In 1998, Imagen conducted the first — and until now only — Lakeside Best of the Best, People’s Choice Awards contest. Back then we published a bilingual Thrifty-Nickel-type publication called the Bargain Hunter (in English) / El Baratillo (in Spanish). Many of its original elements have been incorporated into this web site.
The Bargain Hunter / El Baratillo folded in half off-center so that the Spanish and English sections met in the middle. It was full of free want-ads, jokes, brainteasers, community news … and the Best of the Best, People’s Choice awards contest.
Around the office, we called the Best of the Best contest simply “BoB”. Votes were collected in ballot boxes, with results published in January 1999. The reknowned Mariachi Vargas played at the BoB Awards Ceremony, where certificates were presented to the winning businesspeople.
This first Best of the Best Contest was such a hit within the community (certificates can still occasionally be seen in a local shops and web sites) that Imagen has decided to revive the contest. Many of the original winners are still in business today. But after 17 years of area growth, our choices are much more extensive and thus the competition is even stiffer.
One thing that hasn’t changed is that outstanding business people within our community deserve to be recognized, and we as consumers deserve the opportunity to recommend and to hear others’ recommendations.
We invite you to register to vote, then visit BestOfLakeChapala.com daily to cast your votes (write-in nominations accepted until the “Finals” stage!). Everything is completely confidential and unbiased, backed by more than two decades of professional service by ImagenMX here at Lakeside. A running total of votes will be automatically tallied and posted on the site, with a printed certificate and digital web emblem awarded to the winners annually.
View original 1998 Winners below …
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 2013 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
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)
Primaria: Oak Hill
Secondaria: Oak Hill
Prepa: Chapala Regional
BEST STREETS: Colón in Ajijic, followed by downtown Chapala
SECTION 2 – DINING & ENTERTAINMENT
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
Oriental: 1) Min-Wah; 2) Ajijic Grill
Other: 1) Ajijic Grill; 2) Pimienta Negra
BEST COFFEE: 1) Coffee Tree; 2) Evie’s
BEST BAR ATMOSPHERE: Posada Vieja
BEST BAR DRINKS: Giovanni’s
BEST NIGHTCLUB/DANCE HALL: Banana’s
BEST DIVERSION – AGES 3-18: Tobolandia (by a landslide)
BEST DIVERSION – AGES 19+: Banana’s
SECTION 3 – SPORTS & LEISURE
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
BEST SUPERMARKET SELECTION: Super Lake
BEST SUPERMARKET PRICES: El Torito
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
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
BEST MEDICAL CLINIC: 1) Clinica Ajijic (now Hospital 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)
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.