Past Winners 1998

1998 Best of the Best Winners: A walk down Memory Lane        

         Want to see WHO WON the first, original Best of the Best, People’s Choice Awards back in 1998?? Below are the winners as published in the January 1999 Bargain Hunter/El Baratillo.

Many of these fine businesses are still around today, while others are only a fond memory among long-time residents. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top a decade and a half later.

Obviously, for 2014 and beyond, the survey categories will be somewhat different. However, we have been able to use the 1998 categories and survey structure in creating an updated one.

SECTION 1 – QUALITY OF LIFE

NEIGHBORHOOD OR RESIDENTIAL AREA

       BEST AREA TO LIVE IN: Downtown Ajijic got the majority of

votes. Respondents repeatedly cited the convenience

found in its proximity to available amenities.

SAFEST: Believe it or not, “Anywhere in Mexico” won out

FRIENDLIEST: Tie between “Any predominately Mexican

neighborhood” and “Downtown Ajijic.”

MOST CONVENIENT: “Downtown Ajijic” by a landslide.

       BEST RETIREMENT HOME: Unanimously “La Casa Nostra.”

BEST SCHOOLS (PRIVATE OR PUBLIC)

              Kinder: Vasconcello’s

       Primaria: Oak Hill

       Secondaria: Oak Hill

       Prepa: Chapala Regional

BEST STREETS: Colón in Ajijic, followed by downtown Chapala

SECTION 2 – DINING & ENTERTAINMENT

RESTAURANTS

       MOST ECONOMICAL: California Restaurant, Chapala

MOST ROMANTIC: 1) La Nueva Posada; 2) La Luz de la Luna; and 3) La Posada Vieja

MOST FUN PLACE TO DINE: Cozumel & La Posada Vieja

BEST STEAKS: Bruno’s (by a landslide)

BEST MEXICAN FOOD: El Sarape, Ajijic; Mario’s, San Antonio

BEST INTERNATIONAL CUISINE: La Nueva Posada

BEST HAMBURGER: 1) Bruno’s; 2) Danny’s; 3) California Rest.

BEST CATERER: Jeff’s Catering

BEST SEAFOOD: Cozumel & California Rest.

FAVORITE PLACE TO TAKE VISITORS/GUESTS: The Cozumel

BEST UPSCALE RESTAURANT: La Nueva Posada

BEST ATMOSPHERE: 1) La Nueva Posada; 2) La Flor de Codoba

       BEST ETHNIC RESTAURANT:

Italian: Diana de Italia

German: Johanna’s

Oriental: 1) Min-Wah; 2) Ajijic Grill

Other: 1) Ajijic Grill; 2) Pimienta Negra

       BEST COFFEE: 1) Coffee Tree; 2)  Evie’s

DRINKING ESTABLISHMENTS

BEST ATMOSPHERE: Posada Vieja

BEST DRINKS: Giovanni’s

       NIGHTCLUB/DANCE HALL: Banana’s

BEST ENTERTAINMENT

       AGES 3-18: Tobolandia (by a landslide)

AGES 19+:  Banana’s

SECTION 3 – SPORTS & LEISURE

SPORTS

       BEST PLACE TO PLAY TENNIS: Raquet Club

BEST PLACE TO SWIM: Balneario San Juan Cosalá

BEST PLACE TO GOLF: Vista del Lago

BEST GYM: Ann Klaus Gym

BALNEARIO: San Juan Cosalá

BEST VIDEO RENTAL STORE: Video Centro

SECTION 4 – TRAVEL & LODGING

BEST VACATION SPOT: Mazamitla

BEST TRAVEL AGENCY: 1) Caminos Camelot; 2) Viajes Ajijic

BEST TOUR SERVICE: Charter Club Tours

       BEST HOTEL: La Nueva Posada

BEST BED & BREAKFAST: Ajijic B&B

       BEST CAMPGROUND: PAL Trailer Park

       BEST SOURCE FOR HOUSE RENTALS: Local Bulletin Boards

SECTION 5 – SHOPPING AROUND

SUPERMARKETS

       BEST SELECTION: Super Lake

BEST PRICES: El Torito

MISCELLANEOUS  

       BEST PHARMACY: 1) Hector’s Farmacia Morelos; 2) Clinica Ajijic

       BEST FILM PROCESSING: Kodak (nearest bus station) in Chapala

       BEST LAUNDROMAT: Patty’s in Chapala

       BEST CLOTHING STORE

              For Women: Fiaga Boutique

Children & Babies: El Desvan de Laura

Used: Re-Creations

BEST BOTTLED WATER: AGA

SUBDIVISION WITH BEST WATER: Chula Vista

BEST FRESH SEAFOOD: Jeff’s Seafood Market

BEST PLACE TO BUY PRODUCE: Tianguis

BEST PLACE TO BUY MEAT: Tony’s Meat Market (by a landslide)

BEST SATELLITE SERVICE: Satellite Systems of Ajijic

BEST BAKERY: Panaderia Rojas (Ajijic) by a landslide

BEST AUTO PARTS STORE: Aguirre’s (Chapala)

BEST ICE CREAM PARLOR: Bing’s

BEST HARDWARE STORE: Jara’s (Ajijic)

BEST TOY/NOVELTY STORE: Regalos Luz

BEST ART GALLERY: Daniel Palma

BEST DRY CLEANERS: Opus Boutique

BEST BAZAAR: Barbara’s Bazaar

BEST PAPELERIA: Papeleria Chapala (on Hidalgo)

BEST LIQUOR STORE: Tie between Beto’s & La Paz

BEST VIVERO (GREENHOUSE): 1) La Granja; 2) Flora Exotica

BEST SHOE STORE: Lety’s (Chapala)

SECTION6 – MEDICINE & HEALTH

MEDICAL

       BEST CLINIC: 1) Clinica Ajijic; 2) Maskaras

       BEST DOCTOR: 1) Dr. Alfredo Rodriguez; 2) Dr. Carlos Garcia; 3) Dr. Heredia

BEST DENTIST:  Ma. Luisa Luis Villa

BEST MEDICAL LAB: 1) Clinica Ajijic; 2) Maskaras

       BEST HEALTH FOODS: La Abejita (Ajijic)

ANIMAL CARE

BEST VETERINARIAN: 1) Memo; 2) Jesus Medeles; 3) Carlos Zavala

BEST PET SUPPLY: Memo’s (by a landslide)

SECTION 7 – LAKESIDE SERVICES

BEST IMMIGRATION SERVICE: Ajijic Immigration Services

       BEST SPANISH LANGUAGE TEACHER: Ann Beatriz Siliceo

       BEST TRANSLATOR: Lorenza Castiello, Dale Palfrey

BEST SOCIAL ORGANIZATION: 1) Lake Chapala Society; 2) La Cruz Roja

BEST LAWYER: Adriana Perez Flores

BEST BANK: 1) Banca Promex; 2) Lloyd’s

BEST BARBER SHOP: Pancho’s (across from CABA in Ajijic)

BEST EXPRESS SHIPPING: Mailboxes Etc.

BEST REALTOR: Camille Brunberg

BEST REAL ESTATE AGENCY: 1) Ajijic Real Estate; 2) Chapala Realty

       BEST PRINTER: Imagen

       BEST NEWSPAPER: 1) El Ojo del Lago; 2) Colony Reporter

BEST PUBLICATION: 1) El Ojo del Lago; 2) The Bargain Hunter

BEST ARTIST: 1) Enrique Velasquez; 2) George Rauch

BEST DECORATOR: Sandra Loridans

BEST PHOTOCOPIES MADE: Papeleria Chapala (on Hidalgo)

BEST ARCHITECT: Luz Maria Briseño

BEST CONTRACTOR: Hipolito Rochin

SECTION 8 -JUST FOR FUN!

BEST PLACE TO MEET SOMEONE: Town Plaza, LCS, Bananas

BEST WAY TO FIND A MAID: A unanimous word of mouth

BEST WAY TO FIND A GARDENER:  Also “word of mouth”

BEST MODE OF TRANSPORTATION: 1) Car (Mexican-plated); 2) Bus

BEST MEXICAN TEQUILA: 1) El Jimador; 2) Don Julio; 3) Herradura

BEST MEXICAN BEER: 1) Corona; 2) Dos XX; 3) Negra Modelo

       BEST PASTEL DE 3 LECHES: Donna & Elaine. (Many commented they aren’t familiar with the delicious Mexican cake. We recommend you remedy this situation at the earliest possible moment!!!)

BEST CAR TO OWN IN MEXICO: 1) Volkswagen; 2) Nissan (One wise entrant suggested a Sherman tank!!!)

BEST MEXICAN CHEESE: 1) Oaxaca: 2) Chihuahua

BEST LOCAL ANNUAL EVENT: Chili Cookoff

BEST ITEM(S) TO BUY HERE: 1) Pottery; 2) General Artesanias; 3) Liquor; 4) Leather

BEST THINGS TO BRING WHEN COMING TO LAKESIDE: The most frequently listed item: NADA (nothing)!! Also mentioned were appliances, electronic devices, books, anything you absolutely can’t live without, and good manners!!!

BEST ADVICE FOR LIVING AT LAKESIDE: Quite an assortment received here, most of them saying 3 things in a variety of ways– 1) Slow down; 2) Learn Spanish; 3) accept and enjoy Mexico for what it offers. Heres a few examples:

  • Learn Spanish and stay open-minded
  • Slow down and enjoy!
  • If you love it here then stay. If not, go home and make room for those who will like it here.
  • Rent for 6 months before buying a house.
  • Learn to not be in such a hurry! Mañana is soon enough!
  • Be prepared to RELAX. Forget all the U.S. “things to do”
  • You are not where you were before – Love it for all that it is, and try not to worry about          what it isn’t.
  • This is not the U.S. or Canada. Do not expect the same conveniences, services or timeliness of appointments. You will have to adapt to it. It will not change to suit you.