Best Of 2021

Welcome to the Best of Orlando® 2021

If the past 12 months taught us anything, it's how much we all literally depend on each other. Mutual aid. Mutual respect. Mutual survival. It was always true, but there's nothing like a massively contagious respiratory disease to make it painfully obvious — the mask on your face is the heart on your sleeve, and it's up to each of us to do as much as we are individually able to protect our fellow humans. Both in the City Beautiful and beyond.

So it was brought home to us how rich Orlando is in champions. Our readers show so much love for this city — this contest got more than 550,000 individual votes in all, more than ever before, each vote celebrating the accomplishments, innovations and successes of fellow Orlandoans. And we realized how much we love and depend on the champions in our community, those who are every bit as devoted as we are to finding and spotlighting the very Best of Orlando. So we asked them to help us out in these pages. Like miners, they unearth the jewels of the city and bring them to the surface for everyone to see — whether it's a restaurant you adore or a painter who challenges your senses, a song you can't get out of your head, or the bubbliest yet most bad-ass roller skater you ever did see.

Mutual dependence: It's always been true. But sometimes it takes a special effort — or a special issue — to appreciate the necessity. We hope you find as much joy and delight in this issue, and in this community, as we did this year. We're better together!

Jessica Bryce Young, Matthew Moyer, Alex Galbraith, Daniel Rodriguez and the whole Orlando Weekly staff