Best Wine Shop
1389 Lincoln Ave., San Jose: 408.293.7574. It takes more than bottles of good wine to make the best wine shop. You need a knowledgeable staff, fun and informational classes and an absence of wine snobbery. Metro readers say The Grapevine has got it all and then some.
2. Joseph George Wines
1559 Meridian Ave., San Jose; 408.448.9463
3. The Wine Rack
6136 Bollinger Road, San Jose; 408.253.3050
Best Vintage Clothing
1630 W. San Carlos St., San Jose; 408.287.5876. Moon Zooom is one huge, swirling vortex of Technicolor polyester knit, ’80s Cosby sweaters, Mad Men-esque gogo dresses and flowery ’50s Sunday-go-meetin’ hats. With two floors and a huge back room packed from ceiling to floor with all this vintage goodness, shoppers can just roll up their sleeves and rummage for unique styles. Moon Zooom also just celebrated its 20th anniversary last month.
2. Crossroads Trading Company
1008 Blossom Hill Road #E, San Jose, 408.269.1000; 1959 W. San Carlos St., San Jose, 408.292.6100
Best Art Supply Store
456 Meridian Ave., San Jose, 408.297.4707; 267 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto, 650.328.3500. When the muse comes calling, artists, hobbyists and crafters make their way to University Art. From frames, paints and canvases to sketch books, geegaws and clay, this Northern California fixture carries everything needed to transform a doodle into a masterpiece, a flash of inspiration into a project and a craft idea into a hipster accoutrement. They offer workshops, demos and kids’ stuff, too.
2. D&J Hobby
96 N. San Tomas Aquino Road, Campbell; 408.379.1696
3. Accent Arts
392 S. California Ave., Palo Alto; 650.424.1044
Best Pet Store
Multiple locations. There are drawbacks to shopping for animal supplies at big-box pet stores like Petco or PetSmart: it’s hard to be sure that the minimum-wage-earning high-schoolers on staff know what they’re talking about. That’s why locally owned, independent An-Jan is the best pet store around. They have a staff that is knowledgeable in everything from ferrets to fish. They can even tell customers the reason dogs will eat cat food, but cat’s won’t eat dog food. They even have a pretty sweet bird supply selection, too.
2. Dolphin Pet Village
1770 W. Campbell Ave., Campbell; 408.379.7600
3. Sam’s Downtown
759 W. San Carlos St., San Jose; 408.287.9090
Best Pet Day Care
734 S. First St., San Jose; 408.287.2267. Gone are the guilty days of leaving Rex in a cold kennel while the family goes on vacation. Downtown Dogs has taken the doggie resort to the next level, providing care and attention that most humans would be jealous of (spa treatments, treat-filled toys and personal time). This day- and overnight-care facility beckons with a Very Important Pooch package, online video cameras so pet owners can check in on the dogs, size and temperament groupings, training, deluxe suites and one-on-one time.
2. A Dog’s Life
901 Ames Ave., Milpitas, 408.946.3647; 885 Commercial St., Palo Alto, 650.494.3647; 1249 Birchwood Dr. Sunnyvale, 408.747.1111
3. Pawin’ Around Dog Day Care
1068 Park Ave., San Jose; 408.298. 9044
Best Place to Buy Records and CDs
1820 S. Bascom Ave., Campbell, 800.350.8700; 630 San Antonio Ave., Mountain View, 800.350.8700. As the music game has changed, so too have the methods of acquiring new tunes. The digital onslaught tipped the retail industry on its ear, but this independent chain has weathered the storm and continues to provide a real-world shopping experience for those who appreciate a bit of interaction and bin digging sprinkled in with their music buying. Regular sales, well-organized stores, new and used products, and plenty of variety have solidified Rasputin’s place in the game.
2. Streetlight Records
980 S. Bascom Ave., San Jose; 408.292.1404
3. Big Al’s Record Barn
522 S. Bascom Ave., San Jose; 408.294.7200
Best Clothing Boutique
342 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell; 408.370.2334. 23 Skidoo is located in the heart of the very-hot-right-now downtown Campbell strip, and this is the first year it’s been voted Best Clothing Boutique by Metro readers (though they have made runner up in the Best Vintage Clothing category several times). 23 Skidoo really is best at “retro-inspired” clothing. It’s also pretty much the go-to place for the valley’s throng of rockabilly hipsters—probably because they carry hip brands like Rock Steady, T.U.K., Sourpuss and Lucky 13.
347 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell, 408.866.8999; 250 Castro St., Mountain View, 650.691.1186
3. Bella James Women’s Boutique
1151 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, 408.292.0000; 350 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell, 408.866.9000
Best Shoe Store
Multiple locations. A small shoe store has to be the best to survive the current economic downturn—and the Great Depression. The Beck family has owned and run Beck’s Shoes in San Jose since 1919. Carrying brands like Converse, Clarks, Birkenstock and SAS, Beck’s is big on old-fashioned service. Sit right down, and they’ll carry pairs over and fit them right onto your foot. Beck’s Shoes also has a wide selection of long-lasting work footwear, with brands like Dr. Martens, Georgia Boot, Rocky and Wolverine.
2. Footwear Etc.
1 N Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos; 408.395.3510
Best Running Shoe Store
51 University Ave. #C, Los Gatos; 408.395.4311. The beauty of a specialty shop is that it does one thing really well. The one thing that Runner’s Factory does really well, is get runners hooked up with a shoe that is going to best serve their needs. The helpful and informative staff know feet, knees, hips, arches, treads, uppers, supports and insoles. And whether training for a marathon, replacing your beaters, upping your gear or just starting out, they’ll get you on the road in comfort and style.
2. The Running Revolution
511 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell; 408.374.9307
3. Sports Basement
1177 Kern Ave., Sunnyvale; 408.732.0300
Best Bicycle Shop
The Off Ramp
2369 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, 408.249.2848; 2320 El Camino Real, Mountain View, 650.968.2974. Watching someone ride an ill-fitting bicycle is painful; it brings back memories of riding a hand-me-down 10-speed with a grow-into frame. Luckily, there are people around to make sure this never has to happen again. The road-tested folks at the Off Ramp are on a mission to get the right bike, in the right size, with the proper adjustments, under the butts of cyclists of all make. And they sweeten the pot with a low-price guarantee.
2. Willow Glen Bicycles
1016 Lincoln Ave., San Jose; 408.293.2606
3. Mike’s Bikes
201 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, 408.402.5550; 3001 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, 650.858.7700
Best Motorcycle Shop
San Jose Harley-Davidson
1551 Parkmoor Ave., San Jose; 408.998.1464. Once a month, locals can hear the deafening noise of dozens of Harley engines in sync. That would be bike night, a get together of all local Harley owners hosted by San Jose Harley-Davidson. That’s part of what sets San Jose Harley-Davidson apart from other motorcycle shops—they treat their customers like family. The store has a wide variety of apparel and accessories, and wrench-turners who can build or rebuild a motorcycle from the ground up.
2. Road Rider
2897 Monterey Hwy., San Jose; 408.227.6936
3. Cycle Gear Inc.
1515 Parkmoor Ave., San Jose; 408.288.5051
Best Toy Store
The Wooden Horse
796 Blossom Hill Road, Los Gatos; 408.356.8821. The Wooden Horse is the closest thing one can find to Geppetto’s workshop in Silicon Valley, which is why we like them. This is an authentic toy store and a kid’s dreamland—shelves upon shelves, tables and counters and every nook and cranny stuffed with toys, games, stuffed animals and princess dress-up clothes. They have tons of kits too, to keep little hands (and little minds) active and entertained. And no worries about lead poisoning here: The Wooden Horse stocks tons of organic, nonchemically laden toys and games to keep baby safe.
2. D&J Hobby
96 N. San Tomas Aquino Road, Campbell; 408.379.1696
3. Tech Museum Store
201 S. Market St., San Jose; 408.299.0885
Best Comic Book Shop
10123 N. Wolfe Road, Cupertino; 408.996.7640. A good balance of games and comics is the reason why this long-lived store has survived a rough and tumble direct sales market skewing away from print and toward collectibles. The staff’s good attitude also helps (nothing could be less Simpsons-style Comic Book Guy than the counter service here). No wonder the fan base has stuck with this shop during its move to new locations over the years.
2. Lee’s Comics
1020F N. Rengstorff Ave., Mountain View; 650.965.1800
3. Hijinx Comics
2050 Lincoln Ave., San Jose; 408.266.1103
Tip N Toe Salon
1795 Hillsdale Ave., San Jose, 408.265.2498; 1295 E. Dunne Ave. #170, Morgan Hill, 408.782.1636. A clean shop, a friendly staff, a variety of waxing, pedi and mani services, and all the nail treatments that you could want, including Pink and White, Acrylic and Crystal. A spa it is not, but sometimes a short hand or foot massage is all you need to reacquaint yourself with sanity.
2. Tina’s Nails
156 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto; 650.328.1568
3. Los Gatos Nail Works
140 W. Main St., Los Gatos; 408.354.6245
Lavande Nail Spa
240 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, 650.289.0533; 355 Santana Row #1020, San Jose, 408.983.1222. Lavande has a pedicure called Like Water for Chocolate, where you soak your feet in cocoa and are treated to a chocolate scrub. Or, if rose petals are more your thing, they can do that too. Or mint. Or honey-almond. What better way to unwind than to kick off your shoes and treat your feet?
2. Tip N Toe Salon
1795 Hillsdale Ave., San Jose, 408.265.2498; 1295 E. Dunne Ave. #170, Morgan Hill, 408.782.1636
3. Sakura Nail Bar
169 Jackson St., San Jose; 408.275.1625
Best Hair Salon – San Jose/Sunnyvale/Los Gatos
Alchemy Hair Studios & Spas
1047 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, 408.293.3494; 1335 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, 408.283.9380. Alchemy Hair Studio makes even simple beauty remedies like a blowout or a quick mani-pedi feel like the full spa experience. The friendly, skilled staff offer coffee and refreshments and plush couches in Alchemy’s sparkly, uber-feminine Eastern-inspired waiting area. But it’s the fact that their skilled stylists always make sure to do a thorough consultation first that makes them the best. That way, customers can be sure that trendy new hairdo they want doesn’t turn out to be a hat-hiding hair-don’t.
2 N. Market St. #100, San Jose; 408.293.4242
3. Studio Glam
311 Stockton Ave., San Jose; 408.260.5001
Best Hair Salon – Mtn. View/Palo Alto
LaBelle Day Spa
96 Town and Country Village, Palo Alto, 650.327.6964; 36 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, 650.326.8522. LaBelle is a bit of a one-stop self-improvement spot, with spa amenities, a variety of body treatments and a salon where one can re-up their hair color or highlights, get a fancy up-do or reconditioning, experiment with hair extensions or straightening, or get a cut from a master stylist.
888 Villa St. #100, Mountain View; 650.938.8777
3. Edge Hair Salon
250 University Ave. #103, Palo Alto; 650.462.1000
Best Beauty Supply
Multiple locations. Embodying the whole “Mother of Invention” thing, Peninsula Beauty came about way back in 1959, when Mrs. Silverstein couldn’t find the hair products she wanted. So, the family opened a shop; then another, and so on. Today, they have 10 locations that provide all the hair and beauty supplies one could need, as well as some nice extras like patterned shower caps, airline travel packs, therapeutic bubble bath and more.
2. Planet Beauty
925 Blossom Hill Road #1552, San Jose; 408.225.7160; 2855 Stevens Creek Blvd. #1153, Santa Clara; 408.248.2373
3. Kiss & Make-Up
130 N. Santa Cruz Ave. #M, Los Gatos; 408.354.3274
Best Teeth Whitening
Dr. Stephanie Loller
891 S. Bascom Ave., San Jose; 408.298.0777. Really, who doesn’t want a radiant smile? And Dr. Loller can hook it up. Along with all of the treatments you’d expect from a tech-savvy, modern dentist, she offers one-hour teeth whitening that is safe, effective and long-lasting. Hers was also the first dental office to be certified as a green business in Santa Clara County, so you can take care of your teeth and your planet.
2. Willow Glen Dental Care
1600 Willow St. #203, San Jose; 408.978.0911
3. Los Gatos Family Dentistry
14543 S. Bascom Ave., Los Gatos; 408.358.5115
Best Skate Shop
108 Paseo De San Antonio, San Jose; 408.995.0677. Looking for some new comfortable kicks? Venture to Circle-A, which is known for having the best selection of skater shoes in the South Bay. The shop also has racks of skateboards and gear for the true skaters out there. And posers are welcome too, even if they don’t know the difference between a kick flip and an ollie. Circle-A also has an aptitude for high-caliber customized reframes and repaints.
2. Boarder Nation
14448 Union Ave., San Jose; 408.377.3577
3. Black Diamond Sports
162 University Ave., Palo Alto; 650.289.0900
Best Local Independent Bookstore
Hicklebee’s Children’s Books
1378 Lincoln Ave., San Jose; 408.292.8880. To call Hicklebee’s a children’s bookstore is a bit of an understatement. It’s more like a catapult into a lifetime of reading that doubles as a children’s literature community center. Think author signings and events, a wall of fame, a kid-friendly layout, a commitment to getting more and better books into schools, a story museum and even a grown-up section. Need more? Rosemary Wells created a character, the Hicklebunny, for them. FTW.
2. Recycle Bookstore
1066 The Alameda, San Jose, 408.286.6275; 275 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell, 408.370.3514
1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park; 650.324.4321
Best Community Bank
Technology Credit Union
Multiple locations. Located throughout the South Bay, Technology Credit Union banks share one constant—they have established trust of locals with excellence in customer service. The bank also offers low fees and low rates on loans of all kinds.
2. Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union
3. San Jose Credit Union
140 Asbury St., San Jose, 408.294.8800; 88 S. Fourth St., San Jose, 408.294.8800
Best Car Wash
Delta Queen and Classic Car Wash
5005 Almaden Expwy., San Jose, 408.371.2565; 981 E. Hamilton Ave., Campbell, 408.377.2525; 16500 Lark Ave., Los Gatos, 408.356.2525; Multiple other locations. Fast, cheap and clean car washes. That’s exactly what Classic Car Wash delivers. Paying $7 to have a clean car exterior is the bargain of bargains. And it won’t cost more than 20 bucks to get the interior of the car done as well. The process is painless—drive to a line, pick a type of wash and pay. More importantly, customers can get in and out in less than 30 minutes.
610 Grape Ave., Sunnyvale; 408.245.7737
3. Pacific Hand Car Wash
1667 S. Bascom Ave., Campbell, 408.371.6660; 21 N. Fifth St., San Jose, 408.293.3128
355 Santana Row #2010, San Jose; 408.241.0071. Fancy a soak in a hot tub followed by a massage? What kind? Whether your pleasure is deep tissue, Shiatsu or Swedish, the therapists at Burke Williams are trained to lower stress and tension levels. They also offer specialized modalities such as Reflexology, Cranial Sacral and Reiki. Toss in a robe and slippers, and let the relaxation begin.
2. La Concha Spa
1042 Lincoln Ave., San Jose; 408.286.8612
3. Preston Wynne
14567 Big Basin Way, Saratoga; 408.741.5525
Best Outdoor Gear
1266 W. San Carlos St., San Jose; 408.287.5994. Hiking on Mount Hamilton, snowboarding on the Sierras or fishing in Lake Almaden require quality outdoor gear. Since 1946, Mel Cotton’s sporting goods has been South Bay’s most dependable store for all types of outdoor gear. Employees at Mel’s will give customers the best advice for surviving Mother Nature’s greatest obstacles.
2. Sports Basement
1177 Kern Ave., Sunnyvale; 408.732.0300
3. Any Mountain
1600 Saratoga Ave., San Jose; 408.871.1001
Best Tattoo Parlor
Marks of Art
3014 Union Ave., San Jose; 408.377.1924. Marks of Art tattoo artists have produced quality work for more than a decade. The shop is clean and the artists are friendly, giving customers a pleasant environment for a potentially unnerving experience. Marks of Art employees also stress the importance of aftercare of the tattoo. And since 2000, customers have raved about the color in their tats not fading.
2. Player’s Ink
518 W. San Carlos St., San Jose; 408.993.8282
3. Humble Beginnings
1421 W. San Carlos St., San Jose; 408.288.6814
Best Place to Get Pierced
957 W. San Carlos St., San Jose; 408.993.9684 They’ll do custom modifications, they were awarded a special commendation by the director of public health, their studio is clean and professional, the staff knows what they’re doing and the studio is a regular player in readers’ choice awards. Piercing, scarring or a subdermal implant—Body Exotic has it covered.
2. The Pilates Body
2075 Lincoln Ave. #D, San Jose; 408.205.0043
3. Fit From the Core
1050 Independence Ave., Mountain View; 650.934.2673
Best Yoga Studio
Soula Power Yoga
200 S. First St. #70, San Jose; 408.993.9642. Welcome to Power Yoga. You will sweat. You will receive a workout that will “kick your ass” and you’ll have to resort to the Child’s Pose for refuge. And, you will experience a transformation in your body, spirit and mind. If you can gracefully move through an hour of high-energy yoga in a heated room, a little work stress is nothing. Soula offers lots of classes and payment options, workshops, and a wellness center to round out your practice.
2. Willow Glen Yoga
1188 Lincoln Ave., San Jose; 408.289.9642
3. Bikram Yoga
5289A Prospect Road, San Jose; 408.255.9910
Best Health Club
Jewish Community Center
14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos; 408.358.3636. Having won in this category for four of the past five years, the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center was a favorite to win even before a remodel earlier this year, which added a bunch of new elliptical trainers, rowing machines and treadmills. With its Olympic-sized outdoor heated pool, well-equipped exercise rooms, locker rooms with both dry saunas and shvitz, and huge basketball gym, the place is like Disneyland for amateur athletes. But the best thing about it is the smart, friendly staff.
3. Club One Fitness
Best Fitness Boot Camp/Personal Trainer
San Jose Adventure Boot Camp
3635 Union Ave., San Jose; 408.841.7605. Four weeks. That’s all it takes for women to complete the weight-loss fitness program at San Jose Adventure Boot Camp. It offers a fun environment for women to jump-start a healthier lifestyle. Winners of Metro’s Best Of in 2009, the personal trainers at San Jose Boot Camp continue to sweat enthusiasm and energy.
2. FUSE Fitness
1600 Dell Ave., Campbell; 408.335.4773
3. Rick’s Force Fitness Boot Camp
3177 Heritage Estates Ct., San Jose; 408.599.4561
Dr. Stephanie Loller
891 S. Bascom Ave., San Jose; 408.298.0777. This year, Metro readers voted Dr. Loller for the one-two combo of best dentist and best teeth whitening, and for good reason. Dr. Loller and her staff work hard to put every patient at ease in the often-scary dentist’s chair. Whether there for teeth whitening, Invisalign teeth straightening, porcelain veneers or a straight-forward cleaning, Dr. Loller’s patients know they’ll be in good hands.
2. Willow Glen Dentistry
1245 Lincoln Ave., San Jose; 408.293.9600
3. Dr. Steven Cohen
6541 Crown Blvd. #H, San Jose; 408.268.8585
Best Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Laurence Berkowitz
3803 S. Bascom Ave. #100, Campbell; 408.559.7177. According to Dr. Berkowitz, while aging is mandatory, how you reflect your age is optional. This well-established surgeon is a favorite among the local “aesthetic procedures” crowd, and has also traveled extensively through Latin America performing reconstructive surgery on children and adults in impoverished areas. So, if you want some body reconstruction, or need a humanitarian plastic surgeon, Berkowitz is your guy.
2. Dr. Regina Rosenthal
3803 S. Bascom Ave. #206, Campbell; 408.559.4700
3. Dr. Craig Creasman
2400 Samaritan Dr. #206, San Jose; 408.369.9300
Best Day Spa
165 Channing Ave., Palo Alto; 650.462.2000. Fancy a day of pampering, complete with scrubs, soaks, mud, oils and masks? How about a chocolate truffle body wrap? Or a pumpkin cream treatment? Perhaps a hot-stone massage? A little staycation to the spa is just the thing for a weary body and mind, and Watercourse Way knows how to do it up right.
2. The Spa, Los Gatos
100 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos; 408.354.5901
3. LaBelle Day Spa
95 Town and Country Village, Palo Alto, 650.327.6964; 36 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, 650.326.8522
Best Alternative to Home Depot
Multiple locations. Known for its superb customer service and huge selection, Orchard Supply is the definition of a quality hardware store. The store has enough plants and shrubs in stock for customers to make their own forest. Orchard also gives away free tickets to San Jose Giants games.
2. Southern Lumber
1402 Monterey Hwy., San Jose; 408.297.9663
3. Willow Glen Ace Hardware
2253 Lincoln Ave., San Jose; 408.267.0223
Best Kitchen/Cooking Store
40 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, 408.354.6630; 1395 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, 408.279.4787. Everything one could possibly need to throw a top-notch cocktail soiree, a legendary picnic or an unforgettable dinner party can be found within the walls of Domus. From fruit scoops, egg wedgers and serving trays to cocktail glasses, over-the-shoulder picnic baskets and bakeware, this is the spot for culinary types.
2. Cook’s Junction
261 Main St., Los Altos; 650.941.6530
3. The Butter Paddle
14510 Big Basin Way, Saratoga; 408.867.1678
Best Garden Store
1361 S. De Anza Blvd. #2, Cupertino; 408.252.3347. Way back in 1948, Taro Yamagami opened up a fruit stand on two acres of land. A student of landscaping, he started selling plants out of the stand that gradually became a small nursery. Today, Yamagami’s provides everything for the garden and more, including a plant doctor who makes house calls, exclusive and hard-to-find plants, gardening guides, a lawn care reminder service and the neighborly vibe that comes with being a family-owned local business.
2. Almaden Valley Nursery
15800 Almaden Expwy., San Jose; 408.997.1234
3. Green Thumb Nursery
15796 Winchester Blvd., Los Gatos; 408.395.6050
Best Furniture Store
2645 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, 408.296.7393; 380 Saratoga Ave., San Jose, 408.261.9682. Russell’s is huge. And, they know what they’re doing, having been in the furniture business since 1892. They offer a vast and deep selection of name-brand furniture, and pride themselves on being able to offer the best prices around. They also have a pinball machine to occupy the kids while you work on refurnishing your home. Need more? On the weekends they serve warm cookies.
2. Home Consignment Center
141 E. El Camino Real, Mountain View, 650.964.7212; 600 El Paseo de Saratoga, San Jose, 408.871.8890
3. Rosso’s Furniture
6881 Monterey Road, Gilroy; 408.842.2800; 212 Tennant Ave., Morgan Hill, 408.776.8100
Best Gift Store
40 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, 408.354.6630; 1395 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, 408.279.4787. Gift shopping is one of those things that doesn’t seem too tricky until you’re doing it; standing in the aisle, eyes glazed over, with no time to spare, realizing that you have no idea what you’re going to get. Enter, Domus: a gadget/household gift gold mine, where one can find martini totes, bath bubbles, solar lights, ooey gooey eyes, wine paraphernalia and more.
2. San Jose Museum of Art Museum Store
110 S. Market St., San Jose; 408.271.6878
1331 Lincoln Ave., San Jose; 408.294.5557