50th BEST OF THE BAY polls open July 9!

It's back, baby! The first, biggest, and best Best of the Bay celebrates all the great things about life in the Bay.

Are you ready to vote for THE BEST in the Bay Guardian’s 50th annual Best of the Bay Readers’ Poll, hosted by 48 Hills? Mark July 9 on your calendar and tell all your friends and favorites to spread the word: The nation’s first and best “Best of” is back, baby! Subscribe to our newsletter to keep abreast of all the Best of the Bay happenings, become a 48 Hills member to keep this venerable tradition alive, and tell your small business friends to advertise so people know they are in the running! Our 2023 Best of the Bay winners are here

The cover of our very first Best of the Bay, from 1974. 

We love telling this story: In 1974, Esquire magazine asked us for ideas for its Best of the USA issue, which led us to publish the original Best of the Bay—the first participatory city guide of its kind in the nation, which let our readers themselves tell us that they love. Made by the people of the Bay Area for the people of the Bay Area, it’s our annual opportunity to celebrate the people and places that make this city great. Fifty years on, we’re still going strong. 

As Bay Guardian founder and Publisher Emeritus Bruce Brugmann puts it, “We were the first Best, and we’re still the best Best!”

Best of the Bay 2014 cover designed by Jeremy Fish

A reminder of how it works: We’ll publish our poll on July 9. Readers can vote for any small business or local person or organization that’s appropriate for each category—anyone can be a winner! categories include things like: Best Burrito, Best Local Band, Best Salon, Best Politician, Best Arts Venue, and dozens more. Readers have a month to vote—and the result is a big, beautiful guide to the best of the Bay Area. 

Let us know what you love!