How many surveys have placed Boise at or near the top of lists of best places to live? Honestly, we've lost count. Just a couple of months ago, the City of Trees landed on Livability.com's 2019 Top 100 Places to Live rankings. In fact, the survey ranked Boise No. 1 when compared to more than 1,000 other cities with populations between 20,000 and 1 million.

"Young families are drawn to Boise because it's one of the safest cities in the world," wrote the survey's authors. "Boise has become a magnet for people looking for a tight-knit community, great job opportunities, easy access to the outdoors and, perhaps most importantly, a much lower cost of living than many larger and comparably sized cities."

We're not entirely certain that every Boisean would agree with that "lower cost of living" comment, which is currently a white-hot topic of debate. It's a fact that housing prices are rising: The median list price for a Boise home is somewhere around $350,000, and median rent in Boise is about $1,395 per month. Indeed, there are many differing opinions on what Boise officials like to call "smart growth."

But truth be told, our favorite thing to do each year is to celebrate Boise: embrace its past, celebrate the present and look to our collective future with great anticipation. So, with a full heart, Boise Weekly proudly presents our 2019 edition of Best of Boise.

A record-setting number of nominations and votes (300,000-plus) were cast during this year's BOB's balloting process. And for that, we give great thanks to you, dear reader. Time and again, you make the Best of Boise happen. True, there's only one winner in each category, but rest assured, tens of thousands of voters weighed in on Boise's best. Is BOB the ultimate arbiter of taste? Of course not. Is it a sincere expression of affection for what makes Boise so special? You bet.