While half the stores so far are in County Dublin, Wicklow is currently claiming a further 12 per cent of the vote and Wexford in the sunny south-east has five per cent. Almost all of the counties in Ireland are represented with only one county, Fermanagh, yet to suggest a Best Shop.
Nuala Hogan was one of the first people to nominate a shop in this year's competition. She's championing Conor Galvin Hairdressing in Adare, Co Limerick, because she likes its "relaxing, friendly atmosphere that feels like going to a spa".
Runner Finn O'Neill is another early voter. He loves The Run Hub in Ashtown, Dublin 15 because of its knowledgeable staff. "They are all runners and have plenty of advice and the world of patience when you can't decide which runners you want."
In the market stall category, a new addition this year, Elaine Bowe nominates Forgotten China, for its ability to turn "beautiful vintage china into works of art". She is the proud owner of a custom-made cake stand. You can see the product for yourself in Marlay Park on Saturdays, 10am – 4pm and in the People's Park in Dún Laoghaire on Sundays, 10am – 5pm.
In the Best Newcomer category, Yvonne Slattery nominates Nautilus Beauty and Holistic Therapies Centre in Fairview, Dublin 3, because "the staff really know their stuff". Eileen Hopkins favours another Fairview premises, Morgan's Pharmacy. It is its "superb customer care, empathy and kindness" that keeps her coming back as a loyal customer, although she moved out of the area eight years ago.
This Is Knit, a wool shop on the first floor of the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, was mentioned by many readers last year and is nominated in two categories. Colorado-based Kathleen Champlain chose Best Online Shop, a category that is new to the competition, because her orders from the Dublin 2 store arrive "faster than from some retailers in the USA".
For Jeanne Kelly, Conn's Cameras is "old school and relentlessly up-to-date at the same time. The staff is frank about resale values and doesn't over sell. Their expertise has allowed us build a treasured collection of fun and beautiful images of our families, friends and places we visit."
One reader, who shall remain nameless, loves Susan Hunter Lingerie – a tiny space in Dublin's Westbury Mall that's always been popular in this competittion. "It is not an easy task for a man to buy in such a shop," he writes, "see Father Ted and the priests when they get caught in the lingerie section of the department store. But in this shop they make one feel at ease and supply pure quality."
Have you a favourite shop you'd like to nominate? Click here and tell us why you love it.
- To nominate your favourite go to irishtimes.com/bestshops