Alameda Awesomeness

Best Of Alameda 2016 reveals the most awesome finds of the year in the Island City.


Welcome to the 2016 Best Of Alameda issue, in which we celebrate what makes the Island so unique and special.

This is the 12th such issue I have overseen. I can remember when voters used to mail in paper ballots, a process that was extremely time-consuming. We would staple together 11-by-17 pages that seemed barely big enough to contain all the corresponding hash marks. After a few hours of diligent counting, we’d be almost punch-drunk and have to stop, resuming the next morning or afternoon. We were interpreters in more ways than one, figuring out scrawled handwriting when necessary and realizing “bakery on Park Street” meant Boniere Bakery and “Lincoln shoe store” was really Brown Brothers Shoes. Sometimes the clues were just too obtuse to solve.

Our process is simpler now, thanks to online balloting. We continue to tweak Best Of to better reflect the wishes of our readers. As in 2015, we employed a two-stage process this year, a move that produced more votes than ever. In January and February, we asked readers to nominate their favorites on an open-ended online ballot. In March, we selected the highest vote-getters in each category and asked voters to vote again, choosing their favorites from a convenient drop-down menu that resulted in the 2016 Readers’ Choice winners. So thanks for voting—twice. And congratulations to our winners; you’re the best.

We revisit the categories every year, adding new ones and jettisoning old ones that no longer seem relevant. You can help by emailing suggestions for categories we should add or modify.

In addition to what readers decide is fabulous about the Island City, Alameda Magazine's contributors share more hidden and less-obvious gems. This year our world is rocking with off-the-hook garnishes, acorn geleé, gelato on a stick, just-add-water meals, secret ingredients, last-minute bouquets, shoe gurus, drop-in massages, shopping Nirvana, scavenger hunts, hula teachers, glamping, fishing, and much more.

What’s rocking your world these days? Check out our Best of to see if we’re simpatico.

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