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BEST OF THE COAST | Vol. 11, No. 38, October 15, 2009
(Best of the Coast 2009)

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Winner: Best Cup of Coffee, Best Independent Coffee House

You'd be hard-pressed to find a local coffee shop better than Bad Ass, according to IN coffee drinkers.

The shop has won numerous BOC awards over the years..

"Well we always think of having a good product and customer service," says owner Ed Lemox. "We have always thought we have the best coffee anywhere. To win the awards means we're consistent, and we're very proud of that."

Winner: Best BBQ
Top 3 Finishes: Best Restaurant-Gulf Breeze, Best Restaurant-Pace/Milton, Best New Restaurant-Santa Rosa County

For the fifth consecutive year, this locally-owned restaurant has been voted Best Barbeque. Billy Bob's, with its spicy-smoked fragrance and awesome barbequed meats, has earned its awards.

Winner: Best Po-Boy
Top 3 Finishes: Best Cajun, Best Take Out

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, crawfish dishes and shrimp dishes, along with their famous Turducken, a combination of turkey, duck and chicken meats.

In addition to its specialty foods, you can also grab lunch at the adjacent Cajun Xpress Deli, which serves up the best Po-boys on the Coast, sandwiches, burgers, seafood baskets, salads and other goodies like Boudin balls and crawfish etouffee. Online ordering is available at

Winner: Best Desserts

Chirsoula's satisfies our cheesecake cravings with flavors such as pecan caramel, amaretto and white chocolate raspberry, as well as other Greek desserts like Baklava, Koulourakia and Kourembiedes.

Winner: Best Catering

Classic City Catering offers gourmet full service catering and does everything from "BBQ to Black tie." They have an uncanny ability to anticipate customers' needs and exceed expectations.

Winner: Best Health Food, Best Vegetarian Menu

Founded in 1973, this cooperative is the largest of its kind in the region. Ever'man strives to buy organic, avoid artificial ingredients whenever possible and offers the healthy alternatives.

Winner: Best Brunch, Best Bloody Mary
Top 3 Finishes: Best Chef-Dan Dunn, Best Restaurant-Pensacola Beach

This Pensacola Beach restaurant that's inside the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front has been a Sunday brunch favorite since it first opened. Tourists and locals flock to H2O for its unique, tasty cuisine.

Winner: Best Bakery

Since 1946, this Pensacola original has satisfied the sweet tooth of locals without breaking the bank. And throughout the years, the fresh-baked cinnamon bread, French bread, pound cakes and the chocolate pastries known as devil dawgs remain the main staple of diet-be-damned binges for most of Pensacola. We're addicted to the cookies, including Fudge Fancies, chocolate bars, fruit bars and Mexican wedding cookies.

Any of J's Pastry Shop's over 200 baked items will make a dinner party, wedding reception or any event special. During the days leading up to Thanksgiving Day, you can expect standing room only inside this small 12th Avenue bakery as the staff serves more than 12,000 Parker House rolls and almost as many sweet potato and pumpkin pies for Pensacola families.

Winner: Best Deli Sandwich

This small, cozy cafe has a diverse menu that never fails to surprise with its creamy homemade soups, pasta, salads and unbelievable sandwiches.

Winner: Best Fish Sandwich, Best Outdoor Dining
Top 3 Finishes: Best Gumbo, Best Looking Wait Staff, Best Margarita, Best Neighborhood Bar, Best Place to Meet Friends After Work, Best Po-Boy

Pensacola loves outdoor dining, and The Oar House with its big deck is a crowd-pleaser. This little restaurant and bar is one of IN readers' favorite hot spots with its relaxed atmosphere, cold drinks and excellent food. They have live music on the weekends.

Located at the mouth of Bayou Chico at the former site of the Barrancas Avenue drawbridge, The Oar House has a Key West feel that is only minutes away from downtown Pensacola.

Gather with friends, have a drink and enjoy one of The Oar House's almost famous fish sandwiches, salads and seafood. Their fish sandwiches have won Best of the Coast awards the past three years and their gumbo is one of the best you will find in the area.

Winner: Best Salad
Top 3 Finish: Best Desserts

The Portabello eatery inside the Pensacola Cultural Center is a favorite of IN readers. Their salads deserve the rave reviews that they receive. All of them!

Winner: Best Fried Chicken
Top 3 Finishes: Best Restaurant-Downtown Pensacola

This Jefferson Street eatery combines the sounds of jazz, cozy atmosphere and the best salads in Pensacola. The burgers and sandwiches are great, but IN readers love the daily specials, especially the fried chicken.