We Asked, You Voted: The Winners Of Stuart Magazine's 2019 "Best Of The Region" Contest
The votes are in! We asked for your favorite spots in town—and you delivered. Our online poll resulted in some first-time winners in brand-new categories, while others are reigning champs. All come together in a trove of the best the Treasure Coast has to offer.
BEST ACAI BOWLS
3Natives Palm City
Kamila Wolser's personal mission is to help people feel better through holistic practices. This passion led her to open a 3Natives franchise location in Palm City in order to offer her community meals that incorporate raw, fresh and natural foods. Vegan, keto and gluten-free friendly, 3Natives offers not only açaí bowls, but also smoothies, wraps and salads.
2873 SW Cafe Court, Ste. 203, Palm City / 772.266.4980 / 3natives.com
BEST ART GALLERY
A staple in Stuart, Gallery 36 offers a relaxed and inviting atmosphere for clients to shop various pieces of artwork and photography to display within their homes. “The vision of Gallery 36 was created through the passion of photography, design and the arts, and the desire to share these treasures with the local community and beyond,” says Lisa Renee Ludlum, gallerist, designer and photographer. If you haven't visited, stop by for one of many networking events and cocktail parties throughout the year, and browse a truly special Treasure Coast collection.
36 SE Ocean Blvd., Stuart / 772.888.3408 / gallery-36.com
Park Ave BBQ of Stuart
When that barbecue craving hits, know there's one spot in town you can trust. It's Park Ave BBQ of Stuart, serving up mouth-watering plates such as barbecue beef brisket sandwiches, pulled pork platters and sides like Jerome's Collard Greens and mac-n-cheese. The Stuart location has been a neighborhood favorite for nearly three decades with an additional seven outposts popping up since.
769 NW Federal Highway, Stuart / 772.692.0111 / pabbqgrille.com
Bathtub Reef Beach
There's a place in Stuart families consistently visit for soft sands and clear waters: Bathtub Reef Beach. It recently underwent a transformation with newly planted sand dunes and sea oats. It's also home to a coral reef offshore. Grab your snorkeling gear this summer for a chance to see some of the area's most fascinating underwater creatures.
1585 SE MacArthur Blvd., Stuart / 772.221.1418 / martin.fl.us/bathtubreefbeach
Sailfish Brewing Company
It's no surprise the first craft brewery in Fort Pierce is still serving up some of the best pours in town. Founded in 2013, Sailfish Brewing Company sources local ingredients and collaborates with regional farmers, chefs and craftspeople to turn out refreshing flavors for visitors and locals alike. “By sharing our love of the coast in everything we make and do, Sailfish connects people to the place, the brand and each other,” says general manager Taylor Welchel.
130 N. Second St., Fort Pierce / 772.577.4382 / sailfishbrewingco.com
Berry Fresh Cafe
For a truly from-scratch breakfast or lunch, head to Berry Fresh Cafe of Stuart. Owner and operating partner Mitch Timoteo's father founded the first location in Port St. Lucie 10 years ago, and the Stuart location launched in 2015. Grab a seat early to dive into lemon ricotta pancakes (breakfast is served all day) or a roasted turkey, apple and brie panini. A selection of vegan and gluten-free options are also available.
1429. SE Federal Highway, Stuart / 772.324.8287 / berryfresh.cafe
BEST BURGERS/HANGOUT FOR SINGLES
Quality meats and produce are the standard at Carsons Tavern, resulting in a divine burger selection including classics like the Black-and-Blue Burger and a Barbecue Bourbon Burger. Owner Carson Novins' favorite on the menu is the Caprese Burger, topped with fresh mozzarella, marinated tomato and balsamic reduction. Not just a great place for meat, it's also a great place to meet. In addition to Best Burger, Carsons won in the Best Hangout For Singles category. That's because its live music and expansive bar set the perfect scene for mingling.
2883 SE Ocean Blvd., Stuart / 772.286.7611 / carsonstav.com
BEST COCKTAIL/RESTAURANT FOR DINNER/SERVICE/HAPPY HOUR
Perhaps one reason to visit The Gafford is to be treated like family. “It sounds cliche, but it's real,” proprietor Rick Wilson assures of the restaurant's quality service. He opened the restaurant in 2012 alongside his wife, Elizabeth, and son, Taylor. The winner in four of our categories serves up food with a southern flair. With rave reviews, The Gafford prides itself on its handcrafted, old-school cocktails, such as the Espresso Martini—a perfect way to toast the evening.
47 SW Flagler Ave. / 772.221.9517 / thegafford.com
BEST COFFEE/PLACE TO WORK
Gilbert's Coffee Bar
With a little less than a year at Sunset Bay Marina & Anchorage, Gilbert's Coffee Bar has already made a lasting impression in Stuart. Owner Abigail Rogan is on a mission to offer guests fresh, locally sourced food and specialty roasts. She does so by sourcing gourmet toasts from local, organic farms, coffee from Wells Coffee Company in Fort Lauderdale, and high-quality vegan syrups and alternative milks. “Coffee is the medium in which we have the pleasure of serving our community,” Rogan says. “This passion and love of service is what truly makes our coffee stand apart from the rest.”
615 SW Anchorage Way, Stuart / 772.214.1522 / gilbertscoffeebar.com
Stuart Air Show
What started as a fundraiser for the Council on Aging in Martin County has turned into a 30-year tradition and the biggest event on the Treasure Coast. We're talking about the Stuart Air Show, of course, which brings families from near and far to “ooh” and “aah” as some of the most exciting aircraft whiz by. This year will offer two air shows with the first taking place on July 4.
2400 SE Monterey Road, Ste. 300 / 772.781.4882 / stuartairshow.com
Harbour Bay Florist & Events
Linda Oliver was an independent wedding and event planner, often relying on Harbour Bay Florist and Events for help. But in 2013, the owner was retiring and approached Oliver about purchasing the business. “I unhesitatingly said ‘yes,'” she recalls. The company offers florals for weddings, baby or bridal showers, bar/bat mitzvahs, anniversaries, funerals or birthday parties. Oliver is excited to serve the community from a new location in the “pink” building on the route of the Stuart Christmas Parade.
1500 SE Ocean Blvd, Stuart / 772.221.1009 / harbourbayflorist.com
BEST GOLF SPOT
PGA Golf Club
PGA Golf Club, the flagship property of the Professional Golfers' Association in Port St. Lucie, wins this category for a second year in a row. The premier golfing destination offers excellent course conditions, superior service levels and competitive prices—with year-round summer conditions. PGA Golf Club offers one of the most complete golf experiences in the country with three varying layouts.
1916 Perfect Drive, Port St. Lucie / 772.467.1300 / pgavillage.com
Bolder BARRE & Fitness
For a complete transformation both inside and out, let Bolder BARRE & Fitness lead the way. Stuart's only barre, Pilates, yoga, and PiYo studio has gained immense popularity since its inception in 2012. “We offer a varied program of well-designed formats, delivered by the best-trained instructors who are passionate about their work and deliver fun, safe classes every day to women of all fitness levels,” says owner and founder Rita Jenkins-Wolcott. With dozens of classes offered weekly, anyone who steps in is bound to find a workout they love while feeling right at home. “Words don't really capture the incredible vibe and atmosphere in the studio,” Jenkins-Wolcott says. “Our clients are so welcoming, supportive and accepting of one another.”
2468 SE Federal Highway, Stuart / 772.266.8069 / bolderbarre.com
Eric Michaels Fine Jewelry
Eric Michaels Fine Jewelry began a decade ago with four storefront Gold and Diamond Buying locations. The first Eric Michaels Fine Jewelry store officially opened seven years later in downtown Stuart, then relocated to Jensen Beach's Treasure Coast Mall in October 2017. “We offer an unusual and eclectic selection of jewelry designers, which differentiates us from most other jewelry stores,” says owner Eric Paul. “We also feature our own custom designs in a friendly customer service environment.”
3174 NW Federal Highway, Jensen Beach / 772.419.0181 / emfinejewelry.com
Salt of the Earth Halotherapy & Spa
In its second year, Salt of the Earth Halotherapy & Spa brings the community a holistic approach to wellness. Himalayan salt lights and essential oils set the scene and awaken the senses. Offerings include therapeutic massages, salt therapy, skin treatments and signature foot soaks. What sets the space apart is a salt room with a machine that disperses microscopic salt particles into the air to alleviate symptoms of asthma, allergies, cystic fibrosis and more.
422 SW Akron Ave., Stuart / 772.266.9961 / saltspafl.com
BEST MEN'S CLOTHING
561 Skateboarding has been a staple in Martin County for nearly two decades, consistently offering quality and creative products at great prices. Owner Teak Leasor opened the first store in Jensen Beach in 2000, then moved it to the current location in downtown Stuart in 2010. “In addition to being the only true skateboarding store in the county, we carry our own line of 561 clothing/accessories,” Leasor says. “We also stock over 250 styles of sneakers from Adidas, Nike and Vans.”
101 SE Ocean Blvd. Ste. 101, Stuart / 772.324.8260 / 561skateboarding.com
BEST NIGHTLIFE/LIVE MUSIC
Terra Fermata Tiki Bar
What do you get when you put together local and national touring acts, string lights, a tiki bar and more than 20 craft and domestic beers, wines and Champagne? Terra Fermata Tiki Bar. The dog-friendly establishment has been around since 2012 and has definitely made its name as Stuart's ultimate outdoor music venue and tiki bar. “Everybody loves Terra,” says owner and operator Eric Wickstrom. “Walking [into Terra] is like stepping into a redneck's finely decorated backyard.”
26 SE Sixth St., Stuart / 772.286.5252 / terrafermata.com
BEST PICNIC SPOT/PLACE FOR A PARTY
Indian RiverSide Park
Indian RiverSide Park is the perfect spot for a picnic, workout, romantic stroll, fishing or any outdoor activity you can think of. The 63-acre park sits next to the Indian River Lagoon, with amenities including a beach, landscaped gardens, a half-mile stretch of waterfront space, a three-fourth mile walking path and mangrove boardwalk, open grass fields, a 780-foot fishing pier, free interactive play fountain and four picnic pavilions. The park is also home to Treasure Coast Children's Museum and U.S. Sailing Center.
1707 NE Indian River Drive, Jensen Beach / 772.288.5445 / martin.fl.us/irsp
Carmela's Brick Oven Pizza & Wine Bar
Named for owner Joanne Fatigate's mother-in-law, Carmela's has provided Italian dining to Stuart since 2003. Fatigate and her late husband, Bob, created traditional dishes that have been a hit for 16 years. For a fun spin on an Italian classic, try the Chicken Parmigiana Pizza.
2311 SE Ocean Blvd., Stuart; 772.286.0877; carmelaspizza.com
BEST PLACE FOR A BLOWOUT
Wave Hair Color & Design Studio
Dyson Supersonic blow dryers add volume and life to locals' locks at Wave Hair Color & Design Studio. Whether it's for a blowout or five-hour color transformation, owner Aviana Shapiro wants her guests to feel at home. The third-generation hair stylist suggests coming by the space to “smell the flowers,” as it doubles as a hair cuttery and flower bar.
735 S. Colorado Ave., Ste. 115, Stuart / 772.888.9066
BEST PLACE FOR A HEALTHY MEAL
Fruits & Roots
If vegan food and plant-based cuisine are what you crave, Fruits & Roots is the place to go. The Stuart-based eatery has a 100-percent vegan menu, made entirely of plants. “Most of our ingredients are low calorie/nutrient dense organic foods, which means you can have a large, guilt-free portion that will fill you up and leave you energized,” says owner Amber Eichling. “We owe so much of our success over the past four years to word-of-mouth recommendations, our amazing returning customers and our very talented crew.”
710 S. Colorado Ave., Stuart / 772.678.6627 / fruitsandrootsvegancafe.com
BEST PLACE TO BRING YOUR DOG
Walton Rocks Beach and Dog Park
Let your furry friend run free at St. Lucie County's only dog-friendly beach, Walton Rocks Beach and Dog Park. Popular with pups, the off-leash dog park has 24-acres of beach property available for dogs of all sizes to frolic in the sand, surf or catch Frisbees. Park amenities include restrooms, picnic tables and pavilions.
6700 S. Ocean Drive, Jensen Beach / 772.462.1522 / stlucieco.gov
BEST PLACE TO PULL UP YOUR BOAT
The shallow, clear water at the Stuart Sandbar offers the perfect place to anchor a boat and spend the day with family and friends. Swim, relax and play a game in the water while enjoying the salty air and sunshine in the St. Lucie Inlet.
Located inside the St. Lucie Inlet, just east of the convergence of the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.
BEST PLACE TO WATCH THE GAME
Duffy's Sports Grill
Quality of food isn't left behind at Duffy's Sports Grill, where 80 flat-screen, high-definition TVs accommodate sports aficionados. With 34 locations throughout Florida, the casual dining space's menu is consistent, with an emphasis on fresh ingredients. Nothing says football, baseball or basketball season like a Duffy's Cheeseburger or a half rack and wings.
1 SW Osceola St., Stuart / 772.221.4899 / duffysmvp.com
BEST NIP & TUCK
Dr. Stephen Adler and Dr. P. Dudley Giles
Dr. Stephen Adler started the renowned plastic surgery company in 1997, before Dr. P. Dudley Giles joined him in 2003. It is the first multispecialty plastic surgery clinic in South Florida, including the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach. The company takes a specialized approach to plastic surgery, having specialists on the team in the fields of facial plastic surgery, and breast and body plastic surgery.
BEST SPOT FOR A QUICK LUNCH
Osceola Street Cafe
This fast-casual restaurant was acquired in January 2018 by sister-brother duo Catherine Sharpe and Matthew Pescaia. Osceola Street Cafe is known by many of its customers as “Stuart's family living room.” “The OSC family truly cares about our customers—this is demonstrated daily in the homemade food we make and in the caring and attentive service we deliver,” Sharpe says. In addition, Osceola Street Café loves dogs, and there are always water bowls and biscuits available on both Flagler and Osceola patios.
26 SW Osceola St., Stuart; 772.283.6116; osceolastreet.com
Men and boys have been settling into a cushy seat at Gentlemen's Barbershop for smooth and clean hot shaves for five years. Barbers take their time with clients to give them the best quality cuts possible inside this Stuart hair cuttery.
1952 SE Federal Highway, Stuart / 772.283.0600
BEST SPOT TO CATCH A WAVE
Stuart Beach is known for its dependable waves and windsurfs under the watch of a lifeguard, which is great for beginners. The pros can challenge themselves with choppy waters at this beach on the Atlantic coast of Hutchinson Island. Beachgoers can also enjoy the snack bar, volleyball and basketball courts, a canopy-covered playground and picnic areas. Plus, it's an easy walk to the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center and the Elliott Museum.
825 NE Ocean Blvd., Stuart / 772.221.1418 / martin.fl.us
Kazu Japanese Restaurant
Kazu has been a part of the Stuart restaurant scene for the past 11 years and has relied on great reviews by word of mouth to get the news out about its quality creations. The restaurant also emphasizes authenticity with food prepared by chefs who have had extensive culinary training from Japan.
2137 SE Federal Highway, Stuart; 772.283.0456
Taco Shack in Stuart
Chef and owner Julie LaFrance-Lentine opened Taco Shack after she gained a reputation for her “Taco Lady” creations as a local caterer. Taco Shack's handcrafted creations, like the Cowboy made with barbecue pulled pork, roasted corn, baked beans, Shack Slaw, crispy onions straws and candied jalapeños, will be the perfect choice for your next Taco Tuesday.
555 S. Colorado Ave., Stuart; 772.288.9696; taco-shack.com
Vine & Barley Stuart
Vine & Barley Stuart prides itself on serving premium craft beer at a reasonable price, all the while in a comfortable and friendly atmosphere. If you prefer wine, this establishment has state-of-the-art wine serving units that enable guests to serve themselves a full glass, a half-glass or “just a taste” of more than 50 boutique wines from around the world. Basically, it's wine tasting all day, every day.
301 SW St. Lucie Ave., Stuart; 772.781.1717 ; vineandbarleystuart.com
BEST WOMEN'S CLOTHING
April Daze Boutique
April Hope opened April Daze in 1999 and it has been one of the hottest shops in Stuart ever since. “So many of my display pieces and creativity came from the love of my flea market, antique scouring, parents who instilled in me a passion to seek the next great treasure,” Hope says.
308 S. Colorado Ave., Stuart; 772.221.1062; facebook.com/aprildazeboutique