Emerald Coast’s Best of 2014

The fall season always tends to bring out our sentimental side. The artful mix of plump pumpkins, trees adorned in beautifully rusted golden hues, lingering family dinners and ever-shortening breezy days that melt into brisk nights encourages us to take note of the things that truly matter. And a few things that make the whole year go round, too.

For example, where one can find the very best Italian restaurant in town, or get the car repaired by fair and honest folks. Or, when good ol’ Spot eats something he ought not to have, which veterinarian has the best reputation. Or where the most flavorful Bloody Mary can be found. 

Or pizza. Or the best acupuncturist. Or … 

Actually, once we started thinking about it, our must-love list is pretty extensive. This year, we counted 141 things that we were oh so thankful for. 

So we turned to you, because no one knows the EC like our readers. Without a doubt, you are the heart and soul of this region, which is exactly why, year after year, we leave the judging of the best of our best to you. And you certainly haven’t failed us yet! This year, just like the past 13, you have earnestly scrutinized the contenders and mailed in your ballots with your beloved top picks. 

Well, ladies and gents, the results are in. Beginning on this very page you’ll find everything you need to know in order to best navigate your way through this beautiful stretch of coast for another year. Be sure to congratulate your neighbors on their victories — with all the amazing bits and pieces, people and places that make up our region, it’s a wonder how you ever decided at all. 

And don’t forget to come out and celebrate your Best of the Emerald Coast 2014 winners on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Grand Boulevard at Sandestin in true EC fashion. Isn’t it about time for all of us to get together again, anyway? We would love to see you there.

We congratulate all of the 2014 winners of The Best of the Emerald Coast and thank them for making our region the best destination ever.



Best Art Gallery
Justin Gaffrey Studio Gallery

Best DJ
DJ Rock the House

Best Golf Course
Regatta Bay Golf Course

Best Place for Kids Birthday Party

Kansas PitTs

​Abraka-doodle- Best Place for Kids Birthday Party

Best Local Artist
Andy Saczynski

Best Local Attraction
Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

Best Local Event
30A Songwriters Festival 

Best Musician/Vocalist/Band
Cadillac Willy

Best Place To Be Seen
HarborWalk Village

Best Place To Go Dancing
John Wehner’s Village Door

Best Place To Take the Kids
Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park

Best Place To Watch a Sunset
Harry T’s Lighthouse

Best Radio Personality
Dan Collins

Best Resort
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

Best Tennis Facility
Seascape Golf Beach & Tennis Resort 


Food & Beverage

Best Appetizer
Bonefish Grill

Best Bagel Shop
Panera Bread

Best Bakery
Bon Appetit

Best BBQ
Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q

Best Beer Selection
Miller’s Ale House

Best Bloody Mary
The Red Bar

Best Breakfast
Another Broken Egg

Best Brunch
Mama Clemenza’s European Breakfast

Best Buffalo Wings
Buffalo’s Reef

Best Cajun/Creole
The Marigny

Best Chef
Clovis DASilva of Fat Clemenza’s

Best Chinese
P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

Best Coffee
Bad Ass Coffee Co.

Best Dessert
Café Bolo

Best Fine Dining
Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Best French Restaurant

Best Gourmet/Food Shop/Specialty Food Store
Fresh Market

Best Grouper Sandwich 
Elephant Walk

Elephant Walk

Elephant Walk- Best Grouper Sandwich 

Best Gumbo
Dewey Destin’s Seafood Restaurant

Best Hamburger
McGuire’s Irish Pub

Best Happy Hour
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Best Hibachi

Best Frozen Treat
Bruster’s Real Ice Cream

Best Italian
Clemenza’s at Uptown Station

Best Locally Owned Restaurant
Callahan’s Restaurant & Deli

Best Margarita
Cantina Laredo

Best Martini
Bonefish Grill

Best Mediterranean
Aegean Restaurant

Best Mexican/Latin Restaurant
Pepito’s Mexican Restaurant

Best Onsite Catering
Signature Catering of 30A

Best Outdoor Bar
AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar

Best Outdoor Dining
Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House

Best Oysters
Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House

Best Pizza
Fat Clemenza’s

Best Restaurant (Okaloosa County)
Clemenza’s at Uptown Station

Best Restaurant (Walton County)
Fat Clemenza’s

Best Romantic/Special Occasion Restaurant
Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Best Sandwich Shop
Lenny’s Sub Shop

Best Seafood Market
Destin Ice Seafood Market & Deli

Best Seafood Restaurant
Dewey Destin’s Seafood Restaurant

Best Service–Food & Beverage
Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood

Best Sports Bar
Miller’s Ale House

Best Steakhouse
Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Best Sushi
Harbor Dock’s Restaurant

Best Thai
Royal Orchid



Best Accounting Firm
Carter & Company, LLC

Best Acupuncture Clinic
The Tortoise Clinic

Best Aesthetician
Kerrie Beth (K.B.) Dalal (Oasis Skin Care at The Blount Medical Group)

Best Airport
Destin Jet

Best Architect
W Architects PA (Bill Pope)

Best ATV/Golf/Electric Cart Dealership
Coastal Cruisers LLC

Best Audio/Visual Provider
Innovative Sight & Sound

Best Automobile Dealership
Sam Taylor Buick GMC Cadillac

Best Boat Sales & Service
Legendary Marine

Best Builder/Contractor
Dixon Kazek Morrison Custom Homes, LLC

Best Auto Repair
Sam Taylor Buick GMC Cadillac

Best Car/Limo/Shuttle Service
D’luxe Limousines

Best Charity/Non-profit
Sinfonia Gulf Coast

Best Charter Boat/Watersports
Destin Vacation Boat Rentals

Best Chiropractic Practice
Payne Chiropractic Wellness Center

Best Computer Repair/Tech Support
Hi-Tech Solutions

Best Cosmetic/Plastic Surgery Practice
Destin Plastic Surgery

Best Customer Service
Avantgarde Salon & Spa

Best Dance/Ballet/Gymnastics Class
U.S. Gold Gymnastics & Cheerleading

Best Dental Practice
Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry

Best Dental Specialty
M. Scott Runnels, DMD, PA

Best Dermatology Practice
Coastal Skin Surgery & Dermatology

Best Dry Cleaner
Total Laundry Services

Best Event Planning Company
Barber & Gall Promotions

Best Eye Doctor Practice
Wells Vision and Laser Eye Center

Best Financial Institution
Regions Bank

Best Flooring
Infinity Flooring

Best Florist
GG Bloom

Best Gym/Health Club/Fitness Center
Destin Health & Fitness Club

Best Hair Salon
Avantgarde Salon & Spa

Best Heating and Air Service
Gulfshore Air Conditioning & Heating Inc.

Best Insurance Agency
Insurance Zone

Best Interior Design Firm
Design Avenue

Best Landscaping/Lawn Service
Landscape Restorations

Best Law Firm
Matthews & Jones

Best Lighting Store
Beautiful Lights

Best Locksmith
Destin Locksmithing

Best Martial Arts/Karate
Resolute Martial Arts & Family Fitness

Best Massage Therapist
Neal Senn

Best Media Provider
Cox Communications

Best Medical Center/Hospital
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast

Best Medical Practice
The Blount Medical Group (Dr. Calvin Blount, Jr.)

Best Mortgage Lender
ENG Lending

Best Nail Salon
4 Seasons Nail & Spa

Best Personal Trainer
Matt Staver (Blueprint Health Studio)

Best Pet Care/Shop
Furry Fanatics

Best Photo Booth Company
Facetime Photobooth

Best Photographer
Roland Moriarty Photographs

Best Physical Therapy Practice
PT Solutions Physical Therapy

Katrice Howell

Airport Veterinary Clinic- Best Veterinarian

Best Plumbing Fixtures
A&G Professional Plumbing Service, Inc.

Best Pool Building/Service Company
Cox Pools

Best Printing Services
Think LLC

Best Property Management Group
ResortQuest By Wyndham Vacation Rentals

Best Real Estate Group
Beachy Beach Real Estate

Best Security/Alarm System
Westco Protection

Best Spa Services
Serenity by the Sea

Best Specialty Fitness
Pure Barre

Best Surgical Practice
Destin Surgery Center

Best Title Company
McNeese Title, LLC

Best Vacation Rental Company/Service
ResortQuest By Wyndham Vacation Rentals

Best Veterinarian
Airport Veterinary Clinic

Best Wedding Planner Company
Enchanted Beach Weddings

Best Wedding/Reception Venue
Solaris Yacht

Best Weight Loss Facility
The Blount Medical Group (Dr. Calvin Blount, Jr.)



Best Antiques Shop
Smith’s Antiques & Interiors Market

Best Beachwear Retailer
Sporty Lady

Best Children’s Clothing Retailer
Hugs and Hissyfits

Best Consignment/Resale Shop
Ava’s Attic Consignment Boutique

Best Eyewear Store
Wells Vision and Laser Eye Center

Best Furniture Retailer
Sugar Beach Interiors

Best Gift Shop
Design Avenue

Best Jewelry Store
McCaskill & Company

Katrice Howell

Barefoot Princess- Best Women’s Accessories

Best Locally Owned Retailer
Today’s Boutique

Best Men’s Apparel
Destin Threads

Best Outdoor Furniture Retailer
Bay Breeze Patio

Best Sporting Goods Retailer
Bass Pro Shops

Best Wedding Shop
Simply Elegant

Best Women’s Accessories
Barefoot Princess

Best Women’s Apparel
Today’s Boutique

Best Women’s Shoes
Sunset Shoes


Categories: Best of the EC Results