Best of Columbus 2014 readers poll winners

Justin McIntosh, Columbus Alive

It's fitting some of our Best of Columbus winners earned their designations during March Madness. See, this year featured multiple buzzer-beaters, including the closest-ever finish in the competition's history.

• View the Best of Columbus 2014 winners •

A mere two votes (two!) separated The Angry Baker and Explorers Club in the Best Vegetarian Restaurant category. Even the category's third and fourth-place finishers only trailed by 50-or-so votes. Other close finishes were found in the Best Local Alcohol (27 votes), Best Traditional Pizza (34 votes) and Best New Food Truck (65 votes) categories, among others.

Still, it wasn't all horseshoes and hand grenades, as evidenced by two prominent categories, Best New Bar and Best New Restaurant. It shouldn't surprise readers 16-Bit Bar + Arcade took home the former category, while Melt Bar and Grilled won the latter. The Fourth Street hotspot and the Short North grilled cheese mavens each claimed their honors with landslide margins.

The results are especially compelling considering Alive's Best of Columbus competition, which stretches from dining to nightlife to shopping, is the city's largest. More than 15,000 of you voted this year, compiling a grand-whopping 603,806 total votes. So, you know, democracy!

Definitive victors or not, we're all winners for getting to enjoy these cool-as-all-get-out businesses, though, right? Right. So, without further ado…

[Cues Joe Esposito and a "Karate Kid" montage.]

You're the best! Around! Nothing's ever gonna keep you down!

You're the best! Around! Nothing's ever gonna keep you dow-ow-ow-ow-own!