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2020 Best of the Bay

48hills is proud to host the SF Bay Guardian Best of the Bay 2020! Sign up for our newsletter for more great local news + culture. 

Welcome to our historic 45th annual edition of the nation’s original Best of the Bay. Thousands of you voted, here are the results. Stay tuned for our 2020 Editors’ Picks and a special group of Stories of Resilience submitted by our readers, published later this month.

We know that this year is incredible different—an economic tragedy for local businesses and workers and a time of political and social upheaval (some of it very hopeful).

We wrestled with the idea of continuing Best of the Bay this year, with so many of our favorite spots struggling, shutdown, or permanently closed. In the end, we decided that it’s essential to bring the community together to celebrate its classic resilience, pay respects to legends, and energize ourselves for the fight to continue.

Our designs throughout this issue represent new growth springing from fires, both real and symbolic, that have challenged us this year. We hope that all the protest energy, networks of support, and empathy and adventurousness of the true Bay spirit will continue to heal our communities and represent the Best of us!

Thank you to everyone who voted. Please support our mission to keep Bay Area media independent here.

Designer Aaron Joseph, Audrey Fukuman/Identafire Best of the Bay Editor Marke B. Bay Guardian Editor Tim Redmond Web Developer Matt Fisher Bay Guardian Publishers Emeritus Bruce B. Brugmann and Jean Dibble Special Thanks Caitlin Donohue, Hunky Beau

Jasmine Milan: Best of the Bay 2023 Editors’ Pick

Standout Oakland actress shines light on stories of Black and queer liberation—and even crafts dreamy costuming.

447 Minna: Best of the Bay 2023 Editors’ Pick

The new performance venue is already helping indie arts companies with outsider sensibilities find a new home

Lyrics Born’s ‘Dinner in Place’: Best of the Bay 2023 Editors’ Pick

The legendary rapper heats up the local food scene with his irresistible cooking show

Chulita Vinyl Club DJ plays the 10th Annual 48 Hills Gala on Thursday!

DJ Lizzy Al Toque from the fantastic collective of LGBTQ+ women of color vinyl selectors spins at celebration

Jack Kerouac Alley: Best of the Bay 2023 Editors’ Pick

Catch the beats of now, beyond the Beats, in this little musical passage in North Beach.

BAM House: Best of the Bay 2023 Editors’ Pick

Oakland Poet Laureate and cultural architect Ayodele Nzinga opens a rare space for Black arts in the Town

More Best of the Bay stories

Vacant to Vibrant: Best of the Bay 2023 Editors’ Pick

The program from SF New Deal and the city is injecting new life into the Embarcadero Center with local vendors.

Ramen Bae: Best of the Bay 2023 Editors’ Pick

The local dehydrated topping company solves an age-old global problem: 'How can we jazz up these noodles?'

Cafe du Nord: Best of the Bay 2023 Editors’ Pick

The (actually) underground indie music venue drew us downstairs repeatedly, with casual vibes and terrific programming.

Welcome to Best of the Bay 2023!

Thousands voted in our 49th annual Readers' Poll, celebrating the best place on Earth. Here are the results.

Best of the Bay 2023: City Living Winners

READERS' POLL: Best Salon, Best Bike Repair, Best Podcast, Best Hotel, Best Tour, Best Gym, more

Best of the Bay 2023: Food + Drink Winners

READERS' POLL: Best Burrito, Best Pizza, Best Chinese, Best Brunch, Best Dive Bar, Best Sports Bar, more

Best of the Bay 2023: Arts & Nightlife Winners

READERS' POLL: Best Nightclub, Best Art Gallery, Best Drag Queen, Best Karaoke, Best Live Venue, Best DJ, more

Best of the Bay 2023: Shopping Winners

READERS' POLL: Best Bookstore, Best Bike Shop, Best Store Staff, Best Cannabis Dispensary, Best Shoe Store, more

Best of the Bay Editors’ Pick: Stage Werx

A mighty little venue that embodies the spirit of independent theater in the Bay Area

Best of the Bay 2022 Editors’ Pick: Red Poppy Art House

The long-running Mission arts venue's charms come through in diverse music, poetry, dramatic readings, and comedy shows.

Best of the Bay 2022 Editors’ Pick: Jeunée Simon

The actor creates safe spaces of excellence, expression, and diversity in every production she graces.

Best of the Bay 2022 Editors’ Pick: Charlie Gray

The actor-singer-musician-clown-fashion-icon brings delight to local stages and fights for LGBTQ+ rights

Best of the Bay 2022 Editors’ Pick: Great American Music Hall

Post-show takes swapped back and forth outside this O'Farrell Street lodestar are savagely San Franciscan.

Best of the Bay 2022 Editors’ Pick: Stanley Ipkuss

Of the infectious local DJ and musicmaker's energy, we can only say: "Some cats play records, while others be spinnin'."

Best of the Bay 2022 Editors’ Pick: Spacemoth

Maryam Qudus' hellfire cosmic lo-fi bedlam is best received live, to get the full thwack.

Best of the Bay 2022 Editors’ Pick: The Guild Theatre

A new-in-2022 incarnation of a classic Menlo Park theater hits the sweet spot for pristine concert viewing.