Enduring the past 16 months has required superhuman patience and perseverance. No mincing words here: it sucked. It was a historic climb — one that required all of us to step up to big challenges. Whether it's those of us who run the restaurants, bars, nonprofits, art galleries, retail shops — you name it — that make San Antonio tick. Or those of us who support and patronize those places and keep them thriving.

In other words, it's been a time for superheroes.

With that in mind, this edition of Best of San Antonio lauds the superheroes in our midst — the local businesses, personalities and institutions that make our city a fun and rewarding place to put down stakes.

And, as per usual, we asked you — superheroes in your own right — to let us know who the winners should be. There are no critics' choice entries this year. You picked them all.

As we look over the winners, we're reminded of the positive impact they have on our daily lives. Whether they kept us cool with an afternoon ice cream, visually inspired us with an artistic creation or kept us healthy through the pandemic, these winners flew to our rescue again and again.

Hats off to you, Current readers, for continuing to fly to theirs as well. Together, we make a super team.