Pubs which truly offer a pint of Best

TWO city pubs are leading the way in the battle to be officially named the "Best" in Edinburgh and the Lothians – but there's still time to help your favourite watering hole make the shortlist as last orders approach in our new awards.

In partnership with Post Office Ltd, the Evening News wants readers to celebrate our community heroes by recommending the region's best pub, fish and chip shop, post office, community contribution, Hearts fan and Hibs fan. There are only three days left to submit nominations before voting begins.

In the competitive pub category the venue to receive the most nominations so far is The Mercat in West Maitland Street, closely followed by The Cuckoo's Nest in Tollcross.

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It is likely that both these pubs will be in the running when voting starts for real.

The Mercat has been described on nomination forms as "a very well-run pub" and a "great bar, great people, great craic" while The Cuckoo's Nest has been hailed "the little treasure of Tollcross".

Chris Reid, 36, director of operations for The Mercat said he was "delighted and thrilled" to be the most-nominated bar to date but he knows all that could change in the public vote.

"I don't think we do anything other than aim to provide the best service we can," he said.

"People value quality of service and there are not that many places which offer that. But I think the fact our patrons have taken time out to nominate us to the Evening News is testament to our staff."

With just a few days left until the deadline, all you have to do to nominate is fill in the slip below and post it out to us.

Alternatively, you can e-mail [email protected]

Evening News promotions manager Ruth Hunter Pepper, said: "We're delighted with the response to our call for nominations in all the awards categories and looking forward to seeing what happens when the voting starts on 5 July as the results will be entirely up to our readers. There is still a chance to nominate, so if you want your local to be named the best, get them in the running by nominating them by Saturday, 26 June."

A shortlist will be drawn up for the most popular candidates in each category before voting begins through coupons printed daily in the Evening News.

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From time to time, extra-value coupons will be published, offering readers a double or even triple vote for a nomination.

Once voting has closed, the coupons will be totted up and the nominees who receive most votes in each section will clinch the Best of 2010 accolade.