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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


2014 Goods and Services

Best Shopping District


2014 Goods and Services

Best Home Furnishings Store

Rockridge Furniture & Design

2014 Food and Drink

Best Sausages

Rosamunde Sausage Grill

Whether you’re looking for a bitchin’ brat or a vicious vegan kielbasa, you’ll find scrumptious sausages at Rosamunde Sausage Grill in Old Oakland’s Swan’s Market. The display case stuffed full of sausage that greets customers walking in is a smorgasbord of choices, everything from the tried-and-true knockwursts and Louisiana hot links to more inventive offerings such as duck and merguez—Moroccan spiced lamb—though the best-seller is the beer sausage. The smoked sausage made from pork and beef—juicy but not greasy with a satisfying snap from the casing—on a toasted roll is best loaded down with spicy mustard, grilled onions, and sauerkraut. It may kill your breath, but it’ll revive your soul.
Photo by Lori Eanes

2014 Food and Drink

Best Local Winery

Rosenblum Cellars

2014 Goods and Services,Familes and Pets

Best Children’s Clothing,Best Children's Store

Ruby’s Garden

2014 Food and Drink

Best Breakfast-Lunch,Best Diner,Best Late-Night Munchies

Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe

A few words about breakfast: green eggs and ham. Lunch: buffalo salad. Friday night dinner: Mr. Roadie’s fish and chips. And late night: chocolate shakes. Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe dabbles in a little bit of everything and does it all with flair, from omelets, scrambles, and towering hash-brown creations to salads, burgers, and chicken-fried steak, all plated up in big, bold, bright diner style. Good, honest food for the masses at affordable prices, the Rudy’s business model since 2002. Which means hipsters jacked up on espresso join tables with Italian-soda sipping young parents and toddlers anticipating funny-faced pancakes, while the well-heeled set chugs ale at the bar next to the college kids who nurse Olympia, killing time before a show at the Fox. Barbies, monkeys, and fork-wielding iconic Rudy are everywhere, fun stuff that can put smiles on most people’s faces. Other joints that try to be so many things to so many people can fail miserably, but not Rudy’s—where failing is not an option.
Photo By Stephen Loewinsohn

2014 Goods and Services,Families and Pets

Best Adult Haircuts,Best Hair Salon,Best Place for a Facial,Best Kid's Haircuts

Seven 7 Salon

2014 Food and Drink

Best Meatless Breakfast

Shihan Phool at Alem’s Coffee

Vegetarians and carnivores unite on the corner of Claremont and Vicente (across from the DMV) at ultra-tiny Alem’s Coffee where a plastic plate full of fava beans, diced onion, chili pepper, and feta cheese offers big flavor for an $8 price tag. Swoop a seat at one of the five indoor tables, or snag a spot on the covered front patio and slam your spoon into this Eritrean dish of creamy, spicy goodness served with gloriously soft and warm French bread. Opt for a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice or a paper cup of coffee, and your day is guaranteed to start on a tasty note. Insider tip: If you like extra heat in your meal, they’ll bring it with gusto. Just ask.
Photo By Lori Eanes

2014 Food and Drink

Best Bartenders


2014 Goods and Services

Best Children’s Clothing

Silver Moon Kids

2014 Lifestyle and Leisure

Best Art Gallery

Slate Contemporary

2014 Goods and Services

Best Home Remodeler

Stephen Swan

2014 Familes and Pets

Best Place to Schedule an Adult Event

Sudo Room

2014 Goods and Services

Best Solar Installation


2014 Families and Pets

Best Games & Toys

Sweet Dreams Toy Store

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