Search Best Of Oakland Winners
2015 Goods & Services
Best Packaged Superfood
Oakland-made Kuli Kuli Bars from Kuli Kuli Foods contain the astoundingly protein- and vitamin-rich leaves of the moringa olifeira tree. Kuli Kuli CEO Lisa Curtis was first introduced to moringa as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger. “I decided to make it my life’s mission to ensure that this superfood makes it into the hands of more people who need it by creating a sustainable market for moringa products,” said Curtis, who also has written political briefings for President Barack Obama and who now sources the plant in West Africa. “The Oakland community has rallied around this vision and helped to turn us into a rapidly growing business that supports over 500 women in West Africa with a sustainable livelihood growing moringa.” The bars come in three different flavors.
2015 Lifestyle & Leisure
Best Offbeat Venue for Live Music
Clean, new, and very bright orange, Leo’s is a radically exciting performance space with one standout characteristic: What it lacks is exactly what makes it amazing. Strolling from the ticket window to the stage, you’ll notice the absence of all the things you’ll never miss. There will be the nonexistence of torn seating, grimy bathrooms, short-poured drinks, greasy bar tops, bad attitudes, and overall neglect. That’s because the staff here maintain one of the best-kept bar-and-music scenes this side of the bay, and it shows in everything from the caliber of musicians (ranging from funk to rock to burlesque and beyond) to the constant vibe of the crowd, which is upbeat and cheerful and bordering on not just friendly but actually neighborly. If you step outside between sets, you won’t encounter aggressive patrons hoping for a nighttime brawl; instead, you may be asked your opinion of the performing bassist’s style or how you felt about the lead vocalist’s riffs. Come here for a resurgence of good people out for a good time, then come back for more.
2015 Lifestyle & Leisure
Best Dog Park
You may not know this, but your dog wrote you a letter. Here it is: “Dear Parents, I have been dreaming of a park where I can climb a hillside, chase cars with abandon, run through gardens of ivy, and smell my friends in peace. Can we please go to a park where the water bowl is always full and a bucket of tennis balls is always waiting for me? Love, Dog.” Good news! For all local pet-lovers this haven exists, and it’s called Linda Park, a lengthy stretch of puppy paradise tucked along the Oakland-Piedmont border. Whether you enter from the lower gate on Linda Street or the tree-strewn walkway above, you’ll be arriving at an unusually vertical area with plenty of room to run and lots of protected terrain to explore. One special bonus is that your dog can safely chase the Vespas (they zoom by) and cars that drive past at the street-front fence that extends the distance of the park. Furry ones will be barking and marking with joy. Across from the Beach School off the Linda Park Pathway; accessible from Linda Avenue at Lake Avenue or Oakland Avenue at Sunnyside Ave; Piedmont.