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Best Of Oakland and the East Bay

169 winners—our biggest list ever—representing the tops from sausages and spirits to circus arts and pub crawls

Winners

2014 Food and Drink

Best Wine List

A 16

2014 Lifestyle and Leisure

Best Bay Area Museum Show

Above and Below: Stories From Our Changing Bay

Aug. 31, 2013—Feb. 13, 2014

2014 Goods and Services

Best Independent Music Shop and More

Acme House of Music

Called “a mom-and-pop shop since 1969,” Acme House of Music—long a gem in the Laurel District—recently moved to a new, larger space near the top of Piedmont Avenue. It’s a retail, repair, and artistic space that defies easy categorization. The staff and teachers offer lessons and workshops, and they fix, rent, and sell vintage and new instruments as well as electronic equipment. In myriad, mellifluous ways, this funky, home-grown business promotes harmony and creativity in the community.

2014 Food and Drink

Best Date Night Restaurant

À Côté

2014 Food and Drink

Best Happy Hour Food

Adesso

2014 Lifestyle and Leisure

Best Community-Building Bookstore

A Great Good Place for Books

Ten years ago, in the summer of 2004, book lover Kathleen Caldwell found herself out of work and at a crossroads in her career. She decided to persevere in the struggling book industry and consequently met the owner of A Great Good Place for Books in Montclair, who hired her, and they became fast friends. Tragically, the owner passed away from heart complications not long after that. She left the store to Caldwell, who redoubled her commitment to make this bookstore a success at a time when independent bookstores were dying due to online competition. Thanks to her efforts, A Great Good Place for Books is more than a bookstore—it’s a community hub, a place where passersby browse and get recommendations on what to read, and people gather to hear great authors discuss their works. Caldwell and her staff succeed not only because they build community, but also because they are voracious readers who offer spot-on suggestions of books to buy. Their love of books is infectious.

2014 Food and Drink

Most Eco-Friendly Brewery

Ale Industries

As much as Morgan Cox and Stephen Lopas love beer, they’re just as passionate about the environment. And the co-founders of Ale Industries have put their money where their mouths are at their new production brewery and tasting room, located in a beautifully renovated old warehouse space in Oakland’s Fruitvale district (where they moved from Concord earlier this year). They call it the Fruitvale Fermentation Factory. They deliver their product via a biodiesel truck, operate an electronic forklift to move kegs, and are now using a biofueled boiler that Cox ordered and rigged to use for brewing operations, one of the only such examples in the country. The goal is to eventually run a completely carbon-neutral brewery. “It’s nice to get to the point where I’m able to take my personal dreams and concepts and apply them to our business,"; Cox says.

2014 Goods and Services

Best Eyeglass Selection

All Eyes on Me Optometry

2014 Goods and Services

Best Pediatrician

Amy Maidenberg, M.D.

2014 Goods and Services

Best Massage Therapist

Andrea Turner, C.M.T.

2014 Food and Drink

Best Ethiopian-Eritrean Restaurant,Best Restaurant Service

Asmara Restaurant

2014 Food and Drink

Best Tapas

Barlata

2014 Food and Drink

Best Burger,Best Portions,Best Salads

Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers

2014 Food and Drink

Best Beer Selection

Beer Revolution

2014 Lifestyle and Leisure

Best Marina

Berkeley Marina

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