Best of Winston-Salem – 2014

Smitty’s Notes 8th Annual
“Best of Winston-Salem” Awards
July 2014

Welcome to Smitty’s Notes 8th 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 2013.

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 2014 winners will receive a Certificate of Recognition and window decal for their establishments.

General Comments on this year’s awards or input for 2015 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: Old Salem (Print)
Runner up: Forsyth Tech (Billboards)
Honorable: Pro Shots (Billboard)


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
Local Print Columnist  (Newspaper or Magazine)
Winner: Scott Sexton (Winston-Salem Journal)
Runner up: Michael Hastings  (Winston-Salem Journal)
Honorable mention: Chad Nance – (Camel City Dispatch) and Cindy Hodnett (Winston-Salem Journal)
Local Activist
Winner:   Melissa Ball – Project Pearl
Runner up: Scott Sexton
Honorable mention: Sharee Fowler, Ann Griffs Wilson and Rev. Kelly Carpenter – Green Street Methodist Church


Local Activist Group
Winner:   Project Pearl
Runner up: Green Street United Methodist Church
Honorable Mention: Adam Foundation


Hyperlocal Print Publication (Magazine Rack or Tabloid)
Winner: Winston-Salem Monthly
Runner up: Relish Magazine
Honorable mention:   Forsyth Woman


Local Politician (City, County or State Representative)
Winner:  Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines
Runner Up: Winston-Salem City Councilman Dan Beese
Honorable Mention: Winston-Salem Councilman Jeff Macintosh United States Senator Richard Burr, North Carolina (lives in Winston-Salem) and United States Senator Kay Hagan North Carolina (lives in Greensboro


Local Scenester/Mover and Shaker (You know, one of the interesting characters around town)
Winner: Kristi Johnson Marion
Runner Up: Ralph Womble
Honorable Mention: John Bryan, Tucker Tharpe and Brian Cole
Local Power Couple
Winner: Dara and Ragan Folan
Runner Up: Don and Robbin Flow
Honorable Mention: Alex & Michelle Schenker JD and Janie Wilson, Tucker and Casey Tharpe
Best Local Blog/Facebook Page/Web Site
Winner:   Triad Moms on Main
Runner Up: My
Honorable Mention: Camel City Dispatch and Camel City Nightlife


Best Local Twitter Feed
Winner: Nik Snacks
Runner Up: Old Salem
Honorable Mention:
Best Quote (s) Anonymous: Follow?  I’m lucky if I can remember to update mine.


Winner:  Camino Bakery
Runner Up: Dewey’s Bakery
Honorable Mention: Christina’s DessertyTart Sweets and Ketchie Creek


Winner: Gigi’s Cupcakes
Runner Up: Dewey’s Bakery
Honorable Mention: Christina’s Dessertery Camino Bakery and Cake and All Things Yummy
Winner: Haute Chocolate
Runner Up: Kilwins
Honorable Mention: Black Mountain Chocolate



Winner:  Midtown Cafe and Dessertery
Runner Up: Camino Bakery
Honorable Mention: Dewey’s BakeryChristina’s Dessertery and Tart Sweets


Ice Cream
Winner: Blue Ridge Ice Cream @ Dewey’s
Runner Up: Kilwins
Honorable Mention:


Winner: Brynn’s
Runner Up: Sweet Frog
Honorable Mention:


Winner: Café Gelato
Runner Up:  Caffé Prada


Winner: Wolfies Custard
Runner up:  None


Winner:  Little Richards
Runner Up: Mr. Barbeque
Honorable Mention:   Prissy Polly’s and Bib’s Downtown
Best Quote (s) I’m from Texas and can’t do NC BBQ


Winner:  Mary’s Gourmet Diner
Runner Up:  Cloverdale Kitchen
Honorable Mention: Dukes and Midtown Café & Dessert-ery
Best Quote (s): Mary’s Gourmet Diner rules the breakfast scene


Winner:  Krankie’s
Runner Up: Camino Bakery
Honorable Mention: Twin City Hive, Starbuck’s.  Ardmore Coffee and Washington Perk 


Winner: Jimmy Greer @  Krankie’s Airstream
Runner Up: Kevin McHugh @ Camino Bakery
Honorable Mention: Justin Kirkus at Ardmore Coffee and Chloe Mylet at Twin City Hive
Best Quote (s): Krankies Airstream –  Jimmy Greer’s beard serves up the most consistent, best lattes in WSNC and Krankies Airstream Crew –   Choosing one would be like choosing a puppy, Too much cute to choose from.


Winner:  Bagel Station
Runner Up: Panera Bread
Honorable Mention:  Be Nice Bagels

Winner:  Five Guys
Runner Up: Bad Daddy Burgers
Honorable Mention: Camel City Grill (Food Truck) Cook Out and Quiet Pint
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
New Restaurant (Open since July, 1, 2013)
Winner:  The Porch
Runner Up: The Honey Pot
Honorable Mention: SavorMission Pizza Napoletana and Di Lisio’s Italian Restaurant
Farm To Table Restaurant
Winner: Willows Bistro
Runner Up: Spring House Restaurant Kitchen and Bar
Honorable Mention: Tavern at Old Salem and Mozelle’s


Italian Restaurant0
Winner: Vincenzo’s
Runner Up: Paul’s
Honorable Mention: Di Lisio’s Italian RestaurantKitchen 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 – “Hands Down”


Latin Restaurant
Winner: Uncle Desi’s Jamaican Grill (West Indian)
Runner Up: Yeh, Mon’s (West Indian)
Honorable Mention
Soul Food
Winner: Sweet Potatoes
Runner Up:   Simply Soul
Honorable Mention: Meta’s
Winner: Ryan’s
Runner Up: Putter’s
Honorable Mention:  Noble’s Grille and Fratelli’s 
Fried Chicken
Winner: Mountain Fried Chicken
Runner Up:  Sweet Potatoes
Honorable Mention: Mozelle’s


Winner: Bib’s Downtown 
Runner up: 13 Bones
Honorable Mention: Willow’s Bistro
Mom and Pop Restaurant
Winner: Cloverdale Kitchen
Runner Up: Mama Zoe Michaels
Honorable Mention: Cafe Arthur’s and Cagney’s
Asian Restaurant
Winner:  Thai Sawatdee
Runner Up: Wen Hwa
Honorable Mention: : Mizu  Sakura Japanese Restaurant,  and Ise Restaurant
Winner: Mary Gourmet Diner
Runner Up: Willow’s Bistro
Honorable Mention: Savor, Mozelle’s and Hutch and Harris


Indian Cuisine
Winner:  Nawab Indian Cuisine
Runner Up: Golden India


Romantic Dinner
Winner: Mozelle’s
Runner Up: Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen and Bar
Honorable Mention:  Savor and Merdian

Take a First Date
Winner:  Mozelle’s 
Runner up:  Willow’s Bistro
Honorable Mention: Segaway Tour, West End Cafe and Village Tavern


Fine Dining Restaurant
Winner:  Spring House Restaurant Bar and Kitchen
Runner Up:  Nobles Grille,
Honorable Mention: Meridian Restaurant,  Mozelle’s  Savor and Ryan’s Restaurant 


Seafood Restaurant
Winner: Full Moon Oyster Bar
Runner Up: Jimmy’s Seafood and Oyster Bar
Honorable Mention: King’s Crab Shack and Oyster Bar , Mayflower Seafood Bonefish Grill and King’s Crab Shack and Oyster Bar



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


Pizza Parlor
Winner:  Burke Street Pizza
Runner Up: Mission Pizza Napoletana
Honorable Mention: Mellow Mushroom Brixx Papa Murphy and Mario’s Pizza


Winner: Mizu
Runner Up: Ishi
Honorable Mention: Sakura, Ichiban, Chang Thai and Sushi Thai


Vegetarian Food
Winner:  Mooney’s
Runner Up:   Sakura Japanese and Sushi
Honorable Mention: Mary’s Gourmet Diner, Nawab Indian Cuisine; and Sushi Thai
Wine List
Winner:  Sixth and Vine Wine Bar
Runner Up: Meridian Restaurant
Honorable Mention: Carolina Wine and Hops, Noble’s and Vin 205


Winner:   Michael Burton – Savor
Runner Up: Tim Grandinetti – Spring House Restaurant Bar and Kitchen
Honorable Mention: Mark Grohman – Meridian Restaurant; and Jared Keiper – Tavern at Old Salem


Restaurant Service
Winner:   West End Cafe
Runner Up: Mozelle’s
Honorable Mention: Village Tavern  and Milner’s


Winner:  Jimmy John’s
Runner Up: Burke Street Pizza
Honorable Mention: Dinners on the Porch and Vincenzo’s
Food Truck 
Winner: Camel City Grill
Runner Up: Taqueria Luciano
Honorable Mention: Wild Willie’s Wiener Wagon and King Creole


Farmers Market
Winner: Cobblestone Farmers Market
Runner Up: Piedmont Triad Farmers Market
Honorable Mention: Dixie Classic Fair Farmers Market


Wait Person (Server)
Winner: Holly Ratcliff, Mozelle’s
Runner Up: Jody Watson – West End Cafe
Honorable Mention: Oliver @ Sixth and Vine and Trish Putnam @ 1703 Restaurant


Annual Event/Festival
Winner:  Salute! The North Carolina Wine Celebration in Downtown Winston
Runner Up: RiverRun Film Festival
Honorable Mention: Dixie Classic Fair. Twin City RibFest , Burke Street Food Truck Festival 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) and a Segway Tour


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: Salem Greenway, Miller Park and Washington Park


Walking Trails
Winner:  Salem Lake
Runner Up: Tanglewood Park
Honorable Mention:  Reynolda Gardens


Segway Tour Company
Winner: Revolution Gliding Tours
Runner Up: Triad Eco Adventures
Smitty Comment: “Yes, there are TWO Segway Tour Companies in Winston-Salem”



Place For The Pet
Winner:  Washington Park
Runner Up: Tanglewood Dog Park
Honorable Mention: Ruff Housing and Horizon Park



TV News Personality, Male (Any Triad Station)
Winner:  Cameron Kent – WXII.
Runner Up: Austin Caviness – WXII
Honorable Menntion: Neil McNeill – Fox 8
Smitty Comment: Good luck Austin on your new adventure.



TV News Personality, Female (Any Triad Station)
Winner:  Kimberly VanScoy – WXII
Runner Up: Wanda Starke – WXII
Honorable Mention: Nicole Ducouer – WXII and Shannon Smith – Fox 8 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 J.R. Snyder – WSJS


Local Brewery 
Winner:  Foothills Brewery
Runner Up: Small Batch Beer Co.
Honorable Mention:  Hoots Roller Bar


Tap Beer
Winner:  Foothills Brewery
Runner Up: Finnegan’s Wake
Honorable Mention:  Old Winston Social Club and Small Batch Beer Co.


New Bar/Nightclub (Open since July 1, 2013)
Winner: Hoots Roller Bar 
Runner Up: Quiet Pint
Honorable Mention:  Small Batch Beer Co.


Dive Bar
Winner: Silver Moon Saloon
Runner Up:  Single Brothers
Honorable Mention: Brody’s, Recreation Billiards and Carlise’s Pub


Restaurant Bar
Winner: Finnegan’s Wake
Runner Up: Meridian
Honorable Mention:  Foothill’s BreweryQuiet Pint and Spring House Restaurant Bar and Kitchen


Meet After Work
Winner:  Tate’s Craft Cocktails
Runner Up:  Small Batch Beer Co.
Honorable Mention:  Old Winston Social Club,  Kings Crab Shack and Carolina Ale House


Craft Cocktails
Winner:  Tate’s Craft Cocktails
Runner Up: Single Brothers
Honorable Mention: The Whiskey Box


Bartender, Male (Location)
Winner: Jay Dunbar – Single Brothers
Runner Up:   John Fox – Milners
Honorable Mention: Brandon Creason – Finnigan’s Wake


Bartender, Female (Location)
Winner:  Michele Russell – Meridian Restaurant
Runner Up: Katie Worley – Recreation Billiards
Honorable Mention: Danielle Bull – Bull’s Tavern and Michelle Hughes – First Street Draft House


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: West End Opera House
Honorable Mention: Scotty B’s


Live Music Venue
Winner:  Ziggy’s
Runner up: The Garage
Honorable Mention:  Muddy Creek Cafe


Unconventional Date Night Idea
Winner: Revolution Gliding Tour – Segway Tour
Runner up:  Winston-Salem Dash Game
Honorable Mention: Merlot and VanGogh, Summer on Trade and Carolina Vineyard and Hops


Best Place To Meet Single UNDER 40
Winner: Tate’s Craft Cocktails
Runner up:  Single Brothers
Honorable Mention:  Sixth and Vine  and Winston-Salem Chamber Under 40 Entity
Best Quote (s): “You tell me, babe?”.


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): I just got married and am sooooo happy I don’t know the answer to this question any more.


Winner: RayLen Vineyards
Runner up: Raffadini Vineyards
Honorable Mention: Divine Lama VineyardsHanover Park Vineyards, Shelton 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: Stella Brew 
Runner Up:  City Beverage
Honorable Mention: Wine Merchants Gourmet and Total Wine and More


Local Gift Shop/Boutique
Winner:  Paz Boutique
Runner Up:  Noteworthy
Honorable Mention:  Hip Chics All Through The House and Camel City Goods 

Shopping Center
Winner: Thruway Center
Runner Up:   Reynolda Village
Honorable Mention: Hanes Mall


Day Spa
Winner:  Van Davis Aveda
Runner Up: European Touch 
Honorable Mention: Hand and StoneThe Spa at Highland Oaks and Utopia


Exercise/Fitness Center
Winner: Crossfit Amplitude 
Runner up:  YMCA
Honorable Mention:  KORE Training SystemsPure BarreThe Rush and The Gateway YWCA


Winner:  Paz Studios
Runner up: The Yoga Gallery
Honorable Mention: The Village Yoga Sunrise Yoga , Camel City Yoga and Bikram


Green-Oriented Business
Winner: Whole Foods
Runner up: Dry Cleaning Station
Honorable Mention:   Camino Bakery


Free Wi-Fi 
Winner:  Camino Bakery
Runner up:  Panera Bread
Honorable Mention: Krankie’s, Starbucks Twin City Hive 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


Local Artist
Winner: Laura Lashley
Runner Up:  Nick Bragg
Honorable Mention:  Millicent Greason-Spivak and Jennifer O’Kelley


Local Band
Winner: Below the Line
Runner Up: The Bo Stevens
Honorable Mention: Big Daddy Love


Public Art Display
Winner: Trade Street Art Tower
Runner Up:  Trade Street Murals
Honorable Mention: Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts and Reynolda House


Art Gallery/Shop/Boutique
Winner:  Delurk,
Runner Up: SECCA
Honorable Mention:  Piedmont CraftsmenReynolda House and Red Dog Gallery


Local Performing Theater 
Winner: Winston-Salem Theater Alliance
Runner Up: Twin City Stage
Honorable Mention: Peppercorn Children’s Theater


Performing Arts Group  
Winner: Three Graces Entertainment
Runner Up: Winston-Salem Theater Alliance
Honorable Mention: UNCSA School of Dance Performances