– The seventh annual WRAL Voters’ Choice Awards recognized your local favorites during a virtual ceremony held on Thursday.

The “best of” ballot gives the WRAL public the opportunity to vote for their favorite people, businesses and services in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Fayetteville and other areas of North Carolina.

Former WRAL presenter Bill Leslie and WRAL contributor Sloane Heffernan hosted the ceremony.

Dr. Mandy Cohen was voted Woman of the Year. The former secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services has become the public face of North Carolina’s response to COVID-19 in 2020. Cohen recently resigned from her position.

Mandy Cohen, DHHS Secretary

WRAL presenter Debra Morgan was named Best WRAL-TV Personality and award-winning James Beard Chef Ashley Christensen was selected as Best Local Chef.

Sola Coffee was named Best Coffee for the fourth year in a row, while Two Roosters won Best Ice Cream for the third year in a row. Cousin’s Maine Lobster won Best Food Truck for the second year in a row. Krispy Kreme won in the best donut category. Lynnwood Brewing Concern won the award for Best Brewery.

Angus Barn won three awards, including Best Steak, Fine Dining and Wine Selection – all categories it had won in previous years.

Estimated coffee in Cary won the most innovative local startup award. This non-profit organization employs people with various disabilities.

Cary Coffee Shop provides opportunities for those in need

the WRAL Voters Choice Award are determined each year by your votes. In mid-September, a nomination period took place for you to submit your choices in various categories. In mid-October, the five finalists in each category were revealed and online voting opened. The vote was closed and the votes were counted at the end of November.