Hospital
Great Barrington
For more than a century Fairview Hospital has cared for the residents of south county. With a staff of award winning physicians and specialists, the people who walk through its doors put them selves in the best possible care. The hospital offers primary services including cardiology consultation and testing, critical care, diagnostic imaging, endoscopy, physical therapy and rehabilitation, nutritional and diabetes counseling, the family birthplace, surgical care, dialysis and a wide variety of support groups and community programs. They are also home to the advocacy for access non profit that helps get health care access into the hands of those whose helath care needs are underserved.

Best Community Health Organization
CHP
Berkshire County
Proud of serving Berkshire County residents for 40 years, Community Health Programs is a network of health centers and caring professionals that provide outstanding primary and preventative care for patients of all ages. What’s truly unique to CHP is its broad spectrum of support services that extend well beyond medical and dental issues to strengthen families and improve children’s well-being. Each year, CHP makes a difference in more than 15,500 people’s lives throughout Berkshire County.

Best South County Ski Area
Ski Butternut
Great Barrington
Ski Butternut offers 110 acres of skiing across 22 downhill trails with snow making equipment to keep conditions crisp and fresh. For the 2014-15 winter season, Butternut completely overhauled their Ski & Snowboard Shop with 800 new Rossignol skis and 600 Rossignol boots. The tubing area was also upgraded, making Butternut the perfect place for tubers and skiers alike!

Best North County Ski Area
Jiminy Peak
Hancock
With 45 trails, 9 lifts covering its 167 acres of land, Jiminy peak is a skiier and snowboarder’s paradise. The largest ski and snowboard resort in New England, Jiminy Peak has a wide variety of trails for both begginers and experts including it’s longest run, the Left Bank which stretches 2-miles-long. The park also includes three terrain parks, hits and rails, two mogul runs and a glade trail and come summer time, the restort transforms into the the Mountain Adventure Park.

Best Auto Insurance Agent
Bardwell Bowlby & Karam Insurance Agency
Pittsfield
Day-to-day, one-on-one, everyone at the agency makes it clear to every customer, every company representative, and every vendor that they are a valued part of the BB&K family.

Best Member Benefits
MyCom Federal Credit Union
Pittsfield
MyCom Federal Credit Union provides local High School students with scholarship opportunities among other community outreach programs, but the company’s membership benefits truly elevate their appeal. Being a credit union member gives customers access to exclusive discounts and benefits, including special savings from partnering businesses like Sprint, DirecTV, Chevrolet, GMC, Best Buy, Windows, Macy’s, and Sony, among others.

Best Investment Services

RBC Wealth Management
RBC Wealth Management focuses on ensuring that the foundations of what you built in life stay secure. A world class organization and one of the 10 largest wealth managers the professional staff of RBC works to meet the needs of investors and small businesses and unlock the full potential of their wealth. Their Investment Management services provide advisory services that are directly involved in ongoing decisions affecting your portfolio as well as discretionary investment management for a less involved approach to build your portfolio. They also offer trust and estate planning services and award winning private banking services and credit services.

Best Local Appliance Service

Alliance Appliance
Pittsfield
Need a new appliance? Or want to just get your current appliance up and running again? You will have their prompt and professional service to help you with all of your needs. You’ll find most makes, models, and parts in stock.

Best Piercing Shop
Crazy Chameleon
Pittsfield
With a talented team of piercing experts, Crazy Chameleon has something for everyone that needs any kind of body work in Berkshire County.

Best Bowling Alley
Cove Lanes
Great Barrington
It’s no surprise how frequently Cove Lanes takes top honors as the region’s best bowling alley. For more than 50 years the Berkshires has turned to Cove to unwind with a few frames in a fun and friendly atmosphere. With a charm and look reminiscent of the golden age of bowling, Cove offers two-dozen lanes as well as an indoor miniature golf course, arcade, pool tables and more. On Fridays and Saturdays the lanes host a fun cosmic bowling night with four projection screens playing your favorite music videos and throughout the year they host leagues and clubs as well as being the home of the Monument Mountain Spartan’s bowling team.

Best Hard Cider
Hilltop Orchards
Richmond
Award-winning Furnace Brook Wines are made from northeast varietals and produced right at Hilltop Orchards — the French style Cider’ and Johnny Mash hard cider are made from estate grown apples and are sure winners.

Best Florist
Jodi’s Flowers
Pittsfield
Whether you are looking to brighten up your home or the day of someone special when you’re looking for flowers from Jodi’s is the place to go. They use only the freshest, highest quality flowers and the shop has a professional and caring staff to serve all your floral needs. If you shop here, your gift will arrive beautifully presented and personalized with your message.

Best Place To Host A Party
PortSmitt’s Restaurant
Pittsfield
PortSmitt’s Restaurant, has quickly become a “Berkshire dining favorite” under the guidance and expertise, of local Chef Mike Lewis. Planning a business meeting or luncheon in the Pittsfield area? If so, let PortSmitt’s Restaurant be your choice.

Best Storage Facility
B-Safe Storage
Lee
When you need your possessions to be safe you turn to B-Safe. Since 2004, this local family owned business has provided the Berkshires with a high quality, 24/7 self-storage center. B-Safe Storage offers professional service at its two Lee locations with modern facilities offering the most cost effective flexible solution with secure, fully insulated storage units to keep your stuff safe from the elements. The company also offers 8’ x 20’ and 8’ x 40’portable storage containers that can be stored on their site or yours. Whether it is for moving, storage during house renovations, storage of antique cars, or more the people at B-Safe are the best choice for you.

Best Limousine Service
Abbott’s Limousine Service & Livery
Lee
If you are looking to get to where you need to go in comfort and style look no further than Abbott’s Limousine Service & Livery. This family owned and operated business has provided high quality transportation for the Berkshires for 50 years, serving Pittsfield, Great Barrington, Lenox and everywhere in between as well as routes to all surrounding airports. Their fleet, piloted by a team of experienced courteous and personable drivers, includes luxury SUVs, town cars, mini vans, extended sedans, a fleet of luxury limousines and a 14-person limo bus perfect for everything from wine tours to corporate travel.

Best Pest Control
Catseye Pest Control
Great Barrington
When you need to take back your home from pests no one does it better than the pros at Catseye. A staple in pest control for almost 30 years, the company has had a successful presence in the Berkshires helping both homeowners and businesses with their experienced, professional and top-rated team. Catseye also offers nuisance wildlife removal to trap and remove critters and rodents that wreak havoc on your property in a safe and humane manner. The company also offers CatGuard exclusion systems to help securely seal off entrance points into the home and indoor air control to reduce the amount of harmful pollutants affecting the quality of the air you breathe. With all they offer on top of their affordability, it’s no surprise why Catseye is consistently ranked at the top.

Best Photography Resource

The Snap Shop
Great Barrington
Serving Southern Berkshire County for more than 40 years, the Snap Shop is the quintessential place to visit for both your analog and digital photography needs. With a retail department for equipment and supplies and a full specialty lab to process and image photos, the small store is a personable, one-stop shop for local photography enthusiasts.

Best Luxury Car Dealer
Flynn Volkswagen Audi BMW
Pittsfield
Interested in a luxury vehicle but tired of pushy sales reps? Look no further than Flynn’s Volkswagen Audi BMW, where the staff is helpful and informative without encroaching on the decision process. Browse the best of British and German auto manufacturing and know that you’re in good hands when it comes to parts and service.

Best Building Designer
Dresser Hull Lumber and Building Supply Co.
Lee
Dresser Hull is the place the Berkshires trust with their construction projects. Tracing their linage back to 1883, this long standing supply company has been a cornerstone of Berkshire business for generations. They provide kitchen planning and design services to make crafting a new room a breeze and allow you to see what your product will look like before the first nail struck. With a massive lumber yard and supply store, Dresser Hull has everything you need to build, add and improve upon your home or business. The friendly and professional staff have been serving the area for decades, with most working with the company for more than 15 years. Dresser Hull also has a fleet of various delivery vehicles that offer free deliveries.

Best Maple Syrup
Ioka Valley Farm
Rob and his wife, Melissa, revived the art of maple sugaring in 1992 with 13 taps and mom’s kitchen stove. Today, Ioka Valley Farm has more than 10,000 taps and two modern boilers housed in the sugar house, built especially for production of the sweet treat.

Best Co-op Market
Berkshire Co-op Market
Great Barrington
This cozy consumer cooperative’s ownership is made up of its shoppers. Berkshire Co-op Market provides customers with quality organic products that are often locally produced. The store also has a café with a hot bar that serves a variety of prepared foods that differ each day of the week. The co-op is also community focused, with one-percent of Wednesday sales going to local organizations.

Best Credit Union
Greylock Federal Credit Union
Williamstown, North Adams, Adams, Lanesborough, Pittsfield, Lee, Great Barrington
Prefer member-owned establishments to lending banks and other financial institutions? Greylock Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union in Berkshire County, serving the region for almost 25 years. With a Board of Directors elected by the membership, decisions are sure to positively influence account holders both individually and collectively. Their new app for Android and iOS devices makes it a breeze to deposit checks on the go, too!

Best Wellness Boutique
Renaissance Arts Center
Great Barrington
The Renaissance Arts Center’s new Great Barrington location is a place where wellness and the arts converge. The space offers courses in art, music, photography, writing, dance, and theater, as well as gallery space and art supplies for local creators. Their fitness boutique specializes in yoga, Zumba, TRX, core and toning workouts, among others, to keep South County residents both fit and cultured.

Best Craft Store
Wonderful Things
Great Barrington
Owned and operated by local residents Harry and Deborah Sano, Wonderful Things is a craft store that features an extensive selection of yarn, needlework, and handcrafted gifts, including pottery, glassware, toys, jewelry, and candles, among others. Their annual 25-percent off yarn sale has gone on for 22 consecutive years and draws crowds from all over the region.

Best Foreign Auto Repair
Bob Denley’s Foreign Car & Park St. Tire
Lee
Bob Denley’s Foreign Car & Park St. Tire is a locally owned and operated auto repair shop with more than 25 years of experience in the industry. They are also the authorized tire dealer stocking foreign tires within 70 miles of the tri-town area. The staff at Denley’s is eager to assist customers and will even help to arrange towing to get your damaged vehicle to the shop.

Best Nearby Pool Supplier
Aqua Pool & Patio
East Windsor, CT
This custom pool company offers award-winning pool and patio design, construction, and service for a reasonable price. With 100-percent financing options available, Aqua Pool & Patio equips homeowners with the tools to build or renovate an impressive pool area that’s easy to maintain. With their 10-point quality assurance guarantee, your new pool remains in good hands during each stage of the design and construction process.

Best Staffing Agency
United Personnel
Pittsfield
This employment agency has offices in Northampton and Springfield, as well as Hartford, CT, but their office in Pittsfield was established to serve the job seekers and employers of the Berkshires. Launched in 1984, United Personnel connects people with jobs in administrative, professional, accounting, light industrial, manufacturing, medical office, and hospitality positions across Western Massachusetts.

Best Pet Groomer
BowMeow Regency
Sheffield
BowMeow Regency’s all-inclusive pet resort is a professional lodging kennel that welcomes all breeds of dogs and cats. With expert staff on-hand to provide their furry guests with private outdoor recreation three times per day, the BowMeow care team is dedicated to providing your pet with a safe, healthy space while you enjoy some time away. The facility also offers a program where dogs can be dropped off to exercise during the workweek.

Best Museum
Berkshire Museum
Pittsfield
For more than 100 years, the Berkshire Museum has served the residents of Berkshire County as the Mecca of cultural and historical artifacts and information. Described as the “window on the world,” this local museum has hosted numerous accredited collections and exhibitions, including the work of Rembrandt Peale, Pierre Auguste Renoir, and Andy Warhol. Their aquarium and special cinema make for great additions, as well.

Best Classic Music Festival

Norfolk Chamber Music Festival
Norfolk, CT
The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival is the oldest summer music festival in North America — and for good reason. Overseen by the Yale School of Music, this festival hosts more than 30 concerts each season, with past performers having included the Tokyo String Quartet, Percy Grainger, and Dave Brubeck, among others. This summer will kick off with a gala event to benefit the restoration of the music shed.

Best Community-oriented Bank

Adams Community Bank
Williamstown, North Adams, Adams, Cheshire, Lanesborough, Lee
With their many charitable acts, including raising more than $70,000 for Northern Berkshire United Way and a recent cash donation for a bus shelter for needy students in Cheshire, among others, Adams Community Bank is undoubtedly one of the most community-focused establishments in the region. Promoting and supporting the local community is one of their core values — and it shows.

Best South County Realtor
Barnbrook Realty
Great Barrington
Homegrown since 1976, Barnbrook Realty provides access to beautiful homes and properties in Southern Berkshire County for both buyers and sellers. Between their extensive listings and numerous agents, these realty professionals will make the process of buying and selling a house here in the Berkshires as painless as possible. Head to their website to learn more about the region or do some market research.
Best Specialty Realtor

Berkshire Country Homes
Great Barrington
Looking for a mountain view, waterfront, or historic home here in Berkshire County? Look no further than Berkshire Country Homes. This realtor specializes in helping their customers realize their “Vision For Living” by finding them the perfect property in Lenox, Stockbridge, West Stockbridge, and Great Barrington. Berkshire Country Homes also specializes in working with the resort and second home market and helps buyer clients maintain the right connections.

Best Propane Specialist

Carlson Propane
Sheffield
This family owned and operated, full service company began in 1979 as a one-man operation before eventually growing into what it is today: a competent local company providing design and installation of propane heating and central air conditioning systems. Carlson Propane uses the most cost efficient materials to design heating and cooling systems that last.

Best South County Insurance Agency

Consolati Insurance
Lee
This family owned insurer has been in business since 1942, providing customers with experienced service and advice for decade upon decade. With their affordable rates, Consolati promises that clients will receive market competitive quotes for all of their home, auto, business, and life insurance policies. Located on Main Street in Lee, this trusted insurer provides unbeatable protection for local families and businesses.

Best Nursery
Ward’s Nursery
Great Barrington
The place where gardeners grow, Ward’s Nursery has everything you need to tackle your gardening projects. Since 1957, the experts at Ward’s have served the region, expanding from 2 small greenhouses to their massive 10,000 sq ft energy efficient and sustainable space. Ward’s grows over 1,400 perennial selections and 700 different houseplants. They also carry soil, seeding supplies, tools, pottery, and fertilizer, among other garden needs. In November and December, Ward’s makes decorating for the holidays a breeze with Fontanini candles, lighting and fresh cut and permanent wreaths, garlands and greenery. Phone: (413) 528-0166.

Best Support Service for Berkshires Seniors
Seniors Helping Seniors
Lanesborough
Seniors Helping Seniors matches seniors who need in-home help with seniors throughout The Berkshires who want to help. This organization’s staff works hard to understand every senior’s personal needs, schedule and personality to make sure seniors are beautifully paired with other seniors who can really help. They’re geared to serve seniors who need just a little help, or a lot of help.

Best Market
Guido’s Fresh Marketplace
Pittsfield, Great Barrington
Born in the Berkshires, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace has served the county since 1979 with the simple idea of bringing exceptionally fresh robust produce to Western Massachusetts. Since they started as a humble roadside stand, Guido’s has expanded to offer meat, fish, flowers and prepared food from vendors who came together to offer an old-world style food emporium that supports both local vendors and the community providing the highest quality foods to its customers. The market also offer special events and has an on site dietician to help guide shoppers to make the right decisions with their diet.

Best Financial Advisor
Edward Jones
Adams
Edward Jones has nearly 7 million clients and 11,000 offices across the country and yet they manage to make each client interaction feel personal. The company’s Adams office has a friendly, reliable staff that illustrates the firm’s foundation of principals for sound investing. They’ve been ranked among the best advocates for clients at a national level and their Adams office is no different.

Best Landscapers
Pilling Landscaping, Inc.
Stockbridge
These landscaping specialists have been providing expert service for more than 30 years. They work hand-in-hand with clients to bring their ideas and projects to life. Whether it’s new homes, additions, or revitalize existing gardens no job is too difficult for their design team equipped with backhoes, trucks and excavators. They offer patio and stone steps building, garden restorations, tree planting annual flow garden up keep, walkways, waterfall and pond creations and maintenance services for all their completed projects. When you need plantings and stone work done right, Pilling Landscaping, Inc. is the best.

Best Gourmet Treats
Chocolate Springs
Lenox
When you want to indulge, Chocolate Springs is the place to treat yourself. People across the country come to try their gourmet, hand-crafted chocolates meticulously designed that are works of art before they are even tasted. Chocolatier Joshua Needleman has spent his life fascinated with chocolate and has created treats that offer a therapeutic escape. Along with classic assortments they offer chocolate dipped chocolate chip cookies, special wedding favors, chocolate dipped pretzels, pastry and cookies and coffee and tea.

Best Auto Body Shop
Carlson’s Auto Body
Lee
Carlson’s Auto Body & Collision Services has been serving Southern Berkshire County for 59 years. This family owned, third generation repair shop works with all insurance companies to make for a more convenient, less stressful experience. Using only the highest-grade DuPont Quality Paint System, Carlson’s Auto Body services range from minor dents to major collision repair.

Best Foster Care Services
Deveraux Therapeutic Foster Care
Pittsfield
It takes a special kind of person to foster a child in need, and that’s what the people at Devereux will offer. As part of an organization that is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit providers of behavioral healthcare in the country, their network of enthusiastic and caring individals work as part of a treatment team that provide a safe home for children and adolescents with special emotional needs. They are a true asset to the Berkshires.

Best Art Gallery
Lauren Clark Fine Art
Great Barrington
With a strong connection to her business, her artists and her community, Lauren Clark calls the Lauren Clark Fine Art Gallery her “work of art.” With more than 40 regional and internationally recognized artists displaying their works, the gallery celebrates the work of painters printmakers, potters, glassblowers, jewelers and woodworkers. With events year-round for new exhibitions, readings and more the Gallery is a reflection of the importance of arts to the Berkshires. They also offer fine art and contemporary craft museum quality custom framing for your own personal works of art.

Best Plumbing Services
LePrevost Plumbing, Heating and Cooling
For over a decade, the Berkshire have turned to LePrevost for their plumbing needs. The nationally recognized company provides commercial and residential services in a wide range of plumbing, heating and air conditioning jobs from as small as a minor leak to a full bathroom remodel or plumbing system installation. With a 24 hour hotline to handle any emergency and 5,000 happy, repeat customers, it’s clear there is no competition that can hold a candle to the experience, service and staff of LePrevost.

Best South County Art Museum
Norman Rockwell Museum
Stockbridge
One of the must see location in the Berkshires, the Norman Rockwell Museum is a beacon for arts in the county celebrating the life of the American icon. The collection of timeless classics that have been ingrained into the fabric of the country are within arm’s reach as you tour the halls of the works of Rockwell. The museum also embraces and celebrates the arts world outside Rockwell as well with year-round special events, rotating exhibition highlighting other great artists and a yearly student artists showcase.

Best NoRth County Art Museum

MASS MoCA
North Adams
With a keen eye toward exciting new works that challenge contemporary ideas of art, MASS MoCA has been a flagship of the arts and culture scene in the entire region. With awe inspiring sculptures, paintings and just about every other medium you could image for artwork, MASS MoCA is an incredible experience for anyone who appreciates the arts. The museum also boasts a great resume for live performance, bringing in some of the country’s best in music, dance theater and other performance arts.

Best Blueberry and Apple Picking
Windy Hill Farm
Great Barrington
Enjoy the beauty of the Berkshires while having a fun afternoon at Windy Hill Farms blueberry and apple picking. With 7 acres of apple orchards and 1 acre of blueberry fields the farm offers a diverse and unique horticultural experience that has served the region for 28 years. Their orchards feature 25 varieties of apples including honeycrisp, macoun and their crunchy, tart Paula Red apples and their blueberry fields are a must visit come summertime. And with their affordable prices, you’ll be able to keep your home filled with their delicious fruits all season long.

Best Insurance For Home and Business
Wheeler & Taylor
Great Barrington, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Pittsfield, Dalton
As the oldest independent agency remaining in Berkshire County, Wheeler & Taylor has been insuring the property, possessions and businesses of Berkshire residents for more than 140 years. Their expert staff is capable of managing all of your insurance needs from the simple to the complex. And they work tirelessly on your behalf to secure the best protection at the best price. In addition, the agency’s claims department is always available to help their clients navigate through the claims process. Along the way, Wheeler & Taylor has created a legacy of service and support unmatched by other agencies. By giving back to the community they contribute (both money and people) to numerous organizations and civic activities that help enrich the lives of their neighbors.

Best Appliance Service
Mike’s Maytag
Pittsfield
When Mike’s Maytag Home Appliance opened in 1992, Mike Spelman had already been repairing appliances for over 20 years. Mike’s Maytag now carries a full line of major appliances including Jenn-Air, Kitchen Aid, Maytag, Whirlpool and Amana.

Best Pottery Store
Sheffield Pottery
Sheffield
Sheffield Pottery is the Berkshires’ place to go for everything and anything in ceramics or pottery related. They’ve been supplying ceramic supplies for artists, craftsmen, school and industry since 1946 and have grows over the years from a tiny kiln over six decades ago, to their 26,000-foot production warehouse today. They are also home to an extensive and exquisite retail selections in their showrooms. They’ve built a reputation for premium quality products, excellent customer service and dependability that makes them the best.

Best Oil Supplier

Kimball Fuel Oil
Great Barrington
When winter rolls in the Berkshires trust the people at Kimball Fuel Oil to keep them warm. With an expert fleet of tankers that has supplied the region with fuel oil for years with hard to beat prices. Their courteous and knowledgeable staff works with customers to provide payment plans for those in need and their technicians are available to fix any problem that arises from your heating system. They are on call, too, for any emergency. It’s not hard to find a Kimball truck in your neighborhood, as the county’s trusted source for fuel oil they are the Berkshires best.

Best North County Lumber Supplier
L.P. Adams
Dalton
This family owned business has been helping the Berkshires with their construction jobs for more than 100 years. Their fully enclosed lumber yard is the largest in the county and supplies the highest quality spruce, pressure treated and engineered framing materials offered in the industry. They have the ability to fulfill your entire order with a vast selection of spruce dimensional framing lumber under its roof. LP Adams also offers fir species engineered laminate veneer lumber, ranked among the highest quality in the market. They also offer free estimating, free designs and free delivery for their customers as well as tools and hardware, windows and doors, and kitchen and bathroom remodeling services along with a multitude of other services to help complete any construction job.

Best Local Community Market
Public Market
West Stockbridge
On top of your grocery needs, don’t let the corner-store-look fool you, The Public Market has some of the best sandwiches you will ever have. Not to mention it is a go-to coffee stop on your way through town if you need a little pick me up. The Public Market really has everything you need in one small little, local store.

Best South County Lumber Yard

Ed Herrington
Hillsdale, Hudson, Chatham and Millerton, N.Y. and Lakeville
Ed Herrington, Inc. was established in Hillsdale , NY in 1906. The company offers quality lumber, millwork, building supplies, paint, stone and associated services. Today the family-owned and operated company has five locations in Hillsdale, Hudson, Chatham and MillertonNY , and in Lakeville, CT and every stop has all you need for your next building project.

Best Community Center

Berkshire South Regional Community Center
Great Barrington
Berkshire South Regional Community Center has been providing Southern Berkshire County with a sense of community and common purpose for more than 10 years. As a recreational and educational establishment, the Community Center offers programs for children, teens, adults, and seniors, including ballroom dancing lessons, foreign language classes, and fitness activities. Memberships are affordable and financial assistance is available for those in need.

Best Lawyer to Call in a Pinch
Cohen Kinne Valicenti
& Cook
Pittsfield and Great Barrington
Lenny Cohen, Jeff Cook, Kevin Kinne and David Valicenti were partners together at Berkshire County’s oldest and largest law firm. In 2008, they decided to create a new firm, founded on a vision of how a law practice should evolve and perform in the 21st century. Today, the law firm of Cohen Kinne Valicenti & Cook LLP is comprised of a team of experienced and talented attorneys. With a wealth of expertise as trial lawyers and business counselors, our attorneys are dedicated to aggressive and thoughtful representation for business and individual clients throughout the Northeast.

Best Place to Take Flight
Berkshire Aviation
Great Barrington
The pilots at Berkshire Aviation have been helping the people of Berkshire County take to the skies for generations. With services ranging from sales to sightseeing tours, you’ll be flying like an eagle in no time. Their fleet of Piper and Eagle aircraft are piloted by the area’s most skilled aviators and their grounds are home to the Great Barrington Airport. Whether you’re looking for a private or commercial pilots license, biennial flight reviews, charter service you’ll find their personal and friendly service like being at home. And being situated in the Berkshires, every flight is guaranteed to be a scenic treat.

Best Special Event
Indashio’s F.A.M.E. Festival
Pittsfield
On Oct. 10 last year, fashion designer Indashio returned to his hometown of Pittsfield to put on a big show, art exhibit and after party at a location on Commercial Street. Supported by local plus-sized women’s clothing store Phat Phannies, there was a runway show modelling Indashio’s designs in a cool warehouse-style building.

Best Person to Call When Your Pipes Freeze

Joe Wilkinson Excavation
Sheffield
After this winter this is a company more of us have probably called then we would have ever hoped. But if you need a pipe dug up there is simply no one better to call in all of Berkshire County than the team at Joe Wilkinson Excavation.They are quick to the job and offer some of the best rates you will find.

Best Adventure Park
Jiminy Peak
Hancock
Jiminy’s Mountain Coaster was the first of its kind on the East Coast. Popular in Europe, the Coaster is thousands of feet of twisting, turning fun through the woods and that is just one of 11 great family activities. The Alpine Super Slide takes you through tunnels, curves and dips and turns and the Soaring Eagle zipline lets you feel the thrill of flight. A giant swing, rockwall, and more activities guarantee you’ll have an action packed time.

Best Exterminator
Braman Chemical
Great Barrington
Braman Chemical has been serving Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Eastern New York, and Southern Vermont with quality pest control service since 1890. The company shows their commitment to residents by offering a money-back satisfaction guarantee and offering 10-percent off to first-time customers. Bed bugs, bees, roaches, termites, mice, rats, and ants don’t stand a chance against Braman Chemical.

Best Recovery Center
Alternative Living Centers
Pittsfield
Aleternative Living Centers is a comfortable supportive space to get people back on track. They provide a safe, drug and alcohol free environment for individuals looking for a clean and sober way of life. Their three houses were designed by people in recovery and their staff is filled with experienced and caring individuals that will create a structured and solid foundation for recovery.

Best Home Improvement business
Morrison Home Improvement Specialists, Inc.
Since 1992, Steve Morrison has provided the Berkshires with the best product and services available for any and all home improvement needs. Their services include new construction bathroom and kitchen refurbishing, roof replacement, siding, window and door replacement, home renovations and more. They also provide handyman services to maintain your home inside and out. Morrison is also partnered with the Energy Star Program to help customers learn about energy saving tips to be both environmentally and economically friendly.

Best Water Service
Culligan
Lenox
As a world leader in water filtration, Culligan water provides whole house water treatment and softener solutions for high-quality drinking water and soft water for your home. Culligan conditioning and soft water solutions include water softeners, water filtration systems, reverse osmosis water filters, and drinking water filters.
Best Youth outreach organization

The Railroad Street Youth Project

Great Barrington
RSYP work with young people in the area to give them a safe space to learn, interact and have fun outside of school. With programs and activities focusing on helping youth find their voice and realize the benefit they can make in their communities. They have been a tireless advocate and have had hugely positive impact in the region.

SOUTH
Best Team

Lenox Cross Country
Lenox
Coach Jeanne Teasdale’s squad had another quality season as the girls team finished second in the Division II state meet while the boys were 12th. Tucker McNinch registered a 10th-place finish at the state meet while Emma Jourdain was 13th. In Western Mass., the Lenox girls won the Division II team title as Millionaires’ Emily Tibbetts won the girls race and McNinch won the boys race.

Best Male Athlete

Bradley Lupiani
Mount Everett
The senior set the school record for wrestling wins in a career earlier this season and eventually was a runner-up at the Divisional States tournament in February. Won the Western Mass. wrestling tournament at 132 pounds. Also hit .303 on the baseball team with 15 stolen bases and a solid year pitching. Lupiani was also a first-team All-South County selection for soccer from the Berkshire Record. Helped the soccer team to the Western Mass. tournament.

Best Female Athlete
Sam Farina
Lee
Won her second straight state girls bowling championship to finish off the winter season. Also helped her squad to the Berkshire County bowling title. Was a key senior on the Wildcats' volleyball team, which went 16-0 against Berkshire County competition. Was selected to the first-team South County softball team by the Berkshire Record.

Best Breakout Star
Jake Corcoran
Mount Everett
Recorded 47 points as a freshman for the Eagles in leading the squad to a berth in the Western Mass. tournament. Mt. Everett won only one game the season before Corcoran arrived while the Eagles won 11 this season. He attends Lenox, which is part of the four-team Mt. Everett co-op.

Best Coach
Tom Hankey
Monument Mountain
Hankey led his squad to a Western Mass. championship in his 15th season at the helm. Monument made the state championship, but fell 11-6 to Bellingham after a spectacular season. It was the fifth-straight season in which the Monument baseball team earned the No. 1 seed in the Western Mass. tournament, showing the strength of the program.

Best Performance
Monument Mountain Swimming
Monument Mountain
The Spartans' performance at the Western Mass. meet earned nine swimmers a spot in the state meet. The girls team finished in third place while the boys were eighth for coach Jill Svirida at W. Mass. The Spartans had three victories, including two relays and Maeve Wilber in the 100 back. Other qualifiers were Emma Wilber, Caroline Bissaillon, Rowan Rice, Brandon Louison, Ben Wyatt, John Collingwood, Nick Gray and Zach Richardson.

Best Game
Mount Everett Girls Soccer
Mount Everett
The Eagles entered the Western Mass. Division IV tournament as the sixth seed and outlasted 11th-seeded Mohawk in penalties. After a 1-1 tie through 100 minutes, the teams each sent five players to try a spot kick and send their squad through to the quarterfinals. Maura Robitaille, Emily Coon and Abby Litchfield each scored for Mt. Everett while Madison Ullrich had a save in the shootout win.

Best Surprise
Francois Benistand
Lenox
The exchange student won the Berkshire Classic golf tournament after arriving just over a month before and joining the team. The Millionaire golfer shot a 76 to pick up the victory, one shot ahead of Matt Wiseman of Mount Greylock. Benistand double-bogeyed the second hole, which was a par-three, but his course management helped him to victory.

CENTRAL
Best Male Athlete

Chad Shade
Pittsfield
Over the past three athletic seasons, Chad Shade has been a major part of a Western Mass champion football team, a Berkshire County champion basketball team and a 15-5 baseball team. Shade was a starter on all three teams and was the County MVP after one of the most impressive football seasons in history.

Best Female Athlete
Allie Hunt
Pittsfield
Even though she is just a junior, Allie Hunt commands this recognition as an outright star on the softball (shortstop) and soccer (goalie) fields, while also starting at center on a basketball team that was recently a Western Mass finalist. All of this goes without mentioning her run on the Berkshire Force over the summer that captivated the city of Pittsfield.

Best Breakout Star
Nick Clayton
Wahconah
Nick Clayton saw a few minutes at QB for the Warriors during his junior season, but was mostly a reserve. In 2014, however, he led Gary Campbell’s squad to a state Super Bowl berth. Clayton had a 25:0 TD to INT ratio heading into the state title game.

Best Coach
Andy Waluszko
Pittsfield Girls’ Soccer
The Pittsfield Girls’ soccer program has become one of the most respected and storied organizations in the County. Coach Andy Waluszko has been behind this LG Nation explosion. Waluszko and the Generals haven’t lost a County game in years and took their third straight North title in 2014. His system proved itself after massive talents left for graduation and the LGs barely missed a beat.

Best Team
Wahconah Football
Wahconah
The Warriors have been a juggernaut in Berkshire County for a couple years now, but they took that to another level by reaching the state Super Bowl this past fall. The Warriors came from behind to take the Western Mass title from Agawam and again to top Shepherd Hill in the state semis, earning a spot at Gillette Stadium in December.

Best Performance
Taconic Wrestling
Taconic
Not many saw the Braves’ second-place finish at Western Mass coming. THS had three individual champs in Nick Bailey, Isiah Williams and Austin Houghtaling, while Dave Jones finished second. They also had three wrestlers reach 100 wins. After the turmoil of a coaching change mid-year in 2013, Jeremy Tetreault won Western Mass Coach of the Year for this surprising squad.

Best Game
Western Mass D5 Football Championship
Pittsfield High battled Hoosac Valley in the rematch of an overtime loss for the Generals earlier in the fall. This time, up in Cheshire, PHS came out on top to win their first sectional title thanks to an impressive two-minute drill from coach Brian Jezewski, QB Chad Shade and his entire offense. Shade scored the winning score with 14 seconds remaining on a dive from one yard out.

Best Surprise
Taconic Baseball
Few local teams captivated the County quite like the Taconic Baseball team last spring. Under the guidance of coach Kevin Stannard, the Braves used their No. 10 seed in the D1 tourney as motivation to band together and go on a run that pushed them all the way to a one-run loss in the Western Mass title game.

NORTH
Best Male Athlete

Shane Fuller
McCann Tech
A star on the soccer pitch and basketball court, Shane Fuller is one of a very select group of athletes to score 100 points in soccer and 1,000 points in basketball. Most impressively, Fuller is known for being able to make teammates better in both sports, working as a facilitator who is more than capable of getting his own.

Best Female Athlete
Lucy Barrett
Mt. Greylock
Barrett is perhaps best known for her basketball prowess, for which she has committed to Westfield State. However, she has proven equally adept on the lacrosse and soccer fields over the past three seasons. She led the lacrosse team to a 17-1-1 record as a junior and soccer team to a 12-5-1 record as a senior, winning a tournament game in both sports.

Best Breakout Star

Ellie Field
Hoosac Valley swimming
Swimming for the St. Joseph co-op swim team, Field had a strong performance in the Division II state meet. She registered a sixth-place finish in the 100 free (54.72) and was ninth in the 200 free (2:00.18). She helped her squad to a fifth-place finish in the 200 free relay (1:43.42) and 10th in the 200 medley relay (1:56.39).

Best Coach
Ron Wojcik
Hoosac Valley Girls’ Basketball
The Hoosac Valley Girls’ hoop team graduated a great deal of talent from last year’s state finalist. However, under Ron Wojcik’s system, the Lady Canes returned to the Western Mass tournament and defended their sectional title. The win gives HV a three-peat in Division 3 Girls’ Basketball.

Best Team
Mt. Greylock Lacrosse
The Mounties of Mt. Greylock Boys’ Lacrosse earned the No. 1 seed in D3 Central/Western Mass with a 17-3 record. They proceeded to prove that seeding correct by taking home the regional title after surviving an overtime win in the semis. Star junior Michael McCormack set the state record for most points in a season with 191 points.

Best Performance
Drury Bowling
The Blue Devils bounced back from a defeat against Lee in the Berkshire County bowling championship to claim the state title against the very same Wildcat opponent. State tournament MVP Zach Yeaton led Drury, seeded second, to a championship win, 2-1. After losing the first game, Drury was victorious in game two (212-201) and the deciding third game (232-222).

Best Game
Drury vs. Mount Greylock baseball
Carrying a 1-0 lead into the Western Mass. Division III quarterfinal seventh inning against Greylock, Drury's baseball team allowed two runs on RBI singles from Jake Benzinger and Nick DiSanti. Trailing entering the bottom of the frame, Logan Rumbolt hit a two-run, walk-off double that gave Drury the victory and a spot in the semis.

Best Surprise
McCann Tech Football
The Hornets Football squad has come a long way as a program. In 2014 they registered the first undefeated regular season in school history. They won 12-7 against Turners Falls in the Division 6 Western Mass championship game. They scored at least 45 points six times during the season, led by running back Brett Pecor.

Best Individual Performance South
Mark Leon-Duque
Wrestling Monument Mountain
Won the Western Mass. tournament at 170 pounds, defeating Kolby Smith of Sabis in the final. He would go on to beat Smith again at All-States but fell against him at Divisional States and New England’s. Also registered a runner-up finish at Divisional States. Earned a spot at New England’s with a fifth-place finish at All-States.

Best Individual Performance Central

Ali Williamson Alpine Skiing
Pittsfield High
After leading the Generals to a season-sweep of Berkshire County, Ali Williamson saved her best Alpine performance for the MIAA state meet. She finished first in the final two County races and continued that momentum by placing first in the slalom race. The junior brought a state title back to the Berkshires.

Best individual Performance North
Emily Rosse, Girls’ Basketball
Hoosac Valley
Emily Rosse closed out her high school basketball career by leading Hoosac Valley to a third straight Western Mass title and second straight trip to the state title game. She was a dominant and versatile scorer  for the Lady Canes all year. The senior center was also named Western Mass Player of the Year by the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.

COMMUNITY: Readers' Choice (Return to The Best top)
Best Neighborhood
Housatonic
Some are calling it the new Brooklyn. But the Housatonic section of Great Barrington is even better. The formerly faded mill town has revived itself with art galleries, trendy eateries and light manufacturing — all the while retaining that feeling of a tight-knit rural village on the river. It’s the ultimate in Berkshires charm.

Best Up and Coming Town
Lee
This town has it all: charm, shopping, fine dining, manufacturing and accessibility. Lee has one of the most enjoyable and walkable Main Streets in the Berkshires, soon to be enhanced by the planned revitalization of the Eagle Mill. There is a great public library and many fine dining establishments. The Lee Outlets are famous throughout the region, attracting shoppers from hundreds of miles away. Thanks to its thriving business community, the town has a solid tax base. And you can hop right onto the Mass Pike and be in Springfield or Albany in well under an hour. In a word, Lee is a town to watch.

Best Elected Official

Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli
It’s been said before that the space between a camera and state Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli is the most dangerous piece of real estate in Berkshire County. We’re not sure that’s entirely fair because the man who represents South County on Beacon Hill is less a publicity hound than a dedicated public servant whose affection for his constituents is legendary. Lately, he has been a tireless advocate for the cost-saving measure of shared services among school districts. And in a moment that is sure to be a capstone to his career, Pignatelli was grand marshall of the Founders Weekend Parade.

Best Managed Town
Sheffield
Taking how the coveted reader’s choice for best managed town yet again is Sheffield. After putting a year between them and the Dollar General fight the boards were able to focus on big picture items. From possible bus service to programs to help homeowners they have had a busy year.

Best Public Official
Charlie Brown
Lenox
In his first year in office, Brown whipped Lenox’s books into shape with lightening speed, reversing the town’s recent history of bad audits, missing records and all-around poor record keeping. Thanks to Brown, Lenox’s 2013 audit was its first favorable one in years.

Best Dog Park
Egremont
The French Park Dog Park is a great local place to let the dogs run free. There are even built-in water bowls (bring your own water) and chairs for the two legged among us. If you are looking for an open place to let the pooch play this is a real winner.

Best Anticipated Event
SummerSound Music Festival
Lenox
There is plenty to be excited for this year in the Berkshires, and for our readers the SummerSound Music Festival tops the list. While its known as the summer home for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the SummerSound Festival has become a favorite event at Tanglewood with its focus on providing a space for local and independent artists to perform. This year’s line up features an eclectic mix of genres, with indie rock, folk, hip hop and EDM. With headliner Indigo Girls alright creating buzz about the festival, local favorite Barefoot Truth announced they would be reuniting to perform the festival launching the festival into cannot miss territory. Other artists on the bill include West End Blend, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds and Great Barrington’s own The Interlopers.

Best Local Non-Profit

Moments House
Pittsfield
With a bevy of local nonprofits serving the Berkshires it was a tough race. But the tremendous work done by Moments House grabbed them the top honors. Moments House brings a home-like feel to its daytime facility for residents living with a cancer diagnosis. The 501(c) 3 charity works with the patients and their families offering information and support. Working with partners throughout the community, they proved programs and services that are free and open to the public to comfort and support including therapies, dance and music, yoga, workshops, support groups, social activities and bereavement services. The Berkshires are a lucky place to have them.

Best Advocates
Berkshire Meadows
The people at Berkshire Meadows are the advocates you want to have in your corner. The professionals working with children and young adults living with developmental disabilities create a supportive, caring environment that enriches their lives. With year-round programs offering educational, health and therapeutic services, they are in the best of care. Their individualized education plan identifies individual and achievable goals to help the children grow and make progress and help them reach their highest level of personal independence and skill development. Their health care services include a 24-hour nursing care, full-time nurse practitioner and a dedicated staff of primary care physicians as well as nationally known medical specialists and deeding and nutritional services. Their therapeutic supports utilize aquatic therapy, adaptive equipment, therapy dogs and other innovative therapies and activities as well as licensed therapists that will create comprehensive and individualized plan that is best for each child. Above all else, the children at Berkshire Meadows find a second home filled with compassionate, devoted care.

Best Radio Station
WSBS
There is no better spot on the dial than 860 AM/94.1 FM WSBS. Program Director Jesse Stewart leads a team of the best DJs playing everything from a variety of music shows, local news, commentary and sports as well as being the place to go for your weather updates, school closing and all the most pertinent information to the Berkshires. WSBS also offers fun and exciting contests and are routinely a sponsor and partner to numerous community events. They are everything you would want from your community radio station and more.

Best Spa
Michele’s Salon
Great Barrington
For over 20 years, Michele’s has been the Berkshire’s premier salon for events. From upscale weddings to romantic getaways, their award-winning team can help you look and feel your best so you can confidently enjoy your special occasion.

Best Clock Shop
West Side Clock Shop
Pittsfield
Clocks are more than just time keepers, they can bring your home to life like a piece of art. West Side Clock Shop have understood this, offering a wide selection of new and antique clocks for the past 35 years. From beautifully hand carved German Black Forest Cuckoo Clock to modern clocks from the Westminster Time Company in Ontario, The shop also provides repairs to bring your clock back to life your cherished family clock.

Best Bank
Salisbury Bank
Sheffield
Dedicated to enriching the community they serve, Salisbury Bank not only offers a wide swath of personal and business banking (as well as trust and wealth, retirement planning, personalized investment and mortgage services), but is also committed to new and innovative products and approaches that make the lives of their customers and their community members more rewarding. Between their annual scholarship program and their frequent support to many non-profit organizations in the tri-state area, they have carved their reputation as both a reliable banking institution and a good corporate citizen.

Best Bowling
Cove Lanes
Great Barrington
The family-owned and operated Cove Lanes is a one-stop destination for bowling fun, complete with full service lounge and snack bar, arcade and two-story, 18-hole indoor mini golf course. Their 24-lane facility is perfect for serious and casual players alike, with plenty of league and tournament options, as well as youth programs, party availabilities and their own “rock n’ bowl” deal offered every Friday and Saturday night.

Best Salon
Michele’s Salon and Day Spa
Great Barrington
For more than 20 years, Michele’s has been providing top-quality expert salon services as well as convenient and flexible scheduling and planning to remove the hassle and accommodate any needs in event preparation. From upscale weddings to low-key romantic getaways, the talented staff and laid-back environment can accommodate parties of any size or need to help you feel and look your best for any special occasion.

Best Limousine Service
Abbott’s Limousine and Livery Service
Lee
The family-owned and operated Abbott’s Limousine has been delivering satisfied customers to their destinations for 48 years. Their solid reputation is built on an attentive concern for detail and the transportation and personal needs of their clients, maintaining the highest standards with their 30 hand-picked full- and part-time drivers, making them the go-to wheelmen for your journey to and from Berkshire County.

Best Trainers
Berkshire Functional Fitness
Great Barrington
As we awaken from our winter hibernation and try to maintain those New Year’s resolutions, getting back into shape is a must. It’s a tricky proposition but the right trainer can make all the difference. At Berkshire Functional Fitness, Antoine Alston and his team of six experienced helpful trainers specializing in different backgrounds will aid you into achieving your health and fitness goals with informative and motivational practices no matter what you are going for. The path to a healthier you starts at Berkshire Functional Fitness.

Best Credit Union
Greylock Federal Credit Union
Berkshire County
Greylock Federal Credit Union prides itself on reminding its members of one simple fact: When you’re with Greylock, you’re not alone in the world of credit and finances. Offering a wide palette of services expertly tailored services to a wide range of members – from free services like fund

Best Barber Shop
Sims
Pittsfield, Great Barrington
When you need to look sharp trust in the pros at Sims Salon and Barber shop. An old school corner barbershop with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, Berkshire folks have been getting their haircuts from Sims since 1936. Open seven days a week with convenient hours, you can get the cut you’re looking for at an affordable price.

Best Park
Deming Park
Pittsfield
Named after one of the original families of settlers in the region, Deming Park, located conveniently off Meadow Lane in Pittsfield, is a great place to get some fresh air. Utilized by the city for a variety of youth sporting events, including Pittsfield Babe Ruth, the premiere youth baseball league in the area, the park is often bustling during warm spring and summer evenings. Drop the kids off for the free supervised playground program from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the work week!

Best Hotel
Marriot Fairfield Inn & Suites
Great Barrington
This is the only Marriot hotel in Berkshire County, so the Fairfield Inn & Suites is maintained to impress. Offering free high-speed Internet and complimentary breakfasts, as well as access to an indoor heated pool, hot tub, and fitness center, this hotel is simply sensational. Situated 500 feet back from Route 7, you’re sure to have a quiet, comfortable stay at the Fairfield Inn & Suites.

Best AM Radio Personality
Jesse Stewart, WSBS
Great Barrington
Jesse Stewart’s “Let’s Talk” deals with the most prevalent issues facing the tri-state Berkshire region by inviting state representatives, town managers, and other important officials on the program as guests. A self-proclaimed “Berkshire tradition,” the show covers various topics, including health care, politics, state and town government, home repair, auto maintenance, and computers, among others. Stewart’s personality is just the icing on the cake.

Best Ski Resort
Ski Butternut
Great Barrington
Yet again the Great Barrington slope takes home the readers pick. Butternut provides 110 acres of skiing, spread across 22 trails. All ski trails are covered with snowmaking. A family oriented ski area that is ideal for those just learning to ski or learning to snowboard.

Best Stylists
Shear Design
Lenox
Shear Design’s stylists have a loyal following of clients who look forward to their appointments with the talented staff who give great cuts and are also great company.

Best Internet Services
Verizon
Countywide
With stores in Great Barrington, Pittsfield, and North Adams, Verizon provides high-speed FiOS Internet to a number of homes in the region. With quantum Internet plans starting at 50/50 Mbps and going all the way up to 500/500 Mbps, even the most rabid of Netflix streamers should be satisfied. All plans include Speedmatch, where upload speeds are guaranteed to match download speeds, putting them ahead of other cable and Internet providers.

Best Personal Trainers
Cranwell Resort
Lenox
Cranwell Resort’s fitness and recreation facilities offer swimming, skiing, golf, and many other activities for those who enjoy staying active. They also have a variety of great, certified personal trainers to assist guests with personal fitness goals. Reasonably priced for 30 minute, 50 minute, and 80-minute sessions, these trainers will motivate, support, and challenge you on your journey.

Best Yoga Studio
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health
Stockbridge
The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health has served the Berkshires for more than 30 years, drawing celebrities and vacationers from all over the world to its pristine, holistic living facilities. Yoga classes, including yoga summer camp, hiking and yoga, kayaking and yoga, beginners yoga, and the science of yoga, offer a comprehensive exploration of the exercise as an artful physical, mental, and spiritual practice.

Best Dressed Politician
Henry “Hank” Sayers, Jr.
Lanesborough
Elected as an interim Selectman in 2013 and voted onto the board full-time a year later, Henry “Hank” Sayers is the newest member of the Lanesborough Select Board. Seen always sporting a half-zip or button-up shirt with his signature jeans, Sayers makes even the most casual event feel important. His term as Selectman expires in 2017.

Best Roadside Assistance
Sayer’s Auto Wrecking
Pittsfield
Sayer’s Auto Wrecking earns high marks for reliable 24-hour AAA- approved roadside assistance and towing whether you need help in the middle of rush hour or the middle of the night.

Best Place to Get a Tan

Sun Capsule Tanning
Pittsfield
When you want to get your tan on you have to go to Sun Capsule. With 14 Units including a WHR Booth, Avantgarde Bed and KBL Bed you’ll get the look that you need in time for swimsuit season. And No need for an apointment, Berkshire’s Largest Tanning Salon happily welcomes walk ins. And for those who keep coming back, get a $25 customer loyalty discount bracelet.

Best Electrical Appliances
Henry’s Electric
Lee
Family owned and operated since 1946, Henry’s Electric is the authorized dealer of over 40 brands, which allows them to offer something for every budget. Their staff with people who have the breadth of knowledge of their selection to get you the tools you need. They also service what they sell, and have a full service department that consists of factory-trained technicians who are able to repair and maintain all the quality appliances they sell for many years.

Best Golf Course
Egremont Country Club
Egremont
The Egremont Country Club, located in the beautiful Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts, features a challenging 18-hole public golf course, fully stocked pro shop, and driving range. Public tee times are available up to seven days in advance. The well maintained course is surrounded by rolling hills, beautiful views and winding streams.

Best Tennis Courts
Wyantenuck Country Club
Great Barrington
What began at Wyantenuck Country Club at Brookside in 1903 with two tennis courts has developed into their five current courts over the years. Wyantenuck converted three tennis courts into clay courts in 1926, yielding a beautiful red playing surface for members to enjoy. They club holds a variety of daily activities and tournaments and there’s still plenty of room to practice! A wonderful sporting spot, this place is a real ace if you love tennis.

Best Auto Repair Service
Williams & Kinglsey
Auto Repair
Pittsfield
Consistently earns high marks for friendly, knowledgeable mechanics and fair prices from customers.

Best Mechanics
West Automotive
Dalton
West Automotive is a full-service auto repair and maintenance shop with longtime customers for 20 years or more, thanks to skilled mechanics with a well-deserved reputation for honesty, quality and reliability. They’ll tell you exactly what’s wrong and fix it rapidly.

Best One-Stop Service Station
Gulotta’s Mobil Service
Sheffield
This local, family-owned station has reasonable gas prices, its own garage and mechanics, and a convenience store with all of the necessities: coffee, soda, snacks, newspapers and more.

Best Way to Start a Summer Weekend

Sheffield Farmers Market
Open every Friday afternoon from 3 – 6 p.m. at the Old Parish Church from June 5 – Oct. 9, the Sheffield Farmers Market is your one-stop shop for fabulous local, farm-fresh food, including meat, eggs, vegetables, seasonal specialties, cut flowers and more.
Best Plumbing, Heating, Electrical and AC supplier

S&A Supply

Great Barrington
S & A Supply is a plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical wholesaling institution. Whether you’re a professional or just a do-it-yourselfer, they have the best selection in New England. Since 1972, they have been a trusted name in both residential and commercial applications. Operating out of two branches, one in Pittsfield at 1311 East Street and the other in Great Barrington located at 20 and 40 Maple Ave., they deliver the experience and know how their clients have grown to trust. They also offer a multitude of building and remodeling products including plumbing, heating, air conditioning, water systems, water treatment, electrical, and underground products. While the company has grown considerably over the years, S & A Supply makes sure that their customers get the small family-owned attention they want while providing 100% customer satisfaction they need. Visit them today for all your plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical supplies.

Best Job Recruiters
United Personnel Services
Pittsfield
Finding a new job in Western Mass. is not easy. Luckily, there’s’ United Personnel Services located 76 North St. in downtown Pittsfield. Each day, United Personnel connects more than 700 people with great jobs throughout Western Massachusetts, and beyond. From temporary and contract work to direct hire placement, they provide clients with staffing solutions in a variety of industries and fields, including: administrative, professional, accounting, light industrial, manufacturing, medical office and hospitality. For more than 30 years, United Personnel has developed a deep knowledge of the local employment market. Their close partnerships with some of the area’s largest employers, as well as smaller local businesses, result in great matches for employers and candidates alike. Your next great job is one phone call away – 413-449-5050.

Best Hair Salon
Hair Unlimited
Pittsfield
With 35 years of experience Hair Unlimited Hair Salon offers the best style, for each individual. Recently relocated from Lee, they look forward to greeting their long-time following or someone for their first visit, offering the best style, for each individual.


SHOPPING: Editors' Choice (Return to The Best top)
Best Place To Buy An Instrument (South County)
The Music Store
Great Barrington
Serving Great Barrington for 15 years, the family owned and operated Music Store offers gifts and instruments for music lovers of all ages. Fretted, orchestral and wind, percussion, and even children’s instruments. Stings, picks, and other instrument accessories are also readily available, as well as repairs for most woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments. Stop in for friendly, personable service.

Best Place To Buy An Instrument (North County)

Wood Bros. Music
Pittsfield
Stretching as far back as 1880, Wood Bros. Music has supplied Berkshire County with musical instruments and accessories for upwards of a century. Today, they continue to operate with the same great reputation, selling new and used guitars, drum kits, and pianos, among other instruments. They also offer a wide variety of fine rental gear and equipment, as well as offer lessons from reputable instructors.

Best Toy Store
Tom’s Toys
Great Barrington
Tom’s Toys has been providing children of the Berkshires with joy for almost 20 years by encouraging kids to explore the creative, fun, and scientific sides of their imagination. They stock almost 20,000 different kinds of toys, games, dolls, puzzles, arts, and crafts to choose from and customers can even shop online. Check their Facebook for contents and chances to win store credit!

Best Gourmet Food & Wine Store
Locke, Stock and Barrel
Great Barrington
The readers have spoken again, for the second year in a row, Locke Stock and Barrel is the best spot for the widest and best selection of gourmet grocery options, whether it’s natural foods, wine, regional and local foods. With a slew of foodstuff selections that are as delicious as they are unique, it’s hard to even get out of the parking lot before diving into your shopping bag and trying out what you’ve bought. Of particular note is their cheese selection, largely considered the best in Western Mass. They also make customized gift baskets so you can share their bounty with others.

Best Auto Equipment
Anthony’s Auto Electronics
Pittsfield
After this long, cold winter let them install a remote car starter into your vehicle with a 1000ft of range and two remotes and a lifetime warranty, and never wet into a freezing car again with prices starting at $179.99 installed.

Best Jewelry Design

Atef Jewelers
North Adams
Featuring the work of Syrian-born Master Jewelry Craftsman Atef Bolos, the store offers brand-name pieces alongside Atef’s custom creations. Designing custom pieces is something Atef has been doing for years, so stop in to see your ideas become authentic pieces that can be yours to cherish.

Best Local Pet Store
Chez Pet
Lenox
They offer the highest quality foods and treats, beds, leashes and collars, training and grooming supplies, toys, and a wealth of information. Their mission at Chez Pet is to provide for all your pet’s needs with quality, health and safety in mind.

Best Extracts and Flavors
Charles H. Baldwin
& Sons
Stockbridge
For more than 125 years Charles H. Baldwin & Sons have been the best at what they do. There is a reason you’ll find them in The Best year after year. Their signature Vanilla Extract hand crafted from Bourbon Madagascar vanilla beans is beloved for its sweet intense flavor, but their store also boasts dozens of delicious extracts and flavors, from coffee extract to banana flavor. They also house specialty items like pure maple syrup, vanilla cinnamon sugar, Mr. Baldwin’s “Proper” Bloody Mary Mix, and back by popular demand their Baldwin’s Worcestershire Sauce. Present owner Earl Baldwin Moffatt is the great-great grandson of the founder and has continued the businesses great tradition and success.

Best Place to Find Alex and Ani
Karen Keenan Gifts and Home
Lee
You can find a gift here for anyone on your list, whether it be a Birthday, New Home, Anniversary, baby or wedding and recipients are excited to receive one of our beautifully wrapped items. But most importantly for any guy that has desperately searched for to the hot bracelet gift item he can rest assured they have what he needs there.

Best Bike Store - South & Central
Berkshire Bike and Board
Great Barrington and Pittsfield
One of the best things about the Berkshires is its beautiful outdoors and the abundance of outdoor recreations. Berkshire Bike and Board is the best place to go to get everything you’ll need before you hit the slopes or the trails. From snowboards to mountain bikes, the professionals their will help set you up the highest quality equipment to tackle any adventure. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff will be able to get the right equipment and answer any question for both beginners and experts offer. They also offer repairs and rentals, and recreational outings with the Berkshire Cycling Association.

Best Hardware Store
Carr Hardware
Great Barrington, Lee, Pittsfield, North Adams
In an age when so many small town hardware stores have disappeared the Berkshires have lucked out to be home to Carr Hardware. With four locations across the county Carr offers everything you need to tackle any project in your home. Electrical, plumbing, painting, kitchen and home what ever the supplies, whatever the tool Carr will have you covered. They also offer rental equipment for lawn and gardening and tent and concession rentals for weddings and events. Their friendly and professional staff is always ready with an answer and the highest quality service. They are members of the American Rental Association and offer TrueValue rewards.

Best Jeweler
Zabian’s Jewelers
Lee
The best place to go when you want a precious for your loved ones or you is Zabian’s. A part of Berkshires for thirty years, the family owned and operated store offers the finest in jewelry and watches. At Zabian’s you’ll find beautiful engagement rings, wedding band, charms, pearls and colored stones, and special collections from Ed Levin. Owner Mohamed Zabian is a seasoned gemologist, with expertise in diamonds and gems, and a specialty in custom design.

Best Hunting Supplies
Dave’s Sporting Goods
Pittsfield
Dave’s Sporting Goods has been serving the needs of the outdoor enthusiast since 1965. From a new compass to used guns all of your hunting needs can be met in one stop at Dave’s.

Best Paint Store
Lee hardware
Lee
Lee hardware has been helping the Berkshires paint and maintain their homes since the 1950s. Their Benjamin Moore Signature Store paint section offers hundreds of colors available in samples, as well as the necessary equipment from the top brands. If their longevity weren’t enough of a sign of why they are the best, just ask around. Lee Hardware has both the inventory and staff that has earned it the reputation as one of the top hardware stores with the know-how to bring your paint project ideas to life.

Best Cosmetics Store
Iredale Mineral Cosmetics
Great Barrington
When Jane Iredale first introduced her mineral makeup line in 1994, she pioneered the idea that makeup could also have skin care benefits. Fast forward to today and she is the name in the region for cosmetic are. With products for eye, body, lips, cheeks and more there are a multitude of the highest quality products to make you look your best with numerous benefits for your skin. Her products are world renowned and for good reason, not only was she the first but the best at cosmetic skin care products.

Best Place to Buy a Motorcycle (North County)
Ronnie’s Cycle sales & Service
Adams
With a reputation for fair prices and excellent customer service, Ronnie’s has been the place for motorcycles for more than 50 years. With five locations and an online store packed with parts and accessories, Ronnie’s has everything you need to turn your dream cycle into a reality. With selections from the top manufacturers including Harley Davidson and Honda, they have the best selection both new and preowned to get the bike that is right for you. Ronnie’s also houses ATVs, trikes, scooters, cargo trailers, watercraft, power equipment and even light sport aircraft. Their staff is ready to answer any and all questions and their services department is home to the best mechanics around to work on your vehicle.

Best Tractor Supply Store
Pittsfield Lawn and Tractor
Pittsfield
The store has grown from a specialty shop to one of Western Massachusetts’ largest and most trusted power equipment and snowmobile dealersThey also have a complete line of rental equipment. From hand-held hammer drills right up to 80,000LB excavators, PLT has the equipment you need.

Best Gold and Silver Dealers
Pittsfield Precious Metals
Pittsfield
Pittsfield Precious Metals is the place to go to sell gold silver and platinum for the absolute best price around in any shape condition or form. They offer same day cash for all unwanted gold, silver and platinum from pins and chains and rings to charms earrings and dental gold they are interested. They also pay for diamonds, antique jewelry, coins, watches, antiques, oil painting as well as full service estate buying. With the same location and owners for more than 30 years, you can expect the best service and experience from Pittsfield Precious Metals.

Best Ford Dealership
Marchese Ford
New Lebanon, N.Y.
Getting a great deal on a new or used Ford is as easy as visiting Marchese Ford on Rte. 22 in New Lebanon, NY. Marchese Ford offers both new and pre-owned Ford cars, crossovers, SUVs, trucks and commercial trucks at the best prices and always has a great selection on their big lot. It’s no wonder why so many happy Ford car and truck owners in the Berkshires have bought and continue to buy their Fords from Marchese. Stop by Marchese today if you’re in the market for a Ford and you won’t be disappointed.

Best Deck and Patio Furniture
Barrington Outfitters
Great Barrington
This store is often known for its great selection of outdoor wear, but in the back there is another gem. The store is also home to the best collection of outdoor furniture in the county. From Telescope to Kingsley-Bate they carry all the major lines and the latest styles. All wood, cushioned or even metal they have all types of chairs, tables and lounges.

Best Bicycle Selection
Ordinary Cycles
Pittsfield
Whether you’re looking for a Recreational bicycle, Racing bike, or a Mountain Bike you have come to the right place. Ordinary Cycles carries Road Bikes, Mountain Bikes, Cyclocross Bikes, Touring Bikes, BMX Bikes, Sport Comfort, and Children’s Bikes.

Best Custom Clothing Outfitter
Peace Train Tees
Pittsfield
Peace Train Tees has burst onto the scene to bring your clothing ideas to life with their high quality clothing design operation located in the Berkshire Mall. Since 2010, has specialized in creating everything from custom shirts and sweatshirts to bags and mugs with heat applied vinyl that wont fade over time or through washing. From 1 to 1,000, no order is too big for the team at Peace Train. They also offer a variety of tie dye items, custom vinyl lettering for vehicles and are the largest stock of Berkshire items in the county.

Best Contemporary Fashion
Casablanca
Lenox
Casablanca is the source in the Berkshires for contemporary fashion and accessories for men and women. They offer a ton of great lines and if you find the perfect outfit and need shoes to match their sister store, Shooze, is right down the street and the team there is just as eager to help you out.

Best Customer Service
RJ Stohr
Pittsfield
If you need jewelry but you have no idea what to get that special someone the team at RJ Stohr will help answer all of your burning questions. These guys stock all kinds of great items and have more knowledge than you can imagine.

Best Jeweler in Great Barrington
Lennox Jewelers
Great Barrington
Lennox Jewelers has settled well into their new location. Great Barrington’s only full-service jewelry store they offer an incredible selection of diamonds, diamond jewelry colored gemstone jewelry, gold and silver jewelry, and famous name brand watches will make sure you look your best accentuating any wardrobe. They offer on site ring sizing, diamond setting, jewelry repair watch batteries and bands and watch repairs. Or bring in a piece for a custom engraving that will turn any gift into a cherished keepsake.

Best South County Convenience Store

PJ’s Country Convenience Store
Sheffield
The deli and friendly staff elevate this small town convenience store, which offers great coffee and breakfast sandwiches in the morning, as well as other food throughout the day. Benches outside offer a place to relax in the warm weather, and its Main Street location makes it extra convenient for local residents to drop by for gas or supplies.

Best Organics Market
Berkshire Organics
Pittsfield
This family owned business strives to bring area residents and farms together by offering the freshest local and organic produce, meat, dairy, breads, and baked goods to customers. Berkshire Organics goes above and beyond by delivering fresh fruit and produce baskets to Berkshire homes and business on a weekly basis, allowing all of their supporters to live green and eat fresh.

Best Kitchen Supplier
The Chef’s Shop
Great Barrington
This kitchen store has been around, in one way or another, for more than 20 years. What began as Berkshire Cottage in Lenox has grown into one of the premier chef supply shops in the area. With numerous cooking classes, live demonstrations, and tasting experiences held in-store, the Chef’s Shop is the best place to grow your kitchen. They also offer free warranty extensions and a low price guarantee.

Best Pre-Owned Auto Dealer
Doc’s Auto Sales
Pittsfield
Doc’s Auto Sales promises the highest quality, lowest mileage, and best-priced vehicles in the area with rates starting as low as 2.49-percent. They have an extensive selection of 4x4 and AWD vehicles for almost any budget and stand behind their product with a comprehensive warranty. Browse used Ford, Nissan, Hyundai, Toyota, Jeep, and Mitsubishi vehicles, among others, online now.

Best South County Package Store
Domaney’s Liquors and Fine Wines
Great Barrington
Housed in the oldest commercial building on Main Street in Great Barrington, Domaney’s Liquors began in 1973 and has continually strived to offer the best products for the best prices. Their seemingly endless selection of beer, wine, and liquor won’t help an indecisive customer, but their selection of sale items certainly might. Domaney’s also holds regular tastings so stop by soon to sample the goods.

Best Place to Buy a Hearing Aid
Advanced Hearing Aids
Pittsfield
Hearing impaired? Concerned with your hearing? Head to the Advanced Hearing Aides for comprehensive testing and service. Their staff of certified hearing aid specialist, will test customers on the spot and recommend a variety of hearing aid options for immediate pick-up. Advanced Hearing Aides provides affordable relief to the hearing impaired of Berkshire County.

Best Wallpaper Supplier
Berkshire Fabric and Wallpaper
Pittsfield
When you want to bring your walls to life, no one beats Berkshire Fabric and Wallpaper. The largest in-stock wallpaper store in Massachusetts, BFW is the place to go to spruce up your home. Offering more than a dozen brands such as York, Waverly, and Thibaut you’re sure to find the right fit for you room. They are also one of the Berkshire’s premier fabric suppliers with more than 500 home decor fabrics in-stock. The Berkshire Fabric and Wallpaper also offers custom sewing, custom pillows, upholstery, window treatments and shades and blinds services.

Best Meats
Harry’s Supermarket
Pittsfield
As a locally owned, 3rd generation, hometown supermarket for over 97 years, Harry’s Supermarket is definitely the place to buy your meat in Berkshire County. Voted Best Meats for the last 16 years, Harry’s Supermarket, located at 290 Wahconah St. in Pittsfield provides the area’s best and freshest meats - without exception. At Harry’s, you’ll not only find a wide variety of meats, but also fresh produce and just about anything you can get at the large chain supermarkets. And as the area’s premier IGA supermarket, they have built a great reputation with their loyal customers which is why the Nichols family has been able to serve their community for almost a century. Stop by today and see them for the best meats and all your grocery needs.

Best Antiques
Emporium Antiques
Great Barrington
The place to find treasures from another era. Specializing in art glass and fine jewelry, they offer an ample selection of quality furniture and art work such as paintings, lithographs, and prints. They also have a range of costume jewelry, silver items, pottery, China, stemware, books, and stacks and a great selection of used vinyl. Their staff is some of the friendliest around and is knowledgeable and ready to accommodate you and your shopping needs. Their space also serves as an art gallery, the EMP, that showcases many of the talented artists living in the Berkshires and routinely hosts artists receptions to celebrate their works and offer a space to display them.

Best Place to Buy a Work of Art
Charles Flint Fine Art & Antiques
Lenox
From stunning paintings to fine antiques, Charles Flint has served the Berkshires since 1965 turning homes into museums. Their collection includes works from more than 40 artists from 18th century fine art pieces to modern works to folk art. They also house a large collection of antiques from glass and bottles to Native American objects they host an eclectic mix of past treasures. Charles Flint also offers appraisal services, broker art sales and purchasing art and antiques for their own gallery.

Best Bookstore
The Bookloft
Great Barrington
Need a book and can’t wait for Amazon to ship your paperback in 14 days? Go to the Bookloft. Yes, it’s in a strip mall and within sniffing distance of the famous Golden Arches, but it’s a really good book store. They have the obligatory tables of cheap books outside, and they even have poetry readings indoors. And while the used book section can be a little thin, they do have a lot of local authors. Go support your neighbors and buy their books at an independent bookstore. The overwhelming feeling of satisfaction is on the house.

Best Outdoor Power Equipment
Pittsfield Lawn & Tractor
Pittsfield
There is no question why they are one of Western Massachusetts’ largest and most trusted power equipment and snowmobile dealers. No matter what you need they have it, their large in-stock inventory includes equipment manufactured by John Deere, Bobcat, Yanmar, Ski-Doo, Can-Am, Arctic Cat, Kawasaki Utility Vehicles, STIHL, Husqvarna, Woods Equipment, Honda Power Equipment and several other well known manufacturers.

Best Nursery
Ward’s
Great Barrington
How about a gardening store that is home to over 1,400 perennial selections? That is a winner for sure. Ward’s has been a fixture in Great Barrington since 1957 for great plants and even better service. Ward’s even has a 10,000-sq. ft. retail greenhouse that allows shoppers to peruse the aisles rain or shine.

Best Town for Tag Sales
Town of Sheffield
Sheffield
For those looking for a fun afternoon out in the open air, or people hoping to furnish their apartment on the cheap side, tag sales are a wonderful thing. And the town, by far, for pawing through the relics of complete strangers is Sheffield. The plethora of antique stores hint at attics bursting with forgotten and unwanted things, and the beneficiary is you –armed with $20 in cash and barely solvent. Go down Route 7 and get your three-legged coffee table.

Best Merchandiser
Rock Business Solutions
Pittsfield
At Rock Business Solutions, they provide 100% customer service and satisfaction for both small, medium and large retail businesses. They provide everything from computer based Point of Sale to credit card equipment and processing. Rock Business Solutions, located at 346 North Street in Pittsfield, are licensed and trusted dealers of Digital Dining and Keystroke POS and offer Handheld POS terminals that will increase table turn and customer satisfaction. It’s no wonder why 300+ businesses have already turned to Rock Business Solutions. They also offer the most competitive credit card rates around. Rock Business Solutions also specializes in surveillance cameras and digital video recorders, credit cards/gift cards, and many other products and services.

Best Stock to Buy Classic Vinyl Records

Berkshire Record Outlet
Lee
Not to be confused with our own Berkshire Record (which happens more often than you’d think) this outlet has a tremendous stockpile of old records from some of the greatest composers, performers and musicians of all time. The Berkshire Record Outlet sells mainly closeouts and overruns of Classical music labels at bargain prices. Their inventory includes many opera, film scores, original cast recordings, Jazz, Blues, and world music. Whatever you’re looking for, on whatever format, your first and best shot and finiding it will be with them.

Best Spot to Buy New Vinyl Records
Toonervill Trolley Records
Williamstown
While the vinyl renaissance has taken hold over the last decade, Toonerville has been way ahead of the curve selling new and used records since the 1970s. You can find glorious 180 Gram offerings from today’s best artists and reissues of the all time classic albums from classic rock to hip hop. The guys at Toonerville are always happy to help you search for what you need and can even help going about ordering records they don’t have in stock so you can be spinning your favorite songs in no time. They also have a great collection of new used CDs at incredible prices.

Best Home Goods Store
One Mercantile
Great Barrington
If you are looking for fun, quirky and rustic home goods, One Mercantile is the place to go. With a stockpile of small production, fair trade and reproduced vintage home goods they have something for every nook and cranny of your home. From elegant and hand made cutting boards, to small and large terrariums, to specialty cookware to glasses made from craft beer bottles, you’re sure to find something great that will be the envy of your friends. Their beautiful Castle Street location showcases their love of vintage New England architecture, you may find yourself marveling at both the products and the store during you visit.

Best Town Swap Shack
Town of Monterey
Monterey
Tag sales too expensive for your taste or budget? Hit up Monterey’s swap shack. Now, you need to have the town transfer sticker, but for the grand price of $50, you can dump your trash and pick up someone else’s unwanted material goods every week, without having to dig through the dumpster. The swap shack is a veritable goldmine for books, once you get past the horrors of the 1970’s paperbacks. And who knows, you might also pick up a muffin pan while you’re at it. And, yes, it’s all free.

Best Place to Buy an ATV
North’s Services
Lenox
When you are in the market for an all terrain vehicle North’s has you covered. Since 1964 they have been serving the needs of ATV and Motorcycle riders with the excellent service and a reputation for being the best. As the local, authorized dealer for Honda and Suzuki Motorcycles and ATV’s, North’s Services is proud of its ever growing list of satisfied customers in the Northern Berkshire, Southern Berkshire and Central Berkshire areas.

Best Place to Buy a Used Car
Dalton Auto Express
Dalton
When you are looking for a quality used car, turn to the professionals at Dalton Auto Express. The A+ Better Business Bureau business does everything right. They will clean the vehicles to like-new condition, give a full warranty, and give the best service to get you the best wheels.

Best Print Shop
Berkshire Print Shop
Pittsfield
Your local printing and copying center, Berkshire Print Shop is the place to handle your needs. From business cards to faxes, Greta and Galynn at the Print Shop are there to help you with whatever you need. They give it their all to be the best, because they believe they have the best customer.

Best Wine and Spirits Store
Liquors Inc.
Pittsfield
With a selection that boasts wine and spirits from more than two dozen countries, you are sure to get the right bottle when you go to Liquors, Inc. From Chardonnay to Tequila, Whiskey to mead their selection is filled with some of the best offerings from vineyards and distilleries from around the world. They also boast a massive selection of beer both domestic and import and are well stocked in both local and national craft beers. To top it all off, they offer monthly specials to go along with their almost unbeatable prices, so you’ll get to enjoy top notch alcohol that wont break that bank.

Best Olive Oil and Vinegar Seller
The Chef’s Shop
Great Barrington
The Chef’s Shop, already the spot to go for your kitchen supplies, has outdone itself with the addition of vinegars and oils from Oliva! out of Albany, N.Y. Their Olive oils come from around the world, which they rotate in by season for the best oils that can be found from both hemispheres, including Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Australia, Tunisia, Chile, and California. They also offer balsamic vinegars, both white and dark, that are produced and imported from Modena, Italy, and aged using the Solera Method.

Best Jewelry and Watch Repair
Lennox Jewelers
Great Barrington
Lennox Jewelers is the place to turn for repairs to jewelry and watches. In their new location on Main Street in Great Barrington, this full service jeweler has on site services to repair any damaged piece. Their skilled staff will work with care and precision to bring your precious heirlooms in no time.

Best Place to Buy a Vacuum
Electrolux
Pittsfield
With the ice and snow beginning to melt away, it will soon be time to break out the mops and brooms and start your spring cleaning conquest. One of the most important tools in your arsenal will be a quality vacuum and your best bet is through Electrolux. These guys have everything you need to get the dirt and dust out. Vacuums in all shapes and sizes including canisters, lightweights and uprights including their Nimble and Precision lines. Electrolux also offers central vacuums built right into your home to make cleaning up a fast and painless process.

Best Consignment Shop

Re-wear Consignment Boutique
Lee
With vintage looks all the rage today you’ll get your fashion on at Re-Wear all while helping to recycling clothing and reduce waste. They carry brand-name quality clothing for women , juniors, and misses in sizes 0 – 18 and shoes in sizes 5 – 11. Re-Wear also offers a large selection of vintage, costume and fine jewelry that will have you looking great.

SHOPPING: Readers' Choice (Return to The Best top)
Best Shoes
Barrington Outfitters
Great Barrington
Discriminating shoe-shoppers from far and near have made Barrington Outfitters the sole destination for shoes and boots in the Berkshires. With an excellent selection of great products – including great deals and steals on their outside sale rack during the warmer months – as well as helpful and friendly staff, Barrington Outfitters is the perfect place to think on your feet.

Best Jeweler
Zabian’s Fine Jewelers
Lee
Since 1985, Zabian’s has prided itself on offering the absolute finest in jewelry and watches. Owner Mohamed Zabian is a seasoned gemologist, with expertise in diamonds and gems, and a specialty in custom design. As a highly respected jeweler in the Berkshires as well as throughout the nation, they provide their loyal customers with a memorable shopping experience.

Best Men’s Clothing
Steven valenti’s
Pittsfield
Guys, in the never ending battle of looking good, make Steve Valenti’s your fashion arsenal. This up-beat, contemporary men’s clothing store has been providing quality menswear since 1983. From suits and sport coats and sportswear to dress shoes and leather accessories whatever you need to dress for the occasion is at your fingertips from top brands. They also will help you suit up for prom season and special occasions with an amazing formal wear section and tuxedo rentals with staff ready to outfit you to make whatever the evening is, incredible.

Best Women’s Clothing Store

Louisa Ellis
Great Barrington
Louisa Ellis’s posh boutique of women’s fashion, with an impressive selection of clothing, jewelry and handbags, is the perfect place to keep your finger on the pulse of the Fall runway shows’ iconic looks, without the hassle of shopping in NYC. It has quickly built a solid reputation with a large, loyal fan base from far and near for its convenient and high quality offerings.

Best Paint Store
Lee Hardware
Lee
Lee Hardware is the place to start a project off right, and that goes double for anything that needs a coat of paint. Since the 1950s, Lee Hardware Store, Inc. has been serving commercial, industrial and residential customers, and has earned a solid reputation through friendly and knowledgeable staff, sound advice and the best service. In their Benjamin Moore Signature Store paint section, you’ll find myriad of colors available in samples, as well as the necessary equipment and know-how to bring your paint project ideas to life.

Best Toy Store

Tom’s Toys
Great Barrington
For more than a decade and a half Tom’s Toys has been the place to go for a great selection of quality toys for tots of all ages. Featuring an ever-growing collection of more than 20,000 toys ranging from games, dolls and puzzles to science, arts and crafts and infant/toddler toys, if you can’t find the toy you’re looking for at Tom’s, it probably doesn’t exist yet.

Best Bike Shop
Berkshire Bike and Board
Great Barrington
Berkshire Bike and Board is passionate about bikes, which means they’re eager to set each and every customer up with exactly what they’re looking for in a quality bicycle for the safest, most durable and most fun ride possible. With comfort and safety built into every bike, they stand behind their craft in every way possible: Test rides for any bike; a lifetime of free tune-ups with the purchase of a new bike; and every bike they sell is guaranteed to offer the highest quality, longest life and best resale value around. With their wide selection of quality accessories, it’s clear they are the place to go to get your wheels turning.

Best Ski Shop
Butternit Ski & Snowboard Shop
Great Barrington
Voted the number one ski shop in New England by the New England Winter Sports Reps Association, Butternut’s full service ski shop at their on-mountain location at the base of their iconic resort has earned the reputation as one of the highest quality ski and snowboard shops in the region.

Best Pet Supplies
Bensdotter’s Pets
Great Barrington
Offering a bit of the conventional, and a bit of the alternative, BensDotter’s Pets has a friendly local atmosphere with carefully selected products for pet dogs, cats and parrots. They have everything from toys and kibbled and canned foods to supplements and medicinal and even all natural chews and treats. Additionally, they offer the very best for those with pets on raw diets, including raw diet supplements and freeze-dried and dehydrated foods. Pet nutrition is the name of the game at BensDotter’s.

Best Liquor Store
Domaney’s Liquors
Great Barrington
Since 1973, Domaney’s has supplied the widest selection of best products at the best prices in the Berkshires for beer, wine and spirits. Their eye-popping inventory, from the highly affordable to the finest discriminating tastes – their ever-present specials are tough to beat – is complimented regularly by fun community events such as wine and beer tastings as well as showcases from breweries, vineyards and distilleries from near and far. Their selection of craft beers from local breweries is unmatched, showcasing some of the best ales, stouts and lagers from the area.

Best Luxury Auto Dealer
Flynn VW, Audi, BMW
Pittsfield
Once a Flynn customer, always a Flynn customer. Why? Because they enjoy meeting and exceeding the high expectations for a luxury auto dealer. Their commitment to excellence is rooted in treating each customer with paramount concern. Their organized and efficient dealership office is staffed by a friendly, knowledgeable staff who give individualized care to help you drive off with the vehicle you’re looking for with all questions answered and all concerns taken care of.

Best Foreign Auto Repair
Bob Denley’s Foreign Car and Park St. Tire
Lee
Specializing in foreign auto repair, Bob Denley’s combines excellent service and a friendly approach with a deep and constantly updated body of knowledge and experience in repairing and extending the life of your car. With special equipment to evaluate and efficiently test any problems your car may have, their staff is happy to answer customers’ questions, and can also advise the ideal products to use to extend the life of your automobile. Additionally, they’re also the only authorized stocking tire dealer in the tri-town area.

Best Family Clothes Shopping
Ben’s
Lee
Amidst the depersonalized, cookie-cutter big-box clothing stores, friendly, hometown customer service makes Ben’s stand out and stand tall. Serving the Berkshires for eight decades, they offer high-quality brands to suit everyone’s needs, from toddlers’, children’s, women’s and men’s, including men’s big and tall department, as well as a generous footwear selection.

Best Pharmacy Flynn’s Pharmacy
Pittsfield
Flynn’s Pharmacy and Home Medical Equipment is a family-owned business that has been serving Berkshire County for more than 50 years. As Pittsfield’s only accredited independent pharmacy, Flynn’s provides a variety of pharmacy services, including prescription filling, direct insurance billing, free blood pressure checks, respiratory therapy, and medication counseling. They also offer respiratory care products and home delivery for those in need.

Best Auto Insurance
Viale Insurance Agency
Lee
As a third generation family company, Viale Insurance continues to follow the same mission they’ve followed for the better part of a century – to meet the insurance needs of Southern Berkshire County. Always available for a free review and evaluation of anyone’s present coverage, they’re committed to seeing their clients properly protected. Treating customers as more than just a number, they strive to offer personalized service to each individual who comes through the door, echoing their motto of “our customers, our neighbors, our friends.”

Best DIY Store
ed herrington, inc.
Hillsdale, N.Y.
As a fourth-generation family-owned and operated building supplies business, Ed Herrington, Inc. is the one stop destination for construction or restoration supplies and assistance. In addition to their special order millwork, they offer services such as in-house blueprint copying, digital paint color matching and professional power tool repair, as well as available rental equipment from power washers to floor sanders and much more. They even provide architectural assistance if needed, with blueprint specifications and job management.

Best Gifts
Out of Hand
Great Barrington
From the quirky to the sophisticated, the fashionable to the fun, Out of Hand’s impressively expansive inventory has a huge selection of everything from clothes, tapestries, furniture, fine glass and just about everything else if you’re looking for a unique gift for anyone on your list, or an item to spruce up the décor of any interior.

Best Kitchen Supply Store
Chef’s Shop
Great Barrington
In the heart of Great Barrington, this is the place to go to stock your kitchen with the tools of the trade. The Chef’s Shop offers a comprehensive assortment of kitchen equipment including gadgets, appliances, cookware and bake ware, cookbooks to get you cooking whether you have dreams of becoming a five-star chef or looking to cook for your family. If you’re an aspiring chef hoping to establish the next big restaurant in the Berkshires, step one should be visit the Chef’s Shop. They also offer special programs and workshops as well as a friendly and knowledgeable staff that can point you toward the cookware that best fits your needs.

Best Car Wash
Swell’s Car Wash
Litchfield, Conn.
After a long winter and mud season, with salt and muck clinging to your car, you’ll need the best care you can get to make your vehicle look good as new. That’s where the pros at Swell’s step in. Serving the area for more than two decades Swell’s Car Wash will improve the look of your car with their state of the art, automatic car wash. Their staff of professionals give an extra bit of TLC to take care of your car with their top notch washing and drying equipment. Their 24-hour self serve bay allows you to get your car clean any day, any time and accept debit, credit and cash for your convenience as well as an outside self serve wash for larger vehicles.

Best Auto Detailer
Larkin LTD.
Great Barrington
Serving the tri-state area, no one beats the service, stock and affordability in detailing and sign services provided by Larkin. The one and only stop for any and all vehicle detailing needs. With 6 different detailing package options and pickup and delivery service offered, they can handle any vehicle – from small cars and motorcycles to RVs and boats In addition to their normal detail offerings, they also perform excessive pet hair and odor removal, window tinting, headlight restoration and more. Servicing all varieties of vehicles from small businesses to local law enforcement, no job is too big or too detailed for their dedicated and careful approach.

Best Camera Shop
The Snap Shop
Great Barrington
A picture is worth a thousand words, and one done with the help of The Snap Shop is easily worth a million bucks. Since 1972, The Snap Shop has been the region’s one-stop destination for everything photography. Their customer service is nearly as unmatched as their wide array of available services, with a staff that is happy to talk about cameras, pictures or even photo projects. The offer camera repair and film developing, along with old photo copying and retouching/restoration, slide scanning, printing from black and white negatives, darkroom chemicals, and basically anything else someone with a camera could possibly need.

Best Children’s Consignment Shop
Kidding Around
Pittsfield
A new consignment shop in downtown Pittsfield, Kidding Around offers top quality used items for babies and children as part of their stock. Carseats, stuffed animals and playsets, toys and games, and an eclectic mix of clothing for all different ages all with prices that are incredibly affordable. Their staff and management care about their customers well beyond the purchase in an atmosphere that is loving and supportive of families new and old. As new kids on the block, they have already made a great impact in their community.

Best Most Unique Mother of the.....Dresses
Purple Plume
Lenox
From Mother of the Bride or Mother of the Groom. They have interesting, arty, and unusual dresses for the women who want to look special, a cut above! Their dresses come in silk, and other delicate fabrices, some textured, others embellished for that one of a kind look. They also have a huge collection of print silk jackets to go over simple long silk dresses for that arty look.

Best Awning Manufacturer
Cheyne Awning Company
Berkshire County’s most experienced manufacturer of custom awnings, canopies, retractables and other exterior shading solutions, they have been serving the county since 1926. Owner Tim Harrigan leads a team that does it all. From knowledgable sales professionals to graphic design for your businesses logo to the manufacturing and installation of their high quality products, you can count on getting the best service whether its for a residential or commercial use. They offer annual maintenance services and repairs, project management and internal lighting. They also signage services for all types of signs to get your business looking sharp.

Best Place to Learn to Ride a Horse
Bellwether Stables
Hancock
Whether you’re an equestrian or just want to learn how to ride the best place to go is Bellwether Stables. Bellwether Stables has developed riders and horses to their highest potential in a friendly and professional environment with a team of patient and experienced teachers. They offer private and group riding lessons along with instruction for all ages and riding levels with professional licensed intructors. Their facilities are top quality with an all-weather riding campus in their large indoor arena as well as a beautiful new outdoor arena to see the beautiful Berkshires on horseback.

Best Place To Buy Fresh Bread
Berkshire Mountain Bakery
Housatonic
Having lived as a bread maker in Canada, France, the Netherlands, and a number of other regions in Northern Europe, owner Richard Bourdon’s Berkshire Mountain Bakery is nothing short of a professional establishment. After serving South County for almost 30 years, Bourdon opened a second location in Pittsfield to bring his sourdough bread, pizza crusts, and croissants, among others, to the people up north. It’s delicious!

Best Pet Supplies
BensDotter’s Pet
Great Barrington
When it comes to your pets, only the best will do. That’s why owners and animal lovers of the Berkshires have turned to BensDotter’s Pet for their furry friends needs. The raw diet specialists at BensDotter’s offers carefully selected kibbled and canned foods, along with supplies, supplements, medicinal and truly natural treats and chews along with the best selection of raw diets, raw diet supplements, and freeze-dried and dehydrated foods that are high quality and nutritious. The store also offers special programs for pet owners as well as Housdtooth non-anesthetic dental cleaning clinics for cats and dogs.

Best Place to Buy a Used Car

Anthony’s Automotive
Pittsfield
The most trusted pre-owned car and truck sellers in the Berkshires, Anthony’s is the place to go when you want a quality automobile at an affordable price. They offer everything from sedans to SUVs at some of the best prices in the area. Their sales associates will help you find the right vehicle from their carefully compiled selection, each meticulously inspected to ensure its quality. Their website also offers a comprehensive list of their lot including specials at hard to beat prices.

Best Bookstore

The Bookstore
Lenox
The Bookstore has existed in the Berkshires since 1976 and hosts a rotating schedule of live readings and events to stay resilient in the digital age. That, paired with the aptly named Get Lit win bar, located right next door, makes for an awesome local spot that owner Matt Tannenbaum calls a “community living room.” What’s better than a glass of wine and a good book?

Best Place to Buy Chainsaws, Grass trimmers and Leaf Blowers
West Farm Equipment
Sheffield
When you need to get yard work done, West Farm Equipment literally has the tools you need for the task. Whether it’s chain saws, grass trimmers, leaf blowers or any other piece of outdoor power equipment their stockpile of the top brands is at the head of the pack and their customer service and experienced staff know will put the right equipment in your hands.

Best Vacuum Cleaners

Kent's Vacuum Center
Great Barrington
Conveniently located at 267 Stockbridge Road, Kent’s offers appliance sales and services for vacuum cleaners. If you ever need repairs, give. Kent’s a call for efficient service providing the best service in south country.

Best Auto Body Repair
Carlson Auto Body
Lee
When the unthinkable happens and you want the most trusted people to repair your automobile and bring it back to life. That’s when you turn to the people at Carlson Auto Body. The professionalism and hard work at Carlson Auto Body is what allows them to get any auto body repair job done on time, as expected and for competitive affordable prices. Always friendly and courteous in their service to customers, they are the go-to specialists for any auto body repair needs.


DINING: Editors' Choice (Return to The Best top)
Best Diner Breakfast
Joanne’s Luncheonette
Pittsfield
Looking for a place to have a great “diner style” breakfast? This is the place! It’s not Friendly’s or any chain restaurant, and it won’t set you back a huge chunk of change either. When their grill is fired up with their great eggs, hash browns, and other breakfast staples along with a hot cup of coffee you’ll be ready to start the day.

Best Tapas

Mission
Pittsfield
Do you need something to eat and want to try a few new dishes? Mission has some of the best small plates around and is right in the heart of downtown Pittsfield. Jim Benson and Rachel Parzick have a great selection of wine to try and great food to sample. Get a big group and order 10- 15 things to get a taste of it all.

Best Steak and Eggs

Ozzies Steak and Eggs
Hinsdale
We mean really, what else can you say? With steak and eggs right in the name you better serve it up right and they surely do at Ozzies.

Best Breakfast
Martin’s
Great Barrington
For the most important meal of the day, Martin’s is the place to go for the best breakfast in the Berkshires. With staples like omelets, pancakes, French toast, eggs benedict and the always-important bottomless coffee along with weekly specials that are as creative as they are delicious, you’ll be hard pressed to find something you don’t love on their menu. If you’re not am morning person, don’t fret, Martin’s serves breakfast all day. Along with their also popular lunch options and Staax burgers at night, it’s easy to see why Martin’s has been a cornerstone in the Great Barrington community for so long.

Best North County Breakfast

Scully’s Kitchen
Lanesborough
Scully’s Kitchen offers a whopping selection of omelets, egg sandwiches, pancakes, and other breakfast staples for a near-unbeatable price — with unlimited coffee to boot! Located just off Route 7 in Lanesborough, this family owned and operated restaurant is the perfect place to stop for some small town diner food in Northern Berkshire County.

Best Omelets

Otto’s Breakfast and Deli
Lee
A county favorite with breakfast and lunch options that are certain to hit the spot, Otto’s menu is highlighted by their incredible specialty omelets. From “The Reuben,” with its delicious mix of sliced corned beef, sauerkraut Swiss cheese and Russian dressing; to the “South of the Border,” salsa, jalapenos’ sour cream and cheddar cheese; to crowd favorite “Ham and Chevre,” black forest ham, goat cheese and grilled apples, Otto’s offers a collection of creative and delicious twists to the breakfast staple all at prices that will leave you and your wallet full.

Best Frozen Yogurt
Froyo World
Great Barrington
In their short time on Main Street in Great Barrington, Froyo World has already established itself as the place to go for frozen yogurt in the Berkshires. With a delicious variety of flavors and ample toppings selection, Froyo World puts its customers in control to build their ideal treat. With a fun and friendly staff, Froyo World is the cherry on top to a perfect summer day in the Berkshires.

Best Sandwiches
Marty and Jims
Great Barrington
With affordable breakfast and lunch options Marty and Jim’s is sandwich heaven. Owners Jim Kenefick, a retired executive chef, and Marty (Martha) Brown have over 75 years combined culinary experience and offer their own turkey, roast beef, baked ham and corned beef cook on premises. Their menu and daily specials host sandwiches that are stuffed with generous portions and extras that round out the perfect Marty and Jim’s sandwich or sub. They also offer grab-and-go meals, hearty soups made from scratch and sandwich platters and fruit and cheese platters. And if you are planning an event, Marty and Jim’s hosts off-premise catering with a menu tailored with exactly what you like.

Best Restaurant
Cafe Adam
Great Barrington
Once again Cafe Adam takes home this major honor. Cafe Adam is consistent where it counts, quality. The best restaurant in a very stacked competition, Cafe Adam continues to be the spot for dinner, lunch or brunch. Their top notch chefs, bartenders, servers and staff come together to serve incredible new American cuisine with fresh, locally sourced ingredients from Monterey, Richmond and right in Great Barrington. If you are looking to dine out, Cafe Adam is the place.

Best Greek Restaurant
Aegean Breeze
Great Barrington
For an authentic Greek dining experience no one does it better than Aegean Breeze. Owner and Chef George Cami has prepared a menu filled with delicious entree that blend authentic Greek cuisine with American influences in a cozy atmosphere. Highlights include mouth-watering selections of fish, lamb and more from the Char-grill, traditional Greek entrees like Moussaka and Spanikopita, and stuffed seafood from the broiler. Their patio seating and rustic fireplace make this restaurant make their atmosphere cozy and comfortable no matter the season.

Best Italian Restaurant

Mario’s Tuscany Grill
Great Barrington
You don’t have to go all the way to Rome for delicious Italian cuisine. Mario’s Tuscany Grill offers the very best in Italian entrées with fresh and seasonal ingredients. From veal to chicken, pasta to salads, seafood to steaks the menu is filled with wonderfully crafted meals from their talented chefs all served within a warm and gracious atmosphere. Their outdoor patio also allows for a comfortable alfresco dining experience for those beautiful warm Berkshire days right in the heart of Great Barrington’s downtown. Their well-stocked bar with a drink menu offering the best in wine and spirits makes Mario’s the perfect spot both day and night.

Best Mediterranean Dining
Zucco’s Family Restaurant
Pittsfield
With its wide variety of Italian, Greek, and American food, Zucco’s Family Restaurant is certain to please even the most particular of customers. They offer a number of affordable specials too, like their occasional $4.99 “pasta day” and weekly prime rib dinner. Throw a party in their spacious private room or support the local community by attending one of their numerous benefit dinners.

Best Diner
Neighborhood Diner
Great Barrington
For a great meal in a friendly, cozy diner atmosphere, no one is better than the Neighborhood Diner. In a town filled with great eateries, the Neighborhood Diner shines. Generous portions and good times abound in the friendly locale at any time: from a quick early morning breakfast to a late night bite. Whatever you’re craving, their extensive menus is filled with comfort food, American fare and all day breakfast — their French toast, wraps and amazing burgers are a shoo-in for some of the town’s best dishes. Their wait staff is exactly what you’d expect at a Grade A diner: warm, courteous and quick service and good for a laugh between bites.

Best Bagel Shop
The Great Barrington Bagel Co. and Deli
Great Barrington
Having first opened in 1996, the Great Barrington Bagel Company has remained a South County staple for some time. With new ownership last year, this self-proclaimed bagel institution serves as a bagel eatery and delicatessen that offers bagels, sandwiches, salads, and other traditional fare. Their homemade soups are out of this world , made from scratch with daily specials that will hit the spot, especially during cold season. Check their website for some great rotating weekly specials.

Best Quick Lunch

On a Roll Café
Pittsfield
Salads, burgers and sandwiches that all make the perfect lunch in the middle of a busy work day fill the menu at On a Roll. Born and raised in Pittsfield, chef/owner David Barile opened On a Roll Cafe in 2003 and for 12 years it has been a must visit location. Their grade food and friendly and quick service make them a must come lunchtime.

Best All Natural Ingredients
Ayelada
Pittsfield
Crafting their fresh frozen yogurt day-in, day-out with ingredients straight from local farms, it’s easy to see why Ayelada is the best. Their delicious frozen yogurt with a variety of unique ever changing flavors are made with the highest quality ingredients that come together to make a nutritious meal or snack. Their fresh fruit and dried topping selection includes in season options from local farms and artisans that promote eating local and creating a sustainable environment for the area. To top it all off, Ayelada has partnered with 30 local farms and artisan producers to ensure quality ingredients and promote a stronger community.

Best Seafood Restaurant
Salmon Run Fish House
Lee
The area’s premiere seafood restaurant since 1999, Salmon Run Fish House is a seafood lovers dream. With fresh Maine lobster, Alaskan King crab legs, baked stuffed shrimp, the fried seafood platter and of course a piping hot bowl of clam chowder to go along with their dozens of other underwater delicacies to make your mouth water. Their menu also offers char-grilled steaks and chicken, creative pasta dishes, chilled salads and the area’s largest children’s menu that make this spot a great place to bring the whole family.

Best Doughnuts
Home Sweet Home Doughnut Shoppe
Great Barrington, Stockbridge
A pastry paradise, Home Sweet Home has the most delectable doughnuts all hand crafted with a variety of creative and fun flavors to please your sweet tooth. Just as sweet are the friendly folks behind the counter and hard at work crafting their doughnuts. From chocolate to glazed their selections are a winner, and their apple cider doughnuts will make you wish it was fall all year long.

Best CharBroiled Burger

The Lantern
Pittsfield
If you want a classic burger, with just the right amount of char, the Berkshire County classic is the place to go. Right in the heart of Pittsfield they are cooking up some of the best burgers you have ever had, not to mention the curly fries on the side really top the whole thing off and always leave you ready for another trip back to The Lantern.

Best Modern European Restaurant

Café Adam
Great Barrington
Café Adam serves some of the best modern European food in Berkshire County — and with sizeable portions too! With their extensive menu and wine list, featuring homemade pasta, fresh oysters, seasonal entrees, and starters, this restaurant is sure to please even the toughest area foodie. Café Adam even books private dinners and events that are popular during the summer months.

Best Bakery
Berkshire Mountain Bakery
Housatonic
Owned and operated by a man who loves to bake, Richard Bourdon opened the bakery in 1985 and hasn’t looked back since. Steeped in the tradition of European style baking, Berkshire Mountain Bakery offers artisanal sourdough breads using whole grain flour for an absolutely delicious experience packed with nutrients. They also offer “Take N’ Bake” pizzas with a variety of toppings for a treat when you want it.

Best Duck
Alta Restaurant
and Wine Bar
Lenox
There’s a reason this dish is one of the few mainstays on Alta’s ever-rotating seasonal menu – it’s always a knockout. Pan-seared to perfection and served in hearty proportions, it’s cooked just right at medium rare for that pink in the middle, melt in your mouth finish that’s so tender you won’t even need your knife to cut it. It’s topped off with a sinfully sweet and salty caramel sauce and served atop a velvety cloud of mashed potatoes and a bed of locally sourced veggies for a near-unbeatable culinary experience.Served on a creamy cloud of mashed potatoes, it’s flanked by locally-sourced mushrooms, tomatoes and broccoli, for an earthy crunch and some added color to the meal’s delightful presentation.

Best Oatmeal
Riverbend Café
Great Barrington
Oatmeal may seem like an odd choice for a standout dish, but the folks at Riverbend give hot cereal a shot in the arm with some amazingly flavorful homemade oatmeal selections. With 14 different toppings to mix and match, the piece de resistance is their house special flavor combo. Warm, hearty oatmeal is joined with juicy slices of peace and jumbo walnut chunks for a savor that’s both sweet and satisfyingly crunchy. Add on top a dollop of melted farm-fresh butter and a sinful cinnamon-brown sugar mix, and you’ve got one of the best breakfasts imaginable. Their huge selection of mix-ins gives it great replay value - you’ll never have the same flavor combo twice of oatmeal twice, and you’ll never call oatmeal boring again.

Best Butcher
The Meat Market
Great Barrington
Carnivores rejoice! The Meat Market is the destination for everything meat - not just an expert butcher shop offering the choicest highest variety of cuts around, but also a great spot for informal dining with some truly unique - and tasty - offerings. Since their menu is derived from entirely locally-sourced meats, their options are ever-changing, but it’s tough to miss here if you’re a meat fan. Stop by on Thursdays for their weekly dinner specials, expertly prepared by culinary mastermind chef Jamie Paxton.

Best Bang for Your Buck Dining
Joe’s Diner
Lee
Diners are always a shoo-in for cheap and easy dining, but Joe’s takes it to another level with unbeatable affordable prices and a laid back retro atmosphere of friendly hospitality that will always make for repeat customers after the first visit. It’s tough to find a restaurant nowadays that serves up French toast by individual triangles on the menu, but it’s just as tough to grab a hearty breakfast or lunch this good while barely breaking a ten-spot. Whether it’s a fantastic French toast breakfast, dynamite sausage and pepper grinder for lunch, a full turkey dinner or a killer hand-mixed strawberry banana milkshake any time, Joe’s is the place to go for breakfast all day, a quick lunch or a down home dinner that’s easy on the wallet and easier on the taste buds.

Best Package Store
Plaza Package
Great Barrington
This place is packed with the best selection in the county. There are so many craft beers in Plaza you will want to fall to your knees and weep. From stouts to IPAs they have you covered as well as a huge supply from local breeries. If beer isn’t your thing check out there shelves upon shelves of wine and liquor from some of the best distilleries and vineyards around. A friendly staff is on hand to guide you through Baccus’ secret stash.

Best Beer
Big Elm Brewery
Sheffield
A tough category to crown a winner, Big Elm once again has shone as the top beer in the Berkshires. With seasonal wonders like the Dead of Winter stout and OktoBock Lager and their ever popular Fat Boy IPA there was plenty to make you fall in love with brewery again. Their brewers are passionate and skilled in producing pint after pint of liquid satisfaction. Their fan favorite Gerry Dog Stout continues to be superb, as well as their Lion’s Ale and 413 Ale that celebrate the Berkshires with their quality beers.

Best Up and Coming Brewery
Glass Bottom Brewery
Lee
There is a lot to be excited about from the folks at Glass Bottom Brewery. Founded in 2012, friends Ezra Bloom and Evan Williams have consistently produced quality brews that have beer lovers in the Berkshires going crazy to get their hands on. Their interesting and creative flavors showcase their love of trying new ideas in the brewing world that are exciting and delicious. Must try beers include their TeaSB Extra Special Bitter and Trail Magic American Brown Ale and Dark Sails Stout, but we’re sure once you’ve had one you’ll be sure to try them all. We’re looking forward to checking back in with these guys next year.

Best Guacamole
Xicohtencatl
Great Barrington
The best Mexican cuisine thrives off the ability to combine simple yet fresh ingredients with spice and flair for an uncomplicated, full-flavored taste-bud experience – and Xicohtencatl’s guacamole especial is just that. Made to order with a traditional method in a stone molcajete, the standard order includes tomato, onion, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, lime and salt, but special requests are welcomed for those who want to known the flavor up even more. Zesty, smooth and always packed with flavor, their expertly prepared guacamole is unparalleled.

Best Grilled Cheese
Rubiner’s
Great Barrington
Grilled Cheese has been a lunchtime staple since we were kids. There nothing like that warm and gooey sandwich to really hit the spot. Rubiner’s grilled cheeses will give that homemade grilled cheese a run for its money, The shop offers a delicious, crispy treat packed with gourmet cheese (Rubiner’s are the “cheesemongers”) that will make you feel like a kid again. And be sure to drop in during their grilled cheese nights to really enjoy this dish.

Best Japanese Food
Shiro Sushi & Hibachi
Great Barrington, Pittsfield
The Berkshires are home to a wide variety of great restaurants from a wide array of international cuisines. And when Berkshire residents are looking for Japanese food, they turn to Shiro. A Japanese restaurant and hibachi, and the only to offer three styles of Japanese cooking, the people at Shiro believe that food should satisfy all senses and they do with a restaurant that excels in taste, atmosphere and service that keeps the area coming back for more. Their grill offers a multitude of dishes including steak, filet mignon, lobster, scallops, shrimp, salmon, chicken and vegetable dinners that are grilled right in front of you from a talented and fun hibachi chef. Sushi lovers will also rejoice with their menu packed with delicious specialty rolls and the freshest fish in the Berkshires.

Best Tacos
Baja Charlie’s
Lee
One of the better kept secrets for locals when it comes to Berkshires dining, Baja Charlies is beloved for their fantastic menu of Mexi-Cali style dishes with their tacos right at the top of the list. With fish and chicken tacos that are out of this world as well as unique creations and specials that will have you returning again and again to their menu. While tacos are their forte, they also serve an incredible chicken mole enchilada that has become one of their customers favorite dishes.

Best Gluten-Free Restaurant
Battista’s Italian Eatery
Pittsfield
Owned by local resident Marco Allessio, who suffers from celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine caused by a reaction to gluten protein in foods, more than 70-percent of Battista’s bread and pasta-heavy menu is or can be altered to be gluten-free. And under the direction of someone who understands the implications of disease, you can guarantee that it’s prepared correctly without cross contamination.

Best Food Challenge
Misty Moonlight Godzilla Omelet
Pittsfield
The king of the monster dishes cannot be topped. Once again we have to recognize this behemoth as the best food challenge in the Berkshires. If you are feeling frisky how about you take on their massive food challenge, the Godzilla. That bad boy is a 12 egg omelet and you have 30 minutes to get it all down, meaning it might end your day before it even gets started.

Best Crepes
Fuel Coffee Shop
Great Barrington
Fuel Coffee Shop is more than just coffee. Boasting a great breakfast and lunch sandwich menu, its not hard to find a favorite bite to eat at the cafe. But the hands down crowd pleaser there is their crepes. This dish is more than just a pancake, the talented kitchen staff make these crepes with a huge taste that this town can’t get enough of. Make sure you try the shop favorite Youklis, made with Spinach, Feta, Tomato, Kalamata Olives, Grilled Onion and Yogurt Dill Sauce.

Best Reason to Pig Out
Wing Fling
Pittsfield
Pittsfield’s popular Wing Fling celebrated their 23rd year last summer and will be even better in 2015. People can purchase tickets to enter the Wahconah Park outfield, which has been transformed into a chicken-wing-eater’s heaven. Sample wings from a wide array of local restaurants and keep track of your favorites to vote on at the end. Winners are announced for a variety of categories. Side benefits include a raffle, live music and the Wing Fling Fling, where you attempt to slingshot a rubber chicken into its hen house.

Best Brunch
The Prairie Whale
Great Barrington
Having been praised across the country, there is a lot to like about The Prairie Whale. With a great menu, and its laid back farm house appearance one of the coolest locations of all the Berkshire restaurants, they have cemented themselves as a must eat spot in the county. Make sure you make a trip to them during brunch. Brunching has become a great American pastime over the last decade, and lucky for Berkshire-ites, you can have an incredible late morning meal at the Prarie Whale. Whether its a dish from their specials or staples menu you are guaranteed a meal with the freshest, best quality ingredients. And when the weather is nice, you can enjoy the beauty of the Berkshires in their relaxing front yard space. Overall the best experience you could ask for while brunching.

Best Meal Deal
Taco Tuesday at Fiesta
Great Barrington
Fiesta Bar and Grill has great Mexican food dishes, and there is no better day to check them out than to take advantage of the taco Tuesday deals. With absurdly low pricing on chicken beef or pork taco dishes, you can have an incredible, satisfying meal for two bucks a taco. And this isn’t just a tiny dish, these tacos are packed with meat and veggies sure to fill you up. So mark your calendars and be sure to check them out.

Best New Bar
Methuselah
Pittsfield
Inspired by the aesthetics of some of Manhattan’s finest dining establishments, Methuselah succeeds at bringing big city chic to Berkshire County. The bar offers light food fare, craft beer, biodynamic wine, and specialty cocktails. The owner, Yuki Cohen, meticulously designed her unique vision for this cozy spot — and it shows. It’s North Street’s most exciting new nightlife destination.

Best Food Truck

How We Roll
Pittsfield
Their schtick is this: They make good food, but they want to serve it on the go. They take delightful meals, roll them up in egg roll wrappers, flash fry them, and serve them to you swaddled in a paper towel. You get the “perfect bite” every bite and your napkin is always with you.

Best Asian Fusion Restuarant
The East
Great Barrington
Combining the best in Japanese and Chinese cuisine, The East is the best place to go for a taste of Asia. Since 1999 they have been combining culinary delights from two great Asian cultures with house specials like the Hunan Three King, (combining shrimp, beef and chicken with mixed vegetables in a spicy black bean sauce) and an amazing sushi and sashimi selection. They also have foreign and domestic beers, wines, a large specialty drinks and a sake menu.

Best Hot Dog
Teo’s Hotdogs Restaurant
Pittsfield
As soon as you walk in to Teo’s, the smell hits you. It smells exactly like you want it to, because you’re there for just one reason. That is to grab a few of the best mini hot dogs in Berkshire County. Order three with everything and have them on a small paper plate in front of you in minutes. The dogs are cooking for a long time, making them the perfect texture and the toppings are strong as well. Teo’s has definitely perfected the hot dog.

Best Latte
Lenox Coffee
Lenox
Friendly local coffeehouse serving the finest freshly roasted coffees and espresso-based beverages. They also have a great selection of teas and freshly baked goods. Not to mention it is all small batch roasted in the Berkshires.

Best Subway
Great Barrington Subway
Great Barrington
The Great Barrington Subway puts to shame the idea that all members of a chain are the same. With their philosophy toward Subway deals and promotions you’ll know there is something different when you walk into the GB Subway. With a friendly staff, convenient hours and great food, it has become as much a popular lunch spot to many locals and visitors as any eatery along Main Street. When you want to eat fresh, they should be at the top of the list.

DINING: Readers' Choice (Return to The Best top)
Best Restaurant
Mazzeo’s Ristorante
Pittsfield
If you are looking for authentic Italian cuisine prepared with the freshest ingredients in a beautiful location, then visit Mazzeo’s Ristorante. The Berkshire’s premiere family owned Italian restaurant. They are always a local favorite and that has led to them winning the reader’s choice as best restaurant.

Best Chef
Peter Platt
The Old Inn on the Green
A Chicago native, Peter Platt learned to love the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts while attending Williams College. He studied at Cordon Bleu in London and he is no newcomer to the Berkshires, in 1985 he became the Executive Chef at Wheatleigh. His restaurant consistently wins top ratings in Zagat and AAA and Open Table has named it among the 10 most romantic restaurants in New England.

Best Ice Cream Store
SoCo Creamery
Great Barrington
“One spoonful and you’re hooked,” is a good motto for this micro-creamery, whose 20 years of varied and taste bud pleasing sweet and creamy offerings have earned a deserved reputation as some of the best ice cream in the region. The key to their success is the small batches – never mass produced – to insure every cone and dish is consistent is its amazing freshness, texture and flavor. It also allows them to deal in an expansive and ever-changing myriad of flavors, from the classics (dirty chocolate and hazelnut are two big customer favorites) to the wildly exotic (seasonal offerings like Macintosh graham cracker and hot chocolate marshmallow).

Best Salads
Four Brothers
Great Barrington
Ranging from small and appetite-whetting to formidably heaping, Four Brothers has the salad market cornered. You can start your Mediterranean meal off the right way with a simple yet delicious Greek or Italian antipasto salad, or you can up the “anti” and make the salad the main attraction. Between the healthy Westport salad (field greens with cranberries, walnuts and gorgonzola), the heart Milford salad (a mouthful featuring bacon, cheddar, cheese, turkey, egg and avocado) and the Four Brothers favorite Darien salad with feta, chicken and bacon with balsamic dressing, this is one place where the salad can start and finish the meal.

Best Burritos
Hot Harry’s
Pittsfield
Looking for a real good burrito, try out Harry’s in Pittsfield. They use made-from-scratch, homemade recipes that use fresh ingredients and are prepared on site. From the fresh-squeezed oranges, lime juice, garlic, & oregano used in their Yucatan marinade for their Yucatan-style chicken and their Baja tofu to the chipotle pepper sauce for their Adobo-style chicken, they carefully marinate before grilling them fresh.

Best New York Style Deli
The Great Barrington Bagel Company
Great Barrington
Judy and Marvin Lieberman opened The Great Barrington Bagel Company in Feb. 1996 in the middle of a snowstorm. It was a great first day and has been a success ever since. Now there is new owners, but the place is still the best. It features 17 flavors of cream cheese, a large selection of smoked fish specialties, unique deli sandwiches, salads, delicious coffee and the most talked about homemade soups and chili to be found in Great Barrington.

Best Slice of Pizza
Manhattan Pizza
Great Barrington
Specializing in New York and Sicilian style pies, Manhattan Pizza earns its name as the best slice of pizza this side of Little Italy. They’ve got a variety of specialty pizzas, such as your standard Hawaiian, meat lovers and white pizzas, but you’re better off getting creative and crafting one of nearly infinite topping combinations from their formidable and varied list of the freshest cheese, meats and veggies.

Best Market
Guido’s
Great Barrington
For thirty five years and counting, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace has been the premier purveyor of quality produce in Berkshire County and neighboring areas. That kind of commitment has led to them being named, yet again, the best market in the county by our readers.

Best Bakery

Madeleine’s Patisserie & Café
Pittsfield
Madeleine’s Patisserie & Café may be a newcomer to the local food scene but they are already carving out a real name for themselves. If you do make the trip over new this new bakery, make sure to grab a Ferreo Rocher cake if they have any left behind their glass cases.

Best Seafood
Salmon Run
Lee
Once again Salmon Run swam away with the title of best seafood in the county. From Fish and Chips to the Mac and Lobster meal with a cup of New England Clam Chowder everything on the menu is a true classic. For years Salmon Run has been a go to for seafood fans around Berkshire County.

Best Brunch
Zucchini’s
Pittsfield
Chef and owner Mickey Soldato prides himself on preparing outstanding food at prices the average family can afford and boy is that true with their brunch. A trip to 1331 North Street always leaves your stomach full as well as your wallet.

Best Burger
Five Guys
Pittsfield
Since they came to the area a few years ago the great burgers and long list of toppings has made this burger joint a favorite. And the Berkshires are not alone, over 20 years after Five Guys first opened, there are over 1,000 locations nationwide and over 1500 units in development. Five Guys continues to receive media attention and has grown a cult-like following around the world.

Best Cupcakes
Barrington Bites
Great Barrington
In the winter they close up shop and head to Florida, and the wait only makes the first bite even better in spring. Sherri Gorelick and Wendy Weinberg spent months refining their recipes, testing them on patrons of the Chef Shop and getting feedback from potential customers. The result is over 40 different delicious morsels of cake topped off with rich, satisfying frosting.

Best Family Dining
Barrington Brewery
Great Barrington
You might not think a brewery would be the place for family dining, that is until you step into Barrington Brewery in Great Barrington. Their menu is family friendly with an extensive kids menu that includes a small beverage and ice cream dessert for all kids under 10. They also offer a brewery price fixed menu for larger parties including three delicious options of their signature dishes, so be sure to invite the relatives. Their open space is welcoming to all larger parties and their friendly staff makes the experience feel like a home cooked meal. And who can forget their top notch beer list brewed on premises for Mom and Dad.

Best Caterer
The Bistro Box
Great Barrington
After bursting onto the scene as one of the most exciting new eateries in the Berkshires, the roadside stand has established itself as one of the best place to grab a bite. They are also hitting a homerun when it comes to bringing the food to you. For our readers, the friendly and hardworking crew is number one for catering events and special occasions, with their fantastic menu options of American cuisine your guests will be in foodie heaven and their personable staff will work with you to put together an amazing spread. The Bistro Box is also a great partner in the community working with local producers such as High Lawn Farm in Lee and Equinox Farms in Sheffield to bring you the freshest and finest ingredients.

Best Sushi
Bizen
Great Barrington
The Berkshires love this gourmet Japanese restaurant and sushi bar in Great Barrington. Its interior is filled with rustic wooden furniture, coy ponds and booths with shoji screens give you the feel of dining in Japan but atmosphere plays second fiddle to the menu. Chef and owner Michael Marcus has brought together the best Japanese cuisine in the county, topped off with their must try fresh sushi menu. with dozens of rolls, sashimi and sushi bar specials you’ll be certain to return to try them all.

Best Coffee Shop
Fuel
Great Barrington
One of the things the Berkshire’s does best is its wealth of excellent coffee shops. With such a stacked field it speaks a lot about Fuel to put them at the top. A favorite watering hole for much of Great Barrington, they brew up the best coffee around with freshly brewed coffee from Mocha Joe’s and their specialty gourmet espressos, cappuchinos, lattes are a must try. They also are home to a huge selection of loose leaf teas and their incredible chai tea latte. But the coffee is just part of what makes them great, their menu of excellent sandwiches made with fresh ingredients are a crowd favorite and come fall, their excellent specially prepared soups will keep you warm and cozy. Top it off with a staff filled with friendly locals that makes for the best coffee shop experience around.

Best Pizza and Pasta
Baba Louie’s
Great Barrington, Pittsfield
If making a quality pizza is an art, Baba Louie’s is Michaelangelo. Their artisan sourdough pizzas are renowned throughout the region with visitors flocking to try them. It’s not odd to see huge lines forming outside their doors come summertime. It makes sense that people go crazy for their food, their artisan bakers prepare the highest quality sourdough crusts and each pie is made with the freshest vegetables, cheeses and meats all cooked in their wood fire oven. Their chefs also prepare and create special pasta dishes each night made with the freshest ingredients that include ingredients from local farms made with seasonally harvested crops.

Best Early Bird Special
Joanne’s Elm Street Luncheonette
Pittsfield
Joanne’s has been feeding the Berkshires for decades with delicious meals in the style of a classic American diner. Owner Joanne Longton has created a great atmosphere that brings in many happy customers, especially for its early bird specials. Their business has plenty of regulars for a good reason with a menu fill with a delicious selection a great, no frills, comfort food. Best of all their foods come at a fantastic value with food piled high for incredibly affordable prices.

Best Chocolates
Catherine’s
Great Barrington
Great chocolate runs in the family at Catherine’s Chocolates. The family owned and operated shop has been making chocolates since the uncle of the shops namesake was crafting homemade chocolates in New York City in the 1920s. Catherine moved the operation to the Berkshires some 50 years ago and they’ve been a fixture ever since. Now grandson Matthew and his skilled staff have customers coming back for more with their delicious sweet, silky chocolates. From their exquisite truffles and fudge selection to their hand-made chocolate covered fruits, nuts, coffee and just about anything else you can dip in their delectable chocolate. Their best selling Berkshire assortment is sure to please the chocolate lover in your family along with a great selection of low to no gluten and sugar-free assortments that everyone can enjoy.

Best Restaurant with a View
Cork N’ Hearth
Lee
On the shores of Laurel Lake in Lee, take in the breath taking beauty of the Berkshires while enjoying a world class meal at Cork N’ Hearth. The restaurant’s Lake Room offers elegantly structured windows with breath-taking views of the lake to compliment the rooms indoor floral rock garden and fireplace. Their menu is packed with delicious mix of American cuisine, seafood and Italian selections that offer a fine dining experience as pleasing as the view.

Best French Fries
Ski Butternut
Great Barrington
Ski Butternut brings in thousands of people every year for their world class skiing experience, but another one of their one of their not so secret strengths is their snack bar. After a long day on the slopes you’ll build up a huge hunger and that’s when you are in for a treat when you sample their French Fries. The crunchy, salty and oh so delicious fries will hit the spot and have you craving for seconds, it’s the perfect treat after a day of snow adventures at the areas premier ski resort.

Best Guacamole
Xicohtencatl
Great Barrington
Our readers agree. One of the finest Mexican food restaurants around, Xicohtencatl might be hard to say but you’ll be busy chowing down on their amazing guacamole anyway. Made to order and served in a stone molcajete their Guacamole Especial de Molcajete includes a mix of fresh tomato, onion, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, lime and salt as well as any special requests. It’s the perfect addition to any of their delicious entree options.

Best Beer
Barrington Brewery
Great Barrington
Over the last decade, the Berkshires have been blessed with a renaissance of craft brewing, with breweries sprouting up throughout the county. At the head of that wave are the people at Barrington Brewery who have been making their “solar brewed beer” since 1995 and haven’t relinquished their spot as top brews since. Whether you light beers or dark, hoppy or sweet you’ll be pleased with a pint from Barrington. From their Berkshire Blonde to the Black Bear Stout their hand-crafted beers, brewed using their unique solar powered brewing system. They also have a delicious roster of seasonal beers and a cask conditioned IPA that are must try.

Best Butcher
Red Apple Butchers
Dalton
This nose-to-tail butcher shop, located within Berkshire Organics, sources pasture-raised animals from farms in Williamstown, Cummington, and New York State, among others. Their featured products include cured meats, deli items, stocks, and rendered fats, as well as traditional cuts of pork, beef, and poultry. Co-owned by two former chefs, it’s hard to go wrong with their fresh selection.

Best Bread Bakery
Berkshire Mountain Bakery
Housatonic
Since 1986, the artisan sourdough bread at Berkshire Mountain Bakery has been a delight for the Berkshires. Owner and baker Richard Bourdon brought his love of European style baking with its traditional techniques of sourdough fermentation and hand shaped loaves to create the bakery’s signature delicious and nutritious breads. Their creative loaves include a bread and chocolate swirl, cheese and herb, cherry pecan, olive and rosemary and more along with baguettes, multi grain and ciabatta bread just to name a few.

Best Appetizers
The Brick House Pub
Housatonic
One of the best spots to grab a pint in the county, the Brick House Pub also excels in its amazing food options. Their mouth-watering appetizer options are so good you might not make it past the first page of the menu. They offer fried pickles, homemade hummus, house nachos piled high with Monterey jack, jalapenos and scallions, loaded potato skins and Poutine. You can also gorge yourself on their fantastic chili cheese fries and crowd favorite truffle fries made with parmesan, parsley and truffle oil. They also offer pub classics like chicken tenders, mac n’ cheese, their Brick House Clam Chowder and their signature wings smothered in a variety of sauces. But try and save some room as their menu is also packed with delicious entrees, sandwiches and burgers.

Best Smoothies
Riverbend Cafe
Great Barrington
Of all the things that Riverbend cafe does well, their smooties are the best. Made with the freshest ingredients, you’ll be happy to try one of the patron favorite smoothies. With 21 different flavors to choose from, and made with frozen yogurt, their smoothies offer a drink that tastes great and will make you feel great. As an added bonus, the cafe is nestled next to the Housatonic River, for which it gets its name, offering a calm and comforting atmosphere to enjoy your delicious smoothie as well as vegetarian friendly dining options for lunch and dinner and a fantastic selection at the juice bar and fresh ground coffee.

Best Brewery
Big Elm Brewing
Sheffield
With a spoil of riches in the Berkshires for beer, there is plenty to drink in the county. But when you are planning your brewery tour the top of the must-visit list is Big Elm. Brewers and owners Bill and Christine brought their love of beer to their Sheffield home in 2012, renovating and revitalizing the former site of a plastic molding company, with an American made 15 barrel brewhouse. Heaton They’ve expanded their operation to include a large canning system and haven’t looked back since. They offer tours every Saturday with brewers on hand to talk beer and let you sample their entire stock of incredible beers.

Best Frozen Yogurt
Froyo World
Great Barrington
In the summer of 2010, Froyo World opened its first Frozen Yogurt Lounge on the Yale University campus in the town of New Haven, Connecticut. Last year they brought the magic to Great Barrington and have been a major hit. From amazing flavors to more toppings than you can imagine you have to visit this one this summer.

Best GastroPub
District
Pittsfield
Relatively new to the neighborhood, District has already impressed big time with its carefully crafted and delicious menu options and high-end beer selection. Their menu is broken down into sections of “smalls, mids, and bigs” depending on how hungry you are, but regardless of what category you choose you will leave happy. Be sure to try their Sausage Risotto, a delicious mixture served with kale, walnuts and apples or if you’re a bit hungrier, go for their dry rubbed strip steak with mash potatoes and brocolini. And don’t forget to try one of there amazing beers on tap or in bottles both from some of the best breweries in the country including a large number of local brews.

Best Vegetarian Dish
Twisted BLT
Starving ARtist Cafe
Lee
Your first thought might be, “Wait how can a vegetarian eat a BLT? The first part of that is bacon!” But the folks over at the Starving Artist cafe have crafted an excellent spin on the classic American sandwich that is friendly for those who don’t eat meat. The Twisted BLT uses vegetarian Canadian Bacon a meatless alternative that will give the same fulfilling taste. The dish also includes fresh mozzerella, spinach, tomatoes and scallions in a horseradish sauce for one unbeliveably great sandwich that might have any non-vegetarian considering making the switch.

Best Indian Food
Aroma
Great Barrington
This place is dynamite. Easily one of the must try places in Great Barrington, Aroma has a menu of pure Indian delights. From sweet to spicy you’ll be begging for seconds after your first meal. Their menu boasts mouthwatering options like their Chicken Tikka Kadai, baked in tandoor and the Lamb Shahi Korma gently simmered in a delicious sauce. Goat, seafood and lunch and tandoori specials round out their list of fantastic meals and their specialty nans are a perfect complement to their meals.

Best Milk Shake
Staax
Great Barrington
Staax has been one of the best recent additions to the Great Barrington dining scene. Reigniting the feel of a 1950s burger joint they offer great meals and service at great prices. And what would any burger joint be without a great milkshake. Their thick and creamy shakes are the perfect end to a summer day.

Best Chicken Wings
Manhattan Pizza
Great Barrington
Keeping the tradition of a great New York pizza place in the heart of the Berkshires, but Manhattan Pizza doesn’t just stop at the slice. Their menu also boasts juicy, delicious chicken wings to take you to finger food heaven.


ARTS AND CULTURE: Editors' Choice (Return to The Best top)
Best Actor
Mark Dold
‘Breaking the Code’ at Barrington Stage.
Mark was head and shoulders the best in his portrayal of Alan Turing, a conflicted scientist recruited by the British Secret Service to break the Nazi’s ‘Enigma’ code in WW ll. Comparing him to the late Sir John Geilgud , I said he had great diction, an amazing memory and superb stage presence. Runners up : David Adkins over at The Unicorn Theatre in Berkshire Theatre Group’s production of ‘Benefactors’. And Douglas Sills as Renee Fleming’s over the top conductor husband in Williamstown Theatre Festival’s ‘Living on Love’ based on an earlier Garson Kanin Broadway play called, ‘Peccadillo’.

Best Actress
Alison McLemore
Chester Theatre’s one woman play, ‘The Amish Project’.
Alison gave a brilliant performance, playing seven different parts, characterizing each of them very believably. She is a worthy successor to the late Ruth Draper who filled huge theaters and single handedly transfixed audiences with her superb acting of many characters in sketch after sketch. Runners up : Debra Jo Rupp in Chester Theatre’s thoughtful play ‘Madagascar’ and Kristin Wold in Shakespeare & Co’s play about being the Bard’s wife, called ‘Shakespeare’s Will’ known originally as ‘The Second Best Bed’ .

Best Director
Joe Delarco
Two plays for Barrington Stage
First the musical ‘Kiss Me Kate’ and later in the season,’Breaking the Code’. Runners up : Kathleen Marshall for ‘Living on Love’ at Williamstown Theatre Festival, making it easy for Opera great, Renee Fleming, to have a smooth transition into acting. And James Warwick for his superb handling of Chester Theatre’s wonderfully literate mystery, ‘Madagascar’ by J.T.Rogers.

Best New Play
Dancing Lessons
Running free of intermission for about an hour and a half, the time flies by in this brilliant , very close to home, play about Aspergers Syndrome; in Lee there is a fine organization that places Aspergers candidates in colleges. A young professor who has Aspergers seeks dancing lessons in order to look ‘normal’ when he receives an important award. His neighbor, a pretty dancer, has a broken leg but says she’ll oblige. Because this Aspergers young man does not like to be touched , it takes a while to master his neurosis. Creating much laughter with good acting and brilliant dialogue, actors, John Cariani and Paige Davis give the play meaning and food for thought. Five Stars.

Best Pit Band
Arash Noori, David Perry and Daniel Schlosberg
Berkshire Theatre’s ‘A Lovers Tale’
Arash Noori ‘ David Perry and the brilliant piano playing music director, Daniel Schlosberg. Who knew they could make such a full ‘orchestral’ sound. Kudos to Daniel for his fine adaptation of Verdi’s lovely music which supported the singers so well.

Best Large Ensemble
Tanglewood
Leonard Bernstein’s musical, ‘Candide’
Some, rightly , rate it operatic material.Tenor Nicholas Phan was sensational in the title role of Candide and soprano Anna Christy was excellent as Cunegonde. Opera great, Frederica Von Stade almost stole the show. Baritone Paul La Rosa sounded great in the part of Maximillian. And conductor Bramwell Tovey’s pace never slackened. Kudos to baritone Richard Suart who as Pangloss narrated the story with good clear diction and witty inflections. The best performance of its kind I have ever seen. Runner up : Beethoven’s Ninth with the Boston symphony at its best under conductor Charles Dutoit. who knew that John Relyea’s bass-baritone would develop into the incredibly lovely instrument it has now become. Kudos to the Tanglewood Festival Chorus under John Oliver’s direction for some amazing singing, off book !

Best Opera
A Lover’s Tale
Unicorn Theatre of Berkshire Theatre Group.
A very audacious adaptation of Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’ by Dustin Willis, plus Alexandre Dumas’s original play ‘Lady of the Camilias’, upon which the opera was based and Charles Ludlam’s parody ‘in drag’ of the same material for his 1980’s ‘Theatre of the Ridiculous’. It’s a fun pastiche of all three works on so many levels, best of which is that it is fresh, entertaining and brief. Mr Willis has his fun with characters ‘in drag’ at the start but is smart enough to let Verdi, the master adapter, take over for the ending. Soprano Jamilyn Manning-White is surely one to watch with her glistening pure silk like voice nailing every coloratura run with the greatest of ease as the ill fated Violetta. And the brilliant tenor singing of Glenn Seven Allen as her lover, Alfredo. As Baron Duphol, Ben Taylor’s baritone was a delight on the ear. Give him more to sing in the rewrite Mr Willis !

Best Musical
A Little Night Music
Berkshire Theater Group
At either end of downtown Pittsfield the two legit theatre companies, Barrington Stage and Berkshire Theatre Group battled it out this summer. I would have to give the edge to Barrington’s wonderful production of Cole Porter’s ‘Kiss Me Kate’ for its sheer vitality. Over at The Colonial, Berkshire Group’s ‘A Little Night Music’ boasted our own, Stockbridge born, international opera star, Maureen O’Flynn who’s rendition of ‘Send in the Clowns’ was perfection. And a 14 piece band that gave heft to Steven Sondhiem’s clever tunes. For dreamy scenic effects the edge goes to Berkshire Group.

Best Visiting Ensemble
Philharmonia Baroque
San Francisco
Under Nicholas McGeegan, Ozawa Hall was packed to hear Handel’s ‘Teseo’ (Theseus) written in 1702 with such luminaries as soprano Dominique Labelle, whose Medea was sumptuous. Soprano Amanda Forsyth’s Teseo was terrific . Soprano Amy Freston was excellent as Agilea and Countertenor Drew Minter sang with an even tone avoiding the ‘hooting’ sound that so often flows from the vocal chords of these male singers who were once castrated in order to keep their high tone. As Egeo Mr Minter was beautiful to hear. But Oh those repeats Handel uses in every aria. They could well be cut to no ill effect. Traditionalists will blench at the thought. Modern audiences would sooner have them cut, believe me.

Best Newcomer
Marg Helgenberger
The Other Place
Marg Helgenberger, yes the same Marg you knew as Catherine Willows on TV’s ‘CSI : Crime Scene Investigation. After leaving CSI Marg let it be known she was looking to return to her first love, ‘the stage is the one true actors medium’ she said. And so Sharr White’s ‘The Other Place’ provided the complex role she was looking for. As Juliana Smithton, a neuroscientist who becomes unhinged, Ms Helgenberger nailed it and won wide acclaim. Not just a pretty TV face, but a serious actress with excellent acting chops. Well done Marg in making a successful transition.

Best Soloists
Sophie Bevan, Angela Denoke and Isabel Leonard
Tanglewood
Three women who sang gloriously at Tanglewood in an excerpt from Richard Strauss’s ‘Der Rosenkavalier’. Sophie Bevan, soprano as Sophie ; Angela Denoke, soprano, as The Marschallin and the incredible Isabel Leonard, mezzo-soprano as Octavian. It also showed how conductor Andris Nelsons warm guidance and splendid control brought out the very best in all of the singers as their lovely voices blended in the Act ll finale of this great opera.

Best Historic Museum
Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum
Lenox
This Jacobean Revival-style mansion, built in 1893, is home to the Museum of the Gilded Age — an in-depth look at American life, industry, and society during the Nineteenth Century. The museum hosts many lectures, exhibits, theatrical performances, and other events. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and declared an official project of the “Save America’s Treasures” program.

Best Museum
Berkshire Museum
Pittsfield
For more than 100 years, the Berkshire Museum has served the residents of Berkshire County as the Mecca of cultural and historical artifacts and information. Described as the “window on the world,” this local museum has hosted numerous accredited collections and exhibitions, including the work of Rembrandt Peale, Pierre Auguste Renoir, and Andy Warhol. Their aquarium and special cinema make for great additions, as well.

Best Classic Music Festival
Norfolk Chamber Music Festival
Norfolk, CT
The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival is the oldest summer music festival in North America — and for good reason. Overseen by the Yale School of Music, this festival hosts more than 30 concerts each season, with past performers having included the Tokyo String Quartet, Percy Grainger, and Dave Brubeck, among others. This summer will kick off with a gala event to benefit the restoration of the music shed.

Best North County Venue
The Colonial Theatre
Pittsfield
This gorgeous venue was built in 1903 and later named a National Historic Treasure by Hillary Clinton in 1998. A $22 million restoration project spearheaded by the Allegrone Companies was completed in 2006, allowing for this beautiful space to reopen to the public. Since then, the Berkshire Theatre Group has arranged a special blend of theater, music, and comedy for guests of the Colonial.

Best Student Art Gallery
Good Purpose Gallery
Lee
Helping to connect art and education in a meaningful way, the Good Purpose Gallery works closely with students from founder Michael McManmon’s College Internship Program to showcase the importance both visual and performing arts. The “campus” provides opportunities to mingle with locals, tourists, artists, and others and exhibit art in a professional gallery space.

Best Venue Across the Border
Club Helsinki Hudson
Hudson, N.Y.
We know this is a sensitive subject for the Berkshires with the loss of such a great venue still fresh on many people’s minds, but it doesn’t take away from how exceptional this spot is for music in the region. Over the last 5 years, they have drawn some of the top talent in the music industry to perform in their intimate but accommodating venue on Columbia Street in Hudson. They are also a great supporter of local musicians showcasing some of the best local talents in main performances and during their entertaining open mic nights. Add their superb bar and restaurant and you have a must see local when you’re in the Empire State.

Best Music Festival
Solid Sound Music Festival
North Adams
One of the best things about the cultural scene in the Berkshires is the endless amount of options to see live performances because of the areas love of music. Thankfully, a band like Wilco also took notice and gave us the Solid Sound Music Festival to add to that list. MASS MoCA, one of the Berkshries best champions for live music, plays host to this usually yearly event. In 2015, along with Wilco and Jeff Tweedy family side project Tweedy, bands Real Estate, Parquette Courts, Mac Demarco and comedians John Hodgeman, Paul F. Thompkins, Jessica Williams and more will head to North Adams for one of the best lines ups we’ve seen for the event.

Best Emerging Artist
Rafi Oso
Pittsfield
The local R&B artists has the chops to be a superstar, with a silkly smooth voice and lively, affable personality. He, along with his friend and 80 Proof Entertainment label owner Rachene Crump have worked tirelessly to get their music out and to reinvigorate and bring to the surface the underground Hip Hop scene in Berkshire County. With a series of successful mixtapes already released and an album on the way We wouldn’t be surprised to see his face on MTV any day now.

Best Arts Festival South County
Berkshire Arts Festival
Great Barrington
Come summer time, thousands flock to Ski Butternut not to hit the slopes but to celebrate the arts.The resort transforms into an art mecca for a weekend, with booths filled with local artists offerings in almost every medium conceivable. If you love the arts you have to check it out.

Best Arts Festival North County
Upstreet Arts Festival
Pittsfield
A truly amazing event bringing together some of the most talented artists in the region at all of Pittsfield great cultural centers for two weeks of arts celebration. It’s a bucket list event to attend.

Best Movie Theater
The Beacon Cinema
Pittsfield
Offering critical acclaimed and limited releases that don’t make it to the bigger chains as well as the big block busters of the month, this is a great spot for all lovers of film. They are also an affordable venue with special discount ticket evenings. The Cinema also offers special screening events like a live telecast of The Academy Awards, the series finale of Breaking Bad and New England Patriots playoff games as well as telecast of the Metropolitan Opera that set them apart.

Best Poet
Michael Houlihan
Great Barrington
Once again we cast our vote to Houlihan for his fantastic poetry. Known as “The Bard of Barrington,” Michael Houlihan’s personal poetic style and dedication to the medium has earned him a reputation as the poet laureate of South County. Landing for a second year on our list for Best Poet, he has pursued his mission – to bring poetry to the community he lives in – with commitment and vigor, hosting many poetry nights and groups as well as inspiring young poets across the county since becoming a Berkshire native in the 1960s.

Best Gallery Across the Border
The Hotchkiss School Tremaine Gallery
Lakeville, Conn.
A great student and community resource the space is museum-quality and free and open to the public, the gallery hosts six shows a year, encompassing a wide range of artists, media, and styles. Featured artists routinely attend the opening reception, present a gallery talk, and frequently are in-residence as visiting artists for Hotchkiss students.

Best Local Music Event
Summerfest
Great Barrington
One of the best summertime events in the Berkshires, Summerfest is an amazing chance to see some incredibly talented musicians perform. Throughout the town, stages are set up with line-ups featuring the best emerging artists and local favorites from all different types of musical genres. Add the beautiful weather and the bustling downtown of Berkshire County in the summertime and you have a really great event that is a can’t miss for Berkshire residents.

Best Local Dance Company
Olga Dunn Dance Company
Great Barrington
Consistenly one of the best things about the art scene in the Berkshires, Olga Dunn Dance Company is our pick once again. Having entered their fourth decade, Olga Dunn continues to pursue their mission of striving for excellence in dance through dedicated professional level training and mesmerizing performances. Now a household name in dance throughout the Berkshires and beyond, they have reached thousands through not only critically-acclaimed performance but also guest workshops, public master classes and outreach programming.

ARTS AND CULTURE: Readers' Choice (Return to The Best top)
Local Dance Company
Olga DunN Dance Company
Great Barrington
It was a busy year for the Olga Dunn Dance Company, which included a big move  to a new location at the former Great Barrington train station. But it was business as usual for the company that continues to put out incredible shows with its talented roster. Along with their year long productions throughout the county, the dance company also offers a school with professional level dance training and artistic opportunities for children, teenagers and adults. 

Best Artist
Caren Kinne
Lee
The arts are beloved in Berkshire County, with a wealth of institutions and residents that celebrate and are inspired by this unique cultural hot bed. Caren Kinne has been enveloped in this artistic culture scene her whole life, being born and raised in the Berkshires and where she creates her artwork. Describing her current body of work as “playful, peaceful and exuberantly-whimsical abstractions,” Kinne’s oil paintings, sculptures and prints are beloved for their vibrant colors and unique interpretations of everything from fruit to robots to abstract designs.

Best Museum
MASS MoCA
North Adams
A beacon for arts in the North East, MASS MoCA is a world class arts museum that has offered a space for some of best contemporary visual and performance artists since its opening in 1999. Attracting thousands to their galleries every year, the museum has never been afraid to present bold works and has championed artistic expression in all media. They’re also renowned for their musical offerings including the Freshgrass Music Festival and Wilco’s Solid Sound Music festival along with stand alone performances for those making a serious impact in the music world. The museum is also a close partner with the community the museum has worked to preserve and expand the arts and socioeconomic development in the region with free museum days, educational offerings and economic opportunities for the Berkshires.

Best Arts Supply Store
JWS Art Supplies
Great Barrington
With the Berkshires bustling with artists, the county needs a great art supply store to keep up with the demand, luckily there is JWS Art Supply here to help create the next masterpiece. Whether you need oil paints, acrylics, water colors, pastels, brushes, canvases and more they are always in stock of the top brands for your next work of art. The shop is also home to funky office supplies, photo albums, journals, stationary, and unique cards for all occasions. The store also serves as an informal gallery highlighting local artists and featuring a new artist every month.

Best Sound Design
Tune Street
Great Barrington
The people at Tune Street know music and they know how to make your entertainment center to sound its very best. With a wide range of HiFi Audio equipment, they’ll help put together the set up that is right for you. From brands like Mcintosh, Krell and Linn Tune Street features a carefully selected stock of quality and the best value available from inexpensive set ups to world class Bi-Amped 2 Channel systems. For the vinyl enthusiast, there is a great selection of turntables and equipment to get your records spinning (along with a great selection of new and used vinyl). They also offer landscape speakers for pools and patios and one of the largest selections of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers in New England. Their staff of courteous professionals will help with custom installations, consultation and design and an engineering team that constantly evaluates new home technology to get you the best equipment on the market.

Best Bookstore
The Book Loft
Great Barrington
Every literature lover in the Berkshires should visit the Bookloft at least once. Filled stacks and stacks of books from the best authors both contemporary and classic. Best of all their staff is made up of people who love to read and can point you to your next favorite.

Best Interactive Store
Tom’s Toys
Great Barrington
For twenty years, Tom’s Toys has provided a bevy of interactive and educational toys that have stimulated the minds of the Berkshires children. From the thrill of building their first Lego structure to science sets that explore physics, biology and engineering to games that offer both a fun and educational experience Tom’s Toys offers the very best in interactive recreational activities.

Best Poet
Nathan Smith
Egremont
Nathan Smith has been a artistic force for protecting and celebrating nature. His works have been published in a multitude of compilations as well as his own personal collections including “Temple Sonnets.” His texts have been incorporated into original choral pieces from Newell Jenkins and Larray Wallach’s piece “River Hymn,” celebrating the Housatonic River.

Best Family Entertainment
The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Great Barrington
Experiencing the arts is a great family activity and many a parent has brought their child to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center to experience their first play or musical event. Last year’s season included many events catered toward a family friendly atmosphere including special children’s theater performances such as the Very Hungry Caterpillar and family friendly movie screenings including the 75th anniversary of the Wizard of Oz and the Muppet Movie. The performing arts center has also included special educational summer programs that help get kids involved in the arts.

Best Cover Band
The Lucky 5
In the tradition of the great Jazz musicians of the early 20th century, the Lucky 5 performs a blend of gypsy Jazz and swing to create a concentrated blast of the roaring twenties. Don Mikkelsen, Matt Downing, Jonathan Talbot, Kip Beacco and Brian Kantor make up the group along with frequent contributions from local and regional talent. The band performs their distinct take on Jazz standards that are sure to get feet stomping as well as original compositions that reignite the flame of tradition Jazz.

Best Dance Performance
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
Becket
Every year, the Berkshires are treated to some of the worlds greatest dancing companies at the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival. Celebrated as one of the country’s best cultural centers and the “hub and mecca of dancing,” people worldwide have traveled to see the companies performing at the festival’s grounds in Becket. 2014’s festival saw a series of incredible performances including Carmen DeLavallade, Hong Kong Ballet, Trey McIntyre ProjectDorrance Dance and Pacific Northwest Ballet just to name a few.

Best Private Gallery
St. Francis Gallery
Lee
With an eclectic mix from some of the areas most talented artists, the St. Francis Gallery offers visitors a fantastic look at the local arts scene. Inside a former church, the gallery itself is an impressive sight to see along with the beautiful and inspiring paintings and other artworks adorning its walls. The gallery is also an active charitable organization supporting the Sawa Sawa Foundation which partners with citizens of Kenya to improve the lives of their fellow citizens and create relationships and partnerships with people in Berkshire County.

Best Band
B.A. Dario
Pittsfield
Our readers love the progressive jam rockers B.A. Dario out of Pittsfield. The group featuring Danny Greene, Brad Greene, Jay Cimini, Aaron Nackoul and Justin Nackol perform high energy grooves with a heavy dose of intricate guitar work creating a sound influenced by Jeff Beck, Yes and Frank Zappa with its own distinct twist. Winners of the 2012 Wormtown Music Festival Battle of the Bands and a frequent performer at the Bella Terra festival B.A. Dario are prepped to be the next big independent band in the Berkshires.


NIGHTLIFE: Editors' Choice (Return to The Best top)
Best Pub (North)
Freight Yard Pub
North Adams
If you’re looking to have a good time out in North Adams, the Freight Yard Pub needs to be involved. A traditional American pub, the Freight Yard has been serving up good times since 1986. With great buffalo wings, fantastic fajitas, and their renowned burgers piled high with a variety of creative and tasy topping combinations. Their menus also feature specialty entree options for dinner and lunch and their family friendly environment includes a full kids menu. And being a pub, they host a fantastic selection of beers, spirits and wines including selections from the area’s best craft breweries.

Best Wine Selection

Greenridge Variety
Dalton
Greenridge Variety offers the best variety in wines to please any connoisseur. From Cabernet Sauvignon to Riesling and everything in between there is sure to be a bottle for you on their shelves. With selections from the country’s finest vineyards you’ll find the perfect wine to accent your meal or unwind after a long day. They also boast an impressive selection of beers and spirits from both national and local breweries and distilleries. And At Greenridge, you’ll find the best deals with weekly discounts that will save you big bucks.

Best Way to Get Home Safely
Transport the People
Pittsfield
Operating both luxury limousines and multiple passenger vans, they can get you and your friends to wherever you’re going. Their services are ideal for those special nights out; a limo for luxury, a van for a designated driver after parties. Transport the People has your back when you need to get home safely.

Best Sports Bar (Central)
Cim’s Tavern
Pittsfield
What pairs best with sports and beer? Wings. Cim’s Tavern offers some of the best chicken wings in Berkshire County, with both their saucy, classic take on traditional hot wings and their brandy-glazed Cim’s Wings winning multiple Wing Fling awards in the past. Multiple, massive flat screen TVs make it easy to enjoy the game and a variety of draft and bottled beer certainly doesn’t hurt either. Yum!

Best Sports Bar (South)
Locker Room Sports Pub
Lee
When the game is on the Berkshires heads to the Locker Room. With 12 HD flat screen TVs throughout the pub, you won’t miss a second of the action. The Locker Room gets all MLB and NFL games so you won’t miss out on your favorite team and with WIFI, you’ll be able to check up on your fantasy team quickly and easily under its roof. The pub has a delicious menu with pub food staples as well as full entrees and lunch specials as well as $.50 wing Sundays. They also have a bounty of craft beers on tap, including locally crafted beer from Big Elm, Glass Bottom Brewery, Berkshire Brewing Company and more. The Locker Room is a championship quality establishment that is sure to be you home field come game time.

Best Gay Friendly Bar
Rumpy’s Tavern
Lenox
The Village Inn’s Rumpy’s Tavern hosts regular live music, karaoke, and late night dancing, as well as their ever-popular drag bingo events. It’s a lively, welcoming nightspot that offers starters and tapas for food and a plethora of fun mixed drinks and beer. It’s also open late, making it one of the best and often only spots in the Berkshires to end your night of fun on a high note.

Best Place to Meet Men
Patrick’s Pub
Pittsfield
With its rotating tap list and traditional pub fare, Patrick’s Pub is sure to attract even the most particular of male customers. Located conveniently in downtown Pittsfield since 1985, the warm, casual environment is the perfect place to unwind after a long day and watch the game. Patrick’s Pub also offers a private party room for formal gatherings of up to 50 people. Now that’s a party!

Best Place to Meet Women
The Heritage
Lenox
The Heritage is the local bar to rule all local bars and therefore attracts plenty of local women that enjoy its warm, casual atmosphere. It’s especially busy during the warmer months, with dining available both inside and outside. Come to watch the game and get to know the (mostly female) staff. Live music is played Thursday nights from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. as well.

Best Place For an Intelligent Conversation
Brava
Lenox
During the summer, Brava is often the spot where musicians with the Boston Symphony Orchestra come to unwind. Their large beer selection and delicious, artisanal food are simply no-brainers for the best and brightest men of Berkshire County to indulge in. The cozy, classy atmosphere only adds to the charm!

Best Place to Talk World Issues
Green Drinks
Pittsfield
In the Berkshires, what’s better than chatting with someone who cares about the environment? Hosted by the Berkshire Environmental Action Team, Pittsfield Green Drinks starts at 5:15 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. While the location changes, the conversation topics of wind and solar energy, clean water, and wildlife conservation, among others, does not! They occasionally show a film or have a speaker, as well.

Best Open Mic
Mission Bar + Tapas
Pittsfield
Local resident Jordan Franklin hosts open mic at Mission Bar + Tapas every Tuesday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Musicians of varying levels of expertise from around the county have been known to attend this popular open mic night, providing entertainment for patrons looking for something to do during the week. Don’t be afraid to come out and show your skills!

Best Bar Food
The Well
Great Barrington
Homemade guacamole, award-winning chicken wings, nachos, quesadillas, burgers, sandwiches, and pizza make up only a portion of The Well’s extensive food menu. Their self-proclaimed “locally sourced comfort food and drink” is great for anyone looking for some delicious, affordable food late into the night. The Well is open from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. most nights.

Best Atmosphere
Moe’s Tavern
Lee
Moe’s feels like a ski tavern on steroids, with the electric glow of neon signs highlighting their extensive beer options to set the mood. Enjoy some blues or southern rock from the satellite radio while sipping on American beer and whiskey, some rare or hard to find. It’s the perfect place to relax any night of the week, with an enjoyable atmosphere that makes it easy to catch up with a group of friends
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Best Place for Dirt Cheap Drink Deals
The Sheffield Pub
Sheffield
Try as you might, you just can’t beat this place’s deals. Once again, the spot to get your dirt cheap drinks is The Sheffield Pub. One of Sheffield’s best-kept secrets also happens to be the best place to pay for a beer in pennies. With draft beer prices as low as $1, it’s a great place to sit back and relax or shoot some pool. You don’t really see a whole lot of bars with “No Cussin’” signs any more (the actual enforcement rate of this rule notwithstanding), but it adds to the downhome feel of this no-frills establishment. They’ve got a couple of pool tables, which you should have plenty of quarters for given how thrifty the drink prices are.

Best Place to Meet Singles
Berkshire Flirt
Berkshire County
While lamenting the sometimes stale dating scene, Julia Dixon, Stephanie Mendoza and a few of their friends hatched a plan to change the direction of the area and offer a space for the young single people of the Berkshires to commingle and, just maybe, find Mr. or Mrs. right. Hosting events at venues across the Berkshires, the ladies of Berkshires Flirt have created a safe space for not only single residents to date but also for fellow single men and women to meet other single men and women and build a more vibrant social scene in the process. With a successful innagural event this recent Valetnine’s day, they’ve already gained attention for their fun events. This group is definitely “the one,” for the Berkshires.

Best Place to Bring a Date
Mission Bar + Tapas
Pittsfield
With its relatively subdued atmosphere, ongoing weekly music events, and popular tapas offerings, Mission Bar + Tapas is the perfect place to bring that special someone any night of the week! Jazz night with local musician Andy Wrba takes place every Monday at 8 p.m. and The Picky Bastards, a popular local folk collective, perform every Thursday. Their extensive wine list and local beer options make for a winning combo, no matter what your taste.

Best After Work Bar
Moe’s Tavern
Lee
When the clock strikes 5 and you’re headed out the door looking for a nice cold beer to relax after a long day of work, the guys at Moe’s have you covered. With an amazing selection from the top breweries in the country, you’ll be able to have a nice cold pint at a low price to slip into the post work hours. Plus Moe’s opens at 3 p.m. so if you’re brave enough to sneak out there will be a frosty pint waiting, just don’t tell them we told you.

Best Bar to Be a Kid Again
Gypsy Joynt Jive
Great Barrington
The Gypsy Joynt Jive combines two great things with beer and video games. The most recent venture from the folks at the Gypsy Joynt, this bar is stocked with some incredibly fun arcade games that will have you feeling like a kid again. With Super Mario Brothers, Metal Slug, Donkey Kong and arcade classics like skeeball, air hockey and pinball machines as well as two pool tables you’ll be wishing you didn’t sell your old system when you leave. The Jive also has a great menu of tapas and a craft beers both at affordable prices, which is good because you’ll be wanting to use that extra money for quarters when you need that extra life.

Best Place to Munch Off a Buzz
Empire Pizza
Pittsfield
Open until 2 a.m. on the weekends, Empire Pizza is a late-night food favorite in Berkshire County. Perfectly placed in the middle of North Street, Empire is centrally located to all of downtown Pittsfield’s nightlife. Their pizza is strong, and we highly recommend the steak fries with cheese sauce to really soak up your night’s beverages. Large group on a night out? No problem, just call up and order a great party-sized pizza.

Best of All Worlds Bar

Mazcots
Lenox
Not sure what you’re looking for in a night out? Make the trek to Mazcots in Lenox. Mazcots is a brilliantly designed sports bar, with great atmosphere, decor, televisions and a billiards table. However, this place is more than a place to catch the game. Mazcots boasts great food, cocktails and an extensive list of craft beers that you’d only find at one of the specialty beer bars in Berkshire County. This still-new spot was opened by the people behind Mazzeo’s, so you can trust the ownership and the food.

Best Specialty Drink
Beer Shakes
Wahconah Park - Pittsfield Suns
Pittsfield’s summer baseball team, the Suns, who play at historic Wahconah Park, introduced a new beverage to their concessions last summer. The Beer Shakes came in three different varieties, including Guinness Chocolate and Blue Moon Creamsicle. Drop by the first-base stand and pick one of these up to cool you off during one of their infamous sun delays, they are heavenly and a great addition to the ballgame this summer.

Best Place to Dance/Sing

Fairways at the A
Pittsfield
Fairways provides Berkshire County residents with a place to let loose and move to the music. A solid bar is backed up by a big banquet room, where the Fairways staff often hosts live music on the weekends and the occasional weeknight. Fairways is common home to local talent such as Whiskey City and Blackwater. They will also host popular DJs and karaoke nigts.

Best Open-Air Spot
Hops & Vines Beer Garden & Brasserie
Williamstown
If you find yourself in north Berkshire County this summer, be sure to check out the “Hops” beer garden at Hops & Vines. Their outdoor patio area provides a classic beer garden experience with an approachable, casual environment perfect for family style seating or group dining. Enjoy that beautiful Williamstown air while drinking a nice craft brew in the sunshine.

Best Most Underrated Spot
Friends Grille
Pittsfield
Often left out of the nightlife conversation in Pittsfield’s crowded downtown area, Friends Grille is tucked just off of North Street on Seymour, behind Berkshire Medical Center. Friends is a solid sports bar that is capable of masquerading as an inexpensive dinner spot or night club. Enjoy a bunch of TVs, DJs on the weekends and sign up for their text alerts for great weekday food deals and trivia clues. In the summer, check out their backyard tiki bar patio.

Best Margarita
Panchos
Pittsfield
Paradise in a glass, the Panchos Margaritas are a satisfying way to unwind. Made with freshly squeezed lime juice you’ll be transported away to a tropical wonderland after one sip. Best of all, their delicious drink pairs well with their excellent selection of authentic Mexican cuisine.

Best Bar Celebration
Fairway’s at the A Halloween PArty
Pittsfield
On October 31 all the ghouls come out to party at the Fairways at the A Halloween Party. With cheap drink specials, live music and a costume contest to brings out some of the scariest, funniest and most creative costumes in the Berkshires its a great time that should be on everyone’s list for Halloween fun.

Best Speakeasy
Down County Social Club
Sheffield
A great secret in the Berkshires, this awesome joint can be found below the Stage Coach Tavern. Feel like you are back in the age of Prohibition with their hidden bar selection of local beers, wine and more. Best of all, the Down County Social Club plays hosts to some of the region’s most talented performers with shows in an incredibly intimate setting. It’s an unforgettable space, if you can find it.

NIGHTLIFE: Readers' Choice (Return to The Best top)
Best Restaurant/Lounge

Alta
Lenox
Any great lounge needs a great atmosphere and even better drinks, Alta has both. The sleek look combined with some of the more creative and tasty drinks around make this place a must see. Here’s a hint, try the Maple Leaf made with Maker’s Mark, Maple Syrup, Wormwood Bitter and natural cherries.

Best Band
Whiskey City
Pittsfield
Randy Cormier, Frank Algerio, Beth Maturevich, Dale Zavatter, Jason Webster and Tim Sears have become known as the Berkshires favorite band to have a good time with. It may come from the depth of talent in the group. These musicians have been blessed with the opportunities to tour nationally and share the stage with legends like Eric Church, Brett Eldredge, Thompson Square, James Wesley, Dustin Lynch, Willie Nelson, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Little Feat, Foghat & The Outlaws and many more.

Best Karaoke
Michael’s
Stockbridge
With a song bank of thousands upon thousands upon THOUSANDS of hits ranging from Michael Buble to Metallica and every possible tune in between, Michael’s Restaurant and Lounge is the place to go in the Berkshires if you want to scratch the Karaoke itch. They’ve even got 46 different iconic TV show theme songs if your idea of a night on the town is a couple of brews and serenading the night away to theme of All in the Family. With outstanding service and a warm and welcoming atmosphere, Michael’s is the place to sing your heart out.

Best Little Bar

The Well
Great Barrington
The Well may be the best little pub around, but it’s a big draw for a reason: A quality selection of affordable drinks and grade-A bartenders pouring them – it’s as simple as that. Even when it’s inevitably packed every Friday night, the friendly and more-than-competent staff make sure every customer is satisfied. So whether you’re there for the best Guinness pour in town, a specialty “Well-tini,” or if you brought your appetite for their oft raved-about pesto pizza or award-winning wings, you’ll quickly see why The Well is the place for a low-key night on the town.

Best Sports Bar
Mazcots
Lenox
Since they opened only a few years ago Mazcots has already become the people’s favorite place to watch the big game. With great drinks and food and plenty of flat-screens there is everything the sports fan need to enjoy a game with friends. The walls covered with sports magazines only adds to the great athletic feeling of the place.

Best Local Bar
Olde Heritage Tavern
Lenox
In a town known for tourist this is a place that locals can escape the bustle of the town and just sit back and enjoy a drink and some good company. Bargain drinks (beer as cheap as $2) and great food deals like $5.99 burger night make it the kind of place you can hangout at any night of the week and all year long.

Best Frozen Drinks

Xichotencatl
Great Barrington
This is the place that you probably know from their great guacamole, but the frozen drinks they are serving up are even better. Once summer comes around, who wouldn’t want to enjoy some chips and a tasty, frozen drink from one of the best Mexican restaurants in the entire county?

Best Bartender
Leia, Olde Heritage Tavern
Lenox
In a place full of experienced hands behind the bar, the readers had a tough time picking just one from the ‘Taj alone. Multiple bartenders got votes from the Olde Heritage, but Leia came out on top. Her bubbly personality and skill mixing up a great cocktail keeps local and tourists alike coming back for more.

Best Local Hangout
The Gypsy Joynt
Great Barrington
This place is the most hoping spot in Great Barrington. You see the regulars week-in week out in their funky atmosphere that always leads to a good time. With a bar stocked with great beer including brews from Glass Bottom Brewery in Lee, Wandering Star in Pittsfield and other great local breweries. They also offer spirits that include a great selection of Sheffield’s Berkshire Mountain Distillery offerings and a huge chalkboard full of mixed drink options some standards and some as unique and quirky as the place that serves it. Their menu is packed with delicious offerings from sandwiches to burgers to pizzas all made with ingredients as local as possible. As for entertainment, the Gypsy Joynt is THE place to see local bands in Great Barrington. Every month the Joynt hosts a schedule packed with great regional and local bands with no cover to get in and on Wednesday they open up the stage to everyone for a great open mic night.

Best Club
The Underground Pub
Pittsfield
If you want to get down you have to go underground. The fantastic bar at the Crowne Plaza, this place hosts a ton of awesome events throughout the week that will get people jumping. Along with a varying schedule of live events, the Underground Pub also hostweekly music events that are sure to please anyone regardless of their music taste. On Fridays, check out DJ Stylus and DJ Sen-Gee, two local DJs who spin the best in hip hop, reggae and more and if country is more your speed, check them out on Thursday nights with Country night with Randy Cormier.

Best Pool (North)
Casey’s Billiards
Pittsfield
This place is the mecca for pool sharks. With a room filled with top of the line pool tables you’ll be sure to rack ‘em up in no time. Casey’s also routinely host local bands and has a well stock bar with absolutely great prices and specials to keep you night in high spirits even if you scratch on the 8 ball.

Best Pool (south)
Bogies
Great Barrington
A classic American pool hall, Bogies is one of the best places to play in a relaxed and fun environment. Bogies offers free pool nights on Monday’s and Tuesdays from 7 to close and are host to tournaments every Thursday. Bogies also has the benefit of being a great steak and ale house, so you’re sure to get a great meal all while showing off your pool shark skills.

Best Thursday Night Hangout
Mission Bar and Tapas
Pittsfield
Mission Bar and Tapas is a great place to go most nights of the week already, and on Thursday Nights they offer one of the best live acts in town for a lively show to go along with their great atmosphere. The Picky Bastards perform every Thursday to an always packed audience. The Picky Bastards are a collective of rotating local musicians playing Folk, Rock, Americana tunes and everything in between. The nights are hosted by Dave Brown and Chris Merenda. As always you can also enjoy their stacked menu of craft beers and Spanish wines as well as there great selection of tapas to go along with a great musical evening.

Best Ladies Night

Bogies
Great Barrington
Our readers loved Bogies in 2015. Another great reason to visit this place is the Ladies Night. One of the premiere nightlife events is Ladies night and you’ll get a great deal at Bogies. With Drink specials all night on Ladies Night Bogies Pub & Grill including $1 off all glasses of wine. They also host live entertainment with DJ Seduction spinning some of the best music in town. Also on
Wednesdays, they offer $6.50 Pint Bombs, which includes a pint of domestic beer with any bomb you want.

Best Place to Enjoy a Whiskey
Thistle and Mirth
Pittsfield
Thistle and Mirth are well known for their incredible beer selection, but a trip there can also get you you a nice glass of whiskey. Whether you drink bourbon or scotch their top shelf selection will be prepared either neat or on the rocks for a smooth night cap. From Knob Creek to Berkshire’s Own Berkshire Mountain Distillery, the people at Thistle have a great appreciation for a fine glass to sip and enjoy.

Best Spot for Late Night Grub

J Allen’s
Pittsfield
When you are out on the town you’ll need to refuel at some point, making the need for a late night eatery vitally important. J Allen’s has what you need for that midnight snack in Pittsfield. Open until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays their menu boasts pub favorites including out of this world boneless wings in a variety of delicious sauces and their soft pretzel bites with a mustard ale sauce for dipping that well quell any hunger. J Allen’s also hosts pool tables, arcade games, karaoke and a healthy list of craft beers from in and around the area so you may find yourself sticking around after your meal.

Best Place to See Live Music

The Lions Den
Stockbridge
It’s a tough choice to pick where to see live bands in the Berkshires. But no one does live music like the Lions Den. Every night, that’s right every single night, you can see a live band or musician take the stage. Their shows include some of the best acts in the region and are always without a cover charge. Top it off with a great drink menu and kick back in there comfortable lounge that has been a part of the Berkshires since before the Revolutionary War.

Best Place to Boogie Down
Berkshire Contra Dances
Sheffield, Lenox
A key part of going out on the town is getting out to dance, and luckily for the Berkshires, there is a wealth of great dancing groups ready to get you on the floor. The Lenox and Sheffield Contra Dance groups have been offering a space for people to learn, practice and partake in Contra dance for years. With a special guest each month providing the call, everytime is guaranteed to be a unique and exciting event. The dances are opened to everyone of any skill level and for begginers, they offer lessons prior to the start of the actual dance event along with a potluck dinner to socialize.

Best Place to See Comedy
The Garage at the colonial Theater
Pittsfield
Berkshire Theater Festival hit a home run with the Garage. An intimate venue on the Colonial Theater campus, this spot has hosted many great acts and been a starting ground for local comedians and musicians to perform. It’s seating brings you face-to-face with performers for a unique experience. The Garage is keeping the torch lit on the Berkshire Comedy scene.


HOME & DESIGN (Return to The Best top)
Best Trusted Real Estate Company

Wheeler & Taylor Realty
Doug Goudey
Great Barrington
As a keystone to Berkshire County real estate and a well-trusted and well-respected institution since 1871, Wheeler & Taylor Realty remains and continues to be an expert at redefining the local real estate industry standard. For now, more than 141 years later, Wheeler & Taylor Realty has been assisting buyers and sellers with their ideal property(s), homes, farms, lands and businesses, throughout Berkshire County. With an unfaltering commitment to general excellence and expansive knowledge of the local real estate market, the real estate professionals at Wheeler & Taylor are the best at providing over-the-top service to all their clients, no matter the budget. Doug Goudey, president of Wheeler & Taylor, says, “Our agents truly love working with our clients. This translates into passionate and professional agents that provide excellent service. This creates a client base that returns generation after generation back to Wheeler & Taylor”. The Berkshires best trusted real estate company, Wheeler & Taylor – a tradition since 1871.
Phone: 413-528-1006

Best Selling Broker in the Berkshires 2014
Chapin Fish
Brockman Real Estate - the Berkshires
Great Barrington
In the Berkshires, there is only one Best Selling Broker - Chapin Fish. As the principal broker and partner of Brockman Real Estate - the Berkshires, his annual sales of residential real estate consistently place him at the top of all other Berkshire brokers and agents. Whether you’re currently in the market for a first or second home or a multi-million dollar estate, Chapin’s extensive experience and real estate expertise is why he continues to be named the best selling broker in the Berkshires – year after year. His creative and innovative marketing techniques combined with honest advice assure success in buying, selling or renting real estate throughout the Berkshires. Chapin says “What is Best? We believe ‘Best’ is custom-tailored every time, to every client and every experience - achievingng your goals is what we do best and your satisfaction is our only measure of success. Give Chapin a call today! Address: 276 Main Street, Great Barrington Web: berkshiresforsale.com
Phone: 413-528-4859

Best Real Estate Company
Berkshire Property Agents
Great Barrington
Under the successful leadership of Tim Lovett and Jen Harvey, Berkshire Property Agents has become the preeminent force in South County real estate. Helping lead the growth in both first and second home sales, Berkshire Property Agents continually sets the standard in South County by providing premier real estate services matched with a commitment to help buyers and sellers get the most out of their real estate transactions. Whether you’re in the market for a first or second home, rental or a luxury estate, Berkshire Property Agent is well versed in every facet of the local real estate market. They understand even the most discerning clients’ needs.
Phone: 413-528-6800

Best Realtor for Land Use, Conservation & Development

Dale Abrams
Wheeler & Taylor Realty
Great Barrington
Awareness, expertise and experience is what really sets Dale Abrams apart from all the other Realtors in South County when it comes to land use, conservation & development. Abrams has been working with clients for over 10 years throughout the county in pursuit of finding the perfect spot to develop their future home. Don’t make a costly mistake when it comes to building your dreams. The first correct step is choosing the right Realtor for the project. Put Abrams to work for you and you’ll get the attention and expertise you require and the satisfaction you expect.
Phone: 413-528-1006

Best Location for a Real Estate Office
Barnbrook Realty
Great Barrington 
Conveniently located in the heart of Great Barrington at 271 Main Street, Barnbrook Realty’s beautiful, well-designed and state-of-the-art office offers the best location for a real estate office – bar none. Whether you’re buying or selling real estate in the tri-state area, you’ll take comfort in a stress-free visit to their perfectly situated locale. Thanks to ample off-street parking in their adjoining parking lot, finding a parking space is never a hassle. And with their full window display of the area’s most attractive listings, even after hours you can browse all types of Berkshire County listings. Stop in, or stop by today to experience why Barnbrook is considered the best located real estate office in South County.
Phone: 413-528-4423

Best Historic Home Specialists
Elyse Harney Real Estate
Salisbury, Conn.
The tri-state area features some of the most beautiful historic homes in all of New England. However, finding just the right one is no easy task. Luckily, Elyse Harney Real Estate is always there to help. Their knowledgeable staff of hard-working and seasoned real estate professionals consistently demonstrates an unparalleled understanding and appreciation of the area’s historic homes. Elyse Harney Real Estate can help even the most discerning buyers find the perfect historic home while keeping budget and location always in mind. Stop by or give them a call today and learn why they consistently exceed their customers’ expectations and why they’ve earned the reputation as the best historic home specialists in the tri-state area. And when, or if, the time comes to sell your historic home, Elyse Harney Real Estate will help you find the right buyer.
Phone: 860-435-2200

Best Second Home Specialist
Rose Baumann
Wheeler & Taylor Realty
Great Barrington
Rose Baumann beats the competition when it comes to finding ideal second homes in the Berkshires. Her dedication and goal-orientated approach helps out-of-state buyers find their ideal second home no matter what the size of their budget. She is focused on always keeping her clients property attributes on the forefront of her search. While the creed of real estate has always been location, location, location...Baumann fully understands that price, style, square footage are all just as important to her clients’ needs as the property’s location. She has a well proven track record with second home buyers and would love the opportunity to help you find your Berkshire second home.
Phone: 413-528-1006

Best Real Estate Broker in New Marlborough
Mary White
Barnbrook Realty
Great Barrington
With diverse expertise in New Marlborough commercial and residential real estate, Mary White has earned her merits. White’s keen knowledge of the market and decades of experience helping people buy and sell real estate in the five villages that make up New Marlborough clearly demonstrates that there is no other Berkshire County broker more qualified to help you buy and sell your next home in New Marlborough. It’s no wonder why so many people list their properties with Mary White and Barnbrook Realty in New Marlborough. “I moved to New Marlborough in 1971; it immediately became my home. I just love it here,” Mary White said. If you’re looking for a hardworking, dedicated and success-driven broker in New Marlborough, Mary White is your answer.
Phone: 413-528-4423 

Best Up & Comers
Lauren Baumann & Trish Petricca
Wheeler & Taylor Realty
Great Barrington
As both Berkshire County natives and new to the real estate business within the last year, Lauren Baumann and Trish Petricca are becoming names to watch in South County real estate. Baumann, who grew up in Great Barrington says, “This is a special time in the Berkshires...where more and more people are beginning to recognize its beauty and small-town appeal, whether vacationing here or re-locating from nearby cities. Each town has its unique attributes, and all compile into a rare and exceptional environment which appeals to people of all ages.” Trish Petricca is truly passionate about caring for her clients, whether they are buyers or sellers. Trish goes on to say, “ I like to take the time to really listen to my clients, and get to know them on a more personal level, to find them not just a house, but a “home”
Phone: 413-528-1006

Best Boutique Real Estate Company
Berkshire Country Homes, LLC
Great Barrington
Berkshire Country Homes Real Estate is the area’s premier boutique real estate company. As the owner and principle broker of Berkshire Country Homes Real Estate, Marlene Goldstein has built her successful boutique real estate company on a strong foundation of customer driven service, integrity, creativity and relentless hard work. Whether you’re in the market to buy, sell, rent or you’re looking for a vacation or investment property, Berkshire Country Homes Real Estate offers the close customer relationship you’d expect from the area’s top boutique real estate company “Helping you realize your Vision For Living is at the heart of everything we do!” Log on today and enjoy their award winning website at berkshirecountryhomesrealestate.com.
Phone: 413-717-0773

Best Real Estate Broker/Owner

Maureen White
Barnbrook Realty
Great Barrington
What does it take to be the best broker is South County? It takes hard work, determination, leadership and a proven track record in this highly competitive market. These are all principal acumens of Maureen White. As the co-owner of Barnbrook Realty, White has a penchant for success and an extensive knowledge of commercial and residential real estate throughout the tri-state area. With over 26 years experience in the Berkshire County real estate market, Maureen White continually stands out as the best broker/owner, and she is a role model to her entire staff as well as other brokers throughout the area. She has also led her company into one of the top real estate companies in South County.
Phone: 413-528-4423

Best Internet Marketing
Jen Harvey
Berkshire Property Agents
Great Barrington
When it comes to successfully marketing your home online, you need an expert. Jen Harvey is an expert at designing, developing and implementing cohesive and effective internet marketing campaigns and strategies. Backed by a strong and seasoned IT support department at Berkshire Property Agents, she has successfully mastered the art of developing effective online marketing campaigns to reach buyers throughout the world. Harvey can target realistic prospects and deliver what clients ultimately want – results!  “93% of buyers find their home online! We cast the largest net we can to capture and hold the attention of these prospects by having the best photos, understandable and smart copy and the tools needed to answer immediate questions at your fingertips,” said Harvey.  By giving her clients the best and most effective internet marketing tools and strategies available on the market today, she continuously exceeds client expectations and gets the global exposure that properties need to sell.
Phone: 413-528-6800


Best Realtor Of Hard To Sell Properties

Tim Donnelly
Wheeler & Taylor Realty
Great Barrington
Tim Donnelly is a Realtor of many talents. As a top producer at Wheeler & Taylor Realty, he’s dedicated, hardworking and puts the same effort into every real estate transaction – no matter the price of the property. This kind of enthusiasm gives him the motivation and drive he needs to succeed and his track record speaks for itself. Find out today why his clients continually say, “You’ll never wonder why you chose Tim and you’ll be happy that you did.” Give Tim Donnelly a call today for either buying or selling your next property  - no matter the price. 
Phone: 413-528-1006

Best Residential & Commercial Realtor
Deborah Levinson
Berkshire Property Agents
Great Barrington
Deborah Levinson knows local real estate. She’s been helping clients buy and sell both residential and commercial real estate for many years. Whether you’re looking for a home or a business, she has the unbridled enthusiasm, appreciation to working with and listening to clients and success that any discerning buyer or seller looks for in a top producer. “It never ceases to amaze me that generation after generation of energetic, talented and diverse people are continually discovering the allure of the Berkshires for the first time. Working with them to launch a business or find their dream country home never gets old...or boring,” Levinson pointed out. She knows how to cater to practically any client, whether residential or commercial, first time, luxury, local or international buyers.
Phone: 413-528-6800

Best Commercial Real Estate Agent

Kim Wilder
Barnbrook Realty
Great Barrington
Who’s the top commercial realtor in South County? Simple. Kim Wilder. Wilder is a local powerhouse and proven commodity when it comes to helping her clients buy and sell Berkshire County commercial real estate. As a commercial specialist with Barnbrook Realty, Kim knows and fully understands all aspects of commercial real estate within the tri-state area.  She offers everything from buying, selling and developing commercial property in Berkshire County as well as New York State and Connecticut. Whether your commercial project is large or small, Kim is your contact here in South County for commercial real estate throughout the area.
Phone: 413-528-4423

Best Top-Producer

Christian Deckert
Berkshire Property Agents
Great Barrington
Christian Deckert is one of the area’s preeminent top producing Realtors. His annual sales consistently place him at the top of not only his company, Berkshire Property Agents, but he has earned his position in the top 1% of all Realtors in Berkshire County. Whether you’re currently in the market for a first or second home, condo or even a magnificent estate, Deckert’s experience, drive and penchant for success will help you find the property of your dreams. Find out today why more clients turn to Christian Deckert when it comes to buying or selling their home.
Phone: 413-528-6800

Best Realtor for New Marlborough
Freddy Friedman
Wheeler & Taylor Realty
Great Barrington
Welcome to New Marlborough. It’s small, but it’s a great place that many first and second homeowners love to call home. Friedman is passionate about his community and is keenly knowledgeable about almost every aspect of real estate throughout New Marlborough. A resident and renowned expert in New Marlborough real estate, he knows the local real estate market like the back of his hand.  No matter the size or type of property, he can help almost any buyer with small, medium or large budgets find the ideal New Marlborough property.
Phone: 413-298-3786

Best Real Estate Company for Social Media
Kristin Piasecki
Barnbrook Realty
Great Barrington
Social media has become such an integral part of marketing real estate online. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media platform sellers need these 21st century tools in order to give them the extra advantage to list and sell properties. Creating the buzz is the end result, but successfully implementing techniques to popularize properties utilizing all the aspects of social media marketing is a true art form. Kristin Piasecki at Barnbrook Real Estate is the area’s premier social media marketing maven. Call her today or go online and she how she can help you give your property the social media edge it needs to sell.
Phone: 413-528-4423

Best Luxury Broker
Barbara Schulman
Berkshire Property Agents
Great Barrington
If you’re looking to drop seven or more figures on your next Berkshire County property, there’s one attractive figure you have to see first: Barbara Schulman. She’s known as the queen of Berkshire County luxury real estate. She knows every aspect of Berkshire County luxury properties and has a superabundance of experience in high-end home purchases and sales. She’s a powerhouse luxury broker with Berkshire Property Agents with many years of experience helping guide many local and out-of-town home buyers and sellers with their luxury property transactions throughout her highly successful career. “When working with clients in the Berkshires and New York, it is very important that I show them value. My clients have a lot of options. They are extremely business savvy and smart. I need to be on my ‘A’ game and I am always honest to a fault!” she said. Let her experience, knowhow and past successes guide you through your next luxury real estate purchase or sale here in the Berkshires. 
Phone: 413-528-6800

Best Interior Designer
Sue Schwarz
Sheffield
As Principal of Gallery 315 Home in Sheffield, Sue Schwarz is committed to helping her clients to transform their living spaces into comfortable uncluttered homes that meet their needs. Her beautiful clean designs for both modern and traditional homes reflect a wide diversity of style and scope. In fact, Sue Schwarz has already been voted “Best Interior Designer in the Berkshires 2014,” (Berkshire Record) and “Best in Houzz Service Award 2015.” Rave reviews on Houzz support Schwarz’s philosophy of partnering with clients and interpreting their vision, a collaboration that results in a far less daunting process and a successful outcome. In addition to her Gallery315 Home showroom’s collection of antiques, Sue makes scheduled trips to resources in NYC with individuals and small groups of area residents to provide wholesale access and expertise. Clients get help sourcing furniture, fabric and lighting, re-upholstering furniture that feels “dated,” and integrating the old with the new. Provided Sue is not out “on the hunt.” she is at the showroom Thursday-Sunday, 11-5. Call ahead to make an appointment or to schedule your complimentary home consultation.
Phone: 917-701-3841

Best Realtor for Tri-Town Properties

Chuck Gillett
Wheeler & Taylor Realty
Great Barrington
Specializing in Lee, Lenox and Stockbridge is a well- known resident in this local community triad. Working out of Wheeler & Taylor Realty’s Stockbridge office gives him the perfect locale to apply his many years of experience and connections to buyers and sellers who wish to find and/or sell properties throughout the Lee, Lenox and Stockbridge markets. “What real estate is about,” he says,“is putting my client’s best interests first.”If you’re looking to buy or sell in Lee, Lenox or Stockbridge, you need only one point of contact - Chuck Gillett.
Phone: 413-298-3786

Best Relocation Specialist
Russ Stein
Berkshire Property Agents
Great Barrington
Are you relocating to, or from the Berkshires? Russ Stein is here to help you through every step of the process. Having owned a second home in the Berkshires region for over 20 years, and then eventually moving with his family here 5 years ago as a full time resident, Russ has deep personal knowledge of the relocation process. He has successfully helped people as they transition into or out of the Berkshires. “Nothing makes me happier than finding someone the perfect home,” add Stein. He helps make the buying, selling and moving process more manageable and helps reduce the stress of this life changing event. Together with his support team at Berkshire Property Agents, Russ can guide you through the re-location process with maximum efficiency, and minimum stress.
Phone:413-528-6800

Best Second Home Realtor

Tom Lynch
Berkshire Property Agents
Great Barrington
If you are looking for a second home in the Berkshires, Tom Lynch is your local Realtor. As an Associate Broker with Berkshire Property Agents, he’s familiar with what out-of-town buyers want in a second home since he was a weekender for many years before moving here full-time 12 years ago.  Whether it’s a waterfront home, a secluded cabin, or a more modern homestead,  Tom Lynch can help you find what you’re looking for.  Tom believes: “Listening carefully to what buyers want is key to helping them find their dream home.
Phone: 413-528-6800

Best Realtor for Land Sales
Claudia Crane
Berkshire Property Agents
Great Barrington
Claudia Crane is a Berkshire County land sales experience with a lot of experience. Her creative approach and time-tested methodology of land sales can help even the most stubborn parcel or parcels of land sell. She can get the exposure your property(s) need to qualified and realistic buyers through her vast contact database at Berkshire Property Agents. Give her call today to setup an appointment and let her help you get that property sold.
Phone: 413-528-6800

Best B&B Sales Specialist
Jim Conroy
Barnbrook Realty
Great Barrington
Looking for a great Bed and Breakfast in the Berkshires? Jim Conroy is your man. Born and raised in Boston, Conroy is a former contractor, chef and as a Bed and Breakfast owner himself, he knows every facet of B&Bs. As a creative problem solver, and an excellent listener, he can help you find the right B&B to meet your needs and expectations. He can also help you market it for you when it’s time to sell. Currently, Conroy serves on the board of the Brien Foundation as chairman of the Building Committee and on the board of the Lenox Club as head of Building and Grounds. It’s no accident that “Building” is in his titles, and he is here for you as your B&B specialist.
Phone: 413-528-4423

Best Realtor for 1st Time Homebuyers
Marji Keefner West
Wheeler & Taylor Realty
Great Barrington
So you want to buy a home in the Berkshires and it’s your first time. First, relax. Second, call Marji Keefner-West. She has over 20 years of experience selling Berkshire County residential real estate to new homebuyers. As one of the area’s most experienced Realtors, she specializes in working directly with first-time homebuyers throughout Central and South County. Marji knows exactly what it takes to help first-time homebuyers comprehend all of the aspects of buying their first home. Find out today why more first-time homebuyers feel comfortable throughout the process and fully satisfied with the end results that Marji delivers. She also specializes in selling properties in Great Barrington in the area known as ‘the Hill’.
Phone: 413-528-1006

Best Real Estate Agent in Monterey
Dagmar Kubes
Barnbrook Realty
Great Barrington
While getting to Monterey is not that difficult, buying and selling property there is no easy task. You really have to know and understand the market. That’s why more and more people are turning to broker-associate Dagmar Kubes to buy, rent and sell Monterey properties. Kubes was born and raised in Prague, Czech Republic, and has extensively traveled the world before she and her husband settled in Monterey herself. With over 15 years of real estate experience in Berkshire County real estate, she continually provides superior services to her clients and buyers and sellers in Monterey as well as throughout South County.
Phone: 413-528-4423

Best Pest Control
Catseye Pest Control
Berkshire County
Catseye Pest Control is a trusted, family-owned business servicing residential and commercial institutions. Catseye has been protecting homes and families for over 25 years and is one of the few elite companies in the nation to receive the Quality Pro Badge, the Mark of Excellence in Pest Management. Catseye’s mission is to provide clients in the Berkshires with the best pest management service experience from beginning to end. We eliminate and prevent pest infestations, while maintaining protection to our clients’ homes and families along with being stewards to the environment.

Best Fuel Company
Kimball Fuels
Great Barrington
You won’t get left out in the cold next winter with Kimball Fuels, a leader in home heating oil, diesel fuel, propane and heating services. Kimball Fuels has been warming homes and businesses for many years. Built on the strong tradition of providing excellent products and first-rate customer service, it is no wonder that Kimball Fuels is a leader in providing Berkshire County full and part-time residents with heating fuels. They also have a 24-hour service department that can repair, maintain and install a full range of boilers, tanks and other home heating related products.
Phone: 413-528-1410

Best Website
Elyse Harney Real Estate
Salisbury, Conn.
Looking for the best designed, maintained and updated website that has access to the finest listings throughout the tri-state area? It’s simple; Elyse Harney Real Estate’s website - harneyre.com.  Professional designed and easy to navigate, harneyre.com is user friendly and also features mobile and smart device friendly versions.  Once you enter harneyre.com, you’ll be able find the area’s best and most up-to-date listings including residential, commercial, land, condos, multi-family, and rentals, as well as have access to MLS listings throughout the tri-state area.”Since the launch of our new web site in May, 2014, we have received much praise on the thorough information provided, and the ease of navigation. Traffic to our site has doubled, with longer sessions, and a greater amount of page views,” said Scott Morris of Elyse Harney Real Estate. Find out today why more and more people are searching for tri-state area’s listings on harneyre.com.
Phone: 860-435-2200

Best Real Estate Agent for Garden Properties
Judith Owens
Barnbrook Realty
Great Barrington
The Berkshires real estate landscape is adorned with some of the most spectacular gardens. Finding the perfect home with these luscious and beautifully landscaped gardens takes a keen eye and a lot of insight. If your desire is garden properties, Judith Owens is the only name you need to remember. A an active member of Berkshire Botantical Garden as well as a member of the Berkshire County Board of Realtors and a Certified Buyer’s Representative (CBR), she has broken records for the largest residential and condo sales in the Berkshires. A graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Speech, Owens enjoyed careers in New York as fashion/beauty editor with Vogue Children and Glamour. Her understanding, interpreting and communicating consumer ‘lifestyle’ gives her the precise credentials you’ll need for buying and selling garden properties in the Berkshires.
Phone: 413-528-4423

Best Real Estate Agent who Gives Back to the Community
Suzann Ward
Barnbrook Realty
Great Barrington
While there are many Realtors in the Berkshires who give back to their communities, there stands one above the rest for her steadfast determination and dedication to giving back. In South County, that person is Suzann Ward. She was recently awarded the Good Neighbor Award from the Berkshire County Board of Realtors for her steadfast work and direction of Breaking Bread. As the organizations co-chair, she oversees the day-to-day operations of Breaking Bread which serves meals to less fortunate families throughout Berkshire County. She has practiced real estate for the past 15 years and truly loves every facet of her job. Suzann has designations for CBR as well as ABR and has been a top-producer at Barnbrook Realty in previous years.
Phone: 413-528-4423

Best Real Estate Agent for Condominiums
Christina Stewart
Barnbrook Realty
Great Barrington
An experienced and successful businesswoman with several years of real estate experiences in condominium sales, Christina Stewart has had a well respected career in the sales and rentals of resort and condominium properties throughout the area.  With her diverse expertise and connections in the Berkshire County condo scene and knowledge of the overall market (North, Central or South Berkshire County), Stewart will provide you with the know-how you’ll need to find just the right condominium. If you’re looking for either a primary, secondary or investment condo, or you need help selling your current property, give her a call today to get started.
Phone: 413-528-4423

Best Service In Real Estate
Brockman Real Estate - the Berkshires
Great Barrington
If you’re looking for your next home in the Berkshires, or need help selling your current property, Brockman Real Estate - the Berkshires offers unparalleled real estate services. Founded nearly 40 years ago by Bill Brockman and Jack Jefferson, this premier real estate firm provides every real estate service that you want, and need. Managed by powerhouse broker and partner Chapin Fish, Brockman Real Estate - the Berkshires is just as committed today to providing the ultimate 5-star personalized service as they did when they started. They are a cutting-edge, authentic, professional and straightforward real estate firm with proven market expertise and decades of experience and success. For a complete and comprehensive solutions-based approach to your next real estate transaction, call Brockman Real Estate - the Berkshires today at 413-528-4859 or visit them at their office and store: farm & home at 276 Main Street in downtown Great Barrington, and on the web: berkshiresforsale.com
Phone: 413-528-4859

Best Agent for Those Looking to Rent Their Homes
Claudia Laslie
Barnbrook Realty
Great Barrington
Renting a home in South County can be daunting task – to say the least. While there are many who offer the service, there is one Realtor that more and more people turn to rent their homes – Claudia Laslie. As a Realtor-associate with Barnbrook Realty and her highly successful business, Berkshire Property Rentals, she sells and rents properties of all different price ranges throughout the Berkshires, she has succeeded where others have failed. Put the power of Laslie’s expertise and market knowledge to work for you today.
Phone: 413-528-4423

Best Real Estate Agent for Those Looking to Develop

Brian Killeen
Barnbrook Realty
Great Barrington
An historical gem or a modern masterpiece? It’s hard to decide when you’re looking for a piece of property to develop in Berkshire County. Luckily, Brian Killeen is here to help. With 12 years of experience in developing property in Berkshire County, he can assist you in finding just the right piece of land to building your new home on. Once you’ve selected your parcel(s), Killeen will help walk you through the processes of development and facilitate the endeavor by working with the architects, construction team, permitting, etc. until your dream home comes to fruition.
Phone: 413-528-4423

Best New Agent
Annie Alquist
Barnbrook Realty
Great Barrington
Annie is positive, enthusiastic, honest, and kind.  An alumna of Smith College who graduated at the top of her class, Annie brings her sharp mind and love of learning to real estate, continually adding to her knowledge base of the area and of local market trends.  In addition to selling property, she also teaches yoga and is passionate about helping people to feel at home -- either in their own skin, or in the right house.  Whether you are buying or selling, Annie will put her all into every transaction. 
Phone: 413)-528-4423

Best Nursery
Ward’s Nursery
Great Barrington
Supplying gardeners in the Berkshires, eastern New York, and northwestern Connecticut, Ward’s grows over 1,400 perennial selections and 700 different houseplants. Founded in 1957, they opened a new garden center as recently as 2010, becoming more energy efficient and sustainable in the process. They also carry soil, seeding supplies, tools, pottery, and fertilizer, among other garden needs.
Phone: 413-528-0166

Best Home & Design Store
Farm & Home
Great Barrington
Have you ever walked in a home furnishing store and wanted everything? It rarely happens and when it does it’s usually in a major metropolitan area like New York, Boston, Chicago, or Los Angeles. Luckily in the Berkshires, we now have farm & home located at 276 Main Street, Great Barrington. The brainchild of Chapin & Kevin Fish, this impressive retail store, located in the heart of downtown Great Barrington at 276 Main St along with their premier real estate firm Brockman Real Estate - the Berkshires, features unique and beautiful American-made goods and furniture for your home and garden. You’ll find everything from tableware, candles, accessories, to reclaimed wood, upholstered and vintage furniture, wares and just about everything you’ll need, or want for the perfect Berkshire home and lifestyle. “We believe that the best things are made by people; that “flaws” can make things more special; that stories count; and that life is better when we surround ourselves with things we love and use”, say Chapin and Kevin Fish, owners of Farm & Home, and partners of Brockman Real Estate - the Berkshires. If you’re seeking stunning home furnishings in a variety of styles that can meet even the most discerning tastes, stop in and visit farm & home today – you’ll be glad you did! Web: farmandhome.us
Phone: 413-528-9100

Best Pool Construction Co.
Aqua Pools
Berkshire County
When it comes to designing and building your custom dream pool, Aqua Pool is your total pool construction solution with over 44-years of experience. Working with you every step of the way from the planning, designing and permitting phases throughout the construction of your custom pool, the professionals at Aqua Pool are there to help and guide you every step of the way. And remember, behind every great home is an Aqua Pool. It is not just the company’s slogan, it’s how you’ll feel in your new Aqua pool.
Phone: 800-722-2782

Best Place for Vintage Furniture
Circa
Pittsfield
Circa, the Berkshires’ self-proclaimed “resource for Big City Style,” is a unique mercantile in downtown Pittsfield that buys and sells vintage collectibles and Danish and mid-century furnishings. Opened in the summer of 2012, owner Rebecca Barnini has tapped into a thriving niche market, taking advantage of the growing opportunities on North Street.
Phone: 413-445-7200

Best Lenox Townhouses

Lenox Woods at Kennedy Park
Lenox
Lenox Woods at Kennedy Park is only 5 minutes to Tanglewood and close to all Berkshire attractions, including cultural venues, shopping, dining, golf and a full service hospital. These two floor units are approximately 1,800 square feet and each have a large first floor Master Bedroom with a 10-foot ceiling with crown molding. The spacious Great Room has a gas fireplace, 10-foot ceiling and connects to an open kitchen.
Phone: 413-637-0843

Best PIittsfield Townhouses
The Pines at Bousquet
Pittsfield
A luxury townhome community comfortably nestled at the foot of historic Bousquet Mountain Ski Resort. Centrally located near golfing, hiking, boating, cultural and historic destinations, shopping, hospital care, schools and major employment centers. In the summer, Bousquet is transformed into an adventure and water park.
Phone: 413-637-0843

Best Plumbing
LePrevost
Lee
Over 5,000 satisfied customers are reason enough to flush your worries down the drain when you’ve got the professionals at LePrevost handling your plumbing needs. For the past 16 years, they’ve been offering nationally-recognized oustanding service to seasonal and year-round Berkshire residents
Phone: 413-243-1777

Best Place for Remodeling

Morrison’s Home Improvement
Pittsfield
A fully licensed and insured General Contracting Company (GCC) established in 1992 by Steve Morrison, Morrison’s Home Improvement handles all parts of the home improvement process from handyman services to refurbishing and new construction. They specialize in saving customers energy and money through the installation of energy efficient windows and offer a large selection of products in every price range. They also guarantee quality work and customer satisfaction.
Phone: 413-442-3001

Best Home Insurance

Frank Consolati Insurance, Inc.
Lee
Serving Berkshire County families since 1942, Frank Consolati Insurance is a family-owned independent insurance company with a small, efficient staff that focus on providing personalized service to each individual client, allowing customers to work with the same experienced agent throughout the process from start to finish. They offer homeowners insurance, mobile home insurance, renters insurance and floor insurance, and bring their 71 years of experience to meeting the home insurance needs of Berkshire families.
Phone: (413) 243-0105



The Best 2016

Finding the Best the Berkshires has to offer is certainly no easy task.
So to help, the Berkshire Record is now featuring the best the Berkshire has to offer in The Berkshire Record Magazine Best 2016. You'll discover the best parts about living, working and playing in the Berkshires.
Each survey submitted will be entered to win a $50 gift certificate from a local participating restaurant. Pickup a copy of this week’s Record to find a complete survey and help us identify the Best in the Berkshires. You can also download a survey by clicking the link below. See survey for details.

Download The 2016 Best Reader Survey (PDF)
 

Submitting your complete survey:

Send us your completed survey by one of the following methods:
1. Mail: P.O. Box 868, Gt. Barrington, MA 01230
2. Drop Off: 21 Elm St., Gt. Barrington, MA 01230
3. E-Mail: scan & send to best@berkshirerecord.net
4. Fax: Fax to 413-528-9449