Sporting some of the best burgers, pot pies and desserts in Santa Rosa County, Blackwater Bistro has been hailed by IN readers as the must-try dining experience in the Milton/Pace area. Our readers recommend the Chicken Marsala, Filet Mignon and Artichoke Cheesecake.
The atmosphere and décor make the restaurant inviting—not to mention the courteous and responsive staff who will tell you the history of how the building came to be.
Winner: Best Mexican Cuisine, Best Salad (Mexican Salad) Best Burrito, Best Taco Top 3 Finishes: Best Restaurant-Cordova Area, Best Restaurant-West Pensacola/Perdido Key, Best Vegetarian/Vegan Cuisine, Best Vegetarian/Vegan Dish (Veggie Quesadilla)
This California-style Mexican restaurant is unlike any other in town. While the other Mexican restaurants are just clones of each other’s menus, Cactus Flower offers memorable, specially prepared dishes. Serving a fresh, original menu that features a “To-die-for” burrito, Cactus Flower continues to win over IN readers year after year—with more and more food categories.
This year, the restaurant adds best salad and best taco to its winning resume and finished in the top three for best veggie cuisine and dish.
CAJUN SPECIALTY MEATS/CAJUN XPRESS DELI
Winner: Best Fast Bite
Top 3 Finishes: Best Gumbo, Best Cajun Cuisine, Best Lunch Delivery, Best Po Boy, Best Original Menu Item- The Sloppy Broussard
Owners Carl and Cory Broussard have been delighting taste buds across the country since 1996 with their unique, genuine Cajun cuisine. IN readers love to grab lunch at its Cajun Xpress Deli, which serves up the best po-boys, sandwiches, burgers, seafood baskets, salads and other goodies like Boudin balls and crawfish etouffee.
COCK OF THE WALK
Winner: Best Restaurant-North Pensacola/Nine Mile/UWF
For a Southerner, there are few foods more comforting than fried catfish and fried chicken. Cock of the Walk offers not only these delicacies but also fried pickles, hushpuppies, coleslaw, collard greens, corn on the cob and other down home vegetable favorites. The servers even toss cornbread in the air before serving it.
EVER’MAN NATURAL FOODS
Winner: Best Place To Count Your Calories
Top 3 Finishes: Best Place To Buy Local Produce, Best Green Business, Best Independent Market, Best Vegetarian/Vegan Cuisine
Ever’man Natural Foods is the only true co-op whole food market in town and caters to the healthy and informed consumer. The store also holds numerous educational events and demonstrations involving organic foods and healthy living that are often free to the public.
THE FISH HOUSE/ATLAS OYSTER HOUSE/THE DECK
Winner: Best Restaurant Overall, Best Seafood Cuisine, Best Original Menu Item- Grits a Ya Ya, Best Brunch, Best Place to Eavesdrop, Best Looking Wait Staff, Best Place to Meet Friends After Work, Best Happy Hour, Best Ladies Night, Best Regular Gig (Lucas Crutchfield) at The Fish House
Top 3 Finishes: Best Selection of Wine by the Bottle, Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests, Best Place to Work, Best Desserts, Best Gumbo, Best Appetizers, Best Lunch Spot, Best Original Menu, Best Outdoor Dining, Best Place for a Business Lunch, Best Place for a First Date, Best Place to Splurge, Best Wait Staff, Best Fish Sandwich, Best Salad, Best Po Boy, Best Place for a Birthday Dinner, Best Sushi, Best Bartender-Matt Rodriguez, Best Up-and-Coming Chef-Billy Ballou, Best Bar for Live Music, Best Bar to Hook up, Best Bar to People Watch, Best Bar with a View, Best Drink Specials, Best Bar-Downtown Pensacola, Best Waitress-Greta Yates, Best Waiter-Jared Staples, Best Chef-Jim Shirley
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 won Best Restaurant Overall, Best Seafood Cuisine and more than half a dozen other categories.
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.
THE GLOBAL GRILL
Winner: Best Restaurant-Downtown Pensacola, Best Appetizers, Best Original Menu, Best Dessert-Gooey Chocolate Cake, Best Selection of Wine by the Glass, Best Waitress- Samantha Flood
Top 3 Finishes: Best Chef-Frank Taylor, Best Restaurant Overall, Best Soup, Best Place for a First Date, Best Place to Splurge, Best Romantic Dining, Best Selection of Wine by the Bottle, Best Way to Get “Cheese-y”-Mozzarella Egg Rolls, Best Wait Staff, Best Looking Wait Staff, Best Waiter- Tommy Ford
The Global Grill has long been known as one of Pensacola’s premier dining establishments and its list of Best of The Coast awards has echoed that reputation. Jane and Frank Taylor go out of their way to make your dining experience memorable.
Global surrounds itself 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. Be sure to save room for the best dessert on the coast-Gooey Chocolate Cake.
THE GRAND MARLIN/THE NORTH DROP BAR
Winner: Best New Restaurant-Escambia County, Best New Bar-Escambia County
Top 3 Finishes: Best Appetizers, Best Outdoor Dining, Best Restaurant-Pensacola Beach, Best View, Best Bar Ambiance, Best Bar with a View
It’s new. And it’s a very impressive addition to Pensacola Beach. In its first year, The Grand Marlin has created a buzz over its great atmosphere, spectacular view of Santa Rosa Sound and the delicious cuisine from the kitchen of award-winning Chef Gregg McCarthy. The menu is printed daily and changes depending on the availability of the freshest ingredients, including the area’s freshest seafood. Make sure you try a cup of the seafood gumbo—you won’t be disappointed.
Most Sunday afternoons you can watch from The North Drop Bar the Blue Angels fly over Pensacola Beach as they return home—the perfect way to end your weekend.
Winner: Best Steakhouse, Best Chef-Irv Miller, Best Place to Splurge, Best Wait Staff, Best Place for a Business Lunch, Best Place for a Birthday Dinner, Best Selection of Wine by the Bottle, Best Martini, Best Steak-Delmonico, Best Waiter-Wayne Prince
Top 3 Finishes: Best Restaurant Overall, Best Restaurant-Downtown Pensacola, Best Romantic Dining, Best Place to Eavesdrop, Best Bread, Best Desserts, Best Looking Wait Staff, Best Place for a First Date, Best Waitress-Amanda Phillips, Best Up-and-Coming Chef-Jason Perry, Best Bartender-Josh Goldman
It’s hard to pinpoint just why Jackson’s Steakhouse is so cherished by our readers, because quite frankly, there are just too many great things to narrow down. Jackson’s mission since it opened in 1998 has been to provide “great service and great food.”
IN readers have declared “mission accomplished” for this downtown restaurant by awarding it several Best of the Coast categories including Best Steakhouse, Best Chef-Irv Miller and Best Wait Staff.
Jackson’s executive chef Irv Miller has prepared dinner at James Beard’s house on more than one occasion. He also once wrote a weekly food column for The Independent News and broadcasted a 30-minute weekly PBS cooking show, both called “Flavors of the Coast.” He is the pioneer of Florida Coastal Cooking along the Panhandle.
HUNAN CHINESE RESTAURANT
Winner: Best Chinese Cuisine
When you think of good Chinese food in Pensacola, it doesn’t take long before Hunan’s comes to mind. It’s no surprise that it has won this category every year since 2002. Hunan’s freshly prepared buffet satisfies IN readers with its more than 150 scrumptious dishes including soups, noodles, sushi, chicken and seafood options.
LILLIAN’S PAN PIZZA
Winner: Best Restaurant-West Pensacola/Perdido Key
Where do locals eat in Perdido Key? Lillian’s Pan Pizza, of course. They make their pizza dough by hand every morning and use a secret ingredient that has led to exposure in such publications as Pizza Today Magazine, and the restaurant has also been noted as one of the top “100 Independent” businesses. Their menu also includes pasta, salads and sandwiches that will please everyone from the gourmet to the vegetarian.
NEW YORK NICK’S
Winner: Best Restaurant For Sports Fanatics, Best Sports Bar
Top 3 Finishes: Best Chicken Fingers, Best French Fries, Best Wings, Best Original Menu Item (Grilled Wings)
What’s Nick got that others don’t? All the games, of course. 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.
Nick’s food is better than the competition. The wings and sauces are made in-house and the Stoney sauce is heaven on anything it touches. We recommend the Best Damn Buffalo Chicken Sandwich and Char-grilled wings. You won’t be sorry.
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 “Jersey Shore.”
WILL CALL SPORTS GRILLE
Winner: Best Up-and-Coming Chef-Jay Ammons
Top 3 Finishes: Best Cajun Cuisine, Best Happy Hour, Best Outdoor Dining, Best Place for a Business Lunch, Best Restaurant for Sports Fanatics, Best Sports Bar, Best Sports Team Club Headquarters
Jay Ammons is widely recognized as a “Master in the Making” with his flavorful dishes. He is an excellent addition to the Will Call Sports Grille, which has become a staple on Palafox Place.