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Readers Say the Darndest Things: Goods and Services 

Best Aesthetician
I think you are spelling it wrong.
— Platinum

Nancy Ahuna
All natural all the time and before it was in vogue. — jdb320

Best Art Supplies
East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse
I am a teacher and I would die without this store. — anne1423

Artists adore this place and wait in line for it to open every day. — Dumpster Diva

Best Bakery
Arizmendi
The only scones I'll eat. — Moline, Jennifer

Mmm...cooperative bread — Gollie_Wag

Bibiane's
I've seen staff walk from the farmers' market across the street with bags of veggies for quiche, etc. Best scones, croissants...everything is so good! — bkworm78

Brown Sugar Kitchen
They have in-house, from scratch baked goods EVERY DAY! Don't be so quick to walk past their display...it's no joke! — Psurkis

Cupkates
Follow that truck! — LizMcFarland

Hopkins Street Bakery
The staff is always friendly and helpful, even when I stand in their small shop for five minutes ogling pastries and trying to decide! Their breakfast buns are to die for! Put one in the toaster oven and you're in heaven. Bonus: Show up five minutes before closing time and you can pick up their day-olds at buy one/get one free before they're really a day old! — makura_kotoba

La Farine
Taste of European heaven. — Ruthie

Masse's
By far, the best croissants in Northern California. — Bill Bartell

Neldam's
My family has been going to Neldam's for four generations. It's the best bakery I've ever eaten from! — Terri

Best Bike Shop
Bike Man Dan
Heart of gold! Repairs bicycles on a sliding scale so no one should ever go without having their transportation or fun! Now that is thoughtfulness!!! — oz

Recycle Bicycle
A non-snobby bike shop! Who would have thought?! — Gollie_Wag

Best Book Store
Book Passage in Corte Madera
It's good enough to cross a bridge for. — The Wacky Italian

Cody's
Yeah, I know, it's gone. — berkeleymama

Moe's Bookstore
In biz since 1959!! Take that Amazon.com! — Tom Walton

Walden Pond
There are bookstores left? — Platinum

Support local — or even chain bookstores — they're going extinct! — Liz McFarland

Best Brewery
Ale Industries
Orange Kush! Uncle Jesse! Rye'd Piper! Bliss! — bar:tone

Russian River Brewing Company
Pliny the Younger. ALL is and ever was about Pliny the Younger. — showard8

Best Cannabis Dispensary
Hahahahaha
— heyheyhey

Telegraph Ave....
— danielle.deibert5c1f

40 Acres
They have the best medible: MAGIC BARS! — Black Indian

Purple Heart
Best prices, great products, cutest employees. — appleheadedone

Best Car Repair
Oceanworks
Honest, competent, reasonably-priced work, with an ironic twist. What more could a Bay Area auto repair shop offer? — Mimi S.

XYZ Motors
Dude is easy on the eyes AND the pocketbook. — evt

Best Cheeses
Berkeley Bowl West
Talk to the younger fellow who works at the cheese counter. He always has a recommendation and is available to help if you want a larger chunk cut down into a smaller. Very enthusiastic about exploring different cheeses and knowledgeable. Excellent choice for connoisseurs or newbies, and that's a broad spectrum to cover. — grrrr

Cheeseboard
Need I say more? — makura_kotoba

Best Children's Store
Mr. Mopp's
Hurray for the new owners! — Tom Walton

Old Navy
Sorry, I know it's a huge corporation, but you can't beat the prices, selection, even the service is friendly. — angelcook

Best Comic Book Store
Comic Relief
RIP. — Marckstir

Sadly deceased. — Miles K

I miss that place. — lrai

Best Craft Supply Store
CVS on 51st and Broadway
For when you want to start a new knitting project at 11 p.m. — Moline, Jennifer

East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse
Learning to do crafts with reusable items is their specialty and they are darn good at showing what can be done with a discard. — Dumpster Diva

Best Edible Cannabis Products
Aunt Sandy's Lemon Bar
This gourmet piece of heaven is strong enough to please even the heavyweight local crowd. A fine product of Oaksterdam; you must try one to believe it. — SativaBelieva

Dolores Park Truffle guy
— sac4123

Best Eyeglass Shop
Eye Care on Lakeshore
Ursula Moonsamy keeps you lookin' smart and sexy — LizMcFarland

Best Farmers' Market
Berkeley Tuesday
On Derby between Milvia and MLK. Because the sun just seems to shine brighter there. — Russell EB

Lakeshore
Do you really have to ask — jdb320

North Oakland Farmers' Market
The one without the Blue Bottle coffee line thirty people deep. The OTHER North Oakland Farmers Market. — evt

Old Oakland
It's a seething urban mass of humanity and farmers. — vickiewl

Best Farmers' Market Vendor
Andy and Cindy's Thai Cuisine
Chicken satay is off the chain! — dag1951

Happy Boy Farms
For the name alone. — fleagirl

Best Furniture Store
IKEA
It's Disneyland for adults! — sixtyten

Best Games
Kickball
@ Mosswood park every Sunday — RedRage

A's
— info76c6

Monopoly
— oenvelopeo

Halo 3
— Jennyv

Best Hardware Store
Ace Grand Lake and Ace Pastime El Cerrito
Unbeatable customer service! So friendly. I leave there happy. By contrast, I always leave Home Depot annoyed. — pheather7

Pastime El Cerrito
I frequently walk in saying, "I have no idea if this solution exists, but can you think of a way to do X,Y, or Z?" They've helped me McGyver numerous projects, and they seem to enjoy the challenge. Very knowledgeable and helpful staff. — mrw

Ace on Grand
Customer Service, yo! — jdb320

Not only does someone always offer to help you but they're RIGHT. — Moline, Jennifer

Dutton Ave Ace Hardware in San Leandro
It has damn near everything for home repairs and the lady who runs it is a stud. — honda101

On 3rd Street Oakland, used to be ACE but it is not anymore
Super staff!!! Not Home Depot. — andrewdeangelo

Best Laundromat
Wesley Wash and Fold
Miss Loddie Doddie Everybody is everybody's auntie! $1 a pound... and she is a bundle of sunshine! — kojima

Best Lingerie
I'm a guy
— Fred Belsito

A la Folie
Expensive, but so very drool-worthy. — sixtyten

Victoria's Secret
Her secret is that she has 47 cats — omgwheresthepie?

Title 9
Okay, not exactly lingerie, but they have fantastic sports bras. — arianajl

My wife's
— johnjoe

On the floor
— REDDOG

Best Musical Instruments
Subway Guitars
It's everything the corporate music stores aren't. A great place to trade instruments and gear, get it repaired or get a custom guitar built for under $500. Sure, it wouldn't hurt if they vacuumed once a year, but then again, my six-year old once made a sculpture out of junk she found on the floor in there. — Smirk

Best Manicures and Pedicures
My Amour Salon
I don't want to tell you Nicole is the best because then I'll never be able to get another appointment with her! — femmegrrl

Tracy's on Grand — the original
These ladies will take out the belt sander if that's what it take to clean up those talons — LizMcFarland

Best Massage
Stan Barrett
aka Butter Hands — kiluma

Best Men's Clothing
Crossroads in Rockridge
Good deals on cool clothes when you find them. Found a $20 bill in the pocket of jeans there too. Can't beat that!! — imnottelling

Best Pharmacy
Pharmaca
I live in LA now, and I drive an hour to the location on the west side. It's that good. — hledeen

Only because Elephant is gone... — ruthann

Aside from their complete lack of parking. — subgirl

Best Plant Nursery
Orchard Nursery in Lafayette, CA
Not orchard supply hardware — Mo

The CVS on 51st!
We'll miss you... — spapps

Best Pot Doctor
Frank Lucido
The man does it right, shows up to court if you get busted, has a huge amount of skill and integrity. — andrewdeangelo

Whats the deal with all the hyper focus on weed??
Seriously expand your world, try staying sober for a week. — Bow wow

Best Sex Shop
Feelmore510
I cannot stress how good this store is. — Spiegelmania

Good Vibrations
I'm actually willing to go in this one. — imnottelling

Best Shoe Store
The Next Step on San Pablo
Cyrus is incredibly helpful to those of us whose feet don't work in high heels. — FrustratedTeacher

Best Smoke Shop
Oaksterdam U Smoke Store
They're always closed when I get there, tho. — Spiegelmania

Best Toy Store
Toy Safari, Alameda
Like the toy store of your childhood. I love that she won't stock toys she thinks are, um, morally questionable. — kiluma

Best T-shirts
Oaklandish
Oakland pride in fabric form! — Nicolas

That place on Grand that isn't Oaklandish
Open random hours and inexpensive. — Moline, Jennifer

Best Used Clothing
Urbanity
Finally, a consignment store run by people with good taste! — aalbini

Best Vintage Clothing
All Things Vintage
Those ladies are having too much fun. What a great collection. — Larson, Sharyl

Pretty Penny
I managed to dress up a picky guy there! — Moline, Jennifer

Best Wine Shop
Grocery Outlet Oakland
Great tasting wines and bargain prices. You cannot lose. — Marckstir

The Wine Mine
David is so nice and knowledgeable and always remembers me even if it has been months. Best deals in the Bay — RedRage

x30 — evt

Best Women's Clothing
Dress Barn
(One in Alameda and one in Oakland) Worst name for a clothing store, but they have amazing finds and great sales! — DhaliaNoir13

Lilac, Alameda
Best, friendliest dress shop ever! And such cute things. — kiluma

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