Local's List 2021: The Bend's Readers' Choice Awards - The Bend Magazine

Local’s List 2021: The Bend’s Readers’ Choice Awards

The results are in and the winners are...

Photo: Ryan Chipman

Now in its sixth year, Local’s List has become much more than just an online poll. Over a period of two months beginning in early March, the public nominates and then votes for its top picks in lifestyle-related categories. Nominees are vetted based on their local engagement and category fit, the top five from each advance to voting, and then it’s off to the races. 

Once the polls close, our team compiles the list of winners and the production of our July issue begins. This year, when everything was said and done,179,572 votes were cast from 33,711 people. While Local’s List is now in its sixth year and the growth it’s experienced is exponential, some things will just never change. It will always be a poll populated by the readers, for the readers. It will always serve as a reminder that locals really do know best. But above all else, it will always take us back to the reason The Bend Magazine exists in the first place: because of you, your stories, your dreams, and your passions. 

For this year’s list, we decided to include the second and third place entries (because the more local businesses, the merrier!). So, what are you waiting for?! The winners of all 127 categories await you. 

Arts, Culture, & Entertainment


Annual Festival
Corpus Christi Dia de los Muertos Winner
Texas Jazz Festival Second Place
Buccaneer Days Third Place

Annual Fundraiser
Fiesta de los Niños, Driscoll Children’s Hospital Winner
TRIUMPH Over Kid Cancer Second Place
Cattle Baron’s Ball Third Place

Art Gallery
Art Museum of South Texas Winner
K Space Contemporary Second Place
Nueces Brewing Co. Third Place

Arts Theatre
Harbor Playhouse Winner
Aurora Arts Theatre Second Place
Port Aransas Community Theatre Third Place

ChicasRock Winner
Scarecrow People Second Place
Seattle Rising Third Place

Moonstone’d Pottery Winner
Lovedrunk Pottery Second Place
Aloe Tile Third Place

Tina La Cochina Winner
Happy the Comedian  Second Place
Murk 361 Third Place

Dance Studio
Munro Ballet Studios Inc. Winner
Tippi Toes Dance Co. Second Place
Alcorta’s Compania de Danza Folklorica Third Place

Date Night
Water Street Oyster Bar Winner
Republic of Texas Second Place
Dokyo Dauntaun Third Place

Digital Artist
Savannah Garza Winner
Gilbert Cantu Second Place
Rick Gallegos Third Place

El Dusty Winner
DJ Skip Second Place
DJ Weasel Third Place

Event Venue
Texas State Aquarium Winner
House of Rock Second Place
BUS Third Place

Family Attraction
Texas State Aquarium Winner
Grow Local Farmer’s Market Second Place
Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History Third Place

Fine Arts Painter
Alex Gillis Winner
Daniel De Leon Second Place
Mayra Zamora Third Place

Fishing Guide
Jesse Torres Winner
Capt. Chris Elliott Second Place
Geronimo Leal Third Place

Girls Night Out
Painting with a Twist Winner
The Post at Lamar Park Second Place
Tannins Wine Bar Third Place

Hangout Spot
Executive Surf Club Winner
BUS Second Place
The Post at Lamar Park Third Place

Monica Benavidez Winner
Clarissa Serna Second Place
CCBucketList Third Place

Texas State Aquarium Winner
Brewster Street Icehouse Second Place
Whataburger Field Third Place

Live Music Venue
Brewster Street Ice House Winner
Concrete Street Amphitheater Second Place
House of Rock Third Place

!Loteria!, Various South Texas Artists Winner
Soldier Mural, Michaela S. Gonzalez Second Place
Dokyo Wall, Jeremy Flores Third Place

Art Museum of South Texas Winner
Corpus Christi Museum of Science & History Second Place
USS Lexington Museum Third Place

LJ Photography Winner
Angel Ramirez Second Place
Taylor Mayfield Photography Third Place

Sew Taco Winner
Leading Ladies of Corpus Christi Second Place
Beer and a Movie Third Place

Sweetest Snaps Photography Winner
Meagan Benavides Photography Second Place
Flora & Fig Photography Third Place

Radio Personality
COCO on the Radio Winner
Rex Gabriel, C101 Second Place
Eric Ramirez, Planet 102.3 Third Place

Kent Ullberg Winner
Leticia Bajuyo Second Place
Michael Manjarris Third Place

Solo Musician
John Eric Hernandez Winner
Jon Mikael Mrez Second Place
Moniq Third Place

Sports Team
Corpus Christi Hooks Winner
TAMU-CC Islanders Second Place
Corpus Christi IceRays Third Place

Tattoo Artist
Chris Lain, Pinnacle Tattoo Winner
Matthew Rosas, Axis Tattoo Second Place
Oliva Bransom, Psychic Seas Tattoo Third Place

Tattoo Shop
Pinnacle Tattoo Winner
Axis Tattoo Second Place
Black Lantern Tattoo Third Place

TV / News 
Alan Holt Winner
Katia Uriarte Second Place
Bill Vessey Third Place

VM Photography Winner
Taylor Mayfield Photography Second Place
Ascending Photography Third Place

Food, Drink, & Nightlife


Asian Cuisine
BKK Thai Kitchen + Bar Winner
Hu Dat Noodle House Second Place
Z Counter Third Place

Baked Goods
Sweet Rose Cupcakes Winner
Trendy Eats & Vegan Treats Second Place
Mo’s Cookies Third Place

Hester’s Cafe Winner
Bien Mérité Second Place
La Michoacana Third Place

BUS Winner
The Post at Lamar Park Second Place
Brewster Street Ice House Third Place

Salty Oak BBQ Winner
Julian’s BBQ Second Place
Butter’s BBQ Third Place

Beer List
Nueces Brewing Co.Winner
B&J’s Pizza – Brewpub Second Place
Lazy Beach Brewing and Cafe Third Place

Breakfast Tacos
Taqueria Acapulco No.1 Winner
Hi-Ho Restaurant Second Place
Nano’s Taco Run Third Place

Hester’s Cafe Winner
Andy’s Kitchen Second Place
Chops & Eggs Third Place

Padre Island Burger Company Winner
Wallbanger’s Second Place
Hamlin Fountain Third Place

Hester’s Cafe Winner
Nuevo Cafe Second Place
Island Joes Coffee and Gallery Third Place

Cajun Cuisine
Surfing Crab Winner
Catfish Charlie’s Second Place
Mudbugs Cajun Icehouse Third Place

Water Street Catering Winner
Marco & Co Catering LLC Second Place
Texas State Aquarium Third Place

Tony Posada, The Blue Clove Winner
Gail Huesmann, Black Marlin Second Place
Clint Lewis, Andy’s Kitchen Third Place

Coffee Waves Winner
Stingers Coffee Second Place
Island Joes Coffee and Gallery Third Place

Juice Bar
The VINE Juice Company Winner
Island Squeeze Fresh Juice Bar and Clean Eating Second Place
Sacred Juice Third Place

Craft Cocktails
The Post at Lamar Park Winner
BUS Second Place
The Gold Fish Third Place

Bien Mérité Winner
Hester’s Cafe Second Place
Yummy Tummy Cheesecakes Third Place

Andy’s Kitchen Winner
Price’s Chef Second Place
Town and Country Cafe Third Place

South Texas Distillery Winner
Aerodrome Distilling Second Place
Wild Horse Distillery, Inc Third Place

Gates Donut Shop Winner
S & J Bakery Second Place
La Michoacana Third Place

Food Truck
TacoBar Street Winner
Jefe’s Mobile Cafe Second Place
Birrieria y Mariscos El General Third Place

French Fries
Executive Surf Club Winner
Wallbanger’s Second Place
The Post at Lamar Park Third Place

Frozen Treats
Marble Slab Creamery Winner
Sno Ball Too Second Place
A La Mode Gelateria Third Place

Gourmet Dining
Republic of Texas Bar & Grill Winner
Bellino Ristorante Italiano e Bottega Second Place
Katz 21 Steak & Spirits Third Place

Happy Hour
Scuttlebutt’s Seafood Bar & Grill Winner
The Post at Lamar Park Second Place
Executive Surf Club Third Place

Indian Cuisine
Ginger Cafe & Grill Winner
Sufi Kabob Second Place
Pavani Express Third Place

Italian Cuisine
Luciano’s Italian Restaurant Winner
Bellino Ristorante Italiano e Bottega Second Place
Frank’s Spaghetti House Third Place

Kiko’s Mexican Food Restaurant & Cantina Winner
YOLA cocina mexicana Second Place
Wings N’ More Third Place

Mediterranean / 
Middle Eastern Cuisine
Ginger Cafe & Grill Winner
Eirinis Gyros & More Second Place
Middle East Restaurant Third Place

Mexican Cuisine
Kiko’s Mexican Food Restaurant & Cantina Winner
Taqueria Acapulco No.1 Second Place
Senor Jaime’s Mexican Restaurant Third Place

Nueces Brewing Co. Winner
Lazy Beach Brewing Second Place
B&J’s Pizza – Brewpub Third Place

Michael Green, The Post at Lamar Park Winner
Caitlin Bishop, BUS Second Place
Michael Cantu, The Gold Fish Third Place

New Restaurant
Dokyo Dauntaun Winner
YOLA cocina mexicana Second Place
Sal’s Bronx Pizza Third Place

Outdoor Seating
Snoopy’s Pier Winner
BUS Second Place
Harrison’s Landing Third Place

B&J’s Pizza Winner
Panjo’s Pizza Second Place
House of Rock Third Place

Hawaii Poke Winner
Hanaya Poke Second Place
BKK thai kitchen + bar Third Place

Z Counter Winner
Mikoto Ramen Second Place
Ramen Legend Third Place

Hester’s Cafe Winner
Surfside Sandwich Shoppe Second Place
Small Planet Delicatessen & Bakery Third Place

Water Street Oyster Bar Winner
The Blue Clove Seafood Bar and Grill Second Place
Doc’s Seafood and Steaks Third Place

Seafood Market
Paul’s Seafood Winner
Groomers Seafood Second Place
Morgan Street Seafood Market Third Place

Soul Food
Portis Kountry Kitchen II Winner
Nolan’s Original Poorboys Second Place
Trap House Kitchen Third Place

Nuevo Cafe Winner
Hu Dat Noodle House Second Place
Pho Life Third Place

Ol’ Steakhouse Co. Winner
Niko’s Steakhouse Second Place
Republic of Texas Bar & Grill Third Place

Street Tacos
TacoBar Street Winner
Jefe’s Mobile Cafe Second Place
Taquitos Mi Tierra Third Place

Rock & Rolls Sushi Lounge Winner
Aka Sushi Second Place
Dokyo Dauntaun Third Place

Thai Cuisine
Thai Cottage Winner
BKK thai kitchen + bar Second Place
Drunkn’ Noodlez Third Place

Diet Eatery
PHAT Keto Co. Winner
Hester’s Cafe Second Place
BKK thai kitchen + bar Third Place

Wine Bar
TANNINS Wine Bar & Tapas Restaurant Winner
Bellino Ristorante Italiano e Bottega Second Place
Island Wine Third Place

Wine List
TANNINS Wine Bar & Tapas Restaurant Winner
Bellino Ristorante Italiano e Bottega Second Place
Yardarm Restaurant Third Place

Health & Beauty


Barber Jon, Fellas Barber Shop Winner
Rick “Da People’s Barber” Morin, Flawless Barbershop Second Place
JC Cotton, Hands Of Gold Third Place

Barber Shop
Legends Barber Shop Winner
Flawless Barber Shop Second Place
Hands of Gold Third Place

Day Spa (non-medical)
The Woodhouse Day Spa – Corpus Christi Winner
Beauty Dungeon Second Place
Glam Getaway Third Place

Fitness Studio
The Quad Fitness Studio Winner
FitBar Fitness Second Place
Island Fitness Third Place

Hair Salon
Riptide Salon Winner
Elegancia Salon Second Place
Design Concepts Salon & Boutique
Third Place

Hair Stylist
Kristie Langston, Bombshell Salon Winner
Christopher Jarred, Superior Haus of Beauty Second Place
Eva Linda Carrillo, POLISHED Hair by Eva Third Place

Licensed Esthetician
Ciara Paige, Beauty Dungeon Winner
Gabby Gonzales, Allure Med Spa Second Place
Carissa Horalek, Corpus Christi Institute of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery Third Place

Makeup Artist
Savannah Moore, Bloom Beauty Winner
Olivia Franco, Superior: Haus of Beauty Second Place
Rubenn Ashlee Third Place

Massage Therapist
Lauren Schroeter, LMT Winner
Jordan Longoria, LMT Second Place
Monica Santos, LMT Third Place

Medical Spa
Corpus Christi Institute of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Winner
Gold Dust Cosmetic Collective Second Place
Allure Med Spa Third Place

/Cosmetic Tattooing
Tina Lain, Gold Dust Cosmetic 
Collective Winner
Allie Garcia, Herbanna Second Place
Savannah Moore, Bloom Beauty Studio Third Place

Nail Artist
Stephanie Esquivel, My Nail Girl Steph Winner
Linh Odom, Kosmo Salon Second Place
Jelly Tijerina, Kosmo Salon Third Place

Personal Trainer
Trey Lopez, Treyner Winner
Kyle Polansky, The Quad Fitness Studio Second Place
Santos Rosales, Hybrid Fitness 
Academy Third Place

Tanning Salon
Third Coast Spray Tans & More Winner
Electric Tan Second Place
Glow Spa Third Place

Water Sports 
Stacie Richline, Water Dog 
Floating Yoga Winner
Anastasia Nichols Antonetz, Water Dog Floating Yoga Second Place
Brooke, Aquatic Kids Survival Swim Third Place

Yoga Instructor
Stacie Richline, Water Dog Floating Yoga Winner
Leah Bess Murray, Akasha Yoga Second Place
Michelle Acebo, Yoga Studio of Corpus Christi Third Place

Yoga Studio
Water Dog Floating Yoga Winner
Akasha Yoga Corpus Christi Second Place
Yoga Studio of Corpus Christi Third Place

Home, Garden, & Shopping


Antique Shop
Renaissance Winner
Wildflowers Second Place
20/20 Vintage Third Place

Gignac & Associates Winner
Turner Ramirez Second Place
Dykema Architects Third Place

Children’s Clothing
Four Chicks in the Park Winner
The B Hive Boutique Second Place
Goo Goo Boujee Boutique Third Place

/Resale Store
Threads Winner
Hi Again Resale Second Place
Sun Moon and Stars Vintage Third Place

Farmer’s Market 
Vendor – Fresh Goods/Produce
Bluntzer Fruit Stand Winner
Grow Local Second Place
JalaPeña’s Salsa & Catering Third Place

Farmer’s Market 
Vendor – Products
Lemonade Stand Cosmetics Winner
Love is a Seed Second Place
Southern Beauty Third Place

Fine Jeweler
Camille’s Original Jewelry Designs Winner
Susann’s Custom Jewelers Second Place
Pharaoh’s Jewelers Third Place

Blossom Shop Florist Winner
Wild Veggie Bouquet Second Place
Always In Bloom Florist & Gifts Third Place

Chic to Chic Winner
Wildflowers Second Place
My Coastal Home Furniture Third Place

Gift Shop
Hamlin Fountain and Gifts Winner
Gatherings Second Place
Bleu Frog Mercantile Third Place

Handcrafted Jewelry
Lavender + Lee Winner
Tula Blue Second Place
Phat Knits Third Place

Handcrafted Product
Avele & Arrow Winner
Tula Blue Second Place
M O N A É Candle Co. Third Place

Home Decor
Wildflowers Winner
Chic To Chic Second Place
My Coastal Home Furniture Third Place

Hogan Homes Winner
South Texas Home Builders, Inc. Second Place
MPM Homes Inc. Third Place

Interior Decorator
Terrie Moore, Wildflowers Winner
Susan Castor, Susan Castor Collection Second Place
Stephanie Peirce, Dane Design Third Place

Landscape Designer
Gill Garden Center + Landscape Co. Winner
Turner’s Gardenland Second Place
Gignac Landscape Architecture Third Place

Licensed Interior 
Susan Castor Wilson, Susan Castor Collection Winner
Bennett Maddox III, Bennett Maddox Designs Second Place
Suzette Hubbard, My Coastal Home Furniture Third Place

Pet Boarding
Barkaritaville Pet Resort Winner
Bruno’s Bath House Second Place
Feathered Friends & Co. Third Place

Pet Grooming
Grooms by Miranda Winner
Fancy Paws Dog Grooming Second Place
Bruno’s Bath House Third Place

Pet Store
Feathered Friends & Co. Winner
EarthWisePet Nutrition Center & Wellness Spa Corpus Christi Second Place
Salty Aquatics & Fish Third Place

Plant Nursery
Gill Garden Center + Landscape Co. Winner
Turner’s Gardenland Second Place
Bay Area Landscape Nursery Third Place

Pop-Up Market Event
Loca for Local Winner
Southside Farmers Market Second Place
The BUS Shop Third Place

Pop-Up Market 
Bluntzer Fruit Stand Winner
Sew Bonita Second Place
La Brujita Third Place

Surf Shop
Wind & Wave Watersports Winner
Board House Second Place
Third Coast Beach Company Third Place

Doddridge Animal Clinic Winner
Southside Animal Hospital Second Place
Tejas Veterinarian Clinic Third Place

Vintage Retailer
Threads Winner
Renaissance Second Place
20/20 Vintage Third Place

Wardrobe Stylist
/Personal Shopper
Alexa Gignac, Julian Gold Winner
Sarah Estrada, StyledxSarah Second Place
Pam Raska, Shabby Shack Third Place

Women’s Clothing Boutique
Stef & Becs Boutique Winner
Jewels Clothing and Accessories Second Place
Julian Gold – Corpus Christi Third Place