Best of the Emerald Coast 2016 Recap

Best Of The EC shine at Grand Boulevard


Grand Boulevard at Sandestin was abuzz Oct. 22, as the best of the best businesses along the Emerald Coast gathered for the  17th annual “Best of The Emerald Coast” celebration, presented by Emerald Coast Magazine. 

Photo by Jim Clark

“Best of” award winners, ranging from local restaurants and personal trainers to public relations firms and accountants, manned elaborate tents that they had dressed to the nines and anxiously awaited the final votes to be tallied in the best booth competition. Congratulations to the team at 654-LIMO, who took home top honors.

Not only did each winner deck out their booth, they offered up some top-notch food, cocktails and snacks for the crowds. And they didn’t disappoint.

Photo by Jim Clark

With their grill fired up, the chefs from McGuire’s Irish Pub in Destin, who took home “Best of” honors in the hamburger category, served up enormous portions of not only their winning burgers, but their pizza as well. McGuire’s wasn’t the only team to stoke a fire. Event attendees strolling down the boulevard were greeted with mouthwatering aromas permeating from the Ruth’s Chris (Best Steakhouse) booth, where they were offering up delicious steak sandwiches. Fat Clemenza’s took the fire concept up a notch with their pizza oven, which was turning out slice after slice. We promise, it was awesome. 

Thankfully, there were plenty of cocktails to accompany the eats. Grand Boulevard’s own Cantina Laredo (Best Margarita) was serving up some out-of-this-world margaritas, while the Grayton Beer folks had plenty of ice-cold brews to satisfy your thirst. And if you didn’t try the cocktails served up at the Newman-Dailey booth, you really missed out. 

The Best of The Emerald Coast winners offered up more than just food and cocktails. Categories included Best Golf Course (Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club), Best Musician/Band/Vocalist (Continuum), Best Audio/Visual Service Provider (Emerald Coast Audio Visual Solutions) and Best Medical Center/Hospital (Sacred Heart Health System), to name just a few. Not only did Continuum take home “Best of” honors, they provided the soundtrack for the celebration. Be sure to check out the full list of winners here.

Photo by Jim Clark

Prior to the big celebration at Grand Boulevard, winners gathered at an exclusive Best of the Emerald Coast winners' party hosted by Brotula's Steamhouse, where congratulatory handshakes and hugs were shared and awards were handed out. Epic Photo Co. helped capture the fun with a GIF photo booth and Amber Scheel with Out of the Blue Photography documented the festivities with her photos from the evening. 

The annual “Best of” event isn’t possible without the dedicated volunteers and sponsors who put the show in motion. Event proceeds benefit the Junior League of The Emerald Coast, whose representatives were delighted with the strong turnout. Community support was, of course, critical, too, and everyone at Emerald Coast Magazine and Rowland Publishing, Inc. offers a sincere thank you to all who turned out. 

See all the winners of the 2016 Best of the Emerald Coast here

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