And so we offer you the sage advice of your fellow readers, who have taken the time to identify the best that Mountain View has to offer, from restaurants and takeout joints to shoe repair shops and chiropractors. Because sometimes, you just want to get out the house and enjoy a good meal at a restaurant that has a charming patio or indulge in way too many bar snacks at a boisterous beer garden. Unplug and unwind at a yoga class, engage in a little tangible retail therapy in a local boutique or find exactly the right tool for that household project. Your fellow readers are here for you, ready to point you to the perfect place.
The Best of Mountain View winners are determined by tabulating our online ballots, so if you think this year's list is missing one of our city's finest, be sure to cast your vote in next year's contest and make your voice heard.
With a large menu ranging from pasta dishes to savory crepes, Crepevine has proved popular among Voice readers. Co-owner Majed Fakhouri points to the Tuscany crepe, made with chicken breast, sauteed vegetables and pesto, as a longtime favorite. This summer, a myriad of smoothies, along with a few vegetable-based drinks, will be added to the menu as a refreshing option.
300 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-969-6878. crepevine.com
Following a motto of "treat every day like it is grand opening day," Chef Chu's has won over readers with its homemade potstickers and annual Chinese New Year festivities. Serena Williams, Steve Young, Justin Bieber and JFK Jr. are among the customers to have dined at Chef Chu's since its opening in 1970. The Beijing duck, cooked in a cast-iron Chinese oven, is one of the most popular dishes.
1067 N. San Antonio Road, Los Altos; 650-948-2696. chefchu.com
Coffee House (Independent)
Red Rock Coffee Company
Winning best coffee house (Independent) once again, Red Rock Coffee Company continues to bring in customers. A vibrant open mic event is hosted every Monday night for anyone willing to play music, read poetry, or perform a comedy routine. "Customers like our community vibe, and the fact that everything we do — coffee, art, music — is centered around relationships and people," says manager Tyler Toy.
201 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-967-4473. redrockcoffee.org
Fine Dining Restaurant, Italian Restaurant, Place for a Business Lunch
La Fontaine is so popular with Voice readers, it's taken top place in three categories this year. According to staffers, the beef Wellington and seafood pappardelle are popular dishes among its customers. Live music every Saturday night adds to the overall ambiance of this restaurant which serves a refined menu of Italian and French cuisine.
186 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-968-2300. lafontainerestaurant.com
Fusion Restaurant, Vietnamese Restaurant
Xanh Restaurant has won two awards this year, and for good reason. Consisting of a patio, a bar and lounge, as well as three different dining rooms, this modern Vietnamese restaurant serves a considerable selection of food. The pineapple beef short ribs, banana leaf sea bass and papaya salad are among the signature options.
110 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-964-1888. xanhrestaurant.com
Lively cartoon sketches drawn by accomplished Indian cartoonist Sudhir Talang greet customers when they enter Amber India. "It has a relaxed and fun atmosphere with a contemporary setting," according to the website. This longtime local favorite, known for its elevated Indian cuisine in general and its butter chicken specifically, also offers banquet services for weddings, corporate events, fundraisers and other celebrations.
600 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-968-1751.amber-india.com/mountain-view
When asked what makes Cafe Baklava stand out, one staff member said, "Why not?" Serving customers since 2005, this Mediterranean restaurant offers a wide array of fresh, homemade dishes, including kuzu kebabs and lamb moussaka.
341 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-969-3835. cafebaklavamountainview.us
Vive Sol has charmed hungry customers with its authentic Mexican cuisine. The mole poblano — consisting of sun-dried peppers, cocoa beans, herbs, nuts, spices and chicken breast — is the must-order dish, according to Tripadvisor. The family behind Vive Sol also runs La Fiesta Restaurant in Mountain View, Palo Alto Sol and Quinto Sol in Redwood City.
2020 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-938-2020
Middle Eastern Restaurant
Its name inspired by an ancient Greek city off the coast of Ionia, Ephesus brings Middle Eastern food to Mountain View with marinated meats, fresh vegetables, fish and more. This restaurant is family-owned, with father Mehmet Vural concocting recipes in the kitchen, mother Serife Vural baking homemade bread and brothers Fatih and Galip serving customers. "Come, sit back, and relax while our family prepares you an authentic Mediterranean meal," says Galip on their website.
185 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-625-8155. ephesusrestaurant.net
QBB — Quality Bourbons & Barbecue
Wafting throughout the streets of downtown Mountain View, the smell of barbecue attracts many customers to QBB — Quality Bourbons & Barbecue, according to co-founder Jon Andino. True to its name, the restaurant holds regular events pairing five-course dinners with five bourbons — the next one features Old Forester and is set for the end of July.
216 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-969-1112. eatqbb.com
It is no surprise that Bierhaus won Mountain View's Best Patio/Outdoor Dining. With Stout — the restaurant's designated beer cart dog — roaming around outside, there is a lot to love about this local downtown eatery. Notable dishes include the sausage and pretzel plate, as well as the garlic-Parmesan sweet potato fries.
383 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-395-8209. bierha.us
Open seven days a week, Pacific Catch has hooked residents who named it Mountain View's best place for seafood. This restaurant offers a full bar, patio dining, take-out, catering platters, event space and happy hour Monday through Friday. Hawaiian poke, sushi rolls and tacos are among the many meals that customers bring customers back for more.
545 San Antonio Road, Suite 34, Mountain View; 650-941-1810. pacificcatch.com
Sushi Tomi's devotion to classic Japanese sushi makes it a standout for Voice readers. Now open for weekend lunch, this top vote-getter provides a seemingly limitless menu of meals; however, if too many options overwhelm you, order "Omasake" for a sampling of the chef's choice of the day's best offerings.
635 W. Dana St., Mountain View; 650-968-3227. sushitomi.com
Winning best Thai restaurant every year since 1999, Amarin Thai has continued the tradition by being voted No. 1 among readers. Allured by the plethora of curry dishes varying from green curry to golden curry with cauliflower, customers have indulged at this Thai restaurant for nearly 30 years since its opening in 1990.
174-176 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-988-9323. amarinthaicuisine.com
With no high-fructose corn syrup, MSG, or trans-fat ingredients, Garden Fresh dishes almost seem too good to be true — and customers agree. Though words such as "chicken" and "pork" make an appearance on the menu, every dish at this family-owned restaurant with Chinese roots is completely vegan, made without meat, eggs or dairy.
1245 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-254-1688. gardenfresh.us
Food & Drink
Tucked away in Edgewood Plaza, the House of Bagels is the perfect pit stop for a crime fighter on the move. This popular, New York-inspired establishment features all the bagel basics — the savory spreads, the soft lox, the mouth-watering deli sandwiches — along with cookies, pastries and other baked goods. But the star of the show is the bagel itself. 2190 W. Bayshore Road, Palo Alto, 650-322-5189; houseofbagels.com
Bringing classical French and contemporary Californian flavors together, "there is something for everyone" at Alexander's Patisserie, according to its executive pastry chef Phuong Quach. This popular bakery makes and sells customized cakes as well as numerous different desserts that cater to each client's needs. A lunch menu polished with seasonal quiche, paninis, sandwiches and soups has recently been introduced, perfect for a summer afternoon.
209 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-864-9999. alexanderspatisserie.com
Steins Beer Garden
With more than 30 craft beers on tap, Steins Beer Garden has become a favorite in Mountain View. This destination adds an American spin on the traditional German biergarten, according to its website. Annual events hosted at this bar include a local Oktoberfest celebration with music, drinks and competitions, as well as a home brew contest in which enthusiasts create their own beers while keeping to a given theme.
895 Villa St., Mountain View; 650-963-9568. steinsbeergarden.com/mountainview
Clarke's Charcoal Broiler
This year marks the 22nd time Clarke's Charcoal Broiler has been voted Mountain View's best burger. Opened in 1945, this family-owned restaurant has captured the hearts of readers with its extensive condiment bar, which includes sauerkraut, pickles, relish, onions, alfalfa sprouts and more. Cooking with charcoal instead of gasoline, manager Mila Perez says that orders such as the bacon-and-cheese burger have more of a smoky, outdoor flavor. Tater tots have also been recently introduced to the already substantial menu.
615 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-967-0851. clarkes.com
In a city with a lot of good burrito joints, it takes a lot to stand out in the crowd. La Costena has done just that, winning over readers with its chico, regular and super burritos. It also holds the Guiness World Record for the largest burrito.
235 E. Middlefield Road, Mountain View; 650-967-0507. costena.com
Dittmer's Gourmet Meats & Wurst-Haus
Dittmer's Gourmet Meats & Wurst-Haus has reeled in customers with its newly revamped sandwich menu and fresh meat selection. According to staff members, the hot pastrami with provolone, as well as the smoked turkey breast with avocado and jack cheese sandwich, are among the most popular choices for its hungry patrons.
4540 El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-941-3800. dittmers.com
Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt
Gelato Classico has been awarded Mountain View's best ice cream/frozen yogurt for 18 consecutive years, thanks to its creamy gelatos and refreshing sorbettos. The bavarian mint and coconut-macadamia nut gelatos are among the options for downtown customers looking to escape the heat this summer.
241 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-969-2900
Known for its traditional Taiwanese cuisine, Queen House has been serving locals since 1988. Though the beef stew clay pot continues to be a best-seller, owner Cindy Lee encourages patrons to try the pork belly bun, which is topped with peanuts, vegetables and cilantro, and was inspired by a recipe found on a Food Network program. A dim sum menu is available on Saturdays and Sundays.
273 Castro St.,Mountain View; 650-960-0580
Owner Cindy Lee accredits Tea Era's prosperity to the classic Taiwanese taste of its milk teas as well as the chewy, tender boba that is high in demand. The roasted barley milk tea is a signature drink, although taro milk tea is quickly becoming a fan-favorite.
271 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-969-2899. teaeracafe.com
Bringing the East Coast to Silicon Valley, Amici's has once again grabbed readers' attention with its mouth-watering thin crust pizza that is "inspired by the traditional, Italian brick oven pizzas of New England," according to its website. This eatery offers an all-day happy hour every Monday and free delivery. There is even a robot made by Bear Robotics that works in the dining room every Tuesday night, according to president Peter Cooperstein.
790 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-961-6666. amicis.com/mountain-view
Mountain View Farmers Market
The Mountain View farmers market has been going since 1992, and locals cannot get enough of it. With 110 vendors, residents can browse a wide variety of produce, including hybrid fruits such as pluots (half apricot and half plum), pecotums (peach, apricot, and plum), and cherums (cherry and plum). "It doesn't get fresher than the Mountain View farmers market," says market manager Kayla Hayden of the fruits and vegetables found there. The market is open every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
600 W. Evelyn Ave., Mountain View; 800-806-3276. cafarmersmkts.com/mountain-view-farmers-market
Small (Non-chain) Grocery Store
Ava's Downtown Market & Deli
A friendly neighborhood market, family-owned Ava's Downtown Market & Deli takes pride in catering to a diverse community, staff says. Having been in business for over six years, this grocery store values customer input and customer service. And with shelves stocked to the brim, this store puts the mighty in "small but mighty."
340 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-961-5652
At Asian Box diners don't need to break the bank to get a fresh and scrumptious meal. Inspired by Vietnamese street food, Asian Box offers diners comforting staples like pho and curry chicken, as well as more eclectic options such as caramel catfish and garlic-and-soy-glazed beef. Pick up one of their "signature boxes" or customize your own by choosing a base, a protein, some toppings and a sauce. Town & Country Shopping Center, 855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, 650-391-9305; asianbox.com
Auto Body Repair
Bedford Auto Company
Founded in 1981 by then 22-year-old Greg Bedford, Bedford Auto Company is still winning the admiration of locals. Thirty-seven years after its establishment, Bedford still works on each of his customer's cars himself. "I treat each vehicle as if it were my own," says Bedford. Bedford Auto is also home to Bella, a Shih Tzu poodle mix who roams the premises.
2145 Old Middlefield Way, Suite A, Mountain View; 650-961-4100. bedfordautobody.com
The Car Doctor
Owners of The Car Doctor point to excellent customer service as the reason behind the company's growing popularity among Voice readers. Opened in 2009, this business makes educating customers about their car a priority, according to staff. Tune-ups, engine diagnostics and suspension repairs are among the many services that this shop provides.
710 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto; 650-492-6853. autorepairmountainviewca.com
Having been in private practice since 1993, Lisa Devlin is clearly doing something right as clients voted her Mountain View's best chiropractor this year. As stated on her website, Dr. Devlin is the only chiropractor in the Mountain View area to offer Class IV laser therapy. She also uses the activator method, which according to Dr. Devlin, is "a comfortable and very effective form of chiropractic with no 'cracking' or 'popping.'"
1265 Montecito Ave., Mountain View; 650-428-0950. lisadevlin.com
Open 363 days of the year, Western Ballet is a nonprofit organization that for 42 years has offered classes and training to youth aged 3-18 as well as to adults looking to improve their dance technique. "Western Ballet continues to produce and bring the art of ballet to the Mountain View community every year through new and exciting performances, as well as offering classes to all ages and levels," says marketing and production coordinator Emily Wirtz.
914 N. Rengstorff Ave., Mountain View; 650-968-4455. westernballet.org
Our readers' choice for best dentist for the fifth consecutive year, Dental Fabulous patients are passionate about their dentist, with some traveling from out of state to receive treatment, according to owner and principal dentist Dr. Huy Do. "We provide comprehensive care that is specific to each of our patient's needs," Do says. Appointments are available on Saturdays in addition to the regular Tuesday-Friday schedule.
756 California Ave., Suite B, Mountain View; 650-969-6077. dentalfabulous.com
Open for five years, Vogue Cleaners has captured Mountain View's prize for best dry cleaners by offering an affordable place for customers to get their clothes cleaned and neatly folded, staff members say. Starting at just $1.95, dress shirts are the most popular item that customers bring in, and Vogue also offers alterations and mending services.
595 Escuela Ave., Mountain View; 650-967-3954
Fitness Classes, Gym, Yoga
El Camino YMCA
The combination of youth sports, swim lessons, summer camps, and health programs contribute to El Camino YMCA's overwhelming popularity among readers. The Y is the only gym on the West Coast to offer a fully integrated cloud-connected training system known as eGym, and will also provide a free after-school basketball program to students at Mariano Castro Elementary School this fall. "Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is a cornerstone of our mission and as a community organization, we strive to strengthen the mind, body and spirit for all," says TaLeiza Calloway-Appleton, the marketing and communications coordinator.
2400 Grant Road, Mountain View; 650-969-9622. elcaminoymca.org
Upon entering Essence Salon, customers may be greeted by a group of skilled hairstylists, including someone who recently graduated from the Sassoon 44-week cosmetology program in Santa Monica and a 30-year veteran who worked as a stylist in Hollywood. "All of our artists undergo extensive training in the salon," says manager Ting Li. Hair treatments using Kerastase and Olaplex are just two of the unique services this beauty shop offers.
826 W. Dana St., Mountain View; 650-988-8822. essencesalon.com
Hilton Garden Inn
The Hilton Garden Inn has long been a reader favorite, with this year being no exception. This modern hotel features a seasoned staff as well as an impressive restaurant, says general manager JC Azpeitia. Owners have also developed an extensive wine program that can be enjoyed on an outdoor patio that Azpeitia says is like "transporting Napa" to the Peninsula.
840 E. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-964-1700. hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com
La Monique's Nail Salon
According to Voice readers, La Monique's Nail Salon has earned a spot on the Best of Mountain View list as a result of the countless services that it provides. Manicures, pedicures, waxing, mani-pedis and sugaring — a method of hair removal — are all provided to clients, according to information on the MyTime app. Ombre nails, a trend that has become popular in recent years, are also being offered.
650 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-968-9901
Happy Feet Foot Spa
For $25, Happy Feet Foot Spa provides affordable massages that use reflexology techniques to "stimulate specific reflex areas on the feet and hands with the intention of invoking a beneficial response in other parts of the body," according to their website. This meothod of conducting foot, back, hand and full body rubs certainly seems to work, as all the contented readers who voted for it can attest.
858 Villa St., Mountain View; 650-969-7600.
Nutrition/Weight Loss Counselor
INTENTIO Fitness Coaching
INTENTIO Fitness Coaching seeks to help clients become healthier, more confident versions of themselves through personal training, nutrition coaching and massage therapy. By meeting with customers for 1-3 hours a week, trainers develop a plan that ensures that people can accomplish their goals. According to general manager Tara Marple, a Polar Heart Rate Zone system has recently been installed, allowing staff members to track a client's heart rate during a workout. "This really helps us to keep clients in various zones that are targeted to their needs without pushing them out of fat burning and (avoiding) potential injury or burnout," Marple says.
260 Moffett Blvd., Mountain View; 650-963-9888. intentio.com
Transmission services, battery maintenance and, of course, oil changes are all provided at Jiffy Lube's Mountain View location. Founded in 1971 in Utah, this company now has sites in all 50 states, attracting over 20 million customers each year — and Voice readers have spoken up as well-satisfied patrons.
1141 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-965-2582. jiffylube.com
24 Hour Fitness Super Sport
With GX24 studio classes, personal trainers, and a gym full of exercise equipment, 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport pushes clients to follow the message found on its website of "Do more, Mountain View." Even children are welcome to participate at this location through a program called "Kids' Club," where little ones can play with friends while parents and guardians break a sweat during a well-deserved workout.
2535 California St., Mountain View; 650-935-9064. 24hourfitness.com
Adobe Animal Hospital
Pet owners want to ensure that their furry friends receive the best possible care. Adobe Animal Hospital has put people's minds at ease since opening its doors in 1964. Accepting appointments Monday through Saturday, this animal hospital offers a place for customers to pick up prescriptions or other products for their pets that are hand-selected by staff members, according to its website.
4470 El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-948-9661. adobe-animal.com/losaltos
Model Shoe Repair
Ruining a beloved pair of shoes can be disheartening. Model Shoe Repair makes sure that your favorite footwear gets more mileage before heading into retirement. Specializing in fixing high heels, this shop has helped customers since 1999, and is Voice readers' favorite place for repairs.
621 W. Dana St., Mountain View; 650-961-8389
Cognition Cyclery brings one of America's favorite pastimes to life through the many services that it offers. Whether it be a simple tuneup, a bike fitting or a buying a new bicycle, this shop, open since 2010, works with customers to ensure that their needs are being met. The weekly "Cog Road Ride" invites clients to ride with Cognition Cyclery staff for 30-35 miles each Saturday.
903 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-486-1955. cognitioncyclery.com
Dating back to 1851, Books Inc. has developed into a well-known Bay Area bookstore chain. It's had a branch on Castro Street in Mountain View since 2001, moving a few doors down from its former space last year. Aside from its large children's section, this shop partners with Red Rock Coffee to provide a weekly service called "Wednesday Storytime" for kids ages 5 and under. A "Pages and Podcasts Book Club" was started in May and is held every first Monday of the month for those wanting to participate in a discussion based on a selected podcast's theme.
317 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-428-1234. booksinc.net/mountainview
Boutique, Store for Unusual Gifts
There are not many stores that sell clothing and jewelry in the same place as vintage furniture; however Therapy does just that. Offering a diverse assortment of items, this family-owned shop has been a reader favorite for years. "We have been built from the ground up on the understanding that everyone needs a place that makes them feel good about themselves and the world around them," Therapy's website says. The store donates of 1 percent of its sales to local food banks and charities such as Second Harvest Food Bank and the Sonoma Relief Fund.
250 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-691-1186. therapystores.com
Fleur de Lis
Fleur de Lis, a family-owned and operated business for 33 years, offers a tasteful and fragrant array of buds, blooms and foliage for all occasions. From prom corsages and romantic bouquets to striking tropical flower arrangements and tasteful sympathy wreaths, this local florist can handle it all.
811 Castro St, Mountain View; 650-968-0220. fdlflowers.com
Blossom True Value Hardware
Whether for cutting glass, mixing paint or repairing windows, it is no wonder readers voted Blossom True Value Hardware Mountain View's best hardware store. Open since 1973, this family-owned shop carries "a little bit of everything," according to staff. From houseware and small appliances to power tools and automotive supplies, you can probably find it at Blossom True Value Hardware.
1297 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-964-7871. truevalue.com/blossom
Mojitos, margaritas and Cascal mules are only a few of the specialty drinks that are served at Cascal during happy hour, which is held Monday through Friday from 3:30-6 p.m. This pan-Latin restaurant in downtown Mountain View offers spacious bar seating in a casual setting, as well as indoor and outdoor dining with food inspired by the flavors of Mexico, Spain and South America. For happy hour, choose from an array of wines and beers, house-made sangria and caipirinhas, the national cocktail of Brazil. Happy hour bites include tacos, chips and dips and patatas bravas (crisp fried potatoes in salsa brava, topped with garlic aioli).
400 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-940-9500. cascalrestaurant.com
Place for a Date
For its blend of tranquility and fun, readers picked Shoreline Lake as a great place to take a date. With an array of watercrafts for rent (including paddleboats, kayaks, canoes, and rowboats), as well as a restaurant that offers a seasonally-based menu, this is the perfect place to share a summer adventure. Learn to sail or windsurf on the lake, or wind your way along its trails on foot or by bike. And if you're looking for a bite to eat, American Bistro has a number of breakfast and lunch offerings (plus brunch on weekends), and sells picnic baskets for sharing with that special someone.
3160 N Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View; 650-965-7474. shorelinelake.com
Place for Live Music
The Pentatonix, Halsey, Niall Horan and Logic are just a few artists who are planning to perform at Shoreline Amphitheatre this summer. With a 22,500 capacity limit, this open-air venue has a sound system fit for blasting music (just ask the neighbors) as well as large screens for those sitting in the lawn area. Throughout its 32-year existence, the amphitheatre has not only attracted some of the entertainment industry's biggest names, but has also become a favorite spot for many locals.
1 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View; 650-967-4040. mountainviewamphitheater.com
Place to Take a Visitor
Originally a landfill, Shoreline Park has come a long way. Open since 1983, the park offers a beautiful view of the San Francisco Bay, houses the historic Rengstorff House and offers a wildlife area that home to rare birds like the burrowing owl. The popular 750-acre site attracts joggers, kite-flyers, golfers, windsurfers and cyclists.
3160 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View; 650-965-7474. mountainview.gov/shoreline
Best of Mountain View contributors
Andrea Gemmet, Julia Brown
Michelle Le, Veronica Weber, Natalia Nazarova
This story contains 4935 words.
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