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Best Of Oakland and the East Bay 2015

Some 178 winners, epitomizing the finest in food and drink, goods and services, and lifestyle and leisure.

Winners

2015 Food & Drink

Best Salad Bar

Galeto'€™s Gourmet Salad Bar

Understandably, Old Oakland’s Galeto Brazilian Steakhouse spotlights steak: Top sirloin, flap steak, and rib eye, along with other nonsteak animal parts, rotisserie-cooked and then sliced at your table by costumed gauchos. But one of the East Bay’s best-kept secrets is the deliciously diverse hot-and-cold buffet salad bar in this quietly stylish, warmly welcoming space. Galeto’s owner Eli Nascimento described the salad bar as “a banquet of the freshest vegetables and salads, accompanied by four native Brazilian casseroles crafted from old-world recipes.” Salad-bar standbys include Brazilian hearts of palm, eggplant caponata, shrimp salad, imported Italian salamis, and other exotica—including feijoada on Saturdays. Quite justifiably, “our vegetarian guests often compliment us about the variety of flavors, the quality of fare, and our presentation,” Nascimento said.

2015 Goods & Services

Best Frame Shop

Galleria Scola Custom Framing

2015 Food & Drink

Best Sandwiches

Genova Delicatessen

2015 Food & Drink

Best Deli

Genova Delicatessen

2015 Goods & Services

Best Hardware Store

Grand Lake Ace Hardware

2015 Food & Drink

Best Farmers Market

Grand Lake Farmer's Market

2015 Food & Drink

Best Dog-Friendly Bar

Heart and Dagger Saloon

What makes whiskey adorable? Taking shots paw-to-paw with your dog is a great start. Puppies aren’t actually allowed to drink at this rock ’n’ roll pool hall venue, but they are definitely welcome to join the party and swallow all the water they can while you crack open bottles of PBR and swig back Fireball. During every A’s game, you can pull up a stool for your furry co-pilot and watch either of two flat screens, or make the five-step walk to the back patio where you’ll be greeted by any number of pups (be sure to say hi to Ike, the service pug who makes frequent appearances) and sip your IPA under the sun. Just be sure your best friend has brushed up on his manners; the Heart qnd Dagger is specifically dog-friendly—to friendly dogs. So, if you’re certain your canine cohort will be on his or her best behavior (as in being happy to be fawned over as you fawn over your bourbon), then settle in at this saloon that’s just what its name suggests: as welcoming as it is wild. Bottoms up!

2015 Lifestyle & Leisure

Best Company to Work For

Holistic Veterinary Care

2015 Food & Drink

Best Middle Eastern Restaurant

Holy Land Restaurant

2015 Goods & Services

Best Car Dealer

Honda of Oakland

2015 Food & Drink

Best Greek/Mediterranean Restaurant

Ikaros Greek Restaurant

2015 Lifestyle & Leisure

Best Church

Imani Community Church

2015 Goods & Services

Best Co-Working Space

Impact Hub Oakland

Does your work life need a boost? Are you ready to move beyond a home office or cafe? Co-working offers a chance to collaborate, investigate, and share resources with a diverse group of entrepreneurs. At Impact Hub Oakland, the chairs are comfy, the philosophy is one of respect and radical inclusivity, and the organic free-trade coffee is superb. This shared work and meeting space also offers panels, workshops, and sexy salad lunchtime potlucks to help you network, develop skills, and find mentors. Whether you’re growing a business, building a nonprofit, writing a book, or exploring options, you’ll find support and inspiration. Choose from a variety of membership levels depending on your needs. Work-trade membership program and scholarships available.

2015 Lifestyle & Leisure

Best Marina

Jack London Square Marina

2015 Food & Drink

Best Server

Jill Ifshin, Pican

When Jill Ifshin waits tables at Picán restaurant, she’s not just performing her job. She’s performing her life. Serving is “who she is.” And from her notable tattoos, quirky hat, and handmade earrings displaying Dave Matthews lyrics, it’s apparent that this short girl with tall energy wouldn’t do something she didn’t believe in. With three decades in the restaurant industry, Ifshin believes in service. She prefers fine dining, thriving on “luxuriating” each guest. When you sit in Ifshin’s section at Picán, her home the past six years, you feel more than welcomed—you feel included. She listens. She connects. She accommodates. You’re not a cookie-cutter customer. You’re you. When you make a request and Ifshin responds, “I would LOVE to bring that for you!”—you believe her. Bon appétit.

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