|lllustration by Mona Caron
Readers, you amaze us. The response to this year’s Best of the Bay poll was overwhelming, and the array of nominations that stuffed our mail slot and streamed through our Web site was so impressive we were tempted to create several new awards on the spot so all your varied Best Of choices could be honored. But rules are rules, and the winners of the preordained categories below clearly took the lead. This year, more than 4,000 of you pitched a ruckus for your Bay Area faves, voting in classic categories such as Best Nude Beach and Best Hip-Hop Club and new ones like Best Local Blog and Best Appetizer. Some of the winners came as no surprise; others knocked our socks off. Thank you for continuing to open our eyes to new (and vintage) wonders of the Bay and for reaffirming our belief that living here is an endless, astounding process of exploration and discovery. Cheers to all the winners below, to all the runners-up, and to you, voters, for championing the things you treasure.
Food and Drink
BEST NEW RESTAURANT;
Squaring culinary taste with a down-home desire to dig into comfort food, our readers honored Sauce as Best New Restaurant. Sauce's menu combines Californian essentials like seared ahi and spinach brûlée with old favorites like mac ’n' cheese and pork ’n’ beans. Plus there’s an excellent wine list and cute dessert offerings to top it all off. And spinach dip and mozzarella sticks be damned — our readers also voted Sauce's "Social Plates" starters (including the delicious portobello mushroom fries) as Best Appetizer.
131 Gough, SF. (415) 252-1369, www.saucesf.com
BEST RESTAURANT THAT’S MORE THAN 25 YEARS OLD
Since 1849, Tadich Grill has been satisfying hungry San Franciscans, and our readers continue to appreciate that by giving it the Best Of award in this category yet again. California's oldest restaurant beat back the growing (and maturing) competition this year with its classic combination of California cuisine and ’49er attitude.
240 California, SF. (415) 391-1849
BEST CAFÉ; BEST VEGAN RESTAURANT
A café in the city with an easygoing staff, communal seating, and organic spirits? The hippies must be involved. Our readers have glommed onto Café Gratitude, which offers things like miso soup, Caesar salad, and hazelnut flan. Sustainable agriculture, ecological responsibility, and support for local farmers are also on Gratitude's menu. Everything is organic, vegan, and mostly alive.
2400 Harrison, SF. (415) 824-4652, www.withthecurrent.com
BEST VIETNAMESE SANDWICH
Tasty, satisfying, and under three bucks, the banh mi at Saigon Sandwiches really hit our readers' spot. A marinated pork, barbecue chicken, or tender tofu banh mi is a perfect thing to take the bite out of your workday.
560 Larkin, SF. (415) 474-5698
BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT
Mind-melting gnocchi, perfectly paired wines, and flopping-fresh fish probably helped Delfina snag this award, but the genial staff and appetizers built to share may have put it over the top. After savoring the marinara sauce, many a diner has expressed a wish to name his or her firstborn Delfina.
3621 18th St., SF. (415) 552-4055, www.delfinasf.com
BEST BOWL OF NOODLES
Our readers delight in the knowledge that at the end of Haight Street, right before the warm glow of Amoeba Music, is a huge bowl of noodles with their name on it. Affordable and healthy, the steaming menu options at Citrus Club have put a smile on many a noodle-slurping mug.
1790 Haight, SF. (415) 387-6366
That big boy on the burrito block, Taquería Can-Cun, claims Best of the Bay victory yet again in this highly competitive category. Its soft, cheap tortilla wraps are stuffed to the brim, then grilled and topped with zingy salsa. Made to order, Can-Cun's other south-of-the-border specialties please veggie and carnie alike.
2288 Mission, SF. (415) 252-9560;
3211 Mission, SF. (415) 550-1414;
1003 Market, SF. (415) 864-6773
BEST SMALL PLATES
Cha Cha Cha dances away with the top award for tapas, that beloved trend that just won't quit. Expect a bit of a wait, great food, strong drinks, a raucous atmosphere, and kitschy religious decor.
1801 Haight, SF. (415) 386-7670;
2327 Mission, SF. (415) 648-0504.
Our readers again picked Blowfish Sushi as the sushi restaurant to die for. Its zen-meets-anime ambience frames a trendy crowd with sleek lines and action-packed video screens, but the laser-sharp presentation and spirited flavors are the real draw.
2170 Bryant, SF. (415) 285-3848, www.blowfishsushi.com
BEST TURKISH RESTAURANT
A laid-back little Tenderloin joint that captures our readers' hunger for Turkish delights, A la Turca serves up dreamy baba ghanoush, soul-reviving Turkish coffee, and kebabs that don't kid around. The portions are huge, and there's always a fascinating Turkish show on the TV.
869 Geary, SF. (415) 345-1011
BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT
The succulent lamb dishes, crispy samosas, and unbelievably fluffy saffron rice at Indian Oven have spiced up the Lower Haight for years, and the restaurant’s relatively classy atmosphere makes it a special destination for the curry lovers among our readers.
237 Fillmore, SF. (415) 626-1628
BEST PERUVIAN RESTAURANT
Our readers think the elegant and popular Limón does everything right the Peruvian way — stronger, spicier, fresher. Seafood dishes are perfectly prepared, meats fall off the bone, and the seviche destroys any competition.
524 Valencia, SF. (415) 252-0918, www.limon-sf.com
BEST BURMESE RESTAURANT
Burma Superstar is the apogee of Bay Area Burmese cuisine, according to our readers. And despite a seemingly endless wait for a table, Superstar-obsessed foodies can't seem to stay away from the 22-ingredient rainbow salad or sublimely textured samusa soup.
309 Clement, SF. (415) 387-2147, www.burmasuperstar.com
All-you-can-drink mimosas for $4? No other brunch place stood a chance with our readers. The affordable libations at Lime are only the start of a fabulous Sunday meal. Small plates like the shitake frittata and more-traditional brunch items like eggs Benedict help those mimmies go down easier.
2247 Market, SF. (415) 621-5256, www.lime-sf.com
BEST RESTAURANT WITH AN OCEAN VIEW
Home-style popovers, lovely art deco design touches, and a bubbly waitstaff are added perks, but of course the Cliff House's real allure lies in its breathtaking view of the Pacific.
1090 Point Lobos, SF. (415) 386-3330, www.cliffhouse.com
Well, hot damn — Memphis Minnie's won our readers' vote for best authentic smokin' meat in town. The cozy red shack in the Lower Haight cooks up some mighty fine brisket, sweet-smoked pork, and barbecue ribs straight from the dirty South.
576 Haight, SF. (415) 864-7675, www.memphisminnies.com
BEST LATE-NIGHT RESTAURANT
Around 3 a.m., Sparky's becomes our readers' late-night dining paradise. Despite being a tad pricey, the greasy, hangover-busting eats there have saved many a clubgoer from going home hungry. There’s tons of diner-type fare to choose from, and delicious velvety milkshakes.
242 Church, SF. (415) 626-8666
BEST SPLURGE RESTAURANT (MORE THAN $20 PER PERSON)
There's stuff you can't pronounce on the menu, and it takes months to get a reservation, but despite (or perhaps because of) all this, Restaurant Gary Danko is our readers' choice place to get their snoot on. The menu is orgasmic, the cheese cart has its own fan club, and the wine list is a masterpiece.
800 N. Point, SF. (415) 749-2060, www.garydanko.com
BEST CHEAP RESTAURANT (LESS THAN $6 PER PERSON)
Our readers' favorite cheapie is the order-by-number Vietnamese joint Tu Lan. Though the restaurant is in a classically sketchy neighborhood, its imperial rolls will still make you feel like royalty, and the fried rice is fit for a queen.
8 Sixth St., SF. (415) 626-0927
BEST DOUGHNUT SHOP
Open into the wee hours, Bob's Doughnuts snags the Best Of award for its delicious and varied fried dough. The perfectly glazed original is a divine doughnut specimen.
1621 Polk, SF. (415) 776-3141
BEST INDEPENDENT COFFEEHOUSE
The guys at Blue Bottle Coffee brew the coffee for you. They roast, grind, and make each cup themselves. Patrons wait for each exquisite drop to drip into their cups, and they savor it. Our readers crave it.
315 Linden, SF. (415) 653-3394, www.bluebottlecoffee.net
BEST SELECTION OF BEERS
It should go without saying that you’d better not order a fruity mixed drink at the Toronado. Not for the indecisive, this Lower Haight nook offers a vast, rotating menu of the best of import and export beers. It even serves up warm mead.
547 Haight, SF. (415) 863-2276, www.toronado.com
BEST WINES BY THE GLASS
For the sommelier in all of us, Cav Wine Bar bridges the distance between Two-Buck Chuck connoisseurs and snobby five-star oenophiles — and keeps our readers knee-deep in good grape.
1666 Market, SF. (415) 437-1770, www.cavwinebar.com
Often referred to as the Rolls Royce of the confection world, Joseph Schmidt knows what our readers want — devilishly delicious chocolate. The chocolatier’s perfect little truffle gift boxes are guaranteed to score you that promotion or get you laid.
3489 16th St., SF. (415) 861-8682, www.josephschmidtconfections.com
BEST BURGER AND FRIES
Our readers won't take their burgers just any old way — they want organic Niman Ranch beef and locally grown veggies prepared by a loving hand. Burgermeister delivers all this on a bun, with condiments galore and some damn good fries.
86 Carl, SF. (415) 566-1274;
759 Columbus, SF. (415) 296-9907;
138 Church, SF. (415) 437-2874.
BEST LOCALLY MADE BREAD
There's nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread. Nothing like fresh sweet batards, moist olive bread, and steaming croissants. For our readers, there's nothing like Acme Bread Company.
Ferry Building Marketplace, No. 15, Embarcadero at Market, SF. (415) 288-2978
BEST CHEESE SHOP
From stinky-cheese lovers to people who can't get enough of the sweet stuff, our readers crave the good fromage of Cowgirl Creamery. Ample free samples, overstuffed gift baskets, and perfect little cheese grab bags are definite plusses.
Ferry Building Marketplace, No. 17, Embarcadero at Market, SF. (415) 362-9350, www.cowgirlcreamery.com
BEST TEA SHOP
Proof positive to our readers that there's more to tea than snoot and scones, Samovar offers tea sets (combinations of regional teas and foods) from Russia, China, India, England, and other tea-friendly locales in a relaxed and lovely setting.
498 Sanchez, SF. (415) 626-4700; Yerba Buena Gardens, Upper Terrace, 730 Howard, SF. (415) 227-9400. www.samovartea.com
BEST BLOODY MARY
Zeitgeist is a lot of things to a lot of people. To our readers, it's the mother of the best Bloody Mary in the Bay. It’s strong as hell and very likely to satisfy your daily vegetable requirement — the Mary-making bartenders here aren't screwing around.
199 Valencia, SF. (415) 255-7505
Our readers feel like little kids again at Citizen Cake, with its selection of yummy cookies, tarts, and cupcakes (and a collection of custom cakes that belongs in a museum). The After Midnight Chocolate Cake will keep you happy all night long.
399 Grove, SF. (415) 861-2228, www.citizencake.com
BEST FARMERS MARKET
So a farmer, a baker, and a fisherman all walk into a bar — and then they raise it. The Ferry Building Farmers Market is near the waterfront and stuffed to the gills with ripe produce, local varietals, and delicious specialties — making it the pinnacle of market shopping for our readers.
Ferry Building Marketplace, Embarcadero at Market, SF. (415) 693-0996, www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com
Entertainment and Nightlife
BEST REP FILM HOUSE
Grosses be damned — the Red Vic shows whatever the hell it wants to. This worker-owned indie movie house has everything our discerning viewers want: couch seating, cheap prices, organic popcorn, and kick-ass films, from 3-D ’70s porn to hard-to-find horror flicks.
1727 Haight, SF. (415) 668-3994, www.redvicmoviehouse.com
BEST MOVIE THEATER
If there could be only one queen in the Castro — she'd be it. Deco palace Castro Theatre has one screen, festivals galore, and an organist who plays before nearly every show. Watching a film here will make you nostalgic for a time when you weren't even alive.
429 Castro, SF. (415) 621-6120, www.castrotheatre.com
BEST THEATER COMPANY
Interactive, inventive, and laugh-out-loud funny, BATS Improv, a San Francisco staple for 20 years, once again snags the Best Theater Company award. If you aspire to do more than shout things from your seat at its performances — which the company encourages — you can take a class from BATS and hone your raucous spontaneity into improv gold.
Fort Mason Center, Bldg. B, Marina at Laguna, SF. www.improv.org
BEST DANCE COMPANY
Who said dance companies have to be in New York City to be successful? Apparently someone unfamiliar with the force that is ODC. Presenting innovative, smart, and athletically staggering shows year-round, ODC is the shining example of doing it better on the West Coast.
3153 17th St, SF. (415) 863-9834, www.odcdance.org
BEST ART GALLERY
If sifting through piles and piles of affordable art gets you all hot and bothered, you probably already know about Creativity Explored. A nonprofit that provides a place for artists with disabilities to work, learn, and create, this is more than a gallery; it's a community center at the heart of our readers' artistic scene.
3245 16th St., SF. (415) 863-2108; 1 Arkansas, Studio E, SF. (415) 863-2946. www.creativityexplored.org
Here's to making art accessible! The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art regularly hosts lectures, events, and some of the most interesting exhibits from around the world. The permanent collection is a treasure, the photography exhibits are always stellar, and even if you don't care much for modern art, you're bound to be enchanted by something on offer here.
151 Third St., SF. (415) 357-4000, www.sfmoma.org
BEST MIXED-USE ARTS SPACE
Tango, karate, and break dancing, oh my! Our readers learn the above, plus fire-dancing, welding, bike repair, and more at CELLspace. The Crucible Steel Gallery inside displays work from emerging local artists, and you can actually pay off parking tickets by volunteering here.
2050 Bryant, SF. (415) 648-7562, www.cellspace.org
BEST DANCE CLUB
Dancing to a catchy song at a club just isn't enough for our readers. They want to dance to two catchy songs — at the same time. Such is the alluring magic of mashups, and of club Bootie at DNA Lounge. Featuring the world's only mashup band, Smash-Up Derby, Bootie loves to fuck with pop culture, two songs at a time, every second Friday of the month.
DNA Lounge, 375 11th St., SF.
(415) 626-1409, www.bootiesf.com
BEST ROCK CLUB
Reasonably priced drinks and a kitchen that serves food well into the night give this venue a leg up, but it's the prescient band booking that scores Bottom of the Hill a Best of the Bay readers award. Many acts that stream through will end up breaking huge, leaving local audiences saying, "I saw them when" for years to come.
1233 17th St., SF. (415) 621-4455, www.bottomofthehill.com
BEST HIP-HOP CLUB
The scene at Milk is tight but laid-back, the staff always dole out smiles, and whether the DJs are spinning old-school hip-hop, funk, dancehall, or reggae, the decks might as well be an altar for adoring regulars.
1849 Haight, SF. (415) 387-6455
BEST JAZZ CLUB
"I know, why don't we build a swanky jazz joint that regularly books legendary musicians and put a sushi bar in it?" "Whoa, dude, that is out there." That's how we imagine Yoshi's began. Great sound, good food, and extraordinary booking make this swanky Oakland club our readers' Best on the jazz tip.
510 Embarcadero West, Jack London Square, Oakl.
(510) 238-9200, www.yoshis.com
BEST SALSA CLUB
A huge dance floor, easily obtainable cocktails, and free salsa classes are some of the reasons our readers love Cafe Cocomo. The weekend live bands are muy caliente, and the weekday DJs keep clubgoers twirling.
650 Indiana, SF. (415) 824-6910, www.cafecocomo.com
BEST AFTER-HOURS CLUB
Because it's the final destination for so many club scenes, the always-packed dance floor at the Endup reflects the glorious multiplicity of San Francisco. With an outdoor patio, rotating DJs, and all the effects of the night's vices (ahem) still working their magic, this is our readers' ultimate place to boogie the sun up.
401 Sixth St., SF. (415) 646-0999, www.theendup.com
BEST HAPPY HOUR
A three-level bar with $2 happy-hour drinks, a waterfall, and a two-way mirror in the men's room, Jade really packs in the after-work crowd, so the early vibe is always nicely pressed, well dressed, and our readers' Best.
650 Gough, SF. (415) 869-1900, www.jadebar.com
BEST DIVE BAR
Beer. Beef. Tattoos. The leather-clad crowd at Zeitgeist have the dive thing all figured out. The burgers cost $6, the Tamale Lady makes appearances every night, and you can smoke on the bike messenger–friendly patio. It's our readers' bar-slumming dream.
199 Valencia, SF. (415) 255-7505
BEST SWANKY BAR
OK, readers — what gives? Last year you voted Amnesia Best Dive Bar, and this year you decide it’s the swankiest? Perhaps you were confused by the limited liquor license — beer, wine, and soju cocktails only — and thought it had become an art gallery? Or maybe you just love to hang out in its cozy, denlike space and pretend you're Thurston Howell III? Cool, but weird.
853 Valencia, SF. (415) 970-0012, www.amnesiathebar.com
BEST TRIVIA NIGHT
If you want to prove you're smarter than your friends over rounds of Beamish and a parcel of fish-and-chips, head to the Castle Quiz at Edinburgh Castle Pub. Every Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. host Carl Gibbs launches several rounds of skill-testing questions. Free to enter, the quiz awards would-be brainiacs with drink specials, oddball prizes, and an enhanced sense of superiority.
Edinburgh Castle Pub, 950 Geary, SF. (415) 885-4074, www.castlenews.com
What's your poison? Hard stuff? How ’bout Motörhead. Bipolar metal-country? Try Hank III or the Supersuckers. Nostalgia? Thin Lizzy will do. Now that the popcorn machine at Lucky 13 is working again, you can crunch some warm kernels while our readers' favorite juke pours out its primo tunes.
2140 Market, SF. (415) 487-1313
BEST KARAOKE BAR
You know Journey simply sounds better when sung by amateurs. You also know you have to keep the DJ happy to ever get to sing at a karaoke bar in this city. Most important, you know the packed crowds at the Mint just mean more people will be applauding you when you belt out "Total Eclipse of the Heart."
1942 Market, SF. (415) 626-4726
BEST CLUB FOR QUEER MEN
A fab DJ, half-naked go-go-dancing waiters, and a crazy drag queen hostess made monthly party Faggot at 440 Castro the Best Club for Queer Men this year. People don't just get wild at Faggot; they get downright nuts — bringing some much-needed raunchy debauchery to the Castro.
440 Castro, SF. (415) 621-8732, www.heyfaggot.com
BEST CLUB FOR QUEER WOMEN
Everyone knows there's a mythical lioness den somewhere in the Mission where all the hottest girls can be found drinking beer and playing pool. Legend has it that those who carry the Y chromosome aren't welcome here. Well, legend is only partially right. Anyone can hang at the Lexington Club (if you think you can handle it) — just don't talk during the L Word viewings on Sunday nights.
3464 19th St., SF. (415) 863-2052, www.lexingtonclub.com
BEST CLUB FOR TRANNIES
Trashy, over-the-top, wig-tacular, and dripping with fake blood, glamorously antiglam extravaganza Trannyshack is the only way to spend a Tuesday night. Still riling up readers after 10 years, the club features a rotating lineup of lip-synching trash trannies, celebrity guests, and queens who could make John Waters blush.
Stud, 399 Ninth St., SF. (415) 252-7883, www.trannyshack.com
BEST ELECTRONIC MUSIC ACT
So electronic they're featured on video game soundtracks, Kepi and Kat gave our readers the hot bleeps this year. Vigorously mapping the meeting ground of technology and music, taking their show on the road to Burning Man and Ibiza, and combining Kepi's studio engineering and Kat's sensual voice, these two have Bay scenesters all a-twiddle.
BEST HIP-HOP GROUP
More concerned with the war abroad than starting a war with high-end champagne brands, the Coup stay true to their roots in this age of bottle-service gin-and-juice acts. Their politically charged lyrics are backed by enough funk and soul to fuel a revolution, and the communism-aligned Oakland rappers are perfectly OK with that.
BEST INDIE BAND
What does it take to win Best Indie Band in a city overflowing with indie bands? The ability to convince every member of your audience that he or she is going to get laid by the end of your set. Lisa Light and Scott Blonde of the Lovemakers manage to do just that. Light and Blonde deliver an id-drenched fury of a vocal performance as mechanical marvel Jason Proctor holds it all together with vintage synthesizers and a Mac laptop.
BEST COVER BAND
If the typical guy's wet dream involves a hot chick who'll tolerate his rock ’n’ rolling ways, he's heading for some serious mind-fuck with AC/DShe — five hot ladies who'll rock him down the highway to hell via the Bon-era AC/DC catalog. AC/DShe have been known to shake sold-out crowds all night long, proof that metal's no mere boys' game.
BEST BAND NAME
An ever-fluid meld of breakbeat, hip-hop, drum, bass, Technicolor light, pancake makeup, and cleverly misspelled words, Gooferman wins again for Best Band Name. To get the name out there, plenty of Gooferman merchandise is for sale, including thongs and prayer candles, and these goofy guys will be spending a good chuck of next year touring across the land.
Not your typical coked-out, pretentious, MP3-hugging beat junkie, DJ Aaron Pope caters to his devoted crowd with positive energy and multiple genres. He's the DJ our readers love best, and an international phenomenon as well, having spun at some of the best venues in the world.
BEST BURLESQUE ACT
Blending all the drunken lewdness of the Barbary Coast with the dazzling spectacle of Broadway, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang can do more than cancan. The girls' act is part burlesque, part cabaret, part circus, and part character acting. That's a whole lot of parts, and you can see most of them in fishnet and frills as Kitty Kitty performs its "trap-tease" act year-round.
BEST DRAG ACT
The Cookie Dough Monster Show is our readers' choice for Best Drag Act. No wonder, when Cookie Dough and her stagemates squeeze babies out of fake vaginas, bite off the umbilical cords, and dramatically jettison bloodied tampons into the audience. The Monster Show is a whirlwind of smut, sugar, and feathers.
Magician, juggler, mime, comedian — one-man vaudeville act Robert Strong is the kind of performer who attracts accolades like "Hot Ticket!" "Laugh Riot!" and "Brilliant!" — but that may only scrape the surface. He's performed everywhere from cruise ships to the White House, and he's only just begun.
BEST OPEN MIC NIGHT
The Hotel Utah has a very long history as a drinker's bar. It also has a very long history of being one of the most generous stages in the city, and has hosted the likes of Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams in the past. The SoMa saloon's Monday open mic is verbal ground zero for amateurs and seasoned pros alike.
500 Fourth St., SF. (415) 546-6300, www.thehotelutah.com
BEST LITERARY NIGHT
What could bring creepy children's author Lemony Snicket, sex workers, hostage negotiators, and stand-up comics together? Alcohol, silly! Charlie Anders’s Writers with Drinks is successful because of its sheer and simple brilliance — if you give an audience drinks, the performers seem more interesting. If you give the performers drinks, the performers become more interesting. Simplicity itself.
Outdoors and Sports
BEST PROFESSIONAL SPORTS TEAM
We love our home baseball team. Why do you think we drape all our high school kids in Giants jerseys? That's showing some love right there. So is voting them Best Professional Sports Team again this year.
Ever notice those weird, shiny-skinned, happy people walking down Market Street in the Castro or getting into their cars on Brannan Street in SoMa? No, they're not fashion models or movie stars. They're members of Gold's Gym, the largest coed gym franchise in the world, and our readers' choice.
1001 Brannan, SF. (415) 552-465;
2301 Market, SF. (415) 626-4488. www.goldsgym.com
BEST YOGA STUDIO
If you live in San Francisco and don't do the downward dog every morning, something is wrong with you. Maybe you should consider moving back to Wisconsin or something. For our readers, Yoga Tree is the nirvana of workshops, retreats, and private instruction.
780 Stanyan, SF. (415) 387-4707; 1234 Valencia, SF. (415) 647-9707; 519 Hayes, SF. (415) 626-9707; 97 Collingwood, SF. (415) 701-YOGA. www.yogatreesf.com
BEST DANCE STUDIO
Our readers learn how to shake their stuff at the Temple of Poi, where the instructors school them in the fine arts of fire spinning, juggling, and hula-hooping.
953 Mission, SF. (415) 543-4911, www.templeofpoi.com
BEST PUBLIC SPORTS FACILITY; BEST PUBLIC PARK
Why pay $60 a month for a gym membership when you have access to the best sports facility in the Bay Area? You can do anything at Golden Gate Park. Archery, cycling, basketball, fishing, golf — the park has it all. And that's leaving out some of the things that make it our readers' favorite public park as well: a Chinese tea garden, hippy-friendly courtyards, flowers, sexy fitness freaks, proximity to the beach, sheer size, and, of course, people selling magic brownies.
BEST PERSONAL TRAINER
Our readers love HoopGirl. She has big baby-doll eyes, wears tight-fitting, midriff-bearing skirts, and teaches an erotic exercise program using a modified children's toy (the hula hoop) as her sole piece of equipment. What's not to love?
BEST SKATE SPOT
The glorious EMB days are over. They tore down the Gonz, wrecked the Big Seven, and destroyed each and every one of those buttery early-’90s ledges. The Embarcadero ain't what it used to be, but according to our readers, it's still the best skate spot in the city.
Pier 1, Embarcadero and Market, SF
BEST PUBLIC POOL
All cheesy song references aside, the YMCA really is a cool place to hang out. It offers martial arts classes, group exercise sessions, and arts and craft lessons. The best thing about joining the YMCA, however, is getting to use the pool.
Multiple locations. 1-800-406-2662, www.ymcasf.org
BEST SURF SPOT
Ocean Beach is a gangster-ass surf spot. The water is freezing, the harsh wind blows in a thousand directions at once, and it's dangerous. But that's what surfing is all about: risk. This ain't Los Angeles, brah. Our spots are for real surfers.
Great Highway between Geary and Sloat, SF
BEST PARK FOR HIKING
Our readers love to hike in Berkeley’s Tilden Park. And with gorgeous, nature-ridden trails for beginner, intermediate, and advanced hikers, it's no wonder it holds such hoofer appeal.
Grizzly Peak Blvd., Berk. (510) 562-PARK, www.ebparks.org
BEST NUDE BEACH; BEST CLOTHED BEACH
Just like the different-bellied sneeches of Dr. Seuss, the clothed and unclothed fans of Baker Beach have found a happy middle ground in their ongoing fight for the right to claim it as their favorite hangout.
Off Lincoln Blvd., Presidio, SF. www.nps.gov/prsf/places/bakerbch.htm
BEST NATURE SPOT FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Readers facing the challenge of getting around appreciate Muir Woods for its wide trails and accessible vistas. They also appreciate the fact that, along with dogs and picnics, bicycling is not permitted in the park, so there's not much traffic.
Off Hwy. 1, Mill Valley. (415) 388-2595, www.visitmuirwoods.com
BEST PICNIC SPOT
Our readers continue to laud the eminently picnic-able Dolores Park for its views, facilities, and overall atmosphere. After the deviled eggs are eaten, it's also a great spot to join a drunken kickball match or catch some sun in a pink Speedo.
Between Dolores and Church, 18th and 20th Sts., SF. www.parks.sfgov.org
BEST DOG PARK
We asked a hundred dogs where we could find the best dog park in the city, and 99 of them said Fort Funston. The other dog, a Los Angeles–born Pomeranian, said the water at Funston was too chilly for his taste. Whatever, man. Where else can a pup frolic in Pacific Ocean waves and then chill with his bitch on a grassy knoll when he's done? Nowhere.
Skyline at John Muir Blvd. www.nps.gov/goga/fofu, www.fortfunstondog.org
When the frantic pace of the city gets to be too much, our readers book a spot at Angel Island. Wind-sheltered and semiprivate, the campsites at Angel Island are the perfect remedy for the fog city blues.
BEST PLACE TO SEE THE STARS
The Marin Headlands aren't some cheesy vista spot. They’re a full-fledged camping experience. Our readers love to sip wine and ponder existence as they watch the fog eat the city, then lie back and watch the stars put on a show just for them. Cosmic.
BEST CITY VISTA
It's official: We live in the most beautiful city in the world. There's the Golden Gate Bridge, the parks, the crazy hills, the pastel colors, the towers, etc. The best place to see it all at one time is on top of Twin Peaks, according to our readers.
Top of Twin Peaks Blvd., SF
BEST INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE
City Lights, beloved San Francisco landmark and literary haven, is three stories’ worth of floor-to-ceiling shelves filled to bursting with books in esoteric categories from Situationism to muckraking. Our readers love it.
261 Columbus, SF. (415) 362-8193, www.citylights.com
BEST USED BOOKSTORE
If sheer quality and quantity of used bookage (and CDage and magazineage) are what our readers are after, they continue to satiate their huge literary appetites at the fabulous Green Apple Books and Music.
506 Clement, SF. (415) 387-2272, www.greenapplebooks.com
BEST COMIC BOOK STORE
If you were a comic book store, wouldn't you want to be a comic book store with class and heart? A comic book store that revels in a love for all things Fantagraphic and buffed-out mainstream mutants in PVC dreamwear? Of course you would, and that's why our readers have chosen Isotope Comics as their favorite.
326 Fell, SF. (415) 621-6543, www.isotopecomics.com
BEST MAGAZINE SELECTION
Readers satisfy their indulgence for print at Fog City News via an extensive collection of magazines, including some 700 foreign titles, plus one of the biggest assortments of chocolate bars to be found in the United States.
455 Market, SF. (415) 543-7400, www.fogcitynews.com
BEST SPECIALTY BOOKSELLER
For some soulful enlightenment, follow our readers down to Fields Books, where you can choose titles from a full spectrum of spiritual theorists from Gurdjieff to the Dalai Lama.
1419 Polk, SF. (415) 673-2027, www.fieldsbooks.com
BEST PLACE TO BUY VINYL; BEST PLACE TO BUY CDS
Ah, Amoeba Music, how our readers love thee, let us count the ways. An incredible selection of old and new CDs, vinyl, and movies, free all-ages shows, and a refreshing lack of snobbery score it two Best of the Bay awards.
1855 Haight, SF. (415) 831-1200; 2455 Telegraph, Berk. (510) 549-1125. www.amoebamusic.com
BEST PLACE TO RENT MOVIES
Le Video's legendary selection of all things culty, foreign, and just plain outstanding has garnered it this well-deserved award.
1231 Ninth Ave., SF. (415) 566-3606, www.levideo.com
BEST CLOTHING STORE (WOMEN); BEST CLOTHING STORE (MEN)
Whether it’s the fun, fashionable tees, the quirky, one-of-a-kind pieces, or the fact that more than 60 Bay Area designers are represented at this unique, gallery-style boutique, something about Residents Apparel Gallery keeps our readers in the pink.
541 Octavia, SF. (415) 621-7718, www.ragsf.com
BEST CLOTHING STORE (KIDS); BEST SHOP FOR PARENTS-TO-BE
Rearing thrifty, fashion-conscious kiddies would seem to be a San Franciscan imperative. These days secondhand chic can begin in babyhood at Chloe's Closet, which offers appealing new and used infant and toddler clothing and accessories. There our rearing and breeding readers find almost everything they need, from Baby Björn to cutie booties.
451 Cortland, SF. (415) 642-3300. www.chloescloset.com
BEST LOCAL DESIGNER
Our readers have voted Lemon Twist as their favorite local designer name once again. Satin, jersey, corduroy, and tulle in bright colors and retro prints come in classic, casual shapes for easy mixing and matching. Plus, there's a variety of hand-painted designer tees boasting eye-catching stencils of wild stallions, Asian butterflies, and doe-eyed maidens.
537 Octavia, SF. (415) 558 9699, www.lemontwist.net
BEST VINTAGE CLOTHING STORE
Even hardcore skeptics of the vintage clothing craze will be charmed by the outrageous window displays, while shopaholics will be in rack-browsing heaven at Wasteland in the Haight.
1660 Haight, SF. (415) 863-3150.
BEST THRIFT STORE; BEST USED FURNITURE STORE
If there's anything better than thrift, it's community, and at Community Thrift, you'll get the best of both for a fraction of the usual price. Looking for a book on queer politics for $1 or a pair of unscuffed Doc Martens for $8? Looking to donate to your favorite nonprofit organization, such as the AIDS Foundation or the Coalition on Homelessness? Proceeds from every purchase are earmarked for one of more than 200 worthy beneficiaries. And as our readers know, thanks to the relatively high yet unsnobbish standards of the staff, and the incredibly rapid turnover in inventory, you could outfit a whole house for far less than the monthly mortgage.
623 Valencia, SF. (415) 861-4910
BEST SHOE STORE
Metallic, leather, Converse high-tops, Ugg lace-up mukluks, strappy, high-heeled sandals, and even plain old running shoes — our readers know the place to go for sheer variety is that matchless shoe emporium, Shoe Biz, which has five citywide locations.
1420 Haight, SF. (415) 861-0313; 1446 Haight, SF. (415) 864-0990; 1553 Haight, SF. (415) 861-3933; 877 Valencia, SF. (415) 550-8655; 3810 24th St., SF. (415) 821-2528. www.shoebizsf.com
BEST FURNITURE STORE
The home furnishings on offer at Propeller combine form with function in a veritable rainbow of complementary colors. Check out stools made of recycled wood scraps, wine glasses made from unmatched teacups, and a rather ingenious accordion-style tabletop that expands and contracts to accommodate parties of all sizes.
555 Hayes, SF. (415) 701-7767, www.propeller-sf.com
BEST FLEA MARKET
Otherwise known as the Alameda Point Antiques and Collectables Faire, the once-monthly Alameda Flea Market has been stirring our readers off their Sunday-morning couches since 1998. From typewriters to tikis, glassware to garden gnomes, Alameda has more than 800 booths’ worth of bargain goodies. Unlimited free parking and food stalls make it possible to make a day of it.
First Sundays, Alameda Point. (510) 522-7500, www.antiquesbythebay.net
BEST HARDWARE STORE
To hell with Home Depot — Cole Hardware is our readers’ favorite neighborhood hardware store. For more than 80 years it has supplied residents of Cole Valley and beyond with all their home-repair needs, from paint to propane to power tools. With a knowledgeable, multilingual staff, guaranteed customer satisfaction, and far-reaching Community Assistance and School Assistance programs, Cole Hardware proves it's possible to be a successful business as well as a good neighbor.
956 Cole, SF. (415) 753-2653; 3312 Mission, SF. (415) 647-8700; 70 Fourth St., SF. (415) 777-4400; 2254 Polk, SF. (415) 674-8913. www.colehardware.com
BEST INDEPENDENT TOY STORE
With its shelves full of limited-edition "urban vinyl" action figures designed by the likes of Frank Kozik and Attaboy, Kid Robot is the creatively stocked, high-end toy box our readers love to rock, with or without accompanying children.
1512 Haight, SF. (415) 487-9000, www.kidrobot.com
BEST PET SHOP
You might not have much floor space to offer your four-footed friends, but they won't have any reason to complain about the goodies you'll get them at Sunset Pet Supply. And it's not just the high-quality gear and holistic pet foods that will keep them happy and healthy but also the monthly scheduled owner-pet events, including talks on veterinary procedures and dog-training techniques.
2226 Taraval, SF. (415) 661-4236, www.sunsetpetsupply.com
BEST QUIRKY SPECIALTY STORE
We San Franciscans are a diverse bunch, with myriad one-stop shopping desires. Fortunately, there are places that cater to our many eclectic whims at once, such as Heartfelt in Bernal Heights. Where else can you buy Silly Putty in a plastic toilet-shaped receptacle and French-milled soap, delicate skirts from India and op art wrapping paper, pirate boxer shorts and Pacifica aromatherapy candles?
436 Cortland, SF. (415) 648-1380
BEST SPORTING GOODS STORE
Our readers didn't let the recent relocation throw them off the scent of the rock-bottom prices and seriously great selection available at Sports Basement. It’s still in two locations, still staffed by friendly and knowledgeable folks, and still stocked with everything sporty San Franciscans need — whether you're into armchair aerobics or marathons.
1415 16th St., SF. (415) 437-0100; 610 Mason, Presidio, SF. (415) 437-0100. www.sportsbasement.com
BEST PLACE TO BUY CAMPING GEAR
Spending a weekend in Big Sur? Planning a trek in the Himalayas? REI's got the gear for you. Additionally, a one-time co-op membership fee of $15 gets you discounts for life and a rebate check at the end of each year based on your purchase amount. Our readers agree, it's hard to ignore incentives like those.
840 Brannan, SF. (415) 934-1938; 1338 San Pablo, Berk. (510) 527-4140. www.rei.com
Sex and Romance
BEST RESTAURANT TO SPARK ROMANCE
Enough with that love-struck gazing over greasy-spoon hash browns or $2 Pabst. Our readers are more inclined toward puttin' on the romance ritz — and find there's no better place to channel a little F. Scott Fitzgerald than at Bix. Is it the mellow-gold atmosphere, the classic martinis, or the white-jacketed waiters that cause our pulse to quicken?
56 Gold, SF. (415) 433-6300, www.bixrestaurant.com
BEST ONLINE PERSONALS
For Bay Area denizens, the attraction to Craigslist is undeniable. Our readers just can't help being drawn by the simplicity of the format, the anonymity, the emphasis on self-expression, and of course, the cost: ahem, priceless. Key ingredients for romance, no?
BEST FIRST DATE SPOT
The players of BATS Improv are here to entertain you, amaze you, and inspire you and your potential new squeeze to take risks, participate, and enjoy the ice-breaking unexpected of their performances.
Fort Mason Center, Bldg. B, Marina at Laguna, SF. www.improv.org
BEST BREAKUP SPOT
Breaking up is hard to do, and even harder in a place too conspicuous (like a restaurant) or too private (like your hot tub). With its surfeit of invigorating breezes, atmospheric crashing waves, and absence of nearby sharp objects, Ocean Beach is the place our readers choose to take their soon-to-be-ex for a little heart-to-hand chat.
Great Highway between Sutro Heights Park and the SF Zoological Gardens
BEST PLACE TO BUY WEDDING WEAR
Although its name may conjure up images of black-clad goth girls, Dark Garden offers custom-designed wedding wear and curve-complimenting corsets to suit every fantasy — from fairy-tale princess to busty baroque queen.
321 Linden, SF. (415) 431-7684, www.darkgarden.net
BEST PLACE TO HAVE YOUR WEDDING/COMMITMENT CEREMONY
The secularists of San Francisco have made it quite clear with their readers’ poll votes that you can keep your big church weddings and pagan moon-circle binding ceremonies. When we get hitched, we wanna head on over to San Francisco City Hall to say, "I do."
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl., SF. (415) 554-6141, www.sfgov.org/site/cityhall
BEST HOT TUB RENTAL
Some like it hot, and our heat-seeking readers have chosen Piedmont Springs as the best hot tub rental in the Bay. Alongside Roman-bath temperatures and solitary, outdoor settings, Piedmont offers hot stone massage, saunas, and a steamy steam room.
3939 Piedmont, Oakl. (510) 652-9191, www.piedmontsprings.com
BEST FLOWER SHOP
Why say it with roses when you could say it with dahlias, peonies, lemon branches, or succulents? Our readers recognize that when it comes to flowers, it is far more than the mere thought that counts; it's presentation — and Church Street Flowers offers the best, from bouquets to boutonnieres.
212 Church, SF. (415) 553-7762, www.churchstreetflowers.com
BEST COUPLES COUNSELOR
Sort out those tiresome communication and compatibility issues before you find yourself permanently hitched to a puppy-strangling psychopath whose name appears on your mortgage, your tax statement, and your monogrammed towels. Our readers appreciate the emphasis placed on building relationship skills and the affirmation of existing strengths at Marriage Prep 101.
417 Spruce, SF. (415) 905-8830, www.marriageprep101.com
BEST PLACE TO BUY LINGERIE
Sometimes the best part about getting a present is undoing the ribbons. Our racy readers like the pretty-package feeling they get from the underthings at the new Agent Provocateur, as beribboned and bedazzling as designer lingerie can be.
54 Geary, SF. (415) 421-0229, www.agentprovocateur.com
BEST PLACE TO BUY SEX TOYS; BEST CONDOM SELECTION; BEST SEX-ED RESOURCE
Sex-positive Good Vibrations has been purveying pleasure to the Bay Area for 29 years. From glass to gold, silicone to steel, the Good Vibes toy box is chock-full of goodies for every gender and persuasion, the condom selection enormous (yes, in that way too), and the classes and workshops informative and shame-free.
603 Valencia, SF. (415) 522-5460; 1620 Polk, SF. (415) 345-0400; 2504 San Pablo, Berk. (510) 841-8987. www.goodvibes.com
BEST PLACE TO BUY FETISH GEAR
A cornucopia of cock rings, tit clamps, ball gags, and kinky boots awaits you at our readers' favorite sex superstores, Madame S and Mr. S Leather. You name it, they have it, and if you didn't think to name it, they probably have that too.
Madame S: 321 Seventh St., SF. (415) 863-WHIP, www.madame-s.com. Mr. S Leather: 385 Eighth St., SF. 1-800-746-7677, www.mr-s-leather.com
BEST ADULT VIDEO STORE
Our readers leave their paper bag and dark sunglasses at home when setting out for Superstar Satellite, a clean, well-lighted Castro Street video rental outlet with high ceilings, mellow lighting, and wide, wooden shelves filled with a truly staggering selection of uncensored and uncut gay-themed adult movies.
474 Castro, SF. (415) 863-3333, www.castromoviestore.com
BEST STRIP CLUB
The Lusty Lady, a relative rarity in many ways, offers striptease as peepshow for just 25¢ a peep and has since 1983. Even rarer, it's the first unionized and worker-owned strip club in the country, and for our socially conscious readers, that's a sexy plus.
1033 Kearny, SF. (415) 391-3126, www.lustyladysf.com
BEST SEX CLUB
Our readers prefer to conduct their public sexcapades on a grand scale. That's why they've voted the Power Exchange, a triumvirate of nifty and naughty clubs under one roof, their favorite. The PE sexual smorgasbord caters to fantasies of all sorts, and the insistence on safe, consensual play is a big part of its seduction.
74 Otis, SF. (415) 487-9944, www.powerexchange.com
BEST CRUISING SPOT
Farewell steamy bathhouse. Adios Buena Vista. Our readers want a little less privacy and a lot more sun for their flirtations. The beach-bunny vibe at Dolores Park is low-key but palpable, as rippling waves of sun-kissed flesh flow over the grassy hills.
Between Dolores and Church, 18th and 20th Sts., SF. www.parks.sfgov.org
BEST LOCAL BLOG
With its random musings about the inefficiencies of our public transportation system, honest restaurant reviews, and links to everything under the bright San Francisco sun, sfist.com is our readers' blog heaven.
BEST LOCAL WEB SITE
Got a fetish? Come on, we all do. From feet to fatties, Erosguide.com's photo galleries, confession sections, and hundreds of links to personal sites scratch our readers' kinky itch.
BEST TATTOO ARTIST
Last year's Best of the Bay theme was tattoos, and our readers' overwhelming response to it proved we'd rather die than go out inkless in the Bay. This year's winner for best inker is Philip Milic of Braindrops, who's been manning the needles since he was 19.
Braindrops, 1871 Hayes, SF. (415) 922-7246; 1324 Haight, SF. (415) 621-4162. www.braindrops.com
BEST TATTOO SHOP
The eight specialty artists at the women–owned and operated Black and Blue Tattoo Shop really know their shit and have inked up our tickled readers for years.
381 Guerrero, SF. (415) 626-0770, www.blackandbluetattoo.com
BEST POLITICIAN YOU LOVE TO HATE; BEST POLITICIAN
Gavin Newsom's like your little sister. You appreciate her ambition and the way she handles herself at family get-togethers, but you cringe when she's rude to service employees or talks on her cell phone at fancy restaurants. It's easy to talk shit about the mayor, but when it comes down to it, our readers continue to stand by him. Universal health care, free Internet service, and gay marriage — there's definite pros and cons to how Newsom handles certain issues, but our readers appreciate that at least the issues being handled are good ones.
BEST LOCAL NONPROFIT
One Brick ain't your regular nonprofit. As a volunteer hub, it doesn't focus on a particular cause; rather, it retains a healthy stock of enthusiastic do-gooders to lend out to other nonprofits, creating a supply to meet the huge demand.
BEST TOURIST SPOT LOCALS SHOULD VISIT
Wading through hordes of bewildered tourists is never much fun, but our readers think it's worth it to visit Alcatraz Island. The recent switch of emphasis from professionally guided tours to self-guided audio-tour walkabouts has taken some of the edge off the place's touristy-ness, and all that juicy convict history is irresistible.
BEST HISTORICAL LANDMARK
With its beautiful arches and towers of vermilion, the Golden Gate Bridge is our readers' favorite symbol of local individuality and aesthetic superiority. You can enjoy its views from the bike path, the walkway, or the bazillions of postcards available at local tourist shops.
BEST LOCAL AUTHOR
Michelle Tea came to San Francisco from Chelsea, Mass., in the early ’90s and has since transformed from a celebrated spoken word poet into the voice of post-punk dykes the world over. She also started Sister Spit, a local verbal powerhouse. Read her now.
BEST LOCAL ZINE
Need directions, an address, or a job? Broke Ass Stuart's guide to the Bay Area is the perfect insider tipster spill, issued regularly and full of essential tidbits to help you get ahead.
BEST LOCAL RECORD LABEL
Om Records is home to a slew of artists who make our readers' heads nod, feet tap, and soul relax. House, downtempo, hip-hop, minimal electro; if it's out there and it's funky, Om's got a compilation of it.
BEST LOCAL PUBLISHING HOUSE
Do the names Astronauts in Trouble, Giant Robot Warriors, Electric Girl, or Switch-Blade Honey ring a bell? They should. These are just some of the original, intelligent graphic novels our readers' favorite publishing company, AiT/Planet Lar, is behind.
BEST TV NEWSCASTER
Once again, the man with the sexiest mustache in the news business has been crowned Best TV Newscaster. Our readers love the delivery, sense of humor, and of course, well-kempt flavor saver of KTVU's Dennis Richmond.
BEST LOCALLY PRODUCED TV SHOW
With the intrepid Doug McConnell leading the way, our adventurous readers continue to turn to KRON 4's Bay Area Backroads when they need a little guidance through the Bay's jungle of cultural opportunities.
BEST RADIO STATION
What do Nirvana, the Talking Heads, the Rolling Stones, and the Killers have in common? They’re all on heavy rotation at San Francisco's KFOG, 104.5 FM, our readers’ pick for Best Radio Station.
BEST STREET FAIR
If you have the burning desire to strut your stuff in those ass-out pants your cousin bought you last Christmas, but you don't want to call too much attention to yourself, just wait for the Folsom Street Fair. The other 399,000 bondage and leather fans will make you feel right at home.
BEST DOG-WALKING SERVICE
Mighty Dog Walk will not only air your pooch out, but it’ll also give her a pedicure, drive her to the vet, and if she promises to be good, even take her for a dip in the pool.
585 Dellbrook, SF. (415) 235-5151, www.mightydogwalking.com
BEST PET GROOMER
Our readers send their dirty dogs to Soggy Doggy Bath and Bark Tique for a nice warm bath, a nail trimming, and a mutt-hipster haircut.
4033 Judah, SF. (415) 664-3644
The 24-hour emergency-medical-services veterinary care program at Pets Unlimited makes our readers feel secure about having their special furry friends treated there.
2343 Fillmore, SF. (415) 563-6700, www.petsunlimited.org
The capable hands and affable manner of Dr. Dan Barry quell our readers' qualms about slipping in to the dentist's chair, an incredibly commendable achievement.
450 Sutter, SF. (415) 421-2723
With more than 15 years of experience dealing with HIV and other medical issues, Dr. Lisa Capaldini is our readers' go-to doc for all their health needs.
45 Castro, SF. (415) 861-3366
BEST MASSAGE THERAPIST
Deep-tissue and Swedish massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, Cranial Sacral Therapy — these are the many wonders available courtesy of Tasha Berg, who has 15 years of experience in all of the above and has been chosen by our readers as Best Massage Therapist.
(415) 307-6224, www.nurturopathy.com
The mechanics at Pat's Garage teach technical classes for women, give people free coffee, and will fix your Honda, Acura, Subaru, or hybrid in no time flat — and they’re openly dedicated to a greener San Francisco.
1090 26th St., SF. (415) 617-4500, www.patsgarage.com
BEST PLACE FOR A HAIRCUT
For perms, tints, highlights, and haircuts, our readers flock to Dekko Salon in Potrero Hill. The loft space is awesome, and the expert stylists are always ready to get down to business.
1325 Indiana, SF. (415) 285-8848, www.dekkosalon.com
BEST DAY SPA
At Kabuki Spa you can bathe naked with members of your own sex or strap on a Speedo for coed hot tub sessions. One visit will do wonders for your aura — not to mention your skin.
1750 Geary Blvd., SF. (415) 922-6000, www.kabukispa.com
BEST SHOE REPAIR
Remember that ’80s commercial where the two gnarly-looking Claymation tennis shoes said, "Hey kids, wanna get high? I got something that'll really make you fly?" Someone should have taken those evil shoes over to the people at Haight Street Shoe Repair. They would have fixed them for good.
1614 Haight, SF. (415) 565-6710
Laundry Locker is a new tailoring, laundry, and dry-cleaning service with drop-off points all over the city. Just drop off your clothes with a note and they'll often be ready the next day. It's like Netflix for your dirty garments.
(415) 255-7500, www.laundrylocker.com
BEST ROOMMATE REFERRAL SERVICE
Our readers just want to thank you again, Craig. Not only can we track down cool roommates on Craigslist, but we can also hook up with a foot fetishist into yodeling while we do it. How did we ever get by without you?
BEST LOCAL ANIMAL RESCUE
The SPCA fixes broken dogs and cats and gives them away for a small adoption fee. It has a no-kill policy and offers no-cost spaying and neutering. Our readers love that.
2500 16th St., SF. (415) 554-3000, www.sfspca.org