Readers Choice results are in!

Danville Readers Choice 2013 showcases best of the best

Things to do, places to see, pampering to enjoy and yummies to eat -- once again, our readers have spoken. For the fourth year running, we polled Danville residents about their favorites in a panoply of categories, from food to nails and banks to dance halls. Thousands of votes streamed in over the month the ballot was online, and you may recognize some favorites of old and, perhaps, learn of something new in this year's Readers Choice.


Best Bank: Wells Fargo

Full of charming, helpful employees and bowls of DumDums for kids, our readers know they will be treated with respect and their investments will be safe at Wells Fargo.

Best Credit Union: Patelco Credit Union

The people of Patelco are anxious to serve, bright and well-spoken -- and make sure to thoroughly explain the ins and outs of banking to all their customers.

Best Financial Planner (Non-brokerage): Summit Financial

Our readers can rely on Summit Financial for all their financial planning needs. They take the time to understand clients' situations and explain in detail their solutions.

Best Financial Planner Brokerage: Charles Schwab

Constantly innovating to meet the evolving needs of their clients, Charles Schwab makes investing simpler, less costly and an all-around priceless experience.

Best Mortgage Company: RPM

Paperwork with buying a home can be overwhelming. That's why RPM Mortgage employees are there to guide customers through every step.

Best Mortgage Professional: Lisa Pournia, StoneCastle Land & Home

Offering an ideal set of products and service, Lisa Pournia helps her clients meet their individual financial goals of owning a home.

Best Real Estate Agent: Lorri Cutler, Keller Williams Realty

Lorri Cutler has been a Realtor Associate since 1992. She believes buying or selling your home should be positive, exciting, and as stress-free as possible.

Best Real Estate Office: Better Homes & Gardens

The Danville office boasts real estate professionals who will quickly and accurately assess the true value of a property, while providing a unique level of service to all their clients.

Best Real Estate Team: The Combs Team

Joe and Nancy Combs have a reputation for being assertive in both negotiating and closing, and they're more than happy to spend some time talking with people about all their real estate needs.

Best Travel Agency: Danville Travel

Traveling the world is a dream; challenging itineraries and complicated plans are a nightmare. Our readers count on Danville Travel to help them get to all their unique destinations.

Health and Fitness:

Best Acupuncture: Align Healing Center

Dedicated to healing your pain quickly and naturally, Align Healing Center seeks to address the body physically, chemically and emotionally by using the delicate art of acupuncture.

Best Health Club: 24 Hour Fitness

Tone up with group Zumba classes, relax in the toasty sauna and get your cardio burn on with great equipment. With friendly staff and truly outstanding personal trainers, this is the place to step up and shape up.

Best Massage: Jolie Salon & Spa

Our readers call Jolie Salon & Spa a perfect balance of comfort and decadence, a place they can leave glowing and relaxed, thanks to the magical hands of the masseuses.

Best Martial Arts Studio: Martial Arts America

With awesome instructors and a fun atmosphere, this is the perfect place for all ages to learn different martial arts disciplines, including Tae Kwon Do and Krav Maga.

Best Place to Buy Fitness Equipment & Apparel: Forward Motion

Start with the shoes and build your perfect workout outfit from there. Forward Motion's Race Club is the leader for recreational runners, cyclists, swimmers and triathletes.

Best Place to Walk, Jog or Bike: Iron Horse Trail

Get a breath of fresh air and spend some time outdoors. The Iron Horse Trail is a 33-mile stretch of former railroad with much to explore!

Best Yoga/Pilates: Danville Yoga Center

All levels of yogis practice at this wonderful studio. With challenging and inspiring classes and attentive instructors, our readers experience peace and serenity.

Beauty & Style:

Best Consignment Store: Something Old - Something New

Get high end fashion without bleeding your wallet dry. This charming consignment store has a multitude of high end designers, from Escada to Saint John to Gucci.

Best Day Spa: Jolie Salon & Spa

Each of the four rooms at this spa, including a couples room, has a tranquil environment to soothe your soul. Jolie has created the perfect place to relax away from the outside world.

Best Facial Care: Jolie Salon & Spa

Enjoy a beverage, treats and a luxurious robe while rejuvenating your skin. In the mood for true decadence? Try the 24-karat gold facial.

Best Hair Salon for Men: Sport Clips

Television, shoulder rubs and a clean cut -- get guy time and a great 'do at this male-focused salon. With locations in Danville and San Ramon.

Best Hair Salon for Women: Tribez

Looking for more than uptight up-dos and tired trims? Our readers visit Tribez for the latest looks.

Best Jewelry Store: Smith Jewelers

This full-service jeweler has everything that sparkles, from diamonds to watches to Waterford crystal. Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but this shop also has custom made 14K gold charms of the Danville Oak Tree.

Best Nail Care: (Tie) Jolie Salon & Spa, Bollinger Nail Salon

Our readers rave about the manicure and pedicures at Jolie, where they can try a unique new color or a gel manicure. Hardworking hands get the royal treatment at Bollinger Nails, which offers a relaxing spa pedicure.

Best New Retail Business 2013: McCaulou's Home Store

Our readers love the variety of brands and products, the good prices and the friendly staff. McCaulou's is the one-stop-shop for everything, and they offer free gift wrap.

Best Place to Buy a Gift: Elegant Clutter

This shop offers chic items in all price ranges to make gift-giving easier. A place full of finishing touches for the home and charming additions to any room.

Best Clothing Store for Women: McCaulou's

Find a cute outfit that doesn't break the bank. McCaulou's offers great sales and a ton of clothes to choose from.

Best Shoe Store: Tootsie's

This home-grown downtown shoe sanctuary offers cute shoes and accessories as well as pedicures, all in a colorful and relaxing setting.


Best American Food Restaurant: Esin Restaurant & Bar

Owners Curtis and Esin deCarion create delicious American fare with influences from the Mediterranean -- fresh, innovative and a delight to the senses.

Best Bakery: Miglet's Gluten Free Bakery

Delicious chocolates, delectable cupcakes and cakes made to order -- and all of them are gluten free. Whether your diet is restricted or not, our readers keep coming back for more of Miglet's amazing desserts.

Best Breakfast: Valley Medlyn's

Have a tasty, sit-down breakfast and enjoy some of our readers' favorites: homemade hash browns, perfectly crispy bacon and, of course, the Medlyn's Scramble.

Best Brew Pub/Sports Bar: McGah's Pub & Pianos

This lively place on Prospect Avenue with its dueling piano bar quickly caught on as a great venue for spending the evening with a good beer, good friends, and for watching the game.

Best Burger: Sideboard

Try a Prather Ranch Cheddar Burger with a honey dijon aioli or, if you don't eat meat, take a bite of the Veggie Burger with chipotle aioli and fresh cilantro. Comfort food sure to tickle your taste buds.

Best California Cuisine/Innovative Dining: Esin Restaurant & Bar

The name Esin means "inspiration," and this place certainly is inspired. Food is the passion here, and the owners make it their mission to create unique food.

Best Chinese Restaurant: Uncle Yu's

With three locations including one in San Ramon, this restaurant offers traditional Szechuan dishes with exquisite spices as well as more contemporary delicacies, like goat cheese and apples on delicately fried wontons. Uncle Yu's has been our Readers Choice for years.

Best Grocery Store: Lunardi's

This place boasts a huge produce section, an ample selection of meats, and its own brand of salsa, pasta sauce and more. Healthy, tasty and reasonably priced.

Best Ice Cream: Cold Stone Creamery

A great place dedicated to one thing and one thing only: making and serving heavenly ice cream. Try a savory strawberry milkshake or the Red Velvet Cake ice cream.

Best Italian Restaurant: Piatti

Lunch, brunch and dinner -- it's Italian. The ambiance is great, too, with an open kitchen and stone pizza hearth.

Best Kid-Friendly, Non-Chain Restaurant: Chow

Not only can you get a great meal at a very good price, this restaurant has reading and coloring books for kids.

Best Mediterranean/Middle Eastern Restaurant: Faz Restaurant & Bar

Owner Faz Poursohi grew up in Tehran, where he learned to love cooking. Our readers crave the kabobs but in the summertime the redwood grove in the Hartz Avenue restaurant is also a draw.

Best Mexican Restaurant: Maria Maria

The stunning decor at this restaurant in the Rose Garden and the menu are inspired by legendary musician Carlos Santana. The Mexican dishes may be traditional but the approach is innovative.

Best New Restaurant 2013: Forge

With friendly and fast service, excellent pizza -- including a spectacular specialty called the "Fat Boy" -- and a nice selection of beer and wine, this is the new place to be in Danville.

Best Pizza: Jules Thin Crust

The pizza at Jules Thin Crust might as well be ambrosia for our readers. Made with organic veggies, lower fat and healthier ingredients, this pizza haven also has a multitude of kinds of pizza to choose from.

Best Romantic Restaurant: The Peasant & the Pear

Great food and a perfect place for conversation, which are the ticket for a successful date, whether the first or one of many. The eatery is tucked away off Hartz, so a walk through downtown Danville can prolong the evening.

Best Sushi/Japanese Restaurant: Fish on Fire Sushi Bar & Grill

In Town and Country Shopping Center, Fish on Fire has great sushi as well as tempura and teriyaki. Whether you want a California roll or you prefer nigiri, a sea of votes from our readers makes this the right place for fish.

Best Take-out Restaurant: Uncle Yu's

Get all your Uncle Yu's favorites and bring them home. With great service and quick preparation time, getting delicious food is a snap.

Best Thai Restaurant: Thai House Restaurant

Enter into a land of happy taste buds as you step into this rustic old house on Rose Street in Downtown Danville. The food is tasty and each dish is arranged artistically and delivered with an extra dose of charm.

Best Wine Bar: The Vine at Bridges

Offering more than 350 wines from around the world, with 35 choices by the glass, happy hour snacks and live music Thursday-Saturday nights.

Best Yogurt Shop: Yogurt Shack

This family-owned shop has expanded to three locations, but the one on Hartz at Diablo Road is the favorite here. Its website lists the day's flavors, which always include non-dairy, low-fat and no-sugar options.

Kids and Pets:

Best Children's Clothing Store: Snickerdoodles

Get the hippest children's fashion at the cheapest prices. This consignment center is also a treasure trove of toys and decorations.

Best Pet Groomer: Shampooches

Dirty dogs get clean at this competitively priced, professional grooming salon. Cats, too! Pamper your pet with a custom cut from experienced groomers.

Best Pet Store: Pet Food Express

Express your love for your pets by attending its in-store events, self-service pet wash and checking out all the food that's fit to feed.

Best Place for a Birthday Party: Danville Bowl

Bring on the bumpers or get down with disco bowling. Whatever your mood, you can't help but have fun at Danville Bowl.

Best Place for Dance Lessons: Two Left Feet Dance Center

Learn dance in a fun environment from any of Two Left Feet's adept instructors. The Friday night dance socials are full of dancers, from newbies to professionals.

Best Tutoring School: On Track Learning

Help your student get ahead with private or small group tutoring, math clubs and transitional training. Whether your child is falling behind or trying to get ahead, staff promise results.

Best Veterinarian: Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center

Discerning pets and their people like the convenience of one-stop shopping. For food, pharmacy and emergency services needs, our readers visit Bishop Ranch.

Home & Vehicle Maintenance:

Best Antique Store: Cottage Jewel

This boutique has one-of-a-kind treasures for the home and to wear. Like any treasure hunt, it goes on and on -- so make sure to stop by often.

Best Art Gallery: Village Theatre Art Gallery

This gallery is a town treasure, featuring exhibits from established, new and local artists, as well as workshops, book signings and special events.

Best Auto Dealership: E-Lease Returns

Our readers say that E-Lease Returns has spoiled them with its no-pressure sales approach, fantastic customer service and perfectly priced vehicles.

Best Auto Detail/Car Wash: Chamois Hand Car Wash

Sure, you can wash the car yourself in the driveway but who wants to? And don't you always miss a spot?

Best Auto Repair: Auto Care of Danville

Check out this auto repair shop for highly competent staff, honest service and very reasonable rates. "What more could you ask for?" writes one Yelp reviewer.

Best Carpet/Flooring Store: Diablo Flooring

Diablo Flooring is here to bring the best possible pricing along with beautiful and complete installation to the Bay Area. Shop our wide selection of name brand quality carpeting, tile, hardwood, laminate and vinyl. Please visit one of our 3 boutique flooring stores in Pleasanton, Danville and Walnut Creek.

Best Florist: East Bay Flower Company

This shop is lovely inside and out. For special occasions or just because -- say it with flowers.

Best Hardware Store: Ace Hardware

Get service with a smile, along with everything you need for home improvement and gardening.

Best Home Improvement Contractor: Gayler Construction has a 100% on-time and on-budget record for 16 years running and is an award winning, green certified, design/build firm. Call now to learn how easy and rewarding it is to work with Gayler. Clients Selma and Mike Moore state, "The Gayler Construction experience has been positive on every level...on time, on budget, very professional management and staff, and the after-completion follow-up is THE BEST!"

Best Home Furnishings: Elegant Clutter

Comfortable and eye-catching, the furnishings here are sure to tempt you. Like their namesake, Elegant Clutter will help you fill your home with elegant pieces.

Best Homebuilder: Shapell Homes

Committed to excellent craftsmanship, innovative architecture and customer satisfaction, Shapell Homes takes care to design homes for the utmost comfort.

Best Interior Designer: J. Hettinger Interiors

These people have ideas galore and solutions for every design problem. Jerry's mission is to bring joy and fulfillment to every client.

Best Nursery/Garden Center: Navlet's Garden Centers

Plants from ground covers to trees to everything in between kept our readers returning to this anchor of the Rose Garden. Don't forget to buy bird seed.

Best Senior Living Facility: Diablo Lodge

Lush and plush, this is the best place to relax and enjoy after a lifetime of labor. If raucous and rowdy are more your style, one reader suggests visiting Elliot's Bar, but this is the place for tranquility.

Rest & Recreation:

Best Girls Night Out Spot: Martini Sky

Indulge in a well-crafted martini and great appetizers, including truffle macaroni and cheese or lobster potstickers. Upscale but not stuffy, Martini Sky is a lovely place to gab with the girls.

Best Golf Course: Diablo Country Club Golf Course

Recognized as one of the most desirable courses in the Bay Area, the Diablo Country Club golf course has small, challenging greens and is perfect for a good game in beautiful countryside.

Best Hobby/Craft Store: Richard's Arts & Crafts

We dare you to walk through this store without considering taking up a crafty hobby, from beading to artificial flower arranging to scrapbooking.

Best Kept Secret Treasure of Danville: Tao House

Enjoy the beautiful hillside home of America's only Nobel Prize-winning playwright, Eugene O'Neill. A beautiful hidden treasure, Tao House hosts plays and young playwright's retreats each year.

Best Place for Dancing: Two Left Feet Dance Center

Come to the Friday night dance social and bring your dancing shoes! Dancers of all levels flock to this fun, weekly event for West Coast Swing and all other kinds of dance.

Best Place for Live Music: Maria Maria

With stellar regional and national artists and hand-selected playlists, Maria Maria is a match made in heaven between music and cuisine.

Best Public Event: Danville Street Fairs

The streets of Danville are transformed by Danville's street fairs. Experience booths, vendors, food and exhibitions, and live music at the Thursday night street festivals, or see fine art and craft displays at the Danville Fine Arts Faire.


Like this comment
Posted by Paul
a resident of Danville
on Oct 16, 2013 at 6:58 am

Your Best of the Best is highly subjective. I disagree on a lot of your choices.

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Posted by AlamoPete
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 16, 2013 at 2:13 pm

If I'm not mistaken, Paul, that's to be expected with a list like this. The only list that will match your list 100% is YOUR list. It's all good...enjoy and debate...

Like this comment
Posted by AC
a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Patelco Crdit Union service at Danville ROCKS ! Old architecture building is unique.

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Posted by Danville Mike
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2013 at 7:46 am

I think the list looks pretty solid, but when it comes to things like "Ice Cream"...Is there really a #2 even in Danville?

But it's always good to get personal reviews. Kind of like a free Angie's list!

Like this comment
Posted by Al G.
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2013 at 7:54 am

Auto Care of Danville is a consistant winner ............and they deserve it. Great guys !

Like this comment
Posted by SALLY
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2013 at 9:14 am

WELLS FARGO on San Ramon Blvd. Danville is the Best.

Can't say the same for Wells Fargo on Diablo Rd.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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