Best of Tallahassee

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Best Entertainment Venue:  SouthWood

More than just a residential community, SouthWood offers lush green parks, a bustling Towne Center and live community events. Join in on the annual festivities like the spectacular display of fireworks on the Fourth of July or participate in the Turkey Trot. Whatever the time of year, SouthWood is the place to be for community, charitable and leisure events.
Honorable Mention:  Donald L. Tucker Civic Center at Florida State University

Best Place to Be Seen:  So Pure Salon and Spa

At So Pure, you’re guaranteed to leave looking and feeling totally different than you arrived. Customers can choose from a variety of services, including massage, hairstyling, makeup, photography and so much more. After an experience here, you’ll feel like a new person, from head to toe.

Honorable Mention:  Level 8

Best Golf Course:  Golden Eagle Golf & Country Club

This lush golf course was planned for those who expect the best. The Tom Fazio-designed 18-hole course is tucked away within Golden Eagle Plantation.
Honorable Mention:  SouthWood Golf Club

Best Community Event:  Springtime Tallahassee

It’s no wonder Springtime Tallahassee attracts more than 70,000 spectators; the whole family can find something fun to do at Tallahassee’s signature annual event. The Grand Parade has over 100 floats, including the Springtime Krewe floats, marching bands and dance groups. Kids can get their faces painted, ride ponies and play with clowns.
Honorable Mention:  Heart Ball

Best Place to Take the Kids:  Tallahassee Museum

A thrilling combination of history, wildlife, nature and entertainment, Tallahassee Museum is more than your typical museum. Visitors can tour a 19th-century homestead, take a peek at Florida’s only zoological collection of native wildlife, or get a bird’s-eye view of the natural world with the high-flying zip lines and tree-to-tree adventure courses. It’s great fun for the whole family!
Honorable Mention:  Fun Station
2013Food and Beverage

Best Wine:  The Wine Loft

Located in Midtown, The Wine Loft features a variety of worldly wines and bartenders who love to experiment. Perfect for parties large and small, or simple solitary reflection, The Wine Loft is conveniently located in Midtown and ready to help you relax and enjoy the evening.
Honorable Mention:  Clusters & Hops
2013Food and Beverage

Best Steakhouse:  Marie Livingston’s Steak House

Dining at Marie Livingston’s is upscale yet comfortable and always a special treat. It’s not just a steak house that serves up savory cuts of prime rib or marbled beef, it’s a Tallahassee tradition, and newcomers owe it to themselves to make it a priority to visit.
Honorable Mention:  Shula’s 347 Grill
2013Food and Beverage

Best Casual Dining:  Chicken Salad Chick

It’s hard to go wrong with chicken and mayo. But Chicken Salad Chick exceeds expectations, with 15 different chicken salads to choose from — each with its own unique flavor — served in a bright, fast-casual setting. There are also deli sandwiches, side items and soups, and a cookie of the day for those who aren’t chicken salad fans.
Honorable Mention:  Red Elephant Pizza and Grill Restaurant
2013Food and Beverage

Best Coffee Shop:  Starbucks

Whether you’re craving a Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino or a simple cup o’ joe, Starbucks provides a wide variety of beverages that will satisfy even the most adventurous caffeine addict. Along with their coffee and classic café atmosphere, local stores offer free Wi-Fi and a delicious selection of sandwiches, salads, pastries and ice cream.
Honorable Mention:  Eternal Grounds
2013Food and Beverage

Best Dessert:  Sage Restaurant

This Tallahassee favorite received resounding recognition for its classic, perfectly executed desserts. Enjoy rich, deep chocolate flavors in such desserts as the decadent flourless chocolate cake, or opt for a fresher sweet treat like sorbet or blueberry rhubarb bread pudding.
Honorable Mention:  The Cake Shop
2013Food and Beverage

Best Hamburger:  Vertigo Burgers and Fries

The No. 1 spot for hamburgers this year went to Vertigo, home to some of the juiciest, funkiest burgers in town. The modern building provides a no-frills setting to enjoy such favorites as the Vertigo Burger, a beef patty with fried egg, applewood bacon, grilled jalapenos, sharp cheddar and Vertigo sauce, and the Greak Out, with a lamb patty, tzatziki sauce, fresh tomato, kalamata olives, red onion, feta and pepperoncini peppers.
Honorable Mention:  Five Guys Burgers and Fries
2013Food and Beverage

Best Food Truck:  Street Chefs

Tallahassee residents flock to the Street Chefs truck for modern twists on classic comfort food items like “Not Your Mama’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich.” Established in 2011, the truck and its chef, Rebecca Kelly, have quickly made a name for themselves as Tallahassee’s “best” food on wheels!

Honorable Mention:  Mobi
2013Food and Beverage

Best Bar:  Level 8 Lounge

What better way to enjoy cocktails, wine and beautiful people than atop the eighth floor of downtown’s Hotel Duval? The view from Level8 is breathtaking, the couches are plush and the waitresses are at your service. Throw on your best attire, and come see the exquisite nightlife Tallahassee has to offer.
Honorable Mention:  Midtown Filling Station
2013Food and Beverage

Best Mexican/Latin American Restaurant:  El Jalisco Restaurant

In the mood for sizzling enchiladas and frozen margaritas? Make your way to El Jalisco, where they do Mexican cuisine to perfection. Enjoy delicious two-for-one margaritas and entrees from a menu that’s sure to satisfy your taste for something from south of the border.
Honorable Mention:  Morelia’s Mexican Restaurant
2013Food and Beverage

Best Italian Restaurant:  Bella Bella

Take your taste buds to Italy with a trip to Bella Bella. This locally owned and operated restaurant has a cozy atmosphere with all the classics to satisfy your cravings: Capellini Marinara, Fettuccine Alfredo, Manicotti, Lasagna, Chicken Parmesan and Eggplant Parmesan.
Honorable Mention:  Carrabba’s Italian Grill
2013Food and Beverage

Best Bakery:  The Cake Shop

From your plain vanilla and chocolate to specialties like Snicker’s Candy Bar and Chunky Monkey, The Cake Shop provides delicious cakes and cupcakes for special occasions or just to satisfy your sweet tooth. Their fresh cookies include chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, peanut butter and chocolate-dipped pecan with chocolate chips.
Honorable Mention:  Tasty Pastry
2013Food and Beverage

Best Celebration/Special Occasion Restaurant:  Cypress Restaurant

To make a special evening a cut above the rest, bring the celebration to Cypress. Known for its sophisticated take on Southern cuisine, this restaurant won our readers’ votes for setting the scene and providing perfectly sumptuous food to match the grandeur of any occasion.
Honorable Mention:  Shula’s 347 Grill
2013Food and Beverage

Best Wings:  Wingstop

After being voted best in town for the seventh year in a row, it’s safe to say that this joint is the ultimate source for chicken wings. With three locations in the Tallahassee area, Wingstop offers a variety of homemade sides and 10 mouthwatering flavors for their wings, including Cajun, Lemon Pepper, Garlic Parmesan, BBQ and Louisiana Rub.
Honorable Mention:  Hurricane Grill and Wings
2013Food and Beverage

Best Fine Dining:  Sage Restaurant

Fine dining is about both flavors and atmosphere. Sage’s menu spans a wide variety of flavors and masterfully melds regional influences, including Southern and French, to produce some of the finest cuisine in town — as evidenced by their multiple Best of Tallahassee 2013 wins! The setting is gorgeous but cozy, and the outdoor patio sets a charming, romantic tone for a relaxed evening. For any occasion, Sage Restaurant will be a sure hit.
Honorable Mention:  Cypress Restaurant
2013Food and Beverage

Best Appetizer:  Sage Restaurant

With its fresh ingredients and reputation for masterful, sophisticated preparation, Sage Restaurant has nabbed the No. 1 appetizer title. Enjoy the perfect bite in the comfortably elegant atmosphere inside, or in the romantic setting provided by the outdoor patio. Either way, the food will be fabulous!
Honorable Mention:  Bonefish Grill

See past winners of our annual reader's poll by clicking a year below.