October 8, 2014
5 mins read

“Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

Often imitated, never duplicated — the original is still the best. Folio Weekly’s Best of Jax is the real deal, your quintessential guide to the very best stuff throughout Northeast Florida, as judged by you, the thousands upon thousands of readers who voted in more than 160 categories. From politicians to celebrities, arts to entertainment, restaurants to bars, shops to services, this is your source for, well, everything you need to know about making the most of life on the First Coast, and we’re proud to be the ones to bring it to you.

Now you, being a clever and discerning reader, will likely notice something of a theme throughout these pages. This theme will go unspoken so as not to offend the copyright gods (and their lawyers). But we would like to take a moment to thank our friend and cover model Chaz Bäck, who is mostly certainly a righteous Dude.  


Jeffrey C. Billman, editor

For more Best of Jax 2014 categories, please click on the links below: 




“Uh, I’m just gonna go find a cash machine.”



Elizabeth Pointe Lodge

Luxurious beds, breakfast and the beach. What more could you ask for when planning a vacation? Elizabeth Pointe Lodge offers it all, as well as a round-the-house porch for relaxing with a book, drink and ocean view. Throw in free wine and hors d’oeuvres in the early evening and a chance to mingle with other guests, and you have a fantasy getaway worthy of our readers’ Best B&B honors. And there are many nearby boutiques, historical landmarks and fine-dining establishments, if you feel the need to venture out, though you might not.

FINALISTS: The Fairbanks House, The Addison on Amelia Island



Riverdale Inn

This historic inn got its start as one of several mansions built along Riverside Avenue in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and is one of the last still standing today. When it was restored to its former glory and converted to an inn only a decade ago, many of the original fixtures were preserved, including the wood flooring and grand marble fireplaces. Each of the inn’s 10 rooms, some quaint, some spacious, have their own unique style, and were designed with individual architectural touches. The inn also features a large dining room where you can enjoy a continental breakfast with Southern flair and an afternoon tea, as well as a comfy bar and lounge.

FINALISTS: The Jenks House Bed and Breakfast, Fig Tree House



St. George Inn

Nestled along the pedestrian-only St. George Street in The Ancient City, St. George Inn is a refuge from the overhead fluorescent and market-report décor of its chain hotel competition. With 25 rooms and suites, many overlooking local attractions like Castillo de San Marcos, the City Gate and the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse, the inn has plenty of space and modern appointments to make for a relaxing, pampered stay for a weekend or a month. Check your stress at the front desk, unpack your worries and decompress in style.

FINALISTS: Casablanca Inn, St. Francis Inn



Chamblin’s Uptown and Chamblin Bookmine

It’s heartwarming to see a local bookstore still making it in the villainous shadow of Amazon’s Orwellian-robot silhouette. Chamblin’s tall shelves have been a resource for book hounds since the Ford Administration, specializing in new, used and rare volumes you just don’t see everywhere. For those who have moved past print into the digital age, there’s a great little café at the Uptown location where you can surf the interwebs and read the latest David Sedaris brain-droppings on your tablet. There’s nothing like a fresh, hot cup of irony.

FINALISTS: Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million



Grease Rags

Greasers and punks haven’t had an easy time finding rad duds in Jax in the past few years, outside of maybe a rare cool find at a mall chain store or a very limited selection at a head shop or record store. Since opening Downtown a year ago, though, this little alternative clothing store that could has thrived on its reputation for carrying a unique collection of alt apparel, including rockabilly, retro and punk styles of clothing and accessories for guys and gals. Despite its somewhat awkward location (it’s one of the few clothing stores operating Downtown), the store has attracted a large, loyal fan base of customers from all over Northeast Florida and South Georgia to its digs next to the Main Library.

FINALISTS: Dillard’s, Wolfgang



Fifi’s Fine Resale Apparel

Looking wealthy ain’t cheap, but upscale consignment stores give the rest of us a chance to own name-brand bags and designer duds on the low-low without anyone the wiser. Fifi’s has cornered the market in upscale consignment in a wide swath of the First Coast, with its four locations in Ponte Vedra Beach, San Marco, Intracoastal West and Mandarin — spacious stores full of high-end designer clothing, men’s styles, fun vintage finds, accessories and pre-loved wedding dresses. Bonus: Shop used and you can pat yourself on the back for saving green and living green.

FINALISTS: Eco Relics, Goodwill



Bailey’s Health & Fitness

Featuring 15 locations in Northeast Florida, Bailey’s keeps Folio Weekly readers fit and trim with a variety of top-gear workout equipment and gym amenities. Spin your way into cardio health with an indoor cycling class, bow up on those weights, or chill out after a workout in Bailey’s spa or sauna rooms. Knowing that the key to fitness is more than lunges and crunches, Bailey’s also offers newbies informative orientation classes so you can get in shape safely while avoiding injury.

FINALISTS: YMCA, Planet Fitness



Big Fish Power Yoga

If they weren’t so zenned out, the crew at Big Fish Power Yoga might get a little gloat-y over making the Best of Jax list again this year. Owner Mary Lyn Jenkins’ Baptiste-inspired studio offers classes for every variety of aspiring yogi: lean sweating machines who want to contort like circus performers, beginners who just want a little kiss from the bliss, multiple sclerosis patients and Wounded Warriors. With classes starting as early at 6 a.m. and as late as 7:15 p.m., Big Fish makes sure anyone can fit some Namaste into their day.

FINALISTS: Bikram, M Body Yoga



Grassroots Natural Market

“If you ignore your health, it will go away,” threatens some social media meme. Yet there is truth in this particular coercion, and Folio Weekly readers make sure that they’re getting the healthiest food items by shopping at Grassroots. Located in Riverside, this neighborhood favorite features healthful and organic produce, veggie fare and meats. The store deals with more than three-dozen area vendors to keep its business local and ensure the freshest products. What’s more, the 4,500-square-foot market has a great juice bar and deli, a killer selection of beer and wine, and a wide array of health and beauty products.

FINALISTS: Native Sun, Whole Foods Market



New Leaf Vapor Co.

The first time we saw an e-cig, we thought they looked like an ’80s conception of what future vice would look like, sort of like the way the kids in Back to the Future II wore their clothes inside out. But then we saw our friends ditch cancer sticks in favor of these newfangled contraptions, and we figured maybe they were onto something. At New Leaf Vapor Co., the friendly staff will help guide you through a dizzying array of options — flavors, nicotine levels, chargers, batteries, filters, etc. — and help you find the e-cig that works best for you.

FINALISTS: Black Hat, Real Vapors



Dance Trance

Founded in 1994 by Jacksonville residents Jay and Beth Handline, Dance Trance now boasts more than 50 locations around the world. Locally, there are DT studios from Neptune Beach to San Marco to Fernandina Beach. A dance-fitness program, Dance Trance is a choreographed workout program for different skill levels and ages, set to original music — jazz, funk, Latin, reggae, street, hip-hop, house, pop, rock, whatever gets you moving.

FINALISTS: Nancy Dance, Studio K


Folio is your guide to entertainment and culture around and near Jacksonville, Florida. We cover events, concerts, restaurants, theatre, sports, art, happenings, and all things about living and visiting Jax. Folio serves more than two million readers across Jacksonville and Northeast Florida, including St. Augustine, The Beaches, and Fernandina.

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