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Best Of Oakland and the East Bay 2016

The most amazing finds of the year.

Winners

2016 Lifestyle & LeisureReaders' Choice

Best Camp

Camp Galileo

2016 Lifestyle & LeisureReaders' Choice

Best Swimming Lessons

Canyon Swim School

2016 Goods & ServicesEditors' Choice

Best Unconventional Dance Teacher

Cassidy Abel, Atomic Allure

Beginning pole classes can be intimidating for the uninitiated, but Cassidy Abel at Atomic Allure will teach you so sweetly you’€™ll want to come back again and again. Twenty-one years old and a physical work of art, Abel teaches everything from pole gymnastics to aerial skills to super-flexible yoga aimed at enhancing any pole move you deign to perform. To watch her is to watch an amazing performance artist; to learn from her is to learn anything you want to know about being an empowered, sexy female at the top of her game. A certified yoga instructor who also aims to join the circle doing aerial performance as a gymnast, Abel teaches with an enthusiastic, hands-on style, breaking every move down so you don’€™t feel overwhelmed, without any hint of attitude.

2016 Food & DrinkReaders' Choice

Best Neighborhood Bar

Cato's Ale House

2016 Food & DrinkReaders' Choice

Best Tapas

César

2016 Food & DrinkReaders' Choice

Best California Cuisine

Chez Panisse

2016 Lifestyle & LeisureReaders' Choice

Best Place to Take the Kids

Children's Fairyland

2016 Goods & ServicesReaders' Choice

Best Interior Design

Cillesa Ullman, Cillesa Interior Design & Space Planning

2016 Lifestyle & LeisureReaders' Choice

Best Place to Board Pets

Citizen Canine

2016 Lifestyle & LeisureReaders' Choice

Best Gym/Health Club,Best Spa

Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel

2016 Food & DrinkEditors' Choice

Best Sustainable Hamburger

Clove & Hoof

Walking into Clove & Hoof feels like walking into an old-timey butcher shop, which is clearly the intention. A giant white cow sculpture overlooks a fridge stocked with fresh soups, pasture-raised eggs, and large slabs of beef rib. The tattooed waitresses are patient and kind. You get what you pay for here, with all the meat locally sourced and butchered. The menu boasts seasonal items such as poblano and corn soup in the spring, and a hamburger to die for year-round with optional gluten-free bun, homemade crushed jalapeno hot sauce, pimento cheese, pickle, mayo, and caramelized onion jam. It’€™s a messy-hands endeavor—but don’€™t worry; giant cloth napkins are provided to handle the mess from the homemade condiments dripping from the tastiest burger you’€™ll likely ever eat.

2016 Goods & ServicesEditors' Choice

Best Mix of Old and New Hardware Goods

Cole Hardware

Cole Hardware, a family-owned two-story store in Rockridge, opened a year ago and already feels like a place where everybody knows your name—and your dog’s name, because a wall is filled with photos of customers’ pooches. It’€™s the fifth but largest store in an outfit started in 1959 by Dave Karp. Sadly, he died last year at the age of 99, but his motto, “There are no strangers here; just friends we haven’t met,”€ is abiding. Among the goods displayed outside are plants, colorful French outdoor furniture by Fermob, and sweetgum walking sticks. Inside, in a mix of old style and new, is everything you’ll need for the home and garden, from barbecue grills to a huge range of mason jars. Services include key cutting, lamp repair, screen making, knife sharpening, and color consulting. And while you’re browsing you can munch on fresh popcorn for 25 cents a bag.

2016 Lifestyle & LeisureReaders' Choice

Best Church

Corpus Christi Catholic Church

2016 Goods & ServicesReaders' Choice

Best Clothing Resale

Crossroads Trading Co.

2016 Goods & ServicesReaders' Choice

Best Attorney

David A. Stein

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