Best of Sarasota

Best of Sarasota 2019: Readers' Choice

Presenting the winners of our Best of 2019 readers’ poll.

May 1, 2019 Published in the May 2019 issue of Sarasota Magazine

Image: Barbara Banks

Food & Drink 

Best Craft Cocktail

State Street’s Blackberry Bramble

Runners up: Siren at Jack Dusty, Any cocktail at Pangea

Best Sushi (nonchain)

Pacific Rim

Runners up: Yume Sushi, JPan

Best Amish Restaurant


Runners up: Der Dutchman, Sommers Dutch Family Restaurant

Best Latin Restaurant


Runners up: Columbia, Darwin Evolutionary Cuisine

Best Mexican Restaurant

Mi Pueblo

Runners up: Two Senoritas, Wicked Cantina

Best Italian Restaurant


Runners up: Caragiulos, Napulé 

Best Seafood Restaurant

Walt’s Fish Market and Restaurant

Runners up: Duval’s Fresh. Local. Seafood., Owen’s Fish Camp 

Best Vegetarian Entrée

Lila’s Buddha Bowl

Runners up: Bodhi Tree’s Eggplant Parmigiana, Veg’s Portobello Volcano and Veggie Burger

Best Venice Restaurant


Runners up: Crow’s Nest, Blu Island Bistro

Best Lakewood Ranch Restaurant

Lucky Pelican

Runners up: Station 400, Speaks Clam Bar 

Best Bradenton Restaurant

Pier 22

Runners up: O’Bricks, Eliza Ann’s Coastal Kitchen 

Best Chocolate Shop


Runners up: Banyan Tree, Noela 

Best Brunch


Runners up: TIE: First Watch and University Park Country Club; Station 400

Best Coffee Shop (nonchain)

The Clever Cup

Runners up: Perq, Buddy Brew

Best Date-Night Restaurant


Runners up: TIE: Boca and Selva; Element

Best Waterfront Restaurant

Marina Jack

Runners up: Ophelia’s on the Bay, Dry Dock

Best Steak Restaurant

Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse

Runners up: Summer House, TIE: Connor’s Steak & Seafood and Element

Best Restaurant Wine List

Michael’s On East

Runners up: Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Summer House

Best Breakfast

First Watch

Runners up: Station 400, Millie’s

Best Burger (nonchain)

Patrick’s 1481

Runners up: Smacks, PBnT 

Best Thai Restaurant


Runners up: Isan, Spice Station

Best Taco (nonchain)


Runners up: Screaming Goat Taqueria, Wicked Cantina

Best Barbecue (nonchain)

Nancy’s Bar-B-Q

Runners up: Brick’s Smoked Meats, TIE: Stottlemyer’s Smokehouse and Pride of the South

Best Pizza


Runners up: Rico’s, Demetrios

Best New Restaurant

Summer House

Runners up: Napulé, Spice Station

Best Place for Dessert

Euphemia Haye

Runners up: TIE: Big Olaf and Yoder’s; Cheesecake Factory

Best Bakery

C'est la Vie

Runners up: Five-O Donuts, OfKors 

Best Sandwich

Cuban at Corkscrew

Runners up: Po Boy at Duval’s, Surfer at Anna’s Deli

Best Bar Food

Gecko’s Grill & Pub

Runners up: Boca, Evie’s

Best Place for Lunch

The Park Grille & Cafe at University Park Country Club

Runners up: Café in the Park; TIE: Connor’s Steak & Seafood; Simon’s Coffee House

Best Local Brewery

Calusa Brewing

Runners up: TIE: Big Top Brewing Company and JDubs Brewing; Motorworks Brewery

Best Food Truck

Polpo Pizza

Runners up: Baja Boys, Fire Tacos

Best French Fries


Runners up: TIE: PBnT and Shore; Wicked Cantina

Best Oyster Bar

Siesta Key Oyster Bar

Runners up: Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar, Veronica Fish & Oyster

Best Hotel Bar

Art Ovation

Runners up: Westin Rooftop, Jack Dusty

Best Happy Hour


Runners up: TIE: Duffy’s and Libby’s; Selva

Best Kids' Menu

Gecko’s Grill

Runners up: PBnT, JPan

Best Key Lime Pie


Runners up: Yoder’s, Floribbean Flo's

Best Salad

Columbia’s 1905

Runners up: Gecko’s Ultimate Cobb, Bodhi Tree’s Café Bodhi Salad

Best Specialty Grocery Store

Morton’s Gourmet Market

Runners up: Lucky’s Market, Whole Foods

Best Place for Prepared Food

Morton’s Gourmet Market

Runners up: Whole Foods, Publix

Best Grouper Sandwich

Walt’s Fish Market and Restaurant

Runners up: Old Salty Dog, Dry Dock

Image: Barbara Banks

Goods & Services

Best Place to Pamper Your Pooch

Bayside Pet Resort

Runners up: Wet Noses, Beverly Hills Dog

Best Hair Salon

Cutting Loose

Runners up: Nuovo, Fresh Salon & Spa

Best Barbershop

American Shave

Runners up: Southside Village Barber, Modern Gents

Best Day Spa

Shore Rejuvenation Spa

Runners up: The Met, TIE: The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota  and L. Spa

Best Lighting Store

Franklin Lighting

Runners up: Bee Ridge Lighting, LyteWorks

Best Rug Store

Rugs As Art

Runners up: Art to Walk On, Blu Home

Best Vintage Shop

The Exchange

Runners up: Canned Ham Vintage, Bon Bon Vintage

Best Antique Store

Sarasota Trading Company

Runners up: The Exchange, Bon Bon Vintage

Best Consignment Shop

The Exchange

Runners up: Fifi’s Fine Resale Apparel, Laura Jeans Consignments

Best Gift Shop

Shelly's Gift  & Christmas Boutique

Runners up: Carlisle Gifts, Charlotte’s Grace

Best Women's Clothing Store

L. Boutique

Runners up: Panache, Lotus Boutique

Best Men's Clothing Store

The Met

Runners up: Shore, Tommy Bahama

Best Swimsuit Store

Everything But Water

Runners up: Swim Mart, Shore

Best Traditional Furniture Store

Pamaro Shop

Runners up: Blu Home, Baer’s Furniture

Best Contemporary Furniture

Copenhagen Imports

Runners up: Home Resource, Soft Square

Best Landscaping Company


Runners up: Michael Gilkey, Grant’s Gardens

Best Fitness Studio

LA Fitness

Runners up: Performax Training, Sarasota Family YMCA

Best Yoga Studio

Hot Yoga 4 You

Runners up: Pineapple Yoga Studio, Yoga Shack

Best Retirement Community

The Glenridge on Palmer Ranch

Runners up: Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay, Sunnyside Village

Best Home Health Care

Take Care Home Health

Runners up: Bright Day Home Healthcare, Nurse on Call

Best Jeweler

Diamond Vault

Runners up: Carat's Fine Jewelry, Milan's Jewelry

Arts & Entertainment

Best Performing Arts Group

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe

Runners up: Florida Studio Theatre, Sarasota Ballet

Best Place to Hear Live Music

Mattison's City Grille 

Runners up: Blue Rooster, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Best Trivia Night Bar

Gecko's Grill & Pub

Runners up: TIE: Mandeville Beer Garden and Ed’s Tavern; TIE: Tap and Evie’s Tavern

Best Hotel for a Staycation

The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota

Runners up: The Westin, Art Ovation

Best Golf Course

University Park Country Club

Runners up: Sarasota National, Meadows Country Club 

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