Zakuro Japanese Bistro & Sushi Bar — Best Happy Hour
With wins in two categories this year, Zakuro on Santa Rita Road continues to please customers' palates with its diverse menu of Japanese dishes. Along with its noteworthy sake, Zakuro's fun and relaxing atmosphere made it our readers' favorite Happy Hour location for the second year in a row.
Pleasanton Ridge — Best Kept Secret/Treasure
Overlooking much of the Tri-Valley, the Pleasanton Ridge includes an expansive parkland filled with scenic trails, canyon views and streams, a perfect relaxation spot for hikers, equestrians, bicyclists and all nature-lovers alike. After winning this category for the fifth time, it's clear the Ridge is a popular location for anyone seeking peace, fresh air and recreation in its pastoral environment.
Wente Vineyards — Best Winery
Located in Livermore, Wente Vineyards holds the honor of being the United States' oldest continuously operated family-owned winery. Not only do their vineyards provide award-winning wine, but they also operate a restaurant featuring ingredient-driven California wine country cuisine, as well as provide a premier golf course for leisure.
Firehouse Arts Center — Best Place for Live Entertainment
The Firehouse Arts Center brings the community together for memorable evenings of music, poetry, theater, comedy, film and much more, all held in its state-of-the-art venue. The city-owned arts destination downtown aims to promote participation in recreational art-related experiences by providing patrons with classes, exhibits and performances.
Alameda County Fair — Best Place to People Watch
This annual fair only pops up for several weeks during the summer, but those weeks are filled with thrills and fun. When not roaming the fairgrounds and snacking on food sold by vendors set up at every corner, attendees can find themselves being entertained by live music, comedic acts and animal races — and of course, people-watching.
The Hop Yard American Alehouse and Grill — Best Sports Bar
Winning in two categories this year, Hop Yard pleases with their unique and interesting brews. A self-proclaimed "simple place" popular during the renaissance of small brewpubs and microbreweries, Hop Yard also has historical ties to simpler times — the site used to be the largest hop farm in the world.