The popular annual competition garnered 16,399 votes from more than 1,400 confirmed voters across the Tri-Valley during balloting conducted in the spring as readers shared their support for their favorite local businesses, professionals and places in various categories for Food & Drink, Just for Fun, At Home, Health & Beauty and Services.
"We're proud to be able to provide this opportunity to showcase so many of the destinations that make Pleasanton a standout community in the eyes of residents and visitors alike. That's what makes our Readers' Choice so great every year," said Gina Channell Wilcox, publisher and president of Embarcadero Media's East Bay Division.
"We know that everyone in Pleasanton and all of the communities that we cover are working very hard to persevere and thrive at this stage of the pandemic, especially our local businesses," Wilcox added. "This year's contest shows our readers have taken notice, and continue to give their support regularly to the shops, restaurants and expert consultants who drive the Tri-Valley's success."
Wilcox noted that several past Readers' Choice categories that have been on hiatus in the pandemic era might return to next year's contest if the COVID situation improves or remains the same in 2023: Best Happy Hour, Best Place for Live Music, Best Place to People Watch and Best Public Event.
Just like other years, the 2022 winners represent businesses and professional service providers of many sizes and locations across the city -- and a few beyond. Some are longstanding with generational ties to Pleasanton, others have been burgeoning for years and still others are just in their infancy.
This year's group of Readers' Choice Hall of Fame honorees are Cosmo's Barber Shop (Best Barbershop), Bob's Giant Burgers (Best Burger), Lokanta (Best Mediterranean Restaurant) and Savior Plumbing (Best Plumber).
The quartet are being recognized for their previous record of five consecutive victories in the same category. As new Hall of Famers, they were ineligible to compete in their categories in 2022.
Five businesses made it five wins in a row this year and will be part of the 2023-24 Hall of Fame elite: De La Torre's Trattoria (Best Italian Restaurant), Gene's Fine Foods (Best Specialty Food Store), Gina Piper of Elation Real Estate (Best Realtor), New Thai Bistro (Best Thai Food) and Wente Vineyards (Best Local Winery).
Other highlights from this year's results include the fact that several members of the 2020-21 Hall of Fame returned to the regular competition and were back on top, including Nonni's Bistro for Best Sunday Brunch and Schlicher Orthodontics for Best Orthodontist.
Another recent Hall of Famer, Hello Nails on Hopyard Road won again this year but recently rebranded to Belle La Vie "The Nail Place."
We had four businesses win multiple honors in our contest -- SideTrack Bar + Grill for Best American Food Restaurant and Best Burger of 2022, Clover Creek for Best Place to Buy a Gift and Best Home Furnishings, Nonni's Bistro for Best Sunday Brunch and Best Vegetarian Cuisine and Bob's Giant Burgers for Best French Fries to go along with its Hall of Fame award for Best Burger.
Elation Real Estate also earned Best Real Estate Brokerage in addition to the firm's co-founder Piper winning Best Realtor.
Now we invite you to look through all of our 2022 Readers' Choice recipients. See which of your favorites were honored, and which new places you want to visit this summer because they won. Enjoy!
2022 Hall of Fame
Cosmo's Barber Shop -- Best Barbershop. A longtime favorite in Pleasanton, Cosmo's Barber Shop specializes in affordable haircuts for men, women and children. Their stylists are experts on hair color, highlights and hot shaves. Cosmo's continues to show their presence by setting a high standard of excellence that resonates with customers.
Bob's Giant Burgers -- Best Burger. Craving a burger? Bob's Giant Burgers has got you covered. The popular eatery on the edge of downtown has over 14 different burgers, seven different types of shakes and multiple sandwiches to choose from. No matter what you're craving, they have got your taste buds covered.
Lokanta Grill & Bar -- Best Mediterranean Restaurant. Lokanta Grill & Bar on Main Street in Pleasanton serves our readers' favorite Mediterranean meals for lunch and dinner, as well as weekend brunch -- plus the most flavorful handcrafted cocktails. And our readers have taken notice, voting Lokanta the city's best for five years in a row.
Savior Plumbing -- Best Plumber. Savior Plumbing provides professional residential and commercial plumbing services throughout the Tri-Valley. All staff at this Hall of Fame business are experienced in service, repair, maintenance and installation distributing the highest quality of assistance.
Food & Drink
SideTrack Bar + Grill -- Best American Food Restaurant. Founded by longtime Pleasanton resident Todd Utikal and the late Skip Hinsley, SideTrack Bar + Grill continues its winning streak in this category. Prized for its sear-iously good food, SideTrack elevates the casual dining concept in downtown and serves as a preferred destination for family outings, happy hours or comfort hangouts.
Primrose Bakery -- Best Bakery/Dessert. Specializing in wedding cakes and fresh morning pastries, Primrose Bakery is a well-loved staple in Pleasanton known for their top-tier desserts and warm customer service. Owned by Jessica Eiland, a classically trained European chef, Primrose bakes each of their cakes to be "traditional yet modern and exciting."
L&L Hawaiian Barbecue -- Best BBQ. Craving the taste of Hawaii? At L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, Pleasanton residents can enjoy authentic Hawaiian comfort food suited for any celebration. Most popular among their wide selection of barbecue dishes are the BBQ chicken, BBQ beef bowl and BBQ cheeseburger.
SideTrack Bar + Grill -- Best Burger. A winner for the second time this year, downtown's SideTrack bagged this year's Best Burger award for its handcrafted, artisan burgers. All made with certified American Wagyu beef and served upon Le Boulanger fresh-baked egg buns, SideTrack's juicy burgers have set local residents a-raving.
Andy & Yu's -- Best Chinese Restaurant. Established in 2018, Andy & Yu's has become renowned for their fine cuisine and handcrafted cocktails, and were chosen by our readers as the Best Chinese Restaurant for the fourth consecutive year. Set in the bustling heart of downtown Pleasanton, Andy & Yu's authentic and varied offerings make for a delectable eating experience.
The Press Artisan Cafe -- Best Deli/Sandwich. Long touted as Pleasanton's go-to casual joint, The Press takes home the Best Deli/Sandwich award for the fourth time in a row. Passionate in serving food to "nourish your body and mind," The Press is a quaint cafe that attracts fans with its fun and inventive menu of handcrafted paninis, toastinis, soups and baked goods.
Bob's Giant Burgers -- Best French Fries. While burgers remain its flagship meal, Bob's Giant Burgers is also wildly popular for its golden fries, winning Best French Fries for the second year in a row. Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, Bob's fries come in generous serving portions -- perfect to enjoy with friends and family.
Meadowlark Dairy -- Best Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt. Founded in the early 1900s, Meadowlark Dairy has long been our readers' pick for Best Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt and has returned to the regular contest after its appearance in the Hall of Fame. Known for iconic ice cream swirls and fast service, Meadowlark's sweet legacy remains a pride of Pleasanton.
India Garden -- Best Indian Restaurant. The steady winner of Best Indian Restaurant since 2018, India Garden combines traditional North Indian cuisine with an eclectic mix of sweet, spicy and tangy flavors. Their specialities include tandoori chicken leg, goat curry, malai methi paneer and gobi manchurian.
De La Torre's Trattoria -- Best Italian Restaurant. The neighborhood's Italian dining favorite, De La Torre's Trattoria secures its fifth straight win for Best Italian Restaurant. Offering a hallmark special menu with quintessential Italian dishes and quality ingredients, De La Torre's prides itself on being "your home away from home."
Oasis Grill -- Best Mediterranean Restaurant. An ideal dining destination for Mediterranean cuisine with a modern flair, Oasis Grill claims Best Mediterranean Restaurant for not only its sizzling kabobs and exotic cocktails, but also its welcoming decor and warm ambience that have kept our readers coming back for more.
Casa Orozco -- Best Mexican Restaurant. First opened in 1984 by the Orozco family, Casa Orozco wins our readers' hearts again as Best Mexican Restaurant for their rich menu of Mexican dishes, salsas, and sauces. A beloved local eatery, Casa Orozco brings their passion for family, food, and culture to the table.
Gay 90's Pizza & Pasta -- Best Pizza. Taking the title for Best Pizza, Gay 90's Pizza and Pasta makes all their delectable pizzas from scratch. Started in 1959, Gay 90's is a local favorite, famous for their sourdough pizzas. Tempt your taste buds with their wide array specialty pizza choices and toppings.
Strizzi's -- Best Seafood Restaurant. When it comes to fresh fish entrees and fine Italian pasta, Strizzi's continues to delight our readers the most, taking home Best Seafood Restaurant yet again. Operating on a philosophy of freshness, Strizzi's infuses everyday food with Italian aromas of fresh garlic, barbecued meats and roasted herb chicken.
Gene's Fine Foods -- Best Specialty Food Store. Landing another Readers' Choice award for Best Specialty Food Store (fifth year running), Gene's Fine Foods has been supporting the Pleasanton community with fresh, organic produce since its founding in 1952. The local favorite supermarket, Gene's is "where quality and price come together" for the ultimate grocery shopping experience.
Nonni's Bistro -- Best Sunday Brunch. Opened in 2010 by chef Jon Magnusson, Nonni's Bistro brings a smorgasbord of European flavors to the table, which our readers declared the Best Sunday Brunch in Pleasanton. Each weekend, customers can look forward to enjoying their food alongside live-music performances that fill the bistro with joie de vivre.
Sozo Sushi -- Best Sushi/Japanese Restaurant. Consistently recognized as Best Sushi/Japanese Restaurant since the category was introduced, Sozo Sushi on Hopyard Road sets the standard for Japanese cuisine with their fresh ingredients, tasty rolls and authentic Japanese indoor decor.
New Thai Bistro -- Best Thai Restaurant. Dedicated to cooking Thai comfort street food with a modern presentation, New Thai Bistro holds onto their title of Best Thai Restaurant for the fifth year in a row. Among their variety of specials and favorites, New Thai's pad thai noodles proves the most popular among our readers.
Nonni's Bistro -- Best Vegetarian Cuisine. Notching its second win of the year, Nonni's Bistro follows a philosophy that every customer is welcomed as "part of the family," so it's no wonder they have captured customers' hearts as Best Vegetarian Cuisine. Nonni's boasts a wide assortment of vegetarian meals that our readers hailed as both tasty and nutritious.
Just for Fun
Jazz N Taps Dance Studio -- Best Dance School. Founded over 25 years ago, Jazz N Taps Dance Studio remains a mainstay among Pleasanton's young dancers. Offering lessons in tap, ballet and acrobatics among others, Jazz N Taps is committed to spreading a passion for dance that can be passed down from generation to generation.
Pleasanton Ridge -- Best Kept Secret Treasure of Pleasanton. Take a jaunt out to former Hall of Fame honoree Pleasanton Ridge, a longtime favorite for its scenic trails and beautiful greenery. A family-friendly location, the Ridge's versatile slopes promise a fun experience, whether it's taking a leisurely stroll or vigorous hike.
Wente Vineyards -- Best Local Winery. Serving the community since 1883, Wente Vineyards once again claims the title of Best Local Winery. Lauded by our readers for its high-quality wines, popular venue spaces, scenic golf course and sustainable farming practices, Wente Vineyards carries on a family legacy of exquisite taste in the Livermore Valley.
Clover Creek Gifts and Home Accents -- Best Place to Buy a Gift. Popular among Pleasanton residents for their charming home decor presents, Clover Creek wins Best Place to Buy a Gift once more. Whether it's finding something for a family member, best friend, or special someone, Clover Creek has a unique gift to fit any occasion.
Cubby's Dog Park -- Best Place to Take Your Dog. Taking home the win for Best Place to Take Your Dog, Cubby's Dog Park off Bernal Avenue is beloved by dogs and their owners alike for its spacious, clean facilities and additional perks provided, such as waste bins, drinking stations and agility courses.
Porky's Pizza Palace -- Best Sports Bar. A classic joint with a mini bar and arcade, Porky's Pizza Palace is again crowned Best Sports Bar. Offering a selection of pizza, fried chicken, salad, garlic bread and spaghetti, Porky's is the go-to community spot to enjoy a beer or cocktail and cheer on your favorite sports teams.
S&G Carpet -- Best Carpet/Flooring. Serving Pleasanton for over 65 years, S&G Carpet remains our readers' favorite location as Best Carpet/Flooring, due to their affordable, high-quality flooring and stylish carpets. With a dedicated staff and thousands of take-home samples, S&G promises the right floor to suit your lifestyle, taste and budget.
Spotless -- Best Carpet Cleaning. When it comes to dirty carpets, our readers turn to Spotless, which wins Best Carpet Cleaning again this year. Lauded for their consistent quality in cleaning and exceptional customer service, Pleasanton locals know their carpets will be kept "sparkling, healthy and fresh" with Spotless.
Bay Home & Window -- Best Closet Systems. Since 1994, Bay Home & Window has been Pleasanton's leading supplier of custom window products and built-in organization systems. With more than 100,000 successful installations to date, Bay Home & Window continues its winning streak as Best Closet Systems.
Granite Transformations of Pleasanton -- Best Granite & Tile Supplier. Taking home its first win for Best Granite & Tile Supplier, Granite Transformations of Pleasanton's quality countertop products and remodeling services are trusted by our readers as top-notch and stress-free.
Richard's Heating & Air -- Best Heating/AC Service. Specializing in residential and commercial heat repair and preventative maintenance, Richard's Heating & Air wins Best Heating/AC Service yet again, chosen for their timeliness, efficiency and professionalism.
Clover Creek Gifts and Home Accents -- Best Home Furnishings. Situated on Main Street in downtown Pleasanton, Clover Creek offers customers a variety of home decor to choose from. Earning their second title this year, Clover Creek features hand-selected jewelry, candles, pillows, wall decor and fashion accessories to decorate your home.
Vista Construction -- Best Home Improvement Contractor. Helping residents improve their homes for over 40 years, Vista Construction wins Best Home Improvement Contractor for their professional workmanship and efficient service. Vista treats each house like their own, making them a local favorite among our readers.
Almeida & Son Painting -- Best House Painters. Operating strong since 1955, Almeida & Son Painting's strong work ethic and excellent interior and exterior painting services have garnered them their first title as our readers' Best House Painters. They are dedicated to transforming their customers' expectations into reality with top-quality paints and expert craftsmanship.
R&S Landscaping & Maintenance -- Best Landscaping Service. A decades-old company dedicated to serving the Tri-Valley, R&S Landscaping and Maintenance is selected by our readers again as Best Landscaping Service for their commitment to providing the very best landscape environment for every property.
Western Garden Nursery -- Best Nursery/Garden Center. Prior Hall of Fame inductee Western Garden Nursery takes another win as Best Nursery/Garden Center. Loved for their quality plants, Western Garden offers efficient services in tree and shrub planting, insect and disease diagnosis, and pruning.
Patriot Pest Management -- Best Pest Control. Got something in your house creeping, crawling, flying, walking or chewing that you want to get rid of? Patriot Pest Management is our readers' go-to solution. Claiming the Best Pest Control Award yet again, Patriot Pest commits to thoroughly exterminating bugs and pests, as they've done for over 40 years in business.
Can-Am Plumbing -- Best Plumber. With over three decades of experience, Can-Am Plumbing wins Best Plumber for the first time. Always upholding their mission "to build friendships through exceptional plumbing," Can-Am has built a reputation for quality work and trustworthy service.
Adams Pool Solutions -- Best Pool Construction. Dedicated to providing quality, innovation and elegance to pool construction, Adams Pool Solutions bags Best Pool Construction once again for their comprehensive construction solutions and services to provide readers with the best backyard aquatic playground possible.
Bailey's Pool Service -- Best Pool Maintenance. This year's Best Pool Maintenance goes to Bailey's Pool Service for their expert experience in pool care and commitment to getting residential pools back in working order. Our readers know they will never feel like fish out of water with Bailey's.
Brian Keller Concrete Construction -- Best Residential Concrete Contractors. Established in 1985, Brian Keller Concrete Construction claims their second consecutive win in this category, due to their unmatched attention to detail and reliable concrete service in all phases of landscaping.
California Shingle & Shake Co. -- Best Roofer. Dedicated to delivering roofing materials of the highest quality, California Shingle & Shake Co. have been designated as this year's Best Roofer. Their strong roofing expertise and wide collection of samples give customers the assurance they need when it comes to their roofs.
Window-ology -- Best Window Treatments. Family-owned and Diamond Certified, Window-ology earned the Best Window Treatments award as the hometown favorite for window coverings technology and fashion. Specializing in custom window services, retractable awnings and upholstery, Window-ology is dedicated to designing functional houses that feel like homes.
Health & Beauty
Eastern Medical -- Best Acupuncture. Eastern Medical Center specializes in natural healing and relief of pain using traditional Chinese healing methods. Practitioners are well versed in the noninvasive treatment of acupuncture and focus on patients achieving good lifelong health practices.
Pleasanton Barber Shop -- Best Barber Shop. Located in the Oak Hills Shopping Center, Pleasanton Barber Shop specializes in cuts for men, women and children. Stylists possess and utilize their extensive hair knowledge and services to clientele.
Dr. David Wong -- Best Chiropractic Office. Dr. David Wong specializes in techniques bringing alignment back to the body. Based in downtown Pleasanton, Wong's nonsurgical services include myofascial release and chiropractic care.
Girlfriends -- Best Clothing Store. Bringing you the latest trends, Girlfriends Boutique has got you covered for every occasion. Girlfriends strives to be an affordable women's clothing store carrying a variety of apparel and accessories. This female-owned downtown boutique is bringing you the stylish outfits you are looking for.
Beach House Waxing -- Best Day Spa. Beach House Waxing provides a luxurious waxing experience. The spa on First Street supplies a full range of waxing services from brow to toe. Wax technicians accommodate guests to ensure a relaxing, comfortable experience.
Pleasanton Dentist Jerry Sanchez -- Best Dental Office. Dentist Jerry Sanchez celebrates over 30 years of practicing dentistry in Pleasanton helping others achieve healthy smiles. Our readers laud Sanchez as a dentist willing to create a custom treatment plan for his clients and suggest a wide array of oral care treatments.
Holiday Cleaners of America -- Best Dry Cleaner. Holiday Cleaners on Santa Rita Road presents clean, fresh smelling clothing when you need it most. The staff provides reliable affordable service and leaves our readers happy with their decision.
Bay Club -- Best Fitness Center/Gym. Bay Club Pleasanton features the highest quality of fitness equipment and resort style amenities. Our readers look to this center located prominently on Johnson Drive to help fulfill their fitness needs.
Image Salon & Day Spa -- Best Hair Salon For Women. Delivering the complete hair treatment experience, Image Salon & Day Spa on Hopyard Road has created a relaxing environment for clientele to enjoy, making them again our readers' choice for Best Hair Salon For Women.
Hired Hands Homecare -- Best Home Healthcare. Hired Hands Homecare in Pleasanton provides a variety of senior care services throughout the Tri-Valley. A four-time Readers' Choice winner, these experienced professionals provide personal care for clients' loved ones safely and happily at home.
Lance Cavalieri Jewelers -- Best Jewelry Store. The establishment carries the finest collections of jewels in Livermore. Whether you're shopping for your significant other or your mother, the staff at Lance Cavalieri will help you find what you're looking for.
Tri-Valley Karate -- Best Martial Arts Studio. The Tri-Valley dojo focuses on Goju Ryu Karatedo training that promotes discipline by teaching martial arts recognized by the Japan Karatedo Foundation. Regular training will provide students with increased physical and mental growth.
Healthy Necessity Massage -- Best of Massage. Celebrating 12 years performing the best massages in town, Healthy Necessity takes wellness to the next level once again. Our readers continue to turn to this prior Hall of Fame recipient for their massage needs.
MD Laser Spa -- Best Medical Spa. MD Laser Spa provides expert facial and skin care services to each customer. Led by Dr. Robert Gray, the spa in downtown Pleasanton provides a combination of services in medical spa and plastic surgery.
Hello Nails -- Best Nail Care. Formerly Hello Nails, the newly rebranded to Belle La Vie "The Nail Place" on Hopyard Road offers guests a large selection of affordable options for their nail care needs. With such a friendly and knowledgeable staff, the nail care shop is the new town favorite.
Valley Eyecare Center -- Best Optometrist. Founded in 1975, Valley Eyecare is committed to improving every patient's quality of life by providing advanced eye care. The team recognizes that highly skilled eye care requires new technology and new techniques to give their physicians an edge.
Schlicher Orthodontics -- Best Orthodontist. Schlicher Orthodontics, a longtime Readers' Choice winner fresh off its prior Hall of Fame placement, offers excellent orthodontic care and gives customers great confidence with their smile, children and adults alike.
Joya Yoga -- Best Yoga/Pilates. A contemporary yoga studio on Bernal Avenue, Joya Yoga puts forth a wide variety of classes on the table, including Bikram, hot Vinyasa yoga and pilates, barre and unheated yoga -- each of which is popular among our readers.
B&S Hacienda -- Best Auto Body Repair. B&S Hacienda is a full-service collision repair center with Pleasanton among its seven Bay Area locations. The staff are dedicated to helping the customer throughout the reparation process from start to finish.
Precision Auto Repair -- Best Auto Repair. Precision Auto Repair recognizes that being without a car is inconvenient, that's why they do their best to supply the best service available and give customers their car back within 24 hours. The team includes factory-trained technicians and ASE mechanics who are capable of performing a wide range of repairs on a variety of cars.
Summit Financial Advisors -- Best Financial Planner. As a full service financial firm, Summit Financial Advisors Group accommodates those looking to secure a financial plan tailored to an individual's specific needs. A vast knowledge of the financial industry, coupled with their clients desires, guides from Summit financial provide clients with superior financial advice.
Alexandria's Flowers -- Best Florist. Alexandria's florist produces the brightest flowers for any occasion. Our readers continue to go to Alexandria's, knowing they offer excellent flower care, flower arrangements and floral design seven days a week.
Bill Evans, Farmers Insurance -- Best Insurance Agent. Our readers turn to insurance agent Bill Evans to provide their ever-changing insurance needs. Evans is dedicated to finding insurance solutions and products as well as personal and business needs.
Caliber Home Loans -- Best Mortgage Brokerage. Caliber Home Loans has a loan program that will meet your financial needs. Whether you are buying a home, or remodeling they will work with you to find the most competitive mortgage rates. Their mortgage professionals are dedicated to helping you reach your financial goals.
Shear Magic -- Best Pet Groomer. Providing comfortable care for your pooch, Shear Magic employees and professionally trained staff keep close care so you and your pet are happy with the end result. They are a three-time winner in this category.
Keelie's Pet Sitting -- Best Pet Sitting/Daycare. Going out of town and need a sitter for your fur baby? Keelie's Pet Sitting, a winner for the fourth year in a row and sixth time overall, will happily care for your animal while you're away.
Nina Pomeroy Photography -- Best Photographer. With over 22 years of experience, Nina Pomeroy will have you feeling confident and like your best self. Nina specializes in professional headshots as well as portrait and branding photography for businesses.
Gingerbread Preschool -- Best Preschool/Daycare. A two-time winner, Gingerbread Preschool provides a diverse range of classes for children starting as young as 21 months. The program is set in place in order for children to experience a classroom environment prior to entering the K-12 system.
Valley Christian School -- Best Private School. Valley Christian provides students with a faith-filled education in a disciplined environment while focusing on character development and academics. This marks the second straight year Valley Christian has won Best Private School.
Gina Piper, Elation Real Estate -- Best Real Estate Agent. Whether you're looking to buy, sell or rent a property, expert Gina Piper of Elation will advise clients on the best possible choice. Piper's ability to negotiate, as well as her 25 years of experience, makes her a strong real estate agent and a consistent winner in our contest over the years.
Elation Real Estate -- Best Real Estate Brokerage. Elation Real Estate assists homebuyers and sellers with needs from start to finish. Whether a first time buyer or a seller looking for a change of scenery, the real estate professionals at Elation specialize in providing a highly personalized experience.
Venema Homes Team -- Best Real Estate Team. Skilled in luxury real estate, Venema Homes Team supplies unmatched service to their clients. Led by founder Liz Venema, agents are committed to selling your home at the highest price possible and use strategies to support buyers in order to achieve for the best possible investment.
Steps Tutoring and SAT/ACT Prep -- Best Tutoring School. Offering a range of youth tutoring and test prep sessions, Steps Tutoring and SAT/ACT Prep is our readers' choice for the third year in a row, recognizing its reputation for strong academic and college counseling services.
Paws of Pleasanton -- Best Veterinarian. A winner again for Best Veterinarian, Paws of Pleasanton on Santa Rita Road always focuses on its mission statement in its animal medical services -- "to provide high-quality, progressive veterinary care in a compassionate, fear-free environment."