Best of Winston-Salem – 2016

Welcome to Smitty’s Notes 10th Annual Best of Winston-Salem awards.

The votes are in and tabulated for Smitty’s Notes’ Best of Winston-Salem contest. Thanks to all of you who participated and a hearty congratulations to all the winners.

Best of Winston-Salem. The End…

As you enjoy the kudos bestowed upon you by your fellow citizens, I encourage you to savor the moment, because this year, 2016, marks the last year of my Best of Winston-Salem competition.

Now please, no sighs or tears! Smitty’s Notes isn’t going anywhere! I still plan to give you the 411 on what’s hot, what’s happening — and what prompts me to step up on my soapbox — here in the Twin City. It is only the Best Of contest that is being put to bed. Why, you may ask? Well, like most things, it has a shelf-life. When I first started the contest in 10 years ago, it was about the only one around for Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

With Facebook “Likes” became wildly popular, and my friends at the Winston-Salem Journal stepping up their game, the time seemed right to retire Smitty’s “Best Of Winston-Salem”. The important thing to remember is this: The contest achieved the purpose I intended, which was to spark your interest in and support of the embarrassment of riches this city has to offer. You rose to the occasion year after year, and I couldn’t be prouder. My deepest and sincerest thanks.


Previous years ‘Best of Winston-Salem’

Local Ad Campaign that caught your attention (Business or Non-Profit)
Winner: Lowes Foods (Billboard and Television)
Runner up: Allegacy (Televison)
Honorable: Novant (Billboard)

Local 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit Organization
Winner: Project Pearl
Runner up: Senior Services, Inc.
Honorable Mention: 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: Eric Ginsberg (Triad City Beat) and Lynn Felder (Winston-Salem Journal)

Local Activist
Winner:   Melissa Ball – Project Pearl
Runner up: Mary Haglund
Honorable mention: Tommy Priest and Anne Griffs Wilson

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

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

Local Scenester/Mover and Shaker (You know, one of the interesting characters around town)
Winner: Tommy Priest
Runner Up: Mary Haglund
Honorable Mention: Harry Knabb, Ralph Womble and Mayor Allen Joines

Local Power Couple
Winner: Tommy and Kendall Priest
Runner Up: Don and Robbin Flow
Honorable Mention: Ralph and Ashley Womble, Brian Cole and Drew Byers, Harry and Julie Knabb and JD and Janie Wilson

Best Local Blog/Facebook Page/Web Site
Winner:   Townie in Winston
Runner Up: Jay Callahan
Honorable Mention: Foodie Stays Fit

Best Local Twitter Feed
Winner: My Winston-Salem
Runner Up: Triad Moms on Main
Honorable Mention: A Foodie Stays Fit



Winner:  Camino Bakery
Runner Up:  Atelier on Trade
Honorable Mention: Dewey’s Bakery, Tart Sweets and The Flour Box

Winner: Gigi’s Cupcakes
Runner Up: Dewey’s Bakery
Honorable Mention: Tart Sweets and Christina’s Dessertery

Winner: Black Mountain Chocolate
Runner Up: Kilwins
Honorable Mention:  Twin City Hive

Winner:  Midtown Cafe and Dessertery
Runner Up:  Dewey’s Bakery;
Honorable Mention: Camino Bakery, Atlier on Trade and Tart Sweets

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

Winner: Brynn’s
Runner Up: Sweet Frog

Winner: Café Gelato
Runner Up: West End Coffeehouse

Winner:  Little Richard’s
Runner Up: Camel City BBQ Factory
Honorable Mention:  Bib’s DowntownMr. Barbeque and Prissy Polly’s 

Winner:  Mary’s Gourmet Diner
Runner Up: Famous Toastery
Honorable Mention: Midtown Café & Dessert-ery, Cloverdale Kitchen and Duke’s

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

Winner: Rachel Hayes @ Twin City Hive
Runner Up: Joey Burdette @ Twin City Hive
Honorable Mention: Jimmy Greer @ Coffee Park Airstream and Kevin McHugh @ Camino Bakery

Winner:  Bagel Station
Runner Up: Panera Bread

Winner:  Five Guys
Runner Up: Bad Daddy Burgers
Honorable Mention: Cook Out and Local 27101

Hot Dog
Winner:  Skippy’s
Runner Up: PB’s Hotdogs
Honorable Mention:  Pulliam BBQ and Kermit’s

New Restaurant (Open since July, 1, 2015)
Winner:  The Katharine Brasserie
Runner Up: Camel City BBQ Factory
Honorable Mention: Carmine’s 901 and Miami Restaurant

Italian Restaurant
Winner:  Di Lisio’s Italian Restaurant
Runner Up: Quanto Basta
Honorable Mention:  Paul’s Italian Restaurant, Vincenzo and Carmine’s

Mexican Restaurant
Winner: La Botana
Runner Up:  Senor Bravo
Honorable Mention: Mi Pueblo Monte Del Ray andThe Porch

Caribbean Restaurant
Winner: Miami Restaurant
Runner Up: Irie Rhythms
Honorable Mention: Uncle Desi’s Jamaican Grill

Soul Food
Winner: Sweet Potatoes
Runner Up:   Pryme Time
Honorable Mention: Meta’s

Winner: Ryan’s
Runner Up:  Fratelli’s  
Honorable Mention: Jeffrey Adams, Rooster’s Noble’s Grille and Putter’s

Fried Chicken
Winner: Mountain Fried Chicken
Runner Up:  Sweet Potatoes
Honorable Mention: Mozelle’s and Pryme Time

Winner: Bib’s Downtown 
Runner up:  Camel City BBQ Factory
Honorable Mention:  Honkey Tonk Smokehouse

Mom and Pop Restaurant
Winner:  Cloverdale Kitchen
Runner Up:  Mama Zoe Michael’s 
Honorable Mention: Cafe Arthur’sCagney’s and Duke’s

Asian Restaurant
Winner:  Hakka Chow
Runner Up:  Thai Sawatdee
Honorable Mention:  Mizu  Sampan Restaurant and Basil Leaf

Winner: Mary Gourmet Diner
Runner Up: Mozelle’s
Honorable Mention: Hutch and Harris, Five Points Restaurant, Village Tavern The Porch and  Willow’s Bistro

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

Romantic Dinner
Winner:  Ryan’s
Runner Up: Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen and Bar
Honorable Mention: The Katherine Brassiere, Mozelle’s and Rooster’s – A Noble’s Grill

Take a First Date
Winner: Village Tavern
Runner up:  Meriden
Honorable Mention: Mozelle’s, Quanto Basta and The Honey Pot

Fine Dining Restaurant
Winner:  Spring House Restaurant Bar and Kitchen
Runner Up:   Ryan’s Restaurant 
Honorable Mention: Bernardin at Zevely House,The Honey Pot, Meridian Restaurant, The Katherine Brassiere and Mozelle’s 

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

Late Night Place To Eat (after 10 p.m.)
Winner:  Burke Street Pizza
Runner Up: Cook Out
Honorable Mention: Waffle House and Finnegan Wake

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

Winner: Mizu
Runner Up: Ishi
Honorable Mention: Thai Harmony and Basil Leaf

Wine List
Winner:  6th and Vine Wine Bar
Runner Up: Meridian Restaurant
Honorable Mention: Vin 205

Winner: Tim Grandinetti –  Spring House Restaurant Bar and Kitchen
Runner Up: Travis Meyers – Willow’s Bistro
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: Spring House Restaurant

Winner:  Jimmy John’s
Runner Up: Burke Street Pizza
Honorable Mention: Takeout Central and Taste Buds

Food Truck 
Winner: Food Freaks
Runner Up: Camel City Grill
Honorable Mention: Taqueria Luciano, La Vie en Rose and The Screaming Radish

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

Wait Person (Server)
Winner: Brandy – Meriden Restaurant
Runner Up: Shane Ward – Willow’s Bistro



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, Phuzzfest and Burke Street Food Truck Festival

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: Bailey Park
Runner Up: Tanglewood Park
Honorable Mention: Hanes ParkWashington 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

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: Kenny Beck – WXII
Honorable Mention: Neil McNeill – Fox 8 and Frank Mickens – WFMY

TV News Personality, Female (Any Triad Station)
Winner:  Lanie Pope – WXII
Runner Up: Wanda Starke – WXII
Honorable Mention: Kimberly VanScoy – WXII, Nicole Ducouer – WXII Tabitha Vickers -WXII

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



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

Tap Beer
Winner: Mellow Mushroom
Runner Up:  Foothills Brewery
Honorable Mention:  Finnegan’s Wakeand Small Batch Beer Co.

New Bar/Nightclub (Open since July 1, 2015)
Winner: The Bar on 4th
Runner Up: The Katherine Brassiere
Honorable Mention:  Test Pattern

Dive Bar
Winner: Silver Moon Saloon
Runner Up:  Single Brothers
Honorable Mention: Black Lodge, Recreation Billiards and West End Opera House

Restaurant Bar
Winner: Finnegan’s Wake
Runner Up: Meridian
Honorable Mention:  The Katherine Brassiere, Quiet Pint, Quanto Basta and Spring House Restaurant Bar and Kitchen

Meet After Work
Winner:  Tate’s Craft Cocktails
Runner Up:  Small Batch Beer Co.
Honorable Mention: Single Brothers and Carolina Wine and Hops

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

Bartender, Male (Location)
Winner: Stephen – Tate’s Craft Cocktails
Runner Up:   Brandon Creason – Finnigan’s Wake
Honorable Mention: Quentin Williams – Small Batch

Bartender, Female (Location)
Winner:  Michele Russell – Meridian Restaurant
Runner Up: Ali Brown – Meriden Restaurant

Outdoor Patio
Winner:  Fourth St. Filling Station
Runner Up:  6th & Vine Wine Bar
Honorable Mention: Village Tavern (Reynolda Village)

Pool Tables
Winner:  Recreation Billiards
Runner Up: West End Opera House

Live Music Venue
Winner: The Garage
Runner up:  Muddy Creek Cafe
Honorable Mention: Bailey Park

Best Place To Meet Single UNDER 40
Winner:  Single Brothers
Runner up:  Tate’s Craft Cocktails
Honorable Mention:  6th and Vine  and Old Winston Social Club

Best Place To Meet Single OVER 40
Winner: 6th and Vine
Runner up: Tate’s Craft Cocktails
Honorable Mention: Village Tavern and Vin 205

Winner: RayLen Vineyards
Runner up: Childress Vineyards
Honorable Mention: Raffadini Vineyards, Shelton Vineyards and JOLO Vineyards

Grocery Store
Winner:  Trader Joe’s
Runner Up:  Lowes Foods
Honorable Mention Publix,: Fresh MarketHarris Teeter and Whole Foods Market

Beer and/or Wine Shop
Winner: Stella Brew
Runner Up:  Total Wine and More
Honorable Mention: Juggheads,  Wine Merchants Gourmet and City Beverage



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 Stone

Exercise/Fitness Center
Winner: YMCA
Runner up:  Pure Barre
Honorable Mention:  Crossfit Amplitude, Planet Fitness and The Gateway YWCA

Winner:  Sunrise Yoga
Runner up: Paz Studios
Honorable Mention: Yoga Gallery

Green-Oriented Business
Winner: Whole Foods
Runner up: Dry Cleaning Station

Free Wi-Fi 
Winner: Twin City Hive
Runner up:  Panera Bread
Honorable Mention: Krankie’s, Starbucks and Fourth Street Downtown Winston-Salem

Winner: Edward McKay
Runner Up: Barnes & Nobles

Gift Shop
Winner: Hip Chics
Runner Up: Design Archives
Honorable Mention: Piedmont Craftsmen

Movie Theater
Winner: a/perture cinema
Runner Up:  The Grand 18 Theater
Honorable Mention:  Carmike 10

Local Artist
Winner: Laura Lashley
Runner Up:  Kendall Doub
Honorable Mention:  Marianne Dinapoli-Mylet and Dennis Wells

Local Band
Winner: The Genuine
Runner Up: Karon Click and The Hot Licks
Honorable Mention: Vagabond Saints Society

Public Art Display
Winner: ARTivity on the Green
Runner Up: Reynolda House

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

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

Performing Arts Group  
Winner:   Winston-Salem Theater Alliance
Runner Up: Helen Simoneau Danse Company
Honorable Mention: Piedmont Opera