Columbus Alive's Best of Columbus 2021

Also included: Columbus Alive's Worst of Columbus 2021

Matthew J. Rolin and Jen Powers of the Powers/Rolin Duo at Dirty Dungarees.

Every year, we give our readers a chance to vote for their favorite places to eat, drink, shop and take in the thriving Columbus music and arts scenes. And every year our readers vote for El Vaquero, the Thurman Burger and anything Northstar.

So over the past couple of years we've tried shaking up the nominations, aiming for a more curated list that might distinguish our poll from the countless Best of Columbus contests pushed out by every publication in the city.

To round out the 2021 readers' poll, we also profiled some of the folks we've witnessed doing essential work across the city this last year, in addition to striving for balance with our annual Worst of Columbus picks.

Here is our Best of Columbus 2021.

Best of Columbus Readers’ Poll 2021: Dining

Best of Columbus Readers’ Poll 2021: Arts, Culture and Nightlife

Best of Columbus Readers' Poll 2021: Retail

Author and poet Hanif Abdurraqib

The Heart of It All: Newly named ‘genius’ Hanif Abdurraqib centers community

Voice of Columbus: Elissa Washuta continues to find clarity

Best chef: BJ Lieberman's collaborative approach shines at Chapman's Eat Market

Best ongoing stand: Tamala Payne fights for her late son, Casey Goodson

Best artist: Talle Bamazi documents the moment

Best musicians: Jen Powers and Matthew J. Rolin of Powers/Rolin Duo

Republican candidate for Ohio Senate Josh Mandel gives a thumbs up in agreement with an answer from candidate Bernie Moreno during a forum with four other Republican candidates at Genoa Baptist Church in Westerville, Ohio Oct. 24.

Worst of Columbus 2021