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Meet the winners of our 25th annual survey.

For 25 years, we’ve been asking our readers to nominate the best of this beautiful city, and for 25 years, you’ve enthusiastically responded. This year, you voted in record numbers on 74 different categories, from food and drink to goods and services. Congratulations to all our 2016 winners and finalists—and to you, for sharing your love for Sarasota so generously and for so long. 

The top winner is listed first in each category, followed by the finalists (may be more than two, in the case of a tie). The finalists are listed alphabetically, not in the order of votes received.

Food & Drink

Best Amish Restaurant

Yoder’s
Der Dutchman
Dutch Valley/Miller’s    
Dutch Kitch’n

Best Japanese Restaurant

DaRuMa Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Lounge
JPan
Pacific Rim

Best French Restaurant

62 Bistrot
C’est La Vie
Miguel’s

Best Latin-American Restaurant

Columbia Restaurant
Selva

Best Italian Restaurant

Caragiulos
Carrabbas Italian Grill
Mediterraneo

Best Mexican Restaurant

Two Senoritas
Chipotle
Mi Pueblo

Best Seafood Restaurant

Barnacle Bill’s
Owen’s Fish Camp
Walt’s Fish Market and Restaurant

Best Sushi Restaurant

Pacific Rim
Kona Grill
Yume

Best Vegetarian Restaurant

Veg
Simon’s Coffee House
Sweet Tomatoes

Best Venice Restaurant

Sharky’s on the Pier
Crow’s Nest Restaurant
Made in Italy

Best Manatee Restaurant

Popi’s Place
Anna Maria Oyster Bar
Pier 22

Best Nighttime Restaurant/Hotspot

Social Eatery & Bar
Cock & Bull Pub
Red Clasico

Best Restaurant for Breakfast

First Watch
The Broken Egg (original)
Millie’s

Best Restaurant for Brunch

Millie’s
Peaches
University Park Country Club

Best Romantic Restaurant

Beach Bistro
Jack Dusty
Ophelia’s on the Bay

Best Waterfront Restaurant

Marina Jack
Jack Dusty
Ophelia’s on the Bay 

 

Best Steak (nonchain)

Alpine Steakhouse
Michael’s On East
The Waterfront

Best Steak (chain)

Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Outback Steakhouse

Best Thai Restaurant

Bangkok
Taste of Asia
Thai Wasabi

Best Craft Beer

World of Beer
JDubs Brewing Company
Mandeville Beer Garden

Best Wine List

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Louies Modern
Michael’s On East

Best New Restaurant

Muse at the Ringling
Baker & Wife
Beulah

Best Burger

Patrick’s 1481
Five Guys
Square 1 Burgers & Bar

Best Barbecue

Nancy’s Bar-B-Q
Bricks BBQ
Stottlemyer’s Smokehouse

Best Caterer

Mattison’s
Michael’s On East
Morton’s Gourmet Market

Best Coffee (nonchain)

Simon’s Coffee House
Buddy Brew
Perq Coffee Bar

Best Special Occasion Restaurant

Cheesecake Factory
Michael’s On East
Roessler’s Restaurant

Best Dessert

62 Bistrot
Cheesecake Factory
Yoder’s

Best Sandwich

Anna’s Deli (Surfer)
Chick-Fil-A (spicy chicken)
Corkscrew Deli (Cuban)

Best Chef

Steve Phelps, Indigenous
Andrew Bonner, University Park Country Club
Fran Casciato, Libby’s Café + Bar

Best Specialty Food Market

Morton’s Gourmet Market
Fresh Market
Whole Foods

Best Gourmet Store

Morton’s Gourmet Market
As Good As It Gets
Whole Foods

Best Bakery

Publix
Jim’s Small Batch Bakery
Panera

Best Craft Cocktail

State Street (Bramble)
Jack Dusty (Siren)
Louies Modern (North Palm)

Best Place to Buy Wine

Total Wine
ABC Fine Wine & Spirits
Norman’s Liquors & Fine Wines

Best Sports Bar

Gecko’s Grill & Pub
Evie’s Tavern & Grill
5 O’Clock Club

Best Happy Hour Menu

Libby’s Café + Bar
Gecko’s Grill & Pub
The Table Creekside

Best Mixologist

Brad Coburn, Pangea
(no name given), Social Eatery & Bar
Adam Stoneking, Libby’s Café + Bar

Arts & Entertainment

Best Special Event

Chalk Festival
Greek Glendi Festival
Sarasota Film Festival

Best Fund-raising Event

Van Wezel Foundation Gala
Firefly Gala
Wine, Women & Shoes

Best Performing Arts Gala

Asolo Rep Gala
Sarasota Ballet Gala
Van Wezel Foundation Gala

Best Place to Hear Local Bands

Main Street
Blue Rooster
5 O’Clock Club 

Best Place to Meet Singles

Siesta Key Beach
Gulf Gate
Plymouth Harbor

Goods & Services

Best Place to Buy  Rugs

Rugs as Art
Walmart
Art to Walk On

Best Store for Kids

Old Navy
Ross
Toys ‘R’ Us

Best Place to Buy Women’s Shoes

Macy’s
Dillards
Peltz Shoes

Best Hair Salon

Nuovo
Charlie We Do Hair
Yellow Strawberry

Best Place to Work Out

YMCA
Crunch
LA Fitness

Best Spa

The Met
L. Spa
The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota

Best Place to Buy Lighting

Franklin Lighting
Bee Ridge Lighting
Lowes

Best Antiques

Goodwill
Sarasota Architectural Salvage
Woman’s Exchange of Sarasota

Best Art Gallery

State of the Arts
Dabbert Gallery
Wyland Galleries

Best Swimsuit Store

Swim Mart
Bealls
Swim City

Best Men’s Clothing (chain)

Dillards
Joseph A. Banks
Macy’s

Best Men’s Clothing (locally owned)

The Met Fashion House Day Spa & Salon
Marcello
Martin Freeman

Best Women’s Clothing (chain)

Macy’s
Dillards
Talbots

Best Women’s Clothing (locally owned)

L. Boutique
Foxy Lady The Met Fashion House
Day Spa & Salon

Best Women’s Cocktail Attire (chain)

Saks
Dillards
Macy’s

Best Women’s Cocktail Attire (locally owned)

L. Boutique
Foxy Lady
The Met Fashion House Day Spa & Salon

Best Jeweler (chain)

Kay Jewelers
Mayors
Saks

Best Jeweler (locally owned)

Carats
Diamond Vault
Shrode Jewelers

Best Florist

Beneva Flowers & Gifts
Bee Ridge Florist
Victoria Blooms

Best Bike Shop

Village Bikes
Ryder Bikes
Sarasota Cyclery

Best Furniture

Black Bird Home Gallery
Home Resource
Pamaro Shop

Best Home Accessories

Black Bird Home Gallery
Melange
Sarasota Architectural Salvage

Best Consignment Shop

Woman’s Exchange of Sarasota
Fifi’s
Laura Jean’s Consignments

Best Gift Shop

Laura’s Hallmark
Carlisle Gifts
Elysian Fields 

Best Retirement Community

The Glenridge on Palmer Ranch
Plymouth Harbor
Sunnyside Village

Best Home Health Care

Bright Day
Take Care Home Health
Family Home Health Services

Best Landscaping

Helmuth Landscaping
ArtisTree
Michael A. Gilkey

Best Golf

The Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club
Laurel Oak Country Club
University Park Country Club

Best Tennis

Laurel Oak Country Club
Bath & Racquet
University Park Country Club

Best Tourist Attraction

Siesta Key
Mote Marine
The Ringling 

Best TV Personality

Bob Harrigan 
Scott Dennis
Linda Carson /Justin Mosely

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