NI’s 2018 Dining Awards: Best Sips
From drinking dens to coffee shops — these are the hottest spots to sip in all of Naples.
Best Craft Cocktail: The Last Dragon, Bar Tulia
On Bar Tulia’s ever-changing craft cocktail menu, this one surfaces often, but is available anytime by special order. Tropically tinged with passion fruit juice and lime, its charge comes from St. George Terroir Gin and St. George Bruto Americano, garnished with a slice of dragon fruit and a sage leaf.
Honorable Mention: Follow the White Rabbit, The Continental
Named for an Alice in Wonderland character, it blends citrus vodka and triple sec with fresh raspberries, fresh rosemary, and pickled blackberries.
Best Coffee: Bad Ass Coffee Company
American-grown beans from Hawaii are one of the secrets to this coffee shop’s popularity. From its Third Street South storefront, enjoy a rich cup of java au natural or in flavors that include vanilla-macadamia nut, coconut rum, butter toffee, vanilla highball, and chocolate raspberry.
Honorable Mention: Kunjani Craft Coffee & Gallery
For the coffee connoisseur, customize your cup with coffee prepared standard brewed, cold brewed, French pressed, or by chemex, V60, and espresso methods.
Best Wine List: Bleu Provence
In 2017, for the third consecutive year, Bleu Provence received Wine Spectator’s Grand Award. Only four restaurants in Florida (no others in Southwest Florida) and 89 restaurants in the world revel in that distinction. Much of the wine cellar’s 30,000 bottles comes from France, but the list travels the world, as does co-owner and wine buyer Jacques Cariot.
Honorable Mention: The Continental
Its generous list of wines by the glass and globetrotting bottle menu reflect a passion for popping corks and tricky-to-find vintages. There are nearly 20 sparkling wines alone.
Best Wine Bar: Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants
Pouring wines for sampling and meal pairing from its eponymous winery, Cooper’s Hawk has a swanky Napa vibe and offers four different wine club levels to devoted vinophiles. The food menus are expansive, with a few dishes you customize yourself, such as surf and turf or flatbread and salad combinations. Low calorie and vegan options are also available.
Honorable Mention: Wine Loft of Naples
Salon style, the Wine Loft puts guests at ease with casual elegance, select wines from around the world, a full stock of beer and liquor, and noshes and entrees designed for wining.
Best Craft Beer Brewery: Naples Beach Brewery
Naples’ now vibrant microbrewery scene began with this operation in 2012. Names like Beach House, Liquid Sunshine, and Latitude Adjustment IPA infuse its craft beers with a sense of place. Most days, food trucks arrive to the brewery for a casual drink-and-feed experience. Wednesday through Saturday typically brings local live bands.
Honorable Mention: Bone Hook Brewing Co.
Newly opened in North Naples last year, its taproom serves $4 drafts Monday through Friday 4-7 p.m. Ales, IPAs, sours, and stouts: Bone Hook has the bait for all brands of beer lovers.