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Best of the Bay Area 2011 Readers' Poll
San Francisco Magazine Readers | June 17, 2011
10,000 votes, boldly cast.
Best Bakery Action:
From the walnut-and-olive-filled country loaf to the double pain au chocolate, when the Bay Area needs bread, Tartine Bakery & Cafe is the carbo motherload.
Tartine Bakery & Cafe
Best Chinese Food Action:
The signature Shanghai Dumplings at Yank Sing make the deem sum restaurant San Francisco’s favorite Chinese spot. Or maybe it’s the pork bun…the Peking duck…the stuffed crab claws…
Best Japanese Food Action:
The Michelin stars don’t lie—and neither do our readers—making Sushi Ran the best Japanese restaurant in the Bay Area.
Best Thai Food Action:
The Bay Area knows Thai food, and we’ve got loads of great places to prove it. But when our readers are craving a hot scene, cool ambiance, and the best Thai in town, they grab a table at Osha Thai.
Best Vietnamese Food Action:
The Slanted Door
Best Italian Food Action:
North Beach be damned—San Francisco’s favorite new spot for Italian is in the Financial District. But with a city favorite lunch menu, chefs from Masa’s and Scala’s, and a tour de force of house-cured meats, who can blame us for loving Perbacco?
Best Steak Action:
This front-runner has weighed in with the juiciest, tastiest, best steak to spend the evening with for years running. But with a 28-day aged rib eye, a burger with a layer of duck fat, and a coffee-rubbed New York strip—we’re not taking Epic Roasthouse off our list any time soon.
Best New Restaurant Action:
We’ve been graced loads of new restaurants this year, but it’s Cotogna that’s making our readers hungry for more.
Best Cheap Eats Action:
The Bay Area knows you don’t have to spend a fortune for amazing food and drink in this town, and the proof is in the classic cheesesteak at Jake’s Steak.
Best Classic SF Restaurant Action:
Tadich Grill has been serving cioppino, sand dabs, and one heck of a Manhattan since the beginning of time.
Best Dinner Party Action:
Comfort food and your crowd come together at Sauce in Hayes Valley.
Best Brunch Action:
This city knows how to brunch, but the smoked blood orange mimosa and Texas toast at Maverick gets even the laziest San Francisco magazine reader out of bed on Sunday.
Best Happy Hour Action:
When the clock strikes six, San Francisco needs a drink—and the Financial District’s Royal Exchange is the place to get it.
The Royal Exchange
Best Late-Night Bite Action:
San Francisco’s first ham and oyster bar, Hog & Rocks, also serves the best late night menu in town.
Hog & Rocks
Best Food Truck Action:
Food trucks are hotter than restaurants in SF, and the Chairman Bao Truck is the hottest thing on four wheels.
Chairman Bao Truck
Best Farmers Market Action:
Our town has no shortage of farmers markets, but the best can still be found at the Ferry Plaza.
Ferry Plaza Farmers Market
Best Wine Bar Action:
Slick underground digs, amazing wine, and a recently revamped bar menu have our readers dubbing Press Club best wine bar.
Best Wine-Tasting Action:
Though great wine can be found in the city, when our readers want the tour, they head north to Geyser Peak Winery.
Geyser Peak Winery
Best Chef Action:
Could it be the tangy tomato bisque with truffle grilled cheese toast sticks? The nightly braised pot roast? The chili-dusted brussels sprout salad? Whatever it is, it’s got our readers voting for Sauce’s Ben Paula for best chef.
Ben Paula, Sauce
Best Bartender Action:
Ingredients like celery bitters, absinthe, and carrot juice make up COCO500’s innovative cocktails, landing the SOMA spot our readers’ poll Best Mixologist award.
Best Sports-Watching Action:
Giants, Niners, A’s, Raiders, or even…the Dodgers—if you’re looking for the game, you’ll find it at Jake’s.
Best Bay Area Biz Action:
With shuttles to the Googleplex, the legendary slides, and total world domination, it’s no surprise that Google is our readers’ favorite Bay Area business.
Best Fitness Action:
Diakadi Body boasts exclusive personal trainers, nutrition counseling, fun salsa classes, and amenities like laundry service—and now, our readers’ poll Best Fitness Action award.
Best Volunteering Action:
When our readers want to lend a helping hand, they head to their local Salvation Army.
Best Charity Party Action:
A great cause, the who’s who of San Francisco, and a raging party in the middle of Union Square? Who wouldn’t vote San Francisco General Hospital’s Hearts After Dark for Best Nonprofit Gala?
Hearts After Dark
Best Fest Action:
When summer strikes, our street festivals come out to play, and our local favorite is the North Beach Festival.
North Beach Festival
Best Entertainment Action:
A San Francisco institution for decades, the legendary Fillmore is a favorite music venue for rock and roll legends and our Best of the Bay Area readers.
Best Dancing Action:
With a party like Bootie and an all-star lineup of DJs, it’s no wonder that DNA Lounge landed our Best Place to Dance award.
Best Local Band Action (Tie):
They may be international superstars now, but Michael Franti and Spearhead started out right here in the Bay Area.
Michael Franti and Spearhead
Long-time local musician, Chuck Prophet, captured our readers’ hearts—and a Best Local Musician award—with his recent politically-charged album.
Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express
Best Local DJ Action:
Jeffrey Paradise spins the hottest get-up-and-dance-damnit beats in town, dubbing him best local DJ.
Best Radio Action:
World-class rock meets San Francisco personality at KFOG, our readers’ favorite local radio station.
Best Radio Team Action:
Our readers wake up with their favorite local DJ team—the KFOG Morning Show.
KFOG Morning Show
Best Local TV Action:
KRON keeps our in-the-know readers in-the-know.
Best Email Action:
There’s nothing the Bay Area loves more than food—and the Tablehopper dishes it up with plenty of personality.
Best Local Blog Action:
Sweet small kitchens, flea market finds, stylish San Francisco spots—you’ll find it all on our readers’ favorite blog, sfgirlbybay.com.
Best Pet-Friendly Action:
Gourmet pet treats, doggie massage, and in-room cat scratch posts? Our readers are howling over Kimpton Hotels’ pet-friendly services.
Best Cab Action:
If you’re trying to get across the seven-square, you’re gonna need a cab—our readers break for Luxor.
Best Film Action:
The Castro Theatre has been home to the silver screen since 1922. And after nearly a century of independent, LGBT, and classic movies, it’s landed a much-deserved readers’ poll Best Independent Theatre award.
The Castro Theatre
Best Do-Gooder Action
Best Local Fashion Design Action:
San Francisco brides support local business in style with gowns from Best Local Fashion Designer Atelier Des Modistes.
Atelier Des Modistes
Best Pamper Action:
A sparkling indoor pool, a skyline view, and the best spa services in town make the Huntington Hotel’s Nob Hill Spa the Best Place to Get Pampered.
Nob Hill Spa, Huntington Hotel
Best Boutique Action:
For dresses, shoes, and San Francisco-style accessories, our best dressed readers head to Ambiance.
Best Trail Action:
Golden Gate Bridge, check. Views of the Pacific, check. Sutro Baths, Legion of Honor, and the famous shipwreck remains, check. It’s no wonder that Land’s End Trail is our readers’ favorite local hike.
Land's End Trail
Best Dog Park Action:
With rugged beach and sand dunes, Fort Funston is an SF favorite spot for everyone. But with its dog friendly policy, it takes the cake for Best Dog Park.
Best Getaway Action in SF:
Golden Gate Park is home to museums, music festivals, and a landscape that rivals Jurassic Park, making it our favorite Getaway in San Francisco.
Golden Gate Park
Best Getaway from SF Action:
Sometimes San Francisco is just too much action. Escape from the city in Sonoma—our readers’ favorite Getaway from San Francisco.
Best-Kept SF Secret Action:
The cat’s out of the bag—the adrenaline rush at the Seward Street Slides make the spot our Best-Kept San Francisco secret.
Seward Street Slides
Best South-of-the-border Action:
The Bay Area knows Mexican food, and the best south-of-the-border fare can be found at Mamacita.
Best Vegetarian Action:
Vegetarian fare does not mean garden burger. So for potato griddle cakes, sunchoke gratin, and spring vegetable tagine, our readers pull up a seat at Greens Restaurant.
Best Brew Action:
Anchor Steam may be on tap around the world, but Anchor Brewing docks in the city by the bay, making it our Best Local Brewery.
Anchor Brewing Company
Best Late-Night Trivia Action:
80s teen idols…world leaders…pop culture divas—find them all at Rogue Ales Public House, home to the Bay Area’s Best Late-Night Trivia.
Rogue Ales Public House
Best Karaoke Action:
Guns and Roses? Katy Perry? Journey? Pick your poison at San Francisco's favorite karaoke lounge, The Mint.
The Mint Karaoke Lounge
Best Consignment Action:
Consignment shopping is an art form in this city. Shop with the best of them at our readers’ Best Thrift Consignment Store, Leftovers.
Best Biking Action:
Golden Gate Park
Best Kids Park Action:
Golden Gate Park
Best Local Writer Action:
Between How We Are Hungry, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and Surviving Justice, (oh and McSweeny's and 826 Valencia, too) it's no wonder that Dave Eggers is the Bay Area's favorite writer.
Best Local Celebrity Action:
Together with her husband (our readers’ favorite local DJ, Jeffrey Paradise), this social diva/blogger plans the city’s wildest parties in town, dubbing her Best Local Celebrity.
Best View Action:
For fireworks or just a sunny day view, we head to the best vista in town, Twin Peaks.
Best Visitor Action:
Ferry Building Farmers Market