.Best of Silicon Valley 2023

Publisher’s Introduction

Signs that the valley’s days as America’s biggest ag town were coming to an end became clear as daylight when Sam’s Downtown Feed closed at the end of last year. Where will downtown San Jose residents now buy guinea pig hay and laying crumble?

That’s the price of gentrification, in the path of a Google land buying spree with an uncertain timeline, though Creekside Socials and brightly colored banners will no doubt cheer things up for a decade or two until the urban villages take root.

Much of the valley’s idiosyncratic vestiges have departed—the House of Foam in Palo Alto, no more cushion in a city that some years back evicted 21,000 Barbies so that the latest pop culture phenomenon would have its temple in El Segundo. The Fish Market in Santa Clara is gone, and Raging Waters won’t reopen next season. Even the rich are not being spared, as three Michelin-rated restaurants—Adega, Baume and Manresa—went going, going, gone. Where will foodies jonesing for $1000, 24-course tasting menus get their fix?

Across the valley, post-pandemic economic realities are changing its landscape, and our lifestyles. Many committed champions of authentic culture nonetheless will soldier through this era of disrupt, and a new generation of innovators will provide new ways for us to spend our time, our lives, our money.

In the still-standing column is the Best of Silicon Valley, Metro’s three-decade running, reader-powered window into the valley we call home. This year we’ve split the results into two publishing dates, and the food and drink winners will be in our Part Two issue.

Please let us know your thoughts on the winners—hashtag #bosv23—as well as any entrants or categories that you would like to add to the mix. Election year 2024 is right around the corner, and we are getting ready for the next installment.

Dan Pulcrano


Best Of Listing

Arts & Culture

BEST ART GALLERY
SAN JOSE MUSEUM OF ART
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
AEGIS GALLERY
Saratoga

BEST BALLET COMPANY
SAN JOSE DANCE THEATRE
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
NEW BALLET SAN JOSE
San Jose

BEST BALLET SCHOOL
SAN JOSE DANCE THEATRE
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
NEW BALLET SAN JOSE
San Jose

BEST COMEDY NIGHT
SAN JOSE IMPROV OPEN MIC
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
ROOSTER T FEATHERS
Sunnyvale

BEST COVER BAND
LAVENDER FIELDS BAND
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
HOUSEROCKERS
San Jose

BEST DANCE CLUB
NUMBER 1 BROADWAY
Los Gatos

RUNNER-UP
SPLASH
San Jose

BEST DANCE COMPANY
SAN JOSE DANCE THEATRE
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
WEST VALLEY DANCE COMPANY
Mountain View, San Jose

BEST DANCE STUDIO
SAN JOSE DANCE THEATRE
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
THE GET DOWN
San Jose

BEST FESTIVAL—CENTRAL SILICON VALLEY
CUPERTINO CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL
Cupertino

RUNNER-UP
SANTA CLARA ART AND WINE
Santa Clara

BEST FESTIVAL—PENINSULA
LOS ALTOS ART & WINE FESTIVAL
Los Altos

RUNNER-UP
MOUNTAIN VIEW ART AND WINE FESTIVAL
Mountain View

BEST FESTIVAL—SAN JOSE
SAN JOSE JAZZ FESTIVAL
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
OBON FESTIVAL, SAN JOSE JAPAN TOWN
San Jose

BEST FESTIVAL—SOUTH COUNTY
MORGAN HILL MUSHROOM FESTIVAL
Morgan Hill

RUNNER-UP
RENAISSANCE FAIRE
Hollister

BEST FESTIVAL—WEST VALLEY
BOOGIE ON THE BAYOU
Campbell

RUNNER-UP
LOS GATOS ART AND WINE
(FIESTA DE ARTES)
Los Gatos

BEST FILM FESTIVAL
CINEQUEST
San Jose, Redwood City

RUNNER-UP
SILICON VALLEY ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL
San Jose

BEST JAZZ/BLUES CLUB
MAMA KIN
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
POOR HOUSE BISTRO
San Jose

BEST KARAOKE
7 BAMBOO LOUNGE
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
WOODHAMS SPORTS LOUNGE
Santa Clara

BEST LARGE MUSIC VENUE
MOUNTAIN WINERY
Saratoga

RUNNER-UP
SHORELINE AMPHITHEATRE
Mountain View

BEST LATIN MUSIC CLUB
CLUB CARIBE
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
ALBERTO’S
Mountain View

BEST LGBTQ EVENT
SILICON VALLEY PRIDE
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
3 BELOW DRAG QUEEN BRUNCH
San Jose

BEST LOCAL BAND
LAVENDER FIELDS BAND
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
THE HOUSEROCKERS
San Jose

BEST MEDIA PERSONALITY
RAJ MATHAI
Palo Alto

RUNNER-UP
GARY SINGH
San Jose

BEST MUSEUM
SAN JOSE MUSEUM OF ART
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
THE TECH MUSEUM
San Jose

BEST MUSIC FESTIVAL
SAN JOSE JAZZ SUMMERFEST
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
BOOGIE ON THE BAYOU
Campbell

BEST OUTDOOR ART EVENT
SARATOGA ROTARY ART FESTIVAL
Saratoga

RUNNER-UP
MOUNTAIN VIEW ART AND WINE FESTIVAL
Mountain View

BEST OUTDOOR MUSIC VENUE
MOUNTAIN WINERY
Saratoga

RUNNER-UP
SHORELINE AMPHITHEATRE
Mountain View

BEST PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
HAMMER THEATER
San Jose

BEST PERFORMING DANCE COMPANY
SAN JOSE DANCE THEATRE
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
THE NEW BALLET SAN JOSE
San Jose

BEST RECORD/CD STORE
STREETLIGHT RECORDS
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
RASPUTIN MUSIC
Campbell

BEST SMALL MUSIC VENUE
THE RITZ
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
MAMA KIN
San Jose

BEST SMALL THEATER COMPANY
SAN JOSE STAGE COMPANY
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
CITY LIGHTS THEATER COMPANY
San Jose

BEST SMALL/QUIRKY MUSEUM
SAN JOSE MUSEUM OF QUILTS AND TEXTILES
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
ROSICRUCIAN EGYPTIAN MUSEUM
San Jose

BEST SYMPHONY
SYMPHONY SAN JOSE


RUNNER-UP
SAN JOSE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

BEST THEATER COMPANY
SAN JOSE STAGE COMPANY
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
SAN JOSE PLAYHOUSE
San Jose


Beauty, Health & Wellness

BEST ACUPUNCTURIST
ANNA MAI ACUPUNCTURE
Campbell

RUNNER-UP
LOKAHI ACUPUNCTURE
San Jose

BEST ALLERGIST
ALLERGY AND ASTHMA CLINIC
San Mateo

RUNNER-UP
SEA SALT THERAPY
Campbell

BEST ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY
MERRILL GARDENS AT CAMPBELL
Campbell

RUNNER-UP
BELMONT VILLAGE LOS GATOS
Los Gatos

BEST CHIROPRACTOR
DR. LISA LYNCH,DC
(Specialized Chiropractic)
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
MISSION CHIROPRACTOR
Santa Clara

BEST DAY SPA
BURKE WILLIAMS
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
THE SPA LOS GATOS
Los Gatos

BEST DENTIST
INSPIRA ADVANCED DENTISTRY
Campbell

RUNNER-UP
INFANTINO DENTAL
Los Gatos

BEST DERMATOLOGIST
DR. JENNIFER BARON, MD
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
CALIFORNIA SKIN INSTITUTE
San Jose

BEST EYELASH EXTENSIONS/BROW ENHANCEMENTS
THE LADY CODE
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
LADY LASH LOUNGE
San Jose

BEST HAIR SALON—CENTRAL SILICON VALLEY
CUT AND COLOR COLLECTIVE
Sunnyvale

RUNNER-UP
DBS SALON
Sunnyvale

BEST HAIR SALON—WEST VALLEY
STUDIO LATITUDE
Los Gatos

RUNNER-UP
MICHAEL ANTHONY SALON
Saratoga

BEST HAIR SALON—PENINSULA
JONATHAN DAVID
Palo Alto

RUNNER-UP
HAIR CONCEPTS SALON
Mountain View

BEST HAIR SALON—SAN JOSE/SOUTH COUNTY
OZ A SALON
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
BIGSBY HOUSE
San Jose

BEST LASIK EYE SURGERY
DR. SCOTT HYVER VISION CARE
Santa Clara

RUNNER-UP
POLARIS EYE & LASER
Los Gatos

BEST LOCAL HOSPITAL
EL CAMINO HOSPITAL
Mountain View

RUNNER-UP
GOOD SAMARITAN
San Jose

BEST MASSAGE SERVICES
BURKE WILLIAMS DAY SPA
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
BODY REST MASSAGE WELLNESS CENTER
Campbell

BEST NAIL SERVICES
KN NAILS
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
PERFECT 10
San Jose

BEST OB-GYN
DR. MARK FIERRO
Los Gatos

RUNNER-UP
DR. PHELPS-SANDALL
Mountain View

BEST OPHTHALMOLOGIST
JAN NYSSEN AND ASSOCIATES
Campbell

RUNNER-UP
SILICON VALLEY EYE CARE
San Jose

BEST PERSONAL TRAINING
FNS TRAINING CENTER
Santa Clara

RUNNER-UP
FLEX FUSION STUDIOS
Campbell

BEST PILATES STUDIO
CLUB PILATES
Campbell

RUNNER-UP
URBAN BODY
San Jose

BEST PLASTIC SURGEON
ILLUMINATE PLASTIC SURGERY
David Boudreault
San Jose, Palo Alto

RUNNER-UP
CHENG PLASTIC SURGERY
Saratoga

BEST SKIN CARE SPA
REJUVENIS SKINCARE
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
WELLNESS IN THE BAY
Los Gatos

BEST URGENT CARE CENTER
EL CAMINO HOSPITAL URGENT CARE
Cupertino

RUNNER-UP
EL CAMINO HOSPITAL URGENT CARE
Willow Glen

BEST WAXING STUDIO
CRISTINA’S ESTHETICS
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
TED D BARE
San Jose

BEST YOGA STUDIO
FLEX FUSION STUDIOS
Campbell

RUNNER-UP
BREATHE TOGETHER YOGA
Los Gatos


Cannabis

BEST BUDTENDERS
AIRFIELD SUPPLY COMPANY
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
ELEMENTAL WELLNESS CENTER
San Jose

BEST CANNABIS CBD PRODUCTS
CLOUD CITY SUPPLY INC
Campbell

RUNNER-UP
ELEMENTAL WELLNESS CENTER
San Jose

BEST CANNABIS BODY CARE SELECTION
ELEMENTAL WELLNESS CENTER
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
AIRFIELD SUPPLY COMPANY
San Jose

BEST CANNABIS DELIVERY
CALIVA
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
ELEMENTAL WELLNESS CENTER
San Jose

BEST CANNABIS FARM
FIG FARMS
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
WAVE RIDER NURSERY
Monterey County

BEST CANNABIS LABEL
EL CAMINO
Sacramento

RUNNER-UP
KIVA FARMS
San Leandro

BEST CANNABIS MENU SELECTION
AIRFIELD SUPPLY COMPANY
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
ELEMENTAL WELLNESS CENTER
San Jose

BEST CANNABIS MENU SELECTION
AIRFIELD SUPPLY COMPANY
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
ELEMENTAL WELLNESS CENTER
San Jose

BEST CANNABIS PRE-ORDER PICK UP SERVICE
ELEMENTAL WELLNESS CENTER
San Jose

RUNNER-UP (TIE)
AIRFIELD SUPPLY COMPANY
San Jose

RUNNER-UP (TIE)
PURPLE LOTUS
San Jose

RUNNER-UP (TIE)
CALIVA

San Jose

BEST CANNABIS THERAPEUTIC PRODUCT
PAPA & BARKLEY CBD BALM
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
CLOUD CITY SUPPLY INC
Campbell

BEST CBD SELECTION
ELEMENTAL WELLNESS CENTER
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
AIRFIELD SUPPLY CO.
San Jose

BEST DISCOUNT FOR MMJ CARDHOLDERS
AIRFIELD SUPPLY COMPANY
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
ELEMENTAL WELLNESS CENTER
San Jose

BEST DISPENSARY
AIRFIELD SUPPLY CO.
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
ELEMENTAL WELLNESS CENTER
San Jose

BEST DISPENSARY DISCOUNTS
ELEMENTAL WELLNESS CENTER
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
AIRFIELD SUPPLY COMPANY
San Jose

BEST EDIBLE SELECTION
AIRFIELD SUPPLY COMPANY
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
ELEMENTAL WELLNESS CENTER
San Jose

BEST HYDROPONIC SUPPLY STORE
AG-GEN
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
SAN JOSE HYDRO
San Jose

BEST LOCAL EDIBLE BRAND
PLUS
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
JETFUEL
San Jose

BEST PIPE SHOP
PARAMOUNT IMPORTS
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
420LIFESTYLES
Campbell


Everyday

BEST AUTO DETAILING
CLASSIC CAR WASH
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
CALIFORNIA AUTO TINTING AND POLISHING
Campbell

BEST BODY ART STUDIO
ELEVENTH DIMENSION
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
MARKS OF ART
San Jose

BEST AUTO DEALER
STEVENS CREEK TOYOTA
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
AUDI STEVENS CREEK
San Jose

BEST AUTO REPAIR
DHILLON MOTORSPORTS
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
LOS GATOS AUTO SERVICE
Los Gatos

BEST BARBER
RED THE BARBER
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
FADED
San Jose

BEST BIKE SHOP
GOOD KARMA BIKES
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
MIKE’S BIKES
San Jose

BEST BOOKSTORE—USED
RECYCLE BOOKS
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
FELDMAN’S BOOKS
Menlo Park

BEST BOOKSTORE – NEW
BOOKS INC.
Palo Alto, Alameda, Mountain View, Campbell

RUNNER-UP
HICKLEBEE’S
San Jose

BEST CARPETING/FLOORING
S&G CARPETING
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
CONKLIN BROS
San Jose

BEST CASINO
CASINO M8TRIX
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
BAY 101
San Jose

BEST CLOTHING ALTERATIONS
ANGELICA’S CUSTOM TAILOR
Campbell

RUNNER-UP
BEST ALTERATIONS
San Jose

BEST CLOTHING STORE—MEN’S
BLACK AND BROWN
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
SAN JOSE BLUE JEANS
San Jose

BEST FLOWER SHOP
BUNCHES LOS GATOS
Los Gatos

RUNNER-UP
BLOOMSTERS
San Jose

BEST GIFT SHOP
THERAPY
Campbell

RUNNER-UP
REDEMPTION
Campbell

BEST GOLF COURSE
PRUNERIDGE GOLF COURSE
Santa Clara

RUNNER-UP
LOS LAGOS
San Jose

BEST GROCERY STORE
LUNARDI’S
Los Gatos, San Jose

RUNNER-UP
ZANATTOS
San Jose

BEST INDEPENDENT HARDWARE STORE
ACE HARDWARE WILLOW GLEN
Willow Glen

RUNNER-UP
ACE HARDWARE LOS GATOS
Los Gatos

BEST INSURANCE AGENT
MIKE MYERS
State Farm Insurance | 408.412.8585

RUNNER-UP
DAVID MATZINGER
State Farm Insurance | 408.253.0132

BEST JEWELRY REPAIR
VARDY’S
Cupertino

RUNNER-UP
DE TAGLE JEWELERS
San Jose

BEST CLOTHING STORE—WOMEN’S
BLACK AND BROWN
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
BOMBSHELL BOUTIQUE
Campbell

BEST COMICS STORE
HEROES COMIC BOOKS
Willow Glen

RUNNER-UP
ILLUSIVE COMICS
Santa Clara

BEST CONSIGNMENT FURNITURE
HOME CONSIGNMENT CENTER
Campbell

RUNNER-UP
HABITAT
San Jose

BEST CREDIT UNION
STAR ONE CREDIT UNION
Los Altos, Saratoga, San Jose

RUNNER-UP
MERIWEST
San Jose

BEST COMMUNITY-SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE
FARM FRESH TO YOU
Capay

RUNNER-UP
SPADE AND PLOW
Spade and Plow

BEST FABRIC STORE
JOANN FABRICS AND CRAFTS
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
FABRICS R US
San Jose

BEST JEWELRY STORE
JOE ESCOBAR
Campbell

RUNNER-UP
VARDY’S
Cupertino

BEST KITCHEN/BATH REMODELER
THE WOOD CONNECTION
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
KITCHENS BY ROSS
San Jose

BEST LOCAL BANK
MERIWEST CU
Saratoga

RUNNER-UP
FREMONT BANK
Cupertino

BEST MARTIAL ARTS STUDIO
SILICON VALLEY KARATE
Palo Alto

RUNNER-UP
ERNIE REYES
San Jose

BEST MORTUARY
DARLING & FISCHER
Los Gatos, San Jose, Campbell

RUNNER-UP
ALAMEDA FAMILY
Saratoga

BEST MOTORCYCLE SHOP
SAN JOSE HARLEY DAVIDSON
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
MUNROE MOTORS
San Francisco

BEST MOVIE THEATER
PRUNEYARD CINEMAS
Campbell

RUNNER-UP
AMC MOUNTAIN VIEW
Mountain View

BEST MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS STORE
STARVING MUSICIAN
Santa Clara

RUNNER-UP
MUSIC VILLAGE
San Jose

BEST NEW FURNITURE
BOCONCEPT SANTANA ROW
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
ASHLEY FURNITURE
San Jose

BEST NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION
SECOND HARVEST
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
KIWANIS CLUB OF LOS GATOS
Los Gatos

BEST OPTICAL STORE
EYELITE OPTOMETRY
Los Altos

RUNNER-UP
VISION INSIGHTS
San Jose

BEST PIERCING STUDIO
PIERCED OUT
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
MAKE ME HOLEY
San Jose

BEST PLANT NURSERY
SUMMERWINDS
Cupertino, Campbell

RUNNER-UP
YAMAGAMI’S NURSERY
Cupertino

BEST PLUMBING COMPANY
ADVANCED QUALITY PLUMBING & ROOTER
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
EJ PLUMBING
Santa Clara

BEST REAL ESTATE AGENCY
COMPASS
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
VKG REAL ESTATE GROUP
Los Gatos

BEST RESALE CLOTHING
MOON ZOOOM
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
CROSSROADS
San Jose

BEST SENIOR LIVING FACILITY
MERRILL GARDENS
San Jose, Campbell

RUNNER-UP
THE TERRACES OF LOS GATOS
Los Gatos

BEST SHOE REPAIR
MASTER COBBLER
Campbell

RUNNER-UP
COBBLER’S BENCH
Santa Clara

BEST SMOKE SHOP
PARAMOUNT IMPORTS
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
420 LIFESTYLES
Campbell

BEST THRIFT SHOP
GOODWILL INDUSTRIES
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
SAVERS
San Jose

BEST VINTAGE CLOTHING STORE
MOON ZOOOM
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
BLACK & BROWN
San Jose


Family

BEST ANIMAL RESCUE GROUP
HUMANE SOCIETY SILICON VALLEY
San Jose

WINNER (TIE)
JAKE’S WISH
San Martin

RUNNER-UP
UNITY BULLDOG
San Jose

BEST ANIMAL HOSPITAL
WILLOW GLEN PET HOSPITAL
Willow Glen

RUNNER-UP
SAGE VETERINARY CENTER
Campbell

BEST BABY GIFT STORE
HICKLEBEE’S
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
JANIE AND JACK
Santa Clara

BEST BIRTHDAY PARTY PLACE
BALLOONATICS
Campbell

RUNNER-UP
PUMP IT UP
San Jose

BEST CHILDREN’S EDUCATIONAL CENTER
CHILDREN’S DISCOVERY MUSEUM OF SAN JOSE
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
TECH MUSEUM
San Jose

BEST DOG TRAINER
PRIMAL CANINE
Gilroy

RUNNER-UP
STACY’S WAG’N’TRAIN
San Jose

BEST DOGGIE DAY CARE
PAWS CROSSING
Campbell

RUNNER-UP
A PET VILLA
Santa Clara

BEST KENNEL
VCA ALMADEN
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
PAWS CROSSING
Campbell

BEST PET BOUTIQUE
GUSSIED UP
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
WOOFBOARD
San Jose

BEST PET FRIENDLY RESTAURANT
LAZY DOG
San Jose, Cupertino

RUNNER-UP
LUNA MEXICAN KITCHEN
The Alameda, Campbell

BEST PET/FEED STORE
PET PEOPLE
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
AN-JAN FEED & PET SUPPLY
Morgan Hill, Milpitas, San Jose

BEST PRIVATE SCHOOL
BELLARMINE
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
HARKER
San Jose

BEST PUBLIC SCHOOL
VINCI PARK ELEMENTARY
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
LOS GATOS HIGH SCHOOL
Los Gatos

BEST SUMMER DAY CAMP
CAMP SHALOM AT
JEWISH SILICON VALLEY
Los Gatos

RUNNER-UP
YMCA
Santa Clara

BEST TOY STORE
THE WOODEN HORSE
Los Gatos

RUNNER-UP
THINKER TOYS
Morgan Hill

BEST VETERINARY SERVICES
WILLOW GLEN PET HOSPITAL
Willow Glen

RUNNER-UP
SANTA CLARA PET HOSPITAL
Santa Clara


Recreation

BEST BIKE ROUTE/TRAIL
LOS GATOS CREEK TRAIL
Los Gatos

RUNNER-UP
VASONA TRAIL
Los Gatos

BEST GYM
FNS TRAINING CENTER
Santa Clara

RUNNER-UP
FLEX FUSION STUDIOS
Campbell

BEST HIKING TRAIL
LOS GATOS CREEK TRAIL
Los Gatos

RUNNER-UP
MISSION PEAK
Fremont

BEST OUTDOOR GEAR
REI
Multiple Locations

RUNNER-UP
SPORTS BASEMENT
Multiple Locations

BEST PARK
VASONA LAKE COUNTY PARK
Los Gatos

RUNNER-UP
JOHN D MORGAN PARK
Campbell

BEST SKATE SHOP
CIRCLE-A SKATEBOARDS
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
DOTTIE’S ROLLER SKATE SHOP
Campbell

BEST SWIMMING POOL
CAMPBELL COMMUNITY CENTER
Campbell

RUNNER-UP
SANTA CLARA SWIM CLUB
Santa Clara


Romance

BEST ROMANTIC DINNER

THE GRANDVIEW
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
LE PAPILLON
San Jose

BEST STAYCATION
CARMEL
Carmel

RUNNER-UP
COSTANOA

BEST WEDDING RECEPTION VENUE
TESTAROSSA WINERY
Los Gatos

RUNNER-UP
WILLOW HEIGHTS MANSION
Morgan Hill

BEST BOUDOIR/MODERN LINGERIE SHOP
SECRETS SAN JOSE
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
ADAM AND EVE
Campbell

BEST BOUTIQUE HOTEL
SARATOGA INN
Saratoga

RUNNER-UP
HAYES MANSION
San Jose

BEST BRIDAL SHOP
TRUDY’S BRIDES
Campbell

RUNNER-UP
ELEGANT LACE
San Jose

BEST EROTICA STORE
SECRETS SAN JOSE
San Jose

RUNNER-UP
ADAM & EVE
Lomita


Editorial Picks

ARTS & CULTURE

Orifice (best underground music venue in a mainstream location)

120 E San Carlos St, San Jose

Deep in the COVID doldrums, a brand new spot opened up to serve San Jose’s oft forgotten underground music scene. Located downtown, Orifice has handily filled the gap in the city’s live punk, metal, hardcore, indie and EDM scene with only the humblest of spaces: the classic basement. Not all heroes wear capes, and this humble hole in the wall is doing heroic work these days. Though the cops have started shutting down their shows (boooo!), Orifice is a necessary salve for the South Bay’s music lovers. Long live Orifice.

Mike Huguenor


ARTS & CULTURE

New Museum (best museum and gallery supporting DEI initiatives)

106 E Main St, Los Gatos

408.354.2646 | numulosgatos.org

There is a fascinating and culturally relevant blend of history meets art gallery at the New Museum in Los Gatos. NUMU transports patrons throughout local communities and across time with an ongoing exhibit called Los Gatos History Project: Uncovering Untold Stories. Located in the museum’s History Hall in their lower level, patrons can discover a selection of items and objects that have been buried in time. Brushing the dust off the boxes, NUMU deep dove into the past to recover hidden complexities surrounding the Los Gatos area.

There’s one area within the museum’s History Project that showcases an eclectic array of anonymously sourced cloth dolls, asking patrons who may have any type of knowledge about these items to inform the museum’s staff. That’s progressive! Another area involves a lime green wall that highlights the indigenous cultures that inhabited the land prior. “We acknowledge that New Museum Los Gatos sits on the ancestral land of the Ohlone, the Tamien Ohlone and the Muwekma Ohlone people, who have stewarded this land throughout the generations,” writes the museum as they provide thanks and acknowledgement to these people, past, present and future. “This is one step towards creating a safe place for the community to learn from the past, dialogue about the present and move forward.”

Moving upstairs to NUMU’s Main Gallery, one will find a rotating gallery exhibit full of art pieces that make a statement. Currently featured at the New Museum, includes the inner workings of a pair of Santa Cruz-based artists and their process, an exhibit that uncovers biases and stigmas around the immigrant perspective, women’s rights and mental health, as well as a gallery of evocative drawings, etchings and paintings that explore the intersections between landscape, memory and history. These are just a few of the exhibits currently occupying NUMU’s Main Gallery.

Finally, this extensive cultural hub provides accessible tours, programs and workshops for the community. They offer free admission every first Sunday of the month, in addition to a lasting Maker Space on the museum’s lower floor where people are encouraged to tinker with items and invent new things.

From artist’s talks, to world dance, to learning about local history, to creating art, there’s something for everyone in New Museum Los Gatos.

Jeanette Prather


BEAUTY, HEALTH & WELLNESS

Japanese Friendship Garden (best peaceful oasis in the middle of SJ)

1300 Senter Rd, San Jose

408.794.7275 | sanjose.org

Despite having no water in the large main pond area, the Japanese Friendship park remains as beautiful and peaceful as ever. Tucked away in the heart of the city, its fence provides a simple barrier and sanctuary to the bustling outside world. Manicured and yet a little wild, the garden, dedicated to SJ’s sister city Okayama in Japan, holds quiet space for every visitor. The true-to-culture Japanese style is reminiscent of a zen garden full of lush bonsai and stone bridges. Coi swarm around the smaller pond down in the lower section of the garden, lined by lily pads and mixed green vegetation. Even the sole building near the end of the garden maintains on brand architecturally in this meditative location.

Jeanette Prather


CANNABIS

High Voltage Punk Shop (best punk store near the cannabis scene)

1824 W San Carlos St, San Jose

@highvoltage_ca (Instagram)

Let’s face it, being a punk in San Jose these days ain’t easy. With single family homes selling for over a million, techies everywhere and Valley Fair charging its own employees for parking, the deck is truly stacked against us. Enter High Voltage Punk Shop, a locally owned store bringing local punks all they need, from skateboards and records to fashion and accessories, High Voltage has plenty of punk wares and wearables. With live shows now coming to their San Carlos St. location, High Voltage’s energy is electric.

Mike Huguenor


EVERYDAY

The Domain (best business boutique hotel on a budget)

1085 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale

408.247.0800 | domainhotelsv.com

This Silicon Valley hotel is a Google staple. Rumor has it that the company sends prospective employees to stay at the no-frills, minimalist hotel. Swanky on its own terms, the Domain offers the best bang for your buck in the Sunnyvale area ($130/Saturday night stay during a holiday weekend). This pet-friendly and sophisticated pad greets guests with a tropical-lite touch reminiscent of a small beach resort along the coast of Mexico. All the basic amenities are included with the stay–fitness room, pool, hot tub, complimentary breakfast and cheap parking–in addition to noon-time checkout. The hotel resides smack-dab in the middle of Silicon Valley, less than 20 minutes away from Santana Row. The best part of this hotel is the literal writing on the wall. “Real genius is nothing else but the supernatural virtue of humility in the domain of thought,” writes a prolific quote on the striking blue wall above the bed.

Jeanette Prather


RECREATION

Happy Hollow (best outdoor entertainment for children)

748 Story Road, San Jose

happyhollow.org

Happy Hollow is a cute zoo, but it’s so much more. You can spend a good hour looking at animals, but then you can spend more hours on rides and playing in some of the biggest playgrounds anywhere. The zoo has lemurs, jaguars, alligators, tortoises and talking birds. But then, there’s another animal area with anteaters and farm animals, including chickens and goats. Oh yeah, there are also child-friendly amusement rides, including a roller coaster, train, carousel and swings. At $18 for general admission, there’s no better bargain in this city.

Brad Kava

6 COMMENTS

  1. Surprised that Willow Glen is consistently listed as Willow Glenn.

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  2. Obon Festival, not Obone Festival. It honors the spirits of the ancestors, not their bones.

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  3. What was the criteria for these? I saw “Reader-powered” so does that mean this is based off of reader votes? For schools for example, was it test scores, attendance, college prep?

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  4. I see that this was “Part 1” of what I’m guessing will be 2 installments.
    Anyone have any insight about when the second installment will be coming?

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