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Magic City’s Best invites public to vote on Billings' best bites

Food competition launches people’s choice category
Posted at 8:58 AM, Jun 21, 2023

BILLINGS — At Uberbrew, you’ll find the best French fries in Billings as ranked by Magic City's Best, a quarterly food competition led by food enthusiast Sean O’Daniel. He created the competition and its website during the height of the pandemic. The goal was to find the best bites in town while promoting local restaurant support.

“I just wanted to kind of support the restaurants. A lot of people weren’t going out to eat or couldn’t go out to eat,” said O’Daniel.

Magic City’s Best traveled the town with a team of official judges, ranking everything from best burgers to burritos.

Fast forward to 2023, and judging is now open to the public in a brand new people’s choice category with four main events at the Billings Depot: Tacos and Tequila on June 23, Big Sky Burger Bonanza on July 9, Wicked Wing Fling on Aug. 12, and Pizza Palooza on Sept. 10.

“It's for the public, so they come in and they purchase some taste tokens and they try every taco and margarita,” said O’Daniel. “The people get to vote for their best taco and then the judges vote for their best taco. So we have a judge's choice winner and then a people's choice winner, too.”

The competition is based on three main categories: taste, smell and appearance.

“When we are serving tables we have a lot of customers who are like, 'I saw that you won best fries, we want to try your fries,' or 'We want the fries with the beer fondue,' so it's definitely something people have sought after when they come in,” said Austin Mayoral, the general manager at Uberbrew.

In a crowded field of competition around the city, the designation as Magic City’s Best is helping local establishments bring in traffic.

“You got beer battered fries, cottage fries, sidewinder fries, waffle fries, shoestring fries, steak fries, tater tots,” said O’Daniel. “Everybody always asks, where’s the...on the Billings customer service pages, where’s the best burger? Where’s the best pizza?”

Tickets to Tacos and Tequila on June 23 are available at this link.