What's going on in San Francisco / Bay AreaSEE ALL 2012 WINNERS
2012 Winner261 ColumbusSan Francisco's status as one of America's best book cities was somewhat threatened by closures over the last decade (RIP Stacey's and A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books). But City Lights is still going strong, and remains a linchpin of the city...
2012 Winner3248 22nd St.Audiences from the classical era didn't shell out massive quantities of cash to pack auditoriums and hold polite applause for the end. They hooted their appreciation at virtuoso playing as it was happening, and shouted suggestions for what to play...
2010 WinnerSecond St.We love the renovated waterfront. But it often feels — how can we put this? — municipal. It's too concrete, too safe; very little of it feels like salty-dog San Francisco, with undulating docks you can stroll down amidst wharf thieves sleeping off...
2012 Finalist1136 Valencia St.Alongside some of the greatest falafel in the city, this little hole-in-the-wall on Valencia offers up lamb and chicken schwarmas from Niman Ranch -- meaning the meat comes from sustainable family farms that use no antibiotics or hormones and ensu...
2012 Finalist1 Embarcadero CenterPart of the Landmark family, the Embarcadero Center Cinema is your most reliable bet for indie movies, friendly staff, and vegan cookies. It's so San Francisco, we almost hate it. To experience true bliss/hell, catch a Wes Anderson film on opening...
2010 Winner333 GearyThe piano bar is a dying institution ripe for resuscitation, a happier, friendlier retro-karaoke experience where an interactive audience is gathered around a live musician instead of a glorified jukebox, and a good time is had by all. The institu...
2011 Winner952 HowardNowhere else in San Francisco can the entrance chamber to a darkroom, a confessional door from a Catholic church, and a staggering mishmash of ancient televisions, forgotten radios, lamps, chairs, tables, and telephones be stacked from floor to ce...
2012 Finalist222 Hyde St.222 Hyde has come a long way since its more modest years in the mid-'00s. A wild party space in the deep Tenderloin, for much of that decade it was defined by a scenester clientele and the lo-def ear-rape of blog-sourced hipster electro. A couple ...
2010 Winner517 HayesNow that most of us have heard of izakayas, the Japanese pubs where salarymen and students gather to get red-nosed and snack on little plates, half of San Francisco's run-of-the-mill Japanese restaurants have renamed their hot menus "izakaya fare....
2011 Finalist473 ValenciaThe pay-by-the-pound system makes shopping at Clothes Contact feel like a strategy game. You become more conscious of the fabrics as you weigh out everything by hand, trying to guess what your total will be. You also get to rummage through the $1 ...
2011 Finalist12 Fourth St.Well-aged beef, a toasted brioche bun — this is a burger you want to order rare. It's made from ground short rib, chuck and skirt steak. It's a little secret bargain from this pricey hotel restaurant — you can get this burger at the bar with fries...
2011 Winner548 GreenAs the Giants made their epic run for the pennant and the World Series last year, it was surprisingly difficult to find good places to cheer on Buster, the Beard, Huff Daddy, and the Freak. Most of the sports bars had half their TVs tuned to other...
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FOOD & DRINK
Best Vietnamese Sandwich
Irving Cafe & Deli
People could argue about the best Vietnamese sandwich for at least as long as...
- Best Old-School Milkshake »
- Best European Beer Cave »
- Best Farmers Market Stand »
- Best Food That Makes You Feel Like A Bold Foodie »
- Best Place To Mix Beer And Booze »
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Best Public Rooftop Terrace
Wait, you haven't been there yet? Go! The suits have had it to themselves for...
- Best Cheap Night Of Comedy »
- Best Experimental Theater »
- Best Movie Theater »
- Best Building Built In 1907 »
- Best Place for a First Date »
SPORTS & RECREATION
Best Indoor Nature Fun
This city-run museum atop Corona Heights hosts a menagerie of rescued wild an...
- Best Indoor Place To Read For Hours Without Feeling Obliged To Buy Coffee »
- Best Day Trip »
- Best Bowling Alley »
- Best Bowling League »
- Best Place To Relax While Feeling Like You're On An '80s Porn Set »
SHOPPING & SERVICES
Best Place To Buy New Books
City Lights Books
San Francisco's status as one of America's best book cities was somewhat thre...
- Best Source Of Old School Star Wars Swag »
- Best Reliable Vintage »
- Best Little Thrift Store That Could »
- Best Doggy Clothing Accessories »
- Best Place To Act Like A Kid Again »