JaxBest winners guide: The spots that make Jacksonville shine

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Showcasing the best that Jacksonville has to offer, JaxBest is a voter-centric guide to all of the local things that make our city unique.

Below is a list of this year’s winners. Check out the winners from 2021 and 2020.


Round 1 winners (Updated June 27)

Jacksonville’s best brewery: SJ Brewing Company

Runners up:

2) Disco Witch Brewing 3) Amelia Tavern Restaurant & Brewhub

Jacksonville’s best trail: Camp Milton Historic Preserve

Runners up:

2) Fort Caroline National Memorial 3) Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park

Best dog park: Nassau Humane Society Dog Park

Runners-up:

2) Poochie’s Park 3) Dogwood Park of Jacksonville

Jacksonville’s best public art: Florida Shore Birds by M.J. Hinson

Runners up:

2) College Park “Arlington” 3) Maiya Elaine: “Starship to Base Command”

Jacksonville’s best coffee: That Coffee Chic

Runners-up:

2) The Urban Bean Coffeehouse Café 3) Lucky Goat Coffee

Jacksonville’s best fishing charter: Team Buck Rogers

Runners up:

2) Set Em Up Fishing Charters 3) Capt. Dave’s Sport Fishing

Jacksonville’s best geek business: Darby’s Dungeon

Runners up:

2) Gotham City Limit 3) Java Game Haus

Best animal encounter: St. Augustine Wild Reserve

Runners up:

2) Celestial Farms 3) Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Best golf course: Jacksonville Golf & Country Club

Runners up:

2) Jacksonville Beach Golf Club 3) Eagle Landing Golf Club

Jacksonville’s best water sports rentals: Riptide Watersports Tours and Rentals

Runners up:

2) Adventure Kayak Florida 3) St. Augustine Sailing


Round 2 winners

Jacksonville’s best family-friendly park: Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park

Runners up:

2) The Clarke House Park 3) South Beach Park & Sunshine Playground

Jacksonville’s best live music: Florida Theatre

Runners up:

2) VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena 3) Murray Hill Theatre

Jacksonville’s best place to dock & dine: Whitey’s Fish Camp

Runners-up:

2) Palm Valley Outdoors Bar & Grill 3) Palms Fish Camp

Best sports bar to watch the Jaguars: Strings Sports Brewery

Runners up:

2) Big Dawgs Sports Restaurant 3) Jerry’s Sports Grille

Jacksonville’s best sunset view: Memorial Park

Runners-up:

2) Cap’s on the Water 3) Sunset Tiki Bar, Doctors Lake Marina

Jacksonville’s best tacos: El Agave Azul

Runners-up:

2) Brochachos Fusion Eats 3) Jalapeno Express


Round 3 winners

Jacksonville’s best vegan restaurant: KraVegan

Runners up:

2) Murray HillBilly 3) Southern Roots Filling Station

Jacksonville’s best kayak or paddleboard launch site: Big Talbot Island State Park

Runners up:

2) Fort Mose Historic State Park Launch 3) GTM Research Reserve Launch

Jacksonville’s best Mayport shrimp: Safe Harbor Seafood Market & Restaurant

Runner up:

2) Singleton’s Seafood Shack

Jacksonville’s best farmers market: Jacksonville Farmers Market

Runners up:

2) Fernandina Beach Market Place 3) Orange Park Farmers Market

Jacksonville’s best historic neighborhood: Springfield

Runners up:

2) Riverside Avondale 3) Mandarin


Round 4 winners

Jacksonville’s best haunted house: 13th Floor Haunted House

Runners up:

2) Warehouse 31 Unleashed 3) North Florida Nightmare

Jacksonville’s best Oktoberfest: Legacy Ale Works Oktoberfest

Runners up:

2) Wicked Barley Oktoberfest 3) Beaches Oktoberfest

Jacksonville’s best history museum: Mandarin Museum & Historical Society

Runners up:

2) Ritz Theatre and Museum 3) James Merrill Museum

Jacksonville’s best sweet shop: Southern Dessert Plate

Runners up:

2) Island Dream Authentic Italian Ice 3) Bambino Scoops

Jacksonville’s best bait shop: Browns Creek Fish Camp

Runners up:

2) Amelia Island Bait Tackle 3) Trout River Fish Co.

Jacksonville’s best boutique: Lily Grace Boutique

Runners up:

2) Chocolate Shoe Boutique 3) HERS

Jacksonville’s best geek event: WasabiCon


Round 5 winners

Jacksonville’s best rooftop bar: River & Post

Runners up:

2) Black Sheep Restaurant 3) Cowford Chophouse

Jacksonville’s best barbecue: The Bearded Pig

Runners up:

2) Berndt Ends BBQ 3) Woodpeckers Backyard BBQ

Jacksonville’s best locally-brewed fall beer: Jax Boot, Legacy Ale Works

Runners up:

2) Pumpkin Beer (Wicked Barley) 3) STILL Not a Pumpkin Beer (Southern Swells)

Jacksonville’s best pumpkin patch: Southside United Methodist Church

Runners up:

2) River of Life United Methodist Church 3) Isle of Faith

Best kids attraction: St. Augustine Wild Reserve

Runners up:

2) Bravoz Entertainment Center 3) Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Jacksonville’s best band: Mandalla Music

Runners up:

2) Big Engine 3) Last 2 Leave


Round 6 winners

Jacksonville’s best makery: Seaside Shoppes

Runners up:

2) Atlantic Beach Arts Market 3) Colonial Quarter

Jacksonville’s best holiday event: Deck The Chairs

Runners up:

2) Jacksonville Light Boat Parade 3) Jacksonville Zoo and Garden “ZOOLights”

Jacksonville’s best lights display: St. Augustine Nights of Lights

Runners up:

2) Girvin Road lights 3) WillowWood in Winter

Jacksonville’s best scenic trail: Timucuan Preserve

Runners up:

2) Amelia Island State Park 3) Hanna Abbey Park

Jacksonville’s best happy hour: Blue Fish Restaurant & Oyster Bar

Runners up:

2) Casa Marina Hotel & Restaurant 3) Hoptinger Bier Garden and Sausage House

Jacksonville’s best food truck: 93 Hibachi

Runners up:

2) Gumbo Man 3) Sal’s Cucina


Round 7 winners

Jacksonville’s best pizza: Bala’s pizza

Runners up:

2) Moon River Pizza 3) Serafinas Pizzeria

Jacksonville’s best breakfast: Grumpy’s Restaurant

Runners up:

2) Metro Diner 3) Delicias Colombianas Jax

Best meal prep: Lean Impact Nutrition

Runners up:

2) SoulFull Eats 3) Kathy’s Table

Best yoga studio: Rebel Studio

Runners up:

2) Yoga den 3) Titanium Yoga

Jacksonville’s best gym or place for CrossFit: Brandon Fitness

Runners up:

2) PhysWell Fitness and Rehab 3) Salt de Terre

Jacksonville’s best wine bar: Coastal Wine Market

Runners up:

2) Red’s Wine Bar 3) Royal Palm Village Wine and Tapas


(*NEW*) Round 8 winners

Jacksonville’s best burger: Carolina Jax

Runners up:

2) Burger Barn 3) The Loop

Jacksonville’s best romantic dinner: Cowford Chophouse

Runners up:

2) River and Post 3) Marker 32

Best bed & breakfast: Carriage Way Inn

Runner up:

2) St. Augustine Beach Bed & Breakfast

Jacksonville’s best flower shop: Seawalk Custom Florals

Runners up:

2) Jacksonville Flower Market 3) Kuhn Flowers

Jacksonville’s best jewelry store: Faith Jewelers

Runners up:

2) Element Jewelry INC 3) Kingsley Jewelry

Jacksonville’s best chocolate shop: Toffee by Rethreaded

Runners up:

2) Sweet Pete’s 3) Peterbrooke Chocolatier


Round 9 winners (Last year’s winners below, will update Feb. 13)

Jacksonville’s best road race: Cupcake Run

Runners up:

2) Run for Peace 5K 3) Character Counts 6K/3K

Jacksonville’s best Irish pub: The Stout Snug

Runners up:

2) Culhane’s Irish Pub 3) Lynch’s Irish Pub

Jacksonville’s best group outing: St. Augustine Wild Reserve

Runners up:

2) Whil’s Paintball 3) GTF Paintball

Jacksonville’s best kid-friendly restaurant: Kim’s Korean BBQ

Runners up:

2) Mackey’s Munchies 3 (Tie)) Clark’s Fish Camp, The Bearded Pig

Jacksonville’s best summer camp: FALA Spanish Camp

Runners up:

2) North Florida Fishing Camp 3) Bolles Summer Camp

Jacksonville’s best juice bar: Jacksonville’s best juice bar: Roots and Fruits Juicery

Runners up:

2) Honey’z Plates 3) Grassroots Natural Market


Round 10 winners (Last year’s winners below, will update March 13)

Jacksonville’s best doughnut: The Doughnut Shoppe

Runners up:

2) Daily Donuts 3) The Mini Bar

Jacksonville’s best fishing tournament: Annual Anglers for a Cure Inshore Slam Fishing Tournament

Runners up:

2) Flounder Pounder 3) Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament

Jacksonville’s best gallery: Studio Zsa Zsa Lapree

Runners up:

2) The Art Center Cooperative 3) Word Revolt art gallery

Jacksonville’s best sushi: Sushi Bear Sushi & Grill

Runners up:

2) Sushiko Japanese Restaurant 3) Akaya in Oakleaf, Fuji sushi San Marco, Kamiya 86, Kazu Japanese

Jacksonville’s best flea market: Pecan Park Flea & Farmers’ Market

Runners up:

2) Beach Boulevard Flea Market 3) Ramona Flea Market

Jacksonville’s best pet boarding: Fresh Prints Pet Resort and Day Lodge

Runners up:

2) Coastal Veterinary Hospital and Pet Resort 3) Luba’s Pet Studio


Round 11 winners (Last year’s winners below, will update April 10)

Jacksonville’s best bike shop: Bicycles Etc.

Runners up:

2) Bike & Beach 3) Champion Cycling

Jacksonville’s best brunch: Grumpy’s Restaurant

Runners up:

2) Uptown Kitchen & Bar 3) Wicked Batter Café

Jacksonville’s best pet bakery: Bark on Park

Runners up:

1) Uptown Kitchen & Bar 3) Wicked Batter CaféBakery and Boutique

Jacksonville’s best speakeasy (🤫!): Dos Gatos

Runners up:

2) Sherwood’s 3) Rogue

Jacksonville’s best biscuit: Maple Street Biscuit Company

Runners up:

2) Bacon in the Sun Café 3) Country Cabin Restaurant

Jacksonville’s best museum: Mandarin Museum & Historical Society

Runners up:

2) The Brumos Collection 3) Beaches Museum


Round 12 winners (Last year’s winners below, will update May 8)

Jacksonville’s best waterfront dining: Safe Harbor Seafood Restaurant

Runners up:

2) Singleton’s Seafood Shack 3) Cap’s on the Water

Jacksonville’s best sports team: Jacksonville Icemen

Runners up:

2) Jacksonville Dixie Blues 3) Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp

Jacksonville’s best sandwich: Angie’s Subs

Runners up:

2) Vic’s Sandwich Shop 3) Firehouse Subs

Jacksonville’s best wine list: Matthew’s Restaurant

Runner up:

2) River & Post 3) Prospect Five Points

Jacksonville’s best surf shop: Sunrise Surf Shop

Runners up:

2) Aqua East Surf Shop 3) Fort George Surf Shop

Jacksonville’s best fried chicken: Bawk Bawk Chicken Truck

Runners up:

2) The Avenue Grill 3) Callahan Chicken


About the Author:

Lifetime Jacksonville resident & broadcast news producer who's been reporting & writing for nearly a decade here at The Local Station.