Photo by Vishal Malhotra

What a decade this past year has been. The good news is that most of us are vaccinated, which allows us to patronize the awesome restaurants and retailers in our lives. And to visit with friends, frenemies, and, I guess, family. At least the vaccinated ones. For an out-of-town friend’s 50th, a group trip to Fort Worth was trotted out as a potential idea. Perfect timing. Because all we’ll have to do is look through our Best Of 2021 issue, and the visit will basically plan itself. Not sure we’ll be hitting up multiple award winner La Onda — this dude’s more pizza and burgers than white tablecloths — or going to Scott Prather’s studio for some killer body art — none of us has any patience — but I can certainly see us starting off at The Abbey Pub on West 7th for happy hour before filling up on some Serious Pizza nearby and then catching a show across the street at Lola’s Trailer Park or on the Near Southside at Tulips FTW. Cap the night off back at West 7th, The Shot Cellar specifically, and we’ll be sleeping like the kind, gentle, bearded angels that we are. As I said, the visit essentially plans itself, thanks to our trusty Best Of 2021 edition.

It’s too bad the out-of-towners can’t take it with them. Unlike us. We lucky sumbitches can stock the Best Of issue on our bookshelves, right between the Paul Auster and J.M. Coetzee, and refer to it, well, just about any old time. Dog needs groomed? Check the Best Of. Clothes need dry-cleaned? Best Of. Special parts need waxed? Best Of. Stress and sadness need washed away with booze? You get the point. The only Best Of in town that matters because we don’t pick winners based on which places advertise with us and which don’t, Fort Worth Weekly’s Best Of not only Fort Worth but all of Tarrant County is the longest-running Best Of in town. We’ve been here 25 years and will undoubtedly be here 2,500 more. You should be getting it every week. — Anthony Mariani

Read about our winners by going to the Best Of Getting & Spending, People & Places, Arts & Culture, Night & Day, Good Grub, and On The Town section articles on To see the Best Of 2021 special edition in a flipbook, page-by-page format, click here.