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Illustrations by Kaitlin Beebe

I am the owner of a huge collection of board games, amassed at North Fork yard sales for $1 or so each. The house favorite is an old-school card-game version of “Family Feud,” which I have taken to carrying with me and pulling out at opportune moments to ask, “What’s a lie people tell their doctors?” or “Name a downside to owning a fancy car!” Passionate opinions follow.

Picture having this kind of debate about 356 winners in 58 categories across the North Fork, and you’ll get a feel for what our editorial meetings have been like for the past few months as we prepared this, our inaugural Best of the North Fork issue. Luckily, I have the best work family to happily feud with over our choices for the best of North Fork food, drink, home and activities.

We cast a wide net. One reason we didn’t single out sole winners is that it was hard! The North Fork may be small in land mass, but it is mighty in its culture of excellence. Ask your own family to agree on, say, one best farm stand or one best taco and see how fast a feud breaks out.

But mostly, it felt like spreading the love was the natural approach to take after this difficult year. Many of these best-in-class businesses helped each other through a pandemic and a recession. Throughout the issue, we’ve highlighted power partners — from teams of winemakers and married chefs to collaborative artisans and more — to emphasize that being the best takes teamwork. 

This includes you. Now that our curated list is in your hands, you can vote for your picks via our Readers’ Choice Awards, which are happening all month at Voting starts today and runs through Sunday, July 25. We welcome your passionate opinions. 

Sara Austin

Editorial Director