Pensacola, Florida
Saturday June 23rd 2018


Rest of the Best ’12 Highlights


Winner: Best Wine Shop, Best Wine Tastings
Charlotte Gordon, proprietor of Aragon Wine Market, is obviously a lover of wine, but not an expert. “I’m happy to admit that I learn something new about wine each day,” Gordon said. “I think that the never-ending learning of wine is what makes it so great.” What makes Aragon Wine Market different from wine shops is the customer service. “We take the time to get to know our customers and their needs. I like meeting people, talking with regular customers and get satisfaction when I help someone find a wine that they love.”

Winner: Best Antiques
Andrea Wessel and her husband opened Blue Moon Antiques—named after the blue moon they were married under, over 10 years ago. Wessel has a love and an eye for antiques, which she got from her mother and notes that antiques are “the oldest form of recycling.” She describes the store as “big and absolutely full” of items new and old with mid-century modern furniture being the most abundant inventory. “It’s like 80 different stores in one,” Wessel said.

Winner: Best New Retail Shop
Runner Up: Best Gourmet/Specialty Food
With marinated olives, fresh pasta, a dizzying array of infused olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and gourmet salts, this gorgeous boutique is worth exploring. When Tristan de Luna came to Pensacola over 450 years ago, he brought several olive trees to plant. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans. The Bodacious Olive has a selection that would make de Luna proud.

Winner: Best Boutique, Best Women’s Apparel
Runner Up: Best Women’s Accessories
What sets Indigeaux Denim Bar & Boutique apart from other stores is client relationships. “Knowing our customer’s style, aligning that style with current fashion trends and establishing a relationship with our customer’s through personalized attention are very important aspects of our boutique,” said co-owner Katie Rozier. The boutique carries brands such as M.M. Couture, Joes Jeans, Lilla P. and B.B. Dakota. “We strive to provide great service to our customers and keep them in mind by providing quality products at a reasonable price point,” Rozier said.

Runner Up: Best Boutique, Best Women’s Accessories, Best Women’s Apparel
Lee Tracy Shoes & Apparel is one of the few places where mothers and daughters can shop together. “Our motto is we’ve been dressing the generations since 1978,” said manager Diane McLaughlin. The store is a full Brighton retailer as well as offering brands such as Lenny & Eva, Hobo and Joseph Ribkoff, which has been sold at Lee Tracy for 20 years. “From casual to cocktail, we do it all,” McLaughlin said.

Runner Up: Best Place to Buy 
Children’s Gifts/Toys
While the big box stores can sometimes feel impersonal and overwhelming, this cozy toy store allows customers a more intimate experience. Nestled in a Fairfield Drive strip mall, toys peering from the front window beckon the young, as well as the young at heart.

Runner Up: Best Seafood Market
Established in 1989, Maria’s proudly serves over 130 of the area’s finest restaurants and offers seafood for both wholesale and retail. All fish is purchased and fileted daily. They specialize in fresh local whole fish cut to order and offer the freshest local fish fillets. Located on Cervantes Street, Maria’s is convenient for locals to stop on their way home and pick up seasoned steamed shrimp and tasty blue crabs and Maine lobsters.

Winner: Best New Car Dealership
Runner Up: Best Used Car Dealership
“Sandy Sansing Can!” You know his name. You know his face. And you probably know his dealerships’ reputation for great customer service if you’ve shopped for a new car in the Pensacola area. For decades, the Sansing name has been tops in vehicle sales and service, and Sansing himself has become a local icon with his TV ads showing him perched atop an elephant, kissing a chimpanzee, or publicizing various community non-profits and organizations. IN readers are sold, Sandy.

Winner: Best Unique Jewelry
Runner Up: Best Women’s Accessories
What sets Susan Campbell Jewelry apart from many local jewelry stores is not just great customer service, but the ability to provide a product that no one else in the area has. This Palafox shop features pieces that are more like wearable art than just a statement necklace or charm bracelet. That’s because owner Susan Campbell Hatler was a portrait sculptor before she began making jewelry. The shop is filled with handcrafted pieces at a variety of price points for IN readers.

Runner Up: Best Outdoor Market
Named after the streets that form its boundaries, the T&W Flea Market is like all the best garage sales distilled into one, canopy-covered extravaganza. Strolling from one table to the next—there’s 400 tables spanning 10 acres—shoppers find treasures from yesteryear, as well as bargains on new merchandise. Whether you’re looking for vegetables, a VCR or nothing at all, the flea market makes for a good time.

Runner Up: Best New Car Dealership
Since 1958, the Vince Whibbs Automotive Group has earned the trust and respect of car buyers in Northwest Florida. The late Vince Whibbs Sr. was the longest serving mayor in the Pensacola’s history and was known for his integrity and community spirit. The Community Maritime Park is named for him. Today, his sons, Mark, J.P. and Greg, carry on in their father’s name offering the finest sales and service with the latest models from Cadillac, Buick and GMC.

Runner Up: Best Wine Shop
This shop near Cordova Mall provides an unparalleled selection of fine wine, handcrafted beer and aged spirits, as well as custom gift baskets, gourmet snacks and wine accessories They have also have locations in Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Watercolor, Panama City Beach and Miramar Beach. They host weekly beer and wine tastings at all of their stores.


Winner: Best Yoga
Nancy LaNasa opened Abhaya Yoga Center six years after practicing in New York City for 20 years. Her center has been a Best of the Coast favorite ever since. Yoga classes for all levels, whether for beginner or pro, are offered along with special sessions for those seeking to become yoga teachers. Nancy also offers weekend seminars on mediation, diet and healthier lifestyle.

Winner: Best 24-Hour Gym
Runner Up: Best Gym Overall
Owner Chris Herr describes his keys to success being “convenient location downtown, cleanliness and a welcoming professional staff.” All of the trainers have exercise science degrees and are available to give that added encouragement. They recently renovated the entire gym. Plus, its membership is a who’s who of Pensacola movers and shakers, or, at least those who want to stay fit.

Runner Up: Best After School Activity
Ballet Pensacola is one of the cultural cornerstones of the community. The Ballet Pensacola Company is comprised of professional and talented student dancers. The Youth Ensemble provides an opportunity for young dancers to develop their technique and stagecraft. Ballet Pensacola presents several major performances each season including Arts-in-Education presentations, the Nutcracker and a spring repertory concert.  In addition, outreach performances are presented to more than 20 local schools each season, reaching more than 13,000 children.

Runner Up: Best Hospital
Baptist Hospital is part of the Baptist Health Care group and a winner of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. It is a community-owned, not-for-profit facility that serves the Pensacola area. In 2006, the hospital—which is undergoing an expansion—received the VHA Leadership Award for Clinical Excellence. Most recently Baptist and its sister institution, Gulf Breeze Hospital, were recognized by The Joint Commission on its 2011 list of Top Performers in Key Quality Measures™. The list presents scientific evidence of hospital performance and how it relates to common medical conditions and procedures.

Runner Up: Best Chiropractor
Sometimes things feel a bit out of alignment. Backs begin to ache and necks stiffen. IN readers know where to go when their spines start to feel as humped as the Three-Mile Bridge. Just on the other side of the bridge in Gulf Breeze, Dr. Kenneth L. Williams and his team at Baybridge Chiropractic Clinic know how to reduce tension, relieve pain and provide tune-ups that put everything back in line.

Runner Up: Best Fitness Classes
Bodyworx provides a personal feel that alleviates the intimidation and confusion of a gym setting. Prestigiously kept, the cleanliness of the facility is only topped by the quality of the trainers. Every Bodyworx client does a full assessment including a Functional Movement Screen for determining how well you move, which serves as the basis for developing strength, losing fat or improving conditioning. New clients receive a fitness consultation and assistance with creating your fitness goals.

Runner Up: Best Real Estate Agent
Randy Bricker can sell. He loves to network, meet new people and put together deals for his clients. His specialty is working with investors whose goal is fix the property to rent or sell and first time homebuyers. Randy hosts his own TV show on BLAB TV, “Just ask Randy,” which helps him stay connected to the community and continue to grow his network of buyers, sellers and friends.

Winner: Best Caterer
Runner Up: Best Wedding Caterer
Classic City Catering, who serves clients throughout the panhandle and Alabama Gulf Coast, offers gourmet, full-service catering and does everything from “BBQ to Black Tie.” Exquisite cuisine and exceptional service have been the hallmarks of owner David Penniman and his crew. From tents, rentals and lighting to cakes, music and flowers, Classic City has you covered. Regardless of the size or type of event, they have an uncanny ability to anticipate customers’ needs and exceed expectations.

Winner: Best Local Ad Agency
Clever Ogre isn’t a suit and tie advertising agency. A lot of the time they’re not even a shoes and socks kind of agency. Clever Ogre makes its clients’ business or product look good by taking the steps to ensure all of the details have been addressed. The size of the impact does not have to be dictated by the size of the budget. They work within anyone’s price range.

Winner: Best Residential Real Estate Agency
Runner Up: Best Place to Work, Best Commercial Real Estate Agency
Coldwell Banker is the nation’s largest real estate company. In 2007, the company acquired Coldwell Banker JME Realty, which operated 20 residential and two commercial offices in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. Denis McKinnon Jr. is the President/COO for the Gulf Coast Region.

Runner Up: Best Dentist
Dr. Michael Shay Tilley, a Tennessee native, graduated from the University Of Alabama Birmingham School Of Dentistry in 1997 where he practiced in Manchester, Tenn. prior to moving to Pensacola in 2003. Emerald Coast Smiles by Design was recognized in 2009 as the Small Business of the Year by the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. He and Dr. Stephanie Tilley have continued to improve their practice while keeping their commitment to the community. Both doctors are involved in several community organizations including Ballet Pensacola, Fiesta Forces, Pensacola Children’s Chorus and sponsors of multiple school and charitable fundraisers and events.

Runner Up: Best Law Firm
Established in Escambia County in 1913, Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon is one of the oldest law firms in the area. Today, it boasts more than 100 attorneys, paralegals and staff and is recognized as one of Northwest Florida’s pre-eminent law firms. The full-service firm has experienced lawyers providing services to individuals and organizations on legal matters ranging from commercial litigation, real estate loan closings, and estate planning to personal injury, employment, social security and domestic law.

Winner: Best Outdoor Boot Camp, Best Non-Gym Workout
Runner Up: Best Fitness Classes Josh and Kenzie Presnell have created a workout system that excites those who were tired of the gym. Their six-week, outdoor boot camp involves a variety of exercises and a personalized approach, where campers are side-by-side four days a week and can help motivate each other to work harder to reach fitness goals. It looks like IN readers have felt the burn.

Runner Up: Best Real Estate Agent
Pensacola native Fred Gunther has personally vested in redevelopment efforts that enhance our community. His company, Gunther Properties, specializes in residential, commercial, and investment real estate with a particular interest in new developments throughout Downtown Pensacola. His team actively participates in community enrichment projects, such as the Downtown Improvement Board, City of Pensacola: Zoning Board of Adjustments, and promotion of the Vince Whibbs Sr. Community Maritime Park.

Runner Up: Best Local Ad Agency
This exceptionally talented and highly skilled team is bold and passionate about its clients’ success. Idgroup seeks to be a passionate agent of change—for its clients, its team and our society. The agency has partnered with regional and national clients for over 20 years to build strong brand reputations and move organizations toward their aspirational visions.

Runner Up: Best Attorney
Bob Kerrigan is a partner with Kerrigan, Estess, Rankin, McLeod & Thompson LLP, a law firm he founded in 1975, focusing on personal injury and wrongful death cases. Kerrigan has obtained numerous multi-million dollar jury verdicts. He has been honored not only for his accomplishments in the courtroom, but also for his commitment to pro bono work. In 2011, Bob was given the Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award, the highest statewide pro bono award.

Winner: Best Law Firm
Runner Up: Best Attorney-Fred Levin
Levin Papantonio has received more than 75 jury verdicts in the amount of $1 million or more, including 12 jury verdicts in excess of $10 million, and two in excess of $450 million. The firm’s total settlements have exceeded $1 billion. The New York Times, Forbes, Time Magazine, George Magazine, Newsweek, ABC News, CNN, The American Lawyer, Lawyer Weekly and the National Law Journal have profiled the firm’s attorneys. Additionally, four of the attorneys are listed in Best Lawyers in America.

Runner Up: Best Residential Real 
Estate Agency
Audie Street and Holly Lovett opened Main Street Properties in response to agent outcry for a different kind of company that would put relationships first and hometown values over franchise models. In short, Main Street Properties is a relationships company that is in the business of real estate. It’s a family of like-minded individuals who understand what it means to stand for something and know how to take care of their clients’ real estate needs.

Runner Up: Best Law Firm
The law firm provides aggressive and compassionate representation to an exclusive clientele—the victims of the negligence of others and workers that are injured on the job.  Managing partner Marcus Michles has had some of the largest medical malpractice jury verdicts in Northwest Florida. Michles and partner Rainey Booth are members of The Million Dollar Advocates Forum For Trial Lawyers while achieving the highest jury verdicts, and both have been named among Florida’s Top Trial Attorneys.

Runner Up: Best Chiropractor
Johnathan Newlin has developed a team at Newlin Chiropractic of skilled professionals who will go the extra mile to make sure you receive excellence in service. They promise to treat their patients with the same caring compassion that they expect for their loved ones. Their efforts are designed to relieve pain and restore health as quickly as possible.

Runner Up: Best Place to Rent a Tux
Rein’s Formal Wear specializes in men’s formal attire for any occasion. Tuxedos are what they do best whether it’s for weddings, proms, Fiesta balls or society fundraisers. Its excellent personal service sets Rein’s apart from other menswear shops. Rein’s Formal Wear takes into consideration your build, your personal style, and how your tuxedo will most appropriately match the event at hand. All pluses in our books.

Winner: Best Hospital
Runner Up: Best Place to Work
More than 600 primary and specialty physicians practice at Sacred Heart, a not-for-profit health care organization. Its main services include Sacred Heart Medical Group, a network of primary-care physicians, a 24-hour Emergency Trauma Center, a Pediatric Trauma Referral Center and centers of excellence specializing in women’s health, cardiac care, orthopedics, cancer care and the care of children.

Winner: Best Boutique or Independent Hotel or Inn
Runner Up: Best Hotel-not Pensacola Beach
Solé Inn & Suites has won this category for three years with its 45 renovated rooms and suites designed and decorated with an Art Deco flare. Located in the heart of downtown within walking distance to live entertainment, dining and shopping, Solé also features a free continental breakfast every morning, free hi-speed Internet and Wi-Fi, free happy hour meet-and-greet for guests, upscale amenities and affordable rates.

Winner: Best Day Spa, Best Facial
Runner Up: Best Massage, Best Nail Salon, Best Pedicure, Best Salon for Waxing, Best Skin Care Overall
Still Waters has wowed IN readers for six consecutive years with its serene atmosphere, professional staff and indulgent spa services. In addition to traditional spa treatments including massages, facials, body treatments and wraps, make-up consultation and application, spray tanning, manicures and pedicures, Still Waters also offers a full spectrum of anti-aging and appearance-enhancement options using the latest laser technology and state-of-the-art medical procedures.

Runner Up:  Best Hair Salon, Best Hair Stylist-Eddie Fancher
When Andrew WenDel, owner and stylist of Studio 7 Salon, decided to open a salon in 2008 he wanted it to have a timeless look and he succeeded. “Everybody who’s come to the salon says it doesn’t belong in Pensacola,” he said. “It looks like it belongs in a bigger city like Atlanta.” Studio 7 Salon has eight stylists, two massage therapists and two nail technicians that are ready to make you beautiful. All employees are independent workers, which gives them flexible availability. WenDel is adamant about having a relaxed and sophisticated atmosphere for his clients. Of the eight stylists, Eddie Fancher is a popular choice. He even has a fan page on Facebook. “He styles women of all ages,” WenDel said. “From trendy to classic hairstyles.”

Winner: Best Skin Care Overall
Runner Up: Best Facial, Best Beauty Products
Dr. Kevin Welch and his Skin Care Center have once again been voted by our readers as the Best Skin Care Overall on the Gulf Coast. Dr. Welch and his staff provide the latest in facial rejuvenation treatments such as Botox, Dysport, Thermage, IPL, Restylane, Juvederm, acid peels, microdermabrasion and more. The office also offers an array of top-quality skin care products to address dermatological issues ranging from sunspots to scarring to wrinkles. Dr. Welch is a member of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology & Aesthetic Surgery as well as one of only 200 Platinum Plus Injectors of Botox in the United States.

Runner Up: Best Hospital
West Florida Healthcare is proud to be the only hospital in the area to offer all private rooms as well as the area’s only Accredited Chest Pain Center. The facility is also an Advanced Primary Stroke Center and is the area’s only accredited Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. The West Florida Healthcare campus includes the all-private room acute care hospital, the area’s only comprehensive physical rehabilitation hospital, and a mental health facility.

Runner Up: Best Sports/Rec Program, Best Gym Overall, Best Pilates, Best Outdoor Boot Camp, Best After School Activity
For more than 100 years, the Downtown YMCA has served this community, creating opportunities for men, women and children of all ages and backgrounds to come together to learn, grow and thrive. Thousands have been touched by this non-profit that has been committed to strengthening our community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility for a diverse membership that includes all ages, genders, races, religions, abilities and incomes.


Runner Up: Best Wedding Planner
Samantha Jackson has been planning weddings of all types and sizes for over a decade. “I focus on the small details to make the wedding what the client envisioned,” Jackson said. She is the only accredited bridal consultant in Northwest Florida and one of eight in the state of Florida. Jackson helps find clients the best value for their budget without sacrificing quality. “I can help make sure the client stays within budget and help them minimize costs in other areas.”

Runner Up: Best Wedding Planner
When it comes to weddings, Sara Gillianne goes beyond just planning. She offers help with design and coordination, floral design, invitations, linens and other custom details. She describes her style as “simple, classic, over-the-top, vintage, retro, southern sweet, beach chic or city sleek.” When it comes to the client, Gillianne works hard with reliable vendors to make the wedding of their dreams. “A good wedding designer is able to meet with her client, listen to what she wants, see her ideas and tailor the even to reflect the couple’s personality, no matter the style.”

Runner Up: Best Wedding Hair Stylist, Best Wedding Hair Salon-Salon Allure
Heidi Taylor has a very simple motto: “A good consultation goes a long way.” Heidi, who honed her craft in New Orleans before opening Salon Allure, establishes good communication with her clients immediately, so that each salon service fulfills their personal vision of themselves and matches their unique personality. Taylor has found her mantra to be so effective that she has spread it to her team of five beauty techs, which includes an airbrush-tanning artist and trained massage therapist.

Restaurants & Food

Runner Up: Best Steak, Best Steakhouse
The Angus Steakhouse is a Pensacola landmark that has been serving up some of Pensacola’s best Prime Angus beef, fresh gulf seafood and traditional handmade Greek desserts for over four decades. Whether you’re looking for an intimate dinner for two, cocktails after work, or catering options, Angus has it all.

Runner Up: Best Breakfast
When it comes to breakfast, brunch, or lunch, Another Broken Egg Cafe offers a totally egg-ceptional experience with over 130 menu items that meet upscale tastes at affordable prices. The Gregory Street location has a casual elegance and charming French country atmosphere. For business people, Another Broken Egg lets them quietly dine and discuss the matters of the day.

Runner Up: Best Cup of Coffee
This coffee joint across from Pensacola Junior College isn’t just for students. IN readers appreciate the quality and consistency of the locally owned coffee shop.
Bad Ass Coffee features Hawaiian Kona coffee that is grown on the mountainsides of the Hawaiian volcanoes and is one of the most flavorful and sought after coffees in the world. They also serve a variety of pastries, sandwiches and Bad Ass merchandise.

Winner:  Best Vegetarian/Vegan Cuisine, Best Place to Count Calories
Runner Up: Best Vegetarian/Vegan Dish-Enchiladas
This organic, vegan café with its full coffee bar, catering services and vegan cooking classes has won the hearts and appetites of IN readers. Stop in on Thursday nights for a vegan organic dinner or on Sundays for a vegan organic brunch, which features a new menu every week. On the last Monday of the month, make reservations for the raw organic vegan dinner.

Winner: Best Restaurant-Downtown Pensacola, Best Seafood Cuisine, Best Looking Wait Staff, Best Gumbo, Best Happy Hour, Best Ladies Night, Best Uniquely Pensacola Dish-Grits a Ya Ya
Runner Up: Best Restaurant Overall, Best Brunch, Best Place for a Business Lunch, Best Place for a Birthday Dinner, Best Place To Eavesdrop, Best Bar With A View, Best Bar To People Watch, Best View, Best College Hangout-Deck Bar, Best Bar For Live Music-Deck Bar, Best Regular Gig-Lucas Crutchfield, Best Fish Sandwich-Fried Fish, Best Original Menu Item-Grits a Ya Ya, Best Salad-MoMa Salad, Best Outdoor Dining-Atlas
With its relaxed environment and spectacular view of Pensacola Bay—not to mention mouth-watering menu—it’s pretty easy to see why The Fish House has repeatedly been recognized by IN readers as one of the best restaurants and nightspots in Northwest Florida. Grits a Ya Ya, fresh sushi rolls and a jaw-dropping wait staff are just a few things you’ll find when you dine at this exquisite restaurant in the historic district. The Deck provides live entertainment almost every night of the week, and the bartenders make some of the best drinks in town. On Wednesdays, you don’t want to miss their Ladies Night. Whether you’re out with a date, friends or just someone you’d like to impress, you can’t go wrong with this area favorite.

Runner Up: Best Pizza, Best Pizza By The Slice
This local favorite offers mouth-watering pizza made with only the very best cheeses from Milwaukee and the ripest tomatoes grown in the San Joaquin Valley. Georgio’s menu also includes pastas, sandwiches, burgers, calzones and more. Owner Carl Hixon is a big part of the local community, and every September 11 he honors local first responders by offering them free food all day.

Winner:  Best Restaurant Overall, Best Original Menu, Best Place for a Birthday Dinner, Best Original Menu Item-Bacon-wrapped Lobster Tail, Best Chef-Frank Taylor, Best Waiter-Jarrod McLendon
Runner Up: Best Place for a Birthday Dinner, Best Restaurant-Downtown Pensacola, Best Appetizers, Best Looking Wait Staff, Best Wait Staff, Best Place to Splurge, Best Romantic Dining, Best Place for a First Date, Best Steak, Best Martini, Best Selection Of Wine By The Bottle, Best Salad-Heirloom Tomato Salad, Best Soup-Lobster Bisque, Best Waitress-Libby Castellani, Best Waiter-Sam Sumlin, Best Waitress-Samantha Flood
The Global Grill has long been known as one of Pensacola’s premier dining establishments, and this year it won the coveted Best Restaurant Overall title. Jane and Chef Frank Taylor go out of their way to make your dining experience memorable. Frank is always creating new dishes that take advantage of local seafood and produce. The Taylors surround themselves with a well-trained and hospitable staff and an eclectic dining room that features dim lighting, local art pieces and soothing live music. That’s not to mention the impeccable tapas, seafood and wine selection that make it a one-of-a-kind dining experience. The menu is unique with Chef Taylor adding specials. One item you don’t want to miss: the Bacon-wrapped Lobster Tail. You won’t want to share it.

Winner: Best Steakhouse, Best Place to Splurge, Best Place for a Business Lunch, Best Steak, Best Wait Staff
Runner Up: Best Restaurant Overall, Best Restaurant-Downtown Pensacola, Best Original Menu, Best Appetizers, Best Romantic Dining, Best Place for a Birthday Dinner, Best Restaurant You Haven’t Been to in Ages, Best Chef-Irv Miller, Best Waiter-Scottie Miller, Best Desserts, Best Martini, Best Selection Of Wine By The Glass, Best Selection Of Wine By The Bottle, Best Original Drink Menu, Best Soup-Roasted Vidalia Onion, Best Vegetarian/Vegan Dish-Vegan Plate
The mission of Jackson’s since it opened in 1998 has been to provide “great service and great food.” Yes, Pensacola is a seafood town, but locals love good steaks, especially those at Jackson’s, which is part of the Great Southern Restaurant Group that also owns The Fish House and Atlas Oyster House. Great towns have great steakhouses. Pensacola has Jackson’s.

Winner: Best Appetizers, Best Outdoor Dining
Runner Up: Best View, Best Up-and-Coming Chef-Tricia Horton, Best Bar With A View
Jaco’s Bayfront Bar and Grille has a huge advantage. It overlooks Pensacola Bay at the end of Palafox Street and its seating is also designed to allow visibility from anywhere.  Locals flock to view the sunsets while enjoying their favorite libations, flatbread pizzas, salads and small plates. Chef Tricia Horton is getting rave reviews for her creations.

Runner Up: Best Japanese Cuisine, Best Sushi
This restaurant offers authentic Japanese cuisine using fresh steak, seafood, chicken in its teriyaki and tempura menu items and has an extensive sushi menu featuring inventive rolls such as the BMW roll, which includes grilled chicken, seaweed salad, crab stick and spicy sauce. Ichiban has several different dining areas. Customers can sit at the regular tables or Japanese style in one of the five tatami seats or at the sushi bar.

Runner Up: Best Place to Eat Like a Tourist
Located on Pensacola Bay near the Seville Historic District, Landry’s Seafood attract tourists year around with its creative seafood dishes and spectacular view. In a state known for its great seafood restaurants, Landry’s is a classic Gulf Coast restaurant, with the hospitality, friendly service and delicious menu that visitors and locals know and love.

Winner: Best Neighborhood Bar Runner Up: Best Kept Local Secret, Best Bar Menu, Best Selection Of Wine By The Glass, Best New Bar Escambia County, Best New Restaurant-Escambia County, Best Restaurant-East Pensacola/Scenic Highway, Best Way to Get “Cheese-y”-Pimiento Cheese Sandwich, Best Soup-White Bean Chicken Chili, Best Sandwich-Hummingbird, Best Original Menu Item-Pimiento Cheese Sandwich
The Magnolia owners, Kiley Bolster and Bill Manning, traveled extensively before opening a bar/restaurant in their hometown. One step inside and the dim lights, clean atmosphere and great music will make you feel like hanging out all day. “It’s just comfortable. The way a neighborhood bar should be,” Bolster said. The friendly staff loves to get to know regulars and is open to comments and suggestions. The building itself is just as much a part of the local community. Manning built the actual bar out of locally sourced Florida White Oak from Milton. “It’s a community bar as much as it is a neighborhood bar.”

Runner Up: Best Up-and-Coming Chef
After spending years in the local kitchens, Chef Alex McPhail was tapped to work in the Commander’s Palace in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Eventually making his way to the city’s Restaurant August, the chef prepared food for everyone from celebrities to the President of the United States. “I love food,” the chef said, describing IRON’s offerings as “contemporary.” McPhail also emphasizes sustainability in his kitchen: “We’re growing most of our own vegetables that we use in the restaurant on the grounds.”

Runner Up: Best Mexican Cuisine,
Best Late Night Eats, Best Burrito,
Best Taco
Nacho Daddies is the brainchild of Pensacola natives Ryan and Chef Erika Thomas. This Palafox eatery features made-to-order Tex-Mex style entrées such as nachos, tacos, quesadillas and burritos. It’s a great place to go for lunch or dinner. And if it is happening downtown at night, they are open to cure all those late night cravings on weekends.

Runner Up: Best Lunch Delivery,
Best Place for a Business Lunch,
Best Salad Bar
It’s set in one of the most unique locations, the Pensacola Cultural Center. Portabello caters to the downtown lunch crowd with an array of atypical entrees. Sample the excellent cream of tomato basil soup, one of an array of sandwiches, or the wasabi-crusted grouper. The salad bar is fresh and extensive. If you’re holding a business lunch in your office, Portabello will deliver.

Runner Up: Best Take Out, Best Place to Count Calories
Fresh ingredients matter. Roly Poly proves with it every flavorful rolled-up sandwich, soup and salad on its menu. The Pensacola and Gulf Breeze locations have won over IN readers watching their calories and looking for a different kind of take out meal. Roly Poly offers the ideal fare for lunch, a light early dinner or a snack. For those in a hurry, online ordering and delivery is available.

Runner Up: Best Chef, Lee House Bed & Breakfast
Runner Up: Best Original Menu, Lee House Dinners
Blake Rushing said he doesn’t have a signature dish, but that may be because there are too many dishes to choose from. “I think I set myself apart from other chef’s by changing my menus weekly,” he said. “I have done over 68 different themed five-course menus since Norma, Amber and I have joined forces at the Lee House.” Rushing’s food inspiration comes from ingredients he craves and reinventing dishes. “I like to be challenged with new techniques and flavor pairings,” he said. Rushing and his wife, Amber, also own R&R Fine Catering.

Winner: Best Chinese Cuisine
Runner Up: Best Restaurant-Cordova Area
In an area with dozens of Asian restaurants, Shark Fin stands out. This restaurant is the place to be for casual fine dining in a swanky atmosphere. Shark Fin offers a la carte, upscale Chinese-Japanese fusion cuisine accompanied by a full bar with beers, wines and sakes from around the world.

Winner: Best New Restaurant-Escambia County, Best Cheeseburger
Runner Up: Best Late Night Eats, Best Original Menu Item-Blue Balls Burger
With a build-your-own burger menu concept, this Palafox eatery offers customers a chance to get creative. Want an egg on your burger? How about peanut butter? Wash down your masterpiece burger and fresh-cut bacon-infused potato chips with some beer or a spiked (or regular) milkshake.

Runner Up: Best Chicken Fingers
Yes, Pensacola has people who actually judge a restaurant based on its chicken fingers.  They love Zaxby’s. An alternative to typical fast food, Zaxby’s offers prepared-at-order chicken fingers, wings, sandwiches and salads. Zaxby’s most popular items are its hand-breaded Chicken Fingerz and Jumbo Buffalo Wings, smothered in a choice of nine sauces with names like Wimpy, Tongue Torch, Nuclear and Insane.

Bars, Drinks & Nightlife

5 ½ BAR
Winner: Best Original Drink Menu, Best Bar To Drink Alone, Best Martini, Best Bar Ambiance
Runner Up: Best Place To Eavesdrop, Best Margarita, Best Dark Corner For PDA, Best Selection Of Wine By The Glass, Best Bartender-Patrick Bolster
After enjoying a show at Vinyl, step through the door in the rear of the hall and into one of the swankiest joints in town. This quiet little bar connected to Pensacola’s hottest music venue scored big, once again topping several Best of the Coast categories. With its own entrance on Garden Street, the intimate 5 1/2 prides itself on mixology know-how. Say hey to Patrick and curl up with a Moscow Mule.

Runner Up: Best Karaoke Night, Best Karaoke DJ-Jeremy Ward, Best Pet-Friendly Bar
Billed as downtown Pensacola’s most progressive bar, The Cabaret pours over 217 fine liquors, 20 different bottle beers and eight draft beers. Their friendly staff provides a place to relax and offers videos, all genres of live music and game nights. Its karaoke night is one of the most popular in town thanks to DJ Jeremy Ward. The outdoor seating works for those who like to party with their pets.

Winner:  Best Bar Downtown Pensacola, Best French Fries, Best Selection of Beer on Tap, Best Bar Menu, Best Bar For Getting Flat-Out Drunk. Best College Hangout
Runner Up:  Best Late Night Eats, Best Pizza, Best Bar Overall, Best Drink Specials, Best Bar Where It Pays To Be A Regular, Best Local Person/Business To Follow On Twitter, Best Place to Mooch Free Wi-Fi, Best Place To Meet Friends After Work, Best Happy Hour, Best Karaoke DJ-KJ Wildo
Hopjacks delivers one of the more unique atmospheres in Pensacola and won the much-sought-after Best Bar Downtown Pensacola title. Stocked with more than 200 beers—111 on tap—in a bar that spans much of the establishment, you’ll never get thirsty—or bored. While the bar selection is top-notch, so is the pizza and their world-famous fries. The best part of all is they serve food ‘til the wee hours of the morning, just when those post-drinking munchies set in.

Runner Up: Best New Bar-Escambia County
Joining its Nine-Mile sister in this category, the Hopjacks Filling Station is exactly what it sounds like: a place to fill up, on beer and food and conversation. The Scenic Highway location of the Hopjacks empire establishes a craft-beer foothold in yet another corner of Pensacola.

Winner: Best Bar-North Pensacola/Nine Mile Road/UWF
Runner Up: Best New Bar-Escambia County, Best Restaurant-North Pensacola/Nine Mile Road/UWF
Now that it’s there, it’s difficult to imagine a world without the Nine Mile Road Hopjacks. Building on the success of his downtown location, owner Joe Abston decided to expand his business to the other side of town. Now University of West Florida students don’t have to drive to downtown to enjoy the beer, pizza and duck fries.

Winner: Best Sports Bar, Best Restaurant for Sports Fanatics
Runner Up: Best Wings, Best Sports Team Club Headquarters
All the games—that is what set Nick’s apart. Palafox’s top sports bar has flat-screen TVs everywhere you turn—offering games and sports that nobody else carries, including lacrosse. There is not a better place in town to catch college football or March Madness. The wings and sauces are made in-house and the Stoney sauce is heaven on anything it touches. If you become a regular, Nick might even smile at you and let you change the channel to your favorite show, but it better not be Lifetime Television or some Reality show.

Runner Up: Best Bar-Pensacola Beach, Best Hotel Bar, Best Bar For Live Music, Best Day Drinking
There is no better place to sip on a margarita, kick off your sandals and leave the world behind than the open, relaxed environment of Paradise Bar & Grill. It has long been a favorite of locals, and once again IN readers have named it one of their favorite places to drink and party on Pensacola Beach.

Winner: Best Bushwacker, Best Bar-Pensacola Beach
Runner Up: Best Bar To People Watch, Best Day Drinking, Best Bar For Poker, Best Bar For Trivia, Best Music Venue, Best Signature Drink-Bushwacker, Best Shot-Dirty Girl Scout
The home of the world famous Bushwacker is like no other bar on Pensacola Beach. The outside deck and observation tower complement the beach bum atmosphere for which this iconic bar has always been known. Order a Bushwacker and enjoy live music, karaoke and other events throughout the week. Don’t forget the 151 shot of rum!

Winner: Best Salad Bar, Best Night Club, Best Bar To People Watch, Best Sports Team Club Headquarters, Best Bar For Bingo, Best Place To Shake Your Stuff, Best Bar To Hook Up, Best Bar Personality, Buck Thomas
Runner Up: Best Cigar Shop, Best Wine Tastings, Best Reception Venue, Best Chicken Fingers, Best Bar Overall, Best Cover Charge Worth Paying, Best Jazz Bar, Best College Hangout, Best Place For Bar Games, Best Bar For Poker, Best Bar Menu, Best Music Venue, Best Karaoke Night, Best Bar For Live Music, Best Ladies Night, Best Running Club, Best Regular Gig-Dueling Pianos, Best Special Event Space-Heritage Hall, Best Bartender-Michelle Klemm, Best Regular Gig-Mr. Lao
Since opening in 1967, Seville Quarter has been a staple of Pensacola nightlife. Originally owned by Bob Snow, the entertainment complex is now under the guidance of the Mitchell family. Seville Quarter is a jack-of-all-trades establishment, offering food, drinks and a variety of entertainment options. From the dance club vibe of Phineas Phogg’s to the Dueling Pianos of Rosie O’ Grady’s, this Pensacola institution serves up every flavor of conceivable nightlife nightly. They regularly bring in national and regional acts and host dozens of weekend festivals and events throughout the year.

Winner: Best Music Venue, Best Bar For Live Music
Runner Up: Best Special Event Space, Best Night Club, Best Cover Charge Worth Paying, Best Place To Shake Your Stuff
Music fans in Pensacola have wanted a mid-sized venue forever. Vinyl Music Hall has finally made that dream a reality, and IN readers have picked it a winner for the second consecutive year. The venue has added vibrancy to downtown Pensacola that has been missing for decades.


Runner Up: Best Rising Leader
This attorney, author and mother has had an impact in Pensacola since moving back to town after serving as Political Action Committee Director and Legislative Counsel for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Autumn is an energetic, charismatic advocate for making Pensacola a better place. She is this year’s president of the Northwest Florida chapter of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers.

Victor Cross
Runner up: Best Rising Leader
The Pensacola native had his first foray into politics when he ran this August for Pensacola City Council.  The sales director for Collector Solutions had strong support from the police and fire unions and caught the attention of IN readers with his honest, direct approach to campaigning.  His future is indeed bright.

Runner Up: Best Non Profit
Gulf Coast Kids’ House is a children’s advocacy center for Escambia County that combines all of the professionals and resources needed for the intervention, investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases under a single child-friendly facility. The non-profit’s collaborative response to child abuse cases has improved case outcomes and minimized trauma to the children and families.

Runner Up: Best Sports/Rec Program
Seastars Aquatics provides a free USA Swimming Outreach Swim Team to children on free or reduced lunch and to special needs children and adults. All swimmers are put on an incentive program and the swimmers earn points for attendance, community service, positive sportsmanship conduct, personal goals, and academics. The points correlate to a token economy and swimmers spend and save their points to learn responsibility and proper money management.

Runner Up: Best Rising Leader
In November, Andy Terhaar will be seated on the Pensacola City Council to represent District 3. “I feel like I can make a difference,” he said. The Auburn University graduate is a member of the Pensacola Young Professionals and a 2008 graduate of the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Pensacola (LeaP) program. “I think the young professionals are going to be the next ones to get the reins and we just need to keep moving Pensacola forward.”