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The Best of Mountain View 2015

 

What is it that makes Mountain View so special, that sets it apart from Anytown, USA? Our readers know that, in addition to being the center of Silicon Valley innovation, Mountain View is home to an eclectic blend of cool shops, noteworthy services, tempting restaurants and an array of specialty food and drink establishments. With so much on offer, it can be hard to know where to find the stand-out places in town. And that is why we ask our readers, the true local experts, to single out the best that Mountain View has to offer, from places to take a date to the best happy hour, pet care and shoe repair. We're proud to present this year's top voter-getters chosen by you in our 2015 Best of Mountain View poll.

RESTAURANTS

Breakfast

Crepevine may be a first-time winner, but it certainly is not new to the restaurant scene. With 10 locations scattered all over the Bay Area, this creperie caters to readers who crave breakfast at any time of the day. Open from 7:30 a.m. to as late as midnight on Friday and Saturday, Crepevine dishes up sweet and savory crepes, with a menu featuring international flavor combinations, ranging from the Jamaican crepe filled with bananas and a caramel rum sauce to the Indian-inspired Bombay crepe, stuffed with vegetables and chicken or shrimp in a spicy curry sauce. Other menu options include omelets, sandwiches, eggs Benedict and pancakes.

300 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-969-6878. crepevine.com

Chinese

Longtime favorite of Silicon Valley leaders including Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, former Intel CEO Craig Barrett and the late Steve Jobs, Chef Chu's is a staple of the Bay Area's abundant Chinese cuisine offerings. Chef and owner Lawrence Chu and son Larry Chu Jr. have established a celebrated restaurant that caters to both simple and adventurous palates. The menu includes classic fare from multiple regions in China, such as the spicy Sichuan ma por tofu and Cantonese barbecued pork buns. For more unusual dishes, try the mao tai quail flambé, which is a whole quail simmered in aromatic soy sauce and flambéed in Mao Tai liquor before serving.

1067 N. San Antonio Road, Los Altos; 650-948-2696. chefchu.com

Coffee House (Independent)

Non-profit Red Rock Coffee wins again. The popularity of its community-focused events and "fantastic third-wave coffee and specialty drinks with a side of culture and community" keep its customers coming, said general manager Jean Boulanger. Popular drinks include the gingery chai, loose-leaf teas and the classic cappuccino, which is made with beans sourced from San Francisco-based roaster Four Barrel. Red Rock frequently hosts local artists and musicians for live events. "We offer two floors of seating to accommodate business meetings, Kids' Story Hour, knitting groups, a book club, coffee-tasting events, free live music three nights a week and a weekly open-mic night," Boulanger said.

201 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-967-4473. redrockcoffee.org

Fine Dining

From the outside, Chez TJ may look like a quaint little home, but the French cuisine that awaits its guests on the inside certainly goes beyond the repertoire of the typical home cook. Executive head chef Jarad Gallagher focuses heavily on making fresh, seasonal ingredients the center of attention. According to Gallagher, the seasonal menu, which is updated on a regular basis, features produce that is either grown in Chez TJ's newly remodeled garden or within a 100-mile radius of the restaurant. It's also Mountain View's only restaurant awarded a Michelin star.

938 Villa St., Mountain View; 650-964-7466. cheztj.com

Fusion

Sophistication is key at Xanh (pronounced "sun"), where the sleek chrome furnishings and blue, back-lit bar create a modern dining atmosphere. Our readers voted it the best fusion and the best Vietnamese restaurant. The Vietnamese-inspired menu features a blend of Eastern and Western flavors. Customers favorites include the shaking beef, a tender, garlicky filet mignon on top of a mountain of leafy greens, the Vietnamese tacos and kamikaze chicken wings served in a spicy tamarind sauce.

110 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-964-1888. xanhrestaurant.com

Indian

Amber India may be moving to Los Altos later this summer, but customers don't need to worry about losing its expansive menu of traditional Indian cuisine. According to owner Vijay Bist, the restaurant will move across the street to 4926 W. El Camino Real at the end of July, but will continue to serve its popular items, which include the butter chicken, yogurt-marinated rack of lamb, sea bass tikka and baingan bharta, which is a baked, mashed eggplant dish.

2290 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-968-7511. amber-india.com

Italian

Ristorante Don Giovanni is known as a go-to establishment for all types of events, from local tech firms' meetings and banquets to graduation parties and wedding rehearsals, says founder and owner John Akkaya. Some of the restaurant's most frequently ordered items on its classic Italian menu include the spaghetti Bolognese, grilled rack of lamb, and pollo ripieno an oven-roasted chicken breast stuffed with herbs, creamy ricotta cheese and roasted sweet peppers.

235 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-961-9749. dongiovannis.com

Mediterranean

Readers continue to share the love for Cascal, which won in two categories this year, for best Mediterranean restaurant and best happy hour. The menu offers a culinary tour across Spain and Latin America, including saffron-spiced Spanish paella and fresh Peruvian ceviche. The tapas menu of small plates includes flaky Argentinian beef empanadas, Cuban black bean soup and Mexico City-style braised short ribs. Every weekday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. is happy hour, which spreads outdoors to the bustling patio. During happy hour, most drinks are offered at about half price, including all specialty cocktails and select wines. Additionally, the happy hour menu features select items from the tapas menu at reduced prices, like the popular Brazilian shrimp and rice croquettas. Cascal hosts live music every Friday and Saturday night.

400 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-940-9500. cascalrestaurant.com

Mexican

Repeat winner Fiesta Del Mar remains Voice readers' favorite Mexican restaurant. Owned by Susan and Alexandro Garcia, it is well-known for the abundant fresh seafood offerings on the menu, like the camarones margarita jumbo shrimp sauteed in tequila, Cointreau and lime juice. Another things that makes Fiesta Del Mar stand is its extensive selection of tequilas, which includes names like El Tesoro and Partida.

1005 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View; 650-965-9354. fiestadelmar.com

Middle Eastern

Family-owned Morocco's Restaurant embraces its motto, "Enjoy the magic," with a bevy of exotic culinary and live entertainment offerings. The extensive menu includes authentic Moroccan tagines, Mediterranean kebabs and its signature green lentil salad. The Express Lunch menu guarantees customers will receive their dishes within 10 minutes after ordering, for those who can't linger over their lunch break. Every night of the week features different guest performances, such as table-side magic shows, belly dancing and live acoustic guitar.

873 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-968-1502. moroccosrestaurant.com

New Restaurant

In business for less than a year, La PanotiQ has clearly made a good first impression on Voice readers, who voted the cafe as the best new restaurant, as well as voting it as Mountain View's best patio and outdoor dining. La PanotiQ promises customers delectable Parisian desserts, pastries, breads, sandwiches and salads free of GMOs, pesticides, hormones and nitrates. According to director of operations Megan Davenport, popular items include croissants, pain au chocolat, tiramisu, eclairs, Nicoise salad and the crunchy caramel baccara. Customers can relax with their French treats on the outdoor patio, where they can take in the sights of busy, bustling Castro Street.

331 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-691-9486. lapanotiq.com

Patio/Outdoor Dining

La PanotiQ

See Best New Restaurant

Place for a Business Lunch

With its elegant setting, menu of simple-yet-refined American classics and convenient downtown location, Scratch has something to offer every guest. The lunch menu features comfort food revamped for fine dining, with dishes like green chili, rotisserie chicken pizza and a grilled cheese sandwich served on buttery brioche. Its diversity of offerings aims to appeal to a wide demographic.

401 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-237-3132. scratchmtnview.com

Seafood

First-time winner Pacific Catch has won over readers with its Pan-Pacific seafood menu. Traditional fare includes a variety of fresh Hawaiian poke and fish-and-chips, along with fusion offerings like wasabi rice bowls and a changing "daily catch" menu. Dedicated to providing "high quality seafood with a unique perspective," readers clearly think there's nothing fishy about Pacific Catch's seafood-focused menu featuring a variety of cooking techniques and ingredients.

545 San Antonio Road, Mountain View; 650-941-1810. pacificcatch.com

Sushi/Japanese

With its classic Japanese menu, Sushi Tomi focuses on producing menu standards with the utmost quality. You'll find all the traditional dishes here, like the chirashi bowl, filled with delicate sushi rice and colorful, expertly sliced pieces of fresh fish. Nigiri and seaweed-wrapped maki rolls are also popular with our readers. Or opt for the menu's many non-sushi items, such as teriyaki salmon, shrimp tempura and fried potato croquettes.

635 W. Dana St., Mountain View; 650-968-3227. sushitomi.com

Thai

With its opulent gold wall decor and vibrant orchid bouquets, Amarin Thai aims to create "the most authentic Thai experience, without the 15-hour flight and the hot, humid weather." The menu's special section, "The Vegetarian Paradise," dishes up flavorful, protein-packed vegetarian options like the "meatloaf" made of lentils, soy protein and assorted vegetables served in a sweet basil and red curry sauce. Meat-lovers will also be pleased with the numerous beef, pork, poultry and seafood specialties like classic pad see ew and massaman curry.

174-176 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-988-9323. amarinthaicuisine.com

Vegetarian Cuisine

Vegans and vegetarians alike have plenty to choose from at Garden Fresh, which specializes in Chinese vegan cuisine prepared with no animal products, MSG, trans-fats or high-fructose corn syrup. In addition to an abundance of vegetable-based recipes like the stuffed Chinese cabbage deluxe, packed with shiitake mushroom, carrot and water chestnuts, the menu includes soy-based meat alternatives including tofu, yuba and soy protein.

1245 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-254-1688. gardenfresh.us

Vietnamese

Xanh

See Best Fusion

FOOD & DRINK

Bagels

The crunchy-yet-chewy bagels at House of Bagels owe their unique texture to the traditional New York process of boiling the bagels before baking them in a stone oven. But tradition is not all they have to offer at the House of Bagels. Customers can choose from a wide range of bagel flavors, including jalapeno, rye, cranberry and cinnamon-apple. The selection of spreads is equally diverse, featuring flavors like date and walnut and sundried tomato with basil. Catering options are also available, as well as in-store bagel sandwiches.

1712 Miramonte Ave., Mountain View; 650-694-4888. houseofbagelsonline.com

Bakery

It's been open less than a year, but Alexander's Patisserie has already won over Voice readers' hearts and stomachs with its assortment of flaky kouign-amann, colorful chocolate bonbons and delicate individual pastries. "Every item is handcrafted in-house daily by chef Dries Delanghe and his team," says general manager Michael Ho. Owned by the Alexander's Steakhouse group, the patisserie aims to produce "traditional, European treats with a pinch of modern-day flair."

209 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-864-9999. alexanderspatisserie.com

Bar

Three-time winner Stein's Beer Garden boasts 31 taps pouring high-end American craft and import beers served in a state-of-the-art "direct draw" draft system, says owner Ted Kim. "Our bar staff are all Cicerone Level 1 certified, and guests can enjoy lounging in our spacious, 4,000-square-foot beer garden and enjoy the great Mountain View weather," Kim said. Stein's most popular cocktail is its version of the classic Moscow Mule appropriately renamed the Mountain View Mule. The best-selling beer is the Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen, a classic German wheat beer from the oldest operating brewery in the world.

895 Villa St., Mountain View, 650-963-9568. steinsbeergarden.com

BBQ

As a mainstay of the Bay Area barbecue scene, Armadillo Willy's continues to impress with its Texas-inspired, wood-fired meats. Readers enjoy classics like sweet, smoky baby back ribs and tender pulled pork. The restaurant chain, founded by Palo Altan John Berwald, boasts that the spicy peanut coleslaw is "so good that even Bon Appetit magazine requested the recipe."

1031 N. San Antonio Road, Los Altos; 650-941-2922. armadillowillys.com

Burger

Grilled over smoky charcoal and made to order that's how the burgers are served up at Clarke's Charcoal Broiler. After winning the best burger title in the very first Best of Mountain View issue in 1993, Clarke's has continued to satisfy readers with its freshly ground, lean beef patties and signature "fixin" table. According to marketing director Steve Blach, fan favorites include the crumbled blue cheese burger and smoky cheddar burger with bacon.

615 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-967-0851. clarkes.com

Burrito

La Costeña Custom Burritos continues its streak by once again securing the title of best burritos and best take-out. Famous for its immense super burritos and variety of fillings, La Costeña emphasizes its customizable menu, offering multiple sizes, as well as tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, tamales and salads. The extensive meat selection includes traditional fillings like al pastor and carnitas, but it also features unusual flavor combinations like garlicky beef, chicken in a chocolate-and-cinnamon-spiced mole sauce and pollo borracho, a flavorful chicken dish stewed in beer.

235 E. Middlefield Road, Mountain View; 650-967-0507. costena.com

Deli

Dittmer's Gourmet Meats & Wurst-Haus offers a touch of German charm in an old-fashioned butcher shop and delicatessen. In addition to a large selection of homemade, award-winning sausages, smoked meats, lunch meats and fresh meat, Dittmer's also offers an extensive lunchtime sandwich menu. You'll also find an assortment of imported European specialty goods, such as German mustard, condiments, spatzle noodles, cookies and chocolate.

4540 El Camino Real, Los Altos; 650-941-3800. dittmers.com

Fresh Produce

It's the third largest in California and one of the most consistent, award-winning farmers' markets in the Bay Area. The Mountain View Farmers Market is a favorite stop on many weekend to-do lists. With over 80 merchants selling everything from organic, seasonal produce and grass-fed beef to fresh fish, flowers, eggs and local honey, there is something for everyone at the market. Normally located at the Mountain View Caltrain Station, the market temporarily relocates to the parking lot at California and Bryant streets for 49er home games during football season.

600 W. Evelyn Ave., Mountain View; 800-806-3276. cafarmersmkts.com/mountain-view-farmers-market

Ice Cream Shop

It's not uncommon to find a line snaking out the door of Gelato Classico on a warm summer night. Known for its wide variety of Italian-style ice cream in nontraditional flavors like lychee, fresh ginger and s'mores, Gelato Classico is a fan-favorite when it comes to satisfying a frosty sugar craving. The store takes cash only, and customers can sample flavors and opt for mixing half scoops within one cup, which makes trying everything on the store's long list of flavors an attainable achievement.

241B Castro St., Mountain View; 650-969-2900. gelatoclassico.com

Noodle Place

Beloved for its inexpensive prices and homemade noodles, Maru Ichi Restaurant remains Voice readers' No. 1 pick for noodles in Mountain View. The popular kuro ramen flavored with a blackened garlic broth and melt-in-your-mouth pork remains a stand-by, while the spicy miso ramen satisfies those looking for a kick of heat. In addition to ramen, Maru Ichi offers hot and cold soba noodles, thick udon noodles and side dishes like pot stickers and kimchi.

368 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-564-9931.

Pearl Tea

Verde Tea beat out the competition with its extensive menu, signature frothy milk tea and chewy tapioca boba pearls, which customers describe as "simply great." The beverage assortment ranges from over 25 flavors of milk tea, including sesame, papaya and kiwi, to coffee, smoothies, iced tea and fresh juice. In addition to its drinks menu, Verde also serves up a nontraditional blend of popcorn chicken and sweet potato fries, as well as East Asian classics such as Taiwanese thick toast.

852 Villa St., Mountain View; 650-210-9986. verdeteacafe.net

Pizza

With its signature, slightly charred, thin-crust pizzas, Amici's East Coast Pizzeria brings a taste of the East Coast to Mountain View. Since its first store opening in San Mateo in 1987, Amici's has spread out to 13 locations throughout California. In addition to tried-and-true staples such as margherita pizza, the menu also includes toppings with a touch of West Coast innovation, like the Greek Isle, which features crumbled feta cheese, artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes. Other options on the menu include pasta, salad, soup, flame-roasted chicken wings and sandwiches on house-made bread.

790 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-961-6666. amicis.com

Small Grocery Store

The open-air style and overflowing aisles of Milk Pail Market bring a breezy European charm to the everyday task of grocery shopping. Owned by Steve Rasmussen, Milk Pail is well-known for its expansive selection of gourmet French cheeses. According to Kai Rasmussen, customers rave over the frozen croissants, affordable fresh produce and specialty items, like Berkeley-based Acme bread and European chocolates.

2585 California St., Mountain View; 650-941-2505. milkpail.com

Take-Out

La Costeña Custom Burritos

See Best Burritos

SERVICES

Acupuncture

After being voted the first winner of the best acupuncture category in 2011, N. California Acupuncture has won back the title this year. Most of the doctors are graduates from prestigious traditional Chinese medicine schools including the Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In addition to hand and scalp acupuncture, other available services include massages and an herbal vitamin store.

375 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-691-1055. cahaa.com

Auto Body Repair

Caliber Collision may have acquired FCC Collision at the end of last year, but the automobile repair shop's reputation of high quality customer service and customer satisfaction remains the same. Experienced technicians provide auto body repair services including painting, auto glass repair and dent repair all of which is backed by a written lifetime warranty.

177 E. Evelyn Ave., Mountain View; 650-965-1440.

Auto Repair

For the 12th time, Larry's Autoworks has secured the title of Best Auto Repair, thanks to its predictive maintenance approach, which "has been proven to greatly reduce long-term costs and unexpected breakdowns," says owner Larry Moore. Serving the Mountain View community since 1972, Larry's Autoworks is a family owned and operated business that also offers a full three-year or 36,000 mile warranty on parts and labor for all repairs.

2526 Leghorn St., Mountain View; 650-968-5202. autoworks.com

Chiropractor

Since 1993, Lisa Devlin, DC has been providing Mountain View with chiropractic therapy and adjustments that consistently win high praise from our readers. Owner Dr. Lisa Devlin practices the Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique, which "provides effective adjustments with no twisting, cracking or popping." Class IV Laser Therapy is also available for fast recovery or soft tissue injuries and can help with arthritis pain. Discounts are available for military personnel and veterans without chiropractic coverage.

1265 Montecito Ave., Mountain View; 650-428-0950. lisadevlin.com

Dentist

For the second year in a row, Dental Fabulous and its team, led by owner and principal dentist Dr. Huy Do, have won over the Mountain View community with its commitment to providing genuine interest, time and dedication to its patients, says Do. The entire staff at Dental Fabulous is fluent in Spanish and some staff members are fluent in other languages, helping to provide service to non-English speaking patients, according to Do. Dental Fabulous is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday, and Saturday appointments are also available.

756 California St., Mountain View; 650-969-6077. dentalfabulous.com

Dry Cleaners

With its 100 percent-PERC free dry-cleaning process, Green & Fresh Cleaners aims to provide a cleaning service that is better for you, your clothes and the planet. Open every day except Sunday, this full-service dry cleaners does all its cleaning on-site and also offers alterations.

580 N. Rengstorff Ave., Mountain View; 650-967-8899.

greenandfreshcleaners.com

Fitness Classes

With over 160 classes per week that are free to all members, the El Camino YMCA meets a wide variety of fitness needs and interests. Classes range from group exercise staples such as Zumba and kick-boxing to more unique offerings such as Brazilian jiu jitsu, Chinese qigong and Dance For All, which is a movement class geared toward people with special needs. "Our No. 1 priority at the Y is to make sure everyone feels welcomed and part of our community," says group exercise director Andrea Antony.

2400 Grant Road, Mountain View; 650-969-9622. ymcasv.org/elcamino

Gym

24 Hour Fitness Super Sport offers an expansive list of amenities that should include "just about every feature you could wish for in a gym membership." Open 24 hours a day to accommodate even the busiest of schedules, the health and fitness center offers members personal training, group exercise classes, cardio and strength training equipment, a sauna and steam room, towel service and an indoor lap pool.

2535 California Ave., Mountain View; 650-941-2268. 24hourfitness.com/Website/Club/814

Hair Salon

For the past decade, Allure Salon has consistently won the title of best hair salon in Mountain View, earning praise from readers for its friendly, accommodating stylists and comprehensive, full-service offerings. In addition to haircuts and styling for men, women and children, Allure offers eyelash extensions, shellac manicures, European facials and waxing. Salon-quality hair and body care products are available for sale in store.

888 Villa St., Mountain View; 650-938-8777. mvalluresalon.com

Hotel

The central location and buffet breakfast make Hilton Garden Inn a favorite choice among visitors to the area. Offering easy access to all major highways and public transportation, the hotel is conveniently located between downtown Mountain View and Sunnyvale. With complimentary WiFi and a 24-hour business center, it caters to those traveling for business as well as pleasure.

840 E. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-964-1700. hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com

Manicure

Our readers have spoken, and Gorgeous Nails and Skin Care has won the title of best place for a manicure in Mountain View for the fourth consecutive year. Full-service manicures and pedicures are popular with customers, but other services include eyebrow grooming and facials. Open seven days a week, Gorgeous Nails and Skin Care offers services for Mountain View's grooming and pampering needs.

821 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-428-1807.

Massage

Despite its name, Massage Envy brings a lot more to the table than just massages. Known for its professional and customized service, Massage Envy offers clients massage therapy as well as sugar foot scrubs, aromatherapy, and Murad healthy skin facial sessions. "What makes us stand out is our pleasant and relaxed atmosphere, professional massage therapists and estheticians, and affordable membership prices," says spa director Kim Gladden.

1040 Grant Road #110, Mountain View; 650-961-3689. massageenvy.com

Oil Change

For the second year in a row, the local Jiffy Lube has won as readers' favorite oil change and automobile service center. Its signature service oil change is comprehensive, preventative and performed by trained technicians, who help customers select the right motor oil for their vehicles.

1141 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-965-2582. jiffylube.com

Personal Trainer

Voice readers continue to choose Overtime Fitness as their preferred source for personal trainers. Designed to accommodate individuals of any age, fitness level and lifestyle, the certified trainers at Overtime Fitness offer a wide array of training regimens, including the use of a free-standing rock-climbing tower, and a boxing and mixed martial arts training area. Every membership type includes access to personal training, but Overtime Fitness also offers group, team and sport-specific training.

1625 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View; 650-944-8555. overtimefitness.com

Pet Care

The experienced doctors at Adobe Animal Hospital have won consistent praise for their compassionate, comprehensive veterinary care. The 24-hour hospital is equipped with diagnostic radiology, endoscope and ultrasound machines, a 24-hour intensive care unit and an in-house diagnostic laboratory. Open for appointments from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, Adobe Animal Hospital and its staff helps keep Voice readers' furry, feathered, fishy or scaly friends healthy and happy.

4470 El Camino Real, Los Altos; 650-948-9661. adobe-animal.com

Shoe Repair

Customers may thank Model Shoe Repair for its reasonable prices and speedy, high quality service, but owner Sae Kim credits his success to his customers and their loyal support over the years. In addition to footwear repair and care, Model Shoe Repair also repairs purses, belts, suitcases and luggage.

621 W. Dana St., Mountain View; 650-961-8389.

Yoga

Yoga is Youthfulness is open seven days a week and teaches classes for all levels in Mysore-style ashtanga, Iyengar, hatha, deep healing relaxation and meditation. The studio also offers prenatal yoga on Fridays and lunchtime yoga from Monday to Thursday, which is designed around the typical lunch break schedule. "We offer traditional yoga styles, developed for centuries, that embrace body and mind. Not trendy styles that can sometimes lead to easy injuries," says manager Sabina Hentz.

590 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-964-5277. yogaisyouth.com

RETAIL

Bike Shop

The Off Ramp boasts an expansive inventory of bicycles, parts and accessories, as well as a comprehensive list of services, including repairs and adjustments performed by professionally trained and certified staff. Every new bike is assembled by professional bicycle mechanics and comes with free tune-ups for a year. The Off Ramp also offers test rides to ensure that customers purchase the best bike for their lifestyles.

2320 El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-968-2974. offrampbikes.com

Bookstore

With over 300,000 titles, BookBuyers is one of the largest used bookstores in the state. In addition to its eclectic assortment of used books, CDs and DVDs, BookBuyers is host to many community events, such as author talks, storytelling and open mic nights. It also offers customers several different discount programs, including a BookLover's Card for 10 percent off, a 20 percent discount for California educators and a business discount that gives employees at select downtown Mountain View retail stores a 20 percent discount.

317 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-968-7323. bookbuyers.com

Boutique

Since 2007, Therapy has brought quirk and charm to its Mountain View boutiuque with its diverse selection that runs the gamut from colorful couches and premium Nixon watches to witty posters and kitchen magnets. According to manager Katherine Lix, the boutique tries to incorporate local vendors, and 75 percent of the store's jewelry brands are local to California. "We encourage our employees to work with the customers and try to really get to know people. When we say hi, we really mean it. We want to know how you're doing," Lix says.

250 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-691-1186. shopattherapy.com

Florist

Don't be surprised at the residential surroundings of Nakayama Flowers. After all, this family-owned business aims to provide outstanding customer service with a personal touch that larger companies may not have. Since 1969, Nakayama Flowers has been providing the local community with a colorful, diverse assortment of bouquets and fresh cut flowers for all occasions, including graduation, corporate events, weddings and funerals.

3367 Grant Road, Mountain View; 650-390-9235. nakayamaflowers.com

Hardware Store

Winner Blossom True Value Hardware may be new to the title of best hardware store, but it isn't new to the Mountain View community. Since moving to El Camino Real in 2006, this location has won customers' praise for its helpful, friendly service, clean and organized displays and extensive selection of products. Offering goods from plants to paint to power tools, and services from key-cutting to blade-sharpening, Blossom True Value Hardware can help with a variety of household needs.

1297 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-964-7871. ww3.truevalue.com/blossom/

Home Furnishings

New winner The Home Consignment Center appeals to sellers and buyers alike, with its flexible consignments and large selection of furniture, accessories and jewelry. According to general manager Alastair Dorward, the store sees an especially big demand from both sellers and buyers for patio furniture and contemporary, casual dining sets. "We're always seeking to help our local community with changing up their furniture and home," Dorward said.

141 E. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-964-7212. thehomeconsignmentcenter.com

Store for Unusual Gifts

Unusual, unique and eye-opening are just a few words to describe the items for sale at East West Bookshop. This new age bookshop serves as Mountain View's go-to resource for books, CDs and DVDs on metaphysics. Other special finds include crystals, jewelry, imported crafts, candles and incense. East West is host to frequent book club meetings and workshops on subjects like Eastern medicine, spirituality and healing.

324 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-988-9800. eastwest.com

FUN STUFF

Happy Hour

Cascal

See Best Mediterranean

Place for a Date

With its breathtaking views and grassy paths, Shoreline Lake offers a unique and romantic setting for a first, second, or even 100th date. Those looking for adventure can rent kayaks, pedalboats, bicycles and more from the Shoreline Aquatic Center. More of a traditionalist? The Lakeside Cafe offers picnic baskets or soups, salads and sandwiches with lakeside patio seating.

3160 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View; 650-965-7474. shorelinelake.com

Place for Live Music

A local standby in the area of live music and entertainment, Shoreline Amphitheatre remains readers' ideal venue to bask in good tunes and see an exciting show. The rest of the summer season will see headliners including Kelly Clarkson, Tim McGraw, Ariana Grande and Prince Royce.

1 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View; 650-967-4040. theshorelineamphitheatre.com

Place to Take a Visitor

As Mountain View continues to grow, the influx of tourists and visitors can experience much of what the city has to offer at Shoreline Park. The city park has come a long way since its origins as a landfill for San Francisco garbage. Visitors can fly kites, rent boats and kayaks from the Aquatic Center, learn to sail or hit the green at the 18-hole links-style golf course. Visitors can also take a tour of the Rengstorff House, one of the first houses to be built in Mountain View, which is known for its Victorian Italianate architecture and the venue for an annual haunted house and summer arts festival.

3070 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View; 650-903-6392. mountainview.gov/depts/cs/shoreline

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by LiviINgMtnView
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 1, 2015 at 8:40 am

I'm dissapointed that the usual suspects are on the list. It's a repeat from the last 3 years (maybe more). Perhaps a list of up and coming places to keep and eye on?? Or under $20 per meal list?? Pizza- Maldonado's,
Burrito/Tacos- Super Taqueria... to name a couple of good spots. There are more places to discover in MV beyond Castro St.


2 people like this
Posted by More dying print media stuff
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 1, 2015 at 11:02 am

These "Best of <Insert Town>" awards are about 15 years past their sell by date.
Back in the day it used to be fun and the issue would arrive with some curiosity, if not anticipation, but the last 3 yrs they have gone right into the recycling.
With stuffed ballot boxes and the same tired "usual suspects" I find it of no use. That doesn't mean Don Giovanni's is a cool restaurant, but we already knew that and have for man many years now.
With the advent of YELP and other online reviewing sources, the "Best of" is already known all year round.
On the plus side, it pulls in a TON of advertising from the businesses who think they might get a boost in business.


2 people like this
Posted by Common sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 1, 2015 at 11:06 am

Livil..., in case you didn't notice, ten of the restaurant/food winners for Mountain View aren't downtown at all, and one of them isn't even in Mountain View (Chef Chu's, Los Altos).

The only reason you see so many restaurant winners downtown is because Mountain View's largest concentration of restaurants by far is there (over 100, one of the densest restaurant clusters in the Bay Area now) and many of them are very popular, AND cheap. I had lunch downtown yesterday for less than $10 (and the previous two days, each at a different restaurant) and have done so for similar per-person prices for years with great variety. Japanese "basket" buckwheat noodles with dipping sauce and tempura (at Maru Ichi) sometimes, interesting main-course salads elsewhere at others, fancy unique sandwiches at Ava's improved deli, new "Japanese love hamburger" lunch specials $10 at the reborn Mervyn's Restaurant, 236 Castro.

Come check out more of the dining options downtown, and you might see why it gets so much attention!


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Top restaurants to check out

Mountain View Voice readers have officially decided. See which local restaurants and businesses can now claim the title — Best Of Mountain View 2017.

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