2015 AFM Best Of Awards

By You, The Reader's Vote – December 1, 2015
photography by Brian Fitzsimmons


Best Outdoor Patio
1. Perla’s
The combination of fresh seafood and specialty cocktails makes this outdoor patio the perfect location to enjoy good company and bask in Austin’s ambience.
2. The Grove
3. Contigo

Best Coffee Shop
1. Caffe Medici (tie)
Attention to quality and detail is evident in Caffe Medici’s French pressed coffee and a Cuvee espresso blend. This specialty shop is popular among coffee aficionados and casual caffeine drinkers alike.
1. Mozart’s Coffee Roasters (tie)
Rich coffee and decadent bakery treats at Mozart’s are rivaled only by the shop’s location. The spacious deck offers extraordinary lake views, making it a tranquil and scenic destination. 
2. Starbucks

Best Spa Experience
1. Milk + Honey
For an unforgettable pampering experience, check into Austin’s born and bred Milk + Honey. From the mod design to the organic beauty products, this spa caters to your utmost relaxation and healing needs.
2. Lake Austin Spa
3. Viva Day Spa

Favorite Store for Fitness Apparel and Gear
1. Lululemon
High-quality athletic apparel and athleisure wear meets functionality and comfort at Lululemon. Whether you’re aiming to get sweaty or get stylish (or both!), the options for workout staples are abundant.
2. Luke’s Locker
3. Academy

Favorite Fitness Apparel Brand
1. Lululemon
2. Nike
3. Under Armor

We are outspoken advocates for cycling in all ways, shapes and forms. A few examples are our long standing support of the International Mountain Bicycling Association and the Austin Ridge Riders, our support for Bike Austin and Bike Texas, our founding sponsorship of the Texas High School Mountain League and youth programs like the Ghisallo Foundation. We know our responsibility is greater than just to run a great bike shop, and I think that playing an active role in our community demonstrates our commitment to every cyclist in Austin. – Bicycle Sport Shop’s founders Laura and Hill Abell, Best Bike Shop

Best Bike Shop
1. Bicycle Sport Shop
Serving Austin’s cycling community since 1983, Bicycle Sport Shop has had ample time to stake its claim as the leader in bike retail and service. The store is run by passionate folks who have a love for cycling that is contagious.
2. Mellow Johnny’s
3. Bicycle World (formerly Jack & Adam’s)



Favorite Guilty Pleasure
1. Amy’s Ice Creams
With more than 30 years of history in Austin, Amy’s Ice Creams has mastered the craft of making sweet treats worthy of your cheat day cravings. The menu changes frequently, and many of the employees serve up scoop tricks to entertain customers.
2. Lick
3. Gourdoughs

Best Smoothie
1. JuiceLand
Taking the winning title by a landslide, JuiceLand continues the undefeated streak as Austin’s favorite place to grab a smoothie.
2. Daily Juice
3. Whole Foods

Best Restaurant for a Healthy Lifestyle
1. Bouldin Creek Cafe (tie)
Drive by this vegetarian/vegan hot spot and you’ll notice it’s almost always brimming with customers. The menu is stocked with healthy options that are filling and flavorful.
1. Casa de Luz (tie)
For 25 years, Casa de Luz has been described as more than a restaurant with fresh and consciously prepared food; to many, it’s a community. This Austin gem is tucked away in a quaint corner near Zilker Park but welcomes all new and old customers with open arms and hearts.
2. Mother’s Cafe

Best Healthy On-the-Go Meals
1. Snap Kitchen
For anyone who doesn’t want to compromise their healthy diet or their time, Snap Kitchen is the place to go for a meal at any time of day. The selection of hearty meals changes seasonally and brings convenience to anyone on an elimination diet.
2. Whole Foods
3. My Fit Foods

Best Local Grocery Store
1. Whole Foods
How often do you find a local grocery store that also serves as a place for events, business meetings, a study spot, and a grab-and-go for quick, convenient meals? We are definitely lucky to have the luxury of Whole Foods headquarters in the heart of downtown Austin!
2. HEB
3. Wheatsville Co-op



Best Outdoor Group Workout
1. Camp Gladiator
Camp Gladiator’s four week adult fitness boot camp will get your blood pumping and your muscles moving. With a focus on equal parts strength, stamina, and speed, CG’s workout will provide positive results in a short time.
2. Stronghorn Fitness
3. Rogue Running

Best National Gym
1. Gold’s Gym
The gym that prepared Arnold Schwarzenegger to thrive as a professional bodybuilder still carries on the legacy as one of the best places to get your sweat on.
2. LifeTime Fitness
3. 24 Hour Fitness

Best Local Gym
1. Pure Austin
Pure Austin sets itself apart from competitors with special amenities and activities like a two-story rock climbing wall and lake access exclusive to members. This is the kind of gym that will help you change your life for the better, thanks to award-winning nutritionists, dedicated personal trainers, and a performance testing center.
2. Castle Hill Fitness
3. CG Arena

Best Bootcamp
1. Camp Gladiator
2. Stronghorn Fitness
3. Relentless Boot Camp

“I think initially, people are not in love with it. But they fall in love with the community that comes together to support one another. We ask our clients to get uncomfortable—and no one really wants to get uncomfortable—but when they experience the results of getting uncomfortable, the reward is what keeps them coming back. They push themselves a little bit harder. They challenge not only their bodies but also their mental capacities to do one more rep or go a little bit harder or show up when they don’t want to. A lot of us don’t do that in other areas of our life.” – Crossfit Central’s Co-founders Jeremy Thiel and Carey Kepler, Best CrossFit Facility

Best CrossFit Facility
1. CrossFit Central
Celebrating their 10-year anniversary, CrossFit Central has been a longtime cornerstone in the fitness community. The coaches radiate positivity and plan to continue building a brand of health and happiness through strength training.
2. CrossFit South Lamar
3. Woodward CrossFit

Best Yoga Studio
1. Black Swan Yoga
The donation-based yoga studio is a back-to-back repeat winner. Feel free to take a drop-in class or purchase an affordable unlimited membership to get your yoga fix with charismatic instructors and unique classes.
2. Wanderlust Yoga
3. CorePower Yoga

Best Pilates Studio
1. Kor180
Kor180 prides itself as a studio that goes beyond Pilates and spin classes, motivating members to live an inspired life and follow their passion. The Pilates classes are one-of-a-kind, thanks to the korFormer machines that provide a full-body workout combining strength, cardio and stretching.
2. Pure Pilates Austin
3. Pilates Bodies and Barre

Best Barre Studio
1. Pure Barre
Sculpt and tone your body and stimulate your mind with this ballet-inspired workout. No dance experience required, and it’s challenging for even the most skilled athletes.
2. Mod Fitness
3. Barre 3

Best Boxing/MMA Gym
1. Lions Krav Maga & Conditioning
This gym accepts all ages and skill levels, with classes that educate kids and teens in comprehensive self-defense and anti-bullying programs. For adults, Krav Maga and conditioning are available at all times of the day.
2. Fit and Fearless
3. Fight Club Austin

Best Youth Fitness Organization
1. CG Victory
Camp Gladiator’s nonprofit program motivates kids to get active and be adventurous. It’s a great way to keep kids busy, have fun, and get them excited about healthy living.
2. West Austin Youth Association (WAYA)

Best Free Community Workout
1. Stronghorn Fitness
The Stronghorn Saturday Sweat Session (also known as #SSSS) will get your weekend off to the right start. You’ll bust your butt to earn your shower, and make new friends in the fitness community.
2. Camp Gladiator
3. CrossFit Central



Best Sports Medicine Practice
1. Airrosti
Airrosti is a national service and an expert at providing muscoloskeletal care. For chronic pain or a nagging strain, Airrosti leads to rapid recoveries and lasting results.
2. Austin Sports Medicine
3. Austin Sports Therapy

Best Injury Rehab
1. Airrosti
2. The Tri Doc
3. Next Level Chiropractic

Best Eastern Medicine
1. Kirsch Method
Matthew Kirsch’s approach to bodywork therapy and acupuncture is healing and effective, as evidenced by the repeat win in this category.
2. 512 Wellness

“We see The Flatwater Foundation continually growing with the goal of touching more and more lives every month. Long term, our vision is growth into new markets to allow families across the country to gain access to the mental health support they deserve while coping with something as powerful as a cancer diagnosis. Austin will always be a priority, as it is our home and near and dear to us.” – The Flatwater Foundation, Best Local Health-Focused Nonprofit

Best Local Health-Focused Nonprofit
1. The Flatwater Foundation
When your loved ones are fighting cancer, who is taking care of you? The Flatwater Foundation serves families going through tough times by providing mental health therapy and support.
2. WeViva
3. Sustainable Food Center

Best Veterinary Clinic
1. Brykerwood Vet Center
Living in one of the most pet friendly cities in the country, Austinites take veterinary care seriously. Brykerwood Vet Center has an exhaustive list of services to make sure you’re happy and your pet is healthy.
2. West Lynn Vet Center
3. Lake Austin Boulevard Animal Hospital



Best Short Distance Road Race 
(10K or shorter)
1. Statesman Capitol 10K
The largest 10K race in Texas pulls runners and walkers out of their homes to enjoy Austin scenery and the fresh spring weather. About 18,000 came out for the 2015 event, and it only continues to grow in popularity.
2. Thundercloud Turkey Trot
3. Run for the Water

Best Long Distance Road Race 
(Longer than a 10K)
1. Austin Half/Marathon
This race has grown with the city and is an event that Austin residents look forward to. Taking the winning title for yet another year, the love for the Austin Half/Marathon can be seen on participants’ faces as well as enthusiastic spectators for all 13.1 and 26.2 miles.
2. 3M Half Marathon
3. Run for the Water

Best Short Distance Triathlon 
(Sprint or shorter)
1. Rookie Triathlon
If you’ve been too intimidated to tackle a triathlon, the Rookie Triathlon is a fantastic place to start. Newbies can get a feel for racing a run, bike and swim in this event.
2. Jack’s Generic Triathlon
3. CapTex Triathlon

Best Long Distance Triathlon 
(Olympic or longer)
1. Longhorn Austin 70.3
This Ironman has one of the only indoor finishes on the circuit. We might be biased, but we think if you’re going to do an Ironman, why not compete in the great city of Austin?
2. Kerrville Triathlon
3. TriRock

Best Off-Road Event
1. Rogue Trail Run Series
If you love to run and you consider yourself the outdoorsy type, sign up for one (or all!) or Rogue’s races. 
2. Spectrum Trail Run
3. Capt’n Karl’s Trail Series

Best Adventure Race
1. Spartan Race
Intense obstacles and fitness fun come together on the Spartan Race course. The shortest course is over three miles but contains more than 20 obstacles. Competitors can expect to get muddy, jump over fire, and crawl through barbed wire.
2. Tough Mudder
3. CG Games

Best Bodybuilding Competition
1. Texas Shredder Classic
A legendary event in the bodybuilding world, likely due to the drug-free standards expected of the competitors. The show spotlights hard work and the reward of a natural fitness approach to training.
2. Naturally Fit Games
3. Adela Garcia Classic

Best Fitness Competition
We’d be lying if we said we weren’t flattered! Thanks to everyone who voted for our event. We are always working to make adjustments and looking for new ways to keep this as Austin’s favorite fitness competition.
2. CG Games
3. Fittest Games



Best Personal Trainer
1. Kim Eagle
Kim is another repeat “AFM Best of” winner, due to her great energy and work on Earn That Body!—an online personal training service she created. She also won Best Fitness Ambassador this year.
2. Josh Blalock
3. Jess Powers

Best Yoga Instructor
1. Gustavo Padron
A self-described “sweat junkie,” Gustavo teaches at Wanderlust and will guide you into proper form while giving you the extensive workout you desire.
2. Erinn Lewis
3. Amelia Raun

Best Barre Instructor
1. Rashanna Moss
The fearless and fit founder behind Pure Barre cares about improving the lives of her students as well as impacting the community with her positivity and motivational spirit. 
2. Melissa Garza
3. Marnie Duncan

Best OB/GYN Doctor
1. Christopher Seeker, MD
Austin Area OB/GYN is lucky to have this repeat winner on staff! His compassionate approach to women’s care makes him an outstanding physician in Central Texas.
2. Robert Cowan, MD
3. Marco Uribe, MD

“Effective communication is crucial when someone is in pain and looking for help. People in Austin are smart and want to be involved in the decision-making process when it comes to their health. I take the time to teach each patient about their condition (in an understandable way) so that we can work together to create the best treatment plan for them. I think people appreciate that.” – Dr. Matt Driscoll, Best Orthopedic Doctor

Best Orthopedic Doctor
1. Matt Driscoll, MD
His résumé is full of honors and accolades, but the real reward for Dr. Driscoll is the ability to “provide patients with the same level of excellent service and compassionate care that I would offer a member of my own family.”
2. Ted Spears, MD
3. Michael Burris, MD

Best Dermatologist
1. Amy McClung, MD
Dr. McClung’s ultimate goal is to help her patients in any way she can. Her approach is nonjudgmental and as an avid runner, she connects with fellow fitness lovers.
2. Renee Snyder, MD
3. Colby Evans, MD

Best Dentist
1. Nazim Shahi, DMD
Although Dr. Shahi has his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree, he still strives to further his knowledge in the area of dental health. His South Austin office is posh and inviting, making it a comfortable environment for patients.
2. Greg Ueckert, DDS
3. Mark Sweeney, DDS (tie)
3. Bryan Smith, DDS (tie)

Ally Davidson, Fittest CEO

Fittest CEO
1. Ally Davidson of Camp Gladiator
Ally has achieved her childhood dream of starting a fitness camp, making her career feel like more of a lifestyle and less of a job. The CG mission statement is “Positively impacting as many lives as possible,” and Ally continues to do this through CG’s success.
2. Brad Weimert of Easy Pay Direct
3. Aubrey Marcus of Onnit

Best Cycling Instructor
1. Maja Kermath
Maja once worked in the tech world, but desired to become a different kind of influencer. She started Kor180 from scratch, with passion and intention to not just teach spin classes, but inspire people to live out their dreams.
2. David Garza
3. Tara Granberry

Best Massage Therapist
1. Michelle Hittner
Michelle's experiencs as a triathlete, CrossFitter and cyclist helps her better understand how to relate to clients that come to her with fitness-related soreness and pain.
2. Sue Fegelman
3. Emily Vorland

Best Chiropractor
1. John Tuggle
Better known as “The Tri Doc,” Dr. Tuggle has been on the "Best of" list for three years in a row (which is the same number of Ironmans he's completed!).
2. Daniel Gonzalez
3. Daniel Bockman

Best Running Coach
1. Gilbert Tuhabonye
Hailing from Burundi, and heading the Gazelle Foundation, Gilbert insipires us to be charitable, grateful and encourages his students to"run with joy!"
2. Steve Sisson
3. Valerie Hunt

Best Triathlon Coach
1. Peri Kowal
With 15 years of triathlon competitions under her belt, Peri knows the ins and outs, as well as the ups and downs better than anyone.
2. Erin Truslow
3. Natasha Van De Merwe

“My intention with each client is that they walk away not only achieving their goals, but making permanent shifts in how they think, feel and behave. I want them to realize that there is a deeper meaning to weight loss, improved digestion or stress management. They walk away knowing that self care bleeds into every aspect of their life, improving success in places that they never thought were connected to food. They improve their health, but they also have a deeper level of peace and true happiness. Oh, and one last thing, that diets don’t work!” – Carly Pollack, Best Nutritionist

Best Nutritionist/Dietitian
1. Carly Pollack (Nutritional Wisdom)
Carly has a bubbly and energetic personality that immediately puts her clients at ease. She's the woman behind Nutritional Wisdom and works to educate about the importance of balance.
2. Natalie Olsen
3. Meredith Terranova

Best Runner
1. Paul Terranova
Paul is an ultra-runner who never stops moving. Always looking for the next adventure or challenge, he has an unmatched mental and physical endurance. 
2. Gilbert Tuhabonye
3. Leo Manzano

Best Triathlete
1. David Garza
David Garza is a local personal trainer with a background in running, cycling and triathlons. As one of the founders of the new spin studio, Love Cycle, he continues to make an impact on the fitness community.
2. Kim Eagle
3. Kelly Williamson

Best Cyclist
1. David Garza
2. Lance Armstrong
3. Kelly Williamson

Best Pilates Instructor

​1. Maja Kermath
2. Tobie Funte Flannery

3. Liana Mauro 

Best Swimmer
1. Julie Stupp
NCAA All-American swimmer turned elite triathlete Julie doesn't stop pushing the limits.
2. Andrea Fischer
3. Brendan Hansen

Best CrossFit Coach
1. Dave Appel
The CrossFit South Lamar coach has dedicated his life to training and teaching for over 20 years. He leads by example, bringing diversity into his training regimen. 
2. Chris Hartwell
3. Justin Adams

Austin’s Best Fitness Ambassador
1. Kim Eagle 
2. Caprice Richards
3. Jess Martin



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