Special World City Edition

We're flavoring our annual review of the city's best with the freshest of ingredients: immigrant Seattleites.

The Denny party of white pioneer founders landed at Alki Point in 1851 and named their spot New York. Given that they were living in tents and, later, a log cabin, that moniker was ridiculed by some as overly optimistic, and the settlement came to be called New York Alki. In Chinook, alki meant tomorrow. Whenever. These early settlers dreamed that one day Seattle would be a burg as big and diverse as the Big Apple.

At Alki Point today stands a miniature Statue of Liberty. Facing downtown, the figure welcomes newcomers, expats, refugees, and adventurers swept in on the tide and yearning to breathe free. In this 21st edition of Best of Seattle, we're flavoring our annual review with the freshest of ingredients: immigrant Seattleites. They include a school superintendent from India, a Miss Seattle from China, a popular bartender from Bulgaria, a French chef (but, of course), an English opera diva, a Cuban ballplayer, and a candidate for U.S. Senate from Vietnam. Seattle boosters are always touting our "world class" city, but more importantly, we're becoming a richer, more complex world city. And that's no hype. —The Editors

People, Politics, & Media

Best Centered Public Official: Raj Manhas

Best Grassroots Philanthropist: Bookda Gheisar

Best Career for an Adopted Kid: Tim Holm

Best Immigrant U.S. Senate Candidate: Hong Tran

Best Foe of Hatred: Pramila Jayapal

Best Union Organizer: Sergio Salinas

Best-Bet Mariner: Yuniesky Betancourt

Readers' Picks

Critics' Picks

Food & Drink

Best French Chef: Thierry Rautureau

Best Scandinavian Food Store: Olsen's Scandinavian Foods

Best Ice-Cream Innovators: Ana Orselli and Jerry Perez

Best Asian Empire: Viet Wah Group

Best Rocker/Bartender: Val Kiossovski

Best Rancher: Eiko Vojkovich

Readers' Picks

Critics' Picks

Arts & Entertainment

Best Cabaret Act: Paula Oliver

Best Brazilian Songwriter: Paula Maya

Best Resident Diva: Jane Eaglen

Best Film Impresario: John Sinno

Best Foreign Bodies: Pacific Northwest Ballet

Best Venue for Live African Music: Hidmo

Readers' Picks

Critics' Picks

Urban Living

Best Med Student in a Tiara: Weiya Zhang

Best Clotheshorses: The Shah Brothers

Best Maasai Warrior/Zoo Guide: Kakuta Ole Maimai Hamisi

Best Downtown Pre-Date Bouquet Stop: Hmong Flower Farmers

Readers' Picks

Critics' Picks

Best of Our Readers

Nominees, ideas, comments, and nonsense from the ballots.

The Winners

A summary of our readers' picks.

Contributors to Seattle Weekly's Best of Seattle 2006: Rick Anderson, Brian J. Barr, Katie Becker, Knute Berger, Gavin Borchert, Philip Dawdy, Roger Downey, Joanne Garrett, Adriana Grant, George Howland Jr., Lynn Jacobson, Jonathan Kauffman, Sandra Kurtz, Molly Lori, Brian Miller, Richard Morin, Geov Parrish, Sue Peters, Rex Rystedt, Mike Seely, Nina Shapiro, Rachel Shimp, Harley Soltes, Chuck Taylor, Tiffany Wan.

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