Best of Winston-Salem – 2013

Smitty’s Notes 7th Annual
“Best of Winston-Salem” Awards
July 2013

Welcome to Smitty’s Notes 7th Annual Best of Winston-Salem awards, where we gauged who has the best of what we like and appreciated about our fair city, and add to our general quality of life here as recommended by you – Smittyheads! This year’s contest had a fabulous response and increased from 2012.


Votes were compiled from a survey distributed to recipients of the Smitty’s Notes e-newsletter listserv, and it was also posted on the Web site from mid-May and during the month of June. Although not a scientific polling, it is a good sampling of the businesses, people and places that you like in Winston-Salem. The voting tabulation for each category had a Winner (clear choice); Runner Up (highest second choice); Honorable Mention (enough votes to get noticed) where applicable and Best Quote (a comment worth noting or one so hilarious that it deserved a mention). In compiling the list, some categories are intentionally not included. Simply, Smitty’s Notes doesn’t tailor or report on certain content and we are not a newsletter for everything in the city. There were also a couple of comments about the length of the survey. To those, I pose the question: Where would you cut categories that mean something to someone else? Trust me. This thing could have been WAY longer.


In reading it, I hope you find places and people you’ve known all about for a while, found lesser-known highlights in the city and like me, plan to visit (or even meet) some of the places and people you didn’t know about that are worthy of seeking out. I hope you find as much joy in exploring as Smitty’s Notes did putting together its annual Best of Winston-Salem Contest. The 2013 winners will receive a Certificate of Recognition and window decal for their establishments.

General Comments on this year’s awards or input for 2014 Best of Winston-Salem” Contest. Email Best of Winston-Salem Contest Comments

Previous years ‘Best of Winston-Salem’

Local Ad Campaign that caught your attention (Business or Non-Profit)

Winner: Piedmont Opera – Barber of Seville (Gurella Marketing)

Runner up: Forsyth Tech (Billboards)

Honorable Mention: Novant Health (Print)


Local 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit Organization

Winner: Project Pearl

Runner up: Senior Services, Inc.

Honorable Mention: Crisis Control MinistriesCancer Services, Inc.,  Old Salem Museums and Gardens and Second Harvest Food Bank

Best Quote (s): Arts Council – sponsor of many events that make Winston interesting and enrich our community.

Local Print Columnist  (Newspaper or Magazine)

Winner: Scott Sexton (Winston-Salem Journal)

Runner up: Michael Hastings  (Winston-Salem Journal)

Honorable mention: David Bare  (Winston-Salem Journal) and Cindy Hodnett (Winston-Salem Journal) Brian Clarey (Yes Weekly)

Best Quote (s) Michael Breedlove – I love his positive take as a Native Son of Winston-Salem, he still loves it here!

Local Activist

Winner:  Anne Griffs Wilson

Runner up: Scott Sexton

Honorable mention: Melissa Ball –  Project Pearl and Rev. Kelly Carpenter –  Green Street Methodist Church

Local Activist Group

Winner:  Senior Services, Inc,

Runner up: Green Street United Methodist Church

Honorable mention: Project Pearl and Occupy Winston-Salem 
Best Quote (s)  DADA – Downtown Arts District – provides fun, informative events and is active with the community and school system

Hyperlocal Print Publication (Magazine Rack or Tabloid)

Winner: Winston-Salem Monthly

Runner up: Forsyth Woman

Honorable mention: Relish Magazine and Yes Weekly

Best Quote (s): Winston-Salem Monthly – I appreciate the photography and the back page profiles of local heroes.

Local Politician (City, County or State Representative)

Winner:  Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines

Runner Up: Winston-Salem City Councilman Dan Beese

Honorable Mention: United States Senator Richard Burr, North Carolina (lives in Winston-Salem) and United States Senator Kay Hagan North Carolina (lives in Greensboro)

Best Quote (s): Allen Joines, I like that he always says hello and speaks to people

Local Scenester/Mover and Shaker (You know, one of the interesting characters around town)

Winner: Richard Burr

Runner Up: Susan Morris and John Bryan (tie)

Honorable Mention: Carroll Leggett,  Don Flow, J. D. Wilson and Ralph Womble
Best Quote (s): Anonymous: I like to think of myself as a mover/shaker. But it may be because I am too nosey, I always try to find out what’s going on (particularly downtown).

Local Power Couple

Winner: Don and Robbin Flow

Runner Up: Alex & Michelle Schenker

Honorable Mention: JD and Janie Wilson, Ralph Womble and Ashley Edwards, Cyndi Briggs and Alan Shelton

Local Viral Video

Winner: Carlisle’s Pub “Harlem Shake”

Runner Up: Fiat Commercial filmed in Old Salem

Honorable Mention: None

Best Local Blog

Winner:   Triad Moms on Main

Runner Up: My

Honorable Mention: A Foodie Stays Fit and Camel City Dispatch

Best Local Facebook Group or Page

Winner: Yes Weekly

Runner Up: MyWinston-Salem

Honorable Mention:  Triad Mom’s on Main, YWCA and Do You Remember Winston When?…

Best Quote (s): Bring Trader Joe’s to Winston-Salem (Because it WORKED to actually bring Trader Joe’s to W-S! Never underestimate Social Media!)

Best Local Twitter Feed

Winner: Winston-Salem Journal

Runner Up: Nik Snacks

Honorable Mention: MyWinston-Salem

Best Quote (s) Anonymous: I hate twitter.


Winner:  Camino Bakery

Runner Up: Dewey’s Bakery

Honorable Mention: Ollie’s BakeryChristina’s Dessertery and Ketchie Creek

Best Quote (s): Camino is a beautiful spot where the food and atmosphere run neck and neck for why you go!


Winner: Gigi’s Cupcakes

Runner Up: Dewey’s Bakery

Honorable Mention: Haute ChocolateChristina’s Dessertery and Cake and All Things Yummy

Best Quote (s): No. These places needn’t be encouraged.


Winner: Haute Chocolate

Runner Up Kilwins:

Honorable Mention: Casanova Confections

Best Quote (s): Haute Chocolate. Pretty sure this place is the devil and heaven at the same time.


Winner:  Midtown Cafe and Dessertery

Runner Up: Camino Bakery

Honorable Mention: Dewey’s BakeryChristina’s Dessertery and Ollie’s Bakery

Ice Cream

Winner: Blue Ridge Ice Cream @ Dewey’s

Runner Up: Cold Stone Creamery

Honorable Mention:  Kilwins


Winner: Brynn’s

Runner Up: Sweet Frog

Honorable Mention: Frogurt




Winner: Caffé Prada

Runner Up: Café Gelato



Winner: Wolfies Custard

Runner up:  None


Winner:  Little Richards

Runner Up: Mr. Barbeque

Honorable Mention:   Butt Brothers and Bib’s Downtown

Best Quote (s) I’m from Texas and can’t do NC BBQ


Winner:  Mary’s Gourmet Diner

Runner Up: Midtown Café & Dessert-ery

Honorable Mention: Cloverdale Kitchen, Dukes and Stratford Station

Best Quote (s): Mary’s Gourmet Diner rules the breakfast scene


Winner:  Krankie’s

Runner Up: Camino Bakery

Honorable Mention: Starbuck’s.  Washington Perk and Chelsee’s

Best Quote (s): Krankies –  Great to sip some coffee while a train passes by


Winner:  Bagel Station

Runner Up: Panera Bread

Honorable Mention: Bruegger’s Bagels

Best Quote (s): Bagel Station – A little NYC feelin’ in the WS


Winner:  Five Guys

Runner Up: Cook Out

Honorable Mention: Camel City Grill (Food Truck) First Street Draught House and Twin City Diner

Best Quote (s)Five Guys! Fireworks in your mouth!

Hot Dog

Winner:  Skippy’s

Runner Up: PB’s Hotdogs

Honorable Mention:  Pulliam BBQ and Kermit’s

Best Quote (s): SKIPPY’S. There is no competition there.

New Restaurant (Open since July, 1, 2012)

Winner:  Jeffrey Adams on Fourth

Runner Up: Five Points

Honorable Mention: Fratelli’s Italian Steakhouse

Best Quote (s):  Just give my vote to whichever one has the most pink in it’s decor..

Farm To Table Restaurant

Winner:  Spring House Restaurant Kitchen and Bar

Runner Up: Willows Bistro

Honorable Mention: The Screaming Rooster

Italian Restaurant

Winner: Vincenzo’s

Runner Up: Paul’s

Honorable Mention: Dioli’s  TrattoriaKitchen Roselli and Fratelli’s

Mexican Restaurant

Winner: La Botana

Runner Up:  Senor Bravo

Honorable Mention: Las Estrellas,  Mi Pueblo and El Maguey

Best Quote (s): La Botana – End of discussion

Latin Restaurant

Winner: Miami Cafe (Cuban)

Runner Up: Yeh, Mon’s (West Indian)

Honorable Mention: El Triunfo (Salvadorean)

Best Quote (s): I keep hearing good things about Yeh Mon. I will have to try it.

Soul Food

Winner: Sweet Potatoes

Runner Up:   Meta’s

Honorable Mention: Simply Soul

Best Quote (s): Sweet Potatoes – Wonderful food, wonderful atmosphere (and 1/2 price wine on Tuesdays!). Doesn’t get any better.


Winner: Ryan’s

Runner Up: Putter’s

Honorable Mention:  Noble’s Grille;  Jeffrey Adams on Fourth and Texas Roadhouse

Best Quote (s): Don’t eat meat…

Fried Chicken

Winner:  Sweet Potatoes

Runner Up: Mountain Fried Chicken

Honorable Mention: Mozelle’s; Bojangles and KFC

Best Quote (s):Sweet Potatoes – We tried it out on a spur-of-the-moment date night. I think we were lucky to get a table. It was SO good, and we can’t wait to go back!


Winner: Bib’s Downtown 

Runner up: Butt Brothers BBQ

Honorable Mention: Willow’s Bistro

Best Quote (s):

Mom and Pop Restaurant

Winner: Cloverdale Kitchen

Runner Up: Cagney’s

Honorable Mention: Cafe Arthur’s and Clemmons Cafe

Best Quote (s) My mom and dad’s kitchen is pretty awesome.

Asian Restaurant

Winner: Wen Hwa

Runner Up: Mizu

Honorable Mention: Sakura Japanese Restaurant,  Downtown Thai and Thai Sawatdee

Best Quote (s) The Basil Leaf is a hidden treasure amongst the noisy Carmax/Wal*Mart jungle on the blvd


Winner: Mary Gourmet Diner

Runner Up: Willow’s Bistro

Honorable Mention: Fourth Street Filling Station; Village Tavern and Hutch and Harris

Best Quote (s):Mary’s wins again

Indian Cuisine

Winner:  Nawab Indian Cuisine

Runner Up: Golden India

Romantic Dinner

Winner: Mozelle’s

Runner Up: Ryan’s Restaurant

Honorable Mention: Milner’s,  Noble’s Grille and Fabian’s

Best Quote (s):  If you found the right date, the restaurant hardly matters.

Take a First Date

 Winner: Willow’s Bistro

Runner up: Mozelle’s 

Honorable Mention: Milner’s,  West End Cafe and Village Tavern

Best Quote (s): That was over and done with 19 years ago!

Fine Dining Restaurant

Winner: Milner’s

Runner Up:  Meridian Restaurant

Honorable Mention: Nobles Grille, , Spring House Restaurant Bar and Kitchen,  Fabian’s and Bernardin’s at Zevely House,  Mozelle’s  and Ryan’s Restaurant 

Best Quote (s):Paul’s Italian is a great throw back place. The decor leaves you waiting for the Godfather to walk in.

Seafood Restaurant

Winner:  King’s Crab Shack and Oyster Bar

Runner Up: Jimmy’s Seafood and Oyster Bar

Honorable Mention: Full Moon Oyster BarMayflower Seafood and Bonefish Grill

Best Quote (s)

Late Night Place To Eat (after 10 p.m.)

Winner:  Burke Street Pizza

Runner Up:  Cook Out,

Honorable Mention:  Foothills, Finnegan Wake and Waffle House

Best Quote (s): I try to not be up past 10…

Pizza Parlor

Winner:  Burke Street Pizza

Runner Up:  Mellow Mushroom

Honorable Mention:  Brixx and Mario’s Pizza

Health Food

Winner:  Whole Foods Food Bar

Runner Up: Sushi Thai

Honorable Mention: Trader Joe’s


Winner: Mizu

Runner Up: Ishi

Honorable Mention: Sakura, Ichiban, and Sushi Thai


Vegetarian Food

Winner:  Sakura Japanese and Sushi

Runner Up:  Mooney’s

Honorable Mention: Nawab Indian Cuisine; Tomo’e,  Whole Foods Market and Sushi Thai

Best Quote (s): People kill vegetables just to eat them?!?! How uncivilized!

Wine List

Winner:  Sixth and Vine Wine Bar

Runner Up: Milner’s

Honorable Mention: Carolina Wine and Hops,  Mozelle’s,  Meridian Restaurant and Vin 205


Winner:   Tim Grandinetti – Spring House Restaurant Bar and Kitchen

Runner Up: Will Kingery – Willow’s Bistro and Ungi – Sakura Japanese Restaurant

Honorable Mention: Mark Grohman – Meridian RestaurantAdam Andrews – Jeffrey Adams and Jared Keiper – Tavern at Old Salem

Restaurant Service

Winner:  Mozelle’s

Runner Up: West End Cafe

Honorable Mention: Jeffrey Adams,  Village Tavern  Milner’s  and Willow’s Bistro


Winner:  Jimmy John’s

Runner Up: Burke Street Pizza

Honorable Mention: Papa John’s, and Jason’s Deli

Best Quote (s): The Living Room Coffeehouse & Winebar

Food Truck 

Winner: Camel City Grill

Runner Up: Butt Brothers BBQ

Honorable Mention: Taqueria Luciano and Forno Moto

Farmers Market

Winner: Cobblestone Farmers Market  

Runner Up: Piedmont Triad Farmers Market

Honorable Mention: Dixie Classic Fair Farmers Market

Wait Person (Server)

Winner:  Yani – Sakura Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar

Runner Up: Will Forde-Mazrui  – Mozelle’s

Honorable Mention: Morgan Tate – Jeffrey Adams and Susan Snow  – West End Cafe

Annual Event/Festival

Winner:  Salute! The North Carolina Wine Celebration in Downtown Winston

Runner Up: RiverRun Film Festival

Honorable Mention: Dixie Classic Fair. Greek Festival; Twin City RibFest and Rock the Block!

People Watching

Winner:  Downtown Winston (Fourth Street and The Arts District)

Runner Up: Hanes Mall

Honorable Mention:  Bowman Gray Stadium on Saturday Night (Racing)


Winner:  Tanglewood Park

Runner Up: Hanes Park

Honorable Mention: Washington Park and Salem Lake

Bike riding

Winner:  Salem Lake

Runner Up: Tanglewood Park

Honorable Mention: Miller Park and Washington Park

Walking Trails

Winner:  Salem Lake

Runner Up: Tanglewood Park

Honorable Mention:  Reynolda Gardens

Place For The Pet

Winner:  Washington Park

Runner Up: Tanglewood Dog Park

Honorable Mention: Ruff Housing and Carolina Pet Place

TV News Personality, Male (Any Triad Station)

Winner:  Cameron Kent – WXII.

Runner Up: Austin Caviness –  WXII

Honorable Mention: Brent Campbell – Fox 8 and Neil McNeill – Fox 8

Best Quote (s): Cameron Kent — He’s a genuinely nice guy.

TV News Personality, Female (Any Triad Station)

Winner:  Kimberly VanScoy – WXII

Runner Up: Nicole Ducouer – WXII

Honorable Mention:  Wanda Starke – WXIII and Katie Nordeen – Fox 8


Radio Morning Crew (Any Triad Station)

Winner:   Two Guys named Chris – Rock 92

Runner Up: Katie and Jared – 107.5 KZL

Honorable Mention:  WFDD – 88.5 NPR and Chuck and Leanne – 93.1 The Wolf.

Tap Beer

Winner:  Foothills Brewery

Runner Up: Finnegan’s Wake

Honorable Mention:  Old Winston Social Club and Mellow Mushroom

New Bar/Nightclub (Open since July 1, 2012)

Winner: Bull’s Tavern 

Runner Up: Silo’s

Honorable Mention:  None

Dive Bar

Winner: Silver Moon Saloon

Runner Up:  Single Brothers

Honorable Mention: Burke Street Pub,  Recreation Billiards and Carlise’s Pub

Restaurant Bar

Winner: Finnegan’s Wake

Runner Up: Foothill’s Brewery

Honorable Mention: Meridian and Spring House Restaurant Bar and Kitchen

Sports Bar

Winner: Fox and Hound

Runner Up: Mossy’s

Honorable Mention:  Finnegan Wake and Old Winston Social Club

Meet After Work

Winner:  Tate’s Craft Cocktails

Runner Up: Sixth and Vine

Honorable Mention:  Old Winston Social Club,  Kings Crab Shack and Recreation Billiards

Craft Cocktails

Winner:  Tate’s Craft Cocktails

Runner Up: Single Brothers

Honorable Mention: Jeffrey Adams on Fourth Street

Bartender, Male (Location)

Winner: Brandon Creason – Finnegan’s Wake

Runner Up:  Jay Dunbar – Single Brothers

Honorable Mention: Ian Lockey – Single Brothers’s, Jackson Faude – Tate’s Craft Cocktails  and Joe Blevins – Silver Moon

Bartender, Female (Location)

Winner:  Michelle Russell – Meridian Restaurant

Runner Up: Tiffany Howell –  Burke Street Pub

Honorable Mention: Danielle Bull – Bull’s Tavern and Hillary Davis – Silver Moon


Outdoor Patio

Winner:  Fourth St. Filling Station

Runner Up:  6th & Vine Wine Bar

Honorable Mention: Village Tavern (Reynolda Village) and The District Roof Top Bar and Grill

Pool Tables

Winner:  Recreation Billiards

Runner Up: Fox and Hound

Honorable Mention: Old Winston Social Club

Live Music Venue

Winner:  Ziggy’s

Runner up: The Garage

Honorable Mention: Community Arts Cafe and Old Winston Social Club

Unconventional Date Night Idea

Winner:  Winston-Salem Dash Game

Runner up: Merlot and VanGogh

Honorable Mention: Summer on Trade, Bowman Gray Racing, and a/perture Theater

Best Place To Meet Single UNDER 40

Winner: Finnegan’s Wake

Runner up: Tate’s Craft Cocktails

Honorable Mention:  Sixth and Vine  and Single Brothers

Best Quote (s): I’m engaged. I don’t need to meet single people.

Best Place To Meet Single OVER 40

Winner: Sixth and Vine

Runner up: Tate’s Craft Cocktails

Honorable Mention: Village Tavern and Vin 205

Best Quote (s):My wife would not approve and would be offended


Winner: RayLen Vineyards

Runner up: Westbend Vineyards

Honorable Mention: Weathervane VineyardsShelton Vineyards and  Childress Vineyards

Grocery Store

Winner:  Trader Joe’s

Runner Up: Whole Foods Market

Honorable Mention: Fresh MarketHarris Teeter,  Lowes Foods and Washington Perk and Provisions

Beer and/or Wine Shop

Winner: City Beverage

Runner Up: Total Wine and More

Honorable Mention: Wine Merchants Gourmet

Local Gift Shop/Boutique

Winner: Hip Chics

Runner Up:  Noteworthy

Honorable Mention:  All Through The House and ReTale

Shopping Center

Winner: Thruway Center

Runner Up: Hanes Mall

Honorable Mention: Reynolda Village

Day Spa

Winner:  Van Davis Aveda

Runner Up: European Touch 

Honorable Mention: Hand and Stone and The Spa at Highland Oaks

Exercise/Fitness Center

Winner: YMCA

Runner up: Pure Barre

Honorable Mention KORE Training SystemsThe Rush and The Gateway YWCA


Winner: The Yoga Gallery

Runner upThe Village Yoga

Honorable Mention:  Sunrise Yoga  and Bikram Yoga of Winston-Salem

Green-Oriented Business

Winner: Whole Foods

Runner up: Camino Bakery

Honorable Mention: Beta Verde

Free Wi-Fi 

Winner: Panera Bread

Runner up: Camino Bakery

Honorable Mention: Krankie’s, Starbucks and Fourth Street Downtown Winston-Salem


Winner: Edward McKay

Runner Up: Barnes & Nobles

Honorable Mention: Only at Barnhill’s

Movie Theater

Winner: a/perture cinema

Runner Up:  The Grand 18 Theater

Honorable Mention:  Carmike 10 and Wynnsong 12

Local Artist

Winner: Laura Lashley

Runner Up: Millicent Greason-Spivak

Honorable Mention: Nick Bragg and Patty Bailey Sheets

Local Band

Winner: Below the Line

Runner Up: Possum Jenkins

Honorable Mention: The Bo Stevens and Big Daddy Love

Public Art Display

Winner: SECCA

Runner Up:  Reynolda House

Honorable Mention: Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts and Laura Lashley murals

Art Gallery/Shop/Boutique

Winner: Piedmont Craftsmen

Runner Up: SECCA

Honorable Mention: Delurk, Red Dog Gallery and The Electric Mustache Gallery

Local Performing Theater 

Winner: Winston-Salem Theater Alliance

Runner Up: Twin City Stage

Honorable Mention: Festival Stage of Winston-Salem

Performing Arts Group  

Winner: Three Graces Entertainment

Runner Up: Piedmont Opera

Honorable Mention:Winston-Salem Theater Alliance