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Best Spring-Break Impersonation 

Wave Taco

For a few weeks every March, study-weary students head south to debauched destinations such as Cabo, South Padre Island and Cocoa Beach in search of booze, bikinis and beaches. St. Louis may be 1,000 miles from the nearest ocean, but wander onto the right block of downtown on a sunny day and you'll feel like you're just a wet T-shirt contest away from a legitimate spring-break bash. Wave Taco opened earlier this year on a once-vacant lot just north of Washington Avenue. They imported several tons of white sand from Florida, set up two immaculate outdoor beach volleyball courts and declared their motto to be "shirts optional." Order the house specialty — a supersweet concoction called the Frozen Margarita Swirl — at the tiki bar, then try not to stare too hard at the swimsuit-clad coeds frolicking on the faux beach. The only difference between this place and a south-of-the-border hotspot is that the kids are drinking Bud Light Lime instead of Corona with lime.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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