Lucky pelican. Photograph by Wes Roberts.
Our readers have spoken! The 2022 Best of Lakewood Ranch contest has ended and we are excited to share the winners of this year’s contest. From favorite places to dine to the best neighborhoods to live in and the best real estate agents to settle in, you’ll love and learn from the results of our annual Best of Lakewood Ranch contest.
LWR | BEST OVERALL RESTAURANT lucky pelican
The dreaded “what should we have for dinner” conversation is easily put to rest with these winners. Lakewood Ranch voters picked their Platinum award with LUCKY PELICAN as they gushed over the ATRIA CAFE Gold winner. End the evening with something sweet at the Silver sensation WICKED AWESOME ICE CREAM EMPORIUM INC or enjoy a seafood feast at the Bronze winner SPEAKS CLAM BAR – ITALIAN & SEAFOOD – LAKEWOOD RANCH. There are plenty of other places to choose from including Honorable Mentions Grove, Cassariano Italian Eatery Lakewood Ranch, Nancy’s Bar-BQ at Lorraine Corners, Libby’s, Bourbon and Bones Chophouse, and Thai Spice & Sushi.
Gabriele Harris (on Lucky Pelican): Excellent fresh food. Local. JD DeVries (on Wicked Awesome Ice Cream Emporium Inc): Delicious treats and great hospitality. Lisa Grasso (on Speaks Clam Bar – Italian & Seafood – Lakewood Ranch): Amazing food and great service every time! Platinum Winner – Lucky Pelican / Gold Winner – Atria Cafe / Silver Winner – Wicked Awesome Ice Cream Inc / Bronze Winner – Parle Clam Bar-Italian & Seafood-Lakewood Ranch.
LWR | BEST CASUAL DINING. Craft Growlers To Go and Tasting Room
Dressing up for dinner is fine and fun, but when you can’t quite commit to the glitz and glam, these cool, laid-back spots are perfect for jeans and a t-shirt type outfit. Readers loved CRAFT GROWLERS TO GO & TASTING ROOM for Platinum and just two votes behind ATRIA CAFE earned a Gold runner-up. LUCKY PELICAN made a strong impression by reappearing for LWR in silver and ED’S TAVERN fought for bronze. Don’t miss the honorable mention Bourbon and Bones Chophouse.
Courtney Barringer (on Craft Growlers To Go & Tasting Room): Great laid back local spot. Easy going and the simple but delicious menu make it a favorite spot. Aiko M (on Lucky Pelican): I find that Lucky Pelican’s seafood is fresh and their recipes are always very tasty. I think their price is good for what you get both in taste and portion size. They have a good happy hour to help with long waits. Long wait times due to crowds wanting to eat there. I always recommend Lucky Pelican as a good place for seafood. Adrian Morell (on Ed’s Tavern): Ed’s Tavern has a laid back atmosphere. The employees, customers, food and drinks are great. Platinum Winner – Craft Growlers To Go & Tasting Room / Gold Winner – Atria Cafe / Silver Winner – Lucky Pelican / Bronze Winner – Ed’s Tavern.
LWR | BEST BREAKFAST + BRUNCH Extension 400
Starting the day off right can be as simple as a good plate of eggs and bacon. Lakewood Ranch has plenty of places to start your joy, starting with STATION 400, Platinum-winning pancakes. A real favorite being part of several Best Of winning categories this year ATRIA CAFE wins another Gold spot and ANOTHER BROKEN EGG CAFE smashes its way to Silver. Find cookies and bacon at the bronze winner GROVE.
Courtney Barringer (on Station 400): Locally owned and operated Station 400 is always consistent with food, prices, and staff. Kathy James (on Another Broken Egg Cafe): Another Broken Egg restaurant is the “holy grail” of enjoyable dining experiences for breakfast or brunch! Not only do they have an over-the-top menu filled with an incredible variety of foods and flavors to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters, but their servers are so attentive and friendly and you get it all for a super reasonable price. What more could you want? Oh yes, and it’s in a good location too! (Try the donut cookies for a truly unique indulgence!) Platinum Winner – Station 400 / Gold Winner – Atria Cafe / Silver Winner – Another Broken Egg / Bronze Winner – Grove.
LWR | BEST MODEL HOME Mainstay – Lee Wetherington Homes
Finding an oasis of your own can be tricky, but these home designs showcase the best. Platinum winner MAINSTAY – LEE WETHERINGTON HOMES takes first place this year while KORINA, JOHN CANNON HOMES are hot on their heels for a golden second place. The Silver category is completed by THE RIVIERA DEALERSHIP MODEL, KEMICK BUILDERS AND CONSULTANTS.
Gabriele Harris (on Mainstay – Lee Wethington Homes): Great floor plan, beautiful design and attention to detail. Jane Jones (on Korina, John Cannon Homes): I really loved this Korina model. The wine cellar especially; you could see all the bottle labels. If you walk into any subdivision with model homes and there is a Cannon model, their quality will be superior to all the others. The unique custom features and especially the ceiling details make this a clear winner of “Best Model Home”. Platinum Winner – Mainstay, Lee Wetherington Homes / Gold Winner – Korina, John Cannon Homes / Silver Winner – The Riviera, Kemich Builders and Consultants Concession Model.
LWR | BEST NEIGHBORHOOD Waterfront at Lakewood Ranch
A home is where the heart is, but also where your children can make friends for life on the streets and an invitation to the barbecue is just a mailbox away. Being surrounded by a kind and inviting community is just as important to creating a home as choosing the right paint color. With new developments constantly popping up around Lakewood Ranch, these neighborhoods were remarkable. Readers voted WATERSIDE AT LAKEWOOD RANCH a Platinum Paradise while THE LAKE CLUB was a Gold Wellness. Voters sang the praises of silver selection MALLORY PARK AT LAKEWOOD RANCH BY DIVOSTA HOMES and ESPLANADE GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB AT LAKEWOOD RANCH became a top bronze winner. Check out honorable mention Bridgewater for a neighborhood delight.
Lucinda Fingado (on Waterside at Lakewood Ranch): Waterside is very close to UTC I75 and downtown Sarasota. The houses are beautiful and on large lakes. The developments are within walking distance of downtown Waterside. Downtown was well designed with restaurants located on a large lake with multiple areas for wine and exercise. Amy Gorman (on Mallory Park at Lakewood Ranch by Divosta Homes): New homes and townhouses in a carefully planned location with lots of thought and detail in the planning. Extensive recreational facilities- walking trails, pool, spa, grills and parks. Platinum Winner – Waterfront at Lakewood Ranch / Gold Winner – The Lake Club / Silver Winner – Mallory Park at Lakewood Ranch by Divosta Homes / Bronze Winner – Esplanade Golf and Country Club at Lakewood Ranch.
LWR | BEST COMMUNITY PARTNERS YMCA Lakewood Ranch Branch
Helping a community grow is key to its success and these places have shown their true colors as wonderful community partners. YMCA LAKEWOOD RANCH BRANCH is happy to win platinum while only three votes away gold goes to FAWLEY BRYANT ARCHITECTURE. This year’s silver winner was SIRIUS DAY SPA.
LWR | BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT / LAKEWOOD RANCH REALTY Rick Chang, Wagner Realty
Look no further than these housing experts for all your needs as you work through your checklist of housing must-haves. Lakewood Ranch voters know they can trust RICK CHANG, WAGNER REALTY with his expertise as a Platinum winner while others got their Gold Star tips from second place winner LISA TARJANYI . Sliding to the money is TINA CIACCHIO, LAKEWOOD RANCH REALTOR, MICHAEL SAUNDERS & COMPANY who can help you sign on the dotted line. Honorable Mentions Barbara A. Milian PA, Lakewood Ranch Realtor – Michael Saunders & Company and Kathy White Realtor: ICON Premium Realty are also ready for housing assistance.
Weyli Angus (on Rick Chang, Wagner Realty): Friendly, dedicated and a negotiator. Linda Sines (on Lisa Tarjanyi): Tarjanyi Home Sales makes you feel like family right from the start and wants the best for you. They go the extra mile to make the process really enjoyable. Angela Massaro-Fain (on Tina Ciacchio, Lakewood Ranch Realtor, Michael Saunders & Company): The ultimate professional who cares about your success and whether you’re buying or selling your home. Clever. Strategic. The hardest working real estate agent I have ever worked with. Platinum Winner – Rich Chang, Wagner Realty / Gold Winner – Lisa Tarjanyi / Silver Winner – Tina Ciacchio, Lakewood Ranch Realtor, Michael Saunders & Company.
LWR | BEST BUY The University Town Center Mall
Clicking through a computer catalog of clothing will never have the same appeal as finding the perfect dress in real life and modeling it for the dressing room mirrors. Residents of Lakewood Ranch turned to Platinum pick THE MALL AT UNIVERSITY TOWN CENTER to fill their shopping carts while others grabbed goods at gold-winning COOPER CREEK PLAZA. The silver-winning SIRIUS DAY SPA was a take-out third-place treat for a day of window shopping.