Best of Sarasota 2018

Best of Sarasota 2018: The Readers' Poll

Presenting the winners of our Best of 2018 readers’ poll.

April 26, 2018 Published in the May 2018 issue of Sarasota Magazine

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Food & Drink

Best Amish Restaurant


Runners-up: Der Dutchman, Miller’s Dutch Kitchen

Best Japanese Restaurant

DaRuMa Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Lounge

Runners-up: JPan, Pacific Rim

Best Sushi (nonchain)


Runners-up: Pacific Rim, Yume

Best French Restaurant

C’est La Vie

Runners-up: Bijou Café, Maison Blanche

Best Latin Restaurant


Runners-up: Columbia, Darwin Evolutionary Cuisine

Best Italian Restaurant (nonchain)


Runners-up: Mediterraneo, Cafe Baci

Best Seafood Restaurant (nonchain)

Walt’s Fish Market and Restaurant

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

Best Vegetarian Restaurant


Runners-up: Veg & Grill, Simon’s Coffee House

Best Mexican Restaurant

Mi Pueblo

Runners-up: El Toro Bravo, Two Senoritas

Best Venice Restaurant (nonchain)

Sharky’s on the Pier (and Fins)

Runners-up: Cassariano, Crow’s Nest

Best Manatee County/Lakewood Ranch Restaurant

Pier 22

Runners-up: Lucky Pelican, Beach Bistro

Best Brunch

Station 400

Runners-up: MadeLibby’s Café + Bar

Best Hotel Bar

Jack Dusty

Runners-up: Westin Rooftop, Aloft

Best Local Brewery

JDubs Brewing

Runners-up: Calusa BrewingBig Top Brewing Company

Best Restaurant Bathroom

Jack Dusty

Runners-up: Louies Modern, Michael’s On East

Best Breakfast

First Watch

Runners-up: Station 400, Sun Garden Café

Best Date-Night Restaurant

Ophelia’s On the Bay

Runners-up: IndigenousSelva

Best Thai Restaurant


Runners-up: Isan Thai Restaurant, The Drunken Poet

Best Place for Ramen


Runners-up: Pho Cali, Goichi

Best Restaurant View

Marina Jack

Runners-up: Ophelia’s On the Bay, Chart House

Best Restaurant for Steak (nonchain)

Michael’s On East

Runners-up: Alpine Steakhouse, Rosebuds

Best Restaurant for Steak (chain)

Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse

Runners-up: Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Connors Steak & Seafood

Best Restaurant Wine List

Michael’s On East

Runners-up: Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Capital Grille

Best Burger (nonchain)

Patrick’s 1481

Runners-up: Shakespeare’s Craft Beer and Gastro Pub, Gecko’s Grill & Pub

Best Taco

Mi Pueblo

Runners-up: Poppo’s Taco, Fuzzy’s, Surf Shack (tie)

Best Barbecue (nonchain)

Nancy’s Bar-B-Q

Runners-up: Brick’s Smoked Meats, Stottlemyer’s Smokehouse

Best Caterer

Michael’s On East

Runners-up: Morton’s Gourmet Market, Mattison’s

Best Coffee Shop (nonchain)

Perq Coffee Bar

Runners-up: The Clever Cup, Buddy Brew

Best New Restaurant

Connors Steak & Seafood

Runners-up: Napulé, Brick’s Smoked Meats

Best Place for Dessert


Runners-up: Euphemia Haye, Cheesecake Factory

Best Pizza (nonchain)


Runners-up: Solorzano Bros., Valentino’s

Best Sandwich

Corkscrew Deli Cuban

Runners-up: Main Bar Italian, Anna’s Deli Surfer

Best Gourmet Market/Grocery Store

Morton’s Gourmet Market

Runners-up: The Fresh Market, Lucky’s Market

Best Place to Buy Wine

Total Wine

Runners-up: Trader Joe’s, Michael’s Wine Cellar

Best Bakery


Runners-up: C’est La Vie, Morton’s Gourmet Market

Best Sports Bar

Gecko’s Grill & Pub

Runners-up: Evie’s, Duffy’s Sports Grill

Best Craft Cocktail

Siren at Jack Dusty

Runners-up: Blackberry Bramble at State Street Eating House & Cocktails, Sir Sazerac at Pangea

Best Happy Hour

Libby’s Café + Bar

Runners-up: Selva, Brio Tuscan Grille

Best Farmers Market Vendor

SaraFresh Juice

Runners-up: Worden Farm, Empanadas by Stef

Best Doughnut Shop

Five-O Donut Co.

Runners-up: Peachey’s Baking Company (formerly Amish Baking Company), Dunkin Donuts

Best Oyster Bar

Siesta Key Oyster Bar

Runners-up: Phillippi Creek Village Restaurant & Oyster Bar, Anna Maria Oyster Bar

Best Waitstaff

Michael’s On East

Runners-up: University Park Country Club, Yoder’s

Best Food Truck

Polpo Pizza Company

Runners-up: Peachey’s Baking Company (formerly Amish Baking Company), BulGoGi

Best Restaurant for Kids

Gecko’s Grill & Pub

Runners-up: Evie’s, Pier 22

Arts & Entertainment

Best Fund-raising Gala

Wine, Women and Shoes

Runners-up: Orchid Ball, Van Wezel Foundation Gala

Best Performing Arts Group

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe

Runners-up: Asolo Repertory Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre

Best Festival or Special Event

Thunder by the Bay

Runners-up: Forks & Corks, Sarasota Film Festival, World Rowing Championships (tie)

Best Place to Hear Live Music

Blue Rooster

Runners-up: Mattison’s City Grille, Gator Club

Best Singles Hotspot


Runners-up: Gator Club, Boca Kitchen Bar & Market

Best Art Gallery (not museum)

State of the Arts

Runners-up: Oddity Tattoo, Dabbert Gallery

Goods & Services

Best Hair Salon


Runners-up: Cutting Loose, Yellow Strawberry

Best Barber

American Shave

Runners-up: Modern Gents, Fresko Fadez Barbershop

Best Beauty Specialist

Lash Studio SRQ

Runners-up: NeoDerm Aesthetics, Spa Hollywood

Best Nail Salon

Paint Nail Bar

Runners-up: AJ Nails, Blossom Nails

Best Lighting Store

Franklin Lighting

Runners-up: Bee Ridge LightingLight Up Your Life

Best Rug Store (nonchain)

Rugs As Art

Runners-up: Art to Walk On, Blu Home

Best Vintage/Antique Store

Canned Ham Vintage

Runners-up: Bon Bon Vintage, Woman’s Exchange

Best Women’s Clothing Store (nonchain)

L Boutique

Runners-up: Foxy Lady, La Femme Fatale

Best Men’s Clothing Store (nonchain)

The Met

Runners-up: Martin Freeman, Island Pursuit

Best Store for Gala Fashion (nonchain)

L Boutique

Runners-up: The Met, Foxy Lady

Best Swimsuit Store

Swim City

Runners-up: Everything But Water, Shore

Best Jeweler (nonchain)

Diamond Vault

Runners-up: Coffrin Jewelers, Carats Fine Jewelry

Best Florist

Beneva Flowers

Runners-up: Victoria Blooms, Flowers by Fudgie

Best Home Accessories Store (nonchain)

Blu Home

Runners-up: Pecky InteriorsBon Bon Vintage

Best Contemporary Furniture Store (nonchain)

Home Resource

Runners-up: Blu Home, Soft Square (tie), Copenhagen Imports

Best Tattoo Parlor

Oddity Tattoo

Runners-up: Kingdom Studio, Webber Street Studios

Best Place to Pamper Your Pooch

Bayside Pet Resort

Runners-up: Bark and BathWet Noses

Best Retirement (Continuing Care) Facility

The Glenridge on Palmer Ranch

Runners-up: Plymouth Harbor, Pines of Sarasota

Best Home Health Care Company

Take Care Home Health

Runners-up: Nurse On CallApproved Home Health, Family Home Health Services (tie)

Best Landscaping Company

ArtisTree Landscape

Runners-up: Michael A. Gilkey, Inc., Critter Ridge

Best Local TV Personality

Bob Harrigan

Runners-up: Scott Dennis, John Scalzi

Best Place to Work Out

Sarasota Family YMCA

Runners-up: LA Fitness, Crunch

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