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Best Of Oakland and the East Bay 2019

Our annual celebration of The Town and the East Bay.

Winners

2019 Lifestyle & LeisureReaders' Choice

Best Camp

Oakland Zoo

2019 Food & DrinkEditors' Choice

Best Baklava

Oasis Food Market

Food historians place the origins of baklava in ancient Rome, to a popular dessert called placenta made of layered dough filled with honey, cheese, and bay leaves. Baklava as it is known today is a pastry made of filo dough, chopped nuts — usually pistachios — and drizzled with a syrup made of honey and rosewater. And no one in Oakland makes a better baklava than Oasis Food Market. Flakey, sweet, crisp, nutty — baklava is perfect for dessert, tea time, breakfast, or any time at all. Oasis offers several different kinds, as well as many other specialty desserts from the Middle East. Call ahead and order a platter or just stop by and get one for yourself. There'€™s no rule that says you have to share.

2019 Food & DrinkReaders' Choice

Best Wine Bar

Ordinaire

2019 Goods & ServicesEditors' Choice

Best Adoption Service and Alliance Maker

PACT, An Adoption Alliance

In a time when race issues are front and center and often seem intractable, it'€™s heartwarming to know that deep in the trenches, good work is being done to make a real difference. Pact, An Adoption Alliance is an Oakland nonprofit that serves adopted children of color. A full-service adoption agency, Pact doesn'€™t stop serving after the placement is made. In some ways, this is when the real work begins — lifelong education, support, and community — because there's no glossing over the challenges of transracial adoption as well as the need to educate oneself and others about the pervasive power of race and racism. But the real beauty of Pact is its goal ‘€œevery child to feel wanted, honored and loved, to be a cherished part of a strong family with proud connections to their rich, cultural heritage.’€

2019 Goods & ServicesReaders' Choice

Best Bank, S&L, or Credit Union

Patelco Credit Union

2019 Goods & ServicesReaders' Choice

Best Jewelry Store

Pave Fine Jewelry Design

2019 Food & DrinkReaders' Choice

Best Coffeehouse

Peet's Coffee

2019 Lifestyle & LeisureReaders' Choice

Best Pet Store

Pet Food Express

2019 Food & DrinkEditors' Choice

Best Olive Bread

Phoenix Pastifico

It'€™s quite likely that nowhere else in the world are people as passionate about their bread as in the Bay Area. Everyone has his favorites, but Phoenix Pastificio'€™s rustic olive bread is a clear standout. The thick, chewy crust contrasts nicely with the soft, yeasty interior, but when you hit on an olive, this bread really bursts into life, especially when it'€™s hot. The Kalamata olives add just the right amount of saltiness and earthiness to the flavor. Phoenix Pastificio sells its rustic olive bread at farmers markets all over the East Bay (listed on its website), but you can also pick up a loaf at many local supermarkets or at its bakery. While you'€™re at it, you can also pick up one of Phoenix Pastificio'€™s excellent handmade pastas, pasta sauces, or pastries. The chocolate macaroons — crispy on the outside, chewy in the middle, with just the right amount of almond paste — are beyond delicious.

2019 Goods & ServicesReaders' Choice

Best Place to Get a Massage

Piedmont Family Spa

2019 Goods & ServicesReaders' Choice

Best Sewer Line Contractor

Pipe Spy

2019 Food & DrinkReaders' Choice

Best Ramen

Ramen Shop

2019 Goods & ServicesReaders' Choice

Best Residential Architect

Rebecca Amato, Amato Architecture

2019 Goods & ServicesReaders' Choice

Best Real Estate Company

Red Oak Realty

2019 Lifestyle & LeisureReaders' Choice

Best Spinning Classes

RIDE Oakland