On Dec. 1, the Telegram & Gazette, the biggest newspaper in Central Massachusetts, will unveil the winners of its Best of Central Massachusetts poll for 2016. This reader-decided list makes for a great resource in helping us choose where we eat, shop, play, exercise and more. As we await the results, let’s take a look at a similar list released earlier this year by Worcester magazine. Here’s the Best of Worcester 2016:
Best Dessert: Sweet, 72 Shrewsbury St., Worcester
Let’s start with something important: dessert. Sweet is the go-to place for gourmet desserts in Worcester. They also offer a fine-dining sort of dinner menu, but it’s after dinner when Sweet truly shines. The affogato is delicious, and Sweet was making croissant donuts (or “cronuts”) before they were a thing. The s’mores come with an actual fire for you to roast it yourself. It doesn’t get any more legit than that. For the health-conscious, there’s always “I’m on a Diet,” a fruit and sorbet dessert.
Second place for desserts went to the very worthy (and brilliantly named) Wholly Cannoli.
Best Art Gallery: Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester
The choice for best art gallery went to the obvious pick, the Worcester Art Museum. With 35,000 items in its collections (spanning a whopping 5,000 years of human history), the Worcester Art Museum has something for fans of every kind of art. It also won in the overall “best museum” category.
We’d like to talk about the runner-up art museum, though. The Sprinkler Factory (38 Harlow St., Worcester) turns over its space to a different artist each month, giving the artist complete control to express his or herself. They regularly host events with live music and a cash bar, and have truly fostered an independent art scene in downtown Worcester. All art fans should check it out.
Best Dog Groomer: Dog Dayz, 1110 Pleasant St., Worcester
Dog lovers keep coming back to Dog Dayz for a reason: The staff here is knowledgeable, attentive, loving and experienced. They do a good job, and they have been for more than 20 years now. Whether it’s a haircut, brush or bath, Dog Dayz gets the job done.
Also, credit is due to Dog Dayz for their policy of only selling American-made products.
Best Yoga Studio: Metrowest Yoga, Worcester and Westborough
We love the selection for best yoga, because Metrowest also has a location on our home turf in Westborough. It’s well-deserved — Metrowest is no stranger to winning “best of” recognitions. They have beginner-friendly classes as well as advanced options, including hot yoga. They also teach yogis to be yoga instructors, which tells you they sure know their practice.
You’ll find Metrowest at 69 Milk St., Suite 100 in Westborough and 91 Prescott St. in Worcester.
Best Live Music Venue: Ralph’s, 148 Grove St., Worcester
Ralph’s is a split-level restaurant, bar and live music venue with a capacity of just 400. Every show at Ralph’s is intimate, and the place has developed lots of personality since opening in its current form in 1979. These include the obligatory band stickers everywhere, but also stranger adornments like mannequin legs that jut from the walls. This self-proclaimed “rock ‘n roll diner” is truly one of a kind.
Second place went to the Palladium, a longtime mainstay in the local rock and metal communities.
Check out the full list to find your next barber, car dealer, flower shop and much, much more!
Central Massachusetts has more great things than we can count, and that’s why we chose to open Parc Westborough here. Our upscale apartment community is located in beautiful Westborough. We offer high-class living with state-of-the-art amenities. Get in touch with us today to learn more, or schedule a tour online!