Best of the Coast 2011—Restaurants/Food
BILLY BOB’S BEACH BARBECUE
Winner: Best BBQ
Runner Up: Best Restaurant-Gulf Breeze
For the seventh consecutive year, this locally-owned restaurant has been voted Best BBQ. Billy Bob’s, with its spicy-smoked fragrance and awesome barbequed meats, has won the hearts and appetites of IN readers.
CAJUN SPECIALTY MEATS
Winner: Best PoBoy
Runner Up: Best Cajun Cuisine, Best Fried Foods, Best Gumbo, Best Original Menu Item-Sloppy Broussard
Owners Carl and Cory Broussard have been delighting taste buds across the country since 1996 with their unique, genuine Cajun cuisine. Cajun Specialty Meats is one of the few truly Cajun food destinations in the area, and you can take your pick from among the whole deboned stuffed chickens, heat-and-eat entrees, sausages, side dishes, appetizers, gumbo, and crawfish and shrimp dishes, along with their famous Turducken.
CLASSIC CITY CATERING
Winner: Best Wedding Caterer
Runner Up: Best 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 the company since it was started 15 years ago. 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. Brides and their mothers can trust David Penniman to make receptions and other special events extraordinary.
Winner: Best Caterer
Runner Up: Best Wedding Caterer
Culinary Productions, Inc. executes to perfection everything from family brunches to corporate lunches, served meals to gourmet buffets, large receptions and banquets, and more. Owner Mike DeSorbo puts to good use his 20 years in the industry and offers full-service catering that leaves a great impression on your guests and IN readers.
EVER’MAN NATURAL FOODS
Winner: Best Vegetarian/Vegan Cuisine
Runner Up: Best Place To Buy Local Produce, Best Place to Count Calories, Best Independent Market
This Pensacola cooperative has a whole food market that caters to the healthy and informed consumer. Its Ever’Deli is committed to “Healthy Food Fast” and offers freshly prepared meals for vegetarians, vegans and meat-lovers.
THE FISH HOUSE/ATLAS OYSTER HOUSE/THE DECK
Winner: Best Restaurant Overall, Best Uniquely Pensacola Dish-Grits a Ya Ya, Best Brunch, Best Looking Wait Staff, Best Place to Meet Friends After Work, Best Salad-MoMA Salad, Best Happy Hour, Best Ladies Night, Best Regular Gig-Lucas Crutchfield
Runner Up: Best Bar to People Watch, Best Bar with a View, Best Original Drink Menu, Best Place to Eavesdrop, Best Selection of Wine by the Bottle, Best Selection of Wine by the Glass, Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests, Best Desserts, Best Fish Sandwich, Best Appetizers, Best Original Menu, Best Original Menu Item-Grits a Ya Ya, Best Outdoor Dining, Best Place for a Birthday Dinner, Best Place for a Business Lunch, Best Restaurant with a View, Best Restaurant-Downtown Pensacola, Best Seafood Cuisine, Best Wait Staff, Best Chef-Jim Shirley, Best Bar for Live Music, Best Music Venue
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.
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.
FIVE SISTERS BLUES CAFE
Winner: Best Fried Chicken, Best Fried Foods, Best Soul Food
Runner Up: Best Place to Blow Your Diet
Five Sisters has earned the reputation for serving the best Southern cuisine along the coast. Built on the site of Gussie’s Record Shop in the historic Belmont-DeVilliers neighborhood, Five Sisters features good ole’ Southern cuisine with kicks of Creole and Caribbean flair along with regular live blues music.
THE GLOBAL GRILL
Winner: Best Restaurant-Downtown Pensacola, Best Appetizers, Best Original Menu, Best Desserts, Best Place for a Birthday Dinner, Best Place for a First Date, Best Wait Staff, Best Chef-Frank Taylor
Runner Up: Best Martini, Best Selection of Wine by the Bottle, Best Looking Wait Staff, Best Place to Splurge, Best Restaurant Overall, Best Romantic Dining,
Best Waiter/Waitress-Samantha Flood
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 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. Be sure to save room for the Gooey Chocolate Cake.
THE GRAND MARLIN/THE NORTH DROP BAR
Winner: Best Restaurant-Pensacola Beach
Runner Up: Best Bar with a View, Best Original Drink Menu, Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests, Best Desserts, Best Brunch, Best Original Menu, Best Outdoor Dining, Best Place for a First Date, Best Restaurant Overall, Best Restaurant with a View, Best Seafood Cuisine, Best Uniquely Pensacola Dish-Blue Angel Chips, Best Salad, Best Waiter/Waitress-Kaya Hard, Best House Drink-The Taint, Best Way to Get “Cheese-y”-Truffle Mac N’ Cheese, Best Original Menu Item-Vanilla Infused Lobster Fingers
The Grand Marlin has taken Pensacola Beach by storm, winning the Best Restaurant-Pensacola Beach category in only its second year. Its great atmosphere, spectacular view of Santa Rosa Sound and the unique and delicious cuisine have made The Grand Marlin one of our area’s most popular dining and nightlife spots.
Winner: Best Steakhouse, Best Place to Splurge, Best Place for a Business Lunch, Best Steak
Runner Up: Best Martini, Best Selection of Wine by the Bottle, Best Selection of Wine by the Glass, Best Place for a Birthday Dinner, Best Place for a First Date, Best Restaurant Overall, Best Restaurant-Downtown Pensacola, Best Romantic Dining, Best Wait Staff, Best Chef-Irv Miller, Best Up-and-Coming Chef, Best Waiter/Waitress
The mission of Jackson’s 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 numerous Best of the Coast categories. Great towns have great steakhouses. Pensacola has Jackson’s.
JACO’S BAYFRONT BAR & GRILLE
Winner: Best New Restaurant-Escambia County, Best Restaurant with a View
Runner Up: Best Place to Meet Friends After Work, Best Restaurant-Downtown Pensacola, Best Up-and-Coming Chef-Tricia Horton
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. In less than a year, Jaco’s has become a regular gathering place for friends to meet, and Chef Tricia Horton is getting rave reviews for her creations.
Winner: Best Bakery
Runner Up: Best Place to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, Best Cake Shop, Best Wedding Cake Designer
For more than 50 years, J’s Bakery has been Pensacola’s finest bakery and go-to for sweets. Nestled in the quiet East Hill neighborhood, the shop has a long-running family history and reputation of evolving with its sweets. Today, J’s provides more than 200 baked items, including pies, cookies, wedding cakes and more. It also provides large orders for special engagements and parties. And the best part of all, the small bakery is affordable.
Winner: Best Original Menu Item-Chicken and Waffles, Best Margarita
Runner Up: Best Original Menu, Best Restaurant-Pensacola Beach
Chef Rob Theriot and Sabine Laguna have created a Pensacola Beach restaurant that has won praise from IN readers. Located on the Portofino Boardwalk, Laguna’s offers a unique, relaxed dining experience with an original menu that rivals the downtown restaurants. Their Sunday brunch includes the Hopkin’s House Fried Chicken and Waffles (BOC favorite), Crab Cake Benedict and bottomless mimosas.
THE LEISURE CLUB
Winner: Best Coffee Shop, Best Cup of Coffee
Runner Up: Best Place to Mooch Free Wi-Fi, Best Specialty & Iced Coffee Drinks, Best Brunch
The Leisure Club has a unique vibe that goes behind a good cup of Intelligentsia Coffee. Open seven days a week, TLC is the downtown place to hang out while enjoying not only coffee and tea, but also fine wines, craft beers and gourmet food. Check them out on Facebook for daily specials. IN readers do regularly.
LILLIAN’S PAN PIZZA
Winner: Best Restaurant-West Pensacola/Perdido Key
Lillian’s Pan Pizza is where the locals eat on the “Key”. The pizza dough is made by hand every morning. Their menu also includes pasta, salads and sandwiches that will please everyone from the gourmand to the vegetarian.
NEW YORKER DELI
Winner: Best Deli, Best Lunch Spot
Runner Up: Best Sandwich, Best Restaurant-East Pensacola/Scenic Highway, Best Soup-Beer Cheese
This small, cozy cafe has a diverse menu that never fails to surprise with its creamy homemade soups, pasta, salads and unbelievable sandwiches. The menu has more items than your average deli, and everything is delicious.
OH SNAP! CUPCAKES
Winner: Best Place to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Runner Up: Best Desserts, Best Vegetarian/Vegan Cuisine-Vegan Cupcakes, Best Bakery, Best Cake Shop
This bakery offers gourmet cupcakes, custom cakes, wedding quality cakes and cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and gluten-free, sugarless and vegan cupcakes. Oh Snap! has the perfect “Thank you” for co-workers, loved ones or clients. They even do birthday parties.
PARADISE BAR & GRILL
Winner: Best Kept Local Secret
Runner Up: Best Bar for Live Music, Best Bar-Pensacola Beach, Best Day-Drinking, Best Boutique or Independent Hotel/Inn-Paradise Inn, Best Hotel-Pensacola Beach-Paradise Inn
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’s also a place where you can dock your boat, grab a bite to eat and let the kids play in the sand. Paradise has long been a favorite of locals, and once again IN readers have named it one of their favorite places to drink on Pensacola Beach—morning, noon or night.
Winner: Best Salad Bar
Runner Up: Best Lunch Delivery, Best Place for a Business Lunch, Best Soup-Tomato Basil
IN readers love Portabello Market, which is tucked away in the Pensacola Cultural Center. The café’s soups, sandwiches, pastas and, of course, salad bar, are favorites among the downtown lunch crowd.
Winner: Best Lunch Delivery, Best Place to Count Calories
Runner Up: Best Fast Bite, Best Take Out
In 1996 the first Roly Poly Sandwich Shop opened for business in Atlanta. The Pensacola location opened this past year and its rolled-up sandwiches are loved by IN readers. We can’t wait until we can get our Roly Poly fix in Gulf Breeze, too.
SHARK FIN CHINESE BISTRO
Winner: Best Chinese Cuisine
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 Chicken Fingers
Runner Up: Best Drive-Thru
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. Perfect for Pensacola.