Sonoma Valley People’s Choice winners announced

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And the winner is… Sonoma!

The votes have been cast, the ballots counted, and the Index-Tribune’s 2018 People’s Choice winners decided. The best food and drink, the best businesses, and the best professionals and specialists in all of Sonoma, selected by you, Reader, in a spirited poll.

The voting took a few weeks, competitors jostling for supremacy throughout, and then our staff vote-counters tallied the results. Below are the winners and runners-up for 83 distinct categories, from the best cheap eats to the best hair salon to the best wedding venue.

All of them will be celebrated at our annual gala in September, taking a deserved turn in the spotlight of community appreciation. If you’re familiar with the winners, keep patronizing those folks; if not, get out there and try something new. With thousands of neighbors and friends vouching for them, you can’t really go wrong, Sonoma.


(Second place noted as “honorable mentions”)


Best Asian Food

Bangkok9 Thai Cuisine

Honorable Mention: E-Saan Thai House

Best Bakery

Basque Boulangerie Café

Honorable Mention: Scandia Bakery

Best Bar

Swiss Hotel

Honorable Mention: Starling Bar

Best Barbecue

Tri Tip Trolley

Honorable Mention: Fremont Diner

Best Breakfast

Sunflower Caffé

Honorable Mention: Creekside Cafe

Best Café or Coffee Shop

Sunflower Caffé

Honorable Mention: Barking Dog

Best California Cuisine

El Dorado Kitchen

Honorable Mention: Harvest Moon Café

Best Cheap Eats

Mary’s Pizza Shack

Honorable Mention: La Bamba Taco Truck

Best Deli Sandwich

Broadway Market

Honorable Mention: Sonoma Market

Best Drive-Thru Coffee

Dutch Bros.

Honorable Mention: Café Scooteria

Best Food Truck

La Bamba Taco Truck

Honorable Mention: Picazo Café

Best Hamburger

Picazo Café

Honorable Mention: the Girl & the Fig

Best Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt

Sweet Scoops Homemade Ice Cream

Honorable Mention: La Michoacana

Best Italian Restaurant

Della Santina’s

Honorable Mention: Mamma Tanino’s

Best Local Brew Pub

Hopmonk Tavern

Honorable Mention: Sonoma Springs

Best Mexican Restaurant

Taqueria La Hacienda

Honorable Mention: El Molino Central

Best New Restaurant in 2018

Salt & Stone

Honorable Mention: Mi Ranchito

Best Pizza

The Red Grape

Honorable Mention: Mary’s Pizza Shack

Best Place for Lunch

The Red Grape

Honorable Mention: Picazo Cafe

Best Seafood at a Local Restaurant

Sonoma Grille

Honorable Mention: The Reel Fish Shop & Grill

Best Steak Restaurant

Saddles Steakhouse

Honorable Mention: Sonoma Grille

Best Take Out

Mary’s Pizza Shack

Honorable Mention: Taste of the Himalayas

Best Tasting Room

Benziger Family Winery

Honorable Mention: Pangloss Cellars

Best Place for a Vegetarian/Organic Meal

Sunflower Caffé

Honorable Mention: Taste of the Himalayas

Best Wine List at a Restaurant

Della Santina’s

Honorable Mention: El Dorado Kitchen

Best Winery

Buena Vista Winery

Honorable Mention: Benziger Family Winery

Best Winery Tour

Benziger Family Winery

Honorable Mention: Gundlach Bundschu

Best Winery with a View

Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards

Honorable Mention: Beziger Family Winery


Best Antique Store

Plain Jane’s

Honorable Mention: Bon Marche Thrift Store

Best Art Gallery

Sonoma Valley Museum of Art

Honorable Mention: Arts Guild of Sonoma

Best Auto Body Shop

Body Best Collision Center

Honorable Mention: Daniele’s Classic Auto Body

Best Boutique

Bear Moon Clothing Company

Honorable Mention: The Loop

Best Carpet Cleaning Service

Imperial Carpet Cleaning

Honorable Mention: Walsh’s Chem Dry

Best Day Spa

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa

Honorable Mention: Blush A Day Spa

Best Facial/Makeup

Catalina’s Skin and Body

Honorable Mention: Amber Rose Advanced Skin Care

Best Financial Institution

Redwood Credit Union

Honorable Mention: Exchange Bank

Best Garden/Nursery

Sonoma Mission Gardens

Honorable Mention: Friedman’s Home Improvement

Best Gift Shop

Sign of the Bear

Honorable Mention: Fat Pilgrim

Best Grocery Store

Sonoma Market

Honorable Mention: Broadway Market

Best Gym/Health Club

Parkpoint Fitness Club-Sonoma

Honorable Mention: Sonoma Fit

Best Hair Salon/Barber Shop

Catalina’s Skin and Body

Honorable Mention: Personal Image

Best Home Health Care Service

Healing at Home/Sonoma Valley Hospital

Honorable Mention: Caselli’s Private Home Care

Best Jewelry Store

Sonoma Silver Company

Honorable Mention: Halem & Company de Sonoma

Best Local Bank

Exchange Bank

Honorable Mention: Bank of Marin

Best Local Event

Fourth of July Parade

Honorable Mention: Farmer’s Market

Best Local Farm

The Patch

Honorable Mention: Paul’s Produce

Best Locally Produced Food Brands

Vella Cheese Company

Honorable Mention: Relax and Eat Bread

Best Mortgage Broker

Gary Umholz/RPM Mortgage

Honorable Mention: Sheila O’Neill/Redwood Credit Union

Best Non-Gym Fitness Studio

Yoga Community

Honorable Mention: Pilates Sonoma

Best Pet Boarding Service

Vintage Kennel Club

Honorable Mention: Sonoma Dog Camp

Best Place to Buy Clothes

Eraldi’s Mens Wear and Shoes

Honorable Mention: McCaulou’s Department Store

Best Place to Buy Flooring


Honorable Mention: Valley of the Moon Flooring

Best Place to Buy Flowers

Sonoma Market

Honorable Mention: Sonoma Flowers

Best Place to Buy Furniture

Plain Jane’s

Honorable Mention: Harvest Home

Best Place to Listen to Music

The Reel Fish House & Grill

Honorable Mention: Sonoma Speakeasy

Best Place to Take the Kids

Sonoma Traintown Railroad

Honorable Mention: Sonoma Plaza

Best Preschool

Sunshine Preschool

Honorable Mention: The Little School

Best Real Estate Brokerage

Sotheby’s International Realty

Honorable Mention: Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley

Best Summer Camp

Rhoten Productions Summer Camps

Honorable Mention: Boys and Girls Club of Sonoma Valley

Best Thrifting or Consignment Store

Plain Jane’s

Honorable Mention: Republic of Thrift

Best Wedding Venue


Honorable Mention: Beltane Ranch


Best Accounting/CPA Firm

Richard Gullotta, CPA, MBA

Honorable Mention: Jeff Spencer/H&R Block

Best Architect or Designer

Robert Baumann & Associates

Honorable Mention: FIGO

Best Attorney

Eric Gullotta/Gullotta Law Group

Honorable Mention: William Shea, Attorney at Law

Best Auto Mechanic

Pacific Rim Auto Repair

Honorable Mention: Williams Auto Care

Best Caterer

The Girl & the Fig

Honorable Mention: Elaine Bell Catering

Best Chef

Ari Weiswasser/Glen Ellen Star

Honorable Mention: John Toulze/the Girl & the Fig

Best Chiropractor

Dr. Brian Wirick

Honorable Mention: Dr. Laurence Adams

Best General Contractor

Mangiantini Construction

Honorable Mention: Stately Construction

Best Dentist

Dr. Kimberly Hubenette

Honorable Mention: Dr. Daniel Kittleson

Best Dog Groomer

My Pal Pet

Honorable Mention: Vintage Kennel Club

Best Electrician

Northern Lights Electric

Honorable Mention: DeMartini Electric

Best Financial Planner/Investment Adviser

Dean Stein/Edward Jones

Honorable Mention: Byron Hancock/Hancock Partners

Best Insurance Agent

Christa Granton/Christa Granton Insurance Services

Honorable Mention: Rebecca Lilly/AAA

Best Landscaper

Waldron Landscape

Honorable Mention: Totem Landscaping

Best Massage Therapist

Kate Rawson

Honorable Mention: Reiki by Laura

Best Orthodontist

Dr. Caroline Laurent

Honorable Mention: Dr. Timothy Irish

Best Pedicure/Manicure

Catalina’s Skin & Body

Honorable Mention: Maxwell Nails

Best Personal Trainer

Greg Lewis/Parkpoint Health Club - Sonoma

Honorable Mention: Daniel Valencia/Sonoma Aquatic Club

Best Physician

Dr. Brian Sebastian

Honorable Mention: Dr. Geeta Malik

Best Plumber

Boden Plumbing Heating & Air

Honorable Mention: E.R. Plumbing

Best Real Estate Agent

Daniel Casabonne/Sotheby’s

Honorable Mention: Casey Moll/W Real Estate

Best Veterinarian

Dr. Rhonda Stallings/Arroyo Veterinary Hospital

Honorable Mention: Dr. Deana Schwab/Valley of the Moon Veterinary Clinic

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