Our 49th annual 48 Hills/SF Bay Guardian Best of the Bay is finally here, and we couldn’t happier to celebrate all the great things that make this the best place in the world. Thousands of our readers voted, telling us who they think deserved to be called “best” in dozens of categories like Best DJ, Best Bar, Best Burrito, Best Dance Party Best Arts Festival, Best Plumber, Best Podcast, Best Pizza, Best Drag Queen… It was a rush of positivity sorely needed right now. Especially when so many of our former winners have sadly left us, so many small businesses and organizations are struggling, and the world seems to be beating us up.
BEST OF THE BAY 2023 READERS’ POLL WINNERS:
Best Salon, Best Bike Repair, Best Podcast, Best Hotel, Best Tour, Best Tailor, Best Gym, more
FOOD & DRINK
Best Burrito, Best Pizza, Best Chinese, Best Brunch, Best Vegan, Best Dive Bar, Best Sports Bar, more
ARTS & NIGHTLIFE
Best Nightclub, Best Art Gallery, Best Drag Queen, Best Karaoke, Best Live Venue, Best DJ, more
Best Bookstore, Best Bike Shop, Best Store Staff, Best Cannabis Dispensary, Best Shoe Store, more
Inside this year’s issue you’ll find the winners (and runners up) from the 2023 Best of the Bay Readers’ Poll; throughout the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing our special Editors’ Picks of local people, places, and things we think deserved special shine this year. Please join us October 26 at our 10th Annual 48 Hills Gala to celebrate the winners and help independent media and essential legacy projects like this survive! (You can also become a sustaining member or donor here.)
This is the 18th Best of the Bay I’ve helmed (phew!) but I couldn’t do it without the team: Aaron Joseph of Identafire on design, Matt Fisher on original web duties, Caitlin Donohue on promotion, and my ever-patient hubby Hunky Beau. This year’s designs took inspiration from natural patterns and deeper palettes to indicate deep roots, future growth, and hopeful sustainability. Thank you to all who voted and support our independent mission, congratulations to all the winners, and Happy Best of the Bay! —Marke B.